1851 Tasting Notes
Having a box full of new teas from JacquelineM was too much for me… I had to try one out despite the heat, humidity, and the fact that I don’t often drink tea at night (not for any particular reason, just because I don’t get around to it usually). Obviously I had to do one of the herbal teas, so I tried this one because it really smelled great; sweet and fruity, bright and citrusy. I also experimented with my first iced tea; I brewed it at double strength and shook some ice into it.
I probably could have/should have brewed it stronger and longer, but it was still tasty. A tiny dab of honey brought out the flavors a touch more, and it was tart and refreshing. It really does taste like an unsweetened Italian blood orange soda! I look forward to trying this one hot, as well as iced again this summer! Thanks again JacquelineM!
I’ve wanted to try a Kusmi tea for a while now since they have so many flavors that look just up my alley. And yet, I didn’t come back from Paris with any (there’s a Kusmi store in NYC, so I decided to save room in my luggage for other teas). But I did just get a sample of this tea, which I definitely wanted to try, from Jillian!
Brewed, this reminds me of the other almond green I’ve had, from Upton, though this one lacks cinnamon. Still, the almond manages to evoke an almost bakery-style aroma. The flavor is primarily a somewhat grassy/vegetal green tea initially, and the almond blooms into that nut-meat almond flavor. Again, not a marzipan, but nutty raw almonds. It’s a combo that works well with a Chinese green, I think, though I think my cup is a tad overdone (time, temp or leaf amount, I’m not sure which). I’m still enjoying this tea quite a bit. It’s similar enough to Upton’s almond green that I’m going to have to try that one again to refresh my memory for comparsion. Thanks again to Jillian for the generous sample!
I really am kind of compulsive about trying all the new teas I haven’t tried yet before going back to the rest of my cupboard. I’ll occasionally return for something specific (see: yesterday’s jasmine tea), but not too frequently. Thanks to Jillian for sending me another Earl Grey to try! I love a nice traditional EG, but I also tend to really enjoy EGs with extras like lemongrass and other citrus in them.
Brewed up, this one smells citrusy and lemongrassy. These notes give the flavor an extremely bright edge; you can rarely hide lemongrass in a blend, and that’s the case here. Fortunately I like lemongrass! But if you don’t this isn’t the tea for you. The bergamot in this is still a featured flavor, but everything else added means that it’s very citrusy and fruity. There’s a faint hint of astringency and bitterness, but not enough to bother me for this cup. All in all, a nice “alternative” Earl Grey and one I might consider keeping around for those times when I really want a lemony, citrusy Earl Grey.
Jasmine tea has been on my mind for a while now. Specifically Harney’s jasmine pearls, but I didn’t want to have them this late in my work day since I wouldn’t be able to get as many steeps out of them as they deserve. So I went for this jasmine to satisfy my craving for the moment. Certainly not as sweet and jasminey as the pearls, but still with a good dose of lovely floral jasmine.
Of course it’s kind of not working because it’s making me want the pearls more, but oh well.
Well, this is actually the last of the teas I brought back from Europe that I have yet to sample. I want to love Rose Earl Greys because I love both flavors, but I haven’t quite found one for me yet (admittedly I haven’t tried many!). I admit I’m a little worried about this one potentially having the same black tea base that I disliked on Tea Palace’s Earl Grey St Clements, but we’ll see. It certainly smells amazing dried: bright and citrusy bergamot, slightly sweet, with the floral rose undertones. The mix has lots of rose petals, some partial buds, and also bits of citrus peel in it.
Moment of truth (when it comes to the aroma at least, since I can usually tell if the black tea contains whatever mystery black I dislike)… not what I expected, but not bad either. The black tea base is what I smell here, with perhaps a hint of rose, but the bergamot has gotten lost. This isn’t the English Breakfast black tea base that the St Clements had, though, this is warmer, with spicy notes, perhaps with a bit of roasted grains. I’m still wary, but only a taste will tell.
Not bad. Not my favorite cup of tea, but certainly drinkable, and likely enjoyed by someone for more of a taste for unflavored black tea than me. I’m not really getting any bergamot or Earl Grey flavor at all, just a light, herby rose at the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. The primary flavors are from the black tea (origin unknown, unfortunately): a bit of pepper, some bright note, a roasted flavor, and a rather prickly mouthfeel. I’m afraid I’m pretty terrible at separating out all the myriad of notes that many people get out of a black tea, so sorry for the paltry description.
So I think I can pretty safely say that Tea Palace’s Earl Greys aren’t for me. At least I was able to get samples of them instead of buying more on aroma of the dry leaf alone (I’m really not sure how that strong of a bergamot aroma can just completely disappear, but it does).
This is a tea I’ve wanted to try for a while, so I was excited to get a sample from Jillian! A while ago I was on a specific hunt for my perfect Earl Grey, but now I’ve settled more into just trying EGs when I get a chance. Nevertheless, this one was always on my list to try since a lot of people seem to be fans.
I couldn’t get a ton of aroma from the dry tea, but brewed it smells fantastic. The bergamot is strong and at the front, but it’s not really in your face. It’s also has an amazing depth of aroma that I can hardly believe bergamot is the only flavoring. It’s got a sweet, smooth smell that reminds me of an EG creme (but not overly so). The black tea base is present with a touch of pepper, but it seems to boost the bergamot instead of merely competing with it.
It tastes good, but it doesn’t quite live up to the aroma for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great EG, but I won’t be too sad that it’s limited edition because it doesn’t blow me away like I was expecting from the aroma. The initially flavor on the sip is a little flat; maybe I need to steep for longer? It doesn’t seem to be bitter at all, so I may experiment with that next time. Anyway, the flavor really blooms late in the sip and in the aftertaste, and it does stay fairly true to the notes in the aroma, but fainter. I just wish the whole sip could be like that! It is well balanced, with a black tea base that I enjoy and a citrusy bergamot note rounding it out. Thanks again Jillian, I’m glad I got to try it!
I wanted a fruity tea this afternoon, and this one jumped out of my samples box at me. I picked this tea up with an assortment of other Revolution Tea sachets back at the beginning of May at a truck stop of all places. The dry leaf on this one smells really peachy. I can see through the sachet that the oolong is accompanied by a bunch of flower petals.
I went ahead and brewed this a full five minutes because if I recall correctly my experience with the other teas from this company was that they were a bit weak. The aroma is oolong-y; it says on the pouch that it’s a green oolong, but it smells more like a dark one to me, with a faint roasty aroma. The fruity peach notes are there in the background.
It may smell like a dark oolong (and look like one, from what I can see through the sachet), but it certainly has the leafy, vegetal taste of a green oolong. The peach/apricot flavor remains in the background of the flavor, subtley boosting the oolong itself. I peach flavors can taste medicinal to me sometimes, but this is a true, juicy fresh peach flavor (perhaps because it’s not over-flavored in the first place). I don’t get any ginger from this one, though it says it has some on the packet. I’m pleasantly surprised; I wasn’t expecting much out of this one, but it turned out pretty good after all.
I had most of this note written and then my browser crashed, boo. Anyway, this tea comes courtesy of Jillian, thanks! I’ve been interested in flavored oolongs since although I haven’t had a lot of them, I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve tried so far. And this one is almond, so I’m definitely excited to try it because I love almond-flavored anything.
The scent of the dry tea isn’t very strong, but I definitely catch an almond aroma; nutty, not quite sweet marzipan-type almond. The brewed tea smells really nice. Almondy, yes (though again in more of an actual-nut kind of way), but also distinctly appley. It reminds me of apple-almond pastries.
The flavor is light, but tasty. I wish I had brewed it for a little longer, I think. The main flavor of the sip is really the oolong: a little bit fruity/floral, a little bit roasted (just a tad!) from the darker oolong. The taste isn’t as appley as the aroma, but I do get hints of it, which must just be coming from the oolong. The almond blooms at the tail of the sip and lingers primarily in the aftertaste, and its slightly more sweet-almond marzipan than in the aroma. All in all, a tasty tea and I look forward to trying it a couple more times with different steeping parameters.
I had a pot of this tea at the teapod tea shop in Covent Garden, so I’m interested to see how it brews up at home now. This time I can smell the dry leaf: very fragrant, and a bergamot that’s on the floral side, which matches up to the taste of the cup I had last time. There’s also that warmer, rounder orange aroma in the dry leaf (no doubt from the bits of orange peel in the mix).
The aroma of the brewed tea is primarily of the Ceylon base with the high, bright, somewhat floral note of the bergamot overlying it. This cups seems a tad oversteeped; perhaps I put too much leaf in, or the water in the tea shop wasn’t quite boiling, or somehow I steeped it longer. There’s a touch of bitterness now, and that lovely floral bergamot is more astringent and overwhelmed by the black tea base. Well, I guess this is one I’ll have to play around with to get right, but I know it has the potential to be delicious!
I needed a break from black teas after this morning, so I decided to go for this white tea. Another last minute addition to my Tea Palace samples, this is one of the first relatively additive-free white teas I’ve had. It has rosebuds, true (and lots of shattered rose petals in the leaf), but I have my doubts that they will add too much, since it’s not a true “rose-scented” tea. The dry leaves smell—I’m not joking—like dried leaves. Tree leaves, I guess, like fall. Once I got a whiff of rose in there as well. Besides rosebuds and petals, this blend appears to include rose leaves as well, which is probably where the dried leaf aroma is coming from.
I’m not sure if I trust the steeping instructions on this one (for one, how much is a “dessertspoon” of tea??), and I don’t have a default white steeping setting really. I may have oversteeped this one, but I have plenty to play around with to see how everything changes. The liquor is a dark yellow/light amber, which is darker than I was expecting, and it has a light aroma that’s leafy with a faint rose undertone.
I probably don’t have a subtle enough palate for a tea like this, but I’m enjoying it all the same. I’m getting that leafy note that’s persisted through all phases of this, and a light rose note lingering at the end of the sip. The rose isn’t very sweet, but it’s more of a vegetal rose if that makes sense—not rose candy, actual roses on the bush. As in most cases, I would usually go for a more highly perfumed tea. This one’s good, but it doesn’t quite blow me away.