3620 Tasting Notes
This one works almost surprisingly well as a cold brew; it’s very, very silky/creamy with the rich, indulgent vanilla in the blend really amped up from how strong it normally is in the hot blend. And then there’s a sweet, marzipan flavour made to really pop by the contrasting cranberry flavour which is mostly sweet, but just a little tart. Very smooth overall.
This has always been a flavourite Harney blend of mine, but now I have another way to enjoy it, which is exciting to me.
PS. Today’s word of the day is enclave. An enclave is; a distinct territorial, cultural, or social unit enclosed within or as if within a foreign territory. As usual I issue a challenge to you all to try and fit this into a conversation throughout the day.
Also, if you guys do manage to use one of the “daily words” in conversation I’d love to hear about how you fit it in! Personally I just have so much fun adding no words to my vocabulary; and I’d like to think some of you guys have the same weird fascination with words that excites me.
Thank you Marzipan for the sample!
I’m typically not a Chai fan so I don’t often try/buy them or request them as samples but when someone sends me one I’ll certainly do my best to try it as openly and unprejudiced as possible, because I have found some surprisingly good ones.
This one I drank in my timolino; I found it to have a bit of a bitterness to it but also a bit of a “burnt” flavour, which is definitely different than bitter in my opinion. It was really clove/cardamom heavy in my opinion with lesser notes of ginger and maybe vanilla? Something a little softer/sweeter, anyway. I really didn’t taste any pumpkin which was disappointing. Too many “Pumpkin Spice” type teas put the emphasis on the spice. I think it should be the other way.
I also thought that the base had a roughness/rawness to it that wasn’t entirely unpleasant though; and reading Cameron B.’s tasting note on this one and seeing her describe this one as kind of earthy, I think that’s what I was experiencing too. Personally, this aspect was my favourite part of the blend though overall I wasn’t super impressed with this one.
I wont give it a numerical rating since, as I typically non-Chai fan I’m a fair bit biased but if I was going to, I think it’d be high 50s or low 60s.
Had this at the movies on… You know I what, I don’t remember what the date was. Oh well.
I had a relatively spontaneous date with a guy who, thankfully, doesn’t appear to be an absolute creep this time. He very sweetly picked me up from work, and then we grabbed some food and saw a show.
Side Thought: Dear lord; going from work attire/make up to date clothing/make up in the tiny staff bathroom in under five minutes should be an Olympic Sport. Someone start a petition to make than an Olympic sport!
Overall I had a really good time; he’s a totally nerdy person which is cool ‘cause I’m a totally nerdy person too. We had a, somewhat one sided, conversation of Spiderman comicbook arcs (I went off about how I love the Stacy Twins arc but how IMO it’s never going to make it into a movie), and talked about TV shows we both watch among other things. For supper, we went and had Asian food and he was so cool about me being a total slob with my noodles because I can’t gracefully eat noodles to save my life. I kinda got Teriyaki sauce everywhere.
The movie was Mockingjay. Honestly, the were other things I definitely wanted to see more; but I don’t think he was as interested in seeing Annie or Into The Woods and I would have wanted to see Mockingjay eventually anyway; I just would have been cool with waiting to watch it at home though. It was good though; and for DAYS AFTERWARDS I couldn’t get the damn “Hanging Tree” song out of my head.
Driving home was a challenge; I don’t drive, and I’m terrible at directions (especially because I still don’t know the city super well) so I got us really lost and we had to take several detours. But eventually we made it back to my place. And this, Steepster, is where I sort of start to overshare?
There was a goodnight kiss; which I was pretty into at this point. But, I was anticipating more of a short, brief kiss right? ‘Cause that’s been my experience with basically all first date kisses. But instead he went in to kiss me and there was this sort of… “Oh!” moment where he like slipped his tongue in my mouth that I wasn’t expecting at all. And it was really awkward, and long…
Like, it was the worst kiss I’ve ever had. I think “ate my face” feels like an apt description. So I’m very conflicted because I was having a very nice night and happy about the date and all, but the real lack of chemistry there has me a little upset. I could go into a long winded spiel on sexuality and how I’ve always struggled finding an apt way of describing mine, but I’ll try and sum as saying recently I’ve been self defining as asexual or grey-asexual; the sexuality part of relationships has never come naturally to me at all, not that I’m opposed to “sex stuff”; I’ve just always had a fair disinterest or relatively low sex drive (hoping I’m describing this in a way that isn’t horribly ignorant).
So all that considered (that I usually don’t “get much” from the goodnight kiss), it was especially bad. I’ve been relatively lucky that in the past people I’ve date have primarily taken things at the same pace as I’ve wanted to take them. And it’s not that I think this guy isn’t going to be accepting of that; I just don’t think that desire was effectively communicated. It’s not like I blurted out the whole “Asexual!” thing immediately because, at this point, it’s not a conversation I feel like we need to have. I mean, it’s the first date…
But, I am seeing him again. We have a tea date planned for Saturday and I guess, depending on how much tongue is shoved down my throat at the end of the night, it’s a conversation that I might have to get around to having.
So yeah; that’s my somewhat weird and all over the place date tasting note that has some serious over sharing in it. Yeah…
Last review of the night; I just took a sleeping pill which I expect to start kicking in shortly. I anticipate I’ll need the extra help sleeping given that I’m going to A) have to deal with loud boys soon and B) be sleeping on my actual bed and not the couch.
For those not in ‘the know’ I happen to own a super expensive bed that was a moving out/into my own place present from my Dad, expect despite the price tag it’s maybe the worst bed I’ve ever slept on or, at least, close to it. It’s basically like sleeping on wood. No give. At all. So instead, I sleep on my couch. And I love it. I’m very, very adjusted to sleeping on a couch. My body doesn’t even know what to do with all the room on a bed now, ‘cause with a couch it’s like “No; don’t roll over! You’ll fall!” and, well, beds have more than like two feet width…
I think I made good queue progress today; it’s certainly not cleared yet (I just counted and I’ve got 21 tasting notes to go – ugh) but I made a really nice dent in it! I just have to keep writing at this pace, and soon I’ll be golden!
This one was prepared hot in a timolino; I’m working on sipping it down because it’s not something I need stocked but I’m still quite enjoying it, so I’m sipping it down at a much more casual pace than I often do with teas I want out of my cupboard.
- Very fig/camarel dominant
- With hints of rose
- No tartness from the pineapple and hibby(?)
- Can’t remember if there’s actually hibby in this
- Really sweet and tasty overall!
So after their supper out, Tre and his gaggle of twenty year old dudes made it back to the house for a few hours. We played a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity and had a few beers and the guys, being a group of five twenty or so year old guys, farted – a lot. Leighton was being a whiny little piss baby (just like I remember) and kept complaining OVER AND OVER that CAH was boring, and eventually stopped playing and just sat in the corner all by himself. Wet blanket.
So, after another round they decided to go out, at midnight, and hit a few of the local bars. Which means, for at least a little while longer, the house is quiet again and peaceful enough to write a few more tasting notes. In two or so hours it’ll be filled with drunk “frat boy” types who’ll likely be mad about “not scoring”. Realistically though, if anyone of them WERE to pick up one of them what’d they do? There’s FIVE GUYS AND ME staying in our tiny basement suite tonight. Do you think the line “we can share my inflatable mattress” is going to work? If it does, trust me – you shouldn’t still be interested.
I also have to work in the morning since I picked up a shift for someone – so prayer circle or whatever that they’re not too loud, ‘cause I need to sleep and I’m sure Rob (the landlord) wouldn’t be impressed either. But anyway…
Thank you Kittenna(?) for the sample of this one. I think it was Kittenna, anyway. I could definitely be wrong about that and maybe it was VariaTEA. I just distinctly remember this one being in the 12 Days of Tea sampler that Kittenna had so I’m assuming it’s from her.
I cold brewed my sample of this one, and honestly it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be. I mean yes, the black base is obviously a lower quality one but the flavourings in it were pretty spot on in my opinion. I certainly would have been able to guess both cinnamon and pear is I was trying this blindly. I’m confidant of that. In fact, I feel like I can even further narrow it down to Bosc pear; it had that crisp sweet, borderline spiciness to it which makes it the more common to use pear in cooking or baking.
In fact; speaking of baking maybe part of why I want to say this was Bosc is because it had a very strong Poached Pear flavour overall, and Bosc is the traditionally used pear when preparing poached pears.
Not too shabby! Actually wish I had more so I could try this one hot now, maybe with a splash of milk? That sounds delish!
My last Octavia Tea blend! I had a really fun time exploring their company’s blends, and I think a found a couple winners so maybe an order’ll be in my future. I know I was talking this morning about getting more of the Dark Rose Hearts in Steepster chat, and I find myself craving the Mango Sorbet; so who knows!
- Slightly more leaf this time to prevent winding up with an under leafed third cup
- Also paid much more attention taste wise
- There’s totally a yeasty/malty quality still, but also a sweet fruitiness
- Can’t quite put my finger on what fruit but I suppose in that regard it IS brandy like
- I actually really like this one, and find it to be quite smooth
- Would totally drink it again, maybe would purchase another sample size amount
Next up in the queue; I wrote lots of jot notes for this one since I was very excited about it.
I picked this one up in store when I was in Regina mid December; I had planned to get at least one new blend to try, but I definitely wasn’t anticipating it being this one. In part because I picked up two other rooibos blends at the same time, and in part because I already stock another Creme Brulee blend that also uses rooibos (albeit green rooibos) for the base.
But the ingredients in this were rather unique in my opinion, and I’d never seen a blend with them sold by any other retailer so I got swept up in the excitement and bought this one. I mean, it’s got sweet blackberry leaves, puffed rice, and tonka beans. Definitely a bit different. I even had to look up tonka beans because while I’d heard the name before I was so unfamiliar with them I didn’t know what the flavour was supposed to be like and I’d never seem them mentioned in tea before.
A brief lesson of sorts on tonka beans: They’re most commonly used in perfume because they have a sweet, almost vanilla like taste and smell but they’re uncommon in food/drink because they got a “bad wrap” years ago for being toxic. Except, they’re toxic in the same way that nutmeg is toxic: you have to consume a whole lot of it. More tonka beans or nutmeg than any sane/rational person would ever or could ever consume at one time. So really, they’re not harmful at all. Just kind of… taboo.
And so now you know!
And guys, as soon as the water hit the tea leaf my house smelled incredible. This tea is really, really aromatic with such a smooth, soft vanilla/caramel kind of smell to it. I’m sure it must be from the beans – I really did immediately kind of understand why they’re so often used in perfume. It really carries, and lasts!
Taste wise, the liquor in this scrumptious smelling tea isn’t nearly as smooth as the smell would suggest it should be, but it’s still really good regardless. The vanilla (or rather “tonka”) flavour in this is really silky and powerful, and the most noticeable thing in the blend, but there’s also this lovely caramel flavour that feels just a little burned. Toasty, gooey caramel. The puffed rice contributes a roastiness that I didn’t realize I wanted to be there until I tasted it – and now I’m sure that it needs to be there. And it’s so subtle too; just a fleeting roasty quality made noticeable right before that first taste of vanilla and then again right after it’s faded.
As for the base, it’s decently masked but still a little present. I actually like rooibos though so I don’t mind it at all though. I’m gonna love having this sweet, accurately named dessert tea around for before bed though. I’m sure of it!
What a fantastic blend to come out of a fairly quaint little store. I really don’t know anywhere else I could find such a unique Creme Brulee blend. Just dying to know where they sourced it from!
Thank you Brian and 221Tea for the sample. I put off trying it for a while because I really, really didn’t want to be the first one to review it. I always feel so nervous when I’m the first one reviewing a straight tea here on Steepster because I definitely have a little less exposure to straight blends so I’m not as confidant in my ability to describe them accurately.
And like I sorta feared I would; I definitely had a weird experience with this one. The three most poignant notes that I tasted were melon, cucumber, and hay. The melon, in particilar, was more of a green melon taste; like a just slightly under ripe honeydew? I know I’ve seen those used to describe some white teas before so maybe I’m not crazy for picking up on those flavours but at the time of drinking this blend it seemed odd to me how pronounced they were – in particular the melon flavour, and how poorly they meshed together. Every sip felt at least mildly conflicted.
And then there was the really weird part; and this flavour I’m not so sure I have a good word to describe it with. But basically it was like a simultaneous sour and “musty attic” flavour. Definitely did not work with me, and seemed rather out of place. Does anyone have a word for that flavour/experience with a white
like this one tasting that way? I felt very lost.
On the whole; I just couldn’t get behind this one. Maybe it’s my lack of experience with straight whites, but the flavours in this were too sharp for me and clashed – and I wasn’t able to relax with my cup at all. It wasn’t bad, and I drank the whole mug, but…
I just felt uncomfortable doing so?
Flavors: Cucumber, Green Melons, Hay, Honeydew, Melon, Musty, Sour
Of the three ways I tried Cache Cache (I haven’t written my note for the third yet) this was my least favourite. Not that it tasted bad or anything – it was just sort of the simplest of all three ways with a very monotone peach flavour and not much else to round it out/add depth to it. Maybe the black was a little more present than either hot way I had it – but certainly not by much, and a more present black base didn’t bring anything else immediately to mind or change the experience for me.
Not much else.
Gonna try and get a few more reviews in from my queue; in less than an hour Tre’s four best friends from highschool are gonna be showing up for the night to visit and I doubt I’ll be able to focus a whole lot. It’s gonna be such a “nerdy frat boy” environment, what with there being five guys in their early twenties, who haven’t seen each other in months, in such close proximity…
Thanks VariaTEA for passing on a sachet of this one! It’s not one of the barley teas I ever found making its way into a cart for a mock order (ie. Pineapple or Watermelon) but I was curious about it, and having now tried Pineapple Barley from Lupicia I think it’s worthwhile to compare the two see if some of the things I observed with Pineapple (aka FISH SMELL) are consistent with this one.
I think Barley tea is gonna forever remind me at least a little bit of coffee; that’s definitely what I imagined I was first tasting when I had a sip of this one – it’s just really, really roasty and strong. And I suppose I don’t drink coffee enough to really differentiate in the first place. Blah. Not that it reminding me of coffee is really a bad thing, per say?
One definite positive thing about this one is that it doesn’t smell OR taste like fish at all. Hooray! So, in that aspect this far surpasses the pineapple barley. The downside? Compared to pineapple this is far less juicy/flavoured – yes, I tasted apple – a more supple red apple flavour like a Gala perhaps, but it was so much lighter than I was led to believe it would be after tasting Pineapple first.
I guess I’d call this average overall. Since I didn’t have high expectations in the first place I certainly wasn’t let down at all – it kind of just met my mild expectations for what they were? Uh, mild?