1413 Tasting Notes
I have reviewed this cheapster steepster many times. Today’s experience was interesting. I caught hints of leather. I have no idea what was different. Nothing on my end that I am aware. No matters, I enjoyed 1 1/2 cups. The waitress was talking with my wife and kind of poured decaf into my first cup. She was embarrassed. I was amused. It made my morning seeing how quickly she scrambled to get another cup on the table.
I spent so many years avoiding Assam because of bad experiences with poor quality grocery store teas. I still brace myself and flinch with the first sip. Even though I know better I am still amazed every time I find myself enjoying the whole cup. This one smells delicately of malt and grain when dry. The leaf is much more robust after steeping. The mug is brisk and has a good astringent bite but to me that is how a morning cup should behave. Will stand up to milk but doesn’t need it. Not as malty as expected, it is more of a fruity woodsy taste. I found myself enjoying the whole cup. Still amazed.
I received a sample of this from Terri (thanks). She wasn’t crazy about it. When I opened the bag and sniffed all I could think was WOW! Smells so chocolaty. Steeped the aroma is roasted and grain. Sipping I get honey and roasted grain. Underneath and very late in the sip I occasionally picked up floral notes that my senses detected as rose. I don’t recall anyone else getting rose. It only hints at chocolate, malt, and sweet potato. It is thick and silky feeling. I quite liked it.
As I have commented before, I know if I were trying this tea for the first time my rating would be a lot lower but it is inexpensive and it is an old friend. I was talking with an old friend yesterday who was excited about opening a new can of Twinings Earl Grey and Lady Grey. It made me realize I do not have a single straight black Earl Grey in my collection anywhere. He shamed me for getting so far from my roots. I repented and bought a 200 g tin of this today for $8.
I have been exceedingly busy since Friday. Hardly even had time for tea. I helped my wife with her craft show booth (American Girl type clothes). I helped with a concert at church on Sunday. Monday was a sad day – we had our 16 year old cat Lucky euthanized. What a hard drive to town. He had feline aids and was wasting away. He was down to 5 pounds. Watching him suffering just got too hard. Of course my wife started second guessing her decision afterwards so I tried keeping her busy so she wouldn’t dwell on the decision. I had more band stuff on Tuesday, and today it was gorgeous outside so I took my wife shopping (so I could buy tea – see full circle).
Got home moments ago and immediately made a cup of Earl Grey. I am home and in my happy place.
Tea Temptations is the retail side of Empire Tea Services. They blend their own tea. I have reviewed several teas under the Empire Tea Services name. This one came as a sample in my last order. It smells nicely of apricot when opening the package. Once steeped, the apricot tastes lighter than expected and the ginger adds a depth of warmth and spiciness that leaves the mouth tingling long after the sip is gone. The Ceylon base is present but it kind just fills in the gaps and never really commands attention. I have never encountered this combination before. If the combination appeals to you, I believe the flavors are natural and the quality solid. For me this is not something I would order for myself.
This is one I forgot to review. I picked it for my wife because it is decaf. She cannot tolerate caffeine. I figure she deserves way better than most of the grocery store decaf. This one dry smells like grain. I steeped it for 3 minutes in a Finum basket with microwave heated water. Not the best way IMHO but it turned out OK. This was a nice gentle tea, soothing and relaxing. Just what I needed this evening. Decaf is never going to taste as full as regular tea but this is still pretty good. What I got was slightly malty and earthy or wood. A solid decaf black.
I pushed this sample to the front of my list to review after noticing Simple Loose Leaf is running a $1 first month promo. This tea is the last of the six month subscription given me by Simple Loose Leaf. Thank You!
Of the ones I tried, the cherry tea I was least crazy about. I loved the Winter White Chai (really really good) and the Casablanca Earl Grey Green (yum). The rest were solid teas that I found worthy of being in my cup.
This tea has pieces of strawberry in it. Dry it smells insane, mixed with the India black tea it takes on a strawberry dipped in chocolate malt aroma. Brewed it is strawberry. Maybe if I took a sip and smelled the dry leaf at the same time? lol.
This is strawberry but not in your face STRAWBERRY. It doesn’t shout but it isn’t a wall flower. The taste, though a touch lighter than I expected, seems very natural. I can easily detect the black tea base in the long lingering aftertaste. In fact the base stands out more the longer the aftertaste lingers. I have not tried yet but I can imagine sipping this one iced on a porch swing with a warm gentle breeze blowing.
We went from arctic winter to monsoon season. My backyard is completely underwater and my basement now has a stream in it. Come on summer. Planning to have our porch built this summer to fix the stream problem and so I can sip iced tea on the swing.
Seems like forever since I have been on Steepster. So today I have Temple Road’s Tiger Monk. I was contacted through my blog and offered the opportunity to review it. Of course I did not turn it down. The 10g sample was vacuum packed with a packet to either absorb moisture or absorb oxygen. I can’t read the writing so I am guessing. The instructions said to use 3 g and 95 C water and a 6 minute steep – so that is what I did. The dry leaf aroma reminds me of the puffed wheat cereal I ate as a kid. The brew though is smoked and roasted. The first sensation when sipping was the roasting. It seemed quite strong, but suddenly melted away with a prickly sensation and became a much greener tasting oolong than I expected. Maybe in part due to the earlier prickly sensation, the aftertaste reminded me of mango.
Strong but no bitterness. Nicely complex.
My stomach quit hurting late Saturday. Woke up Sunday feeling fine. Grabbed the guitar and played at church. Sat down afterward and my head started throbbing. Couldn’t concentrate on the sermon – could barely stay wake. Got home headed for the couch. Got up around 3 and fixed this oolong.
I am feeling like me today and I was still craving this. Imagine me craving an oolong. It figures that the two extreme edges of oolong – Pouchong and Oriental Beauty are the two I love most. I used yesterday’s leaf. This one is just so tasty without being overly floral or roasted. Fresh and lightly malty with awesome fruity notes. My taste buds declare this to be excellent.
Shameless plea for pity and attention:
My wife has been sick all week. This morning I got up with a pounding head, hurting ears, and I’m dizzy. Thought getting something in my system might help. Downed a glass of milk. Not a good idea. So now my stomach is rumbling. Drank grape juice for the vitamin C but realized my taster is on the fritz. So I brewed a cup of this. Even if it has only half the flavor it would on any other day, it is still good and comforting. I’m supposed to play at church in the morning. They may just be on their own.
Stay well my friends.