1239 Tasting Notes
I made this once last week but didn’t pay attention so I couldn’t write a note. Then for a change of pace, I made a pitcher of it cold.
It was really quite good cold, except that some of the mint leaves are small enough to be able to slide through my strainer, so it was leafier than other cold brews. So much so that no. 1 asked if it was ok to drink the leaves.
As a hot tea, it is heavy on the mint, light on the ginger, and ultra light on the tea. Mostly what I see, taste and smell, is mint. I can taste the effect of the ginger. I say effect because it’s more a cutting into the wall of mint than a flavor unto itself. I don’t taste black tea at all.
So I’m torn here because the flavor is very minty, and its a nice mint. Not a mouth full of dirt or bitter as some mints can be. And it tastes natural, not like a Tums. On the other hand, I hoped there would be more to it. Ginger and mint together can be a really nice blend, but the ginger isn’t strong enough here. And I can see why the other reviewer said they don’t really consider it a black tea so much as an herbal.
So balancing out the very nice mint with the disappointment on other fronts, I’m giving it a low very good.
Flavors: Ginger, Mint
First tea this morning and I’m noticing the spice a lot more.
I haven’t had a Simpson & Vail tea I didn’t like, but I also haven’t had one I adore. They fit into a bit of a niche for me, which I suppose if I had to name it I’d call “nicely done floral.” I expect that if I drank a number of them side by side I’d be able to differentiate them, but when I drink them only occasionally, they meld together as a memory.
This one is reminiscent of the Earl Grey (which had no bergamot flavor to speak of) and I wonder if it is because the cardamom is serving the same purpose, which is to be a punctuation mark within the floral.
I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, but I have a large number of other S&V “nicely done florals” and this one isn’t enough of a stand out to go on the list for 2020, when I come out of lockdown ;-).
In the tin it smells remarkably like every other Simpson & Vail tea I’ve ever had. Floral, particularly rosey. Reminds me of the various incarnations of Earl Grey from Simpson & Vail, but even the non-flavored teas smell this way, which I attribute to their being stored together in their paper bag sample bags. And like the other S&V florals, it’s a pretty tea with the petals and pod pieces adding visual interest.
I don’t really smell cardamom in the tin. After steeping, I smell something in the aroma that is spicy, and if I try hard enough I can single it out as cardamom. The spice is actually the predominant note in the steeped tea’s aroma. The floral sort of heads to the background. The liquor is clear medium brown.
It’s mild, pleasant, with some spice and some flora. I have to run out, so I may have more to say about this a bit later.
I’ve had this in my cupboard for a while and I can’t believe I haven’t cracked it open before now. I realized that I have rather an overabundance of flavored blacks in my stash. My buying pattern before I went on hiatus was, go to an online retailer to get one or two things, and end up buying about 30 because they all looked so interesting. And yet, I can’t really drink more than a couple of cups of flavored blacks in a day. Hence the overabundance.
In the packet it smells rather intensely of caramel flavored coffee to me, a little on the bitter side, a little on the sweet side, and something in the middle that’s like baking powder. It has a dark reddish brown liquor. The aroma is less baking powder and more baked something else which is good. Not as bitter smelling after steeping.
The taste has no bitterness at all, and is in fact remarkably smooth. It’s a nice caramel flavor, not too sweet but just sweet enough. At first it reminded me of the amaretti cookies, but more in terms of texture and atmosphere than in terms of flavor as there’s not an almond note that I can discern, though supposedly this contains almond. Perhaps it was the luck of the spoon. If there had been almond to my tastebuds, this would be more similar to Brioche than it is. But in addition to not tasting the almond, this also doesn’t give off the same bear claw type baked goods flavor. The “cookie” part is not a soft, baked, flaky sort of flavor, more of a hard, chewy sort of flavor.
The package recommends having this with milk, but I don’t think it needs it. Which is a good thing, or I probably wouldn’t give it high marks.
It’s tasty, just not as cookie-ish as I had hoped. But perhaps, as I mentioned, that’s the luck of the spoon and I’ll get more of that flavor on the next try.
Flavors: Caramel, Cookie
Tried this hot today, steeped Western style.
I know I’ve had peach oolongs before. I remember having the Adagio and not being a fan. This is better than I remembered the Adagio being, both in terms of the peach flavor, which is not juicy, but rather floral and subtle, and the underlying tea’s flavor which I expect is a better quality dark oolong.
It has a clear, dark apricot liquor and a pleasant, mildy peachy aroma. The tea has a smoothness to it, which makes it more pleasant than the sharp notes of some flavored dark oolongs.
Flavored oolong is so hit or miss for me. I’ve liked a few, but I’ve felt pretty meh or worse about most of the ones I’ve tried. I don’t see spending time trying to make this perfect. I don’t love it enough for that, and I expect I won’t even try it in the gaiwan. I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that with the exception of jasmine oolongs, it’s really not worth the trouble to do anything other than Western in the Breville.
The BF likes this cold quite a bit. I think most of the remainder of this second container will be dedicated to cold brew.
Flavors: Peach, Wood
Sipdown no. 36 of 2016 (no. 247 total).
Nothing to add to the previous note in terms of description. I liked it but some other yunnans do more for me.
Busy week! I have been drinking tea, but not trying anything new on purpose because I haven’t had time to write notes. No. 1’s basketball season is in full swing. Fortunately I think it only lasts a few more weeks, because little league baseball season has started. Both kids have games today. They also both have a piano contest in about two weeks. Things should calm down a bit after March, which I’m also expecting to be a very busy month at work.
Still liking the new job. Now just have to get the rest of my life (exercise, writing) in order. Oh, and my shoulder stopped hurting after three days of Aleve and heating pads, pretty much as abruptly as it started. I’m now wondering whether I had the standing desk at work positioned too high. I lowered it some and haven’t had a repeat.
Sipdown no. 35 of 2016 (no. 246 total).
I don’t rush to Assams because some grab onto the back of my throat in an unpleasant way. But sometimes I wonder why I don’t give them more of a chance. Usually, after drinking one like this.
It has a lovely sugary sweetness, a bit of breadlines and a cocoa note. It doesn’t grab my throat, at least not enough to bother me.
I would mourn it’s gone-ness, but I have plenty of others.
Yesterday around 4 I was at work and my right shoulder started hurting for no apparent reason. It’s better today, but it was a rough night, involving lots of Advil and a heating pad. I briefly worried about heart attack, but I don’t think it’s that as I have no other symptoms.
It put a crimp in my plans for today, though, because now all I can think about is when I might be able to take a nap.
Somehow I have two containers of this. Not sure why. I think I must have ordered one and then got another one through the tea of the month club. I likely ordered it because the BF is a big peach fan.
I was looking around for things to try in cold brew, and because I had so much of this I thought I might give it a shot.
I dunno. The peach is fine as far as it goes. It’s a light, almost floral peachiness, not a juicy, fruity peachiness. But the tea, at least cold, is a rather single note dark oolong, heavy on the woodsy. It makes a decent cold tea, but I hope that when I get around to trying it hot, that will reveal more depth and complexity.
Flavors: Peach, Wood
Sipdown no. 34 of 2016 (no. 245 total). Backlogging from yesterday morning.
I had big plans for this long weekend on the clean up front, but alas, I got sucked into playing Unravel. I loved it, but this reminds me why I stopped playing computer games. I get obsessed and don’t get to the other things I need to do. It’s the first time I’ve really played a computer game I wanted to play with my kids (as opposed to one they wanted to play), and we made an excellent team. I was the brains and they were the brawn-I figured out the puzzles and they got me past the parts that required fast-twitch reflexes.
I started yesterday morning with this, on my continuing crusade to sip down things I like, not just things I don’t like as much. It’s remarkable how well this captured the butter pecan flavor. The only real negative about this one is that sometimes it could hit my stomach wrong, particularly if I hadn’t eaten first. But in terms of flavor accuracy and pleasantness, it was very nice and I’m sorry to see it go.