1696 Tasting Notes
Reviewed this yesterday on my blog. Thought I would show it off a little here as well. This is a 23 oz handcrafted stoneware teapot and 8.5 oz earthenware mugs. These come from Bulgaria. They are gorgeous. The size is perfect for me but larger sizes (up to 50 oz) are available. The teapot and mugs are fully glazed inside and out. The mugs are light in weight, comfortable to hold, and the lip is easy to sip from. The handle stays cool while drinking. The teapot feels heavy even when empty. Adding boiling water to it really heats up the outer surface of the pot, yet the handle stays nice and cool. The opening is small. It will require a flexible bottle brush to clean inside the pot. The spout pours easily and a little slow. I used a cloth drawstring bag to hold my loose leaf as I don’t have a brush and was afraid I wouldn’t be able to clean up if I turned the leaf loose and used a strainer. The handle over the top looks like it might interfere with adding water but I poured into the pot from my kettle without issue. Should be a beautiful treasure for years to come. http://tivelasipottery.com/
This is kind of a unique tea. I find it hard to define. It is listed as a white tea. The dry leaf resembles jasmine pearls with a lot of silver buds and without the jasmine. The steeped leaf has a lot of leaf in addition to the buds. The liquor is bright golden yellow after a two minute steep. The aroma is nutmeg and floral. Tasting it has a strong bite of the good kind of bitter. In this regard it reminds me of Chinese green tea. There is a fair amount of the nutmeg and floral in the taste. These notes, though no where near as intense, remind me of a green high mountain oolong. Under everything runs an earthy woods flavor. This is the note that most seems like a white tea. The flavor is strong but has good depth.
I used my last packet of crystals in a bottle of cold water. Nice refreshing and minty green tea without all the sugar RTD generally contains.
These packets were originally only available through a subscription plan. Now you can also buy individual boxes without the plan. For those who might be interested, Pique Tea made a promo code to save 15% off your first order, especially for my blog.
Pique Tea Promo Code
My wife always asks when I receive a box of samples for review, if there is anything in it she can drink. She cannot tolerate caffeine. Today is her lucky day. This tisane comes from Amsterdam. It is loose leaf. There are a lot of ingredients in the blend. Normally that scares me, especially in something called wellness tonic. This sounds like one of those horribly medicinal cheap teabag teas hiding on the bottom shelf at a grocer near you.
Fortunately, these people take their herbal very serious. This is 100% organic and loose leaf. The aroma of the leaf smells like my wife’s herb garden in the summer, except she cannot get chamomile to grow. I could make out rosemary, thyme, and sage. My wife said she smells turmeric. I checked. It’s in there.
The taste is interestingly complex. Usually a lot of ingredients means a muddy mess. Here the flavors blend really well together and you can pull out individual notes. The taste is savory, not too floral, and sweet enough. It feels nicely cooling and airy. I’m guessing that is the sage. Nicely relaxing as well. An interesting tisane.
Ingredient list (because using Steepster’s ingredient box frustrates me):
Lemon Balm*, Chamomile*, Nettle*, Rosehip*, Echinacea*, Ribwort*, Ladies Mantle*, Turmeric*, Elecampane Root*, Sage Leaves*, Blue Mallow Petals*, Rosemary*, Thyme*
*100% Organically Grown
Many of you may recall my complaints about Starbucks people not understanding tea. That does not change the fact that I love the green tea frap. So when my wife mentioned the limited time Cherry Blossom Frap, I had to try it. Let me start by saying it was delicious. Next let say my mind is boggled. Why is this called cherry blossom? There is no, zero, zilch, nada, cherry or cherry flavoring in this thing. Instead it is strawberry and cream with white chocolate and matcha sprinkled over the top. It, like most stuff, is overpriced but if you get the chance, give it a try before it is gone. It could be a new favorite for me if it stayed on the menu. It does need a name change.
My son wanted to download a game on his computer and I have been wanting to try out a rather large mod for my Kerbal Space Adventure game. We both have metered connections so, yeah, Starbucks it is.
I asked for an Earl Grey iced with a shot of vanilla syrup. She rang it up as a London Fog and charged 4 something for it (seriously $4 for iced tea in a disposable plastic cup? but I digress). Sat down with it at the table and my wife looks at it and says, “That’s not what you ordered”.
“I know. That’s just the price you pay for ordering tea in a coffee place.”
Apparently a London fog has milk in it making it a pricey latte. I didn’t order a latte and probably should have said something, however, it was actually pretty tasty. So much so that I will make this my own self for about one tenth the price at home and I get to use a fancy non-disposable tupperware tumbler. Nothing but the best for me and uncle Si. That’s a fact Jack.
Part of the Revitalize Teaser Box from Free The Tea. Includes 4 samples – each about 5-7 servings and an infuser (tea ball with handles).
This is aimed at new to loose leaf users.
It is listed as containing premium organic green tea is blended with organic peppermint and dashed with organic spearmint leaves.
3 minute steep in 175F water produced a honey colored cup with a healthy mint presence. By the ingredient list, I expected a peppermint tea with notes of spearmint. Instead I get just the opposite. I’m not a spearmint fan. Here is works OK because the peppermint tempers it and the green tea melds with it nicely.
Couple not exactly complaints but I do wish I were able to separate the green tea taste out more. I think this is just the nature of mint tea. The other may just be my sample but much of the leaf pieces are very small. There are a few bigger pieces and the small ones are big enough to work in a tea ball. I think here I have just become accustomed to big whole leaf. On the whole as good or better than most entry level teas.
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. Not really cause I love a rainy night and besides I’m no longer workin’ 9 to 5. Actually even though I am no longer working, DST ‘spring ahead’ still kicks my butt. I’m running on caffeine trying to adjust. I would never make a world traveler. Jet lag would kill me in a matter of days.
I need to be digging into my back log of to be reviewed teas. I have no brain for that today. So I reached for my comfort Earl, then put down the green tin and grabbed the red one instead. This is a very fragrant but not soapy bergamot tea that I find quite smooth for a Ceylon base. Ashmanra found the pre-Ceylon base (that’s Ceylon, not to be confused with Cylon) to be much smoother to her liking. My usual tea has a great deal of bite so this in comparison is much more refined.
This is probably a brand Picard would want in his replicator – stern but refined. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
Another of the infuser teas from Petit. These are single serve aluminum sticks. They come 12 in a box and each contains 2.5 g of leaf.
This smells so good to me. This from someone who normally just tolerates chai. It has all the typical spices but it just comes off different to me. The cinnamon is warm and sweet, reminding me of some gooey treat. The clove and cardamon blend in well without dominating or overwhelming.
Without additions this tasted lighter than expected. To me, it had almost a light rose note along with the gentle spices. Next I added some sweetener. This brings out a pepper note that wasn’t fully developed before. Finally, I added a splash of milk. Yes, definitely add the sweetener and the milk. So smooth and good that my cup was empty before I realized it. That never happens with me and chai.
This was yesterday’s tea. I’ve enjoyed these crystallized packets. Not just because they are convenient to the extreme. They also taste pretty good. They don’t have all the nuances of brewing some fine leaves yourself, but are better than bagged or any RTD that I have tried.
This one surprised me. All of the others have had a fairly sharp edge – almost tart. I like that but not everyone does. This blend is Assam and Ceylon. I expect a brisk bite. Instead this is smooth malt. They call it earthy. My mind interpreted it as woods and leafy. Fruity. Maybe a little floral. The color was dark orange leaning heavily towards ruby. At the end just before the aftertaste it develops a nice edge that breaks the smooth mold.
I next tried it cold by adding a packet to a 12 oz bottle of icy water. What is interesting to me is it had more edge iced. This works perfect for me. I like my hot breakfast tea to bring me evenly into the day rather than with a jolt. I want my iced tea to be more grrrr. This does both and pretty well.
These Pique teas are not pre-sweetened. They don’t need sweetened, but they take it well if you so desire.