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Backlog 9 January 2017
I can see how this can be appealing to some due to the boost of energy that comes packed with it; however, I had to force myself to drink it. Maybe I brewed it improperly (200 F at 3 minutes), but it was very bitter.
I’ve been running behind on reviews; can you tell? Sometimes I go through periods where I just want to drink tea and not have to worry about writing it—curse of the introvert.
This tastes just as it should—appley and cinnamony. It’s a great fall tea. Sometimes I wonder what these flavorings would taste like if they weren’t put on such cheap bases. This one was drying and boring, just as you would expect.
But then I remember that the good bases don’t need flavoring.
Whew, this sucker is strong! Malty to the point of tasting like a dark beer. Still no bitterness, but much too much for me.
I had to have milk and sugar to enjoy this tea, and I’m still not really loving the flavor.
Flavors: Malt, Tannic
I would call this blend Wine, not Ice Wine. Perhaps if I put a bunch of sugar in there, it would taste more like ice wine.
It’s still a nice tea. It’s grapey; it’s winey. The base is nice and smooth, but unlike most blends I have been drinking, it makes itself known. It does get a little drying after a while, but I think it adds to the authentic wine experience.
It’s actually not too bad for a tea store blend.
Flavors: Drying, Grapes, White Wine
I’m running around my kitchen brewing cup after cup of Lapsang Souchong and Russian Caravan for a smoky tofu recipe compare and contrast, and I figured I might as well brew a tea I’m actually going to drink tonight.
The base is light, and I can tell that it could easily be oversteeped. I only stepped this one for 3 minutes, and it’s JUST got a hint of bitterness. It’s getting more bitter as it cools. What’s up with that?
The tea’s crowning glory is the strawberry flavor, which is present but not overpowering. Margaret seems to do fruit flavors well. I’ve had fruit flavors that taste like lipstick, and this isn’t one of them.
Flavors: Bitter, Strawberry
So I brewed Petali’s Lapsang Souchong and Margaret’s Russian Caravan side by side to do a little comparing and contrasting. All I can say now is that I want BBQ. I’m seriously thinking about doing a slow cooked carnitas recipe involving one of these teas.
The leaves of both teas offer up a hint as to the flavor: the lapsang is camphor-smelling, while the caravan is sweeter, more like a BBQ sauce.
Lapsang Souchong: The smoky smell is strong with this one, but as usual, it doesn’t come out as strongly in the flavor. That’s not to say that it isn’t a strong smoky flavor, because it is. The camphor smell is reflected in the flavor of the tea, along with a menthol flavor.
It kind of reminds me of Carmex, which I kind of don’t mind, but after a while, it starts to lessen the experience overall. Perhaps menthol is not the flavor for me.
After I swallow, it leaves a little tickle in the back of the throat like I just inhaled a little too much smoke at the campfire. I imagine some people might find that unpleasant, but I think it makes the experience more authentic.
Russian Caravan: I like the vocabulary to describe the difference in the smoky flavor. It’s just different. Maybe a different kind of wood was used for the smoking? It’s still very prevalent, but definitely not as strong as the Lapsang. There’s no camphor flavor or menthol, for which I am grateful.
The flavor of the tea is sweeter, which reflects the smell. There’s a bit more astringency to the tea itself, and it’s leaving a bit of dryness on the back of the palate. It’s like having a BBQ party instead of a campfire.
I don’t recommend doing two smoky teas at the same time. Sure, you’re able to really compare and contrast flavors, but after this much tea, I feel like I just smoked a pack of cigarettes! Definitely to be enjoyed in small doses from here on out.
Flavors: Astringent, Char, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla
When I was a kid, back in the 90s, there was this Extra gum flavor that came in a dark magenta wrapper. It’s here on the bottom row in the middle:
THAT is what this tea tasted like to me. Exactly. It took me back to my childhood, that’s for sure. The smell on the leaf was pretty strong, but it is luckily much weaker in taste once the tea is brewed. It was still a little too strong for me, though.
This tasted like it should be called “juicy cherry blast” or something similar. I didn’t get much of the green tea underneath, mostly a flowery, cherry flavor. This probably wasn’t the best choice for me today, as I’ve been preferring teas with a “plainer” flavor, but it’s definitely something I would reach for on a day I’m craving something fruity. I’d probably rate this a bit higher on one of those days.
I think this tea would probably be great iced.
Flavors: Artificial, Cherry, Fruit Tree Flowers
I didn’t really like the smell of this tea, which is a decent indicator that I’m not going to like it, but my mother loves Thai tea and insisted that I try it. I should have known better: she and I don’t have the same taste in anything!
First of all, the odor: anise seed and sweetened condensed milk. It’s overpowering. Of course it doesn’t help that I despise anise.
Once brewed, it tastes like a very strong black tea, very bitter, but no astringency. That was actually pretty nice. The smell doesn’t really come through as strongly in the flavor, but I still have to smell the cup every time I take a sip. Once I stop sipping, that sweet, condensed milky flavor comes up the back of the throat and through the nose. It’s actually a little pleasant.
I would recommend this tea if you like these flavors and a strong, black tea taste. It would actually have been a rather pleasant experience were it not for the anise, which I can’t blame it for.
Flavors: Anise, Bitter, Milk, Sweet, Tea
I think I’m in love. This tea has such an intoxicating smell with a light, delicate flavor of sweet milk with the slightest hints of green tea. I’m tasting a little bit of toasty honey and caramel, but none of the fruits and orchids I’ve heard people talk about.
I want to marry this tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Green, Milk, Sweet
It’s a beautiful tea—deep red with a wafting aroma that is the very definition of the color burgundy.
It’s odd how much this tea actually tastes like wine. It has a grapey, berry-like flavor, but it’s not sweet at all. It’s almost like a very, very dry red. The back of the palette dries out with each sip.
While I enjoy it, I think I have to be in the mood for a hot, non-alcoholic glass of wine in order to drink it. I’d be interested in trying it slightly sweetened and iced.
This is one peppery chai blend. Worthy of it’s name for sure. This would be a great blend to cook with, adding a kick to chicken and vegetables. Kind of reminded me of the spices you would get from Tabasco sauce. Enjoyed it but I’m not sure how often I’ll reach for it to to drink as a tea. I have so many ideas on cooking with it. Don’t think it will last long.
Almost done reviewing the line of GoT inspired teas from Margaret’s Fine Imports. It has been a fun project.
Today’s tea is an oolong/green tea blend with hints of jasmine. When this delight is still hot, all you really taste was a smooth grassy like tea with the tiniest hints of jasmine. As it cooled, the jasmine really popped. I’m not much of a jasmine fan. I still enjoyed the cup I had.http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/06/12/game-of-thrones-meadows-of-the-vale-from-margarets-fine-imports/
Happy Friday all!
A floral tea dedicated to House Tyrell and the beautiful Margaret herself. Love that character. Even tho she is a bit manipulative, she isn’t so evil that you hate her. . just yet. I’m curious how her story line will unfold Sunday, if at all.
This tea was a nice white and green tea blend with a floral twist. Not being a floral fan, I did like this one. Maybe I like floral teas more than I thought. The best part of this tea was how nicely the white and green teas mingled together providing this refreshing and soothing taste.
A wonderful lemon-orange earl grey dedicated to House Stark. Gotta Love GoT!
This earl grey was a treat because it wasn’t heavy on the bergamot oils like other earl greys I have had. There was also this nice lemon finish that I really enjoyed. All in all, another winner from Margaret’s Fine Imports.
I am right now! I backed the kickstarter campaign and asked for quite a bit of it there but I have to have more. That blend was one of my favs.
Day 3 of Game of Thrones Week. This one is supposed to represent the Lannisters. I"m not sure if it does that. The Lannisters aren’t exactly a happy family and this tea radiates a bright and colorful flavor when iced.
I would expect a blend for the Lannisters to be more dark like a dark roasted chocolate tea maybe. Iced this tea was amazing. Berry Lemon with a nice hint of a black tea finish. Hot, this tea was muted and bland. This wasn’t my favorite of the GoT lineup I’m trying this week, but it wasn’t awful either. One of those middle of the road sort of teas.
Anybody see last night’s Game of Thrones episode?
I don’t know how many times I said the word “No”. Episode 9 historically has always given us a shocker and they have been setting us up for that spefici event, but I was hoping it still wouldn’t happen. Wouldn’t be Game of Thrones without a few moments like that each season.
While I was yelling at the TV, I was drinking this beauty. I was surprised I liked this one so much. I was honestly expecting a generic citrus flavor, but what I actually got was a bright citrus sunshine flavor that I drank down fast and instantly went to the kitchen to cold brew. The papaya is sweet with the green tea rounding out the blend with a grassy feel. Sunshine in a cup is what I kept thinking.
Flavors: Citrus, Grass, Sweet
We have Episode 9 tonight of GoT! Woohoo! I can’t wait! In the past, we have had shockers on Episode 9. Ygritte’s death, the Red Wedding, our beloved head of the Stark family literally losing his head. . . In honor of GoT this week, I will be reviewing GoT based teas all week besides my typical Tea of the Day.
Today is Wilding White- a white and green tea with peppermint and lemongrass. Very soothing!
Love the name! Even though it is a black tea, all I taste is fruity goodness. A fruity melange of flavors balance so that I don’t taste a predominate flavor.