1255 Tasting Notes
I’m having a resteep of this with my dinner, so it’s the third steep. I added a pinch of fresh leaves to the pot to give it a little extra kick.
I know I said the aftertaste gets cancelled out when you’re eating something too, but there you are are. The leaves and the pot were already there and I was feeling lazy.
Inspired by the post about it earlier today though I also boiled some broccoli in salted water with butter, and I smelled the steam as it boiled. I was right. That was EXACTLY the note I found in the tea this morning. I feel all satisfied with myself for having noticed that.
It seems very similar to the first two steeps, but I think if I hadn’t added a few fresh leaves it tastes sort of like it might have been a bit faded. I probably ought to not have added it in order to get a ‘clean’ third steep, but I thought it might just get weak. I’d rather have an inaccurate third steep than a weak clean one.
I was so disappointed by this the first time I had it. It was really expensive, nearly 100 kr for 100 g, which is a price you normally see in white teas and flowering display teas. And then it had so little flavour. It was almost unbearable.
Today has continued to suck, involving the local tax authorities who are trying to trick me into paying the same bill twice. I wouldn’t be so irritated by this if it hadn’t been for the fact that paying this bill last month is a major contributing factor to november having to be stingy-month. growl
I needed something soothing and I haven’t had a pure oolong in ages, so I’m going to revisit this one. My expectations of it aren’t quite as high this time, so I’m going to be starting over. Hopefully I can shift the rating up a bit too, because ‘30’ is just… I feel really bad about having rated such an expensive tea so low. So let’s pretend that this is the first post I make about it.
The leaves are large and twirly. They’re a bit on the darker side, although not as dark as a black tea. Some of them have that golden in-between colour. Pretty in the in. They have plenty of aroma. Sweet and with a note of tobacco.
(so far so good)
Once they have been steeped, the leaves turn a nice light green again. I’ve never noticed that before. I’ve given it a good long steep to get as much flavour out of them as possible. A C Perch’s recommend eight minutes, so that’s what they got. Actually they got nearly 15 minutes because I forgot to pay attention. In the cup it has a nice golden-ish red colour, like autumn leaves just before they fall off the tree. I’m using a fairly tall mug and I can just exactly see the bottom of it. The aroma of the brew is sort of reminding me of broccoli that has been boiled in lightly salted water with a small lump of butter in it. I wouldn’t say it’s a broccoli note, but when I smell something vegetal with a weak butter note and a weak salt note, broccoli is the thing that first comes to mind.
The first sip of the first steep was primarily bitter. This, obviously, has to do with oversteeping. As mentioned I was aiming for 8 minutes and forgot to pay attention so it got nearly 15 instead. They don’t say anything about recommended temperature other than ‘freshly boiled water’. I can taste very little else than the beginning bitterness, so I think it’s safe to say that pretty much ruined this. How annoying. But on a day like today, hands up everybody who’s surprised. Anybody? No?
Dumping the first steep then, and going straight to the second. In my opinion any proper oolong should be able to handle at least one resteep, so I’m not too concerned about it shifting the review. The second steep involves a kitchen timer, so as not to make the same mistake again. It’s much much lighter this time around. A more orange-y golden, but the aroma is exactly the same.
No bitterness this time. I’m thinking I must have made it up too weak that first disappointing time. It has a nutty note, some astringency if you really search for it, and a clear leafy primary flavour. Well, I say ‘primary’, but the thing is it only really comes through if you get a large enough sip. If you just take tiny little nips, all you get is the nuttiness. It’s especially brought out if you slurp a bit and get it nicely mixed with air while tasting. A very very VERY small barely there flowery note too. I can’t even find it in every sip.
To begin with this doesn’t have much in the way of after taste, but as you take a few sips, it starts to build up. If you’re eating anything with the tea though, you’ll ruin it. Every time you take a bite, you have to start over.
All in all, I’m feeling much more happy about this tea now than I was before, and I’ve shifted the rating up considerably. Is it worth the high price though? No, not really. You can get lots of similar or better oolongs at half the price this one cost.
Okay, I’ve got some tea in me now and some other cool stuff has happened and I’ve listened to a cool song, so I’m feeling a bit more optimistic about the rest of the day now.
Still, I do have domestic chores to ignore, and what better way to do it than having another cup of tea.
This is a Sudden Inspiration blend. Kind of brave actually because it consists of my Caramel tea from Luka with half a teaspoon of Vanilla from Adagio in it. The brave thing about it is that the Caramel is a resteep of the cup I had a couple of hours ago, and I haven’t got the foggiest clue as to how well that tea handles resteeps… I may have just made myself something that will be rather weak and taste slighly of vanilla.
The aroma is quite nice. There are definite vanilla and caramel notes in it. A bit fleeting which I imagine must have something to do with most of it being a resteep.
Oh my GOD! This is… I can’t even… I just…!!! The caramel SO didn’t get hurt in the resteep and the vanilla is really bringing out the sweetness in it. Like a bit of sugar can bring out the sweetness more, but this is just without that side-flavour of sugar. I will totally have to try this again except without the caramel being a resteep. The whole thing is rounded off by the astringency of the tea, so it doesn’t get cloying.
I had expected it would be nice, but I’m surprised that it was THIS nice. It reminds me a bit of the Elephant Vanilla Chai that I had yesterday. Only sad thing is that I’m running very low on the vanilla sample from Adagio. I should be able to get a vanilla black from my local shop, though, so I just hope that it’s as good as Adagio’s.
Good morning, Steeperites. Or… just… morning.
It’s one of THOSE mornings, shaping up to be one of THOSE days due to it already having been one of THOSE nights. Woke up no less than three times and couldn’t remember what day it was, so I had to get up and check. My eyes have been runny all night and now feel full of grit. I don’t know why that happens, it doesn’t appear to have any particular trigger, it just happens every now and then. So I get up this morning and troll about the internet for a bit. Twice, I’ve closed the browser instead of closing a tab. Clearly tea is, at this point badly needed, so I go and put some water on to boil and fill the pot with hot tap water. The hot water here gets ridiculously hot after having run for a bit, making washing up a chore reminiscent of punishment, so I don’t even have to boil twice. I then forgot I had filled the pot with that water and added two spoonfuls of tea leaves to it. I even had a few seconds of trying to remember how come they weren’t falling to the bottom of the pot.
And it’s only 9 o’clock… cue ominous music
I thought black and sweet would be the way to go here, so I made me a pot of this caramelly stuff. I have resisted the temptation (nearly) to eat (too many of) the little caramel squares in the tea, so it shouldn’t be (too badly) out of balance.
Ah, not to sweet and ever so slightly astringent. Possibly dreadfully oversteeped, but it doesn’t seem to be completely ruined. I can feel the day improving already.
It was after the sweetness on the train ride home, I think. I just needed something now that went KAPOW! at me. (Oh look, punny! I honestly honestly hadn’t even realised until after I wrote it. Honest!) This is the first that came to mind and ARGH! at new Cupboard feature that caused me to put all tins back in the Real Life cupboard instead and organising them so they all fit in the small cupboard. This is not something that involves considerations as to which tins are used more often. It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle project. Consequently I just spend some five minutes searching for this particular tin in a rather small cupboard.
Ah yes. This is more like it. The sweet note and the smoky note in perfect balance. When I’m done with the tin I’ve got at work, I’m getting me some more of this to drink there. (I wonder how shocked colleagues will be at the smell of this? Hey, I wonder if I can get any of them to taste it! That could be loads of fun. I think only one of them will like it.)
Kapow indeed. :9
Had another one of these on the train home today. This time I actually heard what the two other choices were, but I was feeling whimpy and didn’t dare try any of them. One was cinnamon which just reminded me of the over-cinnamoned chai-cino from Baresso and the other was ‘spicy’ which…. Yeah. Whimpy.
Today I noticed, though, that they sell small tins of their chais too, I guess about 100 g or 150 g or something like that. I don’t have one of those milk steaming things at home so I’m not sure if I could make it properly at home if I tried. Not like they do anyway. And they were kinda pricey. 139 kr for a tin. It’d be a shame to spend that if I can’t get it right. Remind me to ask my boss. Maybe she’ll be interested in splitting a tin.
Anyway, it was still good. I think actually I liked it better today where I knew what to expect than I did yesterday where I didn’t know. You know? Something that tastes more like dessert than beverage becomes less of a ‘mis-placed’ sort of flavour when you know what you’re getting.
I’ll get around to trying the spicy one some day when I’m feeling brave. But I’ll just get a small one then…
Huh. I’m drinking this one now because I couldn’t figure out how to add it so I could put it in my cupboard. So I thought, HA! I’ll just drink it, I will. Only had the one bag, see! Genious, I am.
Except too late I realised that I couldn’t log it without adding it. headdesk You would think that would be logical, but nooooooo!
Anyway, this is a tea that was given to me by a friend who had been on holiday in Japan. I haven’t the slightest clue of what it says on the bag, it’s all in Japanese. It only says ‘Green Tea’ and the name of the hotel in letters that I can read. There were these teabags in the hotel rooms for the guests. (There was also a super-foul …concoction that they claimed, apparently, was plum tea. It was a powder that you stirred into hot water, it looked like washing machine soap and it tasted like sweat. It was disGUSting!)
I’m pretty sure it’s Sencha. It’s light, like Sencha, and it would seem the obvious choice to give to the guests in Japan. It’s got a sweet, mild and nutty flavour, but it’s not really particularly interesting. No clue about the quality of this stuff, obviously.
OMG I should NOT have checked Steepster this morning. Stupid idea. For two reasons. 1) It made me miss the train (again) and 2) I’ve spent the whole entire day in a ’don’t wanna work, wanna play!’ frame of mind. Needless to say, the day went by reaaaaaally slowly.
On the way home from work I came over kind of peckish so I stopped in at this new little bagel place at the train station to get me something to eat on the way home. They also had your basic coffee drinks, cafe latte, cappucino, that sort of thing. And they had chai. Remembering my recent experience with the Chai-cino from Baresso, I thought I’d try what the chai here was like. As it turned out, when I had ordered, they had several different kinds to choose from. It didn’t say so anywhere on their menus or signs or anything, and I couldn’t really hear the girl who made it very well, so I picked this last one because it was the only one where I could hear what she said. I had already asked her to repeat herself on two other things, and I was getting tired of it. Too much noise around. They had some awesome looking tins, though. Unfortunately I couldn’t seem to spot a brand name. I have, however, found a website that tells me they get their chais from David Rio, and then they listed their five variants. Some further poking about the internet landed me on David Rio’s site which was rather more forthcoming with the details.Based on the description on DRs site and the fact that I’m pretty sure I picked one in a blue tin, I THINK this was the one I had.
This one was a better experience all in all. It was definitely vanilla-ish and it blended well with the milk. It wasn’t as drowned in cinnamon as the Chai-cino was, but I could still find a touch of cinnamon in it. There was also something else that I couldn’t identify at the time. It was a warm sort of flavour. Not hot like chili or something like that at all, but a warming sort of flavour. It wasn’t even really a flavour as much as it was a sort of sensation of some sort of warming spice being around. Does this even make sense? In my head it seems very likely to have been the cloves and cardamom in combination.
I thought it even had an overall caramel note underneath all the vanilla.
It still tasted quite fat, though, and it was obviously rather sweet. It tasted really nice, but it was more kind of a dessert rather than a beverage.
I think I’m getting better at this chai malarky!
And now to tackle the Dashboard. Deep breath of courage
Beware, I shall start playing with my cupboard very very soon!
ARGH! All these posts about the funky Adagio flavours that no sane person could have thought up are so jealousy-inducing. I went back and checked when I made my one and only Adagio order and that was in June. And it’s only the Tie Kuan Yin that I don’t have any more of. (That stuff never lasts long around these parts) I want so desperately to try those new flavours. If I shop really really really seldomly, like twice a year tops, I can defend placing the odd Adagio order, right?
And yes, I know they have a European store too, but they have a very small selection, so that’s a good place for stocking up on well-known favourites. But not really much else.
Second steep of this now. And I’m going with literature on this one, and giving it a four minutes steep. I’m a bit worried that I’ve ruined the leaves with the long steep this morning, but there’s only one way to find out.
Nice and golden colour this time around, but the aroma seems a bit sour. A bit stewed, you know? The flavour doesn’t seem to have taken any damage, though. Bit weak but I suppose that’s only to be expected considering the way I’ve treated these leaves.
Supplier suggests a steeping time of 8-10 minutes on this. Up to TEN MINUTES on a green tea? One that literature tells me will get crazy bitter if oversteeped? And one that same literature suggests 3-4 minutes on? Now what am I supposed to think here?
In the interest of proving the shop wrong once and for all, I gave it nine minutes. It’s a dark yellowy brown in a highly suspicious sort of way, but there’s nothing wrong with the aroma. Lots of kick in that.
Still, I’m a bit scared to try this out.
Okay, it’s not undrinkable, but it’s clear that it’s so not been brewed optimally either. I’m picking up a note of salt here and a lot of nuttyness. There’s a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue in swallowing which tells me that just 30 seconds more would have turned this undrinkable.
I would definitely trust the literature on this one and steep for no more than four minutes for an optimal brew.
It will be interesting to see if I can resteep this successfully or if I’ve just managed to ruin the leaves.