77 Tasting Notes
2nd tea I´m having on my birthday is a little treat. Guilt free, as it clearly and wisely says on the pouch. The loose tea mainly smells of custard, while the rhubarb comes through when steeping the tea. Nothing too aggressive, nothing too sweet (only the loose tea aroma´s, I guess), and all is maintained very well until the final sip. Wonderful, and definitely solid enough to replace dessert!
Flavors: Custard, Rhubarb, Rooibos
It´s my birthday today, and I started the day with a mug of Southsea Grey. After almost a year in my cupboard, the tea is still very aromatic, and not only can you tell by opening the pack, it also shows when steeping the tea. Tastewise I have a similar experience : it is as tasty as on day one, and it doesn´t turn bitter so you enjoy it until the final sip. A wonderful earl grey I can recommend to every fan of the style.
One of the teas of my first (and only) tea subscription pack of Cha Tale (they closed their activities shortly afterwards), I hadn´t tried yet. I honestly must say I´m not a huge fan of teas that are described as “slimming tea” without further explanation, and maybe that´s why I hadn´t opened this tea yet. I´m not sure whether I had to use the entire trial size (and whether I could use it again a couple of times?), so I split the pack up in 2 units, trying to have a bit of every ingredient in both units. I checked the ingredients, and no notion is made of (candy) sugar crystals, but I´m quite sure they are part of the tea. For the rest, it seems a flower tea, with the small chrysanthemum flowers. Well, the resulting tea is nice enough, but the only flavour I can appreciate is the sweetness of the sugar, nothing really related to the other ingredients… a shame, I reckon. Further more, should a tea which is supposed to be slimming contain sugar crystals??? Summary : nice and sweet, but of little significance.
Months have passed and the tea in the handy pouch is still very aromatic. Not only that, when steeping the tea, the aroma´s are present from the first moment until the last sip, even if the temperature of the cup has decreased quite a lot. Moreover, also in mouth the bergamot flavour is present the entire time. Described as the ideal afternoon tea, I love it for breakfast as well…it really is a pleasure for your senses!
The last few days I already had a sore throat, but this morning I got up feeling a wrack! Fortunately, I could sleep a couple of hours longer, took a paracetamol, had a nice hot shower and this enabled me – just – to face the day. Slowly but surely trying to get things done…and then, a nice comforting tea comes in handy!
Snowball is a sample the nice people from Bluebird Tea co. added to my order and I thought this tea would be the perfect “comfort tea”…and it sure is! I used to like a good cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows, but it seems as though I grew out of it. Here I´m having this tea and as far as my – limited for feeling ill – taste buds tell me, this IS hot chocolate with marshmallows. The coconut adds nicely to the blend as well.
I´m not sure whether I´m still into having this type of tea on a regular basis, but today it did what it needed to do. For people who like chocolate drinks, this is by far the best tea based drink I have had up to now; for Xmas tea fans, this is a nice alternative w/o the spices. Contrary to other reviews, I don´t feel it´s necessary to add milk to the tea.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Marshmallow
Finally managed to order some tea from Bluebird tea co. I bought mainly Xmas presents, but as a treat (and to get to the amount of zero post&package!) I got me this tea. I´m fond of rhubarb in all the possible appearances it might arrive in, and this combination (the custard addition) was kind of fascinating. It also got wonderful reviews and a “great taste” rating… I would therefore try it out as soon as it arrived…and there we are!
Generally I find rooibos quite boring, but as it isn´t showing off in this blend, I´m quite OK with it. The smell of the tea is brilliant…definitely the custard steals the show, and the rhubarb is blended in in a very subtle way. Steeping (for 4+ minutes) gets you a really nice drink, where the rhubarb gets to shine this time. So rhubarb in mouth and custard in nose, and the senses are glad, very glad. As far as I am concerned, this is a far better combination than the traditional Xmas blends (cinnamon etc.)…and less tiring as well.
Flavors: Custard, Rhubarb, Rooibos
Third tasting note and the end of the small tin I had. I enjoyed the tea, but I guess I expected (a lot) more, especially fragrances in the steeped tea. Although I had it steeping a bit less time today, it still didn´t avoid the aroma´s to largely disappear when steeping the tea. The drink is nice enough, doesn´t turn bitter rapidly when cooling, so is OK in this way, but I won´t buy a larger tin of this tea, no. Need to finish now some other small tins of Kusmi tea I bought at the same time as this Anastasia…
Flavors: Bergamot, Orange Blossom
Opening the 7 Indian teas my husband got me in Bangalore one by one, getting now to the ones I might like least. This ginger green tea, according to the package, contains 10-12% dry ginger (powder). “San-Cha´s Taster has fortified the Indian green tea with the world´s finest Indian ginger.”
I´m not such a fan of ginger, as it often completely dominates the taste (I´m not so bothered when it dominates the smell), although I´m rather convinced of its properties to help digestion. I´ve also heard it can help fight colds. So yes, I sometimes drink ginger tea. However, most of the time the ginger tea comes from a tea bag. This must be the first time I drink loose ginger tea. When opening the packet, I couldn´t distinguish the ginger : I see a broken tea with some dust, I smell a green tea. As soon as the tea is steeping, ginger aroma´s start to appear. The presence of ginger in taste is quite secundary, which I can applaud. You can easily drink a second mug or even a third. Absence of bitterness overall.
Flavors: Ginger, Green
The third tea of the teas bought by my husband in Bangalore. A “simple” green tea (i.e. it doesn´t have special aroma´s, it isn´t blended), so it seems. The packet claims that Indian green tea is richer in antioxidants than Chinese green teas, “as researched by health scientists”. It also says : “Made using the traditional Chinese panning process, our special selection has a touch of smoke and is fuller bodied.”
I´m personally not too worried about which tea and which level of antioxidants is recommended, as long as it tastes alright. I tried this tea a few times, steeping it between 2 and 4 minutes and overall the tea is lightly coloured, has little bitterness (at the higher steeping times, the last sips are indeed bitter, which I think is normal), and has quite a full body for a green tea. My main objections against green tea in the past were the grassy mouth-feel and the bitter finish, which I don´t observe here, at least when keeping the steeping time low and when drinking the tea not too cold. I don´t know whether this is due to the green tea being Indian or having more antioxidants, I guess I just almost never drank good quality green tea before. In comparison with the Chunmee variety I tried earlier (see previous tasting note) however, this is a very “thin” tea, without a well defined tasting profile.
This is the second tea I try of the 7 teas my husband brought home from Bangalore.
As I´m not such a green tea fan (I think this might change with these 7 green teas), I wasn´t familiar with the “Chunmee” type. From Wikipedia I read : “It has a dusty appearance and is generally more acidic and less sweet than other green teas. It was originally produced only in the Chinese Jiangxi province, but is nowadays also grown elsewhere. … This ever popular tea has a bright flavor, light tangy sweetness, and a toasty warm clean finish, making it an excellent green tea during the day or night, with a nice well-rounded flavor and aftertaste.” This is thus clearly a Chunmee tea grown in India, and I cannot see the dusty appearance which is mentioned. No, the tea leaves seem bigger than in other green teas I´ve tried. As far as the tasting is concerned, I had the tea steeping for about 2 minutes and found its taste indeed well-rounded without any bitter or too grassy aftertaste, even when you leave the mug unattended for a while and the tea has cooled down when you take your last sips. The grassy aftertaste has always been my worst part of drinking green teas so far and I´m very glad to know there are also green teas which don´t show this.
The package doesn´t give a lot of practical information, but it does says : “For a healthy skin. Diets rich in polyphenols may play an important part in slowing down the ageing process. The Master Tea Taster has selected Chunmee young tea buds since young buds are richer in antioxidants in conjunction with traditional sunscreens may protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation.” I´m quite sceptical about these health claims, but as the tea tastes nice, there´s no reason to drink it only for the possibly healthier skin you might get ;-)