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61 Tasting Notes
This is a bad tasting note in the technical sense—more like a review. But I’m not terribly good at tasting notes anyway, SO! Short and sweet:
This is a decent cup of tea. I’ve been drinking gallons this past week, sometimes oversteeping (SQUIRREL!), but it doesn’t hurt anything. Little bit molasses and raisin type notes, especially on second steeps. Strong enough, no sharp unpleasant flavors. Not outstanding, but smooth and very drinkable.
I’m having trouble with this tea. The rosemary and “cherries” (pink peppercorns, not a cherry fruit at all) give it a strong medicinal scent and flavor. Plain, it is tough for me to sip. I’ll try it with milk, then milk and sugar, and see if it fares any better. My husband likes it, so there’s that; to my palate, it feels very unbalanced. Unfortunately, I don’t know yet what it’s missing.
I tasted this before and it’s great, as usual; just having a quick (for certain values of “quick”) cup of this before I go off to speech class. It’s making me less nervous already. :)
First brew is almost entirely malt, which I like. (Chocolate malts and malt balls are some of my all-time favorite candies. I wonder what this would taste like with chocolate in it…?)
More complex as it cools; leaves a mild tingle in the back of the throat. I love the use of vanilla here more and more. It’s an enhancement, not a flavoring—just a little bit of vanilla pod to give it depth.
I can’t believe I forgot to write about this one. It was so good, and now it’s all gone…
Well, I do remember this: it was pretty, had a fantastic mouthfeel, and strength/flavor lived up to the complex and warm, slightly sweet fragrance. I may buy some of this later, when my Lupicia stash starts to diminish.
The smell of this tea in dry form is SO STRONG. I was terrified it would be undrinkable perfume water, but brewing did take a lot of the edge off. I want to see this blended with a fruit/citrus flavor to balance out the floral. I like floral teas, but this is really close to the edge for me!
I’m sad to see this one go. I love Darjeeling teas and this one is really hearty, like drinking warm squash-y smiles.
Goodbye, little smile! ::siiiiiiiip::
Now I am having a second steep with demerara sugar. Usually I skip the sugar entirely, but this is really good. A little cream would probably rocket this to the moon (all I have is mom’s fat-free half-and-half, which I don’t really consider to be a food product).
This isn’t my first taste of Krampus, but I think it’s the first perfect brew I’ve managed. Gunpowder is really hard for me, partly because I have terrible thermometers/judgement and partly because I’m forgetful and isn’t that the worst when you have a really excellent green tea of limited quantity & steep it for, oh, I dunno, 15 minutes while you’re playing video games? Boo!
Anyway. I love the sweet, mellow aroma of this tea, both dry and steeped. Krampus has an understated, creamy scent of gingerbread nicely balanced with smoky green. I’m disappointed when I can’t find the actual tea flavor in flavored/blended teas, but that’s not an issue here at all. The leaf is complemented and enhanced by the spices rather than drowned out. Really a great cup of tea.
Have to say I am loving Caleb’s Handmade Tea subscription, even though I’ve only had two blends so far I’ve loved them both.
EDIT: I didn’t have many cherries in my tin, so I’m probably missing out on that flavor. It’s still really good without them, so I can only imagine what could have been!
This was the last of my sample packet, so I guess that’s a sipdown eh? Made a really nice midnight snack (I slept early yesterday and woke up at bedtime—oops). After all the flavored greens I’ve been having, it was nice to let the leaf itself have a starring role in the cup. Slight sweetness in a vegetal broth, smooth and tasty.
I’m starting to see a trend. Flavored green teas appeal to me much more than their black tea counterparts. Maybe it’s because the tea and flavors aren’t competing so dang hard with each other? I dunno. Anyway, this smelled like a nice soft peach candy, and my son really wanted to try it (he loves the Momo character from Avatar). He likes his tea “with three sugars please,” so I give him two and tell him it’s three.
I sipped some of his to see if it was cool enough (not quite), and then I sipped some more, and a little more. It was really tasty. Candylike but not overpowering, just kind of natural, fruity-floral and sweet tasting.
The second steep was also fruity and nice—it didn’t seem to lose much. The only problem was that I’d more or less ruined my tastebuds by drowning them in sugar, so I’ll have to wait till my palate clears up before I can say anything about it straight. Whoops!
EDIT: I should also mention that it’s a pretty blend, but it ain’t quite as fancy-looking as the picture here would have you believe. x) Look at all those flowers…holy cow!
Yum yum yum
It’s really good
When I drink it
La la la la la, the genmai song
Well, another Lupicia Happy Bag tea bites the dust. I left the bag out where Mom could see it, and since Mom likes all things grapefruit she insisted I open yet another packet. I’m not at all sorry.
Very bright green in color (it scared my mom a little; “is it supposed to be neon green like that?”)
The grapefruit smell is really juicy and bright and smells like the old Tropicana white grapefruit juice gramma used to keep in her fridge (presumably for mixing with gin). So it’s got a little bitter note to it and I wonder whether this will carry over to the brew itself.
NOPE. It’s light and sweet, not bitter, but a sweet grapefruit flavor is very present. I poured into a cup that may have had a slight sugar residue in it, so that may be interfering, but I don’t think so—just a nice clean balanced cup that tastes exactly like, well, grapefruit and green. Love it.
EDIT: I now know this tea is awesome, because I involuntarily whispered “yummy” into my cup just now. I don’t even like the word “yummy,” as a general rule.
The second steep blew me away. Molasses and a nice cigar. Really interesting, and soft despite so many strong aromas.
I wanted something that wasn’t flavored or fruity today, so I opened this packet from my Happy Bag. Both dry and steeped, it smelled pretty bold: dark, malt, sweet, smoke. In smell and flavor, reminds strongly of a savory roasted pumpkin or squash. I want to add a tiny sprinkle of salt and cocoa and use it as a base for a sweet-spicy mole sauce.
I liked the little chunks of vanilla bean mixed in. I also liked that vanilla wasn’t a prominent note—so either it blended exceptionally well with the leaf itself, or it’s pretty mild. Or my nose is terrible. Either way, it wasn’t overly sweet.
I was sorta hoping this would be a little more like the breakfast teas I’m used to. This was milder yet more complicated than I expected, but I liked it anyway. Now someone tell me how to resist opening fifteen different bags of looseleaf at once, because it’s very… challenging to me right now.
Claire sent me this for Christmas and she really must love me because it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g. It smells like sweet apple cider and tastes juicier than actual juice. Basically, it’s the best apple cider you’ve ever had, minus all the pesky sour sugar flavor, plus a healthy dose of black tea. I imagine it would be pretty meta if you brewed it with boiled apple juice, but I like it exactly the way it is. So does everyone else in my house, which means I may have to hide the tin soon so there will be some left for the cold days of February and March.
This came in my Lupicia $60 Happy Bag. (Is there anything better than unwrapping a mystery assortment? Answer: No!) I’ll admit I was afraid when I opened this tea and the smell hit me. It’s fruity vanilla, and reminds me very strongly of those old-fashioned strawberry-flavored hard candies/ribbon candy. There’s an undertone I can’t quite pin down that reminds me of bubblegum.
When steeped, the smell mellows quite a bit. It’s still like inhaling pink candies, but more subtle. I can’t smell the tea yet. Very pale green in color.
It tastes a little…dainty? It could be my fault, or a cretinous oblivion on the part of my taste buds, but it lacks the strength I’d like. Compared to the enormous candy-sweet scent, it’s watery. I’ll try another brew or two of this before I decide. I suspect it would make a really nice dessert drink with lots of cream and sugar (but what doesn’t, right?)
I got a tin of this in the mail this afternoon and I’ve already had to brew five cups—three for me, and two for my mom, who just had to have some as soon as she smelled it.
Dry, the floral scent is big and sweet, which is complemented very nicely by prominent lemon balm. I was afraid the brew might be TOO lemony, but the results were mellow and wonderful.
I love the balance of black tea to floral/citrus notes. The flavor is bright without being sour, floral without being perfumey, strong without being too bold or astringent. Overall, a perfectly billowy and sweet cup with a velvet mouthfeel.
It’s amazing how long an Upton sample pouch of tea will last. Pretty sure this is my fourth cup or so of this particular tea and there’s still a good 5 servings left in there. I was very absent-minded tonight and accidentally brewed this with full-on boiling water, so I was afraid it’d be bitter but it was fine. Really I just needed a break from thinking about how I’m not working on my homework right now, and it’s providing exactly that.
As much as I enjoy my classes this term, I’m ready for the long holiday. Of course, I said that last term, and I ended up climbing the walls long before the next session began. Soooo.
Yes, I remembered to brew some of this before class, so I had a nice travel mug of strong, leathery tea to drink. But that’s not why I’m writing a tasting note, such as it is.
Mostly this is an excuse to make an observation: my goodness, tea people are so polite and nice and wonderful. Y’all rock my tea-sock.
I think I need to get a good system going for preparing tea in a mug BEFORE I go to school. It’d be much cheaper than buying a teabag + hot water at the caf. At least this time, I found a bigger selection of the Numi brand teas. None of them sounded terribly appealing except for chinese breakfast (which I’ve had already) and this toasted rice flavor. I’ve never had one before. Now I want to try more!
Anyway, I did some homework to wait for the water to cool down (it has a green tea base and I’m learning not to abuse them), then added the bag and set a timer. Instantly, I was slammed with the fragrance of toasted rice. Kind of like this puffed rice cereal I used to buy, or rice krispies. And it was great! I love cereal. A lot. I don’t eat it much, because it’s terrible for me, but I love it. After a fairly short steep (2-2.5 minutes) the tea was pale green and smelled extremely toasty.
The flavor was somewhat mild, but it was hard to tell with all that rice smell in my nose. I didn’t really pick out the flavor of the tea until it cooled considerably, when I found it was slightly weak (I used a BIG cup…oops) but also a little sweet and vegetal under the rice. It never got bitter, even when it was lukewarm.
Overall, I really enjoyed trying this flavor. It makes me want to try a loose tea with toasty rice! It will definitely be my go-to option on days I forget to bring my own.
EDIT: Now that I know what real rice teas are like, I’m lowering the rating. It’s just sorta watery in comparison! If I were going to settle for the selection at school, I’d still choose this over the other teas.