2635 Tasting Notes
SONNENTOR ADVENT DAY 24
Thank you, Martin, for the adventure of having 24 new teas this month that are not available here! It has been great fun!
I love all the little reminiscences on the wrappers – someone did a great job of capturing the spirit of Christmas with just a few lines of writing each day. And the art work is pretty, too.
I switched it up and did Sonnentor this morning and will do Fortnum this evening. Both are herbal, but I am more likely to be sharing a whole pot this evening. Ashman woke up with a migraine but we threw everything we had at it and he feels much better, but we didn’t have breakfast together.
This is, like the others, a somewhat generic herbal tea but this time the licorice root is much more noticeable. I like licorice root so that is okay! Next I taste the Ceylon cinnamon.
The base is not too strong, a mix of mostly lemon balm and apple, with marigold, which I don’t really taste. Surprising, because marigold flowers have a pungent aroma and you would think it would be forceful in tea.
A good cuppa as I take a break from cooking!
Thank you, Martin!
SONNENTOR ADVENT DAY 23
Oooooh, this one is really lavender forward and I like lavender! This is a wonderful tea for relaxing on the eve of Christmas Eve.
Most of the Sonnentor herbals taste very similar, with just or two standing out because of some special ingredient. The lavender sets this one apart. Lemon balm is the first ingredient listed but lavender is the first aroma and taste I perceive. It doesn’t really last as the aftertaste, though. That resembles pretty much all the other herbal blends.
Hopefully the parsley and fennel will help with my overindulgence of warm cheese spread on crackers tonight.
This may be horrific but I wanted a matcha latte so badly today and asked Ashman if he would like one, too. He rarely says “no” when I offer food and drink. This is the only matcha I have right now so even though it is the extra thick grade when culinary grade will do, I used it.
Good golly, it was refreshing. I have some stainless steel cups. Made a paste of matcha and cold water in a matcha bowl. Put that in a cup with sugar and milk and used an Aerolatte to froth it. So dang delicious. Now I am out of matcha oh no I hope there is some in my stocking. (There will be. I ordered it myself. I mean, I was buying some for Superanna so how could I not? Heehee.)
Smooth, sweet, green, fresh, frothy. I think this is my favorite matcha, although D25 from Matcha Outlet is very good, too. The Harney grade just below this one is also great, and a good price for the quality.
SONNENTOR ADVENT DAY 22
Hmm, I think this is one of my favorites from this advent!
Schutz means protect and Engel means angel. So Schutzengel means Guardian Angel. Lots of good herbs and spices here – coriander, fennel, spearmint, anise, and lemon balm, as well as apple, rosehips, and cornflower. Most of these are good for the tummy, I think.
First sip was so round and sweet I thought it had licorice root but there is none. I guess the apple is just that sweet. It steeps up a goldy-brown and really isn’t too tart or overpoweringly minty. It is a little drying but not puckery as too much rose hip can be. The more I drink the more earthy it tastes.
Mild cup and very chill.
FORTNUM & MASON ADVENT DAY 22
A repeat! I had this one just a few days ago. I think I would have skipped it entirely but today was tea party Christmas celebration, so i figured I would make a pot for that.
I picked out all the clove I could see in hopes that by diminishing the clove (which was not too strong anyway) I would taste the elusive chocolate. The tea was okay, but hard as I concentrated, I still didn’t really find chocolate. Maybe if I thought about chocolate really hard I could get a whisper of it, but it was beyond subtle.
At least the citrus is really nice here, and it doesn’t bite like a lot of cinnamon/orange/clove Christmas teas do!
SONNENTOR ADVENT DAY 21
This is one of their “Wieder Gut!” teas, an herbal remedy for what ails you. I suppose tummy troubles like indigestion are likely around this time of office parties, family dinners, and seasonal sweets.
The taste is quite mild, maybe a good thing if your tummy is suffering. They describe it as spicy floral but other than very soft spearmint and a hint of Greek Mountain tea, I didn’t find it spicy. One would expect the heat of ginger in a tummy tea. None here. Even the marigold is mild.
I didn’t have a tummy ache, so I don’t know how good this would be at soothing one, but it is a pleasant, easy to drink no caffeine cup for bedtime!
FORTNUM & MASON ADVENT DAY 21
The first Earl Grey teas went okay, even though I am not a huge fan of bergamot. I like it well enough on a Chinese black tea base, preferably Keemun, which is why the first one went well. I really do like smoky tea so the Smoky Earl Grey was my favorite of the Earl Greys in this collection. The Green Earl Grey was okay. The bergamot wasn’t too strong,
It seems this one has a little more bergamot. I wish they had left out the licorice root, not because I don’t like it but because of the affect on blood pressure. I actually like the taste and mouthfeel of licorice root. But why honey flavor AND licorice root? It is the second ingredient listed on their site at 6% of the blend. But I really am not tasting it, I suppose because the bergamot is so strong.
Overall, it isn’t a bad Earl Grey. It has lavender, which I like. As I said, I can’t taste the licorice root and I really don’t detect the honey, but I had this was a lemon biscotti so maybe all the citrus overwhelmed those flavors.
I think most Earl Grey lovers would like this a lot. It is a gloomy morning with rain on the way and I am breakfasting alone, which I like. But Earl Grey goes best with tea parties, laughter, and a well lit afternoon tea table for me. In that context, I would probably enjoy it more.
SONNENTOR ADVENT DAY 20
This is the first one that really turned red! I have been leaving the bag in on all the herbal blends.
Even so, it is not too tart for me and I am glad this is the first tisane in this advent that really has this profile. I get mostly hibiscus and very little spice, to be honest. It is an easy bedtime cup but nothing to write home about – if you have had a mild hibiscus tea, you can imagine this one.
FORTNUM & MASON ADVENT DAY 20
I had to add this one to the database, and it does not show up on the F&M website, so I am guessing this is exclusive to the advent calendar.
This smells super sweet dry! The leading aroma dry and steeped is anise. Tastewise, I get the spices which (hooray!) does not include clove, the mouthfeel of the licorice root, the thick sweetness of coconut, and a little warmth (very nice) from the pink peppercorns. This has been one of the more complex of the teas in the advent.
Ashman enjoyed it and his first comment was that he smelled a lot of anise. God bless the man at work who brought him lumpia today, because it meant I didn’t have to cook lunch (Ashman has a half day) and also went really great with this tea!
Cameron: do you or your friend who has this advent ever have trouble getting some of the tins out? I have small hands and some days I still struggle to wiggle these tins out of there! They catch on the bottom lip, and if I lift they hit the top lip. Either the tins or the box need a redesign for next year! I vote the tins, so those of us who already have the box can buy the refills!
I remember a store (Macy’s?) many years ago that used to do one incredibly extravagant gift per year for the mega millionaires who had everything. I remember they sold a tabletop mouse ranch one year with sterling silver round up tweezers. As I wrestled with this tin, I thought, “those tweezers could come in handy for wrangling these tins out their slot.”