458 Tasting Notes
I decided to try steeping this for two minutes first (I mean, I can always just put the teaball back IN), because I remember a few steepsters saying that assam teas can be very picky, and will turn bitter much faster than others. It was in for two, maybe two and a half minutes, and it already is fairly strong, surprisingly. A bit astringent, but not right out bitter. There’s a somewhat tangy, berry taste at the very back of the mouth when I sip it and let it sit for a moment.
I’m sure this could hold milk very well. I think I found my new morning tea! Except that I only got an ounce of this (just to try), so I’ll have to go back for more.
I can still taste it. Aftertaste. Very nice. Yeah, this really doesn’t need any more than two minutes.
This smells scrumptious. I got it while at the Urban Tea Merchant, and ended up leaving the teabag in there the whole time while I was drinking it. Which was for over an hour. And it didn’t once taste oversteeped. Magic!
It’s vanilla and “berries” (I didn’t know which fruits specifically until I returned home and checked their website), and you can definitely smell the fruit. The vanilla I couldn’t smell right away, but it’s sort of… hidden in there. A subtle sweetness. I couldn’t taste either at first, but the fruity taste started to come out after a while—a sort of aftertaste on the tip of the tongue, really. Very faint. Maybe this one just isn’t for me; I guess I’d need something stronger.
I actually kept the teabag and resteeped it once I got home, and the berry taste it just slightly more evident. Still no real vanilla flavour, though. Just a sort of touch of sweetness, really. I wonder how this would do in latte form; the Urban Tea Merchant offers those too, I just didn’t want to get a latte for my first time there, because I wanted to see how the teas would taste on their own first. I’m definitely going back there and trying teas until I find “Mine” and THEN I’ll spend thirty bucks on a tin. Maybe more.
The lady had actually run out of the bagged stuff, so she sent another employee off to fill one of those t-bags with the loose-leaf stuff. She said it was no trouble, although I said I could just have an Earl Grey instead.
It smelt pleasantly of vanilla (evident, but by no means strong; the smell of the actual black tea was much stronger), however I couldn’t taste it at all. At times I thought I did—just barely, at the tip of my tongue or something. But there was definitely a sort of vanillay mouth-feel. That somewhat creamy sensation I guess. Perhaps it should have been steeped at a lower temperature for longer. That may bring it out a bit more. But I’ll never know! Unless I buy some and play around with temperatures and steeping times.
I let it steep for around five and a half minutes, but I don’t really know how hot the water was when she poured it. The tea as a black was nice, but the lack of a vanilla taste was a bit disappointing.
I find when I sniff this tea, it makes me think of honey. I don’t think it REALLY smells like honey (maybe faintly), so I assume it’s just my mind going “this needs honey”.
That’s not to say that it actually NEEDS it. I’m still drinking it without, and I like it. It’s a basic morning breakfast tea. Wakes me up. Gently! And doesn’t require any additives; it’s only slightly sharp-tasting. It’s basic; I don’t love or hate it, and it goes good with morning foods. I’m drinking it bagged sadly, as no places in my area sell it loose leaf, that I know of.
I am under the impression that the image on the front of the tin is Jupiter with lips to replace it’s great red spot.
Oh, this has a wonderful smell, and a very dark, rich colour brewed. I can smell the black tea a bit more in this than in Hazo’s, which I like. Hmm, five minutes (I followed the label) might have been oversteeping it. It’s okay with a bit of honey though. I think I might like Hazo’s better, still, but it’s good. I nice earl grey. Nice tea flavour, with a bit of bergamot citrus smell/after taste.
Edit: Hmm, the second cup (but of the same pot!) is much better, somehow. Doesn’t taste oversteeped, and didn’t require any honey. Mmm.
However, on that note, this tea is fairly broken up, and my mesh tea ball is no match for it. I think I’d need something finer. Because I went to pour the rest of the pot, and a thick layer of tea-grit settled onto the bottom of my cup. More than usual.
The smell is VERY salty and smoky. Like campfire (or bacon). I allowed a few members of my family to take a smell, but non were very impressed (in fact, most were a little weirded out). I had to give up on my explanation that it’s meant to smell smokey because of how it’s made, and no it was NOT a Bacon Flavoured Tea (although I do plan on ordering that from 52 teas one day).
Once brewed, the smoky smell is lessoned, and slightly more tea-scented (slightly!). The colour is nice and dark, reddish.
TASTES smoky. A little too hot to tell, but the smoke does trail off into the aftertaste. It’s like drinking campfire. I think this is a Camping Tea. The sort of thing I would drink around the fire after a day of hiking, to replace hot chocolate. I thought this would be something that I would find too strong and would require milk with, but it’s not. I think milk would ruin the savoury flavour.
Continued: The second steep (6 minutes, no-longer-boiling water) was about as flavourful as the first. I’m sure I could have gotten one or two more steeps out of this, but I have to go to work, sadly.
I’ve never been very fond of green tea, but I got the Series 3 set because I love Earl Grey, I love smoky, bold teas, and I wanted a nice green tea for the days I’m in the mood for one (plus, that Damn Fine Teas patch is pretty rad).
The jasmine smell was very strong, but I don’t use jasmine-scented products, so my mind didn’t immediately jump to ‘jasmine soap’ or anything similar.
The jasmine carried over into the smell of the brewed tea, but not in the taste at all. Three minutes turned out perfectly, so the tea was very lightly vegetable tasting and almost sweet; quite mild (in the past I’ve made green tea too strong and I can’t stand that kind of taste). The colour was a pale green, although the drips coming off of the teaball as I removed it were a nice goldy yellow.
This morning, this is my Wake Up AJ, Wake Up And Finish Your Geomorphology Report. And sadly, it is not doing its job as well as I had hoped. I need an assam. Something stronger and biting. All I have is Irish Breakfast, however this was three bags in a large pot, and I only HAD… three bags of Irish Breakfast left, and I didn’t want to use them all up just like that.
I can hear the helicopters circling for the torch passing by my house today. I should pop out and see how close they’re heading by my house; I missed them the other day when they ran past my campus.
I hope this doesn’t effect me getting to class on time.
To start, the can smells VERY strongly of cloves and very little else. The tea leaves themselves are quite small, and you can see whole heads of clove and and little pods, and I swore I saw a few pepper seeds in there too.
Followed the label for brewing, but cut it in half because I didn’t really feel like four cups. The instructions are fairly typical for chai I suppose. Was easy enough to make.
Unsweetened, nice cafe colour, first sip… Very spicy! And milky. Perhaps I’ll cut back on the milk (the instructions ask a ratio of 1:1 water milk, and 1tbsp of chai). The spice is somewhat… tasteless. I can taste spice, but nothing in particular. I think I might add a bit of honey and see what that does, although I like it like this too. Luckily it doesn’t taste as it smells. Cloves and nothing else.
Sweetened it… mm, didn’t really bring out any individual flavours. Maybe a little, and now I’m just inexperienced in telling what I’m tasting. Still wonderfully spicy. Mmm. Yeah, I think I taste the cloves now a tad. Cinnamon too, maybe.
I can have trouble with spicy things, so this isn’t my FAVOURITE favourite and I doubt I’d be able to handle drinking it every day. But that’s fine, it’s great for occasions.
Christened my OTHER new teapot with this tea. Mostly because it has a big mesh strainer for me to pour directly from the stove pot into. This one’s quite big. Could probably hold over four cups, wow.
I’m christening my new teapot (my SECOND new teapot—a lovely gift from a friend! And here, I had gone out and purchased a new one not two days ago; but there was nothing I could have done, the teapot was already on its way from the US of A by the time I decided to go out and buy a new one to replace my old) with a pot of this, and I find that I just can’t seem to oversteep it. No bitterness, none! Lovely and mild, and nice with honey. This is probably my favourite tea that I have on-hand at the moment.
Of course, I’m still waiting for my Series 3 to come in… I expected them TODAY, but instead I came home to a new (to me anyways—it’s vintage!) teapot instead! So tomorrow, perhaps. I hope.
But now I’ve got three lovely teapots (and a fourth with a broken handle; I think I’ll fix it anyways with a bit of glue, but I’m sure it will be too fragile for use—sad, sad. It was a present from my late great grandmother). I think I’m on the verge of a full out teapot collection here.
The tea is nice and almost sweet, not bitter at all, although not strong, and the bergamot is just there in the taste (very strong in the smell of the leaves, less so in the smell of the tea). I’m just finishing off my second steep, which is practically no bergamot at all, leaving just a mild tea.
Four minutes first steep, six minutes second steep.