425 Tasting Notes
The quiet life was nice enough to send this to me, in its own little sample tin (which I love, and will definitely reuse for travel tea afterwards). Another tea from my shopping list! I feel like I’m really doing some work on it.
Anyways, the tea itself smells fruity and sweet and chocolaty (is it supposed to? Huh) and reminds me somewhat of H&S’s Paris (which makes sense because I remember a few tasting notes saying that it’s probably a nod to Marco Polo anyways).
She was nice enough to provide the steeping instructions on the side, so I shouldn’t be messing anything up. Hurray!
I’m trying this plain first. Maybe I’ll add milk and/or sugar to the last cup from the pot, or just wait until next time.
The wet leaves smell just as delicious (and a bit stronger), perfumy and a bit like strawberry, with a good black tea smell in there as well.
First sip… I got black tea, and then a sudden aftertaste of strawberries. The tea taste is strong (astringent, but somehow ALSO very smooth), and is then followed by the berryness, and almost sweetness. The more I sip, the stronger the berry flavour comes (and the more it fades away from strawberry and joins just ‘berry’).
There’s an almost chocolatyness to it as well, I think. Hrm.
Added a bit of sugar and milk to the last of this cup. Okay, maybe too MUCH sugar. I realize I am not very adapt with sugar portioning. But there is definitely a sweetness and taste that isn’t from the sugar in there. The addition of the milk also makes it unbelievably smooth, almost silky. I think just milk and no sugar would taste very nice as well. Otherwise, I would have just jumped past the sugar for the honey, but I assume the taste of the honey would have overwhelmed it.
I went to throw the rest of this cup back and smelt vanilla. Mmm.
Back to no milk/sugar. And I think I can taste that vanilla I smelled a moment ago. I don’t know. Weird. Still, delicious.
I always wish I had more experience with flavoured teas, since most of the tasting notes I read rave about the flavour, and most of what I get is only in the smell, but I’m glad I got to try this anyways (and I still have a fair amount left in my tiny sample tin!). It is delicious and smooth, and the flavours are subtle, but actually there.
Edit: A continuation, as I resteep this. The smell is much stronger now, and I realize that it reminds me a lot of The O Dor’s Place Saint Marc. A lot!
The taste is a bit more evident, which is nice. Although the smell is really reminding me of Place Saint Marc. Berry and vanilla.
Drinking this in class right now. It’s a bit strong, and slightly bitter (and getting more so as time goes on) because—as seen in the picture—it’s pretty broken up, and went RIGHT THROUGH my oldschool non-mesh teaball (although I removed the teaball itself somewhere around two, three minutes).
Still walnutty and nice, and going very well with my cheese scone. Delicious.
The bitterness is very… front-of-the-tongue walnut bitterness. Mm.
Finally getting around to trying this. It’s very pale—when I was pouring it it looked like just water. But it’s a very, very pale green. Based my steep temperature off of a general average of others I looked at on steepster, and did one half a teaspoon to three ounces of water.
Leaves didn’t really unfurl completely.
The taste is very light—sweet but vegetal. I actually like it. It’s green, but not extremely so. At least it doesn’t taste like just hot water. There’s an almost nut (not really nutty—maybe a nutty buttery) taste.
Second steep, the leaves’ve opened up a bit more. I think I need a smaller pot, to give the leaves room to open up a bit more, since I’m using such a small amount of water. The water’s maybe slightly greener in colour, and in smell. The taste’s stronger, more sharply green. Not much different from the top otherwise, I think.
Steeped for three minutes this time. The colour’s the same. Stronger taste, vegetal, a faintly nutty sweetness. Reminds me of Murchie’s magnolia oolong, but fainter and sweeter. I actually kind of like this. I could see myself sipping this in the evening.
Fourth steep—same colour, hasn’t gotten lighter yet. Three minutes again this time. There’s a stronger floral note. Overall it’s been sort of milky. It’s still sweet, but I don’t think I’m really tasting any changes with the steeps. Then again, I’m pretty experienced, so.
Fifth steep, I think it’s starting to get paler finally. Maybe? Hmm. Getting a slight ‘water’ tang taste now, less milky. I’m pretty sure I could continue drinking this for MANY more steeps.
Sixth steep, still not any lighter. The taste is less milky again, slightly more metallic/tangy.
I would go for a few more steeps to see how long it’d last, but I don’t really feel up for it. I decided to take a look at the leaves instead. The edges are a bit degraded, and there are some leaf-halves and stems. The smell isn’t spinachy, it’s just faintly vegetal in a nice way.
The water temperature’s really very low because I was impatient and downstairs waiting for something on my laptop, but also wary around leaving the water upstairs alone waiting for it to boil. So I just hoped it was hot enough, poured it into my pot, brought it down, and stuck my thermometre in it. Bah! I didn’t want to go back up and finish boiling it.
It smells like fruit rollups. Seriously. The kind of strawberry flavouring they use in fruitrollups. It’s making me crave them.
Slighty tart from the berries, and faintly green. A bit meh, but I did steep it at a rather cool temperature. Pleasant, actually. I don’t know how strongly I’d be able to drink this tea, so the mildness is nice. Berry with a hint of green. Less green than I was expecting. I get a very fruity tartness at the back of my throat after each sip. I sort of get the green tea taste first, and then get hit with the berryness.
I wouldn’t mind getting this myself, to drink on occasion. Actually, the deli inside the department store I work at sells Stash teas, including this one, and I was amused (and reminded!) when I saw it.
I’m noticing more tartness the more I sip it. Also, my cat seems to approve, because he keeps eyeing it.
For something that’s supposed to contain matcha, I really don’t taste it. Hmm. Ah well. Still enjoyable.
With this gone, I think the only thing I have left from Jillian is the darjeeling and the white pear.
WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TO MYSELF? It’s like a train-wreck!
I seem to have sworn to find out what’s wrong with this tea and FIX IT. I bumped the temperature down to 180, even though it’s a very black tea, and was very vigilante about my two-minute steep time.
I kept sniffing the teabags and thinking, “does this smell bitter? I think it smells bitter” and then calming myself and telling myself that “it’s just the bergamot”. I got the actual tea, set it on my little teatray, and carried it downstairs.
Tasting it, it’s got a faint tea astringency, and a touch of bergamot. And I think I can SENSE the rose in there somewhere. At least it’s not outright bitter anymore. I’m getting a very slight sort of bitter aftertaste, but I don’t know if that’s just me being paranoid or what. It’s fairly watery (for a black), but it’s drinkable now. Hrm. Maybe next time I’ll try boiling water, but add honey. I haven’t sweetened anything in a while.
Hrm. It gets a little more bitter as it cools. Still drinkable, though. At the moment.
And then it go REALLY bitter towards the end. THIS TEA REFUSES TO BE LIKED.
I couldn’t stop myself, and decided to try this one again. The tea smells of rose. And bergamot and tea, but the rose is what I noticed first this time around.
Lighter cup, because I shortened the steep time to somewhere around two minutes (I didn’t have a timer on me to use, so I stared at my computer clock).
Still got bitterness at first, although not as bad, and it seems to have lessened with cooling. I wonder if it’s the rose. I don’t know. It’s mostly on the tip of my tongue. It’s different. Not getting that artificial numbing taste this time, though. But still very bitter. I had to pour the last cup out. Two minutes! Aaaugh this tea. Why?
Is it the rose? It reminds me a bit of Twining’s Earl Grey.
So this tea confuses me. I looked up the site (this is another tea found in Winners, by the way), and on it, I found that ‘Darjeeling Earl Grey’ was not one of their blends, and ‘Singbulli’ was not an estate they had listed (which may not mean that they don’t necessarily USE it, but…).
I thought it was interesting that the company is so dedicated to the estates. Each tea is not a blend. All the tea comes from a single estate, and the estate is listed on the cat, along with the grade, etc., a bit about the estate, and the name of the actual planter.
Also, it’s earl grey. Earl grey with ROSE.
The dry pyramid bag smelt strongly of the bergamot, and more faintly of rose. Brewed, it smells mostly of tea and rose, and only very faintly of bergamot.
I think the five minutes recommended on the package is a bit of an oversteep (especially since it’s darjeeling), but I tend to do with that first then start experimenting. So it’s somewhat bitter.
I’ve never had anything with rose in it before, but I definitely smell it, and I taste SOMETHING. I’ll have to make this properly next time. I’m also getting a very weird artificial sort of bitter taste that I’m unsure about. It might just be the tea-bitterness, but I don’t know (it’s almost numbing, it’s weird). I really wish I’d prepared this one more properly so I could tell.
I’ll give it a rating next time. I’m sure I’ll end up making it in the morning.