304 Tasting Notes

80

Isn´t it wonderful to receive an unexpected present? Like a couple of individually wrapped tea pyramids from Bird&Blend?
I had ordered from a fun stationary site (ohh deer) in UK, and my husband brought me the order when he returned from a visit to his team in UK (a colleague was so friendly to receive and store my order), and this was a special treat for Easter.
Chocolate Digestives is the right name for this tea where cacao is well present in nose and mouth, but the sweetness is controlled (by the liquorice and fenugreek, which I cannot detect separately?) so one feels like having a chocolate biscuit (digestive), more than a chocolate cookie or a hot chocolate. Nice

Flavors: Biscuit, Chocolate, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85
drank 2011 by La Via del Tè
304 tasting notes

This is another Via del Tè tea I had put aside when I received the (huge ;-) ) order I made now almost 2 years ago. 2011 is the green blend of the Golden Jubilee blends the company put together in 2011 (the black blend being named 1961, the year Via del Tè was founded). Today I opened the pouch and immediately the smell of fresh strawberries came to me. According to the list of ingredients, this aroma is due to flavourings. It completely overwhelms the jasmine (from one of the 3 green teas in this blend, King of jasmine) or the pineapple supposedly present in this blend. Once steeped (at 80ºC, not longer than 2,5 minutes…all from info online as this is not indicated on the pouch, a shame really), the liquor is light yellow, and the aroma´s have turned more floral (because of the jasmine?). In mouth it sort of disappointed me a bit, as I hoped for a stronger green tea character, and I thought the fruity and floral notes in nose would translate better to the taste as well. It makes a nice afternoon tea, easy to drink even for people who aren´t into tea.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Strawberry, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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87

There was a time (when I studied in Yorkshire, UK where I would buy my teas at Betty´s, an “institution” over there for tea and coffee and all events concerning tea and coffee ;-) ) that I drank Lapsang Souchong quite regularly. I remember that even my father liked it although he ´s not at all a tea drinker.
So, I bought this LS from Via del Tè – for old times´sake??? – a few years ago, and hadn´t opened the pouch yet. In nose (for the dry tea leaves) the smoked character is clearly present, and it also steals the show once steeped, both in nose and mouth where it lingers on and on and on, giving a nice smooth finish. The slightly sweet sidenotes present in mouth when actually drinking the tea don´t mess up the experience, and might even make it easier to drink this tea. These also differ from the LS of my memories (Taylors of Harrogate tea), where the black tea backbone was stronger. Nevertheless, this is a solid LS I´ll enjoy a lot over the winter months.
Note : I drink my teas “black”, while a LS in UK is typically enjoyed with milk.

Flavors: Smoke, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
ashmanra

Oh, I drink almost all my teas black. I did not know that they typically add milk to Lapsang in the UK. Ashman does not care for Lapsang, but I wonder if he would find it palatable that way. I may have to test that out on him.

Ilse Wouters

@ashmanra : in UK most of the tea is made using teabags and served in a cup where first of all a bit of milk is poured into, before adding the tea. For instance. until I was 28 I didn´t drink coffee, because my stomach was always upset after trying it. But at home in Belgium my parents drank coffee with milk, and it seems that I have a problem with…milk. As my sister-in-law introduced me to tea and she didn´t add milk, I went to UK and kept to tea w/o milk, and when I arrived in France we used to drink coffee together with the colleagues every morning and also after lunch, and as they didn´t have a fridge, there was no milk…and I discovered that I actually liked coffee, that it didn´t make me ill, but adding milk surely did! BTW, a lot of English Breakfast blends are quite strong, just because it is assumed milk is added.

ashmanra

I am glad you found the milk was the problem so you can enjoy tea now!

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65
drank Té Negro by Montecelio
304 tasting notes

The Montecelio brand for teabags is quite common in Spain, especially when ordering a cup of tea or infusion in a bar or restaurant. Travelling to our destination for New Year´s Eve, we stayed at the hotel of a Michelin star rated restaurant, with tea facilities in the room, and we had this black tea in the afternoon when we had just checked in.
This is a standard blend of black teas, and could be a perfectly normal “English Breakfast”. Advised steeping time on the teabag is 5´but neither steeping it a bit longer nor leaving it a certain time afterwards results in too much bitterness.

Flavors: Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80
drank Snore & Peace by Clipper
304 tasting notes

Cupper Advent calendar #8
This is the only infusion I missed when I first had it (on day 8), but I remembered to write down some notes on day 20, when I drank it again.
On 18th December i left for my home country to spend Christmas with my family and no, I didn´t forget the teabags left from the Cupper advent calendar.
At first, the brew reminded me of the herbal infusions my mother loved to prepare (very often nettle based), which I must admit weren´t exactly what I used to like to drink, but then it opens up, with a bit of mint in finish. Both mint and even chamomile (at 30% even) are dosed to give a well balanced blend, which I can certainly approve of. Presence of lavender also very subtle.

Flavors: Chamomile, Herbal, Lavender, Mint

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85

Every time I´m in UK (whenever I´m not living there, that is), I need to have a look in M&S, especially when Easter or Christmas is near, as they always have original ideas for presents. When I last was over there, at the end of March, I could buy a few really fun presents to take back to my family in Belgium and here in Spain…and I bought a few boxes of teabags. This “spiced apple” was one of them.
Look at that, another blend with white hibiscus! (I just commented earlier today that I had never come across “white” hibiscus before, and today, twice!!!) The infusion is exactly what it is supposed to be : it tastes of a spiced apple, and it does smell of a spiced apple as well…very autumn and winter-y…but the list of ingredients doesn´t include cinnamon, which I find amazing, because the spiced apple tastes of cinnamon. Obviously, using ginger, liquorice and cardamom they can make someone believe there´s also cinnamon somewhere ;-) . Very enjoyable at this time of year.

Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
gmathis

This sounds light and festive and lovely1

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85
drank Sleep Easy by Clipper
304 tasting notes

Advent Calendar Cupper #12.
Another infusion I tried blind, another one where Cupper fooled me partially ;-) …I wouldn´t have guessed this blend contains 35% of cinnamon and 25% of chamomile! No, the rooibos base together with the melissa and orange aroma´s make this a nice “different” Xmas blend, according to me, where the sweetness in nose fortunately turns into much more subtle in mouth, with sweet&spicy notes from something I thought might have been vanilla, but there I was wrong. I definitely look forward to 24th December to try this blend again!

Flavors: Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
ashmanra

That’s a lot of cinnamon!

Ilse Wouters

@ashmara : indeed, I couldn´t believe my eyes when reading the list of ingredients!

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75
drank Happy Mondays by Clipper
304 tasting notes

Advent Calendar Cupper #11.
I needed to look quite thoroughly through the Clipper teas already in the Steepster system and compare ingredients as the Cupper version indicated on the box states “be happy” instead of “happy mondays”. Then I also drank this tea/infusion blind, thinking the blend was herbal with added citrus. Moreover, I thought the infusion was soft and subtle (I didn´t get the peppery notes). As my stomach afterwards started to protest a bit, I even mistook this to imply the infusion also contained chamomile (although I hadn´t tasted it), and now seeing the ingredients listed on the box, I wonder where the cinnamon and ginger went…I´ll need to pay more attention when coming to #23.
And, the white hibiscus on the list of ingredients is a bit of a mystery to me too…I believe I´ve never encountered it before.

Flavors: Citrusy, Herbal, Soft

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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75

Advent calendar Cupper #10.
I´m now writing the reviews for a few pouches from the advent calender I took with me on a stay away from home, so I need to indicate I´ve tried these teas/infusions blind. No way did I know that this tea I obviously had already drunk 9 years ago, and that I then had quite liked it. This time, I definitely recognized the red fruit but thought it wasn´t only raspberry; I even thought this was an hibiscus/rose hip based infusion instead of a white tea with fruit, so I really think the blend has changed over the years…or maybe I didn´t spend enough attention when drinking it this time??? Anyway, as #22 is this same blend, I´ll pretty soon find out.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Red Fruits

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80

Advent calender Cupper #9.
Ginger in nose and especially (natural) lemon in mouth. As someone who´s not exactly keen on ginger nor lemon, I found this infusion tasty and refreshing, and I could certainly enjoy it more often.

Flavors: Fresh, Ginger, Lemon

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Profile

Bio

Introduced to tea by my sister-in-law in my country of birth = Belgium more than 30 years ago, I still love tea, mainly black, which I enjoy without sugar or milk. Having lived in UK, near good tea shops (e.g. Betty´s all over Yorkshire), I tend to buy most of my tea in bulk from tea shops (as such, most of these are not represented in my on-line cupboard). Nowadays, I live in Spain where tea gives me another sensatory bliss (as wine or beer or coffee can give me too).

Location

Madrid, Spain

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