1290 Tasting Notes
ARGH! I accidentally did something weird and the post got eaten. I think it must have been a stray back button click. Oh well.
We’re gearing up for steep five of this. I was advised last night to put the leaves in the fridge over night, and then while I was sleeping I was adviced to not do that under any circumstances ever. Hm. Well, I stuck them in the fridge because that was what I had to go with at the time of going to bed and to be honest I felt best about doing that from a hygeinic standpoint.
I took the pot out some 45 minutes ago to let the leaves acclimatise themselves a bit, but primarily because the idea of pouring 80C hot water into an ice-cold favourite teapot with farm animals on it sounded a bit risky to me. I’ve seen what happens when you pour newly boiled water into a glass that wasn’t technically made for it. It… exploded… So yeah, I’m cautious. And especially with this one. (Farm animals!)
Again, it’s got that funny green shade in the cup and it’s as clear as water while pouring. Still got some aroma to it though, and while it has lost colour in the cup, there still plenty colour left.
Tastewise, it’s faded a bit. It’s definitely beginning to taste weak now. I think if it got a little help from just a pinch of fresh leaves, there would still be plenty of kick in it. It just needs a… crutch, so to speak.
Cheers to the next 100 posts. I’m still drinking this. I’m on my fourth infusion now.
Steeps two and three still had loads and loads of flavour in them. That sourness in the aftertaste that I mentioned is almost non-existant at this point and the natural sweetness of the tea is more pronounced.
Steep four is turning slightly greenish in colour. It’s almost completely clear when pouring, but after it has been allowed to stand and develop a little more in the cup after pouring it turns into that same golden colour again. It’s the same with the flavour. Beginning to show a little weakness at first, but once it has had a few minutes to develop in cup there’s still lots of flavour in it.
I don’t have time to do any more steeps of this tonight, but I would rather like to see how much flavour it’s possible to wring out of this very nice tea. My resteeping experience only goes so far as to immediate resteeps. Is there a good way to somehow preserve the leaves over night? Like, should I rinse the pot out and put the leaves in the fridge overnight or should I dry them or some such?
This is my post number 100! Happy Steepsterversary to me, yay!
This is one of the teas I bought earlier this week when I first feel off the stingy-wagon. I haven’t tasted it yet as I have saved it for this very occasion and this particular post.
Pai Mu Tan has always been for me one of THE white teas. This one and Yin Zhen. They are the very essence of white teas and nothing can surpass them in greatness. They don’t need to have fantastic outstanding flavours, they are carried by their names alone.
Today has been a day in the name of glazed teapot maintenance. I very rarely clean out my pots on the inside other than a thorough rinsing with clean water, because a teapot that you can see is in use is a teapot with character! And it also greatly reduces the threat of accidentally making up a pot of tea that tastes of soap residue. However, I felt that this tea for this post deserved as clean a pot as I could muster. So that was eight teapots total, half a tub of baking soda, god only knows how many liters of water boiled and even more water for rinsing. (The planet probably hates me now.)I am very carefully brewing this as well as I can without actually owning a thermometer. I’m a bit surprised that the shop recommends a steeping time of 6-8 minutes which I think is eons for a white, so I had to consult my literature. To my enormous surprise, the literature agrees! O.o Have I been brewing whites all wrong all this time? Very well, I shall give it 6-8 minutes, although it’s really difficult to convince my head that this is a good idea. My literature also informs me that green teas are best steeped without the pot lid on so as to prevent it from stewing in the steam and a gentler preparation. I’m assuming that this also goes for white tea.
It’s steeping now, there are five minutes to go. I’m really nervous that I’m going to ruin this. What sort of Steepsterversary post would that make! O.o
Anyway, the dry leaves are large and green and they have a fresh, grassy sort of smell. You can dream yourself halfway to China on this smell, it’s very nice. Because I’m impatient and can’t wait until I’ve poured a cup, I’ve been sniffing the pot too as it steeps. The grassy smell is more prominent here when mixed with the steam, but it’s hard to really pick up on the notes this way.
I have made sure to choose a big white porcelain mug that allows me to drain the pot in go. Of course, I have to say yay for surface tension here and I’m not going to attempt lifting it! :p It’s a darkish golden colour, very unlike the murky brownish stuff in the cheap teabags, and after pouring, it darkens a little further quickly.
It has a very clear sort of vegetal and leafy smell that you don’t have to sit and search for. It flows right up and out of the cup and fills up your nose on every sniff.
Mmmm, no, the long steeping time definitely didn’t ruin it. Once again it would seem that the literature is smarter than me. It has a natural sweetness to it. It’s not as delicate as I had expected. I’ve had white teas before, obviously, but I think this might be my debut with this particular variety. It leaves a sort of fresh feeling in the mouth on the sides of the tongue, the same way that mint does, only without actually tasting of mint at all.
However, it does also leave behind that somewhat sour aftertaste that lasts forever. I like a tea that has flavour that doesn’t go away immediately, but I’m not really a very big fan of this particular sourness. I find, though, that it decreases considerably if I don’t keep the tea in my mouth for too long before swallowing.
I am not in the slightest disappointed by this. (And will have to take my white tea brewing methods up to some serious revision, it would seem…)
Good morning Steepster.
Someone has, while I’ve been sleeping, logged a white tea with blueberry. You’ll forgive me for not have paid attention to who you were, sorry. At any rate, it inspired me this morning. And you would think that this inspiration would mean to make something with a white tea. Or something with blueberries. Er… well it’s got berries in it. And it smells heavenly. All sweet and fruity and it’s full of dried berries. It’s the sort of tea that you almost don’t even have to drink. Just sit around and sniff the tin. Yum.
Due to the nature of the cup I’m using this morning I can’t really tell you about the colour, but it looks like a light golden one while pouring. The brew smell primarily of oolong with a heavy berry note on top. I get associations to desserts and cakes and bakeries. A nice raspberry muffin, oh yes.
This development continues in taste. Where the dry leaves smelled heavily of berries and the brew was sort of half and half leaning towards the oolong, the taste is very primarily oolong and then a nice fruity sweetness, as if has been sweetened with fruit instead of sugar. Note, I haven’t actually added sugar or anything else. It’s extremely rare that I add anything to my tea, and if I do, I promise you’ll hear about it. But IF I had sweetened it, it tastes like I’ve used fruit instead of sugar, and… Okay this is turning strange. I’m even beginning to confuse myself. I’ll just stop.
Weird, that I’ve never logged this! I really thought the entire supply had been logged at least once. This has caused the boyfriend to call me a slacker, so in return I’ll inform you that he’s conducted his first experiment with rooibos in non-bagged form. I got rid of all my rooibos’ by inflicting them on him. Apparently it’s something that will require some further experimentation.
Anyway, back to the tea at hand. The dry leaves smell sweet and flowery, and I’m not for a moment in doubt that it’s a tea with additives. It’s a darkish brew and it smells like Earl Grey with a floral note on top. No surprises there.
Supposedly this is like a normal Earl Grey but with a creamy aftertaste, and on that count I’ll have to say Earl Grey yes. Aftertaste no. Not really. Not very much anyway. I’ve never been very good with Earl Greys. I’ve never really been able to truly pick up the citrus, unless it’s really bad and synthetic like some I could mention. Therefore I can’t really say how well this blend is in Earl Grey standards, but after some careful tasting, I can find a small note of citrus.
On the basis that I can form an opinion of it, I’ll say a nice, solid black with a floral tone to it and a discreet citrus-y note, and on THAT form, it’s a nice tea. Compared with other Earl Greys I don’t know if it would live up to the rating.
Oh, for crying out loud…! cleans up Lake Tea from the coffee table and living room floor
FYI, if a leaf has settled itself in the spout of the pot and is disrupting the flow of tea through same, don’t just tip the pot a little more in an attempt to compensate. It doesn’t work. And teapot lids are not a tight fit.
This is a resteep of the previous pot, and it’s definitely different. The lapsang souchong is much less pronounced and that elusive sweetness that you find in english breakfast comes out. I’ve always thought that english breakfast had a note of honey, and I’m getting it loud and clear here the second time around. Very insteresting.
I haven’t usually had much success with resteeping of black teas, so I’m thinking that maybe the lapsang souchong carried the blend in the first steep and the green tea in it is taking over here.
I feel so sorry for you that you don’t have my little local shop and especially that you can’t have this particular blend.
After all these experiments with questionable tea bags (I said three out of five, earlier but it’s really just four) I still have one left, the supposedly plain white (Ha!) but I’m going to save that for later. I’m in bad need of some proper tea. One that I can drink more than a cup of.
So I turn to this new discovery of mine. Yes. It’s still awesome.
Another one from that sampler box. Apple and lemon. Slightly odd combination if you ask me, but on the other hand I was also surprised at how well vanilla and mint went together so you never know.
The bag didn’t smell of anything at all, really, but when I poured the water on, I get a strong scent of lemon and underneath it apple. So that bit checks out. (Can you tell I’m biased?) It’s just that it’s so perfumed. It smells more like something you might dab behind your ears rather than something you would drink.
I’ve tried their green lemon tea before and found it wildly synthetic in flavour so I’m not getting my hopes up about this one. I was right. It is indeed the same perfumed lemon that they’ve used for this one. I can barely find the apple underneath.
I’ve been through three out of five varieties in this box now, and I’m reaching the conclusion that I kinda already new. This sort of thing is NOT the way to introduce yourself to the world of white teas.
I’m saving the pai mu tan I got the other day for a special occasion (and I’ve got one in mind) and this sampler box is seriously making me look forward to it.
This is another one of the bags I got today, although it’s not from the white sampler box. (There was a special offer on two boxes and I couldn’t not get two! Shh!) This is just ordinary black with fruit.
The smell of the dry bag is overwhelmingly melony. You are not in doubt for a moment what sort of additive we are talking about here. It’s the same thing while it’s steeping although it does turn a little more synthetic in nature.
The brew is dark and it immediately gets that oily layer on the surface. Any good quality loose leaf tea gets it too after it’s been standing around for a good while but in this one it’s instant. I assume it must have something to do with leaf size.
The melon is very pronounced in flavour, but it’s not sweet. It tastes rather more like the skin of a melon rather than the actual flesh. Or a melon that isn’t quite ripe yet. Not sure what the drawing on the box is supposed to be, but I’m assuming when we say ‘melon’ here we’re talking about cantaloupes.
The tea at the base is completely uninteresting, and really it’s not actually meant to be interesting at all because all you’re ment to get is the melon. And that really is all you get.
All that aside though, I’ll inflate my opinion of it a bit in rating, mostly because I do find it an interesting flavour in tea, and one I wouldn’t mind trying on for size in a better quality loose leaf.
I shall try my hardest not to prattle on pretentiously about everything else but the tea I’m drinking with this one. Promise.
When I tried the Soft Fruitea, I mentioned that it had been contaminated rather a lot by the jasmine of this one what with the bags not being air tightly individually packed. I also mentioned that I expected this one to be better, so let’s see if it is.
It smells pretty floral and mostly of jasmine, and that really seriously comes out when pouring the water on it. Like with the Soft Fruitea, it does get extremely dark for a white. Really it’s like a light black tea.
I can taste blossoms of both kinds, especially and not surprisingly especially jasmine, and very little tea. It’s not as cloying as the other one was and while it’s not by any measure great, I was definitely right that this one was better.