620 Tasting Notes
I’m slightly upping my rating from 47 because the spice isn’t overwhelming me as much this time around. It’s still spicy as hell, but not overpoweringly so. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing or maybe because I was more wary of it this time and brewed it for only 3 minutes, but it’s definitely bearable, and in this freezing cold weather maybe just what I need. I have to leave for work soon and I’m not looking forward to it. Night time shifts in winter tend to be less than fun. At least the guayasa should keep me awake!
I could have sworn I had a note on this already… Sipdown on a very old sample I received in a mystery box from Janelle way back when. I’m not massively into genmaichas but this is tasty. I actually get a fluffy marshmallow sort of idea from it. The base tea isn’t overwhelming, but still present, and when combined with the popped rice it does remind me of a rice krispie treat. I’m happy to have tried it but it doesn’t blow me away.
Not too much more to add, since I’ve written a few notes on this tea recently. Had this as my first ‘other’ tea of the day (Ryan always makes me a cup from a teabag when he’s getting ready for work and brings it to me in bed) and it’s a good one to start with. I think when I’ve got my stash down enough I might look for another good CTC to start my days off with. This one might be hard to beat, though. It’s strong, malty and citrusy with a hearty bready note that makes it just perfect as a breakfast tea.
Brewed a whole pot of this and left it 45 minutes as it was underleafed. Just had a phone call that the boyfriend is on his way to pick me up, so it looks like this is a travel tea tonight. Fingers crossed I can convince him to try it…
Update: he took one sip, pulled a face and said ‘interesting’ so I didn’t push it. I was surprised at how strong this was given that I only used 2 teaspoons for 30oz of water, and drank without additives I got a buttery aftertaste but no chocolate. I added a couple of teaspoons of coconut sugar to the pot as per my last tasting note on this tea, and found that this brought out the chocolate a little more. The pot went down quickly with a couple of gin & tonic white chocolate cookies while watching Angel, which is another thing I’m trying to impose on Ryan. 1 for 2 tonight, but I’ll take that.
Drinking a bagged tea I received in a swap with Mina which was labelled ‘green tea with cinnamon and spices’ and no company name. I’m not really bothered that I can’t track it down, because it’s not a tea I would purchase of my own volition. It’s a nice enough basic tea, with fairly prominent cinnamon and I have no idea what the fruitiness is though I can tell there’s some there. As it’s cooling the astringency is coming through more at the end of the sip. If I were on a page specifically for this tea instead of the Random Steepings page I would probably rate it somewhere around a 54.
Sipdown, I guess, though it was never in my cupboard.
Finally used up the last of my sample from greenteafairy in yet another disappointing final cup. It’s my own fault, because in hopes of making the tea stretch as far as possible the last time I drank it, I saved enough leaf for probably half a cup. Forgetting this when I poured the water, I poured a whole 10oz mug and surprise surprise, the tea is super weak. I have a whole box of ‘sipdown’ teas where I’ve saved only enough leaf of each for a small 4oz cup, and I think one day I’m going to just have to sit down with a tiny teacup and the box and go through as many of them as I can.
Not much leaf left of this tea now, enough for one more session and then I’m out. As a British tea-drinker, I have a long-cultivated respect for a strong black tea which can take a beating with milk and sugar (not that I take sugar). This is certainly that, and really hits the spot when I wake up in the morning wanting tea but craving caffeine, and not having enough patience to let it brew for more than a minute. At only a minute steeping this tea is so brisk and strong that milk is pretty much necessary, at least for me. It’s one of the few loose black teas I take with milk at this point, actually. Even brewed Western style, I can get a good 4 or 5 cups out of this by steeping it slightly longer each time, with the 5th cup only going for 3 minutes to get it to perfect strength. It’s such an easy cup of tea, and it never steers me wrong.
I’ve been reading some of my old tasting notes, and at one point called my favourite Rington’s bagged black tea my ‘Old Reliable Willow Rosenberg of teas’. I’d like to think that this tea is Willow Rosenberg 2.0, circa season 4-5, if there are any Buffy fans out there. But I mean who wouldn’t be a Buffy fan?
Okay so this is a bit of an atypical one. For a start, I am like 80% sure I wrote a tasting note on this tea a couple of years ago when I had a big tub of it. Not only is that not showing up, but the tasting note section is entirely blank, yet it says ‘10 tasting notes’ at the top of the page. When I click the shortcut to view the 10 tasting notes, it just takes me right back to the bottom of the page where it states that there are no notes on this tea as of yet. Super bizarre… Another thing is that this is an instant tea. High in sugar, and sure it contains black tea, but it’s dehydrated and granulated and not exactly what most people think of when they hear ‘tea’. Still, that’s what it’s called and it does – at least in my mind – qualify as tea enough to be written up on Steepster. It’s pretty tasty! Don’t judge me, guys. So here’s the thing; I had a lovely day trip to Durham today with my boyfriend and his mam. It was lovely but freezing, and on the way back we stopped into a pub and I had a glass of mulled wine. It got me into the Christmas spirit and warmed me up, and when I got back home I wanted a similar drink to keep up my internal warm fuzzies, but I also wanted tea. So here we are. It fits the bill. The sugar is enough to temper the tart fruits, but not overpowering and there is some sourness which I don’t mind. I don’t know that I can pick out the individual fruit flavours – I probably would have just said ‘berry’, but the box says apple and strawberry. It’s nice!
Marzipan sent me a load of this a while back after I fell in love with a sample I’d had, and I’ve hoarded the last ~1.5 cups worth since it’s hard for me to get David’s over here in the UK. I made the rather poor decision to try to stretch this out by making a pot of tea with the leaf I had left, so now instead of having 1 delicious mug of goodness I have a whole pot of underleafed, sad, watery tea. The whisper of Pumpkin Chai is still there, but it’s mostly cloves and hot water. Dang it, why did I do that? This will be an eventual purchase for sure.
Whew, I have had a crazy few days. I visited my brother in Manchester and we went to see Hozier, who was incredible. One thing to tick off my bucket list! I’ve wanted to see him live for at least 4 years now. Then I came back and had some of the most hectic and stressful work shifts I’ve ever done, and now I have two days off and I’m relaxing with a cup of tea and a book (Jane Austen’s Persuasion) in the bath with a Lush bath melt. Ahhhhhhhhh.