Just finished this off with my mom. Hurrah! Not sure if I will be getting any more. At least not right now. I think I will use this opportunity to try other Assams.
329 Tasting Notes
A stray (we presume, since she is quite skinny, very skittish, and very hungry) cat has taken up residence under our back porch, and I have been spending time with her trying to coax her out with food (we presume it’s a she because our female cat Akira hates her, while are male cat Cozmo could care less). I tried this again—reduced temperature and reduced time—to sip while I sat beside the porch so she would become used to my presence.
I can make out the smell of rose in it now, and the first two sips were odd but not bitter. However, the very strong bitterness doesn’t usually set in until it starts to cool, and no sooner had I set it down, then a bug fell in it and I ended up chucking it. Bah!
I woke up today and decided, “smokey tea”. I then went, sat down, and loaded up Steepster to see when the last time was I’d even made a tasting note on any of the teas I drank, and found that at the top of my Dashboard was one from Rabs on Caravan.
Too bad I had already decided I wouldn’t drink any caravan, because I’m starting to get low on lapsang, so I want to finish that one off. Even though the lapsang I got from Murchie’s, I feel, isn’t actually that great. I love Caravan, but I find this lapsang to be a little burnt, and less smokey. So the faster I finish it off, the faster I can try lapsangs from other places. I can’t decide between Tealicious or Tea Desire yet, though.
I also came across bagged Russian Caravan at my local organic market—five bucks—yesterday, but had to convince myself to put it down and not get it. It was actually what inspired me to start drinking up the rest of my low-quantity smokey teas. I’ll be able to buy it without guilt after I run out. I wanted it for travel, because I no longer make smokey teas in my tea libre. The plastic/rubber seals absorb the scent and it is impossibly hard to get it out. So bagged smokey teas that I can bring with me and just throw into a paper cup with hot water (or even a mug—sometimes I bring one with me places) would be nice, if I don’t have my little teaball with me.
Still got a good few scoops left. This’ one that has lasted a while, because it’s the only one I haven’t been able to share (which I do a lot); nobody wants to try my alleged “bacon tea”.
I put this in my tea tumbler yesterday, and enjoyed the first two steeps on the clock there (nearing the end of the second steep, the manager for that day wandered by and cheerily noted that it wasn’t a PC Waterbottle [the only kind of drink cashiers are ACTUALLY allowed to have on-shift]; I awkward-laughed, but he is fairly laid-back and doesn’t exactly care that much, and even spent about half an hour with me after my shift had ended, just standing around the discount DVDs bin helping me find interesting movies and ignoring his phone).
The first two were fairly similar, and nothing from the norm (I’m having trouble remembering them now, though). However, I forgot to remove the leaves from the filter yesterday, so I just resteeped them a third time today. The colour is a bit lighter. I had a large bowl of milkless cereal (I poured myself cereal only to look into the fridge and realize we were out of milk), so that may have affected my tastebuds because I cannot taste anything. Maybe it’s just still too hot. The smell of the tea is much weaker too. Hrm.
I only have four bags of this left (five if I resteep the one I’m using now). It’s a nice tea. The black base is a bit meh, very mild, but the mildness helps the vanilla come through a bit more, because it’s not that strong either. Just the strongest I’ve tasted, in terms of vanilla flavoured blacks so far.
High Tea Soul Calibur.
I went grocery shopping with my mother in order to get out of the house. It consisted mostly of her and her friends poking fun at my swollen face. Hah hah.
But I came across Soul Calibur IV for fifteen bucks, so we picked that up too as well as a giant box of assorted cookies, miniature buns and ham, etcetera etcetera. Thus when I got home, I brewed up a large pot of Earl Grey, and made a giant platter of tea biscuits and mini sandwiches.
Sadly I didn’t think it through as much as I probably should, seeing as I’m not technically supposed to be eating full on chewable solids yet. I can’t open my jaw wide enough, it hurts, and worst of all, my face is still too swollen, so everything gets stuck. Yes. Ew. You’re supposed to be able to clean it out, but you can’t if everything’s still swollen OVER. Yummy.
But it was delicious, and I played lots and lots of Soul Calibur and drank lots and lots of tea and ate lots and lots of little sandwiches and many cookies softened by the afore mentioned delicious earl grey tea.
Also, fighting Yoda sucks because half of the attacks fly right over his short little head.
This tea is still my favourite earl grey, and I am, regretfully, running low on it. And I was at Winners a while ago and saw another tin of it that had been reduced to three dollars (because someone had opened the tin itself, although not the bag inside the tin that contained the actual tea). But I told myself not to because I hadn’t finished this one.
No notes yet.
No bitterness today, it seems. And it’s cooling fast. Still, not as flavourful.
Slurping this quite noisily, since I have two icepacks tied to the sides of my face, but enjoying it all the same. Mmm. I’d like to try more Yunnans in the future.
Had this the day I picked up the box, but didn’t bother to write a tasting note.
Sitting down with a cup now, but please be advised that the stitches in my mouth haven’t completely clotted over yet, so everything is tinted with a bit of a coppery blood taste. Delicious. It’s my own damn fault though, the surgeon said no talking, but I thought they were fine and clotted now so I chatted away with my sister (though I clenched jaw, at least), and now they’re bleeding again, it seems. Smart.
It smells deliciously of hot chocolate, with the chocolate vanilla and cinnamon. I get no tea smell, but then, I’m not sure what puerh should smell like. This’ my first, and I suppose not the best choice if I want to really explore the taste of puerh. But I was in the Organics store (the only store in my location that carries any Numi products at all besides Chapters, but that only carries their blooming teas) and saw it, and spent five minutes deciding between this, Emperor’s Puerh and Mint Puerh. Emperor’s seemed like a good choice—unflavoured—but I ultimately decided to spend ten whole dollars on this one.
The taste is dusty-earthy, with a light cocoa taste and texture overlapping it, and then a pleasant aftertaste of hot chocolate (chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon—does this actually contain cinnamon? It tastes/smells like it; possibly nutmeg too, hmm—all the proper Hot Cocoa spices). Mm nice. The earthyness is different, but I’m definitely looking forward to experimenting with more puerhs in the future.
I am not allowed dairy products until tomorrow, but it was too late in the evening for caffeine. I was limited to my small collection of caffeine-free tisanes, but I didn’t want anything fruity. I wanted something heavier, like tea. But the chai rooibos just wasn’t that heavy. So I decided to experiment. I made it with hazelnut-flavoured coffee whitener (not mine, but my mother’s), with honey and vanilla extract mixed in. I don’t know, I felt like something heavy, spicy but sweet. …I want spice cake. Hrm.
Coffee whitener is quite odd, but I liked the hazelnut taste, so overall it turned out all right. Warm. Plus, it rids my mouth of the, uh, copper taste. Stupid wisdom teeth.
Made two mugs of this for me and my mother, except that I couldn’t even take a sip of mine. I was reduced mostly to a small amount of gingerale at a time with a drool-cloth held below my chin. So my tea went completely cold. I microwaved it (I hate microwaving tea, it gives it a funny taste), and have been sipping it now. Slowly. Just because I’ve got a little more feeling back and it’s easier to handle now.
See, I just got all four wisdom teeth out. I’ve got a mug of tea and a mug of chicken noodle soup. The soup is still very hot (although I can’t tell when I drink it due to numbness) so I’m letting it sit until it seems cool enough to drink. Until then, mmm Paris tea. It still tastes delicious even through the numbness and the taste of blood and gauze. Isn’t that a pleasant image? I think it is.
My tin of bags is almost out too, aaaah. I need to pop over to Chapters and pick up another tin. If they aren’t sold out. They sell out quickly. If only Chapters sold loose-leaf tea to go with all their loose-leaf tea accessories, but no. They sell loose-leaf tea accessories, and only bagged teas.
I realized that I hadn’t put away the used jasmine green leaves (A&D) from yesterday. They’d dried perfectly (no spinagyness), so I threw the teaball into fresh hot water with a bag of this as well in a double-sized mug. The jasmine was STILL pretty strong smelling for the second steep, so I ended up taking it out at three minutes and leaving the Ceylon in for an additional two.
The result reminds me a bit of Murchie’s Library Blend. I think I’m just a sucker for black-green blends. The initial sip is green and jasmine, the black coming in when you swallow and breath out. The jasmine is lending more of a floral sweetness instead of completely taking over the tea.
Bumped the steep time down to two minutes, because I didn’t like the kind of strong flavour I was getting before.
Drinking it nice and hot, it’s bearable. I’m getting a very small amount of green, but for the most part, jasmine. Still like drinking jasmine soap, Jesus. At least now I can discern that the strong flavour wasn’t the green tea, but the jasmine added. Very floral. Quite strong. I’m sure I would like it a bit more if it was considerably weaker. If I had any sencha, I would probably had steeped a mixture of sencha with this, to dilute the jasminyness a bit.
The hot vegetableness sort of fills you with warmth, though. And that’s nice.
This’ the last teabag of this. I like it enough that I might go and buy a full box. I’d get the full loose leaf, except that it doesn’t seem that anywhere around here sells it. The only Twinings loose leafs I’ve found are for Earl Grey and Gunpowder Green.
Besides, Tealicious seems to have plans for their own version of Lady Grey, so maybe I’ll just hold off on getting more until they come out with their own and try that first.
My first sip of this today came with a BURST of vanilla. It was quite nice.
Since the first note, I’ve lowered my steeping temperature to 190, eliminating pretty much all of the bitterness.
So it’s nice, the flavours come through strongly although the tea is still there (just very faintly now), and it goes quite well with my bagel. Mmm bagel and tea breakfast. I made a pot with my mother so she could try some as well. Bumping the rating up a bit.
Sipping this again. Quite late, too, ten at night. But caffeine’s never really kept me up (and even if it did, I stay up pretty late anyways). I dropped the steeping temperature down to 170 this time; last time I used 180.
Writing this during my second steep. The first wasn’t much different from how I remembered my first attempt with this tea. It’s a darker oolong I guess, with oolongy qualities and blacky qualities. Near the end of my first pot I thought I got a sort of thick, honeyness to it. Like honey without the sweet, maybe.
Second steep came out just as dark as the first, however the taste isn’t anything significant. I’m getting something sharp, but I think it might just be the water. I was a bit lazy and didn’t use filtered, I’m so bad. I will next time, though. It’s sort of an odd pepperyness, but that seems a weird thing to use to describe this tea, since it’s supposed to be very light with hints of honey.
Mmmm. Just enjoying this through my cold. It’s still fruity and delicious even with a plugged nose.
I actually had this yesterday, but when I was steeping it, I completely forgot about and left it for a good twenty minutes. It was bitter, but the bitterness didn’t quite set it until it had cooled a bit.
Having it again today. Properly steeped this time.
I’d like to start by pointing out that I just recently came down with a cold, so my tastebuds may be off. I should be drinking smokey teas instead. That’d clear me right up.
It’s got the usual lighter flavour of the darjeeling. I’m finding it hard to discern much flavour, but I remember it being good and flavourful yesterday, and the bitterness again mixed in pleasantly to give it a walnut taste. However, no bitterness today it seems. But that might just be my tastebuds out of whack. My nose isn’t plugged up at least.
I’m not getting any fruity or wine notes. I am getting something akin to nuttyness but not quite (makes me think of Keemun). It’s enjoyable though. This’ only the second darjeeling I’ve ever tried, after Margaret’s Hope that Jillian sent me.
It got a bit bitter as it cooled down, but not in an unpleasant way. Just like how Margaret’s Hope did. Walnutty.
The dry leaves smelt of earth and chocolate, surprising me because I hadn’t thought I’d get any actual chocolatyness until I tasted it. The leaves are HUGE and wiry, and difficult to measure for me, because I do everything by volume, since I lack a fine enough scale. But the leaves are so huge that attempting to scoop out a teaspoon is impossible, because you can SEE the gaps.
The brewed tea smells merely of earth, no chocolate. A dark, dusty, maybe toasty sort of smell.
It’s a very unique tea taste. Earthy again, sort of toasty I guess. I want to say ash-like. There is a dry bitterness to the earthyness that makes me think of cocoa powder. Overall, the tea is very odd. I’m not sure how much I love this at this point, luckily I have a lot to experiment with. Gimme some time, I can’t give this a rating yet.
I just realized when now that there is a deep, rich cocoa after-taste in the back of my mouth, made even more evident when I breathe out. Overall the taste is just full bodied. Dark. So odd.
Truthfully, I’ve never been a chocolate person, but I’ve never DISLIKED it, so I had to try this tea anyways.
The leaves are black and gold, and they brew into a dark amber-red cup.
The cup is bright, but doesn’t particularly hold any uniqueness. It reminds me a bit of Assam in the strength and slight bitterness (I brew Assam in two minutes to keep it from getting TOO bitter), but with more of a briskness as well. I don’t think I’m getting any of the pepperyness that people describe for Yunnan blacks. There is, however, a Keemun quality to it as well. …Sort’ve makes sense, I guess. Both provinces in China.
I keep wanting to pick out a peppery SENSE, although not taste, but I assume it’s more me trying to find what I EXPECT to be there, than actually getting any pepper.
It’s very nice, though. I quite like it. I realize I’ve really missed plain black teas. I’m glad I’ve got three new ones now. No flavours added, just single-estate black teas. Mm. I’ve been too busy attempting to dwindle down my overall supply of teas, so.
I decided to skip the last untried Tea Desire tea I’d purchased and try this one. I didn’t want anything black for the late evening.
It smells very deeply vegetal, like that bagged ti guan yin I have.
Luckily it doesn’t taste anything like that. It’s light, but dark, not green, more closer to a very milk black. But not a Darjeeling black. I’m not tasting anything significant right now, but it’s still quite hot.
But I like the bright honey colour. I hope I see some semblance of the name in the taste when it cools a bit more. However, enjoyable so far. I think this is my kind of oolong. Not green, but definitely far enough away from black for a difference in taste.
When I breath out I’m getting that sort of Ceylon black taste that reminds me of honey (not in the taste, just in the Black Tea And Honey = The Perfect Match mind-set I grew up with as a kid). With that is a bit of Black-style astringency. But there’s also the sort of oolong taste I remember from Jade Teapot’s ti guan yin. Hard to explain.
There is almost a touch of bitterness as well. I spent some time trying to decide if I should go with two minutes or three, because the package reads three, but looking over the tasting notes many did two minutes instead. Perhaps next time I will try a lower temperature as well. Their samples are pretty hefty, I have a lot to experiment with.
I’m not getting any touch of the honey factor, but when I take large gulps I get a sweetness, and overall it has an appealing smoothness. Also getting more of a nutness. It’s odd, it smells vegetal but doesn’t taste it. I think someone said woodsy, and I can see that too, somehow, even though I don’t know what ‘woodsy’ should taste like. Deep, I guess.
The second steep has a sharper taste, less dryness.
My Simple Leaf order came in today. THE TIMING. I splurged on Tea Desire because I figured I had another week before my order came in. Now I’m SWIMMING in resealable plastic tea bags.
The smell is so fruity and delicious; It must be the grenadine. And I’ll admit to you right now, I haven’t the faintest idea what grenadine is. Let me google it.
Oh! …Looks like a pomegranate.
Anyways, my first sip was quite bitter, but it’s lessened considerably to just the back of my throat coupled with the usual dryness.
The flavours come through nicely, more as a background flavour that accompanies the tea well enough. Although I think the bitterness is starting to come back as it cools. I don’t think I’m much of a fan of the black base used in their flavoured teas. Maybe I should try making the tea below boiling next time (190F, perhaps) and see if it lessens the tannins.
Otherwise, there’s a hint of the fruityness, and I feel like I can almost smell vanilla, but I don’t think I can taste it. The ceylon used is lending its own tart sort of taste.
My next cup from the pot I tried with a dash of white sugar and milk. I wanted to go with honey, but I didn’t want to drown out the flavours. Tannins problem solved, and it helps bring through the fruityness of the grenadine. It’s sweet, fragrant. Sort of perfumy. Although the sweetness is probably from the sugar. It’s a perfumy sort of taste though. Light.
Second steep still carried the strong fruity smell, although the taste of both it and the tea itself was MUCH lighter. However, not bitter! Second steep was for five minutes.
Dear god does this smell delicious. It’s a heavy sweet creamy smell, with a dominant but not overpowering chocolate scent as well.
The initial taste is black tea, but the chocolate cream sweetness rushes in soon after, and lingers strongly in the after-taste. The taste is deep, and I think worthy of the ‘Irish’ in the name. I can see this going well with alcohol, actually, which is weird coming from a teetotaller like me.
This would be equally delicious with milk, I think. But testing that would require trekking all the way back upstairs to get some, and I’m lazy.
The tea base is strong and only faintly bitter. I’m sure the added flavours would be stronger with a loner steep time (the package said 3-5 minutes, I did 3 1/4). The flavours seem to have faded in later sips. They’re still there, though. I should try five minutes for my next attempt. I was originally going to go with five minutes, but changed my mind at the last moment.
It seems to be getting a bit more bitter the more it cools. Not good for the added flavours.
Also, it took a bit of will-power, but I kept myself from picking out the chocolate bits and eating them.