2830 Tasting Notes
For those who don’t know, I work in a grocery store. It’s not uncommon for us to start carrying different, less common drinks but it is uncommon for them to be tea-related so when we picked up some of this brand’s flavors of iced/canned Yerba Mate I got really excited! I knew I’d seen at least one of this brand’s products reviewed here before so I took the plunge and a bought a can of each flavor to try out.
I don’t know what I expected when I tried this one, maybe a little more yerba mate flavour? But this threw me off a little bit; it definitely tastes distinctly of raspberry and even has a tinge of sharper tartness however I can’t taste anything specifically blackberry flavoured. If anything, I almost want to say there’s more of a blueberry flavor present. Regardless, this does seem pretty watered down and I’m missing any distinctly earthy notes from the yerba mate – which is kind of the best part of mate other than the caffeine. I absolutely appreciate that this is not overly sweet though!
I don’t know if I’d personally buy this one again because I know I enjoy a stronger Yerba Mate flavour but I do look forward to trying the other two flavours I picked up and I’m all for the idea of this if it gets a more “mainstream” consumer experiencing Yerba Mate – which I know it’s been doing at work since some my coworkers have taken to drinking this during break instead of other popular and more “conventional” energy drinks. Plus, the convenience of it being canned it always a plus.
This one has been on my personal wishlist for a while and I was very excited to get to try it recently. Like the others from the sampler, I made it in cashew milk.
The dry matcha smells very strongly of butterscotch; it reminds me of Butter Ripple Schnapps, which is a favourite drink of mine. It’s a little grassy too from the matcha itself.
This was very delightful; the butterscotch flavor really comes through and creates a sugary sweet drink that reminds me of melted down Butterscotch Ripple ice cream; it’s not nearly as boozy anymore so it’s reminding me less of Butter Ripple Schnapps. The mild nuttiness of the cashew milk compliments the sweetness very well also, and there’s a gentle vegetal note from the matcha itself – it’s not as grassy as the dry leaf smelled but it is present.
This one was very interesting and tasty and I’m really happy I finally got to try it. I imagine it would also work wonderfully in a hot latte as well – butterscotch is a very adaptable flavor. So far, this is my favourite of the matchas from this sampler that I’ve tried.
The cold brew still reminds me of those shiny metal cola ball candies; though a bit fancier with notes of lemon zest and possibly pear. However, I’m ready to sip this one down; it was a neat experience trying it – though not something worth hoarding.
VariaTEA I’ve been meaning to compile a package of stuff for you; is this a blend you’ve tried before? I’m nearly out of leaf so it you want to sample it give me a shout and I’ll save you some.
It is the wrong season to be drinking a Pumpkin Chai Cashew Milk latte, and yet that is precisely the thing that I am now doing. I just couldn’t wait another season to get in this sipdown – I’ve wanted to finish this blend off for ages now. Plus, I really wanted to be able to use the tin for something.
This is actually a pretty decent way to finish this blend off though; it tastes good (although strongly of cardamom) and is much different than all of the other ways I’ve done and grown sick of this blend.
An observation about cashew milk lattes: my favourite part of regular milk lattes is eating the ‘milk skin’ that forms on the top of the mug. However, that is easily my least favourite part of cashew milk lattes. I can’t explain why it’s so different, but with the former the skin is profoundly disgusting…
Finished the last 3/7 of this weeks cupping for class today a few hours before the actual class. For some reason they were all deeply unsatisfying, especially the Pu’erh which was my favourite of last week’s teas.
The Pu’erh was confirmed, like I expected, in class tonight to be a Sheng Pu’erh, though my instructor did not know the exact age of it – but suspected it to be a young one. What killed it for me this time around with the cupping was that I couldn’t get over the finish which tasted profoundly like sea salt to me! Bleck.
We also revisited the same Orthodox Assam, and I felt I made the same observations this week as last week – it was pretty good. Though it pales in comparison to the Yun Nan Dian Hong I had earlier in the week.
And finally, we did a CTC (also from Assam) which I thought was just terrible. I’ve had CTC from Butiki before; same very uniform crushed black tea balls/pellets that look more like fish food than tea – and they weren’t bad! We were told to expect some “mild astringency” with this one, and I’m sorry but the level of bitterness and astringency was not, in any definition of the word, mild. My first reaction for this one was to immediately spit it out. Which I did, on to the kitchen floor…
Class was otherwise pretty good; other than a few terms used to describe dry leaf in more of an industry setting I did feel like a lot of this week was review for me. Next week I think will be better; the focus is more on tea grading and while I’m familiar with the terms used for grading I have less of a familiarity with what these grades actually look like in practice so I’m excited to visually see some of the grades (I’m sure I’ve seen them before; they’ve just not been pointed out).
It did make me pretty sad when my instructor said that yellow tea isn’t visited at all within the Tea Sommelier course; we’ve been studying/learning about it but it wont be tasted. Such a bummer since I’ve enjoyed the yellow teas I’ve had so much.
I am an emotional roller coaster right now. I literally just found black mould in one of the crevasses of my fridge and spent the last hour solidly cleaning the even loving fuck out of my fridge from top to bottom. I feel incredibly grossed out and want to vomit so badly. I had a shower so hot I almost burned myself; need to purge the yucky.
Came back from my shower to see that the Big Brother 17 Cast list has been announced! Easily made my day 100% better; I eat, breathe and sleep Big Brother and though it’ll be hard to top the phenomenal season of Big Brother Canada from earlier in the year these house guests look really promising! Plus, Tre doesn’t watch the Canadian BB but watches the American (how unpatriotic) so we’ll have a show to watch together again!
My preseason picks: Vanessa, Audrey, La’Vonne, and Austin.
My pick to win: Austin
Least Favourites: Clay, John, Liz, Meg
Everyone else seems alright or didn’t have all that memorable bios. The new house design looks amazing too – I’m so excited to get this season started!
As for the tea; like predicted it’s absolutely lovely hot. I actually almost think it tastes juicier this way; and opposite the cold brew it’s sweet with a follow up tart, lemony taste rather than tart with a mellow sweet body. It’s a bit more rosey as well, but I don’t mind – and it goes together very well with the sweet citrus notes here. Give the flavor more roundness, if you will.
Anyone know when these cocktail/alcohol inspired (or whatever they’re calling them) drinks disappear? If I can reign in my cupboard a little before then I’ll definitely pick up a bit more to enjoy for the summer…
I’m not a coffee person so on the rare occasion that I do decide I want to partake in some java I usually go for actual coffee, not coffee flavored tea. To me those two things are separate, and for a reason. However, I still couldn’t resist trying this flavour – I had this gut feeling that it was going to be done well.
Like the previous matcha from this sampler, I made this in cashew milk. It mixed up such a bright, cheery green too and the smell was definitely freshly brewed coffee; quite roasty.
I was surprised by just how strong and sweet this one is; and I know that sweet kick isn’t from the cashew milk either since it’s unsweetened – but with the level of rich sugaryness it made me think I was drinking more of a Iced Coffee/ Iced Cappuccino type drink like you can get from Starbucks or Tim Hortons or whatever your coffee shop of choice is. At the same time, though it was quite sweet, it maintained a nice level of roast in the flavor and had some surprising caramel notes. And of course, from the milk, there was a faint nuttyness that worked really well with the coffee flavor. It probably only made the idea of drinking some sort of fancy sweet coffee drink stronger, if I’m being honest.
I wouldn’t buy this one again if I’m being honest; I just don’t do coffee – but it was surprisingly more nuanced than anticipated and like my gut told me it was in fact well done. So I do recommend trying it if coffee and sweet coffee drinks are your thing.
This tea really wowed me from start to finish. You begin the cup with such attractive, even dry leaf that has a breath taking proportion of golden tips to it. I would agree that you can see the orange pekoe quite clearly in the leaf and I can’t help but wonder what the grade is – I’d guess at least TGFOP? It’s easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing black teas I’ve gotten to try in a long time.
Of course, the grade really has very little to do with the actual taste of the tea; it only describes physical aspects of the leaf and not the taste of the brew – that said, this brewed up bammin’ slammin’ delicious.
There were a lot of flavors going on but they were all so harmonious; the big one for me was the sweet taste of stonefruit that gave the tea an overall jammy quality. It was very much like overripe dark cherries and it easily stood out the most to me. Cocoa, molasses malt, and honey/light caramel notes were all present too – mostly as top notes, with the exception of the molasses which I thought was a bit stronger near the end of the sip. The body was, in addition to being quite fruity, rather starchy as well but in a sweeter way, like from yams.
This easily stands out among the majority of pure black blends I’ve had in the last month – if not longer. There’s no need for sweetener either; Yun Nan Dian Hong has such a solid and nuanced flavor profile all on its own. I absolutely recommend this tea to just about anyone and I look really forward to revisiting it.
After all the really caffeinated teas this morning there was a definite need to switch to something herbal or decaf, and this was cold brewing in the fridge so I strained it and am enjoying it now. It’ll probably be the last brew of the night…
The dry leaf of this one is surprisingly much more grapefruity than I expected; I kept imagining something weakly grapefruity flavored or something over the top sweet/candy like but this smells surprisingly very bold and true to form. I can smell the lemongrass too; paired with the grapefruit it’s lively and fresh.
The taste isn’t nearly as bold or vibrant as the smell, but it still packs a strong punch: the red grapefruit flavor is strong and accurate with a bit of natural tang and sourness especially in the top of the sip, and a whisper of bitterness. The body/mid sip is much sweeter comparatively and the finish is more mellow. I can taste the lemongrass faintly, as well as softer apple notes and the rose, especially in the aftertaste. There’s a very comforting, round flavor to this blend and it feels very layered.
I have enough leaf left for a hot infusion, and I definitely look forward to it. I can imagine there’s definitely going to be some differences in flavor but I expect it will be equally as lovely. This one definitely made my evening a lot better!