1899 Tasting Notes
I was sufficiently intrigued by the idea of soup tea to buy a sample cup. I really liked the smell of this one, warm and earthy – perfect for those rainy autumn days.
I initially had it unstrained and my first thought was, despite the strong spices, that it lacked substance. It needs something like lentils or vegetables of some sort otherwise it’s basically just salty water with spices. All the spices were a bit too overpowering so after the first couple spoonfuls I strained it, which still left plenty of spices in the soup. I’m not sure if it’s the matcha but there was a strong bitter-herbal flavour that came out especially as the tea cooled that I found quite unpleasant. It shouldn’t be from scalded matcha because the water temperature was only 80C.
I did a bit of research and rasam (the Tamil word for juice btw) is supposed to have a tangy flavour profile as it’s made with either a tomato or a tamarind juice base which this tea most definitely isn’t. On the bright side, I had some cornbread left over from chili night and dipped in the soup it actually tasted quite good.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not really impressed with ‘soup tea’ thus far – of course this is the only one of the collection that I’ve tried, so the other two might be amazing for all I know.
This tea, along with two others were in the marked-down section at work, so I snatched them up right away. With my employee discount all three only came to $5. I have plenty of fruit tisanes which are good iced but that many that are meant to be drank hot. And right now it’s definitely edging into hot tea weather.
The cinnamon flavour is nice, and not overwhelming and there is a distinct fruity apple flavour, but the sweet, baked pastry part of the ‘apple crumble’ is missing. It’s too tart to really taste all that dessert-like although it has a nice autumn-y vibe that makes it pleasant to curl up with on a cold autumn evening.
Not bad, but I found the base to be a little bit wimpy and bland. The vanilla cream flavours were more apparent when I added milk to my cup and there was a pleasant mildly floral scent and aftertaste. Not bad, but certainly not the best cream earl grey I’ve tasted.
Well I made it last an impressively long time but after so many years I can only stretch it so far. While there has been some flavour degradation over time, it’s pretty minor considering how long I’ve kept the last few cups’ worth. Here’s hoping we get another Canadian supplier for this brand soon.
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.