635 Tasting Notes
1 teabag for 300mL water @80C, steeped 3 minutes.
I’ve been a Stash customer since 1989, when I could buy little individual foil-wrapped teabags at various cafes on my university campus. I fell hard for Stash. The little colourful packets of Earl Grey (grey, of course), Jasmine Spice (purple),Darjeeling (light blue), Irish Breakfast (green) … far and away, the best tea I could get. When I discovered I could order Stash through the mail (looooong before the internet), I was ecstatic.
So I’m kindly inclined to Stash. Some of their blends I run from, screaming, but most of them work for me. Their Moroccan Mint does. Stash does mint well. When you open the packet, the spearmint is pungent and sharp, and the peppermint is refreshing. The green tea base is none too exciting, but the mints ad a touch of lemongrass lift it up. Delightful.
Made in a gourd with 85C water, multiple infusions.
I’ve made Main Squeeze as a tisane in the past, using 1.5 tsp for 300mL water and steeping it. This morning, I found my gourd. The result: intense. The fruits give an agreeable bitterness, a bit like pith in marmalade, while the mate itself is earthy and sweet. Overall I think I’d prefer plain mate in a gourd, but this is good. And potent.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @85C, steeped 6 minutes.
Quite sweet, and quite potent. Sulfites might trigger headaches in anyone sensitive to them. I find guayusa very stimulating; I don’t drink it too often, and I want to have something saved for when I need an extra push. I’ve got nothing to object to in this fruit and guayusa blend.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @85C. steeped three minutes thirty seconds, drunk bare.
As is typical with a flavoured tea blend from DavidsTea, you’re hard-pressed to taste any actual tea. The liquor is a faint golden-green; I expect the green base tea is a fairly unexciting one.
The spice blend is, well, again, typical for DavidsTea: a bit bland, and somehow hollow. The leaf and spices look a bit like something from Stash, what with cloves and orange peel in it. I’m not sure what the “natural flavourings” are supposed to be, but the tea overall gives the faintest whiff of oranges, a little tingle from the cloves (I love cloves) and an even fainter tingle from chill peppers. Chili peppers? Where? Were they just waved over this blend?
I would not call this a spicy tea at all. It seems to be missing something — a strong heart, perhaps, either a more assertive and interesting tea base, or some more burn from what what can be decently hot spices.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water @85C, steeped four minutes thirty seconds.
Pine and plum notes for sure, though the pine is stronger. A note I dislike in tea: I don’t know if this is called ‘vegetal’ or what, but there’s a a taste and scene that reminds me of scallops. I’ve detected it in some green and white teas, and I don’t care for it — well, not in tea. Scallops on my plate is another matter. Some shea butter notes in the aftertaste.
Flavors: Bok Choy, Broth, Fish Broth, Mushrooms, Pine, Plums
1.5 tsp (estimated, bulky needle tea) for 300mL water @100C, steeped 10 minutes.
I did the long steep on purpose … for a change.
This is a fresh packet, just ripped open. I feel so badass drinking this tea — the name, the flavour profile. So, what do I get with a 10-minute steep?
Mahogany liquor. Cocoa, sweet potato, roots, and something wild — wind in the trees, maybe. Some mineral in the finish. A slight sharpness that does not become astringent. Strong flavours but no bitterness.
1.5 tsp for 300mL water, @90C, steeped 3 minutes 30 seconds.
So I’ve been thinking for a whole I had a less-than-stellar batch of this from DavidsTea.
Turns out DavidsTea are using a flavoured version, by their own admission: “A luxurious creamy blend of oolong and all-natural milk flavouring.”
Quangzhou milk oolong is created by temperature change and harvesting practices, not spraying “milk flavouring” on leaves.