2247 Tasting Notes
“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – L
Yay, caught up! This is another one from the last Lupicia group order that I haven’t tried yet.
Apparently this is supposed to be peach, mango, and orange. Mostly I get a generic tropical flavor, which could be mango-esque. There is also something that reminds me of Peachy-O’s, so I suppose that would be the peach.
Overall, it’s a muddled sweet tropical fruit sort of tea. The base is partially CTC, so it’s a bit too brisk for me. I’ll have to try it as a milk tea though!
Flavors: Astringent, Candy, Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Tannic, Tropical
“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – K
Ughhhh so tired. I started making bento for lunch again this week, and I feel like I’m spending so much time in the kitchen. I guess I just haven’t gotten into the groove yet.
Anyway! This is a tea that I randomly picked up in Osaka. Karigane is essentially just kukicha, but made from gyokuro stems. It has a lovely smooth and sweet flavor, with some nice pops of vegetal intensity that remind me of kabocha. There are also some light grassy notes that are very refreshing.
Overall, very mellow and gentle, but also with elements of gyokuro. And quite lovely for when you want a lower maintenance Japanese green! :)
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Kabocha, Smooth, Spinach, Squash, Sweet, Thick, Umami, Vegetal
“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – J
I’m a couple of letters behind after totally forgetting to drink my alphabet tea on Saturday, and then only drinking one tea all day yesterday. So time to catch up!
This tea just sounds so fun, I couldn’t help but pick it out of my “J” options… Unfortunately it never quite lives up to my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pleasant to drink. The jasmine is rather light, which I like with the fruit. But I really just need MOAR FRUIT here. There’s a bit of tart apple, a bit of orange, and a touch of hibiscus (which I actually quite like in this blend). But I just want more of everything! It ends up tasting quite thin and almost bland. A pity, because I really like the concept of this one and it’s almost there.
I still need to try this cold brewed though!
Flavors: Apple, Fruity, Hibiscus, Jasmine, Mineral, Orange, Sweet, Tart
Sipdown! (24 | 228)
Working through my straight black teas, as I like to have one as my first tea of the day, and I figured I’d get this leftover advent tin out of the way.
This is fine. It has some nice bready and grainy notes to it, and a somewhat interesting herby/peppery sort of note? I’m having difficulty describing it… It almost reminds me of tulsi but a bit harsher and woodier. There’s also a fair bit of astringency here, though that could be my steeping parameters. I do get some grape skin-like muscatel notes as well.
Not bad, but not something I would choose. I’m not sure Darjeeling is for me in general, I think I ordered one from Capital Tea Ltd so I’ll have to see what I think of it!
Flavors: Astringent, Baked Bread, Grain, Grape Skin, Hay, Herbs, Pepper, Tannic
Sipdown! (23 | 227)
Just now getting around to drinking this pot of tea that I steeped this morning… I got sidetracked by looking at tea trays and then went to the store and have been cooking all evening. Now I’m so tired and drinking this cold.
It’s delicious though! Very sweet, thick, and fruity. It has some wonderful honey and molasses notes along with soft, malty bread and grains. A tart yet jammy fruitiness that reminds me of dried cherries. The honey aftertaste is amazing, just like licking the leftover honey from a spoon. It’s a richer and creamier honey note, without much floral presence.
Thankful to be sipping on this on the couch, and thankful that I’m not sensitive to caffeine ha ha…
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Honey, Jam, Malt, Oats, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
I picked this one up in my last S&V order because I love passion fruit and fruity oolongs, plus they offer it in a 1-ounce package! I wish that were true for all of their teas…
I was a bit worried about the hibiscus, but it steeped up a pretty pale coral color, so it can’t be too bad. Unfortunately, it’s quite bland. I get a bit of tart fruitiness, but nothing that I would ever describe as passion fruit. Mostly rose hips, I think? The oolong looks green but tastes a touch roasty and also has some mineral notes.
Quite meh! But that’s okay, I’m glad to have tried it. I’ll have to try it as a cold brew as well.
Flavors: Fruity, Mineral, Roasted, Rosehips, Sweet, Tart
Sipdown! (22 | 226)
Saturday afternoon gongfu session! This was a sample I got from a countdown box that I participated in on Instagram, and it’s taken me a couple of months to get around to trying it! It’s a Yunnan black tea harvested from ancient wild trees.
I used the whole 8g packet for about 200ml of water and did six steeps – 5s, 8s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s. I obviously could’ve gone longer, but there was Chick-fil-A waiting to be devoured… :O
This tea actually really reminded me of a Fujian black. It had some lovely thick bread and caraway notes to it, as well as malt and wood. There was some musty hay in the first couple of steeps, but that dissipated quickly. Starting at about steep two, there was a lovely deep bitter cocoa note that persisted for the entire session. A couple of steeps after that, I noticed some hints of dried fruit, specifically dried cherries.
Quite lovely, though not what I expected! I will say I would probably just steep this Western-style if I had more of it, just because I didn’t find that much of a change in the flavors over time. Enjoyed the opportunity to use one of my yixing teapots though!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caraway, Cherry, Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Dried Fruit, Grain, Hay, Malt, Musty, Smooth, Thick, Wood
Sipdown! (21 | 225)
Swap tea! This one was on my wishlist to try from Harney, so I’m thankful to be able to try a bit from a swap.
Honestly, it’s not my favorite. I feel like with each cup I like it less, which is never a good thing ha ha. The maple tastes quite artificial to me, and leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. The base tea is fine, with some woody and earthy notes. A bit thin perhaps?
I even tried it with milk (unusual for me) as it’s a breakfast blend, but I found it didn’t really help with the artificial taste. So not for me, unfortunately! So grateful to tea friends and swaps so I can try things in small quantities. :)
Flavors: Artificial, Earth, Maple, Sweet, Wood
Sipdown! (20 | 224)
“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – I
Another swap tea. Not one I would generally choose for myself, as it’s both an Adagio tea AND a chocolate tea, ha ha…
It’s fine. The Assam-Ceylon base is actually fairly tasty – malty and flavorful but only slightly astringent. The chocolate is very boozy and artificial, it reminds me of these carob-flavored chewable vitamins I used to have as a child.
Overall, it is rather stout-esque, as both the tea and the chocolate are dark, deep flavors. Not something I would ever order, but not bad!
ETA: It just occurred to me, this tastes just like Tootsie Rolls!
Flavors: Alcohol, Artificial, Candy, Chocolate, Malt, Metallic, Smooth, Tannic, Thick
Sipdown! (19 | 223)
Instagram swap tea! I just had to request this one in a swap, because the combination sounded too interesting to pass up.
However, I don’t really get pineapple here? It’s mostly sage, and there is a vague, slightly fruity sweetness to it, but I would never identify it as pineapple. Apple, maybe?
I’m not a sage lover, but it’s not over-the-top at least. It’s still a fairly mellow sage flavor that seems like it would be pleasant as an herbal tisane before bed.
But I wish there was pineapple! T.T
Flavors: Apple, Herbs, Sage, Savory, Sweet