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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Great Canadian Tea Box Round 5
I feel like hibiscus is in everything these days, but hibiscus in an earl grey is definitely a new one for me. I can’t taste any of it once brewed, but that’s probably for the best. I’m surprised by how much I like this actually. It’s drinkable, and it’s definitely got the “cream” part of “cream earl grey”, but I still don’t think this is something I’d drink often.
This blend has Ceylon tea, rose petals, ginger pieces, and natural flavours — it’s punchy, sweet, juicy, and bright-smelling. The most prominent smell of the dry tea is the peach, which was the perfect hit of sunshine on the cold, sleety day that I first tried this.
The rose petals are a great addition because they add depth and roundedness to the peach notes without being overwhelming. I can also smell the ginger, but it’s there more as a dry, sharp sparkle on the top. The peach is really the star scent here.
I took a big heaping spoonful, put it into my teapot and let the whole thing steep for 4 minutes. In the end, I got a really robust-looking brew that smelled more strongly of rose than before.
The strongest flavour was the base tea rather than the flavours. However, the Ceylon is a very good choice, because it’s generally a bright-tasting kind of leaf with its own inherently fruity notes. As the tea cooled, I could taste more peach, but I was honestly expecting the ginger to show up more than it did.
This blend is a mix of Assam black tea, ginger pieces, and vanilla bean pieces. The dry leaf is pretty true to expectations, and I’m pretty sure I can distinguish the chunks of vanilla bean from the black tea. The ginger pieces look a bit stringy, but that’s okay.
I’m surprised by how well the vanilla and ginger meld together, smell-wise. They create an aroma that’s soft and gentle, and they blend with the black tea to create a scent that’s actually kind of reminiscent of mocha/coffee. I normally associate ginger with fruity and spicy flavours, so this earthier, sweeter profile is unexpected.
I took a big heaping spoonful and steeped it with a pot of just-boiled water for 3 1/2 minutes. The brewed tea was bit less mocha-like, with the ginger and vanilla flavours becoming more distinct as they wafted towards my nose. Even after only 3 and a half minutes, the tea was a really rich, eye-popping brown.
However, I didn’t taste much ginger or vanilla when I tasted it. The most dominant flavour was the Assam base — brisk, malty, a tad astringent, with a bit of citrusy hint underneath. If you had just given me a mug of this straight-up without letting me know what tea I was drinking, I would have been able to guess that it was an Assam and that it was flavoured, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell what it had been flavoured with.
All things considered, this might go on my restock list.
This is a really interesting tea. All three notes are present, almost in layers (if that makes any sense). The peach is the sweet top layer that introduces you to the sip while the rose is the large middle that dominates the flavor. Meanwhile, the ginger is resting at the bottom as a warmth that ties everything together. All elements can be tasted simultaneously, layered on top of each other, rather than sequentially. I am enjoying this one much more than I anticipated I would.
Another protein smoothie, which I’m sure everyone is bored of seeing on my end:
200ml coconut milk
100ml Ginger Cream cold brew
43g Syntha-6 Cinnamon Bun protein powder
110g frozen banana
45g frozen raspberries
So freaking delicious. I loved the creamy ginger with the cinnamon bun flavour. And the spices go so well with the fruit. It’s nice to also be able to taste a smooth black tea base in a smoothie, as well.
Enjoying this with some Swedish loose candy. I can’t believe IKEA is finally offering the wonderful lösgodis tradition here, as it was one of my favourite things over there.
Ginger, vanilla, and Assam sound like one of the greatest combinations ever. Tearing open the bag, I get a hint of ginger but not as much as I would like. I’m considering a trip to Bulk Barn to acquire some candied ginger for this. Steeped, the vanilla cream comes out more. It reminds me of those vanilla-flavoured cubes of caramel.
The scent of the base is slightly off-putting, though. One tea shop in Victoria carries a ton of Metropolitan teas in glass jars, and almost all of them had this same dry undertone. It doesn’t smell or taste like an Assam at all. It tastes better than it smells but something is still lacking. I get the vanilla cream above anything else and not that much ginger. I’ll have to experiment with this further before I reach a final verdict.
Decided to finish off this wonderful tea with a big mug of it, and added a couple rocks of sugar and some almond milk to finish it off. This is one of the heartiest teas I’ve drank – it has a lot going on even without additions, but with a bit of rock sugar and almond milk this is creamy nutty goodness in a cup! Smells wonderful when brewing (and dry), and the flavour really lives up to that anticipation. Aromatica has some yummy teas, I must say. Local vendor, too!
I had this last night before bed, and I gotta say, this tea really surprised me. I’m usually wary of overly flavoured sweet teas, but this one is really delicious! As soon as I smelled it while it was brewing, I exclaimed “It really does smell like apple pie!” And indeed the taste was very similar too! I just love it when the aroma and flavour of a tea match, like I said and will continue saying every single tea review! The flavour profile was slightly sweet, very nutty, and I could get hints of apple in the background. I even went and added a bit of almond milk to it, the first time I’ve done that to a tea in a very long time. And it was awesome! It helped the tea taste a bit more creamy, finishing off that apple pie illusion. I really enjoyed this tea, it was festive and basically like joy in a cup.
bah. lost my tasting note. Long story short. I hate blergamot. I hate floral teas. the smell of this one is terrible. like potpourri…and blergamot. blech. taste wise though? it’s not as terrible as all that – i think it’s helped by the fact that it’s an EG cream. Appreciate the share omgsrsly keep the gross things coming :)
This tea is incredibly aromatic. I can smell the bergamot, vanilla, and lavender very clearly. The tea itself is beautiful – there are reds and blues and pinks and purples. The black tea itself makes up a strong majority of the blend. The leaves are small but long and most are straight or with a slight bend. I can especially taste the lavender and bergamot.
8 ounces water + 212 degrees
Flavors: Bergamot, Lavender, Vanilla
This is probably one I should be trying iced first, but I usually do hot tea at work so that’s what I’m having. I definitely want to try this iced at some point though. The dry blend is mostly hibiscus from what I can tell, but there are also pieces of dried fruit and citrus peel. It smells very bright and sweet. I am picking up on the citrus more in the dry blend. The steeped liquid smells mostly of hibiscus. It is a deep berry red and has a definite tang to it.
Flavors: Citrus, Hibiscus, Sweet, Tart
The dominant aroma in the dry blend is the peach, but the ginger really comes through after steeping. This one is not bad, but I don’t like it nearly as much as my favorite peach black tea – Valley of the Heart’s Delight by Satori Teas – which has stone fruits and flowers.
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 15 minutes
This second cup doesn’t appear to be steeping very well. It looks and smells watery and there are little particles floating around in the liquid. I can faintly smell the peach and the ginger. It’s relatively dark in color but still not as dark as the first infusion. The torn tea leaves have opened fully and the flower petals are now pale and translucent. The taste isn’t bad. It’s mostly ginger. Probably not worth a second steep.
Flavors: Ginger, Peach
This one is from a Tea Sparrow box a few months ago. I’m sure I’ve had it hot, but I guess I didn’t write a tasting note. Anyway, cold steeped this one overnight and it’s pretty delicious. The strongest flavours are the sencha and coconut, with just a bit of nuttiness. Now I need to try it again steeped hot so I can compare properly. :)
Finally received my tea sparrow package for March!
I’m glad this tea is delicious, because the story behind it really sucked me in. If you’re a lemon fan, you’ll love this one. It’s super refreshing and not as astringent as I was expecting. The dash of vanilla saves it from tasting like plain lemon water. It’s like the rooibos isn’t even there!
Man, I’m sleepy already – and I swear all I’ve done today is sleep! So, we’ll see how many notes I can post before The Voice is over, and then it’ll be time to cozy up in bed.
This one is from the Amoda February box. I don’t know how I felt about it seeing it included; it’s not an overly unique blend is it? There are a lot of lavender EG blends out there. One thing that is really cool about this one though is that part of the sales for this one go to The Chilliwack Hospice Society. I wonder, if I were to buy this one straight from the Amoda site would some of the proceeds still go to that charity?
I cold brewed my sample; there’s supposedly hibiscus in this (WHY!? GOD WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO EG!?) and I thought that’d make it the least noticeable. However I didn’t see a single piece of it in the leaf when I was measuring everything out. Was I just that lucky?
This has a really floral start; the lavender is almost soapy but doesn’t quite cross that line. It gets awfully close though; like middle schoolers’ pelvises at their parent chaperoned dances. LEAVE ROOM FOR JESUS! And the wave of lavender transitions into a really brisk black base and very heavy handed bergamot notes. Nothing too strong, though. It finishes on a really soft, velvety vanilla note that’s to die for. Best part for sure; and it’s what drove me to finish this as quickly as I did.
Overall, it’s relatively average but that finishing note makes it a little better than the usual lavender Earl Grey. Mmm!
Finishing off this Tea Sparrow sample. :) This looks like a really bizarre combination of teas, and I guess it is, but it works! It’s a nice blend of flavours: rich green tea, toasty (from the genmaicha), and fruity. I would order more of this if Aromatica’s shipping weren’t so prohibitive.
Flavors: Fruity, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
From the Amoda Tea box February 2015!
I love(d) lavender Earl Greys. I went through a discovery point in my life where I hated everything about lavender buds in my cup. While I am still probably in that phase, something about the combination of bergamot and lavender still gets to me.
The cream in this tea smells almost coconutty. Like cream of coconut. Steeped in my travel mug, it is slightly reminiscent of vanilla yogurt. I can’t say if it is a good thing or not. The first two mugs I drank straight, and the third cup I thought I would try adding some cream to it. It brought out the cream and the early grey-ness. The lavender, thank goodness, was pushed to the back burner.
I am at this point in the winter where I am bored by the winter-y flavors and heavy scents. I am waiting impatiently for the newest crop of spring harvests to arrive and am itching for some fresh AF tea :P