704 Tasting Notes
This definitely isn’t the first time I’ve brewed up a cup of Queen Catherine, but it may very well be the first time I did so without screwing it up quite badly. This is part of a swap with Simply Jen W from probably a year ago now. Clearly, punctual tea drinking is not something I put on my resume – though I do appreciate all swaps and samples, very much so!
This time I used a teaspoon of leaves, steeped around 3 minutes and have a much more pleasant seeming cuppa. (Last time it got busy at switchboard while it was steeping and I had a 15 minute steeped disaster). This is an odd duck. It doesn’t quite smell like black tea, there is another edge to it. It smells as if it should be bitter, but the first sips yield a slightly sweet liquor. Again, it’s not quite plain black tea, there is something different here. There is no bitterness (a bonus in my book!) but there’s not really a lot of character either. As it is, I would have no porblem drinking this but I can’t imagine craving it either.
Thanks for the chance to sample, Simply Jen W!
I know I just logged this a week ago but I wanted to share with the tea drinking world in case any packrats have some of this bad boy left. Steep it in a T-Sac. I realized today that there is just too much broken “leaf” in this one to do well in my infuser and prepared it in a T-Sac instead. If only I had thought of this a year ago..
I will be honest though and warn you that using the T Sac really mutes the lemon flavour. I’m okay with that though, as the bitterness from the black tea and the lemon rind aspect were just too much for me. This way I get a lightly sweet lightly lemon flavoured black tea. Kind of blah but much better than bitter! I’m adjusting the rating back up a bit because it is redeemable but a lot of work.
I don’t know how I’ve managed to never log this one – especially since we bought it months ago and I am positive that I’ve tried it before now. I recall it being too sweet and bubble-gum as opposed to cranberry or pear – in the way that many DT teas tend to be to me for the last year or so.
On to the tea! Steeped a pot up with the beau and father-in-law, the aroma is very much of bubble gum. I’m starting to worry that my memories are correct. First sips are sweet, but not exactly bubblegum. Maybe artificial pear. Very artificial. LIke a lightly flavoured hard candy or something. There is no cranberry and no tart (I would expect tart in this one!). It’s tolerable but not fabulous. No black tea taste, but I can feel it on my tongue if that makes sense. It’s a supporting role. Unfortunately, this is another middle of the road sweet fruity tea. I’m not so fond of those anymore. : (
Edit: I can’t believe I’m so out of tune with everyone else on this one – what is going on with me?!
Just a quick note to say that this is a tea that can take a licking and keep on ticking. (:D). We had a pot steeping when I was called into deal with a leaking shower emergency by the beau – the tea was totally forgotten and left to steep for 10 minutes or so before I had managed a redneck repair so he could have his shower. Gotta say, sick of living in apartments and even more sick of dealing with repairs myself because my landlord is annoying. We haven’t had an oven door handle on our stove for the entire two years we have lived here! Anyway, the tea is still good. Very thick and rich, almost brothy. Strong cocoa, it’s quite over-powering, honestly. Very decadent. No bitterness to speak of, which is amazing. Way to go Davids!
I’ve been trying to make this tasting note since yesterday (and this tea for a year!) – the Steepster Gods have not been kind to me. Anyway, I have some of this still from a year ago, though I wish I didn’t. I sent the beau off with the tin to drink at work and I am trying to use what’s left in the bag at mine. This was purchased before I realized that you could buy less than 100 grams of something, so I’ve got an awful lot of it.
Remembering that this is a bitter tea, I steeped it for only a minute in less than boiling water and even threw in a bit of sugar (maybe 1/8 teaspoon) in advance because I am at switchboard and away from the kitchens. Under these conditions, it was tolerable but too sweet so I put the leaves back in for 30 seconds or so. Unfortunately, a tonne of loose “leaves” (aka powder) fell into the tea from my fine infuser while I was doing that, even though I shook out the infuser vigorously – I forgot to mention but this is one seriously broken up tea. I assume that is what contributes to it’s bitterness.
Anyway, after the extra steeping it was bitter. Too bitter to drink. I threw out yet another mug of this blasted tea which I have never managed to make well. Even low temps, less leaf, adding sugar, shaking the powder out and short steeping times aren’t enough to redeem this bad boy. Rating seriously decreased because I know better now!
The beau has been dying to brew some of this up, so I figured we’d give it a go. The first thing I noticed was a lot of “scum” on the top, likely from the chocolate, sprinkles and freeze dried ice cream. Neat idea, but not so attractive in practice. However, I have had a couple DT teas like this, and I’m not worried. The smell is yummy but very sweet – sweet is where my fear comes in here. I rarely sweeten my tea, and it bothers me that this one has stevia built in.
This one is really sweet. Very sweet. Some sips I enjoyed, where most I felt like I was drowning in sugar. Not quite the tea for me, though the idea was interesting. I could sort of see where ice cream cake was coming from, but it was sweeter than ice cream, if that makes sense. When I think of ice cream cake, I think of Dairy Queen cakes, and yummy fudge crumble in the middle with vanilla on the top, chocolate on the bottom and whipped cream icing. MMMM! Also, I did get an alcohol smell from the dry leaf – what does that? Is that the stevia leaf? Personally, I find it a little unsettling, though I have no problem with alcohol. Just not quite my thing.
I got this sample from Joy’s Teaspoon with an order I placed more than a year ago or so at this point. At that time I did not drink chcolate in tea. I thought it was an abomination – but I’ve finally learned my lesson. So, I dug this out and embraced the lovely milk chocolate aromas from the dried (and steeped!) leaf. It smells sweet and appetizing but there is a hint of bitterness in the aroma. I find that even now some chocolate teas (such as DT’s Chocolate Chili Chai) are unappealing and even make me feel nauseous. We shall see how this one holds up – so far, all is promising. For the record, a co-worker just arrived in the switchboard office that I cover from 1 to 2 and said it smells like chocolate – so mmuch so that she thought I was having a hot chocolate, not a flavoured tea.
First sips are not as sweet as the aroma would lead me to believe. There is a bold chocolate flavour, which actually combines the creaminess of milk chocolate and a slight hint of bitterness from dark chocolate. The taste changes on my tongue, but has a very pleasant lingering flavour. The initial sip is darker than the rest, I find. It’s very rich and decadent, though a bit too dark and bitter initially.
I must confess that I have no fondness for dark chocolate. I like the adulterated milky stuff – with sweet Cadbury being my favourite of the commercial brands. I was hoping this would be like DT’s Read My Lips, sans mint, but it’s a different beast. A little more adult and not quite my thing, unfortunately.
Finishing this up today I get a different taste than before. I steeped for about 10 minutes and get a creaminess behind the chocolate and rooibos notes that really suggests the neapolitan flavour. I still don’t get vanilla or strawberry, but as I said in my last note, I find chocolate always takes over.
I did shake the dust out of my infuser this time, though an annoying amount has fallen into my mug. It’s a good thing this is a rooibos, otherwise it would be undrinkable. I am getting a sharp taste of the rooibos in the back of my throat, and for once I almost understand what people mean when they say a mintiness. I must confess I am not found of this strong rooibos presence, but it’s completely my fault. Nice to see another sample finished!
Re-visiting this one today – unfortunately the smell isn’t at all pleasant. Initial aroma is kind of sour smelling and had a sharp scent that reminded me of vomit. It had me wondering if what I initially thought were almond slices might not be shaved coconut. Hopefully they really are almonds. According to my tasting note I found this solidly okay last time, let’s hope this is the same.
The taste is not nearly as objectionable as the smell, but it’s not really helping to dissuade me from my new conviction that this has coconut, not almonds. The initial sip is alright, but the aftertaste is sort of bothering me. As it cools it becomes more palatable, and bigger gulps are actually kind of nice. There is a sweetness, reminiscent of desserts. Almost reminds me of baklava, which is very weird. As I keep sipping I think I get a cinnamon taste in here, but a sweet one. This tea certainly is full of mysteries!
This one came to be as part of the enormous box of samples I purchased from LiberTeas months ago. The smell is very faint, but creamy and a hint of chocolate. Ordinarily I shake the “powder” out of my infuser before steeping (I hate floaties in my cup!) but as I was doing that with this one I came to the conclusion that I might be shaking out the flavourings, which would be pretty dumb. So, I am doing it with all the dust (and there’s a lot of it). Since there’s no proper tea in here, I hope that won’t be a problem.
Steeped, the aroma has a chickory note and reminds me of stale milk chocolate – you know when it gets old and turns white-ish. The liquor is a deep brown and quite fragrant. I’m really just getting the chocolate aspect of neapolitan, so far at least. I find that even in the ice cream though, that’s what happens. The vanilla and strawberry ( my favourites!) get buried beneath the chocolate.
The flavour is fairly bland, possibly because of age/storage. I get a hint of old chocolate, but it isn’t very assertive and if I were blind testing this I might not have got it right. I didn’t get any strawberry at all, and a sense of vanilla could only be present in a slight creaminess. Nothing objectionable at all, but certainly nothing special. I’ve got enough for another cup worth and I think I’ll take it to work to use up.