Victoria's Teas and CoffeesEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I see from previous tasting notes that this tea is a) from VariaTea (thanks!) and b) about 3 years old. Luckily, it was double-bagged and held up pretty well! Dry tea aroma was floral raspberry, and brewed aroma I initially thought was rose, until I remembered there was lychee in here (it was obviously lychee; I think I just tend to equate highly floral aromas sometimes). Flavour leaned most heavily on raspberry, though, with less floral, thank goodness. I’ve had better raspberry blacks (Butiki, 52teas I believe), but this wasn’t too bad. Another cup or two left that will be tasty!
This one has been sitting in my drawer for months and the only time it has been touched is when I doled it out for swaps. This is my first time trying it and I must admit that I’m not a fan. It smells rather artificial and that is coming through in taste as well. It almost tastes like warm grape soda. Yeah, not the most pleasant flavor. Perhaps it would be better cold brewed?
Had this a few days ago. Its a black tea with pieces of dried grape (?) or currants in it and tastes like wine. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it icewine-like because this tea isn’t that sweet as icewine is, but the overall flavour of this is of white wine, fruity, slightly dry, but a subtle flavour overall.
Got this sample from a friend in my Tea Sommelier class. The black base is great, no astringency and has nicely twisted leaves. There are some fruit and floral bits in the dry mix, and a mild fragrance of peaches and apricot (vs. the intense-ness that some other blends have which can seem quite artificial).
I brewed this hot, and it is a nice dessert tea, probably better sweetened but still good unsweetened. Victorias does recommend this iced, so perhaps I’ll try this cold brewed next.
Flavors: Apricot, Honeydew, Peach
One of the last samples of tea from Roswell Strange! I think? She sent so many, it’s Cray cray.
I like icewine. I like ice in my wine. So fucking sue me. I went to a fancy culinary school and went through all the pompous sommelier training and hated it. I even tried to not get smashed during the tastings, but I was much younger, and getting drunk was still fun, because I never got a hangover. But! I am a seasoned veteran, and … Okay, I can’t physically finish that sentence without busting up laughing. Who am I kidding? I don’t drink alcohol, let alone anything else but tea. Who has time for that? Nothing tastes as good. It’s all boring as hell. Sometimes I am so inclined to add tea to my booze, and even then I am wishing that I was just drinking the stupid tea instead.
So! I liked the idea of this tea, just not the actual tea itself. I brewed this up in my CS porcelain-lined tumbler for work and hastily wrote down some notes for later. I remember this tasting like Welch’s white grape juice. And my Aunt’s perfume that she used very liberally ever since I was old enough to remember. There was a bread quality from the black tea base, which I think may have been way better on it’s own.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Perfume, White Wine
I hosted interviews again last wednesday, and this came with me in my timolino for the morning. I brewed it quite strong (2 tsp of leaf for 4 minutes), and added a splash of milk. I needed something to make the morning bearable, and this is one of the better maple syrup flavoured teas I’ve tried. It has the wonderfully rich flavour of maple down perfectly, and the milk adds an edge of creaminess that I really like. It’s a combination that makes me think of the maple ice cream used in my favourite maple-pecan sundae (which I always have when we eat out at that particular restaurant). This one can get a little aastringent as it cools, but fortunately the timolino is really good at maintaining heat. A tasty, comforting tea for a busy morning!
A sample from VariaTEA, and my final tea of the evening last night. I think maybe I’m drinking a different tea from everyone else, because I found it quite palatable. I used 1 tsp of leaf and gave it 3.5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
To taste, I’d say it’s more caramel than maple. There is an element of maple here, but it’s like it got stirred into a thicker, sweeter caramel sauce. It’s nice, though. Caramel-maple is okay with me. I knew this one reminded me of something, and as I sat there sipping it finally came to me: 52 Teas Weeping Angel. That’s what this tea tastes like! If I remember correctly, that was a caramel tea also. I enjoyed it, though, and I’m guessing that’s at least partly why I like this one.
As a maple tea, I’d give it half marks. There’s a little something there, but it’s neither strong nor distinctive. As a pleasant-tasting tea to drink, I’d give this closer to 80. I like caramel, and it’s deliciously smooth and sweet here; almost like the filling of a caramel chocolate bar! The base tea is okay, being neither bitter nor astringent. If I’m honest, I didn’t really notice it underneath the caramel. Taking the average of my two scores, I’m going to give this one 60. It tastes nice, and I’ll happily finish up what’s left, but it’s not really maple. Maybe I was spoilt in that regard by Della Terra’s An Autumn Breakfast. Still, it’s yummy. Sometimes, that’s all I want from a tea.
Another one from VariaTEA – we are both out to try as many Monk’s Blends as possible it seems, so I absolutely appreciated the pass on from her. I did something a little bit different with this sample though; I cold brewed it.
I sipped on this most of the day (I didn’t do much tea drinking today – I spent most of the day eating leftovers and trying not to pass out instead, seeing as I need to go to bed at a “normal” time since I work early tomorrow) and it was enjoyable enough. Despite being cold brewed, there was still this weird sort of astringency with the black base that felt off the whole time. I’d have been totally ok with it though if the grenadine was sweet enough to compensate – but this sorta wasn’t.
It just never got to the level of sweetness that I felt it should have. I mean, yes it was definitely the flavour of grenadine but just barely. And then, there wasn’t any rich vanilla either to push it further.
I think my overall conclusion is that Monk’s Blend is a tea best served hot.
Well, I cold brewed this sample from VariaTEA so I could finish it in one go, and because I knew it had stawberry in it and I thought that might be nice cold brewed. I’m wondering now if I should have had it hot though? It’s not that it was unpleasant, it just was completely unremarkable and average.
Pretty much is was an ok black base (no distinguishing flavours/characteristics) with a mellow “strawberry jam” type flavour to it. The maple in this was completely missing: like a lot of shitty fathers it seems it packed its bags and slipped out in the dead of night thinking no one would notice, but its absence was definitely felt.
Oh well; another blend tried but also another that wont be missed.
Flavors: Jam, Strawberry
Cold Brew Sipdown (129)!
So, when I went to measure out the leaf for this one it smelled weirdly chalky; like chewable raspberry vitamins so I was a little concerned that the leaf had turned. Thankfully, the flavour of the brew didn’t appear to be affected.
The flavour was really lovely; a lighter, sweet raspberry with brighter lychee undertones and a faint floral undertone. The cold brew was a little underleafed because this was just the last little bits of tea left in the tin so none of the flavours are really robust: but that’s alright because it sort of gives the liquor that sort of mellow, somewhat watery “vitamin water” like flavour/profile. Though with the raspberry notes there’s a bit of sticky sweetness that reminds me of raspberries straight from the garden/actual raspberry ‘juice’. Many thanks to VariaTEA for sending the rest of this my way – I really enjoyed it! I’m sad to see it go…
This is a queued tasting note.
Had this one cold brewed; I was trying to focus on it so I could sip it down quickly but the arrival of the Great Canadian Travelling Tea Box has shifted my focus a bit and now it might end up being a while before this gets finished off…
The cold brew was nice though: definitely more raspberry flavour than lychee but still quite floral in a very pleasant way. The finish was just a tiny bit drying in the mouth, but regardless it was still a refreshing drink for a summer afternoon.
This is a queued tasting note.
Thank you VariaTEA for sending more of this my way! It’s been two years since I last sampled it, but I swear that when I brewed it up last week it tasted just as fresh and I remember it being way back, which is impressive given that this is two+ years old! Definitely more raspberry flavour than litchi/lychee, but both were certainly present. Quite natural tasting overall, with a really fresh, juicy and just slightly tangy flavour. I also tasted some nice, softer floral notes.
However, I do agree with my original rating of 77 though. But that just proves this tea is nothing if not consistent – especially over such an impressive time frame.
Inaccurate Sipdown (143/150)!
Oh boy do I have a long ass queue of tea to log! Thankfully I have tomorrow off, and no TV to catch up on so I can spend the several hours needed tonight to write notes and not lose out on sleep or anything like that! And as always I’ve been a diligent tea logger and I’ve taken notes on everything I’ve had though I haven’t been posting notes regularly.
This one was cold brewed and carted around in a thermos on a hectic day of running around/errands. Dry it smelled very strongly of raspberries; fresh, juicy raspberries which is why I thought it’d be suited for a cold brew. And it was pretty good; like I expected the raspberry was very strong and definitely the most forefront flavour. It was kinda tangy/zingy but not in an over the top way, just in a way that felt natural for actual raspberries. I didn’t get much lychee overall though, and that’s where this one really disappointed me; I love lychee and I was so very looking forward to that flavour. There were also some very mild floral notes.
On the whole this was good and worth drinking again, but not worth restocking.
Flavors: Floral, Raspberry
Another from variTEA! On my second cup, I added some ground ginger and cinnamon, and I used brown sugar and vanilla soymilk. That was the secret! This is delicious and warming on a winter night.
Flavors: Pumpkin, Rooibos, Sweet Potatoes
Ooh, progress! I love watching my cupboard numbers go down…
But yeah; this one wasn’t so impressive. Maple? Ehh, a little. But it was pretty astringent/bitter and there was this weird sorta sour but also sweet flavour that definitely was not maple and I can’t place it. It’s not that whatever that weird flavour was tasted all that offensive or gross, it just didn’t mesh with everything else and it left me feeling really distracted through the whole mug.
Oh well, thank you VariaTEA for the sample even if it wasn’t super awesome. I’m happy to have tried it anyway.
VariaTEA sent this one my way and this is a tasty one! I like grape like flavoured teas so this is a nice one to have. Appreciate you sending this one my way. i mean, i guess wine doesn’t always taste like grapes even if they come from grapes…this is more like grape versus wine but i am A-OK with that! As cavo mentioned, as this cools it turns a little bitter, but nothing undrinkable..just better tasting hot! :)
29/28 sipdowns yes, i’m aiming for a few moer since LB sipdown doesn’t really count since it will be back tomorrow and there are another 3 or so teas arriving on tuesday… so i figure if i’m still able to take in liquid.. let’s doo this!
i’m certainly glad this wasn’t variaTEA’s favourite tea or anything because it went in the mouth and then back out in to the cup. gross. there is nothing honey nor almond nor biscotti like about this one. it’s just floral bitter grossness. ick lol