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Recent Tasting Notes
Sample from Sil, thanks Sil!
This one got away from me for a minute and it is strong. I’m not getting too much chocolate flavour in the first steep, only in the aftertaste and in the aroma of the liquor. The aftertaste is really quite nice, chocolate and orange.
Really strong base. If it weren’t for the aftertaste I’d think I’m drinking a strong cup or Orange Pekoe. I know that sounds like maybe I have amazing taste memory. I don’t. It’s just that I used to drink a lot of Orange Pekoe. Ok, I used to drink only Orange Pekoe. I never bothered to try other teas, to me tea was tea so just pick up the giant box of Tetley Orange Pekoe and I was set. Ignorant fool, huh?
2nd steep is much nicer. Still no chocolate but easier to drink, lot less strong.
Parameters: 1 perfect measure, 8 oz water just off boiling. 3 minutes. Same temp. and time for 2nd steep.
Good morning! This is another sample from the Traveling Tea Box Pass B! Assam is one of my favorite black teas, so I had to try this tea this morning. I am still limiting myself to 1-2 cups of tea per day or every few days.
I couldn’t detect the scent too much on this one. I think it is because it was in my sample box along with other teas. The scent was a little mixed up. Anyway, the leaves are medium sized, and some are a little wavy shaped. The tea brewed up a nice light brown color. It didn’t need any additives as this wasn’t astringent at all. It has a very slightly sweet taste to it. Everything about this tea is light and airy. The slightly malty flavors come out in this tea. Delicious!
In addition, my electric tea kettle developed some rust at the very bottom edge, so I haven’t been able to use it. Boiling water in the pot that I have makes it taste like metal or teflon yuck. So I have been resorting to microwaving my water GASP. I don’t like it too much. I need to buy a stainless steel pot or a new tea kettle. I’ve been looking into the glass ones, but I am not sure how reliable and durable they are.
thank you kittylovestea for this one in our swaps! So not only did Kitty send along this tea but she was also amazing and sent along a package of jaffa cakes for me to try since they aren’t a thing out here in Canada. Can i just say we are missing out! But i’m also glad because i would eat them all the damn time.
This tea is delicious! Those who have been following know that i love chocolate orange…it’s one of my favourite flavour combinations. This tea is more chocolate than orange but that doesn’t take away from it’s deliciousness :) I like the chocolate in this tea. It’s lacking that weirdly artificial taste that a lot of teas have. I just wish the orange was a weeeee bit stronger. Overall though, looking forward to drinking up more of this! :)
Sipdown! 781. Why did my tea count just go up, you ask? I forgot to add my last three Amoda box teas to my tea list. D: I swear, I just can’t win! 6 sipdowns to 775 now…
Anyhow, this is still pretty tasty. A bit astringent, and the flavour has clearly disappeared a bit, but this still has the best cherry flavour I’ve ever had in a tea, even though it’s quite subtle. THIS is the cherry flavour I want in a future Butiki blend. Real sour cherry flavour. Not sweet cherry, not maraschino, not cherry chapstick, not a flavour that could be confused with almond. Delicious, sour, cherry. I am now even more sad that Ovation is out of business, and that I didn’t try this prior, because I definitely would have ordered some sort of cherry-flavoured deliciousness from them. :(
Another older tea, and one that I was curious about given my recent distaste for flavored greens. But! This isn’t a flavored green, really… it’s a flavored white with jasmine pearls in it. So no yucky (to me) sencha, maybe it will suit me better?
Indeed it does. I’m not totally in love with white tea, but it’s lightly honeyed, hayish notes go well with the bergamot and jasmine in this blend. This is a nice light green/white blend that I enjoy hot, which is pleasant to have in my stash now.
I went poking around in my stash of teas that I haven’t drank in forever, and plucked this one out. I quite enjoyed this tea at one point, and only after I chose it did I realize it would also be a good test of my recent dislike of flavored green teas.
Turns out, yeah, there is something about flavored greens that is really not doing it for me. I mean, this was pretty tasty. It was definitely better than many of the other flavored greens I’ve had lately. I mean, it’s fruity and floral and those flavors are all nice, but they just don’t come together for me. I think its the base tea that is probably a lower quality chinese sencha and I just don’t like that flavor much anymore. This is partly saved by the fact that it also includes jasmine pearls, and they are always tasty.
Maybe (hopefully) this is just some taste-swing and I will come around to enjoying flavored greens again, but right now I will likely avoid them!
this tea smells amazing! intensely orange and rich chocolate. oh sweet honey pow!
i brewed it at home and brought a new teacup to work to enjoy it in. :) my standard process is, i brew the tea in my timolino, and then pour a few ounces at a time into my desk teacup as i drink. keeps it hot!
i’ve been using a melamine teacup and saucer for months and months. this is because when i came to my current job 3 years ago, i had my favorite thrift store cup and saucer all ready to take with me to my new job, and dropped it on the kitchen floor moments before i stepped out the door. shattered into pieces. first day at a new job in a new city and i was all nerves and anxiety. i was so sad. it was MY CUP! there was nothing special about it and i loved it! so after that i used the blue melamine cup, cuz melamine doesn’t break. hah
(but melamine does tend to stain so if anyone has any advice for removing the stains i’d love to hear it!)(i did try the denture tablets 2 times already but it didn’t seem to make any improvement.)
so hello new cup!
welcome to my desk!
this is a nice smooth chocolatey tea. interestingly enough i still find the scent of the tea, both dry and steeped, to be much stronger than the actual flavor. if i was trying to be critical i might say i wish the orange was stronger i guess? but the orange is great to just add an edge and tone to the airy chocolateness and teaness. it’s not a deep broody chocolate tea, it’s a festive chocolate orangey tea!! great for a sunny morning!
thanks so much Shadowfall for letting me try this!! i’m glad to have more to brew too, cuz this MAY not have been the most accurate brewing i’ve ever done. in which case i will update my notes. whooten whooten!
I bought some of this from Yssah with Ovation’s sad going out of business sale. thanks! I had a cup a while ago but wanted to wait to review to see what another cup tasted like…pretty much the same! The dry leaves are super black and twisty. There were MANY fig pieces in my infuser, so much that I added more tea leaves. Hopefully all of the fig didn’t find its way in my infuser this time! I steeped for a few minutes (wasn’t paying attention.) I think the only fig I’ve ever had is from those fig newton cookies. I had them at the babysitter’s as a four year old, mostly. Would a four year old like those? I did! Though they wouldn’t have been my cookie of choice. Other people have said they don’t like the dark tasting base with the brown sugar/fig flavors, but I think they are perfect together. I just wish for more of a fig/brown sugar flavor. The black tea base is definitely different but that makes it interesting. I really like strong dark teas, so maybe that is why I like this one. It’s kind of like malty molasses. (One of my favorite teas is even more like molasses— Golden Moon’s Sinharaja.) I think this was my least favorite from the many Ovation teas I tried (around 10?), but I still really like this one.
It’s been a few hours since I arrived back from my long weekend in Eastbourne/Brighton and I’m absolutely knackered (British slang for exhausted). We had a nice time, luckily the weather held for the most part and I even managed to find a gorgeous Crown Derby antique cat to add to my ornament collection (even if it did cost £80 it was worth it).
I got this tea out to pack it as part of a tea exchange and my husband asked where I was hiding the Jaffa Cakes because he could smell them :) This tea has such a strong scent, it’s gorgeous. Fooled him anyway.
In appearance it has good sized orange and chocolate pieces along with large yellow petals and finely chopped black tea leaves.
Once steeped the tea was dark brown in colour with a rich chocolatey aroma.
Flavour is very chocolatey and tastes like a thin/watery cocoa drink. The orange is not strong but subtle citrus and fruit tones are noticeable. Amongst both the orange and the chocolate there are slight velvety, smoky and sweet tones that blend well together and make a delicious chocolate based tea.
This is on the upper end of the scale when it comes to chocolate tea but only reaches average grade for orange tea, purely because it’s overpowered by the chocolate. So what I am getting at is that this is more of a chocolate tea with a hint of orange rather than being a chocolate and orange drink or even an orange and some chocolate drink.
It’s nice and a shame that Ovation closed down so I can’t get any more but I have a feeling it could be fairly easy to replace. Still a nice warm welcome home treat.
I bought some of this from Alphakitty when Ovation had their sad out-of-business sale. thanks alphakitty! I thought I’d have some of this with some lemon meringue pie for breakfast (no judging!:D). It sounded like the perfect combination and it is! The blend has some HUGE blueberries that you can’t really see, since it is the same color as the super black tea leaves. There is also a few flowers and some orange peel. The only way I could think to improve Ovation’s earl grey is to actually have more bergamot. There were a ton of orange peels in my infuser, and I think there was more of an orange flavor than bergamot. There was a hint of blueberry which I’m not sure is from the actual blueberries or flavoring, but it tastes pretty authentic to me. I love the fruitiness mixed with the medium bodied black tea. The black tea is brisk and a bit tough, and the other flavors make it gulpable and thirst quenching. I love this one.. I just wish for more bergamot! I’ll try steeping for less than five minutes next time.
This was a pleasant tea. (Thanks for the sample, Starfevre!)
It seems odd to be saying this, given what Starfevre wrote:
Although I could smell the caramel in the dry leaves, and that was lovely, I couldn’t taste very much caramel. And I couldn’t really detect the vanilla at all. I dunno, maybe it’s my taste buds.
I then tried sweetening it up quite a bit (from 1/4 tsp sugar to 3/4 tsp), and I added a little milk, and that made it better.
It was nice, and I enjoyed it overall, but I really wanted the flavours to be more pronounced.
Mango, Peach, Lavender, Rose, and Black Tea flavors make up this flavor combo and all are present and accounted for. This is very well balanced and quite impressive. It’s sweet, floral, rich, smooth, while still allowing you to taste the black tea base at a medium-strength level of intensity. I like this! It’s a goodie!
Thanks Lariel! I was letting this cool while I was doing yoga and the aroma made my mouth water! It’s very sweet smelling. The flavor is sweet. The black tea base is very bold and very present. The caramel and praline flavors are more in the background and aftertaste. There is a bit of a dark chocolate\coco flavor that is almost as strong as the black tea base. I’m glad I got the chance to try it! Thanks again!
Thank you yssah for this one!
This is an interesting tea. I am not really familiar with the flavor of figs (I’m also terrified of them since they can essentially eat bees, no not the part about there just being insects it’s the part where the fig can just digest it, NATURE!) I know the flavor of fig but I’m definitely really just getting brown sugar.
I have an ounce of it so I will give it another shot soon, I did not get any of the fig pieces in my infuser but I’m not sure that really matters. In my mind it does.
Thanks to CHAroma for a sample of this tea :)
So… I’m still feeling queasy from Chocolate Malt and S’mores Genmaicha, so hopefully this goes down ok. I didn’t really get any aroma from the leaves (this has been sitting in a baggie for a while), nor the brewed cup, but flavour-wise it’s definitely better. I got a nice-sized cherry in my infuser, and consequently (unless it’s flavouring I’m tasting), I’m tasting a wonderful sour cherry flavour! Really quite tasty, actually. I think I’m just getting hints of creaminess from the coconut, and the chocolate isn’t particularly noteworthy, but this is actually pretty tasty, and I imagine that when it was freshly blended, it would have been quite the treat! As is, I’m enjoying it. The black base is also fairly nondescript but enjoyable, and not astringent. Overall, this is certainly the best cherry black I’ve had (no floral – YAY!), and I kind of wish I had more of this!
ETA: Re-steep was nothing to speak of, but I stole the cherry from the infuser and it was amazing, and now I’m contemplating a custom sour cherry Butiki blend…. (maybe 2014 bday present?)
Today is my dad’s birthday, and as tradition dictates I baked a cake! I love baking but I usually try to keep my cakes simple. Well, not this year! My dad said he wanted “something fruity” so as tempted as I was to make a fruitcake just for laughs I went with a blueberry lemon theme.
The base cake was a fluffy white cake, much less sweet than your usual cake, studded with blueberries. In the middle was a blueberry mousse, the frosting was lemon cream cheese and it was topped with more mousse and candied lemon peels. All from scratch!
And because 4 components weren’t enough apparently I also made a sorbet on the side. Using… this tea! Water, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and this tea simmered for 15 minutes, then chilled and poured into an ice cream machine.
So this note isn’t really that centered on the tea (because CAKE) but the sorbet came out SO GOOD. The blueberry was strong, you’d swear there were fresh blueberries in there somehow, and of course EG is great in any cold form. All in all, a huge success! Worth the 5+ hours of work the total ensemble took.
Additional notes: Not to rain on Ovation’s parade… but I’m pretty sure this is the same as the Yunnan they were selling. The leaves look the same. The flavor tastes the same. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my palate isn’t refined enough. I certainly don’t mind it if they are the same — I love them. But now I have about six ounces of the same tea! I think these two teas being the same would only affect me anyway.. it looks like I’m the only one who bought both!
Hmm, kind of a disappointment, I’ll say. Considering how many pieces of fruit were in here, I definitely expected a better, fruitier tea! Alas, that is not the case. Instead we have, in my opinion, a pretty generically fruit-flavoured sencha. Not terrible, but way down on my list, because I find generic fruit-flavoured senchas pretty darn boring. Perhaps my infusion was too short, but I certainly didn’t want astringency (which I did manage to avoid), and 2 minutes is usually ample to get a good feel for a tea, even if it’s a bit underbrewed. I’ll admit that the temp was a touch low; perhaps that also contributed? I suspect not, though.
Anyways, nice to try another tea regardless! Thanks for sending me some of this one, CHAroma!
The first time I tried making this tea I got distracted and oversteeped it by 7+ minutes. Needless to say it was bitter.
A while later I tried it again with fresh leaves for about 4 minutes. It was very blueberry-ish. It could use more bergamot but still a good Earl Grey. I am thinking of mixing with with some double bergamot for MORE bergamot, or some EG cream because a creamy blueberry EG has to be awesome.
It is good with milk and some sugar helps bring out the blueberry. I might try an even shorter steep time to see if that keeps the bergamot from being overwhelmed by the blueberry.
Had another pot of this tonight. I’m really finding that I like it better at room temperature better than I do hot. It’s more raspberry and less bergamot at that temperature and that’s the way I prefer it. I’ve really been moving away from earl grey over the last few months, perhaps my tastes are changing but I’m really not liking it as much as I used to. This is still a pretty tasty tea though.