513 Tasting Notes
Thanks VariaTea for sending me like half my wishlist, this included! You’re a sneaky generous one, that’s for sure.
Because she sent me like five hundred teabags of this, Mr. keychange and I both had a large mug full, and each used two tea bags. I’m thinking that was a good choice, as six minutes later, the tea indeed tasted very much like a sugar cookie. Actually, it tasted spot on for shortbread, and although the mouth feel was a bit thin (I wonder if that’s just because it’s bagged tea and so the leaves can’t “swim” as much), the resemblance to a sugar cookie is uncanny—especially towards the end of the sip, when you really get that bready, yeasty, buttery taste that the best sugar cookies have (oh, and speaking of sugar cookies, Mr. Keychange and I made banana pudding sugar cookies, thanks to the recipe provided by our very own roswell strange!) . Having said all of those things, the fact that this yielded a thin cup was a little disappointing.
Bottom line: I might actually look around for this next winter, but am not going to be writing dark poetry about its absence until then.
I woke up with a stomach that was out of sorts, felt nauseated, stood outside for a while and inhaled the (temporarily nice) fresh air, and came to work. Now I’m sitting here nauseated again. How annoying. I think I’m just going to try and hang in there as long as possible, but I really hate stumbling into my boss’ office and letting her know I won’t last the day. I just feel I should generally have better discretion than that, and just not go in as opposed to going in to try your best and just look as though you’re trying to prove a point. ugh I’m overthinking things. What else is new.
Anyway, this tea is just lovely. A touch of astringency in the most refreshing way possible, and I never thought that a straight black tea could taste refreshing. But there’s also a fair dose of malt and sweet, and a hint of apple woodiness from what I’m assuming is the Darjeeling. This tea really does taste quite complex, but is so effortlessly beautiful in your mouth. I got 8 oz of it (what? it didn’t come in smaller amounts!), so am happy to share, but also don’t anticipate having any issue at all finishing it. I like it a lot better than Scottish Morn, because I just found that tea to be astringent and strong but not much else. And I don’t know that I really like very strong but otherwise uninteresting teas. This is a lot more complex, while still having enough strength to be a legitimately awesome morning tea. Absolutely recommend!
This is a backlog from last night. In my attempt to try all of DT’s spring teas in a reasonable timeframe, I tore into this one last night because it was caffeine-free. I first tried this as a soy latte to go while I was at the store last Wednesday, and somehow much prefer it that way. I steeped for five minutes, and although I could finish the cup, I can’t say I’m dying to rush out and replenish my supply.
As usual, the dry leaf smells fantastic. There does appear to be some sort of artificial element to the smell—some people have identified it as alcohol or play-dough-but either way, I don’t actually find it entirely unpleasant—it sort of reminded me of childhood arts and crafts or something (glue maybe? either way, I actually liked it). I added some milk and sugar so as to mimic the latte concept, and somehow this time around I got this sickly, slightly too ripened fruit element that I wasn’t a fan of. This time, instead of being the gentle rounded fuzzy peach flavour I picked up on last Wednesday, this peach was slightly sharp, a bit over-ripe, and almost verged on citrus. Oh, and whoever said this should probably be a bagged tea was correct-it leaves a whole slew of stuff behind in the cup, which given that the drink fell short for me, was kind of a nasty finale to the whole ordeal.
Again, this was delicious in-store as a latte, and I imagine it would be delicious iced, so I’m not discounting it entirely. I just wouldn’t stock a tea that I couldn’t enjoy hot though, as that’s my preferred way of drinking it.
You know, I think this is an under-estimated or overlooked tea at David’s, and I really hope they don’t pull it because it isn’t a fruity stunner. There are definitely people who love a good floral tea, and this one delivers. I don’t know that I can distinctly identify the rose and jasmine in this tea, although it certain has a generic floral profile, but also manages to be slightly reminiscent of, like, fruit loops or something (which I have absolutely no problem with). I screwed up this particular cup, because the keurig had a spasm and dispensed some really random amount of water in the cup, but it still yielded a thick, floral and slightly fruit loopy taste. Perhaps when I finish blueberry jam, this can work its way into my rotation, because it’s certainly a spring or summer tea. I also can’t taste too much of the base, although I can certainly smell it. It’s ok, though. I often feel that with floral teas, the flowers are what I want most, and the base can calm itself for a while and perhaps shine freely a bit later.
And I know I need to brave grape expectations again, but that first cup was a legitimate monstrosity.
And whaddaya know-it’s still light out and it’s nearly twenty to seven! woohoo!
Wow, I’m actually approaching a sip down on my 100 g tin of this. It’s a tea I would consider restocking, but I don’t feel compelled to break into the local DT to do it or anything. I also had it along with a breakfast shake this morning, which made me feel needlessly full of liquid and bloated, so you know how that goes. I like this tea because it needs minimal additions, and although I’ve got nothing against additions, it’s nice to have a few low maintenance teas hanging about. I do plan on attempting grape expectations after work again this afternoon, although I have to admit that the intense taste of grass really terrified me last night, although like I said, I think it had to have been me, because what I produced was so god awful that no one could even pretend to like it. Eww.
Oh god. Something went fifty shades of wrong with this tea, and I imagine it was me, because what I brewed up could not have been enjoyable to anyone, not even one of those pretentious people who insist they like something that is highly improbable. But omg. So, so gross.
The dry leaf smells exactly like the smelly grape markers we used to play with as children. I wanted so much for that to transfer into the taste, but alas that was not to be. I couldn’t resist putting a touch of cream in the cup before starting, although perhaps that’s what ruined it? anyway, I brewed it for three minutes, and it was very bitter and tasted as though i was drinking liquid grass. A bit of rock sugar didn’t help, either. What am I doing wrong? how could something that smells this good taste this bad? I could not finish my cup—most of it went down the drain. I need to revisit it tomorrow, I think.
I’m packaging some of this to send off to sil, and figured I might as well try it myself. I actually got this at the Balzac’s cafe (guffaw guffaw balzacs omg), and it came in the most adorable tin with a really tight lid and this vacuum sealed under-lid thing. Wow that was articulate.
Anyway, the dry leaf smells quite strongly of ginger and cloves, and you know instantly that it’s a fairly spicy tea. You’re encouraged to add milk and sugar to this, which I took liberties to do.
The spice profile definitely holds true for the taste as well. It’s a chai that’s heavier on the cloves and ginger, with sweet cinnamon and a hearty dose of pepper rounding out the sip and warming your throat. In fact, I can imagine this being a really good “sick” tea, because of the throat-warming effect and also the ginger. This is no delicate, sweet cinnamon chai, and as such, might not appeal to those who avoid spicy chais, but for chai-lovers, I think it should definitely be on the to-try list. And given that I don’t currently have a chai in my collection, I don’t feel at all bad adding what I consider to be generally a ‘winter’ tea to it.
Having this the first time today put me in a really good mood and I may have been a bit too optimistic about spring being around the corner, because I got dressed and headed out for a rather long walk to David’s tea. I teetered pretty much all the way there, especially because I seem to have like the worst balance ever as soon as a hint of slush or ice appears, and of course Mr. keychange just breezed right along no problem, so looks like it’s just me who turns into a ninety year old when there’s snow and ice. But seriously, people should really be clearing the sidewalks in front of their driveway if they’re able to. Thank heavens I have the most patient, attentive guide dog in the world. He would slow down before any icy patch, and then carefully guide me over it, pausing every time I hesitated in case I needed to right my balance or flail, before tentatively resuming along, then picking up speed again once the coast was clear. I trust him with my life.
After a dinner of British fare, we headed to the movies where we watched Philomena, which was absolutely fantastic. Judi dench is out of this world, and I really need to see more movies with her in it.
Came home and decided to have another cup. This one brewed slightly weaker than that from this afternoon, although there was a touch more water. Still delectable though, and I’ll likely be round to DT for a tin in the reasonably near future. I was talking to one of the SAs at DT about how annoying it is to become really fond of a seasonal tea that you may never see again, and his answer was: “Yeah, I hear you. What I do is drink that tea again and again and then horde it, and by the time it’s on its way out, I may even be sick of it.” which I actually thought made sense LOL.
Oh my god oh my god. I don’t know why I waited so long to try this tea (and by “so long” I mean that I actually purchased this on Wednesday evening). I would give it a rating of 100, but I don’t want to do that just yet because I know it’s probably also a bit of first-sip excitement. But guys, this tea.
The dry leaf scent is intoxicating, although you can definitely sniff out the candied pineapple, and that might be a touch off-putting for some in its strength. I brewed it for five minutes, through caution to the wind, and actually decided to sip it straight because I was feeling all badass today, and you know how it rolls.
And omg. I don’t even know if I can break it down. I tasted blueberry, pineapple (although not so distinctly), and just, I don’t know. I tasted a beach and distant shores; I tasted lying in one of those uncomfortable plastic chairs on the beach that you try to make comfortable by heaping towels on it, soaking up the sun and feeling sand sift through your fingers. It tasted all things exotic. it tasted like giddy, first-date excitement when you’re young and have butterflies of hope and anticipation.
Oh god, I need to shut up. But I already feel as though i want a tin of this.
(and don’t worry sil, I’m still sending you this!)
But seriously. I, even I had it with no additions. And that’s huuuuge.
Oh, and a note to the people worried about the lemongrass: worry not, my child. It provides but the faintest whisper of a distant tartness, but it’s almost undetectable in the true sense.
Just get this. Just try it!
You know those mornings when your significant other (or something/someone else) has to pretty much force you out of bed because you’re convinced that you’re being rudely awakened in the middle of the night, and even if someone tells you your house is burning down, all you can manage is an “well then it must be my time, peace out” before rolling back over?
This was one of those mornings. I fell asleep instantly last night, and don’t remember even rolling over at night or anything. It was lovely. But waking up sucked. I bet a fire would suck worse though.
Anyway, all comfort teas today, even though I’m in a good mood because it’s Friday and I might hit up a Balzac’s (yeah, what a name eh?) cafe to get some Mariage frères tea this evening!
I had the Queen for breakfast, but figured there’s not much more I can say about her that hasn’t already been said. Now I’m sipping this out of my timolino and it’s bringing me lots and lots of pleasure. If you’re looking for a strongly flavoured sweet cinnamon tea that will perform miracles under pretty much any steeping parameter, I’d strongly encourage you to give this one a go. And even I can take it with minimal additions, which is saying something.