New Tasting Notes
Hurray, my order from A Quarter to Tea came in! Everything smells delicious :) I ordered a very small sample of this to try, mainly because I was tempted by the description of Sansa’s lemon cakes.
For some reason my first sip of this tasted like bitter lemon rind, but when the tea cooled just a little, the flavors settled down and nothing was bitter at all. In fact, it’s an extremely mellow tea. The assam base is very smooth. The lemon is mild. I get a hint of honey and a hint of floral. I can smell the pastry/cake note pretty strongly, but when it comes to the flavor, it plays a background role.
I thought this was a very pleasant lemon tea, but not a distinctive one. It reminded me a lot of David’s lemon (though it smells a lot better than David’s). I’m really glad I got to try it though, A Quarter to Tea’s flavors come and go so quickly. I missed their Key Lime Jade and I’m still kicking myself.
Now this is a FANTASTIC pumpkin chai. Wow. It was so much better than I imagined. Really, really pumpkiny — real pumpkin. The loose leaf is so colourful and autumnal. Unlike most chais it isn’t just black tea and spices — it is predominantly pumpkin!
I love all of Davids Teas packaging for this Pumpkin Chai with two different containers (50g in a pretty orange mini tin and the 100g collector’s tin).
I bought 100g but I can easily see myself coming back for more over the next few months!
Tried this 2 ways: regular cup and a latte.
Regular cup: 1 perfect spoonful steeped 5min in 8oz of 200F water: tastes nutty/peanuty and a little sweet in the foretaste, but what follows is kinda watery. Not so good.
Latte: 4 perfect spoonfuls steeped 5min in 8oz of 200F water, mixed with hot, frothed 1% milk: The foretaste is the same, but something weird and a bit gross lingers in the aftertaste (artificial flavoring? apple?). I didn’t care for whatever the aftertaste was, so I couldn’t quite finish my latte.
In short this is not a repurchase for me. Glad I only bought a small amount and used it up.
Flavors: Nutty, Peanut, Sweet
I bought this tea a few years ago, and mostly forgot about it. At the time, I had a pretty narrow idea about what tea is “supposed” to taste like, and this didn’t fit.
Now that my perspective has changed, I dug it out again. I’m glad I did.
1 cute little pressed heart in my 120mL gaiwan, with boiling water. 5 sec rinse, then started infusing at 5s.
The result is sweet, floral, and smooth. No discernible bitterness. The rose mostly comes through in the scent and the aftertaste.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Malt, Rose, Tea
After a good 15 second rinse, I brewed this bag for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Honestly, I think the recommended 9-12 minutes’ steeping time is overkill; it’s not as though I am going to impart some new exciting flavor in that extra 5 to 8 minutes.
I think it was the rice that made that yeasty, corn chippy scent and flavor. I could kind of see how the smell was related to rice, but it just tended toward the side of dog feet smell. Even my coworker, sitting three feet away from me, commented on how this tea smelled like dog feet. It tasted much like it smelled: heavy on the ricey, yeasty flavor, but add in some wet wood flavor and just a hint of fishbone from the shou.
And yet, despite this disgusting description, I still drank the entire cup. I’m not sure what this says about me and my palate. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed this tea, but it was a certain sort of experience.
Flavors: Bark, Rice, Wet Wood, Yeast
Bought this the other day not realizing I had already tried it. It’s fairly tasty. Strong taste of dark chocolate and what I would guess is the mate in the background.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 185 degree water for 4 minutes.
Very strong aroma with a lot of mango, slight lemon and subtle white tea notes in the background.
Slightly sweet, very fruity taste, with dominance of mango and only subtle lemon. Very slight white tea bitterness in the aftertaste.
Refreshing and nice. Especially good as a cold brew on a hot sunny day.
Flavors: Grass, Lemon, Mango
So, someone who has messed with the Xbone recently did a dumb. Turns out my screen is fine, it was just plugged into the wrong port! I am not sure if it was Ben or myself that did such a daft thing, but it was certainly me that unplugged and replugged it into the same port a couple times while trying to troubleshoot it, it wasn’t until I was plugging in my USB charger that I realized the mistake. All that sad flailing earlier in the week was for naught, though I certainly wouldn’t complain about getting a nicer and larger screen!
Today I am looking at Keemun Imperial Gongfu Black Tea from MeiMei Fine Teas, and before I get into the tea I have a bit of a story. About a week before the tea arrived I was talking with Ben about tweaking the recipe on Ravnican Caravan, the blend I developed for his birthday. I told him I was thinking of removing the Shui Xian and adding Keemun instead, since adding a bit of fruity sweet would add more balance to the tea, and there was already enough char/smoke from the Lapsang. He agreed this was a good idea, but was concerned by the apparently very hilarious expression I had on my face. Asking what was wrong, with shock, I told him ‘I haven’t had a Keemun in over two years!’ It was like I had forgotten that tea existed, which is tragic since I used to LOVE it, this was something that needed rectifying, and MeiMei Fine Teas came to my rescue! The aroma of the delicate leaves is wonderful, very sweet with notes of raspberries, plums, cherries, and apricot mix with delicate distant floral, and the distinct malt/yam blend that lets me know this is a hong cha. I had no problem getting lost sniffing this tea, oh Keemun I have missed you!!
Into the green shibo the leaves go for a steeping and wow, that aroma is something else! Very fruity sweet notes of raspberries, plums, and cherries with underlying notes of squash flowers, wildflowers, and rich yams and peanuts. There is a lot going on in the wet leaves and it took several sniffs to process all the layers. The liquid smells sweet, though not quite as strongly as the wet leaves, instead it is more rich with its notes of yams, peanuts, squash, squash blossoms, and a finish of dark cherries. It also has a tiny hint of an aroma similar to red wine, specifically cherries cooked in red wine, which adds to the richness.
So the first steep starts out a bit brisk…wait…no it doesn’t. It switches to smooth so quickly that I thought I imagined it, but no, it is there. The taste starts with fruity sweetness, blending cherries and lighter apricot with a touch of plums. Then it moves to a floral and earthy (only slightly) blend of acorn squash, squash blossoms, and poplar tree flowers. The finish is a smooth blend of plums and malt with a lingering gentle yamminess that gives a slight starchy quality to the end.
That tiny bit of briskness that popped up in the first steep has totally vanished, replaced by a smooth mouthfeel and a distinct brightness, it feels like light in my mouth, no heaviness but not airy, just light and bright and putting me in a pleasantly cheerful mood. Honestly it is impossible to be in a bad mood while drinking this beauty, with sweet notes of red wine stewed plums and cherries, squash blossoms and poplar flowers, and a yammy peanut finish, it is both well balanced and tasty.
This steep is still quite fruity and sweet, strong notes of those cherries and plums stewed in red wine, with an added slice of apricot. However in the middle the flowery notes are all but gone, a bit of polar remains, but mostly there is rich malt and intensely starchy yams with a gentle peanut finish. I am so sorry Keemun, I will never forget you again. Luckily for me this tea had longevity, so I got more steeps out of it, though that has not stopped me from almost finishing my sample already!
The last of my Taylors of Harrogate samples. This is probably the one I enjoyed most out of the three I tried. It has a pleasant buttermint vibe going on, and it also reminds me of spearmint softmints which are just…the best. The sencha base is smooth and unobtrusive, allowing the mint and vanilla flavours to shine.
As green teas go, this one’s pretty perfect in my book. No bitterness or astringency, flavourful, lives up to its name. It’s a teabag, which I don’t usually go for, but it’s convenient and since I’m really busy at work at the moment, that suits me!
I’d drink this one again. I’d actually really like to try it cold brewed.
Our Guest Blogger SuperStarling reviewed this – check it out! Even some of her artwork within the post!
Nichole reviewed this today!
If you are a Doctor Who fanatic (like Nichole!), this tea fits Rose and the Doctor perfectly. Even if you are not a fan of earl greys or florals, I implore you to try this one. The blend has taken me off guard with how much I’m loving it.
Join The Sororitea Sisters EVERY FRIDAY for #FanaticFriday! Here’s today’s Fandom Tea:
This is a tea I stocked up on when I was making my own kombucha (I miss my little jellyfish ; . ;), it’s a good basic tea. I never reach for it, because if I’m looking for a straight black tea, I reach for the Nepal Black from DavidsTea or Irish Breakfast Xtra Fancy from Red Leaf Teas. So when we made our own stovetop chai. I reached for this for the black tea component. Delicious. Just so yummy.
This tastes just like a blueberry muffin, I swear. I brewed it before dinner and had some warm, and it was lovely. Then, we went on an impromptu dinner date, so I put the lid on my mug and left it out. Of course, when I got home it was cold, so I added some ice and off I went. It is just as incredible iced as it is hot.
It’s fairly sweet, and I tend to like bitter teas, but I loved it anyway. Very good.