96 Tasting Notes
This week’s Tea of the Week!
This tea has quickly become one of my favorite late night drinks. I absolutely love the aroma of the brewed liquid – floral from the lavender with a bit of blueberry. The lavender is also noticeable in the flavor but it’s a bit subtle next to the blueberry note which is quite a bit stronger. There’s a nice creaminess in the background from the marshmallow root and vanilla bean – and I get a nice honey-ish note from the chamomile. I don’t taste a lot from the rooibos – and I don’t know if that’s because the rooibos is overpowered or if it’s because the fruity green rooibos plays to the blueberry notes and melds with it so it’s less noticeable. This has a lot of flavor!
I know I reviewed this about a month ago, but it has been added to the website so I thought I’d review it again.
Besides, I love this tea and any excuse to drink it . . .
This tea has a wonderful combination of flavors that might not seem like they go together necessarily, but they work very nicely. It starts with a black tea base that’s a combination of several different teas: Assam, Yunnan, Ceylon, Nilgiri & Vietnamese black teas. It’s a smooth base that’s not too aggressive, but it’s solid enough to support the flavors of the cup without being overpowered by them.
I love this tea. It’s definitely one of my favorite blends that I’ve yet to create, and I like to think it’s a fitting tribute to its namesake.
This was the first Tea of the Week for March – it’s also nearly sold out! This month has been absolutely crazy for me – this is the first time that I’ve actually been able to sit down and do something that wasn’t either family related or work related, although some argument could be made that by writing a tasting note of one of my own teas, that’s actually work related.
Oh well. My life revolves around tea and that’s not something I make excuses for and it’s not something that I regret or resent. I love tea!
One of the first teas that I bought for myself when I made the decision to close LiberTEAS was a blackberry sage tea and it’s a combination that I absolutely love. Sage and blackberries seem to be made for one another – I love how the sage tones down a little bit of the sweetness of the blackberry and gives it some balance which allows the berry to be more expressive when it’s not so sweet.
Sage is one of my favorite herbs, I love the sort of rustic, woodsy, earthy note it delivers. It’s savory but because of the presence of the blackberry, this tea doesn’t come off too savory, but instead a unique balance of both sweet and savory, while also allowing the flavor of the rich black tea to come through and there’s just a hint of berry tartness too. It’s a pleasing tea with a beautiful complexity.
Last week’s Tea of the Week – I created this one to celebrate Chinese New Year. I used a blend of Golden Yunnan & an Assamica grown in the Yunnan province as the base. I used my own whole spice version of a traditional Chinese Five Spice as the main flavor profile: Cinnamon, Star Anise, Fennel, Clove & Szechuan peppercorns (I used both whole and crushed peppercorns and cloves) and I also added a little bit of ginger root (not much – just enough to enhance the peppery notes a bit) and mandarin orange.
The spice has a nice roundness to it, with the licorice-y notes of the anise and fennel being what I taste first, but the other spices coming forward just after I pick up those licorice notes. The mandarin comes through and the Yunnan is a nice, smooth background note. I really like this.
I was excited about it from the onset, but also nervous because while I do like to use Chinese Five Spice in my cooking (I use it for short ribs – YUM!) I wasn’t sure how it would translate in a tea – but since I’ve had all of these spices in teas before save for the szechuan peppercorns – I can’t recall ever having Szechuan peppercorns in a tea before. I’ve had black peppercorns and pink peppercorns and long peppercorns but I don’t recall having Szechuan peppercorns in a tea before – but I felt fairly confident that it would come out alright. It is somewhat chai like – but definitely different from most chai I’ve had too. This has a nice balance of sweet, spicy, and savory to it.
I just reblended about 4 pounds of this tea for the actual Myrtle’s Tea House – http://myrtlesteahouse.com – because they have ordered some. They not only sell it in their tea shop, but they also grind it to a fine consistency and add it to their shortbread cookies that they serve to their afternoon tea customers.
And since I reblended it – I have to test it before I start packaging it up. My inspiration behind this blend is some of my favorite things at Myrtle’s. There is, of course, the tea which is a creamy Earl Grey and their exceptionally good strawberry soup which is made of pureed strawberries, cream and a touch of cloves and cinnamon. Seriously – that soup! You guys … that soup!!!
We’ll be going to Myrtle’s on Thursday to deliver the tea – and they probably won’t have that soup on Thursday since it’s not exactly strawberry season at the moment. But they do have a really good tomato and basil soup too and that might be a bit more satisfying on a cold and what I think may turn out to be a snowy day since we’re getting quite a bit of snow at the moment.
Anyway – back to this tea. This is every bit as good as I remember. Sweet strawberry – a touch of vanilla – notes of cinnamon and clove and of course, that lovely bergamot. After I finish packaging up the tea for the tea house, I just might have a few pouches left over to add to the website!
Taste testing a new batch of Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha as we’ve been sold out for a little while now – I reblended some earlier this month and it’s finally ready to package up – which I shall do in a bit! So, if you’ve been waiting for this tea – it’s back in stock!
As delicious as I remember it – sweet & marshmallow-y. I’m always happy when this tea is in my pantry!
This is the 8th TEA of Christmas – when I first set out to create this blend, the flavor profile that I had in my head was a custard pie with a dusting of nutmeg on top. I love those pies – but I’ve also come to the point where I know I need to avoid the bakery because I will end up buying said pie and I don’t need the pie – and neither does my pocketbook (they aren’t cheap!)
So I wanted a tea that was creamy and custardy sweet like that – but not so much like it that it made me wish for the real thing. I wanted something that would curb my craving for something creamy and sweet without something that would remind me so much of the pie that I had to go out and buy one.
And I think I managed to do that with this tea. It’s sweet and creamy and custard-y. The nutmeg adds a nice dimension to it. But it also definitely tastes like tea. Similar enough to the pie to curb the craving for it without tasting so similar that I feel I must have the pie.
The last few days (the last week, really) has been absolutely crazy for me – and so of course, I’m very behind in posting my tasting notes for the 12 Teas of Christmas teas. This is tea for day 7 – Crisp Cranberry Soda – which was one of the new teas in last year’s box – brought back for this box by popular demand.
This blend is lovely – a pop of cranberry (which pops more if you allow it to cool a bit) with a lemon-lime soda note – inspired by the seasonal sodas that I see on the shelves this time of year. I love the combination of lemon, lime and cranberry. Lots of tart in there (which is kind of surprising for me, actually, because I usually don’t like tartness but here, it’s working for me), and the sweetness of the rooibos is just enough to keep me from feeling a puckery sensation, I think.
A really lovely caffeine-free tea!
The last few days have been crazy for me – so yes, I’m still behind in posting about each of the 12 Teas of Christmas. This is the 5th Tea of Christmas. I wasn’t surprised that this was one of the highest vote getters in the poll over the summer – this tea sold out in record time when I first released it in July of last year.
And this is just as tasty as I remember it being – lots of banana flavor with lovely notes of marshmallow and toasty rice flavor. I think I may enjoy this best while hot, but I also enjoy it a lot iced – I don’t usually enjoy many Genmaicha teas iced, but this one is an exception.
I’m still a day behind – today is actually the 5th day on our countdown but I’m sipping on the 4th Tea of Christmas from our 12 Teas of Christmas box.
I stuck pretty close to the recipe on this one – using an Assam blend rather than my often used blend of Assam, Yunnan and Ceylon. I chose to work with what I call an “Assam” blend – using a malty Assam and an Assamica tea (grown in China) rather than just going with just the Assam because I feel that the Assamica gave the Assam a bit more roundness. The Assamica is rather robust on it’s own and quite malty, but it also is a bit smoother than Assam and I wanted that.
I like this one – nice and fruity but also nicely dessert-y sweet. Plus, with the Assam base, it makes a really lovely first cuppa when you need help shaking the sleepy – which is what I am in desperate need of. (Yeah, it’s still a bit ‘early’ for me.)
After I finish this cup – I’m off for the rest of the day! (I get two days a week with my grandson – and today is day 1 of the two!!!)