559 Tasting Notes
I’m going to have a dinner of tea, popcorn, and maybe some Cheetos Puffs.
Do I need to even say it? I’ve had one Hell of a day. Rather than go into the sordid details, I’ll just try to move on with a hot cup of tea in hand and maybe a sappy romance movie to go with the popcorn. I’ll save the Cheetos for dessert.
I’ve had these Adagio teas sitting in my cupboard for what seems like forever. Adagio was one of the first (maybe the first) online tea vendor that I tried when my obsession with tea began two years ago. No, Lupicia was the first. Oh well, then maybe Adagio was the second. Needless to say, I really need to finish up these teas.
First up is Cream! It’s nearly eight o’clock, so I really shouldn’t be drinking caffeinated black tea. But that’s always my excuse for not drinking my black teas when I get home after work. And I never make them during the day because I don’t have my ideal tea making apparatuses at work. Plus, then I’d have to bring milk. I can hardly ever drink black tea without milk. But I digress.
Tonight feels like a cream night. If I wasn’t so lazy, I might go out and buy some whole milk to make a chai latte. Or maybe I’d buy some fresh strawberries and whipping cream and make myself a treat. But alas, I am lazy and don’t plan on leaving the comforts of home even for a minute. The tea kettle is whistling and now it’s finally, months later, time to try this tea that claims to taste like cream.
First whiff of the dry leaves is cream. Second whiff is chocolate. Third whiff is…Robitussin? Yep, smells like cherry cough syrup. How weird. Adagio suggests 1 tsp per cup at boiling water for 3 minutes. I didn’t think 1 tsp of leaves sounded like very much (or looked like very much), so I made it more like 2 tsp minus a little bit because I didn’t want it to be too strong.
The aroma of the brewed tea is now just black tea. I’m expecting to have to add milk and sugar like I always do. But it’s called Cream, so I’m hoping I’ll like it straight, or at the very least without adding milk. It’s still a little too hot to try. I don’t want to burn my tongue and ruin the rest of what could be a fun tea consuming marathon night.
Contemplating the warm aroma while I wait, I think this will be a good one. It has a nice, solid, “I am black tea!” aroma. Hopefully, it will be a good morning tea. I’ve been making coffee lattes to go with my English Muffins for breakfast lately. I know, I know. How can I cheat on tea? Well, sometimes tea just doesn’t cut it. Or more accurately, my tea strainer is almost always still dirty from the night before, and I never want to clean it when I wake up. Coffee seems the only choice.
Okay, at the risk of burning my taste buds off, I’m going to try some now. Wow, it’s still pretty hot. I blew on it and the steam fogged up my glasses. I’m probably going to regret this, so I’ll wait a few more minutes. I should just stop writing and come back in a few when I can actually blog about the tea itself. But as I said, it’s been one Hell of a day. I need to keep myself occupied so I don’t dwell on the negative. I have a habit of downward spiraling into oblivion. I do have to say, something smells excellent in my apartment! I wish I could say it’s this tea (not that the tea doesn’t smell good), but this is something else. Bread? Honey? Butter? I can’t figure it out. Maybe I should eat a more substantial dinner than I have planned. My nose could be trying to tell me something. Nah, where’s the fun in that? ;)
Okay, enough’s enough. (Man, I hate it when my fiancé says that, and now here I am saying it). Enough waiting. First sip…wow! I’m pleasantly surprised! This actually does taste like cream! Sweet cream ice cream to be exact with a light background of black tea. This is insane!!! I can’t believe it! I really wasn’t expecting this. Maybe it’s my dark mood or my empty stomach, but this is just fantabulous! I’m even drinking it straight and enjoying it! I wouldn’t have bet on this, but clearly my instincts were on target the day I bought it. Oh, and that aroma I was smelling earlier? Pie crust. It’s definitely pie crust. Like from a chicken pot pie. Man, I’m hungry.
Anyway, the more I sip on this, the more the black tea begins to take center stage. There’s a slight hint towards bitterness at the end of the sip, but nothing I can’t handle. At the risk of turning this into a normal blah cup of tea, I’m going to add milk and sugar. Nope. I just can’t do it. Walked all the way to the kitchen, opened the fridge, pulled out the milk, took the cap off, and held it over the cup..but no. Maybe on the second steep. I hardly ever re-steep black teas. Don’t ask me why. Okay, now I feel like I have to give an explanation. I’m not really sure why. I guess I find black tea too strong on the first steep (thus my solution is to add milk and sugar) and too weak on the second steep (thus my solution is to not brew it).
Man oh man, this is going to make a great base for something! Maybe I’ll try my hand at creating my very own Adagio custom blend. I also still have some pure peppermint leaves left over. I bet just a touch of those would be great with this! Pretty much anything would be great with this. I’m really impressed, Adagio. I didn’t think you could do it. But this truly does taste like cream! Well done!! :)
And I’m buying a chicken pot pie for dinner tomorrow. :)
My first cold brew experience brought to us by Mercuryhime. :D
I was patient and waited exactly 24 hours, as suggested. ;) First taste…whoa! Unexpected! It tastes completely different than when hot brewed. It’s hard to describe the difference. I actually get an almost dark chocolate flavor now.
I know there’s no chocolate in this, but that’s what it tastes like. Dark chocolate covered strawberries. I think it’s because of how the cold brewing affects the bai mu dan. The beginning of the sip is earthy and bitter. The end of the sip is where the strawberry comes out. And the aftertaste is where the chocolate flavor morphs into white tea flavor.
Wow, so different! I just can’t get over it. I like the aftertaste the most. It lingers pleasantly on my tongue for minutes at a time. Thanks for the cold brewing suggestion, Mercuryhime! I never would have come up with this on my own! :) I am all smiles tonight! :) :) :)
EDIT: I gave the cup to my fiance to try. “Tell me what you think it tastes like,” I said. He replied, “Snow.” “Snow?!” “Yeah, it’s cold.”
sigh The boy just doesn’t understand tea.
After reading the recent posts about this tea, it really made me want some again! Give me that creamy, cherry, cheesecake-y flavor!
I upped the brewing temperature a little bit, and the resulting cup smells heavily of cheesecake and genmaicha. Of course, that’s what it should smell like, right? So far, so
Hmm, this is good but I think I like it better at the lower temperature. The aroma is better now, but the taste is more grassy and less creamy.
Okay, now the rest of this post is going to have nothing to do with tea. But I need some advice. You see, I spend a lot of my time reading. I’ve always loved reading. I have a huge collection of books that I cart around with me every time I move, which unfortunately is quite often. It’s getting to be a bit ridiculous. With the invention of the Nook and Kindle, I’m starting to think that’s the better way to go. You can carry 3500 books in one tiny little tablet! But honestly, it’s hard for me to get over not having the actual book. I like looking at the covers and feeling the pages. I like the smell as they age and the sound of the pages as they turn. I like having a collection of books. Will an eReader really appease me? It’s hard to tell. I know you can’t tell me what to do, but I’d appreciate any advice you can give me. What has your experience been with eReaders? Which eReader would you recommend? Thanks in advance everyone!
I wanted to make this tea over two and a half hours ago, but I’ve had a sleeping kitty on my lap. How could I move and force him to get up when he’s soooo cute? Cutest kitty on the planet!
He must be super tired or super comfortable, because he won’t budge despite my yelling. Why am I yelling? Well, you see, I’m watching 24. If you’ve seen 24, that’s enough of an answer right there. If not, Sean Astin just walked on screen. Without pausing to think, I shouted, “IT’S SAMWISE!!!!!!!!!”
Frodo, my kitty, jolted awake on my lap and then calmly laid his head back down and promptly returned to napping. In case you couldn’t already tell, I’m a wee bit obsessed with The Lord of the Rings. But Frodo didn’t seem fazed by my outburst, so I had to wait him out for another 40 minutes before making this tea.
I can say though that the wait was definitely worth it! The brewed tea aroma is roasty toasty houjicha! Ah, how I love roasted green teas. Oh yum! It’s just so yummy! I’m getting caramel and almond notes, and a bit of milky creaminess too.
This tea is awfully tasty for being nearly one year old. This is renewing my love of houjicha. I’ve been drinking a crappy, minced, bagged version of houjicha lately, and I’ve gotten sick of it. I’d forgotten how wonderful real, fresh houjicha is.
For those of you that haven’t tried houjicha before, GO! DO IT NOW!! BREW PEOPLE BREW!!! But really, try it! It’s nothing like regular green tea. The grassy vegetal flavor is roasted right out of the leaves, and it turns into a soft, mellow, toasted cuppa. Soooo good! Thank you Mercuryhime for yet another amazing tea experience!
I can’t comment on what the dry leaves smell like because this tea was influenced by the ones it was stored with. But the leaves themselves look great! Classic, green Bai Mu Dan leaves. I’ve had a couple strawberry-flavored green teas recently, so I’m looking forward to a white tea version.
The brewed aroma is light strawberry syrup. The taste is mostly lovely Bai Mu Dan with a light, sweet, strawberry flavor at the end of the sip. I don’t usually like flavored whites, but this is pretty darn good!
I have to say that I think I understand the oddity Mercuryhime describes when this tea is hot. The strawberry flavor is different and not what I expected. I don’t want to say artificial because that has a negative connotation. But it definitely doesn’t taste like biting into a ripe strawberry. The only way I can think to describe it is “syrup.” It tastes syrup-y.
Syrup or not, this tea is yum! What a nice surprise from a box full of goodies! I just might have to add this to my next tea order. Thanks to Mercuryhime for sending me this sample! You’ve introduced me to a great new tea vendor!
So, I just realized I’m kind of a schmuck. I swapped some teas with a few generous Steepsterites about 3.5 months ago, and I never wrote tasting notes!!! Blasphemy! I apologize for being unappreciative, ladies. I got engaged shortly after receiving your packages, and although that’s no excuse for my ungrateful behavior, I haven’t forgotten you! I’m going to make it a priority to try all these wonderful samples that y’all were so kind to share with me. Please bear with me as there are quite a few, and it may take a couple weeks to make it through all these. But I’m sorry for my shameful behavior, and I vow not to let it happen again.
Now, on to these teas!!! First up, this White Coconut Crème tea, complements of Mercuryhime!
The dry leaves smell like candy! Very sugary sweet! The leaves are a faded green, almost brown color with lots of coconut bits and tiny flower pieces. It was hard for me to brew this tea for 3 minutes, but I quelled the impulse to pull the strainer out of my cup at 1.5 minutes and again at 2 minutes. The brewing instructions say 3 minutes for a reason! Be patient!
Finally the 3 minutes were up, and I handed the cup to my fiancé to smell first. His response? He said it smelled like “a milky tree. You know, like a tree made of milk.” Hmmm, while I’m not sure I share that opinion, it definitely doesn’t smell like any other white tea I’ve tried. I get coconut and cream in the aroma, which is just as good since this tea is called White Coconut Crème!
The taste is a floral, smooth, coconut-y dream! It’s really too bad I let this sit in my cupboard so long. I bet it’s sensational when it’s fresh! As is, it’s still very delicious. Thanks again, Mercuryhime and I’m sorry this tasting note is so belated.
Okay, I admit my taste buds might already be compromised. The fiancé decided to cook steak and habanero peppers in his cast iron skillet. Basically, he poisoned the air. I had to retreat into the bedroom because the air was so peppery I couldn’t stop coughing and sneezing. My nose is now running like crazy, so I’m not sure how reliable this tasting note will be.
The dry leaves smelled like tea. Yeah, I know, not very descriptive. But really, there wasn’t much to it. No overtly recognizable scents. The brewed tea aroma is a similar experience. It smells like Teavivre’s other black teas.
Now let’s see if I have any better luck describing the taste. It’s much stronger than I anticipated. It tastes like it could be a great base for blending. No bitterness or tannins detected. I feel like it’s a little peppery, but then again that could just be from the air. Toasty might be a better description.
It came in pre-measured, individual, little, red packets. So, maybe it tastes strong to me because the leaf is more proportional. When I measure the tea leaves out myself, I almost always err on the side of too little. Still, I think the Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea was more to my liking. It just had more flavor.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t flavorless. It just tastes kind of standard to me, like something I would drink as my morning cup of tea. Oddly enough though, the Teavivre site says it has minimal caffeine (less than 15% of a cup of coffee). I guess that’s a good thing since I’m drinking it at 8pm on a weekday.
But I usually choose black tea for its taste as well as caffeine content. So, if this doesn’t have much caffeine in it and the taste is lacking, there’s not a whole lot of point for me to drink it. It is a good cuppa, just not my favorite. Despite its high quality, the taste just isn’t enough to my liking for me to reach for it often. So, if you like Bailin Gongfu, you’ll like this one too!
Now it’s time to peek out tentatively like Groundhog Phil and see if it’s safe to come out yet.
YAY!!!!! I’ve been waiting for this tea to return for an entire year!!! It’s seasonal, and I missed it last year. I’ve been keeping an eye on the website ever since, not knowing when exactly it might pop up again. Then I read a recent review of this tea by Amy oh who mentioned it came in the monthly newsletter.
So, I knew I’d be getting my newsletter shortly and the long wait for Tochiotome would soon be over! I ripped open the package and was assailed by the dry leaf aroma, which is succulent fresh strawberries! The brewed tea is the same mouthwatering strawberry with the added aroma of verdant sencha.
Sadly, the flavor is little bit of a letdown. It’s very grassy with a touch of bitterness. The strawberry flavor wanes on the end of the sip, and the bitterness takes front stage in the aftertaste.
I guess I built this tea up in my head for a year, so I was expecting heaven. The beginning of the sip may be close to heaven, but the tail end ruins the illusion. It’s too bad Lupicia doesn’t use a nicer base. I was expecting something more like 52 teas’ Strawberry Pancake Green Tea minus the maple flavoring. I suppose if I liked sencha more, the grassiness wouldn’t bother me.
Well, if nothing else, this tea gave me the idea for an interesting quest for when I go to Japan. I’d love to try one of these tochiotome strawberries for myself (sans tea)!
This will be my first experience with chamomile tea. I’ve never been very big on herbal teas. There’s no real tea in it! But here we go anyway.
At first blush, I thought the aroma was awful, like strong damp weeds. But I had my nose less than an inch from the cup, so maybe I was just smelling it too closely. I stood up and stared off into space while I waited for it to steep. I was breathing deeply and inhaling the tea without meaning to. Oddly enough, now it smelled good! I bent down and wafted the aroma towards me. But again, when I stuck my nose near the cup…phew! Stinky! So, who knows what that means.
The taste is similar to the aroma but stronger. When it’s actually on my tongue, it tastes great! Kind of like how the aroma is great when I’m standing over the steaming mug. But then I swallow and the aftertaste gets me. Blech! Strong, too strong. Icky. I can’t help but shake my head.
No no no. I don’t think I like chamomile. Or at least, this bagged version of it isn’t going to fly. It has potential, those little moments when I thought I liked it. But then it got squashed by yuck.
It’s really too bad. I’m so stressed out I can hardly function. I haven’t slept in 3 days. So, I thought the most recommended stress relieving bedtime tea would do the trick. Sadly, I think I’m going to have to rely on something else. I thought I could finish the cup, but I’m afraid this dirty floral tea is going down the drain.
Uh oh…I think I already messed up the preparation of this tea. I’m not sure I used enough leaf. The liquor is almost clear! Clear!!
The aroma of the dry leaves was great: soft, clean, not overly grassy. The dry leaves themselves were a long, thin, crispy, mixture of green and yellow leaves and stems. The brewed tea aroma is very very soft, a little too soft. Again, probably because I didn’t measure the leaf correctly. I hate when I mess up brewing a new tea. It makes me not even want to write a note about it.
But here we go anyway. I apologize for my incompetence in advance. I’ll add a little more leaf to the second steeping and let you know how that turns out. This first cup is surprisingly good, even though it’s a little watery. I can tell that this is fantastic tea if brewed correctly.
Okay, second cup! I steeped this one for 2 minutes 45 seconds at 176 degrees. The liquor is still basically clear, but the flavor is stronger now. For some reason, this tea reminds me of the way cotton candy melts in your mouth. It’s sweet, but not too much so. This must be what people call umami. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a texture like this in a drink. Simply exquisite.
This is my favorite green tea from Teavivre so far, although the Silver Jasmine Green Tea (Mo Li Yin Hao) is a pretty close second.