2198 Tasting Notes
Another sample from LiberTEAS!
Quick note because I should really get to sleep…
The brewed tea smells just slightly fruity, although I’ve let it cool so perhaps it was stronger before.
Definitely not missing out on tasting the white tea here! I’m not tasting as much fruit as I would have liked though. There’s some astringency, but I can handle it with a white tea.
Probably not going to be my favourite fruit/white blend, but nice to try just the same. I’ll hold off rating until I try it again warm.
Another smoky tea to try! It’s probably a bad idea to be drinking so much black tea so late at night… oh well…
This is another very generous sample from Azzrian! Another tea I wanted to try before gambling and ordering.
The steeped tea smells somewhat smoky and sweet; not really smelling maple or bacon, perhaps they’ll be more apparent once I drink it.
Hmmm, the flavour is a bit different than I was expecting. A somewhat smoky, barely sweet black tea, with a fair bit of astringency. Darn, I must have steeped it too long. I did add a pinch of salt as has ben recommended, but am not getting anything resembling maple, or even bacon really. I think I might try adding some maple syrup and a bit more salt the next time, to see if that improves the flavour. Also might keep the infusion down to 3 minutes, as I’m really disliking the astringency. I thought four minutes would be low enough, but I guess not.
Thanks again for the sample Azzrian!
So here goes my attempt to try a bunch of 52teas before ordering! This generous sample was sent to me by LiberTEAS in her big box of teas :)
The smell of the tea is majorly smoky. MAJORLY. Not unexpected, and very intriguing! I have yet to try a lapsang souchong, so am not sure what I’ll think of it.
Steeped, it’s just SMOKY smelling. So interesting. Really like liquid campfire! I wonder if it gets into your clothes the same way…?
The taste is very smoky, slightly sweet, and perhaps there’s some chocolate, but I can’t really taste it specifically.
I think this would be better if there was more chocolate. I do like the smokiness, and can see myself craving that flavour if I was in the mood, but there’s a similar flavour in the Mayan Chocolate Chai, so I think that would suffice :)
Another sample from Azzrian!
Dry, there wasn’t a ton of smell to this tea, but once steeped, holy strawberries! It smells ridiculously delicious!
And the taste?? Equally delicious. Fruity strawberry backed by black tea. I have no idea what ‘zabaglione’ is though. The only thing I’m not much caring for is the astringency I’m getting from the black tea. It’s a little overwhelming; perhaps I should try a 3 minute infusion instead.
So although delicious, it hasn’t hit the ranks of Mayan Chocolate Chai yet… I think that might be difficult!
ETA: As the tea cooled, I liked it more – some more fruitiness and creaminess came out. Yum! However, the second steep is pretty weak. Probably wouldn’t bother a second time unless I was really in the mood (or perhaps if the first infusion was only 3 minutes, the second would be better).
Seriously, as if this Friday could get any better, I poked my head out of my front door early this evening and what was waiting there but my swap from Azzrian!! Apparently we had a hailstorm today, and I think the poor little guy might have sat on the step through it, but no harm done!
Anyways, I’m super stoked because a) now I get to try more 52teas before placing my order tonight, and b) my tastebuds are no longer angry with me!
So this one is from Azzrian – I wanted to try it and possibly buy it for my roomie, who loves chais and cayenne! So naturally, we shared it together this evening :)
Can’t remember what the dry tea smelled like, and too lazy to go fetch the bag… so I’ll write about that later. Roommate thought the tea smelled like “Gramma”. Which is not an insult :P
Steeped, it definitely smells like a chai. A strong chai. Which is great! It smells a bit different from a traditional chai too, which I like.
So we first tried the tea straight… and woah. It’s weird, NOT what I expected. Chai, but with a deep smokey flavour, and a huge cayenne finish. Super spicy! To be honest, both of us weren’t keen on it at this point – it was just a bit weird, and really strong. Of course, I was disappointed as I thought my roommate would like it :( I thought it was alright, but probably wouldn’t pick it myself. I’m not sure I’m picking up the chocolate, either.
I try not to drink teas with milk/sugar, but due to the strength of this one, I figured it would be worth a shot! So a bit of milk and maybe 3/4 of a teaspoon later…. YES! So much better! The somewhat off-putting smokiness is tamed by the milk and sugar, and now it tastes like a lovely twist on chai! The roommate also approved, and as we drank it, it totally grew on us…. enough that it will definitely be part of tonight’s order!
I tried re-steeping it in a smaller amount of water, and got a lovely second cup out of it too. I’m actually drinking this one straight – I think I’ve now become accustomed to the taste and am really enjoying the spicy hit at the end. It also might be a bit weaker at this point. So not only does it hold up well to milk and sugar, I now find it tasty on its own too!
So a huge thank-you to Azzrian for this sample, which arrived at just the perfect time! I am so sold on 52teas right now…. (and SO excited to try all the other 52teas samples from Amanda, Azzrian, and LiberTEAS – there must be nearly 30 between them!)
Boy has Canada Post ever been good to me this week! Samples from Design A Tea, Teavivre, and Den’s Tea, my swap package from Amanda, and now my awesomely huge box of samples from LiberTEAS!!! I figure I shouldn’t have to buy tea for about 5 years now (and there are still things on the way! Oy vey. Talk about things getting out of hand fast…)
A big thanks to LiberTEAS for this sample – one of the 52teas on my list to try-before-I-buy!
I was expecting chunks of dried banana in the tea (like DavidsTea’s Banana Oolong), and was surprised not to see any… but upon opening the bag it is clear that they’re in there! Or… something is! The banana aroma is sweet and delicious – it actually smells like a real, ripe banana. Awesome!
Once steeped, that lovely banana aroma is still there, and quite strong too!
Wow, tastes like hot banana in a cup. There’s a hint of something else there too, perhaps it’s something from the honeybush? Almost… a mintiness? I’m not sure. But it’s good! And very smooth and delicious. Also, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to give me heartburn, which was another of yesterday’s big problems, and the reason I opted to go with a caffeine-free not-really-tea this morning.
Quite impressed with this tea, I must say. So glad I got to try it! Thanks again LiberTEAS!
ETA: Second steep is pretty good too, but that’s as far as I went, since the wet honeybush no longer had much smell.
My first swap sample from Amanda!! So exciting! And my first taste of 52teas! Looks like that crappy day I was having is turning around for the better :)
Honestly, the dry tea doesn’t smell like much, to me! Well, except the lingering smells of other teas!
Steeped, I’m getting a subtle toasty, slightly seaweedy smell, but that’s about it.
Hmm, tasting it I’m strangely not tasting a great deal other than what I’m picking up as genmaicha. No, that’s not true, I’m getting a creaminess and some other non-genmaicha flavours, but I wouldn’t call it cherry cheesecake. I’ll let this one cool some more before I try it again.
(Of course, I neglected to remember that my taste buds are being dumb right now. So if the flavours are subtle, I’m probably out of luck.)
ETA: Post-cooling, I can taste that there’s something else there other than just the genmaicha, but it’s very subtle, and mostly coming out in the aftertaste. Hmm. Maybe I didn’t use enough leaf? I wanted to make sure what I had lasted for two cups, so I used a bit more than a tsp; maybe that wasn’t enough? Oh well, better luck next time!
Super stressed and trying to write a paper that’s due in about 6h that I’m nowhere near complete… gah. Why do I always do this to myself.
Anyways, 6:30am, sounds like a good time for a tea break (also I need some caffeine. Fading really fast.) Time for another sample from Teavivre!
Getting quite a vegetal smell from this one – didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t tried a Dong Ding oolong before.
First infusion (3min/100C)
Smells like sweet boiled veggie. Taste is pretty strong, astringent without being drying. Probably should have gone with shorter infusions but that wasn’t happening tonight… er, this morning.
Second infusion (3min/100C)
Definitely less aroma. Also less flavour, and possibly a strange taste coming out that I’m not sure I like.
Hmm, so I’m not sure that Dong Ding oolongs are for me. This certainly isn’t bad, but it tastes to me like more of a green tea – I’m not getting that oolongy finish that I love. Also, I’m finding there’s too much astringency for me to really enjoy this, so I think I need to cut down the infusion times for the next packet, and perhaps try it when I have time to write a more detailed note!