403 Tasting Notes
My package checked into customs last night. This morning I woke up and decided I’d give it a quick check before heading to class. Still in customs. Well, can’t complain, seeing as so far this has been probably the fastest ship I’ve seen. So I went upstairs… to find the package sitting on the diningroom table.
Decided mate was the way to go for the morning. Brewed this up at four minutes. You can smell the mate, and I think that adds to the sweet and nutty factor, because it does seem like I’m smelling pecans (well, I don’t remember them having much of a smell) and sweet caramel.
Starting sipping slightly too hot, but once it cooled enough, I get caramel followed immediately by the pecan. Not as much cheesecake, though there’s a tang in the aftertaste along with the mate which I think gives it a cheesecake feel.
Playing Guns of Icarus while sipping this. The oolong seems completely overtaken by the mate, though I think it might be coming through slightly oversteeped, seeing as I picked boiling water.
As it cools, definitely getting more pecan. Caramel is more in the back of the throat.
It’s strawberries and cream, but some of the bitterness from the tea makes it smell like strawberries and dark chocolate.
I steeped this too long the first time (five minutes, whoop). I was told it was a black tea, and the leaves look it (being a purple tea…), but once you steep it, the leaves turn green.
Steeped at three minutes, and still a bit strong. Will probably cool down the water next time. It’s strawberries, cream and a slightly oversteeped green tea. Getting steamed vegetables and a bit of roast. There’s a hint of cream in some sips, and lingering strawberry.
Since this’ the last of this sample, I might as well try and write something about it.
Overall, I’ve found my favourite teas from the sets I bought where the Azores ones. Other places were very unique, but the Azores teas were smooth, with ceylon honey and oak. This one is brisker, the leaves a bit more broken up, but still definitely a solid tea. It recommends only three minutes, but it CAN stand longer.
I’m thinking my next order will be more samples from places I haven’t tried yet, and a larger bag of an Azores black. If I can decide which. This one isn’t my favourite out of the batch—hopefully I’ll remember to review it before I finish them all off.
Smelt “tea” in the bag, but once I poured it into my pre-warmed gaiwan, I got a strong whiff of honey peach.
This is also kind’ve an excuse to test the little bamboo strainer I got from them as well. I usually just use a teaball-half as my strainer, but my inner need to buy tea accessories finally caved for this little bamboo one. It fits into my travel gaiwan bag well enough, and kinda matches the wood teaspoon I got with my Justtea oolong.
The leaf was surprisingly small (I don’t remember this one having a sample-jar in front of it), but the tea itself doesn’t seem to suffer any bitterness from it. Lightly green and toasty, not getting any peach from it but it’s only the first steep. Three’s usually the best. First steep was ten seconds.
Second and third steeps ~6 seconds. Eliminated the toastyness a bit with the shorter steep. Keep thinking I’m getting maybe hints of something fruity, but not sure.
Will try and post something more in-depth when I get a better chance to sit down with tea.
The dry leaf smells assam-like; barley and malt. It brews up a nice bright orange.
I don’t know what linseed tastes like, but this is a bit herbacious with mint that lingers into the aftertaste. Faint astringency, no bitterness. There’s a grainyness to it as well. Wouldn’t call it malty though.
The barley smell, coupled with the briskness makes me think an assamica leaf. The tea itself isn’t too heavy though, or very malty.
Well now this one’s just nostalgic. But maybe it’s just because I poured it into the little chipped teacup my great grandmother gave me growing up.
Smells like honey. Taste is similar, honey slightly tannic, I get what the package means by citrus. Slightly astringent slightly acidic. Hand in hand with ‘ceylon’. Orangey, almost. I could see this with a slice of fruit.
Smell of the dry leaf is a deep assam kinda of tea. Brewed, it smells sharper and brighter, like a ceylon. I know I do a lot of my notes in terms of other teas, but I’m better at comparing, I guess. The package suggested five minutes, but I did four on account of snooping the few existing tea blogs that reviewed russian teas and hearing about it being pretty strong.
Wow, this is surprisingly vegetal. The brew is amber, but the taste is light, spinach, no bitterness or astringency that I can find. The taste makes me reconsider my initial thought on the smell. There’s still ceylon there—spinach with honey. Will have to try the full five minutes in the future.
I picked this up a while ago, because I like black currant flavouring. And although it hasn’t been particularly bad, there’s just been something ‘off’ about it. Maybe it’s something in the artificial flavouriing used. It certainly tastes like the ‘black currant flavour’ I like, but there’s something else that I’m just not liking about it. The ceylon base is nice enough, though.
I don’t know what I’m not liking about this, but. Something metallic, maybe…