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Recent Tasting Notes
Another from the box of wonder cteresa sent me after I broke my elbow! I made the first cup of this right after drinking the Destination Ceylon, which was a mistake, especially as I probably left it steeping too long. (BTW, love Clipper as a company, but it makes me so irritated that they have exactly the same brewing instruction on every tea they sell – white, everyday breakfast blend, green, you name it! Even I’ve known better than that for years, and I’m not a long-established tea company!) I drank it again a day or two ago and gave it just under 3 minutes and liked it much, much better. No bitterness, not overly-astringent, and I loved the delicate level of vanilla. I could have taken more vanilla, but didn’t feel the tea suffered from not having it. Oddly enough, they sell probably over 30 types of Clipper teas in our local produce/health food/gourmet shop, and I’ve never seen this one there. Lots of other places to look for it, but it just seems strange.
This is only in my cupboard because the local shop was out of Clipper’s Everyday Tea, which is a staple in this house (in teabag form – wasn’t impressed with the loose leaf). I had to get something for the daughters, though I’m not drinking the Everyday much these days, and I picked this one up, having seen that the Organic Assam with Vanilla was a hit. But not so much. I can well imagine the vanilla de-puckering this one, but it’s really not very delicious without. SO astringent. I didn’t even bother getting either Becca or Cara to try, as I knew they’d hate it, but now I have quite a few bags left to get finished off somehow.
Cteresa shared this with me in our recent swap and told me to keep an open mind about the bagginess of it. It wasn’t one of the teas we had talked about, but she added it as a bonus because it was vanilla and she knows I like vanilla. Like, a lot.
Okay, so I gave it a shot yesterday, and was surprised to find it quite nice. I was told to expect a very subtle vanilla, but it was actually clearly detectable for me. Especially on the aftertaste. I was reminded of the French Vanilla Assam that 52teas made last year (I think) which I quite enjoyed.
Because it was convenient and because Husband chose a glass of whisky over a cup of tea later in the evening, I steeped the same bag again. Just to see if I could and what would happen.
In my experience Indian black teas generally don’t resteep very well with the way I brew them, so it was a bit of a gamble. Turns out this one was no exception to that rule and it did actually produce a fairly weak tea the second time around. What was NOT weak, however, was the vanilla! There was still plenty of vanilla around and without a strong tea to accompany it, it was a very VERY vanilla-y cup indeed.
In fact, I find I’m not certain which cup was more enjoyable. They were both enjoyable, but in WILDLY different ways.
I think I’ve seen this brand around a few times when grocery shopping. I believe it would be worth it to have a look if this particular variation might be among them. It would be a good candidate to take up to my parents’ house to drink there.
(Last time I ran out up there, my mother thought she was buying a higher end kind of bag when she bought something else than her own usual brand of Pickwick or Twinings, and instead managed to get something maybe slightly better, but it was a green tea and a plain rooibos. The former is… drinkable, I suppose, but far from what I usually prefer (black) and the second is just wrong. I don’t like plain rooibos. She tried one and didn’t like it either, so I’m not sure what we’re going to do with those bags now.)
Steeped it for a little longer today – just over 3 minutes.
It was nowhere near as bitter as I would have imagined it being, and I even got the scent of freshly cut grass that a lot of people seem to get from green tea. I think the reason for this was the water temperature, since I let it cool quite a bit.
Very pleasant for a bagged tea.
This is my go-to at work, and I drink it all day long.
Got a tough bit of code I need to mull over? Green tea break.
The boss just got off a stressful call? Better brew some teas.
Just finished my tea? Make another.
The little moment of zen you get when handling the delicate green tea flavours of a Clipper bag is indispensable for someone with less time to waste. It’s obviously not as involved as preparing loose leaves or even a matcha, but you still have to be careful not to draw a harsh or dry taste from the bag.
Today I left the kettle water to cool for about 1 minute 30, and gently placed the teabag in the mug after the water. You don’t get many distinct aromas from the ethically-chosen leaves before or after wetting them, but there’s a definite green tea character. It smells slightly sharper than the Twinings green teabags.
I leave it to cool a little before drinking, and again there’s nothing too special that I can remember today, just a slightly bland green tea flavour, slightly bitter, but still easy to drink.
To anyone looking for a green tea to buy by the barrel, Clipper is a good cheap choice. It is by no means a bad green tea, but it’s not the best either.