1282 Tasting Notes
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.
Backlogging, yesterday during work.
Or, work and work, I was at a course all day and this is what I assume they gave us. It was definitely citrus-y and when you serve a citrus-y tea to a large group of people without bothering to tell them what sort of tea it is, this is usually it.
It was watery weak and synthetically citrus-y. Drinkable, but only for the lack of better. On the next course day, if we’re not having it somewhere where I can pop into my own lab and make me a quick cup, I think maybe I’ll just drink coffee instead.
Backlogging, yesterday morning.
I had this in my travel mug yesterday morning and right now I’m working off some scribbled notes in my notebook. it’s the last variety from that sampler box I bought and this one is just (supposedly) white tea. I’ve taken all the bags out of the box and put them in my pretty little wooden teabag box, so they’re all a little further away from each other. It should keep the contamination of flavours down at least a little bit. Of course that’s probably too late, but there you are.
Anyway. The aroma was nutty, but the taste was rather boring. That said, at least it actually tasted white and it didn’t seem to have been contaminated by the other flavoured and more smelly varieties in the box.
It’s not by any means an outstanding white tea, but out of the four in the box, it was by far the best and it would be excellent for use in the travel cup.
Oh gosh, what a day! I hate the first day back at work after having been on holiday. Especially when first day back at work after a holiday coincides with the first day of moving lab craziness. I’m in bad need of some good tea. And a nap. And some ice cream. (And a little pity would be nice too)
I think this would be the sixth steep or something like that. Since the fifth was getting a bit on the thin side, I’ve added just a pinch of fresh leaves.
It’s still as clear as water while pouring and it still gets that funky greenish colour in the cup. Lots of nutty aroma though, and the pinch of fresh leaves gave it a little more kick.
However, even if it wasn’t for fact that for hygenic reasons, the leaves are being discarded today (and probably hygeine-wise should have been yesterday. If I get ill, I get ill. I doubt it’ll kill me), there probably wouldn’t be enough kick left in them for a seventh steep.
(Mind you, I may have used slightly too cold water, because I almost nearly forgot about it. I can tell because the fresh pinch leaves got into the cup and are refusing to sink to the bottom… pokes them. Poke poke poke)