709 Tasting Notes
All the talk about maple teas on the discussion boards had me wanting to try this one which I just brought to work last week. I haven’t tried it before but it does have an appetizing maple smell – it’s a bit more Aunt Jemima than maple syrup (if you’re Canadian you will probably understand) but it is definitely appealing.
Steeped, the liquor is quite brown, and has a smell that puts me in mind of boxed pancakes and Aunt Jemima. Again, yummy but not quite the real deal. There is some sweetness that comes off as maple syrup and the tea is very prominent beneath that. They are pretty well balanced with each other but the tea does have a hint of bitterness. I wonder what the base tea is, cuz I think I steeped this appropriately but the bitterness is a bit disappointing.
I would like a smidge more maple in here but it is a very old sample so I may have just lost some flavour over time. A drop of syrup or honey in here would do wonders (if I had any here at work). All in all, very nice.
EDIT to add – this reminds me of a couple Monk’s Blends that I have had. Interesting!
The beau brought a silken satchet of this home from his work for me to try. While I’m not the biggest rooibos fan anymore I do love him so try it I shall. The aroma reminds me of Ruby Red from Joy’s Teaspoon – some sweetness, tropical fruit of some sort and some rooibos. Nothing objectionable, but not too snazzy either. A quick comment on the satchet though – I love it! For a rooibos, it had plenty of room for spreading out and getting fully steeped. Actual tea might have needed a bit more room, but this was great for a non-expanding tea. It was also fine enough to keep the rooibos in which is important for me. I hate small floaties.
First sips are nice enough. It echoes the smell with some undistinguishable fruit flavouring and sweetness. There is almost a hint of bubble gum but it doesn’t quite go there (luckily). Still reminds me of Ruby Red, which I have 4 or 5 ounces of at home. One of the better rooibos teas I have had lately. Generic but good. :)
Oy. Another from SimplyJenW that I drank but did not review. I recall a lot of people saying that Paris is similar to Tower of London (which I love) but for some reason I always think of it as heavy on bergamot. At the moment, that doesn’t seem to be true. Actually, I am starting to think that Paris is the mystery tea that scent contaminated all the rest of my samples. Either that or it is fairly heavy contaminated. Can’t be sure anymore.
The smell is sweet and light, I am not getting much by way of bergamot. Actually, I do get some sweet stone fruit that DOES remind me of ToL. Perhaps I have had false memories of this tea all along. First sips are light and sweet, much like the aroma but with a bit more of a honey note. I am not picking up on any citrus or bergamot but I am really liking the honey/stone fruit notes. Why has this sat neglected for so long? This is a nice little sippable tea. I am glad to introduce it to my work stash, I’m sure it won’t last very long now. :)
Wow, another I didn’t review. Whoops. SimplyJenW sent this my way probably a year and a half or two years ago. This is a prime example of why I almost never do swaps, I never seem to get around to drinking the things I get in return. I have had most of this one though, so I’m not sure how I managed to miss reviewing it.
I am not much of an English breakfast drinker as they tend to be bitter assams and other bold teas I don’t drink a lot of. They are nice for a treat though, and I will add a bit of sugar or honey if necessary. This one got the kid gloves treatment of a 3 minute steep so it should be good on it’s own. I get a lot of malt in the aroma, and it has a smell that frequently translates into bitterness. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s easy to recognize.
First sips are a bit lighter than I expected, and with a surprising level of sweetness. This tastes more like Chinese blacks than Indian. Wait a minute, I’ve finally read the description. This is a Keemun? Win! I get some sweetness that is almost lightly floral, not much of a smoke note like I sometimes get. This is a nice keemun and extremely affordable. I don’t see why they don’t just label it as a Kemmun, but whatever works. :)
Another very old sample from my box of goodies from LiberTeas – thank you! This is one that made it to the bottom of the basket otherwise I would have drank it all down in the first place. I am not a huge fan of the old 52Teas base and I don’t really enjoy Earl Grey but I DO love cheesecake! I am thinking that the improper storage will have hurt this one though, I don’t get any earl or cheesecake aroma from the dry leaf. Everything in that basket of samples took on a weird aroma which I STILL haven’t identified but really don’t enjoy. Let this be a lesson to all of Steepster: store your samples properly and use them quickly!
Steeped, I get that funky smell (I think it was a mix of Pancake Breakfast and Buttered Popcorn, neither of which I really enjoyed) and a hit of something that puts me in mind of coconut. Bad sign. Da*n you Uniquity-from-the-past for your carelessness!
Unfortunately, the taste is about what I expected. Some astringency, no bergamot or cheesecake. I’ll just toss the rest of this and move on to something else. I bet it would have been wonderful if I had tried it a year ago, heh.
Well I am finally logging a note on this one. I have had it for ages and am not entirely positive that I ever tried it. It seems to be a roasted oolong which is a good start but a lot of the flavours are diminished, probably because I have had it for so long. I do get a note that I could call melon but I am not picking up on fig or any of the other ingredients. Not bad but I’ll be okay when it’s gone.
Okay. A coworker gave me some of this to try a month or two ago but I have been so afraid of it that I held off trying until today. I used a scant teaspoon in my perfect tea mug for 3 or 4 minutes and am rewarded with a golden amber brew that smells like a campfire. This is feeling a bit more like a punishment than a reward, but maybe I’ll like it.
Over the past few years I have come to enjoy and even embrace a light smoke note in tea. Note the word light. This is POW. This might have my coworkers wondering if the office is on fire. Oy. Initially, I get a sweet taste that morphs into smoked ham. Then I am left with a mouth full of ashtray. Hm. The ashtray thing isn’t actually as bad as it sounds, but it isn’t good either. I’m clinging to the sweetness of the tea under all the smoke as if it were a lifeboat. I can drink this, but I really don’t think I want to. I do really want some smoked ham now…
Well, after seeing so many posts from people ordering and loving Red Leaf Tea’s matcha, I decided to do some more experimentation with the flavours I have. I got the caramel and loved it, but the other three (strawberry, cheesecake and cookies and cream) have all tasted TERRIBLE to me. I don’t know what makes my taste buds so different but I just do not like RLT’s flavoured matcha.
Anyway, I took some of my (admittedly old) matchas and mixed them in cold water today. I went with cold to avoid potential bitterness as a lot of people have recommended it to me as an alternative to hot matcha. I used about 1/2 tsp of cheesecake as I found it to be very light and 1/4 tsp of strawberry as that is a roundhouse kick to the face.
I tried to build a froth but that doesn’t really work with old matcha and cold water so I gave in and started sipping. It smells like fake strawberry soap and bubble bath which is the issue I’ve had with strawberry all along. The taste is yummy for about 1.5 seconds and then it is all strawberry bubble bath. There is no way I am finishing this. I think the beau needs to use up the remains of our matchas and I need to accept that I just don’t like it. Ugh.
Trying this again today with much more leaf (the rest of my sample – 1.5, nearly two TSP). I am getting much more aroma during infusion than last time, likely because of the volume of leaf. I think this is overkill actually. It definitely wasn’t enough for two cups but too much for one. I just can’t win with this tea!
The liquor is deep brown and almost muddy – again a result of over-infusion. The aroma doesn’t yield any bitterness which is impressive. First sips are rich and slightly malty with no bitterness at all. This is very smooth but not yielding a variety of complex flavours like I expected. This is much better than my first try but still not a favourite. I don’t know why this one isn’t rocking my world like everyone else, but at least I gave it the old college try. Enjoying but not remarkable. Sipdown!
Here is another from the box o’teas from LiberTeas from way back when. This is one of the samples that had some smell contamination but as it is an unflavoured tea I don’t imagine it will be as much an issue as it was for the flavoured teas.
I actually don’t know anything about pouchongs, and was a little wary when I read that they are a mix of green tea and green oolongs. Those are my two least favourite kinds of tea, both prompting queasy stomache on occasion which leads me to stay away from them.
This is beautiful though, long twisted leaves that open up to be very full and have a very sweet smell without any of that vegetal aroma I dislike so much. The liquor is a golden yellow and smells almost of mild cinnamon sugar. The first sips echo these smells and are really quite nice. I get a sense of creaminess, and it is a very full flavour, much more than I expected by the aroma.
Despite my dislike of green tea and green oolongs, this is really nice. I am very impressed, and look forward to enjoying the rest of the sample. I’m not sure if this is an authentic tasting of this pouching, but man is it yummy. There is hope for me yet!
Edit to add: This is tasting note 600. Yippee!