228 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! I’m going a little batty tonight with the program notes. There have been some… challenges while researching this particular batch.
Anywho, I was steeping this while I was researching one particular piece on which there is JUST ABOUT NO INFORMATION WHATSOEVER besides the composer and the lyricist. No commission information, nothing about the first performance or the inspiration behind it, no hints as to whether or not the song is traditional or an original piece, can barely see the copyright date. NOTHING. Thanks a lot, publishers, thanks a lot. But the point is, I got so carried away in what I was doing that I steeped this thing for, oh… about fifteen minutes? Whoops. And guess what? It tastes fine. Hooray for forgiving teas?
So that’s one more down, not sure I’ll really miss it. Tomorrow I plan to finish off the Rose Dian Hong (CRYYYYYYYYY!) So that way I can make room for the impending tea splurge (YAYYYYYYYY!)
This one’s with cereal and the movie “Greedy” (on Netflix) today. Not a lot to say that I haven’t said before. Mmm LB is delicious, comforting, forgiving, amazeballs. I’m totes a writing major, guys. (I am, actually. Although these days I make far more use of my trumpet minor / the excess of classes that I took for it…)
It’s probably rude of me to talk about one tea company while writing a tasting note for another, but I’ve posted about how good this one is several times so eh. … I placed my first Harney & Sons order yesterday! Whee! Some of their flavored teas named after cities (notably Paris!), their Valentine tea, and the lavender tea that I honestly got as much for it being blue as anything. Excited!
It’s the end of a long day of staring at the snow all day at work; whacking myself on the chin with a collapsible yardstick; drinking tea, gingerbread latte, and water all at the same time; and listening to the first official Christmas music of the season, thanks to this next set of program notes I’m writing. And I have the next two days off again – yay! Will probably be used to write program notes and watch things on Netflix.
I decided to give this tea a second go because I remember having such high hopes for it, then being so let down. I tried a relatively cool steep temperature this time (again, I can’t give specifics since I heat the water by sound), and did like a 1 minute steep.
Yep. It’s still not good. The flavoring tastes like some kind of medicine almost, the kind that tries to taste like something good and just comes out like a nasty counterfeit. I can’t even pinpoint the flavor, maybe a bit of an attempt at rose along with something slightly pungent.
Thank you for the sample, Zen Tea, but it’s not one of my favorites. At least I know your vanilla tea is delish!
I don’t have a ton of time to write a tasting note, but I’d just like to say that third time’s the charm. I tend to brew by the sound the kettle makes rather than time or temperature, so I can’t give exact specifications, only that I let it be under boiling temperature and steeped for about 4 – 5 minutes. And I’m eating it with cereal, which probably helps. It certainly feels seasonally appropriate today – it’s snowed and very wintry gray outside!
Sipping on this while continuing my Family Ties viewing / putting off working on the program notes until tomorrow. I was about to do the H&S Holiday Tea for the third time in two days, then I realized – wait. Black Friday’s in four days, Cyber Monday’s in a week, and I’m planning a tea splurge regardless of whether or not the companies in question are offering discounts or not. My cupboard’s not enormous by Steepster standards, but I better sip down a few things up in here.
I oversteeped this by a bit, so it’s a little bitter. But still good and smoky. Little mushroomy, but that might be the oversteeping. I wish I could say more, and more intelligent stuff. But it’s enjoyable.
Attempt #2. Per JustJames’s advice, I let this cool a bit before I steeped it. I think it helped. It’s still a little underwhelming in flavor, but there’s more cinnamon. Yay.
Harney & Sons Blind Date #2.
I was fairly unimpressed by the smell. It’s just “pumpkin” enough to call it pumpkin and that’s about it. As far as the flavor goes, I’m really getting more of the rooibos than anything. If I hadn’t been expecting pumpkin, I would have a higher opinion of this. It’s really a rooibos with a subtle autumnal flavoring, if you ask me.
I’m seeing people suggesting trying this with mulling spices. You’re giving me ideas!!! And I DO have 29 more sachets of this stuff!
…Hey! I now have rooibos in sachet form! So I don’t have to fiddle with cleaning up all the stupid little rooibos loose leaves that are so damn hard to get out of infuser baskets! JOY TO THE WORLD! … OK wrong season but still.
To be perfectly honest, I’m kind of in the mood for flavored teas in sachets now. I just like having something that I can enjoy without having to… overthink it. Heat the water, drop the sachet, sip, smile, don’t lament missing out on all the weird little nuances that everyone else is getting. And I’ve heard many good things about Harney & Sons, flavored and non-flavored. Recommendations?
This is my first venture with Harney & Sons! I got a buy-one-get-one coupon for the H&S tins at Barnes & Noble, so after taking myself to the movies today, I made a little stop on the way home.
This was an absolute blind date. I hadn’t read any reviews on this tea, didn’t have a sample to smell/taste, had no idea what I was getting into. When I opened the tin, I went, “Oh.” I wasn’t expecting sachets. But they’re the good kind of sachets, so that’s OK. And the tea smells AMAZING, the cinnamon and clove really stand out. Not to mention it’s striking in appearance; black tea leaves with fiery red flecks.
I actually kind of like that they’re sachets; it’s a relief not to have to deal with the infuser, pouring out the right amount, pouring the water into the pot and letting it steep then pouring it out. I can just drop the little sachet right into the cup and boom! I can let it steep while I practice two-chord jams on my bass (can I just say, Eb minor is a REALLY pretty key?) OMG the aroma of this tea is to DIE for. It’s a warmer, more cinnamon-y version of the dry leaf aroma. The taste, on the other hand, is slightly less impressive. There’s a lot more spicy, a lot less cinnamon, and a bit of just… “I am drinking a hot liquid that has a flavor and there is an aftertaste.” I’m just going to inhale every time I sip.
Argh! It smells SO FREAKING GOOD and it looks so pretty, and then it just falls short of all expectations! Honestly, I’m going to have to give it at least another couple of gos for the smell alone. If nothing else, it’s a nice easy cup of tea that smells like the Ghost of a Christmas Past That Never Was. Or something like that.
It’s been a bit since I’ve had this one! (Mostly because I couldn’t find it, and when I did, I put it in a tin then forgotten I’d put it in the tin.) This is my breakfast tea while watching Family Ties on Netflix (ahh so good!!!) As I think I say every time I drink a dian hong, I have to remember to drink this slowly to get the flavor progression. Otherwise there’s still the tasteful rose flavoring. I feel like I’m just repeating what I’ve already said about this one. But it’s the kind of tea that we get obsessed with tea for. Definitely restocking on my impending tea splurge…
I have a Saturday off!!!! WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!!!! AND I have Sunday off too! I have a real weekend?!? WHAT IS THIS??
ahem Sorry. Working retail does things to me.
I think I had this tea exactly ONCE, then never bothered to try it again. It was more smoky than I liked or something. This time around it’s quite enjoyable. I think it’s a tea you need a longer steep time for; I tried like a 3 min steep (Western style, of course) and it was pretty underwhelming. It’s a dark, smooth kind of smoky, like you’d get from a good lapsang. I didn’t really pick up on the sweet potato until I read it in the item descrip; I get a hint of it if I know to look for it. Then again, I’ve never been good with the subtleties.
Don’t know if it’s distinctive enough for me to restock, but clearly a quality tea. Pretty in dry leaf form, too.