1784 Tasting Notes
It looks like winter has returned, which is disconcerting because last week it was hot and sunny and my mind had turned to cold brews. Not so this week – it’s actually snowing. Not heavily, but small showers on and off. Needless to say, I’ve gone back to my warming winter teas.
I had a cup of this one yesterday that I really enjoyed. I used 1 tsp of leaf in boiling water for about 2 minutes, no more. No additions. I pretty much always get root beer from this one, in a slightly woody, medicinal way, but yesterday I actually got root beer float – a delicious thick, creamy, sweet vanilla flavour (totally reminiscent of melted vanilla ice cream). That made my day, because my previous trials with this reblend pouch haven’t lived up to my memory of the 12 Teas of Christmas version I originally tried. That was spot on delicious.
Anyway, today I decided to try the other end of the spectrum. I used 1.5 tsp of leaf, and gave it more like 4 minutes in boiling water. I added a few pieces of crystal sugar and a splash of milk. It’s so good. The initial flavour is vanilla (ice cream!), quite sweet but that’s okay. Underneath is the root beer – herbal, a little chicory-like, a touch woody. Interestingly, it seems to be the reverse of yesterday’s “lighter” version, which had the root beer first and the vanilla second to my tastes. Both were excellent.
It’s good to know that I can make this up two ways and get a great taste from either. I felt like I was foundering with this one a little, but I finally discovered what works. Now I just have to replicate it for future cups! It’s fussier than I remember the 12 Teas of Christmas version being, but I don’t mind so much when it can taste this good.
Maybe when summer finally returns, I’ll try this cold brewed. Sadly, I can only dream of that today!
Sipdown! I’ve had a reasonably bad cold since Thursday evening, so I’ve mostly been drinking comforting teas that I’m familiar with. There’s no point trying something new when I can’t taste it, after all. I’ve enjoyed this one, both with and without milk. It’s super smooth, with prominent chai spices and delicious creamy vanilla caramel. I’ll miss this one.
1 tsp, 2.5 minutes, boiling water. No additions.
Sipdown! Another sad departure from my cupboard. I love how smooth this one is, and how the squashy flavour of pumpkin comes out so well. The spicing is spot-on, too – not so subtle it’s hard to discern, but not overpowering either. I even like the bat and pumpkin sprinkles for that touch of Halloween spirit. I just can’t fault this one – as a spiced pumpkin tea, it’s perfect. I’m looking forward to autumn in the hope that I can add this one to my cupboard once again.
It’s so warm in my office (not to mention outside) that I’m starting to wish I’d brought cold brewed tea to work with me this week. I hesitate because sometimes it’s so cold on a morning that it doesn’t seem sensible, but then that turns into a day like today and I’m stumped. Hot office, hot drinks, sad face.
I did the next best thing and made up a cup of this one. Mint sounded the most cooling and refreshing thing out of the choices available, and spearmint is always a favourite with me. Having said that, it’s been a long old time since I last drank this one. Clearly mint isn’t as appealing during the winter!
As ever, this is sweet from the spearmint and cooling on the palate, with just the tiniest bite from the green tea base. I’d happily cold brew this one, and must remind myself to do so once I actually start preparing cold tea for work. It won’t be long now, based on today’s weather!
Pretty much the perfect tea for today’s situation. I like that there’s a tea for every occasion, and that mint can be cooling even when it’s hot. Oh, the paradoxes.
1 tsp, 2 minutes, 175. No additions.
I brought this one out again today, simply because it’s so warm out and I was looking for more summer-like flavours than I feel I’ve been drinking recently. I actually had a better cup than last time, and I’m not really sure why. I always use 1 tsp of leaf, measured with the same spoon, I cool the water and it gets the same brew time. Something must have varied fractionally, but it meant that I got a pleasant, sweet tasting cup of apricot and plum. I only wish I could replicate it every time!
It’s been a long time since I last drank this one, but it came to work with me this morning in my Timolino since I’m hosting an event away from the office until lunch time. As ever with these things, it didn’t go to plan. Tea is obviously a requirement in these situations!I added a splash of milk to my cup this morning, but it would be equally palatable without.
Initially, this comes across as quite a chocolatey tea; dark, almost bittersweet, cocoa-like chocolate. There are also some fairly prominent baked bread notes which remind me a lot of Second Breakfast – there’s an underlying saltiness that I also picked up in that one. The mid-sip is mostly malt, sweet and thick tasting, and it works perfectly with the chocolate notes. So far, so comforting. The end of the sip reveals a light fruitiness, which lingers into the aftertaste. It reminds me most of plum – juicy, a little sharp, a little tart. It’s a flavour combination that almost shouldn’t work, but somehow it does! You have to try it to see. Upon reacquaintance, this is still one of my favourite black teas. I’ve left my rating unchanged accordingly.
1.5 tsp, 3.5 mins, boiling water (212), splash of milk.
This week’s matcha sample is – Cheesecake! I feel like I prepared the ground well enough with “normal” flavours like Strawberry and Banana, so I finally broke out one of the left-field flavours that I’ve been looking forward to forever but still slightly scared of. When I opened the pouch, all I could smell was very sweet vanilla. That had me worried for a minute, but I needn’t have doubted.
I prepared this one as a latte, which has pretty much become my go-to. I used 1/4 tsp of matcha, whisked into 1/3 cup of hot water, and then topped off with milk. The scent lost some of its vanilla as soon as I added the water, and started to smell more like baking cheesecake. To taste, it’s super delicious! It’s creamy and sweet, of course, but with a slightly salty-sour-tangy undertone that really characterises cheesecake for me. There’s still the flavour of vanilla sitting over the top, but it’s not overpowering or sickly. It also avoids tasting artificial, which is a huge bonus as far as I’m concerned. There’s nothing chemically about the flavour of this one, it’s just straight-up flavour-accurate vanilla cheesecake. The matcha is completely masked by it, which is the whole point I guess, so there’s not even a conflict of “green” and “sweet”. It’s truly delicious stuff.
I can imagine that this would combine well with other flavours to make various “cheesecake” combinations, but I’m trying not to have too many samples open at once because they’re not resealable. It’s something I’d try in the future if I manage to get hold of a larger quantity in a tin, though.
For now, I’m just really happy with this one. It’s a desserty treat on a dull work day.
1/4 tsp, boiling water. Prepared as a latte.
Sipdown! Finished off the last of this one at work today. I like it for its orange creaminess, but I don’t really get much in the way of darjeeling from it. Honestly, any black base could probably have be substituted, and I’m not sure I’d really notice. Using less leaf might create a lighter brew, but that would feel odd given that I’m only using a scant 1 tsp to start with. It just seems to brew up very strong, to the point where I’m not entirely convinced it’s 100% darjeeling. It’s an enjoyable flavoured tea, though, and that’s what my rating reflects.
It’s likely that this’ll be my matcha at work this week – I got about 5 servings from my first sample pouch, so I reckon this one’ll probably be about the same. I prepared this one as a latte, no surprises there.
It’s good, but maybe not quite as good as last week’s banana matcha. It’s sweet, with a candy strawberry flavour, and just a hint of the grassy matcha coming through. It reminds me of those strawberry haribo sweets quite a bit – it has the same “I’m not really real” strawberry flavour that ultimately leaves you thinking of chemical flavouring. I’m not sure why I feel like this about it, because it isn’t particularly strong or overpowering, just a bit meh. I’m going to say it’s pleasant enough, and drinkable, but just not my favourite.
1/4 tsp, boiling water. Prepared as a latte.