2067 Tasting Notes
Thanks so much to Cameron B. for the sample! I see you also had this one today, so I guess great minds definitely think alike.
This was really, really amazing! I was honestly expecting mostly black tea with maybe just a hint of pear (like a “pear scented” black; you know, light…) but the pear was actually very pronounced, and very authentic. And I’m really gonna have to go with what Cameron B. said and say that the whole tea emulated more of a “cooked pear” vibe.
I also got some super light floral notes and some slightly stronger honey notes from the black base, which was very smooth and rich; which was just a bit surprising seeing as I think I over steeped this by a few minutes.
If I ever managed to find a way to get a hold of this again, but in a larger quantity, I think I would definitely do so. It was a really good pear tea! And, it might not being saying much given I haven’t tried many, but probably the best Fauchon tea I’ve had yet. I suppose on the wishlist this goes!
Side Note: The Steepster chat group is awesome, but really distracting. It took me probably half an hour longer than it should have to finish this tasting note.
And this is the last Design A Tea blend! It’s been really cool making my own blends and trying them all out – if you’ve yet to do it, I really recommend trying it! Besides, with all five blends I chose they did an excellent job with making the flavours I picked not only stand out but actually very accurate to the flavour.
And of course this is no exception; in fact I think the only time I’ve come across a better Pecan flavour in a tea is with Butiki’s Maple Pecan Oolong. But this was just exemplary, there was a super, super rich pecan flavour with all the sweetness of maple and brown sugar; kinda like the innards of a Maple Pecan Pie. Just honestly so indulgent and dessert-like – and also really filling.
And then there’s the plum; it wasn’t as strong as the pecan (especially as the tea cooled; the pecan sorta took over at that point) but it was present and really accurate; and the two mixed together really well. The plum tasted very natural and ripe; not candy like but sweet and that married quite nicely with the rich dessert-like Pecan.
So yeah, this was definitely another success.
And here’s what I learned overall from the 5 blends I made: I really like the black base they’re using, and I would probably want to explore more combinations with Cranberries/Pecan if I were to do this again. Also, usually one of the two flavours is more dominant – but in every blend I made both were still present.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Maple, Pecan, Plums
So I made a hot cup of this because I’m finding hot is a lot better than cold brewed, which is just way too tart. However this time I slightly underleafed and understeeped which resulted in a significantly lighter pink brew that tasted the best of any cup thus far; enough so I think I may have to actually raise my rating.
While there was still some tart hibby tang to this; it was a lot lighter and sweeter with some really prominent notes of juicy, almost candy like lemons and strawberry. Strawberry Lemonade, if you will. In fact, it really reminded me of a Strawberry slushie with a pump of that “shocker” stuff that the local convenience store sold when I was a lot younger, living in Regina – except, you know, hot. But really delicious and summery.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Lemon, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart
Woot! Look at those numbers drop! Hooray!
But anyway; breakfast tea! And when I say breakfast, I mean that for once I actually drank a tea and consumed a meal at a normal time accurate for meal it’s named for. Shocking, really.
Anyway; I’m almost through my Design A Tea samples. This is the second last one; but I’m gonna finish them off today. This is the only one I picked with an oolong base; and I just went with something safe for it: Pineapple and Coconut which is pretty much just my favourite flavour combination of all time. So it’s kinda 50/50 between having high expectations for the blend, but also knowing without much of a doubt that I’ll enjoy it regardless.
Dry, the pineapple in this smells so strong and intoxicating. You can smell the coconut, but the lush fruit does a pretty damn good job of masking it. Om nom nom, pineapples! And steeped up, this was actually really impressive. The pineapple was really vibrant, juicy and lush and reminded me a lot of the pineapple flavouring in Red Leaf Tea’s Pineapple Matcha (which I find to be very distinct from other pineapple flavourings – such as Butiki’s which has sorta the natural acidic tang to it or DAVIDsTEA’s which is more subtle and candy-like). The coconut was very buttery and tropical and it really complimented the buttery, greener oolong base.
I drank most of this hot, but I let the last few sips go cold and it was probably just as good cold as it was hot; though I thought the coconut and oolong base were more noticeable in the cold tea.
So while this wasn’t exactly a unique or out of the box flavour combination, I think it was a successful one! Definitely quite enjoyable!
Made in my timolino, and I drank about half of it hot at work and it was delicious (I shared a bit with Bobbi and she liked it too; which is very redeeming since the last one I shared was the awful Mujicha). However, then I came home from work and still had half a timolino with tea, and as I expressed in my Coconut Grove note this morning I fell asleep soon after getting home…
Well, I’m drinking the second half of the timolino now; and it’s gone ice cold. For perspective, this was made over 24 hours ago. But you know what, it still holds up really well. I mean, it’s a bit bitter which wasn’t the case yesterday when I had it hot; but it’s still very flavourful with lots of really yummy vanilla/melon notes (and banana?). I think if you made this one iced by flash chilling it (as opposed to letting it sit 24 hours) it’d be really good!
Damn you work; since I had to get up at 6AM yesterday to open the store I was exhausted when I got home – I am not a morning person. Usually at 6AM I am sound asleep, having just gone to bed two(ish) hours ago. And so because of exhaustion I fell asleep at about 8PM only to wake up an hour ago at 8 AM. Fuck. Why. I don’t want to be up this early, but now I am…
If this is what normal people do every day, it’s awful!
Anyway, I cold brewed this yesterday and that cold brew finishes off the leaf that whatshesaid was so nice enough to give me! I can’t thank her enough – it’s because of her I got to enjoy a few more cold brews of this and then finally reach a place where I feel I can move on.
Honestly? This last cold brew just wasn’t super satisfying; it was good when it was ice cold but after it started to warm up it just tasted weird and funky, like the coconut in it was just starting to turn. But that made me realize that I’m ok with this being the last of this one – I was crushed when I ran out the first time, but now I’m accepting that I had a good run with this one and now can move on to enjoying something else!
Look at all the sipdown progress! Which is good, because Camellia Sinensis finally restock Le Tropicale so I put in the order I’ve been wanting to make for the last two months! And it’s a small enough order too; three teas. But it feels good to have an actual order in coming, even if all the teas are new to me and in 50g quantities. I know that if I dislike anything there are plenty of people here to share with.
As for this blend (which is the last one in my queue btdubbs) it was really interesting! I honestly anticipated not liking but I was intrigued by the idea of a grapefruit tea (I don’t think I’ve had one or, at the very least not a memorable one) and I remembered 52Tea’s Brown Sugar Grapefruit Shou Mei so I tried pairing something relatively similar. Sorry Frank; I ripped off your brain child on this one.
Anyway; it was good – at first. It was strongly and specifically grapefruit but without a lot of bitterness or tartness to it. I think that’s what the maple really contributed: it sweetened the whole thing up and kept things upbeat. On the whole I was reminded of breakfast? Well, not my take on breakfast because for me that’s usually microwaved pizza hastily eaten before running out the door for work. But like, rich people/movie breakfast where someone brings you a platter of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice in bed with a fat stack of maple waffles and sausage links accompanying it. Not my kind of breakfast; but kinda idealistic and nice.
Except then the cup cooled and it started to taste really funky. The grapefruit just kind of built up in my mouth and tasted spoiled – like someone had left out that “perfect breakfast” for a couple of days and I was picking at the leftovers. Ew.
So I don’t know if this is a success or not. It was very on point at first, but then it turned bad. I guess on the whole it was better than I thought it’d be, though. I suppose I just have to say to drink this one hot? Anyway, I’m rating a little conservatively because of the latter half of the mug. But seriously; when this was good, it was good.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Citrus, Grapefruit, Maple, Maple Syrup
Another one from VariaTEA – we are both out to try as many Monk’s Blends as possible it seems, so I absolutely appreciated the pass on from her. I did something a little bit different with this sample though; I cold brewed it.
I sipped on this most of the day (I didn’t do much tea drinking today – I spent most of the day eating leftovers and trying not to pass out instead, seeing as I need to go to bed at a “normal” time since I work early tomorrow) and it was enjoyable enough. Despite being cold brewed, there was still this weird sort of astringency with the black base that felt off the whole time. I’d have been totally ok with it though if the grenadine was sweet enough to compensate – but this sorta wasn’t.
It just never got to the level of sweetness that I felt it should have. I mean, yes it was definitely the flavour of grenadine but just barely. And then, there wasn’t any rich vanilla either to push it further.
I think my overall conclusion is that Monk’s Blend is a tea best served hot.
Taken with milk. I thought maybe that’d push this one to be more flavourful, especially since I really over leafed this mug to use up the rest of the sample from 221Tea but somehow the opposite affect was acheived.
Instead this came off as lukewarm, slightly oily milk with a bit of extra sweetness. Really, really mediocre (at best). But at least it’s done now, right?
Right. And I have better banana teas anyway.