216 Tasting Notes
The dry leaves on this were intimidatingly black and twisty! And indeed, it is a very roast-y tea. It doesn’t have the sweet undertones of some other roasted oolongs that I’ve been trying lately, either, although there’s a lot of tea going on underneath the smoke.
Here’s a picture from the third steep, although the reflections off of the side of the teapot are keeping the twistiness of the tea from being clear:
(That’s my newest teacup in the photo as well, by the way. I had been feeling like I didn’t have enough drinkware to support my telecommuting tea habit and also like I wanted something better sized to my wee Samovar teapot, but I didn’t really have the budget for full-on-fancy teaware — and then I was wandering around the outskirts of the farmers’ market on Saturday and found someone selling a punchbowl and eighteen nice little punch cups for, y’know, flea market prices. So, uh, now I have three new glass teacups and a fifteen-cup backup stack in my storage cupboard.)
I have been shamefully neglecting to log this, despite Doulton’s kind swapping when I specifically wanted this one! I just seemed to keep drinking it at times when I would have had to give a really rushed tasting note that wasn’t worthy of the tea. So, consider this a backlogging x 5!
I’m not usually a big fan of chocolate teas: I figure, if what you want is chocolate, make some cocoa! But the luscious descriptions of this kept drawing me in. First I tried it plain, and I thought: Okay, it’s not bad, but what’s the big deal? Then I tried it with milk.
Om nom nom nom nom!
Oh! So I get it, now.
With milk, there’s a chocolate taste, yes, but there’s also a thoroughly creamy hazelnut that blends in perfectly, and supporting both of those there’s a strong black tea base to remind me that this isn’t a cocoa experience. Cocoa is a comfort drink, a lazy drink, something to sip while doing something else. Tea is its own justification! Mmm, tea.
Oh, this was very tasty! (Thank you, Doulton!) The bag smelled alarmingly of pine, but the tea itself was a wonderfully balanced mix of spices that did, in fact, remind me of Christmas food and drink. (Usually when a tea says this it just means “we have cloves!”, but this was a much more complicated blend.)
Oh, it is too hot out for more caffeine that this. Please please please let my building turn on the central air soon.
My first yerba mate! And I like it!
The dry leaves smell very much like something, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what. The brewed tea also has a very familiar yet unnamable scent. Argh! But perhaps I’ll be able to remember for the next cup, after the caffeine in here kicks in, or the mateine, or whatever it is — it smells like caffeine, anyway. And also like something a bit burnt.
Oddly, it tastes very sweet! I was not expecting that, and it’s somewhat odd to pick up the mug and smell cinder while sipping sugar. There is an ashy aftertaste, but not at all in a bad way. It’s tasty!
I wonder how many infusions these leaves are good for?
Surprisingly good for being a few years old! I got two full pots’ worth of tea out of this; the first was sweeter than the second, and I think that the blossom probably stewed a bit between pots. It’s a pity Full Bloom Tea has gone out of business. (They’re also the source of my big glass teapot, the one that I used for everything before I got my wee little pot because, amazingly, the spout never dribbles.)
But this was a blooming tea, and you want to know how pretty it was! So: it was very, very pretty. The dry leaves were wrapped in a heart-shaped lump. They unfurled into incredibly long tendrils of tea around a pink clover center. See for youself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cait_tea/4497665430/