972 Tasting Notes
Ever had a Crema Bubble Tea from the likes of Chatime? The cream flavour is hard to describe because it has a savoury component, like a cheese but is still used in a dessert-like context, like cream cheese. It is a flavour that makes me a bit nauseous but also a tad in love.
O’Connor’s Cream has a bit of that “dessert cheese” quality. It’s rich, velvety, tangy, and heady (boozy) to taste and to smell.
I’m surprised cocoa is present (yeah, I know it’s in the description and listed as an ingredient, supposedly helping to catalyze the flavour profile). It’s mostly subtle, like a Browned Butter Milk Chocolate, that is more parts browned butter and milk than chocolate (and add whisky). I don’t know if my mind would’ve picked it out if it hadn’t been pointed out. It’s doing some interesting things, creating more persuasive flavours and food associations.
Anyways, I was apprehensive about ordering 100g off the bat, and was going to offload some on my old workplace if I wasn’t a complete fan or merely liked it. Now, I suspect it won’t last as long as any of us would like (family members are already fans too).
Flavors: Butter, Cheesecake, Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Tangy, Whiskey
I went for a cavity filling the other day, which is quite the experience with the new Covid-19 measures (wait outside, text notification to let you in, hand sanitizer, temperature check, questionnaire sheet, more hand sanitizer, wait in room until the hallway/ other room is clear, etc.). It went all right at the time while the freezing was in effect, but a day later my face is a little sore (I’m a wimp).
So here’s my consolation tea, with it’s simple but comforting toasty dessert profile. I just need to remember not to oversteep or overleaf!
Flavors: Marshmallow, Rice, Roasted, Sugar
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This was part of my “three tea mystery grab bag” purchase. I will upload a picture here in a day or two.
Mmm… this tea has a satisfying asparagus note, with a citrus-sweet finish that is currently reminding me vaguely of a honey-lemon Halls. There are some lovely nut and vegetal notes that someone with a better palate than me can try to pin down!
Flavors: Asparagus, Citrus, Hazelnut, Honey, Lemon Zest, Nuts, Seaweed, Sweet
I also found this tea tin in a neglected corner of the tea cupboard, along with a few other brisk English-styled black teas. This one dates back to my summer Balkans & London trip in 2015. I hoped that I still had some of Fortnum & Mason’s Strawberry black tea too but it looks like I finished it off, or it found a new home while I wasn’t looking. Too bad!
Fortnum & Mason has some great “afternoon tea” styled blends, and biscuits (hello delicious Pistachio & Clotted Cream biscuits), among other things. This blend fits right in with their overall aesthetic and style.
The base is vibrant and bright, with a touch of astringency. Caramel notes and the rose scent definitely evokes Turkish Delights, and also grandma (love you/miss you & your rose scented clothes drawers). I’m also super impressed with how vibrant this tea still is, despite its age.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Floral, Malt, Rose, Smoke
Oh, no. I found an almost untouched tin of this faaaar back in the cabinet, along with some other giant untouched brisk black teas. OMG, no. I’m pretty sure I bought this back in 2013.
I know what I’m going to be drinking every day for the next long while. Consider this Day 1. I’m going to start reading War & Peace today as well and see which one I finish first.
Flavors: Astringent, Dark Chocolate, Grapes, Malt, Raisins, Red Wine
This one is old, although not as old as I thought. My sister brought this one back from Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2018. She also hyped the tea shop, World Tea House, and said the owner was awesome and super helpful. My sister doesn’t know a lot about tea. She likes tea a lot and is equally content to drink a Starbuck’s London Fog as she is to drink a peppermint tea latte, a cup of Yunnan Golden Snail, Milk Oolong, or a Red Rose tea bag, so long as someone else is making it. If it’s milky or milk can be added that’s great, and if it pairs well with a cookie it may as well be perfect.
So in that regard, I do believe World Tea House picked the perfect tea for sis. This Assam is lovely with milk, and makes me reassess my lack of Assam drinking. I don’t mind a nice Earl Grey or robust and full bodied breakfast tea every once in a while either!
Once I drink this up, as well as my ancient tin of Andrews & Dunham’s Tiger Assam (nvm I left that at my old work place so it’s Red-tailed Hawk tea!), I think I will properly revisit Indian teas.
Flavors: Hay, Malt, Raisins
May 2020 Blend
This seems like a relative of the Danishes, which are all usually delicious takes on various types of berries and cream (the pastry element was always a flip of a coin). This one is also pretty great, and the aroma fills the room in wonderful way.
+Tobacco note derives from the rooibos base, and is pleasant when it does pops up.
All in all, the May teas were generally great and I’m sad to see this last one go. Too bad the Pacific West Coast refuses to comply with the spring/summer concepts; seriously, it feels and looks like mid-September today.
Flavors: Blueberry, Cream, Nutty, Tobacco, Vanilla
So, this one doesn’t taste at all like Amaretto. I probably should’ve expected that when the blend consisted of cranberries as opposed to cherries or marzipan pieces, but still I’d hoped. No surprises that it tastes mostly cranberries and almonds, even when sugar and/or milk is added. C’est la vie.
It did taste like Amaretto after I added Amaretto liqueur though! So, yeah. Not my favourite.
Flavors: Almond, Cranberry, Malt
This session is pretty different from my earlier one. There are far more tea leaves to fruit in this last serving. The fact that this is a roasted oolong is much more noticeable, and it brings out the dried goji berries more while diminishing the impression of ripe melons and sweetness.
I still like this quite a bit particularly as it cools. It’s almost caramelized/ slightly creamy but also fruity and roasted. I’m having a hard time describing it and it’s not consistent enough a thing to pinpoint.
Steep Count: 2
Flavors: Cream, Floral, Goji, Honeysuckle, Melon, Mineral, Roasted, Wood