1755 Tasting Notes
A sample from Memily! This one made my kitchen smell so gorgeous last night. If I hadn’t known it was tea, I’d have thought someone was baking some kind of vanilla pastry. I gave 1 tsp of leaf 5 minutes in boiling water. The resulting liquor was a fairly dark red, so I think I may have overdone the brew time a little. I have enough left to rectify this next time, though.
The initial taste is fairly tart — I’m thinking hibiscus, but elderberry could also be a culprit. At first, it’s all I can taste, but then the vanilla pastry I could smell in my kitchen starts to come through. The vanilla is so, so natural — vanilla beans rather than essence. The pastry note is light, buttery and delicious. There’s something a little shortbready, too. If it wasn’t for the initial tartness, this would be an amazing dessert tea.
I think I’ll try a shorter brew time for my next cup, to try and combat some of the tartness and bring out a little more of the vanilla-pastry-shortbread that has the potential to be so, so delicious. Thanks to *Memily" for introducing me to T2 — of the teas I’ve tried so far, I’m pretty impressed!
A sample from Memily! I’ve been hanging on to this one, because I’ve wanted to try it for so long, and it sounds delicious. I was waiting for the perfect day, I guess. Today fits the bill — I had to work yesterday, so I think I deserve a treat today. Also, it’s raining heavily and fairly dull, so a sweet, cheering cup is just the ticket!
I gave 5g of leaf (about 2 tsp) 3 minutes in water cooled slightly. I felt I had to do that in honour of the silver needle base, although to be fair there isn’t much of it here. It’s mostly mulberry and coconut!
It’s absolutely delicious. As it cools, it’s just like drinking liquid caramel with a sprinkle of coconut. There’s the tiniest hint of silver needle in the background, which helps to round out the flavour somehow. If there was ever a dessert replacement tea, this is it! I’ve got a gruelling week ahead, so I’m glad it’s starting on a high tea note! This is one I’d definitely try again should the opportunity arise. It’s sweet, warming, caramelly wonderfulness.
I cold brewed this to take to work at the end of last week. I have a huge bag in my cupboard, and it’s not my favourite mint black, so I figured I had nothing to lose. Turns out, I enjoy it much, much more cold than I do hot! I used 2 tbsp of leaf in 2 litres of water, and put it in the fridge overnight for about 10 hours. It’s the oddest colour when it’s done — transparent green. I kid you not. It tastes pretty nice, though. The mint is the most prominent flavour, but it’s not too in-your-face. The chocolate and the vanilla are given a chance to shine, too, and both are easily identifiable. The mint makes it refreshing, the vanilla creamy…and since when was chocolate an unwelcome addition to, well, anything?! I’ll probably use up the last of my bag this way, while people around me look puzzled and say “what is that?” It sure looks odd, so I guess they’re entitled.
A sample from Memily! I’ve tried this one both black and with milk recently, and I actually like both equally. Maybe a slight leaning preference towards the black, because I get more of the “berry” notes, and it tastes somehow juicier. The milk seems to muddle things a bit — it becomes harder to define the flavours, although it is deliciously creamy. Still, no complaints about a versatile milk/no milk tea!
I gave 1 tsp of leaf about 3.5 minutes in boiling water for both cups. At first, I thought there was too much going on in the flavour for me to really be able to enjoy. Then, as it cooled, I had a “Huh? Gin?” moment. That’s when I knew there was juniper in here, even without having read the ingredients. Yay for my palate! Underneath the strong juniper is a hint of dark, berry fruitiness. I’m reminded a little of Whispering Pines’ Elder Grove. The black tea is smooth and somehow juicy, which in turn put me in mind of Butiki’s leafhopper blacks – Taiwanese Wild Mountain and Mi Xian particularly.
I think it’s safe to say I really enjoy this one! It’s got lots of flavour, and the black base is lovely. An easy winner.
A sample from Memily. This is a bold cup if ever there was one! For some reason, I was thinking this one was going to be like MF Marco Polo…I think the “red” in the name was making me think of strawberry syrup! Perhaps fortunately, it’s nothing like that.
It’s a black tea, and it’s sweetly malty with a strong grain edge. It reminds me slightly of Butiki’s Crimson Horizon, or 52 Teas RadioactiviTEA, although this one has a more lingering taste. It’s like I can smell it just as much as I can taste it when I take a sip. There’s a lovely dark cocoa/chocolate note, maybe the tiniest hint of smoke. I can see this one being really nice with cream just to smooth the edges a little, so that’s something to try later! Surprisingly, there’s no astringency at all. It’s a little rough, but I can tolerate that. This would be a brilliant morning cup — it may have to come to work with me on Saturday to get me up and running. Boo for 6 day weeks!
This was yesterday’s work cold brew. I didn’t get chance to log it because work is manically busy right now, but today we were sent home early after a colleague was taken ill, so I took the opportunity to catch up with my tasting notes!
This was one of the teas I picked up with my huge recent Bluebird order. I tried a sample previously and liked it, so it was one I was keen to revisit. I figured it would make a good cold brew, and I wasn’t wrong! I used three bags in just over a litre of cold water, and left it in the fridge overnight for around 10 hours.
I’m pleased to say I prefer this cold. The strawberry flavour comes out much more clearly, and although there’s hibiscus in this, I can hardly taste it at all. Completely at odds with how this one is hot, when the tartness of the hibiscus pretty much overpowers the strawberry completely. The lemon also comes through nicely at the end of the sip, adding a slightly sharp/sour tang. It really does remind me of strawberry lemonade — the only thing I think might improve it is sparkling or soda water, for the real lemonade effect! Either that, or a slice of real lemon. I’m glad I revisited this one — it could easily become a cold brew favourite!
A sample from Memily. The first time I tried this one, I LOVED it. Like, give me more immediately loved it. Now I actually have some more, I find that second time around I’m not so keen. I know the sample I had previously was sealed, and I remember there being a lot of leaf for a single cup, but I was so tired after clearing I chucked it in and hoped for the best. This was back in the days when I had far too little tea experience, anyway. I remember the flavour being uber strong, and absolutely delicious.
For my last couple of cups, I’ve used 1.5tsp of leaf in 212 water for about 4 minutes. It might just be my tastes moving on, but I found it a little underwhelming. The flavour is a little muted, although I still get coconut/almond with a hint of cinnamon. It reminds me of amaretti biscuits! I think in the meantime I’ve just drank flavoured teas I like more…and unflavoured teas I love. Still, fond memories remain.
jasmine tea isn’t typically my thing, although there have been one or two that have appealed to me in the past. This one is okay — the jasmine isn’t too perfumey or floral. It’s definitely there, and it’s definitely jasmine, but somehow it’s delicate enough that that’s okay. The green tea is smooth and light tasting — no bitterness or astringency which is always a good thing in my book when it comes to green tea! There’s an element of sweetness, which is welcome, and a relatively heady floral aftertaste. It’s not one I’d repurchase, but it’s a pleasant enough cup on a warm afternoon. My rating only really reflects my dislike for jasmine in general.
So I was expecting strong floral from this one. Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened the pouch and got…coconut! Really strong coconut, as in coconut essence rather than the actual fruit. It actually reminds me of a body shop soap I used to use when I was younger! There’s no faulting the leaves, though. They’re rolled, and a beautiful green-brown with some yellowish stalks. No crushed or broken leaves here. Given that this is called “Orchid” oolong, and Orchid is a flower, I’m still thrown by the strong coconut scent.
I gave the bag three minutes in 180 degree water, after which the liquor is a golden yellow-brown. The scent of coconut is still strong, although there’s a fresh, mineral oolong scent also developing, and maybe a hint of light floral.
The strongest note in the flavour is initially coconut. The middle of the sip is more oolong, however, and is mildly buttery. A delicate floral comes out at the end of the sip, but it’s not nearly as potent as I expected it to be. It’s a heady floral, though, so orchid would fit. Sadly, it’s all but overwhelmed by coconut, which is really far too pungent, and quite oddly so. It really is like someone dumped half a bottle of coconut essence in the cup. Another slight issue is the astringency, which adds a dryness to the end of each sip. It’s not terrible, but paired with the coconut it’s pulling this one down in my estimation. It’s drinkable, but not really for me.
Used all but the last teaspoon of this in today’s cold brew. I’m going to be sad when it’s gone, as it’s one of the 52 Teas reblends I’ve liked the most of the ones I’ve tried so far. It’s good hot, but on the strength of the SBT version I really wanted to give it a try cold brewed.
So I did. I used 1.5 tbsp of leaf in 1 litre of water, and put it in the fridge for 10 hours overnight. It’s so good. Maybe even better than the SBT version! I was wondering whether it was going to be worthwhile sacrificing the last of my pouch to a cold brew, but it definitely was. If anything, this one comes alive cold. I can taste blueberries — fresh, sweet, juicy blueberries. I can taste the tang of cream cheese — creamy, cold, slightly savoury. More exciting than both of these, I can taste PASTRY! Buttery, flaky pastry. That’s a flavour I haven’t always been able to detect hot, but it’s here cold. Undeniably.
Am I glad I chose this as today’s cold brew? Certainly! If nothing else can cheer up a dull Friday, this will be able to. I’m saddened that my pouch is now pretty much gone, but at least I’ll have fond memories. In the meantime, I can enjoy the rest of my bottle today. I’ve increased my rating a little to reflect today’s success.