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Recent Tasting Notes
Outstanding! This is one of my favorite breakfast teas. Strong, malty, and earthy—but there is a bit of bitterness to it. A splash of milk and a spoon of sugar take care of that, and turn this into a great way to wake up.
Definitely going to buy this one again.
I received this as a sample with the “Blue Knight Special.” It’s my first green Earl Grey.
In the sample packet, there’s a definite bergamot smell, and some lavender, and something that seems almost like vanilla. The tea may be there, but I can’t smell it for the other fragrances.
It brews to a clear light yellow. The aroma of the tea is mainly a green, vegetal sencha. Not particularly on the buttery side, with a sharp note that reminds me of bok choy. There’s the tiniest bit of lavender detectable, but I can’t smell bergamot?
Taste. Hmm. This isn’t what I’d call a flavorful tea. There is some slight vegetal flavor, a cool character that seems attributable to the lavender, and a very hard to find citrus note. It isn’t bitter, but it’s the first green tea that has given me a grab at the back of the throat. Which makes me wonder how green the Assam component really is.
I have some of the sample left, so I can play with it some and see if I can improve it, but after this first tasting it’s not selling me.
Done and decupboarded, and free to frolic with Earls I like better. I did have an interesting experience where I accidentally brewed this in the Breville one morning before I was awake enough to realize I had some Luscious Lemon by Simpson and Vail still in the pot and further too unawake to remember to rinse out the pot first. This resulted in a very very lemony version of the Blue Knight, which was actually not bad. But I wouldn’t recommend trying it at home as it would require buying two products, neither of which blew me away and both of which I have been on something of a campaign to drink up.
I am really looking forward to reusing the little tin this came in, though. It’s tall and tubular and kinda cute. Currently soaking to remove labels and hopefully a good bit of the Earl Grey perfume, too. It made me think of how my Dad, who was a stamp collector, used to soak stamps off of envelopes. Sweet little memory, that.
Though I have never purchased tea based on the label (see Steepster book club H2G2 thread week 1), I must confess that I bought this one based solely on the name.
After the first two hints in my Gabriel Knight game, I started to worry that perhaps I was too obscure in choosing that game’s name as the answer to my mystery. Back in the day when GK2 was being played, the universe of computer gamers was significantly smaller than it is now and it’s not like GK2 was a household name. I worried that four clues wouldn’t be enough and I’d have to find some way to provide an additional hint.
So I thought about some of the major elements of the game that were less obvious than the main character’s last name, but though I consider myself something of a power googler, I couldn’t find a tea with the word “Grace” in it. Or “Wagner” or “madonna” or “Gabriel” (or even “angel”) or any of the other things I tried. That’s when I gave up and plugged in “Knight.” And this is what I got.
In the can there’s a very strong bergamot scent. Eyewateringly strong. Despite its strength, it actually doesn’t smell bad. It’s a little on the perfumey side, but it smells pretty fresh. Let’s see how my stomach feels about it. (Did I mention there were cornflowers in this? I lervs me some cornflowers. I guess that’s what makes it the blue knight special).
The tea smells quite good. The bergamot has mellowed significantly, but is still enough to be an identifiable component of the aroma. The underlying tea smells malty and sweet. Though the teas aren’t identified, I’m thinking Ceylon and Yunnan?
Whoa. Maybe some Assam, too? This does taste strong, as Atacdad mentioned. I’m definitely getting the bergamot, but it is more citrusy and tarter than what I’m used to. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t have that clunky perfumy thing that tortures my tummy. The tea isn’t bitter. It has some sweetness to it, particularly in the aftertaste. But it isn’t smooth. It’s got some bite to it. On every other swallow it’s letting my uvula know it means business.
I’ve never seriously considered milk in Earl Grey, but this may be the one that makes me try it.
Still, it’s not bad. I’ll make my way through the tin and see whether it grows on me. I probably wouldn’t order it again unless I needed the name for another game, though.
Rating boost on this tea. I’m coming to appreciate its straight-forward, no frills tea flavor. Not a lot of complexity or subtlety; you don’t feel bad about slamming through a couple of cups in the morning as your wakeup cup(s)…you know that time, where subtlety and “fine flavor structures” are lost on the gunk in your mouth (or the mint toothpaste if you’ve gotten that far). 2nd steeps are good as the first.
The dry tea fooled me when I opened the sampler…I’d have sworn it was an Earl Grey. A very fruity, floral smell. However, its definitely a bold and malty Assam. This tea expresses the epitome of Assam teas in my opinion; I just wish I liked them more than I do ;-) Personally, I’d love to dump some Chai spice in to this…it’d make a fantastic traditional Chai.
doing this one as an Iced Tea this afternoon. Brewed it strong and poured over ice while hot. Wow, strong stuff, needs more ice. Ok, back again. Diluted it 50/50 with cold filtered water…that brought it down to the realm of drinkable. Incidently, my filtered water source comes out under pressure in a thin stream…it put a head on my tea! Not sure thats a good thing? Few minutes later, half a glass down and I’m thinking this isn’t such a good thing. Too strong? not sure, but I’m moving to something else.
Another from the Xmas TeaFountain sampler pack. TeaFountain’s description says “malty & sweet”; I’m not sure about the sweet part, but malty…oh yeah! In fact, that is the dominate taste to exclusion of a lot of anything else. To sum it up, Bold, Malty, not overly complex…a good tea for savory foods like the salty, thick-cut bacon I’m munching on.
Broke this one out again today…daylight savings time change and I don’t get along. As before, this is a good, bold blend. First cup was 45 seconds at 205 deg. F and the resteep about 3 minutes at 205. Both cups are about equal in strength and each has plenty of flavor and a punch of astringent tannins. Just the thing to wake you up!
This is certainly “whole leaf”…no small broken bits and no fines in my cup. I think it is a bit stronger than I’m used to thinking of English Breakfast as being. Perhaps a little strong on the Assam. You can taste the Darjeeling a bit at first, then the Assam buries it. Astringent in the mouth and later. A good morning tea for something bold.
Slightly embarrassed to realize I’ve been calling this an Irish Breakfast when in fact it is their Scottish Breakfast. Whatever its called, I like it. Needs to cool a bit to get the maximum flavor effect…that is, its a good slurping tea, none of this prissy sipping thing! Strong flavor. Good amount of astringency to leave your mouth refreshed. Malty, as it claims to be. I drink it without sugar and don’t think sugar would go well with it.