1111 Tasting Notes
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!)
I have attempted a cold brew of this one.
It’s erm… exactly the same tea, only chilled.
This surprised me. With other teas I’ve tried to cold brew the flavouring have really stood out and the tea taking a more background position, but not with this one.
It works quite well as a cold brew, but I think I prefer it hot. I shall attempt cold brewing it half and half with a good vanilla black as well later on, which is also a blend that works well hot, and see how that turns out.
Three tins, twelve samples to go.
The boyfriend requested a Gunpowder and I happened to remember that I happened to have something sample-sized of that sort. Excellent!
The aroma isn’t particularly strong, but it smells quite green and chinese. Somewhat floral as well, which, if you squint, I suppose could be the pseudo-smoky note that some people can find in Gunpowder. Me, I’ve never found it, it’s always been primarily floral for me and I can’t help but wonder if some people let themselves be slightly biased by the name of the tea. But then again, floral and pseudo-smoky notes are very closely related to one another and people interpret them differently.
Taste-wise I still find it rather floral, more so than smoky. I love smoky, I want it desperately to be smoky, but it just won’t be. With that disappointment (again) behind me, it’s actually a very pleasant tea, this one. It’s not so overwhelmingly Chinese Green in flavour and even strikes me as borderline oolong-y and with a smoothly, thick creamy note.
Quite pleasant, this.
This tea is almost legendary. I had a sample of it once from Wombatgirl and I yummed it up as you can see from the rating. And after that it was just… gone. No more Tangerine Blossom for little Ang. Sadface.
Oh well, life goes on.
But then all that lovely Shang Tea customer service business happened and I could make my very own Shang Tea order. Yaaaaaaay! It was of course clear as day that this should be part of the order.
And now I’ve been partly craving it since and partly holding back. At first I was holding back because I didn’t have a tin to put it in, so I couldn’t open the pouch. (It’s a rule. No tin, no opening.) Then I could tin it, but still held back because what if it wasn’t as awesome as I remembered. What if the memory of that lovely tangerine flavoured brew would be tarnished and ruined? Oh woe, almost too much to bear!
And then now, where I decided that I was feeling rather malnourished and deficit in the Vitamin T (get it?) department, and I finally decided I was feeling brave enough to do it.
And you know what? It’s still awesome. Sweetly floral and citrus-y juicy. Just absolutely wonderful.
This was given to me by Wombatgirl a good while ago and I did not like it. Not one bit. I gave it 24 points and felt like I was actually being quite generous based on the fact that I could tell that it was doing what it was supposed to do, it just wasn’t something that I liked. Then the rest of the pouch has been standing around not doing anything since. I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t just throw it out, so I kept it in case I would get a chance to give it away.
Then this summer I’ve been doing some coldbrew experiments and discovering how fruity teas turn out entirely different when made that way. So I’ve made a small pitcher of this cold brewed over night.
My biggest objection to this when brewed hot was the alcoholic note. That was just unacceptable to me, so I was interested to see how it would turn up in a cold brew. And the answer is, it doesn’t. Not at all.
What I’m getting mostly is the honeybush which is sweeter when brewed cold and somewhat less wooden, and the coconut which also seems to work better for me on it’s own when cold brewed. Not sure about the pineapple though. I can’t really find large amounts of it this way.
I am so relieved! In a cold brew I can definitely drink this. I’ll even give it considerably more points. It’s still not, however, something I would say was deeply awesome or suitable for me, but it’s acceptable and nice for something refreshing. As a hot drink, however, I would stick to the previously awarded 24 points.
Now, I’ll definitely manage to finish off the pouch without having to resort to giving it away.
And it’s goodbye to the Captain, who’s joining us for breakfast before setting sail and going off on new adventures. Arrrr!
And that means I’m now down two tins and two samples. When I hit five tins and fifteen samples, I am allowed to make a tea purchase. I have Plans.
This is one that Auggy shared with me recently. I don’t know if she had been peeking in my posts when making that decision or not and seen that I had been rather vanilla interested lately. Even to the point of having an exchange of comments with someone (who were you?) about the sugar-y sort of vanilla versus the coconut-y sort of vanilla flavouring and them liking the former, me leaning towards the latter. This one has coconut in it as well as dried pineapple, so it must surely be the right sort of vanilla flavouring for me.
But how did she know?
Oh yeah. Taste twins. :D
There’s something in the leaves. Some sort of crystallic blue-y white thing. I can’t tell what it is and the description of the gives no clue. So I ate one. It tastes sugar-y and vanilla like, and it looks like after after steeping they have been dissolved as I can’t spot any in the spent leaf.
It smells like cake. There’s tons of vanilla in this aroma and the pineapple underneath it all, at the very bottom of the aroma, giving it substance. It makes me want upside down cake. And custard. The coconut is there in the aroma as well, but it works more like a booster for the vanilla and a filler for the the pineapple rather than a note by itself. I suspect this is what creates the whole ‘cake’ thing.
Oh Auggy! You sent me happiness in a tin. It’s so vanilla-y, so fruity, so sweet, so thick and creamy, so ME!
It definitely confirms for me that my perfect vanilla tea does indeed have those coconut notes to it. The coconut is really carrying this vanilla and enhancing it in most wonderful way.
The pineapple is still taking a backseat to the other flavours here. It’s there at the bottom being juicy and fruity and reminding me of cake (I want caaaaaaake!!!), but it’s not the star of the show and it’s not trying to be either.
This is very very good indeed. I shall hoard the remainder of Auggy’s generous gift.