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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlogged from last night.
I was in Whole Foods the other day, which is always an expensive proposition, and I went down the tea aisle. This can be a risky proposition, but there hadn’t been anything new there the last time I had been there, so I thought I might get by unscathed. So I boldy wandered down.
“Tea Pigs,” I said, thinking to myself. “Isn’t that a British Brand? I don’t think I’ve seen that here before. Oh, Liquorice and Peppermint, haven’t I heard of that? Well, I like peppermint, don’t I? Lets go ahead and put it into the basket.”
Its really, really sweet. Absolutely no sugar is needed for this. Its going to blend I won’t want every time I drink a peppermint tea, but when I’m going through cravings for something super sweet (like now) it will be good.
And now I have a new brand to try. Huzzah/aarrhg!
Wasn’t a huge fan. It left a slight ‘fishy’ or ‘grassy’ aftertaste and becomes really bitter really fast if the teabag is left in a little too long. Of course, this could be personal preference. I often prefer a milder green tea.
Flavors: Fishy, Grass, Grass Seed
This is a light chai. It does not smack you around with ginger that clears your sinuses. It is really well balanced. The main flavors for me are tea (it’s an Assam), cinnamon and cream. The rest of the components are there if I think about them but none of them overwhelm. It is also a light enough chai that it didn’t make me feel full and bloated after I drank it, and some heavier chais almost feel like eating a meal. I also like that it’s not super spicy. Teapigs has another chai that contains chili, so it makes sense that there would be an option that isn’t as spicy.
Photos and full review: https://tealover.net/2015/08/tea-pigs-chai/
Sipdown! Finished this box off at work over the last couple of weeks. It’s not my favourite darjeeling – it’s a bit metallic tasting for me – but it’s better than some. For a bagged tea, it’s really not half bad. I wouldn’t repurchase this one, but I wouldn’t turn down a cup if it was offered, either. A middle-of-the-road kind of tea.
I’ve not been drinking many Teapigs teas recently – not because I don’t like them, more that there are so many other teas to try! I placed an order recently for some teaware, though, and took the opportunity to pick up a few samples of their newer teas. I’m a bit of a Darjeeling fan, although typically I prefer first flush because it tends to have less of a “metallic” tang. This one is second flush, but I’m still willing to give it a try. I used 1 bag, and gave it 2.5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor is a light golden brown, the scent mildly floral.
To taste, this one’s better than I was expecting. The main flavour is a mild floral, although not perfumey. I’m thinking orchid, perhaps? There’s also a very pleasant grapey, muscatel, flavour. There’s a light metallic tang towards the end of the sip, but thankfully it’s not too overpowering. Darjeelings that taste like tarnished metal are what I’m really trying to avoid when I pass over second flushes. This one is smooth, with no bitterness or astringency. It’s easy to drink, and really good with a mid-afternoon biscuit!
I used the rest of my sample (3 bags) for today’s cold brew, just to get the full effect. Again, it’s smooth, with no astringency, and has a mild floral flavour that’s pleasant and refreshing. More so cold than hot, I think. The muscatel flavour isn’t so noticeable brewed this way, but there’s also very little that tastes metallic, so it’s hard to complain. It’s a much milder prospect brewed cold – not tasteless, but certainly subtle.
I don’t mind this one as an occasional cup, although it’s not a tea I’d look to keep around in quantity. It’s a good everyday kind of Darjeeling – nice to drink but not especially remarkable. I’ll be sticking to my first flushes for “special” Darjeeling occasions, though.
I think I oversteeped this a little; I was making it while cooking summer and I totally lost track of time while chopping up some veggies. It still tasted very floral, but wasn’t as clean and smooth of a flavour. At the end of the mug it was tasting quite bitter and metallic, in a not so pleasant way. On the positive side, I definitely got a bit of that muscatel flavour that Scheherazade mentioned in her review. I definitely missed that the first time around.
It was solid, but not as nice as the first time around.
In other news, I got started on my next tattoo! This one is the largest so far, and it’s the first I’ve gotten done on an area other than my arms. I’d say it’s probably close to around four inches by four inches, and it’s on my lower calf on my right leg. I was at the studio for nearly four hours getting it done; it’s a rabbit with some garden vegetables (carrot, garlic, etc.) done in a sort of cartoony style, but with some very detailed greyscale shading. Except for the eye, which is red.
It’s a Buffy The Vampire Slayer tribute tattoo! One of my favourite characters, Anya, has a crippling phobia of bunnies, so I got this adorable little bunny with a red eye to acknowledge their “secret evil tendencies”. I mean, what’s with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway…
I have to go back in to get it completed though; I want to add some font across the top/bottom reading out “There’s Nothing We Can’t Face. Except for Bunnies.” (first sentence on the top, second on the bottom) in a sort of really campy, D-List horror movie type font. Something like this:
Though my concern with that particular font is that with how blocky the letters are over time they’re gonna blur out and just look like blobs…
Also, if you’re not familiar with the show/reference check out this clip of the musical episode, which is where the reference is from:
Another from my swap with Scheherazade!
Teapigs is a company I’ve been kind of curious about for a while; the Sobeys I work at carries a small selection of their teas (though not this one) and I’ve always found the packaging cute. In particular, the Mao Feng has always interested me because of the brilliant green colour of the leaves and the fact that when you look at the sachets they’re clearly not all broken up fannings. I just simply haven’t known enough about the company or seen enough reviews of any of their teas to be interested in purchasing one of the packs.
I steeped up one of the pyramid style sachets I received from Scheherazade this morning during a heavy downpour and sat on the steps outside of our house, listening to the pitter patter of the rain, while drinking it. It was definitely the perfect atmosphere to enjoy and appreciate the warmth of the mug and the clean, well rounded flavour. I thought in particular it tasted rather floral, with a slight bit of malt and a sort of autumnal vibe – probably from the very slight spice notes throughout the cup. The mouthfeel is very, very smooth and silky. It’s not the best Darjeeling I’ve ever had but it’s far from the worst.
Very pleasant, comforting and unobtrusive flavour overall. I don’t know if I’ve been sold enough on this tea to want to purchase more of it, but I might finally pick up one of the different blends we carry at the Sobeys I work at as my curiosity has definitely been heightened. Payday is on Thursday…
My partner has had a bad cold for the past few days. I’ve been playing nurse and now I am starting to feel unwell too. Time for some herbal tea and LOTS of honey. I downed this very quickly. The lemon tartness hits first, followed by a pleasantly lingering ginger burn which eventually fades back into lemon tartness. Good for a sore throat and generally tasty. Sipdown!
I really disliked this tea when I bought it. The flavor is dead-on but very strong and unpleasant. I ended up giving away the rest of it to my brother, who really likes liquorice and mint and has quite a sweet tooth. I’m regretting that decision now that allergy season is here in full force! I feel like this tea would have been good for soothing a sore throat.
Flavors: Licorice, Peppermint
Sipdown! This was a sample that came with my purchase at the Coffee & Tea Festival. Frankly, I like this a whole lot better than my actual purchase. The roomy pyramid teabag contains whole chamomile flowers. Dry, the leaf smells like apples. Brewed, it smells like crisp golden apples. The flavor is very nice. It’s sweet and slightly savory. This actually reminds me of Bonomelli Camomile, although these flowers come from Croatia and those come from the Lombardy region of Italy. I would happily keep this on hand.
My awesome husband gave me my birthday present today, and it was…drumroll, please…a Wagenfeld teapot! So exciting! It’s gorgeous! Nice, heavy glass, Bauhaus design, perfection! Cannot wait to try it! But…not with this tea, which is in it’s own bag, or tea temple, as the people at Teapigs like to call these things. I picked up a small sample at the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival last month, and thought today would be a good day to give it a shot, as I am a confirmed chocoholic. Not much in the way of scent, dry or brewed. It’s a nice, pleasant black with a subtle earthy chocolate flavor. This will absolutely NOT bowl you over with chocolatey goodness; it’s a lightly scented black, but the chocolate is there, albeit faintly there. Very nice with my breakfast. No sugar, a bit of milk, as always. I like it, but most likely won’t be getting more.
Lemon? Check. Ginger? Check. Both flavors are present and accounted for and couldn’t be more true to their source than if I had cut up a lemon and a ginger root and steeped them in water myself. With that said, typically I reach for sweeter teas so this isn’t necessarily for me but for those who like this sort of thing, I can see this being a great option. Thank you MissB for sharing it with me! 200
After my bad experience with the tung ting oolong this morning, I went back for a second pick from my TeaPigs sample pack. OH myyyyy this good. The recommendation says to drink it with milk but I didn’t add anything to my tea. The first sip was wonderfully creamy and delicious. The after taste of my first sip was as if I drank cream — my mouth felt a coating of fat. Sounds gross but it was rather nice. As I drink the tea the earthiness gently emerged — I’m new to this so I’m going to look at the suggestions for the flavour I’m tasting. I will definitely be ordering some of this wonderfully delicious tea.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Cream, Frosting
MY background and disclaimer: Brand new real tea drinker here, having just switched off coffee so I know very little about tea. I grew up drinking Tetley tea bags with milk and sugar so tea is indeed a comfort for me. I have gotten educated on how to make a proper cup of tea. I got a sample pack from Tea Pigs and this is the first one that I am reviewing.
tung ting oolong tea completed underwhelmed me. I’m going to give it another try but it seemed almost flavorless to me. It’s very subtle and perhaps that’s something I just haven’t learned to appreciate yet. It seems to have little of the earthiness of green tea and none of the flavour of black tea. It just didn’t do it for me. Many of the teapigs teas really DID and I’ll be posting more reviews.