3709 Tasting Notes
So many fancy teas in the box! And black teas, specifically!
I cold brewed this one; I’ve been drinking a lot of cold brewed fruit teas and I wanted to switch things up a little bit just to have a break inbetween cold brews.
This was phenomenal: there’s so much vanilla flavour packed into this tea it’s insane! Seriously, a lot of “Vanilla” teas are subtle/weak but this is really in your face and I appreciate that. It still tastes very natural and it’s vanilla without being cloying vanilla. There’s some creamyness as well which adds a bit more depth, and I felt like I also got some nice malt and wood notes from the base tea. I bet you that this would make an insane latte! Maybe someone else in the line up with the box will have to try that…
Also, I want to share this SUPER CUTE Finebros reaction video! It is ‘tea’ related, afterall…
I definitely feel like the majority of their reactions are exactly the same as my reaction the very first time I tried boba. I love it now, though.
Wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to sample this one from the box, but I finished off my most recent pitcher of cold brewed tea and was looking for something new to make. Trey suggested something citrusy so I pulled this one out and let him smell the dry leaf, and well here we are…
This isn’t bad; I was actually quite worried about it being too tart but on the contrary it’s almost a little too watered down/mellow tasting. I still get orange notes, as well as apple, but they don’t pack nearly as much punch as I’d expected from the dry smell. Now, on one hand that’s great because I half expected this
what with the hibby also in it to be far too tart, but on the other hand it leaves you somewhat dissatisfied too. What’s for sure though is that it’s super refreshing and definitely fitting for summer.
I probably just underleafed a little bit; I just really didn’t want to use all of the leaf in the box…
Finishing off the last little bits of tea in the tin as a mug before I get ready for work this afternoon. Honestly, this is probably one of the worst mugs of this tea I’ve ever had but probably not for the reasons you’d expect. It’s not bitter or astringent or anything unpleasant like that, it’s just that it’s far too rich and sweet to the point where those molasses/brown sugar notes are making my stomach all flippy floppy.
I want to say that I think that’s because this is just all the crap that had sunk to the bottom of the tin but I guess I don’t really have a way of knowing for sure. Regardless, even if this mug was a little much for me to handle I’m still very happy to have had this one back in my cupboard post Della Terra website weirdness. Maybe I’ll order it again; not sure currently…
Plucked this one out of the box to try because it smelled phenomenal and I was sure I hadn’t tried it. Turns out, that I have but it was over two years ago. Evidently it didn’t make much of an impression because I had NO recollection of trying it, though reading my tasting notes I can glean that I didn’t much like it despite a rating of ‘75’.
So, now that I AM trying it again this tasting note comes in two parts…
Part One: Cold Brew
So I cold brewed this because I figured it’d make a refreshing brew, and that the sweet, juicy smelling apricot would be a nice summery flavour. When I drank this two years ago, it appears that both times I had it were hot so this is a new preparation method for me as well.
I’m actually a little surprised and impressed with just how clearly the apricot flavour is coming across as apricot and not just some sort of generic stonefruit of vague peach/nectarine/apricot amalgamation. The black base is a little brisk, and is both malty and floral. I’d definitely say that falls into the vague characteristics of a Ceylonese black base, though the ingredients say this is a blend of Chinese and Sri Lankan (Ceylonese). It’s very nice paired with the apricot though, and it definitely does what I’d expected of it as well as delivering the flavours promised. Not much I can fault, here.
Part Two: Cocktails
So, this summer I’ve been teaching myself somewhat casually how to bar tend. Essentially, each paycheck I pick a cocktail or two that I’d like to learn how to make and then next time our drinking group is over at the house I purchase the necessary flavoured liquors for the cocktails and they (the group) purchase the harder alcohol; vodka, rum, whiskey, etc. In exchange, they guinea pig for me and they get, mostly, free drinks. The most recent thing I’ve been experimenting with is Sours. My personal favourite is Amaretto Sours, but a few nights ago I started to make Apricot Sours using Apricot Brandy, Sweet and Sour Mix, and a little bit of simple syrup.
That was before I got this tea box, but when I saw this in the box I knew that I’d have to do a “tea cocktail” variation of the Apricot Sour if I wound up liking it – and I did! So, my recipe
which is a term I use loosely as there wasn’t much measuring involved was approx. 1/3 of my 25 oz. cold brew mixed with a splash of Apricot Brandy and then a ‘larger’ splash of sweet and sour mix. No simple syrup.
And it’s actually lovely! I think that the presence of the black base does wonders for taking the edge off the drink: sours are usually really dominant in flavour and I can never do more than like two of them in a night because of the acidity but I might be able to do more of these. They taste much more natural, in a way? I think that’s because of the apricot notes of the tea being a much more realistic and less sugared version of the apricot in the Apricot Brandy.
And I mean obviously these aren’t strong drinks: there’s probably equal to or less than the amount of a shot of brandy in this drink and compared to how strong I typically mix my drinks that’s basically child’s play. But tea cocktails!!! How could I not try it?
My first tea from Bitterleaf; but hopefully many more in the future. This is definitely a company that’s interested me for quite some time so I’m definitely excited to see the variety of samples in the tea box…
When I was measuring this one out I definitely assumed it was a jasmine scented white tea but before I started infusing I had the thought to actually look this one up and it’s actually a green tea? I mean – these buds look EXACTLY like Yin Zhen. I feel a little cheated that this is green tea; jasmine green is no where near as good as a jasmine white or black, imo.
But the tea tastes pretty solid: I got around six infusions before I got bored with the tea. Not to say that I couldn’t have further infused the tea as the jasmine was still a relatively strong presence in the cup but by that time I was done with the session. I’ve never been a “ten infusions in and still pushing” kind of tea drinker. The jasmine was quite potent in the first infusions though – almost to the point of being just a little nauseating. It didn’t taste artificial or chemical; just mighty intense. In fact, for essentially all my infusions it was such a dominant flavour that I couldn’t really taste the base anyway. Though, when I finally started to get more of a presence of it the flavour was mostly peachy sweetness and a gentle grassy note.
I’m happy to have tried this one; it was a perfect, lighter midday session in a day mostly filled with more heavy bodied/dominant teas. That said, I wouldn’t buy it myself when I have other jasmine teas on hand that I prefer. However, it makes me excited to try more of Bitterleaf’s offerings. Thank you Bitterleaf for your donation to this tea box!
Picked this one ’cause of the name. I had to see/try this tea marketed for the manliest of men. Typically, I hate “gendered” tea or really drinks in general. What makes this “man” tea specifically? Will it literally put hair on my chest? Is my voice going to drop a few octaves?
…Is my vagina going to become an outie?
I was disappointed when I opened the package though, ‘cause I was tasting this blend blindly and the aroma of the dry tea was overwhelmingly ginger. Yuck! Steeped up it’s not the worst thing in the world though. I mean, yeah it tastes quite strongly of ginger but there’s enough cinnamon in the blend that I’m not left with the sole flavour of a thing I really dislike…
However, I must report that upon consuming this cup of liquid masculinity I feel no different. I’ve still got an “innie” and my chest continues to be hairless.
This is my first pick from the second GCTTB, though there are definitely many goodies in the box that look quite exciting. While I would have loved to have a Gong Fu session with this i didn’t want to use the whole sample so I’m settling for a smaller Western styled mug.
First impression was that this was a little choppy tasting with some initial smoke flavour on the top of the sip and then more of a raisin/malt sort of body. It was a little drying, so I left the mug for a while and came back to it when it was lukewarm. It was a lot smoother at this temperature with a mix of mild smoke, raisin/stonefruit, and malt notes and a finish that reminded me a little of rye.
Keemun is a tea which is definitely growing on my slowly, and this wasn’t a bad one but I definitely don’t think it’s the best or highest quality I’ve tasted either. I probably wouldn’t drink this specific one again but I’m happy to have tried it.
Cold Brew Sipdown (135)!
So, this is a pretty heavy blend so it’s really easy to burn through quickly as I’ve definitely demonstrated within the last month. At this point, I’ve cold steeped 50+ grams, which is definitely impressive for me given the sheer number of options I have. Nonetheless, I don’t think I’m done with this one quite yet; I’m pretty confident that I will likely be getting another 50g if not more.
This brew was lovely; drinking the last sips as I type. Strong watermelon and strawberry notes, but also a bit of a sweet candy flavour that is almost bubblegum-y in nature. It’s great, though…
Had a brief but lovely exchange with Lala today in order to swap GCTTB1 and GCTTB2; we met up at the Vintage Tea Room which is a lovely little British style tea house. While sadly she couldn’t stay for tea, I managed to sneak in a pot and some food before I started work at one…
This was definitely what I had been craving all morning; the maltyness that’s typically associated with Irish Breakfast blends in particular sounded like the perfect flavour note to really hit the spot – and it did deliver in that regard. I definitely wish that this particular Irish Breakfast wasn’t CTC though because the tea house put the leaf directly into the pot and then it strains as you pour so it got pretty astringent/bitter quite quickly. It wasn’t anything that a little milk and sugar couldn’t cure but I prefer not to add sugar if I don’t have to.
As far as food goes I got my standard Cranberry Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwich, which I highly recommend to anything who gets the chance to visit the tea house in the future. And for dessert I got a slice of Coconut Cream Pie which was definitely decent though not the best dessert I’ve had from them: the Pecan Pie in particular is DIVINE.
I don’t visit the tea room enough, it’s such a convenient walk from work…
Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Raisins
Cold Brew Sipdown (136)!
Finishing off the sample of this that I managed to draw out for such a long time; the brew had strong, semi-tart orange/citrus notes with a little bit of gooseberry sourness and then a finish that was floral and crisp and refreshing from the spearmint. I really enjoyed it, especially since I was quite hungover when I was drinking it.
None the less, I think I’m good on this one for a while. I’m sure at some point I’ll crave it again, but for now I’m definitely satisfied for the near future.