48 Tasting Notes
I remember my obsession with tea beginning back in winter of 2008. I came down with a severe case of strep throat and it literally felt like I was swallowing razor blades, and I was just miserably sick. Besides getting antibiotics, I also got some lozenges and a pack of Tetley green tea to help soothe the pain. At that time, I was completely ignorant of how to properly brew tea, let alone green tea, so what I did was I boiled a pot of water and just dumped the tea bags in there for it to brew. After that I added heaps of honey because I just could not appreciate plain tea back then. The tea, although sweetened to the point that it barely seemed like green tea at all, turned out to be a life saver and I could forget the pain during the short moment I was drinking it.
This green tea from Upton kind of brought back that memory, and along with it the fondness I once had for green tea. It has very little if any astringency or grassy taste and is just really smooth from start to finish. The name of this tea “Temple of Heaven” is very fitting, since I feel like it cleanses my soul while it rests in eternal bliss.
I have no idea why, but the rating for this tea has gone really down after my last two purchases. The first samples I received directly from Bigelow was quite amazing as I remember it, but the purchased ones did not wow me as much since I found the flavor to be somewhat “weird” tasting, or even artificial. So sadly, I don’t think I will be buying this anymore.
So it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve received my order from Upton. I’ve ordered four kinds of teas, and so far I’m happy with all of them. Also, the service from Upton was top notch, since I received the teas in the mail in just 5 business days. This was very unusual for something shipped via USPS First Class International so I was very surprised.
Now, about this tea. It’s certainly got its characteristic body to it, but I found it to be lighter than the East Frisian Blend. Also, the malty flavor was somewhat subtle, compared to another Assam I’ve tried in the past. This tea would be great for drinking anytime of the day, but I would definitely lean towards the stronger East Frisian in the morning.
Pretty good standard chai tea. I would have liked a bit more of tea flavor, but they got the spice just right. I’ll try steeping this for a bit longer next time. I had a muffin with it and it was good. Bought a dozen for $5 at Safeway (gotta love those Friday sales).
This is a blend of Assam and Kenyan teas which come in a round tea bag, but don’t let this fool you into believing that they will taste like Tetley’s (no offence to the Tetley drinkers, I once heavily enjoyed their green tea!). This tea really surprised me. When I drank the Yorkshire Tea from ToH, I remember saying that it was the smoothest I have drank. Well London Cuppa resepctfully disagrees with that statement. Not only is it velvety, it is also slightly creamier than other teas I have drank. I have to try it without sugar next time, but I think I’m sensing some notes of honey, and that might be part of what makes this tea so full bodied and rich in texture. Also it has less of that wood/straw characteristic that the Yorkshire Tea has, but has a slight touch of briskness to it.
The Mr.Coffee Mug Warmer I ordered from J&R arrived today in the mail despite the Canada Post rotating strike going on nowadays. I saw in the news yesterday that the government passed a back-to-work legislation that will force the union postal workers to return to their jobs by next week or so. Not sure how I feel about this though because there are people saying that these workers are overpaid with much too generous benefits, pensions, vacations, etc. (Canada Post is a crown corporation BTW for those unaware), but I’m sure that this would be untrue for most of the hardworking people there that would surely deserve what they are getting. Anyways… the mug warmer seems to be working great, except that it’s barely doing anything for this mug I have that has a bottom with its edges protruding out. I tried one with a flat bottom and the tea remained quite warm and even hot near the end of the cup.
I bought this tea quite a while ago, and I was surprised to find that I didn’t log this one. Compared to the recently logged Irish Breakfast, I think it has a much cleaner taste although still maintaining a bold, robust profile. It has a light body with not much astringency, and has subtle notes of malt and wood(I read oak somewhere in a review of an anonymous Scottish Breakfast).
It has been quite a while since I’ve been away from Steepster. It is not that I have completely lost interest in teas and noting down my feelings about them, but it is perhaps my laziness kicking in plus all the studying I had to keep up with from school. Now that I am enjoying my summer break, I seem to have more time to relax and enjoy the passing of time.
Something to note for myself is that in the recent months, I have now completely moved away from green tea and acquired a heavy preference for black teas. This could be due to being “burned” by the bad order I made quite a while ago from Specialteas (which is now out of business BTW). I had to throw away nearly 10oz of it due to it getting old without anyone in the family willing to drink it. Anyways, I am not quite sure if I will come back to trying other green teas in the future but as it stands I am now predominantly a black tea drinker.
This is the first Irish breakfast tea that I have tried, and also my first order from Upton Teas Imports. From what I have read, it is supposed to have a very robust, bold, and strong character that gives you a jolt in the morning just like coffee does, but perhaps to a lesser degree. And from what I’ve tasted, it is quite exactly that. The liquor is nearly full-bodied, and it lacks the astringency that I would have expected and is therefore capable of some over brewing. Since Irish breakfast teas are mainly blended with Assams, I thought it would have a very malty taste but instead the malt was more towards being in the background while the warm toasty taste was what hit my palate most of the time. Overall, a very good C.T.C. tea that I will see myself buying again in the future.
This tea is spicy as hell. After trying Bigelow’s Vanilla Chai sampler and being absolutely delighted with it, I chose to get this chai tea because I couldn’t find Bigelow at my local supermarket. This tea denied all the expectations I had, as I hoped for a toasty mellow tea with just enough spice to add a new dimension to it. What I tasted was a tea that was very heavy on the spice (particularly ginger?), and in this case more was definitely not better. I even felt that the spices tasted like some artificial chemical, and I couldn’t take that off my mind throughout the cup. Also, the tea flavor was definitely lacking, just like the other Stash tea I tried.
EDIT: No wonder I found this tea spicy. I bought the double spice instead of the normal one!!!