1545 Tasting Notes
Steeper beware!! this one brews up STRONG!!!!
I had the bag in for two, maybe three minutes and it ended up more bitter than a scorned woman. That had never happened to me before. A new experience to be sure. No matter. Heaps of agave fixed it right up (and I mean several. At least four times more than what I normally use, if I use any at all)
Next time, I’ll try it with a one/two min steep and see what that reveals.
Anyhow, once that was dealt with… the bitterness was peeking out for awhile, and I couldn’t taste much beyond the agave/bitter aspect. Almost like black coffee. I was not impressed.
However once it cooled a bit, I started to see the wine influence. Not quite ice wine per se, but definitely wine. There was that mouth drying sensation, along with a definite grape-like puckering. Like sweet green grapes. or maybe a hybrid green/red grape. Certainly not a plain red grape of course. No, it was not quite that sweet.
I went in for a second steep and that one was quite lovely as well. I added only two swirls of agave this time and steeped for three full minutes (plus an accidental twenty extra seconds). and guess what? it was still strong! not quite bitter. More what I expected the first infusion to be. any longer and I’d have bridged bitter territory. I’m still a little shocked at just how intense it was. Is it possible they added tea dust? I’ve heard it can make a tea bitter…
but that can’t be, I enjoyed it!! I could never like the taste of tea dust. right?
If it hadn’t been for the work event I was obliged to attend, you can bet I’d have stuck around for a third or even fourth cup.
Oh and I figured out what it reminds me of!! Cloud nine from David’s tea! I don’t know why, it just does. Maybe I need to do a side by side comparison one day. It has been some time since my stash ran out.
And for those who may (or may not be! I’m not assuming anyone reads me haha) wondering, yes I did break my tea buying ban. Again.
Ice wine tea had been on my list for ages, and this is the first opp I’ve had to get a decent version. When the shopkeeper said that people come specifically to her store for that tea, well who was I to shun it?! it was no longer in my power… the decision had already been made… sighs
My tea of the morning, accompanied by an awkward tea moment:
So I feel a bit guilty taking up so much time with my extensive tea prep… even though it’s only a few minutes here and there, it does add up. Thus, I try to mitigate it as much as possible. This is why I filled up the kettle to boil and returned to my desk for a minute or two. My cubicle is close enough that I can hear the click of the kettle turning off most of the time.
Except this morning my lovely tea friend who I share much of my tea with had already poured it when I walked in! ack! a white tea…
She is a sweetheart so I really did not mind. Especially since the tea didn’t turn out bitter at all. In fact, the berry overshadowed most of the tea! it brewed up a gorgeous purple colour. Much deeper than I expected. and it smelled heavenly!!
The taste? well that was nice to. Very rich in the berryness.
Odd though, I enjoyed the first steep more than the second. Mostly because the second one was so… weak! I could definitely taste the berry, a little more tart and a whole lot lighter this time. and the white part was a little more present.
I think my love affair with white teas is over :(
There was a day when white tea was my amore. The delicate notes, the crisp dryness. I had so much love… but now?? now I don’t get it at all.
In fact, this one reminds me very much of Strawberry White from David’s tea. At one time that was my fave tea of ALL TIME! Now I haven’t had it in ages, but I strongly suspect that it would not get me a tea high at all. :moment of sadness:
Bah, I’ve fallen in love with a whole range of other teas. Can’t have it all, right?
I shan’t rate this one now. I need to try it again when the leaves are cooked up right. I know it has the potential for me to adore it… I know it does!
Ugh, I’m sick!! blegh.
And this tea… well I thought it would help! but boo hoo, it’s not really doing much for my cold. and it tastes like regular mint tea?! Sure, if I did a side by side tasting it might highlight a few of the differences… but who has the energy for that when sick?
Now, my ‘buds are super dampened today so that is definitely not helping the cause. However, if the reason I bought this is to destroy my headcold and it isn’t working… well then I say it’s failed at it’s mission… yes??
maybe I’ll try it when not sick just to see if I can actually taste the juniper.
I doubt I’ll buy it again. Yep. I have nothing against it, but nothing for it over and above regular mint tea. So the rating here is kinda low because while I did find it very tasty, it wasn’t effective nor unique.
OMG brainwave… this tea mixed with Exotica when sick!!!!! how “sic” would that be :)
Guess what I am trying tomorrow!
this was unexpectedly delicious!!!
I’m rather skeptical about Chai in general… having had so many that did nothing for me but the ingredient list seemed pretty benign and so I gave it a shot.
With some agave and heaps of milk, this was just the kind of chai I enjoy. It reminds me of the cuppas I’ve had in Indian restaurants to close the meal. The spices were perfectly balanced, with none of them poking out or lacking.
I did however, see a note in someone else’s review about it seeming a bit thin, and I think I know what they mean.
Initially, I had hoped to get a second steeping out of this, but as I moseyed on to work, taking random sips here and there… I kept thinking “just another minute steeping and it will be poifect!” (yes I’ve taken on an accent, in my head)
but oddly, that minute never seemed to end!
Which is super strange because I typically enjoy my teas on the weaker side…
I suppose it was my conditioning learned in Indian food houses that’s taught me to relish a strong cup in my chai???
Nonetheless, I love this one anyhow. Even moreso because it tasted just like “chai” without the hassle of making it into a bonafide latte! I mean, I’m sure it would be incredible as one, but I couldn’t seem to tell the difference so… shrugs
If it wasn’t for my tea buying ban (which I broke today. Bad IndigoBloom, bad!) I could seriously see myself buying some up for the cupboard!!
Disclaimer: I do have a bit of head cold going on. It’s no doubt affecting my senses!
ok I swear I reviewed this earlier… but where did my review go?!? I scoured the pages twice! Hmph.
Anyhow, I just used up the last of my sample and gave some to Dad. He likes his tea cold, so I’ll find out in the morning what he thinks.
More importantly though, I think this is superb!!!! SO tasty. It really hits the nail on cinnamon rolls. I get that bakey taste too. A touch of agave brings it up to the perfect place.
I get a hint of artificial flavour, but I typically get that in actual rolls as well so I suppose that is to be expected!
Thank you so much for sending me the sample Jenn!! xx
If I was to ever order a 52Teas batch, this would be one of them, most definitely
Wow, this tastes JUST like Teaopia’s Kalahari… one of my very first loose leaf teas!!
Maybe it’s my sentimental self talking here, but oh baby, welcome home :)
The orange is really mild, sort of in a rindy bitter way. It needs alot of agave to really pump up the flavour, sadly. But I am curious what it would taste like with some milk…
Big thank you to QuiltGuppy for sharing!!!
ah yes, the second sample I tried. Really good!! Buttery and vegetal, it really stood apart from the first tea. Oh and not too heavy either, yet still lighter than the Ben Shan. I can’t recall much more than that though. If only I’d remembered to write it down! does the leave it to beaver fist swing
I HAVE A GAIWAN!!!!
Yipeeeeee! I’ve wanted one of these for SO long, and when I discovered that TD was down to their last few sets, and weren’t likely to be getting more anytime soon… well I could not resist. My tea ban is on “tea” not tea*ware* so I haven’t broken the rules yet. Right?!??
And the price was pretty darn good to. $26 is good, isn’t it? (I need to double check, maybe it was 36? my receipt is downstairs)
Aaaaaanyhow, about the tea. I sampled three kinds today so forgive me if I mix them up. I’m pretty sure I did get these out of order!
I can tell you that I tried a Ben Shan, a Buddhas Palm, and a… err, was it White Needle?? Frank, if you end up reading this, please help!!
Oh yes, let me introduce Frank! He is the lovely tea guru who was so kind to brew the tea and share with me :)
Now, if am not mistaken, this was the last one I tried. It was quite light with a hint of fruitiness, and very sweet. More sweet than the other two I tried.
My least fave of the three but still very good! Incredibly smooth, esp compared to anything I’ve tried before this.
I am rather new to actually enjoying green oolongs so I was pleasantly surprised by how different they can be. Before my ‘bud flip, I was a serious dark oolong girl who typically shunned the green side. and now? I cannot get enough! go figure.
If you are ever in Toronto, be sure to stop by the shop. It’s halfway between Wellesley and Bloor on Yonge St.
Waaaooow. So so tasty!! I’ve been craving a Chinese black tea for awhile and I guess this hit the mark.
Cocoa was really at the forefront here. It wasn’t grating at all, the way I found it last time.
I have maybe two more steeps of this left. Looks like I have a sipdown on the way!!
If only I hadn’t been given a few tea samples for my cupboard today to replace it ;P