347 Tasting Notes
I’ve been on the lookout for a good ice wine tea. Seems only proper as a Canadian. I’ve already got maple.
I had a Baroness Grey while I was there, but wasn’t too pleased with it. Picked up fifty grams of this and their House blend as I left.
It’s very mild. The tea, I mean—it’s oddly tasteless. Difficult to describe—I’m not getting a hot water taste. Almost kind of soapy. Which probably isn’t good. The notes of wine are there in the smell (sans alcohol, which is normally all I can smell or taste whenever I try to consume liquor), and there are sweet notes as I sip. Very odd.
Mellow, though. Reminds me of chamomile, even though this is SUPPOSED to be black tea.
Edit: Tea’s gone cold now, and it’s a soapy but grapy taste. Huh.
I opened this tin today to find that there was not even enough to provide a proper layer to the bottom of the tin. I let out a pathetic little sound at this. I’ve practically been rationing this since I got it. That’s quite a while ago, now—it’s getting on in age, and I really should finish it.
How will I go on once it’s done? With it’s perfect tippy golden leaves and precise ratio of smoke to tea-taste, and no charcoal, just deliciousness. I’ll have to branch out after this and find my next smoky tea. I’d like to try the rest of The O Dor’s, but I doubt I’ll find my plain perfect smoky tea there—they’ve just got a lot of interesting smoky blends with fruit.
I’m still trying to find a good tarry lapsang to taste too.
At any rate, this hit the spot this morning. Still delicious.
Sipping this again. Only steeped at two minutes, and it doesn’t taste too much different—although it’s been a while, so who knows.
It’s definitely green, I realize. But roasty, so that there’s a good vegetal taste under a barley and/or cooked rice sort of note. I like it.
Sipping this again, I’ve been getting this tinge of bitterness that’s sort of synthetic and reminds me of decaffenation. I know it isn’t, and the sharpness also makes me think of Darjeeling. Also, there is definitely Keemun in this; I’m getting that very slight breath of nut and smoke I personally associate with it.
Anyways, flipping through Kusmi’s teas as I drink this, I’ve concluded that Kusmi’s unflavoured blends have many more strongly disappointed reading notes compared to their flavoured’s. From my (meagre) experience, they definitely seem to put a little more effort into their flavoured blends.
This isn’t BAD, though. It’s a little sharp, but also goes well with orange. I’m beginning to run low on it, and I doubt I’ll get it again—I’d rather try some of Kusmi’s OTHER teas—although I hate that their tins are so permanently decorated. If I want to reuse it, in my obsession I’ll have to tape over all the pre-existing labels.
Hot banana just smells bizarre. This was gifted as a sample during my latest visit (I was there when they carried in a new shipment, and this was one of the new teas included). I don’t know if I’m liking it. Dry, the smell was just “dried banana” (my dad used to dry fruits). Again, brewed, hot banana smell. It’s just odd.
The taste of the banana is very mild—barely there. It does come back in the aftertaste a bit, and there’s a natural sweetness that lingers. I probably won’t buy it, but I’ve got a good sized sample to play around with.
Edit: There was another, odd, drying taste that I thought might be the tea base, but no—or well, maybe it is—but it reminds me of banana peal. Definitely.
Can’t do a detailed review because I’m about to fly out the door. In a hurry.
I got the “oak” she described in the smell, but didn’t get it right away in the taste. It’s cooled considerably since then though, and I’m getting something that could be described as a strong oak, perhaps. The tea is a very solid Ceylon overall though. I haven’t had a bag of just Ceylon in my cupboard for a while, so this is nice.
This smells delicious. Like candy—sour jubjubes or something. It makes my mouth water.
It’s giving me a craving for jelly babies.
Brewed, the smell isn’t AS strong but still there enough to make me hungry. Sniffing it more closely, I’m getting notes of Assam in there. Most of the tea descriptions for this tea note Ceylon and Assam as the base.
First sip is tart and sweet, and mixed with strong Assam notes. No bitterness yet, but Assam can tend do cause it at five minutes steep time, so I’ll probably consider reducing the time somewhat in the future.
The strawberry-lemon isn’t as strong as the smell, but it works because with the Assam-Ceylon as the base, all together it’s a very nice, “classic” taste. Screams British almost. In a good way. I think I’d like to liken it to a Lady’s Earl Grey (without it being Lady Grey).
Starting to get a bitterness from the Assam. It’s enough that the strawberry and lemon take a back-seat. Still very enjoyable, though.
As someone who rarely drinks green tea when it’s not mixed with black, I was a little obsessive today that all the parameters were perfect. So as a not-really-green-tea-drinker, I’d get the best out of it.
I got this as a sample from the Great Wall (they shower me in samples). Smells like slightly overcooked rice. Sadly, their giant tin didn’t have any rice that had managed to actually pop (I like calling it popcorn tea).
First sip… Is actually very pleasant. I can definitely get the toasted rice, and the green tea managed to turn out enjoyable and mellow. I remember trying some from Murchie’s very-cold-sample-pot. Tasted cold and slimy.
This is nice, though. Toasty. I could see me carrying this around in my tea libre.
Green’s coming out a bit more as it cools, but I’m still liking it.
I decided to take a break from all the new-found teacompanies I’ve been visiting lately, and return to an old favourite.
Nancy has a system there, where if you buy a certain amount of teas, you get one free. It’s a card-system—Tealicious’ business cards have boxes on the back, and she punches a hole for each tea you buy, and keeps them all organized in her desk.
Anyways, I didn’t start a card until maybe my third visit, but I’m already only one or two boxes away from a free tea. Hahah.
The leaves are as dark as midnight. That kind of black you obtain by mixing a bit of red, which gives the illusion that it’s even darker.
The tea and vanilla smell together is beautifully delicious. Brewed, the ratio of vanilla-smell to tea-smell is the same. The vanilla doesn’t overpower the tea.
I still love her tea base. It’s very slightly astringent at five minutes, but the vanilla smooths it out wonderfully. This is mellow, not STRONG but not weak. I think this is a very good balance. I’m not disappointed, even as a person who normally enjoys very strong vanilla.
Her tea base choice has its own somewhat creamy element… It doesn’t SEEM to come from the vanilla, although it goes very well with it. The base is also sliiightly malty… It’s listed as a “China” tea. As it cools I can smell the tea more. It baffles me, but it’s very nice.
I have no idea what’s in this, but she gave me the very last of the tin as a sample. There was just enough left for a cup.
I just know it’s black and green tea… And I can taste that. But there were also some huge purple-yellow flowers mixed in this (I had to pick them out to get a proper scoop, they were bigger than my teaspoon; I put them in the infuser with the tea, though—I just needed them out of the way to scoop better).
There’ll probably be information once they get their site up. There’s a sweetness, though. Maybe from the flowers. Reminds me of grenadine or whatever from Monk’s Blend.
There’s a touch of bitterness, but I didn’t very strongly take into consideration how much green tea might be in this, so it’s probably from that and the hotter temperature/longer steep time. Still, the bitterness and the stronger black tea does impart a “breakfast blend” feel. The sweet flavouring is just a nice touch.