1850 Tasting Notes
People seem to be posting a lot with the new system… I had a lot to read through to get back to where I left off yesterday when Steepster went down for updates. I noticed it stopped updating my iPhone app, but you never know whether updates are going to be more behind the scenes or up front. I have to say the new update looks very familiar to me, as they were clearly trying a lot of it out in the app beta.
Anyway, this tea. I got a sample of this from OMGsrsly in our recent swap, and I pulled it out this morning. I did probably overleaf a bit (a bit more than 3tsp), but that’s fine because it came out awesomely. Sweet, smooth, mapley, yum! The black base had a nice malty undertone as well that served this one well. I haven’t had a maple tea that I really loved before, but this one certainly matches that requirement. I had it this morning while I also had some Vermont maple cream on a bagel, and it was the perfect match. Thanks again OMGsrsly for sharing this one!
I ordered a sample of this tea with my recent ATR order because it always seemed like a tea that would be up my alley (berries, figs, rose petals). I once got a sample of this but either due to bad water or a contaminated sample it came out pretty foul.
I had my new sample once before and forgot to write a note on it, but thankfully this is way better now. The sencha base is grassy (but in a good way) and a bit buttery, and the fruit is intense but not cloying or anything. Just very fruity. Huge hunks of fruit in the blend. I think the main flavor here is the berry blend (raspberry and strawberry primarily), with a deeper figgy note. The kiwi brightens the whole thing up a bit. It’s not floral, despite the rose petals (more for looks than for flavor, I would guess). A nice fruity blend, although it doesn’t really grab me that much. That may be more to do with my recent meh-ness about flavored greens. Still, I’m really glad I got a sample of this because now I know it isn’t actually gross.
I had a sachet of this yesterday at tea time. I am not the biggest fan of grape-flavored stuff, but this had an intense muscat/white grape flavor that was pretty distinct from most grape flavor. Still, I thought it might be overwhelming. But it turned out to be pretty good! Very muscat grapey, but definitely with a hint of wine grape as well. I didn’t really detect jasmine as a distinct flavor or scent. A decent cup that I had no problem drinking, but not one I will probably go back for often (still not huge on grapey things that aren’t actually wine).
MissB snuck this one in my package and I’m glad she did. I never went for this tea in the past because it is a roasted oolong instead of a green, and I wasn’t super into those (recently I am appreciating them more).
I could smell the chestnut immediately, and it reminded me a hint of Tourbillon (also chestnut), but this one is more subtle than Tourbillon, which I appreciate. The chestnut in Tourbillon kind of over-chestnuts me, it’s too strong of a flavor, but this is lovely and blends so well with the oolong base. Slightly sweet (in a natural way), lightly toasted, sooooo smooth, this definitely has the sense of lightly roasted chestnuts. Delish.
Thanks to MissB for a sample of this one. I had wanted to try this because it is rather beloved here among many.
So I pretty much knew this would be sugary as soon as I saw the little marshmallows floating on the surface and then dissolving during steeping. Yup, certianly sugary, and way more sugary than I usually take my tea. It’s sweet, and that’s what I taste. I have to say I don’t really get caramel in particular. I do wish they had gone for marshmallow by using marshmallow root instead of actual marshmallow, but so it goes. This isn’t really a tea for me. :) But I’m glad I got to try it out finally.
Thanks, of course, to MissB for a sample of this one. I was intrigued by it but not sure how into an ale tea I would be.
Brewed up, it has an interesting blend of scents. I have to say I can definitely pick out rhubarb, vanilla, and ale (hops), so I guess that’s a check for all three. There’s something about the rhubarb and vanilla that reminds me of something but I can’t place it. The same naggling sense of deja vu is there in the flavor as well… where have these flavors come across to me before? I dunno. Anyway, I think I like the first part of the sip best: bright, crisp, sparkling, tart with rhubarb and a light bite of hops. In the aftertaste the vanilla grows, and turns my rhubarb lambic (kinda) into more of a candy-ish flavor. I do like it, but I think I would like it more sans vanilla. But I am definitely glad I got to try it!
I am currently running low on tins for 50g of tea, most of which are occupied by DF teas from my order this summer. I did, however, have an explosion of small “sample” sized tins with nothing in them, until suddenly I realized that the sample sized tins actually hold 25g of tea. I have recently been possessed of a desire to have more DF teas at home for the weekends and work-at-home days, so I’ve been splitting the 50g tins into two smaller tins (one for home, one for work) to free up the 50g tins.
A result of this is that I suddenly feel like I have a lot less of those teas, and this is one of them. It’s a little panic inducing when many of them are your favorites and it seems like you are almost out of them (when in reality I probably still have 40g of them). I had a cup of this tea last night but it didn’t really turn out right. Fortunately this morning it is back to being the tea I adore.
This tea is one that I had wanted to try for a while because people always raved about it and said it was a great almond tea. Almond is one of my favorite flavors, so of course I wanted to try it, even with the cherry notes, which I don’t typically care for. Thankfully MissB sent me some!
I tell you that one thing I wasn’t expecting was the spice. I guess I didn’t read the description, or somehow blocked it out? At first I wondered if I had been thinking of the right tea. But yes, I was, and the spices are less prominent in the flavor than they are in the aroma.
First, I have no idea how much water MF recommends for their little muslin sachets, which is what I have. I went for my usual 12oz, but I don’t know if that was proper. I also forgot that I usually steep MF teas at less than boiling to stave off bitterness, although that probably entirely depends on the base tea.
This is without a doubt the smoothest MF tea I’ve ever had. It’s impressively smooth. Not a hint of bitterness, and not too robust for me. It is sweet, even, with a rich lingering almond flavor and light, warm spices. The only thing that is keeping me from rating this into the nineties is the cherry, and that is entirely my personal dislike of cherry flavoring. The subtleness of the cherry and how it meshes with the almond does make it more tasty than most other cherry flavored teas, however. Glad to have tried it.
It is stupidly cold in my office. Really. Counting the minutes until I can go home (leaving after a lunch presentation), and trying desperately to keep warm with tea.
Thanks to MissB for this cup! I always take an opportunity to try out samples of S&V teas since they do have some good ones. Honestly I drank this one down pretty quickly, but it was definitely tasty. English Toffee? Well, maybe not what I think of as English Toffee. It was nice and nutty, but lacking the high-heat caramel toffee flavor I was desiring. At least, I think it was. Too cold to think straight? It was, in any case, tasty enough that I had no problem slurping it down in record time.
Lupicia’s monthly newsletter also came with a milk tea recipe. This tea was actually one of their recommended teas for milk tea, so I decided to follow their recipe and have a “real” milk tea.
The main difference is a higher milk to water ratio, with milk making up the bulk of the liquid, and a relatively large amount of tea steeping in a small amount of water first. I have to say, it turned out really nicely. I could get behind this. This tea definitely has the strength to stand up to a milk tea. It didn’t really need sugar (it wasn’t bitter at that point) but I added a touch anyway because I like milk teas slightly sweetened. I will definitely do this again!
Steep 3 tsp of tea in 1/2 cup of boiling water for 3 minutes.
Heat 1 cup of milk to close to boiling.
Strain tea into milk, sweetened if desired.