425 Tasting Notes
So I ordered a tea book off of abebooks yesterday, went to check my email for the confirmation, and learned that my grandma found an interesting book on tea and would be sending it along. So… double the tea books. I’ve got way too many books.
That’s my preface.
This was kind of a gift! Some people are just kinda the damned sweetest. I wanted to try this and the chocolate cake one, because I’ve noticed lately that Davidsteas have been getting bogged down with a lot of “stuff” (one of the gripes I often have with Teavana), and this one didn’t look too bad.
UNfortunately, this reminds me strongly of Teavana’s S’mores. Because half the stuff I thought was tea was actually roasted carob. Again. Can we please cut this the hell out. The reason I like Chocolate Chili Chai and Red Velvet Cake is because they don’t contain carob, and do absolutely fine in their cakey chocolately taste without it.
So yeah, unfortunately this tastes more like carob than black tea, with a hint of waxyness—I think from what I can assume are white chocolate curls. The tea’s very cloudy, much like S’mores was. Smooth creamyness, maybe from the cloudy particles, might be the vanilla flavouring although there’s nothing that tastes straight up ‘vanilla’.
Sucks because it DOES smell good dry, but brewed it’s all carob chocolate instead of vanilla. It’s still nice and inoffensive, though I feel bad about not loving it since it WAS kinda a gift.
I dislike that Murchie’s has upped their 25 gram minimum to 50, and gotten rid of their loose-leaf 25 gram boxes. One of the most solid things about them an some of the other chains (yes, DavidsTea) is that their minimum was way more friendly/made it much easier to sample many teas at once without getting stuck with a tea you didn’t like.
At any rate, they still have the boxes of ten teabags, which I opted for even though I tend to find there’s a difference in taste between their fanningteabags and looseleaf teas.
I associate Canadian breakfast with keemun for some reason, but this blend is strongly assam. Actually, I just checked and it SAYS it’s keemun and ceylon, but this is so overwhelmingly NOT keemun OR ceylon. Maybe an african-grown assam, but still definitely assam. Strong and malty, and almost that overly-tannic berry taste. It’s still got a bit of maple, but it’s definitely a very strong, astringent tea, which might just be due to the teabag although I don’t know how to explain the tea-blend discrepancy.
Brewing korean greens in japanese teapots. What a world.
Worked out fittingly, since the first note I get is seaweed. It’s not bitter, but I was pretty careful about the water. Seaweed with something else vegetal. Definitely not sweet, and it tapers into a very mineral aftertaste.
I walked by Soko’s today and they had the rest of these out in their 50% off cart. So I guess they’re discontinuing them.
Well damn, I had to grab a tin then because I really do like this tea. I might have grabbed the rest of the tins… But I hate having more than 100 grams of any tea. It just feels like too much. I guess it wasn’t too popular—Kusmi never had the single-ounce sample tins for this tea, so I’m not surprised. I was lucky enough to try it way back when the owner of Soko’s gave me a spoonful. It’s always been an odd blend for me, but I’ve always liked it.
Since the last time I had a tin of this, and now, I’ve tried violet-flavoured sweets. Which, with the addition of sugar, are powdery-perfume sweet, but not unpleasant. This could definitely TAKE sugar, maybe even milk, but I like it as is. I made it a bit too strong this time around, but it’s pretty much how I remembered it. A bit like the sweets, minus the sugar, with a medium-bodied china tea base. Hunan? Maybe a bit of Keemun? I’m guessing, but there’s something smoky in that base. I still don’t know how to describe violet as a flavour, other than powdery old candies, maybe. Like the kind of sweets an old English grandmother might have.
Looking back, I might have rated this a little too zealously, but it is a personal preference. Might rethink that rating in the future.
Revisiting this one; it’s been in my cupboard a while. Brewed scent is honey with an almost cinnamon note. Almost reminds me of my mom’s honey carrots she used to make.
Cooled, the first sip is honey’d and bakey, like grains and fresh bread. Still a faint spice, almost like the kind you can get in certain honey varieties. The taste is short and sweet, and doesn’t linger particularly long in the mouth. Sipping more builds up a sweetness in the back of your throat, though. Something else like pollen or flowers.
Might do a side-by-side with DavidsTea’s Honey Black from the past December.
Still trying to get through textbook readings and three scientific articles on mass balance in glaciology, but I keep zoning out listening to David Bowie. For obvious reasons.
If you haven’t heard Chris Hadfield (the astronaut)‘s rendition of Space Oddity yet, I’d suggest it. Endorsed by the man itself, and for someone who grew up listening to the original… It might have made me cry a little bit. Sometimes you just miss important people you’ve never met.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Flowers, Honey, Spices
Got this mostly to mix with black tea and to drink in the evenings. Lavender is probably the only floral tea that doesn’t taste… floral. Or at least not like perfume. It’s more like a mild spice, something like sage. It’s also a very clear brew. Just a faint green. Maybe it’s just because it’s a bit old, but it’s not a harsh tea, though you get something medicinal in the back of your throat. Not as prominent as the lavender in the lavender-chamomile blend I got for Christmas.
Weird thing to be drinking while listening to David Bowie and also trying to read research papers on glaciers for class.
This was a Christmas gift. I know exactly where they got it, because it’s still got the sticker. Plus I’ve thought about picking up this very tin from there a few times.
I like maple, and I like earl grey, so there wasn’t much that could go wrong. And I’m actually enjoying this quite a bit. It’s just your classic fannings-packed teabag on a string, but it’s nice. You get the maple first, nice and sweet, and as that mellows you get the more pungent earl grey. It’s a nice balance. And surprisingly, you get the honey oak sri lankan black coming through as well.
I… do not enjoy this tea. Which sucks, because I really, really thought I would. Normally, Teavana’s teas have a little too much ‘stuff’ for me, so I shy away from them. But I was eyeing this on the site and finally decided to pick it up when I went in to get Joy. I figured it probably hasn’t changed from the Teaopia tea of the same name, right? And the picture on the site made it look like it at least had a good ratio of tea.
First inkling was when she was measuring out, and I realized… those aren’t the tiny hotchocolate-sized marshmallows. Those are whole centimetre-across minimarshmallows. Kind of huge for a tea. Second was when I went to brew it, and realized all the dark stuff I thought was the oolong tea, was actually everything else. The chicory root, carob pieces. There’s very little actual tea in it. I was disappointed, but I’ve had teas like this before and figured it’d just go in my ‘after dinner decaf’ pile.
Brewed, it smells of chicory and chocolate, so toasty and sweet. There’s an oily film on top, and it brews very dark. The taste is… straight up chicory root, chased with chocolate. I don’t taste any tea, and sickly sweet. As if I’d added a little too much sugar to it. There’s a very off (not quite artificial, but weird and sweet) aftertaste as well. It’s familiar, so I think it must be the chicory or carob, because I’ve had decaf blends with those before.
All the chocolate bits leave a black sludge at the bottom of your mug, and all the marshmallows melt in the infuser leaving a sticky white mess that’s even harder to clean once it’s dried. Definitely rinse out your infuser right after making the cup.
Luckily, the low ratio of tea-to-everything-else means that I can use a good few teaspoons to make a cup. It’s definitely not for me, but still drinkable, so hopefully I’ll finish it fast; I hate when those less-than-spectacular tea buys end up sitting in the back of your cupboard for years.
I’ve been playing around with steep-times for this, and I think I’ve found a sweet spot at about three minutes or slightly under. The peppermint is still peppery, and damn strong, but it’s much more drinkable, and not quite so overbearing. I get a bit more sweetness coming through, tasting a bit like white chocolate. Not much more than that coming through.