2341 Tasting Notes
I’ve been working my way through last February’s TOMC, drinking cups of this & the other selections. The initial aroma of this tea is sweet & fruity, kind of like baked bananas with caramelized brown sugar on top. The tea itself is pleasant, with some floral taste, a creamy feel & some fruity qualities. I’ve reviewed it before, probably much better than today.
Yes, this tea is no longer available.
Yes, I still have some, LOL.
Yes, I want to get Hugo’s newer black breakfast blend.
No…sigh…I have not done it yet…
I need to do it before I drink all of this, just for comparison’s sake.
So, I accidentally oversteeped this today, which really brings out the Ceylon aspect. I need to not do that next time.
This is one of those teas I like to drink by the pot, & I was in the mood for making a 16oz pot of tea when I woke up. So I did. Some people would find this tea to be smokey, & it is mildly smokey, & stylish, in it’s own way, like this one guy who used to come to my gigs about 20 years ago at this one coffee house. He had a style all has his own, some kind of french impressionist era/middle eastern/hippy fusion. He was very learned when it came to the arts, or at least fancied himself to be so, & he played the sitar. He’d sit there listening with his eyes closed, sipping tiny cups of expresso, twirling the corners of his mustache, & smoking kreteks (clove cigarettes). During my break he’d have pseudo-intellectual conversations with people, discussions regarding the virtues & failings of anything from the artwork on the wall, to books they had read, musicians they had heard, etc. There were a lot of interesting people that hung out at that coffee shop back in the day. When that place closed down, as most places along those lines eventually do, who knows where everyone went?
I got some of this one with my last mandala order, & enjoyed multiple steepings of it late yesterday afternoon. When I have students coming & going, I enjoy setting up a yixing of something I’d like to drink, so I can just keep adding water, rather than having to pick out another tea over & over again. I didn’t really take notes, & the main things I remember was the aroma of a well composed cedar forest (or some other wood), & the flavor was delicious, but again, I don’t really remember much about it, although I remember it being sweet, some fruitiness, & creamy at times, & most importantly, I DID enjoy drinking it! Again & again!
What a great contrast to the Irish Breakfast & Malty Irish Breakfast. Sure, it’s another bold tea blend, but this one features a decent level of smokiness, which at one point would have made me feel panicky, but now I really enjoy. Adding a little sweetener of some kind (sigh…Maple syrup) really brings out the caramel notes of the smoke, but I really enjoyed it today just plain, & it really is a nice sweet blend!
(part 2 of attempting to compare Irish Breakfast to Malty Irish Breakfast)
So…I compared the look of the leaves…I drank a small 4oz cup of each, side by side, steeped 3 min, with a resteep of 5. Then I drank a pot of each. The main difference, I’d say, is that this one is bolder & more rustic. It’s got a chewy quality, like a slice of rye bread.
I love them both, but I think I may love the newer one better.
When Stacy made this blend, I felt that she really knew me, LOL.
This is the blend I wanted for the base of my custom blend. Then it sold out! And one of it’s components, the Hattialli Golden Lion, also sold out! Panic!! So today I’m drinking this one & it’s replacement, Malty Irish Breakfast side by side, just for fun, really.
I love the Khongea Golden Tippy Assam, which adds a rich bass-note & depth, & the Hattialli, which in mind is more of a smooth gentle middle, filling in the spaces, & I have some of both in my cupboard, because they are also nice alone. I don’t have any of the ceylon in my cupboard, as I’m not really much of a ceylon fan by itself, but it does brighten up the blend, giving it a lively finish.
The leaves on this one are slightly tippy-er than the newer version, but otherwise they look about the same, & really, both cups are pretty similar. (to be continued)