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Recent Tasting Notes
Time for Clarence, a slightly bigger teapot, because it’s tea for two. Interesting mix of brown and black colours with a fair bit of really small stuff.
The liquor is reddish brown, the aroma quite Assamese.
I think it works better in my bertter half’s cup (white with two) than mine (black with oneish)
But pleasant. And my late Grandmother, who grew up in the Great Depression, would ne mighty impressed with the effort of recycling the last few grams of three teas to get more tea.
Basic tea, well made if I do say so myself!
Just attacked the espresso machine again to make this.
Made 100ml strong tea. As an experiment, I left the infiuser in the jug while I heated the milk and sugar to 70 deg C.
mmmmm, it’s smooth. I love the way the spices line up in order on your pallet. Sugar / Cinnamon/ Cardamon/ tea/ milk / aniseed and cloves. Then sip again
After a crack at Taylors bagged version yesterday, decided I’d better redress the balance and have a real one.
And the difference is indeed mighty. My kitchen already smells like an open campfire. Don’t want to steep too long…
Hmmm, it’s a lovely round taste that circles your mouth. Strong enough to chew, but fades in a surprisingly dainty manner.
A great tea to take just before I head into the city for some work. Of course, my first stop is actually a tea shop.
IT has become my habit to start my day with a green or white, or two, or five, and then move through into blacks during the day. That seems to be the opposite for most people, probably because of the wildly inaccurate belief that greens have less caffeine than whites.
So, the sun is coming up, I’m working on a press release and sipping some Jasmine.
The colour today is kind of mystical, I am peering into the tea bowl and trying to see the future.
The warm tones and perky bouquet of this tea are helping me to see that said future will contain much tea.
I am still feeling quite crappy after a bad night, and 4 cups of Pai Mu Tan, so here goes:
teaspoon of Superior Vanilla with pods in an ibrik (turkish coffee pot)
Steep in a little water for 2 minutes
Add a dash of honey, a shake or two of dried ginger and two split green cardamom pods (hang the expense)
Added some low fat milk and on the stove to slowly heat up.
The taste is wonderful. I’ll comment later on whether it worked
Just made this in Cyril (my glass teapot) and it’s obvious from the colour that my palate was not lying about the Yunnan I suggested last time. It’s a great base, and then there’s some interesting tannin flavours over the top. There’s a peachy aftertaste (in both senses, if you like) that I think is the combination of the slightly brackish tannins with the naughty brown sugar I threw in!
Second cup I think, with breakfast inspired by 52teas
A lovely cup of a tea that remains a favourite despite it’s inadvertent creation.
I had to get up very early, and I’m not ready for anything heavy, but I wanted to move on from my cup or two of Jasmine an hour ago.
A mint tea can be a dessert, and I used it to follow some toast. The aroma has filled my office, and it keeps drawing me back fro another sip, and the inevitable second cup.
The green tea teases the palate; the mint smashes it to smithereens a millisecond later.
It’s the most exciting think happening in Adelaide at 5:59am, I am sure
So… we bought Adagio’s triniTEA (automatic tea brewer) to supplement the Zarafina. It was getting crazy with waiting for the other person’s tea to finish brewing and for resteeps, what do you do with the leaves, and so on. We thought that the increased capacity of the triniTEA would be nice for making large pitchers of iced tea, as well.
The first batch didn’t go so well. We’ll ignore the machine’s faults and just talk about the tea… Nathaniel followed the instructions that came with the machine and not the instructions that came with the tea, so he put the timing knob on 5 minutes (Teavana says to brew the English Breakfast for 2-3 minutes and the Lemon Youkou for 5-6 minutes, but we usually just brew it as a black tea). The result was BITTER and had no lemon taste. UGH. It was totally overbrewed.
Not the tea’s fault, or the machine, really. We have to do another run with a shorter time.
(I’m leaving the rating where it is because when brewed right this tea is really good)
Hand crafted chai – blended two weeks ago for the flavour to mingle.
So, I place a double serve (4g) in an infuser with a quarter cup od boiled water, and let steep for 6 minutes.
Then I add half a cup of cold milk and two sugars.
Then, it goes on the steam wand of the esspresso machine. I end up with a hot and foamy cup, which I sprinkle with a blend of cinnamon, cardamon and sugar all ground to a fine powder together
The result is a sweet, mingled flavour that holds you attention for about 15 minutes after you have finished. The aniseed flavour of star anise and the warm black pepper give you the foretaste, cinnamon and tea tend to linger.
Also chills well.
Irish Breakfast is rather a catch-all name. This one has a strong Ceylon presence, with the characteristic aftertaste. It also has a rounded Yunnan flavour, which means that the first taste, the body and the aftertaste are all pleasant. I drink it black and slightly sweetened.
Generally, I’m more of a single origin tea drinker. but this a real gem.
Most people think of a jasmine tea in a delicate cup, taken neat. But that’s not the way I have it. I like it to be slightly sweetened, and for that me, regrettably that means a sweetener.
In order to reduce the impact of the sweetener, I use half a sweetener in a 450ml super mug with my CJ tea.
The result enhances the natural sweetness without overpowering, or even competing with the tea.
It remains delicate up front on the palate, with the main green tea flavours following the initial jasmine hit. The tea has a dryish backtaste that instantly suggests another sip.
A very lovely tea.
Home again! At last! Visiting family is nice and all, but nothing really beats coming home and sitting down in your own furniture with your own door closed behind you and just… breathe… out.
And now I just needed some good honest solid invigorating proper tea. And then I make this mix of Adagio’s Chocolate and Adagio’s Raspberry in more or less equal measure. Yeah, I can’t really see any logic in the choice either, but there you are.
I could have sworn I had tried this mix before, but I couldn’t seem to find it in my logs. I must have been confusing it with something else.
It smells mostly of chocolate. Milk chocolate actually. I think the raspberry is sort of smoothing it out and adding sweetness, although it doesn’t actually smell like actual raspberries the way the dry leaves do.
While the smell is awesome, the taste is kind of watery. With that sort of smell I was expecting something more viscous like milk, so the first mouthful actually seemed kind of watery. It tastes quite nice but just not of chocolate. Or of raspberry, really. It’s like it’s sort of cancelling itself out.
I really can’t understand if I haven’t done this before, though!
And another gone and another gone, another one bites the dust. This time Adagio’s vanilla that got the last act of mercy. I didn’t even have a full teaspoon left of this. Nearly but not quite, so I decided to mix it with the caramel from Luka, my local shop, which is a mix I know to be awesome. Since I usually do it half and half and couldn’t do that this time, I tried adding little vanilla sugar to the mix. I tell you, it feels utterly weird to stand there and stir a teapot!
I have no clue how that last additive will influence the flavour. I figure the worst that can happen is it’s a little sweeter than usual. I need to try the vanilla tea from my local shop and see if it’s better than Adagio’s. I liked Adagio’s to begin with but have found myself using it primarily to mix into other stuff.
Probably shouldn’t have added the vanilla sugar. It’s quite vanilla heavy now and the caramel is a bit overpowered. Now whether this is because I used too much vanilla sugar or if it was because adding just doesn’t work, I can’t really know.
It’s still delicious, though.
For those of you who own Adagio’s vanilla and find it a bit lacking in the vanilla department, perhaps a little bit of vanilla sugar can bring it out a bit more?
OK… this has me curious so since we have a real tree this yr. I’m gonna try it.
30 needles (didn’t chop them)/6oz boiling water.
Hmmm… virtually no liquor, and the liquor that it does have formed almost immediately after the needles were added to the water so I’m thinking it might have been from the stains on my filter. VERY light sent, a lil sweet maybe? There is a very light taste, but it’s a lil sweet so I’m thinking this may also be left over from my prior usage of my ingenuiTEA. Good theory though, if I can get it down I’m making pine matcha. How’s THAT for a holiday drink?;)
We’ve been drinking this particular blend a lot, so I thought I would just add it as a custom blend.
Zarafina Tea Maker: Black, Loose, Strong, 2 cups water, 2 scoop English Breakfast, 1 scoop Lemon Youkou (Teavana)
Sweetened with 1/2 cup sugar, then iced and water added to make 1qt tea.
I love it. It’s a perfect blend of black tea with just a hint of lemon/fruitiness.
Because this was such a success the other day, I’ve tried to reconstruct it today. I needs it. I need something that is so good that it can take away the sneaking girl-stomach issues and the general pouting that the fact that my presence has been requested at work on wednesday, which because I work part-time is normally my day off, has brought on. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I hate, abhor and just generally dislike meetings. Especially those I can’t get out of.
So something sweet and distracting, yes please.
When I tried this the other day, it was the second steep of the caramel, and this is the first steep all round, so it’s intersting to see if it’ll turn out the same success or if I’m in for a bit of a disappointment.
Nope. Still good. Still sweet. What girl-stomach? What meeting?