2237 Tasting Notes
I tried this one back when it was first released, about four years ago now. I didn’t particularly care for it at the time, but I’ve wanted to revisit it for a while since the idea of the flavour appeals to me. I love a peppermint cream!
There’s more oolong in this than I remember there being last time, so perhaps the recipe has been tweaked a little. Before, it was mostly mint leaves. It certainly smells like a peppermint cream, so let’s hope it comes out in the flavour better than it has before.
I gave 1 tsp of leaf around 2.5 minutes in water cooled to around 180. Initially, there’s the light floral milkiness of milk oolong – I wouldn’t call it creamy, exactly, but there’s certainly a quality that reminds me of skimmed milk. The mint comes in next; quite a blast of cooling almost-menthol-ness. The cocoa is mostly at the end of the sip, and just tinges each mouthful with a mild chocolate flavour.
I’m conflicted. I feel like the ingredients don’t hold together very well; like they’re spaced out one after the other, rather than working in harmony. That being said, the overall flavour does resemble a peppermint cream – how could it not, I suppose, since all the components of the flavour are there? It comes together a little better as it cools, which makes me think that I perhaps should have tried this one cold-brewed. I haven’t had a lot of success with cold oolong, but perhaps this could be one of the exceptions.
I’m going to increase my rating for this one, since I originally gave it 45 and that seems a harsh judgement for the cup I’m drinking today. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s not a bad effort – certainly closer to peppermint cream than I remember.
One of us has changed in the last few years; maybe both!
Twinings don’t give much away when they describe this tea, other than that it’s “100% black”. Yes, well done. I think it’s an Assam/Ceylon blend; it has that classic light citrus, but with a sweeter, maltier backbone than Ceylon alone would have. It’s fairly tannic, and stronger than I was expecting – it’s described as “light and refreshing”, but I don’t really agree. I mean, it’s lighter than their English Breakfast, but it’s by no means as light as a darjeeling or a pure ceylon.
It tastes a lot like Twinings Everyday, to me, and it also reminds me of Teapigs English Breakfast. That used to have a Rwandan tea in it, and it made me wonder if this blend does too. There’s something in the background that I can’t quite put my finger on, and that might be it. I’m pretty sure there’s a third tea here, in addition to Assam and Ceylon, although they’re definitely the biggest components.
I quite like this, as a robust, straight black, breakfast-style blend. I drank it without milk today, but left a little longer (3/4 minutes) and I’m sure it would take milk if you wanted it to. It’s not particularly unique, but it’s pleasant enough. At this price point, you can’t really complain.
“For when you want to taste every note”, says the description. I have to say, I’m struggling to find any notes in this one, because it’s a pretty standard bagged black. In taste terms, except a mild citrus brightness in the background, there’s nothing much to distinguish this from any number of other bagged, generic, breakfast-style teas. I will say that it’s clean-tasting, refreshing enough, and easy to drink either with or without milk. If you’re not looking for anything more, that would probably make it a winner, but I’ve moved beyond that point in my tea journey. That’s not the fault of this tea, but it does mean that I find it underwhelming.
There are Twinings teas that I find convincing – their English Breakfast, for example, is pretty sound if you’re looking for no-fuss simplicity. I just think that if you’re taking the time to choose something like a Ceylon or a Darjeeling, you’re probably looking for something with a little more nuance – but you’re not going to find it here.
Another of the “savoury” T2 blends. I thought this one sounded potentially sweet – in theory sweeter than the last one I tried, anyway. It smells super brothy, though…and is a little reminiscent of cuppa soup. I’m guessing it’s the kale…?
To taste, it’s definitely savoury – no liquorice here! – in the best possible way. The initial sip is quite salty, with a well-defined kale flavour. The ginger comes in second, and is a nice counterpoint to the vegetal kale. It adds a spicy kick that warms things up a bit. The apple is a little muted; mostly a kind of cidery flavour in the background. The kale is the star here, and deserves to be – I’d not have thought to put it in tea, since I’m used to tea being a mostly sweet affair, but it’s surprisingly delicious!
I’m not sure whether T2 sell this one currently, but if they do I’d consider buying a cube once my challenge is over. It’s a nice change of pace from dessert-style teas, and I can really see it coming in to its own after I’ve walked to work on a frosty winter morning.
I made this one up as an iced latte last night, following Bluebird’s recommended recipe. It worked in flavour terms, more or less, but adding coconut milk to something warm-ish that also contains hibiscus wasn’t the best idea. It curdled – not so that it was undrinkable, but enough to give it an odd, distracting texture.
The main flavour was coconut, and while some of that obviously comes from the coconut milk, a significant amount also came from the tea (I know, because I tried a bit before I added the milk.) The oolong comes out second, and while that sounds odd, it actually worked better than I expected because it added something that really did remind me of rice. It’s a nicely creamy oolong, like the one found in Bluebird’s Coconut Milk blend, with just the tiniest hint of vegetal greenness around the edges. The strawberry is the least prominent of the flavours, which made me a little sad. It’s not quite jammy, but heading in that direction. It probably needed to be a little sweeter to really create that effect successfully, and as it stands it’s tempered a little too much by the tart sourness of the hibiscus.
This one’s a bit of an odd duck, in some ways. It’s like it’s pretending to be a fruit blend, but it has a base of oolong and white tea. It has all the ingredients you’d expect of a fruit blend, though, including those staple contenders apple, hibiscus and rosehip. The oolong works, but the white tea is totally lost.
I liked the flavour of my latte; creamy coconut with an edge of strawberry is a nice thing, and it does remind me of rice pudding & jam. I think next time I’ll probably cold brew, but I’m happy enough with how this turned out.
I’ve not tried all that many savoury teas, but I’ve got on quite well with the ones I have. There are a few untrieds in my cupboard from T2, which came as part of a sampler pack – I think it was called Hottest Brews, or something like that. I’m still trying to say goodbye to the remnants of my cold, so I figured a tea with ginger and turmeric couldn’t hurt. It feels wrong to have a cold when it’s so warm outside, but I do wish the weather would decide what it’s doing. We seem to be bouncing from high summer temps (like 27-30) to more winterish (5-8) within the space of a few days, and I don’t like it.
Anyway. The tea. It brews up to a deep red-brown, and smells pretty medicinal. To taste, it’s sweeter than I expected, with an earthy undertone that reminds me of beetroot. I can taste the carrot – it’s very reminiscent of carrot and corriander soup – and the turmeric is there in the background also. It’s a little dusty, somehow – not so that it catches the back of my throat too badly, but it’s a little distracting. I guess it’s the turmeric…
The ginger is a lot milder than I expected. It doesn’t really make much of an appearance, except towards the end of the sip. It doesn’t even appear to be the kind of ginger flavour that builds in intensity with successive sips. I’m not a huge fan of ginger, so that’s okay with me, but it’s pretty rare that I find a tea containing ginger where the ginger doesn’t dominate.
The one thing I really dislike about this one is the LIQUORICE ROOT. Just, why? I don’t know what it’s doing here, given that it’s supposed to be a savoury tea. It’s completely unnecessary, and when it hits in the mid-sip it totally destroys the pleasant, soupy, earthy flavour that the initial sip promises. If it weren’t for the liquorice, I would love this one…
I don’t know what it is that I’ve done to this one, but I’m not getting much in the way of fruitiness anymore. Instead, I’m getting a primarily artichoke flavour (have I ever said how much I love artichokes…?), with a distinctive butteriness and a hint of black pepper. It’s stronger than I remember my initial cup being, with a much more savoury quality from the outset. I think I’ve started to brew it longer in slightly hotter water, so that might account for it, but I’ve alsohad a cold _very_recently, so maybe my tastebuds just aren’t on par. Either way, I have to say that I really like it!
As it cools, I start to get a mild floral, and just a hint of the stone fruit flavour I commented on in my first note. It also becomes just a little drying. An interesting one, this! I’m down to my last cup’s worth, and I’ll surely miss it when it’s gone.
Apparently, I hated this one last time I tried it. This time, not so much. That doesn’t mean I love it – I don’t think I could ever love this one, because the quality just isn’t there. It’s not unredeemingly awful, though. I don’t know why that is – perhaps Twinings have tweaked it some since I last tried it, or perhaps I just messed it up last time. Maybe I’m in a more receptive or expansive frame of mind. Who knows? Certainly not me.
I used similar parameters to those I employed for my last cup – 1 bag, 2 minutes, boiling water. It’s lightly grapey upfront, with a touch of orchid floral, and a light briskness. It’s not bitter, or astringent. In fact, for a bagged darjeeling, it’s pretty good. Considering the leaf is shredded almost to dust, it’s actually surprising.
I came by this one in a sample box I got for Christmas, and it isn’t one I’d choose to keep around. I like darjeeling, but there are much, much better ones out there. If it came to a choice between these bags and not drinking darjeeling at all, I’d forego darjeeling. That being said, there are definitely worse bagged blacks out there. I might not actively like this one, but I think we’ve improved from outright hate to relative indifference today. That’s progress.
I’m not quite sure what makes this one “royale”, since it tastes just like an ordinary EG to me…perhaps the Yunnan base? I would agree that it’s a slightly more premium choice than I’d usually expect to find, but not outrageously so.
I don’t have a lot to say about this one. If you’ve tried an EG before, you know what it tastes like. The bergamot here is nicely citrussy; strong, but not too overpowering. The base is definitely in competition with it, though – smooth, sweet, bready Yunnan with a light hint of pepper. Neither really wins; it’s a stalemate.
I think there are better uses I’d have put a Yunnan to. It’s almost too nice to be doused with bergamot. It makes a change to have a base with a distinctive flavour, though. Uusally EGs are much of a muchness, but this one’s just a little different. It’s not so different that it would scare you off, but enough so that an aficionado might find something to smile about.
I’d not repurchase simply because there are EGs I prefer, and that are more budget-friendly. I also feel sorry for the Yunnan, being used this way. It’s a pleasant cup, of course, but nothing particularly ground-breaking for the price.
This one smells delicious from the moment you open the bag, but it’s banana I smell. Candy banana, specifically. Not cream, and surely not rum. It’s an interesting beginning!
To taste, I almost get rum. It’s frustratingly close, but just not quite there. I wonder if it’s because the flavouring here is almost certainly artificial, and has had to be created from other flavours? It’s nothing even remotely approaching tea that’s actually been aged in rum barrels, for example. Mostly, I can taste banana. I don’t mind that at all, because I’m quite partial to a banana tea. Call me perverse, but I actually quite like that foam banana sweet flavour, and that’s what I’m getting here. There’s a good hit of creaminess, mostly towards the end of the sip, and that’s pleasant too. There’s even a bit of coconut kicking around in the background. If they’d called this one banana coconut cream, I would have been happy.
While I like what I’m drinking, it’s not exactly living up to its billing. That leaves me conflicted in terms of rating. If you buy this one expecting Irish Rum, you’re going to be disappointed. And really, what else would you be expecting, given that’s what it’s called? This is the tea equivalent of buying a dog and receiving a cat instead. Puzzling, but by no means unpleasant.