191 Tasting Notes
So, who had lots of fun at their NYE party last night? You guessed it. And now I have a mild hangover as a result. Nothing too terrible, mostly a bit of stomach blah, but definitely not something I wanted my normal morning black tea on. I was casting about, trying to decide what to have, and I remembered that Some Velvet Morning was somewhat of an after-party sort of tea. So here were are, together again. It actually is perfect for this morning, unassuming and gentle. I taste the citrus, and don’t have any idea what shizandra berries are supposed to taste like, so I don’t know if I’m tasting them or not. My stomach is thanking me for not subjecting it to Captain Assam. I’m glad David’s sent me this by mistake, I don’t think I’d have tried it otherwise.
Happy New Year’s Eve, Steepsterites! I hope everyone has something just right for them to do tonight, whether it is a party, or curling up quietly with a cup of tea at home! This is my last tea of 2011, something sweet and shiny to ring in the new year. A little early, but you get what I mean.
I received a very generous sample of this (among other samples of delicious, delicious tea) from Aisling of tea. Wow. I love this tea. Its going in my very next order, for sure. The dry mix smells exactly like icing. I love icing. Even on crappy cake. I love the pure exquisite sugar rush and tooth-achingly sweet taste of icing. I knew this tea had to be right up my alley.
The brewed tea smelled more of chamomile than of icing, I noticed immediately when I poured the brewed tea. It also looks like chamomile, with that lovely yellow color. When I first tasted it, I was disappointed not to find it sweet. I was sure that evoking something like icing, I’d have to be able to pick up a trace of sweetness. Especially after the scent of the dry tea. Nope. Not really. But wait, not all is lost. I got chamomile, and a bit of mango, though it was more generic fruity rather than screaming “mango!”, and I got creamy and buttery, which I suspect is the white tea.
It works, people! My palate works! I actually could identify individual flavor elements! You have no idea how happy this makes me! I’m actually pretty sure I’m at the opposite end of the taste abililty spectrum from a supertaster. So to actually have a tea that I can identify flavors in? Is amazing. I’m in love.
It has been a long time since I’ve brewed an Earl Grey. It was one of the teas that kept me attached to teas, back in the day of the occasional cup of bagged tea. I always loved Earl Grey. Even in a crappy tea bag. I had to wait until just the right time to open this tea. Waiting until it called to me, instead of grabbing it in one of my “whatever” sort of moods.
I must admit, I was a bit worried when I smelled the dry tea. The bergamot was strong—almost overpowering. I’d forgotten that smell. Actually, given that I’d only had bagged EG before, I’d probably never really gotten the pure, potent, punch of the bergamot before. It reminded me of David’s Tea Countess of Seville, which I wasn’t a fan of, with that strong citrusy scent.
I was wrong to be worried. This tea is delightful! The bergamot isn’t overpowering, but definitely present. Vaguely citrusy. It pairs well with the tea base, which is smooth and not bitter even after a five minute steep (what? I know, amazing, right?). It doesn’t have a lot of body, it feels kind of thin, but not in a bad way. It feels exactly the way it should. The entire tea just tastes right.
I can’t believe there are no tasting notes yet for this tea. Mine is #50/150—c’mon people! How do I know what I’m supposed to taste if no one is on Steepster telling me what it is I’m supposed to be tasting? So selfish :)
I suspect this has Ceylon as a major component. It definitely doesn’t seem like Assam or Keemun, from my limited experience with them. Or maybe some darjeeling. It has a bit of astringency to it at the end of the sip that reminds me of Darjeeling, and it seems more like an afternoon blend of tea (whereas their Holiday blend strikes me more as a morning blend). Maybe this a Yunnan base? I’ve only ever had one cup of Yunnan, a while ago, so I’m not as familiar with it. Now, really, I’m just pulling things out of the air.
Definitely an afternoon tea. It is a more delicate black, it isn’t as robust, though still somewhat lively. I like it! Not quite as much as I like some other Andrews & Dunham teas, but it is still quite tasty. I’ll try resteeping the leaves a bit later to see if there is anything left in them.
I’m tempted to start this review with “O Captain! My Captain!” But lets face it, in the poem the captain is dead, and that just doesn’t feel right for such a robust and lively Captain, now does it?
This is a lovely tea. Can Andrews and Dunham do wrong? I’m beginning to think not. Captain Assam is bold, smooth, and rich, but not overly strong, if you know what I mean. A bit of an astringency, but nothing off-putting. Tannic, as another reviewer said. I don’t think it is as malty as the Assam Banaspaty from David’s Tea that I’ve had previously and also loved. What a smart cookie my husband is, getting me all that Andrews and Dunham had to offer this Christmas. I do believe, until it is gone, this is going to be my new morning tea.