1933 Tasting Notes
I managed to score a Talbott’s gift set via SimplyJenW, so I’m happy to be able to try this tea finally. I love their Chocolate Almond Allure a lot, so this one sounded promising. It seems similar except for the vanilla flavoring instead of almonds. My tin also had some apple pieces in it, despite there not being anything about apples in the ingredients list.
The steeped tea smells like a caramelly black tea with some chocolatey cacao-nibby notes to it. It smells more like an unflavored black with those notes than a flavored tea, and the notes seem to mesh very well together. Flavor is nicely caramel with some dark cacao notes. This tea isn’t really super chocolatey to me, but there are cocoa notes if that makes sense. I don’t get distinct vanilla, but I feel like it’s in there helping the caramel be really creamy… kind of like when I make caramels and add vanilla extract, it doesn’t make the caramels taste vanilla-y. The black tea base is robust and a bit toasty as well, but suuuuper smooth. Overall a very tasty cup. Not quite as good as Chocolate Almond Allure, but pretty delicious nonetheless.
I really do love the smell of these high-altitude oolongs. The taste too, but really I love the smell. So creamy and floral and oolongy. That pretty much applies to the flavor of this one, which is a really nice version. I find most of these high-altitude taiwanese oolongs to be more floral and fresh and less buttery and creamy than other green oolongs I’ve had. I called this one “creamy” but it’s not creamy like a jin xuan is creamy… there’s just a hint of creaminess in the main part of the flavor, but then there’s a bit of oolong astringency (the palate-cleansing kind) in the aftertastes. It’s a tea I really, very much enjoy drinking, but not one I crave a lot.
This morning is why I hate Daylight Savings Time so much. It’s always so hard for me to fall asleep Sunday night, and then the alarm feels like its going off an hour early this morning. At least when I deal with jetlag after traveling, I’m so exhausted from traveling that I fall asleep anyway.
I decided on this tea today because I haven’t had it in a while. It doesn’t really call out to me when I want a plain Earl Grey, but it is incredibly delicious. I think it seems more citrusy to me because the tea is such a bright orange color when steeped. I think I forgot how good this one was! What a great pairing of base and flavor. Golden yunnans do seem to be some of my favorite blacks, and every time I drink a tea like this I appreciate more and more flavored teas with very high quality bases.
I got a cup of this at Panera this afternoon with lunch since I was cold and tired from birding in the morning. Today is a pretty nice day relatively, but I wish it was like tomorrow is going to be… a lot warmer! I’m going to a concert tonight too and I’m not really looking forward to standing in the cold.
This tea was pretty decent. Most of the time I was just reminded about how much I hate drinking tea in tea bags from paper cups… too much paper taste! This tasted like a light-bodied black tea with a bit of mango. The mango wasn’t very strong, but it tasted relatively juicy and not cloyingly candy-like. When I look for a fruity black I really want a nice, rich base behind it, and that just wasn’t there in this cup. Also in a mango tea I prefer something even more mangoey. I would drink this one again if it was a choice at a restaurant, but I’m not going to buy a tin.
This tea is just out of control. I haven’t had it for a while, but man is it tasty. I typically brew my oolongs at 195°F for 3 minutes, which is what I’ve done in the past for this one, but this time I noticed that the instructions on the back of the tea pouch said 205°F for oolongs, so that’s what I did. I used to be afraid of steeping my oolongs at boiling or near boiling because I thought they would get overcooked that way, but I’ve done it with a few teas under instruction from the company now, and have been rewarded. This one is super sweet once it cooled down, with those floral, buttery, creamy, almost caramelly notes. Yum.
A long, mostly tea-less Thursday means a not-ready-to-be-awake Friday morning. I knew I wanted a black tea that would help me wake up a bit, but was having a hard time choosing. I almost went for an Earl Grey, or some chocolate tea, but instead I grabbed this one. Figgy and fruity and floral, it’s comforting but also the black tea is bold enough to make for a good wake-up cup. Doesn’t mean that I’m not still tired, but at least I have enough energy to get the morning started.
Today was an early morning and it’s going to be a long day. It’s also going to be a day mostly without tea… how am I going to survive?!
I decided to take this one on the go with me this morning sine it’s such a fortifying tea. Doesnt mean I feel awake right now, but at least the tea is tasty. This is quickly becoming my go-to Earl, which is saying something for me because I have so many of them. This one really stands out from the others in a good way. More than that, although I love plain Earl Greys I don’t often find myself reaching for them out of my own cupboard, I guess because none of them really grabbed me. But this one I look at the pouch and think, “I want that tea!” A sure sign of a keeper.
I thought I would try these oolongs again before I go to China to get a reminder of their flavors, and what I might want to look out for. I know I’m going to be completely overwhelmed, so I’m trying to restrict the actual kinds of teas that I will specifically look for while I’m there. I’m hoping I can also discover a some teas I’ve never heard of while I’m there, so keeping all the varieties straight in my head is going to be tough. :)
This is a nicely balanced floral and vegetal oolong. It’s got a smooth texture throughout the sip, and then there’s a light astringency and a sweetness to the aftertaste. I don’t find this one particularly creamy or buttery in flavor this time. It’s light and fresh and floral and pretty springy, which is appropriate for the warm, lovely weather we’re having today.
Also, I am completely obsessed with the new Frozen Planet penguin livestream webcam. It’s of the penguin enclosure at Sea World San Diego, and there are a lot of penguins in there! They are hilarious, and I love watching them while I’m working. My favorites are the Adelie and Gentoo penguins. Fortunately my screen is big enough that I can have a small window with them open at all times.
There is something that is just so caramelly and sweet about this blend. Maybe it’s the tea base, maybe it’s the red fruits flavoring that’s just really rich. This tea always surprises me because the leaf looks so… not inspiring of confidence. Tiny tiny pieces of tea that look like they belong in a tea bag. A lot of times those teas can get bitter (or just too strong for me) quickly because of all the surface area. But not this tea! I brewed it at four minutes this time, and there is not a hint of bitterness. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t use more leaf, though, because I could still go for a somewhat bolder flavor. Definitely enjoying this cup, though!
Another tea I have little to say about at this point. I love it, it’s one of my faves, and you can see other tasting notes to see why. Short story is that it’s chocolatey, almondy, caramelly, and has a nice black tea base that plays well with the flavors.
I feel like I’ve been leaning toward black teas lately, especially my favorite flavoreds, and today I realized that it might be because in a few weeks I will be in China and I subconciously think this will mean no more black tea. Of course it will likely not because I am going to try to pick up a couple teas including a gongfu black right when I get there so I can have them for my 3 week stay in Beijing. True, I won’t have flavored teas except for florals. I am glad I’m at a much better place in my tea journey than if I was taking this trip last year… at this time last year I didn’t like (nor was I interested in) any unflavored teas at all, really, and a trip to China would have just resulted in lots and lots of jasmine teas. Fortunately that’s no longer the case, and that’s definitely due to swaps on Steepster and Teavivres samples, which have been like a mini course in Chinese teas. Now my biggest problem is fitting it all in my luggage…