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Recent Tasting Notes
GCTTB DAY 5
Drank this one for my morning tea at work today. The heat is actually working! Apparently it was broken again early morning, but seemed to be a quick fix today. At least it was warm by the time I got in, thankfully!
This tea was a delightful surprise. Bold and smooth black tea base with a fragrant sweet raspberry note. There was a very slight herbal aroma/flavour that seemed quite familiar to me but I couldn’t put a finger on it. Not that it was bad, I really enjoyed it – I just couldn’t think of what it reminded me of. I couldn’t detect too much of the rosehips, the raspberries were the dominant aroma and flavour; however, the tea did a have a certain fresh fruitiness mixed in with the sweet creaminess of the raspberries that I really enjoyed. I think I found another keeper. :) I’ve tried two Basilur teas so far and loved both! It seems to be that I like the way certain companies blend and produce their teas. I’ve discovered I have a certain dislike for Mighty Leaf Teas, because for whatever reason none of their teas I’ve tried have really meshed with my personal tastes. So it’s refreshing to discover new companies that I really like for possible future shopping options!
GCTTB DAY 1
Third sample tea today, and I finally got lucky! Mm, this one is quite yummy. I knew pretty much as soon as I sniffed he dry leaf that I was in for something good. The strawberry and kiwi are not overpowering to each other but are nice in combination, fresh and lively. The Ceylon base is a little bold, I’m glad I didn’t steep it longer than a couple minutes. It’s just on the border of getting too astringent, but thankfully still on the delicious side! Quite happy with this choice. Tasty afternoon treat!
Very pleasant budget tea.
This tea had a very noticeable floral aroma, but it was not at all overpowering. I appreciated the balanced flavor profile of this tea, it is perfect for an afternoon “pick me up” at the office.
Flavors: Floral, Jasmine
From the Great Canadian Tea Box Round 5
I like the smell of this one. It’s this super strong artificial strawberry smell that reminds me of gummies…I keep thinking of the haribo pigs, were those strawberry flavoured? The taste is less intense, but I also find it kind of soapy and bitter. I might have over-steeped, I tend to go for 4 minutes for black teas, but maybe I should have stuck with 3 for this one.
I feel like this might taste better cold than hot, so I stuck it in the fridge to cool off a bit and I’ll probably add some agave or something and see how things go
NEVER MIND i tried to put it in the freezer to speed things up and dropped it on the floor. oop.
A new friend came home with me today, a new fishy friend, specifically a Gold Gourami. Sadly and recently my Betta left me for another plane (yes, Niv-Mizzet the Firemind became a Planeswalker, only explanation) and after a bit of science I determined I give up on Bettas. The water is too hard and acidic and I think that is why my Bettas kept dying when all other water parameters were fine, it also explains why when I lived in PA with its softer water I was able to have a colony of them. Gouramis like water to be a bit on the acidic side and hard, so that is my new friend. She is quite pretty and amusingly curious, inspecting every single plant and piece of decor in great detail, and whenever I am next to the tank she comes to inspect me, I think she and I will get along wonderfully.
Today’s tea comes from Basilur Tea, a company specializing in Ceylon teas, and I am looking at their Special Tea Caddy. Before I get into the tea itself I want to point out how awesome the packaging is, when I first opened the box I saw the lovely tin with the island of Sri Lanka embossed on its lid. I had a moment of apprehension that I would open the tin and it would be an explosion of loose tea everywhere, but nope, the tea is safe inside a ziptop foil bag with the print of an old style newspaper all about a few of the estates Basilur sources from. It is a neat bit of packaging, but considering this is the company that has book shaped tea tins I am not surprised.
The tea itself comes from the lower elevation of Ceylon, though I do not know specifically which estates it is sourced from. It is of the FBOPF1 grade, so lots of fancy tips that appear silvery rather than gold, an interesting contrast with some of the other teas I drink. The aroma of the little tips is quite pleasant, sweet and rich with an underlying briskness. notes of gentle plum and citrus blend with malt and a touch of woodiness.
After steeping in my steeping aparatus, the now plumped up leaves has a malty and brisk quality, with woody and citrus notes. Underneath there is a touch of plum and a tiny bit of metallic. Not sure why but frequently Ceylon teas come off a bit metallic to me and whether or not I find this pleasant largely depends on the individual tea. The liquid is sweet, brisk, and woody with an undertone of citrus and a touch of malt.
I have had more Ceylons that I found undrinkable than probably any other tea, so I (unfairly) approach all new Ceylons I try with a bit of trepidation, but luckily this time my fear was very misplaced. This is an iconic Ceylon, in fact I shared this with Ben (who drinks a lot more teas in this style) and he said if he were to close his eyes and picture an iconic Ceylon this would be it, and I can’t help but agree. It is brisk and smooth at the front and dry in the mouth towards the end, but it lacks astringency. There are notes of oak wood and sweet potato, plum and lemons, with a metallic finish. The aftertaste is sweet though it does not linger long, just a pleasant memory. I enjoyed this tea, it will be one to enjoy in the afternoons or mornings when I want a mug of tea and not my usual gongfu sessions.
How i got it: Bought it
Experience: This tea’s aroma is soft and delicate, and is hard to define it at first “glance”. It has a Ceylon background with caramel notes, but with a lighter character and herbal/honey hints, tending to smell similar to teas like Nepal and Darjeeling. Its taste is smooth too, departing a little from the usual Ceylon strenght, but mantaining the caramel notes classical in Basilur. Has a spiced and wooden to the end of the sip. Well defined and lasting. Very good!
Would i buy it again?: Most probably, yes
[Good to be here after a long recess! =) I been storing entries for months, so let’s go for those first 100 tasting notes, hehe]
How i got it: Bought it
Experience: Spiced and slightly wooden, mild-intensity aroma, and a bit stronger taste than what you could have guessed from the smell. Its notes depart a little from the typical caramel-like, Basilur-Ceylon-trademark ones to be more wooden and malty, although there appear fruity hints from time to time. Good definition, duration and richness. Spiced notes in the middle of the sip, and more bitter to its end, plus some astringency in the aftertaste. Maybe it doesn’t show the complexity that Basilur’s Special does, but a good tea, no doubts!
Would i buy it again?: I give it good probabilities.
This is one of the teas that I picked up at the tea festival yesterday. I like it. The flavours of strawberry and kiwi are straightforward. The strawberry is brisk and the kiwi presents itself as tanginess. Enjoyable cup.
The second steep is nicely flavourful as well. More so than I had anticipated.
It feel like cream and strawberry… It doesn’t feel like drinking tea at all. While it is easy to drink, It feel a little bit fake. I can understand that why it is enjoyable to drink, but it make me feel that I should get some strawberry ice-cream which has same flavor but more satisfy.
Flavors: Creamy, Strawberry
The shiny box is way better than the actual tea inside. Bummer. It smells good when it steeps, and in the first part of the sip, I get notes of milk and white chocolate and a twist of floral. In the aftertaste though, I get something akin to latex, like the taste of dentist’s gloves.
Flavors: Artificial, White Chocolate
This has lost a ton of flavour. One of those teas I’ve started to suffer through because I must finish what I started darnit.
Today though? Babying my headcold, I opted to indulge with a wallop of honey and a few drops of milk. Oversteeped so any remaining berry flavour would peek through the additives. And it worked. I was quite pleased with the bready, pastry like result. I’ve never seen real baked bread notes in this tea. It must be my sinuses.
Now that cuppa is done, I’m sipping on a cup of boiled/redcuced ginger with more honey. It seems to be helping.
Didn’t pair very well with the cashews and pecans I had. But with my limited appetite and the fact they were right there, I thought it best to get as much protein as possible. Anyhow. I’m off to watch some Bull. An interesting premise for a show. and something I don’t need much brain power to follow haha
Wowsa! What a wallop of raspberry. Tart, fresh berries ripe for picking. No cream though.
Pretty sure I oversteeped at 3 min, so next time I’ll go for 2 or 2.5.
Added milk and a bit of sugar due to the bitterness and it was quite lovely. A bit artificial in that overpowering raspberry danish kindof way, but I love that! Noms.
That said, I wouldn’t recommend this for a purist! ha.
This tea is amazing. It’s subtle and delicate, but very rich at the same time. It’s a green masquerading as an oolong, with wonderful fruity and floral notes to it, and a little malt or caramel in the background. I usually like my teas sweetened, and just a little bit of honey really brings out the flavours.
Flavors: Caramel, Flowers, Fruity
How i got it: Got a bag in a trade with my sister, long time ago.
Experience: Last tea in the ‘Magic Fruits’ assorted pack. This one has an intense strawberry-candy aroma, with a hint of kiwi that appears from time to time. The tea is almost imperceptible in this respect. On the taste side, along with the sweetness of the strawberry scent, I can taste a fizzy sensation very similar to the one in the Mango & Pineapple tea I tried earlier, which is probably due to the kiwi. The scents are less dominant in the flavor side, so there’s a little more space for the tea to express itself. Mild intensity, relatively well balanced and good duration. I expected a bit more of this one, to be honest, but it retains the Basilur standard of quality anyway. Good.
Would i buy it?: There are some possibilities, but I’d give preference to other teas in the pack.
How i got it: Got a bag in a trade with my sister, long time ago.
Experience: Well, let’s go back to Basilur now. This is the third of four teas in the “Magic Fruits” pack. To my surprise, its aroma turned out to be simply delightful. This is one of the best mixes of scents I’ve tried: very natural and well balanced, although it has very little presence of the tea. Its flavor is very enjoyable too, with a sip that begins with a soft mango taste that grows up to be mildly intense and ends with the pineapple, which leaves a curious fizzy sensation in the mouth. The tea is more present at the end of the sip too. An unusual blend, maybe the flavors are a bit overwhelming… but good nonetheless.
Would i buy it?: Actually, I’d have to think about this one with a couple cups more to give an answer.