139 Tasting Notes
GCTTB DAY 6
Wow, I am staying waaaaay past my bedtime literally planning out my cups of tea – how many, at what time of day, which teas, what order – and going through and eliminating all the teas I won’t have time to try. I just realized I hadn’t written tasting notes for two teas I drank yesterday when I stayed home from work…. I mean Monday. It’s Wednesday now. -_-Ugh, someone please hit the pause button. I need more days in the week.
I remember this was a rather strange oolong. It kind of did smell and taste vaguely like milk, which I just found too weird to be tasting in herbally infused water. It wasn’t bad per se, but the oolong didn’t have the traditional deep earthy woodsiness to it that I was expecting. The favours seemed to be on one level of depth, with the scent of milk. Interesting, but not for me.
GCTTB DAY 6
You know you have a problem when you are planning out your teas for the next two days because there are so many teas to try and so little time. I’ve only been sampling teas a teaspoon at a time, but there are just so many that I had to go through the remaining ones I haven’t tried yet and yay or nay it based on how much I wanted to try it before I leave for Slovakia. Now I still have too many… I’m gonna have to up my daily tea intake for the next two days, I think.
This one was alright. The berry aroma seemed a little artificial and cloyingly sweet to me, but thankfully it was mild enough that I didn’t mind it too much. The tea was light and pleasant, but nothing that impressed me too much. I haven’t had much luck with white teas so far that I’m starting to think I don’t know how to properly appreciate their flavour. Maybe I just haven’t tried very good ones so far.
GCTTB DAY 6
Back to sampling GCTTB teas this afternoon. This is one I had brought with me to work, and it is just lovely! It reminds me of Harney and Sons’ Florence tea, à la oolong. Hazelnut and vanilla are dominant flavour notes, smoothly mixing with the familiar slightly earthy oolong tea base. Well-balanced and smooth tea – delicious! Another keeper. :)
Second of the two earl greys I’m comparing today. This one I’m sure I’ve had before in my Starbucks days, I just hadn’t drank it since I joined Steepster I suppose. It’s very similar to Teavana’s earl grey tea, which replaced the Tazo version once SBUX bought Teavana and merged their product.
It’s too astrignent for me. I only steeped it for about a minute and already it’s rather bitter and drying, with a heavy hand of bergamont. It came in a teabag of a pale green colour – wasn’t sure what to make of this. Recycled paper? Old? Expiry date said July 2017 so it must have been just the type of paper they used.
Overall, I much preferred the Twinings Earl Grey I had this morning. It was definitely a lot smoother, not bitter or astringent, and had a more varied flavour profile with the citrus, lemon, and bergamont notes.
Taking a break from GCTTB teas this morning, as my boss has asked me to taste test two earl grey teas he recently purchased to see which one I like better/deem higher quality. I was flattered that I am seen as the tea expert in the office, but I have so many other teas to taste in a limited time that it couldn’t have been worse timing! But, I am intrigued with the challenge, so here it goes.
I had this one when I came into work this morning. I must say, I really like the design of the box. It’s really quite lovely and definitely a different standard than the regular Twinings packages. I assume this one is the more expensive tea I am comparing (the other will be Tazo Earl Grey). A past reviewer mentioned that the flavour profile is something in between Twinings Lady Earl Grey and regular Earl Grey, which is a pretty accurate description. Although, I would say that in addition to that, the black tea base definitely has more body and flavour to it, with a hint of smokiness that almost makes me think they used keemun in this blend, though a mild variety. The tea was definitely taking cues from Lady Grey with its citrusy lemon notes, and only a mild aroma of bergamont. Overall I quite enjoyed it, I was just a little put off by the strong black tea base which I wasn’t expecting.
GCTTB DAY 5
Drinking this right before bed, which I don’t normally do, especially considering it’s nearing 11pm, as I know I will have to pee at an obscenely early time in the morning. I needed something to help me relax though, as I am leaving for Slovakia this Saturday and I have an insanely busy week right up until I leave. It has me feeling a tad overwhelmed and definitely more than stressed.
I am enjoying this. It’s a fairly simple blend, with the familiar taste of fresh peppermint and sweet chamomile. I didn’t realize there was any Rooibos in this until I read the description. I don’t seem to taste anything woodsy, but I did assume one of the ingredients was lemongrass, which apparently isn’t. Oh well, it’s a decent bedtime tea. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of peppermint so I can’t love it, but it was mild enough in my brew that I’m enjoying a nice warm cup of this soothing tea to help me relax.
GCTTB DAY 5
Another tasty tea I brought with me to work today. I brewed this in the afternoon after my lunch break. Honestly, I had a lot of onions in my lunch and I think it might have messed with my tasting of the tea (onion breath, eugh) but I was still able to enjoy it.
I remember smelling a tin of this at Bed Bath and Beyond a few times, but they never seemed to have this one in stock! It was the only one of their Tea Squared products that I was interested in purchasing, too. So I’m really happy I had the chance to try it now.
The green tea base was quite nice – smooth and very slightly vegetal, none of that weird fishiness or seaweed taste. Honestly this tea smells so good, but it lacks a little bit of that greatness in the flavour. It is still pretty enjoyable, but loses “wow power” in the flavour profile. The aroma is dominated by the sweet candied mango note, and it smells absolutely delicious. It gets a little lost in the actual tea, but still comes through in a more mellow tone. I quite liked this tropical, fruity green tea blend. I remember thinking if one of the ingredients was kombucha, because the blend produced an overall flavour that tasted like there might have been some kombucha added to this. Not that I’m complaining, I think it would make a great addition here. Nonetheless, I was pretty impressed.
GCTTB DAY 5
Drank this one for my morning tea at work today. The heat is actually working! Apparently it was broken again early morning, but seemed to be a quick fix today. At least it was warm by the time I got in, thankfully!
This tea was a delightful surprise. Bold and smooth black tea base with a fragrant sweet raspberry note. There was a very slight herbal aroma/flavour that seemed quite familiar to me but I couldn’t put a finger on it. Not that it was bad, I really enjoyed it – I just couldn’t think of what it reminded me of. I couldn’t detect too much of the rosehips, the raspberries were the dominant aroma and flavour; however, the tea did a have a certain fresh fruitiness mixed in with the sweet creaminess of the raspberries that I really enjoyed. I think I found another keeper. :) I’ve tried two Basilur teas so far and loved both! It seems to be that I like the way certain companies blend and produce their teas. I’ve discovered I have a certain dislike for Mighty Leaf Teas, because for whatever reason none of their teas I’ve tried have really meshed with my personal tastes. So it’s refreshing to discover new companies that I really like for possible future shopping options!
GCTTB DAY 4
Been eyeing this one for a few days and finally mustered up the courage to give it a shot. Not because I’m afraid of the flavour, but because I’ve read that silver needle tea is notoriously finicky and fragile in terms of brewing parameters, and since I normally just eyeball and guesstimate things I was a little apprehensive about messing it up. However, it actually turned out okay. I don’t have a variable kettle so I baby sat the water as it heated with the top open and my face pretty much stuck in there in place of a thermometer. I turned it off as it was just getting hot, which is assume is around the right temperature. Steeped a teaspoon for about two minutes.
Not too sure what I think of this one. On the one hand it’s my first time tasting silver needle white tea (albeit flavoured), but in all honesty it just tastes like a rather weaker green tea to me. It has a slightly fishy/seaweedy taste to it that is offputting, but the familiar jasmine note is there. I wasn’t very impressed with this one. Maybe I went in with too high expectations? Silver needle tea was also one of those “expensive rare teas” that I always dreamt about trying but never had the chance to. Never meet your heroes, eh?
Just kidding, it just wasn’t my type of tea. I much rather just prefer my Jasmine Gold Dragon tea from Tea Time which has the most similar flavour profile to this one.
Random note: the wet leaf reminded me of edemame.
GCTTB DAY 4
Whooot, the boiler at my office is broken (meaning it’s freezing in the office) so I get to stay home today! Such an exciting turn of events. :D That means I have time to try more teas today!
So I had to try some from the famed and fancy Fauchon teas. I think this is the only one I saw in there, so I brewed a cup this morning as soon as I heard the news that I get to stay in. I wasn’t sure what was in it but it looked like flavoured black tea so I steeped it with boiling water for about two and a half minutes. I didn’t get any of the peach that is supposedly in there, but definitely tasted the thyme. The black tea was a bit tannic and left my mouth feeling dry but overall it was just alright. A bit more one-dimensional than I was expecting.