451 Tasting Notes
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.
I don’t know. I think that I’m starting to feel increasingly “meh” about all of these blends. For one thing, I feel as though they all taste the same, which could mean that they all taste the same, or maybe my mouth is broken. Either way, I feel as though if I were to have this tea, butterscotch banana, and pancake breakfast side by side, I would legitimately struggle to tell them apart. What I do remember tasting markedly different, however, was the banana pudding, which I loved.
In the bag, this smelled pretty spot on for hot buttered banana bread. You can smell the walnuts both in the dry leaf and as its steeping, and although they don’t feature too prominently in the sip, I imagine that it’s the walnuts that give the sip a bit of a dry finish. And aside from that, I honestly don’t know what more to say. It does taste buttery, I guess.
I finished the cup, and certainly didn’t dislike it passionately, but I do have like nearly two oz of it left now that I’m not sure what to do with. Some went off to VarieTea, but yeah, swap pile, mostly.
And because i’m a genius with an unsettled stomach, I was like “hey, good call on skipping lunch-a bowl of chili might have been a bit heavy for you. I know! why don’t you binge on gummies instead?”
Needless to say, my stomach is furious. I just want to eat, like, plain bland crackers or something.
I thought that my irritated stomach wouldn’t like this tea, but it tasted so completely perfect this morning, which is actually ideal because despite a thorough cleaning, my timolino had retained the cinnamon smell from a previous time i’d had this tea. Because I find this cinnamon tea to be perfect, I honestly don’t feel any need to try any others, and I’m ok with that. But yes, the silicone parts of the timolino will absolutely retain smells, and I know you can take a denture tablet to it (and it actually works) but i’m naturally lazy and convenience is everything to me.
Although this tea presented a bit thinner than usual this morning, it was still a delightful cup. Got more caramel and a bit less butteriness, which was interesting. I’m trying to actually drink down a lot of my “winter” teas in order to make room for my very own “spring and summer collection”, although I imagine this may be a staple year-round. I was also feeling a bit off this morning, as in I didn’t really feel like eating or drinking anything, and I find that that changes your tea-drinking experience so much.
I’m trying to work my way through some of the samples JustJames sent me, as I’ve had them for a few months now, and they all smell delicious.
I enjoyed this tea, although my initial sips called to mind both Pour Maman by NP, as well as hints of FDA by Harney and sons. It smelled very much like the strawberry sauce that you’ll find on a sundae, and I know how popular those are, but I can’t say I like strawberry sauce all that much. I didn’t really get any rhubarb in either the smell or the taste, but because I’m terrified of anything that’s described as “tart”, the bit of sugar I added may have obliterated any tartness that may have been present. I also found the tea to be a bit thin, in the way I find many French teas to be, and sometimes it works beautifully and somehow makes the tea feel effortlessly elegant, but it can also render the composition a bit flat and one-dimensional, which was sadly my conclusion for this cup. Especially because I compare it to pour maman which I adore and must acquire more of.
Thanks again, JustJames! You are so not “just” anything—you’re wonderful and thoughtful and intense and amazing!
I know, I know. tell us something we haven’t heard, right? There’s nothing new to add about this tea, and i’m not feeling particularly inspired to be verbose this morning, as I had one of those terribly fitful nights when you wake up at like 3 AM and you’re wide awake as all hell and you know that your day is going to be (somewhat) shot because you’re guaranteed to be working on not enough sleep.
Long live the queen!
This came to me thanks to the ever so lovely and amazing Anna, who was not only incredibly generous (also pulling like nine thousand teas from my shopping list to throw into a swap package), but she also packaged each tea with lots of love and expertise. She sent me enough for two samples of these, and each sample was in its own little bag, and then those bags were put (lovingly) into a slightly larger ziplock. it was like ziplock university, and she graduated with distinction.
Ok, so I chose this tea last night to try today, and consequently slept fitfully because I was so excited to try it. I opened the package to smell it last night, and my first thought was: I don’t even care how this tastes, I’m buying it. Like, it could have tasted like a garbage truck was sweating profusely in my mouth, and the scent alone would have made me buy this tea.
Thankfully, both the scent and the taste of the tea are entirely unblemished. The dry leaf smells very true to ‘melon’, although I can’t say I’m up on my melon discerning abilities. It smelled as though someone had sliced open the fresh fruit while standing in a sun-drenched garden. it also smelled slightly candied, although not even remotely ‘artificial’ if that makes sense. even if it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t have to, right? It smells like spring and summer are right here under your nose!
I read the tasting notes for this tea before brewing it. A lot of people brewed for two minutes or fewer, but I’ve always brewed my oolongs a bit longer. So I brewed for three and a half minutes.
And guys, this is awesome. It’s juicy—so juicy, in fact, that i’m definitely going to try icing it come summer time. I also think I’m starting to understand what a floral oolong tastes like, because although I couldn’t describe the taste to you, I picked up immediately on a similarity between this and my beloved rose violet calendula oolong. Are all of Lupicia’s flavoured oolongs this delicious?
So i know you guys are probably wondering how this is compared with cantaloupe and cream. There’s absolutely room for both in my cupboard—I’ll just get that out of the way. Here’s what I think:
1. Obviously one’s a white and one’s an oolong. Both are delicately flavoured, although I’d say lupicia’s comes out slightly on top in amount of flavouring, while I find the CaC a bit more delicate (this could also be because of the different base teas, obviously)
2. Oolong=juicy, CaC=gentle, and very, very spot on re cantaloupe. If I could use colours to describe the differences, I’d say the CaC is a lighter, more fairy pink, while this would be, like, a deeper, almost reddish shade of pink. Does that help at all? LOL.
Anyway, shopping list. Omg yes, shopping list.
Thank you, Anna!!!
Despite two glasses of wine last night, i was somehow incredibly wired and had a really hard time falling asleep. I read my book, watched a few Judge Judy episodes, listened to like seven podcasts, and was still tossing and turning. So much for waking up for this morning’s game!
I hadn’t had this one in a while, and it seemed like a fairly unobtrusive tea that would be noticeable, but wouldn’t command my attention in a way that would compete with my most delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs doused with garlic pepper (seriously, you should try it). And because I’ve described this tea in detail before, I’m just going to list some words that this tea brings to mind:
-fall and winter, especially winter
Due to some other beverages that I consumed post-tea, this note may not be very articulate. Just sayin’
I do wonder what miracles might take place if I were to add a touch of milk and sugar to this tea. I already like it just fine as it is, although it’s still novel enough to me at this point that I am always conscious of the fact that there’s nothing added to it, which just feels weird. But it also tastes good and comforting. Still though, the milk and sugar addre always wonders.
It needs to be said here that VariaTea took a look at my shopping list, and then proceeded to put pretty much the whole thing into a package and mailed it to me. Our dear Anna in Italy did likewise, and this has resulted in an incredibly spoiled keychange indeed. You guys are so lovely. As my friend read out name after name of teas I’d coveted for so long, I just kept gasping and nearly teared up.
“So you guys just all send each other tea? Like, from around the world?”
“Yup, we sure do.” I said proudly.
“Wow. So isn’t coming home to your mail box and packaging off tea to send so much fun?”
“Oh, you have no idea.”
And man is it ever true.
So this tea was one I’d read really good reviews about, and a little while ago, i went through a phase where i wanted to try a lot of mint teas, especially vanilla mint teas, because I don’t typically like chocolate flavouring in my tea. But I’ve also come to realize that it sounded so much better in my head than it was in the cup, and this goes for pretty much any mint tea I’ve had: mint to be, Santa’s secret, the various dellaterra offerings. I think the only exception is Stacy’s peppermint patty, but I can’t remember that one nearly as well since I had it a while ago.
There’s a distinct smell to all dellaterra teas, I think, and this one was no exception. It did smell of vanilla or chocolate though, and I set to brewing it for four minutes. The mint is a bit muted here, covered by that vague dellaterra cake/vanilla/sweet combination of stuff, and the cup was definitely easy to drink, although I am grateful to know that I now won’t have to charge out and buy an oz of it (which I couldn’t do anyway LOL—the site is out).
Thanks so so much, VariaTea! Your package goes out Tuesday!