1279 Tasting Notes
I’ve written about this one before, as having not a huge amount of flavour to it, but it helps if it’s allowed to sit for a little while.
This morning I have tried making it in a gaiwan gong fu style (or an approximate of gong fu, since I’m not sure I’m doing it entirely right). The aroma is strong and spicy when brewed this way, and the flavour is too. I haven’t quite got the hang of steeping it, so it’s a little oversteeped and slightly bitter, but not so much that you can’t tell what it’s supposed to be like. Strong, spicy and nutty. It’s actually a much better tea when brewed this way.
At first I brewed it in the traditional western way with a proper tea pot. I found it a mild flavour, a bit delicate. Pleasant, but not something that sticks out as exceptionally good. It’s a pretty good every day tea.
Then I got the mad idea to try and brew it gong fu style in a gaiwan. I’ve never really managed to get the hang of gaiwans. I always spill or burn myself or both. I used the last of my leaves to do this. Unfortunately I failed to remember to do this with caution as it is now severely over-steeped, bitter and undrinkable. First steeping has therefore been disposed of. Second (very short!) steeping is much much better. The flavour is noticably stronger than when brewed in a teapot and more complex. There’s a sort of nutty finish to it, I think. It definitely wins by being brewed this way.
I suppose what I really need is a crash course in gong fu and use of gaiwan.
The only Pu-ehr I’ve got and it was sample-sized to begin with! This is not okay, I need to be tea shopping soon. Except then I’ll be laughed at by friends and family for already having more teas than I can remember.
Unfortunately it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to get more of this particular one. Not very old for a pu-ehr, but very mild in flavour, I think. I’d like to try something older than this.
I have proclaimed the strawberry tea of this brand my ideal strawberry tea. I’m not sure if I can do the same with the lemon tea. I mean it’s not like I was expecting something else, because I haven’t had better. But I haven’t really had worse either. I keep wanting to log this one, but in the last two days I’ve had three pots of it and I just end up drinking it and forgetting to log or even think about what I’d write about it. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I’ve decided that it must be good. If it was bad, surely it would be easy to log, right?d
It’s a pleasant tea, not so lemony as to be sour, but not un-fruity either. I think it has a pretty good balance considering the fruit, and I’m toying with the idea of blending it with the strawberry tea. On it’s own I think it would also be great as an iced tea.
I had this on the train home from my parents’ last night and once more came to the conclusion that Kusmi is indeed drinkable but otherwise overrated. This one isn’t as perfumed as other teas of the brand that I’ve tried, but it’s not particularly memorable either.
This review however must be taken with the understanding that making tea on the train involved hot water from a thermos rather than freshly boiled, so the steeping process was far from ideal. I think I might just stick to coffee on the train from now on.
In a fit of experimental inspiration I took a pot of generic Gunpowder and added a smidge of peppermint to it. The result is… interesting. Minty. It’s sufficiently drinkable that I’m not going to pour it out, but I wouldn’t really recommend the combination. Not as served hot anyway. I suspect it would work a lot better on ice.
When smelling the leaves or the steeped tea, you’re not left in the slightest bit of doubt as to what marzipan is made of. When they say it’s a sweet tea, they’re not kidding! Show me a person who takes this tea with sweetener and I’ll show you a person with a sugar problem. It’s not unbearably sweet though, and the actual flavour is more black tea with a streak of almond than it’s the unbearable sweetness that you get from the scent. It’s actually much better than expected, but unlikely to be a tea I’ll be drinking large amounts of. One small pot now and then should suffice.
One of the reasons I like shopping at Teaspring is the bonus points you get for each purchase. This is a sample sized piece of the brick bought for those bonus points. I don’t drink a lot of Pu-ehr, but when I do I tend to like it. The colour of this one is bright reddish brown and the aroma is spicy and so strong that you can smell it already when pouring a cup. No need to get your nose anywhere near the cup for it actually. The flavour doesn’t quite live up to the aroma, though. You expect something strong, but it isn’t. The flavour is mostly there in the after-taste. It’s still good though.