Really quite sweet. The bergamot is there, but the orange and clove are what really come through for me. Probably the least “Earl Grey” of any Earl Grey spin offs I’ve seen. A good, enjoyable tea, but nothing I feel the need rush out and force people to drink.
40 Tasting Notes
Up from the depths and rolling (momentarily) out of the gutters. I’m back to smoking cigarettes, the dreads were cut last week, new job started, leaving the bookstore behind for good in a matter of days. These last eight months have not been kind. Trouble at every turn, mistakes were made, both lessons and love forgotten. Odd winds are blowing in, carrying the faint smell of new beginnings. As anyone who’s seen a storm roll in knows, a light breeze can turn into a thunderous affair before anyone’s had a chance to realize what has happened.
Many things went awry in the time I’ve been gone, and one that I’ve missed the most is tea. You see I don’t handle heat all that well. As the temperature rose and the madness I try so desperately to keep at bay with it, this drink we love so much was cast aside and forgotten about. Too hot I told myself. You don’t have the time. You don’t really want iced tea. You’d rather drink gin. Lots and lots and lots of gin. Who would drink that scalding lettuce juice when you have this beautiful clear nectar dancing among tonic water and dashes of lime. The cool glass sweating so beautifully. Reminding you that she holds the key to relief from the warmth that is trying most successfully to smother you.
Well now. That temptress winter is approaching, and an increase in financial status is coming by to say hello, so what better way to greet them than with your old, neglected, yet ever faithful friend tea? After a few steepings of the Earl to talk to some sense into yourself, you know what to do. You know exactly will help set you back on a more satisfying path.
A kiss. Not just any kiss though, not for you. You’ve always got to do things the hard way. That’s always been your problem. Well go on, you’re in luck. You know exactly where to find her. Every time you walked by that cabinet you heard her song. Faintly creeping out like a distant memory just lingering. Now though it’s picked up. Louder, sweeter, more enticing. It’s time again to embrace the Mermaid’s Kiss.
(Yup, still wonderful. A few steepings were greatly appreciated while watching Deathly Hallows part 2.)
Still wonderful. Time is taking it’s toll, as these beautiful tins aren’t exactly air tight, but it still tastes magnificent none the less.
So a fair bit back, I just so happened to be the lucky winner of Teavivre’s Facebook contest. The timing was amazing because I had been planning on placing an order for this tea and a few others, but the day I was going to do so just happened to be the day I got a call that my debit card had been stolen. A day or two after was when Angel informed me of my good luck.
The dry leaves are amazingly tight little balls of dark green goodness stripped with the occasional bit of light green, just waiting to explode. There’s a very clear vegetal scent here. Once brewed though, the only thought that comes to mind when I smell the leaves is good, sugary, sweet southern greens. I’d like to pick out specifics for you, but that’s the total package, and you just have to know that taste/scent to know what I mean. Delish.
The tea is super smooth with a nice heavy mouth feel. This is one of those teas that I (literally) end up chewing. As many have stated, the milkiness isn’t super pronounced, but as a lifelong skim drinker, I tend to prefer a more subtle taste when it comes to milk. I’m loving the buttery vegetal taste with hints of sweetness coming through.
This tea is wonderful, and certainly warrants a purchase.
This is so much better iced. I did enjoy it hot, but I probably won’t ever drink it hot again after having it iced. The flavors are so much cleaner and more prominent. The mango and pineapple seem far crisper when iced. The flavors don’t completely overwhelm the green tea base, but they’re certainly the star of the show. I did add a couple of teaspoons of sugar. It probably wasn’t needed, but the thought of unsweetened iced tea just sort of confuses me still.
This will most certainly be a staple in my cabinet.
So I went for a second steeping, and found it pretty flavorless. Granted, I did go pretty bold on the first steeping, so I’m really not surprised. As a result, I decided to dump some gin in and see what happens. At first I took a small glass and just mixed the two with a two to one tea to gin ratio. The tea was too flavorless and definitely still too hot. I could smell the alcohol evaporating (and I shed a tear). Also, the gin just blared through. It really didn’t even taste watered down at all. I felt like I was just drinking hot Seagrams.
As a result, I gave the rest of the tea a minute to cool while I handled some laundry, and then went ahead and dumped the rest (10-12 oz’s maybe?) over some ice. A liberal amount of honey, a splash of Rose’s Lime (because I’m too lazy to juice real limes right now), maybe 2 oz’s of gin and I got to shaking.
Not too shabby. I can actually taste the tea itself, and the Rose’s and honey seem to bring back that citrus cream flavor. I can’t taste the gin at all, which is a bit of a bummer, but because I used cheap gin, it’s not an awful thing.
This small victory has brought about a new challenge. My summer goal is to create a worthy gin and tea cocktail. So far, all I’ve found is from actual mixologists using tools and ingredients that most of us probably don’t have on hand. I want to create a tea based cocktail that the average tea loving drunk could prepare with items they most likely have on hand. It’ll start with cheap ingredients until I start to narrow down the basic idea, and eventually I’ll come up with a top shelf version using Hendricks Gin (hands down my favorite thus far) and a tea yet to be named.
(Note that this will probably never come to fruition, but it’s my next distraction)
Well this is rather odd. I know for a fact I drank this tea and wrote up a tasting note. Weird.
I’m sure Dylan and MIssy sent this because they’re familiar with my love or various EG’s. This is intriguing. I’ve avoided any and all Ear Grey de la Creme because of my tumultuous and storied history with vanilla. I’m not sure how much I’d like other EGdlC’s, but I’m really enjoying this one. The creamy scent coming from the bag is delicious, but worries me a bit because of the vanilla. The strong citrus smell tag teaming it does boost my confidence.
So I have to wonder how much of Dylan’s review is affecting me here, as lime is definitely the primary taste I’m picking up. It’s like lime dipped in buttery creme. With the sweetness of the lime on the front end, the vanilla is blended to come across more like creaminess than vanilla. I honestly don’t even recognize it as an Earl Grey until the end when bergamot pops back up to remind me that it’s actually his show after all.
All in all, it’s an extremely smooth and interesting take on EG that has me excited to not only try other versions of EGdlC, but also try other offerings from Mad Hat.
So here is another awesome sample from Dylan and Missy. This is actually the tea that sparked the super care package.
I get it. I totally understand Dylan’s fervor for this. I love the roasty foretaste. I always want to taste popcorn first, but am quickly hit with the reminder that it’s rice not corn. The slightly vegetal, yet still sweet green comes in to wrap things up. Together they make for a nice flavor combo. I really like the juxtaposition between the light feel of the green base with the hearty flavor profile of the toastiness.
I will surely place an order for this one. This will likely be a constant in my cupboard.
Still absolutely delicious. I’m no longer picking up Pez (which is kind of a shame), so that was probably the only awesome thing that came from my plague. With that said, the flavor is still wonderful. I feel like I’m getting more of that slightly roasted oolong. and picking up less of the magnolia scent. There’s still plenty of the magnolia there though. It’s still wonderfully subtle while still maintaining a strong presence. Let me reiterate that I really, really, like the magnolia scenting. It’s a floral taste without coming across as being florally flavored if that makes sense. This was another “family visit taste test” and mom had the same reaction as a lot of the reviewers before A&D announced what the scenting was.
“It’s not jasmine, but it reminds me of it. …Magnolia? I can see that, but I never would have guessed.”
Mom and sister both liked it, but mom seemed to really enjoy it.
I’m leaving the temp on default because I don’t have a thermometer here and honestly have no idea what it was at.
No notes yet.
So here’s the first in a series of very generous samples sent to me from Dylan and Missy. As I understand it, this is from Azzrian via Dylan and Missy.
I really, really enjoy this. The dry leaf has a a very powerful orange smell, and the leaves themselves are very dark. Once brewed, the color is a reddish orange mixture, and the smell of orange blossom subsides so the oolong scent can take over. The flavor is heavy on the toasty oolong, with a nice delicate orange blossom follow up. Note that this is not a citrusy tea, it’s more of a subtle floral note. It’s very sweet on it’s own, so I can’t really see the need to add any sugar or honey.
I’m going to have another cup of this in a moment, but after the first I think I can say that I’ll be placing an order to keep this one on hand.
No notes yet.
Bold, rich, full, but very smooth. Another Damn Fine hit.
This was mom’s other pick of the day. The bag smell’s richly of clove and a fakeish clementine. When brewed, they both came across natural and rich. The taste was in your face but not overbearing. This seemed to be the favorite of the day, and may be my favorite from Tropical so far.
Finally cracked this open to try it with my family. As much as I hate trying a new tea while I’ve got The Black Death, it’s what mom wanted to try. Through the fog of my illness and infected taste bud(s), I can pick up a hint of butterscotch. It’s not at all overwhelming, which is a plus for me. Again, these dark days reviews aren’t to be taken too seriously without my faculties. My mom and littler sister both seem to really enjoy it, so that’s a plus.
Late night listening to Tiny Desk Series on shuffle (currently Ivan And Alyosha) while transferring tea from bags to tins. Also spending a disproportionate amount of time on tins when compared with my talent for writing/drawing anything.
I really enjoy this. I’ve actually drank this a few times, but I was simply too busy to log it. With that said, I’m going to continue to log what I drink, but I won’t be leaving any real notes until this black death that I’ve contracted decides to move on.
Andrews & Dunham are ruining all other teas for me. I’m so torn with the desire to just alternate between their teas everyday, and the need to stretch it out because I don’t want to run out.
I can’t give this a proper review. I’ve had a dreadful day, and about half way through, I realized I was starting to get sick. I’ve got that burning sinus that just won’t clear nonsense going on, which always happens before I get cold like symptoms. As a result, I’m not fully capable of picking up flavor notes on this. Yes, the floral magnolia is there, but no overpoweringly so. I think I might hate Jasmine (I need to give their Jasmine green a second chance before I give it away), but this is more subdued and enjoyable. I keep thinking I’m tasting Pez, which is arguably my favorite candy. It’s that after taste of Pez that I’m getting. That lingering beauty. Seriously though, my taste buds are out of whack, so I don’t think they can be trusted. Either way, I just crushed this cup, and I’m almost leaping out of my chair for a second.
So I’ve had an awful day all around. After tossing in bed for hours and getting pretty much no sleep, I was woken up by a phone call from my bank’s fraud protection service stating that someone in the UK attempted to use my debit card to buy $400 worth of clothes. My debit card that I’ve had for two weeks.
This was the…uh…maybe second time I’ve had this? It’s not bad by any means, but it doesn’t blow me away. It’s a solid Earl Grey, but it just doesn’t stand out to me. I may be being unfair here, as it was an awful day, and A&D’s Earl Grey may have ruined all other EG’s for me. Someday soon I intend to start doing marathon tastings of similar teas from different vendors. EGs one day, Irish Breakfasts another, etc. Until then, this is good, but that’s about it.
Steep number 2 is a much less vegetal affair. After taking a few unadulterated sips, I added a pinch of sugar. In all honesty, I’m finally starting to get a bit tired, and my taste buds are fried. I’ll give this another shot soon.
I’m confused. This is really vegetal, and I think I used too many leaves because my brew was rather dark. I don’t have a scale to try and get precise, so I used three super heaping Perfect Tea Teaspoons. It’s not black tea dark, but really deeply golden. I like this, but I just don’t understand it. Part of this could be because I’ve been drinking super aggressive teas all day and I’ve now just thrown my mouth a wacky curve ball. I think he’s scared and angry. He gets like that when he gets confused.
I’m not even sure where I am right now.
First let me explain a little something. This tea is going to be far stronger than I normally drink it due to my issues with sample sizes. You see, I use a perfect teaspoon (trademark thing here), which I’ve been told is actually closer to 1.5 tsp. Given that I use a (roughly) 16 oz mug, I generally fix whatever tea I’m making with two PT spoonfuls. Now the Tea Table sample sizes are probably made for someone who actually uses self control and reasoning, as they contain enough for roughly 2 1\2 – 2 2/3 PT spoonfuls (not heaping, but not level). Me, being the devil may care (read: lazy) man that I am, I just dump the package in. Now previously I’ve handled this by making a full 16 oz cup and about half of a 12 oz cup. The full cup I’ve been adding milk and sugar too, and the smaller cup I’ve been taking straight. This time around I forgot about the fact that I had developed that method, and added my normal amount of water.
I’m digging the result. It’s a bit of a punch in the face, but in the best possible way. You know, like if Natalie Portman punched me in the face because we were in a singles fight club. I took a couple sips of this before I doctored it up, and there was a solid bit of astringency there that follows on the heels of a nice full mouth feel. I did add a drop of milk and sugar, as that’s pretty much how I always drink my breakfast teas, and it’s a bit like putting a saddle on a bronco. It’s still an exciting ride, but it’s just a bit more comfortable.
A nice maltiness, a bit of astringency, full body, and a slight sweetness I picked up on even before I added the milk and sugar. This is a nice rich Scottish Breakfast.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, this tea makes me want to eat provolone.
This is an amazingly well balanced tea. I’ve only had one other smoky tea, and as much as I enjoyed it, this puts it to shame. The smokiness is there, but it’s not strutting up to smack you in the face in some odd culturally obscure greeting. It greets you kindly with a nice firm handshake, but before you can ask about how it’s been, you’re already being introduced to it’s friend sweetness. Even straight, the balance between smokey and sweet is really impeccable. I’m already struggling to figure out how I’m going to not just destroy this and the Earl Grey. No milk and sugar are needed, but I did add just a bit to the second steeping and it was delightful. I imagine I’ll handle the rest of the tin in the same fashion (naked on first steep, dressed for prom on the second).
Damn Andrews & Dunham and their Damn Fine Tea. I want to order every single set of this series they’ve got left (9 still? Maybe 7-8 by now?) but I just don’t have the money for that. I now officially hate limited edition teas. I’ve only fixed one cup of this and the Earl Grey (not counting re-steeps), and I’m already having separation anxiety over the thought of running out.
Absolutely love it. You’ll get a full review later, but I’m late to see Electronic 6.