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Recent Tasting Notes
Hooray, my new Finum filter baskets came today! I left my other one at my mom’s house like a moron… I got the two-pack this time, and it comes with one green and one blue. I expected the green one to be the same as the one I originally had, which was opaque and a dark forest green color. To my surprise, this one is different! It’s a lovely jewel-tone turquoise and it’s slightly translucent, which makes it all the more beautiful. What a lovely surprise. :) And the blue one is very pretty too! Sorry, clearly I’m easy to please.
This is another tea from Nicole. It’s a black tea blend with jasmine. Now I’m not normally big on floral teas, but I do enjoy a jasmine tea every once in a while. The leaves of this tea are short and dark, and there are a couple of jasmine petals in mine. Surprisingly, the jasmine scent is not super strong, but it is quite sweet. I steeped mine for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma is much stronger in the jasmine department, and still quite sweet. Now, I was an airhead and added sugar to this for some reason… I’m not sure whether I was thinking “flavored tea” or what, but it was definitely unnecessary. The jasmine flavor isn’t too strong, which I appreciate. It also doesn’t taste like perfume, it tastes like fresh flowers! I don’t really get much black tea flavor out of this, but honestly I’m okay with that. It just provides a nice mellow base for the jasmine to play upon, and the two meld together well.
Off-topic! The taste of this tea with the sugar in it makes me wonder if there is such a thing as jasmine candies. If not, I think it could be a tasty idea! :)
Flavors: Jasmine, Smooth, Sweet
Another sample from Nicole! I’m not generally a fan of green oolongs, so we’ll see how this goes! The pellets are fairly dark for a green oolong, and they’re somewhat small. I get a vague fruity smell along with a “green” scent. I did a 3 minute steep at 185 degrees.
I definitely get crisp pears from the aroma, which is lovely. The green oolong scent is also still there, unsurprisingly. Yum, pear! This is definitely a pear tea. The flavor reminds me more of cooked or canned pears than fresh, which is not a problem. There’s a lovely honey note that melds beautifully with the pear. I’m always unsure how to describe the flavor of green oolongs – it’s not really vegetal and not quite grassy. The only thing I can think of is that it tastes like leaves, which just sounds stupid to say. :P There’s a bit of a floral note here, which I pretty much expect from a green oolong. It’s rather mild though, so I’m okay with it! The pear is the star, and it’s very tasty! Thanks Nicole, this one surprised me!
Flavors: Floral, Green, Honey, Pear
I got this sample from the lovely Nicole (thanks dear). It was two servings originally, but I sent one to Roswell Strange in our recent swap. So technically this is a sipdown, I guess. Hah. Visually, it just looks like short, dark black tea leaves. The smell is vaguely sweet and vanilla, I don’t get any orange. I checked Tealeaves’s website and used their recommended parameters. In hindsight, I feel this should be steeped longer than 3 minutes.
Ah, there you are, mandarin! I can definitely smell it in the brewed tea, along with sweet vanilla. I’m surprised by how specifically mandarin the orange flavoring is, usually I find orange to be rather generic “orange”. But this time it’s definitely mandarin oranges, yum! The vanilla is sweet and creamy, and it rather reminds me of vanilla pudding or custard. There’s the tiniest hint of floral near the end of the sip for me, but it’s a very mild floral.
If I tried this one again, I think I would do a 4-5 minute steep instead. Otherwise, quite delicious! Thanks Nicole! :)
Flavors: Creamy, Custard, Floral, Orange, Vanilla
Last tea of the night! I’m ending on a sipdown from my swap with Cameron B. I must have really been in a pear mood when picking teas from her, because I chose three different pear teas! And, I know I was in a pear mood today too because this is the second pear tea for the day, I’m cold brewing a pear tea for tomorrow, and I pulled another pear tea from my cupboard to have later this week.
Somewhat disappointingly though, the pear is this tea is far too light for my tastes. If I didn’t already know this was a pear tea, I don’t think I’d be able to identify the flavour and that makes me kinda sad. However, it still has a very nice oolong base even if it is a really, really green oolong (I tend to like my oolong somewhat darker). The very faint floral notes compliment the light, sweet and generic fruitiness and the mildly vegetal base.
So overall this really isn’t bad; just very disappointing and not what I was hoping for. Kinda bittersweet to end the night on, but I’m still very happy I tried it (how would I know, otherwise?) and I do feel like I got a fair bit accomplished today in regard to doing stuff around the house, cooking, tea drinking/logging everything I drank, and updating social media and stuff like that!
I think I put my day off to good use!
Flavors: Flowers, Fruit Tree Flowers, Fruity, Vegetal
Another from Cameron B.! The name of this is what compelled me, but when I saw what the tea was flavoured with that’s what really convinced me I wanted to try it. Also, this is a new company for me!
I have to say, this was a pretty good introduction to the company for me; dry this smells very, very fragrantly of mandarin oranges and flowers and steeped up this is still very flavourful! To me the mandarin flavour comes off very clearly, which seems like that’s a bit of a challenge to accomplish given how watery mandarin oranges can be. It’s also accompanied by notes of vanilla, flowers, tangerine, and maybe even some very generic melon notes (in that order of prominence)? That last one is a little iffy, but I swear I tasted that in a few sips. The black base was also nice; it was smooth with no bitterness/astringency and light enough that it really let the mandarin be the most stand out flavour.
Honestly, my biggest gripe with this one is that by the time I was nearing the last few sips of my mug it was almost far too "mandarin-y’. Like, the flavour just built in my mouth to the point where I was really losing out on the other notes I had picked up earlier. But overall this was not bad, and I think it’ll be a really memorable cup. Thank you Cameron B. for sending some my way!
Another Yunnan from (who else?) Nicole. The leaves definitely have a lot of gold in them, mine are almost all golden. So that’s a good sign! :) I can’t comment on the dry scent because mine kind of smell like Maple Moose Chai, hah! Which is my fault, not Nicole’s. I did my usual Yunnan method – 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Aw, man… The aroma is very earthy and woody with smoke undertones. Sad face. Another forest floor Yunnan! The taste is basically the same as the smell – earth, wood, and smoke with some malt. I guess leaf color isn’t everything! Kind of disappointed by this one. :(
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Smoke, Wood
While this is woody and spicy and without bitterness, it is an overall disappointing cup. I can get Yunnans I like much better, with much more depth of flavor, for less or equal price from other companies. It’s not awful enough to not drink but I can tell it will be a long time before this gets to a sipdown.
First cup was at work. Filtered water, probably around 190F and for 3 minutes, then 5 minutes. Second cup was here at home with unfiltered water just off boiling for 3 minutes, then 5 minutes. I’ll keep trying with some different parameters, but for now there just isn’t much there there to this tea and it won’t be the first or even fourth thing I reach for when steeping a cup.
Wow, the leaves unfurl to majestic proportions! I do love that about oolongs. :)
Light and delicate with some of those buttery notes that I like in oolongs. The pear is subtle – as with most pear teas I’ve had the scent is stronger than the flavor. I’ll have to try this one at work with filtered water. And I perhaps had the temperature a tad too high as there are small bitter notes leaking in around the edges. I thought I let it cool down enough but I am fairly impatient. :)
No rating for now, but I have high hopes.
Okay, this doesn’t count against me for my July hiatus since my mother bought it. :)
This is very nice. Scent is very jasmine but a sweet jasmine, if that makes any sense. Sometimes the jasmine scent in tea is a sharp floral, but this one is not. If I were to guess at why I’d say that the Yunnan part of the base is softening it. There is mild malt in the background but it all melds very nicely together. Not in the least bit astringent or bitter, though I did watch the time pretty closely because of the presence of the Ceylon.
This will be a pleasant tin to get through.
I was introduced to this tea by my close friends after being invited to try the high tea service at Disney’s Grand Floridian. Our afternoon tea experience was just lovely, especially since we were one of the few groups enjoying the tea room that day. My friend couldn’t stop raving about the Princess Breakfast tea the entire drive out to Orlando, so I knew I had to try it to see what all the hype was about.
I was hooked after my first sip! I liked the subtle sweetness to the tea, although I don’t really come up with the strawberry flavor the tasting notes mention. It’s very smooth and the scent alone is to die for.
A few months later I took the resort monorail back to the Grand Floridian with the sole intention of picking up some of the tea to add to my stash. Now I can have my little cup of heaven and some Disney nostalgia anytime without a trip to Orlando. Definitely one of the most expensive teas I own, but it’s a nice treat every now and then.
Once you go looseleaf, you never go back.
This tea was kinda gross? There’s a thing about bagged tea that I absolutely hate. It’s just so… no.
I mean, like I *think it’d be good? But I’m just so used to the taste of loose leaf that this one was just… I didn’t really care for it. Luckily it was free haah
No,no no no I didn’t make a mistake, I am not reviewing Eros of Mariage Frères but Eros by T.
I get this sample thanks to Nicole in our very first swap and never had the occasion to make a note about it.
It seems we are the 2 only persons to have drank this tea ?
It is a very pleasant tea,with a sweet aroma of orange (they say it is mandarin but it’s not very evident). The orange is perfectly blended with vanilla but there is a hint of bitterness even if I didn’t oversteep the tea.
A very decent tea but probably not one staple for me.
Thank you again Nicole for sharing some with me.
I decided upon this tea for a meeting this morning, sipping away as the speakers made their presentations. Despite its sweet and slightly floral aroma, I must admit that this tea was not what I was expecting; at least, not compared to the darjeeling I had tried previously. I returned a few times to the station at the room’s rear to add more sugar or milk, trying to ease its strong bitterness. In the end I simply nursed the cup until the tea had gone, not enjoying it as much as I had hoped.
I’m tempted to write off the bitterness as being a result of the wooden stir sticks that were offered – I don’t usually use them unless I have to, as I find they affect the taste of the tea(s) – but it was rather strong to be a result of just that. The sweetness managed to come through a bit. I think that, perhaps if I prepared it a bit differently, I could enjoy this tea. This cup, however, did not impress.
Revisiting this one tonight. Still a lovely, lovely tea. Lightly sweet vanilla, orangey deliciousness. I have been saving this but I don’t want to be too stingy with it and have it lose flavor. So I made up a whole pot tonight and I’m enjoying every bit of it. Even after it cools off it’s spectacular.
Watching Hudson Hawk – the movies the husband only tolerates continue. :) I gotta pick him up at the airport later tonight so I had to get in at least one more movie he says he’s seen and put up with far too many times. :) So bad movie, great tea, blanket and heat seeking cats. I better set an alarm to get to the airport in case I fall asleep… :)
I got my mom to part with some more of her stash of this and we’ve gone in together to get a fresh tin as well. :)
This is quite simply, some of the best stuff I have had. I don’t know much about the base teas, but I can taste tea, not just orange. It is blended sublimely and seamlessly. In my mind, the artistry of the blend makes it worth the outrageous cost. And sharing with someone else makes it more do-able as well.
It is calming and subtle and a perfect start to a hectic weekend morning. It’s only a weekend tea for me, though, since I have to use it sparingly to make it last. If it were only a bit cheaper or if you got more in a tin, I’d drink this every single day. A lot. It’s just as good cold.
My sole complaint (other than price) is that I do wish it steeped just a bit better the second time.
Heavenly. Simply phenomenal. The orange gives it a lovely scent and the vanilla mellows it out and gives it a richness. Smooth and sweet, it goes well with a spot of cream to round it out and give it a fuller body, making it something that can take the place of a dessert. Without cream it is light and refreshing. It brews decently the 2nd time around but is definitely best on first steeping.
Had this originally at the Grand Floridian Tea Room in Disney World (the tea room is wonderful, incidentally, and worth the money for afternoon tea). Tealeaves.com is the only place I have found so far that sells this tea and it isn’t cheap. But truly excellent tea is worth every penny, in my opinion. Life is too short to drink bad tea.
The first steep is very light with flowery notes like what I’d expect from the first steeping of a green oolong like this. The pear flavour is quite subtle but it doesn’t taste particularly fake or out of place with the other flavours in my cup.
The second steeping (@ 4:30) has more flavour and I can taste more pear in the tea. The whole thing has more body but it’s still a relatively light tea. It might be something that would be nice and refreshing to have iced in the summertime. *wishes it was summertime *
Even though this tea isn’t strictly a chai blend, I decided to turn the last bit of this into a latte using the recipe guidelines on Chai Wallah’s website: http://www.chai-wallah.com/makingchai.html
My boyfriend and I both enjoyed it even though I missed the cardamom notes that you’d normally taste in a chai.
I was very disapointed when T closed their retail store in Vancouver as I particularly enjoyed their own version of a gingerbread latte. They still operate online (at http://www.tealeaves.com/) so at least I can still purchase their teas.
I had this in latte form when I visited the T teashop during Boxing Week and I loved it so much I decided to try a bit of the loose tea as well.
It tastes just like biting into a warm gingerbread cookie, managing to mix the bite of the ginger with the other spices in just the right amount. It’s absolutely delicious and it really warms me up nicely on a cold, wet sort of day like this.
According to the package the tisane is supposed to be minty and citrusy – however it really just tastes minty to me. It’s a pretty powerful mint too that leave my mouth feeling cold and tingly. There are also herbal undertones and I can taste the yerba mate a tiny bit.
I don’t know…it’s okay I suppose. There’s a hint of a bitter tang to it and I’m just not really feeling it. It’s coming across as more of a tea you drink for its health benefits rather than a tea you’d drink for its taste.