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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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!
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!
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.
Apparently i’ve had this one before. This cup comes from omgsrsly and today i’m finding it a much lovelier cup than when i previously had it. The berries add just the right “something” to this blend taking it from a really nice black tea to a tasty fruit black blend. thanks madam! always nice to revisit teas!
…..well so much for getting to florida today. Up side? I can drink all the teas in the travelling teabox today so that when i get back, it will be a quick thing to pack it up and get it out to variatea. sooo incoming flux of a million small cups of tea and tasting notes!
I rather like this one. It’s a decent base with just a bit of berry poking through. Not something i would have picked up on my own, though i suppose i did consider it when i was in Victoria. :) Happy to get to try it and i’m enjoying the little cup i made :) I’m doing my best not to finish anything in the box unless there’s something with only 1 cup left heh
Great Canadian Traveling Tea Box
For having sour in the name, I was really expecting to hate this one but it’s really nice! There’s a hint of cherry when it’s unsweetened. It’s not sour at all, but light and fruity. After my 3 steeps of Rhubarb Vanilla Ale, I needed a bit of a palate cleanser and this was the perfect choice. Not a keep but definitely nice to try!
In case anyone has witnessed the large amounts of tea I’ve been logging due to the traveling tea box, I think I’ll be finished by tonight!
Welcome to day 14 of little terri’s Sipdown Extravaganza!
It’s hard to believe that I’ve managed to maintain the self-discipline to keep this party going for 2 full weeks, LOL, & I’m not sure if it can go much further, but it’s been fun.
With only 14 teas to go to reach my goal of 100 sipdowns, I’m going all out today!
This is sipdown No. 86, from my tip sister Sil.
In the first steeping of 3 minutes, it was mostly just a decent shu puerh, very little tangerine taste. This second cup, steeped 5 minutes, has a little more of the tangerine that the tea was aged in, but it is subtle. I added a pinch of stevia ( not monsanto’s version, but the real kind, from Cheryl’s herbs), & the tangerine flavor blossomed a bit more, giving the whole cup a juicy quality, on top of the earthy/woody shu puerh. Not bad!
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!
Thanks Eva for sneaking this in as an extra when you sent me another sample!
I wanted something with a black base this morning, and don’t often reach for fruit teas, but this one looked good this morning.. and the smell of the dry leaf put it in my cup.
Dry it smells sweet and faintly of cinnamon and apple. Steeped the flavors come out.. sweet cinnamon and apple (I did add my normal touch of raw sugar after tasting it-could’ve managed w/o, but so much more dessert-like with). Reminds me of apple crisp or an apple dumpling without the crust or crumbles. I would have thought I would have preferred to have the pastry flavor, but in this blend I enjoy that they left that out and let the other flavors come through.. it feels like a cleaner blend without one more flavor competing. I don’t really taste the black base, but I’m ok with that here. I’m more familiar with blacks than other bases, so maybe it just blends well and I don’t recognize it as standing out.
This is the first I’ve heard of Silk Road, and I might have to take a look at their website soon and see what all they offer … maybe I’ll grab a bit of this for my birthday in enjoy March. It will still be cool enough here to enjoy this hot then.
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.
I have OMGsrsly to thank for this sample, although at the leaf to water ratio that is recommended it is more than just a sample! I drink 12oz cups of tea at work, so I estimated about 0.75 tsp for my cup (recommended: 1 tsp for 16oz).
This is an interesting tea. It is decidedly not a typical Earl Grey Cream, although it contains those flavors. The flavors were fairly subtle in this one, and although I wouldn’t call the cup weak, I will probably try this with a bit more leaf before rating it. The bergamot had a sweetish, cookie-type quality (that probably only I actually associate with cookies, haha), which was accentuated by the vanilla. At the same time, the vanilla was pretty laid back and not overwhelmingly creamy. Very interesting tea! Glad I have enough of it to experiment with.
KatieK included this as an extra in the 12 days of Christmas swap. Thank you!
The flavors of this are so nice. The apple makes this tea naturally sweet and the cinnamon is light but makes the tea somewhat like apple cider. My first cup of this was a little weak. For my next try I will add a bit more leaf and maybe a touch of sugar. The 12 days of Christmas swap has allowed me to try a lot of teas I would have never picked out for myself. This is another one that I would have never picked on my own, but I am really really enjoying.
ahh I don’t remember who sent this because I pushed it aside from the other 12 days stuff: if someone could remind me that’d be awesome because I LOVE this.
Reading the description, I was thinking apple pie but it’s more like apple cider. In fact I think I am going to bring home steamed apple juice from work and add some to a stronger steeped cup of this…that sounds like it’d be fantastic.
I’m glad to have finally found a spiced apple tea that isn’t disgusting. While I have a ton of Mom’s Apple Pie, that one has more pastry notes to it than this one does plus I think the difference in a black base vs a green base makes this one more my style for a cider-y type.
Now to write a couple iced tea related notes and I am all caught up, haha.
Received this one from the amazing AshleyE as another Holiday card surprise. This is such an awesome community.
I love London Fog, this is a tea that had been on my radar for the next time I made an order. So I was super happy for this surprise.
The dry tea smells mostly like an earl grey crème. The brewed tea, while initially hot tasted fairly similar to a London fog. It was earl grey and milky and creamy. Not earl grey crème but like London Fog – which is different. The only thing that was missing was the thickness of the liquor you get from the steamed milk. But quickly after it started to cool it became more just an earl grey crème. And as it cooled further it started to become astringent.
Overall a good tea, a really interesting and well done idea. I am happy to have tried this one. Unfortunately, I think I still prefer my Starbucks London Fog – Oh, excuse me – my Starbucks earl grey latte :P