2907 Tasting Notes
I cold brewed this one for work today. Like I’ve mentioned it’s been a bit of a drizzly, dreary day with lots of rain and for whatever reason that made this so, so much better; in general I think it makes all cups of tea just a bit better. And in all honesty, I’m not even entirely sure of what the tea tasted like; I think like cocoa, raisin, and maybe a bit of smoke? I totally wasn’t paying attention to the flavour – I was just really, really enjoying the way I felt while drinking it and the atmosphere around me.
If you haven’t clued in, I really really love the rain. My favourite smell out of all smells is petrichor (the smell of the earth after it rains) and there’s something immensely pleasant and comforting about the sound of rain hitting the ground. It makes me feel so insanely at home and at ease. I wish I could drink all my tea during a heavy rainfall…
Non tea related, I got a haircut!
The last time I had a haircut was just shy of two years ago; and I had it cut down to a few inches long. In those two years it’s grown to roughly boob length? It’s been driving me crazy for a weeks and weeks though; I kept finding hairs in really weird spots and I was going through more shampoo/conditioner than I ever have before. I just HATED it…
So, I shaved it all off tonight. Literally, all of it. My head is so shaved down now that I just feel skin. Basically I took a pair of scissors and cut it down to about a few choppy, uneven inches long and then I had Tre buzz it all down with his razor/clipper. At one point my landlord walked downstairs to use the laundry room, saw this mid shave and just halted mid stride with a look of terror/panic on his face. After it was all buzzed I just took a razor and some shaving cream and got it as clean and close to the scalp as I could. It definitely looks and feels really different. Makes me look like a total bad ass. I can’t wait to accessorize with giant earrings.
My coworkers are gonna flip tomorrow though.
Another from my swap with Scheherazade!
Teapigs is a company I’ve been kind of curious about for a while; the Sobeys I work at carries a small selection of their teas (though not this one) and I’ve always found the packaging cute. In particular, the Mao Feng has always interested me because of the brilliant green colour of the leaves and the fact that when you look at the sachets they’re clearly not all broken up fannings. I just simply haven’t known enough about the company or seen enough reviews of any of their teas to be interested in purchasing one of the packs.
I steeped up one of the pyramid style sachets I received from Scheherazade this morning during a heavy downpour and sat on the steps outside of our house, listening to the pitter patter of the rain, while drinking it. It was definitely the perfect atmosphere to enjoy and appreciate the warmth of the mug and the clean, well rounded flavour. I thought in particular it tasted rather floral, with a slight bit of malt and a sort of autumnal vibe – probably from the very slight spice notes throughout the cup. The mouthfeel is very, very smooth and silky. It’s not the best Darjeeling I’ve ever had but it’s far from the worst.
Very pleasant, comforting and unobtrusive flavour overall. I don’t know if I’ve been sold enough on this tea to want to purchase more of it, but I might finally pick up one of the different blends we carry at the Sobeys I work at as my curiosity has definitely been heightened. Payday is on Thursday…
Tre made some sort of seafood dish last night, and the whole house just stinks of fish, so when it started heavily pouring outside this morning I made a hot cup of this with a little bit of cashew milk added in and just stood in the backyard in my t-shirt and boxers, barefoot getting rained on while sipping tea. It felt like it could be a scene from a coming of age movie,or something of that nature.
I kind of hated this tea at first; it’s grown on me a fair bit now. It’s a weird jumble of flavours: cinnamon, rose, coconut, cranberry, pineapple, vanilla – all present but none commanding. Though I’m tasting all of the fruit elements more directly with this most recent infusion. The cashew milk just adds even more to the mix. It’s peaceful though, and almost makes me sleepy with how relaxing it is.
I’m back inside now, and all dried off but it’s still raining and I really want to head back out. The fresh air and rain, combined with the warmth of the tea created such a lovely moment of stillness and calm and I need another fix of that.
This is the first tea I’m trying from Scheherazade! Her swap package arrived this morning while I was at work; definitely earlier than I expected it to. I really hope mine makes it to her soon!
I guarantee I would have never picked this for myself, and that’s why I love that my most recent swaps have all been “pick out some random teas for me” kind of deals. I’ve tried a lot of tea that I would have otherwise ignored. Case and point, when I pulled everything out this was the one that jumped out the most to me that I was all “I have to try this tonight” about.
It’s interesting; the green base has a lot of marine notes to it and is pleasantly mild despite that. And I don’t love green tea, but paired with lemon it’s actually quite nice. This lemon in particular is kind of semi-sweet and reminds me a lot of lemon rind and pith what with the gentle, pleasant bitterness. I didn’t taste the ‘pepper’ element of the tea until halfway through the mug when it had cooled down a fair bit. I’m not 100% sure I liked it, but I certainly found it really interesting. Totally pulls together to create a lemon pepper flavour. It seems like it should be obvious that’s what it would taste like, though.
Not living with my family anymore it’s weird not knowing if things I remember about them are still true, but before I had moved out a few years ago my brother was obsessed with lemon pepper; he’d garnish just about anything with it. If that’s still true today I bet this is one tea I could very easily talk him into trying…
Brought this one to work in a timolino with a bit of added cashew milk.
I was actually really enjoying it and the additional cashew milk making it a bit more nutty and sweet until I shared some with a coworker who said he thought it tasted rather medicinal. I told him he was crazy, but then after my next few sips I couldn’t get the comparison out of my mind – and mouth. Still don’t know what part of the tea tasted medicinal to me, but I couldn’t shake it.
It’s amazing and frustrating how much of taste is influenced by suggestion.
This one comes from Liquid Proust. I’ve never heard of the company before and I’ll admit that after my experience with this cold brew I’m kind of hesitant to look further into them.
I think my whole experience could probably be summed up by saying that this either tasted like low quality gas station Peach strudels or mentioning that I spent the entire time drinking this convinced that there must have been turned coconut in the blend despite not seeing anything resembling coconut in the dry leaf. However, to elaborate I just don’t think the elements tied in together well. The oolong was rather floral and at the same time quite buttery, and that just doesn’t work well for me like I think I’ve mentioned in other reviews.
The ‘peach’ was actually ok, but didn’t taste like peach. Instead it was like some sort of slightly better than alright sweetened general stonefruit type of flavour. It probably could have passed just as easily as, say, apricot.
Maybe it’ll be better hot. Hopefully it’ll be better hot.
Camellia Sinensis added a small tin of this to my last order (which was mainly supplies for class) and I’ve been meaning to get to it for a while – I’ve pulled it out of the cupboard only for it to find its way back in without getting tried many, many times now. Finally I decided that tonight was the night to drink it. Procrastination be damned!
I had a nice, soft of informal gong fu session with this one during the early evening while I packed my lunch for work and made the syrups for a couple different tea sodas. 3g in my smaller celadon chawan. If I’m being honest, the different cups definitely blurred together and I’m not 100% sure how many I ended up having. Probably about five or six which is quite a lot for me…
That’s why I’m not reviewing this one on SororiTea Sisters even though I had initially planned to; I don’t feel like I drank it ‘consciously’ enough to put a review up for it there. Side note; my celadon ‘winged’ chawan I got from VariaTEA is looking really good now with all it’s little tea filled cracks. When I first started noticing them I kinda freaked out ‘cause I wasn’t aware that was a thing that A) was supposed to happen and B) would happen so quickly what with this being my first celadon piece. I love the way it looks now though.
Anyway; first couple of cups I observed a more distinct smokiness to the flavour and stronger malt and cocoa notes. Initially this was rather astringent (but not unreasonably so) but that faded quickly throughout each cup. There were some soft raisin notes, but they too soon subsided after the first three or so cups/infusions. A little woody; not as much as anticipated.
The last half of the session featured more floral notes, less malt, about the same level of cocoa notes and a light honey and lemon-like finish that was especially prominent with the second last cup, before the leaf was totally spent. Overall, every cup surprised me with the lack of briskness and the instead fairly mellow and well rounded flavour even in the first infusions where there was more astringency and that stronger smokey note.
Very pleasant overall, though not my favourite Camellia Sinensis offering that I’ve tried. This session used about a third (or possibly closer to half) of the small tin I got as an extra sample, and I kind of want to do something different with the rest of it instead of another Gong Fu session. The steeping instructions on the tin are Western style, maybe I’ll try that instead…
PONOinfusions is a company I only very recently discovered thanks to a sample from Liquid Proust. So far, I love everything about them from their use of organic and fair trade certified ingredients to the incorporation of Hawaiian ingredients in their blends, creative themes to their teas, incorporation of Hawaiian culture and most importantly the strong emphasis on the fauna and flora in Hawaii which are endangered or at risk. On each tin you can see some of these species highlighted in the packaging, and a portion of their sales go to support working to sustain and preserve Hawaii’s natural resources and plant and wildlife.
As described on their site, ‘pono’ means ‘the right thing to do’ and my first impression here is that Alex and Andrea are certainly doing their best to do that for Hawaii! I am very excited to get my first taste of one of their blends.
The tisane I’m trying today (and not all of the teas in their line are tisanes) is called “Wai” which means fresh water, and the feature fauna and flora on their package’s design are the Hawaiian damselfly and uluhe fern. As I taste this for the first time, I’m definitely keeping the intended ‘theme’ in mind and will be seeing how the flavour compares to it.
My first impression of the taste is that it’s very familiar in a really comforting way. Breaking down the flavours I can see why; a lot of the ingredients are ones I like a great deal individually and they’re working very well combined. The body of the flavour of comprised mostly of the mint in the blend. I know this uses both peppermint and spearmint, but the spearmint is definitely more of a dominant/concentrated flavour than the peppermint is. Layered under that is the raspberry. It’s not raspberry in a really obvious way; but a gentle, subtle soft hint of raspberry that provides contrast from the mint. The nettle leaf is a little earthy and unrefined, it seems to roll in and out of sips as a flavour that I’m noticing. Finally there’s a floral aspect that finishes the sip. It reminds me of a mild jasmine though as far as I’m aware there isn’t actually any jasmine or floral ingredients in the blend.
While none of these ingredients individually make me think of fresh water there’s something about the way they interact with each other that’s very calming and tranquil and reminds me of seafoam, and skinny dipping with friends in the middle of July as the sunsets. Additionally, I remember reading a poem not too long ago that compared the ocean to a womb, first and foremost giving life and that’s the kind of feeling I get from drinking this tea. I want warm waves to wash over and cradle me.
Overall, I really like the overall taste of this tisane but more importantly I love the way it makes me feel. I haven’t been this excited about a newly discovered company in a really long time, and I’m excited to hopefully try more of their blends (in particular I’m hoping I get to try Nahele) and I very, very much recommend checking out their website! Definitely a cool company, and I think they deserve a little more attention.
Also, I’m very happy that this is my 2900th note! It seems like a good tea to be my next ‘100’ milestone. I guess this means I need to start planning what my 3000th tea note will be for; that’s gonna creep up on me before I know it…
Recently I placed a What-Cha order for myself, and one of the things I was looking for was a Houjicha to stock up since it’s one of my favourite kinds of green tea and while I currently have a Genmaicha stocked that I really like there’s a hole in my cupboard where a good Houjicha should be. This one comes from Australia, and personally I’ve never tried an Australian grown tea before though I was aware that they were produced. Australia is one of those regions that isn’t typically thought of as a tea growing region among people who aren’t more learned tea drinkers the same way people don’t realize tea is grown in places like Kenya or Hawaii and I’m very excited to get my first taste of an Australian tea, especially considering how affordable this blend was. It was an easy thing to gamble on.
I do think this was worth the gamble. While it’s not as straightforwardly roasty as I tend to prefer from a good Houjicha there are some very, very nice subtle nuanced flavour notes that more than makes up the different. For starters, there’s an interesting nutty notes that seems to make itself known in each part of the sip in a different way. With that first initial taste it’s light lightly toasted nuts, and then in the body it weaves in and out between the other flavours. In the aftertaste, you’re tasting the shadow of the nut flavour which once was.
There’s also some really nice sweeter notes like caramel and cocoa which gently stretch out across the surface of your tongue, creating this really nice, smooth body flavour. The finish is lightly smokey, and leaves you wanting to go back in for another sip so you can experience the flavour dynamics all over again. Overall it’s a very warming and welcoming cuppa.
I definitely think I’ll clear my purchase of this easily, and will probably go back for more after that. More than that, this only gets me even more excited to try more of what Australia has to offer!
Thank you Liquid Proust for passing along this sample of one of your creations! From the few teas you passed along to me, I definitely get the impression you like peach or, at least, peach teas.The sample was so generous that I’ll be able to enjoy multiple mugs in addition to passing some along in a swap to someone in Europe – hopefully the person who received this tea will enjoy it as much as I did and you’ll be able to branch out a little into Europe!
I probably would have never thought to pair Peach and Earl Grey/Bergamot, which is I guess why Liquid Proust is the blender and not myself. The idea is intriguing though; and I have to admit I’m incredibly happy to not see apricot or mango thrown in here as well; I get so tired of those flavour combinations. It’s been done time and time again, and it’s refreshing to see something else. The oolong base is really innovative as well; with it’s characteristic fruity flavour Formosa is a fantastic choice.
The dry leaf smells really incredible! You can get a sense of the bergamot as this grounded, lofty sort of flavour but then the ripe, plump aroma of fresh peaches seems to bounce off it! It smells juicy, and I can’t help but picture taking a bite of some sort of fantastic peach/orange hybrid and having the sugary juices running down my chin like some sort of gluttonous child gorging themselves on fresh picked fruit.
In traditional Earl Grey fashion I made sure this was my first tea of the day; however because I got the impression this was going to be more naturally sweet than a lot of EG I’m familiar with so I iced it instead of having it hot. True to my suspicions this was pretty sweet but in a very natural way that was realistic to the sweetness of fresh fruit. The bergamot was actually a lot milder than I would’ve guessed it to be base on the smell of the dry leaf. It ran like a citrusy current throughout each sip, consistently merged with the body of the sip. The peach left me breathless; there was something unnatural about it, but not in an artificial way or anything like that. It was more unnatural in a “how can this taste so plump, rich, and juicy!?” sort of way. I’m not really a fan of actual peaches, but if they all tasted like that I’d go through a crate of them a week. The bergamot and peach compliment each other to a tea; similar to what I was getting from the dry smell the bergamot is this lovely stable flavour and the peach seems to jump off it.
The formosa base was a great choice; while there’s a really faint but of astringency it doesn’t detract and the natural fruitiness of the oolong contributes even more lively fruit flavours. What I specifically observed was a really rich stonefruit like flavour in line with cherry, but a little more of a cocktail cherry type of note, which just goes incredibly well the peach. Plus, oolong means more solid steeps and so more bang for your buck.
As someone who is neither anti-Earl Grey or Peach but who doesn’t seek out those flavours I want to own this. I think I could drink it often; and with a growing list of Liquid Proust Teas that are blowing my mind Andrew is slowly wearing me down to the point where a LP order is probably in my near future despite the poor state of the Canadian dollar. Definitely a blend worth trying!
A final note though, in the battle of bergamot vs. peach I think peach wins…