2485 Tasting Notes
Something in my kitchen smells badly of fish right now but I can’t figure out what; whatever it is certainly isn’t actually fish ‘cause, well, I don’t eat meat – and Tre’s been out of town since the 13th so it’s not anything from him either. It’s just driving me mad. Gonna have to do all the dishes tomorrow and actually wash the counters and stuff…
No more gross ‘student living’ for me, at least for a little while. It’s especially bad ’cause the kitchen is pretty directly connected to the living room where, consequently, I sleep. So, err, ew.
This is quite likely going to be my last tea of the evening unless I feel really ambitious in an hour or so; as is, I just feel quite sleepy. I made a pot though so I could get one more practice session with the aroma cup from Tea Ave before I actually use it for a Tea Ave sample tomorrow. It was actually super interesting trying it with this tea because I found the smell I experienced with the aroma cup was drastically different than the taste of the tea itself; it was as if the vanilla/custard aspects of the tea were drastically, drastically amplified to make a sort of very vanilla rich Creme Brulee smell? Not even a little floral and with very little base smell – but intensely rich and amazing smelling. I want to eat that Creme Brulee, but it doesn’t actually exist…
The tea itself was good too though; first cups were more green and floral, then the ones in the middle were way more intensely vanilla flavoured (closest to the smell of the aroma cup) and now the last couples ones, including the last from the pot which I’m currently drinking, are a mix of both with a very slight and weird grassy bitterness that, unfortunately, are reminding me of bug spray. Kinda chemical and bordering on harsh…
Middle cups were definitely the sweet spot though; kinda literally? I do think I maybe prefer this Western style though like I normally prepare it – less cups for sure, but no Mosquito killing flavour?
Oh, and I didn’t mention it earlier today but I did find someone to give my second Tea Ave set to! I brought it in to work and gave it to the chef who comes in on week days to do instructional classes/seminars. He’s pretty awesome and I knew he’d really appreciate it even if he’s not the biggest tea guy. I know he’ll take the time and effort to learn how to properly appreciate the tea and aroma cup set ‘cause it’s just what he does!
So yay for finding an appreciative home for the set and samples! I’m pretty proud of myself for doing so.
Had a pot of this one at some point last week, but I can’t remember anything about it other than, generally speaking, really liking it since for some crazy reason I didn’t write any notes for myself. Trying desperately to remember something but mostly I think I just remember the flavour of sweet cherries…
Anyway, I did pick up a slightly bigger sample of this one than I normally get when trying new teas; so I ended up with the chance to do a cold brew in addition to this pot and I definitely took notes for that one, so I’ll try and get the tasting note for that up soon.
Non Tea Related; there’s a really cool new meme going around Tumblr right now which I’m getting a major kick out of. It’s being called “Inappropriate Audition Songs”…
To give you an idea, here’s the one I came up with!
“Hey, I’m auditioning for the role of Oedipus and I’ll be singing ‘I love my Mamma’ by Snoop Dogg.” I don’t usually get too involved in ‘meme culture’ but there’s nothing I don’t love about this one! I’ve been checking the tag all day, and just laughing my ass off.
Hmm, I think this one was better with milk than without. Although I actually thought the chocolate flavour came across better without the milk and the rose was just a little bit more distinct, this definitely tasted more artificial to me, and the oily/scummy mouthfeel was a lot more aparent.
Still, it was better overall than I expected it to be in the first place, and I guess it must have been pretty popular because both the stores in town were sold out of it before Valentine’s day. I called to see if I could grab any for a friend here on Steepster, not for myself – personally I didn’t like it enough to want any more of it.
Also, just gonna share this here because I accidentally found it this morning on Youtube, and I’m very in love with the concept!
I didn’t know I needed Adult Wednesday Addams in my life, but I don’t think I could go back now…
…for anyone who hasn’t received their February Amoda box yet – this is only my second month with a subscription, and I don’t know if there’s Steepster “protocol” with when it’s ok to post reviews? I am the first review for it, after all…
I must say though, for a company I’m only familiar with because of Amoda, Petali Teas is now 2/2 with me. And honestly, I had some serious reservations about whether or not I’d like this one; it’s got a green base and has cardamom in it. Not that I don’t like cardamom, but it’s definitely not something I see paired with a green base. I cold brewed my sample though, because pear usually comes out really nice cold brewed and it’s really tasty.
I have to say that the hazelnut is so much, well, more than I could have ever expected from it. The flavouring is really, really strong with a sweet, borderline creamy, richness to it. It reminds me of Nutella or Beuno, except both of those are chocolate and hazelnut pairings and this is just the sweet, creamy hazelnut flavours in those scrumptious treats! And it really works with the green base too, which is very buttery and nutty in and of itself. One of the better hazelnut teas I’ve had to date.
As for the pear, it’s quite rich and creamy too and transitions smoothly from the initial, rich nut flavours. The addition of the cinnamon and cardomom really works to make it taste a little like a supple, poached pear or some kind of confectionery pear dessert. With the apple in here along with the hazelnut and spices maybe it’s like some sort of nutty crumble? I also swear that I taste vanilla and caramel or nougat of some kind too. It really adds to the sweetness of it all.
Delicious, regardless! And really more of a sweet, indulgent dessert tea than a fruitier one. This surprising blend really makes me want to get in on either a Petali tea order or Amoda’s current 20% off deal – but I’m gonna try and hold out. So far, this blend and the other Petali one from the January box are the only ones I’d want to order more of, so I’m just gonna have to wait until I’ve finished trying the other Amoda samples I have and have received my March box, and see how I feel then…
Flavors: Apple, Caramel, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cream, Hazelnut, Nutty, Pear, Vanilla
Cold Brewed this sample from the January Amoda box!
It’s funny that I ended up with an Octavia Tea blend in the box because I did a big(ish) Octavia Tea sample order on Black Friday – I ended up with 10+ teas from them that, for the most part, I was the first to review here on Steepster. I easily could have wound up with this one, though in the end I decided against it because of the green base.
To my surprise, I got to try it anyway!
Smell wise, this one reminded me a lot of Tea Desire’s Asia Cocktail blend – both smelled heavily of mango and a jumble of other tropical fruits, passion fruit for this one and lychee for the former.
Taste wise, this came off fairly close to having a single flavour note for me; it was solidly a mango flavoured tea. The mango flavouring was good though – it reminded me a lot of the mango flavour in the Mango Sorbet white offering from this company, and that tea was one that I was pretty impressed with. As someone who isn’t typically a mango fan, I like how this company conveys that flavour! It just works for me; would is work for someone who actually likes the fruit? I don’t know…
It wasn’t totally a flat mango taste though; while I couldn’t taste the grapefruit at all I did pick up on the passion fruit a little bit. It’s not a flavour combination I would have really thought about prior but it works well. The green base was pretty grassy, but smooth and silky. I’m sticking with my initial impression based on the smell; despite a slight difference in flavourings this really reminds me of Tea Desire’s Asia Cocktail blend, though with a better quality base?
I wouldn’t purchase this one again; while I initially also really liked Asia Cocktail I soon grew very tired of it and I fear the same would happen with this blend, and since it’s a green I know I wouldn’t turn to it that often – but it was a good offering from Octavia Tea and Amoda and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on trying it!
Man, I drank this a while ago and still haven’t written about it…
Seriously; it was the first tea I tried out from January’s Amoda box!
Anyway, because I immediately noticed some similarities between this one and Della Terra’s Lemon Chiffon blend I decided to try mine out at a cold brew since that’s the way I ended up enjoying Della Terra’s blend the most over all.
This was delicious and very refreshing overall! To me, I registered a very sweet, creamy lemon flavour as well as cream and vanilla and a pastry like flavour as well. It initially came off to me as a lemon meringue pie sort of flavour, but after a little sipping it hit me that this was actually much more like a perfect lemon flavoured sugar cookie! I felt like I should have been dunking it into milk or something; though that’s admittedly hard to do when you’re actually drinking tea and not eating the most perfect lemon sugar cookie ever. Another comparison I made; if anyone’s ever had Hagaan Das’s gelato they’ll know the make a to die for, creamy and smooth lemon/vodka gelato – and the lemon in this blend tasted very comparable to the natural but very sweet lemon in their gelato.
For me, this was a lot better than Leon Chiffon. A lot a lot. The lemon flavour was, I think, better executed and it was creamier, plus Lemon Chiffon didn’t have that awesome sugar cookie/pastry flavour. Another difference; more green rooibos. It was a really good, subtle backdrop for the flavouring.
This is one that I definitely looked up on Amoda’s page to see what the damage to my wallet would be if I picked up more, and now that Amoda’s doing smaller sizes an Amoda order seems closer to reality. Ultimately, gonna have to try all the teas from my three month gift subscription (thanks again VariaTEA) though – because one tea isn’t really worthwhile. Three or more? Totally justifiable in my books.
So, I brought one of these bags home with me from Regina when I went to visit my Mom back in January; deliberately – this isn’t one of the mysterious ones that somehow inadvertently made it home with me.
You can pretty much just see my other note on this one because my opinion and experience about this tea didn’t really change with the second cup – though this one had a longer steep time and I think, consequently, was a little more maple-y and less apple flavoured. But everything else I experienced the first time stayed true.
Like I said the first time I had this one, I’m pretty sure it was a seasonal/holiday blend, and it’s not one of the dozens of Stash teas we carry in our store – but if I happened to find this one down the road and it wasn’t stupidly expensive, I could definitely see myself maybe picking some up. It’s pretty decent for a bagged tea – and could be a nice herbal to keep around.
Well, this one is at least a little bit better hot than it is cold – it was less like disinfectant and had a less pronounced licorice-y ginseng flavour, but the lemon was still a little too intense and the ginger very heavy handed. So overall, more enjoyable but still very much not for me.
Today’s word of the day is: Velarium.
A velarium is the awning over the seats in a theatre of ancient Rome.
I really doubt I’ll be slipping this one into conversation today; Tre is out of town until the weekend and I’m not leaving the house today – so unless I start talking to myself then I think the best use I’m gonna have for this one is writing it here in this tasting note…
Just finished off a pot of this one, Grandpa style, for breakfast.
I have to next two days off so I’m hoping that between both days I can totally clear out my queue; gonna start on that probably after this tasting note and maybe lunch.
My pot was really, really good though – it was interesting to me because with this preparation style I experienced a flavour note that I’m pretty sure hasn’t come across with this tea before, and since this is one I thought I’d explored pretty thoroughly it was exciting to taste something new. What was that new flavour? Bubblegum!
Yeah, it was like I was sipping on a very sweet, fresh pineapple flavoured bubblegum concoction; tasty and realistic like always with loads of juicy flavour but with a special candy sweetness too. I also felt like the floral aspect of this tea was more toned down and subtle with this preparation method, and honestly I sort of really liked that.
I also used my aroma cup from Tea Ave. for the first time – I wanted to play around with it a bit before actually using it for one of my Tea Ave samples; when I opened up my package from them it sort of intimidated me since I’ve never used something like it before. It’s important to me I feel comfortable using it so I can do a really good job reviewing; and I definitely feel more so now that I’ve watched a few videos and put it into practice.
One more use and I think I’ll be good to go for my Tea Ave samples!
Flavors: Candy, Pineapple
So this is probably dumb sounding, but I wanted tea to drink while writing tasting notes that I then wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time reviewing afterwards. I’ve been working really hard at finishing off my queue – and I’m SO CLOSE so the really lazy part of me just doesn’t want to drink anything that’ll require lots of writing or me paying close attention until I’ve caught up…
So I made this one as a hot latte because I knew it would be consistent with the other times I’ve reviewed it, super low-effort, and tasty as well. I was right about all of those things; rich, frothy lightly spiced vanilla goodness. You can read one of my other notes on this one if you really want a break down on it…