1893 Tasting Notes
Christmas teas were half-off the last time I was at the Blue Teapot store in Vancouver, so I picked up this seasonal blend. It has a very smooth white tea base with a surprisingly nutty flavour and it’s not even the least bit vegetal in flavour like many Bai Mu Dans can be. The fruity apple flavours are subtle but they work so well with the base that there’s also a dessert-like quality to this blend. I’m not picking up much in the way of pepper though I don’t think the tea is really ‘missing’ it. Very yummy.
Another little sample I’m using up. I’ve always found it interesting how teas can naturally take on flavour like sweet cream or lilac flowers without any flavouring being added at all.
The first steep at 1.5 minutes had the initial flavour of a typical green oolong – slightly sweet and floral but there’s also a fresh, fruit-like juiciness that doesn’t quite come across as a citrus tangyness but hints at something like it.
The second steep (2.5 mins) turned the liquor a bright yellow shade. It was less floral but there was more a citrus taste and the tea as a whole had a fuller body and more rounded flavour.
The third steep (3.5 mins) was a bit lighter in colour and flavour but the bergamot flavours seemed like they were a bit stronger.
I could go on longer but it’s late and I don’t need a bunch of caffeine in my system keeping me awake. This was a fun tea and an interesting deviation from a traditional green oolong.
Wow, finally a pumpkin spice tea that does what it says on the tin. I took the tea plain this time, but I think it would be best with milk as the black tea base is slightly bitter. Even so it has a nice pumpkin pie/gingerbread flavour with hints of cinnamon in just the right amount of accent rather than overwhelm the other flavours.
I picked up this tea when the boyfriend-creature and I visited the Butchart Gardens last year – which incidently are absolutely amazing, so if you’re ever in Victoria, BC it’s well well-worth your time and money to go visit.
The tea isn’t anything that strikes me as extraordinary – just another fairly generic berry-flavoured black tea that stands out as neither fantastically good nor horrifically bad. The cornflower petals are supposedly from the garden itself though, which is a nice touch for all that cornflowers are more for visual appeal than for flavour.
I’m trying to use up all those little samples I’ve got cluttering up my cupboard so I dug this one out. It’s quite a lovely Assam, full-bodied and malty but without the harshness that some other Assams can take on. Actually it’s got an interesting sweet note that I noticed after the tea had a chance to cool off a bit. Really liking this one – I might buy some more whenever I get a chance to go back to Granville Island.
I’m admittedly not very familiar with pu’erhs but I don’t think I’ve ever tried one quite like this. The scent of the steeping tea is lovely – slightly smokey, slightly leathery with a hint of something like wet moss. I didn’t think a 5 second steep could impart much flavour, but the first steep proved me wrong. While it was light it was also smooth and slightly sweet, the most prominent flavour being something reminiscent of cured leather. The second steep was less sweet but the flavour was fuller and took on a slight smokey note. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time for any further steeps but I’ve got enough left that one of these days I’ll spend an afternoon drinking it.
Another old sample I uncovered during my cupboard re-arranging. The tea seems to have stayed relative fresh, thankfully. The Darjeeling oolong was a good choice for this tea as it gives the blend a smooth, subtle sweetness without loosing that quintessential tea flavour that seems to belong to Indian black teas. The vanilla is rich and creamy and there’s just the right amount of bergamot to compliment it rather than overpower it. It’s a shame the company is no longer selling tea (though their website is still up) as I think I would like to buy more of this blend when the sample is finished.
I mostly purchased this tea for the novelty factor as this is the first I’ve heard of purple tea. It sounds vaguely gimicky to me, but whatever.
I may have used too much leaf as it was only after I added the water that I noticed that the steeping instruction on the bag said to use 1/2 tsp rather than a whole teaspoon. Oops. The leaf was very fine – teabag-sized basically – and had a sweet, cured-hay scent. Dry it looked like a black tea but when it got wet the leaves turned distinctly greenish. The tea itself was quite astringent – too much so for my tastes, I’m afraid, but that might be my fault so I’ll hold off rating this tea until I try it again using a smaller amount of tea (and maybe a shorter steep).
I dug this tea out of the back of my cupboard while rearranging some stuff today. It’s kind of ridiculous how I’ll hoard teas if I know a blend is discontinued or the company no longer exists. But tea doesn’t keep forever so today I opened the bag and made a cuppa.
The flavour is slightly smooth and nutty mixed with fruity citrus notes and hints of spice. It isn’t so spicy that I’d call it a chai but there’s notes of cloves and ginger to give the blend some character.