1155 Tasting Notes
Okay, first of all, WTF? I could have sworn that Chun Mee was a chinese tea. This prompted me to look through my books on the subject and it would appear that Chun Mee originally came from the Jiangxi province and has since spread to the rest of China. It’s produced in Yunnan now, for example. So why shouldn’t it have spread to Taiwan as well, just like Gunpowder? But it just still feels weird to me that it’s not chinese.
The name means ‘precious eyebrow’, and apparently refers to the way the leaves are twisted. I don’t know, they don’t look very eyebrowish to me, but there you are. They have a nice dusty green colour and the aroma is sweet but not very strong.
In the cup it gets a nice yellow colour. The shop recommended an 8-10 minutes steeping time which I just couldn’t make myself do, especially since my literature warned me that if oversteeped this is a tea that can get devilishly bitter, so I took the first cup after about the usual 4-5 minutes and let the rest continue to stew. It had the same sweet but vague smell that was kind of difficult to find, like the harder you breathed in the more it just sort of slipped around your nose. This did not change significantly with increased steeping time.
I have to say that the first cup did have a relatively weak feel to it, but it was still a full bodies sort of flavour. It was a bit astringent and it had that prickly sort of taste that I personally think of as what they mean with ‘spicyness’ in tea. With increased steeping time it turned a bit more astringent and developed a more sour sort of after taste which went on forever and ever. Not sour like in a lemon, more like sour like in a cup of coffee that has gone cold.
The Gunpowder Blend that I had yesterday had that same sort of aftertaste to it, and I’m nearly certain that they must have used Chun Mee for that blend. And seriously proud of my self for having figured this out too.
I think I definitely preferred the slightly weaker one of the two cups I had, and I think it must also have a couple more steeps left in it.
First of all, this is NOT to be confused with Gunpowder as we know it, as in the green tea. While it does contain green tea and the green leaves are easily recognisable, they don’t look like Gunpowder to me. The name has more to do with the nature and taste of the blend. (Also, I’ve translated the name from danish, in which the tea Gunpowder is never mentioned)
This is supposedly a secret blend. I suppose that’s why on the shop’s website it says what it contains. English breakfast, a green tea and lapsang souchong. So apparently it’s only the identity of the green tea that is so sooper seekrit. My wild guess would be Chun Mee since that’s a strong enough green to do well in blends and the green leaves definitely look like they’ve been twisted.
Since it has green tea in it, I thought it best to let the water breathe for a couple of minutes before pouring it on. In the meantime, all you can smell on the dry leaves is the lapsang souchong, but it’s got a milder sort of smell with something sweet too, which I expect must be the seeeeeekrit green tea.
Considering that two thirds of this, at LEAST, is black tea and one of those is lapsang souchong, this has a very light colour. It smells really good though! The lapsang souchong isn’t at all as overpowering in the brew as it is in the dry leaves. It sort of reminds me of a wet cat who has just come in from the rain, and I’m showing my colours as a cat person when I say that I kind of like that smell. It was just the first thing that popped into my head when I smelled it. A normal person would probably describe it as a full sweet smell with a note of smoke.
This is really great! I could definitely get used to this. It’s like a very mild lapsang souchong that has been given just a little bit of sugar. At first you think you might as well have been drinking a weak lapsang souchong, but then the rest of the flavour comes out. The sweetness of the green tea and the fullness of the english breakfast and then the sharpness on top of it all.
If you don’t like lapsang souchong’s smokey flavour, I would suggest trying a blend of just the english breakfast and a green tea.
What’s this? A new addition to the collection? “But Angrboda,” I hear you say, “we thought you said you were on a fairly strict weekly budget this month and that it was Stingy-Month?”
Erm, yes. Yes, I did. And it still is. Just with the exception of the hour it took to walk down to the little local shop (and it’s the same shop, btw, it just changed it’s name), pick out *cough*five*cough* new teas and walk back again. AHEM!
I love liquorice and if you ask my boyfriend, who’s english, he’ll tell you that us danes have a weird taste in liquorice. But anyway, this was too interesting to pass by. Smell and visual tells me that they’re not lying about what it contains. I can see lots of bits of liquorice root and it smells a LOT of the aniseed oil.
Anybody here who have ever tried making a pure liquorice root tisane? Then you’ll know that it gives off a lot of flavour immediately after getting in contact with the water, so I’m not worried that it’ll be overpowered by the heavy aniseed.
I was expecting a darker brew, but this is a sort of vaguely reddish light brown colour. It still smells rather a lot of aniseed but the liquorice root is definitely coming after it.
Interesting flavour! Or rather, double flavour. You get first the aniseed in the middle of the tongue and then as you swallow the liquorice root appears along the sides of the tongue. Instead of getting two flavours in combination, you get one flavour sort of taking over from the other. It’s quite nice, but I can’t really find much tea flavour underneath. I can only find a very vague astringency as a proof that it’s there underneath.
ETA: Wow, a little bit of cane sugar really brings out the liquorice root here!
ETA again: Toned the rating down quite a bit because even the small pot is enough. More than enough actually.
Say, isn’t it ‘passion fruit’ in two words? Anyway, I’ve been awake for hours and hours and we’re moving rather quickly towards noon actually. And I haven’t had a drop yet. Not because I didn’t want any, I just didn’t know what to pick. And then in a convoluted sort of thought patterns that I couldn’t trace even if I wanted to, one Arnold J. Rimmer makes the choice for me when the following quote popped into my head. “You are the fruit of their forbidden passion. You’re forbidden passion fruit.” (Red Dwarf S3E6 The Last Day) And I thought, hey why not? (Again with the setting, self! What gives???)
Smells sweet and kind of floral and with a note of something that kind of reminds me of yoghurt, strangely enough. It has a sort of dusty taste to me that makes me wonder if it’s fading and at the same time it tastes more ‘real’ than your average cheap flavoured bags. I think it’s the lack of syntheticness that does it.
Unfortunately I accidentally oversteeped it a little bit and the fruity flavours have drowned somewhat. The tea as such hasn’t turned unpleasant at all, it’s just not really all that sweet and fruity anymore. However, a smidgen of cane sugar, and we are back in business. Very nice.
I have been challenged by a fellow Wrimo to get to 25K before midnight on my NaNoWriMo novel. That means I have currently a little less than three hours to get three thousand more words down. That should be doable IF I can find some discipline to do it and don’t give up and go to bed. Now, I’ve just got to the bit where the actual plot really starts, so it’s turned a bit more difficult. (And why is it all my posts here must have a setting?)
Obviously tea is required for this little project, and I turned to the only proper white one (meaning one of good quality and/or without additives) that I’ve got. I don’t know why, really, it just struck me, when I was looking in the cupboard as a creative type tea. I am also going to put on some creative type music and write, write, write.
For some reason this also inspired me to bring my first yixing pot back into use. It’s been dormant for a while. It just seemed proper somehow. Every time I scald this, I regret that I didn’t have as many pots back when I bought it as I do now so that it’s not seasoned to one particular kind of tea. I’ve got it to the point now where you pour clean boiling water in it to warm it up before brewing and then it has visibly changed colour when you pour it away.
Obviously, I’m not going to get a ‘clean’ taste of this particular tea out of this pot, but I’m not good enough at tasting the differences that it’s generally a problem. Just an aesthetic sort of little complaint. At least it has never been used for anything other than greens and whites, so at least it’s not going to take on a side note of Lapsang Souchong or some such. Obviously, I desperately need a new yixing pot. Or several. grin
I can’t say anything about the proporties really because I don’t know if they’re really the REAL proporties, but it’s sort of a light yellowy colour. The smell has a note of chamomile (which I’m 98% sure has never been made in this pot), and underneath a nicely sweet smell. Thankfully, I’m not getting any chamomile flavour, but the pot has definitely affected the flavour. It tastes more green than white, but with a light astringency and a sweet grassy flavour, I’m not really going to complain about it.
This was really more a review of my pot than it was of my tea, wasn’t it? If you’re curious, you can go and check out what I said about this tea earlier and compare. :)
So we’ve had the Almond Avalance and the Peach Pandemic seems to be winding down. I saw (I forget who you were, sorry! Suzi?) someone mention that they wouldn’t mind it if the next big trend be something with blueberries. I support that. Blueberry Blitz, yes please.
I’m getting more and more fond of this one for every time I have it. I thought the first time that the blueberry was nice but subtle, completely in contrast with everybody else. I had a cold at the time. The next time I tried it I was getting better and there was much more blueberry flavour in it. Now there seems to be even more. I’m worried about what might happen if I keep drinking this. ;p
Mmmm. Good morning tea when you’re on holiday. (Now for that NaNo wordcount. cracks knuckles)
Oh dear, this is bravery and courage of the worst kind. Another adventure into the Big Tins of Mystery. It started with the question, “what tea should we have? Something plain or something with something in it?” and the reply was, “something out there.” Now we’ll see if my mention of the BToM might have been a dreadful mistake. And alternative name for it might have been ‘Bracken Water Blend’, but this sounded nicer and more like something you might actually want to try and put in your mouth.
I had lemon grass, red rosebuds and honeysuckle flowers. I have no clue what the latter might possibly taste like, but it does smell kind dusty and kind of smokey. Certainly doesn’t smell like honey. We mixed all these with Ceylon Pekoe for the base.
It has a light brownish yellow colour, which is probably just due to the Ceylon and it smells really a lot of honeysuckle. That’s not a smell that’s easily mistaken. I can pick up something sweetish too which I think must be the rosebuds.
We tried a sip which was followed by silence. And the remark that it was odd that no side effects had been encountered. Yet. (Now I’m having my grammar corrected in a really sort of demonstrative way with looks and everything!) Anyway, I can taste a heck of a lot of honeysuckle and underneath it I think I can find some lemon grass. The rosebuds seem to be only there for show and the tea is um well camouflaged. To make a short story long it’s a rather flowery concoction.
This all sounds very off-putting, but it’s not really quite as it may sound (or smell). The word ‘refreshing’ has been spoken. I think we can say that we’re leaning more towards Care of Magical Creature than we are towards Defence Against the Dark Arts here.
(And another plus, it seems to make the drinker kind of silly. Wait, are we sure that’s really a plus?)
Oh my Steepster account, I hearts you like air. And like tea. And like my LJ account. Which says a LOT. You inspire me to do experiments with long forgotten samples like today, which is loads of fun, even when largely unsuccessful in finding undiscovered diamonds. And on top of that I get to babble about each one at length which makes it even more fun. Never leave me.
Right, so I’ve made an emergency pot of Lapsang Souchong. I need it on top of all this experimenting. Especially that last one there which I think must have been the worst of the lot. (Especially because it could have been avoided if I had not stupidly decided reading the info on the package regarding contents was unnecessary)
This is a stable. This is always a great cup of tea. Smokey and rough and JUST right. Enough experiments for me. I’ll stick to this for the rest of the evening.
Another one I found in the previously mentioned Big Tins of Mystery! It was out of a Celestial Seasonings sampler pack that a former friend (we fell out, probably for the best) once sent me for my birthday along with a few other things from CS. I remember being quite taken by the boxes. Pretty pictures. They had actually made an effort on decoration. I wasn’t particularly interested in the actual contents though, which I found disappointing on account of 75% of them being herbals. I don’t care about tisanes. They are not tea and they are not interesting. (And many of them aren’t that well tasting either) Oh and FYI as a personal little peeve, rooibos falls under this category. It is not tea.
Anyway, berries! I like berries, so while I haven’t bothered to look at the ingredients, I’m feeling semi-confident. I mean if I only have one bag out of a whole sampler pack left, then surely the others must have been used up, right? And if I didn’t like them, there would have been more than one left, right?
It smells like… sweets. Not particularly fruity to be honest. Rather more synthetic and very very sweet. I do notice though that it gets a highly suspicious bright red colour while steeping. This is worrying. I have some very bad experiences with that particular colour. I haven’t even tasted it yet and already I’ve poured the rest of the water into a small pot to heat it up and the kettle on with water for a pot of emergency Lapsang Souchong if I’m right.
Okay. Here goes. takes deep breath and summons all reserves of courage
Ack! Yuck! Spitty!
I was right about that bright red colour. It tattles about the presence of the dreaded hibiscus. That stuff seems to be in just about everything and I just can’t get it down. To me it has a dreadful metallic sort of taste that reminds me most of all of blood. No thank you, says I.
It’s a mystery though that there was only this one bag left. I must have traded the others, but why did I keep one?