1379 Tasting Notes
My first day of Christmas tea from the 52 Teas Christmas Box.
This should have been logged yesterday but I forgot the in-laws were coming by to see our new house. It’s the first time they have been down to see us as they don’t drive and live in another city. That meant major cleaning and clearing on my part, trying to make a 2 week lived in house perfect. That didn’t happen but I tried my best. So yes this was yesterdays tea but I’m tasting it today to make up for yesterday.
The raw blend has a strong clove and cinnamon scent, very spice mix and perhaps a little like pumpkin though nothing sweet nor toffee like. The dragonwell was rather a dark green with large yellow discolouration, so low quality though I suppose that compromises on it being a unique blend. I only mention the quality as Long Jing is not a favourite of mine unless the quality is crystal, otherwise I find it much too harsh to drink.
After a guess-timated steeping time I pour the tea. The same clove spice mix fills the air, though while nice and Christmas like it’s starting to remind me less and less of pumpkin or toffee.
The flavour is of a good strength though I am getting a lot of dryness in the after taste, I always do with low grade Long Jing. It is highly spice flavoured with clove dominating with a touch of cinnamon in the background, though as mentioned they are rather dry. It tastes of synthetic pumpkin, in other words it meets my expectations as what to expect from a substitute. If you’ve tasted Franks other pumpkin flavoured teas then you know what I’m talking about. All said and done there is no toffee, nothing remotely sweet or candied. Also the green tea aside from it’s dryness is not noticeable in taste, the spice dominates over it rather strongly.
So you get synthetic pumpkin which is hit or miss and no toffee to speak of. Nice try but this is not what it claims, at least to me. However, it is a fairly nice Christmas like blend, clove may not be my personal choice to mix it with Long Jing but this does pair together well. Albeit not perfect for me (as a hater of low grade Long Jing and of clove) but it is pleasant enough to drink and mildly enjoy. So this is more of a Christmas Clove Dragonwell than a Pumpkin Toffee Dragonwell.
But oh well, a nice start to the box. Plus I’m in a pleasant mood after my faith in humanity has been restored a little, before I went to make this tea I passed by the front door and found a small business card sized envelope on the floor. I picked it up and saw it had no name, so I went into the living room and opened it to find a small Christmas tree card which is addressed inside to my house number from a neighbouring house. A neighbour that I have never met nor seen but one that is definitely getting a card back tomorrow. All these years since I moved out and in none of my previous three homes did any neighbour give us a card, or even a thought. Considering that we bought this house and intend to be in it for potentially the rest of our lives it’s very comforting to know we have at least one friendly neighbour. :)
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Drying
My tea of the night while I watch Russell Brand on The Trews, highly entertaining! Granted I’m a over a month late with sampling this one I am still happy for the de stash.
The tea (once steeped) smells sweet yet dark with malt, mild toffee and a toasted sense that reminds me of popcorn or cereal (like rice crispies or cornflakes).
Sampled without milk or sugar.
Flavour is strong with a dominant smoky tang that is paired with a malt bitter black base. It does have a slight sweet taste though not as strong as the smell and I could certainly not define it as toffee. So really the flavour is yay on bonfire and nay on toffee.
Sampled with milk.
The bitterness has been toned down a little though it is still highly smoky and strong. Still not getting the toffee notes, and honestly the smoke is not balanced greatly by the thick base.
Sampled with milk and sugar.
Even the sugar has failed to restore balance for this blend.
Ok I don’t think this one is for me. I like smoky teas from time to time but this is just too harsh and is not blended well.
Time I used this sample, albeit chosen whilst I’m watching a Romeo and Juliet style Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode that ends up with a lovers murder, suicide. I feel my mind felt in the romance mood (tragic or otherwise) and that is my reasoning for picking this tea, on a subconscious level. I hope that makes sense, my mind is a little scatty at the moment…it’s been a long day.
Served with a lump of sugar and a drop of milk.
Even with the sugar this just smells like a standard malt, black tea. Nothing sweet nor caramel like about it.
In flavour this is pretty much a rather mild, malt black tea with a touch of chemical sweetness. Not caramel and not the sugar cube (as I’m used to those), but something amongst it that is chemical and almost dry and nutty.
Very disappointing, I wanted caramel :( It has a cute name but that was the best thing about it. As a mild black tea it’s ok but nothing special, the chemical taste is unpleasant though still drinkable. At least it’s good enough to dip my custard creams into.
Happy 12th December everyone!
I certainly smell the apple with light spice, very Christmas-y! Flavour is light and sweet with soft apple and spice (cinnamon or clove like). I can’t taste cardamom specifically though that is a positive thing (for me anyway). Mild dry after taste though the spicy apple remains.
I like this, it tastes like Christmas with minimum Rooibos blurghness and all in a nice caffeine free package.
Flavors: Apple, Spices, Sweet
This was meant to be for a house warming gift but we just didn’t get a real chance to enjoy it, until today when my husband returned home early from work declaring he caught the plague. rolls eyes So he went to bed and I made him my famous vegetable soup. I made enough to feed an army so he should be well fed over the next few days. So now we are watching Kickboxer (yes that flick with Jean Claudee Van Damme, who my cat Cassie fancies by the way…she stares at him when he’s on the screen) and drinking this Pu Erh.
Flavour is very smooth with some sweet, damp earth tones. A hint of smoke in the after taste. Also a slight musty musk taste that lingers in the mouth, though not strongly. Further steeps bring out clay and wood tones though on the whole it remains very smooth and easy to drink.
Even through a few steeps it remains smooth and rather delicate. I’m really liking this one, plus the fact that it comes in a box and bag is really cool!
My morning tea, chosen to go with my replacement adagio teapot which I didn’t think I would miss but ended up being devastated by it’s destruction.
The raw blend smells thickly of honey but it’s so sweet and thick it also reminds me of manure. Not the nicest smell I’ve had in my kitchen…
Once steeped the blend is a lot less like manure and more like pure honey, though also the rooibos is thickly behind it. In fact the rooibos may be the manure type smell.
Flavour is fairly mild with some sweetness though it doesn’t taste as much like honey as it smells. It does however, taste of rooibos rather strongly. The rooibos dies down to leave the honey flavour on the tongue in the after taste, though over time it becomes dry.
Overall I don’t think this tea is balanced particularly well, the rooibos dominates the honey in flavour and the honey that does remain becomes dry and unpleasant. This from a woman that adores honey and dislikes rooibos. At least I can drink it which says something.
Flavors: Drying, Honey, Rooibos
Oh Wild Bohea tea;
How I adore thee,
Whether tis hot or cold;
You taste like gold,
Pure and sweet;
You’re a real treat.
A short poem for this gem of a tea, for alas I have one serving left to admire. I think I shall keep it for after dinner so that my husband may admire it once more also.
My first review in the new house :) I have a lot to do so this teabag comes in handy for a quick sip down. The bag smelled rather dry and spicy with prominent clove and pepper tones.
It says to leave in boiling water for 5-10 minutes so while I wait I will read the little quote on the teabags tag. ‘Have wisdom in your actions and faith in your merits’. Also gives me time to quickly check the Cyber Monday deals on a few cross stitch websites. Already bought myself a Marilyn Monroe kit and teapot kit.
Once cooled slightly (enough to sip) the flavour is very thick and herbal with a linger spice aftertaste. It tastes almost chemical, there is something in it that is unpleasant, it could be the licorice root as I am not a fan of it at all. Besides the licorice root I can also taste: clove, pepper and cinnamon. They blend together and the licorice taste takes over, very thick and refreshing though plastic like.
Unfortunately it is not pleasant to drink BUT I have a wave of tiredness come over me. My eyes are heavy and I’m yawning all of a sudden. It’s either the tea, my rush around this morning had latent effect or the result of listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (which is my favourite album). Or perhaps a combination of all three. So not a great tea but drinkable, though huge warning label if you don’t like licorice.