4941 Tasting Notes
I broke in a new teapot set last night!
This is one of the ones I bought from work (the Adeline porcelain one); it came in as a donation in perfect condition still in the box! I was the person who took in the donation and instantly recognized the brand since two of my infuser mugs are from Adeline. They’re a company that’s carried by Tea Desire and I adore their teaware: it’s super well made though not the cheapest. It looks a lot like this one, though the pot is a different shape (same design though):
They were initially pricing it WAY TOO CHEAP (like $9) so I had them revise the price and then after my 48 hour wait period was up I bought it!
I didn’t quite realize just how large the pot is. I mean, it’s gorgeous but easily now the largest one I own. So, when I was brewing up this pot of Three Friends I imagined that I’d be sharing it with my mom and possibly my sister. However, no one was in the mood for tea so instead I ended up drinking the whole pot myself, which a little bit of milk. It was basically a whole kettle’s worth of water in one sitting!
I mean, it was Three Friends though so it was absolutely delicious (like drinking a gooey, melted Terry’s Chocolate Orange) but it was A LOT of tea for one person in one go. On the plus side, I’ve been trying to sip down this tea (along with all my other Butiki teas) and I thought I had at least four mugs left to go but to brew up the pot worth of tea used enough leaf for like three of those four mugs. So, a sipdown will be happening very shortly.
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Malt, Marshmallow, Orange
Wow; seems like this sipdown should have happened ages ago. I mean, how old is this tea? The answer is probably well over a year old. Amazingly, it’s held up over time though! Finished this one off in a large Nordic Mug; simple and just in straight hot water. It was so lovely, mellow and fruity with just this absolutely wonderful jumble of red fruit flavours (rhubarb, strawberry, cherry) and then this light almost citrus or even possibly ‘bamboo’ finish. I don’t honestly know if I’ll pick up more of this one in the future: it did take me a long time to finish it and while I really enjoy it I don’t know that it’s something I’m still overly excited about either.
Despite definitely not being in the “try everything you can get your grubby hands on” phase of tea drinking, I still do like the idea of picking up new things. Otherwise I just get sick of things, and I’d much rather finish blends like this one off in a positive way which I’ll regard fondly in the future.
Hmm, this cold brew didn’t have as much banana as I wanted. Instead it was more cinnamon and pineapple which are flavours that don’t particularly mesh well without something banana to bridge the flavour gap between them.
Anyway, this tin is next up on my list of stuff that needs to get sipped down. I have too many open bags of black tea right now that aren’t in tins, so expect me to pick out a few kinds of black tea that’ll be drunk pretty frequently from here on out until they’re sipped down.
Made a pot of this last night while rewatching Age of Ultron.
Pietro’s death still gets me every time; the Maximoffs are some of my favourite characters in the Marvel Universe. Though I still like the X-Men portrayal better. Also, I hate that I buy into BannerxRomanoff so easily because I know that Nat deserved a better romance (though I still think the inclusion of one of the first place simply to make her character seem more relevant is a slap in the face). Here’s a lovely article which expands on what I’m trying to say AND touches base on some Buffy The Vampire Slayer stuff that I also feel way too strongly about:
Seriously; out of all Buffy’s relationships the one she had with Riley was the worst. Sitting through that season was such a fucking pain.
Anyway; as for the tea! Normally this has a super mouth watering, robust caramel/mulberry flavour and while that was certainly still present the focus of the pot this time around was definitely the coconut! Yummy!
Tea 107: Week Six Exams
Well, Cooking With Tea/Tea and Food Pairings is a wrap now! I have to say, so far this has definitely been my favourite one so far! I just feel like so much of what I learned is stuff I’m going to be applying practically on probably a daily basis. It was a really fun class.
Following the trend of past modules, this was a three part exam. Part one was an online test with 50 questions based on the course material. So far, that’s the only part of the final that I have the mark for (probably wont get the rest of my marks until after Christmas) but I absolutely nailed it and got a score of 48/50 which is the best I’ve done yet! From there I moved on to part two which was a blind cupping of six different teas.
For the cupping, I had to identify the tea and country of origin and then because this was the food pairing module I also had to list a food I’d pair the tea with. I think this probably would have been very straight forward except for one hiccup: one of the teas used in the cupping was definitely Lapsang Souchong and since all the teas for this cupping come in a sealed envelope for someone else to prepare for me that Lapsang had over a month to sit and get all of the other samples nice and smoky. So, every single cup had a smoke note to it that made the rest of the flavours hard to decipher.
Ultimately, I’m confidant I got all of the non black tea cups correct (three of the six) but when it comes to those other three I’m a lot less sure. One absolutely had a more potent smokey/ashy note which I said was the Lapsang. My options for the other two were either Darjeeling, Assam, or Keemun and neither cup tasted like ANY of those options because of the flavour contamination.
The final part of the exam was a presentation! We had to create our own afternoon tea menu for a fictional restaurant/tea house/hotel or what have you. The menu had to include dishes prepared with tea and dishes to be paired alongside tea. The avenue I went with, and had so much fun doing, was a creamery which I playfully named “Scoop of Cha”. I had things like an Apple Icecream with a Darjeeling, Pineapple Sorbet and Lapsang, Fresh Mint Icecream and Assam, and a Rougui with a “Poached Peach” frozen yogurt. It was an absolute BLAST creating the pairings and it really made me feel like that’s something that in the future I really want to be doing in some capacity or another, be that in making tea blends of my own, working in a tea house or restaurant doing the food pairings, or some other form which I maybe haven’t tapped yet.
Tldr; best module so far. Wish me luck on the tests I haven’t gotten marks back for yet.
Tea 107: Week Five Pairings!
Normally, for class, I write out a giant post of my thoughts on whatever we were doing but to be perfectly honest I took a MOUNTAIN of notes for this week’s chocolate and tea pairings so I’m essentially just going to copy and paste them because I really don’t feel like expanding on that many notes…
Earl Grey and Milk Chocolate with Acai and Blueberry fruit chunks
- Definitely a very sweet pairing: full bodied and jammy from the citrus and berry
- The milk chocolate is creamy and compliments the black base
- Not a lot of “contrasting” flavour with this one but it’s still lovely!
Pu’erh and Dark Chocolate
Pu’erh and Dark Chocolate is the flip of things: it’s all about contrast
- The Pu is very brothy with gamey/meatey notes and mushroom notes
- In addition to the normal earthiness
- The equally rich/full bodied dark chocolate matches the flavour level
- But the sweetness of it contrasts very nicely!
- Finish has a berry like quality from the chocolate which works with the earthy Pu!
Matcha and White Chocolate
- Surprisingly I quite enjoyed the matcha and white chocolate!
- Which is weird ‘cause I HATE DAVIDsTEA’s Matcha White Chocolate Bar
- But the Umami of the matcha was the perfect contrast to the creamy, sweet chocolate
Genmaicha and White Chocolate
- Genmaicha and white chocolate was a comparable pairing to the matcha
- Same umami/savory and sweet chocolate contrast
- But with the added roasty element which was kind of nice! Really enjoyed this one!
Assam and Milk Chocolate
- Assam and Milk Chocolate seemed obvious and straight forward to me
- You’re pairing two similar things and matching the confectionary elements
Jasmine Green Tea with a citrus (orange) chocolate
- I really dislike the jasmine tea provided but the pairing made it better
- The orange elevate the floral notes and matches well with the green base
- While at the same time kind of hiding some of the potency too
Also worth noting, with the exception of the chocolate used in the Earl Grey pairing, all of the chocolate was Lindt brand. My favourite pairings overall were probably Genmaicha and White or Pu’erh and Dark Chocolate. I genuinely didn’t expect the Pu’erh to work as well as it did!
This is a queued tasting note.
I had a weird/wonky Gong Fu session with this tea, which Camellia Sinensis added a generous free sample of into one of my orders this year.
It wasn’t the tea itself that was weird; just how I prepared it. I only had two infusions and then I just sort of, well to be perfectly honest, just forgot about the tea? I don’t even remember why: I was taking notes on the infusions and then I must have started cooking or watching TV or something else and the tea just sat there. But anyway, here are the notes I took for those two infusions:
- GORGEOUS leaf!!!
- Sweet, honey notes! Like ambrosia? Most dominate flavour
- Very light/gentle overall with a delicateness to it
- However, despite that the flavours are NOT subtle
- Also has notes of spring flowers, red fruits and white peach
After those delightful, wonderful Gong Fu infusions I popped the leaf into a mason jar and cold brewed the leaf (when I finally did remember I was drinking tea) so as to not waste it and get the most out of leaf which clearly wasn’t spent yet.
The cold brew was similar in flavour notes to what was observed in the Gong Fu infusions, just even sweeter and richer with more honey notes and more sweet fruity flavour. However, I also tasted a light finish that reminded me of Easter Buns a little bit? Kind of that sweet, doughy quality with a sort of cinnamon note as well? And of course a fruitier glaze but that easily melds with the honey and preexisting fruit notes.
I definitely look forward to further, more conscious exploration of this tea.
This is a queued tasting note.
Yup; still working on finishing this sample from Stephanie! It’s not that it’s a bad tea, it’s just that it’s a CTC tea and so rarely am I in the mood to deal with such a finely ground up leaf. I mean, realistically it’s not actually much of a hassle but I see the leaf in my sample container and just think “nah, not doing that today”.
It’s a shame, truly! ‘Cause just because the grade is definitely lower then what I’m accustomed to does NOT mean that the flavour is necessarily inferior. Leaf grade only evaluates the appearance of the leaf and not the taste. I’m so snobby that I have to remind myself of that though.
This is nice though when I do get around to drinking it: it’s got a lovely light astringency and pronounced and pleasant briskness matched by a lovely, robust malty taste. I also taste baked bread, baker’s chocolate, weak molasses notes and for the first time when this particular infusion was luke warm I definitely felt like I was experiencing the banana notes described by Stacy/Butiki.
A nice tea! Despite the grade.
So, my brother bought some miracle berries a while back and I’d yet to try one so the other night we had some fun with flavour tripping. We tried an array of sour things like Salt & Vinegar Chips, Lemon Juice, sour candies…
All of which were DEFINITELY improved by the miracle berries. But you know what was really, really good with miracle berries? This tea. The raspberry flavour was just surreal with how tasty it was. I was hard core salivating and slurping it up like no one’s business. It’s just the best I’ve ever tasted it. Which honestly kind of pisses me off though ‘cause I definitely can’t afford to buy miracle berries just so I can flavour trip every time I want to drink this.
Damn; so good though.