260 Tasting Notes
It’s busy season at work, and as of today it’s gone from “this is busy but manageable and surprisingly fun” to “this is busy and I’m starting to get really mad and I want to yell at someone.” So it’s what I call #@%&$! Tea Time.
This is a sample that Zen Tea Life sent along, and I will never complain about getting free samples, especially ones I don’t expect! The dry leaves smell AMAZING. It’s this fresh, floral, citrusy thing that Cher-slaps you and says, “Snap out of it. You are GOING to relax now.” The tea, however, falls a little short. The thing is, the flavors are all so distinct from one another that when you put them together, it winds up tasting like something that’s not really any of them. It tastes like an artificial version of the dry leaf smell. Then, right before the end of the sip, this slightly cherry-cough-syrup note comes in and it’s not at all present in the dry leaf aroma. And the aftertaste… it’s some weird combo of the cherry-cough-syrup motif and lemon. This kind of reminds me of how I always think fruity/flavored teas are going to taste and why I stay away from them.
I wouldn’t quite call it unpleasant, just pretty unimpressive, especially given how wonderful the dry leaves smelled. Glad to have tried it, though.
Got my Zen Tea Life order of this this morning, along with some free samples that I wasn’t expecting! Sweet!
But I still have a couple cups of the sample left, so I shall work on that first. Still delicious, still comforting. Mouthfeel is SO creamy.
Aaaaargh! Why is it so warm in the house this morning?!? I’m gonna go take a shower and play trumpet in the basement!
I went on a casual date last night. The guy messaged me afterward, and this morning I sent the “hey-I’m-not-really-into-dating-right-now-but-thanks-for-meeting-me” reply. Which shouldn’t sound like a big deal, but these kinds of things (possibly hurting someone’s feelings and/or making them upset) drive my anxiety THROUGH THE ROOF! Why am I so bad at handling these things? Sometimes I wish I was the kind of person who just… didn’t give a damn about what other people think.
…Sorry for the rant. I’m stressed and I don’t feel like I should be stressed and somehow that’s making it worse. Mmmm guilt complex.
So I’m drinking my comfort tea. I used 3 pearls per cup, which I’ve found is my happy place. I keep trying to find other chocolatey/malty teas, and there are some reeeeeeally really good ones out there, but somehow, it all comes back to this. I wonder if that’s because this is the first tea of its kind that I tried? It’s just so… perfect. Until I drank it, I doubted it was even possible to have a tea that smelled so much like real cocoa. (Cacao?)
Also, I would like to point out that I got mad that Steepster ate my note – and then I opened my other window and realized I hadn’t published it yet. I am so smart! I am so smart! S-M-R-T! I mean S-M-A-R-T!
First off, I apologize if anybody’s been getting double likes from me on their posts? I don’t even know if Steepster does that, but… I go through and “like” every post I read, but when I do it on my phone, it doesn’t show me as having liked the post when I’m back on my laptop. So if it appears I’m being extra, extra enthusiastic about your tasting note, I’m not trying to be a creeper, technology is just silly!
Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Mmm. This truly is a Classic Earl Grey. The bergamot flavor is very assertive without being overpowering or chemical. It’s a very robust morning cup. Maybe I’m being influenced by the name, but to me EG’s always taste like a brisk, gray morning with mist hanging from last night’s rain. Even though it’s not pumpkin-y or any of those traditional “fall” flavors, somehow it tastes like the cold, light-gray part of fall that I secretly kind of love.
Still think the EG cream is my favorite, but I’m glad to have tried a high-quality straight-up Earl. It’s certainly made me have a higher appreciation for bergamot.
Thanks again to Nicole for the sample!
An interesting tasting.
I quite like the dry leaves – they’re green, rolled up, and really easy to handle. I meant to steep them for 1 minute, but that wound up not quite happening, although I think they’re still under 2. At the beginning of the sip, the aroma is that half-vegetal, half-roasted flavor that I now associate with oolongs (did I mention I’m still fairly new to oolongs?) But then something interesting happens. Now, I’m not familiar with the flavor of ginseng, so I’m probably tasting it without recognizing it as such. But the longer the tea remains in my mouth, the more of a bright citrusy tangent the flavor takes, getting higher and higher in pitch while the vegetal/roasty oolong base remains until I swallow. It’s almost a bitter flavor, but it’s such an unexpected development that, at least for this tasting, I don’t mind it because it’s a cool experience…
Did you know this goes really well with vanilla ice cream? I had absolutely no intention of them being a pairing, but the pointed, morphing quality of the tea makes a great contrast with the vanilla WHOMP. Damn!
Uh oh. Methinks I may have underleafed this?
I steeped it just under boiling for 5 minutes. The first sip made me go, WHOO ASSAM – and then all the subsequent sips have been a lot more mild. I’ve heard Assams are supposed to be bold, and while I’m certainly getting an Assam quality, it’s muted. I’m afraid to try brewing it more because I let it steep for 5 minutes.
No numbers for now. Next time I’m going to try more leaves. Oh well, still a pleasant morning cup.
EDIT: Forgot to credit Nicole for the sample! Also, it got more Assam-y as it cooled. Tea is so weird. Science.
Mm-hmm, I thought I smelled some Earl Grey cream in here. (I may or may not have ordered some from Zen Teas last night at 1 AM. Only a little obsessed, I swear.)
Dry leaves smell delicious, basically like EG Cream with a bit of rose. The pink little rose petals mixed with the tea leaves are charming.
This is good! I think in this case, something about the mix of the cream and the rose tip tip the aroma a little on the sweet side for me. The taste is a little milder, and it averages out. A little perfumey, which I don’t complain about, without being chemical-y. Nice bergamot, too. Yay royal weddings!
Thanks to Nicole for the sample! I’ve really been enjoying the Earl Grey batch!
The Fact That Black Tea Has Caffeine. I love it in the morning, I hate it at night. Why? Because any time I want to drink tea, it’s ALWAYS black tea I’m tasting in my mind. That’s… tea. Anything else just doesn’t sound quite satisfying, even though I know if I do a cup of black, I’ll be fluttering around at 2 in the morning, and nobody needs that.
I was going to do a new oolong in the gaiwan, but the experience wound up being such a stinker that I’m not even bothering to log it (tasted like the cup and smelled like burnt yuck.) So I, against my better judgment, went with this tea instead. Why? I don’t know why; I wanted something I hadn’t had in a while. It is the most generic green tea on the planet. And tonight, just like my failed oolong, it tastes like the cup. * sigh * Guess I’ll just have to hope for better tea luck tomorrow.
Woo this is some smooth tea! There’s some kind of dark fruit drone I, once again, can’t quite pin down. I’m seeing the word “raisin” in the item descrip and that’s not quite right. It’s almost molasses or something, or some kind of berry-flavored syrup. NO astringency whatsoever.
I can see why people like this tea; to be honest, it’s a little too heavy/rich for me. Worth a try, at least, considering all I’ve heard about it.
Thanks to Nicole for the sample!
EDIT: I’m drinking cup 2, and now that it’s cooled down I’m getting the maltiness that I didn’t get in cup 1. It’s quite pleasant. Oddly, it makes me think of fall, too. It’s September. I’m OK with it being fall now…
Backlog. I tried to post a tasting note on this last night, but #$&%@*! Steepster was having One Of Its Episodes.
I… don’t think I have an opinion on Tie Guan Yin. I’ve had two of them now, and they’ve both been about the same; brightly vegetal, a little bright-fruity, a bit on the roasty side. I don’t like it, I don’t dislike it. It’s enjoyable, but not something I would crave or reorder. It’s the kind of tea I have to be in the right mood to drink; unfortunately, usually when I’m in a “tea” mood I’m picturing black tea, so I’m seldom in the right mood for this kind of flavor, unless I’m doing a late-at-night cleansing tea or something.