557 Tasting Notes
I went to a lovely company holiday party yesterday and had a wonderful time there. I was pleasantly surprised to find a new type of bagged black tea available other than just Lipton and my fiance encouraged me to save the wrapper to review on here.
This tea isn’t a bad tea. I think I brewed it about five minutes in a water that was a little under boiling. The tea was fairly smooth and easy to drink, but it didn’t have much flavor so I ended up putting a creamer pack in to make it into a creamy dessert tea-flavored drink.
Would it be something that I would seek out to put with my comfort tea bags when I’m sick or just want something dead simple? No. I would stay with Lipton. But it was better than having no tea at all.
I am super in love with having this tea for breakfast. I had a bad food day yesterday and overdosed on refried bean burritos, pringles, coke, and a big Hershey’s milk chocolate bar. I felt like total crap when I woke up.
So I did the only thing I knew that would make me feel better, brewed up this tea in my big TARDIS mug and had it with a little tangerine for breakfast since my tummy still isn’t feeling too hot. The chocolate isn’t too strong and the mint isn’t too overpowering. Just what I needed.
My mom picked up the decaf version of the Chai concentrate and didn’t read the instructions on the box. Thank goodness I was there to tell her that she really needed to add milk or else it would have been way too strong for her. This is the lady that leaves her teabag in for half a minute or less. A full minute if she forgets about it.
I did try this both hot and iced. I liked this iced a lot better than hot. I can’t really taste any tea out of it. Mostly just weaker spices and milk. It isn’t anything special, but it is nice to have in the house when you are weaning yourself off of sodas and when you really want a latte but you are just feeling too lazy to do it yourself.
Flavors: Milk, Spices
I feel very proud of myself this morning. I got up relatively early to brave the nasty half-slush, half-ice on the roads to take my fiance to his finals and made myself a glass of this tea instead of indulging in hot cocoa like the rest of my family was because I am trying to lose some weight.
I am running out of this tea rather quickly this year, but that is alright because I have decided that I need to drink up all of my older teas so I can get some new ones after Christmas. That shall be a rather yummy challenge and it will help me stay away from soda.
Apparently, I’ve become very much one tea at a time recently. That’s fine because I currently love the tea I’m having. I got this one last year around the holidays and I used to drink it with sugar and milk. But this year I am trying to cut down on my sugar intake along with some other items (mainly grains and excess dairy), so I’ve been drinking it with just a spoonful of honey.
It is actually pretty wonderful. The honey helps bring out the chocolate more than just the pure white sugar did alone, so I don’t need to add any milk to it unless I really want a once-a-week treat. And the mint isn’t overwhelming to the chocolate or the tea itself. It is a lovely way to start the day since I have been in denial that it is winter.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mint
Time for more chai with this. I got chased out of the kitchen with the new Pomeranian puppy in the middle of making this one. Oh, did I mention that we got a new puppy? Her name is Bailey.
I think I added more cardamom and allspice than usual with this one or I didn’t add as much honey because I was working around a comb. I really want to try frying up the honeycomb, but I haven’t gotten the oil. I could just pan fry it in the cast iron skillet because it is so small.
Oh well, even if I did make a little cup of chai and it isn’t as sweet, it is still warm and comforting. Now I have to go pack for the Thanksgiving trip…
So, I didn’t end up making this to take to work, but the leaves were waiting quite nicely in my little gaiwan after work. I love that my family doesn’t touch my tea stuff because they know I re-steep my oolong.
This cup holds steeps 5-8 and they are still really, really lovely. The flavor is much more floral and less sweet. Still very creamy bordering on the buttery side instead of the milky side.
I also held the steeps a little bit longer. Just enough for me to swirl the lid around on the gaiwan before pouring it out. I have also decided that I need to get a thermos bottle made to easily pop the top and pour out water into a cup so I can bring my set up into my room.
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral
This time instead of decanting into a different container from my gaiwan, I just filled up a mug. I did notice that I only got a little bit of tiny leaf from my second steep in the cup, so I need to pay attention to how I am holding the gaiwan on that motion so I can modify my grip.
Anyway, yesterday was my birthday and it was fun. Now I get to have a nice cup of tea after my snack of some leftover cake. I waffled over a couple of oolongs before deciding on this one.
Steepings: Four steepings at about 10-12 seconds each probably. I just poured on the water and then poured out the steep into my cup. I did do a rinse first.
Liquid Color: A very light golden stream was coming from my gaiwan when I poured it. It looks darker in my cup because my cup isn’t white.
Smell: Warm and sort of woody in a good way. My nose has gotten better at smelling since I’ve been dabbling in perfume oils and I can smell my tea better. Which probably sounds strange, but smelling your tea is all part of the anticipation of drinking it, right?
Taste: I was expecting the tea to taste light and to be slightly floral, but I wasn’t expecting a creamy taste on my first sip with this one. It must be coming from some of the earlier steeps in the cup because it tastes sweet and creamy when you first drink it then it evolves into a more floral taste when you keep drinking it. The finish of the sip is starting to ring a little nutty, but not heavy because of the creamy mouthfeel.
Hmm, that is about the best I can do today. I might end up filling up my travel mug with some more steeps of this and bringing it to my work because there is very little drying element here. So it won’t make me more thirsty during work.
Why did it take me so long to try this one? I think the label of “superfine” intimidated me a little bit. Again, thank you Teavivre for the lovely samples and once again making me fall in love with my tea.
Flavors: Creamy, Flowers, Milk, Sweet
Wow, I forgot how nice it was to have a simple cup of tea over here. Just the tea with nothing else added. I brewed this with my little gaiwan and made a mess over trying to strain out some tiny little tea leaf dust from my last three brews. Still haven’t mastered it quite yet, but I’m getting better at it.
Anyway, I have no idea what an osmanthus should taste like. I had to look up what one even looked like because I had never seen one before. But this tastes kinda like a mix between apricot and peach with a floral quality thrown in. It is really smooth and even. It smells really good as well.
The tea is a little drying, but that would make it fantastic to actually have with a meal. I’m drinking about two cups of this before lunch and it isn’t filling me up, but I feel I am preparing my mouth for food.
I’ve been away from my teas for so long that this review feels a little clunky, but I picked the right sample to just get back in the game. Thank you Teavivre for letting me try this one out! I am going to enjoy drinking the rest of the samples I have.
I am getting really good at getting the right proportions for my chai. I figured out how to make two servings for a big tea mug and a normal tea mug so that my brother and I looked like I got the same amount of tea. In reality, I got more because I had a bigger mug.
But the best part about making chai is that my brother loves it! And he doesn’t normally drink that much tea. I think it must be a special time for us because nobody else in my family makes chai and I always ask him about the spice ratio. We both agree that I need to get and try some fresh ginger in it and he loves it when I add nutmeg to the recipe.
With that and wearing my Samhain perfume from BPAL, this is turning out to be a lovely Halloween. Can’t wait until after work so I get to hand out candy to the littles with my fiance. I’m going to wear my rainbow fairy wings from last year and my rainbow scarf because it is a cold Halloween this year!