729 Tasting Notes
This is a much overdue note on this tea, which came as a sample when Tea Ave first opened. I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to get to this, but I think it is in part that I was in a pu erh phase for a while, and then green…and it has been green for a bit, probably because of the summer. I’ve also been trying to have less caffeine teas. But as summer has faded, and fall in fully here, along with the rainstorms, it seemed like a good time to break out a nice roasted oolong tea, and so, last night, it was the right time. I had gotten soaked and drenched and all other related words on my way to work in the morning. My shoes and socks were still wet when I got home, and a small bit of my pants by my ankles was still damp. I decided it was the night to have soup (winter squash and mascarpone with lima beans) and toasted bread (raisin, cranberry, and walnut) for dinner….this tea seemed up to the job in comfort, and seemed like a good match.
I admit that I’m not the hugest connoisseur when it comes to straight teas and deciphering subtle notes, but I want to say that this was nice and roasty, maybe with some bittersweet cocoa notes. It’s hard to say. It basically tasted like a nice roasted oolong, and I don’t really discriminate straight oolongs. I very rarely find one I don’t like. This was no exception. It was quite tasty, and it fit the bill for what I was looking for.
This was drunk without anything added. which I don’t usually do…I usually add a small amount of cane sugar to most teas. I also brewed this western style. As I had this later in the evening, and fell asleep at 8:30 or 9 and didn’t wake up til after 1, it was the only cup I had. Future use should allow multiple steeps, as I had intended this serving to be, til I fell asleep.
I am grateful that this is one of the samples that I was sent, because I do really like darker and roasted oolongs.
Tried this a few ways…as an iced latte at first, and then, feeling like it was hard to pull out any subtle spices and flavours, I tried it on it’s own. I got a slight metallic taste, but nothing that really resembled pumpkin spice. I think that this kind of matcha is destined to be a latte with only a light sweetness, but not much else. I don’t know if I would get more to play with, to see if I could drink straight without the metallic taste, and try to get the best flavour out of, but I might just try another flavour instead. I’m on the fence with this one now…
I want to like this, but something is weird with the aftertaste mixed with the apricot. Almost medicinal. Also, for a tea called Nutty By Nature, and loaded up with nuts, I sure don’t taste any. I got a small sample bag to get 2-3 servings. I will manage to get through the rest, but not going to refill.
Sipdown…I had the last of this, and I added milk to it. That seemed to make it go down better, but it is not my favourite. Sad, because I like honeybush, and all the things in this, so in theory, I should really like this…but there is something off tasting, and I am not sure what it is. Is it hidden licorice? Something in the artificial flavouring? I don’t know. I had hoped to find a nice comforting caffeine free blend for the cooler weather, but I don’t think this is it.
I was in DT tonight, to get a latte before heading home in some light drizzle. This was one of the tins on the counter that was needing to be put away. I smelled it, and was like, this has hibby in it, right? The SA said yes, but it is at the bottom of the list, so it is not too prominent. So, on impulse, I bought it, despite being a hibby hater.
It is a bit tart, which is to be expected when you see cranberry in the name. That said, it is far the most tart hibby laden tea I have had. I dare say this is acceptably tart, but not over tart. The orange and cranberry are the forward most notes I taste, followed by cinnamon and bread/oaty notes in the end.
It’s interesting. Like another reviewer said, the first few sips taste good, and then it becomes a little herbal. Things I could not taste in the initial sips, come out as my mug is nearing halfway empty. Is this bad? Well, yes and no. It doesn’t taste that bad, but the muffin-ness begins to disappear at this point. The tea gets slightly more tart the more I drink it.
So how do I like this blend? I don’t dislike it immensely, or hate it, as I do a lot of blends with hibiscus in them (there are only a few that I do like that have hibby). I like this enough to continue drinking this mug, instead of tossing it out. Having a tea with dandelion in it, that doesn’t taste too much like dirt, might have a place in my cupboard, since dandelion is really good for you. It does have the advantage of being good hot, and caffeine free. I have probably one more serving, so I will reserve judgement to see if I want more than my initial 10g bag. But…I don’t hate this one.
I made an iced latte of this when I got home. I got this and the two other new pumpkin teas today, along with a bunch of samples (10-12g bags) for my sister cousin (my step-brother’s half sister) in Tennessee. She lives nowhere near a DT. I am making her a care package with some DAVIDs and LUSH samples as she was kind enough to drive me around Madison, WI last weekend for her sister’s wedding. I may go back and get another batch to add to the 8 teas I am already sending.
Anyway, I got the blueberry matcha as an iced latte to go, and I made this as an iced latte when I got home. Both were very tasty, however I’m unsure I pick up much of either blueberry or pumpkin pie. I think that perhaps the latte treatment has made the subtle flavours more background than foreground, or even middle ground. Maybe I ought to have tried it before adding the frothed milk and ice, but then it might have been too strong. I dunno. I only got 10g of the teas today, and for the latte, I pretty much used the whole packet, so I don’t have much more I can try now by itself. I think I will look at picking more of it up, maybe with the other flavours and maybe more straight matcha. I have been kinda wanting the matcha maker mug. Been trying to convince myself I need it vs want it.
Anyway…as a matcha, it is tasty, at least as I have made it, but I do want to try it more as a straight matcha without milk.
Sipdown…though I could swear I already made a steeping note on this one, but I guess not. I seem to remember from my initial steep of this, that I had added milk, and while it was tasty, the base was quite mild, and the milk masked a bit of the tea’s flavour, so I vowed to go without milk when I made it next. So this brings us on to today’s steep!
I woke up quite cold, and it was chilly in the room, and I was super tired, so I wanted a back tea to wake me up, and something to wrap me in a comforting warm hug, so I pulled this one out. I used the rest of the packet, which was a little more than the suggested serving size, but remembering the weaker base, I was not too worried about over leafing. My mind was in a weird space at work today because I basically had to go in and finish the project I had started yesterday. I got pulled away from doing it for a few hours, though I did what I could when I had the chance. Normally, this project, which is weekly, takes several hours…4-6 and sometimes more, depending on how many distractions and interruptions I get. Anyway, I was in a mood because I had to finish this stuff this morning, and they have rearranged things in the back, and I hate it. I can see some of the benefit of the change, but I also see issues. Anyways, that stuff plus my throat being sore and being tired and moody, I just kinda sucked this down like liquid comfort, and didn’t pay much attention to what I was drinking, other than it was tasty.
Take two, and I am at home, and it is chilly in here, and I decided to resteep the leaves from this morning, for one more cuppa. It’s smooth and sweet with caramel, but I am unsure I am getting much popcorn, other than maybe a light starchy feeling. Admittedly, I am not picking up the flavours that well, as I am having it with my dinner (leftover harissa chicken and veg with quinoa pilaf from when we went out last night with a friend in town). I have a bazillion insane and amazing flavours in my mouth from the food.
I do really like this tea, actually, and I’d love to have more where I could play with using more so that I could milk it up as a latte for more decadent comfort. Thanks for sending this one to me DeleriumsFrog! It was a winner!
I’m not sure I am qualified to make a proper tasting note on this today, because I have that sour taste in my mouth from the beef pho that I made last night…I had the rest today, since I am still working on rehydration, as I need some blood work done in the next few days, and I need my blood vessels nice and plump instead of being prodded and poked and told to go home and come back later when I was not dehydrated….and I feel like I’ve felt unwell the last few days due to a mild stomach virus and minor dehydration.
Anyway, on to this tea. I made this one today because I woke up with a terrible headache today, and I went back to sleep and only got up when my husband phoned to tell me that he was gifted an Apple Watch by our friend who he is with (and supporting/working with) at the Edmonton Fringe. For some reasons, I like simple and uncomplicated black teas when I have headaches. I was not 100% sure what to expect because I didn’t really read much to the notes on this one, but only that it was DeleriumsFrog’s favourite Harney & Sons Tea (as she noted on the baggie.
Did this do the trick? I think so, but it is hard to get a true feel of this tea because of the lingering sour taste I have in my mouth from the pho from earlier. I’ll have to try this again when I have a clearer head and palate again.
Backlog from yesterday:
So very glad to have a second chance at this tea! Thanks DeleriumsFrog for including this in the package you sent me. I’ve had this one before, but I used the whole sample, and it was too bitter and strong. I gaged that there were about 4 rounded teaspoons in the bag, so if I had used the full tablespoon as directed, I would, once again, run the risk of having too much for one steep—and not enough for the second. It is possible I may have mis-measured, as I woke up still feeling a bit sick, but I scoured the reviews here and decided to go with 2 tsp for my steep…and I am glad I did!
This time the tea was more mellow, and while the espresso was the dominant note, the cantaloupe was lightly present, in more of a lingering juicy taste. I made two steeps of this hot, and a third cold steeped, but I think I’d steeped all the flavour out by then.
I am grateful for the chance to try this one again. I do like the flavours very much!