300 Tasting Notes
Welp, it’s a gray yucky morning, I have things to run around and do this morning before I go to work, I got to bed too late last night, and I’m still feeling the burn from my first bike ride in 15 years yesterday. Good a time as any to try my first keemun!
This was the tea I was the most excited about in my new order. The leaves are fairly fine, as far as tea leaves go, dark, and sweetish-earthy-smoky smelling. The liquor is a pretty amber color, which surprised me because I was expecting a darker color. Guess not all black teas look red in the cup. Newbie lesson, newbie lesson.
I’m not quite sure how to describe the flavor profile. It’s a bit of an earthy taste, but not like you’re drinking dirt. It’s not malty; maybe just the sliiiiiiightest bit smoky. The item description compares it to wine, but I don’t drink alcohol so I couldn’t tell you. But it’s a satisfyingly deep flavor and a good, solid breakfast tea.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: the first white tea I have ever had that wasn’t an earl grey.
The leaves caught me off guard; they’re large and flat, a lot like carrot leaves or something. They smell grassy and kind of sweet. The liquor is a light yellow and smells grassy. That got me worried for a bit; I’m not a big fan of grassy flavors, especially when they’re in white teas which I don’t associate with being grassy. Then I took a sip…
The first taste that hits is a vegetal sweetness, a little dark but mild. Then the grassiness, which overrides the vegetal sweetness. “Dammit,” I think for a second, “It’s a grassy white tea.” And then there is an overtone of another flavor – this one is a floral sweetness that fades into focus out of the grassiness. And that’s when I go, “Wha what?”
This tea may have to take a little while to grow on me, solely because of the grass factor. But it is certainly an interesting and unexpectedly complex white tea. Worth a go.
…Why is it I only write a few sentences about some teas, and write freaking novels about others?
My first darjeeling! I’ll write more in detail later, but I wanted to get some quick notes down to remember the taste experience. Deep, warm, woody (not woodsy, not smoky) comforting flavor with a tasteful floral note. A slight astringency that I wouldn’t even call “astringent”; more just good. I am suitably impressed!
Edit a few hours later:
Soooo… I realized in retrospect that I may have goofed this tea. I poured it out of its (neat little!) sample bag into a tea tin that had JUST previously been home to some masala chai. I had rinsed the inside of the tea tin out, but unless this tea smells a LOT like chai, I didn’t rinse the aroma out.
Since the chai aroma still lingered, I don’t know how much that would have affected the taste. I didn’t really taste chai; I just tasted a combination of a dark, comforting base (which could possibly have been influenced by the chai) and floral notes. One thing I will say for it is that if it wasn’t labeled as a black tea, I would not have guessed it as such; the leaves look like “green tea” leaves (well, they’re green at least, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything), the liquor is a much lighter color than many classic black teas, and the taste is more plant-y than… well, at least the other black teas I’ve tried. Not that that’s a bad thing. Just unexpected! (…Tea newbie here, mind. Tea newbie.)
This is the fourth and final tea from Adagio’s Silk Road Sampler, and another one that I’ve gone back and forth on. With this one, I think knowing what to expect helped a LOT.
The leaves, which are dark and rolled up, smell quite sweet. However, the tea tastes very different than it smells. This was my first Chinese black tea, and the malty, slightly earthy/mushroom-ish flavor caught me way off guard the first time I tried it. Now that I’ve grown to like malty, I can see it becoming one of my standard breakfast teas. It’s slightly earthier than Adagio’s Yunnan jig, which makes it a bit less of a favorite. Good stuff, nonetheless.
Some days I find myself suddenly craving the taste of jasmine tea…
Go easy on this one. I didn’t measure the exact water temperature, but it was right as I started to hear it boil on the stove. I let it steep for about two minutes with some help (aka me swishing the pot to stir up the leaves.) Nice, mid-level jasmine flavor, very smooth. A little less strong than some jasmine pearl teas. One of my evening teas.