4843 Tasting Notes
This week’s Tea of the Week!
My daughter’s favorite tea (that I don’t make) is a certain decaffeinated vanilla tea that is pretty popular here on Steepster. She wanted me to make her a similar tea – strong on the vanilla – but the caffeine part didn’t really concern her. She just liked the strong vanilla tone of that tea.
Well, I certainly couldn’t make a tea JUST like that because, well, I don’t really like the idea of copying another company’s tea. In addition to my aversion to copying another tea – I also have yet to find a suitable decaffeinated black tea. I simply cannot find a pure decaffeinated black tea that I enjoy enough to use as a base for my blends.
So, instead, I did the next best thing, I made her the best vanilla tea that I could craft using some of the very best teas that I could locate and added lots and lots of vanilla.
If you liked Frank’s French Vanilla Assam – I think that this one will appeal to you. It’s quite lovely – the tea is rich – bold – and yet smooth. Not overly astringent. The vanilla is sweet and creamy.
This week’s tea of the week – and this is really a lot yummier than I thought it would be. I like cranberries OK (I eat them every weekend in my oatmeal) but cranberry tea isn’t always my favorite. But this is really good – the apple softens some of the tart of the cranberry and the orange really brightens the cup.
And there’s a really nice, buttery, brown sugary ‘crumble’ taste to it too that I think might be my favorite part of the tea. And if I were to make a Cranberry Apple Crumble – the buttery, brown sugary crumble topping would probably be my favorite part of the crumble. I blame my sweet tooth.
Sweet, a little tart, juicy and really yummy.
This is last week’s tea of the week – a retro Monday reblend. I cold brewed it overnight and it’s quite good cold-brewed. I think I might like it a bit better hot brewed if for no other reason than I get more of the maltiness from the Assam and I like how that plays with the rootbeer and butterscotch-y notes.
I sipped on this with dinner tonight – I had hot wings with bleu cheese and I noticed that I picked up on more of the licorice root flavor when I drank this with this particular food. I found it interesting. After I finished eating, I had another glass of the tea and I didn’t get so much of the licorice then so I do believe that either the spiciness of the wings, the tangy quality of the bleu cheese or perhaps the creaminess of it brought out the licorice.
Anyway – it’s good cold-brewed – very refreshing!
This week’s tea!
I started out with trying to work on a strictly tulsi blend but I found that the flavor wasn’t quite as round as I wanted – I realized quickly that’s because the tea was needed to give it some fullness. I enjoy the light, fresh, herbaceous flavor of the tulsi but when it comes right down to it, when I’m drinking a hot cuppa, I want some substance to it so I needed a little bit of Chinese Sencha to a well-rounded flavor and especially texture.
I really like the combination of Sencha with Tulsi – the tulsi adds a warm spiciness to the cup and the Sencha is smooth and buttery. I brewed this for 3 minutes at 180°F – no bitterness – just a really nice, unique green tea experience with lots and lots of berry flavor and a pleasant peppery undertone.
I’ve been out of town for most of the week – we came back yesterday evening – and I’m just now feeling like i’m starting to get caught up after being gone for several days so I decided to sit down with a cup of tea to relax just a bit.
This is this week’s tea of the week. As I mentioned in the description of this tea, I’m a big fan of Harry Potter so when it became pumpkin season again, I decided I wanted to give a nod to the books that are such a huge part of me.
This blend starts with a blend of Zomba Steamed Green Tea and Thyolo OP1 Green Tea from the Satemwa estate in Malawi. Then I added pumpkin, pineapple and apple as well as some spices. It’s got a nice pumpkin flavor and the apple and pineapple give the pumpkin a lighter, juice-like flavor. The green tea is crisp and smooth. The spices aren’t strong – just enough to add some fall-ish flavor to the cup.
Rather than go on about it – since it is my creation – I thought instead that I’d leave you with a video of a porcupine eating a pumpkin: https://youtu.be/cILZ_cB3_so
I set some of this to cold-brew overnight last night so I could enjoy it during tonight’s late night follies. Wow – this is really good cold brewed. I enjoy it quite a lot as a hot beverage, but cold-brew might be where it’s at for this one – a lot of ‘muffin-y’ notes with the cold-brew – tasting a bit like a freshly baked, lightly buttered muffin brimming with blueberries.
Sweet, juicy and really yummy.
It’s incredibly late (or perhaps very early, depending upon how you view it) but I needed some tea.
This is the tea of the week this week. I wanted to do something with Houjicha this month and since it’s Chai season, I decided that I should go with a Chai Houjicha. And YUM!
I think I’ve only tasted one other Chai Houjicha (during my time as a tea reviewer) and I’m actually kind of surprised there aren’t more. The warm spices of a masala chai blend meld perfectly with the roasty-toasty notes of Houjicha. It’s got a naturally sweet, nutty flavor to it that enhances the warm notes of the spices.
You don’t have to add sugar or honey to this, but I am of the belief that chai should always have a little bit of either honey or raw sugar because it brings out the most flavor from the spices. I used just a half teaspoon of raw sugar and this cuppa has got me doing the happy dance (which is not something you should do at 5:55 am because you might wake the rest of the house).
So yeah – if you’re a fan of houjicha – you really should try this. It’s definitely one of my favorites from this month’s selections.
This is SERIOUSLY YUMMY if I do say so myself. One of my customers has written a review of it on the 52Teas website saying it’s the “Best Chocolate Tea Ever” unfortunately she wrote it under the Large size Chocolate Eclair tea which is now sold out so you can’t see it on the website anymore but we did share it on our Facebook page so you can read it there: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=585958871592077&id=387005081487458 (PS: while you’re there, please like us!)
So I’m sipping on a cup of this tonight mostly because I felt the need for some caffeine. Why I felt the need for some caffeine at 12:51 am – I don’t know and why I decided to fulfill that need at this hour when I should instead be preparing to relax and get some sleep – yeah that’s a mystery too.
This is good. I started with a base of Fujian black tea which has a natural chocolate-y tone to it already and then added some malty Assam for fullness. Then I added cacao shells and nibs and vanilla beans.
My inspiration was obviously the Eclair. This isn’t quite as creamy as an Eclair would be (but if you go latte, it can be!) But it’s really nice and chocolate-y. I wanted a dark chocolate type of taste to it because my local bakery uses a really dark chocolate ganache to top their eclairs and I like the way the bitterness from the chocolate cuts through the sweet, creamy custard filling.
If you like chocolate, I think you’ll really like this.
I cold-brewed some of this last night and am sipping on it now. Very pleased with the result! The base tea offers a sweet, nutty, toasty flavor and it melds really nicely with the fruity notes of the berry flavors. I have a difficult time picking out the individual berry flavors but I didn’t really intend for them to stand out on their own – I wanted a mixed berry kind of taste and that’s what I’m getting.