276 Tasting Notes
This was the second tea I took to work, and I’m excited to get it out of my sample drawer since it just kept stinking everything up! Although, I suppose I have McQuarrie’s “Rum Cream” tea doing the same now :/
For preparation, I dumped the remainder of the sample size into the brewing basket for my timolino (fingers crossed the smell isn’t too hard to scrub out). It was about 1 1/2 tsp., though I wasn’t pay too close of attention to the measurement. This was steeped for five minutes in boiling water.
I actually was sort of putting off drinking this today, not because it’s especially bad but because the peppercorns in the blend really bother me, and the rest is just mediocre. However, there’s this absolutely putrid, disgusting smell coming from the food court right now (I think it’s something from ‘Schnitzel Meister’) that’s making me feel incredibly queasy and sick (I keep gagging from the smell) so I figured the peppermint in this might help ease my stomach a little, despite the peppercorns. And, it’s sorta of doing that.
Seriously though, why are peppercorns necessary in chocolate peppermint tea? I guess it all boils down to personal preference, like usual.
Thanks again VariaTea for the sample of this. Even though I didn’t love it, you saved me from eventually caving and buying some to satisfy my curiosity only to end up dissatisfied.
For work this afternoon I decided I wanted to do a couple sipdowns, and since I saw this one back up on the Della Terra site last night (although, only available in the 1 oz. size) I figured I didn’t need to hoard this any longer and could ‘afford’ the try it: this way if I do like it then I know that I could put in an order if I really wanted to.
So, sipdown! For my 8 oz. mug I used the whole sample I received from Janelle’s tea sale – about 1 tsp. and a half. In boiling water, I let this steep for four minutes. The liquor was a little swampy and oily looking, not unlike the oil from when peanut butter separates. I’m going to attribute this to the peanut butter morsels and sprinkles.
I tried a few sips hot before I poured it into my water bottle, but it was super hot and I just ended up burning my tongue and not tasting a whole lot. Now that I’m at work I’m drinking this at slightly warmer than room temperature. The smell of the liquor is the sorta of trademark “fudgey chocolate” I associate with Della Terra. For whatever reason their chocolate teas taste different to me; more rich. Whatever kind of chocolate they’re using is probably my favourite that I’ve accounted thus far. And, I do get a very faint smell of peanut butter. It is clear enough, though, that I think I’d be able to know I was smelling peanut butter if I was blinding smelling this without knowledge of the ingredients.
Taste wise – this is very nice and fudgey chocolate tasting. I’m impressed in that regard, at the least. The peanut butter is mild, and I definitely wanted it to be at least equal in taste to the chocolate – and it’s not. However I only noticed one small peanut butter morsel in the leaf I used so if there had been more perhaps this would taste closer to what my expectation was. I guess another thing that could be a factor is the temperature I’m drinking it at – perhaps hotter the peanut butter is stronger is flavour.
I think this might be worth investing in another ounce sized sample of, just to test that theory out because ultimately, even as is right now, this isn’t bad by a long shot.
Kyle was half an hour late getting to work this evening to take over for me (because of the traffic, which has been crazy busy), so when I got home finally from work I was kind of pissed off. Although, he did call to let me know he’d be late which was appreciated, and he agreed to take the Sunday shift I needed off since my family is coming up for an early Christmas with me (I wont be able to leave the city until after Jan. 2nd – so an early Christmas sounded better to them than a late Christmas). Normally I’m the only one who works Sundays, so it was really appreciated.
Anyway, to make myself feel better I decided to do some baking! I’m trying out a new recipe tonight for pistachio pudding sugar cookies! I was excited because the ingredients list is really small and was all things I had in the house already, and it was easy enough to put together. However, all mixed up it KIND OF smells like play doh to me, so I’m kinda nervous about that…
They’re in the oven now but will be out by the time I finish this tasting note. And, what goes best with cookies? Well tea, of course. So I decided to make some peppermint tea. Since this one has tasted borderline repulsive to me I’m giving it one last shot before I stick it in the swap thread or take it away thread. It’s been heartbreaking since peppermint is a love of mine, and this has always been a staple tea of mine. I’m wondering if the leaves have just turned or something :/
Normally I heavily over leaf this (like, quadruple the recommended amount of leaf) but tonight for thus one’s last shot at redemption I’m going to be dialing back and just sticking with the recommended leaf for the recommended time.
Ten Minutes Later
Ok, cookies are out of the oven and tea is made!
The first batch of cookies was pretty burnt, and basically just tasted like slightly burnt whole wheat sugar cookies – not a ton of pistachio (although they were definitely bright pistachio green). The second batch which I left in for less time, however, are a lot softer and chewier and taste nice and subtly sweet with a good strong pistachio taste! I think I’ll have to make them again since they’re actually relatively healthy (especially since I used whole wheat flour) – and they’ve proven to be nice for dunking in my tea (especially the burnt ones). Definitely no Play Doh flavour.
As far as the peppermint tea goes, I think this tea has been redeemed! With the heavily dialed back leaf and steep time this is actually so much more pleasant, although a bit weak compared to how I normally like it. So, what I’m deducing here is that I just gradually started using more and more leaf per cup with a longer and longer steep time until I finally just reached my threshold (which I guess was a tbsp. and a half at five minutes). So now I think I can work my way back up slowly until I figure out that perfect amount.
But I’m so pleased I don’t have to toss the tin, since I have a lot of this one. Also, I’m amused at how this turned into a tea and cookie review.
I was trying to savor this one and use the leaf sparingly, since I seem to go through it pretty quickly – but I have 2 oz. on the way from Black Friday orders, so I guiltlessly made a timolino of this to take to work with me. I actually only have 10 minutes left before I’m off, but finally drinking it. I guess I’ll just finish the rest on the walk home and let it keep me warm (it’s so cold out today).
I definitely get spice cake w. cream cheese icing out of this, not cinnamon buns – but nice and creamy and cakey regardless. I mean, who am I to complain about specifics – regardless of that this tastes great.
Normally I adore all things sweet – but I’m having a bit of a sugary flavour over load right now. Basically, I made some of this for work (2 cups, poured into my water bottle and now consumed cold) since I have an abundance of it thanks to Tre buying me 50g on top of the 120g I already had.
I also decided today was the perfect day to have a chocolate cinnamon Skor blizzard (for the yogurt bar) and an order of french fires (from the food court) with sweet seasoning powder and caramel dipping sauce. Separately, everything is lovely and delicious but together it’s just too much :(
Blah. I think what’d really balance it out is a more tart, fruity type of drink like a good, cold lemonade… But oh well. I wanted decedent dessert type types this morning :/
Today wound up being about trying new teas, which is never a bad thing. I think I’m gonna take some older ones that I either have in large quantity or am expecting more of from Black Friday orders and drink those tomorrow, though.
Anyway, I went to McQuarries today though – which was a completely unexpected trip. I’m not really totally enthused by that store – today was my second time going, and I had the same sales lady as last time that made me feel incredibly stupid and just seemed to be in a totally bitchy mood. I had asked about finding some good, fruity tisanes for cold brewing and she just very coldly told me “tisanes are herbals” and offered no advice. Umm, thanks? Mind you, this is the same lady who basically belittled me for inquiring about King Tut’s Lemonade last time, which had been discontinued (however, they don’t regularly update their website and it’s still listed there, so I had no idea of knowing that).
I asked a lot of questions about ingredients, since any of their new blends aren’t listed on the website (due to lack of regular updating) and there are no listed ingredients either on their storage/display containers or on the packages they sell their tea in. She seemed pissed to have to answer my questions, though. Smeh.
For whatever reason, I’m intricately drawn to teas with alcoholic beverages in the titles – which makes NO sense since A) I don’t drink and haven’t in over two years (technically I’m still under the legal drinking age), and B) even when I was drinking, the types of ‘alcohol inspired’ teas I go for are not the types of liquor I drank. So there’s that…
I didn’t actually look at the ingredients booklet they have in store when I got this, which maybe was a bad idea. I made sure to VERY CLEARLY specify I did not want anything with ginger or raisins, but looking at the leaf for this blend I see what looks like raisins; I’m hoping I’m wrong and it’s just other dried fruits though. I am also seeing a bunch of hibiscus, but that’s not necessarily bad.
In regard to smell – this is so incredibly strong and powerful smelling. When I was drinking Creamy Eggnog earlier I had the sealed packet of this sitting on my kitchen counter, and from the kitchen I could still faintly smell this. It reminds me of DAVIDsTEA’s Guava Cadabra in that I had a sample size of that one in a ziploc bag and no matter what I did it always smelled intensely of guava, and whatever I put it next to managed to pickup the same smell on its packaging – I’ll be sure to carefully store this.
I kind of get hibiscus, but I also get an overwhelming sense of grape and strawberry (grape is not making me feel too good about the raisins) – and it’s weird because there IS this fermented alcohol like quality to the smell, but it also just sorta reminds me of sugary Kool-Aid. I’m vaguely reminded of rum and there’s a vague creaminess – but it’s kind of odd and not really all there.
Because this is so strong smelling, I cautiously only used 1 1/2 tsp. instead of the 2 tsp. I’d normally use for an all fruit blend. This went into 8 oz. of boiling water, and was steeped for five(ish) minutes. The liquor is actually this really beautiful dark red/purple colour, and it gives off a strong aroma of fermented type wine, is sorta “rum-y”, and has this nice strawberry cream smell too.
Taste wise, the hibiscus because quite prominent and really sour, but is countered sort of well with the taste of strawberry (I almost get weird rhubarb types notes too), and a more noticeable rum type of taste in the back of the sip and aftertaste. And there’s IS a creaminess to it, though I’m not finding it super pronounced. Basically this is initially tart and sour strawberry which awkwardly transitions to a more fermented/rum-y type of taste with some creaminess. I actually think I’d enjoy this quite a lot if it DIDN’T have that super sharp kind of tang from the hibiscus at the first bit of the sip – it’s the kind of tang that hits the sides of your tongue (does that even make sense) and takes a longer time to sort of fade away.
Next time I have it hot, I’m actually going to use even less leaf (1 tsp. probably) and a shorter steep time. I am really interested to see how this cold brews though, seeing as that’s why I bought it anyway. And, to be fair I did try the one I thought I’d like the least first. The other tea I bought today is called Fig Rose and I think I might like that one a lot better.
For whatever reason, my apartment is just FREEZING right now (or maybe it’s that I just haven’t armed up yet from my excursion outside). That’s making it really easy to drink some of my new teas though, since I just want something hot in my hands at all times. I’ve been meaning to try this for a while now – but I’m always kind of hesitant because it’s a green tea and I know I’m just not a fan of green tea. I almost didn’t order it at all when I put in my order, but it’s so highly rated and I’ve heard so many good things, and ultimately I was too curious to resist trying an eggnog tea.
Dry, I don’t smell eggnog but I DO smell this sort of ridiculously vanilla creamy smell. Basically I’m being reminded smell wise of the French Vanilla double churned extra creamy ice cream that Breyer’s sells. I’m not sure if I really want to be reminded of something so cold when I’m already freezing, but it smells amazing and I’m dying to try it out.
I’m sticking to the package brewing instructions for this one. Honestly, I’m skeptical and hopeful. There are some flavoured greens that I do like, and I’m hoping this will be one of them.
As it’s steeping, the smell is getting incredibly strong and it’s so, so creamy and smooth and silky vanilla smelling. I do get a little bit of the green tea, but it’s not unpleasant either. The closer it gets to four minutes, the more I just want to devour and start drinking this! Mind you, this does not smell like eggnog to me, but it does smell delicious and creamy and wonderful.
Times is up and I’m finally sipping at this now! I did notice the green base right away, but that’s probably because it’s a taste I don’t often like and so I was very alert to it since I was so wary – but it appears I didn’t need to be, because the base tastes fine. Immediately following, I was flooded with what I can only describe as hot, liquid, Breyer’s double churned French vanilla icecream! So smooth, silky, and creamy! I’ve been a little disappointed that this is not more like eggnog, but the delicious taste I just experienced more than makes up for any disappointed I was harbouring. Mmmm, so good!
I guess I’ve found yet another flavoured green I can welcome into my collection. Now, I wonder how well this resteeps…
EDIT: I resteeped this the same way I had made the first cup, but with an extra minute of steep time. However, upon tasting I noticed the vanilla creaminess was significantly damped and the green tea was much more prominent (boo) – so I added some milk to it hoping to bring out the creaminess as taper the vegetal aspects.
And I did just that :)
First tasting note on this one!
This week I was lucky enough to get two days off – and while I spent the first day lounging around and being lazy, today I had a whole bunch of errands and domestic things to do (finally done now though, so time to slink back and watch some TV). I started by checking the mail and saw that my 52Teas order was in! I left all of it at home except the Very Big Hill Dew Honeybush, which I took with me to the mall.
At the mall, I cashed my paycheck (yay – all my rent for next month is set aside!), stopped at Tea Desire to bring some of the Very Big Hill Dew Honeybush to my favourite cashier/sales lady since she had expressed an interest in it (when we opened up the new package all we could smell was the genuine honest to goodness scent of Mountain Dew), and then I mailed out all the packages for the 12 Days of Christmas swap!
After that I went to work to resolve a technology issues (but thankfully was only there for 20 min. or so), then to McQuarries Tea & Coffee Merchants where I picked up two new blends to try out as cold brews (sadly, there’s zero info on either of them on their website or here on Steepster, and the blends aren’t sold with brewing instructions or ingredients lists at all). And lastly I went grocery shopping before coming home!
And now I’m trying this awesome tea :)
Tre and I both agreed that this smelled absolutely amazing: like super sweet banana pudding or banana medicine. Candy banana, basically. Since this is the first tasting note I had no reference guide for steeping, so I went with 1 heaping tsp. in 8 oz. of water, just below boiling for three minutes.
When it was really hot, I could only taste the black tea which had some unpleasant astringency to it. I figured I had over steeped, so I let it sit a while and when I came back to it the tea had cooled down pretty significantly. However, as a cooler tea the taste was so much different. There’s a strong banana pudding type of taste (which now carries into the smell of the tea, when hot I was just getting a strong smell of black tea), with some creamy vanilla notes in there. I’m thinking the butterscotch is acting as a sweetener here, which gives it the sweet banana pudding type of taste I’m getting. In the aftertaste, I get butterscotch without any banana taste. This is really delicious, but it really does need to be at a cooler temperature to get all the flavours.
This would be great for someone wanting a sweeter black tea or who likes banana candy, but if you want a more natural banana type taste then maybe this isn’t for you – because the butterscotch really does sweeten it up.
Decided to try my “Frankenstein” tea again, to see if it’s as good a second time around. I’m sipping at it as a bedtime tea while enjoying a late night snack/supper of sloppy Joe styled princess Alphagettis…
Second time I’m not nearly as floored, but I think that’s because the first time my expectation were so low that even just a decent/mediocre tasting tea would have seemed crazy delicious and exceptional to me.
I am getting a light bergamot, and the lemon/goji/berry notes give it this really weird but appetizing taste. Tonight, the mouthfeel is quite a bit thicker than I recall it being…
Also, I’m weeping inside right now… I just finished watching tonight’s Supernatural episode and I wont give anything away for anyone who hasn’t seen it but I’m just so, so heartbroken and it really makes me wish that I wasn’t caught up right now, and I could go back to the (somewhat) happier episodes earlier on. :’(
Don’t know why I went with Mate today for work – I didn’t especially need the energy. Oh well, it’s still a delicious tea either way! Actually, I feel sorta bad for not really drinking it too often – I’ve been showing a lot of love to Main Squeeze and neglecting this one.
For preparation, I used 2 tsp. of leaf for my 12 oz. timolino – boiling water for five minutes. The smell was really nice and roasted, with hints of chocolate and chicory. Not a ton of raspberry in the aroma, though.
Taste wise, it’s sorta the opposite: TONS of raspberry, with the roasted mate and strong notes of chicory, and then pretty medium notes of chocolate. Feels very decadent, and honestly more like a sweet breakfast tea and not something for seven at night. Oh well – it’s still good.
Tonight’s real complaint though? There’s a sorta funky aftertaste that’s not sitting too awesomely with me. I think that’s my fault though for being really sloppy in cleaning out my timolino the last time it was used. I’ll be sure to take the time when I get home to clean this out properly tonight.