New Tasting Notes
Work – 3:00 PM
Time for some more David’s Tea blends!
This one definitely came out a bit weak even though I used extra leaf. Hmm…
Anyway, it’s definitely chocolate and raspberry. The chocolate is somewhere between milk and dark. The raspberry reminds me of fresh raspberry jam, and it has a little bit of tartness to it. I can also taste toasted almond, which pairs really nicely with the roasted maté base.
I tend to enjoy yerba maté blends, I should really try more of them.
Anyway, this is a nice tea aside from the weakness issue. I’ll have no trouble finishing it off.
Flavors: Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Jam, Raspberry, Roasted nuts, Tart
I’m enthousiastic for discovering a whole new flavour on the spectrum. It is ‘nag champa incense’. And yes, that review on yunnansourcing using the same peculiar description is also mine, but that doesn’t make it less true :)
As for splitting the bamboo, there are some YouTube videos on that topic (then again, there are probably YouTube video’s on how to become a brain surgeon as well). I remember having decent results with a butcher style / chinese style kitchen knife, a spare hand to bang on the knife, and a relatively clean dustpan to collect the contents from all over the floor. YMMV.
I used a very small amount for a small evening session. Turns out you don’t need very much anyway, one brew after the other.
Flavors: Camphor, Eucalyptus
It does taste like the label declares, both almond and oolong. And as others have noted, it is almond that tastes like almond, not like cherries. (I’m another one who often has that flavor mixup.) It also comes across as being very sweet, even when I haven’t sweetened it, so it’s more of a marzipan almond than a nutty almond to me. My difficulty with this one is that there’s nothing subtle about it at all, and although I like strong flavors, I’m not sure I want either almond or oolong to be that strong. The flavors also don’t quite meld right for me. There’s nothing wrong with this tea, and it is exactly what they advertise it as, but I just don’t love it.
Flavors: Almond, Marzipan
I’ve tried this one before, but a long, long time ago. I don’t really remember it that well, so I’m happy to have the chance to revisit. I say that like it happened by accident, but it didn’t…I bought a box with my last T2 order, knowing that my Dad would love it even if I didn’t. He’s all about the grapefruit.
It was a little more bitter than I was expecting, but very grapefruity…and grapefruit is bitter, so I guess it’s actually perfect. It’s really clean and refreshing; an excellent morning or palate cleansing blend. I meant to try this one back in the summer, but I totally forgot – I can imagine it would be seriously good cold brewed with lots of ice!
It’s perhaps a little one dimensional, but I’m feeling it…sometimes it’s best not to over-complicate, and this is a really solid grapefruit blend. Also, no hibi! Always a bonus.
I’d happily drink this one again, which is reassuring given that I have an entire cube. It’s good stuff, and pretty unique amongst the fruit blends in my cupboard. I feel like grapefruit isn’t often a candidate for these kind of things, which is a shame.
Drinking 6.5g of this right now in my trusty 100ml porcelain xishi. Quick rinse. First steep tea is still opening up. Second ok. At the third steep this tea starts to give up some well rounded mellow mids and some really nice thick mouthfeel somewhere between soupy and oily. Nice mellow calming energy too. Fourth steep some balanced astringency and an almost barely just perceptible bitterness, mouthfeel really nice, feelin pretty glowy and liquidy. Fifth pretty similar except maybe a tad bit more astringency which is still balanced. Empty tummy is feelin good right now too. Sixth, bitterness developing slightly and also there is a tantalizing hint of sweetness got my attention. Seven, definitely getting some sweetness now but probably could have pushed this steep a bit more as the mouthfeel is a bit lighter.
Up to this point I would say that the session has been very comfortable and warm. Nice gentle progression. Empty tummy still feeling great and and also feeling warm and glowy but now with a bit more energy and lighter feeling in head. Went through 500ml water so far and now leaves are going in 500ml thermos with 100C water for at least half an hour. I’ll check back in here later.
So over an hr in thermos this tea is pouring pretty dark. Could have pushed tea more during first half of session. Enjoying it a lot though as I really like strong tea and greatly enjoy bitterness. I’m finding that the sweetness, bitterness and minerality are doing an amazing dance together as the tea moves past my palate and through my throat. They are all three very present and taking turns singing their spiralling song on my tast buds but none shouting over the others. Light astringency and very present dynamic huigan.
Ok Tea Urchin you have my attention. I’ve been enjoying your samples and look forward to trying more of your teas.
I really don’t know what I think of this tea. It’s sweet, and you can tell what it’s going for, but you can also taste some underlying chemicals. A little cakey and chocolatey. With all the dessert teas out there, I wouldn’t pick this one again. I’ll add some milk next time and see if that helps. Again, not bad; there are just so many better choices.
So clearly I didn’t love this tea given the many times I commented on how sweet it was. Today was no different but I think I found the best way to enjoy this if you have it knocking around in your cupboard like I did. I made it as a teapop with a splash of grenadine. When I think about this, it seems counter intuitive to add a splash of a sweet syrup to a drink I find too sweet but the use of plain soda water balanced that slightly. Plus, the three components together (tea, soda water, and grenadine) meant this tea was not one-note.
This reminds me of an alcoholic drink I would have had when I first started drinking…something with peach schnapps (which this tea has a similar fuzzy peach sort of flavor), grenadine, and soda of some sort. Usually there was also juice which I guess the blackberry leaf is contributing a juicy sweet flavor. As far as this tea goes, I actually did not mind it made this way.
It is so sickly sweet it is like a mouthful of stevia. I drank this because it came in my T2 herbals sampler, but never again. I like licorice flavour, but in tea it just becomes a hindrance. Too metallic, too medicinal, and too sweet.
Flavors: Earth, Licorice, Medicinal, Menthol, Metallic, Mineral, Sweet, Wet Rocks
Another tea from the TTB 2018
This is a really nice black tea with some darker fruity flavour. It reminds me a bit of raisins or dried date (but not sweet).
This is a really flavourful bold black that is not overly bitter. The fruity flavour is nice, but more of an afterthought that a prominent note. It is fairly smooth but I don’t taste any malt. I don’t have experience with Nilgiri teas, but I think the wiki description of “dark, intensely aromatic, fragrant and flavoured” is very accurate.
Flavors: Fruity, Raisins
Work – 11:00 AM
I received a single wrapped sachet of this as a sample with my last Harney & Sons order.
Wow, this is much better than I expected. The black tea blend is light but malty and flavorful with notes of raisin and brown sugar. And there’s a hint of hay from the white tea as well. I wish companies would give more details on which black teas are in a blend, or at least which origins. Generally I associate raisin with Assam teas, so I would guess the blend is at least partially Indian. But I am no expert, so who knows? ;)
Overall, this is a nice refined Earl Grey that’s still fairly traditional.
Flavors: Bergamot, Brown Sugar, Hay, Malt, Raisins, Smooth
Home – 9:00 AM
I tried this one this morning before leaving for work.
I measured one cup (8 ounces) of soymilk and added the matcha a half teaspoon at a time until I felt it was strong enough. It ended up being two teaspoons of matcha.
It was fairly tasty, albeit too sweet. The problem is, the soymilk is already sweetened (I buy Silk Original, which is sweetened) and then the matcha is also sweetened. I mean come on, sugar is the first ingredient, which means there’s more sugar in this than there is matcha…
Anyway, the flavor was fairly good. It was sweet and grassy, not at all bitter. The melon flavor is obviously not the most authentic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
I’ll likely try this again with water one of these mornings, just to gauge how sweet the matcha is on its own.
P.S. – I would like to a get a little handheld milk frother for mixing these matcha milks, does anyone have a brand that they would recommend?
Flavors: Grass, Honeydew, Melon, Smooth, Sweet
Nice and interesting tea. Dry leaves smell of hay and honey. Washed leaves first smell a little smokey and somewhat savoury, with a weird resemblance to Dutch smoked eel. After some time the smell is more honeyish and vegetal. The liquor is nicely smooth and honeyish. Leaves are surprisingly well-oxidized for s silver needle and therefore this tea doesn’t have that very crisp and vegetal asparagus/spinachy profile of some other silver needles. It leans more towards darker white tea types such as moonlight white.