335 Tasting Notes
I am saying goodbye to the sample Ysaurella gave me and well this was a lovely surprise. I would never have put it on my shopping list, me and lavender earl greys, no not for me. Except wrong, apparently this one works and very well for me, enjoyed all of the sample very much (do not brew it too cold, though!) and this is going to my shopping list for one of those days.
Just adding a new taste note, this is another leftover from the back of the closet – two years old at least. And despite Yumchaa´s paper bag packaging not being a favorite of mine (well, I think it is lovely in a spare cool look way, just not air tight enough), this black tea survived so much better than the green teas. Still as fragrant as it was when I bought it – a simple fruity black tea, one I can hardly think what to say about (good smooth black tea base with a strong natural apricot and strawberry flavour) but a really lovely one.
Eureka, finally found a way to prepare it – cold brew. It is absolutely lovely (to my taste buds) that way. Minty, but without bitterness and some rooibos body. With a bit of brown sugar it was even better.
Normal amount of rooibos, cold water, put it in the fridge for a couple hours, added a tiny bit of brown sugar. Might be the most stomach friendly drink ever – rooibos AND mint.
I do love chinese black teas, like no other tea can provide that chocolate-yness quality while being oh so smooth. And this sample which Hallieod so generously surprised me with is a very very good chinese tea indeed. Though, for no fault of its own, comparisons are odious, it is suffering from comparison with yesterday´s sample, another chinese black tea (and yes, this is a total embarassment of riches of teas to try), the Laoshan Black I fell totally in love with.
Oh, this is going to be a case of “it´s not you, it´s me”. This tea smells fantastic when dry, citrus with some spices underneath, a very balanced, complex blend of scents.
But these is something here which does not work for me – the wet leaves had a strong sense of something herbal (the little green leaves) which was not working for me, checking the other taste notes, I suspect it is the aniseed. It seems to bring a herby sweetness to the tea, provide some background, which would be more than fine to almost everybody but does not quite work for me. The tea itself has a decently strong base, not rough and not absent, an absolutely lovely blended tea. Thank you very much Ysaurella, for sharing this. I can appreciate how masterfully blended this is, just the aniseed is not a rational thing for me!
Experimenting with this – I have figured out boiling water and mint is an absolute no for me, no matter what it tastes bitter in an oily way. And this has a lot of mint. Experimenting with this, I just tried 80 degrees water and a long long steep – it is indeed better, but the end result a bit colder than I like my rooibos. And still too minty (though not boiled-mint bitter) for my own taste.
I will give it another try, just to make sure, but I think this will be up for swap – preferrably for another rooibos. I will have 35-40 grams of it left I think.
This was a sample, kindly sent by infussion, and I admit that while it was my pick, it took me a while to get the courage to try it.
I was unsure of dosage – I used maybe 20 berries for 3 dl of boiling water, and let it steep some 6 minutes maybe. It´s a very pale infusion, but I think it is just strong enough for me. Any stronger would be way too much.
This is supposedly 5 flavour berry. Magical seeing the dark berries. Omija cha. I wanted to try this, thank you infussion!
And it is a very very strange thing to drink. So far, am unsure what I think though I can already say on its favour – it´s better than hibiscus!
I can not say I detect all 5 flavours – no salt IMO, but there is a pungency which reminds me of pepper. There is a woody quality as well, a bit like juniper or cedar. And a lot of tartness, sourness – but I don´t find it unpleasant at all, I do mean it I find it much more palatable than hibiscus.
This could be a lot of fun in blends, particularly fruit blends.
I tried eating the berries, and it is uh, interesting, but no way could I eat more than a couple. It sort of reminds me of sour plums, both the tea and steeped berries – which luckily I like.
This is an amazing tea – the hype had mostly passed me by, I confess I tend to ignore a lot of reviews of teas which would be difficult for me to find. Ordering tea from outside the EU is risky, anything past 100 grams is subject to tax (and delay and flat fees on tax) and less than 100 grams the shippping so expensive for the quantity. I just might have to risk it because of this.
Angrboda very kindly and generously picked this for me in my last swap. After checking steepster the expectations were raised, and somehow how this lives up to it.
I can´t really add anything new to the great, complex tasting notes already done so not even going to try. This was somehow lighter than I expected (not a problem), and it is indeed magical at evoking scents of other things, while being tea, just tea. Chocolate, malty, vanilla-y and at second steep almost peppery – reminds me of another tea I loved, Theodor´s Milky Oolong which is also magical. Really fabulous tea.
Oh my, this is like drinking marzipan – but in a good way!
Another sample very kindly sent by Ysaurella ( we have both been placing Theodor orders, and comparing them. It will not be my last order though!), and this is, as expected, great. I have no associations of galette des rois or almonds with Epiphany (almonds for us are a Easter thing instead and never bitter almond), so I can not compare it. But the taste of this tea is indeed almond almond with a bit of bitter almond to give it some punch. As usual, a very smooth base underneath.
I was chancing to drink this while nibbling on a bit of chocolate covered lemon peel, and that is a highly recommended combination!
PS – actually, because mostly I have been drinking rooibos lately, bitter almond would be a perfect flavour for rooibos (with vanilla!). Does anybody do it? My beloved Carpe Diem blend is sweet almond with raspberry and strawberry, but a bitter almond could be very interesting indeed with rooibos. Maybe caramel, vanilla and bitter almond?