373 Tasting Notes

90

The smell is VERY salty and smoky. Like campfire (or bacon). I allowed a few members of my family to take a smell, but non were very impressed (in fact, most were a little weirded out). I had to give up on my explanation that it’s meant to smell smokey because of how it’s made, and no it was NOT a Bacon Flavoured Tea (although I do plan on ordering that from 52 teas one day).

Once brewed, the smoky smell is lessoned, and slightly more tea-scented (slightly!). The colour is nice and dark, reddish.

TASTES smoky. A little too hot to tell, but the smoke does trail off into the aftertaste. It’s like drinking campfire. I think this is a Camping Tea. The sort of thing I would drink around the fire after a day of hiking, to replace hot chocolate. I thought this would be something that I would find too strong and would require milk with, but it’s not. I think milk would ruin the savoury flavour.

Continued: The second steep (6 minutes, no-longer-boiling water) was about as flavourful as the first. I’m sure I could have gotten one or two more steeps out of this, but I have to go to work, sadly.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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77

I’ve never been very fond of green tea, but I got the Series 3 set because I love Earl Grey, I love smoky, bold teas, and I wanted a nice green tea for the days I’m in the mood for one (plus, that Damn Fine Teas patch is pretty rad).

The jasmine smell was very strong, but I don’t use jasmine-scented products, so my mind didn’t immediately jump to ‘jasmine soap’ or anything similar.

The jasmine carried over into the smell of the brewed tea, but not in the taste at all. Three minutes turned out perfectly, so the tea was very lightly vegetable tasting and almost sweet; quite mild (in the past I’ve made green tea too strong and I can’t stand that kind of taste). The colour was a pale green, although the drips coming off of the teaball as I removed it were a nice goldy yellow.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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62
drank Uva Ceylon by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
373 tasting notes

This morning, this is my Wake Up AJ, Wake Up And Finish Your Geomorphology Report. And sadly, it is not doing its job as well as I had hoped. I need an assam. Something stronger and biting. All I have is Irish Breakfast, however this was three bags in a large pot, and I only HAD… three bags of Irish Breakfast left, and I didn’t want to use them all up just like that.

I can hear the helicopters circling for the torch passing by my house today. I should pop out and see how close they’re heading by my house; I missed them the other day when they ran past my campus.

I hope this doesn’t effect me getting to class on time.

Jillian

I imagin people must be going nuts in Vancouver – heck I’m going nuts over here waiting for the 16th (I got tickets!!!!).

AJ

I’m not in the heart of Vancouver very often, so I’ve managed to avoid a lot of the insanity I assume is occurring. Although I did see some of the nice displays they had set up in the streets, and was momentarily swarmed that day when the Mascots made an entrance and everyone started rushing past me to get to them.

I’ve also managed to miss all three possible chances I had of seeing the torch. Bah! I’m just unlucky and too busy, I suppose. No tickets for me though—but I have been wearing Canada shirts continuously.

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82

To start, the can smells VERY strongly of cloves and very little else. The tea leaves themselves are quite small, and you can see whole heads of clove and and little pods, and I swore I saw a few pepper seeds in there too.

Followed the label for brewing, but cut it in half because I didn’t really feel like four cups. The instructions are fairly typical for chai I suppose. Was easy enough to make.

Unsweetened, nice cafe colour, first sip… Very spicy! And milky. Perhaps I’ll cut back on the milk (the instructions ask a ratio of 1:1 water milk, and 1tbsp of chai). The spice is somewhat… tasteless. I can taste spice, but nothing in particular. I think I might add a bit of honey and see what that does, although I like it like this too. Luckily it doesn’t taste as it smells. Cloves and nothing else.

Sweetened it… mm, didn’t really bring out any individual flavours. Maybe a little, and now I’m just inexperienced in telling what I’m tasting. Still wonderfully spicy. Mmm. Yeah, I think I taste the cloves now a tad. Cinnamon too, maybe.

I can have trouble with spicy things, so this isn’t my FAVOURITE favourite and I doubt I’d be able to handle drinking it every day. But that’s fine, it’s great for occasions.

Christened my OTHER new teapot with this tea. Mostly because it has a big mesh strainer for me to pour directly from the stove pot into. This one’s quite big. Could probably hold over four cups, wow.

Preparation
Boiling

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79
drank Earl Grey by Hazo
373 tasting notes

I’m christening my new teapot (my SECOND new teapot—a lovely gift from a friend! And here, I had gone out and purchased a new one not two days ago; but there was nothing I could have done, the teapot was already on its way from the US of A by the time I decided to go out and buy a new one to replace my old) with a pot of this, and I find that I just can’t seem to oversteep it. No bitterness, none! Lovely and mild, and nice with honey. This is probably my favourite tea that I have on-hand at the moment.

Of course, I’m still waiting for my Series 3 to come in… I expected them TODAY, but instead I came home to a new (to me anyways—it’s vintage!) teapot instead! So tomorrow, perhaps. I hope.

But now I’ve got three lovely teapots (and a fourth with a broken handle; I think I’ll fix it anyways with a bit of glue, but I’m sure it will be too fragile for use—sad, sad. It was a present from my late great grandmother). I think I’m on the verge of a full out teapot collection here.

The tea is nice and almost sweet, not bitter at all, although not strong, and the bergamot is just there in the taste (very strong in the smell of the leaves, less so in the smell of the tea). I’m just finishing off my second steep, which is practically no bergamot at all, leaving just a mild tea.

Four minutes first steep, six minutes second steep.

Preparation
Boiling

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79
drank Earl Grey by Hazo
373 tasting notes

I found the smell of this stuff amazing. It wasn’t Bergamot Citrus And Tea, no. It was BERGAMOT. Not bergamoty citrus, but a FULL, rounded bergamot smell; I am unsure how to describe it, actually. Just… the fruit, instead of the essence.

Anyways, I picked this up at Winners of all places. I went in looking to buy a new teapot—if everyone missed my sap story of how my old one died in my hands (and gave me a nasty cut while doing so)—specifically one for loose leaf with a basket infuser. I found one! Although it is a little BIG for me. But I also discovered that Winners has a whole selection of teas. Specifically loose leaf, and many from very “British” brands (“True London Tea” “British Teas”, all sporting pictures of Big Ben and red phone boxes on them), and directly beside them in the same aisle? The preserves selection. I dubbed it “The British Aisle”. I was so amused I took out my phone and told Luke (who also has a Steepster!) he was also amused.

Anyways! The tea. The full bergamot smell was lost in the tea itself (although the wet leaves still smelt strongly of it), returning to the much more normal bergamot oil and tea smell. Probably a good thing because I couldn’t smell any tea in the dry stuff, really. I can’t give too apt a description of the colour because I made it in my cafe cream-brown mug, but it does look a good shade of amber. Slightly reddish.

Waiting for it to cool a bit. Hot it doesn’t taste too strong. I haven’t added any honey yet, I’m waiting for it to cool first to decide. Although I’m liking it already! And I’m afraid that if I love it, that Winners won’t stock any more of this mysterious “Hazo” brand (I had to look it up online, it’s very new and mysterious). Winners is the kind of shop that just Gets Random Stuff In (I found gauntlets in there once!), so I’m sure that once they sell off Hazo (there was only Hazo Earl Grey in there—three tins, two after I purchased one), that I will never see it again and will have to attempt to buy it from the website I found.

The taste isn’t very strong, hmm. It’s quite weak, but that’s probably just me figuring out my tea-water proportions still. The taste was pleasant, though, the bergamot isn’t anywhere near as strong as in the smell; good ratio to the tea. It’s not bitter at all, which I like. Earl grey isn’t my morning tea choice—it’s not strong enough—but it is my lunch time and between classes choice, so I think I will be drinking this one a lot more. I might have to start bringing the tin, a mug and my teaball to class.

Hrm. I should invest in one of those travel loose leaf mugs…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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drank Warmth – Cinnamon Spice by Tetley
373 tasting notes

I have no idea how old this is. I wanted tea, but it’s late and I want to actually SLEEP tonight, so I dug through my mother’s freezer (she keeps all her opened and unopened teas in there, tsk tsk) and came across this. The little jar was open, and half of the bags were littered around the freezer, but I thought “why not”.

First off, as soon as I picked up the container I could smell the cinnamon. WOW cinnamon. And it’s not just the smell—cinnamon dust coats my fingers and everything else.

Brewed, sixish minutes I think. Dear god the cinnamon. I took one sniff and thought, “crap I nevermind, I don’t want cinnamon tonight”, but I can’t bring myself to dump it…

Initial sip, tastes… like water, and maybe slightly woody? Nothing else—every time, the cinnamon doesn’t kick in until it slides down the back of your throat, and then it’s quite strong (and trails into the aftertaste for a bit). I think I can taste cloves in there too. Surprisingly, I’m tasting no orange… Perhaps it’s been ruined by the freezer. Oh wait—I think I can smell a bit of orange if I exhale, but not taste it…

Not as strong as it smells, luckily. I’m sure it would taste better if it hadn’t been lying around open in the freezer. It’s not bad. I don’t know if I should give a rating on this because of the condition I found the bags in. Everyone else seems to have liked it, and I don’t DISlike it.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Lady Grey by Twinings
373 tasting notes

The dry teabag smelt just like regular earl grey, however, wet, you could definitely smell the other citrusy fruits.

Surprisingly smooth! Although the citrus seems to be more in the smell than the taste. Well, you get more of the… acidic taste, and not so much the taste of the individual fruits, I suppose.

Decided to add some honey… Hmm, maybe that was too MUCH honey. Now I can taste nothing other than honey and tea. Mm… well, give it a moment and you can still sort of taste citrus in the background somewhere.

Aah, yep, the taste’s returning. I think it just needed to cool a bit more (the pot’s warmer than my cup, after all). I like it. Probably would go better if I hadn’t dolloped the honey like that. Like it waaaay better than Twining’s earl grey.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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37
drank Earl Grey by Twinings
373 tasting notes

I’ll admit, although I’m pretty sure I’ve had this in the past, it’s probably only ever been with lots of milk and honey, and never without.

At any rate, yuck. I’m reminded of Sinister’s tealog concerning it, and Captain Picard (I am a Trekkie myself, although I did tend towards Voyager—I was a fan of the Doctor), and specifically the quote “watery slurry” which is Twining’s Earl Grey.

I didn’t make it particularly hot—I need to replace my kettle, I really do—but before that, the bags smelt deliciously of Earl Grey. Sniffing the wet bag, and the tea, all I could smell was overpowering bergamot. When I sipped it, that’s really all I could taste. Water and strong bergamot. Now, bergamot is bitter, like grapefruit, but the bitter that I tasted seemed more like the kind you get when you go to take the zest of something and cut too deep into the pith.

I don’t know, just my thought.

The tea taste was watery and way in the background. I tried to add some honey, and it helped somewhat—the tea is slightly more noticeable, but overall still very… I don’t want to say yuck again, because it wasn’t horrible.

However, it did give me a thought. Earl Grey scented cologne. Anyone? Interesting, eh? I remember seeing a how-to for green tea perfume somewhere. I’m sure it could be adapted. It’d give me something to do with the rest of the teabags. Although I’ll try drinking this again when I can get the water hotter.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
AJ

Don’t suppose there’s a manlier version of that, hmm? Still something I’m bookmarking and looking into later.

JacquelineM

If you happen to have a L’Occitane around you, take a sniff. I can smell the tea and bergamot, and I don’t think it’s super feminine or super masculine. I think it smells like a cup of earl grey tea with sugar in it. But fragrance is so personal… I started a thread in discussions here on Steepster about tea fragrances and some people had some other recs that they liked:

http://steepster.com/discuss/126-tea-perfume

AJ

Hmm, interesting. Thank you.

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62
drank Uva Ceylon by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
373 tasting notes

I’ve taken to drinking this every day in the morning, now. It has a bit of bite to it, even with milk and a bit of honey. It’s not a bad thing. It wakes me up in the morning.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I change icons often, apologies. On that note, they are usually Doctor Who related (so no, that is not me pictured in the icon, it is most likely one of the Doctors).

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in the third year of university, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot. It’s the highlight of a good day if I have time for a pot.

My notes and reviews will often sound dis-jointed, repetitive and confused, as usually I don’t work on them as a whole, but rather add notes as I sip without rereading what I’ve already typed.

On most occasions I won’t take my tea with anything (I reserve milk for chai). Occasionally agave nectar if I want to test to see if it’ll smooth it out. Chais I will make with either the nectar or honey. Although on occasion I will sweeten unflavoured blacks the Russian way—with jam or jelly. Occasionally I will take it instead with a slice of a citrus fruit. Normally orange, occasionally lemon if I have any on hand.

I prefer Earl Greys.

Lastly, I keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

Also, I am a Doctor Who fanatic. As one may have noticed by my icons. For the record, my favourite Doctor is number three, Jon Pertwee.

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Location

BC, Canada

Website

http://artoftea.teatra.de

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