Next week is Sample Week.
I shall do at least one sample every day all of next week, and it has to be one that I can then decupboard. If there’s more than just one cup’s worth, it doesn’t count. If I’ve posted about it before, it doesn’t count. Sample Week starts officially on Monday, but I got the idea now, so I’m warming up here.
I’ve had tons of luck with Shang Tea in the past. Unfortunately shipping expenses are such that they are out of my own reach, but I’ve had Steepsterites share samples with me in the past and the ones that I’ve tried have all been absolutely wonderful. So it is with no small amount of anticipation and complete trust that I proceed to brew this cup.
This stuff smells absolutely divine! So sweet and caramel-like. No, more like burnt sugar. And creamy custard-y as well. I am actually sitting here with a tea that has a very strong aroma of creme brulee! What an absolutely amazing aroma. I’m completely stunned by this, in spite of the fact that it smells largely only of dessert and not really of tea at all. Just having the warm steam waft up at my face from below is making me all weak in the knees.
After an experience like that, the flavour came as a surprise because it doesn’t actually taste like creme brulee. It’s rather fruity, though, and still quite sweet. I could have wished for a little more strength but I didn’t have enough leaf for my usual amount and probably should have steeped a little longer than I did in order to compensate.
However, I’m still getting a caramel-like note from it, but it’s not nearly as strong as in the aroma. It’s there especially on the swallow and in the aftertaste. All creamy and soft, and it seems to last forever. And right away too. Sometimes, with aftertastes, you don’t really get anything of the sort from the first few sips, but as you drink it gradually builds up until, by the time you’re finished with the cup, you wonder how you didn’t notice it sooner. This is not one of those times. It’s there from the beginning and it’s strong and good.
That was the backend of the sip. Seeing as apparently I’m doing it backwards today, we shall proceed to the more middle flavours. There’s something vaguely fruity about it. Kuanyin suggested melons, and I agree with that. The more I sip, the more I try to focus on it, the more I become convinced that melon is probably the nearest we can come. Those round yellow ones with the funny net-like sort of peel and greenish yellow on the inside. That’s the image I’m getting. I don’t know what they’re called other than ‘melons’. I’m not a melon-recognition expert.
The front part af the sip, the very first encounter with flavour here is something floral, but discreetly so. It’s just there for a flash and then we have the fruit and the caramel-y aftertaste.
Floral, melon, caramel. You wouldn’t really thing these three aspects would work so well together, would you? How extraordinary that it turns out they SO do.
Once again, Shang Tea has not let me down. If you get the opportunity, I would strongly advice giving this one ago. It’s just wonderful.
But that aroma! Gosh, I wish I actually had me a creme brulee now…