1323 Tasting Notes
Apparently I’m doing my backlogs out of order. Oh well. This is from today, the train trip home from work.
Takgoti wanted me to try the spicy chai at that bagel place too, and today I was feeling brave enough to do so. I just got the smallest cup they had in case I didn’t like it.
Turns out it wasn’t really the sort of ‘spicy’ that I was expecting. I was think ‘spicy’ as in sort of ‘hot’. Not cayenne-pepper hot, but something that would definitely be felt a bit in the throat while sinking. Instead it was a more warming spicy, and it was actually quite sweet.
I was also a little concerned about the fact that it had ginger in it, and I’m under the impression that I don’t much care for ginger. The first chai I bought for myself ever and tried to make had something or other in it, a strange flavour that I can’t quite recall anymore, but when telling others about it, they said that it was most likely to have been ginger. This didn’t seem to have that particular flavour. Or at least not in a concentration where I couldn’t get it down.
I could smell cardamom very clearly. I wasn’t even in doubt about it. I could taste a little sweetness from cinnamon too and I was a bit on certain about whether or not it also contained vanilla.
It reminded me of the elephant vanilla chai, except not quite as sweet. It wasn’t the same sensation of drinking something that was actually supposed to have been a sweet dessert, but it was much better than I had feared. I can’t really decide, though, if I liked this one better than the elephant vanilla chai or not. In some ways I did, but in some ways I didn’t. I can get a medium sized cup the next time, although I still don’t think I’d be able to drink more than that of any of them without it becoming way too much.
Oh my god, I was with my boyfriend yesterday after work so I didn’t have a chance to check Steepster at all. I just curiously peeked in at the forum last night when I was checking email and replied to a couple of topics, but I haven’t read most of them yet and I haven’t read any of my dashboard pages at all since… tuesday morning, I think. And this last week I’ve been on a rather an enormous adding spree for no other reason than clicking the ‘follow’ button is way more fun than it logically ought to be. I just like adding new people, it makes me feel social. Probably a subconscious response to being such an anti-social person in real life.
I’ll just do my backlogs while gathering courage for tackling the rest.
First up, a backlog from yesterday. I was at a course and this was the tea served. Or rather, it was the topmost teabag in the pile provided to choose from. I wasn’t feeling picky and I’ve always liked strawberry tea.
It did definitely taste of strawberries, but it was fairly synthetic in flavour. Had a LOT of equally synthetic aroma too.
Actually, it had so much aroma that (and I swear this is absolutely true) I accidentally dipped one sleeve of my cardigan in the cup and got a little stain there, and hours later the boyfriend sniffed at my other arm and stated, “you smell like strawberries today.” He didn’t know at the time that I’d had strawberry tea. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but what are the odds?
So, it was a pretty mediocre cup of tea, but I’m inclined to be generous on the rating. Even the most mediocre tea wins in flavour when you get to drink it from a proper cup instead of those cheap plastic cups that you just burn your fingers on.
Because this was such a success the other day, I’ve tried to reconstruct it today. I needs it. I need something that is so good that it can take away the sneaking girl-stomach issues and the general pouting that the fact that my presence has been requested at work on wednesday, which because I work part-time is normally my day off, has brought on. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I hate, abhor and just generally dislike meetings. Especially those I can’t get out of.
So something sweet and distracting, yes please.
When I tried this the other day, it was the second steep of the caramel, and this is the first steep all round, so it’s intersting to see if it’ll turn out the same success or if I’m in for a bit of a disappointment.
Nope. Still good. Still sweet. What girl-stomach? What meeting?
Backlogged from this morning’s travel mug. My, my. I do believe the Drama Llama visited Steepster last night. Complete with Martyrian Exit and everything. I will outright admit that I might not have handled it too well. Wank makes nobody look good, and I’m no exception. A better approach would probably have been to show them how to write a discussion prompt without being hurtful in the process, but I was too angry at the time to realise that. Again, my apologies to the admins for not having managed to contribute in a constructive way, but it doesn’t change the fact that I stand 100% by every single word I said. Or wrote, if you prefer.
One good thing did come of it, though. This morning I enjoyed my cheap-as-dirt and supposedly-white bagged tea IMMENSELY. Spite can make the mediocre occasionally exceptionally awesome.
I saw two raspberry tea posts in a row and I got inspired. So Raspberry Rampage, oh yes!
(I’m a widdle wabbit wot can’t type!)
Having this now as an after-after-dinner tea, and it’s nice and semi-sweet.
There’s lots of raspberry in the aroma and something fruity in the flavour although I still don’t really think it tastes very raspberry-ish.
I give up, I can’t think of anything else to say about it. Dreadfully short post from me, I’m so sorry. Forgive me.
A setting is being demanded of me, so here I am (I quote) with my delightful boyfriend (who’s really putting up nicely with all this abuse) on a sunday afternoon. I had some of this this morning and discovered that I liked it a lot cold too, so I made a pitcher of it and put it in the fridge for later. It is now later.
For experimental reasons I added just a pinch of peppermint to it, because I was reminded of that peppermint/liquorice root herbal stuff that two of my colleagues favour. That one is I think about two thirds peppermint and one third liquorice root, and I find it far too pepperminty for me, which is why I only added a pinch of it to this.
I think it turned out very nice. It’s like it’s sweet, but it’s not sugar-sweet. Another time though I think I’ll add a little more peppermint to the mix because I can’t really pick up what I added to this one. Obviously I haven’t found the golden middle road yet.
When one of the first things you see after having woken up is annoying, then you need a tea to match. Not an annoying tea, just one that matches. This is mine. It’s my “HA! IN YOUR FACE, ANNOYANCE!”-tea. Which I suppose is interesting considering I gave it a mediocre rating the first time around. But there you are.
Ah yes, that’s better. The aniseed first and then the liquoriceroot at the back of the mouth after. A sweet tea that makes me feel like my mouth is turning black. It reminds me of the strong liquorice that we like here in Scandinavia but which my boyfriend, who’s english, claims is nearly inedible and at the very least shouldn’t be sold as ‘sweets’.
There might be a yo-yo rating on this one. For a first sip, I feel like it’s set really low, but that might change later on.
I forgot half a cup and it got cold. Hey, this is almost better when cold. Rating is going up a notch.
Fourth steep while watching Midsomer Murders. Only ten minutes left of the episode and I STILL think they ALL did it. Gah!
It’s hard to believe that this is the tea that initially disappointed me with lack of flavour. I must definitely have brewed it wrong the first time, because today I’m founding an astounding amount of flavour. It’s a bit weakened but not that much. Yes, I added a few fresh leaves to the third steep, but not remotely enough that they could carry two whole steeps all on their lonesome.
I’m beginning to change my stance about how much I think it lives up to the high price. Tastewise, not really, but… I can’t think of the right word. Like… the endurance of the leaves? How many times they can be used successfully? In that regard, it is definitely worth a purchase. I still think it’s very expensive, but it gained a little more worth in my eyes.
(OMG the vicar did it??? But but but but but he was the nicest person around! I did NOT see that one coming.)
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.