191 Tasting Notes
I’m not a smoky tea fan. I haven’t had a lot, and my first experience with a smoky tea was a very strong Lapsang Souchong with my grandmother. I still remember the scent, and the horror, to this day. It was with trepidation that I approached Caravan. This is the first of my Christmas teas to be opened, and I decided I should have it first—a sort of “suck it up, buttercup” moment.
On opening the tin I was assailed by the strong smoky aroma of the lapsang souchong in it. Not just smoky, but meat-smoky. Like smoked bacon. I don’t eat bacon. It isn’t my favorite smell. I had my doubts, given how overwhelmingly smoky the tea smelled. But I soldiered on, undeterred. On pouring the cup, I had my doubts again. The smoky smell was still readily apparent, if not as in-your-face as in the dry mix.
The taste? Lightly smoky, not nearly what I was expecting. Not quite as smooth as others have commented, it seemed a bit harsh, but the harshness fit the tea. It isn’t my favorite Andrews and Dunham, but it isn’t bad. I’m definitely going to have more, and I’m on my way now to have a second steep. I just have to get over the smoked bacon smell.
Since I had the David’s Teas 24 Days of Tea, I decided to drink my 52Teas 12 teas of Christmas during the traditional 12 days of Christmas. And I started a day late. Oops. Yesterday was rough, with having to be at work at 7 a.m. And then after I got home, I didn’t want to have a caffeinated tea to get in the way of sleep later. So I decided to hold off until today.
Ninavampi said it best, without additions, Milk and Cookies tastes like a vaguely chocolately generic black tea, slightly harsh. I want to like it, I want it to be out of this world and cookie-like, but I dislike sweetened tea. In any form. With any amount of sugar. So I just can’t go there. My mental block is too strong. But to get the best out of many of their teas, you have to have milk and/or sugar. So after my brief crush on them, here I am. It smells delicious though. At least I have that.
This is the Christmas tea (of the morning and early afternoon). I gave in and bought a couple ounces of this about two weeks ago, and have refrained from having any because the time just didn’t seem right. Today, apparently, at 5:30 a.m. was the right time. This tea is as delicious as I remember it being. Earthy, a bit smoky, and a bit of a yeasty/bake-y thing going on. It is wonderful. It is even good on the resteep.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it! If you don’t, have a marvelous tea-drinking day!
I actually thought David’s Tea had screwed up again (they had two day 8’s on my calendar), the color threw me, and it smelled almost exactly like I remembered Forever Nuts smelling. Once I brewed it and saw the crazy pink color I came immediately to Steepster to see if it had beetroot in it.
And, it does indeed appear to be Sleigh Ride. It tastes like apple cider, with a strong coconut smell. It is delicious indeed. I still think I taste beet though. I appreciate the color, I just cannot get it out of my head that it contains beets. It is totally psychological, I know I don’t really taste beets. Knowledge sucks sometimes. But this tea does not (even if I taste beets).
ETA: And there is the hibiscus! Now that it is cooling off the hibiscus is becoming dominant. I can see why people aren’t a fan of hibiscus. It really does take center stage. Show off.
I thought I was going to be over the moon in love with this tea, based on the smell and the name. I LOVE creme brulee. With great big hearty hearts. So I was disappointed when I tried this one. It didn’t remind me of creme brulee at all. I got the mild taste of the green rooibos, and a bit of creaminess, but not what I was expecting. Oh well. Can’t win them all. I’m still glad I got to try it.
I’m coming to the end of my DT’s 24 days of Christmas, and that makes me sad. Today’s offering was David’s Organic Breakfast. I could definitely taste the Keemun in it, it reminded me of the Teavana Keemun that I’d had before (which is the only reason I could identify the keemun). That was the dominant flavor note I could identify, I didn’t really get much darjeeling, as there wasn’t much astringency (I associate a mild astringency with darjeeling. I’m not sure if that is accurate. But anyway,). Overall it was a lovely black, smooth and full, with a nice mouth-feel, not too heavy, but not too thin. I got a couple of steeps out of it as well, and the second was almost as good as the first. I’ll definitely consider putting this one into a breakfast rotation should I order again from David’s Tea.
It has been a long time since I’ve had chai. And the last chai I had was one of those bagged ones that you really have to have with milk to make it drinkable. So it was with some skepticism that I approached this one, given that I’m not a milk fan, nor, based on previous experience, much of a chai person.
This is much better than I expected. For some reason I expected more of a chocolate flavor, I think I had it mixed up with the chocolate chili chai tea that I have a sample of. Anyway, the peppercorns give it a bit of a bite, while the other spices are all in harmony. None of them are overwhelming the others. I get a bit of coconut, but mostly in the aroma of the brewed tea. And cinnamon! I definitely get the cinnamon. I think part of the bite that I get from this tea also comes from the ginger. A nicely done blend, this would be perfect for cold nights, curled up with a blanket and a book or my knitting. Unfortunately, we don’t get many cold evenings, so I’ll have to suffer through warm evenings with this tea to make me imagine it is cold. Definitely going on my to-buy list!
I’m on my last cup of this tea. I have this weird tendency to drink the teas I like least first, even though I have teas I like better. I think it is because even though I know better, that I don’t have to drink them, they are in my cupboard taking up room and making me feel guilty for wanting something else. And it isn’t like I really despise the ones I don’t like, I just have other preferences. So I drink the ones I like less first so they are gone faster.
This tea has been in the “like less drink first” category, along with a plain old CS Chamomile, so they have been my most consistent nightly beverages of choice. And I won’t particularly miss this one. It might be because the tea may be a bit old, but I never really tasted honey or vanilla. I got lots of chamomile, but none of the other flavors. So I’ll bid a rather uninterested adieu to this one, glad to have one fewer box in the tea cupboard.