1324 Tasting Notes
Third steep of yesterdays leaves. It’s a mix of one part having tons of pre-christmas stuff to do, one part being lazy and one part wish to wring as much out of these leaves as I can.
First cup is a bit thin. It could have done with a ‘crutch’ or a slightly longer steep. The second cup will invariably get that, given my brewing method of leaving the leaves loose in the pot, so we’ll see if it makes a difference.
I would like to say that the tea had gained a sweet note, but to be honest I think that’s just the after-effects of the piece of chocolate I just ate…
Second cup with a significantly longer steep is better. It still has some of that baked flavour left, but I want to repeat the statement that it tastes like how bees look, because I’m picking up a small note of strong honey underneath.
Okay, that’s the morning tea. I’m going to get started on a to-do list and then my numerous chores.
A proper pot of tea now, another Jillian tea.
I suggested this one on my ‘wishlist’ for her not because I was wildly curious about it, but because Tie Kuan Yin (which this is) is my most favourite type of oolong ever. I more or less knew what I would get, but I just couldn’t pass it over without at least asking.
The leaves look a bit darker than I remember of this type of oolong, but then I remembered that when I’ve bought it from Teaspring in the past, I’ve always gone for the jade variety. So the leaf difference is pretty obvious then, isn’t it? They have a slightly smoky note to the smell. Not very much, just a little bit. Apart from that they smell fresh. Leafy. Planty. A living plant, not a dead leaf.
It brews up very light in colour and almost lime-green. I checked Jillians notes briefly and since she seems to have used a shorter steeping time than I normally would I thought it best to follow suit on the first time. There is plenty of aroma though. A lovely, leafy, almost floral smell that makes me think green thoughts. (Not green tea thoughts, just thoughts that are green. This is a very difficult concept to explain. Sometimes it’s just as if thoughts have colours.)
Mmmm yummy! I suddenly understand, I think, what you lot mean when you say something has a baked taste. That’s another one that I’ve seen a lot of people use, and I’ve never been able to put my head around it. I totally get it now, I think. There is a lot of it. It both makes me think of baked goods and it also makes me think of leaves and greenery, and I can’t decide which is more dominant. And bees. This tea tastes sort of like how bees look. Please don’t make me try to explain that.
Yes, it’s summerly and springly and still my favourite type oolong in the whole world.
O HAI THAR SNOWSTORM!
The very day I decide that it’s no longer necessary to check the weather situation before leaving for work, we get a snowstorm that I, obviously, didn’t know about. Lovely. Left 1½ hours earlier from work and it took twice as long as ususally to get home. Luckily I have tomorrow off, but I’m not really sure how easy it’ll be to get to my parents’ house on thursday… We’ll see. No amount of snow can get between me and a roasted duck without having to put up a fight!
I’m pooped now, so I’ve been spending an hour debating with myself if I was too lazy to make a proper pot or not. Eventually I decided on a compromise. I’ll bag it first, and then make a proper pot afterwards when I’ve got some energy back. (I hope!)
I just added this ancient little forgotten thing to my cupboard. I must have forgotten it when I added everything else. And hey, look! I did have something with oranges!
It’s a bit oversteeped because I nearly forgot about it, but the smell doesn’t reveal any damage. The colour is a kind of murky yellow, and I can sort of smell both orange and peppermint. Sort of, because they’re both very synthetic smelling smells.
Wow. Even oversteeped and with one bag in a relatively small cup, it still tastes kind of watery and thin. It’s totally drinkable, but it’s not something that I would ever recommend.
It’s kind of strange because when I take a sip, I either get the two (still synthetic) flavouring agents, OR I get a substandard green tea flavour. But never both at once. It’s a guessing game in a cup. I got peppermint on this sip. What will I get on the next sip. Hands up those who think substandard green tea!
I have new followers, yay! This is due to my OCD-ish adding people left, right and center, but it still counts. Yes, I am actually this shallow.
I was in the mood for a citrusy tea. Didn’t have one. The closest I get is a net of oranges, and those are for work lunches. Well, I do have an Earl Grey thing, but that’s a different sort of mood. I figured that, while passion fruit isn’t a citrus fruit at all, this was the closest to that mood that I could get.
When I got the lid off I discover that the sample tin was nearly full! I can’t have used it more than twice. Tops. Why is that? I distinctly remember having liked it. But maybe ‘liking it’ and ‘being memorable’ just aren’t really the same thing at all.
It’s good. I can taste a lot of passion fruit, but it’s a flavour that I think suits the tea, and it definitely works as a substitute when I would really rather have had something with orangey. Passion fruit just aren’t really one of my favourite fruits at all, though, which is the only reason I’m not rating this a bit higher.
In order to try and prevent myself from yumming up this whole entire big bag of licorice of the peculiar scandinavian kind containing ammonium chloride that the majority of you lot would likely find completely inedible, I have made me a pot of this tea. It’s probably much less likely of making me sick as I certainly would be if I ate all that licorice. Big bag! Also, I have realised that not drinking it because I don’t want to run out is stupid, because they I’m not getting any of it anyway.
Yes, this is much better, both for my health, my teeth, and my appetite when dinnertime comes. :)
On a scale from Yum to YumYumYumYumYum, I’ll give it four Yums.
I’m still a freezing bugger, so I went to make some fresh tea and then I spotted this one on the table.
A warm sort of flavour. Perfect.
I remember liking it best with milk, but I don’t have any. I’ll have to do without.
I just realised when I poured that there were a couple of Yunnan Jig leaves still in the cup that I forgot to rinse out. Doesn’t seem to have made any difference though.
Added a bit of cane sugar to it. Not a lot, just a pinch. Maybe it’s the sugar or maybe it’s just because I really needed a warm flavour like this right now, but I’m feeling generous today so I’m upping the rating a bit.
I’m a lazy freezing bugger this morning, so we’re going to see how this holds up to a resteep. I’m not expecting miracles here, but if it doesn’t work then what have I actually wasted other than time and half a liter of water? Might as well give it a shot.
After I wrote mine yesterday, I’ve been looking through what other people have said about it. I’m glad I’m not the only one to pick up that honey note, because for me it’s really strong and I couldn’t immediately recall anybody having mentioned it before. One person said that it was also quite nice when sweetened with honey, so if the resteep works to my satisfaction, I will try that. Otherwise I have enough leaves left for one more pot, or most of one.
Being impatient, I’ve been sniffing at the pot. The smoke, or pepper, (because I really think it’s the same flavour that people recognise differently. For me it’s smoke. Not even remotely as strong as in Lapsang Souchong, but still smoke.) seems to be a little diminished but the honey is as strong as ever.
The colour looks the same too. Possibly a little darker, which sort of surprised me. It seems logical that resteeps should provide a gradully lighter colour.
It’s like an entirely different tea! I’m getting a strong honey note out of it and the smoke or pepper or whatever is almost entirely gone. It’s just there in the finish, giving the honey some sparkles. I can almost almost recognise it more as pepper than as smoke here. I don’t think it’s quite pepper but it’s more pepper at this point than it’s smoke. It’s got the same sort of prickling sensation on the tip of the tongue, whereas smoke, I think, is more prickly all over the mouth. Does this even make sense?
At any rate, yes, Yunnan Jig holds up nicely to a resteep.
Another Jillian tea!
The leaves are pretty! They’re golden yellow, large and twisted. The smell mildly smokey. Long ago I had a Golden Yunnan that I thought was rather smokey in flavour, but since then whenever I’ve mentioned that I have been met with disbelief, until I finally began to think I was remembering it wrong since I seemed to be the only person in the world ever to have thought it was smokey. I’m also picking up a note of honey, a really flavourful kind of honey so strong that when you eat it you almost have to cough.
That note goes quite well with the honey-golden colour of the brew. The aroma after steeping is the same kind of honey, but not so much on the smoke. It’s just to throw you off, really. You almost expect to get a mouthful of liquid honey and instead you get a prickly mouthful of smoke. I still agree with myself that it’s a very smoky tea. I am getting a small note of honey, but not nearly to the extent that I would have thought from the aroma.
I’m trying to find the peppery note that people have been talking about and so far I’m failing. I get some pricklyness, but that’s from the smoke I think. I can’t find any pepper.
Back in ancient prehistoric times when I last had a plain yunnan, I remember not liking it much. I believe my tastes have changed. I think it’s a type I’ll have to stock up on again next year. It’s not one that I think is OMG fantastic! But it’s a nice one to have in the cupboard.
Insteresting letter from Jillian in my letterbox today!
I’ve been trying to figure out what to try first and decided I was more interested in this. When I sent Jillian my ‘wishlist’ of things I’d like to try from her cupboard, this one mostly caught me by being pu-ehr, and I haven’t had any of that in ages, and a flavoured one at that, which I’ve never had. Little difficult for me to imagine flavoured pu-ehr, for some reason. But then, I initially felt the same way about green, white and oolong too and I can’t come up with a logical reason on why it shouldn’t be possible. Anyway, I didn’t pay attention to what else was in it at the time, so it’s not until now that I notice it has rooibos in it. That’s a bit worrisome, since I don’t really care much for that… Oh well, if you don’t try, you can’t win, so here we go!
It’s bagged and the bag smells like christmas biscuits! Do I have to drink it? Can’t I just sit here and sniff the bag? It seems almost a shame to get it wet. On the other hand, if I did just sit around, sniffing the bag, sooner or later I’d forget to pay attention and try to take a bite. Reflex, see.
Luckily, after steeping, it still smells like that. Chocolate and cinnamon are the dominant smells, and underneath it the earthiness of pu-ehr. It seems very dark in colour for a pu-ehr. I can’t really spot that reddish brown colour that it usually gets, but then that might be because the cup I’m using isn’t the best for looking at the colour.
The little satchel the bag was in says that the chocolate might sink to the bottom of the cup, so I’m giving it a little stir before tasting.
It tastes like sweets! Chocolatey and cinnamony like the blend I made yesterday (fate perhaps? Preparation for trying this?), but sweeter. I can pick up pretty much everything they say is in it, except possibly the nutmeg, but then I’m not really entirely certain which flavour I’m supposed to be looking for with that one. It’s not a spice I ever use for anything at all in my kitchen. And to my great relief, although I can defintiely find the rooibos, it’s only there to sort of add a little boost to the other flavours. If I hadn’t known it was there, I wouldn’t have noticed, but knowing that it is, I can tell what it does.
Great choice, me!