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Recent Tasting Notes
Weekend Sipdown #6
I do wish the chocolate was a smidgen stronger here, but I have no real complaints. It has a hot chocolate vibe going on, although it’s still obvious above all that this is tea. I like the dark, bittersweet cocoa note, and how smooth it is…a satisfying chilly day treat!
Weekend Sipdown #5
This one was utterly delightful today. It’s not been a warm day, for summer, but the juicy, fresh scent and flavour of peach contributed some much-needed sunshine all by itself! Peach teas are usually hit and miss for me, particularly when the peach flavouring is artificial tasting and very strong. No worries here — it’s like drinking peach juice! The slightly citrussy base ceylon is perfect here, creating a fruity, satisfying cup! Very enjoyable.
Got new meds from a doctor at the local youth clinic yesterday, and unlike the ones the walk-in clinic gave me a week and a half prior, these ones don’t make everything taste like rusty metal, so I can actually ENJOY my tea!
Sadly, I taste absolutely zero peach in this. It’s a sweet, lightly floral black. Nothing to really write home about.
I’ll finish what I have, but it won’t be a restock. I prefer the Royal Abkhazi and Victoria 150 Anniversary blends better when I want sweet and floral.
A sample from ashleyelizabeth, and another delicious tea from Silk Road. The dry leaf smells deliciously peachy, and this translates well into the flavour. I gave 1.25tsp of leaf anout 3.5 minutes in boiling water. The result is a medium brown liquor, and I added a splash of milk.
The peach here is obviously the main attraction, and it tastes remarkably true to life. Sweet, mellow, juicy, fuzzy — it’s as close to eating an actual peach as I imagine it’s possible to get in a hot drink! The ceylon base provides the ideal background — it has a slight natural citrussyness of its own, and isn’t at all overpowering. It just provides a pleasant, smooth base upon which the peach flavour can float happily. A perfect summer tea.
A sample from ashleyelizabeth Surprisingly, the most difficult thing about this one was opening the tin! I had to prise it off with a spoon handle. Having achieved that much, I gave 1.25 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in boiling water. The dry leaf is quite a pale brown, and covered in spice dust — it looks chocolatey and wonderful!
To taste, this is rather like a spiced, mild hot chocolate. The chocolate itself is a dry, almost dusty cacao flavour, and it’s fairly weak. It’s deliciously creamy, though, especially with a touch of milk added — the vanilla really shines here! The real star, though, is the spicing. Cinnamon is the strongest flavour, but I also get hints of cardamom and maybe ginger. It doesn’t taste at all chai-like, though — it just makes for a very pleasant combination with the chocolate and vanilla, rather like an exotic truffle! This isn’t the most chocolatey tea around, but as a blend it’s lovely to drink. A great early evening treat.
Another sample from OMGsrsly!
I followed her directions and used 1tsp for my very large mug, and I hadn’t read any reviews so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I took a sip and noticed a mildly flavored tea on top of a slightly malty black base, but I couldn’t put my finger on the flavor, I found it really really faint.
After reading the description of the tea I can pick out a VERY weak bergamot undertone.
If this is supposed to taste like a cream of earl grey tea with the vanilla, I’m not getting it at all.
Maybe an extra tsp would have given me the flavor I was after. I did enjoy the malty base as a unique background to an EG.
I will try again later with a resteep of more tea and less water!
Thanks for the sample, OMGsrsly!
I got this tea as a swap from TeaBrat (thank you :)). She even included the cute little sample tin it came in. Dry, the tea is a mixture of dark and light green dry, flaky leaves of various sizes. There are also dried jasmine buds along with a few loose petals. It has a slightly musty, light vegetal scent with hints of sweet hay or straw; there is also a mild jasmine aroma. I brewed it for 2 minutes in 175 degree water.
The brewed tea has a generic “green tea” smell with some jasmine and a little bit of woodiness. The taste is similar – the green tea is vegetal, woody, and quite astringent with a lingering bitterness in the background. The level of the jasmine is quite nice; it’s easy to find but does not overpower the tea itself. Overall, I find this to be a pleasant tea, especially with a touch of honey to counteract the slight bitterness.
Flavors: Jasmine, Vegetal, Wood
I made this to bring to work this morning.
Objectively I do like the smell and the flavour of these roasted oolongs, but it was just too much. Which is interesting because a lapsang souchong is generally fine in the morning.
I think this one needs to be relegated to shorter steeps at home and not in a travel mug. I also think I should focus on the super green and floral oolongs, as I seem to like them a lot more.
I made this in my not-a-Timolino and brought it to work today. Ahh, the memories. I used to drink this “Grandfather Style” at an old job. Just kept refilling my mug all day.
It’s essentially a cinnamon puerh, with some citrus. In this case, it’s grapefruit although I think the peels might be orange? IDK.
It’s good. I like it.
Sipdown! I’m doing better at them… it is hard though.
I really like this one the first cup I had. I was in a bit of a hurry this morning when I steeped it, but did pay attention to temperature and time. I’m not sure what was different, but I didn’t like it as well this time around. I’m thinking that with my being in a hurry I should have picked something more basic and not fruity. I don’t think I was in the mindset to embrace what I was drinking.
If this ever came my way again, or if I ever decided to order from Silk Road, I would probably try this again because I liked it so much the first time. I do think I would make sure I drank it when I had time to savor it and might even save it for the Fall season as it would be awesome then. Thanks EvaGrimm for sharing some of this with me!
I’ve finally gotten through all the Verdant Blends club blends (save one herbal) that I’m going to try, which means I’ve finally gotten through my cupboard for reals. And this is a sipdown of my sample from OMGsrsly, so I’m actually below 120 (momentarily).
Even though the recommended steep parameters have a much lower leaf to water ratio than normal, this tea is just as tasty steeped to my normal ratio too. No bitterness, no astringency. The base is somewhat different (not sure what it is), but it’s pleasant and robust without being too overwhelming or bitter. There is perhaps less vanilla when steeped at full strength; I have to admit I forgot this was supposed to be an Earl Grey Cream of sorts. But it is tasty anyway, and a nice way to start the day.
Flavors: Bergamot, Malt, Vanilla
I had to skip a few teas in my cupboard chronology that were herbals and/or at home, so that brings us to this sample from OMGsrsly. I looked at my past note and bumped by tea amount to 1.5tsp for 12oz fo water today.
I definitely like this ratio better (who would have thought I would like it stronger?). There’s no bitterness to this so I could possibly even go to my normal ratio (2tsp per 12oz); maybe I’ll try it next time. But in any case this is a pretty tasty cup of tea. I think it’s the (unknown) base tea that makes this tea so unique. It tastes like bergamot and vanilla, but it also has some interesting other elements. I think the bergamot and vanilla are a little more subtle in this cup than the last one… the extra leaf is bringing the base out. It’s not a highly flavored tea. The base has a maltiness, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a good blend, and definitely a nice change up from a typical EGC.
Queued post, written March 26th 2014
This is one of the two vanilla blacks that Sil gave me a sample of for Christmas in a surprise card. Wasn’t that nice of her? She spoils me, that woman does. I’m rewarding myself with it now, having conducted my first ever lemon bar experiment. It’s cooling in the tin now and smells very very promising. (If you are curious, this is the recipe I used: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/696634/lemon-bars) Of course Husband, who loves all things lemon in any way, shape or form, will now suspect I’m trying to curry favour. Especially since there are still two whole lemons left (reduced price for three lemons, needed four, so bought six) which indicates a lemon surprise pudding in his not too distant future. I shall have to convince him that I really truly haven’t actually been a bad dog at all today. Truth is, we’re almost out of biscuits and since I didn’t know what sort to bake that didn’t need a rolling pin (I must buy a new rolling pin!) I thought I’d attempt something a little alternative.
Anywho. This tea. My reward. Yes, I reward myself for having done something that is fun. That’s perfectly normal behaviour, isn’t it?
This smells very vanilla-y. Lying around in a ziplock bag probably hasn’t done it any favours, so with this sort of strength to the aroma, I suspect it might have been as strongly aromatic as the Fru P one back when it was brand new.
The flavour is not as strong as Fru P, though, although it’s clearly vanilla-y. The base strikes me as quite tannin-y, so that makes a big difference. At first I thought that this one was assam. It has that malty, cardboard-y feel to it and a great deal of raisin notes.
I’ve always felt that assam works wonderfully as a vanilla flavoured base, so I’m very much in favour of this. I think actually that it’s that raisin note that makes it work so well for me. It makes it more… cake-y. As it turns out this base was actually a ceylon, and now I’m wondering where abouts on Sri Lanka it was grown to make it so assam-y. I don’t know what base Fru P uses (I’d be surprised if she knows it), but it’s definitely not this one.
I enjoy the assam-y notes of this base. I can close my eyes and pretend it is assam, and I like the balance between base and flavouring.
Hm. This is the second time I’ve had this? I’m obviously feeling a bit off to have completely forgotten. Regardless, made with 2 tsp/8 oz, this truly is a silky cherry tea, with zero medicinal flavor that I normally associate with any cherry flavorings. Upping the rating slightly because it’s better than my original 72.
Thanks OMGsrlsy for sharing, this was a lovely sipdown today!
This is very different than what I was expecting. When I hear Chocolate Panda, I think chocolate, maybe a touch of mint. What I’m getting is a silky licorice with some… honeyed chalky chocolate? Totally drinkable, just really different from that I expected.
Janelle you rock for getting this off my wishlist by sharing some with me. Thank you!
My last little bit!
So of course I’m having it hot on a bright sunny day that’s apparently the beginning of Spring. So yay!
It’s pretty good, but there was a bit of dust that I got into my scoop and ended up in my steeping basket, so it’s more marine-y than usual.
Definitely a tea I need to get again. I like it more than the Sublime, I think. The cherry is just… yum.
Tea of the morning here, I still have some of this mini tin left so I was trying to decide if I should force myself to drink the rest or just chuck the bit that’s remaining. I can’t really get into lavender as an ingredient in tea although I love it in bath products. What I get here is vanilla, lavender and fruit and it’s definitely girly and more appropriate as an afternoon tea for sure. I’m trying to see if I can forgo caffeine after 12 pm because I’m just having too many problems sleeping these days.
A tsp per 16 oz? I had to read that twice, then shrugged my shoulders and said, “Okay. I’ll try it.” I get it now – the tea expands considerably, however so does the flavor. And while I’m getting little in the way of sour or cherry (more like pink cotton candy) it’s still a lovely cup.
Thank you OMGsrsly for so many great samples!
I’ve been remiss with my reviews – too busy at work and after… Yikes. Grown up like, what’s up with that? :O
Anyway, I finally got a chance to try this sample from CrowKettle and it’s nice! It does taste a little sea-weedy though – is there green tea in this too? Or is it just Mulberry leaf?
It’s mostly seaweed, but I am happily in the mood for seaweed tea.