450 Tasting Notes
When I’m feeling under the weather or otherwise particularly sorry for myself, I reach for what I call “the big guns”, and this tea is one of them. As I tossed in my sleep last night, I realized in that semi-conscious way that you do that my knees were hurting. I woke up this morning and my knees were indeed hurting, along with my elbows and fingers. And as is typical for pretty much everyone I know with any medical issue whatsoever, no one knows what’s wrong because “it all looks fine”. Oh ok then, I’ll just eff off and admit that i’m making the whole thing up. Need some drama in my life, ya know? things get a bit dull without joint pain.
Haha sorry. I feel I complain far more than is appropriate in tasting notes. This tea was as delicious as always, and made me feel as though I was drinking a liquefied funnel cake drizzled in confectioners’ sugar. Add strawberry and you really would have the entire funnel cake experience. And although I might go so far as to say this tea doesn’t “need” guar, I always add some (along with some cream) to really emphasize the tea’s natural and unique sweetness (seriously, I’ve never tasted a sweet tea with this type of sweetness—must be the leaf hoppers!)
Cue the sense of dread that just courses through you (or otherwise sits in your stomach) when you see the work week stretching out before you, accented with awful, awful weather. Sometimes it feels like tea is the only thing that can cheer me up on a Monday morning. After having this cup turn into a disaster of epic proportions on Saturday, it was lovely to have a perfectly creamy vanillay cup this morning. I am also taking my mini keurig into work today, and i’m hoping i’ll actually use it to enjoy tea in the afternoon, but it’s starting to feel complicated, and I might not. I hope I do though!
Ok, so this isn’t actually going to be a tasting note about this tea, because I’ve written about it enough for you to know that it’s a lovely EGC, and that’s about all you need to know.
But last night, I decided to take a timolino full of this to a friend’s place for dinner and hanging out. And instead of using my Keurig to dispense the hot water like I typically do, I used Watson (Watson is the name I’ve given to our Culligan water cooler, that has both a hot and cold water tap—we named him Watson after the computerized jeopardy contestant! /nerd). Anyway, from my understanding, the water dispensed from Watson is around 107 degrees F, while the Keurig website says that the Keurig dispenses water that’s 192 degrees f, so that’s definitely a noticeable difference. The thing is, however, that I never never successfully brewed a cup of satisfactory tea using Watson, and it seems odd to me that a temperature of about 207 (ETA—sorry, I originally wrote 107, which explains the general wtfness in the comments below, but it really was 207) would be too hot for absolutely every tea (especially since I drink mostly blacks, which are reputed to almost always take extremely hot water). As for the water I use, the Keurig takes filtered water through my brida filter, and Watson uses Culligan’s water—both are filtered, but are provided by different companies, so perhaps that has to do with it. But last night’s tea tasted bitter and horrible, just horrible. No vanilla cream notes to speak of—only an amped up bitter bergamot note that was bitter and gross.
But this has me terrified to ever get myself a variable temp kettle, because what if the Keurig is the only acceptable source for hot water for me in this universe? this is actually really upsetting to me! Because i so badly want the Bonavida goose-neck one liter variable temp kettle, but like, if I drop 100 dollars on it but it makes all my tea taste like bile, then…then…then what?!?!?!?!!?
Please comfort me.
Stopped at David’s at a friend’s urging…what? she urged me! and I smelled a bunch of tea and settled on this one (omg omg omg omg they are getting a lime green timolino!! omg omg omg!).
This tea tastes like the creamiest of creamed milk, with some more cream on top, all garnished with the slightest sprinkling of the finest white chocolate. That’s all I have to say. Delicious delicious. I had it as a soy latte (I’m lactose intolerant, and although I “tolerate” lactose of my own choosing, my stomach becomes apoplectic when it sees like 16+ oz of actual milk).
David, you done good, you really done.
Although I enjoyed this in my timolino at work today, I have to say that either it doesn’t travel well, or else this tea has lost some of its magic. I suspect it’s the former, as both Mr. keychange and I swooned over our cups of it when we had this in a normal mug. That, and I’m starting to think that pretty much every tea ought to be enjoyed in an actual mug, as due to the fact that I tend to not be able to look beyond the immediacy of my situation, a bad encounter with tea in a travel mug that otherwise tastes good could change the way I feel about a wonderful tea, and we can’t have any of that.
I still get the strong, creamy coconut flavour, and i’m sure the splash of milk helped bring that out. That being said, the overall swallow still feels particularly thin and incomplete for me today. Not incomplete enough though, as my timolino is happily empty.
I know, I know. It’s such a shock that I had the Queen this morning. Had her with a bagel and cream cheese, and experienced a small slice of heaven before having to change into stupid work clothes and then plunge myself into the god-forsaken outdoors.
Stay warm, guys!
Also, is anyone else watching jeopardy? Holy smokes, Arthur!
This is one incredibly powerful cinnamon tea. I’ve finally found a tea that is perfect, without fail, every time I take it in my timolino. Although I won’t be restocking this immediately upon finishing the tin (which will happen very quickly), it will absolutely feature in my cupboard come fall and winter of next year. we’re having record lows again today, although I frankly shouldn’t even be surprised at this point. But hot spicy cinnamon makes even this awful weather feel slightly more palatable. I love, love a tea’s ability to soothe ruffled feelings.
And how the heck do i still have four hours left at work? aaahhhh.
Round two with this tea this morning. And, although I’m not nearly as desperate to pawn it off on other unsuspecting souls, I dare say that I’m just not all that fascinated with it myself. It is strong, yes, with a slightly pervasive raisiny note that’s slightly reminiscent of the scent in Butiki’s Wild mountain black, although that’s exactly where the similarity between these teas ends. I doctored it up with a healthy dose of sugar and cream this morning, but it still didn’t do much to make the tea taste “better”—it just tasted like a slightly less intense version of itself, which wasn’t exactly what I was going for. Anyway, like I said, not a bad cup by any means, and I imagine with a bit of sharing I’ll make it through this tin, but it won’t be a reorder.
There actually isn’t much of a point in my giving this tea another tasting note, because i’ve waxed poetic about how great I think it is for the fall and winter. But that’s just it: fall and winter. And despite the weather people predicting that winter is going to last another 53379848959 years, I refuse to believe it’s true, mostly because if it is true I’m going to end up living in an institution. So I’m frantically trying to drink down my fall and winter teas. and, you know, thereby justifying a massive spring and summer tea shopping spree. Every time spring is about to roll in, I vow to myself that I’m going to spend more time outdoors. But then I forget how much of a hermit I am by nature like any time of the day/month/year, and old habits die hard and all that sort of thing. Guzzled this in my timolino six or so hours after preparing it. Participated in a disclosure meeting today that destroyed my faith in humanity, and although I’m still reeling from it a bit, it’s nothing compared with what I imagine the affected people are dealing with. Anyway, sorry that was coded and cryptic. Basically tea is great, I’m a hermit, and spring needs to arrive yesterday.
I’m in one of those post-lunch slumps, where I feel as though I could keel over and have a nap right here on my office floor, so forgive me in advance if this tasting note sucks.
This tea felt really strange and granular in the tin. I know that a lot of CTC black tea can feel this way, but I was still nonetheless a bit surprised at how grainy this felt. It made getting a heaping teaspoon a bit tricky, but i was determined. steeped it up for about four minutes, with cream and sugar.
And believe me, you don’t want to be trying this tea without cream and sugar. Even with cream and sugar, this tea was rough around the edges. h and S says this is the strongest tea blend they have, and I dare say it’s true, although aside from finding it “strong” in the tannic sense, I didn’t find the tea to be particularly interesting or complex or multi-faceted. it’s just a really strong black tea. i feel as though it’s a good tea to drink when you’re angry, because it’s intense and will make you feel as though you can take on the world in all the ways you feel justified to do so.