3229 Tasting Notes
52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 2! (Drank Dec. 3)
I’ve decided to keep all the 12 teas a mystery to me as much as possible – guessing games are most excellent. So! This is a green oolong, with marshmallow root. My initial thought was Kiwi Cheesecake Oolong, but once I opened the bag, I opted to retract that guess – not only can I also now see cacao nibs, it smells quite creamy and delicious… like eggnog, actually! I know there was an eggnog blend at one point, but I thought it was a honeybush/rooibos, so I won’t be able to assign a name to this one, I don’t think, I’ll just have to describe the flavours and see how close I can get.
Steeped, it smells kind of like eggnoggy oolong. Creamy oolong. Not quite milk oolong. Flavour is similar. Definitely eggnog oolong in my mind. Oh yes, there’s the lovely oolong buttery aftertaste, too. This would be an eggnog light on the nutmeg, just for reference – there’s maybe a suggestion of some, but it’s mostly just creaminess. I’d say I’m reasonably satisfied with this one, though the flavour is fairly light.
Ok, so apparently it’s Tiramisu Oolong! That explains the cacao nibs – they didn’t totally fit in with “eggnog”, and also the absence of nutmeg. I don’t really know what tiramisu tastes like, but as I said, this is definitely creamy. Knowing it’s not eggnog, I can taste a hint of chocolate, and now the creaminess is screaming “ice cream”. So, I don’t know. Either way, I think this one’s quite alright. Giving it a rating of 78 – it doesn’t make 80 only because it’s not a tea I’d likely keep in my cupboard. Butiki’s Eggnog/Nutmeg-Dusted Custard/Spiced Nog fill that niche for now, and hopefully for another couple years (haha. I am of course referring to my lovely sizeable stash).
52teas’ 12 Teas of Christmas Day 1! (Drank Dec. 2)
[Backlogged because I didn’t want to spoil this for anyone, and am hoping I don’t!]
Doing this review pretty much blind, because I don’t want to scratch the sticker for fear of completely crushing the tea in the packet. So from the outside, all I can tell is that it’s a green. Sencha, specifically. With marigold petals. Upon opening the bag, there’s a delicious wave of scents – creamy, tangy, spicy… I’ve never had the tea, but I’m reasonably certain that this is the green-based Pumpkin Cheesecake, based on my rather dim recollection of the black-based version. Though this one smells far more cream cheesy than the other ever did, complete with the tanginess.
Flavourwise, I can taste… pumpkin? And spices, though they are fairly light. Not really tasting that cheesecake flavour that I could smell. I’m still pretty sure about my guess (although it’s possible I’m wrong)
And, it turns out I am wrong. Apparently it’s Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell. Which is pretty surprising to me, because this tea decidedly does not look like a dragonwell, nor did I get any of the characteristic dragonwell flavours (savory/umami), which I definitely got in both of Butiki’s dragonwell blend attempts. I guess it does explain the lack of cheesecake flavouring, though why I distinctly smelled the tanginess in the aroma, I’m not sure. I also didn’t get nearly as much toffee as I would have hoped for.
Unfortunate that I was wrong, because had this been Punmpkin Cheesecake on green, I probably would have rated it a 78. As Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell, it only garners a 72, losing marks for the base tea (and lack of toffee). I still enjoy it though, and definitely wanted to try this blend, so I’m happy it was included!
Gotta stop putting this in travel mugs. Killed the flavour again. Or perhaps the tea’s just getting old (but I think it’s the mug). Taking the time to sip carefully now, I am getting a bit more flavour (nice beaniness from the green), but I know this tea can be better.
Got more of this from Sil, and threw it into a travel mug for the evening (a baby dedication!) Not my favourite, but the floral/lavender on a soft black base worked just fine for me tonight. In moderation, I actually don’t mind lavender so much, it seems, and in this blend (possibly due to age/storage-related loss of flavour), the lavender is not overpowering at all. Yum. Bumping the rating up.
Heh – a testament to how floral this tea is: I brewed up both this and ‘French Blend’, which contains lavender, rose petals, etc., and put them both in travel mugs… and then became confused as to which tea was which. Still enjoyed both, and this one was more fruity and flavourful, but I found it amusing. Aiming for a sipdown on it soon via travel mugs. Yum.
Gee, this one sure stuck around a while for me. 2 years old, by my spreadsheet. I wasn’t overly fond of it though, and am pretty happy to see it gone. I let my roommate and her boyfriend make a pot of it the other night (A whole pot!! It used up so much tea! Joy!) and they seemed to like it; when I brought it out tonight, I decided to have a farewell travel mug’s worth, and let her have the rest (probably enough for another pot). It’s along the lines of Bayswater’s Creme Brûlée, but had a funky something going on for me that put me off it (and tasted nothing like creme brûlée, perhaps a touch like burnt (not caramelized) sugar).
Tea split with the most recent Butiki order. I gave it only 3 minutes, to try and keep the base tea from overtaking the white chocolate flavouring (if that’s a possibility, I’m not sure).
I’m not overly fond of the aroma from the bag – it smells artificial, though I suppose white chocolate is artificial to begin with… Aroma from the steeped cup is similar. The flavour, however, is more enjoyable – I’m definitely not getting the full effect of the base tea (as I fail to with all the PTA blends), and it’s softened quite a bit by a noticeable but rather mild creaminess. It doesn’t particularly taste like white chocolate to me, although something creamy and more chocolatey actually is starting to emerge in the after-aftertaste, and it’s rather pleasant. I’m not sure I want to be drinking a tea for the flavour that doesn’t show up in your mouth until 5-10 seconds post-sip! (But it’s kind of interesting, regardless).
Won’t be a blend I’m going to miss once it’s gone (if it’s not already), and I’m happy enough to have split the bag and be sampling some out so I don’t have as much to drink.
Free tea with the last joint Butiki order! This counts as an immediate sipdown (yay!) because there’s probably only enough for a cup’s worth for each person in on the order.
Anyhow, this is a tea I hadn’t tried, which is exciting! Wasn’t sure what to expect (except maybe, a super dark liquor), and was bad and defied the recommendations, opting to go with my standard 1.5tsp/2min route instead of 1tsp/2.5min. The result is lighter than I had expected, being only the regular colour of black tea (dark reddish brown). The aroma is quite nice, all fragrant and sweet – sweet hay, perhaps? Flavourwise, it’s perhaps a bit overly strong (ok Stacy, you win this time! :P) and certainly has a powerful presence, verging on astringency but not into the realm of unpleasantness. Specifically, it tastes like the sort of black tea I’m not overly fond of… like bagged Lipton/Tetley. Obviously higher quality and lacking bitterness, but the same flavour profile. To be honest, it comes off a bit like mold to me, but when I say that, I’m referring to the flavour profile as a whole, not just this specific tea. Just not a profile I’m fond of, and would typically add milk/sugar, which would erase any weirdness.
Overall, I maybe brewed this a bit too strong, but I doubt proper brewing would change my opinion on it. Just not a black for me!