335 Tasting Notes
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.
This is from the european teabox. I removed a small sample from this, enough for a couple cups and sadly I ruined my first try (too hot water I think). This second cup suffered perhaps a smidgen from too little leaf, but I managed to not torture it this time!
It is a weirdly pale tea (too little leaf maybe), but with a lot of character. It´s weirdly thick, body-ish, and very very veggie. I get no bitterness at all, but I went coooooollll with its brewing temperature. Very lovely.
From a sample Ysaurella so kindly sent me, MONTHS ago. And which i have had before with a lot of pleasure, but without writing a taste note. Maybe because I do not know what to say about it. Black tea, Dammann usual black tea base (if that means anything to you) flavoured with fig. Precisely what it says on the package, so to speak. No less, but also no surprises.
It is a lovely flavouring, tasting natural to me and making me feel like summer is closer (the ads for garden furniture have started! Though it is going to be months before anybody with sense would put it out). For some reason, I think this flavour is one to which Dammann´s one-size-fits-all tea base really works perfectly. A very good example of a solo-flavoured black tea, surely one of Dammann´s best.
From the EU Travelling box. Yep, am being so slow at trying the samples I removed.
This does not remind at all of Christmas, but that might be cultural (christmas without cinnamon? noooo! And oranges, sometimes pumpkin and maybe lemon as well. Vanilla a bit. Maybe cloves). It smells of cream flavouring (artificial of course, but I do not really mind), vanilla and peppermint on the background. It is full of little silver beads which made me scratch my head and go “seriously?” (weirder than David´s tea even), but they are on the tea description here on steepster and well I will take it on faith. The sample I had might not be very typical, it is the leftover on the envelope (which was the reason I picked it, needed space in the box), and looked pretty broken down. I readied myself for some bitterness, and cut the brewing time short but the tea behaved admirably and it made a nice cup.
It is, for my taste, a sort of weird Christmas tea – peppermint and Christmas? why!?!? Mint is summer stuff, it is known…. Crazy, I say. But a nice cream-peppermint tea in all.
I opened this package over a month ago. Had it precisely twice being underwhelmed by it, and actually Anna, to whom I sent a sample, reviewed it before me. So I feel like, yeah, I should get to it, and just say something about it.
First thing, I am screwing up brewing this. I have not nailed it it, yet, though I think this tea for some reason does not like my tap water (some teas do not mind even some very grand teas, some do mind. Unpredictable) and I had to up the dosage from my first attempts. And today got distracted while brewing it, brewed it slightly too long and it showed in a bit of bitterness towards the end of my cup.
The dry leaf smells fabulous (which was why i got it), boozy! Rhum, and good rhum, none of that Bacardi or worse stuff, a sugary sweet scent so different from the other more usual sugarcane derivatives. With vanilla and a hint of chocolate. Awesome! Beyond awesome , count me in. 100 grams please.
But I am still trying to crack how to brew this. This third time, it was better, a discernible taste closer to the scent. But I still think I can get more out of this tea, must experiment and not forget it.
This was a sample from a friend, and it has languished for a while in my sample tin, inside a plain plastic bag. So maybe not ideal conditions for the tea condition. Or something.
I find myself very underwhelmed by this tea. It looks like the most beautiful tea ever, particularly when being brewed, floating on water. Many many different flower leaves (i.e. leaves, which might explain why I find the result weak), bits of citrus peel. Just amazing. Though the tea itself is rather broken and small.
The dry leaf smells amazing as well – a strong fruity-floral, like good perfume.
It brews nice, just a hint of astringency. But I do not get much taste (besides a kind of floral taste) on the tongue, and the body is quite thin. Maybe I used the wrong dose, it is so full of fillers I should have upped the dose even more than I did.