419 Tasting Notes
I decided to add some sugar to this time to see if it would make the fruit flavours pop. Interestingly it did just the opposite. It muted the base making it just taste like a malty black tea and it masked the fruity so that the tea tastes more like a heavier breakfast blend. So I guess I wont do that again. Part of what makes this interesting in the contrasting flavours of the fruit mixed with spicy flavours of the base.
Pear, it seems, is a hard flavour to replicate in a natural tasting way in teas, at least according to the reviews that I’ve read on this site. This tea actually doesn’t do that bad a job at it. It does it by combining apple and fennel which actually works to create a taste that is somewhere between baked pear and a bosc pear when the flavourings are well blended together. However I don’t really get a feeling or taste of cream in this tea. This is a gunpowder green tea crossed with silver needle style white, and I suppose that this base could produce a creamy feel if steeped properly. However the green tea used here is quite aggressive and bitter even when steeped at short intervals. The white tea looks quite nice though with lots of silver hairs. Both teas were sourced in Sri Lanka.
The tea brews to a nice light saffron yellow. There is a nice balance between the tea and the flavouring with both remaining present. The tea base is lightly astringent, providing a bit of a tang like you would get when eating fresh fruit, it has a faintly bitter vegetative quality to it. The fruit flavour ranges betwween apple with fennel and pear. When the fennel mixes with the apple flavour it really does
taste like pear, The tea is pleasant but I think that the suggested brew time of two minutes would make this tea overly bitter. The tea still remains slightly bitter even with shorter 40s steep times but then the fennel becomes more dominant over the fruit. At the second steep the green tea softens, becomes silkier, and slightly sweeter. The Flavouring remains consistant. Not a bad effort, I might like it better if I add sugar to tone down the bitterness, but It would have been nicer if the tea had been made with a sweeter base tea.
Dried leaf mostly dark, twisted and wiry with some lighter brown leaves and a few golden tips, highly aromatic, smell of spice (hints of rosemary), raisin and a hint of smoke and leather.
The brewed tea smells of spice, leather, hint of smoke, sour fruit like and unripe plum crossed with green mango. On the tongue the light smoke and leather joined with the sweet/sour unripe stone fruit flavours and was followed by smoke/charcoal taste with citrus/malt tones and a faintly floral. It was mildly astringent and highly tannic. If oversteeped and leafed it tastes bitter, woody, slightly smoky with notes of espresso, a hint of leather, savoury spice, and of sweet and sour fruity notes layered on top of bitter notes. The fruity notes open up to freshening feeling at top of mouth. Astringency increases with steep time. There is a faint floral notes in the
An interesting but not overwhelming flavour.
This tea smells completely different from the dried lemon grass I sometimes get at the supermarket. The dry bagged tea smells incredibly fresh, almost green and slightly floral, with a hint of fresh cut cedar wood. The tea brews to a dark yellow. The flavour is a slightly spicy green fresh taste that lacks the sour taste that dried lemon grass can have. The flavour has a hint of lemon verbena, and the flavour of candied lemon rind. The spice references cinnamon a little in that it is mild and sweet. All together the tea has a fresh clean taste with a hint of lemon.
I’ve been a little under the weather today so I’ve been experimenting with various versions of Chai.
So far I’ve done one with Bai Mudan, one with a cheap darjeeling and two versions of Kashmiri Chai made with Samovar green tea, next I’ll probably make ginger tea with an assam.
The white chai included bai mudan 3 pods of cardamon, 1/2 inch of cinnamon stick, white pepper cracked, 1 arm of star anise, and ginger. I added two much cardamon this time, but otherwise it was pleasant, but mild and smells of baking.
The darjeeling chai had similar spicing but tasted of lemony mild ginger and pepper with gentle spice, the tea base underneath left hints of almond and peach, lemon and a bit of malt and was faintly floral.
The Kashmiri Chai was spiced with cardamon and cinnamon, I added a pinch of baking soda and salt to experiment with pink tea. I made it two ways, steeped to which I added crushed almond and boiled.
The steeped tea brewed to a peachy green colour and tasted of crushed
almond, bitter spinach ,a faint hint of sweetness from the tea base, cardamon and cinnamon. It tastes light on the tongue, especially at the front of the mouth. It does not taste of salt and soda.
For the boiled tea I added the tea, spices and water appropriate to amount of servings, and a pinch soda and salt. I boiled the tea so that 1/4 to 1/3 of the liquid was lost, I then added back the
lost water and boiled it 2-4 minutes. The boiled tea is a dark, opaque, browny red. Taken of heat if you add milk, it goes pink. The tea is smooth and looses the heavy tanic feeling of the steeped tea. I was surprised how dark and red the tea goes considering this is
made with green tea.
The dry leaf has big chunks of chocolate and lots of coconut, but not a lot of tea. It smells strongly of cinnamon and chocolate with a touch of coconut. It brews to an aged oak brown.
The taste does not live up to the smell, it tastes thin and watery. The cinnamon is still strong. The chocolate has melted leaving a film on the top of the tea and it adds a sweet flavour, but it tastes a little stale and waxy at this point (I bought this tea before christmas). Perhaps this flavour is the result of the cross between the coconut and the chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla. Aspects of the flavour remind me of Ovaltine. The base is well hidden but may be contributing to the sweetness of the tea and be contributing a hint of bitterness. The cinnamon has toned down since I first bought this. I think I prefer it’s intensity now then when fresh. This tea actually tastes better than I remember it tasting, before I had to cut it with a yunnan in order to be able to drink it, but it still tastes very thin. I think it needs a larger percentage of actually tea in this blend to support the flavouring. As it is I am unlikely to repurchase this.
This is another green tea from yet another Polish Tea company. It’s probably my favourite raspberry green tea so far, as it has a really nice mix of a smokey, nutty flavoured base with a subtle raspberry flavour that lingers it is a really nice combination.
The dry tea smells tart, and brews to a bright yellow tinted green, it smells of a smokey, nutty tea with a hint of cooked raspberry. It tastes at first smooth, then freshening and lightly astringent, with a smokey , nutty base with hints of grass and spinach all overlain with raspberry. The raspberry is not a sweet fruit taste or a strong fruit taste but definitely raspberry. The tea finishes with that faintly bitter flavour you get from eating slightly under ripe berries.
This tea smells heavily of cloves with hints of cardamom, and cinnamon. The base contributes bitter almost coffee like notes to the tea and its flavour is followed by the taste of cloves with a hint of ginger at the front of the mouth, and a taste of cardamon at the back of the mouth. It creates an interesting sensation of warmth at the front of the mouth and cooling at the back. The base is moderately astringent but not overwhelmingly so. Not a bad chai the level of spicing is quite nice and the tea does have a nice bite to it, but not my favourite. I prefer a chai where cloves are less dominant, the ginger more prominent and with a richer, smoother base.
I decided to try this tea to see if I am intersted in exploring Jasmine black teas any further. It is a bagged tea from a company that uses single origin teas handled in an environmentally and socially ethical manner ( http://ceylonorganics.com/index.aspx).
The tea itself is not bad, although the base underneath it is a little bit thinner than I would prefer.
It comes as fannings packed in a standard unwrapped stapled teabag packed in foil. It smellls of a slightly powdery but still perfumy Jasmine scent. The tea brews to the colour of a dark bay horse. The brewed scent of jasmine is soft, powdery, and slightly fruity with the tea contributing a berry fruit tone to the scent and maybe a hint of orange. The tea starts out very smooth while feeling very tannic but not astringent by the end of the cup.
The flavour has quite a floral, powdery top note that reference jasmine, easter lilies and a hint of the aftertaste of allspice. Underneath this is a base of blackberry and chocolate with a hint of bitter malt. The tea is relatively mild with a light body. This tea is pleasant if you enjoy a very floral slightly perfumy tea, I enjoyed it enough that I would like to try some other Jasmine blacks and the tea base is smooth enough that I wouldn’t mind exploring other flavoured teas from this company.
The dry leaf is sprinkled with red bits of imitation bacon and smells of maple smoked bacon with a hint of something almost alcoholic. It smells of burning leaves with a hint of bacon or perhaps more cured ham, a hint of something sweet, and alcohol (later on it kind of deveops into that type of vanilla note found in some whiskeys). The first flavour note was of a slightly cocoa flavoured tea base followed by charred , smoked food notes than a hint of sweetness. It does capture a taste of maple smoked bacon, it doesn’t really taste like maple syrup. The bacon flavour is not overpowering. It reminds me of early fall mornings at my cousins cottage, when the woodstove is burning and I am enjoying a warm beverage in solitude and absorbing my surroundings. Not something I would crave everyday, but it does evoke some fantastic memories and it was certainly an ntersting tea to try. Thanks Rachel for the chance to try this tea.