sipdown on this sample! I don’t have a variable temp kettle at work so I brewed this at boiling, the flavors are so muddled at boiling though. For anyone wondering, YES…SV flavored black teas are best (in my opinion) at 180 degrees F for about 2.5-3 minutes.
Simpson & Vail
Popular Teas from Simpson & VailSee All 120
My amazing “tea mule” Tastybrew sent this to me, along with two other S&V teas, one being the one I know I love, Almond Sugar Cookie.
I took a chance on this one, as some others I’ve tried have left me with a feeling of “meh”.
Sadly this one didn’t work out… So far. I brewed it at work with boiling water and no doubt oversteeped it, and it tasted like slightly flavoured hot cardboard, kind of like some of their other samples did. BUT, I hear there’s a better way to bring out the flavours of these S&V teas, 180 degrees for a couple minutes I think it was, so I plan to try that and withhold my rating for now.
Either way, thank you, Tastybrew!!!
No 6 from the TTB-A
The boys & I drank a pot of this with breakfast, & it was tasty, but just not my thing I guess.
My main passion in tea is straight full leaf varieties. They contain so much flavor, so many nuances, that I’m generally very satisfied with them. Once in awhile I head off on a tangent of flavored teas, momentarily enamored with the idea of decadent desserts, but I think perhaps I’m reaching my point of saturation, where flavored teas are concerned. Artificial flavors make my tongue hurt. I absolutely can’t bring myself to drink anything that contains glitter, little silver balls, or other crazy decorative things. Most flavored teas, even the ones with natural flavoring, require some stevia to really bring the flavors out, & sitting here, with a TTB full of dessert teas mainly just makes me want a big mug of ASSAM or YUNNAN of OOLONG or PUEHR. Something that really actually tastes like it’s suppose to.
My apologies to anybody who might be offended by my tea bigotry.
Sipdown 11. I finished off the last of my sample from Marcel Duchamp today. I’ve written a tasting note for this tea previously, but this time around I noticed the carrot cake-like quality comes almost entirely from the smell. The flavor itself is a bit mild. I can taste hints of creamy vanilla and cinnamon on top of the (very slightly) vegetal green rooibos base, but all the carroty goodness comes from the smell alone.
If I ever order from Simpson & Vail, I will probably pick up more of this. For now I’m trying to drink the tea I already have without buying more, so it may be a long time before that happens.
sipdown! thank you fiddling for sending some of this for me to try. There are a number of S&V blends out there that i enjoy and some that are a bit more on the “miss” side. this one falls somewhere in the middle for me. It doesn’t come across as overly cupcakelike but there is that “something” there that reminds me of how carrot cake tastes. That combination of icing mixed with the spices that go in to carrot cakes. It’s why my other half loves carrot cake…with cream cheese icing! I don’t think i’ll restock this, but not because i don’t like it…simply because there are other teas out there that i prefer. thanks again fiddling!
Another TTB sample. This was possibly the one I was most interested in because I’ve had reasonably good experiences with Simpson & Vail teas.
Mm, this smells buttery, creamy, vanilla-y, and caramelly in a burnt-sugar way, all what I would expect from creme brulee. And those are all present in the flavor as well; I particularly like the burnt sugar flavor, which is subtle but definitely present. The black tea base isn’t the star of this show but it has body and makes a decent background. There is a touch of astringency to this that is somewhat at odds with the creme brulee feeling of it; I would expect smoothness and richness, but this is a touch brighter. Definitely a pretty tasty tea and I’m glad I got to try it!
Tea of the morning here… a slightly decadent choice for morning time but that’s okay. I feel like I’m eating an almond croissant. This is one of my favorite teas from Simpson and Vail so far. It takes soymilk very well and doesn’t need sugar at all. So good! See previous notes for more details…
Sample sipdown! Thanks to Hesper June for this one. It is the last of the last of the box you sent!
Woke up to clouds and rain again. Cooked the chickens breakfast, ran out to the coop in the chilly damp, and vowed to have tea. This was a nice warming cup to follow my breakfast! The Lapsang aspect is not too smoky, and the bergamot is a nice light touch, not enough to offend those who don’t like heavy bergamot, and a pleasant surprise addition to the smoke for those who do!
No notes yet.
Trying to remember the teas I had yesterday. The wine has my head a little fuzzy…
I made this one in the afternoon when I wasn’t really sure what sounded good. This ended up being a good choice. I brewed it at 180 for about 2.5 and then let it cool for about 5 minutes before I drank any. Both the chocolate and caramel are present and accounted for as is a nice strong black base. This is good dessert tea and no additions are necessary at all. Not sure I’ll have to keep this around all the time, but I can see reordering this from time to time.
Tea of the morning here. a slightly odd choice for breakfast time, but then again, why not have a strawberry cupcake for breakfast?
This is a pretty good dessert tea, I’m not sure I would get anymore but will certainly finish off what I have. Lots of strawberry flavor present and there IS something about this that reminds me of cake. See previous notes for more details.
I wasn’t having any luck with tea this morning. Made several cups that just weren’t working for me. I decided to give this one another try at a much lower temp (180) to see if this one improves like the almond sugar cookie. It definitely improved it and I enjoyed it a lot. It tastes nearly identical to the sugar cookie but substituting apple for the almond. I prefer the almond but can see craving this one from time to time.
Jackie T gave me some good steeping advice for the S&V teas so I tried this one again. Man am I glad I did. This tea is ridiculous. So yummy. The cookie is spot on. No additions necessary this time around. I used about 1.5tsp per cup and steeped at 180 for 3 minutes. Resteeped for about 5 or 6 and still tasted great. Definite keeper. And the first time I made this I really didn’t like it much!
Another Sipdown from Sil’s Super Sampler of Teas!!
I used all of this making a 16 teapotful, to share with one of my students. It was a sweet a tasty treat, reminding me somewhat of the oatmeal raisin cookie tea I tried last week, only I like this one better. The only negative was as it cooled it got a little of chalky mouthfeel & an artificial edge to it. But otherwise, it was a tasty treat! Thank Sil!
Got this in a swap from TastyBrew and am sipping it at my desk since I have a good chunk of time right now that doesn’t involve seeing clients. It’s so beautiful in Vermont today, high of 76 but we don’t have the super dryness or super humidity, it’s a peaceful comfortable 76 with the occasional warm breeze and draft off of the lake.
Brewed hot, I can smell primarily cinnamon. There’s also a rich malty scent that is clearly the chocolate but it doesn’t smell overpoweringly like chocolate. The first sip is fabulous, this seriously tastes like a brownie. It’s more of the cakey dry type brownie than the gooey underbaked kind that I prefer. The cinnamon is a nice note throughout the sip but it isn’t the dominant flavor. I think the flavors in this tea are so well balanced and I didn’t expect that at all. I’m thinking this would be fabulous with a little milk even though I drink my teas straight. It just makes me think of having a glass of milk with a brownie…
Swap from TastyBrew!! I wasn’t expecting to like this because from what I’ve tried, I don’t like most apple teas. I LOVE apples, and mostly everything apple flavored, but teas just don’t hit the mark for me. However, this had a fresh baked cinnamon apple flavor. Like baked apples fresh out of the oven sprinkled with some ground cinnamon. But it also had the cakey, bakery like taste of the coffeecake. It’s a smooth tasty combination with distinct flavors. I might steep it at a little bit of a cooler temp that 212 though, I might go with 180 because the bitterness of the black tea CAN overpower the flavors if you steep even a second too long. Usually I find a lower temp fixes that.
Went to bed at 11 got up at 3. I’ve done that for a couple days now. I haven’t felt well but not bad enough I knew what was wrong. Well, Tuesday I did have to break out the nebulizer to feel like I had any air in my lungs, but other than that I just felt – blah. I haven’t even felt like drinking tea or much of anything else. This morning I woke up with a stomach virus. I have a job interview Friday. I have to feel better (even if I don’t – you know). I don’t have all the training they are looking for, so really my only hope is neither do any of the other candidates. The earliest Ivy Tech is offering any courses I need to update my skills is fall. Classes had already started this spring when I was let go.
I’m rambling, sorry. I have a bunch of new teas to review and I just don’t feel up to it yet. Having this one to start my day. It is a wonderful cup of malt and cocoa and fruit. Smelled very earthy as I was brewing it. I have got to get some fluids in me and this is pretty easy on the stomach which I apparently need this morning.
I’m through whining now ;)
A really tasty chai! I love the addition of vanilla to chai blends … it gives it a sort of “latte” taste without having to add dairy, although, I did turn this chai into a latte because I wanted lots of that creamy, rich taste … I was in the mood for indulgence! This is a good chai for that!
The spices are well balanced, I love the zesty licorice note. YUM! A really good chai. REALLY good!
Here is my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/02/16/chai-french-vanilla-black-tea-from-simpson-vail/
Just logging this, I’m up at 230am ET feeling nauseous but this tea and my snuggle hungry boy cat are making me feel better already
Also had this in the morning.
Literally went through the same exact process as the apple cinnamon coffeecake, but was surprised because I had heard this was super tasty on its own. Once it was fully tweaked I liked it. I think I like Cookie from Lupicia better, but this is pretty good.
Had this in the morning but Steepster was pissing me off so I couldn’t post about it.
I was quite annoyed at this tea at first. It smelled amazing. I couldn’t wait to taste it. But it tasted like hot water with an essence of cinnamon. So put the leaves back in. Let it go another minute. Then it tasted like hot bitter water. I looked around to see what I could tweak it with and added some honey and frothed milk. A little better. Then I added some brown sugar. That did it. It tasted great. The cinnamon cake-y flavor dominated for sure. A hint of apple. As the tea cooled it got much more flavorful as well. Next time I’ll let it cool a lot more before adding any tweaks to see how it is.
Having the last bit of this. It’s slightly bitter, makes my teeth ache with dryness and the flavour is a mere whisper of what the smell suggests. I hate being hard on a tea, especially a dessert tea, but you must pay the price for disappointing me so badly. If the dry leaves didn’t smell so delectable my review wouldn’t be so harsh. Gotta lower my rating accordingly.
Grateful for this sample from Kittenna because I’d be pissed if I wasted my tea money on some of these.
Thanks to Kittenna for another S&V sample!
Again, hard not to have high hopes for this one given the heavenly scent wafting from the little baggie. But also yet again, the taste did not compare to the smell.
I tried it twice to be sure (using fresh leaves, not a resteep) and sadly, it’s just MEH. That’s the word I’d use if I had to sum this tea up in one word. Or “Disappointing”. Because it’s very watery, thin, not at all full bodied. The smell is misleading. There’s a faint hint of what it could have been. Untapped tea potential.
So this one is not on my wish list.
I’ve been spoiled by Della Terra’s dessert teas because the smell actually often matches the taste, and they’re usually pretty full bodied.
This one is drying out my teeth. That means it’s astringent, right? I still don’t really get that.
Glad I got to try it though because I would have assumed all S&V teas were as tasty as the Almond Sugar Cookie!
Another tasty sample from Kittenna! Thanks!
I definitely oversteeped this one so I will try it at work tomorrow before judging it. I wanted to do 3 min but got distracted and it was definitely more than 5 minutes…. It was a cinnamon tea with a hint of chocolate. And it was not very full bodied at all, pretty weak aside from the cinnamon.
I am reserving my rating until after my second try, but so far I’m disappointed because it doesn’t taste nearly as delicious as it smells.