1328 Tasting Notes
I got inspired for a vanilla tea just now so I made me a small pot. And then my head wasn’t really in it so I wasted a whole spoonful of this nice vanilla tea but going to put the leaves in the pot and failing to pour out the water that I had used to heat the pot up first. Very ARGH!-worthy when you only have a sample-size tin. I wish I had more of this to mix with. I’ve got a TON of stuff now that I’d like to blend it with, but alas.
Huh. It would appear that I’m currently following 70 Steepster accounts. 70! Looking at my dashboard page I think we can reach the conclusion that some of those must be inactive and I probably ought to clean it up a bit.
Anyway, I chose this tea during my little ‘accident’ yesterday because ever since last sunday when my boyfriend was here and we had this awesome caramel ice cream that totally tasted like childhood, I’ve been slightly obsessed with all things caramel.
The dry leaves smell heavily of caramel and it has tiny cubes of actual caramel in it. There is a very big risk that I’m going to offset the entire balance of this by uhm eating them. (I tasted one, they’re yummy!)
Strangely enough, where I found the two other black teas I bought lighter in colour than I had expected, this is just the opposite. It’s darker than I expected. A little darker than maple syrup. Granted it’s slightly oversteeped, but still.
The smell is not as sickly sweet as you might have expected. Or at least I did. It smells like caramel and not so much of tea, but still not completely overwhemingly sweet.
Strangely enough, this tastes more like tea than it does of caramel. I was expecting something sweet and smooth and instead I got something lightly astringent and with a rough sort of flavour that makes me wonder what it’s based on. It just say chinese and ceylon tea, so it could be anything. The caramel is there, but it’s like it’s caramel without sugar. It’s good enough, but it’s not really what I was expecting. I’m thinking a bit of sugar might bring out the caramel more but even as I’m missing the sweetness, I’m strangely reluctant to test it.
As mentioned, though, it was a bit oversteeped, so not doing that might make a difference. I’ll try that the next time and possibly adjust my rating accordingly
Okay, first of all, WTF? I could have sworn that Chun Mee was a chinese tea. This prompted me to look through my books on the subject and it would appear that Chun Mee originally came from the Jiangxi province and has since spread to the rest of China. It’s produced in Yunnan now, for example. So why shouldn’t it have spread to Taiwan as well, just like Gunpowder? But it just still feels weird to me that it’s not chinese.
The name means ‘precious eyebrow’, and apparently refers to the way the leaves are twisted. I don’t know, they don’t look very eyebrowish to me, but there you are. They have a nice dusty green colour and the aroma is sweet but not very strong.
In the cup it gets a nice yellow colour. The shop recommended an 8-10 minutes steeping time which I just couldn’t make myself do, especially since my literature warned me that if oversteeped this is a tea that can get devilishly bitter, so I took the first cup after about the usual 4-5 minutes and let the rest continue to stew. It had the same sweet but vague smell that was kind of difficult to find, like the harder you breathed in the more it just sort of slipped around your nose. This did not change significantly with increased steeping time.
I have to say that the first cup did have a relatively weak feel to it, but it was still a full bodies sort of flavour. It was a bit astringent and it had that prickly sort of taste that I personally think of as what they mean with ‘spicyness’ in tea. With increased steeping time it turned a bit more astringent and developed a more sour sort of after taste which went on forever and ever. Not sour like in a lemon, more like sour like in a cup of coffee that has gone cold.
The Gunpowder Blend that I had yesterday had that same sort of aftertaste to it, and I’m nearly certain that they must have used Chun Mee for that blend. And seriously proud of my self for having figured this out too.
I think I definitely preferred the slightly weaker one of the two cups I had, and I think it must also have a couple more steeps left in it.
First of all, this is NOT to be confused with Gunpowder as we know it, as in the green tea. While it does contain green tea and the green leaves are easily recognisable, they don’t look like Gunpowder to me. The name has more to do with the nature and taste of the blend. (Also, I’ve translated the name from danish, in which the tea Gunpowder is never mentioned)
This is supposedly a secret blend. I suppose that’s why on the shop’s website it says what it contains. English breakfast, a green tea and lapsang souchong. So apparently it’s only the identity of the green tea that is so sooper seekrit. My wild guess would be Chun Mee since that’s a strong enough green to do well in blends and the green leaves definitely look like they’ve been twisted.
Since it has green tea in it, I thought it best to let the water breathe for a couple of minutes before pouring it on. In the meantime, all you can smell on the dry leaves is the lapsang souchong, but it’s got a milder sort of smell with something sweet too, which I expect must be the seeeeeekrit green tea.
Considering that two thirds of this, at LEAST, is black tea and one of those is lapsang souchong, this has a very light colour. It smells really good though! The lapsang souchong isn’t at all as overpowering in the brew as it is in the dry leaves. It sort of reminds me of a wet cat who has just come in from the rain, and I’m showing my colours as a cat person when I say that I kind of like that smell. It was just the first thing that popped into my head when I smelled it. A normal person would probably describe it as a full sweet smell with a note of smoke.
This is really great! I could definitely get used to this. It’s like a very mild lapsang souchong that has been given just a little bit of sugar. At first you think you might as well have been drinking a weak lapsang souchong, but then the rest of the flavour comes out. The sweetness of the green tea and the fullness of the english breakfast and then the sharpness on top of it all.
If you don’t like lapsang souchong’s smokey flavour, I would suggest trying a blend of just the english breakfast and a green tea.
What’s this? A new addition to the collection? “But Angrboda,” I hear you say, “we thought you said you were on a fairly strict weekly budget this month and that it was Stingy-Month?”
Erm, yes. Yes, I did. And it still is. Just with the exception of the hour it took to walk down to the little local shop (and it’s the same shop, btw, it just changed it’s name), pick out *cough*five*cough* new teas and walk back again. AHEM!
I love liquorice and if you ask my boyfriend, who’s english, he’ll tell you that us danes have a weird taste in liquorice. But anyway, this was too interesting to pass by. Smell and visual tells me that they’re not lying about what it contains. I can see lots of bits of liquorice root and it smells a LOT of the aniseed oil.
Anybody here who have ever tried making a pure liquorice root tisane? Then you’ll know that it gives off a lot of flavour immediately after getting in contact with the water, so I’m not worried that it’ll be overpowered by the heavy aniseed.
I was expecting a darker brew, but this is a sort of vaguely reddish light brown colour. It still smells rather a lot of aniseed but the liquorice root is definitely coming after it.
Interesting flavour! Or rather, double flavour. You get first the aniseed in the middle of the tongue and then as you swallow the liquorice root appears along the sides of the tongue. Instead of getting two flavours in combination, you get one flavour sort of taking over from the other. It’s quite nice, but I can’t really find much tea flavour underneath. I can only find a very vague astringency as a proof that it’s there underneath.
ETA: Wow, a little bit of cane sugar really brings out the liquorice root here!
ETA again: Toned the rating down quite a bit because even the small pot is enough. More than enough actually.
Say, isn’t it ‘passion fruit’ in two words? Anyway, I’ve been awake for hours and hours and we’re moving rather quickly towards noon actually. And I haven’t had a drop yet. Not because I didn’t want any, I just didn’t know what to pick. And then in a convoluted sort of thought patterns that I couldn’t trace even if I wanted to, one Arnold J. Rimmer makes the choice for me when the following quote popped into my head. “You are the fruit of their forbidden passion. You’re forbidden passion fruit.” (Red Dwarf S3E6 The Last Day) And I thought, hey why not? (Again with the setting, self! What gives???)
Smells sweet and kind of floral and with a note of something that kind of reminds me of yoghurt, strangely enough. It has a sort of dusty taste to me that makes me wonder if it’s fading and at the same time it tastes more ‘real’ than your average cheap flavoured bags. I think it’s the lack of syntheticness that does it.
Unfortunately I accidentally oversteeped it a little bit and the fruity flavours have drowned somewhat. The tea as such hasn’t turned unpleasant at all, it’s just not really all that sweet and fruity anymore. However, a smidgen of cane sugar, and we are back in business. Very nice.
I have been challenged by a fellow Wrimo to get to 25K before midnight on my NaNoWriMo novel. That means I have currently a little less than three hours to get three thousand more words down. That should be doable IF I can find some discipline to do it and don’t give up and go to bed. Now, I’ve just got to the bit where the actual plot really starts, so it’s turned a bit more difficult. (And why is it all my posts here must have a setting?)
Obviously tea is required for this little project, and I turned to the only proper white one (meaning one of good quality and/or without additives) that I’ve got. I don’t know why, really, it just struck me, when I was looking in the cupboard as a creative type tea. I am also going to put on some creative type music and write, write, write.
For some reason this also inspired me to bring my first yixing pot back into use. It’s been dormant for a while. It just seemed proper somehow. Every time I scald this, I regret that I didn’t have as many pots back when I bought it as I do now so that it’s not seasoned to one particular kind of tea. I’ve got it to the point now where you pour clean boiling water in it to warm it up before brewing and then it has visibly changed colour when you pour it away.
Obviously, I’m not going to get a ‘clean’ taste of this particular tea out of this pot, but I’m not good enough at tasting the differences that it’s generally a problem. Just an aesthetic sort of little complaint. At least it has never been used for anything other than greens and whites, so at least it’s not going to take on a side note of Lapsang Souchong or some such. Obviously, I desperately need a new yixing pot. Or several. grin
I can’t say anything about the proporties really because I don’t know if they’re really the REAL proporties, but it’s sort of a light yellowy colour. The smell has a note of chamomile (which I’m 98% sure has never been made in this pot), and underneath a nicely sweet smell. Thankfully, I’m not getting any chamomile flavour, but the pot has definitely affected the flavour. It tastes more green than white, but with a light astringency and a sweet grassy flavour, I’m not really going to complain about it.
This was really more a review of my pot than it was of my tea, wasn’t it? If you’re curious, you can go and check out what I said about this tea earlier and compare. :)
So we’ve had the Almond Avalance and the Peach Pandemic seems to be winding down. I saw (I forget who you were, sorry! Suzi?) someone mention that they wouldn’t mind it if the next big trend be something with blueberries. I support that. Blueberry Blitz, yes please.
I’m getting more and more fond of this one for every time I have it. I thought the first time that the blueberry was nice but subtle, completely in contrast with everybody else. I had a cold at the time. The next time I tried it I was getting better and there was much more blueberry flavour in it. Now there seems to be even more. I’m worried about what might happen if I keep drinking this. ;p
Mmmm. Good morning tea when you’re on holiday. (Now for that NaNo wordcount. cracks knuckles)