Empório do Chá
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Recent Tasting Notes
a sample from a friend (obrigada T) and well this is weird. Meringues (marshmallows?), raisins, cardamom and orange in a green tea base. Unexpected.
The green tea is huge leafed, seems like a chinese sencha to me. The orange and cardamom work well together IMO by putting it in chai territory. But either I screwed up the brewing (? not too hot, not too long) or the base is not too good – it is astringent and slightly bitter. Not an unpleasant experience, but not quite to my taste. Obrigada na mesma, T!
BTW I think this is blend 22141 from Dethlefsen&Balk.
I must rant a bit, please excuse me. The fashion for tea right now is pretty tea with plenty of big huge recognizable fruits and flowers – I am still not sure what cornflowers bring to tea but it´s like they are in 33% of all current black tea blends. In the case of this tea it gets quite ridiculous. Whole figs, whole blackcurrants. And by the Brazil nut effect when trying to get a couple spoons of this tea here comes two whole figs and a blackberry. And I had just bought 50 grams. Of course that was not typical, there were maybe 4 whole figs in my sample. So of course brewing this tea would vary wildly if you were including the whole figs or not, and surely while figs would bring fig flavour, they can not replace tea. It is frankly ridiculous to use fillers these large. And I just picked up the figs, chopped them with a knife and tossed them back, and tried to select a more representative sample, tea and fig pieces.
And of course there is the other issue with the so pretty fillers, that their flavour is much more fragile (though admittedly complex when very fresh!) than that of plain flavoured black tea. Flavoured black tea is impervious to the ravages of age and air in a way that all these pretty fillers could never be. And very few of us use all the tea we buy within a short period of buying nor can we control how long the seller has had the tea in stock. This tea is a tea I just bought, but where even so the tea itself is not fresh from blender, the use-by-date is January 2013, so not particularly recent.
All this rant leading to while this particular blend of flavours sounded like an awesome idea and the scent of the tea was wonderful, the tea I brewed was pretty mediocre. The mix of black/green does not quite work, it ended up tanninic and wimpy at the same time, and the flavour, ah maybe it is not fair to judge but the fruit taste was faded and elusive, since the aged figs and blackberries did not seem to carry much scent. Pretty tea rarely ages well.
I’ve had this one before, but I wasn’t all that impressed with it. But I decided to give it another try, and to be more careful about including a few pieces of mango and orange in the mix. It really does make a difference. Although the taste is still a bit mild, I can really taste the fruits. Al in all, it’s a nice breakfast tea.
This sample was a gift I got on one of my last shopping trips to Empório do Chá. As with the other samples, I have no idea what’s in it, other than black tea and little blue flowers. The smell isn’t that strong but I can sense some “caramely”… something. Anyway, as for taste, it’s a earl grey/english breakfast kind of black tea, not my favorite by far.
This sample was a gift from Empório do Chá on one of my last shopping trips there. I have no idea what’s in it, except for some blue flowers and the slices of orange. And let me tell you, when you open the bag, you really get that citrousy smell. But the taste is actually quite mild compared to what I expected it to be. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll probably try to steep it a little longer next time, to make a little stronger.
I got a small sample of this tea on one of my trips to Empório do Chá. Other than the little red hearts and the light smell of berries, I had no idea what it was all about.
It’s nice… I still have no idea what’s in it other than black tea and a lingering taste of… berries (strawberries, perhaps? It’s a very dar-coloured tea), but it’s nice.