73 Tasting Notes
This is only in my cupboard because the local shop was out of Clipper’s Everyday Tea, which is a staple in this house (in teabag form – wasn’t impressed with the loose leaf). I had to get something for the daughters, though I’m not drinking the Everyday much these days, and I picked this one up, having seen that the Organic Assam with Vanilla was a hit. But not so much. I can well imagine the vanilla de-puckering this one, but it’s really not very delicious without. SO astringent. I didn’t even bother getting either Becca or Cara to try, as I knew they’d hate it, but now I have quite a few bags left to get finished off somehow.
I got this along with a bag of my beloved Chilli Chilli Bang Bang, because it was limited edition and I didn’t notice the aniseed in there. (Or possibly hadn’t figured out that while I like anise/licorice fine as flavours themselves, I dislike them in most teas.) For a good few cups I thought it was just the unfair comparison with CCBB that stopped this being a winner, then read *cteresa*’s note and went “Aha! Aniseed!”, but then it started to grow on me. The anise flavour is just tempered enough by the strength of the other flavours (all favourites) that I like it. It’s not a problem that it’s limited edition, as long as CCBB comes back for the colder weather. But if not — there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth! (The new Red Chai has aniseed as its first ingredient – not cool, Yumchaa!)
You know what? This might be one of those teas that makes a liar out of me. I like my spicy teas spicy – and that goes especially for chai – no messing around, plenty of ginger and cinnamon – pepper, cloves, I like ‘em. And then I got this one, and it’s so smooth and sweet from the vanilla and cardamom (both favourite flavours, but not without the other spices for chai), and the Assam works so well as a base, with its typical astringency tempered by the vanilla and cardamom, that it’s just a lovely cup of sweetly flavoured tea.
Uh, sipdown. (No bold or exclamation marks, as I have lots more tea in my real cupboard than in my virtual one, so the virtue of a sipdown! is not mine!)
ANYway, this came from sil – thank you again, sil! Second time I’ve had it, and have to admit, this is a bit of a miss for me. Not a bad miss, but just a miss in comparison to the hit it is for a huge number of people here. The thing about it is that I got one overpowering aroma/taste/memory, and that is cocoa, as in the beverage, rather than the cooking ingredient, but more specifically, the kind of cup of cocoa that gets a skim of milk on top. Now, I haven’t had any kind of cocoa for a while, especially any made with milk (migraines and diary intolerance), and I have to doubt that that kind of a cup of cocoa smells any different from your ideal cup of cocoa, but that’s what my smell memory brought out. It’s slightly burnt-roasty, a little malty, and it’s not what I imagine when hearing a tea described as having chocolate notes. When it cooled, especially on later infusions, I got a bit milder taste, and maybe a raisin smell behind the cocoa one, but never got cinnamon or honey or caramel… Not unpleasant but not something I’d rush to buy either. Unless possibly this is the autumn/spring thing, in which case I’d try the spring.
Thanks to cteresa for the sample – my first green mate/maté (in memory, at any rate!) I drank this a few days ago, but didn’t get a chance to make a note at the time. I liked it! I didn’t immediately become fired with the desire to find more mate teas and become one with them, but I liked the flavouring a lot and it all worked together well. Big fan of lemongrass here.
Funny thing though – I’d caffeinated up with my usual two strong cups of afternoon black tea before drinking this, and about 30 minutes later, was hit by a wave of sleepiness I found hard to fight. What was that about?
Another sample from *sil*’s generous swap! This sounded – and smelled – delicious, but I found the cup pretty much exactly as sil did. I don’t see why the grenadine was added, and found overall the tea tastes fairly weak with a slightly odd mix of fruity/sweet tastes barely making it through. Tasted better with milk (almond, unsweetened), but then was far too weak to be really enjoyable. Glad to have tasted it, and certainly nothing objectionable, but at least there’s one tea I can knock off the grand list of all the teas that must be tried!
Another “thanks to sil” tasting note! Had a few too-stupid-to-brew-cuppa days there, which had me avoiding trying this, but today I was up to the challenge. (Totally sarcastic, both about the challenge and about being up to anything.) Anyway, I brewed this according to Red Blossom’s instructions – though I simply had to taste the rinse water, like the big child I am. (It was mildly pool-water tasting, I thought, so they were probably right to say discard it.) But then I was dutiful and did as I was supposed to.
I’m going to have to leave it rather vaguely as not as much to my taste as the Pure Aroma Teas Keemun Spruce, but a nice cup all the same. There was a bit less silky smoothness to the smokiness compared to the PAT one, which left it ever so slightly tasting of burnt wood, to me. Well, obviously, smoke comes from burnt wood but it doesn’t mean the tea tastes like the wood itself. Yes, this tasting note is FULL OF SMART. I could get slight sweet notes – a hint of cocoa/chocolate and maybe a hint of raisin, but they weren’t quite as strong as the burnt notes. Which weren’t strongly burnt, but still dominant.
Thanks again for the sample, sil. It’s great to have had the chance to try this Keemun!
Sample thanks to Sil! I’ve delayed tasting some of the wonderful teas in Sil’s generous swap because the ideal time for me to try them (afternoon) is usually eaten up in caring duties. (I’ll go so far as to bring some tea with me, but nothing special or hard to obtain!) Today should have been a day I didn’t have to spend the afternoon there but ended up having to, so I decided to try one before going up – but one that Sil didn’t much like, so as not to waste it by rushing. There’s method to my apparent irrationality! I think?
Was a bit surprised this didn’t get boiling water, but followed the instructions, not expecting too much. And at first I thought the tea wasn’t good, but it grew on me as I sipped on (possibly as it cooled). The black base is quite nice, and the mango flavour is being held against Yumchaa’s Mango Sunrise and a mango tea I got around here, both of which are very superior mango teas indeed. Teajo website says it’s natural flavour, and I think the slightly artificial whiff I was getting at first was in fact the orange peel, which was giving a slightly bitter note. (Orange peel has its place, most definitely, but I don’t think this is it.) It’s not going to surpass either of my other mango teas (both greens, admittedly!), but I’m glad to have got to find that out, and will also try it cold. Thanks again to Sil for the chance to try it!
I’m going to be doing a bunch of possibly pointless, definitely uninteresting to anyone but me, notes about straight-up strong black Irish/English blends. No ratings for the time being, but at some point.
This — I find confounding (though it’s not alone, as everything about this applies to a couple of Bewley’s teas that aren’t in the database yet). I don’t get a loose leaf tea that’s – as far as my understanding goes – made to be a perfect teabag tea. This is tiny CTC tea – possibly the tiniest bits I’ve come across, and the only way I can make a decent cup of tea is to put it in a teabag. Otherwise, too much dust and you can’t strain it well, and it gets bitter & overly astringent in a flash. So I’m getting a very high quality teabag, by filling one of the huge ones – plenty of room for leaves to move – but I’d rather get a loose-leaf tea when I buy a loose-leaf tea! Taste is good if not mind-blowing, and it is nice and strong.
Drank this the other day, and was very pleasantly surprised, after my expectations about 52teas had been lowered by Weeping Angel. Thanks for the tea, sil! I was both amused and intrigued by how very cola-ish the cola flavour is – it certainly predominates, but it’s not only that, it’s that it’s so true-cola that I almost felt a faint bit of the fizz of a fresh cola, even while drinking it hot. Didn’t get too much rum, and only the merest hint of lime, but it was still very tasty. Cara agreed, and we thought it’d be excellent iced, as others have said. On a whim, I tried resteeping a smallish cup, sweetening it a bit with brown sugar and sticking it in the fridge. I was surprised at how much flavour remained in the resteeped cup, and it was definitely good iced.
Kind of makes me wonder if it’s worth playing with the Weeping Angel… hmmm, that sounds very odd indeed! I didn’t make a note on that when first tried it, so might try different temps and times, to see if I can’t get it a bit better.