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Recent Tasting Notes
So I had to be fairly restrictive with what tea I brought with me for my trip; I wanted a combination of comfort teas, things to work on sipping down, and new things to try; but at the same time I didn’t want to pack an excessive amount of tea for the time I’m down here.
And, I spent last night raiding my Mom’s tea cupboard (I’m going to try and take a picture so you can all witness how horrific it looks and share in my pain) and there were a few interesting sounding things I may attempt to try as well, along with a few things I left behind the last time I visited.
I also forgot that my Mom has the teeniest little teacups instead of mugs like the ones I use; the teacups she has are 8 oz. tops, but I think are actually far closer to 6 oz. and it may just drive me crazy; I’m so used to my 12 oz. mugs. So last night I made two before bed cups of tea; this was one of them!
I really do like this blend; it was a whim purchase and I think it was a good one. The fig in it is so well done, and really apparent in the flavour but there are a lot of other great flavour contributions too that round out the cup. Last night’s cup in particular had a really thick mouthfeel and a particular sweetness about it; the honey/caramel flavours in the blend were really shining! The hibiscus? There was so little of it that the liquor was barely even that “trademark” hibiscus pink! And then just a brief little flicker of pineapple juice and rose in the aftertaste.
I brought the whole bag of this one; I’m probably gonna try to sip it down – but I think I might repurchase it again when my cupboard is at a lower number. My mom took sips of both teas I made; this was the one she liked better – she called sweet and fruity. Don’t think she was able to identify the fruit in it though.
Last review of the night; I just took a sleeping pill which I expect to start kicking in shortly. I anticipate I’ll need the extra help sleeping given that I’m going to A) have to deal with loud boys soon and B) be sleeping on my actual bed and not the couch.
For those not in ‘the know’ I happen to own a super expensive bed that was a moving out/into my own place present from my Dad, expect despite the price tag it’s maybe the worst bed I’ve ever slept on or, at least, close to it. It’s basically like sleeping on wood. No give. At all. So instead, I sleep on my couch. And I love it. I’m very, very adjusted to sleeping on a couch. My body doesn’t even know what to do with all the room on a bed now, ‘cause with a couch it’s like “No; don’t roll over! You’ll fall!” and, well, beds have more than like two feet width…
I think I made good queue progress today; it’s certainly not cleared yet (I just counted and I’ve got 21 tasting notes to go – ugh) but I made a really nice dent in it! I just have to keep writing at this pace, and soon I’ll be golden!
This one was prepared hot in a timolino; I’m working on sipping it down because it’s not something I need stocked but I’m still quite enjoying it, so I’m sipping it down at a much more casual pace than I often do with teas I want out of my cupboard.
- Very fig/camarel dominant
- With hints of rose
- No tartness from the pineapple and hibby(?)
- Can’t remember if there’s actually hibby in this
- Really sweet and tasty overall!
Tried this one hot last night.
It’s kind of funny actually, because I was already steeping it when Tre and I started having a conversation about whether or not I judge people based on the groceries they buy. My answer was that honestly, I’m too focused on work and doing things quickly to really pay attention to whatever someone’s buying. You’re getting 31 Papayas? I don’t fucking care. But whenever someone comes through with boxes of super shitty bagged tea, I always pick up on that and definitely cringe internally.
He then asked whether we actually sell any decent quality tea, and I said we do in fact carry one brand of loose leaf – Tea Squared, what I was brewing (and also David Rio’s line of “Instant Chai” which is pretty good too). He snatched the bag from my hands and took a whiff. And then made a face because this “smells like nail polish”. It does not smell like nail polish. He must have been high. Maybe from huffing nail polish?
It’s the rose though – that’s why he didn’t like it. He hates rose, and this smells pretty strongly of it. Taste wise, you can taste the rose too but it’s not too bad. Mostly it’s actually sweetened fig: sweetened from the pineapple which gives a faint tartness, and sweetened from the caramel, which is more present in the aftertaste. It reminds me of McQuarrie’s Fig Rose blend I had for a while, except less rose-y. But there’s definitely similarities.
I’m still liking this one! Which is good, because if I wasn’t then there’d be no weight in my argument with Tre about tea quality (though technically this is just a fruit blend).
This company is a new one to me, but Sobeys carries a large selection of their loose teas and some of them look pretty good too (plus decent price: $10 for 80g), so I had to try at least one of them. This is the one I bought, although there was another tisane which caught my eye too. Fig is definitely a less common fruit/flavour to see in tea, so I was definitely interested in trying it. The lack of super cliched tisanes was nice!
Dry, this smells very fresh with strong, aromatic notes of figs, caramel, and rose. The cold brew is a kind of “blush” pink, and smells really fruity with some floral traits. Taste wise, there were really strong juicy fig notes paired with sweet pineapple with a mild bit of tang/tartness to it, possibly from the fruit or possibly from the hibiscus. There was a caramel and honey sweetness that softened the whole thing, and a floral/rosey after taste. Overall, it tasted really natural!
I’m actually really impressed, so I think I’ll definitely
eventually be buying that other tisane that caught my interest!
YYZ sent this one my way, along with a few others marked “fruity blacks” I am doing my best to work through some of my samples and it’s nice to have a few straight teas in with all my flavoured samples heh
However, this one was a little too bitter for me. I thought it might be, given the smell of the dry leaf but wanted to try it out anyway – i’m still curious how close i’ll get to 2k teas tried before my steepsterversay heh. I can see why YYZ put this one in the fruity black category but i just cannot get past the bitterness. Oh well, it was nice to try :) thanks YYZ!
This is actually pretty nice! It reminds me a little bit of the flavour profile of Andrew and Dunham’s double knit blend, except this one is a little bit more tannic and bitter, and has a denser texture in the mouth.
It has broken leaves, with scattered golden saffron tips and smells of dried apples mixed with apricots and pastry, which oddly does remind me of France, where I often had apricot pastries or pain au chocolat for breakfast.
Itsp Brewed for @ 3 min at slightly under boiling in around 8oz of water resulted in a dark rosewood tinted brew that smelled of apples and plums, Danish like pastries, cinnamon, a spicy floral, a hint of cocoa and icing sugar.
It tastes of bitter cocoa, the deeper tones of malt, cinnamon, apples and plum, molasses, and danishes. It is rich in density and texture. The aftertaste is of brown sugar.
I’m so glad I picked this up at my local grocery store today. Apparently this company is started by a founder of the tea emporium in Toronto. They sell online at http://teasquared.ca