611 Tasting Notes
This fruity black tea is from Sil, when she sent me an amazing Strawberry Rhubarb package a few months ago.
I steeped it for 3 minutes in a David’s Perfect Mug, in 208F, sans milk.
There’s more citrus to the aroma than to the taste, and it reminds me a little of an Earl Grey. There’s something lightly smoky to it too, that strangely appealing right now. I feel cozy and nostalgic while drinking this, and I have no clue why.
This seems like a good tea to sip away at while finishing off the fourth book in the Wheel of Time (I’ve unknowingly made a huge commitment).
I had an awesome matcha whisking session today! No clumps at the bottom of the bowl, with some decent froth going on. Success!
I used three scoops of matcha whisked in 175F water, then poured it into a cup with frothed warm milk. It was such a pretty cream green colour.. and then it was gone in less than a minute. Now I feel positively buzzed, and am already missing that beautiful green. I’m deeply regretting the self-imposed evening matcha curfews right now, but I think I want to sleep tonight. Maybe. Not.
Flavour-wise this one’s quirky. I think it tastes like typical plain old matcha to me, with a bit of a sweet-sour taste to it.
I don’t know what influenced me to pick up this flavour. I hadn’t seen that episode of Tatami Galaxy yet. (http://www.thiseuphoria.com/anime/tatami36.jpg)
I’m drinking this before running off to an appointment. My mom decided she wanted a cup too, although she chose to add milk. Not sure how that worked out for her yet.
Edit: I think she liked it a lot, and seemed genuinely disappointed when I told her there wasn’t much left. I might have to order more from her when the cupboards empty out a bit.
This one is starting to grow on me. The smooth vanilla notes are really coming out today, and make a really convincing pie crust. The tartness is at the perfect level too. The lingering aftertaste makes for a very convincing strawberry rhubarb.
This the last of this tea, and I’ve decided I like it a lot. Today I’m getting lots of peaches and almonds, with an easy going astringency that lends itself to the nuttiness. The finish is sour and fruity-sweet (like citrus), with some floral fluff. The astringent wave retreated after I was more than halfway through the cup.
It often takes me a while to “acclimatize” to this tea’s woody (sometimes grassy) astringency, but once I do I’m able to pick up on the creamy floral notes- those are fantastic. The whole experience reminds of Wanja’s extremely astringent, surprisingly floral, OP Black. The stuff is nippy but there’s a lot of personality underneath.
Edit: Second steep of over five minutes has almost no astringency. It’s floral, sweet and rich. This is a fantastic cup.
Second Edit: Sometimes the first steep had a vegetal seaweed note that I wasn’t super keen on. It was completely absent this particular session and I have no clue why.
Sil sent me some of the custom blend a while ago, but I also have some from my recent Butiki group order and thought it would be fun to drink the two side by side. They both had three minute steep time in boiling water.
Sil’s tastes a lot more astringent and sour and the dry leaf smelled breadier, while the new one has a brighter, fruitier profile. Sil’s is a little flatter and isn’t particularly sweet, except in a pie crust kind of way. The new one tastes like the rhubarb is adequately sugared, and has a slightly sweeter finish (those grahams really pop). I prefer to drink Sil’s at a cooler temperature. Both have a sweet-sour, mouth puckering aftertaste.
Well, that was my short and lazy comparison. Variables include the age of custom sample, and the quantity of fruit and graham pieces in the in each strainer. Sil’s had less fruit, and possibly more grahams.
I do prefer the newer version more, for the slightly smoother, sweeter profile. Both cups become increasingly better the more I sip away at them though. It’s a blend where it’s best to take it slow, in order to appreciate everything.
Thanks, Jackie T, for sending me a variety of individual yogi tea bags! I was curious about them and this beats buying whole boxes of tea bags any day. Some of them weren’t bad either, although this one.. I think the level of of spices and ginger assume that you’re pretty plugged up already if you’re drinking this. It can be sharp and zingy, but it has its niche.
Licorice, peppermint, and eucalyptus really stick out to me here, with the ginger and spices creeping in at the end. There is a fresh-sweet aftertaste. This gets huge points for being refreshing.
This is one of the teas from the group Butiki order that I would’ve never picked out for myself, but ended up splitting it with a couple others, I think OMGsrsly and Cavocorax. I have just enough for two separate sessions.
The dry leaf smells like grape juice and rich, buttery oolong, while the steeping leaf smells nutty (almost like popcorn). Once the steeped leaf is removed the liquor goes back to smelling like the dry leaf. The whole thing comes across as sweet, moist, and savory.
I oversteeped it a tad, but the flavour ends up as rather delicate and floral. The grape flavour is gentle, with no cloying sweetness and only the tiniest bit of dryness to give it sour note grapes leave behind. It’s like eating ghost grapes (yeah, my tongue is tingling from the experience..); the grape sensation is wispy and fleeting, yet so precisely grapey. The cup is predominantly smooth, flowery oolong but everything it does suggests and compliments the grape notes.
Six cups later, and a sipdown, and I’m still not sure where I stand with this tea. It has two excellently, distinctive flavours (banana and walnut), yet still loudly goes about with its Keemun base.
A mouthful of this tea transitions something like this: creamy sweet banana, bitter oily walnut, and mellow, earthy-sweet black base. It all pairs nicely and hands out equal does of brisk and creamy, with the continuous backdrop of something sweet.
I found I enjoyed this tea the most when I was generous with the leaf and steep time. I also enjoyed the second steep as some of the sharpness was cut back, allowing for a more mellow and soft, albeit a less sweet and flavorful, banana taste.
I still think this makes a good hot latte, although it’s more of a fall item. I found this session to be heavy on the tangy cheesecake-ish side. I got a lot of Pumpkin from it too, while I found the caramel to be a bit on the light side. Maybe some whipped cream on top with caramel syrup would remedy that.
Oh, well. Some fading is to be expected considering I opened this bag over a few months ago. I’ve a second, unopened bag so there’s no point in hoarding! :)
Seven hours ago I made a mug of this, only to have to leave it abruptly so I could clean a couple of houses. I only managed a few sour sips and didn’t even get the chance to add the quintessential milk (in retrospect I’m so glad I didn’t get the chance to add milk, as it would not have complimented this tea).
Instead of dumping it down the drain when I got back, I decided it would be interesting to see if I could drink it cold and plain, but it turns out that it isn’t a hard task.
It started off woody and sour (meh), and then the flavour built to encompass playful strands of creamy, floral and fruity notes. This tea became better the closer I came to the bottom of the mug. By the end it was even sweet, and had a lingering peachy aftertaste.
Yeah, that was the cold cup. Now I’m looking forward to drinking this hot tomorrow! The Darjeeling experience might be ok after all, even without milk.