2513 Tasting Notes
A gift from Martin Bednar!
My husband only likes chai type and spiced teas as lattes usually, so I was saving this one to drink by myself. Also, I am not the world’s biggest fan of spiced teas except exactly as he likes them – made with milk and deffo some whipped cream on top! I like my spiced teas milder or appley with a really good, smooth base and not too much clove. (Hi, Kiki!)
But today for lunch I was having (canned) beef with barley soup, which is a fairly strong flavor profile and a half peanut butter sandwich with it. I thought it was just the right time to try this.
It was just perfect for that meal. The soup has a pretty strong aroma but I kept getting whiffs of the tea over it. The strength of the tea was perfect, and hearty enough to pair just beautifully. The color was nice and deep and it is quite fragrant. It may have oversteeped a little bit as I decided I wanted to build a fire to sit by during lunch and I was minimally delayed pulling the steeping basket. It didn’t seem to hurt it at all.
I don’t think there could have been a better tea for pairing with a strong soup on a cold day.
Well, cold by NC standards. It was in the forties! Ha ha!
Thank you, Martin! It really was the perfect tea for lunch!
Okay, so I was hunting about for something to drink with my lunch of homemade faux egg drop soup. I wanted a green and wasn’t sure what to have and I saw that I hadn’t even opened this one yet. I figured my soup would be pretty bland and something with flavor would be nice with it.
This was soooo good. It is definitely vanilla up front and not lemon first for me, even though I saw a good bit of lemongrass in my strainer. It was perfect, too. Waves of nostalgia were hitting me so I knew it was reminding me of a tea I haven’t had in a long time. And after searching a bit, I found it. It reminds me of Wedding Tea by Harney and Sons, which is a white tea blend. Honestly, I think I prefer this one as the green base is every bit as smooth as their white, but I think this resteeped a lot better. It was….smooth, delightful, comforting, soothing…wow, it was just what I needed to slow me down and make me feel peaceful today.
Cuppageek Advent New Year’s Day Tea
I was lazily reading tasting notes in front of the fire when I saw one that said something about the final Cuppageek tea. The final tea! I forgot there was one more left! I drank the others but lost momentum posting notes the last fews before Christmas. I hope to figure out what I had and review them, but I do remember that several of them were teas I already owned and have reviewed.
I jumped up and pulled out the last packet. Serendipity! It is caffeine free which is great because it is after 10 pm. and it sounds like a festive flavor one would drink…well, maybe more for New Year’s Eve than New Year’s Day but I didn’t really do anything last night and we are kind of celebrating tonight by having pizza and watching Taskmaster. We are wild. Off the chain.
I wondered if it would be hibby heavy cuz other people would have done that to us, but not Nichole. The coolest part to me was when the water hit the blend and I sniffed and said, “oooo strawberry and then ROSE!” I love love love that rose was the second strongest for me in this.
Sipping it, it really is strawberry-ish. Kiki described it well when she said it was like strawberry jello when you are making it and it is still warm. I also taste a bit of apple-y flavor and then the rose, and the rose is sticking around in the aftertaste for me. The apple and hibiscus comes across as that feeling on your teeth when you bite a strawberry and it is a little tart, more a tooth feel than a taste or mouth puckering tartness. I bet this would make an awesome summer iced sweet tea. Again, I can see this in pretty glasses with little girls gathered around me having cookies.
Edit to add: i made three steeps so it took a while to finish, and as it cooled the mint comes out more. Very fresh!
A very pleasant ending to my Advent calender! Thank you, Nichole!
I had nightmares last night. I had a really, really bad morning. And I hurt my back and it has been getting steadily worse all day. Also, it has been raining for two days and it isn’t supposed to stop soon and I really, really need sunlight. It was just an all around bad day. Did I say bad day yet?
Until shortly after lunch.
The mail was delivered. And there was an unexpected envelope from overseas. The Czech Republic to be precise! It was tea and a postcard and a letter from Martin! Steepsterites to the rescue! Even though it was still raining outside, the sun came out in my kitchen! The teas were this one, two from Bird and Blend which is a company I have never tried before, and another called Kali Laska.
Well, it is New Year’s Eve so of course I am going to try Martin’s favorite black tea, Guria Likhauri! This will be my NYE celebration! Cuz I am wild like that.
Youngest gave me some Champignon cheese for Christmas – a delicious soft cheese with mushrooms, so I made a plate of that, crackers, Hickory Farms turkey summer sausage for Sam the King of Dogs, mozzarella which was pretty bland and hardly worth mentioning, and some Bon Maman cherry preserves to try to make the mozzarella interesting.
I measured the leaves and determined that there was enough here to make a small pot.
But oh those leaves! I rarely see black tea leaves that look like this. They are thick and twisted, sinewy, and so shiny – really glossy black and beautiful. They exude character – the life of the tea bush is almost palpable. I think I had a tea from Old Ways Tea that looked like this. Just looking at leaves like this makes me feel awestruck with the miracle of tea and the beauty of nature.
The aroma was complex and layered with a deep woodiness and fresh, sharp grapes, like muscatel. The muscatel aspect was like the scent in darjeeling but not as sharp and high as darjeeling. As I start to sip I inhale and the aroma floods my senses before I even get any tea and it is fruit – stewed, rich, dark. Stone fruit?
There is no bitterness and no astringency, and I can see why Martin says he drinks this grandpa style. You surely could. It’s that smooth. While the tea sits in your mouth, I would say it has medium body with a touch of creaminess or oiliness like the texture of some ripe puerh. After you swallow, woody notes linger. And something else….minerals! Definitely minerals.My husband sips and says, “This is fruity.” Normally he says, “This is hot and has tea-like qualities” when I ask if he likes a tea, so the fact that he pointed out a specific impression from the tea means it made him take notice. (Maybe he can take review lessons from Kiki!) He drank A LOT of it.
There is no way I am wasting any of this, so I steeped it again. We finished our cheese and I am now sitting alone drinking the third steep as I type and while it is lighter than the first steep, it still has way more interest and flavor than many teas have on their first steep.
And wow, as it cools, it has different notes. Some teas get so astringent as they cool that you really have to reheat the cup to finish it, but not this one. The minerality is increased, the muscatel has decreased, and the stewed fruit – plums with a pinch of brown sugar maybe? – is still present but light. Mostly minerals and woody flavor here at the end.
Still good and I still want more, so fourth steep here we come. Paler now, minerals and a more noticeable sweetness. Well, that was unexpected. Almost like a licorice root sweetness so I guess this may be what they call hui gan? Was it there before and I missed it?
A delightful tea, and I see why it is Martin’s favorite.
Many thanks, Martin. It made my day.
Many thanks to the Steepster community for being who you are. May 2021 be blessed and filled with hope, joy, peace, fellowship, and good tea!
Cuppageek Advent Day 22
I read the reviews before I made this one, and saw gmathis’ recommendation to make it with milk. I wasn’t sure if she meant to add milk to the tea or to make it IN MILK, but you know I am up for lattes since cooler weather started so a latte it is!
I steeped it a pretty long time, maybe six minutes, and this time I did not add whipped cream since several people said it was super sweet. I thought it was very good! I didn’t taste too much apple, but mainly maple sweetness.
Thanks to Cameron B I have been obsessing over jelly and jam, and thanks to Youngest being on an applesauce kick I have been thinking about those cheap packs of apple jelly you get in little diners, so I had middle daughter buy some apple jelly today and that is what I drank this with – toast with cheap apple jelly. I could have chosen a better pairing because that was sweet with sweet, but it went together all right and I enjoyed it!
I would like this tea much more with a couple of slices of bacon or an omelette. Yum!
I don’t see any tasting notes for this tea from me, which is really surprising because I finished it today. I really really like this tea. That is a somewhat unpopular opinion here because a lot of people gave it low ratings – metallic taste, artificial orange, puerh not strong enough…but I seriously like this one A LOT.
The puerh is strong enough to resteep several times when you mix steeps like I do and the chocolate and orange seem nicely balanced to me. I had it with an everything bagel and it was awesome.
It doesn’t taste metallic to me, the orange doesn’t taste any more fake than any other orange I have had, and the chocolate doesn’t have that weird mildew aroma that chocolate flavor sometimes has. I REALLY like it.
I am sad to see it go! Maybe I will order it again someday. This pouch was a gift from my daughter, Superanna, who bought it when she was traveling at the brick and mortar Adagio store, leading me to exclaim, “They have a brick and mortar store???” I seriously thought they were online only.
Cuppageek Advent Day 21
Woohoo! Another one I was hoping for! I decided to make myself a latte with this one. The blend in the pouch smelled deliciously sweet. I love that there is no clove in this one because I have had a LOT of clove lately and not all of it has been great. (I’m looking at you, Stash.)
This was sooooo good that I think it is close to the top of the Cuppageek fave chai blends list for me. In fact, tied for first, I would say. I really like honeybush and the spices were just right for me.
I felt guilty for just making one for me and decided to see if I could coax out a second latte for Ashman. I let it steep a really long time. And you know what? I tasted a little of his on a spoon and I think his was even better than mine. It wasn’t weak at all. So, nice long steep in hot 2% milk and topped with real whipped cream and a few sprinkles on top.
Cuppageek Advent Day 20
Yes, I am still a day behind getting these notes up, but I hope to catch up tonight!
When I saw what my random draw had produced yesterday, I set it aside to enjoy in the evening with my husband, because this is one I already own and one I know he enjoys.
My husband usually drinks this outside in the rocker in the dark, so when he poured it, he said, “It’s pink!” Yes, my big bearded 6’4” husband has a weakness for pink food and drink. Pink iced shortbread cookies, pink iced doughnuts or cupcakes, pink lemonade…he can not resist. He already liked this tea but doubly so now that he sees it brews up pale pink.
It is apple-y and chamomile, fresh and light. I think it would be equally good cold though I have only had it hot, but I do love cold chamomile in summer and I think this would be a delicious sweet tea.i am so glad it is not cinnamon heavy, just apple pie spiced.
Another good one!
Cuppageek Advent Day 19
This is one of the teas I was most looking forward to trying because it sounds so delicious. Then someone said that Frosted Cranberry tasted like a Berries and Cream blend to them, and when I had Frosted Cranberry I just loved it. So I figured for my next order it would be a showdown between these two.
I like this one and my husband did, too. But I am pretty sure Frosted Cranberry wins as my fruity black tea for the next order! I am looking forward to finishing my advent so I can see what most needs to go on my next order. Chocolate Covered Marshmallows for sure if it is available by then! More Spiced Fall Evenings, too! Pretty in Pink to get ready for spring, which comes early here.
Cuppageek Advent Day 18
Today I got to have a virtual tea time with a friend! I must admit that I rooted through some scratched off teas in the advent to come up with this one, because I specifically wanted to keep the teas my husband likes for when we are sharing and I would be drinking tea alone.
He doesn’t like floral teas or bergamot so this was a win-win for me because I DO like them. Both!
Again, I steeped three times and combined, putting my teapot on a warmer so we could chat and sip. Paired with three Quality Street chocolates. Ha ha!
Dry leaf – smells delightful and I can not believe there is no cream flavor in this because I really got a London Fog vibe. It reminds me a bit of Parker’s Blend.
Taste – Here is the familiar black tea base we enjoyed in Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Vanilla Black, etc. It is very lightly brisk making it feel like a “grown-up” black tea but not astringent and it doesn’t hurt my tummy like some black teas do. It is a base that drinks well on its own and also pairs well with food because it makes the flavor stand out.
The lavender is light, just the right hint of floral for me. The bergamot is present but doesn’t smash me in the face with a frying pan. I like well-behaved bergamot. This one is ready for an elegant tea party, or an indulgent afternoon of reading.