675 Tasting Notes
Re-visiting this one today. At first sniff, this is a very tart smelling tea. The sort of tart that makes your mouth water in anticipation, if that makes sense. The first sips were surprisingly sweet, and honestly my favourite part of the cup. As it cools the tartness develops but doesn’t take over. A drop of honey might have done well in here but it is perfectly palatable as is. I don’t often turn to berry herbals lately, but if I did this would be a strong contendor. I imagine it would be lovely iced (though I’m not generally a fan of iced tea and it would need to be sweetened). This one does best with natural flavours, and now I am thinking that a drop of lemon juice or even some fresh strawberry or other berry would really take it up a notch too. Now I want to make this a cocktail, in the middle of the workday!
Well, wow! I am not very experienced in oolongs, so please comment with any tips or advice to really get the most out of them. I found that this had strong cocoa notes, and a bean-like aspect. I noted that it reminds me of Golden Snail, and in general seemed similar to a number of high quality black teas that I’ve enjoyed. Done in my gaiwan and wee little double walled teacups. Excess tea used to “season” my tea feet (also from Verdant, love them!)
Steep 1 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 30 second steep. Rich and robust, lightly sweet without any bitterness. I got chocolate in the aftertaste. Very enjoyable.
Steep 2 – Water cooled for 2 minutes after boiling, 45 second steep. Leaves are still very closed, liquor is light amber. This steep has less cocoa and is less complex. Still beany, very nice. The beau says it is “earthy green.”
Steep 3 – Boiling water, 1 minute steep. Leaves still tightly rolled, the aroma and flavour are slightly weaker yet again. This is nearly astringent, with a slightly dry mouthfeel. Cocoa flavour is back with a vengeance, the beau says this is his favourite steep.
Steep 4 – Boiling water, 1.5 minute steep. I found this still enjoyable but weaker than I’d like. This will be the last for now.
Very enjoyable experience, a wonderful tea to help break my way into oolongs. Thank you Verdant for including this as a generous sample in my order!
Re-visiting this in an attempt to clean out my stash. Still 1 or 2 cups left from my sample, but getting closer! This 2 or 3 minute steep yielded a flavour more like what I expected. Sweet fruit, goji kick. No tea taste, but the fruit dominates for once. Enjoying this right now, glad to have had a stronger cup! Raising the rating a few points.
Just a quick note as I only had a few sips from the beau’s cup last night – This is a pleasant lemon tea, not too bitter or sharp but distinctly lemon-esque. The beau opted to add local honey to soothe his throat, but I found it too strong for the lemon mytrle, and it overpowered it. I really liked this (I’m a fan of lemon teas, but selective) and would like to keep some on hand constantly to drink on it’s own and also to add to teas that need a bit more lemon kick! Very nice, especially in winter with cold season.
Got myself 50 grams of this last night to try (finally!) brewed a cup this morning to go with my peanut butter toast. honestly, the toast dominated the tea but I got some lovely dark notes, almost cocoa-ish. I might have found a suitable replacement for the eternally out of stock (and wildly inaccesible nonetheless) Harney Golden Snail. Will do an in depth review at another time, but for now am impressed at the deep flavour, but with no bitterness. Definitely feels different from a “standard” black tea, an enjoyable treat in the morning.
Accidentally made this quite delicious today. Nearly 2 teaspoons to my Perfect Tea Mug (12 ounces? 14?) and an accidental 4 minute steep. The white tea is lost under the flavours, but the chai aspect is really shining. I get cinnamon and something sharper on the back of the sip. Apple is generally lost, as is vanilla but if I think of this as a mild chai it is a success. About halfway through my pouch, which is nice. I need to finish a few teas already!!
So this isn’t actually so bad. The beau and I have been looking for a good apple tea (that is more cider-esque than anything else) for a while. We’ve had a few contendors, but they always seem to be get discontinued. We tried this bagged tea last evening, and I was relatively impressed by it. Might get some to have on hand for when we want something easy and appley. Also, stay away from Tim Hortons Chai Lattes, as I’m pretty certain that espresso or coffee or something else in that terribly bitter neighbourhood was added to mine, though I don’t know why. : (
Had a wonderful re-visit with this tea yesterday while visiting the in-laws. Steeped to perfection, I had wonderful juicy blueberry taste, a thick mouthfeel and a hint of the cream cheese aspect (while hot – I find the cheesecake/cream cheese flavours to appear only when hot). The black tea was there underneath it all supporting the delicious flavours, which was nice. The beau claimed he over-steeped his, but mine was WONDERFUL!
Sad to be on my last pack of this, it is one thing that always makes me sad when I truly love a 52Teas tea. This is one of only 2 or 3 that I liked enough to want continuously, but it’s saddening to know that when it’s gone, it’s gone.
This one comes from my 12 Teas of Christmas sampler – when I opened it, I thought it was the Extra Bold Masala Chai, and was surprised to read it was Caramel Vanilla. The aroma pre and post steeping is just that of the bold chai (which I have had bad experiences with, it can get very very bitter). I did this cup with boiling water and a brief steep, maybe two minutes. After letting it cool I could get a hint of caramel aroma, but the taste was pure chai. Very similar to the Extra Bold Masala Chai. I get a hint of caramel at the end of the sip, but it is more an echo than a taste. As it cools it becomes more bitter, so I added a bit of milk which enhances the illusion of caramel and vanilla. Certainly not a favourite, but I haven’t had a chai in a while so that’s nice.
Update: That black tea is SO BITTER. Might do the rest of the sample as stovetop with milk, but I definitely shouldn’t use boiling water. Might go add some sugar as well as the milk (neither of which I usually add. I happen to think it’s a poor tea that requires milk or sugar, but I know that isn’t a popular opinion). Hoping that with alternate preparations I can really get the most out of this sample. Sugar and milk helped cut down the bitterness, but I’m still making a pinched up face while I drink!
Well. Once upon a time, I had a pouch of this tea. I found it too boldly vanilla, almost coconutty – My pouch moved along to a proper vanilla loving person and I moved on with my day. But, then came Christmas and the 12 Teas from Frank. Yesterday was the dreaded Coconut Cheesecake Honeybush (I loathe coconut) so I took the day off, looking forward to today. Imagine my unease when I smelled today’s blend. Luckily, I’m liking this. I learned from past mistakes and went light on the steep time, and I have a nice smooth vanilla, with no traces of coconut. Of course, the re-blend is likely a bit different from the original, but I am glad to enjoy this cuppa. I am moving the rating up a bit based on today’s success, but don’t regret my passing along of the original pouch. Merry Christmas, all!