1333 Tasting Notes
It’s really stupid at this hour, but I just didn’t feel like I was done with tea tonight. I fought against it as long as I could, but only managed to become more and more convinced that I should try one of these plum things that TeaEqualsBliss sent me.
I had too look this one up to tell what sort of tea it was. Nothing about that on the little envelope holding the bag.
The bag has a funny spicy smell that I wasn’t expecting. I couldn’t quite place it at first, but when looking it up I saw that it contained cinnamon and all the little wheels and cogs in my head clicked into place. I wouldn’t say I thought it was obvious cinnamon, but it was close enough.
It strikes me as a funny combination, plums and cinnamon. I can’t really imagine that. The cup smells rather like chai when steeping too, but I’m pretty sure I’m picking up some fruity sweetness underneath the cinnamon-y sweetness. It’s actually rather christmas-y to smell!
The taste is surprisingly good. I would never in a bazillion years have imagined that these two flavours would work that well together but they do! It’s like two kinds of sweetness keeping each other from being too much.
It’s not perfect and there is a certain level of syntheticness, but apart from that I’m rather impressed with this one.
My immediate leader in the lab also happens to be one of my best friends at work in spite of her being a couple of years older than my mother. We are so similar in so many ways. Today after work we went and saw the Percy Jackson film and ate a lot of sweets. A LOT of sweets. Let’s put it this way, I have more or less had sweets for dinner, okay? Things got out of hand.
I need something to wash all that sugar down and yes, I’m aware of the irony of having chosen a chocolate tea for the purpose. I just really wanted this tonight. Fortunately I still had one of the two bags that Jillian sent me AND TeaEqualsBliss also remembered that I liked this one and added a bag of it to the package I got from her yesterday. So I’m having it now and I still have a bag left. Lovely.
Oh, and the film? If you like adventures like Harry Potter and similar, go see it. It’s
awesome and I need to read those books like whoa! It can seriously not go fast enough.
Look at me with a tisane! Be sure to pay attention, Steepsterites, as this is not something that happens that often, but it’s too late really for tea when I’m trying to re-learn getting to bed at a proper hour, and I wanted to try something else of what TeaEqualsBliss sent me.
I dipped my sleeve in the cup (no, not on purpose), so it’s not starting well.
It smells strongly of spearmint and I can’t really find any tarragon. It’s like a mix of toothpaste and that chewing gum that my mother prefers. Daunting… Maybe it can help on my stomach reflux though. (Oh avocado… so yummy, yet so deceitful!)
It tastes a bit like that chewing gum too, but it’s not as overwhelmingly spearmint-y as I had expected. I think it’s because the tarragon is lying down a base and controlling it. It’s just spearmint-y enough to give me that prickling on the tongue and brief fresh mouth sensation. The latter doesn’t seem to last very long after swallowing, but then again, it’s a tisane, not a tooth-paste replacement.
Tisanes don’t really interest me at all, and I don’t buy them unless for someone else or because I want to mix with stuff. Although I’d be unlikely to purchase this if the brand was available here, I still like it rather more than I thought I would.
A case of mistaken identities have placed a hand-delivered non-signed envelope of creepiness in my letterbox today. Print outs of someone else’s private email conversations of a personal nature. In place a VERY personal nature. It’s creepy enough that I’ll be saving envelope+contents for a while and see if anything else happens, because my immediate guess is that somewhere out there there is a betrayed wife thinking that I’m someone else. And she knows where I live. And she doesn’t know that I’m not Not-Me even though Not-Me has the same name as me.
Luckily I have also received a package from TeaEqualsBliss which is MUCH less creepy and in which I found among others this tea with which I will try to calm myself down again. I was stumped by the amount of choice available to me! Eventually I decided that since I needed some fairly quick nerve-settling a bag was the thing to go for this time. I picked this one by closing my eyes and choosing one at random.
I’m a bit wary of the brand. I’ve seen a lot of posts about this brand and most people seemed to find it somewhat mediocre.
It definitely smells jasmine-y while steeping and not synthetic. So that’s one point in favour. The flavour is a bit… brine-y and a bit flowery. It’s not like the jasmine green to end all jasmine greens. But it’s nice enough.
And was it capable to stop my imagination getting out of control RE post intro? To an extent yes, so that’s another point in favour.
This one again. It’s in my to be finished pile. Some of you will remember my first experience with it. Well, my colleague gave me the rest of what she had since she would never get around to using it herself anyway, not being a very big tea-drinker.
So I got the rest in a cleaned marmalade glass and can now inform you that she must have stored this in her spice cupboard. It’s the only explanation I can come up with, because she swears the glass has only ever contained marmalade before and I can’t really imagine that anyone in their right mind would make curry flavoured tea.
I sincerely hope it only took on the curry in the aroma and that it will go away upon brewing!
I’ve used more leaf this time, for a more authentic experience, and am steeping the bejeezus out of it at the moment. One heaping teaspoon per cup (and then some, because the leaves are large and my teaspoons don’t heap that well) and at least a fifteen minute steep in only half the amount of water.
The result is nearly as black as coffee, even when diluted half and half with freshly boiled water. The aroma is very tea-like and very very dark. Just by smelling it I can almost feel my tastebuds cowering in fear. There is, unfortunately, still a note of that blasted curry. Woe ruined leaves!
Authentic turkish tea is always taken sweetened with sugar, which I’m sure you could guess from the steeping parameter and dosage of leaves, but I am either fearless or remarkably foolish (the latter being more probable) so I gave it a test sip before sweetening.
ARGH! Astringent! My tongue is dead! I think it just turned to dust and disintegrated or something! Astringency, however, should not be confused with bitterness, of which there is none. As for the curry, I’m not sure. I feel like I can pick up a hint of it, but I’m not sure if that’s not just because I know it’s there and was half expecting to find an unauthorised flavour.
One teaspoon of sugar helps. Two is better. Three is perfect. There’s still a lot of astringency there, but it’s sweetened so much that the sugar go rather well with it. Like the astringency means it can handle more sweetener before it gets cloying and the sugar and astringency in combination sort of bring out each other’s best qualities. Bit like in a sweet and sour sauce.
My tongue is all prickly and confused, though. It can’t seem to decide between ‘AAAAH! Astringent! Shrivel!’ and ‘OOOOH! Sugar! More!’ It’s a strange sensation.
Also, having tasted carefully, I definitely can’t pick up the curry. Maybe smell contamination isn’t such a serious thing when you give the leaves such a harsh treatment.
I stand by my initial rating. It’s much different from what I normally understand to be tea, but it’s still quite nice. It’s not a brewing method I’ll be using very often, but it’s fun enough to do once in a while for the exotic experience.
It was one of those days. Clumsy like a very hot place. At mid-afternoon I was thinking if we couldn’t just skip the rest of today and go straight on with tomorrow. I needed a cup of tea really badly and actually had one planned until I came home and face to face with the to-be-finished pile. Right then. My conscience bid me to look through that first, and as I did I discovered a tea from Bethany that I had completely forgotten I had! First win of the day. No, really. First win.
I actually needed a cup so badly that I just brewed it up and quite forgot to even look at the leaves. I didn’t even think to look up what sort of tea it was. Let’s just say that I was lucky it wasn’t a fragile green…
After having steeped it though, I looked it up and read the description. The colour was golden as promised and the aroma was floral and somewhat wood-y also as promised. There were some talk about notes of tropical fruit too, but I couldn’t find any of that.
The flavour had the same sort of wood-y, almost rooibos-y note. What is it with me finding rooibos-y notes in indian teas lately? First that decaf indian vanilla thing from Numi the other day (the one with the Cup of DOOM!) and now this? Again, nothing on the tropical fruit front, though.
I’m not a fan of the wooden rooibos note, especially considering that there isn’t any rooibos in it at all. I like oolongs but I swing towards the greener chinese ones, generally. I have yet to meet an indian oolong that I fell for. This one is from Darjeeling and even though a lot of black Darjeeling teas are technically borderline oolong, an actual oolong from the area just tastes kind of unfinished. I’ve had a Darjeeling oolong before, but that was years ago and I honestly can’t remember anything about it, so I can’t tell if this is characteristic or not.
Smells pretty much like the one from 52teas. There’s a peppery sort of note in the aroma too that prickles my nose and make me want to sneeze.
It’s sweet. Somewhat spicy, it sort of warms that mouth with prickly. And then it’s kind of sweet as if it has sugar in it.
I am still getting a hint of that slightly soapy, rough sort of flavour that I’m also getting in the one from 52teas, it’s just less here. I’m thinking maybe that would be the pumpkin. And if that is the case then I’m still not sure I actually like pumpkin very much.
Thanks for letting me try it, though, Jillian.
Night and stars above that shine so bright
The myst’ry of their fading light
That shines upon our caravan
I don’t care if that’s supposed to be a desert caravan and not a russian one, it still pops into my head whenever I see the name of this blend. Rather like JacquelineM’s River Shannon blend inevitably makes my brain go Oh Shenandoe, I love your daughter… Even though it’s not even the same river. Or the same country. Or the same continent. Can’t help it.
This one was put in the to-be-finished-off pile due to it being sample-sized and, I’m sorry to admit, quite forgotten.
The aroma right now just after pouring is pure bonfire and a hint of what I think Auggy and Takgoti mean when they say ‘burnt sugar’. Just a little bit. Not so much that you really recognise it as sweetness, but it’s enough to make me stop an wonder what that was. The more I sniff at it, the more clearly it comes out along with a note of dark chocolate.
I steeped it only four minutes (using the phenomenal steep.it site), and the flavour here strikes me as rather smokey. There’s something else too. I can’t quite identify it but it’s sort of like a middle thing between nuts and flour, or perhaps borderline cocoa-ish. Which weirdly is an entirely different flavour from both nuts and flour. Yeah, I don’t know either.
It certainly has a good kick, but I do think it’s a shame I did that shorter than usual steep just to see what would happen. I’m wondering what would have happened with that sweet note in the aroma if I hadn’t done that.
ETA: As I make my way down through the cup and it cools off a little bit, the unidentifiable flavour is turning out more and more cocoa-y, I think.