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6 Tasting Notes

77

At first, Rosegarden by the Bayswater Tea Company looks like a rather ordinary black tea with its familiar murky dark brown. But sniff it and get immediately transported to some magic carnival ride through a cloud of cotton candy.

It smells as if a rose and a watermelon had an unholy love child which in turn was used to flavor the latest line of Jolly Rancher candies. The taste, however, doesn’t live up to the aroma. There’s a subtle citrus note at the first steep which loses its potency in subsequent steeps when a hint of an astringent tang starts creeping in.

Recommended for: lovers of fair food
Brewing suggestions: boiling water/1 teaspoon per 1 cup water/steep 5 min

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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78

Not all chamomile teas are created the same. Whenever I need something to knock me out for the night, I turn to Stash’s Chamomile Tea. For some reason, it’s more potent in its effects compared to other brands.

I find the aroma of this tea very strong—a musky flowery smell which almost overwhelms the senses as if one is trapped in a chamomile warehouse. It also tastes rather musky, but in a rather pleasant way. It’s the beckoning finger of the sandman, promising a night of undisturbed rest.

And unlike a lot of other things, it actually delivers on that promise.

Recommended as: an alternative to a sleeping pill
Brewing suggestions: boiling water/1 teabag per 1 cup water/steep 5 min

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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64

Symphony is a black tea by Bayswater Tea Company. The best way to describe this tea is “sitting pretty.” There’s really little about it that jumps up as better than average. The liquid is a dark amber color and the aroma, after the first steep, is sweet and slightly floral. The taste is sweet lemon, pleasant to be sure, but nothing fancy. Almost sleepy. In subsequent steepings, the taste of lemon becomes more pronounced.

Recommended for: potpourri enthusiasts
Brewing suggestions: boiling water/1 teaspoon tea per 1 cup water/steep 3 min

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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64

I assume this entry is the same tea that I tried. On the company website, it’s now called “Organic Tamayokucha Green Tea (Light Caffeine).”

For those of you who know me, I scheduled regular write-ins for National Novel Writing Month at Moscow Bagel & Deli when I lived in Idaho. And on those cold November evenings, I would always order a large cup of tea. And I always chose from the selection a teabag of Organic Tamayokucho Green Tea by the Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Company. Why? It was the only green tea I liked from the selection. And green tea, for me, is a familiar thing. It doesn’t become a distraction in of itself when I’m concentrating on something else. This is one of those times when a diva tea is not wanted.

The tea is almost yellow with an aroma and taste that was very mild. There’s no bitter, astringent, or off tastes. It’s green tea, stripped to the most basic. There’s no wow factor, but I think that’s the whole point of its charm. It’s stoic, supporting, and gets the job done.

Recommended for: those scared of strong green teas
Brewing suggestions: 90°C/1 teabag per 1 cup water/steep 5 min

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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94

It’s like a night sky in a strange dimension.

Bayswater Tea Co. makes another green tea variety called Shooting Star. When I first brewed it, the color was a dark yellow-green, not unusual for a green tea, but there was also a shimmering oil suspended in the liquid, making the tea look like the starry sky at night if you first put it through a Lovecraftian blender. But don’t let the appearance put you off.

The aroma and taste was subtle but suggestive. It’s faintly musky and slightly sweet with a hint of vanilla and a teasing nutty finish. None of this diminished in subsequent steepings. It put me to mind of sitting huddled underneath a sleeping bag from the chilly autumn wind. And gazing upward, waiting for the stars to align…

Recommended for: everyone, even non-Cthulhu fans
Brewing suggestions: 80°C/1 teaspoon tea per 1 cup water/steep 2 min

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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30

Last Christmas, my sister gave me several loose leaf tea samplers from the Bayswater Tea Co. And after going through the backlog of teabags that I had accumulated through grad school, I decided to give these a try.

Ginger Bees is one of Bayswater’s varieties of green teas. It reminded me, and not entirely in a pleasant way, of honeysuckle bushes. On the first steeping, an overpowering and unavoidable foral wall punched my nose. It’s wild, it’s pungent, it’s like a bully kicking my ass and rubbing my face into a compost of lawn clippings and dead flowers. I could hardly taste the ginger or the green tea as the floral notes have laid the smackdown on every other flavor in the tea. In subsequent steepings, the taste and aroma rapidly diluted.

Recommended for: honeysuckle maniacs
Brewing suggestions: 80°C/1 teaspoon tea per 1 cup water/steep 2 min

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Profile

Bio

I’m a microbiologist who writes fiction in my spare time.

I prefer oolong and green teas. However, I consider myself a bit of a novice so I’m willing to try anything at least once.

Location

MT

Website

http://www.gamalei.net

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