64 Tasting Notes
This is a tea I have since quite a while and I think it might have lost most of its fragrances, as I cannot find any trace of the bergamot. It´s very herbal, both in smell (of loose tea and of steeped brew) as in taste. Green tea still very present, and absolute need to limit the steeping time to a minimum (1-2´) as the tea gets (too) strong easily. Definite taste.
Flavors: Grass, Green, Herbaceous
I need to agree with some other opinions written about this tea : these are excellent tea bags (in my opinion most probably the best quality and taste you can get from a teabag available nationally in a major store)… and when I finished the first box I bought (without writing about it in steepster), I bought another one. As someone else said : the Kenyan tea is quite strong, and in UK this implies mostly that people add milk…I like my tea black, but indeed, better steep it a short time if you want to avoid it getting too strong (I don´t really think it gets too bitter, it gets “deeper” if that makes any sense). It´s quite funny : when I bought the tea, the cashier at M&S told me that he had lived in Kenya and that he really believed that one of the better teas (and coffee) came from there, but that in general they are underrated. The strength of the tea is rated as 2, and I agree again with a comment I read on steepster that some teas rated 2 actually seemed smoother than some rated 3 (the same applies for M&S´s single estate Rwandan Rukeri teabags). I compare both with coffee (as I like it : strong and full-bodied).
Flavors: Coffee, Smoke, Smooth
There we go again : it seems that autumn has arrived already! More of a reason to get this spicy chocolate tea out, as I consider it a bit as “comfort tea” ;-) Especially when the weather is sad. As my partner asked to have some tea – very exceptional!!! – I decided to make a pot. So much nicer as well, or at least so it seems. Spicy and chocolate in a not overwhelming dose which I can only applaud. Yesterday, I prepared oxtail and I added some chocolate to the sauce, and what a – subtle – way it is to enhance the flavour! Well, here it is similar, I believe. So, I´m rating this tea a bit higher this time as well…
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove
Yesterday I prepared some rhubarb compôte, one of the little pleasures of life, if you ask me… I adore rhubarb, its fibres and especially its sour touch, and how it seems that when adding sugar that sour aspect can survive and taste like only rhubarb can taste. The wonderful thing about being in UK is that the rhubarb season (which ends late June in Belgium) goes on a lot longer and even now – at the end of August – , I can still get the rhubarb at Farmers´Markets. It freezes brilliantly as well, so I´ll have some stock for the winter months.
And so, when having finished preparing the compôte, I thought I should look for that aromatised black tea with rhubarb I still had…somewhere! And I found it! It´s getting to the end of its shelf life (best before date : 8/2016) and especially the rhubarb has sort of disappeared from the taste. In the nose you can still get it (together with the strawberry). One of the aromatised black teas I really love is Marco Polo (in France you can find it everywhere : the better known is a Mariage Frères blend but I think – cf. Thé des sages – they deliver it to a lot of tea shops all over the country) where the caramel blends in nicely with the black tea. Why do I mention this here? Well, this tea reminds me a lot of Marco Polo, and adds an extra delicate berry finish to it.
While I´m a bit sorry to notice that with time the rhubarb addition to the tea has disappeared from the tea experience, I´m also quite happy to get a closer alternative to the Marco Polo blend (which I don´t have currently in my tea collection). For the rhubarb touch, I´ll stick to the compôte…
Flavors: Caramel, Rhubarb, Strawberry
The weather is lovely, and so anything fruity can be appreciated. Time to sip a bit of “Quatre fruits rouges”… the steeped tea smells nicely of red fruits, in a shy sort of way which already lets you know that this aromatised black tea is a job well done. It might well be that the fragrances are softer now as I got the tin 2 years ago, but I like it this way. The discrete presence of the fruit in the taste is also to my liking. I didn´t realise at first, but I left a bit in the mug, which I drank later (cold) and it had turned a bit bitter, not overly though. Overall a positive experience… and I should finish this and other Kusmi tins I bought about the same time.
Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry
Ever since my childhood – when my mother more or less forced me to drink herbal teas she would blend herself – I kind of avoided these infusions. Did I have my fair share already, or do I just not like the taste of them? I prefer to think that most of the time both of explanations apply. Maybe there are exceptions like a sweet mint tea as you can get in a Maroccan restaurant, or a very fragrant thyme infusion to help digestion.
Delhaize´s “No Stress” is one of the infusions available in their “Well Being – Caring Moments” range and is built around some “lemony” herbs like lemongrass and lemonbalm. These are clearly present in the smell. I see on the packet other ingredients I cannot easily identify : apple (!), fennel and lemon as well as natural lemon aroma. Fortunately (for me) the resulting infusion isn´t at all citrusy, it stays herbal with a discrete lemony touch. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I can imagine a herbal tea fan liking this one. Personally I think it´s a nice cup to enjoy before going to bed.
Individually wrapped tea bags have the extra advantage you can easily take them with you, and they stay fresh longer. So I might use them before their “best before” date (8/2018) after all ;-)
Flavors: Fennel, Lemon, Lemongrass
Delhaize´s take on a green tea where the herbal notes are covered up with – very discrete – fruity notes. It stays very “easy drinking”, for the big public. Although I´m not too much into green teas, I quite like this “no nonsense” approach and I´m happy the coconut flavour is limited. No stuff for the green tea aficionados, I´m afraid : too little complexity comes from the green tea in this aromatised tea. The recommended steeping time on the pack is 3 minutes, which I find a bit on the short side.
Flavors: Coconut, Green, Mango
Was offered this tea in a B&B in UK. As I didn´t know the company I did some investigation and obviously Frellsen is a Danish company. They began importing coffee in 1897 and the company is now in hands of the 4th generation of Frellsen. As far as I can tell, they have 16 types of tea on offer and this Earl Grey seems to be the most important one. It´s very fragrant, but somehow the aroma´s seem to wander off before the tea is steeping, because the drink is quite neutrally tasting, which is a shame.
We discovered All About Tea in Portsmouth this Bank Holiday weekend, when we made an excursion to Portsmouth after having had lunch in an original concept place called Pie&Vinyl. The place is a combination of tea blender, tea shop and café. Quite a few blends (realized in house) are optimised for the local tap water in different places of Hampshire. As a fan of Earl Grey teas, I wanted to try the Southsea Grey I had already liked from its aroma´s in All About Tea. Very aromatic and surprisingly soft tasting, without turning bitter too soon…just the way an afternoon tea should be! Wonderful packaging as well, to ensure best storage conditions.
English breakfast teas are not necessarily very fragrant nor distinctively tasty, but tend to be easy to enjoy in the morning, and especially combine well with a hearty breakfast. Delhaize´s English Breakfast is a tea that doesn´t turn bitter with (steeping) time, but it doesn´t thrill me either…I tried it a few times, changing steeping time and water temperature, but the resulting cup was always a rather neutrally tasting brew. I guess I will finish the box and find another English breakfast tea to enjoy!