1895 Tasting Notes
So I tried this tea iced and I got the same result: mint and green tea with no watermelon to be found. Which is nice enough on a hot summer day I suppose, but a tea like that I can easily make with a plain green from my cupboard and some mint from my garden so I ind this blend rather disappointing.
I’m trying to drink my way though the hundreds of little samplers from various places that have been sitting in my tea cupboard forever. It turns out I have quit a few from 52Teas….I may have a bit of a problem. ;)
This tea smells distinctly nutty with a hint of maple and vanilla scent. The flavour is more like the conventional maple nut than maple almond. I think it might be the sunflower seeds again; the flavour they seem to impart ends up being more reminiscent of walnuts or pecans than almonds. Good think I like maple nut as a flavour regardless – it must be the Canadian in me. ;)
This tea doesn’t have a a CTC base like the Orange Ginger blend that I tried from this company, but the leaves appear to still be quite small and fine. Having learned my lesson from the Orange Ginger I didn’t bother trying to drink it plain and added milk. I’m glad that I did, it mellowed the tea right out and brought a nice, lightly sweet berry flavour to the fore.
Sipdown. While I found this tea too harsh to drink plain, surprisingly, given the flavours, adding milk improved it significantly. Ginger seems to dominate, but it’s a sweet, mild ginger with a candied citrus peel undertone. And added bonus is that it’s strong enough to wake me up for my 5 am shifts.
This tea had a vividly fruity scent while it was brewing with distinct apricot notes. There’s are hint of the fruitiness in the flavour as well as cocoa notes with a hint of nuttiness. It’s quite a smooth tea with only a little bit of astringency present. The tea acquires a sweetness as it cool, much like and oolong would. In fact if I didn’t know this was a black tea I would probably think it was a dark Formosa oolong.
I think this is the rose pu’erh from what I can tell based on the wrapping – there seems to be several other flavours of mini tuocha with similar packaging that the company makes. There was also a faint hint of sweet, dusty rose clinging to the dry tuocha so we’ll go with that.
I have very little experience with pu’erhs of any kind really but I know enough to rinse it (30 seconds) before steeping. Even the first 30 second steep produced a murky dark brown brew with a reddish tinge. I’ve heard some people describe pu’erhs as smelling awful but I didn’t find this one objectionable – like a mixture of peat and hay, maybe. The flavour is mildly earthy with that sweet, cured grass undertone. Unfortunately there isn’t really much rose flavour that I can pick up.
The second steep at 40 seconds is less earthy with a sweeter, more refined slightly mineral tone creeping to the fore. I think I can faintly taste some rose flavour but it’s quite faint. I suppose that’s better than drinking rose perfume. ;)
The third steep at 1 minute was surprisingly smooth and lightly sweet. I’d go for more but it’s getting late here and I need to cut off the caffeine if I have any hope of sleeping tonight. I’m not sure where this tea would rate among all you pu’erh aficionados but I found it to be interesting and pleasant to drink. Apparently this factory makes a bunch of different flavoured pu’erhs – I’m interested enough that I might see if I can get my hands on them.
I was bummed about missing this tea last year as it sold out incredibly quickly (I’m serious, it was gone in three days) so here’s to second chances. ;)
The lemon flavouring is more like a lemon candy without the tart sourness of the citric acid, which is thanks to using lemongrass as their main flavouring agent, I think. An oolong was a good choice of base for this tea, its natural sweetness, particularly as it cools off work with the vanilla to give it a nice cakey flavour. Two thumbs up!
I can’t say that any of the new malt shop teas had me excited but they were sampling this tea at my local Davids Tea store today so I decided to give it a try. Honestly I didn’t care that much for the plain tea, there’s a nice vanilla lemongrass flavour at the start but then the stevia hits and it’s just too much sweetness for me. I realize that stevia isn’t an artificial sweetener but to me it still tastes wrong and I can always tell when it’s been used in place of sugar in something, regardless of the amount used. My take on sweeteners in tea is that I’d rather have natural sugar or honey and add it myself, that way I can control the amount that goes in.
I commented on this to the salesperson (who knows me by name – obviously I spend too much time there) and she recommended trying it as a latté. She’s made some good recommendations before so I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. The steamed milk dampens that weird too-sweet taste and allows a rich, creamy vanilla flavour to come out.
I would rate the plain tea as 65/100 and the latté version as 80/100.