1165 Tasting Notes
The smell out of the packet is divine. An amazingly juicy smelling jasmine.
A clear, tawny yellow liquor with a hint of rose. Amazing floral scent. Really, like walking through a garden. There’s an interesting incense-like note to the aroma.
The flavor is fascinating. It’s jasmine of course, but given the aroma I was expecting something more heavy handed. And it isn’t. It’s a very light, but very pure jasmine over a mild and mellow green tea.
It’s the sort of tea that makes you feel clean after drinking it.
Not as close to perfect as the Samovar pearls, but wonderful in its own way.
Flavors: Grass, Jasmine, Vegetal
A pretty blend, with lots of shapes and colors including the ever lovely and visual interest-adding red peppercorns. In the packet it smells primarily of spices, but there’s also an orange zest note.
It makes a light orange-brown tea that smells like a spice tea with orange notes.
But amazingly, it somehow gets a pastry flavor into the mix in the sip. The spices sort of blend together with no single note leading, and there’s an unexpected sweetness to the flavor. The orange is a little on the subtle side but definitely there, and what it lacks in strength it makes up for in non-fake orange flavor. I wonder whether making the orange flavor stronger would also make it fake tasting, and if so, this strikes a balance that makes sense. I don’t get a strong sense of the underlying tea, but that’s not really why you drink a tea called “orange cookie” now, is it?
Flavors: Cookie, Orange, Orange Zest, Pastries, Spices
A never before opened packet of this has been sitting on my counter for a while. I’ve been waiting for the right time to give it a try.
I always think Keemun leaves are fascinating in a iron filings sort of way. They look like if you held a magnet against them they’d jump right up. The picture is very accurate. They have a very earthy smell in the packet, a dark smell with a sharp, high note.
For me, the liquor wasn’t all the coppery. Unless your penny has been in circulation for a while. It’s much darker than the color I know as copper, but has a reddish/orangish tinge.
The aroma suggests something deep and flavorful. There’s a slightly bready note and a tad of smoke. I had never heard “the burgundy of teas” before, but I get it. It has the same feel.
The flavor is very nice. At first, it seems somewhat less complex than the smell suggests it might be. But the finish and aftertaste belie that impression. There’s a sweetness to it and the smoke is subtle, which I like. The mouthfeel is pretty interesting. Soft and smooth. There’s a dark cocoa note, like a baking chocolate, a slight metallic/potato note and something that’s a cross between coffee and caramel, but not really either.Not my favorite Keemun as I don’t love the metallic/potato aspect. But everything else about it is lovely.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Cocoa, Coffee, Metallic, Potato, Smoke
Wow, I’ve had this a long time. I wrote the original note on it when I first joined Steepster about 6 years ago!
If I had my druthers, I’d drink chai a lot more than I do, but because of the milk content it’s more caloric than other things (and frankly, if I’m going to drink calories, I’d rather do it with wine than anything else most of the time. ;-)) so I don’t drink it that often. Also, weather is a big factor for me with chai. When it’s hot, I’m not often in the mood because chai is heavier than other teas. The result is I feel like every time I look in my stash, I find an astonishing amount of chai.
Today, we have rain. Lots and lots of rain. I haven’t been outside yet so I don’t know whether that translates into lower temperatures outside. It just looks like a cold day, which put me in the mood for chai. I used the Teafrog chocolate and cream for the extra tea this time.
It hasn’t changed in six years. It’s a pleasant mild chocolate chai. The spices give flavor but not heat. I still don’t taste cheesecake, so knocking off some points for that. But I’ll enjoy sipping it down.
Sipdown no. 38 of 2016 (no. 249 total).
As I predicted, this ended up dominating the cold tea category for the last few steepings. It’s tasty enough cold, and since I didn’t find it interesting enough as an oolong to work with over multiple steeps, it suited the purpose well.
The last batch is now doing its cold brew thing in the fridge. I was a couple of spoons short so I added two spoons of Kusmi darjeeling to round it out. Wonder what that will do.
I made this once last week but didn’t pay attention so I couldn’t write a note. Then for a change of pace, I made a pitcher of it cold.
It was really quite good cold, except that some of the mint leaves are small enough to be able to slide through my strainer, so it was leafier than other cold brews. So much so that no. 1 asked if it was ok to drink the leaves.
As a hot tea, it is heavy on the mint, light on the ginger, and ultra light on the tea. Mostly what I see, taste and smell, is mint. I can taste the effect of the ginger. I say effect because it’s more a cutting into the wall of mint than a flavor unto itself. I don’t taste black tea at all.
So I’m torn here because the flavor is very minty, and its a nice mint. Not a mouth full of dirt or bitter as some mints can be. And it tastes natural, not like a Tums. On the other hand, I hoped there would be more to it. Ginger and mint together can be a really nice blend, but the ginger isn’t strong enough here. And I can see why the other reviewer said they don’t really consider it a black tea so much as an herbal.
So balancing out the very nice mint with the disappointment on other fronts, I’m giving it a low very good.
Flavors: Ginger, Mint
First tea this morning and I’m noticing the spice a lot more.
I haven’t had a Simpson & Vail tea I didn’t like, but I also haven’t had one I adore. They fit into a bit of a niche for me, which I suppose if I had to name it I’d call “nicely done floral.” I expect that if I drank a number of them side by side I’d be able to differentiate them, but when I drink them only occasionally, they meld together as a memory.
This one is reminiscent of the Earl Grey (which had no bergamot flavor to speak of) and I wonder if it is because the cardamom is serving the same purpose, which is to be a punctuation mark within the floral.
I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, but I have a large number of other S&V “nicely done florals” and this one isn’t enough of a stand out to go on the list for 2020, when I come out of lockdown ;-).
In the tin it smells remarkably like every other Simpson & Vail tea I’ve ever had. Floral, particularly rosey. Reminds me of the various incarnations of Earl Grey from Simpson & Vail, but even the non-flavored teas smell this way, which I attribute to their being stored together in their paper bag sample bags. And like the other S&V florals, it’s a pretty tea with the petals and pod pieces adding visual interest.
I don’t really smell cardamom in the tin. After steeping, I smell something in the aroma that is spicy, and if I try hard enough I can single it out as cardamom. The spice is actually the predominant note in the steeped tea’s aroma. The floral sort of heads to the background. The liquor is clear medium brown.
It’s mild, pleasant, with some spice and some flora. I have to run out, so I may have more to say about this a bit later.
I’ve had this in my cupboard for a while and I can’t believe I haven’t cracked it open before now. I realized that I have rather an overabundance of flavored blacks in my stash. My buying pattern before I went on hiatus was, go to an online retailer to get one or two things, and end up buying about 30 because they all looked so interesting. And yet, I can’t really drink more than a couple of cups of flavored blacks in a day. Hence the overabundance.
In the packet it smells rather intensely of caramel flavored coffee to me, a little on the bitter side, a little on the sweet side, and something in the middle that’s like baking powder. It has a dark reddish brown liquor. The aroma is less baking powder and more baked something else which is good. Not as bitter smelling after steeping.
The taste has no bitterness at all, and is in fact remarkably smooth. It’s a nice caramel flavor, not too sweet but just sweet enough. At first it reminded me of the amaretti cookies, but more in terms of texture and atmosphere than in terms of flavor as there’s not an almond note that I can discern, though supposedly this contains almond. Perhaps it was the luck of the spoon. If there had been almond to my tastebuds, this would be more similar to Brioche than it is. But in addition to not tasting the almond, this also doesn’t give off the same bear claw type baked goods flavor. The “cookie” part is not a soft, baked, flaky sort of flavor, more of a hard, chewy sort of flavor.
The package recommends having this with milk, but I don’t think it needs it. Which is a good thing, or I probably wouldn’t give it high marks.
It’s tasty, just not as cookie-ish as I had hoped. But perhaps, as I mentioned, that’s the luck of the spoon and I’ll get more of that flavor on the next try.
Flavors: Caramel, Cookie