Victoria's Teas and CoffeesEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Had this a few days ago. Its a black tea with pieces of dried grape (?) or currants in it and tastes like wine. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it icewine-like because this tea isn’t that sweet as icewine is, but the overall flavour of this is of white wine, fruity, slightly dry, but a subtle flavour overall.
Got this sample from a friend in my Tea Sommelier class. The black base is great, no astringency and has nicely twisted leaves. There are some fruit and floral bits in the dry mix, and a mild fragrance of peaches and apricot (vs. the intense-ness that some other blends have which can seem quite artificial).
I brewed this hot, and it is a nice dessert tea, probably better sweetened but still good unsweetened. Victorias does recommend this iced, so perhaps I’ll try this cold brewed next.
Flavors: Apricot, Honeydew, Peach
One of the last samples of tea from Roswell Strange! I think? She sent so many, it’s Cray cray.
I like icewine. I like ice in my wine. So fucking sue me. I went to a fancy culinary school and went through all the pompous sommelier training and hated it. I even tried to not get smashed during the tastings, but I was much younger, and getting drunk was still fun, because I never got a hangover. But! I am a seasoned veteran, and … Okay, I can’t physically finish that sentence without busting up laughing. Who am I kidding? I don’t drink alcohol, let alone anything else but tea. Who has time for that? Nothing tastes as good. It’s all boring as hell. Sometimes I am so inclined to add tea to my booze, and even then I am wishing that I was just drinking the stupid tea instead.
So! I liked the idea of this tea, just not the actual tea itself. I brewed this up in my CS porcelain-lined tumbler for work and hastily wrote down some notes for later. I remember this tasting like Welch’s white grape juice. And my Aunt’s perfume that she used very liberally ever since I was old enough to remember. There was a bread quality from the black tea base, which I think may have been way better on it’s own.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Perfume, White Wine
I hosted interviews again last wednesday, and this came with me in my timolino for the morning. I brewed it quite strong (2 tsp of leaf for 4 minutes), and added a splash of milk. I needed something to make the morning bearable, and this is one of the better maple syrup flavoured teas I’ve tried. It has the wonderfully rich flavour of maple down perfectly, and the milk adds an edge of creaminess that I really like. It’s a combination that makes me think of the maple ice cream used in my favourite maple-pecan sundae (which I always have when we eat out at that particular restaurant). This one can get a little aastringent as it cools, but fortunately the timolino is really good at maintaining heat. A tasty, comforting tea for a busy morning!
A sample from VariaTEA, and my final tea of the evening last night. I think maybe I’m drinking a different tea from everyone else, because I found it quite palatable. I used 1 tsp of leaf and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
To taste, I’d say it’s more caramel than maple. There is an element of maple here, but it’s like it got stirred into a thicker, sweeter caramel sauce. It’s nice, though. Caramel-maple is okay with me. I knew this one reminded me of something, and as I sat there sipping it finally came to me: 52 Teas Weeping Angel. That’s what this tea tastes like! If I remember correctly, that was a caramel tea also. I enjoyed it, though, and I’m guessing that’s at least partly why I like this one.
As a maple tea, I’d give it half marks. There’s a little something there, but it’s neither strong nor distinctive. As a pleasant-tasting tea to drink, I’d give this closer to 80. I like caramel, and it’s deliciously smooth and sweet here; almost like the filling of a caramel chocolate bar! The base tea is okay, being neither bitter nor astringent. If I’m honest, I didn’t really notice it underneath the caramel. Taking the average of my two scores, I’m going to give this one 60. It tastes nice, and I’ll happily finish up what’s left, but it’s not really maple. Maybe I was spoilt in that regard by Della Terra’s An Autumn Breakfast. Still, it’s yummy. Sometimes, that’s all I want from a tea.
Another one from VariaTEA – we are both out to try as many Monk’s Blends as possible it seems, so I absolutely appreciated the pass on from her. I did something a little bit different with this sample though; I cold brewed it.
I sipped on this most of the day (I didn’t do much tea drinking today – I spent most of the day eating leftovers and trying not to pass out instead, seeing as I need to go to bed at a “normal” time since I work early tomorrow) and it was enjoyable enough. Despite being cold brewed, there was still this weird sort of astringency with the black base that felt off the whole time. I’d have been totally ok with it though if the grenadine was sweet enough to compensate – but this sorta wasn’t.
It just never got to the level of sweetness that I felt it should have. I mean, yes it was definitely the flavour of grenadine but just barely. And then, there wasn’t any rich vanilla either to push it further.
I think my overall conclusion is that Monk’s Blend is a tea best served hot.
Well, I cold brewed this sample from VariaTEA so I could finish it in one go, and because I knew it had stawberry in it and I thought that might be nice cold brewed. I’m wondering now if I should have had it hot though? It’s not that it was unpleasant, it just was completely unremarkable and average.
Pretty much is was an ok black base (no distinguishing flavours/characteristics) with a mellow “strawberry jam” type flavour to it. The maple in this was completely missing: like a lot of shitty fathers it seems it packed its bags and slipped out in the dead of night thinking no one would notice, but its absence was definitely felt.
Oh well; another blend tried but also another that wont be missed.
Flavors: Jam, Strawberry
Inaccurate Sipdown (143/150)!
Oh boy do I have a long ass queue of tea to log! Thankfully I have tomorrow off, and no TV to catch up on so I can spend the several hours needed tonight to write notes and not lose out on sleep or anything like that! And as always I’ve been a diligent tea logger and I’ve taken notes on everything I’ve had though I haven’t been posting notes regularly.
This one was cold brewed and carted around in a thermos on a hectic day of running around/errands. Dry it smelled very strongly of raspberries; fresh, juicy raspberries which is why I thought it’d be suited for a cold brew. And it was pretty good; like I expected the raspberry was very strong and definitely the most forefront flavour. It was kinda tangy/zingy but not in an over the top way, just in a way that felt natural for actual raspberries. I didn’t get much lychee overall though, and that’s where this one really disappointed me; I love lychee and I was so very looking forward to that flavour. There were also some very mild floral notes.
On the whole this was good and worth drinking again, but not worth restocking.
Flavors: Floral, Raspberry
Another from variTEA! On my second cup, I added some ground ginger and cinnamon, and I used brown sugar and vanilla soymilk. That was the secret! This is delicious and warming on a winter night.
Flavors: Pumpkin, Rooibos, Sweet Potatoes
Ooh, progress! I love watching my cupboard numbers go down…
But yeah; this one wasn’t so impressive. Maple? Ehh, a little. But it was pretty astringent/bitter and there was this weird sorta sour but also sweet flavour that definitely was not maple and I can’t place it. It’s not that whatever that weird flavour was tasted all that offensive or gross, it just didn’t mesh with everything else and it left me feeling really distracted through the whole mug.
Oh well, thank you VariaTEA for the sample even if it wasn’t super awesome. I’m happy to have tried it anyway.
VariaTEA sent this one my way and this is a tasty one! I like grape like flavoured teas so this is a nice one to have. Appreciate you sending this one my way. i mean, i guess wine doesn’t always taste like grapes even if they come from grapes…this is more like grape versus wine but i am A-OK with that! As cavo mentioned, as this cools it turns a little bitter, but nothing undrinkable..just better tasting hot! :)
29/28 sipdowns yes, i’m aiming for a few moer since LB sipdown doesn’t really count since it will be back tomorrow and there are another 3 or so teas arriving on tuesday… so i figure if i’m still able to take in liquid.. let’s doo this!
i’m certainly glad this wasn’t variaTEA’s favourite tea or anything because it went in the mouth and then back out in to the cup. gross. there is nothing honey nor almond nor biscotti like about this one. it’s just floral bitter grossness. ick lol
and no..no i don’t recommend this much tea in a weekend but then, if you only 2 hrs over the weekend, it’s not as difficult as it may seem given how many hours there are in the day. I’m still working…the migration finished forever ago but i need to fin tune something i need to launch today…and it’s giving me all sorts of grief. Add to that, the ppl who were supposed to get crap to me last week…and promised it to me this weekend…still not in my inbox sigh i’m soooo tired. i just want to eat and go to bed. and not go to work for a week!
This one is from variaTEA and is my favourite so far of the victorias tea whatever whatever teas… this has a nice raspberry taste to it, though i’m not getting a LOT of litchi…but it’s nice…and refreshing and would probably make an excellent cold brew. so thanks for sharing!
Happy Canada Day! In honor of this birthday, I am starting my day off with the most Canadian tea I own and at the moment, it’s Canadian Maple Syrup. Alas, I find myself wishing this tasted more like Canadian Maple Seduction because this just pales in comparison. Mostly it just tastes like a mediocre black tea. I added a touch of milk which brought out some maple flavor but typically I am not lover of having to add something to teas to bring out flavors.
I just realized how “nut” focused my nighttime line up was tonight. Three out of four cups had nuts of some variety as central flavours. Huh; that was totally not intentional. I guess that’s just what I was in the mood for tonight?
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! It didn’t smell too bad, but it seems like other reviewers I was rather unimpressed with this one. Overall I did get honey notes from this and some super vague, generic nut notes but nothing that I’d venture to call Pistachio. As for the Biscotti; I don’t know whether that came across at all other than the same generic, vague nuttyness.
Another downside; it was pretty astringent and, by the end of the mug, bitter. So any nice honey notes that slipped through were quickly drowned out with an unpleasant aftertaste.
At least it was a sipdown though; and I am happy to try it because this is something that probably would have appealed to me based on the name alone. And now I know that it really wasn’t my thing.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Honey
I have shared this with a couple people now but so far it seems I am the first to try it (or at least the first to review it). I was excited to try this because I have often seen blueberry and maple but never strawberry and maple and those are two flavors that tend to call to me when I see them in blends. Consequently, I had high hopes for this that unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to be meeting. In my first sip, I got a nice dose of strawberry but that flavor has escaped me more and more with each subsequent sip. At times it resurfaces for a moment while in other instances I get a bit of an almost medicinal berry flavor which is just not pleasant. As for maple, I am not getting any, which seems to be the case with most maple teas (aside from Steam Tea House’s Organic Maple Seduction). Ultimately, the base really overwhelms the rest of the components. Thankfully it is neither bitter nor astringent but it also is not the greatest black tea I have had either. I will be sure to play around with the parameters to see if I can coax out the strawberry/maple but for now this is just alright.
Thanks for sharing this one variaTEA i’m going to have to side with cavo on this one. – there’s something weird going on. I can see why they refer to it having caramel notes…but the base is slightly overpowering and distracts me from things. it also doesn’t taste like maple syrup. it’s more caramel syrup than anything…oh well, good to try. :)
Ok, this last cup was definitely better than the first one I had in my timolino. It was more flavourful overall and I thought the mouthfeel of the liquor was thicker which surprisingly made a big difference in how I perceived it. I did give it a longer steep time like I said I would, though.
As for the flavour notes I thought there was a bit of a “tang” (almost like the hibiscus/cider tang I got in Cuppa’T Specialty Tea’s Pumpkin Pie Fruit Tea) to it that I don’t recollect from last time. I don’t think there’s anything hibby like in this though? And then, there was a nice rich creaminess to the tea and a much more distinct sweet potato taste. I think I actually may have even picked up on the sweet potato more than the pumpkin!
If I had more I think I’d want to try this with milk and brown sugar – but as it is I think this was a nice enough way to finish it off and I don’t think more is necessary. I got a good feel of this one and I’m happy with leaving this as a conclusion.
Another from VariaTEA!
The most exciting part of this, to me, was that Sweet Potato is a listed ingredient which definitely made me squeal with excitement because I’ve been wanting to try out as many Sweet Potato blends as possible!
I made it up today in my timolino to take with me to work, and I ended up drinking it on the walk home instead which actually worked out fairly well because it was the perfect temperature! Dry, this did smell pretty heavenly: like pumpkin pie guts, cinnamon sugar dusted crust, and those amazing sweet potatoes! Taste wise, I kinda feel like this fell short of my expectations though they were probably pretty high.
It tasted mildly like pumpkin but not in the same aromatic way the dry leaf was commanding. There was a creaminess to it though that I appreciate as I think that pumpkin pie is more of a creamy, rich dessert than something heavily spice laden like many teas (including this one) make it out to be. The two are not mutually exclusive. I did get a starchy sweetness that would likely be the sweet potato, but mostly I thought that the cinnamon in this was the most present flavour and that overall the whole thing was just a little bit thin for my liking.
I have a theory, though, that I understeeped this so I’m going to use slightly more leaf for a longer time next cup and hopefully that’ll bring out more flavours.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Natural Pumpkin Spice Flavor, Sweet Potatoes