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Recent Tasting Notes
Finally just gave up and tossed this. It’s been kicking around my cupboard too long, and even the smell of it is pungent. I’ve just never thrown out a tea before.
Did something crazy and tried this one with milk (blasphemy! Earl grey with milk!); I wanted to see what it would do to the rose. Brewed five minutes so as to add the milk; the rose scent is VERY strong.
It sort of ruins the bergamot (to be expected), however the rose definitely makes it through, but it’s smoother. A bit of agave nectar as well, so the sweetness is from that, but there’s definitely a sort of perfumy taste—although perhaps it’s just the smell that’s interfering. There is definitely A taste that isn’t just the tea, but it’s not bitter. This’ probably the only way I could drink this.
Drinking this one again. Accidentally oversteeped the two minutes I had intended, and I don’t know by how much.
Hot, the rose is strongly present, and not terrible, but I am for sure not a rose fan. As it cools it gets bitter still, but mixed into the bitterness is definite hints of the darjeeling. So it’s not all rose. Still getting progressively bitter as it cools though, better but still to the point that I’m contemplating tossing it soon. Yick. This tea just doesn’t like me.
Still excitedly awaiting the teas I won from AmazonV’s art contest. It usually takes a while for things to get to Canada, so I’m patient.
A stray (we presume, since she is quite skinny, very skittish, and very hungry) cat has taken up residence under our back porch, and I have been spending time with her trying to coax her out with food (we presume it’s a she because our female cat Akira hates her, while are male cat Cozmo could care less). I tried this again—reduced temperature and reduced time—to sip while I sat beside the porch so she would become used to my presence.
I can make out the smell of rose in it now, and the first two sips were odd but not bitter. However, the very strong bitterness doesn’t usually set in until it starts to cool, and no sooner had I set it down, then a bug fell in it and I ended up chucking it. Bah!
WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TO MYSELF? It’s like a train-wreck!
I seem to have sworn to find out what’s wrong with this tea and FIX IT. I bumped the temperature down to 180, even though it’s a very black tea, and was very vigilante about my two-minute steep time.
I kept sniffing the teabags and thinking, “does this smell bitter? I think it smells bitter” and then calming myself and telling myself that “it’s just the bergamot”. I got the actual tea, set it on my little teatray, and carried it downstairs.
Tasting it, it’s got a faint tea astringency, and a touch of bergamot. And I think I can SENSE the rose in there somewhere. At least it’s not outright bitter anymore. I’m getting a very slight sort of bitter aftertaste, but I don’t know if that’s just me being paranoid or what. It’s fairly watery (for a black), but it’s drinkable now. Hrm. Maybe next time I’ll try boiling water, but add honey. I haven’t sweetened anything in a while.
Hrm. It gets a little more bitter as it cools. Still drinkable, though. At the moment.
And then it go REALLY bitter towards the end. THIS TEA REFUSES TO BE LIKED.
I couldn’t stop myself, and decided to try this one again. The tea smells of rose. And bergamot and tea, but the rose is what I noticed first this time around.
Lighter cup, because I shortened the steep time to somewhere around two minutes (I didn’t have a timer on me to use, so I stared at my computer clock).
Still got bitterness at first, although not as bad, and it seems to have lessened with cooling. I wonder if it’s the rose. I don’t know. It’s mostly on the tip of my tongue. It’s different. Not getting that artificial numbing taste this time, though. But still very bitter. I had to pour the last cup out. Two minutes! Aaaugh this tea. Why?
Is it the rose? It reminds me a bit of Twining’s Earl Grey.
So this tea confuses me. I looked up the site (this is another tea found in Winners, by the way), and on it, I found that ‘Darjeeling Earl Grey’ was not one of their blends, and ‘Singbulli’ was not an estate they had listed (which may not mean that they don’t necessarily USE it, but…).
I thought it was interesting that the company is so dedicated to the estates. Each tea is not a blend. All the tea comes from a single estate, and the estate is listed on the cat, along with the grade, etc., a bit about the estate, and the name of the actual planter.
Also, it’s earl grey. Earl grey with ROSE.
The dry pyramid bag smelt strongly of the bergamot, and more faintly of rose. Brewed, it smells mostly of tea and rose, and only very faintly of bergamot.
I think the five minutes recommended on the package is a bit of an oversteep (especially since it’s darjeeling), but I tend to do with that first then start experimenting. So it’s somewhat bitter.
I’ve never had anything with rose in it before, but I definitely smell it, and I taste SOMETHING. I’ll have to make this properly next time. I’m also getting a very weird artificial sort of bitter taste that I’m unsure about. It might just be the tea-bitterness, but I don’t know (it’s almost numbing, it’s weird). I really wish I’d prepared this one more properly so I could tell.
I’ll give it a rating next time. I’m sure I’ll end up making it in the morning.