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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing this with me but seeing as I am not a licorice fan and this is 100% licorice, it wasn’t for me. However, it was like licorice candies as opposed to the gross licorice root sweetness so for those who enjoy the taste of licorice, I could see this being a popular tea. That’s just not me though.
How old is this tea!?
It doesn’t taste old or stale; when I cracked the tin open tonight I got such an intense aroma of black jellybeans that I melted inside a little. However, scanning through my tasting notes for this tea I think it must be PRETTY OLD. At least a year old if not older, but it’s hard to say…
The flavour is solid though: it’s basically a simple but rich licorice note with just a hint of the rooibos base underneath. I’m drinking it alongside my late night supper which is shell pastas with a thick sauce made with almond milk, garlic, figs, balsamic, and chevre so I knew that I needed a strong flavour in order to compete with the intense ingredients in the sauce (mainly the garlic). It’s not exactly a perfect pairing but it works well enough.
I had a thought when drinking this though; this is a pretty savory dish and it triggered a memory of salted black licorice that my mom brought back from Norway/Poland when she traveled there for school. To be honest, I fucking hated that salted black licorice BUT I’m wondering if I could achieve a better version by brewing up a cup of this and adding a tiny pinch of sea salt to it. Salt is a flavour enhancer, after all, and my tastes have changed A LOT since trying that salted licorice. I mean, that was like six years ago!?
Food for thought, anyway…
This is a queued tasting note.
From Sunday, when I was doing a day of tea tastings with Shauna. For our tastings, I made a tea for her and then I got her to try and tell me about it with no prior knowledge. This one she knew right away; black licorice! To be honest, this was probably the easiest thing I picked out: one one flavour, and such a rich/distinct one. Still, she was really proud of herself. And more so than that, she really enjoyed it and ultimately that’s what matters the most.
Personally, I also very much enjoyed the cuppa but it gave me the great idea of making this into a tea syrup (something I haven’t yet done at the new house) and mixing it with the Creamsicle ice cream I have in the freezer right now. Nothing like a little homemade, tea ‘infused’ Tiger Tiger!
This was my tag-a-long friend yesterday morning/early afternoon while I helped my mom pick out new frames for her glasses. It was a tiring, frustrating day. She has a very, very limited budget and of course nice frames aren’t usually cheap plus she’s got progressive lenses which are expensive as well.
We started the day at Factory Optical, and at that point she was dead set against anything in a different style than what she’s already wearing (metal frames, only along the top of the frames in a coppery colour). It’s not that her current frames look bad, but they look really dated. So, we found a few frames that were nice but they weren’t exciting or much of a change other than a slight colour difference (basically). But she wasn’t sure…
So then we went to a place called Cornwall Optical. We weren’t able to find a single frame anyone could agree on so we didn’t even get to the point of pricing out her lenses on top of the frames – but the woman working there was phenomenal because she was able to break my mom out of the super dated look she was going for and got her open to even looking at more modern frames. Plus, she was wonderful in that she was super honest about what worked and didn’t. I love sales associates like that.
Then, the 3rd place – this time since she was more open to looking at newer/trendier frames we were very quickly to find two sets of frames that were gorgeous on her as well as a more modern look. I’m not joking when I say that they easily took ten years off her appearance. The associate there was wonderful too; he pointed out that the looks she was picking for herself were very safe and similar to what she already wears (without my saying anything) and then was able to suggest modern frames with things in common with her current frames, but not identical to them. Sadly, the cost of frames and lenses there was ridiculous. Over $1000 for the frames and lenses. That was easily the most expensive place we went to all day.
Finally, we went to a fourth store in frustration, ready to quite. What store? Sears. And what did we find? One of the pairs of frames she’d fallen in love with at the last store for a much more reasonable, affordable price. Plus, Sears’ price for progressives was better too! So, she ordered her glasses! After three and a half hours of straight glasses shopping we were done.
Thank God I had a sweet, dessert tea with me to sip on throughout. Without something to drink, I would have lost it at the second shop. I HATE HATE HATE shopping, and four places to get one thing (even if it’s something as important as glasses) would drive me absolutely mad. It took me a grand total of 20 minutes to pick out my frames a few months ago…
Bought some coconut milk to try lattes/matcha with, because of how much I ended up liking the cashew milk. I thought this might be similar. This was the first time I decided to test the water with!
It’s interesting; I really like the soft, silky consistency of the coconut milk. It’s not as thick as cow’s milk, but not as thin as cashew milk. It’s got a subtle coconut flavour that I think will add nicely to some teas – such as this one.
The licorice is very nice, a little more of a softer flavour when paired with this coconut milk and I can appreciate that. It’s different. Since this one usually comes off very bold and mono flavoured the decrease in licorice intensity and lovely mellow coconut undertones are perfect. It’s a great late night treat to curb those sugar cravings, too.
I’m excited to test the coconut waters with some other teas too!
One of the better cold brews I’ve done in a while.
This definitely had a forward, rich ‘black jelly bean’ flavor to it – incredibly one dimensional with no depth, but deeply satisfying for what it was. The rooibos was completely masked as well. I adore black jelly beans (they’re the first flavor I eat out of a bag), so I adored this brew. Obviously it’s a flavor people have polarized opinions about though.
And really I just appreciated having something to sip on during break today that wasn’t fruity!
Managed to squeak in one last tea tonight.
I originally intended to steep up Cuppa’T’s Creme Brulee ‘cause I saw *TheLastDodo’s* review on it earlier tonight and it put me in the mood for that one, but when I went to grab it from the cupboard this was in front and it immediately snapped me out of that idea.
LICORICE. How could I have picked something else? I thought I was in the mood for vanilla but nope; this was the perfect, soft sweet creamy treat to finish the night with. No more sugar cravings; just caffeine free heaven. I need to drink this one more often; it’s so different than all the other honey bush blends in my cupboard.
I’ve been craving a Dutch Licorice Eggnog Latte for days, so I finally made one last night since i was home from work early enough to not be rushed going to bed.
Unfortunately, the Dutch Licorice flavour didn’t come through as much as I had imagined it would in my head, which left me a little disappointed – but it was really good overall despite the feeling something was missing. What licorice flavour was present came through at the end of the sip after the eggnog, and was very rich.
If I do this one again I’ll probably just go for a straight up latte – no eggnog.
Prepped in my timolino with some added milk because following my first cup of this I left a note for myself on the sample bag to do it with milk next time.
- Smooth, creamy and silky
- Rooibos base a bit more present in this cup
- Reminded me of black licorice milkshakes! (Which are my favourite)
- Sweet and tasty, but in a way unlike other rooibos blends I stock
I’m adding this to my wishlist, and the next time I make it into McQuarrie’s (whenever that is) I’ll be sure to pick up 50g of this because I really liked it and my cupboard is still lacking a really solid, simply licorice tea!
I smiled so much when I saw the sample of this in my Secret Pumpkin package; it’s a rooibos that I’ve seen in many different tea stores (after all it is from MTC) such as Cuppa’T and McQuarries (both of which source some of their blend from MTC) and one I’ve always been intrigued by, but never wanted to commit 50g to. So a sample amount? How perfect.
Dry, the smell is amazing. It’s so licorice-y, with no rooibos smell at all either. Steeped up, the aroma of this one is overwhelming – in a good way. At the time I was making this, I was also making three other teas and this is the only one I could smell steeping without leaning in to each of the cups; and I can still smell the licorice from the the strained leaves now that I’m standing in the kitchen again, cooking.
Taste wise; this was awesome! Very bold and flavourful, sweet licorice candy flavour with a sort of creaminess to it and a nice thick mouthfeel. The rooibos was super well masked, so anti-rooibos but pro licorice people this could be a good blend for you! The whole time drinking this, I kept thinking it would be amazing as a latte too! Mmm!
This is something I’d purchase and, lucky for me, I’ve already tracked down a local tea store that sells it! Hooray from McQuarrie’s Tea & Coffee Merchants! I pulled up their website, and low and behold this is listed as one of their available flavoured blends, and even attributed to MTC so I know for sure this is gonna be the same thing if I buy it! Woot!
So now that my supper is almost done, I think I’m gonna curl up and watch Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, because Halloween an’ all that while eating some Lasagne and a pint of Lime Sorbet. I’m hoping that the sorbet will maybe reduce some of the swelling in my mouth – I’ve had really bad jaw tenderness all day and my mouth/cheeks are completely swollen right now. Thankfully, the tooth pain itself is really mild right now – but this is still killing me.
I just emailed the dentist though. Stupid adulthood anxiety; I really wanted to call and book an appointment, but couldn’t compell myself to actually talk to real life people on the phone. It was stressing me out. A lot. So hopefully email correspondence will be enough to arrange an appointment, especially since I actually have the money to get some work done now.
I get so caught up in trying new stuff, and focused on drinking camellia sinensis that I sometimes forget about my non-caffeinated favourites. I love this blend so much. It’s the perfect balance of licorice flavours and woody rooibos, and they meet in perfect harmony.
Today’s cup seems slightly sweeter than usual – not that cloying back of the throat sweetness of licorice root, just sweet, which shifts the colour of this to a slightly more purple, darker hue, from the usual grey-cornflower-blue taste.
Oh my god. I got a sample of this today and I am in love. This is one of the nicest licorice flavoured teas I’ve ever had. The woodiness of the rooibos compliments and mellows the intensity of the licorice perfectly. It’s very mildly sweet, but much drier than most other licorice/anise teas.
I’m also very delighted by the new synesthetic experience from this tea. This tastes like a greyish shade of cornflower blue, which is a colour I’ve never tasted before. The synesthesia adds lots of extra dimension to the tea experience.
I will definitely be getting this for my cupboard.
Flavors: Anise, Cinnamon, Licorice, Wood
Lately my mason jar has been tied up with cold brews and my other clear containers are packed away in a box in the basement so I haven’t had anything to brew blooms in. However, the past couple of days, I have decided to take advantage of my empty mason jar to brew bloom teas.
This one, in its dry form, was probably the prettiest bloom yet. Mostly that is because it looks like more than just tea leaves tied in a ball seeing as it has a small pink flower peaking through. However, that flower led me astray because when I brewed this, the flower separated itself from the rest of the bloom which then sunk to the bottom and bloomed upside down. Why put the flower on the bottom? Consequently, this one wasn’t as lovely bloomed as some of the others I have had.
Tastewise, this is a weak tea. Despite steeping for quite a long while, this just tastes like water infused with a bit of hibby and a touch of vegetal green – two flavor notes I personally do not look for in any blend. I will say though that given the two flavors this actually does have tend to be ones that are hated by many, this isn’t as bad as one might expect.
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing. I appreciate the chance to try something new but this just wasn’t for me. On the other hand, blooms are always fun to watch so at the very least, I got some enjoyment out of this.
Home from work
it feels odd to be home this early, and I decided to take advantage of the fact that the only cold brews I currently have going are vodka shots. So I took my empty mason jar and made a pretty flowering tea!
Last time I had this one, I don’t remember being impressed with the aesthetics of the bloom – but maybe I just had a crappy bloom because this one is really pretty! It had a fair bit of colour to it, and the tea liquor itself has steeped up into this very pretty “blush pink” from the hibiscus.
The tea flavour? Well, it’s still pretty much very light hibiscus and a more vegetal “leaf” kinda flavour – which isn’t the best combo for me personally. That makes it easier to let go of this one. I think I’ll have to go back to McQuarries sooner than later though to nab a few more blooms to experiment with though; they’ve got a pretty fair variety to choose from.
I hope both Cavocorax and VariaTEA have success with this one!
Also I’m going to plunk this adorable video of fancy rats doing cool tricks, for anyone interested. It’s super cute!
Although, it’s really making me miss my fancy rat, Eloise. I didn’t write about it when it happened because I was really upset, but she passed away about a week ago. It wasn’t totally unexpected because she’d been sick for a long time, but it still wasn’t easy.
I especially like “Famous” – she’s just really precious, and her little beady red eyes are too freakin’ cute!
I made this in the mason jar tonight when I got home – I was dying to see what it looked like when it was bloomed! I must say, the show didn’t disappoint – this was so pretty to look at.
Sadly, the taste was a real let down; definitely not as good at the taste of last night’s bloom tea – that’s for sure. The hibiscus was present (though not immensely strong) and it really clashed/conflicted with the extreme vegetalness of the green tea and the floral aspects of this blend. Plus, there’s the fact that I typically just dislike vegetal tea in general.
And then, even worse, it got bitter pretty quickly – which is somewhat understandable because the tea just sits in the water continuously steeping, but this seemed especially bad.
All that said, I think I’m going to send one of the blooms to VariaTEA so, if nothing else, she can see how pretty it is
and I can lessen the number I have, but I really do hope she enjoys it more than I did.
PS. My rating for this one incorporates the taste and the aesthetics.