The Philosopher's House

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Recent Tasting Notes


It’s not every time I make tea that I really let myself enjoy the sensory experience of it. When you drink several cups a day, even of teas that you love, it can start to get a little mechanical, you know? Steep, strain, drink, repeat. But I guess I was in a more leisurely frame of mind this evening, because this tea was such a beautiful experience.

What says “get cozy” like that mellow, reddish-brown liquor? It helps that this tea smells just like fresh apple cake. I was pleasantly surprised that it’s not overly sweet beyond the natural sweetness of the rooibos, and the flavors succeed each other beautifully: cinnamon up front, apple sweetness and slight tartness in the middle, and then the earthy rooibos flavor lingers slightly. I enjoyed every sip of this and only wish I’d brewed it a little stronger. Just beautiful.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Resteeping is a fairly new concept to me. Until I started reading tasting notes here a couple years ago, I thought that tea leaves were all single-use, and the idea that I could add more hot water and keep drinking honestly blew my mind. So just imagine how I felt when I started finding teas that I actually like better on the second or third steep!

This is one of them, and actually I found the first steep undrinkable. It was so strong and tannic that I poured half of the cup down the sink. I have almost a whole ounce of the tea left, though, and I hate waste, so I had to give it another try.

The second steep was much mellower and more enjoyable. The flavor is mostly of the black tea itself. The apricot is there in the background, and it’s decidedly a dried apricot flavor rather than a juicy, fresh apricot — luckily, I like both flavors. Although the scent of the dry blend has a noticeable boozy note, the brandy flavor doesn’t come through in the brewed tea. I can’t say this tea lives up to its name as an apricot brandy blend, but it’s perfectly enjoyable as a nice black tea, at least after the first steep.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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