216 Tasting Notes
Interesting! I dropped some leaves in my mug and poured down-a-bit-from-boiling water in, then spent several minutes going “ooh” as the leaves gracefully unrolled and arrowed down through the water. The water started darkening almost right away and was a pinkish sort of gold by the time most of the leaves were off the top of the mug and I could start sipping.
The first steep of this was really strong. Not bitter, but certainly harsh. I wasn’t enamored, but I figured I might as well keep going (if nothing else, the excuse to get up and walk away from the project documentation I’m writing for long enough to heat the water was a draw!).
By the second steep, all of the leaves were down on the base of the mug, but many of them were just barely touching down, like they were dancing around down there. To my surprise, this steep was very different, smoother and with a lingering sweet aftertaste to each sip. For the third steep, it’s sweet almost all the way through, with a lingering astringency and juiciness.
Okay, “sour” isn’t really the right word. There’s something going on here which I’m experiencing as neither bitter nor sweet, though, and I can’t seem to mesh it with my “caramel tea” expectations. Perhaps I’m just holding it up against Fortnum & Mason’s vanilla tea.
Okay, this gets a bit more of a bump up. It makes a really nice cold-brewed fizzy iced tea!
Cold-brewed fizzy iced tea:
1. In a lidded glass carafe, put:
-* 2 liters cold seltzer water
-* 3 heaping teaspoons of Sun’s Up
-* 2 heaping teaspoons of sugar
2. Cuss while running for the sink because you forgot that adding sugar to seltzer water makes it fizz up.
3. Clean the outside of the carafe.
4. Add another teaspoon of Sun’s Up to the carafe to replace what was lost in the fizzing up.
5. Put the lid on.
6. Put the carafe in the fridge.
7. Check on it periodically to watch it turn a gorgeous pink color.
8. For lunch the next day, put your tea basket over a tall glass and pour the iced tea through it to strain.
9. Sip contentedly, enjoying the coolness of the mint with the sharpness of the hibiscus and seltzer.
10. Eye the rest of the carafe greedily.
Bizarrely sour. I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and hold off rating until I can try this again with a fresh steep.
This also makes a lovely mid-day palate cleanser!
Hmm. I tried this with the mini-steeps that Life in Teacup recommends for oolongs — they seemed like a good fit for my new mini-teapot! — but I think I might try this again with the long steeping suggested by Samovar next time.
This tea smells earthy; I can’t think of another way to describe it. With short steeps, though, it tastes lighter and feels heavier than that. I had four cups in four hours — not a whole lot, really, given how teeny-tiny omg adorable this little teapot is — and I felt full and weighed down! For the fifth steep, I went for three minutes, and the resulting tea changed quite a bit: it was more complex and it tasted a bit heavier. However, it also grew bitter very quickly as it cooled.