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Recent Tasting Notes
Finished this one off last night at something stupid like three in the morning. I was drinking it and my brother had just gotten home from work, came downstairs and instantly commented on how good it smelled/how strong the rich vanilla aroma was.
And the vanilla certainly was strong! This was a really wonderful tea to end the night on and I’m happy to have gotten in a sipdown since I’ve got tea en-route and just picked up some of DT’s fall stuff. Plus, now that I’m in Regina again it’s not too hard to pop on over to Cuppa’T and see if I can grab some more!
Man, I don’t envy Liam right now though. He’s working the same job I used to in highschool; at Galaxy Cinemas. He absolutely hates it – I can tell. To be fair, I did encourage him not to apply because I know he’s in no way an evening person and working at the theater is really late hours. But watching him do it, I have no idea how I did it – I AM an evening person so I know how I managed to stay up so late, but to then go to school at 8AM? That’s crazy.
I guess to be fair in my final year of highschool I did have a lot of spares; first and fifth period and then 2nd too because IB Art finished a few months early. So I’d just go to school with my brother in the morning and catch up on sleep in the art loft (we had the best couches up there and no one other than art students were allowed access) during my spares…
When I was packing everything on Tuesday, there were a few tea soda syrups in the fridge that, because of the containers they were in, couldn’t come with me to Regina so my friend Robyn who was helping me pack and I had tea soda and ice cream while getting everything ready to move back!
She had a Redberry Tonic Soda (I’ll remake this eventually so I can try it too) and I had a Creme Brulee Rooibos soda! My idea with this one when I made the syrup was that because of the strong vanilla notes it might taste good or somewhat like Cream Soda and that’s exactly what it tasted like! Except no where near as sweet/cloying, and a lot more natural.
Now that I’m back in Regina, stopping at Cuppa’T to restock this tea seems a lot more realistic/doable – the downside of course being that neither Tea Desire or McQuarrie’s (both shops I have blends from which I like to have on hand) are quite so local anymore…
I’ve decided to stop hoarding the leaf for this blend, and just work on sipping it down.
Vanilla bean, vanilla custard, vanilla cake… Vanilla everything!
And on top of that mouth watering vanilla flavor, this cold brew had a lovely soft floral quality, honey notes, and a subtle graham/woody flavour from the rooibos base. This leaf might be somewhat older, but that hasn’t changed the wonderful flavour yet! I’d still like to try more teas with tonka beans in them though; I think they’re the key to this wonderful ‘triple threat’ vanilla flavour – but I can’t be sure if I don’t have something to compare with.
Old leaf; but not spent leaf.
Steeped this one up as a hot cashew milk latte for class last week. I was a little scared that the cashew milk’s distinct flavor might over power the vanilla notes but the tea did a good job keeping up with the milk.
It was actually very sweet; almost cloying actually and I really didn’t expect that. I was sure this would be a nice, creamy beverage with subtle vanilla flavouring. But I’m not disappointed it was really sweet; it was a good surprise! Obviously the vanilla notes dominated, with the extra kind of ‘exotic’ presence/feel from the Tonka Beans. Liquid Proust should see if he can find a source for Tonka Beans; I’ve yet to see another company use them (and I know they’re supposed to be near impossible to find in the states) and I’d love to try them in another blend. Maybe with a black base…
But overall this was super comforting and enjoyable; though perhaps better suited for fall/winter?
My tummy has the gurglies…
I just finished baking two dozen cupcakes and I most definitely ate too much cupcake batter because I’m a foolish person. It was fun playing around with new recipes though; the ones I made are Vanilla/Cherry/Zucchini with a Strawberries and Cream matcha icing. I can’t even think about trying one right now – but Tre played ‘Guinea Pig’ for me and tried one without the icing and one with. He says that without is amazing; very moist, with a good balance of zucchini and cherry. With, he didn’t like as much – though it wasn’t because of the vegetal factor like expected. It’s ‘cause the strawberry blends into the cherry too much and it gets too strong taste wise. Of course, I’ll test them for myself later and record a note for them…
This is a queued tasting note.
Made this one up in my timolino with a little bit of milk splashed in. I realized that with the change of season, I’ve been neglecting my rooibos teas pretty badly so I pulled about five of them out of my cupboard to incorporate into the work week. This is the first one I steeped up.
The mouthfeel was very thick and rich, and the creaminess of the milk only help extend that feeling. Creamy vanilla bean notes dominated the cup in a way that made me think of thick, frosty vanilla milkshakes (only hot?). The last few sips were a touch medicinal tasting; perhaps from the rooibos base, sitting in the timolino for an extended time or possibly a combination of both.
Milk seemed to simplify the complexity/layers of this blend – but it was enjoyable overall, and perhaps the best way to drink it in a timolino. I find with more complex/nuanced teas, the timolino strips that away anyway or it just becomes too much of a distracting paying attention to the tea when I just want something casual to sip on during my work commute.
Next up in the queue; I wrote lots of jot notes for this one since I was very excited about it.
I picked this one up in store when I was in Regina mid December; I had planned to get at least one new blend to try, but I definitely wasn’t anticipating it being this one. In part because I picked up two other rooibos blends at the same time, and in part because I already stock another Creme Brulee blend that also uses rooibos (albeit green rooibos) for the base.
But the ingredients in this were rather unique in my opinion, and I’d never seen a blend with them sold by any other retailer so I got swept up in the excitement and bought this one. I mean, it’s got sweet blackberry leaves, puffed rice, and tonka beans. Definitely a bit different. I even had to look up tonka beans because while I’d heard the name before I was so unfamiliar with them I didn’t know what the flavour was supposed to be like and I’d never seem them mentioned in tea before.
A brief lesson of sorts on tonka beans: They’re most commonly used in perfume because they have a sweet, almost vanilla like taste and smell but they’re uncommon in food/drink because they got a “bad wrap” years ago for being toxic. Except, they’re toxic in the same way that nutmeg is toxic: you have to consume a whole lot of it. More tonka beans or nutmeg than any sane/rational person would ever or could ever consume at one time. So really, they’re not harmful at all. Just kind of… taboo.
And so now you know!
And guys, as soon as the water hit the tea leaf my house smelled incredible. This tea is really, really aromatic with such a smooth, soft vanilla/caramel kind of smell to it. I’m sure it must be from the beans – I really did immediately kind of understand why they’re so often used in perfume. It really carries, and lasts!
Taste wise, the liquor in this scrumptious smelling tea isn’t nearly as smooth as the smell would suggest it should be, but it’s still really good regardless. The vanilla (or rather “tonka”) flavour in this is really silky and powerful, and the most noticeable thing in the blend, but there’s also this lovely caramel flavour that feels just a little burned. Toasty, gooey caramel. The puffed rice contributes a roastiness that I didn’t realize I wanted to be there until I tasted it – and now I’m sure that it needs to be there. And it’s so subtle too; just a fleeting roasty quality made noticeable right before that first taste of vanilla and then again right after it’s faded.
As for the base, it’s decently masked but still a little present. I actually like rooibos though so I don’t mind it at all though. I’m gonna love having this sweet, accurately named dessert tea around for before bed though. I’m sure of it!
What a fantastic blend to come out of a fairly quaint little store. I really don’t know anywhere else I could find such a unique Creme Brulee blend. Just dying to know where they sourced it from!
Thanks to Lala for this tea! I immediately thought of using this to cold brew, and one litre later, I’m sharing some with my mom. It makes without-a-doubt-lemon iced tea without all the scary sweetness in Nestea and the like. My mom even swears the base has a floral note? I see where she is coming from.
Thanks again, Lala!
Thank you Roswell Strange for the share. When brewing, this smelled amazing and as I sip, I am enjoying it more than I anticipated I would. The base is a faint orange flavour but add to that a touch of pepper and a nice dose of spice and you have a surprisingly pleasant cup of tea. However, I do want to mention it is best hot because the flavors change as it cools and they aren’t as good. 265.
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing this tea. I made this last night in my carry mug and as I sip, I am happy it is still warm but I am finding this to be quite bland. It is slightly orangey and has a hint of nut but any flavor there was may have been drowned out by its long stay in the thermos. Luckily my tea twin shared enough that I will be able to try this again.
I got this in a sample swap from Roswell Strange – thank you! I have wanted to try this one for a long time. I love melon teas and was intrigued that this one is a black tea.
I enjoyed this last night while sitting in my floofy chair watching TV, after a 2 hour nap. Isn’t that the life?
The tea was good, for sure. I’m the first to say that my palate isn’t the best, I know what I like but I can’t always pick out exactly what I am tasting. So when I was drinking this it had a top note that I recognized, but didn’t recognize as melon. I liked it, but couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.
It’s very different from other melon teas I have tried, and a really enjoyable tea. Thanks RS! I hope your end of the swap comes today.
So I have had several cups of this one iced this afternoon. I used 6 tsp of tea in about 1/2 litre of boiling water. Then added a whole lotta ice. I didn’t need to add any sweetener as it is sweet on its own.
This one is definitely better iced than hot. The artificial lemon taste is quite blunted. It tastes like a light black tea with candied lemon. Kind of like those little candy lemon drops, but there is no sour, just sweet.
I would say this one is not a favourite but it was nice for an extremely hot and humid day.
I purchased this one quite a while ago with the intention of making iced tea. I never did, it just sat in the bottom on the tea cupboard. I have been getting sick of some of the iced teas I had been making on the weekends so I decided to pull this one out.
I did make it iced, but it is currently chilling in the icebox. I also decided I should try it hot for completion.
Hot, the tea is ok. Honestly it reminds me a bit of no name brand lemon dish soap.I really feel this one was designed to be iced. I hope the same taste does not translate over to the iced version. The black tea base is mild. There is a definite candied lemon taste to the tea, it is bordering on artificial though, hense the lemon dish soap reference. It is a little more sweet than I would like my hot black teas, but I did not add anything to it, that is the way it came. The liquor is very thick and there is a slight astringency at the end of the sip but only if you hold the liquor in your mouth for a little bit before swallowing.
Jeez, I’m really going through the teas I got from Roswell Strange. Every time I go into the kitchen to choose a tea, I end up with one of hers. This one is “generic” black tea leaves with a few slices of almond and some red flower petals. It smells of sugar and caramel with some almond and cinnamon in there too. I did a 3-minute steep at 200 degrees, next time I may go for longer.
The brewed aroma is cinnamon and honey roasted almonds. Yum! I added sugar to mine, and it’s lovely brown sugar-candied almonds with just a little touch of cinnamon. There’s a definite caramelized taste here, and a little hint of buttery pastry. Mine came out just a little bit weaker than I would have liked, so I will probably try a longer steep for the other half of my sample. Overall, I love the flavors here. :D
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cinnamon, Pastries, Sweet
Lately I have been reaching for lighter teas – those with whites and green bases and fruity flavors. I attribute this preference to the warmer weather. And yet, tonight, I wanted something rich and dark and flavorful – something I could hold in my hands to warm me up and with a scent that is cozy and comforting. Honestly, I was thinking about Nutmeg Cream but I figured I should focus on swap teas and older teas first before diving into that. Plus, last time I had it, it was rather astringent. Then, I considered Brioche and as I rummaged through my draws, I remembered the sample of this tea, courtesy of the amazing Roswell Strange that definitely reminded me of Brioche tea, at least when it came to smell. So I settled on this because it was both a swap tea and one I felt could fit my mood.
Brewed up, the smell is definitely something that is fun to just hold and sniff (wow, that sounds weird). Like Brioche, it is bready and nutty and reminiscent of delicious baked goods. Yum! Unfortunately, compared to Brioche, this falls a bit short. It has the nuttiness but lacks the bready element I love so much. Also, it is a touch more astringent than I would like. That is not to say it is not a good tea in its own right, but seeing as I have Brioche in quantity in my cupboard, I don’t think I will be stocking this anytime soon. Nonetheless, I am grateful to Roswell Strange for the chance to try something new so thank you tea twin!!!
roswell strange sent this one my way and i’m glad that she did. While it’s not the crazy intensly delicious melon flavour that lupicia has…it is also a black tea! and that makes me happy. I much prefer this one of the black melon that the teafairy sent me. I’m finding this one to be just the right balance of fruit and black tea today. Thanks a bunch RS!
I put roughly 5 teaspoons of mix to steep into 1 litre/35 oz of cold water for approx 22 hours. The result is a pink/red liquid (watermelon coloured) that has a sweet, refreshing yet tart fruit scent. Very dragon fruity.
Flavour is very sweet with a slight tart after taste but liquid is quite thick and sugar syrup like. Similar to some instant iced tea mixes I’ve had before (I think they were Lipton). My cup even has some sort of white sugar like substance on the bottom, if I hadn’t known it was a fruit mix my guess would have been instant blend. Despite that though this is very nice, the flavour is nice, clean and refreshing yet it has enough sweetness to work well as an iced tea and a pinch of sour to stop it being too sweet. Fruit flavour wise it is heavy on the dragon fruit but also has a peach, mango and light mixed berry tones.
I have enough for another cold steep with the same parameters so I will do that for tomorrow, two of my husbands brothers are over for a drink and sleepover before they go to Wembley on Saturday to watch a football finals match. I don’t see them often, I live in Leicester and my husband is from Derby but moved here for me and though our cities are next to each other his family rarely visit and I rarely visit them. I’m putting it down to the fact that none of us can drive. Still it will be nice to have family over and this iced tea will be great with a splash of vodka or scotch :) Party iced tea.
I believe this tea was from Lala so thank you Lala for my night time cuppa.
Once steeped the tea smells like almond, it’s sweet and nutty yet light and with some rooibos scent. Like a sugar almond sweet mixed with rooibos.
Flavour isn’t as almond like, in-fact it’s thickly rooibos with an almond after taste. Has some sweetness though it’s more from the rooibos than the almond and there is dryness in the after taste.
Not as nice in flavour as it was in scent but it wasn’t a bad rooibos blend, it was something I happily finished a pot of which is a rarity for me and rooibos. The almond just gives it a nice subtle touch.
I waited in all day for a re-delivery that failed to actually be re-delivered, my early morning and severe tiredness from lack of sleep was all for nought. Now I just have to hope my parcel isn’t being sent back to Asia, customer services said they will contact me in a few days. Pft, bloody Royal Mail!
Now I’m tying to relax by watching House MD (on my fourth or fifth re-watch in completion) and by sampling this tea, I do love almond and am in need of something sweet.
Served with a splash of milk. Once steeped it has a subtle nutty scent (like almond and walnut ie sweet yet creamy) and a hint of cinnamon spice.
It tastes strongly of mixed roasted nuts which is a little dry with some sweetness in the after taste. I think it’s one of the nuttiest teas I’ve ever tasted, though I’m not digging it’s dryness (which nuts tend to be) I am liking the flavour. From time to time I do like nuts, I eat them often as their good for vegetarians. It tastes a little like candied almonds but more like old stock from a pub machine that isn’t used often.
I do like this one, not sure if it would be something I would purchase (if I could) but I could certainly drink it again happily.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Nuts
Just a good, old fashioned cold brew!
This one is actually from my mom’s tea stash but it’s one I used to have a fair bit of so I thought that it’d be neat to revisit it. It did taste pretty well exactly what I remembered it tasting like; quite strongly orange flavoured with undertones of both spices, like cinnamon and peppercorn, and nutty notes. The nutty notes were definitely more weighted towards pistachio; they had that particular pistachio sweetness to them.
It was fun to revisit this one, though I’m pretty content with not having it in my cupboard. It’s good, but not super special or mind blowing. Good nostalgia trip, though.
Well, this is the last cup. I managed to squeak one last one into the night because I had some serious tea cravings left unchecked, and this was a caffeine free sipdown just waiting to be pounced on!
This cup was warm, comforting, Autumnal and delicious with oranges, cinnamon, and pistachio ruling the cup. I never really wanted this tea and when I got it as a birthday present I definitely was not excited but I have to say that on the whole it far exceeded my expectations and I never did really have a bad cup of it – which is something I can’t say about ever some of my favourite blends.
So not too shabby on the whole.
Sipdown impending (may finish it off tonight).
Made in my timolino; very juicy orange and sweet pistachio heavy complimented by lighter notes of almond and a very faint “spice” present in the end of the sip in the back of your throat. Like a little “tickle”. Mmm!
Mental note to myself: I should eat more pistachio stuff!
Also, dropping this link here for future reference so I can pull it up again for Starfevre when she’s not on her work computer. I totally recommend watching this music video if gore/sex stuff doesn’t make you really uncomfortable! It’s a really interesting, albeit mildly mentally scaring, video.
I woke up this morning to a phone call from Bobbi asking if I could take her shift today; reluctantly I agreed since she said she’d take mine tomorrow – so I wasn’t giving up my day off. Still, I’m horribly exhausted now and even though I get tomorrow off I feel kinda gypped. Plus side; my swap from Cameron B. arrived today; so now I can spend tomorrow sampling things and doing sipdowns, so there’s at least that.
Today this one was a cold brew; it was pretty good but it’s definitely better hot, that’s for sure. I think there’s more depth and layers to a hot cup, and unexpectedly I feel like the “spice” (really the cinnamon) is milder and the orange juicier. This was tasty, but it was very strong orange and cinnamon without much else present/showing through.
Probably gonna finish off what I have left (I’m giving most of what’s left to my friend Robyn; I just saved about a tablespoon for myself to sipdown) as a hot cup. I like the nuttiness/orange flavour better hot. But again, it’s not that this was bad cold.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Orange