1189 Tasting Notes
Another tea from the Steepster Select August box that dear Ricky sponsored for me.
I was in the mood for this. I’m not sure why, I just was. It’s weird because I’m not actually a Darjeeling fan at all. I tend to find the grassy, spicy notes rather too prickly and sharp. I used to really appreciate it, but things change.
But today this was really nice. Of course I do have that sour aftertaste now which is making me contemplate what tea to have next to make it go away with, but otherwise it just really hit the spot. Possibly because it wasn’t really all that offensively strong on those aforementioned prickly sharp notes of grass and spice.
Election day. I have been to cast my vote, fingers crossed for the result I’m hoping for.
I didn’t really have anything in the collection which I thought fitted with the whole election theme, so I picked one which could sort of represent the result I’m hoping for.
If you can work out how this tea does this, good for you. If not, I’m not likely to tell yet, although there may be a reaction to the result later on. (I try to keep these things strictly to myself, but you see, I’m just not very good at it.)
A short post, as it’s before dinner tea. In dry form it smells rather like Kusmi’s smoky Earl Grey, but with spices in it. After steeping it’s still the smoky EG, but not as spicy. More sort of slightly sugary sweet, and then a little spice underneath.
Taste wise, it’s still the smoky EG with spices. It’s not very heavy on the bergamot, which I approve of, and it’s got a heatlhy amount of smoke in it, which I also approve of. And then the spices just adds a little touch of the unexpected. A little exotic pinch. A bit of hey-where-did-that-come-from? It leaves a very slight burn on the tongue, as if I’ve just had something with a pinch of chili in it.
Quite nice. I’m glad I was recommended this one. It scores pretty high and would be a competitor to aforementioned Smoky EG from Kusmi. Wether I prefer one over the other, though, or they are more or less interchangable, I haven’t yet decided.
My Shui Tea order arrived today. It’s my first experience with that company so it’s rather exciting. The closest I’ve come to them before is having their Moscow After Hours recommended to me. (Yes, I also bought some of that. It was my primary reason for placing an order, as a matter of fact. This one was the bonus) So I was adding them to my cupboard, on two different tabs because Steepster is a slow-poke, and when I came back later to see if they had been added, Steepster had opened a post window on this one. Well, that decides which one to try out first, then, doesn’t it?
There was one small detail, by the way, when I opened the envelope and checked the contents. I really rather liked the personal touch of the handwritten in blue pen “I hope you will enjoy this. Cheers, Jim.” on the packing slip. (Jim being the founder of the company) I’m aware that he probably does that routinely to all his customers, but it does rather make a person feel like a Very Special Customer.
Secondly, on a more amusing note, the two pouches I had bought came wrapped in a piece of silk paper, which had taken on some of the aroma of the two pouches. Apparently that is super-interesting smell if you’re a cat. I had to take it away from them as I didn’t really fancy sweeping up microscopic shreds of paper from all over the lounge…
The dry leaves smells very fruity. I can detect both kiwi and pear in it, but I can’t for the life of my decide which one I think it smells most like. Kiwi, I think. No, pear. No wait, kiwi. After steeping it’s the exact same problem. Kiwi, but pear, but kiwi, but pear. A pear-y kiwi. Or possibly a kiwi-y pear. It’s like whole new fruit really. The tangy, stabby, sharp notes of the kiwi and the rounded, juicy, soft flavour of the pears. (I’m thinking those big yellow pears here, the ones that you have to eat quickly or you’ll have torrents of juice running down your arms. Impossible to eat in a civilised manner)
Oh my word, this is rather nice! I’ve had a similar flavoured white before, although that one was kiwi and strawberry, and I remember being concerned about the fruit flavouring overwhelming the delicate white tea. I can’t actually remember what I thought of that one at the time, only that I needn’t have worried. Neither is there any need for worry with this one.
In the flavour I’m finding primarily pear and then the kiwi tangyness on tops and edges, framing the flavour. Underneath all that there is still the unadulterated nuttyness of the white leaves. And you know something, Steepsterites? These flavours and this tea, they suit each other so wonderfully.
I’m glad I bought some of this, only if it’s only a sample. A large sample, but still a sample. I can see myself coming back for more of this.
Gosh. We have fleas. Or rather the kittens have fleas. Not many, I think, but I have seen a number of live ones. Killed them on sight, of course, but the thing about fleas is they jump. And when they’ve jumped, they’re gone.
Have therefore been on a super-detailed hoovering mission in the lounge and in my room. When the boyfriend comes home, he will find himself nagged into doing his room as well. Under the furniture. Not just around it. Every nook and cranny and all the cracks between the floor boards. Kittens acted kind of like if getting rid of them involved that sort of racket for hours on end, they would rather prefer the fleas, thank you.
I’ll do the rest of the house tomorrow and am considering a second dose of Frontline even if it hasn’t been four weeks yet since the last one…
I’m knackered now. What better in this situation than a tea that says GRAWRRRRR!!!!
I have even deliberately steeped it twice as long as I normally would have, and it does indeed both roar and growl.
Funnily enough, getting twice the steep has made it change character altoghether. Where’s the hay? Yunnans always taste heavily of hay, so why is the hay suddenly missing?
It’s drier now, more wood-y than hay-y, and it reminds me a bit of dark chocolate and not-too-strong coffee. It has never done that before. I think I quite prefer it this way.
(I’ll trade you all the fleas we’ve got for one piece of dark chocolate.)
I’ve been really enjoying this lately. I might have to start going easy on the leaves and make them stretch out a bit, because otherwise I’ll find myself having to decupboard it long before I’m emotionally ready to do so.
Just that feeling of citrus-y tangerine on the tip of the tongue. It’s exactly like biting a lovely juicy orange citrus fruit. It’s such a treat.
The boyfriend just asked me if this was a Standard and I had to disappoint him. I know channels have been opened now for me to shop at Shang Tea, and my dear Wombatgirl (whose name was unbelievably hard to spell just now) has also issued a standing invitation of buying and forwarding for me. But either way, that’s just to convoluted a way of shopping for me to make it a Standard. That’s a shame. :(
It is, however, still one I’ll revisit when shopping with Shang Tea again either by myself or through my middleman. Er, middle-woman.
This didn’t go as well with pancakes as I had imagined it would. Pancakes had rather too much flavour to really be able to taste this tea. Secondly, there wasn’t really enough leaf for the size of pot I was making.
What I did get out of it, though, was something bordering on caramelised with floral edges and pinch of cocoa. Also something rather raisin-y in there.
That’s it really. This was another one of those teas I could have sworn I had posted about before and so therefore I wasn’t paying too much attention to it. Also, pancakes.
This one courtesy of Ricky (I love that I finally have a good system for remembering where stuff came from!)
I don’t care that it’s not christmas yet. I have discovered that when it’s warm, my room seems to be one of the hottest in the house. When it’s cold, vice versa. This is what I get for having a room with no windows in it. So since the whether has been decidedly autumny as of late, I’m freezing to bits. Or I would be, had it not been for the fact that I’m under the slanket.
Nice hot cup of tea, then. This one, in spite of it being a holiday blend, seems appropriate.
Now, is there a cheat sheet somewhere with what the blend is made with? The leaves smell kind of Keemun-y grainy to me. And with a touch of Assam-y raisin notes. After steeping it strikes me as very Keemun-y and with something else that gives it a chocolate-y note. I’m suspecting Fujian in play here, but I’m far from certain. (Notice how my mind works in primarily Chinese blacks? I haven’t even considered the possibility of Ceylon or Kenya in the mix…)
I was using the timer for something else when brewing, but I thought I would be able to remember to got and pour before it went off. I wasn’t so it’s had an unknown length of steep but definitely longer than it ought to have been. There is a certain small amount of oversteepedness to the flavour now, astringent but not truly bitter. Actually, to be honest, it’s handling this little mistake admirably.
There are definitely Chinese involved here!
The astringency comes across here as that pseudo-smoky note which I associate with Keemuns. It’s got a whole lot of flavour this one. I’m very pleased.
I don’t like this hot at all. I find it insanely bitter and unpleasant, and yes I do know to pay attention to temperature. It just doesn’t appear to be working. Unless it is actually possible to oversteep something when only giving it 30 seconds.
I have discovered a really nice way to use this tea!
I baked a lemon cake today, I thought we could have it for dessert tonight. The icing on it was supposed to be made with lemon juice and icing sugar, but I was making a cup of tea to enjoy while drinking and my eye also fell on this tin.
I followed the whim. Made about half a liter, quite strong and chilled it. Have just used that instead of the lemon juice to make the icing for the cake. It doesn’t really shine through all that much in the icing, but it does give it a slightly funny colour and adds a subtle bit of pizzazz to the icing. I don’t like it hot at all, but apparently this way I find it quite enjoyable.
Now, obviously I didn’t use the entire half liter to make icing for just one cake so I used the rest to rinse the mug I had made icing in. Stirring the remaining icing well into the chilled tea and mixed it back with the rest. I thought it would be an obvious way of sweetening it and also saving on the washing. (I do have a dishwasher now, but old habits of 15 years or so die hard!)
Frankly for a chilled beverage it could have done with a little more sweetening and it hasn’t taken that bitter edge out of the green tea that I was hoping it would. It is, however, still oodles better chilled than warm.
I shall have to try a cold brew of this. That should definitely take care of that bitterness.
All in all this was such a positive experience that I feel generous and will give it a few more points than the original 15.