429 Tasting Notes

79
drank Earl Grey by Hazo
429 tasting notes

I’m christening my new teapot (my SECOND new teapot—a lovely gift from a friend! And here, I had gone out and purchased a new one not two days ago; but there was nothing I could have done, the teapot was already on its way from the US of A by the time I decided to go out and buy a new one to replace my old) with a pot of this, and I find that I just can’t seem to oversteep it. No bitterness, none! Lovely and mild, and nice with honey. This is probably my favourite tea that I have on-hand at the moment.

Of course, I’m still waiting for my Series 3 to come in… I expected them TODAY, but instead I came home to a new (to me anyways—it’s vintage!) teapot instead! So tomorrow, perhaps. I hope.

But now I’ve got three lovely teapots (and a fourth with a broken handle; I think I’ll fix it anyways with a bit of glue, but I’m sure it will be too fragile for use—sad, sad. It was a present from my late great grandmother). I think I’m on the verge of a full out teapot collection here.

The tea is nice and almost sweet, not bitter at all, although not strong, and the bergamot is just there in the taste (very strong in the smell of the leaves, less so in the smell of the tea). I’m just finishing off my second steep, which is practically no bergamot at all, leaving just a mild tea.

Four minutes first steep, six minutes second steep.

Preparation
Boiling

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79
drank Earl Grey by Hazo
429 tasting notes

I found the smell of this stuff amazing. It wasn’t Bergamot Citrus And Tea, no. It was BERGAMOT. Not bergamoty citrus, but a FULL, rounded bergamot smell; I am unsure how to describe it, actually. Just… the fruit, instead of the essence.

Anyways, I picked this up at Winners of all places. I went in looking to buy a new teapot—if everyone missed my sap story of how my old one died in my hands (and gave me a nasty cut while doing so)—specifically one for loose leaf with a basket infuser. I found one! Although it is a little BIG for me. But I also discovered that Winners has a whole selection of teas. Specifically loose leaf, and many from very “British” brands (“True London Tea” “British Teas”, all sporting pictures of Big Ben and red phone boxes on them), and directly beside them in the same aisle? The preserves selection. I dubbed it “The British Aisle”. I was so amused I took out my phone and told Luke (who also has a Steepster!) he was also amused.

Anyways! The tea. The full bergamot smell was lost in the tea itself (although the wet leaves still smelt strongly of it), returning to the much more normal bergamot oil and tea smell. Probably a good thing because I couldn’t smell any tea in the dry stuff, really. I can’t give too apt a description of the colour because I made it in my cafe cream-brown mug, but it does look a good shade of amber. Slightly reddish.

Waiting for it to cool a bit. Hot it doesn’t taste too strong. I haven’t added any honey yet, I’m waiting for it to cool first to decide. Although I’m liking it already! And I’m afraid that if I love it, that Winners won’t stock any more of this mysterious “Hazo” brand (I had to look it up online, it’s very new and mysterious). Winners is the kind of shop that just Gets Random Stuff In (I found gauntlets in there once!), so I’m sure that once they sell off Hazo (there was only Hazo Earl Grey in there—three tins, two after I purchased one), that I will never see it again and will have to attempt to buy it from the website I found.

The taste isn’t very strong, hmm. It’s quite weak, but that’s probably just me figuring out my tea-water proportions still. The taste was pleasant, though, the bergamot isn’t anywhere near as strong as in the smell; good ratio to the tea. It’s not bitter at all, which I like. Earl grey isn’t my morning tea choice—it’s not strong enough—but it is my lunch time and between classes choice, so I think I will be drinking this one a lot more. I might have to start bringing the tin, a mug and my teaball to class.

Hrm. I should invest in one of those travel loose leaf mugs…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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drank Warmth – Cinnamon Spice by Tetley
429 tasting notes

I have no idea how old this is. I wanted tea, but it’s late and I want to actually SLEEP tonight, so I dug through my mother’s freezer (she keeps all her opened and unopened teas in there, tsk tsk) and came across this. The little jar was open, and half of the bags were littered around the freezer, but I thought “why not”.

First off, as soon as I picked up the container I could smell the cinnamon. WOW cinnamon. And it’s not just the smell—cinnamon dust coats my fingers and everything else.

Brewed, sixish minutes I think. Dear god the cinnamon. I took one sniff and thought, “crap I nevermind, I don’t want cinnamon tonight”, but I can’t bring myself to dump it…

Initial sip, tastes… like water, and maybe slightly woody? Nothing else—every time, the cinnamon doesn’t kick in until it slides down the back of your throat, and then it’s quite strong (and trails into the aftertaste for a bit). I think I can taste cloves in there too. Surprisingly, I’m tasting no orange… Perhaps it’s been ruined by the freezer. Oh wait—I think I can smell a bit of orange if I exhale, but not taste it…

Not as strong as it smells, luckily. I’m sure it would taste better if it hadn’t been lying around open in the freezer. It’s not bad. I don’t know if I should give a rating on this because of the condition I found the bags in. Everyone else seems to have liked it, and I don’t DISlike it.

Preparation
6 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Lady Grey by Twinings
429 tasting notes

The dry teabag smelt just like regular earl grey, however, wet, you could definitely smell the other citrusy fruits.

Surprisingly smooth! Although the citrus seems to be more in the smell than the taste. Well, you get more of the… acidic taste, and not so much the taste of the individual fruits, I suppose.

Decided to add some honey… Hmm, maybe that was too MUCH honey. Now I can taste nothing other than honey and tea. Mm… well, give it a moment and you can still sort of taste citrus in the background somewhere.

Aah, yep, the taste’s returning. I think it just needed to cool a bit more (the pot’s warmer than my cup, after all). I like it. Probably would go better if I hadn’t dolloped the honey like that. Like it waaaay better than Twining’s earl grey.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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37
drank Earl Grey by Twinings
429 tasting notes

I’ll admit, although I’m pretty sure I’ve had this in the past, it’s probably only ever been with lots of milk and honey, and never without.

At any rate, yuck. I’m reminded of Sinister’s tealog concerning it, and Captain Picard (I am a Trekkie myself, although I did tend towards Voyager—I was a fan of the Doctor), and specifically the quote “watery slurry” which is Twining’s Earl Grey.

I didn’t make it particularly hot—I need to replace my kettle, I really do—but before that, the bags smelt deliciously of Earl Grey. Sniffing the wet bag, and the tea, all I could smell was overpowering bergamot. When I sipped it, that’s really all I could taste. Water and strong bergamot. Now, bergamot is bitter, like grapefruit, but the bitter that I tasted seemed more like the kind you get when you go to take the zest of something and cut too deep into the pith.

I don’t know, just my thought.

The tea taste was watery and way in the background. I tried to add some honey, and it helped somewhat—the tea is slightly more noticeable, but overall still very… I don’t want to say yuck again, because it wasn’t horrible.

However, it did give me a thought. Earl Grey scented cologne. Anyone? Interesting, eh? I remember seeing a how-to for green tea perfume somewhere. I’m sure it could be adapted. It’d give me something to do with the rest of the teabags. Although I’ll try drinking this again when I can get the water hotter.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
AJ

Don’t suppose there’s a manlier version of that, hmm? Still something I’m bookmarking and looking into later.

JacquelineM

If you happen to have a L’Occitane around you, take a sniff. I can smell the tea and bergamot, and I don’t think it’s super feminine or super masculine. I think it smells like a cup of earl grey tea with sugar in it. But fragrance is so personal… I started a thread in discussions here on Steepster about tea fragrances and some people had some other recs that they liked:

http://steepster.com/discuss/126-tea-perfume

AJ

Hmm, interesting. Thank you.

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62
drank Uva Ceylon by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
429 tasting notes

I’ve taken to drinking this every day in the morning, now. It has a bit of bite to it, even with milk and a bit of honey. It’s not a bad thing. It wakes me up in the morning.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
429 tasting notes

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62
drank Uva Ceylon by Murchie's Tea & Coffee
429 tasting notes

Steeping this tea now, with an English muffin—that just popped from the toaster.

Mmm, English muffins…

Anyways, I picked this up at Murchie’s yesterday, which is so small and quaint, and when I entered the store, I immediately wished I had brought a book. I’m sure I will return—they have all sorts of little cakes, and I love the whole tea experience of getting a pot on a silver platter. It was very nice.

I decided to try making tea another way today; you see, the pot I have is very old, the outside paint turned brown from use. I read that filtered water is better to use over tap water (I don’t see why I had to read this—it makes obvious sense, after all), and I thought perhaps to try that. However, I assume the inside of my kettle is probably coated with enough lime scale and the sort that poring filtered water into it would negate the idea of using filtered water complete. So instead I put a mug of it into the microwave. I realized there was really no way to decide if the temperature was anywhere near where I wanted it to be, and so I used the Five Second Finger Test. How long does the water take to scald your finger? I waited until it did it instantly, and then hoped for the best (that puts it somewhere over 60c, at least [140F]). It took slightly longer for the nice rich tea colour to come out, so I can only assume the water wasn’t QUITE hot enough. I would buy my own personal kettle for tea use, but I’m sure everyone in my house would think me crazy.

I opened the tin of bags and the wondrous tea smell was nice, and strong and I took a few sniffs. On that note, the tin is PERFECT for loose leaf, so I have no idea why they decided to package their bagged teas this way. Not only does it have a tight fitting lid, but just under the lid is a SECOND lid that pushes INSIDE the tin, for extra freshness. And since the “Uva Ceylon” is just a sticker, I think I’m going to keep this tin and reuse it for loose leaf afterwards. Definitely.

The tea smells nice, and brings back memories of my great grandma. It’s odd, because it almost seems like I can smell a bit of honey. But I think it’s just the normal smell of the tea reminding me OF honey. The wet bag smells a little earthy as well.

Tea’s still a little too hot to taste much. But first sip I tasted something somewhat green. Or well, leafy. Second sip, and it tastes a little sour.

Aah, perfect, no bitterness. Joy! Although it feels a bit weak. Most likely due to too low of a temperature, I’m sure. I still think I’m getting that metallicy water taste. Maybe I should try bottled water instead of my filtered stuff. I don’t know when the last time was that that filter was changed.

A bit of honey to see what it does to the taste… I can barely taste the honey, but I think it brought out the tea flavour more. Mm. Maybe I’ll try two teabags next time. I think I like it. Heck, maybe I’ll pack a few bags to bring to work and drink on my break.

Bit of milk… Removes the metallic taste, which brings the teaness forward. Tasty.

Preparation
4 min, 15 sec

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61
drank Irish Breakfast by Twinings
429 tasting notes

I suppose I don’t have enough “experience” drinking tea to properly distinguish flavours, but I tried!

It smelt and tasted, at first, just like ‘basic tea’ for me. To which I mean black. But after a few sips I kind of began to taste a maltyness (at least I’m assuming that’s what it was that made my tongue tingle a bit, ant it trailed off into the aftertaste which was interesting).

I decided to grab a bag (oh dear, the bagged stuff, yes I know but that’s all I had on me) this morning due to teaplz’s note about the piratyness of it. My mind went, “Pirates? HECK YES.” So I went tearing through my Twinings Variety Pack in search of one.

I sipped it a little before adding anything to see what I could taste, but I didn’t really start to TASTE anything until I added a bit of creamed honey and milk. I wish I knew what the heck I was tasting. Maltyness, mmm. And some sort of black peppery spicyness? It woke me up nicely, though. Maybe I’ve just burnt my taste buds one too many times on really hot tea and cocoa over the years, and now I just can’t taste anything anymore.

I think it would go over better if I had a plate of scrambled eggs and sausage in front of me too. Definitely breakfasty.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec
fcmonroe

Gotta love any review that mentions pirates!

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Profile

Bio

A tea-drinking transgendered Canadian, currently in their last year of university, majoring in geology (yes, “rocks and things”). I take most of my tea made straight into a mug, although occasionally if I’m not in a hurry (this isn’t often), I’ll have time to sit down with a pot or gaiwan. It’s the highlight of a good day.

My notes are pretty disjointed because I’m absent-minded, and I also keep a teatra.de blog for reviewing and rambling about tea books/publications.

I’m a Doctor Who fanatic (Jon Pertwee, if you were wondering).

“But you should never turn down tea, when it’s offered. It’s impolite, and impoliteness is how wars start.” ~Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Location

Canada

Website

http://artoftea.teatra.de

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