1319 Tasting Notes
OMG I just noticed this morning that Ricky’s no-icon-uploaded-icon isn’t actually, because it’s mirrored! Never realised that before.
I’m feeling a little more human today, so I’ve made a pot of one of the remaining Bethany-teas.
I’ve tried sniffing the leaves, but they didn’t really seem to have much in the way of a smell. Pouring a few out in my hand, all I could really smell was my skin. I’m fairly certain the leaves aren’t actually supposed to smell like me, so I’m assuming it’s actually me smelling like me.
My expectations based on other people’s posts about this are dangerously high, so I’m a little worried about that. It’s always better when it’s the other way around. Low expectations -> pleasant surprise. I’m also dangerously impatient and tempted the start before it’s really done steeping, even though I know that this rarely gives a good result.
Right, it’s ready now. Cocoa notes, check! And I’ve only poured the first cup. Fruity notes, check! They’re loud too. It smells a bit like when I was little and my mother made homemade jam from the blackcurrant bush we had in the garden.
What a surprising flavour! It’s very fruity in flavour. I’m surprised that this is supposed to be a plain tea. It definitely tastes like there’s been some sort of addition to it. I’ve checked the other teas that Bethany sent me, and I don’t think it sounds like any of those have rubbed off.
First there’s a little bit of a peppery sort of note, just a hint, and then there’s the tart fruity flavour. I can’t pick up the cocoa in the flavour, only in the aroma. Or maybe there is a small hint of it on the finish, but I’m not finding that on every sip, so I’m a little in doubt as to whether or not it’s something that I’m convincing myself that I can find because I really want to find it.
It’s good, but my enormously high expectations haven’t really been fulfilled. I could have lived with the fruit note not being quite this strong.
(Are we sure there isn’t any flavouring in this?)
ETA: I’ve pushed the rating down again as I’ve been drinking. This fruityness is getting a bit… much.
I got green tea for christmas from my little cousin and I got three kinds of tea from Lexitus also (and a cd and a book. I gave him tea and a cd. We gave each other nearly the same things.) I also have some Bethany-teas that I haven’t tried yet.
But I’ve gone for this one because I’m too tired what with being social and having trampled around in the forest for two hours to be able to taste anything properly and that would be a shame with any of the new ones. I’m not currently in any sort of position to do them justice. So, something familiar and uncomplicated. This is the one I’ve logged the most times, so it seems a good choice. The fact that it’s one of my all-time favourites, doesn’t hurt either.
Also, Takgoti and Teaplz both had it recently (although a different brand) and both mentioned a note of walnuts. It was one of those things that just clicked for me when I read it. Of course there’s a walnut note. I just have to check you know? And confirm it in my head.
Yup, there it is. And it’s loud too! I can’t believe I never thought to connect it with walnuts before, it seems so obvious now.
Should also go well with Midsomer Murders which starts in five minutes or so. Whether it’ll suit the ice cream flavour that I got (Chunky Monkey) is a different matter. Well, it has walnut bits in it, so maybe it’ll be awesome in combination with the tea.
Happy New Year Steepsterites.
We’re at about 9.31pm now around here and my dad just called to wish us happy new year. Well. I say us. Mostly they seemed to want to talk to Lexitus. Right. I can see I’m no longer interesting. huffs
Anyway, we’ve just made tea. A brand new addition to my hmm larger than I thought collection. AC Perch’s claim the queen actually drinks this.
It’s got a reddish sort of colour, bit like a dark honey, and the aroma is very Earl Grey-ish. I can’t seem to find any of the Gunpowder there.
The flavour is also mostly Earl Grey-ish, but it’s got some sort of flowery more leafy kind of note to it which I’m assuming must be the Gunpowder. Somewhat astringent too which makes me wonder if it might have been better with a shorter steeping time.
Okay, so tidy-ness plans for New Year’s? Not gonna happen. But Lexitus should be used to the level of chaos that constitutes as ‘tidy’ around here, so he’ll just have to deal with it. I’ve only had that foul dentisty christmas tea so far today and I want something proper.
So I’m jumping into the last of my Jillian-teas. I can’t remember where or what the situation was, but Jillian said something somewhere at one point about what actually went into a russian caravan blend and it made me think that if you took a russian caravan and stuffed a measure of green tea in it, you would get something similar to my dearly beloved Gunpowder blend (which, again, has nothing to do with the green tea known as Gunpowder), so now I’m probably going to have a few difficulties with not imagining this containing an unknown green tea and comparing. Did any of this make sense?
It’s a golden colour, much lighter than I had expected. I was expecting something reddish. The aroma is dominated by Lapsang Souchong and the smokiness. It’s not as prickly as a plain Lapsang, but I still can’t really find anything else in the aroma. Maybe the best way to describe it is that it smells a bit like a Lapsang Souchong with milk in it as opposed to a Lapsang straight up.
Nope, it’s definitely nothing like my gunpowder blend (which has nothing to do with Gunpowder as in the green tea). This seems thinner and weaker for one thing. It doesn’t have the same kick in the backside. I’m picking up some strong Darjeeling notes in the flavour and the Lapsang seems only barely there. I’m only getting the smokey prickly sensation in the very beginning of the sip and after that it’s just Darjeeling.
It’s been a good while since I’ve last had a russian caravan, but this tastes nothing like I remember it. It’s good, yes. But it’s not really what I was looking for.
ETA: The second cup, somewhat harder steeped, now THAT’S what I’m looking for. It’s much more pronounced on the smoke and the Keemun is coming into play too instead of just being dominated by the grassy Darjeeling.
Note to self. Oversteep on purpose in future.
I’m bagging it this morning on purpose so that I can get my chores done instead of hanging around on Steepster all day, writing novel-length reviews.
In the season spirit I found this ancient bag of christmas tea which I figured I’d be able to drink without the urge to elaborate on to the usual extreme.
No clue what’s in it, but being a christmas tea I think we can all make some educated guesses. I find that it smells like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and dentist. No, really. That smell when you walk into a dentist’s clinic. There’s something orange-y underneath also, I think.
It kind of tastes like dentist too. You know that stuff they use when they polish the teeth? Imagine that cinnamon-flavoured. I think, though, that if the bags hadn’t been as old as they are, the dentist-y flavour would have been different, hopefully not present at all. I’ll finish my cup because I need it, but I can’t rate it higher than this.
Another Bethany tea. I remember picking this one for my wishlist for her, because I have never had tea from the Nilgiri region before. I have no clue what to expect, but I’m expecting something akin to Ceylon, since that’s relatively close.
It’s got a nice golden colour and a very grassy aroma, almost like a newly mowed lawn. A spicier than that, though. Underneath it I’m picking up a sweet note, almost caramel-like, and all in all, it’s reminding me more of Darjeeling than it does of Ceylon. Or both maybe. Like a middle thing between Darjeeling and Ceylon. I’m not really sure, I change my mind every time I sniff it.
It’s very vegetal in flavour and very sweet in an almost sour-like way. Like citrus-fruit, without actually having even a hint of a citrus flavour. It tastes kind of green the same way that a Darjeeling can taste green and it definitely doesn’t remind me of Ceylon in flavour at all. It’s almost like… like it’s not quite ripe yet.
I’m not sure it’s something I would seek out as a type all that eagerly again, but it’s definitely drinkable.
I found a swap package from Bethany in my letterbox yesterday when I came home from work. I’ve spent the time since at war with myself over which one to try first. Eventually I resorted to Ippy-Dippy and landed on this.
Quite fitting actually since I was wanting something orange-y recently and didn’t really have any.
I forgot to take a look at the dry leaves before brewing, so you’ll have to do with out. After steeping, though, they smell sweetly floral. Like jasmine and just a touch of sweetness from the orange. The tea itself smells pretty much the same way, just stronger and sweeter. It kind of reminds me of orange chocolate. It’s got a nice clear and deep amber colour in the cup.
The taste is like sweet oranges. Almost orange juice-y but with the floral notes of the jasmine just underneath. I like how the jasmine is understated in this one. I’m still holding on to that orange chocolate impression too. I swear I haven’t added any sweetening agent to the cup, but it tastes like there’s something there. Don’t know what it is, but it’s not sugar. I’m leaning sort of towards almonds, which I actually think would fit an orange quite nicely.
If I taste really carefully I can pick up the tea itself underneath too. Sort of nutty and with that special sort of flavour that puts me in mind of an oolong. I like this, but I made a large pot and I’m not entirely certain I’ll like the last cup as much as I liked the first one.
And the best of it all, guess what! I just discovered that Mighty Leaf has a swedish website too that ships to ALL of Scandinavia! I expect it’s probably somewhat smaller than the american site, like the two sites that Adagio has, one for America and one for Europe, but still. For the freaking win! WOOT! I shall decipher the swedish and have a closer look at that later.
ETA: I’ve realised what the sweet stuff in it is. It’s vanilla. And lots of it too. I think I could have lived without the vanilla. At least in this quantity.
I may be pushing the limits with this one. I debated whether or not it belonged on the board or in one of my own posts, but eventually I decided that since it’s made of primarily real tea and it’s built pretty much like my other posts so here it is.
Once upon a time I was in a travelling teabox, the very same that inspired the one I’m organising here (note! Sign up for the Travelling Teabox by emailing address and steepster username to me at [email protected] before dec 31st! Guidelines for participation can be found in this thread (http://steepster.com/discuss/102-travelling-teabox) on the board) and someone added these candies that I nabbed a couple of. Two red ginseng candies from Korea, containing sugar, maltose, red korean ginseng chunks, raw honey and peppermint, and two oolong tea candies from god knows where in Asia and containing oolong tea, maltose and sugar. (There were also a couple of maple candies which I’ve eaten long ago)
I’ve never had the guts to try either of these, but tonight I happened across them and I was feeling brave. It’s a sort of greenish dark grey colour and it smells vaguely of tea. It definitely does taste like a sweetened proper oolong tea, though. It’s like a dry cup of tea. It’s like…. sucking on the leaves after brewing. It tastes like the inside of the pot smells after a number of good steeps. I wish I could get my hands on more of these, because they’re really kinda yummy! One is definitely enough, but I could get addicted to these things.
(The ginseng ones didn’t actually have tea in them, smelled rather bad, and tasted worse… it was like sucking on a bit of dry toothpaste. The less said about those the better.)