2910 Tasting Notes
Had brunch this morning with my Dad, Step Mom and nephew – they were all in town for a wedding (relative I’ve never even met, so I wasn’t invited). It was a really nice time; I’m finding increasingly that I’m getting along better and better with my family now that I’ve moved out and don’t have to interact with them daily.
We stopped at McNally Robinson to look around and my nephew got some weird science toy were you make a jello brain, my Dad got a book on Western Canadian Birds and another on bird watching (one of his new hobbies, I’m told; his age is showing), and I picked up a game called Sushi Go! (which I saw on this week’s Tabletop) and another tea-themed book. I’ve spent the last few hours reading it only to look up at the clock and realize that all this precious tea reviewing time is slipping right past me!
And so here we are…
I actually finished this over a week ago; it’s just been sitting in my queue waiting for me to get to the review. Finishing this off was definitely a sad day; I really liked this one. Like, instantly – the moment I popped open that sample packet I was drawn in to the aesthetic of the tea leaves, and then the smell as it brewed, and finally the delicious, heavenly liquor just sealed in the obsession.
This last session was just two infusions in a Gaiwan, though Western style not Gong Fu. The first was very malty, with definite cocoa, honey and sweet potato notes. Just faintly bitter/astringent at the end of the sip but in a really pleasant way. The second infusion was smoother; same notes but with a richer, more prominent sweet potato flavour. It was also a bit fruitier; stone fruit notes being the ones which jumped out the most. They did something neat where it was almost like the ‘bounced’ off the tip of my tongue.
I absolutely adore this tea and I really hope to get it stocked at some point soon; just need to figure out some other things I want to grab from Teavivre first ‘cause I’m not at the point of obsession where I’ll place an order for a single tea…
Thank you Liquid Proust for the sample.
I’m a big fan of tangerines (currently there are about seven in my fridge), so I’m definitely excited to try this blend especially given how much juicy tangerine I’m smelling just from the dry leaf. I decided to cold brew my sample because for jasmine teas with a green base I prefer drinking them cold over hot.
I definitely think this comes off as a pretty traditional green jasmine pearl tea; a good balance of both floral and vegetal flavours. It’s definitely one of the better green jasmine blends I’ve had as well given how natural and unobtrusive the floral notes are. However the tangerine, which is the twist here, is pretty light handed. The sweet citrusy tangerine note really only pops up at the end of the sip when the jasmine is dying out, leaving for a tasty finish but slight feeling that this tea is uncompleted. I know that Liquid Proust was aiming to be subtle with the tangerine but it is more gentle than I’d anticipated it being and I do find myself wanting more.
However, overall I really appreciate the unconventional take on a traditional tea. I also have to point out that as someone who isn’t a fan of green/jasmine pairings (which I recently mentioned in my Moment of Zen review as well) I’m obviously not the target audience and I was probably looking for that additional tangerine flavor more than someone who likes green jasmine teas on their own would have so that should also be taken into account.
Almost logged this under the wrong header. Leave it to DAVIDsTEA to also have a blend called “Electric Lemon”…
This is DAVIDsTEA’s ‘Tea of The Month’ so the last time I was in store picking up some samples I decided this would pick this one up too. Lemon and Yerba Mate is not an uncommon pairing, but the additional strawberry and raspberry used in this blend are a bit interesting and more unique. And I can’t lie; the interesting name sold me too. Seriously tea companies take note; an interesting name draws me in almost as much (sometimes more) as interesting ingredients.
Because of the “Lemonade” in the name I figured this was obviously intended to be consumed cold so I drank it iced without any additives. When I took my first few sips I was definitely anticipating some tartness, but this was actually quite sweet and smooth. More than anything else I really tasted the strawberry with the raspberry, lemon, and some apple notes as background support. The earthy green mate was relatively masked, but peaked out in the end of the sip and aftertaste as the berry flavour faded out and just the lemon and yerba remained.
This is really refreshing overall, and a perfect tea for summer! It definitely gives off a “Pink Lemonade”/Berry Lemonade vibe which I believe is what DT was going for, so I’m pretty impressed. Worth a try if you like the ingredients; and if Yerba isn’t your think I wouldn’t worry too much – it’s well covered.
I was pretty sure I’d screwed up the prep for this one; the water was hotter than I thought initially, and I oversteeped it by a good few minutes so when I got around to drinking it I was braced for an unpleasant, bitter mug. Surprisingly, it was delicious!
The buttery/confectionery pastry part of this that I normally experience was all but erased and actually the taste of the oolong itself was pretty drowned out too; instead this was a really sweet and lively raspberry flavour with a touch of green backdrop. I wouldn’t call it necessarily natural tasting – more like a really good raspberry candy. But I guess it does draw some comparisons with super overripe raspberries. The kind that just fall apart in your mouth. It’s fantastically delicious.
And today’s word of the day is… “emanate”.
Emanate means: “to send forth : to come forth : originate”.
I know I said I wanted to finish this one my own, but that’s not going to happen. I honestly just can’t handle the hot spicyness of this one; so I’m sending the last bit to someone else in a swap in the hope that they enjoy it more and, at the very least, find it an interesting tea and enjoy getting to taste something I got locally in my boring ol’ Saskatchewan city.
This last mug. Euhhggg. My mouth is one fire, basically. Even with a SUPER light infusion of less than a minute, the chili is still far too intense. I wish I wasn’t such a wimp and got handle spicy things better.
Recently, I did a swap with Liquid Proust and he generously included a few of his own blends. Personally, I thought this seemed the most interesting of what he sent me. A few other companies such as 52Teas, both under new and old management, have attempted French Toast teas but I’ve yet to be wowed by one and I think his approach here is quite a bit different than the ones they’ve taken so I’m definitely excited!
I brewed this ‘Grandpa Style’ because that’s my typical approach with blooming/flowering teas. I knew that there was a possibility that it would get bitter because that’s a risk you always take when brewing Grandpa Style but this was unwaveringly smooth and silky. The entire time I spent drinking this (a few hours in total) there wasn’t even the slightest hint of bitterness OR astringency. I’m incredibly impressed by that.
The flavour was very fluffy and sweet, but reserved enough to not be cloying or make me feel like I was drinking syrup straight from the bottle. The rich notes of custard, cream, vanilla, cocoa, and, yes, egg hardly waned at all throughout the session. There were also lighter notes of cinnamon that I thought did fade towards the end of my session, and some pretty pronounced malt notes from the tea itself along with more muted floral notes. I likely could have continued to drink this for another hour or possibly longer with very little flavour deterioration. More than that, if it had not have been midnight I would have continued to drink this which is certainly high praise from me given that I dislike resteeping in general (drink as many teas as possible in one day is my philosophy).
My only criticism would be that the “toast” part of “French toast” was lacking; I’d have liked stronger bread notes contributed from the base tea to complete the illusion; but that’s just me getting hyper critical of one of the better flavoured teas I’ve had all month. If Andrew’s other teas are as tasty as this one I’m in for a real treat!
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this one hot in my timolino; it was definitely a little sharper that the cold brew and tea soda I loved so much which convinced me to restock. The combined peach and apple notes bordered on tart/sour and were quite piercing, but they mellowed out into a very smooth and sweet peach/blackberry leaf flavour. Quite soothing, and still very tasty although I do prefer this one much more as a cold beverage.
Today’s word of the day is… “Propaganda”
Propaganda means “information, ideas, or rumors widely spread”.
This made for a SUPER delightful coldbrew today at work!
The flavour of the dragonfruit was sadly very masked, but the strong juicy blueberry, cranberry, chokeberry, and goji notes more than made up for it since they came together to create a very smooth, refreshing sweet medley of berry flavours. Absolutely no sweetener necessary.
Moment of meh…
Stopped in store today to pick up some new teaware (I caved and got the glass Bicycle Nordic mug ‘cause I don’t have a glass one yet, and I love the design) and a small sample of Banana Split and this was one of the two samples of the day. Since it’s new and I haven’t seen reviews of it yet I decided I’d try it.
It was very lackluster though; it reminded me of pretty much any other Jasmine Green that DAVIDsTEA carries with the slightest berry aftertaste which only makes it minutely more interesting. It’s definitely not a defined blackberry flavour either. And really, it’s not that it was bad tasting. It just wasn’t interesting or attention grabbing.
Since I’m not a big fan of green tea or DAVIDsTEA’s Jasmine flavouring I’m obviously not the ‘target consumer’ though, so I guess you could take my opinion with a grain of salt.
This was one of the three samples that Tea Ave. included with my most recent order; the one which I’d already tried. It came in a sachet this time, though. Since I drank it hot the two previous times I had it I figured I’d switch things up and cold brew it this time around, and that sachet made that really convenient for me because I didn’t have to use my mason jar/strainer.
This was definitely super sweet and floral; the magnolia was strong and on point but I also picked up strong notes of peony as well, and a little bit of lily. There was some natural sweetness that reminded me loosely of Red Delicious apples; just that crisp apple sweetness they have going on. I tend to find the oolong base Tea Ave. uses quite creamy, but that was really drowned out here by the incredibly drawn out floral notes which dominated the brew.
Still incredibly enjoyable, but different than I remember. I’m happy I got to revisit this blend.