932 Tasting Notes
Tastes like Christmas Tea Blanc on a black tea base. The cherry flavor pretty much overpowers everything else except the woodiness of the black tea. Cherry Jolly Ranchers, sour cherry juice concentrate. I swear I taste orange, too. No almond to be found by my senses.
Flavors: Candy, Cherry, Fruity, Ginger, Orange, Thick, Wood
Advent Day 18, From the Depths of the Grab Bag.
Packet: “Butterscotch. Butterscotch again. Vanilla? That’s what makes me think butterscotch.”
Tea: “It smells like that African tea.” I guess that is something Kiki remembers my aunt drinking way back. I happen to be drinking plain red rooibos tonight so I had her smell my mug and she said, “Yeah! That’s the African tea this tea smells like.”
“Vanilla, it tastes vanilla-like. It’s alright. I like vanilla but I don’t like it in tea. It’s mostly black tea with vanilla. It’s a 7.”
Advent Day 17, From the Depths of the Grab Bag.
A few swigs of vodka straight from the bottle and a light dinner. Kiki’s mellow tonight. As usual, the cat’s on her lap.
“You know, I think she has a few more years left in her.”
sniffs packet “Ahhhh…. sniffs again Yeah. and again That’s smells niiice. Apple?”
“It smells good. smile It smells like apple cider. Cinnamon? sips Ahhh. Star anise. loud laughs, sips And aaaah… red clover. It tastes like that Celestial Tiger tea.”
<me, curious> What does that mean?
“Warm and candy. sips Ahh. Yeah like apple cider with a cinnamon stick in it. sips and loud noises I like it. it’s good. pleasant. Kitty likes it, don’t you. It’s subtle but nice. Makes a statements. cackles I give it, uh, I give it an 8. I recommend it smiles It doesn’t have that clove thing in it. That clove thing, that’s bad. I think it’s good to have a bag full of stuff to try. I think we should continue this through the year. I do. An assortment. Are you typing while looking at me?”
<me, nonplussed> Yeah I do that.
“You could be a stenographer.”
<me, drinking my own tea> Oh.
sips “Good to the last drop!”
This has been a lunch time brew several days per week for the past few weeks. At first, I didn’t like it but it’s grown on me. Today was a particularly good cup. There’s a heaviness to the tea that took me a while to appreciate and put a taste to. I think it’s lima beans. I like to brew this with a lot of leaf and for about 5 minutes to make a richer, honey-like brew with mellow notes of apricot, nectarine, orange zest and orange blossom to kind of overplay the beany-vegetal quality. Second, longer steep is equal in flavor and body. Sometimes I notice bitterness in this tea, other times not. Chili pepper spiciness, minty cooling.
I’m still undecided on where I sit with this one. Don’t have much experience with first flush darjeeling.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Beany, Bitter, Cream, Fruity, Heavy, Honey, Lima Beans, Mineral, Olives, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Pepper, Spearmint, Spicy, Stonefruit, Vegetal
The dry sachet smells a lot like candied chestnuts and artificial chocolate flavor coated hazelnuts with some mandarin orange zest.
The base tea feels like a mix between alkaline-bitter and oceanic-saline . It has a bothersome astringency and dries out my mouth. Guessing it’s a sencha. And I don’t think it at all goes well with the artificial-tasting chocolate and maple flavors. Slight hint of puffed rice. Finishes fruity and very drying. Gets prickly bitter when allowed to cool. Second steep was the same.
I like the concept but think it would taste better on a different green tea base, something that better complements the sweet flavors of chocolate, maple and chestnut, and even the mandarin orange, so maybe a Dragon Well. As it is, I’m surprised I drank two cups.
Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Bitter, Chestnut, Chocolate, Drying, Hazelnut, Maple Syrup, Marine, Orange Zest, Sweet, Toasted Rice
Advent Day 16, From the Depths of the Grab Bag.
sniff the leaf, grimace “Let’s get it on I guess!”
sniff the mug “Oh gosh, here we go again. It’s got that caramel smell again, like butterscotch.”
sip “Yup there’s clove or star anise… it’s warm spice. sip Caramel apple? sip Cinnamon. It’s no so bad. Mhm. It doesn’t have that gritty tongue thing. Chocolate? sip, BURP Kinda tastes like pecan pie. Not too bad. It’s alright. I say it’s, uh, 7. Maybe 6.5 to 7. It just has, like, a little bit of an artificial sweet flavor. Would I recommend it? I don’t… I don’t… I don’t think so. There are better things out there. It’s got kind of artificial flavoring.”
The sachet smells mostly like ruby red grapefruit with bergamot underneath.
Light and refreshing. Smooth, woody and gently mineral-astringent base tea (only Ceylon?) supports well the mildly peppery bergamot, which is evident first, and lime, which shows up more in the aftertaste as floral key lime pie filling. I noticed the bottom of the cup smells like brown sugar and lime.
Second steep has what seems to me like the typical DF flavored black tea mouthfeel: thick and glassy, soft, almost juicy. The bergamot is stronger and akin to grapefruit rind, while the lime seems to have disappeared. My tongue is tingling from the bergamot rind. I like the lighter base tea; heavier blacks often used in Earl Grey tend to upset my stomach.
Maybe a little boring but still well composed. If you like milder Earl Grey and love lime, I’d recommend this. I doubt this would take milk well. Though I don’t add sweeteners to tea, I could see some honey doing wonderful things for this brew.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Citrusy, Grapefruit, Lime, Mineral, Smooth, Tangy, Thick, Wood
Because of the tiny, thin leaves and their clumpy nature, when I take some from the jar, it feels like I’m pinching some tobacco from a pouch to roll a cigarette. I like that aspect of this tea. The qualities of the leaf go beyond sight and smell and into a familiar past, a ritual of touch.
The dry leaf smells rich and fruity, like a mix between scotch, cocoa, leather and tobacco. A haylike quality is also present. The fruitiness comes as lighter, shifting notes of raisin, raspberry, apricot and plum. Some florality is presented as osmanthus. When had gongfu, the warm leaf smells strongly of sourdough starter and a bright red wine with a red currant note.
I’ve prepared this tea 3 different ways so far: western, bowl and gongfu. I’ll start off by saying gongfu preparation makes a tea difficult to please. I never could get the right touch to take this tea into the enjoyable territory of its western or bowl preparation. It was always overpowering, savory-sour, bitter-vegetal and drying. Early aroma was cocoa-fruity-leathery; later, somehow undeniably like ramps.
I was going to try to describe all three ways in one note but I can’t seem to gather my thoughts into anything cohesive. I’ll add another note or two for western prep and bowl tea.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Cocoa, Cream, Drying, Grain, Hay, Leather, Malt, Orange, Osmanthus, Peach, Plums, Raisins, Raspberry, Red Wine, Scotch, Sour, Strawberry, Tobacco, Vegetal, Wheat
Advent 19. All caught up.
The sachet smells rich and spicy, herbaceous and floral. Chocolate flavoring-cinnamon-clove, ginger-lemon balm-floral perfume.
Every single sip is dirt rolled in licorice, sprinkled with chocolate flavoring, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, then rolled in more dirt. Like the dry, crumbly kind. Finishes licorice-sweet.
Dirt dirt dirt. Nope nope nope.
Flavors: Artificial, Cardamom, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Earth, Floral, Ginger, Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Licorice, Perfume, Spicy, Sweet
Advent Day 15, From the Depths of the Grab Bag.
sniffs packet “Mmm, citrusy.”
<me, curious> Yeah?
<me, poking> I dunno. What do you think?
lotta sips "Hm. Maybe some lemongrass? chokes It’s pleasant. Even though I just choked. Maybe a little vanilla? Maybe it’s got a little hibiscus? Maybe it’s raspberries.
<me, knowingly> Raspberries?
“Raspberries, strawberries? Some kind of berry flavor. It’s good, it’s light, buRRRrrps it’s refreshing. It’s very pleasant – I like it – I’d give it a 7.5 because I would drink it again. It’s a good blend, a go-to. So what kind is it?”Blueberry Lemon.
Sounds like she enjoys it as much as last time :)