513 Tasting Notes
My third round of Teavivre teas arrived today! I couldn’t wait to get home and get started.
This is my first Golden Monkey. I know, right? How could I be such an avid black tea drinker, but missing out on this? Anyway, I opened the packet to smell it as the water heated, as usual. Faintly smoky, with hints of cocoa, hay, fruit, and malt. So deliciously promising.
Even after only two minutes, the tea was a dark red amber. It smelled less smoky and more malty, still reminding me of fresh clean hay. The taste, of course, is fantastic. It reminds me a lot of some of Teavivre’s other black teas… they all have a distinct cocoa-like taste that I’m starting to think may come from their tea region itself. It’s delightful, and I haven’t tasted it anywhere else so far. But it’s difficult to describe. I know it may seem weird, but it kinda tastes the way a new, clean piece of printer paper smells. I’m also getting the yam/sweet potato taste others have mentioned, and I really like it. This is such a savory, satisfying black tea.
This is another sneakily nabbed tea from the pub where my boyfriend works.
It’s been a while since I’ve had darjeeling. This one is rather peppery, especially in the scent, and sort of herbal tasting. The muscatel flavor is definitely there in the forefront, along with a taste that reminds me a bit of oolong for some reason. Like a faint nuttiness. There is a bit of fruit flavor hiding in there, too. It’s actually a lot more complex than I was expecting.
The packet said to brew it for 4 minutes, but honestly, I would maybe do 3:30 instead to cut down on the nutty, slightly oversteeped taste. It would keep it from getting harsh or bitter in the finish. Mine hadn’t exactly reached that point, but I could taste it getting there.
Ok, this was a rushed decision at 3 AM in the grocery store with the boys. I needed a plain black tea for making pitchers, and this was under $3. And somehow, when I read the words “black” and “pearl”, I thought this was going to be actual black pearls. Like tea rolled into little balls, like decent tea companies do. I didn’t read the package, okay?
But no, this is black tea that’s crushed but with little dust. Even after almost five minutes, it… kinda tastes like nothing. It’s, as one of my brothers called it, just brown water. It’s also kinda faintly bitter and astringent. It kinda smells like black tea?
Also, “long-leaf”? Is that something Lipton made up?
I gave this another go today, iced as usual. It still doesn’t taste much like gingerbread to me, but it does sort of taste like a cookie or graham cracker. It could use some vanilla, I think. And next time I make it, I’m going to add milk. Milk or whipped cream would make this pretty yummy first thing in the morning.
I wish this was more gingery, too. Hmm, maybe other brands are doing this better. I should do some research.
This is another tea I got in a trade with Spencer. I made it iced and lightly sweetened in one large batch to share with my brother.
The leaves are very dark for a golden tip. And they were really crushed up. Not by fault of the trade, going through the mail, or whatever. This was very uniform, as if the leaves had been shredded tiny before being processed. Or during the process, I’m not sure.
It’s slightly astringent, but not bitter even after almost five minutes. A little malty, with an aftertaste that makes me think of cheap tea bags for some reason. Kinda average as far as Assams go, nothing really stands out about it to me. But it packs a nice punch of caffeine.
Yesterday, I declared that I would stop sweetening my tea. I drank my Dilmah Earl Grey without it and honestly, kinda suffered through it. But I stuck with it again today and brewed this up, adding only ice.
Yeah. I can’t do this. It’s going to be some kind of low calorie sweetener from now on, because all the sugar I’ve been consuming lately has been hurting my waistline. Anyway, um, about the tea…
Got it in a trade with Spencer. This is pretty tasty. The bergamot could be a bit stronger and cleaner-tasting, but it’s not bad. I particularly like the creamy aspect. But as I drank it, all I could think was “Man, this would be good with some sugar…” Especially since I brewed it on the strong side, and it was pretty bitter. I wish I had some more… I feel like I can’t even properly review it after today…
So, my man works for Leon’s Full Service, and this is one of the teas they carry. He snuck me into the little server station and opened a case that had all kinds of Mighty Leaf sachets. I picked this and a darjeeling while no one was looking.
Sadly, I have to agree with what a lot of you guys have already said. While this is actually pretty good, it’s just not great. I gave it longer than the brand recommends by 45 seconds, and that did make the black tea pretty strong and bitter. (But I like that.) Anyway, I prefer my Earl Greys to have a stronger bergamot flavor, and this one is on the mild side. You can smell it before you sip, like an exotic perfume, but it doesn’t translate much into the tea. And the black tea base they use is really, really standard. Boring, even.
What I’m trying to say is that Harney & Son’s Earl Grey Supreme has ruined me forever.
I got this in a trade with Spencer, as I just can’t get enough Earl Grey these days.
I have to say, this is the first EG I’ve ever gave a thumbs down. In his letter, Spencer mentioned that he didn’t care for it. I thought that surely, I’d like it anyway, but no. It’s like a cheap, sharp Ceylon with the stingiest brush of bergamot. I almost don’t taste it. I’ll finish the rest, but this is not a good first impression for this company.