English Tea LeavesEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
My husband chose this as his free sample to take home after we visited this café for afternoon tea (free single-estate first flush Darjeeling, whaaaaat?). This pouch has got to be a whole ounce, at least. What a steal!
Anyway, we steeped it up this morning with breakfast (I know, it’s not really a breakfast tea, but we just couldn’t wait any longer to try it). The leaf is quite green, and smells of hay, with notes of honeysuckle and cedar, or maybe oak. Unfortunately, it got a teeeensy bit oversteeped, but the cup was still wonderfully light and refreshing. I’ve heard that adding lemon to Darjeeling is a common practice—anyone here care to weigh in on that? I don’t usually add lemon to hot tea, but I’d be willing to try it! This sample will last us a little while, so there’s time for experimentation. I’m quite impressed with this tea. It was quite floral and light, so that even the slight over steeping didn’t take away much of my enjoyment. Lovely.
Another backlog from last night, and a first tasting note apparently. No pressure.
I grabbed this one because of the Valerian root. I don’t know if it’s a complete placebo effect, but it actually seems to help my brain wind down when nothing else will do the trick. The problem with it, is that it kind of tastes and smells like feet. Not so good for consumption in tea form, right?
There’s enough other stuff going on in this blend that unless I’m really looking for it, I can totally overlook the presence of valerian. It’s mostly a cup of peppermint and fennel, with a touch of lemon balm that rounds it out. It’s far less offensive and medicinal than Yogi naturals or any of those. And there’s no licorice cloying sweetness coating my tongue.
But more than that, I slept well. So a win in my book.
Fiance: This smells like amazing cinnamon buns and then tastes like a carb and sugar free version. It’s always disappointing.
10 minutes later
Me: If you haven’t finished your cup yet I will!
Fiance: pouts I wanna. It grew on me.
Fiance: So. Um. How much more of this do you have have? I want it again.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the most quickly resolved disappointment in Fiance’s life.
Oh hey! It’s Forever Nuts from DT with less beetroot (so it doesn’t brew up pink). I definitely thought Forever Nuts tasted like an apple crumble with almond topping, so this is pretty much the most appropriate name in the history of ever.
It’s naturally sweet and buttery, with strong almond flavors. A little bit of tart apple comes in on the middle of the sip, and there’s a lingering apple/almond/cinnamon flavor. It even has the same downfall of Forever Nuts and needs more leaf, otherwise it’s just a touch underwhelming.
I think I’ll have to blind sample these because I couldn’t honestly say which I like more. (Though this one is priced better at $9.95/4 oz (114g).
Yum! I don’t know if my tasters are burnt out from all the sampling today or what, but I really like this one! Very almond cookie-y, but not overly sweet. Thanks moraiwe!
I think that’s the last of my saturday sample sipdown. And I think I’m caffeinated enough to last me through next week. I don’t know Sil does this :-)
and let me say that this is maybe the first time where the swapper rated the tea low and sad, and i wanna give it high green numbers. this tea is yummy!! to me it tasted like coconut caramel. very cookies. and very cuddly. and just damn nice comfort in a cup. when i try it again I’ll check myself before I wreck myself about these thoughts. I mean sure it’s always possible I was just in a good mood or something right? but really. it tastes like cookies and they are yummy cookies.
Honestly? This tea isn’t great. The leaves are really smashy and there’s stems in the mix. When brewed, the base is forgettable and mediocre. And the flavoring is kind of artificial. But what this tea has, and why I keep drinking it, is a huge nostalgia trigger.
My grandparents on my dad’s side were first generation Italian immigrants (Sicilian) and while my nonna broke every stereotype about good Italian cooks, she could bake up a storm. So, every other Christmas, we’d head over there and we’d have a horrible dinner but it was completely worth it for the dessert. And we’d have cannoli with pistachios and stuffed fig cookies and the ones this tea reminds me of, Pasticcini di pasta di mandorle or cookies made from almond paste. She’d do half of them traditionally with maraschino cherries or dried citrus but the other half she’d partially dip in dark chocolate and coconut rasps and ohmygodweretheygood.
Both are passed now and the cookie recipes were stolen by one of my relatives (we know who you are), so we don’t get these awesome cookies anymore. And I haven’t been able to duplicate this particular one. So, yeah. Nostalgia tea.
Another oolong from my swap with Moraiwe. Thanks Moraiwe!
I made this tea before class this morning. It was my last day of class this semester and I had to give a presentation in my German class. I talked about tea (in German) and gave out samples to my prof. and all 4 of my classmates (not many students left by the time 3rd year German comes around!). So much fun to share tea with people (^^)
1st steep 2min30sec
A Very delicate flavor. Floral with a hint of vegetal. I like when floral notes are delicate, but I prefer the rest of the flavor to be stronger.
2nd steep 3min30sec
floral flavor is almost non-existentant. The strongest flavor is now in the after taste and is mineral and pepper-like. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I didn’t like it.
Didn’t have time to try another steeping, but I don’t think I would have anyway. The first steep of this was palatable, but not enough so that I’d want to have this tea again in the future.
First Steeping, 3 minutes
Really pale liquor. Light vegetal flavor, has a some mineralness going on. aftertaste kind of strawy tasting. Wishing I would have rinsed this. Curse laziness :(
Second Steeping, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Golden liquor. Kind of a broccoli vegetalness. I find myself missing the floral notes that a lot of ti kuan yin seems to have by now. Still has a little metallic flavor coming in with the inital flavors, luckily it seems to get much much better as the tea cools. Aftertaste is far better, less grassy, more vegetable (spinach) Leaves are about half unfulrled now.
Third Steeping, 4 minutes
Best so far! Same color as second steeping, but the flavor is is starting to be less veggie and my flower notes are there! Not picking up on the mineral taste any more either, instead it’s becoming nice and buttery. Maybe getting a slight spice note, though. Aftertaste is kind of a soft floral with the spice (pepper? saffron? I can’t quite place it). Leaves are mostly unfurled. This cup disappeared way too fast.
Fourth Steeping, 5 minutes
And better yet! Really buttery. Definite unexpected pepper notes on an asparagus and light flowery flavor. Really good depth of character. Aftertaste is very asparagus. I should be able to get one more steep out of this tea.
Fifth Steeping, 7 minutes
Back to a pale yellow liquor. Nice light green asparagus flavor with flower notes. Aftertaste is floral. Pretty sure this is the end. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment, Mr. Tea. :)