2354 Tasting Notes
Experimenting with some things today… semi-cold-brewed this one, and by that I mean used about 1tbsp and a bit of leaf, poured 190F water over it and let it sit for 30s, then poured that whole concoction into a larger glass filled with cool/cold water, then put it in the fridge for probably about 8-9 hours. Time to see how it turned out…!
A pretty light-coloured liquid (especially compared to Buttered Rum from DavidsTea, which I treated the same way). Hmm… there’s a bit of a weird taste initially, but after it warms up in my mouth, it’s more sweet and creamy. I think the black tea is having a tough time coming out here; this might be a better candidate for a chilled hot brew rather than a cold brew. I swear I’m tasting banana; it’s a flavour I associate with 52teas blends for whatever reason (I really have no idea.) It’s also what I’m calling that “weird” flavour.
Oh well! Fun experiment regardless. No ratings change.
So Alphakitty sent me a bunch of H&S teas during our recent swap, which was awesome since I’m seeing everyone on here raving about them, and I had yet to try any! Also, I’m so taken by the city names… as if I needed convincing to want to try the whole line of such-named teas! Today I have brewed up Tokyo, Bangkok, Florence, Paris, and Boston. I have a SoHo blend too… uhhhh…. yeah, that’s it. Should have brewed that one up too!
I decided to make a game of this and guess the tea flavouring by scent/taste. I’m not actually terribly familiar with what each of these blends is, so this should be fun!!
Florence definitely smells quite like a fruity dark chocolate. The type of fruitiness in particular escapes me, although I could be led to believe it’s cherry, as the aroma reminds me a bit of chocolate covered cherries. I’m fairly certain it is not cherry, though.
The first sip tastes much like the aroma. I’m surprised to find that it’s a bit weak given my 4 minutes of steeping, 1.5tsp tea and 8oz. water, but perhaps it needed that additional minute that was written on the bag. It is definitely chocolatey though, with just a hint of fruity. I can’t taste the black tea base as much as I would like, and there’s definitely no astringency or bitterness, so an additional minute likely only would have helped. Still good though. Not a tea I’d purchase as it’s a familiar flavour, so I think it’s much like one of the teas from DavidsTea (Love Tea #7??), which is much more easily obtainable if I’m in the mood.
And the verdict? I think I came the closest on this one, yay! Definite chocolate, and I can see the cherry/hazelnut confusion (even if the rest of you can’t! Hmph!) One more sip and I’m more inclined to believe that there’s hazelnut in the blend than before, but I swear it’s still a bit like cherries, too :D
Round two of guess the flavouring, courtesy of Alphakitty!
By scent, I’d guess this is a strawberry-flavoured black. However….. the first sip makes me question whether it’s strawberry or perhaps raspberry?? Yum! I like this one! I’m going to go with raspberry, I think. This cup, unlike Florence, does have some astringency, but it’s quite manageable. I think 5 minutes would have been overdoing it here, so glad I stuck with 4. I want to say that there’s a touch of chocolate in here too, but I could be wrong. It’s certainly not as prominent as in Florence, if it’s there. I quite like the flavouring here. Again, I’m not always huge on the flavoured blacks, so I probably wouldn’t pick it up myself, but it was lovely to try! I bet it’s amazing with milk and sugar, but I just had three bowls of hand-picked strawberries covered in Greek yogurt and brown sugar, so I really don’t think I deserve any additional calories right now. I have enough for a second round though, so perhaps then!
Ok…. so I was way off. I do remember thinking that one of the teas smelled like an earl grey when I was steeping them, but forgot entirely by this time. It still reads as a fruity black to me, and less like an earl grey, but that’s ok! Hee… if I’m this terrible at flavours all the time, I wonder what they must think of me on the cheese panel….
Last of the three tonight from Alphakitty! (Ok, I lie, I brought down a couple others, but in this series it’s the last of the three :D)
Ok… now this one smells like chocolate raspberry too! My nose is so confused! Doesn’t help that I seem to have developed a bad case of the hiccups in the last few minutes. Bugger. Does not make it easy to concentrate on flavours.
Well, whatever this one is, it’s definitely my favourite! It’s smooth and without astringency, with a tasty fruity flavour. I want to again say there’s chocolate, but it could easily just be the black tea. Ok…. time to look!
Huh, cranberry and almond. I wouldn’t have guessed it, but the cranberry definitely fits – I was getting a tart sort of fruit, which is why I went with raspberry. Not really getting the almond, but that could be coming out as a nice creaminess. Given that there isn’t chocolate in this blend, I have to say that there’s a great base tea here! And this is definitely my favourite of the three, probably the one I’d most likely seek out again as the flavour is distinct and blends wonderfully with the tea. Thanks again Alphakitty!
I feel like I may have steeped this one too long, and am dreading the hibiscus…
Anyhow, the tea smells pretty floral, cinnamony, and strong. Reminds me quite a lot of potpourri, really. And for whatever reason, that smell is not appetizing me right now. Really not a floral tea fan, and mixed with hibiscus?! Yikes. Alphakitty, I hope I sent some of this to you (too lazy to check).
Oh man. Uhhh… yuck. The hibiscus isn’t bad (actually it’s not really an issue at all), but SO MUCH rose and the cinnamon flavour are just screaming BATH PRODUCT to me, not tea. Which gives me a soap association (not a soapy flavour though). I’m going to go water it down some though, because I think I was a little heavy on the tea compared to the water, and I’ve had that issue with floral teas before (by floral I mean rose. I really like the orchid floralness of oolongs, entirely different beast altogether. A gentle, happy beast, not like this one.)
Ok. Watered down it isn’t making me gag nearly so much. But again, it’s too much like a bath product for me. This one’s going down the drain; I would MUCH rather get started on the Harney & Sons flavoured blacks from Alphakitty awaiting me on the counter……
Lynne-tea, Mercuryhime, CHAroma, any of you guys interested in about a cups’ worth of this one? Zero chance I’ll be drinking it again. (Or anyone else for that matter…)
ETA: I just want to mention that I don’t think oversteeping is my problem with this one, it’s just not a combination of flavours that I find appealing.
And now for the very brief attempt at drinking down all my samples (hahaha), it’s time for one of the last teas I haven’t tried out of my first box from Azzrian! Yep, I know what was sent when, it’s all on my spreadsheet :D Although straight teas were clearly calling to me tonight, I was in the mood for a sweet rooibos, and luckily remembered that I hadn’t tried this one yet! Here’s hoping it’s tasty.
I can’t recall exactly what the dry rooibos smelled like, but steeped, there’s a distinct but not unpleasant rooibos smell along with a familiar, tantalizing sweetness.
Definitely interesting! I’m getting a sweet and creamy perhaps white chocolatey flavour with a definite mintiness – there’s a cool sensation lingering in my mouth post-swallow. Not what I expected, but it’s tasty! No medicinal flavour, although my throat is feeling a bit scratchy after a few sips (but I am in cold limbo, as in the place where I’ve had the aches and sore throat and perma-headache, but haven’t yet quite left those behind and fully progressed to the all-day sneezing and constantly runny nose). So basically what I"m saying is that my throat was already sore, so it’s hard to blame the rooibos for anything.
Anyhow, this is a pretty nice dessert rooibos; I’m impressed! I feel like minty is not a flavour I was supposed to be getting, but it’s unmistakeable. It’s also not really a peppermint tea sort of flavour, just a mintiness like most chewing gums have, so it’s not bothersome to me. Thanks for the sample, Azzrian!
Was absolutely craving a sweet vegetal green tonight on top of my delicious milk oolong, so chose this one (at least I think I chose this one. It was a Verdant dragonwell, anyhow). Infusions at ~175F for 1:00, 1:15, 1:45. All smooth, vegetal, and amazing. I definitely prefer the infusions in order, i.e. the first is best, probably because the rock sugar note is most prominent in earlier infusions. But, they are all delicious. :D
Whew, finally enough time to brew up some tea. I should be sleeping, but I wanted tea, since I don’t think I’ve had anything but three iced ones in about a week. Not good news for my stash (although it also didn’t grow this week, so that’s good too, right? Even though DavidsTea dropped another 5 or so teas, which I will probably acquire next week?)
Anyways. As usual, this one’s exactly what I wanted. Such a delicious tea.