388 Tasting Notes
So, I am drinking the Autumn 2013 picking of this tea. I may have dulled my palate prior to drinking this by eating pizza drenched in habanero sauce, but I’m still really enjoying this tea! I really like how it has lots of malty and chocolatey notes, but it isn’t a tea with big tannins, which allows some very strong floral notes to come through. The combination isn’t what I’m used to or what I expect out of a black tea, but I get the feeling that this tea might grow to be a favorite.
Still loving this tea two years later. Must drink it up soon, though! I said I was going to drink some flavored tea today because of my cold, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I picked up my canister of “Hello Sweetie” and the dry leaves smelled like Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, which is a really great smelling sunscreen, but the association was not appetizing at all.
Here is another aged tea that my dog tried to eat…
Definitely getting sick today. Blah. My nose is only mildly runny, but I’m sure it’s affecting my senses at least a little bit.
The leaves look nothing like an oriental beauty. They’re all black, and don’t have that mixed “calico” tea look. I did do a quick rinse. The tea liquor becomes colored very fast, like puerh-fast, which surprised me.
This is an unusual type of tea, for sure…But I wasn’t a huge fan. I also did get a note of green peppers when I first brewed this tea, some black pepper, there was also an earthiness, some mushroom-y notes, and a lot of clay/pottery…A chalky flavor without the dry texture, if that makes sense (ETA: this is called “minerality”, duh). I’ll definitely try this again when this cold passes. I’ll be brewing a lot of flavored teas until then, I guess.
Drinking the very end of this grandpa style. This is another tea my dog ate. He seems to have preferred aged teas and puerhs. (Damn his good taste!) I’m finding it a challenge to describe teas recently, because it seems so many notes appear again and again, but the proportions are what makes the difference. This still seems like many quality roasted oolongs I’ve had, but what sets it apart is a mild fruit-snackyness. It doesn’t seem like anyone else noted this fruitiness, so maybe I’m delusional or getting sick. Don’t care, still enjoying it.
I first tried the Arya Pearl from Canton Tea Co. I’ve fallen in love with it, and it’s become a cupboard staple, something I never want to be without. Sometimes I think I prefer this tea after it’s aged and mellowed out a bit, but it’s definitely very nice when it’s young too. I don’t really like the way it’s described on the American Tea Room website. This tea tastes to me like flowers after a rain, and fresh, ripe green saturn peaches, and maybe only a touch of pepper. Other years, it has had notes of vanilla ice cream. The best part of this tea, and what many of my favorite teas share in common, is the long-lasting aftertaste (or “finish”, as we’d say in the wine business). My mouth is full of flowers and fruit for a long time after I drink this tea.
I was so pleased that I was able to google-sleuth this and the name of this tea and a picture! I was really intimidated by the smell of the dry leaves. They smelled very nutty, almost chocolatey, and very umami, almost like seaweed praline- a very strange combination. Thankfully, when this tea is brewed, those notes mellow out and come together in a really nice way. The sweet nuttiness becomes more of a roasted grain flavor, and the umami is toned way down. It has a nice sweetness to the aftertaste, but this tea is still pretty foreign to my palate. I’d bet this would be a wonderful tea to have with a meal.
ETA: The tin has a really odd design on it…It’s an open-mouthed frog, chasing a rabbit (who’s wielding a branch over its head), chasing a monkey?