2031 Tasting Notes
Last Friday I said that this week I would be revisiting all my favorite teas, which I haven’t drank in a long while. Of course, this week I will only be around my stash for two days before traveling for Thanksgiving, so perhaps I will need to stretch my “favorites” resolution to after this week. In reality I’d like to revisit a lot of teas that I haven’t gotten around to in a while, not just my absolute faves, so I’m going to try to mix things up a bit in general.
Anyway, what better way to start out than this one? So almondy and floral. This is one of the few teas I’ve encountered that really does give me that sweet almond marzipan flavor I look for in an almond tea. I love this tea but I don’t want to drink it up so fast because I have to order it from France when I run out! On the other hand, that means an order to Dammann Fréres in which I can order all kinds of other teas as well. Maybe I should drink it up to make an excuse for myself! :D
This is definitely one of those teas that I wasn’t super excited to go back to. This one less because it was bad than because it just didn’t wow me like expected. But everyone also says that you have to try this one with milk and sugar because it’s like strawberries and cream and so delicious… so I had to bring it home and try it!
I think I do enjoy it more with the milk and sugar… the strawberry flavor is very nice, and I actually get more florals with it this way, which I wouldn’t have expected with the milk. The milk helps to smooth out the odd tartness that I taste with MF black teas. Overall a very tasty pot of tea.
So I never put milk and sugar in my tea, partly because I drink most of my tea at work and I don’t have those things there, and partly because I like drinking my tea straight. A tea has to taste good on it’s own for me, without additions. That’s not to say that I haven’t come across several teas that I didn’t love straight, and then never get around to drinking them even though they would probably taste good with milk and sugar. So I finally brought some of these teas home to have on the weekend with additions.
This one is tasty with milk and sugar. It wasn’t horrible without it, but it was kind of lackluster. Now it’s way more nutty and a lightly chocolatey, and the slightly bitter tea base is smoothed out and covered by the milk. I think the weekend milk and sugar teas will definitely be a way for me to use up teas I wasn’t very fond of straight.
This tea is mind-bendingly good. It is almost unbelievable! I went through my first steep so quickly because I couldn’t stop drinking it, I was surprised when it was gone! Thankfully I can get lots of steeps out of this one because I am going to need them today. It gets especially delicious as it cools down to just warm, and that incredible buttery, caramely sweetness comes out. I have yet to rate a tea 100, but this one has joined the ranks of my 99s, which are the teas that I truly and utterly love. And now it’s out of stock! I am eagerly awaiting the reblending.
I bought a whole tin of this a while ago, and I’m just now getting around to having some. I can be really weird about my teas sometimes. I get so wrapped up trying all the new teas, I hardly go back to my favorites. Today I saw this one in the drawer and wanted it, but then thought that I should try to drink up a sample instead. This tea kept nagging at the back of my mind, so I pulled some out. Like some others on here, I’ve had an up and down relationship with white tea; a lot of times I just can’t seem to get the steeping right. I’ve had good success with Harney’s whites though, this one included. I love the coconut-almond-vanilla blend in this that almost tastes chocolatey.
Coming back to this one has made me think that maybe next week I should do a return to all my faves, at least the ones I haven’t had recently.
‘Monterey Berry Blend’: 1.75tsp each blackberry, black currant and raspberry black teas from Monterey Bay Spice Company.
This cold steep was surprisingly really tasty! I worried that it wouldn’t be because the Monterey Bay black teas have generally tasted low quality to me, and sometimes that can result in nasty cold steeps. But this seems to indicate that the flavorings are of decent quality, it’s just the black tea base that’s not so great. Cold steeping tends to smooth over ills in tea bases, and so it has here. This one is definitely very berry flavored; they all mesh together very well, but I can also pull them out individually. The blackberry, which was kind of odd hot, here provides a nice earthy, berries-from-the-bush note that is very pleasant. Glad to know that these cold steep well, and I’m looking forward to playing with blending these!
Oh this tea, the tea I want to love but never quite lives up to my expectations. It is neither chocolatey enough or bergamotty enough for me, and those jasmine flowers listed in the ingredients always tease me but never deliver. Actually now that I brew it at 4 minutes it’s probably chocolatey enough, but I want more of a sense I’m drinking an Earl Grey, not just a chocolate tea with some lemony citrus. Nevertheless, it’s still a perfectly decent cup of tea, and I have no problem drinking it. I just had such high hopes for it!
I had some problems with consistance early on in my sample of this tea, but this cup seems very similar to the last cup I had, so maybe I just wasn’t getting a good mix the first times around. This cup is rosy and lemony with a hint of ginger, all with a pleasant green oolong base to back it up. I’m really, really enjoying this one and if my last cup of the sample is as good as this one, I think I might have to order some more… this flavor combination doesn’t seem that common!
I have to begin this tasting note with a caveat that I don’t usually like blueberry flavored things. I’m trying this one this morning because I have a groupon-style deal to this company that is expiring in the not-too-distant future, and I’m trying to decide what to order. It’s really tough! This company has a lot of blends that look tasty, not to mention the create-your-own blend option, but they don’t sell samples so I have to choose only a few. I’ve had one other tea from this company, the Brown Sugar Fig, which was also black, but I want to know how their Earl Grey base is. Also I need to try out their black tea base again… it’s a Assam/Ceylon blend, and I’m not the biggest fan of Assam.
However! This cup is very pleasant. The black tea base comes through as robust, but also very smooth and not bitter. It’s malty and plays well with the bergamot, which is bright and citrusy. The blueberry is omipresent and really the main flavor, but it’s not too overwhelming and I can still enjoy the cup. Of course now this only makes my ordering decision more difficult!