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186 Tasting Notes
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An old favorite for work tonight. Delicious as always.
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I picked up a box of this after having seen so many people on steeptster talking about it. For a bagged tea, it is delicious. I’m getting both vanilla and mint in the sip, not just in the smell. It really does smell like a candy cane as well. I’m so happy! Flavor! Identifiable flavor! In my mouth! It is very exciting. I might just have to stock up on this. This would be a good evening tea. Mint just makes evenings right.
The Damn Fine Holiday Blend seemed like the perfect drink for the holiday today, even if I am at work and not really celebrating Thanksgiving today. I really do love this tea. I don’t think I’ve ever brewed a bad pot of it. I’m going to miss it when its gone. You know that tea that you like so much you hesitate to drink it because once it is gone, it is gone? Yeah, that’s this tea. I’m going to have a very serious sad when it is gone. I’m now, however, a total A&D convert. I want all their teas I can get my hands on, as past performance indicates future performance, right?
The tea is smooth, not astringent at all, with body, but not too chewy-thick. It tastes like what tea should taste like, a lovely melange of tea flavors that come together to make one perfect tea.
Definitely getting the banana on this pot, which is appropriate, since there was a lot of banana in the dry mix that I spooned into the basket this morning. I did a four minute steep, and all is well. I’m finally tasting the banana and walnut like I should, though I still don’t get buttery from it. Ah well, two out of three isn’t bad, amiright?It is a quiet morning, off from work today, and just trying to steel myself against the pain that will be grocery shopping today. You’d think there was a big food-based holiday tomorrow or something, from the craziness. Unfortunately I can’t put off the trip, since the grocery store will be closed tomorrow. C’mon, people, not everybody has family or friends to hang with or even be off from work tomorrow! I’m a bit bitter, can you tell? Just like the base of this tea (see? still tea related)!
I’m at work, not feeling well. To ease my misery, my coworker made me a cup of this. Heavy on the mint, though I can still taste the chamomile underneath. This is not for those who aren’t fans of mint. It does seem to be doing the job of making me feel better, since I don’t feel quite as bad as I did before I had my first cup. This may be a tea to add to my sick stash in the future.
I’ve steeped this pretty strongly to get the full benefit of the relaxing, feel-better chamomile, which is probably why the mint is so strong. It might be a bit more delicate at a shorter steep. I think it steeped for a good eight minutes.
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Evening tea. I’m going to float away tonight, this makes three liter size pots of tea today, though the husbeast did have a cup of tea out of this one.
Yikes, I’m tired and can’t think of anything interesting to say. It’s tea. Yay! Go tea! There, I said something.
My after work beverage. I’m having this, so I have enough energy to still fix dinner. If I had the other beverage I was considering, a beer, all I’d have energy for is a nap. So tea it is. This is a damn soothing tea. I do enjoy the jasmine.
With a three minute steep, the black tea base is better than at the four minute mark. Definitely something to keep in mind for future steepings. I’ve been nursing my travel mug of this all morning, since it is my only while I’m here at work. Do you ever have one of those days where you kind of have this gut feeling that you’re in imminent danger of collapsing under the sheer weight of keeping information organized? Yeah, today is that kind of day. If only all email were gmail. It would be a lot easier to keep things straight.
So back to the tea. The black base isn’t as annoying as it is at a four minute steep, but I don’t get the flavor hit like I did on a four minute steep. It isn’t a bad cup, mind you. Just not really pancake breakfast. Oh well.
I was in the mood for something strongly scented and earthy, and this fits the bill. Earthy isn’t quite the word I’m looking for, since it is most definitely floral, but the chun mee gives it a definite kick. I guess it is smokiness, someone else once commented on the smokiness of the chun mee, so maybe that is why “earthy” springs to mind. It has a somewhat heavy mouth-feel to it. Lots of body.
I’m still rather on the fence about this one, but since I keep drinking it I must not find it that offensive! It definitely isn’t going into the “replace immediately when gone” pile of goodness, but it isn’t bad. I do definitely see the resemblance between this tea and rose scented soap. Great, now every sip is going to remind me of soap. Nice going!
So this isn’t really a breakfast tea, but rather like breakfast itself, we’re breaking all the rules. Breakfast? ’Twas a bit of cake, a bit of hummus and pita, a bit of sweet onion relish, and a dab of chankliche cheese. And a bit of pasta w/ pesto. And a persimmon (my god, the persimmon was good). Anyway, it sounds like a bigger breakfast than it actually was. And back to the tea.
Fruity and mildly spiced, its a good, gentle, welcome to to the world sort of tea. Rather like one of those clocks that uses gradually increasing light to wake you up, instead of the vile blaring of an alarm clock. Anyway, I’ll probably wish for the vile blaring of a strong black tea in a few hours, but for now this will do.
No spectacular cherry flavor here, just a nice white tea. I wasn’t entirely suprised to get no cherry from the flavor since there weren’t any cherry chunks in the dry mix that I brewed, and I don’t have a fantastic record of tasting these out-there flavorings that aren’t tea-flavored. I’m definitely going to have to try more white teas in the future.
I got a sample of this from Charoma—also, backlogging from yesterday morning, since I was too lazy to write. I enjoyed this tea, the smell of it especially, as with all 52teas. The strawberry taste is rather lost to me on the drink, but it did seem to be a decent green tea base. I’m glad I had the opportunity to try something new!
Backlogging from yesterday. This was the second tea of the day. Not bad. Not bad, especially as it cooled. I get more flavor from the tea as it cools, which probably means I need to stop drinking it hot (but I like it hot! No fair!). I still pick up a bitterness—I think I might be confusing the walnut flavor for bitterness, since sometimes walnut does that to me. I also got banana on the cooler sips, which was nice. Not too bad, not a repurchase, because I’m over my 52teas fangirliness. However, I’ll enjoy what I have.
I made a pot of this and then chilled it using half the sample I got from Caligatia. I definitely oversteeped it—I think I did a five minute steep, if I recall correctly, so the tea is bitter. Even with the bitterness, though I do get hints of mango on the drink, which I’m pleased about, so I didn’t completely ruin the tea.
I got a sample of this compliments of ChAroma. The dry mix smells delicious, as all 52teas blend do. I think I used too much water in my brew—I wasn’t paying attention when I put water into the Breville. So it probably is needlessly weak. Another of the perils of a ridiculously early morning, botched tea. I can taste the oolong in this, and little hints of maple. No cheesecakey notes, but I’m rather not surprised. No rating, since I appear to have botched the preparation.
What else to do but have a cup of tea when you can’t sleep? I’ve been up since about 3:15 a.m. and after 30 minutes of unproductive laying around, I finally got up and had a couple of cups of this. If I’m going to be up even more ridiculously early than the already ridiculously early time I’m going to have to be up to go to work this morning, I might as well have some tea. This was the one tea, of my somewhat limited selection, that called my name.
I steeped for six minutes this morning, and the fruity sweetness of the tea really comes through. I still don’t get that much of a cocoa note from it, but I still enjoyed my pot of tea. It amazes and amuses me how much this tea has grown on me. I’m contemplating getting more once I run out, which is a far cry from where I started out with this tea. Proper preparation does wonders, I tell you!
I’m now trying to decide what to fix to take with me to work. Black or green? Or white? Definitely something caffeinated, after my whopping whole five hours of sleep (is my body not aware I’m not 21 anymore?) . My friend gave me a sample of a hibiscus black tea that I’m curious to try, maybe I’ll go for that.
Good digestif. Peppermint is lovely for dealing with dietary excess. I need to buy a few peppermint plants, so I can make it really fresh. Until that time, this will do. Adequate peppermint flavor, though ideally there would be more of a minty wallop.
I was in the mood after working out (go me!) for something tart and assertive, and this, steeped for three minutes, fit the bill. Yum.
So I picked the Pancake Breakfast Black Tea to fuel my exceptionally early rise this morning (work at 7 a.m.—say what?). Anyway, good tea, but bad choice. It isn’t nearly caffeinated enough to do the job. Now its around 11:30 and I’m hurting.
I fixed it according to my new 52teas parameters of 200 degrees/3 minute steep, and am pretty sure I should have stuck with boiling water for a 4 minute steep. I think I’d have gotten a better flavor. It never ceases to amaze me how tea can be so finicky.
I think the more I drink the 52teas black teas, I’m less sold on them. The scent is incredible, but I don’t think I’m that happy with the base. It just doesn’t taste quite right. It doesn’t help that my normal go-to black tea is Andrews & Dunham Damn Fine Holiday Blend. I’ve been spoiled by that exceptional black tea blend. I’m knocking the rating down a bit because of the base. It isn’t bad, its just not fantastic, and not quite what I’m looking for.
A friend of mine came over today, took one whiff of this tea, and declared it a must try—even after I explained my problems with brewing a decent cup. So off we went to try once more. I used water from the brita again, figuring that since its company, I should pull out all the stops (well, one stop, I suppose). This time I tried upping both the temperature and the steep time—temperature at 200 degrees and a three minute steep.
Holy hand grenade batman! I fixed a good cup. Even though I forgot to put the lid tightly on the basket of the Breville so I had a tea explosion in the pot, I got a decent cup of tea from this preparation. I tasted strawberries, people—actual creamy strawberry, just like the dry mix promises. I declare victory. It only took a total of 4.8 liters of tea to get it, and now I’m running relatively low on the tea, but I finally did it. I did a little mental Snoopy dance of victory (doing it in person might have looked strange, after all). I think I’m going to try the same parameters with the other 52tea blends that I have, to see if I can get a more reliably good cup from them.