4 Tasting Notes
I ordered a few teas from sTEAp Shoppe and this was one of them. When you first open the tin you are feel like you opened a bottle of vanilla extract while holding a flower to your nose. As I steeped my first cup first tasting without any sweetener then adding the sweetener I found the flavor notes similar to the aroma. The first sip (no sweet)was hearty with a smoothness from the vanilla and the combination of black tea and white tea I found to be quite a pleasant combination bringing in a mild yet robust floral flavor. The hue is a quite dark amber color I believe due to the vanilla bean which some of the small vanilla bean beads did go through my filter and lingered in the cup. This tea is heavy yet light I am not sure quite how to say it but maybe like comparing it to whip cream, you know it’s heavy and creamy but it’s texture is so light and fluffy. Then I added the sweetener and wow! there was the cocoa flavor taking my taste buds for a ride. Unlike the sweedish delight I commented on this teas second cup is very similar to the first. The flavors seem somehow more settled now but all the notes I found are still there front and center. I not sure anyone could really dislike this tea because it is so versatile. Oh and I must not forget what did I serve this with you ask. Because after the first tasting the second must have a complimentary food to grace my palate. I knew it would be desert but was unsure as to what avenue to take. Go simple or rich. I took some time because I must admit the desire to put a brownie smothered in chocolate sauce and topped with vanilla ice cream seemed to be the perfect match. But I decided for the less obvious and less caloric approach and had a strawberry sorbet. Yes, I realize this seems way to simple but it’s not the name of the food but the effort and love that went into making it. Fresh cool strawberries and a wonderful hot tea loaded with chocolate and vanilla flavors. What could be better on a hot day.
I purchased this tea along with a few others from sTEAp shoppe hoping to try something new. The anticipation of waiting for a new tea is one I delight in. The day the box arrived I found myself savoring each moment as I opened each tin of tea and got lost in the wonderful aroma’s. Once I open the tea I must consider the proper food to serve it with in order to embrace it’s true intent. Yes, Tea has intent you must first smell then steep it partake in the flavors without any sweetener then add a sweetener to see what additional flavor notes can be pulled from it by adding sweetness. Tasting tea is not just relaxation it is a mission with intent. Well getting back to the tea I must say from first scent I was engaged with the unique aroma of Cardamon a wonderfully mild yet bold spice. As I took my first sip of the first cup I found my taste buds attracted to a tart berry flavor and noticed the color of the steep had a pinkish hue to it. This was floral yet fruity with a bit of orange to compliment the cranberry like flavor. The Second cup I found had a more subdued berry flavor and the floral hearty tones of the Ceylon tea and the earthy Cardamon came through a bit more. This tea is such a departure from any tea I’ve tasted and resteeping your cup seems to bring on such a drastic change it it’s flavor it was like I was drinking a different tea almost. Very exciting. I decided this tea deserved the perfect accompaniment and I was on a mission to find it. As I combed the isles of the grocery store I debated whether to counter balance the flavors or to mimic them. I made my selection and as I left the store a whole new bit of excitement came over me as I anticipated what my flavors would bring to this tea. So I sat down for lunch on a sunny Saturday with hot tea in had. I had created a sandwich I felt would be worthy of my spectacular tea. I found this spectacular deli that sold smoked turkey (the real stuff none of that processed crap) a wonderfully crispy yet soft centered Ciabatta fresh from the oven and created what I believe worked beautifully. Slightly toasted Ciabatta with a wonderful cranberry Wensleydale cheese just barley melted onto it 3 sliced of my juicy smoked turkey, 2 thinly sliced heirloom tomato slices, a small bunch of arugula and the condiment of choice a sweet corn aioli(my own creation). There have been better Saturday afternoons I am sure but I can’t think of one right now.
This is bit of a departure from my usual white and black tea varieties. I do enjoy Roobios so I thought why not give this a try. It was interesting to say the least. I found it to be difficult to pair just the right accompaniment. I like to pair my tea with food and find that this one was a bit more difficult to determine. I finally decided just to go English style with some biscuits and strawberry preserves. Though this was a bit of a cop out it did seem to work OK. I must admit I usually try a bit harder to be a true tea foodie.