325 Tasting Notes
Got to inflict this on friends today! …Actually, I had brought some of my teas, and one of them smelled this one in the bag and was curious. Drank it while watching Les Miserables along with one other variety of black tea (that was actually quite similar if I could remember the blasted name.) Had to get up for a Tea Pee more than a couple of times, but it was worth it.
After months of wondering about the infamous lapsang souchong, I finally got to try one this morning. I was visiting some friends who are also massive tea drinkers (although their tastes differ from mine a bit), and they let me look through their stash. I pulled this one out and expressed my keen interest, and we all agreed to try it since none of us had ever had it before.
The smell of the leaves is something else! I thought campfire; one friend thought brisket; more than one of us seemed to think bad. Indeed, it was smoky in the way that’s a few shades past a good smell, to that dark headiness that just causes a headache. Rather overpowering. The tea, however, was fine. The smokiness was much more subdued to the point of being pleasant, and it just had a nice, black tea-style headiness. I thought it was decent; the other friend visiting the house seemed to like it; the husband who was hosting loved it; his wife was quite “meh.” That’s the fun of wild-ass teas like lapsang souchong, though – you never know what kind of reaction you’re going to have!
My first ceylon. I have been sleep deprived pretty much the whole week before, and today I’m driving to a friend’s place to spend the weekend (incidentally, the same friends who are responsible for my tea addiction!)
Thin, dark leaves that are very easy to handle and measure. Golden amber liquor. Mild sweet aroma (so it smells like a black tea should.) Not really sweet tasting at all; it’s fairly astringent and actually a little grassy, but not in a way that’s off-putting. Tastes British. :P Not bad by any means, but I don’t think it’s going to become a favorite.
EDIT: The flavor got a little maltier the longer I drank it. I started to like it more and more. I’m gonna give it a second try!
Opened the bag and went, “What the hell – citrus?” The smell reminded me of lemon; my dad thought more like an orange peel. Brewed the tea, which became a pale liquor typical of white teas; the aroma of the brewed tea was much more subtle.
I… am going to hold off on rating this tea for now. The taste I’m getting so far is really, really subtle. I get a mite of citrus, and then something that’s really more of a physical sensation than a taste. Maybe I understeeped it, maybe it really is that subtle, maybe my taste buds are numb, maybe it’s because I made the mistake of eating a snack first. Yeah. I think it’s the last one. Dammit.
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.)