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Recent Tasting Notes
Well, Brenna and I finished this off on Saturday when she was over for the weekend. It was more of a tragic sipdown for her though because this is her favourite tea. I’d love to grab more, ‘cause I like it too and she basically drank my whole stash of it but I’m not about to place an order for just one tea.
Well, maybe as a Christmas present?
This last cup was super good though! It was uber sweet as well. Brenna added milk, and usually that mutes the maple notes a fair bit but I still felt like my tongue was dripping maple after a few swigs. Ugh; I’ll have to look at pricing to order like 4 oz. of this for her for Christmas. If it’s not unreasonable I might do it.
It doesn’t count as breaking hiatus if it’s for someone else, right?
So, I did a tea leaf reading tonight with my little sister which was super fun.
No one in my family really “believes” in tea leaf readings or fortune telling or that kind of thing, but one of the things I’m most frequently asked when I tell people I’m into tea is if I can read tea leaves and I thought it’d be a neat thing to be able to answer yes, if only to have a sort of “party trick” up my sleeve.
We did the reading with Carrot Cake because it’s one of my sister’s favourite teas, and because I figured the rooibos in the blend is small and fine enough leaf to be appropriately used in a tea leaf reading. After the cup was gone (and what a tasty cup; it had such wonderful maple notes) we looked for shapes and patterns in the tea leaf which had been swirled around the cup. We saw: an eight, an open circle, a triangle next to a heart, and a cat. Based on the little guide book that came with the cup/saucer set and the placement of the symbols within the cup that means…
1. My sister will be involved in a love triangle in the future.
2. An offer will be made to her in the near future but will in no way be certain or definite.
3. Something lucky will happen to her which is neither expected or predictable.
We all had a good laugh about how her reading basically said “at this time the divine is unsure of what your future holds”. It’s the supernatural equivalent of shaking a Magic Eight ball and having it read “Reply hazy, try again”.
Tea from yesterday. I made myself a hot cuppa with a splash of milk. It tasted delicious, warming spice notes and a tangy creamy flavour – though honestly not as much “carrot” as I would have liked to experience. I’m still really happy with this tea overall, though.
My sister liked the smell (my sister who REFUSES to try any of the tea I make, not even a sip – she’s worse than my brother) and actually asked me to make a mug for her! So I added about 1/2 tsp. of new leaf to the steeped leaf and brewed a mug for her too, with the same amount of milk. Her mug tasted better – not sure why.
Did anyone watch the first season of How To Get Away With Murder? Viola Davis is absolutely slaying in it; I watched the first half last night (marathoned it) and am watching the second right now – currently I’m on episode twelve but I’ll likely finish it before I go to bed. Also; Connor’s ‘boyfriend’ Oliver is absolutely adorable and is probably my favourite minor character. I want my own Oliver, please and thank you.
Please tell me there’s at least one other person on Steepster who got obsessed with this show – I need someone to watch Season Two with when it premiers on the 24th.
This is a queued tasting note.
Cold brewed this one just to try something different than having it hot. I think a latte is probably the next thing on my list to test out…
I think the cold brew had a much more full flavour. It was sweeter and the cream cheese frosting/icing element was really well captured and conveyed. There were still spice notes, stuff like cinnamon and nutmeg. All of the ‘warming’ spices, really. The ones you’d dash into a cup of hot cocoa to make it feel ‘toastier’ and more comforting. I want to say the carrot tasted sweeter and stronger too – still in a ‘carrot juice’ sort of way, with the sweetness.
From what I can remember, this was a pretty popular blend from Della Terra prior to the ‘shut down’ they’re currently going through; I think it was on my wishlist for a while but I was never at the point where I was dying to try it.
However, when I recently participated in a group order from East Indies Tea Company, Della Terra’s supplier, I got a chance to nab an ounce of this blend I was still fairly curious about it – and an ounce is the perfect sample size to really get to play around with a flavoured tea like this so I was on board!
My first taste was hot in a timolino; I was expecting a move obvious ‘carrot’ flavour though I’m not sure why since the flavor carrot cake is in large part made up of the spices and the trademark cream cheese icing. The carrot I did taste was mellow and sweet though; kind of ‘carrot juice’ sweet but more subtle. I also tasted some lovely, gentle spice notes: cinnamon and nutmeg specifically. I like that sort of ‘warming’ spice flavour that doesn’t go as bold as most Chai, or which doesn’t incorporate ginger. Bleck; who needs ginger!? The rooibos base was present and tasted both peppery, which detracted from the blend, and a little like graham crumbs which in a way added to it even if ‘graham’ isn’t a traditional flavor related to carrot cake.
Now the cream cheese frosting: almost as crucial as the cake itself if not more to be perfectly honest…
I had high expectations because I’ve seen from other Della Terra/East Indies Tea Co. blends (namely Monkey Bread) that they can be very successful executing this flavour and so I expected that to be represented in this blend too. And I think it was. The aroma of the liquor (dry, steeping and steeped) was spot on cream cheese – the flavour a little milder, but still there. The “tang” of the cheese is there, and I can feel it on the sides of my tongue. Sure, I feel it everywhere but it lingers the longest there. It’s creamy too, but more muted.
I don’t know what exactly I expected overall – it wasn’t this, but even still I found this to be a pretty exceptional tea and I’m happy my curiosity drove me to try it.
Here’s Hoping TTB (round 5)
Dessert teas :)
How descriptive was that tasting note?
Anyways, when I get my tea smoker (if I ever do) I already have a plan to make ‘Golden S’more’ by smoking a golden tea from Yunnan with 20-30% strength in mind which means I will get to play with it a lot.
P.S. did you see the smiley face above? It means this tea is good; just thought I would reiterate that.
Wooohooooo!!!!! This sample was a huge surprise from tea-sipper!! Thank you!! I’ve had this on my wishlist for a while & I can’t wait to try it! Peanut butter in a tea? Yes, please! The flavor is whoa…unexpected. It’s not like any other flavor I’ve tasted in a tea, and that’s saying something because I have tried A LOT of teas!
This really does have a peanut flavor. It reminds me of peanut soup from King’s Arms Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. If you’re ever in the area, you have to go there and try it! It sounds weird but it is soooooo good! Like liquid peanut butter. Mmmm!
I tried this tea sans additions first and then added Truvia and a tiny splash of milk. It’s definitely better this way. I don’t know how much chocolate is in this. I’m trying to figure out if I’m really tasting fudge or if I’m imagining it because it’s in the name. The peanut butter is definitely stronger than the chocolate. Yum! This tea is unique and delicious. If you’re looking for something different, I definitely suggest you try this out. Thanks again, tea-sipper!
This is a Della Terra blend I’ve been curious about for years, but since I’ve had Minty Cow (or whatever equivalent DT had on hand at the moment) stocked just about as long it’s seemed redundant to purchase this when it’s so similar. I was very happy to see it in my swap package from her, though!
I cold brewed it because I remember discovering near the end of my tin of Minty Cow just how great it is cold brewed – and this isn’t any different. My first thought after the initial sips was “this tastes just like marshmallow fluff”, and that’s because the vanilla is really, really strong. I’m loving it! The chocolate is really rich too; creamy milk chocolate for sure. The peppermint is crisp and provides a very refreshing finish to the drink. Overall, it’s like some of the best peppermint bark I’ve ever had – which I guess it more of a Christmas thing than Valentines but this is Anti V-Day Treat.
It’s a shame Della Terra has currently closed up shop; I think I like this better than the Minty Cow I had at one point…
Side Story: One of the cool things about working at a grocery store is that there’s constantly food in our staffroom for everyone to eat – usually it’s platters of fresh cut fruit or vegetables, or cheese/meat trays from the Deli but sometimes they bring up donuts or stuff like that. Once they brought up like 50 candy apples that they couldn’t sell because the sugar crust (or whatever it’s called) hadn’t been tinted correctly.
Well, yesterday I came up for break and there were literally 40 boxes of cookies. Someone had screwed up the order and they had more than they could sell before the expiration date so they put half of them on sale and then brought the other half upstairs for staff. It’s a shame they tasted gross though (some kind of weird vanilla bean flavoured crispy cookie), I’d have loved to bring some cookies home…
I had to work on Saturday (I do hate 6 day weeks), so this came with me in my Timolino to make my morning more bearable. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, gave it approximately 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. I don’t usually try a tea for the first time in a Timolino, but I feel like I’m familiar enough with Della Terra’s flavoured blends to do that. This one is good – creamy from the vanilla, mildly minty, with a hint of chocolate smoothness rounding out the sip. It’s delicately sweet – not overpoweringly so, but enough to know that this is a dessert tea. There’s a hint of the base in the aftertaste, but it’s mostly malt and I can’t argue with that. Malty teas are my thing.
I enjoyed this one (although why it’s anti v-day, I’m not sure). My one real complaint is that it’s clearly a re-named version of an existing tea (or teas, actually). I’m thinking Swiss Mountain, Bats in the Belfry, Minty Cow…they’re all vanilla/mint/chocolate blends of one kind or another, and they all taste pretty much the same. So, while I enjoyed this one, I do feel like I’ve been here before. There’s nothing unique to be found. Still, sometimes familiarity is what I crave. Never more so than at 6.30am on a Saturday, when I should be in bed. Thank goodness for tea!
It’s alright, but not a favorite for me. Not something I would repurchase. It has an earthiness to it, where I would have preferred a lightness. I think the base doesn’t quite work with the jasmine, but I’m a little particular about jasmine teas, so maybe I’m just being finicky.
Flavors: Flowers, Green, Wet Earth
There is NOTHING I hate about this tea. I want it every single day for the rest of my life. But it is a dessert tea, so if you hate those, you might not like this tea as much as I do. But this tea is heaven. Everything about it is A+++. And when you brew it, it SPARKLES. You heard me, SPARKLES. It is such a gorgeous tea and smells so divine like it came from a place of magical unicorns. The blueberry flavor along with the cinnamon some how give a delicious maple syrup taste? I’m not sure how to really explain myself, but it taste like a blueberry crumb cake. I really hope Della Terra Teas comes back with this blend. It’s too good to be discontinued forever.
Flavors: Blueberry, Cinnamon, Maple
I’m finishing this today from an old try me pack. I used to love Earl Gray, but I think I overdid it in my university days and got sick of it. But this tea seems to be bringing me back around. While it is unmistakably Earl Gray in its floral taste, it isn’t overwhelming. I technically over leafed because it wasn’t enough to leave for a future cup, so I dumped it in and just didn’t steep it for quite as long on the first steep. Regardless there was no bitterness. I enjoyed the creaminess and even looked down at the contents to see if I had absent mindedly put some milk in there…nope! Although I still don’t naturally gravitate towards Earl Gray anymore as a rule, I venture to say that this is the best Earl Gray I’ve tried. Nummy!
Flavors: Creamy, Earl Grey, Floral
Someone gave this to me but I can’t remember who…
The flavor is nice and so is the aroma, but it is not a very smooth tea which I would like for something that has a blueberry taste to it. The dessert flavor is alive in this tea and I am hoping to learn how to do so myself with tea. I enjoy this but couldn’t finish the pot because it just wasn’t good enough.
This was a gift from Plunkybug nearly a year ago – I can’t believe it’s been that long! I can smell the caramel; it’s definitely sweet. It doesn’t really have much flavor, maybe because it is older. There is a strange, out-of-place flavor in each sip as well, almost soapy or perfumy, but it’s not off-putting. It just reminds me of a hotel lobby or home goods store. Like linen fresh. It’s a bit drying too. I won’t be steeping this a second time since my last note said the second steep was somewhat flavorless.
Flavors: Caramel, Drying, Perfume, Soap, Sweet
Thank you to Amariel for sharing some of this tea with me! She sent me this along with several other teas in our swap a couple of months ago. I love anything caramel so I’m excited to try this one.
I’m still learning to appreciate oolong teas. They certainly have that distinguishable aroma that I can usually pick up on pretty quickly. I don’t, however, smell the oolong here. Instead, this smells like butter cookies to me, much like Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro. Alongside the tea in the dry mix, there are what look like twisted yellow flower petals, some thick twigs, and a couple of caramel cubes.
The steeped tea leaves do have somewhat of an earthy smell now and I can see that the caramel cube has melted away. The liquid smells of caramel and butter cookies. Very nice. I really like the flavor of this one too. I added honey to sweeten, but I may try this next time with a sugar syrup instead so I can taste the flavors of the tea a little better. As it cools, I can taste the caramel even more.
6 ounces water + 170 degrees + 3 minutes, 30 seconds
I’m tasting more of the honey than the tea’s caramel flavor. I haven’t really tasted the oolong in either cup but I’m okay with that. This second cup is good.
Thanks again to Amariel for sending this my way!
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cookie
I have had this sample for so long, I’ve forgotten who sent it to me in a swap. I’m sorry, whomever you are, and thank you for sharing! I’m pretty sure this was just thrown in, not something I requested but something the person thought I would like…
Anyway, I steeped it up this morning after breakfast.
The loose leaf didn’t smell like much, but the brew smelled SWEET. Like rock candy and maple syrup, with a slightly woody, rooibos-like aroma from, I’m guessing, the base? I didn’t look at the ingredients.
I tried it first without sugar, but it was clearly in need of some, so I added a scoop. I’m guessing the sweet flavor that comes across as maple syrup might be intended to be a caramel flavor, from the cola. There’s no cherry flavor really to speak of, but that’s all right with me, because the flavoring in cherry cola is waaay artificial and not very pleasant to me. There is definitely a baked good flavor there; if I’d had to name this tea, I’d have probably come up with Maple Coffee Cake or something. A little cinnamon wouldn’t go amiss, to seal the deal in the baked-good-flavor department. I’m quite enjoying this! (As I think about it, this may be the very first Della Terra tea I’ve tried… I could be wrong, though.) Anyway, I’d rate it higher, because I really do like it, but it’s missing a flavor element that it probably should have. Thanks again to whoever sent me this! I will have to perhaps make a Della Terra order in the future, if their other flavors are comparable in overall effect.
Many thanks to VariaTEA for giving me a sample of this to try. It’s been in my cupboard for a while, but I’m trying to do a sipdown spree, so this was perfect.
I have to admit that the flavour of the tea – fairly standard rooibos – doesn’t live up to the beautifully citrusy, creamy smell of both the dried tea and the liquor.
Considering that Della Terra’s sort of in limbo right now (will they come back? They say they will but signs don’t look good to me), I highly doubt I’ll ever get a chance to restock this. Ah well.