193 Tasting Notes

88

2nd Xmas tea of the season. Wow, I really like this one. Fruity with pastry notes and spices, but all together a very well balanced blend, and one that reminds me of the blend I used this Summer to make my daily iced tea (Jamaican Rum Iced Fruit Tisane).

Flavors: Fruity, Pastries, Spices

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80

My first Xmas tea of this year´s unusual month of December. I had been busy making an advent calender for my husband (as this year we´re spending the whole month together and most likely in one single place), and I prepared this tea for the “reception” after the “opening” of Day1 ;-)
We´ll miss the typical Xmas dinner, the real Xmas pudding and mince pies, so I was very curious to try the Mince Pie tea. The creators of the blend surely made a huge effort in creating a tea managing to get near the mince pie aroma´s and taste, which one can appreciate in a Xmas blend. Not bad at all, and rightly so, because I have a 20g pouch.

Flavors: Raisins, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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92

A small pouch of this tea came as a present with my last order at Kent&Sussex Tea co. It looks autumn-y with the red streaks running through the tea leaves, which already put me in the mood ;-) I needed to think a bit before I could name the main aroma coming through : not redcurrant so much as cassis! Not too fond of the taste of cassis, I was thrilled to note that in mouth cassis had made place for redcurrant, yes, giving a crisp zing to the tea. I really like it, and in no time I will run out of this sample, I think!

Flavors: Berry, Black Currant, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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92

Since a few years, I get a Belgian caramel pu erh in a tea shop in León, Spain, but when I was there about 2 months ago (just before the town went in lockdown because of covid19), I couldn´t get more of that particular blend (I had a wonderful almond pu erh though), and I decided to include a Scottish variant in my last order at Kent&Sussex Tea Co.
The loose tea definitely smells caramel like, a bit sweeter than the Belgian caramel pu erh I´m used to. Once brewed, the sweetness has made place for
spicy notes which makes it very enjoyable at this time of year. A very nice afternoon tea indeed.

Flavors: Caramel, Spices, Toffee

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85

My husband was in UK for a month, so I took advantage of it to order some teas from The Kent&Sussex Tea&Coffee Co. This is the first of them I try after he returned here.
A typical breakfast tea, strong and malty. This is said to have a full spicy taste, but I mainly identify the spices in the nose. It´s in the nose where I mainly notice a difference with the more common Kenyan BOP.

Some information from the K&S T&C co website :
Tanzanian Tea – All You Need To Know
*Tea is the fourth largest export crop from this country.
*More than 30,000 smallholder farmers collectively produce a third of its output.
*Harvesting of Tanzanian Tea takes place year-round, providing a year round source.
*Its production, however, didn’t start until 1902 when German settlers first planted Tea in what was then known as German East Africa. It didn’t become commercially viable until 1926.
*Since attaining independence, Tanzania has predominantly grown Tea in the Southern Highland Zone, the North East Zone and the North West Zone.

Flavors: Malt, Spicy, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85

When we returned to Guatemala a few years ago, we wanted to go to Cobán, mainly because there´s another coffee producing area we wanted to visit. When we found out that a cooperative nearby was operating the only tea plantation in America, we just needed to go and have a look! Although the weather wasn´t exactly brilliant (understatement), we enjoyed a wonderful visit : we were shown round the plantation where the camellia sinensis plants grow in a hilly and tropical environment, and had a cuppa afterwards, of course. I brought some tea home as well.
It might well be that the growing conditions (amid coffee and fruit trees) result in a sweeter black tea which might explain the recommended use as a cold brew as well. I prefer to take it hot, as a really enjoyable afternoon tea. However, as one of my nephews is a huge fan of icetea&co, I should try to serve him this tea cold w/o added sugar. Anyway, it´s great to know the history and to have met some of the people producing the tea I´m drinking!

Flavors: Sweet, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85
drank Earl Grey Royal by Tea Shop
193 tasting notes

This Earl Grey blend I DID buy in one of the Tea Shop shops in Madrid. Much more elegant in nose and in mouth than the “special” blend of which I just used a sample (see previous tasting note). Also this tea is supposedly beyond its best, but it still keeps up quite well : in nose the bergamot still reigns, with some tannic notes in the back; no extreme citrusy touches in taste, but a fine and balanced tea overall. As it seems “stronger” now than it was at first, I now use it as a breakfast tea which is just fine with winter coming up and just having used other breakfast teas.

Flavors: Bergamot, Tannin, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Clearing out my cupboard, I found a sample of this tea I received when buying another Earl Grey from the Tea Shop in one of their shops in Madrid. Although it´s definitely past its best (and therefore I´m not rating it), one can still see why Tea Shop calls it their most citrusy earl grey. If I didn´t buy a pouch of it at that time, it must mean that its aromas didn´t convince me, probably because they didn´t seem natural to me then, or it seemed to me that no bergamot was used (I notice that they only mention the use of lemongrass in the description online) . Anyway, I had a couple of cups from this sample, and I found it uninspiring.

Flavors: Citrus, Tea, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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95

Fortunately, I went to León 1,5 month ago, before the city was closed off because of Covid19, and so I could make a visit to my favourite tea shop there. Unfortunately, they didn´t have my favourite pu erh blend with Belgian caramel…but they recommended this other pu erh blend, with almonds! A wonderful treat, combining tea and marzipan w/o the calories that normally implies ;-) …I already had a brilliant almond green tea (from Kusmi, if I remember correctly), but I think the pu erh base makes it even better. As I probably won´t be able to travel to my home country Belgium for St-Nicholas´day and/or Christmas, I´ll enjoy plenty of cups of this tea, I think. And I can now order more online (this is a real advantage because of covid19, I must admit) as well…

Flavors: Marzipan, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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77

I found a sample tea bag of this tea, so I tried it, and I must say it was a very nice surprise : a fruited green tea, from one of the big companies, to begin with, in teabag even…a lot of mango in nose, and the sweetness of litchi in finish, but all smelling and tasting very natural. I´m not much of a green tea expert, but I even think the green tea base is really good.

Flavors: Green, Lychee, Mango

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Profile

Bio

Introduced to tea by my sister-in-law in my country of birth = Belgium more than 30 years ago, I still love tea, mainly black, which I enjoy without sugar or milk. Having lived in UK, near good tea shops (e.g. Betty´s all over Yorkshire), I tend to buy most of my tea in bulk from tea shops (as such, most of these are not represented in my on-line cupboard). Nowadays, I live in Spain where tea gives me another sensatory bliss (as wine or beer or coffee can give me too).

Location

Madrid, Spain

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