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Recent Tasting Notes
This is one robust tea! I made a cup for myself on Sunday afternoon to try and galvanise myself for the week of work ahead. I was feeling pretty stressed at the prospect, and so a strong, plain, dependable tea was just the ticket.
I gave 1 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk. I was expecting a fairly generic black CTC, but this actually tastes remarkably distinctive. It’s malty with a slight edge of sweetness, a touch of honey, and a little baked bread. I’m going to say rye bread, because it’s a dark kind of taste. There’s a tiny bit of astringency in the aftertaste, but it’s actually reasonably pleasant. To be fair, I was expecting it in a tea so strong.
I do want to try this with cream at some point, because I think that would really turn it into something special. Maybe a little sugar, on occasion, although it’s malty enough to not really need that. This is a straightforward, easy drinking tea, but it’s also flavourful and delicious. I confess myself very pleasantly surprised! This may become my go-to “stress” tea.
Whew – This one tastes like you licked the wall of a smokehouse. To me, I smell bacon amidst the smoke, but it is nearly ALL smoke. And upon sipping it, I really only taste smoke. I LOVE bacon, LOVE smoky flavor, and I think I could have loved this if it tasted more like bacon with a hint of smoke. But the smoke flavor overwhelms to the point where I could barely drink half a cup of this. All points go to creativity though.
Recommended for people who truly cannot get enough smoke flavor. But more likely, this would be better for cooking with to give smokey flavor to other things. I am going to give that a try to use up the rest of the sample.
Sorta Sipdown (191/195)!
This little guy is headed off to 221Tea and is officially the last of the six “sorta sipdowns” that I’m sending to her. I saved him for last mostly because I was putting off having him: the bacon teas still intimidate me and the smell of this one always makes me feel a bit nauseous. Still, after recently falling in love with 52Teas’ Pineapple Bacon rooibos I really wanted to give this another shot just in my tastes had changed enough for me to reevaluate my first impression and give this a better rating…
That’s not the case though: while I don’t completely hate the flavor it is making me feel somewhat queasy, which is probably only exaggerated by the fact I’ve been drifting in and out of headaches and cramps all day. Ugh.
Oh well; can’t love ‘em all – an important tea lesson that I still sometimes need to be reminded of. I was hopeful though; especially after loving Pineapple Bacon so much. I still think this is a something every tea drinker needs to try at least once though which is why I don’t feel bad passing it along to 221Tea: worst case she dislikes it too but has had a memorable tea experience and saved herself some money buying a pouch…
Great Canadian Travelling Tea Box (pt.1)
I drank this tea on October 6th…. really was not a fave of mine. I Don’t even think that I really even finished a whole cup… could not withstand it :p.
Dry leaf: Black tea leaves with imitation bacon bits. The scent is a very heavy and smoky scent, it was like being in a smokehouse infused into the leaves. I would describe it as very pungent.
Steeped: Super pungent in the sense of the smoky scent, I found it smelled like armpits. I tried a few sips and was grossed out. Yuckkk.
Sipdown no. 99 of the year 2014.
This has been a difficult sipdown because the flavor of this tea, while incredibly maple bacon, isn’t for me.
If I didn’t think this had done a stellar job of living up to its name, my rating would definitely be in the orange face range.
Bye Maple Bacon. Thanks for your role in helping to refine my understanding of my own tastes.
ETA: No. 2 asked to try it and liked it, so I didn’t even have to finish the sipdown. Yay!
We’re now one pot away from sipdown and the BF has announced he’s had enough of this which puts a bit of a crimp in my planning. Looks like I’ll have to take up the banner alone.
I can do this. This sucker is going down tomorrow.
It will not be missed, but it will have been enjoyed before it got to be too much and I’ll be forever thankful for the learning experience. I now know that most “food” teas (except for pastries and other dessert type fare) are not for me.
This morning, for the first time, I’m actually tasting tea in this. Being able to taste the tea is an improvement. It helps with the mental confusion I’ve described in previous notes.
It also takes the edge off both the bacon and the maple.
It’s really not bad this morning, but I haven’t changed my mind about the food genre. The BF likes it in any case, so I have a sipdown helper.
I was wary of this one based on my previous experiences with Lapsang Souchong, but this actually works for me. That pine smoke flavor is there, but it’s accented with an aftertaste of bacon. What does bacon in tea taste like, you might wonder? A little salty, a little meaty, a little smoky, and definitely believable as what it’s supposed to be. It’s not one I can picture myself reaching for often (I have to be in a certain mood to want savory teas anyway), but it’s an unusual cup that’s overall pretty good!
I mentioned that the Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast gets exceptionally high marks from me for successfully evoking its name (on the order of 90+ points), but that I had to mark it down because the overall experience of drinking it was uneven and also I concluded it wasn’t really a taste I wanted in a tea.
I’m having a very similar reaction to this one, and it is now something I’ve put in the active sipdown category.
Today I’m definitely tasting maple bacon. 90+ for getting the flavor right. But it’s just too weird for me to drink this flavor. If I was at a breakfast buffet and dropped a piece of maple bacon in my coffee or tea, I’d probably be grossed out and dump the cup.
I did choose this as something I’d like to try, so my reaction isn’t that severe, and I’ll be able to drink my way through this. But the cognitive dissonance I mentioned in my previous note is a strong factor here. My brain feels fooled into drinking something that shouldn’t have this flavor, and it gives me an overall feeling of uneasiness.
In the future I intend to stay away from ordering food-flavored teas unless that food is some dessert confection that contains chocolate, vanilla, nuts or fruit, all flavors that can be found naturally in the tea leaf without additional flavors. ;-) One might argue that bacon can be found in lapsang and maple in other teas, but I haven’t come across this combo anywhere in nature.
After the Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast I decided to try some of this. It was still sealed, though it’s an old package.
I really didn’t get much of a smell of bacon or maple out of the dry leaf. Steeped, I certainly get something like maple. It’s a sort of a caramel-y smell. But not anything that smells like bacon. I’d sort of expected to be hit over the head with bacon.
But interestingly, as the tea gets cooler, something like bacon does come out in the aroma. A bit of a smoked meat smell, but sweet because of the influence of the maple.
And yeah, the same happens with the flavor. It really is maple bacon, but it doesn’t become obvious until the tea gets cooler.
I have to award all sorts of points for pulling off this flavor in a way that isn’t a generic lapsangy smoked jerky flavor. I may even like the flavor better than the raisin toast because it’s lacking the artificial note I experienced with the buttered cinnamon raisin toast.
But unless something happens in repeat tastings to change my initial feeling about this, it isn’t something I could drink beyond this packet. I’m having some sort of taste-related cognitive dissonance thing going on in my head as I drink this that makes the experience of it disconcerting in a way that isn’t entirely pleasurable and I’m feeling it in my stomach.
This is delicious. So far I am loving Frank’s maple flavoring in his teas. I don’t know if I like this as much as pancake breakfast, but it’s pretty close. This was amazing with my corn dog breakfast! It wasn’t overly smokey, which I was worried about. Next time I might brew this a bit stronger too.
Smoke isn’t a flavor on Steepster? Seriously?
This is one of the teas that I got as a “thank you” for contributing to the indie gogo campaign to reopen Zoomdweebies. Of the three in the ‘bacon’ set, this is the one that I hadn’t tried. And that’s mostly because of Lapsang Souchong. But, I’m glad I got to try this finally, because it’s pretty good. I did a rinsing of the leaves (15 seconds) and this helped eliminate the really strong, off-putting smoky notes that I get from Lapsang Souchong.
I do think that this tea would have benefited from a slightly lighter (or more complex?) base. Maybe not just Lapsang Souchong, but maybe a blend of Lapsang with Keemun and a little bit of Ceylon to round out the black tea base. A less robust tea background would have allowed the flavors of bacon to develop, I think.
The bacon notes are not completely overwhelmed by the lapsang, but, they are slightly obscured. I would like more bacon in this one!
Surprise sipdown!! (154)
I thought I had more than one serving of this but apparently not so good bye maple bacon tea. It seems as though you are more bacony today and there is a nice amount of maple. It is not something I would want to drink often nor will I miss it once it is gone but it was definitely an interesting tea to try.
Hot, I got little out of this. As it cools, I’m getting… an odd flavor, however I would identify it as bacon (maybe?) with some maple flavored pancake syrup. There’s a nice smoky element to it, which adds to the ‘bacon’ side of things, and I do quite enjoy the flavoring – this from a gal who eats a lot of bacon, however maple syrup is off the table. Would I reach for it? Maybe, if I’m craving this particular mélange of tastes, and if I can perhaps label it differently in my head.
In related news: I just discovered my cups, which I thought were 8 oz, are actually 12 oz. I almost feel like I should remove all prior ratings with these cups, because all were severely underleafed. Darn it! Why did I fail to measure them when I got them?
Another from the Bestsellers sampler and another surprise that it was included. This would be a great idea if is done well. Unfortunately, it is not my thing. The smell of the bacon is a bit off. And the maple doesn’t seem to make an appearance in the scent of the dry leaves or the actual tea. (Not like the Pancake Breakfast syrup.. but that was in the older batches too… I haven’t tried the new yet.) Not really any flavor for me in either steep. I really don’t like this black tea base. It doesn’t even taste like any tea I’ve had before. I find it hard to believe a bacon tea is a bestseller, but ah well, I’m happy to try anything. When it comes to 52Teas, either I LOVE the blends or I really don’t. But I hope this black tea base hasn’t taken over every blend from now on.
Steep #1 // just boiled // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Ok, I may have lied to VariaTEA and told her I was taking a tea break. I honestly planned to, though! Except, last cup I had was like two hours ago, so that’s break enough, right?
Anyway, I took the pouch of this on vacation with me in the hopes I’d finally sack up and try a cup. I made it for practically every member of my family, but was too nervous to have a cup myself. Thing is, I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years – that’s more than half my lifetime! In that time, not once have I had a vegetarian bacon equivalent so what makes me really nervous is that not only do I have no clue what actual bacon is supposed to taste like, I have zero clue what vegetarian bacon is supposed to be like either…
But regardless of that, I’m growing a pair and taking the plunge now.
So – for preparation I went with 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf in 8 oz. of boiling water, steeped for four minutes. Dry, this does smell sweet so that could be the maple. There’s also a savory and sort of salty generic “meat” type smell, which I suppose would be the bacon. Steeped up, I definitely get more maple than I do in the dry leaf, and then a slightly more mild and less stomach churning savory meat kinda smell.
Ok, taste wise this isn’t really as bad as I thought it would be. Mind you, I don’t really have any conclusive idea on what bacon tastes like – let alone what a bacon tea should taste like. Anyway, there’s the distinct taste of the black base that Frank uses, and then a sweet maple kind of taste which is obviously the maple. However, there’s also a very salty/savory flavour that I’m sure if intended to be the bacon. It has a kind of smoke like quality to it – and in there aftertaste I definitely do get more of a “meaty” kind of taste.
So overall, I’m glad I tried this – I don’t think I had as much reason to be fearful as I thought I did. Ultimately this isn’t bad, it’s just highly unusual and somewhat foreign in taste to me. I don’t think I’m going to reach for this often if ever as something to “just drink” but it’s a great novelty tea and I could see myself making some up for myself if I had family or friends coming over as a weird and unusual tea for them to try.
Every week, actually multiple times a week, my roommate goes to a Body Pump class. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is an hour straight of weight lifting to music. It sounds simple enough but that shit is hard work. It is also a good workout so I try to go with her at least once a week and that once a week is Thursday nights. Unfortunately, there was no body pump during my long vacation and last week I was sick and did not think lifting a weight above my head multiple times was a good idea (despite my roommate trying to convince me exercise makes you feel better :P) so it has been about a month since I had a good workout. That meant today’s class was pure torture. Every muscle aches and walking is not a particularly easy feat right now. But I got through the class and so when I came home I felt pretty proud of myself. So when I went to make a cup of tea, I asked myself what would be fitting. And then I thought this tea because it is a “man tea” and weightlifting is pretty manly and it just seemed right (we will not question this logic).
So I made myself a cup. This is also the last of the bestseller sampler pack that I have to try so that meant another tiny accomplishment :). Anyways, tastewise I am getting a lot of the black tea base that is so unique and very prominent in all of Frank’s blends. It is a base that is smooth and yet also thick. Alas, it always seems to be the main flavor, covering up all the tasty treats I was promised. For instance, in this cup I taste the base and a maple sweetness but there is not a bacon smokiness or really much bacon flavor at all. I notice it slightly in the aftertaste as I detect a hint of salt. However, bacon is such a strong flavor in general (I mean seriously, you add bacon to anything and you get flavor town), I am really disappointed it is not more prominent. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad cup, but once again, as I have with many of Frank’s blacks, I am let down and find myself searching for the flavors.
Additional notes: Dexter sent me some of this one! thanks so much! I had a sample before, but I love it, so I didn’t mind a couple more teaspoons. :D This one needs to be TAMED though.. it’s a bit TOO spicy with all that cayenne at times so I mixed it with some Harney’s Valentines. Extra chocolate! Extra yum! It did give me the idea that I should have some cayenne on hand to make all of my chai blends spicier. On an unrelated 52Teas note… I keep thinking of the Lemon Meringue chai and I would buy it in a heartbeat if Frank reblended it… especially with more lemon and mallow root. I’ve got two teaspoons left but I’m treasuring it!
Received this in the bestsellers sampler pack.
I have the Smokey Bacon tea and it is ok but it is pretty bold in taste. This one is much lighter in taste. The “smoke” flavour is pretty light. I do get some bacon flavour out of this one. The maple taste is also pretty light, but it works well with the tea. If I was adding maple syrup myself to a tea, I would have added more. I was surprised at this one. I would say the black tea base is fairly strong as compared to the flavouring. I think I prefer this one more than the smokey bacon.
From the Great Canadian TTB.
Whoa there! Quite the spice in this one!
On first smell of dried and brewed tea, it just smells like a chai, with a bit of chocolate. Maybe a bit peppery, nothing I would say was out of the ordinary.
On first sip, initially there is the sweet chai, not a whole lot of chocolate, then the pepper hits. Like hits as in shoots up into your sinuses burning its way through the back of my palate – Hello Prairie Fire (tequila and tobasco, ha ha)!
This is not a bad tasting blend. I consider myself a spicey person but I am not enjoying it in this tea. Its just a bit too much kick at the end of the sip. I think I would have enjoyed it better if it was spicey the whole way through.