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Recent Tasting Notes
Hidden Gems TTB #3
I tend to stay away from red rooibos, because it often has a woody flavor that I don’t enjoy. But this one smelled so delicious, I just had to give it a try! And I’m glad I did. This stuff is non-alcoholic almond amaretto: rich and sweet with a strong (but not too overpowering) almond flavor. Thank you to Analina for sharing all of these wonderful Cornelia Bean teas…I’ve discovered lots of true hidden gems thanks to you!
Flavors: Almond, Sweet
It’s been a really long time since I’ve had this tea, and I’d finished most of my bag and put a fair bit into a TTB, so this was my last cup.
When I first had this tea it was around last Xmas, and it had been relabelled Vanilla Eggnog. I do remember really liking it and getting the eggnog comparison. Today, it’s all tropical fruity green for me, both in taste and smell, with a touch of a creamy note.
It’s tasty, but my tastes have changed a lot, and I’m currently in a phase of not caring too much for fruit flavoured greens. If I get back to craving them, I would consider restocking it, as it’s lovely and not terribly generic tasting, like many are. But for now, I’m glad to sip this down.
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Tropical
Also another from dexter jury is still out on this one. it was interesting to say the least, and for a girl who doesn’t much like oolongs, i wasn’t finding this one as offensive as most oolongs lol. I just need more time with it to really focus on it…i’m just way too exausted tonight. Prbably was a stupid idea to drink it…but at least i have more :) and it was a good cup with dinner!
FInal Count: 126 – i’d like to get to at least 120 this weekend…preferably 115.
I asked Anlina to send me some interesting green teas, and gyokuro is definitely different from your average sencha. :) I brewed the whole 8g sample in 8oz of water at 50 degrees C which yielded quite a strong infusion. It’s very savoury and vegetal and a bit bitter, but not in a bad way… maybe a bit more like chard or bok choy than spinach. I’ve steeped it twice so far and I think it will be good for several more.
After 2 infusions I had to go out to a meeting, and when I got back I wasn’t in the mood for more green tea. So I added room temperature water and cold steeped it overnight. It’s really good cold steeped! Less bitterness, more of the savoury green flavour. Then I had the tea leaves with a little bit of hoisin/soy sauce/sesame oil for breakfast. :)
Cooking TTB #11
Another 5 am conference call means another tasty tea picked from the tea box to help keep my eyelids open and my brain functioning – darn international time zones!!
This is another tasty non overpowering rose tea selection from the TTB only this time there is a pop of peachiness which is a really nice touch to help make this tea stand out from the many rose teas I seem to have inadvertently sampled recently. Another winner for my taste buds!
Oh so nice. I’ve had a lot of smokey teas lately, but not a lapsang souchong in quite a while.
The smokey flavour is bold but not overpowering, and there’s space for the complexity of this tea to shine. In addition to the smoke, there’s lovely notes of malt, caramel and coconut. So very tasty.
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Malt, Smoke
Oh I think this tea is not for me. Maybe I oversteeped it – I wanted to give it enough of a steep for the chocolate to melt but maybe that was a bad idea.
It’s incredibly spicy and the chocolate flavour is pretty mild. Even with milk and sugar the intensity of the chili is a bit much for me, and I generally like spicy food a lot.
I don’t think I can finish this cup sadly. I have one teaspoon left of this – I’m not sure if I’ll try it again or just pass it on.
Flavors: Chocolate, Spicy
I received this in the package from my Secret Santa – Anlina – and quite enjoy it.
Definitely intrigued by the name…I’ve had this twice now.
The second time was this morning, so that experience is fresher in my mind. I would say I oversteeped it, because it was VERY bold. I left it for about 5 minutes, not thinking about the CTC aspect.
Though a little stronger than I normally would want, I still enjoyed my cup today. Slightly malty, thick, rich… I added a splash of 10% cream to it, and thought it was very tasty. I’ve been yawning nonstop all morning, so I’d actually consider having another cup right now! It definitely makes for a perfect breakfast tea.
I will try again with a 3 minute steep vs 5. I am going to see how well it resteeps after lunch!
Thanks Anlina :)
(The only downside to this tea is now I have that awful Amanda Marshall song stuck in my head)
This sample came from Roswell Strange. I once tried a tea from Zen Tea Life that had the same name and looked identical to this one, so I’m going to assume they’re the same tea and it’s from some kind of wholesaler. The white tea leaves are fairly broken up and there are tiny blue flower petals mixed in. Dry scent is mild and sweet caramel.
The steeped tea smells quite caramel and toffee-like with a touch of cream. Hmm, this tea is just okay for me. The caramel and/or toffee flavor is much milder than I expected, and it sort of tastes coconut-y for some reason. There’s also a vegetal flavor from the white tea that reminds me of cucumber, and it doesn’t mesh all that well with the sweet flavoring. It’s also a touch musty. Meh!
Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Cucumber, Hay, Musty, Sweet
Hmm, there’s cranberry and apple and a lot of tartness, but also a medicinal flavour that’s just not working for me right now. Boo.
I wonder if I’m getting sick – this is the second cup today that’s tasted medicinal. My partner is sick right now, and my sweetie was also sick recently, so between the three of us, it seems unlikely that I will successfully dodge that bullet.
Still drinkable. Maybe if I think of it, I’ll cold brew the rest and see how that works for me.
I made my partner a carrot cake, since he’s feeling crappy and had a sweets craving. It’s pretty delicious.
Edit: Okay, cooled, this is loads better. The medicinal note has faded a lot, and there’s mostly just lots of cranberry now. Bumping up my rating.
Flavors: Apple, Cranberry, Medicinal, Tart
Adulting is hard sometimes, so today I decided I’m just not going to do it. I got up early to do responsible stuff, then went back to bed till noon. This will be my second cup of tea for the day, and for breakfast I ate half a box of chocolate truffles. I should probably get some real food into me sooner or later, but I dunno. Maybe I’ll just sit around in my robe and have tea and chocolate until I start to regret it.
This dry leaf is much darker and less golden than a lot of the Yunnans I’ve been drinking as of late. It smells less sweet and bready, and more intense. I don’t want to use the word harsh, but there’s a certain rough quality to the fragrance.
Steeping, the cup smells faintly smokey. Under the smokey note there’s molasses. That gets me excited.
This is a nice tasting cup. Definitely a bit smokey, with some sweetness and a nice, full mouth flavour. Slightly meaty, rich, notes of fruit and malt into the finish. Mildly astringent. The smokiness of this reminds me of lapsang souchong.
Not my usual kind of yunnan but I’m really enjoying this.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Malt, Meat, Molasses, Smoke
Wow, such a tasty and unique tea!
This was sent to me by my Secret Santa Anlina – great pick! I’ve had it twice so far and really enjoyed it. It’s sweet and fruity yet also light. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. I am not sure where the Christmas renaming to “Eggnog” comes from, because I wouldn’t compare this to eggnog whatsoever, but it sure is delicious.
Thanks so much for sending it my way, Anlina! I am really happy I got to try it, otherwise I may never have had the opportunity!
This came highly recommended by the owner of Cornelia Bean, but I’m not really feeling it today. It’s got some mild fruity notes and a touch of malt, but those qualities get overpowered a bit by the astringency. It’s not over the top or really unpleasant, just not the flavour to astingency ratio I want from a cup.
1tsp, 96C, 3.5min. I think I will need to try a lower temp for my next cup of this.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Malt
I thought I underleafed this. I steeped one teaspoon in 90C water for three minutes. Then five, then six. I could smell a lovely orchid fragrance, but I couldn’t taste much except hot water.
Well I’m glad I didn’t fiddle with this any more, because all this cup needed was to cool off. Once the heat disappated, the cup was thick and creamy, with a really intense, mouth and throat coating orchid taste, with traces of honey.
Really delicious! The floral in this is very strong, probably cloying for anyone who isn’t a big fan of floral notes.
Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Orchid, Sweet, Thick
Thanks to Roswell Strange for passing some of this on to me! It was pretty tasty (although to be honest, I’m not sure whether I was drinking Zhena’s Double Vanilla or this tea). I’ve had Toffee Dream by one or two companies before, and I have a recollection of one tasting/smelling quite playdough-y, which this very nicely did not. I’ll have to rate this once I’m actually certain of which tea I’m drinking :D
Cooking TTB #18
Sometimes I try a tea that just makes me think I’m broken. I thought I was tasting something mango-like and didn’t at all associate it with rose until I read the description….what the heck? Those two things are soooo not the same. I don’t know what’s wrong with me sometimes. This was good, but not my favorite (of either mango or rose flavored blacks).
My sweetie had Cornelia Bean custom blend this one, after we had a tea mishap the other day and ended up dumping their whole tin of Russian Caravan from the Tea Emporium/Seven Sisters on the stove and floor.
Nicely balanced and smokey, very similar to other Russian Caravan blends I’ve had. A good start to the morning.
Flavors: Malt, Smoke
Cooking TTB #2
Get ready for a backlog bonanza…
This was surprising! It smells divine and exactly like a creamy lemon cupcake or something. The only thing I was a touch disappointed by was the fact that the creaminess only comes out in flavor and not in mouthfeel. I was also happy that this wasn’t too green-tasting. I would definitely pick some of this up if I were placing an order!
This was a lovely introduction to Cornelia Bean teas :)
Flavors: Creamy, Lemon
Oh my, this is delicious. If you like really bold and very malty, this is it.
This tea doesn’t appear anywhere in Cornelia Bean’s site or even the samples that are out for smelling, but I expressed interest in Yunnan Golden Rain and malty blacks in general, and this was suggested. It’s a house blend that’s the daily cup for the family that owns Cornelia Bean.
This is a blend of Assam CTC and whole leaf Dian Hong. I was a bit afraid that the CTC would steep up much faster than the Dian Hong, but they assured me that they is a nice cup, and they were right.
I did a three minute steep, which I think is the upper limit of what you’d want to do, unless you plan to add lots of milk and sugar. Three minutes yielded a thick, bold cup with lots of flavour and just a bit of bitterness and astringency.
The liquor is dark brown and smells of baked bread, sweet potato and malt. So much malt. The sip is malty and slightly bitter, and then towards the end, there’s a burst of creamy sweetness that is very mouthfilling. Sweet potato lingers on the finish.
This is a perfect breakfast tea. Lots of flavour, lots of caffeine (I’m assuming – it feels like there is), thick and mouth filling. I’m enjoying this straight, but I also will try it with milk and sugar at some point.
I’m also very tempted to make up a cup of Irish Breakfast to compare, since that’s my usual go to tea if I need something really bold.
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Bitter, Malt, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Thick