311 Tasting Notes
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES
I just love this tea a lot, okay? I confess that it’s really nice having a day off of work outside of the weekend, and I’m taking full advantage by, uhh, bingewatching cooking shows and drinking tea. Perfect. This one makes me so happy. It’s almond with cinnamon. How could I not love it?
Guess who picked up a giant box of tea from the post office this morning?
This happy little dork! BEST THURSDAY EVER
It’s like my mouth has gone mad with flavour. The smell and taste of this tea start out strong, with the buzzing, almost manic smoke of the lapsang standing out at the fore as you’d expect, but there’s an earthy backbone running under it, followed by sweet, true apple flavour. In the cup, this translates to a wonderfully textural, juicy finish. It’s dark, bright, calming, and absolutely delicious. I’m always slightly nervous with any blends where lapsang’s involved as it can easily overpower subtler flavours if you use too much of it or with the wrong thing, but the balance here is good. It’s like eating a bumper crop of fresh autumn apples around a campfire on a cool evening. A cunning blend indeed.
One of the perks of being a temp is getting to fascinate/horrify a whole new group of coworkers with my interesting teas every time I start a new contract! As it happens, today’s the last day of my new contract (only 3 days, and I bloody like it here! Boooooooooooo) and I think the response to my interesting teas has been largely positive, though I must say this is a very coffee-and-tea-friendly workplace to begin with, with two fully stocked kitchens. GLORIOUS. So I decided to make another steep of this while waiting for the messenger post to arrive.
Ohhhhhhh baby. I don’t quite understand why coffee works with tea, but I suppose if it’s going to work with any tea it’ll be a pu erh, with its complete lack of bitterness and dark notes. I think I actually like this better than coffee (and I do love a good cup of coffee), and it’s one of my favourite pu erhs. It’s a kind of magic. I love Bluebird a lot.
(And yeah, you’ll notice I’m going through my Bluebird samplers again. They’re just the right size bags to carry with me to work and back without weighing me down/looking a bit crazy)
Steeped this twice at the new office today, and OHHH BABY how much have I missed an office with a real kitchen. It was magnificent. They had mugs! They had spoons! They had a sink and so much fresh milk in the fridge and freshly ground coffee!
OH OFFICE, LET ME KEEP YOU.
Seriously though, I don’t know if I just got a lot of oolong in this spoonful specifically, but it was definitely prominent enough alongside the peppermint on first steep, the latter of which actually did still hold its own on steep two, albeit milder. Such an indulgently cozy combination. Ohhhhh baby.
Hmm. Feeling it a bit less today, actually, even though this cup is basically half Amy Pond and half sipdown of Captain Jack with the aim of minimizing the things I don’t like about each blend. I’m not sure if it’s the berry with the chai that I feel sort of meh about, or the amount of rooibos taste I’m getting, but it’s not a favourite. It’s tasty, but not something I’d buy an entire thing of. Sorry, Amy!
I got this tea when lovely Gentleman actually suggested we go all the way out to Shoreditch just to visit the T2 shop when we were in London last weekend. Bless his beautiful heart.
I also got it because I knew basically nothing about wattleseed except that I’d never tried it before, and it was an Australian thing. T2 being an Australian company, I thought it’d be appropriate to give this one a go. And I’m so glad I did. Straight out of the bag I get a scent of malty, sweet tea, redolent with cinnamon, chocolate, and almond. Then I went and forgot I was making it and sort of let it steep for 9 minutes.
And you know something? Still delicious! A little tannic, but that’s to be expected with such an overbrew. It’s, like, my ultimate comfort flavour combination. The cinnamon is sweet and warming, lightened by the roasty, toasty presence of almond with hints of cocoa, bolstered by robust black tea that I’m quite sure would be nice and smooth if you brew it for 3-4 minutes instead of like ten. It’s a keeper, that’s for sure. Highly recommended!
I saw this in Cornwall and couldn’t not get it as a souvenir of my visit, right? It’s tea! PIRATE TEA!!!
And given that it was under 2 quid for a box, I’m happy with my decision. It’s more on the “light and lively” side of everyday black teas, while I tend to be more a fan of the “robust, smooth, and tastes vaguely of ovaltine” end of things. But though it tends to go a little tannic if you let it sit longer than, like, a minute, it actually kind of tastes of the seaside. There’s, like, a seaweedy hay note to it that’s piqued my interest. Tastes of the grassy dunes and slimy shores of Cornwall itself, and that’s no bad thing. Go figure!
I just put my finger on exactly what this tastes like: taai-taais, those wonderful pillowy soft Dutch biscuits, egg-glazed and golden shiny, redolent of aniseedy deliciousness.
And this is coming from somebody who generally doesn’t like aniseed-tasting stuff. It’s just… so good in taai-taais, though, just as it is in this tea. Because this tea tastes like taai-taais.
Having just reminded myself of how damn good this tea is, and being about half a mug away from a sipdown, I am kicking the crap out of myself for not picking up a full bag in my last adagio order. Bad Kelsh!
Cold-brewed a big ol’ bottle of this to sip on in my second-last day on this contract (FROWNY FACE). So far today, I’ve done about 20 minutes total of work, and otherwise started knitting a new piece for etsy, edited a page of a short story for which the deadline is looming, and investigated how the heck to stay in the UK after my 2-year visa’s up.
(It’s not eligible for renewal and a trained monkey could do the kind of administrative work they seem to think is all I’m good for here DON’T YOU PEOPLE KNOW I’VE GOT A STUPIDLY HIGH IQ AND BAGS OF EXPERIENCE FERCHRISSAKES so there’s no chance in getting the uni to be able to sponsor me, when it’d be so much easier for them to just hire somebody else to do my job, if I even have one in 9 months time, so guess who’s probably going to get married next spring so Gentleman and I can continue living in the same place? Not as romantic a proposal as I’d have liked, but there you have it.)
This tea is still lovely. I expect I’ll crave it less as the weather gets colder and I want cozier things, but for now, it’s magnificent, sharp and melony. I can’t believe I’m the only person who’s reviewed it on here!
Are the Steepster servers still being funky? I have no idea. I’m using Internet Explorer at the office so I just kind of expect every website to look a bit screwy anyway.
I actually had this cup of Donna last night, but later-noting because servers and whatever. It’s still really cozy and cinnamony and I just wish the flavours were a lit-tle more forward, but I do think it’s probably my favourite of these New Who blends I’ve had the opportunity to try.
(Speaking of which, I may have slightly gone ahead and made my own Twelve blend, rather than waiting to see what somebody else comes up with!)
Oh Donna, there’s totally like only half a serving of you left now, and I’ll miss you when you’re gone. Will I invest in a whole thing of it? Probably not? But I still really like it.