2185 Tasting Notes
Wow, this one is unpopular on Steepster. I didn’t expect that since it’s one of the Tea Spot’s signature blends and top sellers, but you can never tell. I received this as a free sample with my last Tea Spot order. This tea intrigued me because I love rhubarb, but I am not really a fan of strawberries in any form (including flavoring) other than fresh, so I wasn’t jumping to try it. But I get to anyway, I guess!
The dry leaf smells pretty candy-ish, but at least in a way that smells like the flavors it claims (sweet strawberry and tart rhubarb) instead of some generic fruit candy flavor. At first I thought of strawberries, but as I smelled it more I was more convinced of a rhubarb aroma. Steeped it smells like a pretty good blend of the two, with some underlying creamy notes. Some people are getting vanilla, but me, not so much… it actually reminds me more of these odd rhubarb and custard hard candies I bought in England one time.
The flavors remain pretty candy-ish and give the sensation of being sweet even if the tea itself is not sweet. I do get some of the fresh, slightly grassy, somewhat buttery dragonwell in the main part of the sip. The whole thing really does remind me of a strawberry-rhubarb pie when you cook down the fruit in sugar and it gets almost painfully sweet. All in all I enjoy it much more than most people here, though I won’t be needing to buy any more once I’m done with my sample.
I think I probably really bug Ricky here on Steepster because I’m always emailing him about merging duplicate entries, heh. This one happens to have two entries, and even though my pouch uses the other variant on the name (“Organic Cream of Earl Grey”) I chose this one because it has more entries. Well, they should be merged soon anyway.
This is the last of the three samples I bought at the shop last weekend. It smells really creamy, and it delivers. It’s possibly one of the creamiest EGC’s I’ve had, though it suffers a bit from the same faint, slightly pithy, bitter-citrus flavor that their plain Earl has. Not shocking, because that’s probably the base of this. The cream goes a long way to smoothing that out, but it’s not quite enough for me. Still, that is some super vanilla-y cream in there, with almost caramelly notes. Pretty tasty.
After I gave up on that last cup my mind started wandering, thinking about tea and tea shops, and it wandered right to Dammann Freres. Man, that place was amazing. My next thought was that I wanted one of their amazing teas right away. This tea contains some jasmine green tea, but it’s certianly not too jasminey… I am a little jasmined out after that last bomb.
I steeped this one a little hotter than I have in the past just to test it out at a temp in between black and green since it’s a black/green blend. I think it worked out well! No hints of bitterness or scalding of the green tea. I think there’s a bit more of the black tea base showing up this time, giving it a warmer low note to balance the fresh, fruity, floral notes from the rest of the tea. Ahh, DF, you always hit it just right.
When I was ordering tea from this company with my groupon, I wasn’t feeling super confident about their blends so I decided to spend part of it on this jasmine green because I thought, hey, at least that should be safe, right?
Apparently not. I knew going in from the photo that pearls these are not. I don’t know why you would have a plain jasmine green and call it “jasmine pearl”, but there you go. If I had looked more closely I would have noticed that the ingredients say green tea and “jasmine flavoring”, which may have been a tip-off. Most jasmine greens are referred to as just jasmine greens since the jasmine is added by drying the tea with jasmine petals, not adding flavoring to the tea once it’s dried. I mean, it could be a nomenclature thing but somehow I doubt it. In the pouch the jasmine smelled artificial and plasticy, and the steeped tea is not much better. Perfumy to the max. The two minute steep was apparently too much because there’s a slightly bitter taste to the whole thing. Perhaps a one minute steep would be better but somehow I doubt it because it’s pretty artificial overall. It’s not undrinkable, but I can’t imagine anyone who likes jasmine teas enjoying it (and those who don’t like them certainly wouldn’t!). Oh well, you live and learn.
When given the chance to sample a company’s Earl, I’ll always take it, so I grabbed a sample pouch of this tea as well when I was at the store. This one tends to have low ratings on Steepster because it is supposed to be super bergamotty… well we’ll see about that! I like a bergamotty tea as long as it’s deployed well. Sometimes excessive bergamot can mean astringent, bitter, pithy taste, but sometimes it’s just tasty.
I would say this one falls on the pretty tasty side of things. The bergamot is pretty strong, but it’s only a hint bitter (which comes out more as it cools) and it seems to play well with the base. As the cup is cooling down it’s really obvious that the bitter hint really is that bitterness that bergamot can impart sometimes because really, bergamot is a bitter citrus. Other than that, though, I think it’s a nice Earl for those who aren’t afraid of bergamot. I still think that Todd & Holland’s Double Bergamot is my favorite mega-bergamotty Earl, but I would drink this one again.
After the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival this weekend, the boyfriend and I went down to the Bleecker Street area to go to some record stores. And since we were so nearby… heh. My poor, long-suffering, non-tea-drinking boyfriend got dragged into the shop with me. My first time in the new NYC DavidsTeas! The sales people were almost absurdly chipper and friendly, greeting us the moment we walked in the door with samples. I looked around some but I’m still really on a tea-buying moratorium. Since I didn’t buy many teas at the festival I allowed myself to buy some of the prepackaged sample pouches since they were 3 for $5. This is one I picked up.
Upon opening the pouch there’s no doubt that this is mango tea, though the aroma is decidedly mango candy rather than fresh mango. I was surprised to see the steeping directions of 200°F for 5-7min because of the white tea base. I rarely steep any tea for 5 minutes unless it’s an herbal or I’m adding milk and sugar, but I took a deep breath and set the timer for 5 minutes. Steeped, it smells mango-y but also pretty orange-y, as well as some other nondescript fruits in there.
This is a super fruity tea. I wouldn’t say straight up mango as much as a tropical fruit salad. It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s hard to tell there’s tea in it. It’s just getting tarter and tarter as it cools, and it’s a little tart for me for a non-sweetened, non-iced tea. It’s not bad really, it’s just not something I’m enjoying drinking much. Oh well, at least it was a small sample!
I added a sample of this tea with my last order from the Tea Spot, because why not? I’m always interested in various tieguanyins; you never know when a good one is going to unexpectly pop up somewhere.
The leaves of this one are somewhat loosely rolled and they don’t smell super inspiring, just green, genericly tea-ish, and a bit floral. Steeped up the leaves really wake up and become interesting. There are a lot more magnolia-ish floral notes here, as well as some buttery undertones. The flavor is pretty vegetal with a nice floral overtone to it. A pleasant tea to drink, but it pales in comparsion to some of the TGY’s I’ve had the fortune to try.
This brothy, savory green might not be something I crave as a stand-alone cup, but it turns out it’s a great meal accompaniment. I got the idea after I enjoyed a green tea I might otherwise not have liked so much when I had it with dinner one night. The savory notes in this were great with my lunch (just a turkey sandwich). Usually I drink cold-steeped tea with lunch, and it’s often a very fruity one, so this was a nice change of pace.
I know, more Earl Grey Cream, right? I got my package from the Tea Spot in the mail last night, and I had to try this one this morning to test out my taste buds, which seemed off yesterday. Creamy-flavored teas were just bland! Well it seems like my creamy taste for tea is pretty much back. This tea is super citrusy, and sweet and creamy. It seems more sweet than normal today; perhaps it’s because this is a nice fresh batch. Definitely one of my new favorites, and I’m glad I bough a big pouch of it. And I’m glad it seems like I can try new teas today and not miss out on their flavors because of weird taste buds.
I wanted something creamy this afternoon, and this one fit the bill.
Drinking this now, I’m wondering if my taste buds aren’t a little messed up, at least for creamy flavors today. I’m not getting much out of this one, and that has never happened to me with this tea before! Maybe I shouldn’t have judged the Cream Earl Grey so harshly this morning. Man, this is weird. I haven’t noticed anything else lacking, just cream/vanilla. Lame.