1731 Tasting Notes
I brought two of my three Fauchon tins to work with me today, because they’re the next oldest in my stash, and because I’m out of black tea at work. When I’m ill, I really want black tea.
This one smells delicious as soon as you open the tin. We had a struggle for a while, because I didn’t realise the lid slides off. No common sense points for me. Once I managed to get in, though, I knew we were going to get along. This one reminds me quite a lot of Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial, although it’s perhaps not quite as intense. I don’t see that as a bad thing, because Wedding Imperial was a touch too sweet and overpowering for me at times. This one is a little more muted, and to my tastes just perfect. There are actual chunks of caramel among the black tea base (Ceylon?), but they melt easily and don’t leave too much of an oily scrim. I would quite like to sit and eat them, but I won’t.
To taste, it’s pretty straightforward – soft, creamy caramel with a touch of salt. It’s a great dessert-style tea, sweet but not too sweet, and with the perfect balance of base and flavouring. Impressed!
Opened this one today, because Chai is well-known for helping sick people recover. Isn’t it? It fits the bill for what I want in a cold-day, just-getting-over-a-cold tea, anyway. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk. I know this one isn’t supposed to contain chocolate…but I’m sure I can taste it? Maybe it’s just my wonky tastebuds? I can also taste the coconut quite prominently, and for a good long while I was thinking “bounty”. Then I read the label again and realised there is actually no chocolate in here. Hmm.
The spices are well balanced and not overpowering, allowing the sweet, tropical coconut to shine through. I think it’s mostly cinnamon, with maybe a touch of ginger and cardamon. I had hoped the red peppercorns would come through more in the flavour, but they remain very much in the background (and just barely at that).
I’m enjoying this one! Despite the lack of chocolate, I’ll have no problem finishing off my mini tin.
Another find in the office kitchen. I’ve had (probably) the world’s worst cold this last week, and all I wanted today was some normal tea. It’s a thing with me when I’m ill, and I can’t taste anything particularly well at the moment anyway, so…
I used one bag for my cup. They’re individually wrapped in the cutest red, white and blue envelopes. I gave it a good 3.5 minutes, and added milk. To taste, it’s pretty much as you’d expect. It reminds me quite a lot of Bluebird’s Great British Cuppa, in that it has a waxy roast white potato aspect to it. There’s also a hint of saltiness in the mid-sip, which works well with the potato note. The maltiness comes out mostly towards the end of the sip, and in the aftertaste, and adds a pleasant sweetness to round off on. It’s robust-tasting, but not as strong as some I’ve tried – just a pleasing, everyday kind of cup. Just what I was craving!
Sipdown! I really like this one, although I don’t often feel that I have a lot to day about it. It’s an Earl Grey Creme – what is there to say, really, other than that it’s like an Earl Grey but creamier?! This is a good one, I think, probably one of the best. The creaminess is rich and distinctive, and you don’t have to look (taste?) hard to find it. The Earl Grey is pleasantly citrussy, not to sharp or heavy on the bergamot, and it stands up to milk which really only helps with the creaminess…
All in all, a total win.
I’ve been drinking this one fairly steadily recently, so much so that my mini tin is almost gone. There’s something peculiarly wintry about cinnamon, at least in my book. It’s warming and festive, and it makes me feel happy. In the summer, by contrast, I barely go near it. It’s an added bonus that it doesn’t need milk, because my matcha lattes are taking up most of that right now.
I’m still not the biggest pu’erh fan, although it’s growing in my estimation. This one is a little fecal, at least in terms of scent, but the cinnamon masks its worst excesses. I think I might miss this one, when it’s gone.
It’s the turn of apricot today. I’m coming towards the end of my matcha samples, which is incredibly sad for one special reason. I was just going to place an order with Matcha Outlet, now they stock sample packages and ship to the UK. That was until I realised that the shipping was going to cost $47, and seems to be flat rate. A few small samples of tea powder absolutely do not cost anything like that to post, and I don’t have that kind of cash to splash at the moment anyway, so that’s off. It’s a real shame, because Red Leaf/Matcha Outlet have the best flavours, and at the moment there’s nothing comparable in the UK. It’s sad face time, boys and girls.
This latte, though. I’m actually liking this a little more than I did last time, although it’s there’s still a touch of soapy floral that’s hard to ignore once you’ve tasted it. Having said that, it’s mostly apricot, and that’s all good with me. It’s not the most natural tasting apricot, admittedly, but it’s pretty good. It’s actually reminding me a little of…something. Some kind of gummy sweet? Wine Gums? Were there orange wine gums? If there were, then that’s what I’m tasting. Sweet, slightly syrupy, artificial apricot. It’s nicer than it sounds.
Finished off the last of this sample today. I made it up as a latte again, because I’m pretty sure last time it didn’t go so well as a result of unexpectedly expiring whisk batteries. Fortunately, that’s not today’s problem.
I used a little more powder than I usually would, partly because there wasn’t a full 1/2 tsp left (so it would be two under-strength cups or one over…) and also because it’s the delicate flavouring level, and I’m finding that I drown the flavour in milk when I use my work cup (which is on the larger side…). So that’s how it is this morning.
Also, I’m bored. I have plenty to do, but I don’t really want to get on with any of it. What I’d really like is a new job with some new challenges, but that doesn’t seem to be on the cards at the moment.
So, the latte. It’s good – it tastes like candy grape. I think the extra bit of powder has amplified that a bit, because it’s a touch stronger than I remember it being last time, although still subtle on the whole. It’s also mildly floral, which could be either the grape flavouring or the matcha itself…it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins, which I think is a good thing when it comes to flavoured tea of any variety.
I’m thinking of placing an order with Red Leaf/Matcha Outlet in the next few days, and this one could well be on the list if it’s available. It’s different, and enjoyable – a good combination!
First cup of the morning. I have to say, I’m not particularly wowed by this one. It has a very faint sweet apple flavour, no brandy to speak of, and the assam base seems quite thin and weak. All this, despite using nearly 2 tsp of leaf and a 4 minute brew time. It’s pleasant enough, but it’s not really living up to its name. Sad face.
A sample from Roswell Strange! One thing I wondered as I was preparing this one – butternut as in butternut squash? Or butter and nuts? Based on the initial sip, I’m thinking the former, probably. It has a sweet-savoury vibe going on, and it reminds me a bit of pumpkin pie, although without the spices. It also tastes pretty buttery, though, so who knows? Clearly not me. I prepared this one as a latte, using 1/4 tsp and then an extra bit for luck. I like that it’s one of the more savoury matchas I’ve come across, because it makes a refreshing change. I don’t always want sweet or desserty tea, and it’s nice to have the option. Pistachio is another one that ticks that box for me.
I’m going to assume that the flavour here is butternut squash. I have the delicate level of flavouring, so it’s fairly subtle, but that’s what it’s reminding me of most. There’s a hint of pastry/pie crust, which probably accounts for the butteriness I’m tasting. Together, they’re a good combination, and I’d happily drink this one again. I’m not sure that any pie flavoured thing, particularly when it comes to matcha, will ever beat Rich Berry Pie in my estimation, but this is a decent contender.
No notes for this one? It’s not exactly new, either – I ordered it in June last year, then I got scared, and it’s been sitting in my cupboard until now. I figured a medicinal style blend might be appropriate given that I’m feeling pretty icky just at the moment, so here goes.
This is Bluebird’s version of a Ba Bao Cha, and it contains jasmine green tea, ginger, goji berries, ginseng, extra jasmine, and gynostemma. I have no idea about that last. I do remember now why I’ve put this one off so long – jasmine, ginger, and goji berries are not among my favourite things. Quite the opposite, in fact. But tea is there to be tried, so I bought it anyway.
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. There’s not a lot to say about this one, I don’t think. It’s not a strong flavour, but what flavour there is is mostly jasmine with a hint of smooth, grassy green tea. It has a “herbal” aspect to it, and it verges on medicinal. You can tell it’s a blend that’s trying to do some good! It’s easy enough to drink, fresh and clean tasting. I’d not hurry out to buy it again, but it’s certainly not obnoxious!