3528 Tasting Notes
Thanks so much for this sample, Tiesta Tea! I’m always up for trying any Earl Grey Cream I can get my hands on! Those blue flowers in the blend were really making me nostalgic for my favorite Earls from the past. It seems like good ones are hard to find these days. This one is middle of the pack of my favorites – not the best I’ve had but not the worst! The short leaves make a robust base, which is necessary for any Earl I gravitate towards. The bergamot is fine – not strong enough for me and also not the preferred flavor type. I wish there was more cream. It seems any EG that is supposed to be cream is just so very faint with the cream now. I’m talking about every tea company. I wonder if companies had to switch to a more natural flavor these days… I don’t prefer it. I like the obvious thick cream notes of older blends. To be fair, I have had this tea for almost eight months now and the flavor of the bergamot did seem stronger before… but still no cream either way. Got to have that cream. It is odd however, when a tea has bergamot I cannot usually pick out any flavors from the actual base. I like this, but still on the hunt for a GREAT Earl Cream. Especially in these sad times.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
2020 Sipdowns: 30 (Bird &Blend – TEA Wells)
I still have a handful of Octavia samples to write up. Thanks, Octavia! They are having a 25% off over $45 sale for a few days with code ‘WELLNESS’ however their free shipping code doesn’t work along with it. The leaves don’t really look like the photo – mine are much shorter and no gold… I’m not one for Ceylon, but his one is robust and full of flavor (what I don’t usually expect from Ceylon). It’s almost like an Assam in flavor profile. Strong, brassy, malty. The second steep is brisk. I’m glad I only used one teaspoon. Flavors of bread turn into thick rye bread when cooled, maybe a bit of red wine with a hint of dried hay. Definitely a Ceylon black I really like!
Steep #1 // 1 heaping teaspoon for full mug // 15 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 3 1/2 min
Flavors: Hay, Malt, Red Wine, Rye
Additional notes: Ah, my poor golden buds, suffering the most with age. It is a shame shame shame. What was once the most complex deliciousness, now could not be more flatter. It’s definitely a lesson to drink what I have before acquiring more teas. I think I have been drinking teas for… fifteen years now. Only fifteen? And I think I know what I like now, what favorites I should have stocked up, instead of the “try everything” phase. So hopefully the teas will sipped down, whittled down and I will have a curated collection. For example: I only have a handful of hojicha samples, but have not drank any of those in a good long while. So I wouldn’t need much hojicha around.
Edited to add: A previous note for this tea mentioned that I wish I had three pounds of this in my cupboard but that would have been a TERRIBLE idea. Even though I’m sure I knew that six years ago. I’m very glad I didn’t stock up. Little amounts of fresh at a time would be much better!
Edited again: Okay, the second steep at boiling tastes much better, but still. Not as complex. The first steep must have been very cooled before steeping.
From Tamarindel a LONG time ago. THANK YOU. It was so delicious yesterday that I looked to see if I had written a tasting note and nope, I did not. Of course. Though green and flavored, it’s still fantastic, more than I remembered from past steeps. The almond is spot on. Toasty yet sweet and buttery – an amazing pairing with this green tea and hint of cinnamon. Two excellent steeps.It is tough for me to focus on reading normally and this virus is not helping with that at ALL. Doubly not helpful and I’m really missing my mindscape books.
Even if the virus might be slowing, people have to realize it is because most people have only been doing the essential things for an entire month around where I live anyway. So it took a MONTH for things to slightly slow down and I really hope people don’t run out partying just because things are slowly slowing. Isolated parties, sure. Have at em.
A BIG musical calmer (every song really) is M. Ward and here is Along the Santa Fe Trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMPxsy8AsU
I could kick myself. Really kick myself. According to an e-mail search, this was a free sample from SIX years ago. And I never even wrote a tasting note for it. And it’s matcha. And it’s still very delicious. This shop was amazing in the old days – they had SO MANY matcha flavors. Sadly, I was only able to try a handful. This is pure loveliness today so at least it was sitting here for six years for a reason. I heated a mug of 2% milk for 88 seconds in the microwave and whisked some matcha in with a fork. It doesn’t really look green. But I think that extra percent in the milk is making it extra cheesecakey. But now that I’m thinking about it, it’s very clumpy towards the bottom of the mug, so possibly what I’m thinking is cheesecake flavor is just plain milk flavor? Who knows, but I won’t pour the matcha in the top of the hot milk again. It doesn’t work that way. Guess I haven’t had matcha in a while. I will put the matcha in the bottom of the mug and whisk while pouring the milk next time.
Additional notes: Only an 83 rating from me? Psssh. This deserves a much higher rating. I’m raising it. I could hardly find a more delicious pear tea, and the flavor is really holding up. Next time it will be gone. Maybe I didn’t use two teaspoons last time or something. I probably steeped it wrong somehow. So many actual little pieces of pear! Who actually puts pear in tea? Probably only 52Teas. Your teas are being appreciated in these times, Anne — hope you and yours are doing okay.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // 29 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // TBA
2020 Sipdowns: 28 (52Teas – Frank’s Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake Honeybush)
Additional notes: I’ve been revisiting some B&B teas! For being four years old (how how how?), this one seems to be getting better with age. BUT really wishing for more berries. And cake flavors. A teaspoon and a half works perfectly. It’s mainly a dark tea with cocoa and hibiscus notes, but sometimes that is the sort of craving I have. Somehow cocoa works well with hibiscus! It’s like Simpson & Vail’s Valentine’s blend. Raising the rating from 72 (I don’t think it previously worked with one teaspoon).
Flavors: Cocoa, Hibiscus
Additional notes: Nothing to do for my crappy mood today but get tea spoiled. Having some delectable favorites today: 52Teas – Berried Treasure, B&B’s Rice Moolong and this one. I think I’ll be revisiting some very favorites in the coming weeks while also trying some new-to-me teas. I’m savoring this tea once in a while because not only is it discontinued but the flavor is still amazing. Sure, it’s not as good as it was when fresh, but that tea magic doesn’t exist yet, of keeping teas fresh through any amount of time. The hugest dried cherry I’ve ever seen went into the infuser. It was much bigger than a teaspoon. This is a tea where the parceling of ingredients must be very careful. Otherwise you get all these cherries in the infuser! CHERRY. CHOCOLATE. COFFEE. Perfect blend. Perfect for today.
I also finished organizing my teas that I’ve been doing slowly over time. That was fun. What’s next? A calming yet haunting song for today: Ed Harcourt – The World is On Fire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlo9aQFUlyo
Flavors: Cherry, Chocolate, Coffee
Thanks again for the swap, AJRimmer! I’ve wanted to try this, but again with the mysterious ingredients, ETS. So it’s hard to parcel out the ingredients here without knowing what they are. Looking at the ingredients after steeping, it looks like actual lime? Or some sort of citrus. As well as rosehips which don’t really do much for the color of the mug/ flavor… I can’t really tell what else is in there. I guess the flavor is slightly lime, but it’s a very earthy lime, and by earthy I mean bordering on dirt flavor. I’ve never had gelato but I doubt it tastes like this.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6-7 min
2020 Sipdowns: 27 (David’s Rhubarb Cream Soda)
This is from M Mack a while ago, thank you! I would say this is hardly “mango”. So many huge orange pieces, it ends up tasting mostly like orange juice. Or a vitamin C supplement, maybe that’s the stevia getting older. Of course this is slightly older now. I would have liked more of the other elements to come through: mango, pineapple, strawberry. Those SOUND like a great blend… that I’m imagining. Also had this with half an actual mango… so fresh mango was only going to diminish this tea, sadly. The photo sure looks tasty though.
Steep #1 // 7 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 3 minutes after boiling // 5-6 min
2020 Sipdowns: 26 (52Teas – Frank’s Black Currant Shou Mei – haven’t had a sipdown in 15 days. ruhroh.)