553 Tasting Notes
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!
I may have been off of Steepster for a while, but I haven’t left my teas behind! I actually had to go out and buy a second tin of this and it is almost halfway gone now because of my not so secret obsession this winter: chai!
Yes, I’ve been perfecting my own dry chai spice mix to make an easy and quick stovetop chai for the mornings to try to get myself off of coffee. I have found out that the reason I keep slipping back to coffee is because of the overall savory feel-good mouthfeel I believed is also referred to as umami.
So far I have figured out the spices that I want: cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger being the top three players with nutmeg, pepper, and occasionally clove playing a part depending on what I want for the day. And fresh farmer’s market local honey being the sweetener instead of plain ol’ white sugar.
Normally I don’t have anything against coffee, but I have discovered that when I drink it in the morning, I don’t have any types of tea at all and I am less likely to drink water throughout the day. I have a theory that this is a hold over from when I worked at McDonalds and didn’t have time to drink anything else. So, that is why I’m trying to kick the morning coffee. Besides, chai tastes a whole lot better on the cooler autumn mornings than hot coffee for some reason.
This one jumped into my grocery cart while shopping for the fourth of July. I have tried it several ways since then and I’ve settled on my favorite so far: two spoonfuls of sugar and some milk. There was already a lightness to the tea that the sugar helps bring out and the milk helps tone down the harsher element that the tea has without covering it up completely. So the additives in this case help blend the flavors of the tea together smoothly and it makes for a pleasant cup.
As compared to Twinings English Breakfast, English Afternoon is a much bolder tea. In fact, I would more likely have the afternoon tea for breakfast and the breakfast tea for afternoon!
I would recommend this tea to coffee people to help them get into tea and to tea people who are returning to tea from coffee. (like myself)
And now we have caught up to real time. I normally drink this with milk and sugar, but I now only have it with sugar. The caramel and creme still come out nicely. Because I am using less sugar now (one to two level spoonfuls as opposed to heaping spoonfuls), I get the creamy mouthfeel and a nice caramel finish.
I only have it with milk when I want it to taste more heavy cream and desert-y.
Flavors: Caramel, Cream