1893 Tasting Notes
This tea comes courtesy of the Victoria Tea Festival – a tea store based in Coquitlam called Dream Tea Boutique (http://dreamteaboutique.com/) imports Forsman teas (which is apparently a Finnish? tea company). I haven’t seen Forsman teas for sale anywhere else in the country which is a shame since they have a nice selection of both flavoured and unflavoured tea.
The black tea base they use is a smooth, light Ceylon that compliments the fruity flavours without being weak. The cantaloup flavours are nice and not too strong or artificial and I can taste a hint of the dried pineapple in there too. I bet this would be lovely iced.
I absolutely loved Frank’s Strawberry Zabaglione so when this was offered up as a reblend awhile back I pounced on it as fast as I could.
The smell of the tea reminds me of blueberry shortcake – very sweet, fruity and dessert-ish. The flavour is distinctly blueberry but there’s something more to it as well – there are sweet, almost creamy notes that make me think of vanilla. Like the strawberry version I bet this tea is great with milk, but I wanted to try it plain first to get a proper sense of the flavours.
First of all, let me say that I love the smell of the dry leaves – they’re like butterscotch but the brandy has a distinct scent all of its own. The tea brews up smooth and sweet and I can taste the brandy in the flavour – the lack of which was the main beef I had with the Brandied Apricot Honeybush by the way. There’s a rich, cakey note that makes this blend very decadent and dessert-like.
This chai reminds me strongly of how Starbuck’s chai used to taste before they got all cheap are started using that wussy, sugary syrup instead. It’s a big, bold chai with a nice, well-balanced mix of spices. I love the light ginger notes that are woven through it as many chais just go with the basic cardamom/cinnamon/cloves and leave it at that. I’m going to have to try this as a traditional-style latté next time.
It’s a damp, cold and foggy day so I’m just as glad to be curled up inside with my laptop and a mug of tea. There’s something about this tea that makes it suited to a crappy day like this. The dark oolong base is slightly toasty but has a smooth finish which goes well with the sweetness of the caramel. I do wish that the caramel was a touch stronger though, as it comes across more as a suggestion than a fact.
I opened the pouch of tea and and took a whiff and ended up inhaling a bunch of cayenne pepper. Five minutes of pain, swearing and a red, runny nose later I have a steaming mug full of the offending beverage. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, eat your enemies with your breakfast cereal, etc.
The flavour is less chocolatey than I expected, there’s a hint of cocoa but the tea mostly has this toasted, bread-like flavour. Then the bite of cayenne pepper hits you at the end, though it’s not as spicy as I’d feared. I’ll have to do a longer steep next time to see if I can get more chocolate out of this blend.
Er…so this was supposed to smell and taste like wine? …Okay then. While it steeped it smelled more like cinnamon syrup and the flavour comes across mostly as cinnamon-flavoured black tea. There’s a sweet, slightly grapey undertone that comes out more as the tea cools, but I was expecting something a bit more wine-like to be honest.