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Recent Tasting Notes
Drank this one for the final prompt of the month: “National Sense of Smell Day”
CW: Serious injury
This prompt actually makes me hella sad. I chose this tea because it was one of my partner’s favorite teas of mine. Last October, we were at a friend’s basement show and my partner fainted out of the blue, falling on a concrete floor. She suffered a concussion and almost died in the hospital. It was a very traumatic time for obvious reasons, and as a result of her traumatic brain injury, my partner can’t taste or smell for the rest of her life. once those plates in your head have shifted, there is no going back.
Drank this tea to honor my partner’s loss, and so that I can get rid of it. I’m very close to this being a true sipdown. Most of the flavors I’m getting are hefty florals from the green oolong and jasmine. Perhaps there is a caramel note to it, I am finding the thick body to have some creaminess to it. I also see a slice of coconut or two in the blend, but I get no coconut notes in the tea at all. I also think there is supposed to be bergamot in this blend, but I simply can’t tell with all the other over powering floral notes.
Whisked this up with some vanilla agave for a very, very smooth cup that tasted like a London Fog – just without the milk. Delish!
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CywYa7KOw5t/?img_index=1 (3rd Pic)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbHnbxOvAJA
My mom is staying at an Airbnb instead of a hotel this time around which has actually been pretty nice; it’s much more roomy and I’ve been able to have some flexibility in whether I want to spend the night at my place or hers this week (sometimes that’s easier for our early morning activities) since there’s not only another bed but a bed that’s much more comfortable that the shitty hotel she was in last time…
Her first night in we started off by having an iced tea on the Airbnb’s balcony, which felt like a luxary for me in a way since I don’t actually have my own balcony. It’s hard to be a refreshing iced tea on a hot day or a classic tasting Earl Grey! I’m not normally a suuupppeeerrr big fan of bergamot, but I quite enjoyed this one! It was a bit more malty with a really brisk, full bodied black tea and just a hint of light, refreshing citrus. In that way, at least for me, powder is kinda better because you really get full control over your dosing.
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CfPHb01uOBh/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if12qjITsFU
Sipping on this one currently but I definitely over shot the steep time as this mug has come out pretty tannic and astringent. I don’t remember all the things in this blend, but what I’m getting tonight are a mix of sweet florals (violet?) along with more heady lavender notes that are maybe leaning a tiny bit soapy. I’m going to give the tea the benefit of the doubt, though, and say that maybe the lavender is just coming off that way because I was careless in my steeping. Aside from that there’s a really mild fruity taste that makes me think of blueberries, though I don’t think it’s actually blueberries, and a smidge of bergamot. The foundation of the blend seems really strong, so I think I’d enjoy this a lot with more careful brewing.
Cold brewed latte (made with oat milk)!
I’ve been on a pandan tea kick for a little while now, and this Pandan French Earl Grey is probably my newest obsession! I love how much the creamy and almost coconut like flavour compliments the bergamot – it’s like a further elevation and twist on a classic Earl Grey Creme! Only criticism is that if you let it steep too long the bergamot almost gets this sharp metallic/mineral edge. Not unpleasant enough to ruin the tea; but distracting…
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CcOcK72Oz7O/
Pulled from TTB 2022, shared by Dustin.
I want so badly to like this one, so I’m giving it one more try. Using two teaspoons this time, instead of one, and it’s made all the difference! The base is strong and full-bodied, though the spice and cookie flavors are still light. It’s a tasty cup, but still not a favorite as far as chai blends go so I think I’ll pass it along. Glad to have found a way to enjoy it!
Pulled from TTB 2022, shared by Dustin.
This is very lightly spiced, but I do get a hint of cookie in the aroma. Not fortune cookie necessarily, and I couldn’t say for sure whether I would have picked up on it if I hadn’t known it was supposed to be a fortune cookie chai. I think this might be better with an added teaspoon. May or may not try it once more before sending along.
I was feeling pretty unwell the past two days so I didn’t actually end up drinking as much tea as I’d have liked. I just didn’t have the energy and motivation to fuss with anything. I did, however, make a mug of this one of the evenings. I’m noticing it’s less cooling and menthol forward as the Peppermint from The Tea Practitioner that I had fairly recently, but it was still very soothing and pleasant on both my head and stomach and that’s what I was ultimately going for.
I find myself wishing I had Tiger Balm in the house so I could apply some to my chest. I don’t know for sure that it would help with the congestion and harsh coughing, but it feels like it wouldn’t hurt! That thought process reminded me of this tea, which is a very intense menthol rich peppermint blend. I made a strong cup of it up, and of the various minty and eucalyptus forward teas I’ve steeped this week I thought this one offered the most immediate relief in the moment.
Had this one last night!
I know it’s not just a peppermint tea but it kinda tasted that way. I didn’t really pick up on the lemony/citrus notes the way I expected to. However, it was still very crisp and cooling and since I steeped it because I was experiencing a headache and wanted the reliable soothing menthol (and not because of the verbena) I was still happy with the cuppa!
This tea is way, way more sweet than what I remembered it to be. I made a cup a few nights ago and the banana flavour that comprises the bulk of the sip was just so cloying and syrupy. I might have been tempted to dump out the mug, but the finish was tasty enough to keep me begrudgingly coming back to the cup. It was so close to the perfect toffee note. Sweet, golden and very buttery. That buttery note in particular lingering for such a long time in the aftertaste. I just wanted to live in that flavour indefinitely. Shame about the banana aspect, though…
So last time I had this my take away was that it was pretty thin. I have to say, this cold brew was not thin at all… but it also wasn’t super good.
I really love Ette’s Peanut Butter tea so I want to like this one so badly, but it’s just sickly sweet and cloying. I get the same kind of nuttiness that I enjoy so much in Peanut Butter and a hint of banana in a way that leans more banana candy/taffy but it’s just coupled with the most intense licorice root that pushes both flavours over the edge and makes them feel really artificial. There’s other things present in the brew like a hint of apple in the undertones and the woodier notes of the base used, but it’s hard to pay either any mind because the rest is just a lot.
No more cold brewing this tea. Maybe I can find a way to improve the hot cups though…
The dry leaf of this tea smells really nice with sweet caramel/toffee and banana notes and a bit of nuttiness, and I really expected to enjoy this tea. However, it’s a lot more thin than I would have expected. Still tastes like sweet baked banana with toffee and some nutty brittle – but just, a little flat. Though, the finish is not flat. Very licorice root heavy, in fact. Not my favourite taste, but I could see it working here if there was more of the other flavours to hide it a bit better.
I thought this would be so refreshing as a cold brew but it was really, really pithy and had an unpleasant bitter lime note in the finish that I couldn’t quite get past. After a few days of trying to finish off the cold brew I just sort of gave up and decided to move on to the next one. I’ll stick to hot cups of this going forward, I suppose.
Had this as a hot cuppa a few nights ago. It actually really hit the spot in an unexpected sort of way. The citrus notes were really bright, sharp and lively in a perfectly sweet but still kind of mouth puckering way – I know this is mostly lemon but I did taste lime as well, despite it not being in the blend. It reminded me a bit of a really zesty kind of hot toddy – especially with the gentle heat of the ginger in the blend, which also balance out the citrus. I bet it would have been incredible with just a spot of honey.
Wasn’t sure if I wanted to order this tea since ginger and I have a love/hate relationship, but I do love a good lime tea and the visual was just so incredibly beautiful. I didn’t taste much ginger in the steeped tea though. In fact, most of what caught my attention was lime and lemongrass, which was pleasant and bright! I didn’t drink this mug with much attentiveness though and I know much of the nuance was lost because of that. So, I’m looking forward to a do-over. Maybe as a cold brew…
Had this one on the weekend.
I think I was riding the high of having drank a cold brewed sencha that I just loved which is what inspired me to dig out another sencha blend from my stash. In this case, I was kind of drawn to the idea of the more sticky rice-like notes of the pandan with the ginger heat and slight citrusy notes. However, I painfully oversteeped the mug and it was just like being smacked in the face with all the things I hate about green tea. Such a vile grassy and oceanic taste.
I know this was on me for the careless steeping, but even still it was a grounding moment following that very uncharacteristically enjoyable experience earlier in the weekend.
Geek Steep S2E20 – Birdemic: Shock and Terror
Did you think we were getting out of a movie like Birdemic without one of us picking a tea with a bird pun!? Gotta take advantage of that low hanging fruit! Out of the many bird themed teas I own, this was probably the best one I could have picked though because surface level it’s just as strange as this movie.
It’s a nice tea though, pun aside. Also, I’m realizing in this moment that it’s my second savory tea in a row selected during recording. Kind of soft and lemony with a nice starchy coconut/pandan taste and a delicate ginger spice. It’s a tea meant to replicate the seasonings of this popular Singapore dish and I think it does so pretty well! Not nearly as savory as it could have been, but I know that some people will appreciate that this tea doesn’t straight up taste like soup.
Also bird puns!
I’ve had the previous version of the blend many, many years ago but it’s actually been so long that I simply do nut really remember anything about what it tasted like. This one I found curious; it had the light vanilla wafer type of taste that I do associate with Fortune Cookies (almost crepe-like) but with a hint of sweet nutty undertone. I liked the addition of almond, though it feels a hair our of place. I honestly can’t recall much about the spice mix in this moment though, aside from the fact it was pretty light handed overall…
Gonna need to taste again and try to focus a little more on those spices.
Had this one over the weekend. It mostly tasted of brothy and seaweed-y umami rich sencha, which really isn’t my thing at all – but I could appreciate how smooth and nice quality that sencha was coming through in the cup. What brought me back to it time and time again was the floral undertone and honeyed sweet notes of persimmon. Very, very subtle but also very, very accurate – and it’s rare to find such a nice persimmon flavour in a tea. Well worth the sencha to enjoy that note.
Didn’t love how prominent the sencha ended up tasting out of everything else in the blend, but there was a nice but very light fruity undertone with tinges of honey. I wouldn’t have thought to identify it as persimmon without the prompt from the ingredient list, but knowing that’s what it was meant to be did help me pick it out and I found it pretty nice even if this is probably my least favourite ETTE blend I’ve tasted so far.
I drank this tea the morning of my flight! The first time I had this tea I was admittedly a little underwhelmed, but this past cup was the first where I felt I “got it”. The darker and more oxidized oolong that makes up much of the blend was more mineral and woody, but the rich notes of chicory, spices, and stewed fruits complimented wonderfully with the subtle citrus notes of the aged Yuzu peel and rind. Less of a “parfait” in the lighter and more creamy sense I was expecting, but still a wonderful tea!!
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CszGXSovXiD/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKUBwrBHIpc