1107 Tasting Notes
Out of the Select box so generously provided by Ricky my first try is this.
I’m… uh… slightly frightened. I don’t have a very good track record with peach flavoured teas. If it’s a naturally occuring note of peaches that’s fine, but peach flavoured not so much. I’m also not a big fan of ginger.
Frankly, I thought these leaves were dreadfully stinky. Probably due to above caveat, but still. After steeping it’s more peachy and I like that aroma a lot better, although I remain sceptical about this whole peach thing.
Oh gosh. Ginger. Actually it’s not as bad as I had feared, but it’s not really surprisingly nice either. It’s just… ginger. Spicy and prickly and… gingery. This is a very primary note for me. I’ll give it 10-ish points though, for not being totally horrid in spite of being ginger.
The peach is rather more subdued, difficult to find under all that ginger and mainly present in the after taste. That really takes care of my peach reservations, because it’s not very pronounced at all. Subtle and discreet. That’s a rather pleasant surprise and it shows me that there are ways in which I can like a peach flavoured tea. It just has to be quite faintly flavoured. So fifteen bonus point for that.
The base is a Fujian black. If it was a basic black that would have been at least 80 points right there, but as it is flavoured and therefore not supposed to be the primary anything, I’ll have to say only 30 points on that account. Besides you could have totally fooled me about the base. You can tell it’s Chinese because it’s so smooth, but Fujian-ness? Can’t find any for all that ginger.
That’s a middleish score then. I shall have to try it in a cold brew also and see if that changes things any.
A while ago Kashyap had a fund raising contest in which donaters could win a VAST amount of this tea. I was lucky. And I do mean vast. I haven’t seen so enormous a bag of tea since the time the Black Powder blend was taken off the shelf at my then local teashop and they let me relieve them of the remainder of the stock. (I do miss that Black Powder…) Anyway, huge amount of tea. Have tinned some and put the rest away and only now got around to trying it.
Disclaimer: I’m very very ambivalent about EG. The majority of the time I find them slightly unappealing, but there have been a few famous exceptions. Kusmi’s Smoky Earl Grey, for example. That one is made of awesome. This one, in the company description, also mentions smokyness and other related sorts of words. I find that a good sign.
For the aroma, I’m getting mostly bergamot. Citrus-y and sour, but without that dusty dry sort of association that I got from those EG’s I found the most unpleasant. This actually smells like something that is edible, not like licking a storage shelf.
Rather a lot of that bergamot on the flavour too. A little too much for my taste to be honest. It makes a very tart-ish cup, although a deeper sort of tartness than biting a lemon. Also a touch of dustyness right at first on the sip.
It’s early in the morning, and I can’t really get any closer than this. It’s Earl Grey. Those who like EG with lots of bergamot in it, might find this very nice. Me I find it drinkable, probably in the better end of drinkable, but still just that really. I’m sure I’ll get through the big enourmous bag sooner or later, though. Probably I’ll share some of it.
Ricky is a kind soul who sent me stuff. All I did was notice that the new Steepster Select deal was not yet available for us international peeps, and then, what do you know! He offered to send me a box, as apparently he had some stuff he wanted to share with me anyway. Isn’t that nice of him? I’ve already started putting some serious thought into what to include in a return package.
I had the seriously first stroke of luck this whole week and managed to get home, in spite of having a small adventure with bus stops and bus routes not going where I thought they would, to get home just precisely in time to pick the package up before the post office closed. Awesome! I’ve had serious Positive Stuff deficiency this week, I thought I had earned this break.
Anyway, I got it home, confessed to the boyfriend that I had managed to nearly get lost between home and the bus stop (I find it easier to do this straight away and give him the cheap laugh. It always seems to slip out eventually anyway), and unpacked the box. There were the Select items in it and also some other goodies. This one was the one that struck me as the most immediately interesting of the lot. I’ve had so many good experiences with 52teas’ various berry blends. That raspberry and blackberry green blend, the name of which I can’t currently recall, springs to mind.
Anyway, I made a pot of this for dessert this evening and stretched my generousity a bit to make it a large pot to share iwth the boyfriend instead of the small one for me. Because I’m nice that way. When it suits me.
The aroma of the leaves and the steeped tea is more or less identical, and it’s so awesome. I sat there for several minutes just sniffing the tin! Berry-like and sweet, and with a strong note of something that weirdly enough remind me mostly of dates. That’s odd. I don’t like dates. Not one little bit. Why would I find a smell that remind me of them so pleasant? If I try to put dates out of my mind though, I think it smells sort of coconut-y vanilla-y with a touch of licorice. It reminds me of sweets. That must be the explanation then. :)
I’m getting a lot of berries in the flavour as well. Mostly blueberries, I think, with blackberries following closely behind, especially in the aftertaste. And underneath that I’m still getting the black tea, slightly astringent (ahem, I think that was my fault…) and slightly grain-y.
This is super-nice and right up my alley! I suspect it would work well on a green base also, bit like aforementioned rasp/blackberry number.
I’m just sorry that I can’t have more of it and surprised it hasn’t been posted about more on Steepster.
It’s been ages since I had some of this, and today it seemed just the thing. I’m glad I picked it. Somehow it gets even yummier when had seldomly rather than when had often.
It got about twice as long a steep as I would have normally done, mostly on a whim. yu76tyggggg oh look, a cat on the keyboard. This is not a tea that I’ve had a lot of bad oversteep experiences with, and I suddenly decided to see if a longer steep (I do short steeps normally) would have any impact on the result considering how much leaf I normally use.
It turned out just as it should. Maybe even with a little more depth to it, but I’m not sure if that’s not just something to do with how I remember it. It is a good while since the last time I had any of it.
I’m on the second steep of it now, same time as the first and my normal second steep time. Less berry, as much oolong. Still very nice indeed.
I think I’ve said it before, but I feel sorry for all you americans who can’t just go and get some of this whenever you like. Not unless you’re willing to pay some probably pretty fierce shipping.
And there are now 2 tins and 6 samples to go before I’m allowed to get new orders in. I’ve decided which companies I think I want to shop with and what I think I’ll want to buy. I think. Maybe.
There’s a race on now. Can I finish these requirements before my new Visa/debitcard arrives or will the card get here first? Yeah, following the theft of the phone the other day a colleague told us to have our cards closed as well, because all the thief would have to do was write down the information on the card and then they could abuse it online. So I’m now not only phoneless, I’m also penniless. I’ve got money. I just can’t get to it. The boyfriend is providing me with cash for the next few days until I get a new card, but GOSH it’s irritating. And limiting!
So we’re still sticking to really good teas, because I’m still in a foul mood. I’m glad I’ve got another vanilla tea in stock though. It took me a while to really come round to it, but I have reached a point where I must have something black and vanilla flavoured in the house. It’s just a question now of finding the perfect brand as well. The Chi of Tea vanilla Nilgiri famously briefly held the spot, but since that has now been out of stock since, it seems, the dawn of time, I’ll just have to look elsewhere. I’ve got a few different ones planned for ‘auditioning’ and if all else fails, I believe I might be able to blend my way to perfection. What I really want is a vanilla black, vanilla primarily and then just a touch of coconut. Just enough coconut to add depth, but not enough to necessarily be immediately recognisable as such. As a variation, also in combination with a sort of fruit, like the strawberry zabaglione 52teas had at one point.
My brand new mobile phone which I’ve only had for a month and barely started paying for yet has been stolen. Warrenty does not cover theft.
My favourite teapot is in the dishwasher.
I’ve been rained on both to and from work.
I accidentally stepped on a kitten paw coming home (thankfully no injured kitties followed)
Apparently we’ve run out of one of two kinds of cat food. They’ll have to make do with a second breakfast instead of dinner.
I’m in bad need of comfort and calming down tea. Making things right in the world again tea. Tea that reminds me of happier and luckier times and the wonderful friends I’ve made here.
Again, thank you, QG, for sending me this. You saved my day this evening.
Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I’ll go somewhere else and be bloody enraged for the rest of the day. I’m going back to only second-hand mobiles. They’re much safer from stupid thieves. >:(
I tested this on the boyfriend this morning. For some reason I had got it in my head that he didn’t like this type at all, so I’ve been avoiding it for the shared pot for the longest time. This morning however I finally decided to ask him either confirm or reject this notion. He couldn’t remember what it was like, so we had a pot.
Turns out it was indeed a wild notion of mine, and that he didn’t have any opinions on it for or against. Not a favourite obviously, but totally not ruled out either.
Excellent! It’s good to know these things.
I tried this in a cold brew. I found it pretty offensive hot, so given the name I decided to give it a go.
It’s not as bad cold is it was hot. In fact, it’s not… anything. I can get some mild hints of fruity flavour, but mostly it’s just brightly red coloured water.
I’m officially considering tossing the rest of it, because I can’t really see myself brewing it again either hot or cold. There’s about a sample size amount left but it’s in a large-ish tin. So if I toss it (or give it away if there are anybody out there who’ll take it off my hands), does it count as a sample or a tin in the Next Order Requirements accounts?
This tea is brought to you by one part glee and two parts comfort.
Glee. Mr Prime Minister finally saw fit to announce a general election. It’s about freaking time too; now let’s get it over with. If he had waited until thursday next week it would have been the longest time between general elections ever since the current constitution was passed. (Every four years. The PM can choose any time which works for him, but he can’t go over those four years. Not even by a day.)
Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn political. I certainly know what I’m hoping, but I’ll keep it to myself. There may be some jubilation or drowning of sorrows once the result is in, but otherwise I shan’t bother you.
Comfort 1 I have a cold. Again. I’m pretending it doesn’t exist, but I would like the comfort.
Comfort 2 This was not even supposed to be a factor originally, and it’s brought on by the fact that I apparently tinned this in a tin with a very tight fitting lid. A VERY tight fitting lid. Very. I’m sure you can guess where this is going.
Maybe half a pot’s worth on the floor. That’s a lot when you only bought around 25 grams and my floors are not in any sort of state for leaf salvation.
So as you can see, I have ample reason to bring out the big guns here. This tea is going to have to infuse me with some energy and optimism. Only the Very Best will do under such circumstances.
I have a rather ambivalent relationship with Yunnan. I think it’s because they have such a very distinctive flavour profile. Sometimes they’re the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas, and other times they’re simply ‘meh’. Or even worse, like drinking hay. Makes me feel rather like a cow, really.
When I first had this one it was obviously a bee’s knees phase, and during those times I like it so much that I feel it’s unfair to fiddle with the rating now that I’ve been in meh phase, if not an actual cow phase, for so long.
Today, though, I decided to have it based on the fact that it’s been so long since I’ve had any. I have a couple of different brands to choose from and it’s only now, after I’ve made my cup, that I realise that had I chosen a different brand I could have crossed off one more sample. Oh well. Ten samples, three tins to go before I am allowed to make a new order. I’ll get through that quickly enough anyway.
I think actually right now I’m not quite in a bee’s knees phase, but it’s not quite a meh phase either. We’re in-betweening here. I think I’ll take this cup with me and watch some tv, maybe. After having checked a few things and places and all, of course.
(Work. It ought to be illegal!)