137 Tasting Notes
Just got this in the mail today and made a cup of this tea to bring with me on my way to class. Steeped, it has a very sweet, grape-y aroma, sort of tastes like grape juice (more like grape-flavoured fruit snacks or something), and is slightly astringent. Being under the drinking age at the moment, I’ve never had Merlot wine, so someone else will have to do the comparing (I honestly got the tea because I was curious about the freeze-dried grapes!). Overall, I think I like it, but I’ll have to try this again some other time without being distracted by note-taking to give a proper rating.
I’m getting mildly irritated at all of the papers that I’ve been writing/need to write, so I’m taking a short (well, maybe long-ish) tea break as I take notes on this and watch a bit of Mad Men. I got a sample of this in my first order from Verdant, tried it once Western-style, but didn’t really enjoy it. This time, I’m trying this out Gongfu style.
Dry leaf aroma: Sweet, almost chocolate-y. It reminds me of some sweet snack or dessert I had at some point in my life, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
First infusion: Tea liquor has a golden hue. Light, slightly sweet, wheaty flavour. Creamy?
Second infusion: Maltier than the first infusion, and I’m definitely beginning to taste something honeylike. At one point I thought I could taste a spice that has a light ‘bite’ to it— cinnamon? Pepper?
Third infusion: Still wheaty, as if I had taken a bite out of fresh wheat bread. Ah, there it is. A little peppery. The creaminess/butteriness is fading.
Fourth infusion: Steeped this a bit longer than I intended to, whoops. Still quite malty, but the honey isn’t as prominent as it was in previous steeps. The creaminess is now mostly gone and has been replaced with a (slightly tingly?) peppery taste. And on that pleasant note, I think I’m going to head back to writing.
Just brewed a cup of this to wind down for the evening. The dry leaves smell vegetal, but upon brewing, the tea has a light, floral aroma. The liquor is a pale, golden colour. Sipping it, I could taste something that reminded me of the aroma of wildflower honey. I could also feel a slightly dry/astringent sensation on my tongue, which might have been due to the temperature of the water. I couldn’t really detect a buttery flavour/sensation this time around. Overall, I seem to have underestimated this tea the first time I drank it; I’m definitely bumping the rating up a bit.
Edit: It seems to get more dry/astringent as it cools, but there’s also a stronger, sweeter aftertaste.
I attempted to cold-brew a small batch of this tea (2 teaspoons for 10 oz, steeped and put in the refrigerator for about 10 hours). I added a bit of sugar, since I was in the mood for a lightly sweetened iced tea.
The cranberry flavour dominates the tea, with a hint of something vanilla-y in the background. I’d imagine this would be very refreshing on a hot summer day.