308 Tasting Notes
Backlog from last night because I deleted the wrong tasting note, dammit!
Drank this for the second time while watching Les Miserables. Had it once before and forgot what I thought of it. I had written a tasting note under the wrong item, so here’s the copy and paste from the first note:
“This is my first tie guan yin, so clearly I have no idea what to expect or what to look for. I like the leaves; they’re a really pretty dark green and rolled, very easy to handle. There’s a deep, slightly spicy aroma if I remember correctly. Which I don’t think I do. Ah well. The liquour itself has a green aroma with a sliver of a subtle, dark sweetness. Like honeysuckle or bai mu dan.
“The first thing that hits the tongue is fresh grass. It’s that bright green flavor that I have to be in the right mood for (read: wanting something “clean” or a tummy that feels a little stale.) I’m not tasting the “creamy” that’s in the item description. Or the mango. Fresh parsley maybe. Right before I swallow, though, there is that little note of sweet, kind of honey-ish but more like honeysuckle.
“Tea tasting is the only time in my life I regret not being a foodie. If I were a foodie, or at least ate a semi-diverse range of foods like normal people do, I would be able to pick out a bunch of little flavors and tell you about them. As it is, all I can say is that, on the first go-round, this reminds me a lot of Arbor Teas’s bai mu dan, except much heavier on the grassy side than the sweet side. The next time I make this, I’m going to have to take the temp and steep time down a notch; I detect a hint of overdone. Not enough to make it unpalatable, just enough that I want to try it differently next time.”
Got mostly the same effect the second time around, except this time I had a vague idea of what I was getting into. I forgot I’d oversteeped it that first time; I didn’t have that problem this time, so I can diagnose that as operator error and not a problem with the quality of the tea. Everybody seems to really like this tea; I can certainly vouch for the quality, but I think I’m falling out of love with green teas a bit. I prefer ones with a little bit more sweet and a little bit less vegetal. Still, certainly a good “relax and freshen up” tea.
I’m finding that with tea I haven’t had before, knowing what to expect is half the battle. Now that I remember the peculiar flavor I got last time, I’m not as off-put by it today.
I’ve been slacking on the tea a little bit as of recent history. I’m not sure why. I haven’t been on Steepster as much because… well, I was in a weird mood all of last week, and once I fall out of a habit, it takes me a little bit to get back into it.
I’ve finally sipped down some more of my teas! I still feel guilty getting more, but…
This is one of the most highly rated teas I think I’ve seen on Steepster! I was looking forward to this one the most out of my sampler pack because 1) it’s a black tea, and I, like many, looooove black teas, and 2) certain reviews had mentioned a chocolatey note in the flavor, and every time I see that, I get excited.
It is certainly a high-quality tea. The way I’m going to describe the aroma and taste is going to sound very unflattering, but it works in the context of tea: it’s like fake chocolate flavoring. Deep, sweet, off-fruity, goes right to the head a little. There is little to no astringency; it’s a very smooth tea with undertones of something I can’t quite put my finger on, that takes me back to farms and fields I visited on sunny mornings when I was little. The word “barley” pops up in the item description; there’s something wheat or straw or something in there that’s not unpleasant. Both the chocolate and the “barley” (or whatever that is) linger in the aftertaste. This tea is flavorful if nothing else.
Is it my cup of tea? To be honest, I’m not sure. I really, really want to love this tea, but the “fake chocolate flavoring” taste is keeping me from doing so. I’m curious to see how infusion 2 goes, since I don’t think I over- or under-prepared this tea. It’s going to take a few tries to see whether this is a keeper or a sampler.
Edit: A few hours later
I’m currently doing infusion #2. The “fake chocolate flavoring” has given way to the barley or whatever the hell was so subtly present in the first infusion. GAAAH WHAT IS IT?!?!? It’s quite good in the strangest way. We’ll see whether this ends up being one of those I unexpectedly find myself craving. I doubt it, but you never know!
Tomorrow it’ll go away, tomorrow is the sipdown day
TOMORROW WE’LL DISCOVER HOW MUCH ROOM MY CUPBOARD HAS LEFT FOR STOOOOOOORE
ONE MORE TAAAAAAAAAAAAASTE
ONE MORE STEEEEEEEEEEEEP
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE
(flies flags while standing atop a barricade of tea tins)
Not even sorry. Les Miz haters to the left to the left to the left.
You know what? I’m just ready to be done with this tea. I’ve got ~2 cups left before it’ll be all sipped down. I keep telling myself I should go ahead and drink it just to finish it, but I don’t ever want to do it. I loved it when I first got into tea and was really, really into jasmine, but I have lost the taste for it. I’m tired of jasmine, and I’m tired of this jasmine. There’s this quality to it that makes it pretty much always taste like I’ve oversteeped it, even when I haven’t. Is it trying to be smoky? Is that what it is? Because smoky and jasmine do not go together. And the jasmine just goes right into the same part of my head that any food does when I get really tired of it. I used to love it, but now it’s too much like drinking perfume.
And the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s mostly this particular tea. Teavana’s Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearl is less burnt and a bit sweeter; it actually works surprisingly well as an iced tea.
Just get this thing out of my damn cupboard, please.