102 Tasting Notes
This is last week’s tea of the week – but the last two weeks have been completely out of control crazy so I’m going to take a moment now to sit down and breathe … and enjoy some tea!
About 2 weeks ago, we had a serious equipment malfunction that put me about 10 days behind. The worst part about it is that I was actually getting caught up! I was going to have the subscription boxes out ahead of schedule! I was getting there – and then my heat sealer breaks on me and I have to wait to get a new one delivered. Ugh.
But, I guess that’s one thing that i’ve learned in the year plus that I’ve been doing the 52Teas thing – that stuff happens and you just gotta roll with the punches.
Fortunately, after spending the last week since getting my replacement heat sealer working hard – I might actually be getting caught up again which is very fortunate since the 12 Teas of Christmas is in progress! (By the way, deadline to pre-order yours is this Saturday!)
Now – let’s get back to the task at hand – this tea! I really love this tea. I had come across a recipe for Earl Grey Cider (a cocktail) and thought it sounded amazing except that I’m not really big on cocktails (or any alcohol for that matter). But I did think that if the Earl Grey Cider was a tea, I’d definitely want to try it. So I decided that i should make my own version of this cocktail.
The bergamot is delightful and together with the lemon in this, it creates a really unique citrus-y note. The apple isn’t particularly strong but it adds a pleasant sweet note to the otherwise tart/tangy fruits in this. And the bourbon notes are not overly powerful but there is a hint of like a warm, caramel-y, barley-like note to the cup.
I haven’t yet tried this iced but I will be cold-brewing it very soon so I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of it – I’m absolutely loving it hot!
I cold-brewed some of this last night to enjoy today.
It’s refreshing – the spices seem a tad more dominant in the cold-brew than the hot-brewed. I do get a nice ‘fluffy’ vanilla taste to this when cold-brewed that I really like. The pumpkin is a little less discernible for me when it’s cold-brewed though. It’s more like a spiced, matcha infused genmaicha with vanilla notes and a pumpkin-y background when I cold brew it, while I get more pumpkin up front when I hot brew and the vanilla is much creamier when it’s hot brewed too.
I think I prefer this one hot brewed but it’s still quite nice cold-brewed, just a different tea though.
I haven’t actually ever had a pumpkin spice latte from the coffee shop, mostly because I can’t drink coffee because a few hours after drinking coffee, I have a terrible tummy ache. I’m not sure exactly why it affects me that way but it does and it’s actually one of the things that turned me from coffee to tea. I always enjoyed tea but I really got into it after I couldn’t drink coffee because I still needed a caffeine buzz and after I got to understand how to properly brew the different types of tea and such – I found that my enjoyment expounded.
This is the tea of the week this week – and it’s so good. As I eluded to above, I’ve not ever had a coffee shop Pumpkin Spice Latte – but I have had other pumpkin spice flavored things (because they’re everywhere!) and I decided that I should create my own interpretation of the phenomenon that is Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I love the genmaicha base – it’s sweet and nutty and it melds wonderfully well with the pumpkin notes. There is a warm set of spices to this but it’s not aggressively spiced. The marshmallow root and vanilla bean add a nice creaminess to create the “latte” flavor so you don’t need to add dairy to go latte with this!
Just really YUMMY!
Flavors: Creamy, Pumpkin, Spices, Toasty
Although this week is coming to a close (and already has for some of you!) I wanted to post something abou this week’s tea of the week. I cold-brewed some last night and that is the way to brew this tea! It’s good hot brewed, certainly, and that’s the way I prepared it for my taste testing but cold-brewed, the cheesecake notes pop and there’s a lovely note of cinnamon and just a hint of zesty ginger to enhance the sweet peach-y notes.
I might have to share some of this with hubby!
Flavors: Cheesecake, Cinnamon, Ginger, Peach
I’ve been making an effort to try all the teas that we’ve been blending lately as cold-brewed as well as hot brewed. I recently acquired a cold-brew system that makes it easy to cold brew and since it’s a fairly popular method of brewing these days, I thought it would be a good idea to try out my teas cold-brewed too.
And so last night I prepared this tea to cold-brew and am finally taking a moment to sit down and enjoy it. This is really good cold-brewed. Not gonna lie, I think it’s better hot, maybe it’s just me but I just happen to prefer my chocolate teas hot (especially when there’s Assam tea involved, I love that maltiness!)
The cold-brew has a lighter texture and color than the hot brewed tea and the flavor – I wouldn’t describe it as lighter as there is plenty of flavor here – but it’s not as rich as what I’ve experienced with this tea as a hot cuppa.
That said, I find that the vanilla seems to pop more with the cold-brew. With the hot tea, there is a underlying note of wonderful creaminess but with the cold-brew I can taste distinct notes of vanilla. The chocolate is not as rich and ‘dark’ tasting but there’s a really nice, smooth element to it with the cold-brew.
I do like this better hot but it’s quite tasty cold-brewed too.
This week’s tea of the week! Your friend and mine – Liquid Proust – suggested to me some months ago to try blending Houjicha and Shou Mei together and I’ve gotta tell you – it’s genius! The combination creates a flavor that’s a little roasty-toasty but not quite as aggressively roasted as a straight Houjicha. The Shou Mei lightens the flavor just enough and adds some pleasant fruity notes to the toasted nutty flavor of the Houjicha. When I first tasted the two teas together (without flavoring or other components), I enjoyed the ‘foresty’ flavor of the blend. Immediately, my mind started entertaining ideas of what this flavors this flavor combination might work best with.
This is my first of a couple of ideas – Gathering Berries! To the base of Houjicha and Shou Mei, I added golden mulberries, elderberries, black currants and blueberries. And seriously though – the taste evokes thoughts of hiking through the woods just as the autumn leaves have begun to fall and gathering some of the last ripe berries that nature has to offer. (Just no nightlock, please!)
I didn’t blend a large quantity of this tea (why? Because the leaves are large and bulky and I can’t fit a lot of the tea in my blending vessels!) so after sending out all the subscriptions, I have very few of this tea left – so if you find yourself interested at all, you should grab some quickly while it’s here!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berry, Fruity, Toasty
As I mentioned in my review of this tea brewed hot, I was in the process of cold-brewing some too. I haven’t been at the computer very much over the last two days – so this is my first chance to sit down and write about this tea cold-brewed!
This is really good cold-brewed. I generally prefer hot tea and I do enjoy this one hot but the flavors of cherry and almond come out much more abundantly when it’s cold-brewed so I strongly recommend cold-brewing this to enjoy the flavors of cherry and almond!
Really nice – refreshing!
This week’s tea of the week is a Retro Monday tea. Retro Monday is the 5th Monday of a month – it only happens 4 times a year – including this month! For Retro Monday, customers vote between four different past tea blends to have reblended and this time around, Cherry Almond Gunpowder won!
Tonight, I brewed a pot of it for my hubby and me. The cherry is not as strong as I remember the original blend being – I really wanted to avoid the “medicinal” cherry note so I went lighter on the Cherry. The blend has sunflower seeds in it – but the flavoring is Almond. The sunflower seeds do relatively nothing to alter the flavor except for possibly adding some salt to the cup but I don’t personally even pick up on that. I went with sunflower seeds because I want to avoid allergens whenever possible and nut allergies are a serious thing.
Anyway – this is tasty – it has a light cherry flavor with a nice nutty tone that melds well with the nutty quality of the green tea. Sweet and tasty. I am cold-brewing some for tomorrow so I look forward to enjoying it iced!
I cold-brewed some of this last night to enjoy as iced tea today. (Yes, I realize it’s 2:13am but I’m a night owl so my days typically do not begin until around 2 pm. It’s still evening-ish for me.)
A Pinita Colada is another way of saying “virgin pina colada” – in other words, pineapple and coconut beverage – no rum. And really the reason I decided to go that route is because I felt that with the flavors of carrot cake, pineapple and coconut, that this tea had enough going on that rum wasn’t necessary and would potentially muddy up the flavors.
This tea is a little different hot versus cold. As a cold-brewed iced tea, I’m getting the tangy notes from the pineapple and the smooth flavor of coconut and a pleasant spice note from the carrot cake right up front with background notes that hint at carrot cake. Every once in a while, I get hit with a flavor that is distinctly carrot – it’s a little bit sweet and a little bit savory with that carrot note.
It makes a refreshing iced tea. Generally speaking, I prefer green tea (or white tea) for iced tea – I don’t usually go for honeybush or rooibos for iced tea but because this is the tea of the week this week, I thought I’d try it cold-brewed and I really like it. It’s sweet and tasty. If you are one who usually sweetens your iced tea before you taste it, go light on the sweetener with this because it already has a natural sweetness going on – but a teensy bit of sugar will bring out the cake-y flavors a little more.