216 Tasting Notes
You know, if you’d come up to me this morning and said, “Cait, how would you like to try a roasted zucchini tea?” I probably would have made one of those faces from the low end of the ratings scale. And yet!
I’m really enjoying this. I’m using mini-steeps, but they’re all coming out quite consistent: thick-feeling without being heavy, very smooth, smelling and tasting of roasted veggies, and showing just a hint of sweetness (it actually makes me think of squash blossoms).
Thank you for the sample, Jade Teapot!
Edited to add: Photography!
Another swap tea from Doulton! This one is really interesting — it’s heavy on the hibiscus, which for me is usually code for “doesn’t matter what else is in the cup, because it all tastes like hibiscus”, but this doesn’t. It’s very strongly citrus; I was expecting something like the flavor of orange slices and that is there, but mostly in the aftertaste, while up front there’s more of an orange zest going on which is spicier. The hibiscus is serving mostly to bring out that zest flavor. This is a very stern tea, with a peppery aftertaste going as well just in case you were inclined to take it less than seriously because it’s made of fruit.
I tried a shorter steep this time, and the tea was a bit different — it tasted strongly and smelled even more strongly of raisins! I’d heard people describe tea as tasting of raisins before and always wondered what that would be like, since I’d never found it before. Well, here it is, and unfortunately it’s reminded me that I don’t like raisins. Alas!
My very first swapped tea! Huzzah for Doulton.
I’m getting some strawberry and definitely banana here (although more in the scent than in the taste), but not really any chocolate, and it’s a lot lighter than I expected. It’s just barely sweet, not cloying at all. All in all, a nice frilly dessert tea. I might try it with milk next time.
(Thank you, Doulton!)
Hmm. I used the brew-in-mug method here again, with cooler water, and this tea began and ended very strong, although it was smoother in the middle. Oddly, the leaves never floated at all, but only unrolled slowly at the bottom of the mug. I was liking it in the middle, for the second steep and around the edges into the first and third steeps, but there’s a bitter aftertaste lingering from the third steep.
Still, many thanks to Gingko for letting me try it! (I feel more than a little embarrassed to have forgot to actually, y’know, sample this for several weeks! All the excitement of the very first tea of the year — and then I let it go to the end of March.)
My god, it’s full of stars flowers!
When I ripped open the little sample foil packet, I couldn’t smell much of anything, but when I gave the leaves a rinse and set the pot back on the counter, I turned around going, “Wait, why does it smell like flowers in here? Is that coming from outside…but it’s not spring flowers…it’s more like orchids…wait just a moment!” And yes, it was the tea leaves.
So I poured myself a fifteen-second steep in my teeny-tiny pot and promptly burned my tongue trying to discover if it tasted like flowers. One glass of cold water and a cautious two-minute wait later, I can tell you this: it doesn’t taste like flowers. It tastes like candied flowers. It tastes like someone dipped orchid petals in sugar. It tastes like spun sugar in a field of orchids. I didn’t know tea could do this.
Fifteen-second steep number two: still full of flowers! It’s getting a little bit rounder, but this is still the sweetest airy-fairy-flowery tea I’ve ever tasted. I can’t believe there’s caffeine in this.
Twenty-second steep number three: the flowers may have come down to earth now, but this tea is still best described as “flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers!”