1355 Tasting Notes
A 12 days of Christmas tea from the box.
I bought a vintage (roughly 60’s) Italian Cyclo commuter bike today as my means of transport, my new house had lots of fields surrounding me and the nearest shops are some distance away. With a bit of tlc my new bike will get me to the shops and back in ease, it can also take me to my craft club and to visit my parents. Looks like it will be my new hobby next year.
This tea smells very sweet but more like apple than pear, it has an unnaturalness about it. Behind that there is a hint of cinnamon and spice, enough to be warming. As a whole it smells like an apple pie/tart but without the crust.
In flavour the black tea is thick and malty which over rides some of the sweetness, though again I still say it’s more apple like than pear though granted they are very similar anyway. The cinnamon is very gentle against the thick black base.
In essence it’s a black tea with a bit of flavour rather than a flavoured tea with some black. I think it would have been nicer with a lighter base such as a baked/dark Oolong.
It’s ok but nothing special, the black base prevents any greatness from this blend, it’s as though it was just a rushed creation made for cheapness sake. Despite that it is drinkable at least.
Today’s Christmas tea from the box.
Boy this is strong! It smells so sweet and strawberry, like gummy sweets.
Steeped scent smells much like black tea, strong malt scent with some berry sweetness in the background, albeit more subtle than the malt tones.
Flavour is sweet, very sweet in-fact….it reminds me of those syrups you get for coffee only it’s in tea. It tastes chemical, sure it’s sweet but that chemical flavour is just strange…plastic like. On top of that it’s a very rich and malted black tea base with some sourness and astringency.
It’s drinkable but not pleasant. Such a shame since I noticed it’s organic ingredients. What’s more the plastic flavour lingers in the mouth during the after taste which is not very nice. Oh well, still drinkable and at least it’s a new one for me to try.
Flavors: Malt, Strawberry
This was yesterdays tea ie 4th day of Christmas tea from the box. I decided to have a smelly food day which meant I couldn’t taste much of anything past garlic, onion, chilli and spices hence why I didn’t review this until today.
The raw blend smells amazingly sweet apple like, very potent and strong.
The steeped tea smells sweet apple like though toned down from it’s raw form.
In flavour this is very mild compared to it’s scent. The apple comes through in the after taste while the white tea is the main flavour. It’s dry, floral and slightly astringent before the apple kicks in which adds a crisp sweetness. It doesn’t linger for long in the after taste.
It’s not as appley as it appears I mean the tea has apple twice in it’s name. The astringency of the white tea reduces what the apple could be, though saying that it is still a fairly nice tea. Perhaps if I try it again it will be iced.
I got up this morning and set my table to entertain a day of Japanese tea, only I had to go out this morning and clean the house when I returned which means it’s coming up to 2pm and I have yet to taste some tea. I’ve decided to forget the other tasks I need to do until dinner time so I have an afternoon and early evening of tea. (Yay!)
Sencha of the Spring Sun sounds beautiful and warm. In appearance the Sencha is dark green with some light green stems and a high gloss. They are a mixture of small pieces and long pieces, all dry and sharp looking. It has a sweet (yet slightly astringent) scent with floral sweet pea, fresh grass and hay tones.
Tea – 5g
Water – 80 C
Volume – 180ml Futanashi Tokoname
Over three steeps
First Steep – 30 seconds
A warm juniper and fresh cut grass scent shines through. Flavour is mild, sweet and very fresh with grass and floral tones with some lightly toasted hay towards the after taste. Particularly sweetpea and mild but fresh seaweed.
Second Steep – 10 seconds
More vegetal tones are becoming present as it becomes stronger. Seaweed, sweetpea, fresh grass and broccoli being notable. A touch of astringency and dryness though nothing dramatic.
Third Steep – 30 seconds
More astringent and dry though remains sweet and with flavour. The astringency makes it more perfumed rather than being plain astringency.
A nice Sencha overall that has lingering after tastes and an abundance of flavours suitable for many steeps. Not the smoothest or highest quality but perfect for every day drinking.
Plus a side note – the sun came out while I was drinking this which was a nice touch, it shone down strong enough to make it feel like Spring again. I will carry on steeping this while I watch Hellfighters (with John Wayne), my nan used to love John Wayne and watching his films reminds me of her.
Day 3 of the 52 Teas 12 days of Christmas box.
Is there anything more Christmas-y than peppermint when it comes to festive teas? This was a welcome find this morning. Monday morning is the start of my house wifely duties, and let me mention that I hate cleaning and tidying. I’m a messy person by nature though my clutter is almost always organized. Job list for today: cat litters, scrub toilets, sweep and hoover downstairs, put clothes away, try and find boxes to unpack etc etc etc. So far I’ve washed up, done the cat litters and put bleach down the toilet to go back to later. Tea break while watching Buffy sounds splendid.
So back to the tea, peppermint bark, it does smell very sweet and pure in terms of peppermint. The black tea was a little malty and cocoa like though very subtle in comparison to the dominating peppermint.
In flavour the black tea becomes a lot stronger than it was in scent, which I wouldn’t mind though the peppermint is actually in the background of it now. So it’s a black tea with a mild peppermint after taste. Usually I like my mint teas to be large and in charge, I drink mint tea for the mint aspect above all else.
Through the sip: It starts with a sour malt black base that gradually lightens to reveal a hint of peppermint amongst a now sweet and sour malt base.
It’s nice though not a new favourite, and it’s not peppermint enough to be Christmas like for me :(
Flavors: Malt, Peppermint, Sour
My second day of Christmas tea from the 52 Teas Christmas Box.
Today’s tea sounds very interesting! I’m not a huge fan of tiramisu since it’s coffee related but I do like it on a rare occasion and I’ve been thinking about it for the last year. So this was a nice surprise, and in Oolong form too, very cheeky.
I open the packet and I am met with a milky/creamy and slightly spiced scent with mild sweetness. It reminded me of eggnog.
Once steeped this tastes as creamy as it smells along with a gentle baked cake/bread taste with a touch of spice. It still reminds me of eggnog though compared to Butiki’s eggnog it’s not as creamy nor sweet. It’s flavour as a whole is rather mild and most flavours come through in the after taste, otherwise it’s very much a simple plain milk Oolong. It contains cocoa nib which at a stretch adds some sourness though sometimes I find milk Oolong to be slightly sour anyway.
Does it taste like tiramisu? No, sorry Frank but it does not. Instead it’s a lightly spicy Oolong which is actually rather tasty. Eggnog like enough to be Christmas themed and a joyous atmospheric tea. I’m happy enough with this blend and shall have no issue finishing this one.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Eggnog, Spices
My first day of Christmas tea from the 52 Teas Christmas Box.
This should have been logged yesterday but I forgot the in-laws were coming by to see our new house. It’s the first time they have been down to see us as they don’t drive and live in another city. That meant major cleaning and clearing on my part, trying to make a 2 week lived in house perfect. That didn’t happen but I tried my best. So yes this was yesterdays tea but I’m tasting it today to make up for yesterday.
The raw blend has a strong clove and cinnamon scent, very spice mix and perhaps a little like pumpkin though nothing sweet nor toffee like. The dragonwell was rather a dark green with large yellow discolouration, so low quality though I suppose that compromises on it being a unique blend. I only mention the quality as Long Jing is not a favourite of mine unless the quality is crystal, otherwise I find it much too harsh to drink.
After a guess-timated steeping time I pour the tea. The same clove spice mix fills the air, though while nice and Christmas like it’s starting to remind me less and less of pumpkin or toffee.
The flavour is of a good strength though I am getting a lot of dryness in the after taste, I always do with low grade Long Jing. It is highly spice flavoured with clove dominating with a touch of cinnamon in the background, though as mentioned they are rather dry. It tastes of synthetic pumpkin, in other words it meets my expectations as what to expect from a substitute. If you’ve tasted Franks other pumpkin flavoured teas then you know what I’m talking about. All said and done there is no toffee, nothing remotely sweet or candied. Also the green tea aside from it’s dryness is not noticeable in taste, the spice dominates over it rather strongly.
So you get synthetic pumpkin which is hit or miss and no toffee to speak of. Nice try but this is not what it claims, at least to me. However, it is a fairly nice Christmas like blend, clove may not be my personal choice to mix it with Long Jing but this does pair together well. Albeit not perfect for me (as a hater of low grade Long Jing and of clove) but it is pleasant enough to drink and mildly enjoy. So this is more of a Christmas Clove Dragonwell than a Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell.
But oh well, a nice start to the box. Plus I’m in a pleasant mood after my faith in humanity has been restored a little, before I went to make this tea I passed by the front door and found a small business card sized envelope on the floor. I picked it up and saw it had no name, so I went into the living room and opened it to find a small Christmas tree card which is addressed inside to my house number from a neighbouring house. A neighbour that I have never met nor seen but one that is definitely getting a card back tomorrow. All these years since I moved out and in none of my previous three homes did any neighbour give us a card, or even a thought. Considering that we bought this house and intend to be in it for potentially the rest of our lives it’s very comforting to know we have at least one friendly neighbour. :)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Drying
My tea of the night while I watch Russell Brand on The Trews, highly entertaining! Granted I’m a over a month late with sampling this one I am still happy for the de stash.
The tea (once steeped) smells sweet yet dark with malt, mild toffee and a toasted sense that reminds me of popcorn or cereal (like rice crispies or cornflakes).
Sampled without milk or sugar.
Flavour is strong with a dominant smoky tang that is paired with a malt bitter black base. It does have a slight sweet taste though not as strong as the smell and I could certainly not define it as toffee. So really the flavour is yay on bonfire and nay on toffee.
Sampled with milk.
The bitterness has been toned down a little though it is still highly smoky and strong. Still not getting the toffee notes, and honestly the smoke is not balanced greatly by the thick base.
Sampled with milk and sugar.
Even the sugar has failed to restore balance for this blend.
Ok I don’t think this one is for me. I like smoky teas from time to time but this is just too harsh and is not blended well.
Time I used this sample, albeit chosen whilst I’m watching a Romeo and Juliet style Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode that ends up with a lovers murder, suicide. I feel my mind felt in the romance mood (tragic or otherwise) and that is my reasoning for picking this tea, on a subconscious level. I hope that makes sense, my mind is a little scatty at the moment…it’s been a long day.
Served with a lump of sugar and a drop of milk.
Even with the sugar this just smells like a standard malt, black tea. Nothing sweet nor caramel like about it.
In flavour this is pretty much a rather mild, malt black tea with a touch of chemical sweetness. Not caramel and not the sugar cube (as I’m used to those), but something amongst it that is chemical and almost dry and nutty.
Very disappointing, I wanted caramel :( It has a cute name but that was the best thing about it. As a mild black tea it’s ok but nothing special, the chemical taste is unpleasant though still drinkable. At least it’s good enough to dip my custard creams into.
Happy 12th December everyone!
I certainly smell the apple with light spice, very Christmas-y! Flavour is light and sweet with soft apple and spice (cinnamon or clove like). I can’t taste cardamom specifically though that is a positive thing (for me anyway). Mild dry after taste though the spicy apple remains.
I like this, it tastes like Christmas with minimum Rooibos blurghness and all in a nice caffeine free package.
Flavors: Apple, Spices, Sweet