1809 Tasting Notes
I tried the last of my sample with milk yesterday evening, while I wrapped presents and treated myself to a re-watch of Pride and Prejudice. It still makes me cringe (the film, not the tea!), although there are things I like about it.
I worried initially that the milk would wash out the peach flavour, but that’s actually not the case. I gave it an extra minute or so of brew time just to be on the safe side, but it was still wonderfully peachy. The milk did amplify the creaminess a little, although perhaps not as much as I expected it would.
I like this one a lot.
Day 12 of the PostTea advent. This one is a cherry and rose blend with a green tea base, and so the name strikes me as a little odd. It’s right to, I think, because I don’t really get cobbler, or anything particularly dessert-like, from this tea. I get cherry and rose, and that’s fine, but why call it cobbler? I instantly feel like this is as much a miss in terms of name as christmas cookies was a hit.
That’s not to say that this is a bad blend, because it isn’t. It’s just badly named, and sets up expectations it can’t possibly meet. The cherry is nice – quite natural tasting, and not too reminiscent of cough syrup. The rose complements it well, adding just a touch of sweet floral that’s putting me in mind of blossom; flowering trees and spring. It’s a beautiful, ethereal blend, and should probably have been called sakura, or something along those lines.
It reminds me quite a lot of Pekoe’s Japanese Cherry Blossom, which I drank in quantity last summer. It has the same sencha base and cherry/rose flavour combination. The sencha here is smooth, sweet, a touch grassy, and perfectly enhances the “spring” vibe I’m getting from this one. It’s not cherry cobbler, though. That, to me, would be an altogether heavier, butterier kind of flavour. This is light and fresh-tasting. Name criticisms aside, it’s a good cup! I’d happily drink it again.
Day 11 of the PostTea advent. This is a pretty basic chai blend, as far as I can tell. All the usual suspects are present and correct – ginger, clove, cardamon, cinnamon, black pepper. The black base is, I think, Assam – it’s smooth and malty, but otherwise unremarkable. I like Assam as a chai base, though, and it’s a good fit here. The spices don’t come out that well in the flavour, and my cup seems rather mild and muted, a little “flat” tasting. I’m wondering if this is a victim of age again, because some dried spices lose their intensity over time, in my experience. I can just about pick out clove, and there’s a background heat from the pepper or ginger, but it’s hard to be more specific because the flavour just isn’t there. I can certainly smell the spices, though, so the “aromatic” claim is spot-on.
I have mixed feelings about this one. I think it could be good, if a little ordinary, under better circumstances. As it stands, it’s probably not one I’d repurchase. It’s not bad, just thoroughly underwhelming.
Day 10 of the PostTea advent. I was hoping to like this one, because the concept sounds excellent. It turns out I actually really do. This is a perfectly spot-on recreation of soft, spiced christmas cookies. There’s a buttery, biscuitty quality and a level of spicing that leaves a slightly tingly aftertaste. The two aspects work fabulously well together, creating a supremely dessert-like effect. I really like the use of red pepper, which sounds strange but adds a distinctive twist that comes over better than I thought. It’s not as in-your-face as black pepper, but I’m pretty sure it’s responsible for a lot of the warming heat, alongside the ginger and cinnamon. It’s a bit like chai…but the biscuit aspect takes it to another level.
This one is available to buy on PostTea’s website most of the time, from what I’ve seen, and it’s one I would consider buying in larger quantity. I’d quite like to try it as a latte, or maybe iced, but it’s so good as it is that it might not actually last that long…
I’m glad this calendar is picking up, after my initial concerns. It’s turning into a pretty good experience after all.
Day 9 of the PostTea advent. Mayfair Blend is a CTC Indian/Kenyan blend, which is fine with me (although not super unusual or interesting…) I think my conclusion so far is that this advent is a good way to try a decent chunk of PostTea’s range, which is partly what I was hoping, but I was also hoping for some new Christmas/festive blends that aren’t available to buy as part of the year-round main range. A balance of those two things would have been nice, but meh. There are a good few days left yet.
This blend is okay, as far as CTCs go. It’s strong (as you might expect), robust, malty, with a hint of baked potato and a background sweetness. It’s a little brisk, although I kind of expect that a little with a really strong black (and this is really strong). I think I might save the rest of this one for a day when I’m really worn out (like, wishing I was finished work but not quite there, or when I come back freezing from Christmas shopping. Something like that. That’s what it’s suited to, in my mind. I don’t know whether I’d drink it as a breakfast blend, which is the suggestion, because I don’t think it would sit well on an empty stomach. At least, not for me. It would certainly be a decent kick in the pants, though!
This is another I’d not buy more of, but it’s a decent blend.
Day 8 of the PostTea advent. Genmaicha can be hit or miss for me, depending on the base and the overall level of toastiness. This one strikes a good balance. It’s probably one of the sweetest I’ve tried (at least, among those that are unflavoured), and it really does have the “sugar puffs” quality that so many promise and then don’t deliver. The base is smooth and buttery, with just a hint of pea, perfectly complemented by the toasted rice which is very reminiscent of sweet popcorn. It has a toastiness, but it’s fairly mild.
I like this one – it’s a genmaicha I’d be happy to keep around, largely because it strikes a decent balance between sweet and savoury. If I were to be a picky pain, I’d say I’d like the toasted rice to be a little more distinctively toasted, as that would give the overall flavour a bit more punch. It’s a small complaint, really, though. It tastes good as is.
Tried this one brewed “normally” with just a splash of milk this evening. I say normally, because so far I’ve only tried this one steeped in apple juice, and my go-to for Chai is a latte, so…3 minutes in boiling water with milk isn’t exactly normal for me as far as Chai goes, but it’s normal in terms of how I brew black tea.
I wanted to try it this way mostly to see what the tea is actually like, because it’s hard to say with apple juice, and it tends to get at least a bit lost in milk. It’s not the spiciest chai I’ve tried, despite the name, but it is heavy on the ginger and cinnamon. They’re two of my favourite chai spices, so that’s okay with me. The black (assam?) base is smooth and malty, and provides the perfect base. I’m not sure I’d keep it around all the time, simply because there are chai blends I prefer and this one isn’t anything really out of the ordinary. If anything, I’d have liked it to be spicier, to live up to its name. It’s really actually quite tame.
I’l probably go back to drinking this one as a latte until the box is done, although the apple juice idea was nice…
Day 7 of the PostTea advent calendar. This one isn’t super exciting, but I actually have a soft spot for a decent Earl Grey. There’s something about the scent of bergamot that I find intensely calming, even if I’m not over keen on the flavour. I’ve been so stressed and anxious recently that anything calming is welcome, although particularly if it comes in tea form (obviously!)
This is fine as EG goes. The base is perhaps a little brisk, more noticeable as it cools, but that’s not a huge problem. The bergamot is medium-strength, quite sharp and prominent, and orangey in a floral sort of way. All normal for bergamot, basically. I didn’t add any milk to today’s cup, largely because I don’t habitually keep milk at work, but I have a feeling that might help to smooth out and tone down, so I might try it with my second cup.
Three teas in, it’s become apparant that each envelope only holds enough tea for two cups. I’m sure I read on PostTea’s website that it was supposed to be four to five, so I’m feeling a little short-changed. Still, it’s a novelty.
I’d not buy more of this one, simply because it works out pretty expensive for what it is, and there are other EG blends I prefer. Always happy to drink a cup, though, and there’s nothing objectionable about this one. It’s a decent EG, but that’s as far as it goes.
This is day 6 of the PostTea advent calender. I’ve been ill the last few days, so I’m behind already, but I felt well enough to give today’s blend a go. I’m much happier with this one – I get peach straight away, and it’s a delicious fresh, juicy peach. It’s more peach flesh than peach juice in terms of flavour, but it steers well away from artificial or chemical so it’s a win with me on that score. The cream is just about there – there’s a background smoothness and a muted dairy quality that really works well with the peach. I’m drinking this cup black, so it’s good to see it present as a flavour, but I’m hopeful that a splash of milk would bring out the “cream” element a little more.
The base of this one is black, which surprised me at first as I was expecting it to be either white or green. I’m happy with the black base, though. It’s smooth and unobtrusive, and the flavours come over well.
I’m glad to have tried this one!
I iced this one, and then transformed it into a Unicorn Fizz, as per Bluebird’s recommendation. Basically, that’s 3 tsp of leaf brewed in 80 degree water for 3 minutes, poured over ice, and topped up with sparkling water. It’s a butterfly pea tea, so the “unicorn” element comes from the colour change – add lemon juice, and it creates a gradient blue/purple/pink effect.
What I thought when I initially bought this was that “blue raspberry” meant the seaside/fairground slushie flavour. What I think it actually means, having tasted this one, is raspberry flavour and blue in colour. I get raspberry from this – hard not to, given that there are literally loads of whole freeze-dried raspberries in this blend. It’s natural tasting, with that sweet-yet-tartly-sour vibe that actual raspberries have. I’m not super-keen on the sencha base – it’s much grassier than I was expecting, and actually quite distracting. It’s competing for attention with the raspberry, rather than working in harmony with it. There’s also the slightest edge of bitterness. The lemon juice adds an extra tang of sourness, so there’s a real sweet/sour contrast going on. I’m not sure that it really works, but you can’t have the colour change without it.
I’m going to have to experiment with this one a little. I think a shorter brew time (and/or less leaf) might reduce the prominence of the base tea, and allow the raspberry to actually shine. Maybe it’s better suited to brewing hot, or maybe cold brewing a concentrate might work better than conventional iced. I guess I’ll find out!