3142 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: This is an ammmazzziinngg pairing with some waffles (with syrup/coolwhip). I’m certainly glad I chose this one today. I TRIED thinking of a tea that would be great with waffles, and didn’t think it would be THIS perfect. It’s more of a fruity/cherry assam with a hint of smoke. It’s a unique assam, not something I’m really looking for with assam, but I guess it has its shining moments!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // 20 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 1/2 minute
Also, I’m listening to the new Sufjan album today and it has been so needed for this crap year! Thank you Sufjan!
Edited to add: hand to forehead — I realized I kept calling this an assam when it CLEARLY is a yunnan. Sigh. Well, that’s because I’m drinking it again today. And with waffles. And it’s amazing again. I think I’ll call this “The Cool Whip” tea and just put a dollop of Cool Whip on the top of the mug if I’m not outright having this with waffles. It’s not a typical assam OR a typical yunnan. So I wouldn’t guess this is yunnan either. It’s hard to compare this to anything anyway! Sadly out of stock right now, but hopefully that is temporary.
Flavors: Cherry, Fruity
Additional notes: Bought more of this during the sale so I had to enjoy some on one of the last hot days of the year. And today might be it for the hot! I would definitely say this isn’t exactly melon, though it does have a unique sweet flavor to it. The original sencha base was stunningly buttery, with this harvest, the base seems to get lost. The flavors just seemed stronger before, including the pepper. I wonder if B&B even makes fresh blends for the sale teas? Or are they back stocked teas, which would be why they are on sale? (But why would they make fresh teas just to sell them cheaper? hmm.) Today I’ll be drinking Nearly Nirvana.
I bought this a WHILE ago, but it is certainly never resulting in CANTALOUPE which is why I have never written a tasting note for it. Steeped this way, I definitely get two balanced steeps. I really have to milk that second steep on some fruity blends. Since this gratefully didn’t have any hibiscus, I can steep the second cup for 45 minutes, no problem. Of course, it’s cooled by the time I drink it, but it’s fruity! I have to look at the ingredient list here because the only thing I’m tasting is cherry. Now that I’m looking at the ingredient list, I don’t see cherry at all – possibly what I’m tasting is cranberry. Granted, this blend is old now, but there are so many lovely ingredients here and I should be tasting SOME of them: apple, dates, cranberry slices, melon pieces, almond, cinnamon rods, pistachios, freeze-dried pumpkin pieces, fig pieces and cranberry slices, beetroot. Figs! Dates! This is why I bought this blend (not to mention the cantaloupe) but this blend always tasted like this – nothing that it was remotely supposed to. So a very low rating for that.
Steep #1 // 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 45 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 74 ( Rishi – Pu-erh Vanilla Mint + sample of Teakruthi’s Ceylon Emerald)
Additional notes: I’m trying to throw a couple more summery teas in the infuser since it still seems like summer for a couple more days. This is the perfect choice for last minute summer teas. I love the whole deal of this tea. The name! The flavors! Three solid steeps with lingering flavor, which is surprising for such an old tea. Maybe not watermelon anymore, but definitely strawberry and champagne. I love it. I wish I were on a picnic.
Additional notes: I like that this says for caffeine it’s “low” on the Steepster page because now I’m questioning WHY DID I BUY THIS WHEN I KNEW HOW WEAK THE BLACK TEA WAS?!?! I guess I just like the idea of it more than I was recalling my memories of it. The black tea couldn’t get any weaker, which is a real shame. Maybe I thought it was the age of my sample making the black tea weak before? Or hoping that the base had changed by now? It was on sale anyway. Like I said the other day, there is nothing worse than a light base on a chocolate tea. bleck. Lowering the rating from 79 (which I don’t usually do, but new harvests confirm things.)
Thanks very much, AJRimmer! I will eventually get to all these samples. haha. I wasn’t expecting much from this tea, seeing as how chocolate teas are normally somehow gasoline tasting and lacking and English Tea Store’s teas have been generally disappointing… but the flavor of this tea resulted in how I would hope it would be. First off, it’s dark. I can’t do chocolate teas that aren’t deep and dark. Second, no gasoline here. Plenty of chocolate flavor. Dark dusky chocolate. I like that they actually include cocoa shells! I thought I was seeing coconut in the blend, but it’s actually chamomile petals for some reason? I don’t think they bring anything to the flavor anyway. It’s a good pairing between this type of black tea and chocolate flavor in general. It is what it says it is. Of course, it can’t actually be hot chocolate, but this is the closest thing to hot chocolate that a tea can be. I wouldn’t mind having a bit of this around when I want a chocolate tea — there aren’t too many good chocolate teas. Next time this will be a sipdown.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 minute steep
A sample from the sale! What a magical blend this sounded like: oolong with the unique combination of pear, raspberry, orange blossom. Sadly hibiscus. I can tell the hibiscus is TAMED though, as the brew always results in a gorgeous blush pink color and not the bright red of hibiscus overload. The brew is lovely to look at in a clear mug. However, there is a bit of tartness that tends to take over anyway. I hope some of this tartness is from the raspberry. I can’t really taste pear or orange blossom which is a shame. The aroma of pear is certainly in the blend and I know B&B can do pear teas well (Jasmine Poached Pears). It reminds me of another of B&B’s blends — I’m not sure which, but it’s another blend with the promise of great flavors but the result is just a slight sour fruit flavor… no hint of oolong… there are so many big fruit pieces here, so I’m just a bit disappointed. Two teaspoons should be plenty flavorful for a mug. Full disclosure: I’ve never had prosecco.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 13 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 3 min
This seemed like a unique blend I didn’t mind trying from the sale (and still available on their VIP page). For some, this might be a mix of many ingredients that people aren’t usually gravitating towards: rooibos, smoky lapsang black tea, pu-erh, mint and chili! To me, it’s just balanced enough for the flavors to really shine together. I was curious what the mix of bases are and it looks at least 60-70% rooibos. So it’s a bit difficult to tell what the caffeine level is here with some lapsang souchong and pu-erh leaves mixed in. But I love the flavor – balanced between a bit of smoke, sweet creamy mint (I love B&B’s mint), and really not too much chili. The color of the brew looked more like rooibos scarlet than a black tea or pu-erh tea. I like this though I would have liked less rooibos.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
This one is from Ost a while ago now. Thanks, Ost! Sadly has a ‘drink by 2016’ on the bag, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve had this a few times and think it’s best at this point with two teaspoons. The leaves are large with only hints of the namesake gold. The flavor most reminds me of a Fujian black and then forgot that this IS a Fujian tea (face smack)— cocoa powder with a hint of smoke but also something that can remind me of lychee (so not really that much of a Fujian black in flavor, I don’t normally get lychee with those). The second cup is more sour plum and rye bread, so the change is interesting. A malty, rustic tea, seems aged somehow (and I don’t mean from 2016) that seems perfect for this time of year. I liked how I steeped this, note to self. This seems to be holding up with age, but these poor What-cha teas certainly deserve better. I just checked and luckily other than this tea, it’s just some small What-cha oolong samples that comprise the What-cha part of my collection. I like samples. Samples are good.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 minute steep
2020 Sipdowns: 72 AprTea -Fenghuang Dancong Oolong Tea Honey Rhyme Mellow Grade One