354 Tasting Notes
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.
Enjoying this in my tea Libre. Yes, definitely DON’T steep it for more than three minutes, because the jasmine just takes over. Hints of jasmine I like. It can mix well. It’s pleasant. Lots of jasmine makes me squick.
The jasmine’s still fairly strong with three minutes. Vanilla is a definite second. If it could just overpower the jasmine life would be grand, because I like lots of vanilla. The bergamot… I taste hints of it from here to there, and it mixes somewhat oddly with the jasmine. Very nicely with the vanilla! Overall though, it’s more evident in the smell.
I’m actually at school, and this is now my second steep. So my timing probably isn’t perfect… Most likely a bit over three minutes. I’ve got the school’s hot water system temperature down, though. Will have to try two minutes next time, I think… But I’m sipping the second steep while working on my co-op application (which I will follow with some needed calculus homework).
When I sipped this in the store (they had it out as a sample) it was a good, strong vanilla with just a hint of jasmine. I should ask them what their perfect brewing temperature and time was… Hmm. There is a bit of bitterness from the green tea, so I’m definitely going to consider lowering the temperature next time.
Had about a teaspoon and a half of this left, so I just threw it all into a mug and steeped it for five minutes.
There’s a nice, good Yunnan Tea smell to it. The taste is very mild, but drying on the tongue. It’s sort of a smooth bitter. I could use buttery to describe it, almost. Perhaps.
But anyways, that’s the last of that sample. Not a fan enough of Yunnan to order it. Besides, I’ve got lots of OTHER teas I would already like to buy from Life in Teacup. And many more I’d just like to grab a sample of.