170 Tasting Notes
Double sipdown time! I’ve reached my goal of 8 for Easter weekend!
I used about 3 tsp of Forever Nuts and 2.5 tsp of Big Apple, brewed with my uber-big teapot of 45oz. I didn’t boil enough to fill the teapot all the way, but I guess there was at least 40oz by the end. Steeped at 85C for 5-6 minutes. I know that the Forever Nuts blend requires a higher temperature, but I didn’t want to burn the green and white teas in the Big Apple sample. I also added a dollop of cinnamon honey to round it out.
Brewed, I’m getting a lot of flavours, but nothing in particular is winning out except possibly the green tea. I let one cup of this cool and it’s surprisingly good cold, with more of the fruit and cinnamon flavours coming out. But I have to admit that this isn’t the blend for me – especially considering that Big Apple is going to be discontinued soon.
Thanks again to Aimee Popovacki for giving me a sample of Big Apple to try! I’m glad I got to give it a nice sendoff.
Easter Weekend Sipdown 6/8!
Many thanks to Laurent for including this as a sample with my Nina’s order. This came in a plastic sealed packet with a single teabag inside, which is just perfect for my sipdown purposes.
When I first opened the bag, the strongest smell was of the grapefruit – phew! A minute or so later, it softened so that I could smell the orange as well.
However, when brewed, the base seemed the strongest taste, with the citrus fruits becoming noticeable only at the end of the sip or in the aftertaste. I still haven’t quite figured out the magical steeping parameters for Nina’s Paris teas yet, but I hope I will soon.
Easter Weekend Sipdown 5/8!
I still didn’t get much citrus or ginger in this steep, and I’m still getting my bearings on how I feel about guayusa teas. But at least I have one less tea in my cupboard to worry about.
Happy Easter/Passover/spring holiday of your choice, everyone! Many thanks again to kaylee for the sample.
And to round out my day, I figured I’d go with a tea that is approaching sipdown status…
This one is ok, but I think I oversteeped it a bit. It’s a tad astringent. I have just enough of this left to combine with my remaining stash of Forever Nuts to make apple pie tea. I’ll do that Monday night, probably – double sipdown in the works!
EDIT: My husband, who rarely drinks tea because he thinks most teas taste weak and “watery”, says that he would probably enjoy drinking this tea! As a caveat, he’d probably only drink it if he were sick, but this is progress! One day, with my tea wiles, I will slowly wean him off of diet coke. The only problem is that this tea is being discontinued soon. Bah.
Saturday Sample Sipdown #4!
I’m halfway towards my sipdown goal for Easter weekend. Go me!
As with my first attempt at this tea, this is heavily honey-flavoured, with a bit of the ginseng in the background. There’s not much else going on. However, this was soothing to my stomach, which is digesting a very large evening snack of crusty bread, brie, and caramelized onions. Mmmm.
Thanks again to darby for the swap!
Saturday Sample Sipdown #3!
The first time I tried this tea, I steeped it for 3 minutes and it tasted strongly of rose with a hint of apple. The second time, I reduced the steeping time by one minute and didn’t get much flavour of anything beyond the base. This time, in a final attempt to get the apple flavour to the forefront, I steeped it for 4 minutes.
Alas, I still didn’t get the apple flavour that I was hoping for. Which is a shame, because I really wanted to make this tea work for me, and while the first steep was lovely, the rose was a bit too strong for me.
Ah well. There are some teas that you can never quite see eye-to-eye with, no matter how high-quality they are. So long, amazing-smelling tea.
Saturday Sample Sipdown #2!
Today’s a day to get things done – the sun is shining, the laundry’s in the wash, there’s a fresh breeze blowing, and my mother is baking bread for Easter. What better tea to drink and take a pause to reflect on things amidst all the hubbub?
This tea smells like strawberry jam. There’s no better way to put it. Unfortunately, the strawberry taste recedes a bit when the tea cools. However, I can taste it slightly on the back of my tongue after I sip. Ahh. I’ve learned that shorter steep times work much better for French blends – hopefully I can apply the lesson to my Nina’s teas.
Many thanks to Indigobloom for giving me a sample of this to try!
Saturday Sample Sipdown! I plan to do 8 sipdowns between now and Monday night, and this is the first one.
I really wanted to like this tea because it smells so nice and gentle when dry. However, the brewed taste is really disappointing. I want more orange and sweetness than there actually is. I do like how the tea glitters with gold specks right after you finish steeping. But alas, glitter is not enough. So long!
And this tea rounds out my “green-tea-only” efforts for the day. Something warm and soothing with low caffeine.
This one tasted a bit more bitter and less rice-y than normal today. Still comforting, though. I probably have enough left to do 1 or 2 more pots of tea. I’ve got a few genmaicha samples coming from Yunomi.us, and once I have those I’ll see if I like this one as much.
And yet another generous sample from Angel at Teavivre.
I think I may have overleafed this slightly, but the jasmine in this particular tea is a bit strong and one-note for my tastes. I’ve had jasmine dragon pearls in the past with a hint of sweetness underneath almost like orange or honeysuckle, but I’m not experiencing that in this blend.
I steeped the leaves twice, both for 3 minutes: once at 85C and the second time at 80C. Both times the tea was palatable, but I believe that this tea might be better at a slightly lower temperature than indicated on the label.
Maybe this will really blossom if done gong-fu style. I’m withholding a rating for now.