860 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 81 of the year 2014.
The BF really likes this one. It’s amusing how our tastes are almost never exactly aligned on tea. Then again, it pretty much reflects our tastes generally. When given a choice of dessert I will almost always pick chocolate and he’ll almost always pick fruit. Jack sprat and all that jazz.
In any case, I am not sorry to see it go, as is probably evident from my concerted effort to sip it down over the last few days. I can see how others would like it, though. And I’m glad I got the chance to try it as it allowed me to experiment with different time and temperature settings and also helped solidify some things about my personal taste when it comes to flavored white tea.
I put some of this into a gaiwan two days ago intending to have it during the evening but never got around to it. Since I’m working from home today I thought I’d go ahead and put it through several infusions.
I wondered what the effect of having the leaves sit out for a couple of days would be. I don’t know whether it’s psychological or actual, but the result seems to be a less offensive vanilla this time. The harsh-but-shallow false note that keeps me from liking the vanilla flavoring seemed much less, though not enough for me to start becoming a fan.
I’m within one serving of sipdown on this now, so there’s that.
We were in a rush to get out of the house this morning because No. 1 had an appointment to get braces on his teeth. So basically, I put this in the Breville and forgot about it until we were halfway to the orthodontist. When I got home after dropping him at school, this was only slightly above room temperature. Which is actually interesting. I can almost imagine it as an iced tea, and I think it might be a good one. The bergamot doesn’t seem to become stronger with cooling and the flavor maintains its balance. Thinking about trying it iced now, except it’s not really the day for it.
Sipdown no. 80 of the year 2014. I am trying to keep hitting at least one sipdown a day, but I notice that I’ve been slowing down a bit. It’s a combination of not wanting to part with some of my easily sipdownable stuff (like a lot of these Harney samples) and not having made enough headway into some of the older, open teas of which I have more than sample sizes. I need a better strategy. (I can’t believe I’m actually considering spending time on a sipdown strategy. Ugh, I must really be bored. LOL)
In reading back over the notes on this I was laughing over the color controversy. I am pleased to report that this time, my liquor is unmistakeably PURPLE! A nice, reddish violet. No hint of the grey I had before. Query whether this is a function of age (its or mine), oxygenation, or flower mix. In any case, I am delighted I finally got to see the purpleness in all its glory.
Despite the age of this sample (which at least one other person mentioned made a difference in the flavor for them) I am getting pretty much what my original note reflected in terms of aroma and taste. Alone, it’s rather an intense drink. I definitely prefer the Yellow and Blue. The douse of camomile takes the edge off the lavender and vice versa. Would I drink this again? Yes, I can see it happening, but very rarely. I don’t think it’s enough to justify buying a tin of this, but perhaps having a sample packet on hand isn’t beyond all reason.
This either dates to my chocolate flavored buying spree or to the Teavana tea of the month club membership, not sure which, but it’s surprisingly good.
Now, whether it tastes like a praline tart is an open question. I have had a praline and I have had a tart, but I have never had a praline tart.
The mixture in the packet has a very dark, syrupy chocolate smell. The aroma of the steeped tisane is a fruity chocolate. I smell both a sharp sweetness which I attribute to the pineapple, and a richer sweetness which I attribute to the fig and perhaps the pear. I don’t taste rooibos, I don’t taste honeybush, and I don’t taste nuts. I would have liked to have tasted the macadamia nuts…
It’s another apple juice colored liquid, but this is slightly darker (not as dark as that really “healthy” apple juice that’s brown, more the color of a darker kids’ apple juice).
It’s pretty tasty. The BF said it tasted like liquor but I don’t get that flavor. There’s a light, sweet, chocolatey flavor over a fruity, almost light jammy-flavored tisane (though jammy here doesn’t refer to mouthfeel or body but to the flavor itself). No. 2 gave it the thumbs up.
Unfortunately, it’s another discontinued one. Or I would have considered a restock. It does its job as a dessert substitute. Everyone in the house had Girl Scout thin mints tonight, but I was able to resist! (80 calories in just two of those cookies, dammit.)
Next in my continuing attempts—tonight I tried 175 for 1.5 minutes. It’s steadily improving, but I’m still not loving it. It’s the fruit flavor that’s causing the problem for me. The floral piece of it is fine. I wonder whether I would like this better if instead of going for a melony underlying fruit they’d used a citrus mix? Maybe grapefruit? There’s something about the sweetness of the fruit flavor that doesn’t hit me just right. Not nearly as bad as the Adagio White Tropics, but still enough so that depending on the day it can start to make my stomach go a little iffy.
The good news is I’m in sipdown range.
I have a few bags left of this in my work stash and more at home. I haven’t had it in a while, and I’m not sure why as I like it quite a bit. In fact, I’m bumping the rating up a tiny bit.
I think the main issue with this one is that the rose is the reason to drink it and I’m not always in the mood for rose. I have a bit of an idee fixe that the rose is stronger in this tea than it really proves to be when I drink it, which adds to the feeling that I need to be in the mood. It’s also one of the bagged teas I still have left that I like better than most, so I’ve been sort of hoarding it.
The rose is still the reason to drink this. It’s really quite nice for an afternoon tea. I should drink it more.
I read somewhere that it takes three separate occasions of drinking yerba mate to get used to the taste. I’m counting this as my second occasion, because it’s my second time trying it straight.
I think I’m going to need a third. Even if I do get used to the flavor, I’m thinking I’ll never really like it.
Today I think I used more leaf and less water, or perhaps the yerba mate absorbed a ridiculous amount of water so it just looked less? It came out looking like an opaque liquid about the color of caramel hard candies, with maybe a bit more of a greenish tinge than the candies.
I’ll keep trying but it’s really not my thing. Lowering the rating some. Note that the rating isn’t a commentary on whether this is good mate. I don’t know what the objective standards are for measuring whether a mate is good.