430 Tasting Notes
Mmmmmmmmmm. The last of our sample, so I tried to do it justice.
Dry, this tea is . . . not dry! It’s sticky from the honey, which is awesome. But it is a dark green, with a hint of muskiness from the tea covered by the predominance of the real honey. Steeped Western-style, about two or three teaspoons of tea in one of the BrewT-type steepers from DT.
First steep: Oversteeped! Three and a half minutes, because I got distracted while it was brewing up. Still! Delicious. Tea turned out a rich golden colour, with a darkly vegetal flavour. The honey toned down to a hint of sweetness throughout the cup, that sweetened without turning it floral.
Second steep: Successful steep time! Minute fifteen. Not as much of the honey flavour – I was tempted to add some myself. A lighter gold colour, and the cup was much smoother in taste, not quite as herby.
Third steep: Just under two minutes, maintained the smooth deliciousness of the second steep, but less honey.
Four steep: Two minutes. No honey taste, sadness. But the oolong is still going strong.
Fifth steep: Two minutes. Would have been delicious, but I forgot about it on the windowsill when I went to bed and didn’t drink any of it.
Sixth steep: Two minutes. Leaves have actually been sitting in the steeper overnight, so I’m hoping I’m not going to give myself an allergic reaction to it. Was actually more of a trial to see if it could be done – I never want to give up on this tea. More of a bitter vegetal flavour, but surprisingly drinkable. Don’t think I’ll try for another steep.
Last time I drank this was almost exactly a year ago – spooky.
Anyway. Whenever I go into DT and they ask me what I’d like for a cuppa, I get completely overwhelmed. I stare blankly at the wall as the clock ticks. I just don’t know what I want. So I usually end up ordering this, or the Three Lemon Green. (Why lemon? I don’t know. I like lemon.)
Invariably, I get a very tasty cup, if usually a little bitter from oversteeping. The black tea base isn’t given short-shrift by the lemon flavour, which itself is sweeter than it is tart or sour. All in all, this is a good tea – I just don’t feel the need to add it to the collection at home. Yet, anyway. Maybe if we get the stash under control a little first.
I obviously don’t log this as often as I drink it; according to Steepster I last drank it at the end of January, but I make a cup every other day, maybe even more frequently. It’s my go-to tea for sluggish mornings, or any time I need a bit of sparkle in my life.
I was more than half-asleep when I made my morning cuppa. I brewed this at the same temperature I did for greens, and then forgot about it for ten minutes. I was sure that I had ruined it, but it was surprisingly not bitter! A little cold.
What else can I say? It was pleasant but forgettable, a nice little caffeine boost in a tasty package, but I didn’t linger over it.
My mom is turning fifty on Friday, but she had her birthday party last night. Because she is the mature woman, aging gracefully, she rented most of a pub, hired a musician, and dragged half of her friends up on stage at various times to sing or play ukelele with her. There was singing. There were thundermugs. There was the YMCA. There was a conga line while an Indian man sang ‘Guantanamera’.
I don’t drink (mostly) and I had to drive home, so I contented myself with diet Coke until I was on my way to the bathroom and spotted, beside the cupcakes that my sister had rearranged from “HAPPY BIRTHDAY THERESA” into “IT’S A TRAP”, a small tin of this tea and a hot water dispenser! Yes, at the bar, surrounded by loudly carolling drunks, I found tea!
The tin turned out to actually be a repository for a motley collection of tea bags, mostly Red Rose, some Bigelow, some Tim Horton’s. But there was one bag of the Tazo left, so I snagged it and brewed up a cup. My cousin Jo kept stealing sips until she asked, “Why does this taste weird?” “Because it’s Earl Grey.” “Ohhh!”
Okay, the tea: I don’t know what I was expecting from a black from a Tazo, since I’ve only had their herbal blends before. The first thing I noticed was that it brewed up very dark, very quickly, but wasn’t bitter when I finally snagged the bag. The flavour was mild and pleasant, certainly not the best but not the worst. There wasn’t much of an Earl flavour, more like an OP with a back-hint of bergamot. What flavour it did have had good staying power, though; I resteeped the bag three or four times through the night. As an alternative to beer it was just what I wanted, but I won’t seek it out again.
Boo, we have a lot less of this than I thought we did. Our tin is only half-full! But what a way to go. After the yerba mate mango got me on my feet, this kept be going. Tart zingy lemon and the delicious oolong base. When DT honours their oolongs but not treating them as a blank canvas, they do them really, really well, and this is one of the best.
Mmmm. My wife tried this yesterday and was raving about it, so after a too-long day and too-short sleep, I pulled it out of the sample box to kick me into action. I think I was a little too stingy on the leaves, but I wanted to leave enough of our sample so Rita could have another cup.
Yum! I can’t wait to try this again with more leaves. As it was, it reminded me of the fruit-infused greens that don’t try for perfume – a sweet and round taste that isn’t very bold or in-your-face, but still very pleasant. It was a great tea to drink at work. Not too sweet, not too leafy, not too much of anything but delicious. Looking forward to adding this one to the cupboard for sleepy mornings.
I’m still on the lookout for Republic of Tea’s Honey Ginseng on a store shelf somewhere, but in the meantime I spied this offering from Celestial Seasonings and thought I would give it a try. The lemon is the predominant flavour, but the honey sweetens the acidic bit of the lemon, and the ginseng is working to clear my sinuses. Luckily I can’t taste any of the licorice mentioned on the package. While this wasn’t the tea I was looking for, I’m glad I picked it up; it’ll make a nice caffeinated alternative to NeoCitran or homemade honey lemon tea for a sore throat.