2664 Tasting Notes
So today was another disgustingly hot day (although not as hot in Guelph as Toronto, lucky me!), and the brief time I spent outside spurred me to attempt seven…. yes, seven cold-brewing experiments today! Clearly I’m not going to drink them all now (especially since most are in two-cup volumes), but I’m thirsty and felt like getting started.
First up is this one (all but one are 52teas… I was just in that kinda mood, and if I drink them down, I can buy more!! Right?)
Hot-brewed 1 slightly heaped tbsp of this in about 1/2 cup of ~82C water for 30 seconds, then topped up two cups with cold water and stuck it in the fridge for about 7(?) hours. I’m getting the lovely aroma even from the cold brew, so am pretty excited!
Ok, the flavour is not bad, but I don’t think my brewing method was great. I’m picking up on more astringency/bitterness than I’d really like (it’s not horrible, just tastes oversteeped), alongside the delicious strawberry flavour (which is more in the aftertaste, and definitely screams ‘added flavouring’ to me, not that I really care). The green tea is kind of masked by the astringency, but is somewhat seaweedy and nutty. Overall, it’s quite drinkable, but not a “success” in my books. No worries though, because this is one I enjoy hot anyhow! I just opted to cold-brew every 52teas packet I’d purchased that I thought appropriate (e.g. not Malted ChocoMate or Mayan Chocolate Chai), and so this one got it’s turn too. I’ll probably try this one again either with a straight cold brew or by cooling off a hot-brewed cup.
Couldn’t play the guessing game for this one since the name kind of gives it away…. I think this is the last of my six Harney & Sons samples from Alphakitty – thanks!
Anyways, I brewed this one up prior to realize quite how much my cold was affecting me. I could smell a delicious chocolatey flavour in the brewed tea though, so hopefully I can at least taste a bit of it so it’s not a waste!
A further sniffing of my cup is giving me a strong association to Bounty bars! Yum! And by some sort of miracle, I can actually taste this flavour, too! This is fabulous! Seriously…. this is probably the first chocolate coconut tea I’ve had, and this is way better than I could have imagined! It’s like drinking a Bounty bar without the huge overdose of sugar! And I’m so thrilled that for whatever reason, I can actually taste it!!
Off-topic – I just received my second sample pack from Teavivre!!! It is absolutely jammed full! Crossing my fingers to get better soon more than ever (although I might cave and try something anyhow).
Back to the tea… with a four minute infusion, the black base here is not producing any astringency or bitterness, so I’d be tempted to increase the infusion time a touch to see if I can intensify the flavours at all, although this is pretty darn good as is. I’ll have to try a second infusion with the leaves – based on the success I had with the other three H&S flavoured blacks I’ve tried, I’m expecting at least one good additional infusion.
Soooo based on the success I’ve been having with H&S blends, I think my next swap(s) are going to be aimed at trying more of them! Out of the six I’ve tried, all were good, and I would probably purchase four of them… and that’s saying something! Thanks so much for passing along so many, Alphakitty! Next up are the rest of the samples you and everyone else has sent (and the new ones from Teavivre! Woooo!!)
I’ve had this sitting around for ages, so figured the “morning” would be a good time to try it. Still sick though, so this is probably not the best time to be drinking new teas…. oh well. Although my friend/office-mate raves about this tea and tells me that she absolutely loves to mix it with otherwise non-caffeinated herbals, I’ve been wary to try it as citrus flavoured blends and unroasted mates have not been appealing to me lately.
Anyhow! I got a nice refreshing lemony citrus aroma when removing the infuser basket from my mug, which smelled better than I was expecting.
Unfortunately, this cold is obviously influencing my ability to taste things right now. I can kind of taste the lemony flavour if I try, and I can tell that the mate has a flavour, but I can’t quite taste it, although I can perceive that the tea is pretty strong. This clearly isn’t a case of poor flavouring, but a case of stuffy nose. Sigh.
Oh well, a dud of a tasting note. I think I can see how this would work well with herbals though. Interested to try it when I can actually taste properly again!
Read too many notes about chocolatey black teas tonight, so indulged with my second last cup of this. I’m hoping I can hold off on another Verdant order until I’ve finished a few more things…
Anyways, I used the same parameters as last time and it’s a delicious cup. A bit on the weak side because I think I used a bit too much water (or possibly a side effect of my current cold-like illness), but it’s still pretty tasty. Same deal with the second infusion, for 3 min. It looks like I may yet be a black tea convert!
Another winner in the cold-brewing experiments! As with Tokyo, I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.
The result was a creamy, lemongrassy brew with much less green tea flavour than Tokyo. Initially, I definitely preferred it as there was much more flavour, and the creaminess was quite delicious, however something I found interesting was that as the two teas warmed up, Tokyo became more delicious, and Bangkok started tasting a little funky. I’m not sure what it was. Not an off-flavour, more like a warmed-up-tea strangeness. So this is definitely one to finish off while it’s still cold, as I did really enjoy it that way, and Tokyo can be allowed to sit a bit longer if need be.
(It’s funny, I only even managed to discover this because I forced myself not to drink all the tea on the way to my destination and to save some for the way back… it was so good I wanted to drink it all right away!)
So this is another tea to add to the future purchase pile, and another ratings increase here as well.
I almost forgot to log this today!! Whoops.
So I have to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been talking about icing/cold-steeping Tokyo and Bangkok, because I tried both today and they were absolutely wonderful, probably the best cold-steeped teas I’ve had yet!
I somewhat followed ScottTeaMan ’s suggestions and brewed 1 heaping tbsp in hot water for 30 seconds (I used 175F water) then poured that into a larger cup filled with cold/cool water, and it ended up brewing in the fridge for probably 36 or so hours.
The resulting brew was so delicious. Initially, the primary flavour I was getting was a seaweedy green tea, which I liked well enough, especially as it was followed by a lovely caramelly aftertaste. As the tea started to warm up a bit (I brought it on my 3 hour drive to get the Absolute Last Batch of Asparagus today), the sesame appeared and the caramel flavour intensified a bit. Truly, it was lovely, and there were no off-flavours.
I may need to acquire some more of this in the near future. I definitely need to raise the rating; this was so much better cold-brewed than it was hot, although it wasn’t bad hot either. Yay for a cold-brewing success!
The smell reminds me of pu’erh, not that I’m terribly experienced with them however! I think it’s mostly an earthiness that I’m getting, along with a bit of fruitiness.
The flavour unfortunately just isn’t doing it for me. All I’m getting is an earthy sort of taste with a touch of sweetness and maybe a suggestion of fruit, which I’m not finding terribly appealing. Ok… a few more sips in and the sweet fruity flavour has intensified a bit and I’m finding it more pleasant, and less earthy. I should temper all this with the fact that I do have a cold and although I can still taste things, it’s entirely possibly that things are a little wonky.
Anyways, I think I have one more guayasa in my stash to try (also from Butiki), but it may just be that guayasa is not for me. Perhaps a bit mixed into a different herbal tea would work better for me if this actually gives me a caffeine kick (kiiind of hoping not, since it’s 10:30pm), but I’ll try that later. I think I might prefer the flavouring in this one to the only other guayasa I’ve tried, DavidsTea’s Jungle Ju Ju, but neither is something I’m likely ever to crave.
ETA: I removed my rating from this, because it’s probably not fair to judge this tea since I appear to not be fond of guayasa itself. Personally, I’d give it a rating of 63, but for people who do enjoy guayasa I imagine that this is a fabulously flavoured version of it more deserving of a rating in the 80s.
Bugger, Steepster just ate my note about this tea. Basically, same method as Coconut Cream Pie, it smells lovely like sweet buttery rum (although it’s muted since it’s cold), but unfortunately has a plasticky taste, which is not likely due to being steeped in a plastic cup as it’s the first time I’ve tasted it. Basically, I concluded that icing teas may not be for me, although I do tend to like teas warm or at room temperature. I’m so annoyed right now; all day I’ve been typing up notes in Word, and I decide not to, and get the darn kettle when I try to post my note. Argh.
Oh yes, and I added a bit of agave which improved the flavour, but that plasticky taste is still there and it bothers me.