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Recent Tasting Notes
Advent Calendar Day Huit!
Urgh, really DT? ANOTHER BLACK! I’m glad to get this one out of the way because I really have a so so relationship with breakfast teas. I’m sure there is a breakfast blend out there somewhere for me, but I really prefer earl grey if I am going to have something plain.
I think this tastes like what I conceived tea tasting like as a kid. And for that I deem it ok. It is a bit bitter, and I have to drink it with milk and sugar to really enjoy it. It’s not something I am going to be running to repurchase, but I’m sure lots of people who like these traditional flavours love it.
Advent Calendar Love Day 7!
I was excited to see a rooibos. I agree with the consensus on the DT facebook and Twitter, they did a horrible job this year spacing out the different types of teas. And some people haven’t been getting the right ones. I hope they still do an advent calendar next year because it seems to have been a big hassle for them.
I want to experiment more with this one. It had a nice light flavour, but I would like it to be more intense. I didn’t steep it that long though, and didn’t add anything to it, so maybe if I do it will be better.
I’ve had this one a couple times now but I seem to forget to log it! For me, it comes out a bit more bitter than I would like so I tend to add honey to it to balance that out. I don’t like adding sweetener to my tea but the honey really rounds it out and adds enough sweetness that I think JAM. The blueberry is really strong in this one, reminds me of tart boiled blueberry sauce and with the honey it really does become jam for me. I won’t be re-stocking but I won’t suffer to finish it. Pretty good!
Burn it! Burn it with fire!
… that’s actually what this tea is doing to my throat right now. :| I take back every nice thing I’ve said about it. A tea with chili pepper and a bunch of weird ingredients is not what I want to keep around to soothe a sore throat or help with sinuses. Well maybe that’d help with the sinuses but I’d rather be able to drink something atm. :P
Maybe I’ll put this up for a swap? I think I have 40-50g of it.
This really does taste a lot like licorice. I bought way too much of this, but it’s not the end of the world as it is enjoyable.
Each sip just creeps up on you: warm water, licorice, this crazy numbing mouthfeel that makes me feel like I’m sucking on licorice candy instead of drinking tea…
It’s definitely a step up from Stash’s licorice tea, which is all the licorice tea experience that I’ve had so far. I may up my rating as I empty my tin, but there is an odd spicy aftertaste I’m not sure about.
I didn’t get to open my tea advent calendar until nearly 3 in the afternoon today, having been out of the house from within half an hour of my awakening just short of 2pm. Upon finding a breakfast tea behind the door, I promptly wondered aloud if I was allowed to drink breakfast teas after breakfast time.
I was promptly answered with “no”.
I decided, however, to be a rebel and drank it anyways.
This is the first straight tea that I’ve had the chance to review so far. (It only took me around 1/125 of the way to make it to one!) Straight teas are very interesting to review, in my opinion, because the lack of flavouring means you get to concentrate on just how the tea alone tastes. You may think that black tea is black tea is black tea and green tea is green tea is green tea and so on and so forth, but that’s not true at all. Even the little bit of experimentation I’ve done in the past has definitely shown me first-hand how different one can be from another. The method in which the tea is processed, how it’s finished, where it’s from, and several other factors really allow for a large variety of flavours to come out of different varieties and blends of teas that fall under the same general category (such as “black tea”).
Of course, as you’ll see, in order to best describe these different teas, I may need to work on my vocabulary a bit, but that’s a task I shall indeed relish!
Steeped: 1tbsp in my 2-cup pot. Brewed with freshly boiled water.
First Cup: Steeped 5 minutes. Clear.
One easy way to tell that I need to expand my vocabulary: I’m having problems describing the taste of this black tea in ways that go far beyond tea-y, but I’ll do my best. Although the brewing time is well within the suggested time limit, I’m still finding it a little bitter. There’s a bit of strength to it, which I like, but there is a bit of an off-putting bitterness. I assume it would taste better with milk and/or sugar… which is more or less the standard way to drink a good breakfast tea, in my humble opinion. (That being said, the best black teas can be really enjoyed clear, and I’ve had a few which I’d never put anything in.) It’s enjoyable as it cools, with a bit of a flowery taste.
Second cup: Same steep. Steeped approx 1 hour. Added milk.
Ok, I got majorly sidetracked between cup 1 and cup 2. But such is life, and I’m glad to have my second cup now. I’m really noticing the earthy and slightly floral scent of the tea. The bitterness is very much cut by the milk, though it still could do with a bit of sweetness. However, I think it would be better paired with something sweet rather than have the sweetness directly added. Just a hunch.
Third cup: Resteep. Steeped 10 minutes. Clear.
I think I like the milder resteep better than the original steep in all honesty, at least as far as flavour depth goes. Although there’s some bitterness to the scent, there’s not much in the taste at all. The tea is milder overall, but the distinctive flavour still really comes through.
Fourth cup: Same resteep. Steeped for around an hour (again). Clear.
Despite the long steep, due to it being a resteep, it’s really not that bitter. Actually, the flavour is strong, but less powerful than the initial steep, making it really enjoyable despite (or even due to) the long steep time.
I’m actually tempted to try a third steep and see how that works out, but I don’t think I could handle it right now, so leaving it at two steeps it is.
Overall impression: Not bad. Not the greatest cup of black tea that I’ve ever had, but I can see this being good in the morning as well. I wish it were a little less bitter, but I think that paired with something sweet like a pastry (this and a Danish? mmmm…), it would be perfect. Especially with a bit of milk in the tea itself to cut the bitterness.
As I said, my ideal cup of black tea would not require any milk to be at its best, so for me, this one is out for that purpose, but I can still see it holding up quite well in the right context for sure.
My rating: 75. B. Not a bad breakfast tea, but not the ideal cup of black tea either.
I love the flavor of maple – and I’ve been wanting to try a maple flavored tea for a long time. I figured a Canadian company would probably know what they were doing as far as maple was concerned, so I went ahead and added this to my order.
The smell of this one dry did make me hesitant, at first. There was definitely maple there, but also something else that didn’t quite fit. That weird chemical note that seems to appear more often than not in the dry leaf scent of their blends. I’ve learned by now that once it steeps that fake smell disappears, so I hoped it would be the case with this one too.
Steep notes: 1.75 tsp. leaf, 10 oz. water, no additives, below parameters.
Once steeped that chemical smell does go away- leaving what looks and smells like pancake syrup – YUM! And even more awesome, this TASTES like maple syrup! There is a definite sweetness and even a kind of buttery note that makes me want to pour this over a stack of pancakes and eat it. Seriously WOW.
I didn’t really get any hints of rooibos in the tisane itself, but then I did kind of suck this down fast because it was SO GOOD. It does definitely make me want pancakes or waffles or something breakfasty and sweet.
I will definitely be keeping some of this on hand!
Looks: Such a beautiful loose leaf tea! Gorgeous colours.
Scent: Nice, light scent however nothing close to caramel or creme brulee; much more floral
Taste: Nice, I brewed it strong (7min) as when I sipped it light I got almost no flavour. After drinking, yes there was a nice flavour, but nothing like creme brule at all. Its a good tea, but don’t expect a dessert in your cup as I did or you will be disappointed.
Steeped: 1 tbsp in my 2-cup pot with freshly boiled water.
First Cup: Brewed 5 minutes. Clear.
There’s a sweet, citrusy flavour to this, and a roundness to the taste. Quite enjoyable.
Second cup: Same steep. Brewed approx 10 minutes. Clear.
Pretty much the same as the first cup. Perhaps a bit stronger, but that’s to be expected. I’m definitely enjoying this… and it does have a nice dessert-ish flavour to it. Not the most well-versed in crème brulée, but from what I remember, it may be reminiscent of the real dish.
Third cup: Same steep. Brewed approx 15 minutes. Clear.
Flavour is stronger. I let it cool, but it’s not as nice when it’s not hot.
Fourth cup: Last of the first steep. Brewed 20-30 minutes. Clear.
A little too strong by now. It seems thicker as well, and again cooler. The tea definitely is best hot and brewed a bit less than this.
Fifth cup: Resteep. Brewed 10 minutes. Clear.
Flavour is lighter. Still citrusy, smooth and rounded, and nice. The lingering taste is gone, though. I rather miss it….
Sixth cup: Same resteep. Brewed approx 30 minutes. Clear.
Ok. So, I gave up on the teacup and poured the rest into a larger mug. The teacup just… wasn’t the best way to go for drinking this tea on my own. But oh well. That being said, I think the tea may be best served in a dainty mug, halfway between these two vessels. Something to keep in mind for next time.
As for the tea itself, the resteeped flavour is stronger now, more reminiscent of the first cup. The smooth, creamy aftertaste is back, if still not as strong as it was on the first steep overall. The tea cooled as I drank and again I am reminded that this tea tastes much better hot.
Overall impression: A very nice flavour. I’m surprised by the ingredients in this one — it tastes like it should have something citrusy or creamy or something in it, but it’s just rooibos and flowers. Still, delicious, especially warm. And smelling the dry tea is wonderful as well!
My rating: 84. A-. It would’ve made a straight A if it were as good cooled as it is hot. Still, it’s got a lovely flavour for a dessert tea, making a great and calorie free alternative to the real food.