330 Tasting Notes
This is a sample Anna so kindly sent me. I wonder if it´s another of those german blends which cross Europe and show up a bit everywhere in every small tea shop, or if it´s something specifically spanish.
This is kind of a generic black tea with red fruits (and little bits of herbs? strawberry leaves?), and while I am interested in trying it (trying everything), it´s pretty much a dud with me. I prepared it more or less like normal, and while it brewed I was doing a couple other things, I poured it and absentmindedly sipped. For a few seconds I could not remember which tea this was and was thinking it was some tisane, but no. It´s got a really really weak body, and a kind of tartness astringency I do not like, plus the berry flavour is a chewing-gum berry flavour (I´m trying to call it artifical, I guess). It does not have much fillers, so i do not understand how it came out so well, wimpish.
Thank you very much for the intention anyway Anna – this is interesting, seriously, and helps me to appreciate more other teas (like for example Dammann´s, yes Dammann´s !, 4 Fruits Rouges tea which is a so much better at all levels version of this. Dammann, all is forgiven!)7
Edit – and it cooled down, and it´s even worse, bumping down the rating (Anna, sorry! I think it is not your puppy I am kicking, but still feeling guilty)
This was a sample which Anna, very kindly and out of the blue sent me! She picked some things I am finding very interesting (Jardin Sauvage, am getting there, maybe I will cold brew it overnight).
This tea looked pretty familiar, it smelled familiar, and it is tasting familiar! I think there must be a blender somewhere selling it to independent tea shops across Europe, because I swear it is precisely the same as this one
which I got 100 grams of in Lisbon a couple years ago. I am liking Anna´s sample a bit better than what i remembered, isn´t that perverse? But maybe my memory of my tea is of the last times I drank it when it was already more aged and less flavourful. I am finding the piquancy not quite as hot as I remember though, but I suspect my parameters for hot teas were recalibrated by (the glorious) Winter Fire.
So a chilli tea, with some chocolate underneath and a musk-like note which could be the pepper, but somehow reminds me of coriander seed (or am I just somehow associating with those swiss coriander filling chocolates they make for christmas? dunno ). A very interesting tea, which seems to pop over all of Europe.
Me, who had never ever been a breakfast blend lover, am now finding myself really interested in breakfast and morning teas. Which is a fun development, so many tea varieties to discover. I think the fault is Mariage Freres´s American Breakfast though sadly that is a tea I can not rebuy locally, or not without massive internet charges. American Breakfast, I love you and you became my staple.
Ah, but this tea instead, it was from a swap with Courtney. She was interested in swapping a lot of breakfast type things, a very tempting proposition in my current mood. I had mentioned to her this recent infatuation of mine for breakfast blends and she kindly added plenty of other teas for me to try. Including 2 irish breakfasts, really seasonal as well! Thanks, Courtney.
Now I had this at breakfast and I am not at my best before breakfast, I just did my usual, not even being sure what tea this was. I used lots of leaf, sweetened it a bit and a lot of milk. I taste it and OMG it´s Bailey´s tea. The cream flavouring, particularly when I had sweetened it and added milk made my mind authoritatively categorize it as Bailey´s tea. And that is not a bad thing at all. Though it was a bit surprising as a breakfast tea, I am sure I could get used to it instantly.
Teabase, I can not say much because of the milk, sugar, and also strong flavouring, but it was strong enough to stand up to the rest. In all a lovely tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cream
This is another tea from the european teabox, and a sample I picked to remove more or less accidentally. I needed space and this was in a big original bag with a relatively small amount of tea for the space it occupied, so that was that. And while I lucked out on this selection, I am now feeling sorry i won´t read the next person´s opinions on this, because I really liked it and love seeing reviews by others of teas I liked.
For me it´s a quintessential Chinese black tea, though that is an opinion of a non-expert. It´s light, delicate, full of background flavours ( wild honey? some nuttiness?), refreshing. The kind of tea I really like.
But I confess to being a bit baffled by the descriptions and other reviews and wondering if I screwed up amount or brewing times. They mention this as being full-bodied, but with me this turned out light-bodied and delicate and graceful, a ballerina black tea, a perfect afternoon tea. I also find it a very sweet, naturally, tea.
(edit:~This is embarrassing, can not remember if this is something I took out of the euro travelling teabox or a sample Meliorate sent me uh, a year ago.~) Nevermind all that, a tea from the euro tea box.
I had left it near the kettle, because, yay, the weather is turning that way where I want fruity flavoured green teas. Green tea with peach, yes please. Though sadly what i really really want is The-o-dor´s Peché Mignon which I can not get without paying A LOT on shipping and will have to wait for a large order in a few months.
This tea did not work as a dupe for Peché Mignon at all. Thin, almost bitter base, insipid fruit-like flavour and maybe some rose in the background. Nope. Maybe I would not be so critical if I did not want so much Peché Mignon right now, but oh well, I think I would never really love this.
A surprise from a surprise package from Anna! There is something quite special about being eager to get home to have a cup of good tea and find new teas on your mailbox (double! Teas from a swap with Courtney arrived at the same time, but those are teas I meant for breakfast, will test tomorrow). My planned cup of Thé sur le Nil will have to wait a few days.
I don´t know Lupicia very well, this is probably my second or third Lupicia tea (too tired to check for sure). I love lychee tea, and never had anything other than standard black tea with lychee. This oolong is a different take and it is lovely, the almost earthy-ness or nuttiness (nope, do not know what I am talking about, this sort of oolong-y thing, you know) and the juicy fruit on top. It´s a pretty delicate pairing and the taste is blessedly natural seeming. In all a lovely cup of tea.
(I was probably brutal at brewing this, but it did not seem to matter at all)
After a recent experience with a Lipton teabag, maybe I am overrating this. Or maybe not. because for a tea which sells basically in every supermarket for about 1.50€ for 30 teabags (or half price if you see a discount) this really is incredibly nice. I was planning to have it with milk, and was careless with brewing it, but it survived and took milk incredibly well.
I am quite flabbergasted at how nice this cheap teabag turned out to be. But very happy at the result! Stocking this up for sure, for those moments where teabags are convenient, though these not quite fit all my criteria not being individually wrapped (they would not be this price if they were, though!)
This was a tea package Toitoi kindly sent as an extra in a swap we did about a year ago. And while I am bad about saving (hoarding!) samples to try at a later date, there is kind of a reason why I took so long to try this. It fits precisely the profile of the kind of tea I like to drink when feeling slightly ill and it´s on individually wrapped, airtight teabag! Kind of precious, this has been carried in my handbag a lot, just in case. And sadly now came the sore throat needing some relief.
(I am a bit too self-aware to be able to say seriously I need more tea than what I already own, but whenever I get the urge to buy new teas, I really should be looking into teas I like, or from brands I trust, in airtight wrapping).
I had to introduce this into the database, not sure company is even listed correctly. Major points because the tea does indeed taste, mostly, like natural lemon. Artificial lemon is, more than a pet peeve, a full fledged hate of mine. I think there might be a hint of some artificial flavouring here as well, but thankfully the natural lemon is upfront. The tea itself is quite smooth. There is a hint of some kind of muskiness I find baffling, maybe the dried honey?
In all, it did not quite rock my world, but is a tea I would probably stock if I had it available and find maybe a more useful addition to my tea cupboard than other teas I might rate higher.
A sample I removed from the travelling european teabox organized by Kitty (thanks!), and one which waited till I was in the right mood. For some reason, this type of tea is so spring like, so pure and grassy and green, and the calendar says March. Let´s pretend it is Spring!
I liked this very much, though not sure how much how can say about it other than ah, dragonwell, a nice smooth one. Floral, and greeny and all so soft somehow. I think I screwed up the steeps (but in a good way), maybe let the first and second steeps be too long, those were heavenly, the third steep was one too many though!
I really hate you, Lipton. Or better despise you, Unilever for your take on making marketing-oriented artificially flavoured beverages which you call tea and ruining the name of an old brand.
I guess me being willing to taste this proves I am NOT a tea snob. It´s supermarket fare, but so are others I enjoy : Gorreana, a locally produced brand which is very good; and so is Twinings and often I can find Ahmads which I like, and always cheap humble Tetley which is pretty honest tea and nice. But this, Lipton, was this tea “designed” in a lab by computers operated by robots? Or by chemical engineers which never tasted tea or real peaches in their life but got a table somewhere this chemical is supposed to take like peaches, this like mango, let´s add lots of those two?
This is tea for people who drink and love Lipton´s “iced tea”. Which for some reason is really popular in my country, where hardly anybody except maybe a few more specialized cafés make iced tea and few people drink tea hot. The Lipton stuff filled a gap somehow, something to drink which has no carbonation (which lots of people do not like) but is relatively intense, and very sugary. You will find it in every café and supermarket. Made with tea extract, flavouring and no tea leaves or real fruit ever.
This smells like a mix of their peach iced tea and their mango iced tea, a very familiar smell. The body is almost unexistant, you can hardly notice the tea, except there is this hint of mustiness. It´s like somebody managed to remove the sugar from the iced tea and then heated it. Like drinking hot tang or some other instant drink.
I really truly hated this. And am mad at me for expecting better, and for this, this!, being a bestselling brand. Yep just 2 euros a 25 teabags box, but lots of other companies manage to produce decent or better than decent tea for this sort of price. And people might not know any better. But to produce artificial reeking stuff like that, oh hope you are happy with the profit Unilever because proud you should not be.