311 Tasting Notes

86

As I just finished one tisane (for iced tea preparation), I decided to look through my tea cupboard and I still had this tisane unopened.
I first have it hot according to the instructions by K&S T&C co (steeping time of 10-12´), and although it takes me a while to find the rhubarb, I like the colour – like the liquid when making rhubarb compote, just less viscous – at once. Hibiscus and rose hip define the aroma´s, but the rhubarb comes through at the end with a not so subtle ;-) acid touch, which I really like. In a couple of days, I´ll test the tisane for iced tea, and I´ll decide which preparation I prefer from now on.

Flavors: Acidic, Fruit Punch, Hibiscus, Rhubarb, Rosehips

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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84

Iced tea season has started once and for all now (a bit late this year, but for other reasons that´s quite OK), and I still had enough of this tisane left for 2 batches of iced tea.
By the method I use to make iced tea (brew a pot, leave it infuse quietly – I honestly don´t count the minutes, or even hours ;-) – and cool it overnight in the fridge), this tisane is fresh and tastes more of peaches than the nose detects at first. Definitely a good pick but I think the blood orange tisane I used before (and I ordered more of) I like even better.

Flavors: Fruity, Peach

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 34 OZ / 1000 ML

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84

We spent last weekend in León, Spain. Apart from a small but really interesting market (at least for those who like meat and charcuterie), we tend to shop at a local tea shop whenever we visit the town. However, since Covid the tea shop only opens Monday-Friday and I hadn´t been able to go there last time we stayed in León in 2021. This time, we would be leaving on Monday afternoon, so a visit was long due.
The shop owner is very knowledgeable and I really like the pu erh blends she sells, but this time I wanted something different, with a black tea base. And I picked this blend, where lavender doesn´t stand out too much, where the lime doesn´t make it too citrusy, and where the mint gives a fresh touch to balance it all. Refreshing and elegant, to be enjoyed also by people who are normally not into black tea.

Flavors: Citrusy, Fresh, Lavender, Mint, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML

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70

I have no clue where I got this teabag from, maybe from one of my husband´s professional trips to Norway? I didn´t have a clue either about the contents of this teabag, other than it including some kind of berry. As the nordic languages are germanic of origen I managed to understand from the company page (in danish) that this is a 97% black tea + 3% berry aroma blend which gives a typical Nordic taste. I wouldn´t be able to confirm the latter, but it sure is primarily a black tea, subtly aromatised with a natural berry flavour. The berry flavour isn´t sweet at all (more a subtle tartness, because of cassis or elderberry???), which is a detail I can only applaud.

Flavors: Black Currant, Elderberry, Tea

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Although I´m not a huge fan of ginger or ginseng (both are easily too overwhelming, in my opinion), it´s useful having a pack of these teabags around, to drink when you´re having a sore throat or feel under the weather. Not overly aromatic, not too strong, simply a nice drink to sooth the throat.

Flavors: Citrusy, Ginger, Ginseng, Lemon

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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50
drank Mate de coca by Del valle
311 tasting notes

This is a Peruvian teabag, something I must have received from a friend who´d been there (My holidays there are too far back, the last one in 2010). I remember from our first trip to Perú that we chewed coca leaves to help us overcome possible problems related to the high altitude in the Andes, whereas the coca leaf tea (or mate de coca, cf mate used in Argentina por instance) was a herbal tea all hotels offered together with coffee at breakfast. Even then I thought chewing the leaves had an effect, while the tea was rather flavourless. Having a cup of this tea at home confirms this even more, if that´s at all possible ;-)

Flavors: Dry Grass

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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69

The second of the free Easter treats from Bird&Blend with my ohh deer order.
It´s nice to try teas I´ve never tried before, but the name of this blend refers to the Cadbury cream eggs and the smell alone of these cream eggs already makes me sick. Needless to say, I wasn´t really hopeful to discover a tea I would be convinced to buy ;-) …and no, it wasn´t a success, although I feared it to be worse.
In nose the typical Cadbury drinking chocolate powder – I used to like when doing my PhD in UK in the ´90s – with a pseudo boozy touch to it. This could result in a nice after-dinner drink, but an infusion in water is just too thin IMHO. I used to prepare the Cadbury chocolate drink powders in hot milk for the exact same reason, to add density and body. Although I´m not so fond of chocolate drinks anymore, I would advise fans of these drinks to use the chocolate powder with milk instead of paying far more for a tea blend like this. BTW, I didn´t even notice the black tea backbone here, nor the jasmine blossom indicated in the list of ingredients.

Flavors: Cacao, Eggnog

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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80

Isn´t it wonderful to receive an unexpected present? Like a couple of individually wrapped tea pyramids from Bird&Blend?
I had ordered from a fun stationary site (ohh deer) in UK, and my husband brought me the order when he returned from a visit to his team in UK (a colleague was so friendly to receive and store my order), and this was a special treat for Easter.
Chocolate Digestives is the right name for this tea where cacao is well present in nose and mouth, but the sweetness is controlled (by the liquorice and fenugreek, which I cannot detect separately?) so one feels like having a chocolate biscuit (digestive), more than a chocolate cookie or a hot chocolate. Nice

Flavors: Biscuit, Chocolate, Tea

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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85
drank 2011 by La Via del Tè
311 tasting notes

This is another Via del Tè tea I had put aside when I received the (huge ;-) ) order I made now almost 2 years ago. 2011 is the green blend of the Golden Jubilee blends the company put together in 2011 (the black blend being named 1961, the year Via del Tè was founded). Today I opened the pouch and immediately the smell of fresh strawberries came to me. According to the list of ingredients, this aroma is due to flavourings. It completely overwhelms the jasmine (from one of the 3 green teas in this blend, King of jasmine) or the pineapple supposedly present in this blend. Once steeped (at 80ºC, not longer than 2,5 minutes…all from info online as this is not indicated on the pouch, a shame really), the liquor is light yellow, and the aroma´s have turned more floral (because of the jasmine?). In mouth it sort of disappointed me a bit, as I hoped for a stronger green tea character, and I thought the fruity and floral notes in nose would translate better to the taste as well. It makes a nice afternoon tea, easy to drink even for people who aren´t into tea.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Strawberry, Vegetal

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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87

There was a time (when I studied in Yorkshire, UK where I would buy my teas at Betty´s, an “institution” over there for tea and coffee and all events concerning tea and coffee ;-) ) that I drank Lapsang Souchong quite regularly. I remember that even my father liked it although he ´s not at all a tea drinker.
So, I bought this LS from Via del Tè – for old times´sake??? – a few years ago, and hadn´t opened the pouch yet. In nose (for the dry tea leaves) the smoked character is clearly present, and it also steals the show once steeped, both in nose and mouth where it lingers on and on and on, giving a nice smooth finish. The slightly sweet sidenotes present in mouth when actually drinking the tea don´t mess up the experience, and might even make it easier to drink this tea. These also differ from the LS of my memories (Taylors of Harrogate tea), where the black tea backbone was stronger. Nevertheless, this is a solid LS I´ll enjoy a lot over the winter months.
Note : I drink my teas “black”, while a LS in UK is typically enjoyed with milk.

Flavors: Smoke, Tea

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
ashmanra

Oh, I drink almost all my teas black. I did not know that they typically add milk to Lapsang in the UK. Ashman does not care for Lapsang, but I wonder if he would find it palatable that way. I may have to test that out on him.

Ilse Wouters

@ashmanra : in UK most of the tea is made using teabags and served in a cup where first of all a bit of milk is poured into, before adding the tea. For instance. until I was 28 I didn´t drink coffee, because my stomach was always upset after trying it. But at home in Belgium my parents drank coffee with milk, and it seems that I have a problem with…milk. As my sister-in-law introduced me to tea and she didn´t add milk, I went to UK and kept to tea w/o milk, and when I arrived in France we used to drink coffee together with the colleagues every morning and also after lunch, and as they didn´t have a fridge, there was no milk…and I discovered that I actually liked coffee, that it didn´t make me ill, but adding milk surely did! BTW, a lot of English Breakfast blends are quite strong, just because it is assumed milk is added.

ashmanra

I am glad you found the milk was the problem so you can enjoy tea now!

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Profile

Bio

Introduced to tea by my sister-in-law in my country of birth = Belgium more than 30 years ago, I still love tea, mainly black, which I enjoy without sugar or milk. Having lived in UK, near good tea shops (e.g. Betty´s all over Yorkshire), I tend to buy most of my tea in bulk from tea shops (as such, most of these are not represented in my on-line cupboard). Nowadays, I live in Spain where tea gives me another sensatory bliss (as wine or beer or coffee can give me too).

Location

Madrid, Spain

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