2475 Tasting Notes
Mercy, you all have been busy! It’ll take me till Easter to catch up with all the Advent reviews.
I’m trying to work my way toward some end-of-year sipdowns to justify breaking into some new stuff. The half-packet of this nice little oolong called my name this evening.
The oolong base strikes me as fruity rather than floral, and the cinnamon is barky cinnamon, not red-hot candy cinnamon. The two mesh together really nicely—I used “apple pie” in a former review; after further reflection, I might tone that down to “unsweet apple pie spice.” It’s very good either way.
Another little sample excursion from Michelle—these have been fun little diversions at work, and boy, was this a departure from my normal afternoon break choices! There wasn’t quite as much fennel as the time my husband accidentally dumped a half jar into the spaghetti sauce, but it wasn’t far behind! With the cinnamon, the spice mix reminded me a lot of the Christmas pfeffernusse I’ve mentioned having as a kid. Probably not one I’ll hunt down, but it was fun to try and fired up a different set of synapses.
My usual complaint about honey flavoring in tea is that it just doesn’t taste real, which seems to be the general impression of the reviews for Juniper Mint Honey so far. This is the best (or least worst) emulation of honey I’ve had in a long time. With the cooling mint and slightly piney juniper (not a lot), I enjoyed it and was looking at the bottom of the cup surprisingly quickly. Thanks to Michelle for this sample!
Twelve years ago, I was not kind to this tea. Gave it another chance and brought some for the work tea party cache because it is a particular favorite of an office friend.
Tastes change. I think what didn’t impress me back then is what I’m liking about it now: subtlety. It hints of raspberry instead of slaps you in the face with tartness. That same trait is what changed my mind about a St. Dalfour bagged black cherry that’s now an easy-steep office standard for me.
One caution: a lot of Bigelow flavored teas recommend a really short steep—just 1-2 minutes. I had an unexpected office visitor at the time and let this go just slightly to the bitter side. Other than that, it’s a nice change of pace.
Michelle, this one is fun! My menfolk deigned to sniff and sample my first steep of your Kentucky Bourbon sample. My son’s evaluation was the most creative: “It’s like cowboy hot chocolate cooked over an open fire.” (I get that!) As for me, I am getting oak, smoke, burnt sugar and the cocoa as well. Really creative and judicious use of lapsang without over-smoking it. The weather has taken an untimely warm swing, but this would be a prime selection for a cloudy, frosty afternoon.
Second steep. I managed to wring a second cup out of the leaves with a very long steep and a little milk. The rock sugar was spent with the first cup, but there was still adequate cinnamon, lemon, and raisin to make it believable. I won’t hoard the rest of the packet (just picked up a 1 ounce sample), but the rest needs to be saved until there’s plenty of time to savor it.
We are not Black Friday shoppers. However, I incorrectly assumed that Rangeline (our main drag) would be clear of the crazies by this afternoon, and made a run to Goodwill to drop off some surplus. The traffic was absolutely bananas, and it’s good to be back in the burg. (Remember the story of the city mouse and country mouse? Oh, wait…you’re
too young for Captain Kangaroo. I’m the country mouse.)
I’m celebrating my survival home with an afternoon tea splurge. The Spice & Tea Exchange is a fun but pricey stop on the Branson Landing (online as well), but I succumbed to the seasonal bait they had at the front of the shop…and glad I did. This couldn’t make a nicer post-Thanksgiving treat. We’ve got creamy vanilla. We’ve got fresh cinnamon. We’ve got a teeny bit of lemon. We’ve even got a little bit of raisin-i-ness; that must be a contribution from the black tea base.
Paired with a leftover slab of pumpkin pie dump cake and a scoop of carrot cake ice cream—-taste so good it makes my toes wiggle!
This was part of a Tea Forte “Warming Joy” sampler from last year and doesn’t appear to be in the 2021 lineup, nor have I found a trustworthy tea description on alternate retail sites.
So you’re stuck with my observations. Black tea base, which just serves as the pack mule for the big hunks of ginger I can see through the pyramid bag and some peppermint. Nothing sweet added to the mix, so what you get is warmth and bite. There’s one more bag in the second layer that I may hang on to for sniffles and sore throat season.
Eureka! Huzzah! I let my husband take a whiff of my first cup from derk, promised him I would not force him to sample it, but he did anyway. First sip: “Well, it doesn’t taste like flowers.” Follow-up sip: “I approve.” High praise indeed!
Other reviews capture this a lot more eloquently, but if you want the quick Midwest farmer version—it’s a very stemmy oolong that tips the needle toward woody and twiggy rather than fruity and floral, especially as it cools. I saw comparisons to houjicha; I get that, and I’d add a similarity to kukicha—in my cup, anyway.
Hoping you are thankful today, even you friends who don’t get the day off! Tea friends are definitely on the list of blessings I’m counting!
I’ve probably written elsewhere that when we’re on vacation, rather than hitting conventional tourist spots, a mandatory stop is the big local grocery store so we can see how the rest of the world shops for tea and groceries. (Favorites: a fancy-pants Dillons in Wichita, Publix under the Capitol View Apartments in Nashville, Dierbergs in the St. Louis Area.)
However, our travels haven’t led us anywhere that has an HEB, so Michelle thoughtfully sent HEB my way! For a store brand bagged rooibos, this is good! Dark cocoa scent jumped out of the packet when I opened it, and after an indeterminate work-desk steep, it yielded a nicely blended chocolatey cup with no distracting separation of flavors. All meshes quite pleasantly.