383 Tasting Notes
The flavored tea selection in my sipdown pile is getting frightfully sparse, so I allowed myself to have one of my yet-untried Butiki teas tonight. I decided on this one because I am always on the lookout for the perfect lemon tea, and I love all things almond. The dry leaf is quite artistic with greenish silver needles along with tiny pink flower petals and a few slices of almond. Dry scent is fantastically similar to lemondrop candies with a little bit of a nod to cake. I followed the instructions and steeped 2 teaspoons for 3 minutes at 185 degrees.
Yum, the aroma! It conjures up visions of a lovely tart lemon cake dripping with sugary sweet glaze. Om nom nom! I tried the first few sips plain, but then added a tad bit of sugar just to help the pastry side of this come out. Overall, I must say that this came out a little bit too light for me – next time I will use more leaf. I wish that Stacy included the amount of tea in grams as well as teaspoons in her instructions, since large fluffy teas like this one are difficult to measure by volume. I will say that the flavor here is really quite lovely! It tastes very similar to lemondrop candies with a little bit of cake or pastry reference in there. Very yummy, but next time, more leaf! :)
Flavors: Cake, Candy, Lemon, Pastries, Sweet
I wasn’t planning on writing a sipdown note for this tea since I only had two servings and I just wrote about the first a day or two ago. However, I discovered a note that I didn’t notice before that I thought was interesting. In the extended aftertaste, after the lovely stonefruit and such, I get the taste of sage, and it lingers on my tongue for some time.
I might have to order some of this tea just because it’s very unique and interesting. :)
Another tea from Han Xiang this morning! I find that it has kind of become a habit for me to try a new-to-me black tea (assuming I have one) for my first cup of the day. And that’s the case today! This is the second of three different jin jun mei teas that I ordered samples of, and the leaves are so teeny compared to the first one! They’re almost like miniature versions of the same leaves. They’re quite thin and slightly twisty, and about half golden and half dark. Dry scent is mildly sweet with a hint of herbaceousness that I often find in Fujian black teas.
Brewed, this tea smells very rich with dark fruit notes and a definite scent of molasses, along with that herby smell. Yum, this tea is dark and rich with a very strong flavor. It has a very potent herbaceous note that I find similar to dill? But not quite exactly there. This note always frustrates me, as I can never identify it! :P Otherwise, this tea has a strong fruity presence, in a dark, syrupy dried fruit kind of way. Specifically, I would identify it as a mixture of raisin, prune, and dried dark cherry. Alongside this fruitiness is a lovely rich molasses flavor that goes perfectly with the dark fruits. I catch the slightest suggestion of floral in the aftertaste, which does nothing to deter me.
So I’m wondering if that herby dill-like note is the result of the roasting? I don’t think I’ve ever noticed whether other Fujian black teas I’ve tried were roasted or not, so I guess I should keep that in mind from now on!
Flavors: Cherry, Dill, Dried Fruit, Floral, Molasses, Raisins, Roasted
Just tried this one using the traditional chai method on the stovetop. I used 8 ounces of water and 8 ounces of vanilla soy milk, brought them to a boil and then added a tablespoon of tea. I simmered it for ten minutes and then added some sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract (can you tell I like vanilla…?). It actually came out pretty tasty! This blend has too many cloves in it, in my opinion, and I can’t really taste the other spices aside from maybe the ginger. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since one of the teas in this blend has cloves and then the blender added more cloves on top of that. Oh well, still tasty! :D
This was one of the free samples included in my (very generous) order from Han Xiang Ecological Tea via AliExpress. I must say, so far I am quite impressed with this seller – their tea seems to be of high quality, especially for the price I paid. The samples were two bucks for two small baggies of tea, and I was actually sent three baggies in some cases, along with four bonus samples and a little tea strainer. Huzzah! Thanks to yyz for the awesome recommendation!
So, this tea itself. The leaves are quite beautiful, they’re a lovely combination of white/silver and dark grey/green colors. The contrast of the two colors makes them very striking. I don’t really get much of a dry scent from the leaf, there’s a bit of jasmine but that’s definitely just contamination from the jasmine pearls that they also sent. I was unsure how long to steep this tea, so I started at 1 minute and then kept going until 2 minutes after tasting it.
The brewed aroma is surprisingly smoky and mineral? There’s a bit of the expected vegetal quality hiding in the background too. At first taste, this tea is definitely different from what I expected! At the forefront are fairly sturdy savory smoke and mineral flavors combined with a bit of a seaweed note. The smokiness almost reminds me of smoked meat, ha ha. Somewhere near the middle, that vegetal tone starts to come out and assure me that this is, after all, a green tea. At the end of the sip is a nice mild floral taste that suggests honeysuckle to me, and a light dried apricot flavor, and these continue into the aftertaste. I am left with a fresh and sweet taste in my mouth that lingers long after I’ve finished drinking.
Overall, this tea was unexpected and very enjoyable for me! I’m very happy that the seller chose to include this sample in my order. :)
Flavors: Apricot, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Seaweed, Smoke, Vegetal
Aw, I overleafed this a wee bit and it came out somewhat bitter. I guess in the future I should just throw out that awkward amount of leaf that would’ve been left over, since it’s not really worth it ruining my final cup. I first had this tea in my Den’s sampler and then Ost sent me another packet as a bonus sample in a swap. I like it a lot, it’s definitely one of the best senchas I’ve tried so far. Hooray Den’s! :)
This one is definitely my favorite of the Star Wars fandom blends. It’s a nice combination of almond and hazelnut flavors with just a bit of cinnamon. Super delicious with sugar and vanilla soy milk! And you can’t really taste the rooibos or honeybush much, which is nice.
This sample came from Mandy. This tea seems to get quite a bit of love around these parts, so I was rather excited to try it. Jasmine is one of the few florals that I can stand, assuming it’s not overly powerful. The green tea leaves are dark blue/grey/green and quite thin, and they’re curled up slightly. There are also very thin pine needles mixed in. I used 1.5 teaspoons of leaf and steeped at 175 degrees for 1.5 minutes.
The brewed aroma is very sweet with jasmine and just a little bit of pine scent. Hmm… Brewed this way, this tea is a bit too light for me. Perhaps next time I’ll try a longer brew time. The jasmine is at the forefront, but it’s not too strong. The green tea is quite mild and buttery with a sweet edge. The pine mostly manifests as a nice cooling sensation near the end, but I can also taste hints of it throughout the sip. Overall, I can see this one being nice and comforting and relaxing, but I think I would either brew it with more tea or for longer.
Flavors: Butter, Jasmine, Pine, Smooth, Sweet
Trying my second (and last) packet of this in cold water today, just to make a fairer judgment of it. Last time I had it hot with vanilla soy milk and it was delicious, but I could definitely taste the milk more than the tea itself. In water, it’s not bad, but not nearly as good. It has an almost woody flavor, which is odd. Still pretty tasty though!
Not going to rate this as I don’t really have a point of reference for it. :P
Flavors: Creamy, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood