1358 Tasting Notes
I picked up some of this on a whim when I went to restock Pumpkin Chai (at this point it’s a fall tradition more than a matter of taste). You know what? I think I like this better than Pumpkin Chai. It tastes fuller and better balanced; needs less tweaking. I think it may even have more “heat” than the DT’s chai blend. The citrusy notes from the spices and bergamot taste delicious when milk is added too. Like a cheerful citrusy spice cloud. On top of that, the vanilla-caramel notes give it a London Fog vibe. I’m a huge sucker for my LF’s even more so than the PSLs. This is the best of both worlds.
For me, this is on par, if not better, than a lot of the commercial pumpkin spice latte things out there. Now, it just needs to work with my Eggnog. Turns out the nog I bought is not lactose-free or going to hold up past our upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.
Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Citrusy, Cloves, Earthy, Pumpkin, Spices, Vanilla
I should write notes on new teas in my cupboard but… I have this decadent blend again. When this, or any vanilla flavoured black tea, appears in my life it’s usually all I drink until it’s gone and I’m once again vanilla-less.
It’s a vicious cycle.
Flavors: Bittersweet, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
Just loving the quality of the bright raspberries and strawberries on the smooth but full Young Hyson base. I’ve enjoyed it so much I haven’t even gotten around to trying it as a cold brew yet.
EDIT- I coldsteeped my last serving and, wow, it was delicious. Always a delight to have a tea that tastes good regardless of drinking temperature.
Flavors: Berries, Cranberry, Floral, Grassy, Raspberry, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Tart
I finished this one up a while ago but forgot to post a note. I feel bad because it was a tasty and charming white tea. It deserved better.
I recall that it reminded me of a green tea at times; it had the hay notes you see in many white teas, but it was altogether grassier than what I expected: bamboo shoots and sweetgrass too! It was a temperamental steeper and could get grass-bitter if oversteeped though. It made me think of a laying in a grass field and listening to the blades rustle in the wind. All in all, a very restful and vibrant tea.
Flavors: Bamboo, Clover, Floral, Grassy, Hay, Pepper, Smooth, Sweet, Warm Grass
The fire smoke is finally hitting us here, turning the sky into something autumnal and eerie. It’s not as bad as other areas, but it’s an energy zapper and a mood killer.
I wanted a tea profile to contrast this internal lethargy so I reached for something extremely green, decadent, and bright – this candied melon tea! It’s so cheery and flavourful – although, this particular tin is saddled with the now bittersweet memory of briefly visiting Lahaina, Kona, and Honolulu back in March. Absolutely surreal and heartbreaking at the loss of lives and homes. We are really lucky here in the Lower Mainland that it’s just the smoke right now; it’s an understatement to say wildfires have particularly sucked this year across the board.
But here I was trying to distract myself. That almost never works, eh? Maybe I need to embrace the fall-ish notes and the catharsis that this upcoming season can offer. Hopefully, I have a puerh hiding away somewhere.
Steep Count: 3
Flavors: Butter, Creamy, Floral, Green Melons, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Smooth, Sweet
Still on a purple flower kick. This is a nice level of lavender, and a pleasant twist on an earl grey (the bergamot is super light), but it can be finicky to steep up. I oversteeped it to the point of bitterness a couple of times, but milk helps with these things. Also, even if I butchered the first steep, the second steep was deliciously smooth.
My 50g did not last at all; I pull out teas like this (ex – earl greys & citrusy black tea blends) when I can’t make up my mind, but want caffeine plus a little flair.
Flavors: Bergamot, Earthy, Floral, Lavender, Tannic, Vanilla
I wanted Violet Cremes but there’s sadly very little left of that (hoarding ensues). Instead, I opted for this brisker black tea to get my violet fix. It’s delicious in its own right, but I want buttery oolong too! Sometimes life is challenging like this.
Note to self: find more violet teas to fill the void in my life.
Flavors: Black Currant, Brisk, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Malt, Pepper, Vanilla, Violet
Backlog – Sipdown!
Tasty, but this dessert tea exists in a state between “satisfies sweet tooth” and “it’s so cloying and rich it’s nauseating!” I also don’t get pie as much as I get candy corn (this isn’t a terrible thing though). However, my mom adored it, and found nothing to criticize — so, maybe the sweetness overload is just me. I’d consider getting more for her, and snag the odd cup that way.
Flavors: Butternut Squash, Candy, Caramelized Sugar, Marshmallow, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla
(2021 Spring Harvest)
It’s long overdue that I finished this old harvest up but, now that it’s gone, I miss its familiar profile of malt, cocoa, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, and, strikingly, pepper spice. It’s neither the fanciest tea in my cupboard nor the plainest. It occupies a mercurial niche that makes it universally accessible.
It’s a tea I drink on slow Sunday afternoons — as well as one that I’ve pulled out for wedding showers, baby showers, and, most recently, after receiving the news that my uncle, my dad’s youngest brother, had passed away. It’s strangely grounding, and I can’t believe all the memories and significance it has accumulated over the years.
The name is always a conversation starter and a welcome distraction for those who need it (“are there actually snails in this tea?”). I’m usually prompted to show off to the particularly snail-anxious among us the beautifully rolled, gold-black curl of the tea leaf in order to put them at ease. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t been taken in by the leaves or the rich, sweet, and earthy aroma that they give off. Like I said — grounding and comforting. This tea is a pillar.
So long for now (not forever) beautiful tea.
Flavors: Bread, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Earthy, Malt, Mineral, Pepper, Raisins, Smooth, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes