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Recent Tasting Notes
Earlier in the week I had a cup of this that was, if not enjoyable, at least not terrible. That was a fluke, apparently, as I drank this blend yesterday and it made me feel well.
I used to think all breakfast blends would make me feel a little billious, but this is apparently not true. I feel a bit ill when it’s a bad breakfast blend.
I’m going to have to consider weather I want it to stay in my cupboard or if it will be the rare throwing out.
This tin has been sitting, completely untasted, for a long time. So, into the work bag it goes, where I expect to drink it down over the coming weeks at work.
And I feel that it’s going to be difficult, as my first cup was not very good. It was bitter, heavy, and unpleasant.
I will try a very delicate steep next time, and see if that helps, but I’m not much impressed with it, on first go.
From the Varieteas box. I didn’t know Wedgwood made tea, so that’s something I’ve learned this week. I suppose they make nice crockery, so why not the tea to complement it? This one claims to be a blend of orange peel, peppermint, lemon, and ginger – perfect, apparently, for drinking after an evening meal.
I definitely can’t taste mint – not even barely. It’s a struggle to taste lemon, ginger, or even orange either. What I can taste is liquorice root, and an underlying earthiness that reminds me of guayusa. There’s maybe a slight citrus pithiness, but nothing more than that.
Really not a fan of this one.
I’m really enjoying this tea. I seem to get the brewing wrong with a lot of breakfast teas, but every time, this tea seems to be good. I drink it with a small amount of milk and like lots of colour in it, but not so much that it turns an orange colour. Some black teas with whole leaves never quite get the strength you’d like, whereas others are prone to getting too strong too quickly, like a PG Tips teabag. This gets the balance, and I don’t end up with too much dust in the bottom of my cup, even with a cup infuser.
I still prefer the rounded flavour of an Irish Breakfast over an English Breakfast, but this isn’t far off.
Edit The amount of tea information below is showing 1 tsp per cup, but I actually use 1.5. I haven’t tried it with less than that, so I don’t know whether it would be right…
Mastress Alita’s Monthly Sipdown Challenge
April 2022 → A tea paired to a book
I’m pairing today’s tea with An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, part of her Outlander series.
It’s the seventh book, so I won’t say much for those who might want to read the series at some point. I’ll only say that the chapter I’m currently reading takes place in September 1777 in Sarasota, New York. I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw this prompt and realized I had a tea that fit perfectly with my current read.
This tea is neither great nor awful. It just is. Nothing special about it. It’s not memorable but it’s drinkable. I used two teaspoons today since past notes mention it being too light. It did come out a bit bitter, but I’m sure it’s because I overleafed or oversteeped. I’m not even sure this tea is still available for purchase. I found it at a TJ Maxx, I believe, several years back. It’s not something I’d purchase again, either way.
Flavors: Drying, Malt
Nice match and tea seems pretty basic, but it is probably what they were drinking in 1777. Apparently, we have this series in libraly, so I may borrow it one day (probably at first after finishing The Saxon Stories).
Yes, this turned out to be quite the coincidence! I saw the prompt and knew I was in the late 1770s in my book but I couldn’t remember the exact year because it jumps around a bit. It was a nice surprise!
Martin, it’s a great series! I think it’s marketed as a romance, but to me it feels more like a good historical fiction. I mean, it’s both but I like the history aspect of it most. And yes, this tea was quite basic. How interesting it would be to get a taste of what they were drinking back then! Doesn’t Oliver Pluff & Co. market their teas as reminiscent of early American blends? I haven’t tried them but I’ve always wanted to.
Yes on the Oliver Pluff historical angle. I can vouch for the quality of their Congou black and Singlo green teas.
Upton makes a Griffin’s Wharf blend with congou and lapsang. I recommend it more than the old south meeting house blend which is a bit harsh.
I agree on Oliver Pluff. A local eclectic shop sells lots of their blends, and Colonial Williamsburg may still carry them. That is where Superanna bought mine.
I was excited about this one after I opened the tin and caught the aroma. It’s so bold and I was hoping for something bold today. Past notes suggest that this one tends to be hit or miss and today it was a miss for me unfortunately. The flavor didn’t match the dry tea or the scent while brewing. It fell a little flat for me. I’ll continue to play around with the steep time and temp. I have plenty left so enough to play around with.
I was worried since I steeped this so long that it would be unbearably strong but it’s actually really nice. I’m going to try to squeeze a second cup from this.
8 ounces water + 205 degrees + 21 minutes
I haven’t even started my second cup of this yet and all of a sudden the caffeine from the first cup has hit me full force!
I’m a little disappointed with this one. The dry leaf smelled wonderful, like juicy fruits, but the resulting brew is very light on flavor. I’m not really sure what happened.
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 10 minutes
The color is darker with this cup and the flavor is much better, though slightly astringent.
Flavors: Astringent, Fruity
I picked this tea out last night to bring to work and I’m glad I did. It’s really great for breakfast.
Side note: I just bought a new Moleskin calendar and I’m in love! I want one of everything they have, I swear.
8 ounces water + 200 degrees + 11 minutes
It’s good this second time around but still a little light.
I drank my first cup of this so fast that I didn’t really stop to take notes. I’m about to do a second cup so I will try to pay more attention. I can say that the tea liquid was dark but not too bold or too sweet. I caught the scent of tobacco from the leaves after steeping. It doesn’t seem as well-rounded as other black teas I’ve had, but it was obviously good since I drank it so quickly. I’ve been drinking a lot of herbals lately so it’s nice to be able to come back to something with some body to it.
8 ounces water + 195 degrees + 7 minutes
The color of the liquid is red and looks just as the first cup did. It isn’t deep-colored but more bright. The taste hasn’t weakened at all with the second cup. The caffeine content certainly hasn’t decreased either. Wow.
I find that my Yunnan red tea has a tobacco scent when dry and a sweet-tobacco undertone in taste. The color is a bright red. Do you usually get two steeps from this tea, and have you achieved more?
Have you had a non-flavored tea from Sri Lanka?
This is my first time to try this particular tea. The second cup was quite flavorful so I’m sure I could have gotten more steeps out of it, but time got away from me and I never got around to making a third cup.
I drink mostly flavored teas so I’m not sure that I’ve tried anything from Sri Lanka aside from this. At least, if I trust the description, I think that’s where this tea is from. I’m not familiar enough with tea yet to be able to distinguish between the different varieties or tea growing regions, but I’ve been wanting to buy several types of black teas so that I can start learning the differences between them. Are there any varieties you would recommend for someone starting out with non-flavored black teas?
Red teas from Yunnan are sweet and more delicate than other red teas. I would recommend one of those, if you’re looking for un-flavored tea that holds it’s own, besides pu-erh. The leaves range from black and brown, to brown and yellow and gold. They are made of buds and leaves.
Overall this is an okay tea.
This tea is very fine (pieces) tea; it is fairly strong and has a mild strawberry taste; so mild that I wouldn’t have noticed it if i didn’t read the label and were not looking for it.
I prefer smoother teas so I am bit biased since this seems to be a ‘harsher’ tea.