1931 Tasting Notes
This is a very tropical tea! The dry leaves smell of sweet/tart mango, passion fruit and berries. Brewed up the liquor is a medium amber color and the aroma is still predominently general fruity-tropical, but it’s more muted now and I can smell the more of the underlying oolong tea coming through. The flavor maintains all of these notes but I think I can detect some of the rose (faint, and more of a background flavor that just adds to the other flavors).
I was at first skeptical of this tea because sometimes the “berry” flavor in fruity teas can overwhelm all the other more delicate flavors, but I think this is a good balance. There’s so many different flavors they’re hard to pick out individually, but they come together nicely.
I have a sample package of this tea and there is no way that I’m not ordering more of it next time I order from Harney! Truly delicious. It reminds me a bit of my other nut-chocolate tea, the Chocolate Almond Allure from Talbott. Chocolate and hazelnut were made to go together, and they work very well in this tea.
What can I say about this tea that hasn’t already been said in other notes? This is definitely a chocolatey tea, and it’s one that makes the whole room smell like cocoa. The hazelnut flavor is strong as well, and there’s something about the roasted-nutty taste that warms me all over. This isn’t nutella, this is those other, better European chocolate-hazelnut spread brands, the ones that are more hazelnutty. There was one I used to get when I lived in Athens for a short while that was fantastic. Anyway, this is exactly the kind of tea that’s made for me, so it’s not surprising I love it.
This tea was one I got a sample pack of a while ago from Harney. I’m not sure how I brewed it before, since there aren’t many instructions with the sample pack, but this time I brewed it based on how some others had on steepster, and I think I’m enjoying it more than I remember! It’s been a while, so I my memory’s fading a bit. Anyway.
The white tea on this definitely comes through in the aroma and the taste. The bergamot is noticeable but not too powerful or astringent, just giving the tea crisp citrus notes over the somewhat vegetal, faintly nutty flavor of the white tea. I’m finding that I enjoy green/white EGs a lot, especially when I want an EG but also a light, refreshing cup of tea.
I seriously needed something to cleanse my palate after that last failed experiment, and this one called out to me from my cupboard. I’ve yet to log it, but I’ve had it for a while now. I got this one a while back when I was first beginning my assay of EGs. Now that I’ve had a number of high quality plain EGs, I’m coming back to this one with a slightly different palate. I still enjoy it as I did before, but now I can really appreciate how vanilla-creamy this tea is. I haven’t actually had too many of EG creams yet, but I can see myself trying more definitely. I like that I never have a problem with bitterness when brewing ESP Emporium’s black teas, and that’s true here as well.
The aroma of the brewed tea is strongly vanilla cream, with a sharp note of bergamot right at the end. In the taste the bergamot is more prominent, adding a bit of crisp astringency, but the cream smooths it over. This isn’t an EG blend where you can hardly taste the bergamot anymore; the bergamot black tea is still the main event here, but the sweet-cream flavor is strong as well. Overall well blended between the cream and the bergamot.
I requested a couple of free samples from Design a Tea since I thought it would be fun to play around with different flavorings. This was one, black tea flavored with cider nutmeg. Perhaps that’s redundant, as cider is often spiced with nutmeg to begin with, but I thought it might be good.
The tea came in little tea filters, and I have to say that the tea looked a little disappointing, since it was made up of tiny pieces and what looks like fannings and not much recognizable leaf. The scent of the dry leaves was definitely of spiced apple cider, but it had another odd aroma as well. Brewed this tea was a dark amber shade, and the aroma was much the same. I’m sorry to say that the flavorings on this tea were not good at all. Kind of appley, yes, not so much nutmeg, overall very chemical. I couldn’t drink more than a few sips. It was an interesting thought, but the execution leaves much to be desired.
I love lavender, so I had to get this tea for my third free sample from Joy’s Teaspoon. When I opened the package, the scent of herby lavender was really quite strong. There’s not any inherant sweetness behind this, it’s true lavender. Brewed up the lavender aroma decreased but was still a major note. Mainly, though, the aroma of a good black tea came through.
This tea is really quite tasty. The main flavor is really that of a solid black tea with a lovely overlay of lavender over all. The lavender isn’t too strong, but not too faint either. It has a completey different character than the lavender EG I drank a couple of days ago; lavender is an interesting herb whose flavor changes depending on what you combine it with. Unsweetened and uncombined with fruitier notes, the lavender is more herby and vegetale. This is a great floral tea, but it’s not too perfumy. It’s actually a nice morning tea because the black tea wakes you up while the lavender calms, so you are alert but relaxed. Nice! If you like lavender in foods and drink, you’ll probably enjoy this tea, which is very well blended.
I totally need to bring home some more non-caffinated tea for evening tea times now that I have my new tea pot! Not that I don’t enjoy this Earl Grey; it’s nicely floral with light citrus notes. I notice that last time I drank this I said I’d brew it longer, but I totally forgot. Oh well, I still think that a longer brew time could benefit this tea, or perhaps I should up the amount of tea in the pot. Still, a pleasant, comforting cup for this evening, which is what I was looking for.
Another free sample from Joy’s Teaspoon was this tisane, which I had to try because I love all thing almond. The instructions for this brew called for a lot of tea per water (2 tsp/6oz), so I ended up using the whole sample for my 12oz Kati cup. During the long steep of 10 minutes, my office started smelling like a bakerie. Wow does this tea smell mind blowingly good. Like a cinnamon bun, or a snickerdoodle, or those sugar encrusted almonds they sell at fairs, or just a bunch of sugary, cinnamony goodness. Yum. The brewed liquor is bright red, which was surprising, although I guess that’s the beetroot.
So what does it taste like? Sweet, and a little fruity-tart, like a cinnamon-covered dehydrated apple ring. Yeah, I’m getting a lot of apple out of it. It’s certainly delicious, and the aroma of roasted sugar-covered almonds is present, but it doesn’t seem like the main event for me. Would I order it? There’s a good chance of that, but as delicious sweet apple cinnamon baked good tisane, not so much as an almond tea.
I got a package of free samples from Joy’s Teaspoon, which is totally awesome! And as I am on my quest for the perfect Earl Grey, I of course had to request theirs to try. I feel like I’ve been getting all kinds of fancy Earl Greys lately, and this one is just a pure, simple, straight up Earl Grey.
It certainly has a strong bergamot smell in the dry leaves, and the brewed tea is quite nice! At first I was concerned about bitterness, which I am so sensative to, and thought maybe I’d have to brew at a slightly lower temperature next time, but as I am drinking the flavors have sorted themselves out into the astringent, strong, but not bitter bergamot, and a bold black tea with a lot of body and depth of flavor. This is quite a nice Earl Grey!
I got a new tea pot for home from Tea District, and while I was there I had to pick up a sample of this tea. I’m a fan of Earl Grey, and I love the smell of lavender; plus, this one advertised a hint of jasmine, which I also adore. The aroma of the dry leaves is fantastic, very strongly smelling of lavender with citrus as well. The steeped tea matches remarkably well; the aroma is almost identical. It smells almost sweet, though there’s no actual sweetness in the flavor of the tea. This tea tastes like an Earl Grey with a heavy overlayer of lavender, but the lavender doesn’t overwhelm the EG. I don’t get a distinct jasmine note, but I have a feeling it’s contributing to the overall floral aroma and taste. I steeped this one a little short of the instructions (4 minutes), since I usually steep black teas I haven’t tried for 3 minutes, but this one doesn’t seem like it’s going to get bitter with more steeping. There really isn’t a hint of bitterness, so I’ll probably go ahead and steep it for 4 minutes next time, which should further bring out the flavors.
This is my first lavender Earl Grey, which I had suspected that I would really like. Turns out I was right, I really love this flavor combination. There’s something about lavender and bergamot that is so similar and complementary to me. This tea brings them together very well. Fortunately Tea District often has groupons, because I think I’ll be ordering more of this.