3013 Tasting Notes
52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 4! (Drank Dec. 4)
Thought this was a green before I opened it, but have reconsidered, and now think it’s a white. A very fluffy white. And I’m not at all sure what it is based on the smell – both my roommate and I agree that it smells like white wine, plus a mishmash of fruity aromas, including banana and possibly orange (but orange juice was being consumed at that time, so we’re not 100% on that one).
I accidentally oversteeped it, so the base is a bit strong, but there’s also not really much flavour. Not really a fan. I’d guess that this was maybe a champagne white or something, but I don’t know if anything like that was released this year.
Uh, Apple Jack’s Apple Harvest Shou Mei? Never would have guessed. I guess the apple is what’s coming off as winey? Either way, not fond of this blend at all.
52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 3! (Drank Dec. 3)
Decided to “catch up” today – since I got my parcel on the 2nd, and have both the hot and iced teas to go through, I figured that catching up one day would allow me to get through everything without having to pack any of them home. Unless, of course, Roswell Strange is interested in trying some. Because between her and my mom, I’m bringing back quite enough teas already! :D
Anyhow, first impressions of this one: it’s a black, and has little green leaf flecks. Therefore, I guess it’s a minty black of some variety. Scent confirms this. I don’t know which one(s) were released this year, though, so again I won’t be able to come up with the actual tea.
Brewed up, I’m getting a lovely malty aroma combined with much less mint than I expected. I’m ok with that – I don’t need in-your-face mint. I actually am thinking this might be the Peppermint Patty Black, or whatever the name was of that tea. it’s creamy, minty, and malty – hinting on chocolatey. Quite pleasant. Actually, on another large sip, I am getting chocolate. Delish. I’m pretty happy with this one too.
Peppermint Bark! Yep, I am right, just wasn’t 100% on the name. Anyways, I’m impressed. It’s a great level of mint, and a lovely winter tea.
Shared some of this with my boyfriend’s mom yesterday, and she quite liked it. I got more of a rich fruitiness out of it this time, instead of sugary toffee/cream, but it was quite enjoyable. I have about a pot left that I’ll reserve for sharing with her. This seems to be an excellent way to reduce my stash of herbals :D
52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 2! (Drank Dec. 3)
I’ve decided to keep all the 12 teas a mystery to me as much as possible – guessing games are most excellent. So! This is a green oolong, with marshmallow root. My initial thought was Kiwi Cheesecake Oolong, but once I opened the bag, I opted to retract that guess – not only can I also now see cacao nibs, it smells quite creamy and delicious… like eggnog, actually! I know there was an eggnog blend at one point, but I thought it was a honeybush/rooibos, so I won’t be able to assign a name to this one, I don’t think, I’ll just have to describe the flavours and see how close I can get.
Steeped, it smells kind of like eggnoggy oolong. Creamy oolong. Not quite milk oolong. Flavour is similar. Definitely eggnog oolong in my mind. Oh yes, there’s the lovely oolong buttery aftertaste, too. This would be an eggnog light on the nutmeg, just for reference – there’s maybe a suggestion of some, but it’s mostly just creaminess. I’d say I’m reasonably satisfied with this one, though the flavour is fairly light.
Ok, so apparently it’s Tiramisu Oolong! That explains the cacao nibs – they didn’t totally fit in with “eggnog”, and also the absence of nutmeg. I don’t really know what tiramisu tastes like, but as I said, this is definitely creamy. Knowing it’s not eggnog, I can taste a hint of chocolate, and now the creaminess is screaming “ice cream”. So, I don’t know. Either way, I think this one’s quite alright. Giving it a rating of 78 – it doesn’t make 80 only because it’s not a tea I’d likely keep in my cupboard. Butiki’s Eggnog/Nutmeg-Dusted Custard/Spiced Nog fill that niche for now, and hopefully for another couple years (haha. I am of course referring to my lovely sizeable stash).
52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 1! (Drank Dec. 2)
[Backlogged because I didn’t want to spoil this for anyone, and am hoping I don’t!]
Doing this review pretty much blind, because I don’t want to scratch the sticker for fear of completely crushing the tea in the packet. So from the outside, all I can tell is that it’s a green. Sencha, specifically. With marigold petals. Upon opening the bag, there’s a delicious wave of scents – creamy, tangy, spicy… I’ve never had the tea, but I’m reasonably certain that this is the green-based Pumpkin Cheesecake, based on my rather dim recollection of the black-based version. Though this one smells far more cream cheesy than the other ever did, complete with the tanginess.
Flavourwise, I can taste… pumpkin? And spices, though they are fairly light. Not really tasting that cheesecake flavour that I could smell. I’m still pretty sure about my guess (although it’s possible I’m wrong)
And, it turns out I am wrong. Apparently it’s Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell. Which is pretty surprising to me, because this tea decidedly does not look like a dragonwell, nor did I get any of the characteristic dragonwell flavours (savory/umami), which I definitely got in both of Butiki’s dragonwell blend attempts. I guess it does explain the lack of cheesecake flavouring, though why I distinctly smelled the tanginess in the aroma, I’m not sure. I also didn’t get nearly as much toffee as I would have hoped for.
Unfortunate that I was wrong, because had this been Punmpkin Cheesecake on green, I probably would have rated it a 78. As Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell, it only garners a 72, losing marks for the base tea (and lack of toffee). I still enjoy it though, and definitely wanted to try this blend, so I’m happy it was included!
Gotta stop putting this in travel mugs. Killed the flavour again. Or perhaps the tea’s just getting old (but I think it’s the mug). Taking the time to sip carefully now, I am getting a bit more flavour (nice beaniness from the green), but I know this tea can be better.
Got more of this from Sil, and threw it into a travel mug for the evening (a baby dedication!) Not my favourite, but the floral/lavender on a soft black base worked just fine for me tonight. In moderation, I actually don’t mind lavender so much, it seems, and in this blend (possibly due to age/storage-related loss of flavour), the lavender is not overpowering at all. Yum. Bumping the rating up.
Heh – a testament to how floral this tea is: I brewed up both this and ‘French Blend’, which contains lavender, rose petals, etc., and put them both in travel mugs… and then became confused as to which tea was which. Still enjoyed both, and this one was more fruity and flavourful, but I found it amusing. Aiming for a sipdown on it soon via travel mugs. Yum.