14804 Tasting Notes
Had this one last night!
This is from Magic Hour’s Wanderlust Collection which, if you’re unfamiliar, is a monthly release of a different globally inspired tea. I’m obsessed with the concept, and the profiles they’ve come up with (and the accompanying artwork) is just so standout.
This one is essentially a bit of a souped-up take on a Moroccan Mint, which is pretty fun. I love when people make riffs on what are typically really established, classic tea profiles. Overall, I enjoyed the cup. It’s tough for me to say that I loved it though. Not because it wasn’t good quality – it was. The balance of the different types of mint with the spices was quite well executed – you even still get some of the green tea base, which is challenging to convey when working with so many aggressive and boldly flavoured ingredients. The spearmint was my favourite part, and something about the spearmint with the cinnamon and nutmeg was especially appealing to me – it was cooling yet cozy and very fresh. As a whole, the tea does make me think of DT’s North African Mint blend. The spearmint branches it off, though.
It’s just that, composition-wise, this is just one of those flavour profiles/styles of teas that isn’t really in my preferred wheelhouse. Even with my scary stash of 2000+ teas, herbaceous spiced/mint type profiles are pretty underrepresented. I don’t reach for them often. Not compared to fruits, decadent profiles, straight teas, or even “pure mints”. However, I can see this blend working for a lot of people. My slight ambivalence is purely a reflection on my own tastes, and not commentary on the blend itself.
I recently placed a very large order with Magic Hour which arrived on Thursday, so I’ve been having fun diving into all the different teas! It’s quite expensive to order from them here in Canada – not just because the tea is very expensive, but the international shipping is absurd. Also I got hit with some gnarly import fees this time, so that especially sucks. Still, the different tea concepts (and the packaging) are so cool that I needed to try them anyway…
Honestly, of the teas I ordered, this is one of the least “exciting” from a concept perspective to me. I’ve just tried a lot of versions of this profile. It’s from their Cosmic Garden Iced Tea collection from this past summer, and the collection as a whole looks pretty sick so I just got the sampler which included almost all the teas. I wish I’d caught that it was missing the Strawberry Shortcake, Peach Vanilla, and Mango Jasmine blends because I would have added sample bags of all of them too – but too late now. And, since the shipping is so batshit, by the time they have enough new teas for me to justify an order the three I missed on will probably be gone. Whomp whomp.
Anyway, I started with this one because even if I didn’t find it exciting I figured it would probably be pretty safe and enjoyable. Also, I made it in the afternoon after a morning spent practically running around the office across different meetings/tastings. I needed to hydrate and cool down – fast.
Honestly, I was REALLY pleasantly surprised by this blend! I’d say that pretty much every watermelon mint tea I’ve had is mostly melon and just a bit of mint. Like 70-80% melon. I found this tea to be the reverse, which immediately made it more interesting. to me. I don’t know that this is the balance of flavours that most people would want but I just found the intense menthol and peppermint flavour exhilarating and it immediately provided that hit of cooling refreshment I had been looking for. The finish was where most of the watermelon was packed in – very much like a watermelon juice. I felt like the intensity of the mint really made the watermelon pop and those flavours seem quite a bit more sweet and saturated even though they’re a much smaller part of the overall sip. Just a little bit of a slight acidity/tartness (hibiscus?) too.
Anyway, loved this.
Drank this one yesterday while working from home. I ended up getting called into a meeting that lasted longer than expected, and I totally forgot the tea was steeping so this cuppa got a very, very generous two hour steep. By the time I got to it I was worried it would be a cup of foul bitterness, but it was actually still drinkable. I mean, yeah, it was bitter. However, not nearly as much as I’d have expected a greener oolong like this to get. The floral, juicy lychee notes still came through too!
(Also, it was obviously totally cold.)
…So, that’s promising! Can’t wait to try this again when it’s actually well steeped.
I’ve wanted to try this flavour from Lao for a while, so I was excited to see it now offered at my local grocery store. I do love blueberry teas so that was a big part of why it interested me, but the biggest part is the fact it’s made using one of Camellia Sinensis’ shou pu’erhs as the base. Honestly, it’s incredible. For a kombucha it’s really smooth with that kind o heavy, “bass-y” earthiness that creates this super grounded, easy drinking foundation for such a fresh, realistic blueberry note. For a kombucha, the tartness/acidity is very minimal (not non-present, though) and it’s just so rich, lush and chuggable. Like, for a kombucha to have notes of petrichor is kind of mind blowing to me.
I don’t think it beats out Lao’s white tea kombucha that they make, but it’s close!
Sipped on this earlier in the week.
I was experiencing a really specific craving for Maple Walnut Ice Cream and though I couldn’t find something in my stash with that exact flavour profile I did have this tea, which captures a lot of those vibes. Lighter bodied, with a slight grassiness from the green tea and a touch of nuttiness from the rooibos that leans in well to the delicate but very well defined notes of walnut. It’s sweet, nutty and wicked smooth with a maple adjacent undertone that is pretty close to the ice cream I was wanting. Just needed the creamy custard notes. Still, really enjoyed this!
I was looking through my tea stash this afternoon for a pu’erh to continue my “Oops, All Shou” challenge from the week, and this one stopped me in my tracks. It’s honestly sooo hard to believe this tea is nearly twenty years old! Like, wow, 2004 was two decades ago. This tea could potentially be older than my youngest sibling who was born in the same year. Wild. So wild.
It’s so delicious though! I don’t have a lot of the sample left, so I’m brewing stacked infusions with one of my smaller gaiwans just to try and get the most out of it. So velvety smooth, with a deep earthy and camphorous quality that hits you in the back of the chest. It has notes of molasses/brown sugar, oat milk and malted grains, decaying wood, and clove. This is from way, way back in BLT’s first year as a company. From those who maybe don’t remember, at that time every tea was named after an animal. All the animal names generally matched some quality of the tea pretty perfectly, but this one is truly deserving of its namesake crown. I can picture exactly the forest this majestic, ominous Moose would rule over when I drink this ripe pu’erh. It’s spot on…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVEEwxm6ULI
Continuing my shou pu’erh streak. This ripe pu’erh has settled a lot since first being released, though it still has some of its brisk bite. I’m loving the juxtaposition of florals and heavier earthy notes. It’s a little bit like someone pulled up a fistful of tulips from a rain soaked garden, and all of their roots are still caked with potting soil!
As an aside, I got a new phone this week. I’m still getting used to the camera, but it seems like an improvement!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijrFhD24TM0
Oops, all shou!! I noticed this morning that I’ve had three ripe pu’erh sessions in a row, so I decided to make a challenge out of it and go for a whole week of shou. So, with that in mind, I pulled out my sample of Rain Butter to start the day with! The name was definitely extra fitting since it rained quite heavily all throughout the day.
This was my first time making this tea, and I think I went into the tea session expecting the tasting notes to be quite literally inspired by the name. Though there was a buttery quality to the slick mouthfeel, I didn’t quite get any flavours that made me think of rain. That’s not to say it wasn’t a very delicious tea, though!! It was very savory. I felt with some steeps in particular that I was drinking a rather hearty broth. I’m allergic to mushrooms so that’s not a tasting note I have a solid reference point for within my “flavour library” but I’ve been told that some of my favourite ripe pu’erhs have strong notes of mushrooms and what I was picking up here was in line with the notes I get in those same teas. I loved the complexity of all the umami and maillard tastes all mingled together.
I guess I went in expecting literal rain, and what I got was a tea that matched the sort of cozy, warming foods that I drink DURING those big downpours – which was, ultimately, even better.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwXIpjQjEy8
Iced Latte Sipdown (2345)!
Finished this one off in the afternoon as a very strongly steeped iced latte made using oat milk. The colour was such a rich brown even with the milk added – I really wish I’d gotten a photo of it. Truly, it was stunningly dark.
In terms of taste, I did have a really enjoyable time drinking this. I’m very much getting into that more “pumpkin season”/fall flavours kind of vibe right now, but it’s sweltering hot in Montreal at the moment so iced lattes are the much, much better alternative to a hot PSL right now. I actually did wish that the spices were stronger in the flavour as I only taste the cinnamon and a hint of clove. However, I also steeped this for such a long time that it’s very reasonable to assume that the chicory and other roots/roasted ingredients just got so concentrated that they actually drowned out most of the spices.
I still have a decent amount of Teeccino blends to sip through so I’m not sad to see this one go, and I actually feel a little bit of satisfaction that I was able to time out this sipdown with the right season. Not sure if I’ll be placing another Teeccino order any time soon – especially with DT’s new coffee alternative blend so much more accessible and just as delicious. But if I did, I’d consider buying more of this one.