371 Tasting Notes
Ah, I so had to get a sample of this since I’ve discovered how candy-like Rose/Mango tea blends can be for me. This one’s very pleasant from the smell of the dry leaves all the way through the aftertaste. This is like the other, second “Frou” that’s missing from Teafrog’s 1001 Nights. This one’s bolder, but just as natural. I think that Tea Guys’ Mango Rose still holds the “NERDS!” record, but this tea’s making me reconsider a purchase of that particular Mango Rose. It’s because of the more natural, less harsh taste that I’m now leaning toward this tea as the one I’d keep cupboarded. NE
With this tea I have fully converted to an Earl Grey fan. I know that my EG experience is very limited, but wow is this one good! I’ve had some horrible “Pledge-like” EGs, I’ve had some delicate inoffensive EGs, but this one? This is the most aggressive EG that I’ve had that makes me go NOM! I think I understand my Earl Grey Cream from Georgia Tea Company a lot better now that I’ve experienced this tea.
I wish that I did have more of a background with EGs so that I could describe this better. But the smell and taste of the bergamot? Well, it just seems so masculine, but there’s a nice sweetness in the aftertaste. No paper-yuck taste to be found. There will be a larger purchase of this. I look forward to someone else trying this who can break it down better so that I can understand where this fits in the EG world. TG
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act V scene 3
“This is the short and the long of it.”
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II scene 2
This bagged tea is like a distant relative of an ancient and powerful tea that’s the embodiment of Christmas smells. It’s nice and has good qualities. It’s also another one of those that if someone gave me some I’d be delighted to have it, but I’m not going to go out and track this down for my cupboard.
This tea I dub The Merry Wives of Windsor. This play is sort of a spin-off of Henry IV Part 1 and a pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-prequel to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Both this tea and play don’t take themselves seriously. They’re nice and there’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re not the best out there. NE
I had my first steep of this one earlier in the afternoon and then took my parents out to dinner and then Toy Story 3 to celebrate Father’s Day a day early. Toy Story 3? Yeah, it’s brilliant. That said, I cannot recall much of the first steep beyond it being a very pleasant tea. I agree with Kristin that it’s more subtle on the vanilla side of things, but to me it tastes natural. With this second steep (added 2 minutes) the tea’s sweetness is coming forward while the vanilla’s has taken a step or two back. Still very pleasant. Just an overall very pleasant inoffensive cup of vanilla tea. NE
My first Georgie Tea Company order came today! ::happy dance:: The poor priority mail box it came in looked like a tea goblin had decided to use it as a chair (it’s the first time that I’ve ever seen “Received in bad condition” stamped all around the address). No worries though — all my precious, precious tea is absolutely fine and arrived within 4 days of my order. I opened the box, dug through it until I found my Earl Grey Cream, and then I hugged the bag. I think I have a problem. Oh, and Daniel put a nice handwritten “thank you” to me on the invoice. It’s simple touches like that that make me an even happier customer.
With this order I also hit a milestone that I thought would take years and years to reach. Let me back up for a moment. When I first started reading notes on Steepster there were times that I would come across the mention of “lockdowns” because of too much tea or people just mentioning that they have waaaay too much tea. That was such a foreign concept to me and I thought That’s nigh impossible! Yeah, I’m there. It’s both a wonderful thing and a slightly terrifying thing that it happened so fast. I have plans to help lower the amount of tea I have (beyond the obvious one of me drinking it all), but wowsa. I almost feel like Scrooge McDuck at the beginning of Duck Tales where he’s diving through his big vault-o-gold (except I’m swimming through tea)! Next purchase? Some tea tins to decorate and make all of my samples/bagged teas safer/prettier.
On to this specific tea! I opted to try my sample of Irish Breakfast as a palate cleanser from the Orange Dulce I had earlier. I’ve had quite a few of GTC’s yummy flavored teas, but none of the straight-up black teas. I was also wanting a caffeine kick.
There’s very little info on GTC’s website about this tea, so I’ll give it a go:
I’m having trouble figuring out the rest of the blend. It’s been long enough where my “try Assam, Keemun, and Ceylon side-by-side taste test” is starting to fade in my memory so my ability to figure out the more subtle hints of those specific teas is weakening. On the first steep this came across as very earthy — almost Pu Erh-levels of earthiness. So perhaps there’s some Keemun? Second steep (added a minute) has lots of sweetness coming through and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s a great option for a non-smoky morning-booster for me. NE
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act V scene 2
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
The Merchant of Venice, Act IV scene 1
When I tore open this teabag’s packet this morning I was quite intrigued by the smell. I think that I actually inhaled some of the escaped fannings while my nose was jammed into the packet. I was trying to figure out the scent. I had been expecting a Constant Comment-esque smell, but this was completely different ::sniff-sneeze!:: I had to trust that my subconscous would eventually figure it out. As it steeped I read the little packet and was surprised by the ingredients: Jasmine? Really? Huh…
I swear that for the whole friggin’ cup I was trying to figure out what I wanted to compare it to (so much for subconscious). It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t teagasmic, but it was utterly distracting. The orange was probably the most mellow of the flavors, but I couldn’t tell if it was because it melded nicely with the rest or if it was just barely there. I also think that my mind goes to a default “anise-flavored” when uncertain of a fragrance. I have no clue as to why. It was one of those teas where if someone was giving some away I’d be fine with taking it, but I’m not going to go out of my way for more.
After reading some other comments hoping to find the “mystery association” I found it: orange creamsicle. I think that I’ve had less than 5 of those in my lifetime, so after I removed my palm from my forehead I laughed at my sipping intensity as I had pondered similar tastes.
Oh, but where does this tea fit into the Shakespeare cannon? More pondering! It’s feminine, more comic than tragic (not worthy of a sonnet), not the best but not the worst. What play haven’t I touched upon yet? ::ponder, ponder, ponder:: Merchant of Venice! But all I really know of that play is a few quotes, anti-Semitism, and Shylock. ::research, research, research:: I came close to dubbing this tea Shylock’s daughter Jessica, but I felt that this tea had more oomph of a larger character. Portia! Yup, I’m calling this tea Portia. She’s the catalyst for a lot that happens and then does the whole “dress up like a man to set men straight” deal. I think that nowadays she’s portrayed as a strong feminine character, but back in Shakespeare’s day she would have been seen more as “the Fool” or a lot like Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. Yes, she’s allowed to get some great digs at the men (who are all not the sharpest spoons in the toolshed’s lightbulb) but once the shennanigans are over with, well, she’ll go back to being a humbled wife. NE
I’ve been cold brewing this for well over 24 hours. I used up the last of the sample Daniel Mann sent me and used a scoop from the sample that Jessica sent me: woohoo!
It’s quite pleasant iced. I usually don’t remark on the color of the liquid tea — I generally appreciate it, but I have a limited color vocabulary (my reviews would contain a lot of “brownish” and “light brownish” descriptors if I tried). That said I have to remark that this looks like lemonade. I can’t recall a more yellow cup. It still comes across as a fruit-tea cocktail. Maybe more on the tea side. I’m having trouble even sort of describing this (sorry!). There’s a teeny-tiny bit of plant-like bitterness. I’m thinking that this is another tea that would benefit by being a hot brewed iced tea. NE
It’s gonna be a long day at work (drama-llama-ding-dong) so I needed something smoky with oomph. This fit the bill nicely (not so heavy on the oomph, but it’s still so good). Hooray for Doulton who gave me a large sample of this in the Shakespeare box! The second “commuter steep” was quite yummy (I don’t know how long it steeped since I “pulled an Ewa” and was running around like a headless chicken. I’m guessing 9 minutes). Homicidal tendencies have been curbed and I’m as ready for today as I’m gonna get. NE