517 Tasting Notes
This sample was included in a swap from Amariel.
The flavours in this Dragon Well are milder than I like them. The butter and nut (chestnut here) share a minimalistic philosophy, and don’t seem to like hopping up on stage and stealing the show. That’s unfortunate, because I like it when they do. The sweet fruity and vegetal notes here are more involved.I made up about five different cups steeped at various temperatures between 170F-190F. None of them had what I was looking for (gomae) but they where still enjoyable in their own way!
Flavors: Chestnut, Fruity, Vegetal
I can handle cinnamon and Irish breakfast together, but adding a green earl grey to the mixture is pushing things for me. In practice, it isn’t the terrible tea I imagined, however. The cinnamon is what I notice first, followed by the malt with the bergamot thing, and then by the cinnamon again.
A grassy note that mixes into the citrus becomes more prevalent as the cup cools. The cinnamon/citrus has become sweeter with the passing time as well.. I wonder if this would work iced.
The tangy citrus spice duet is simultaneously both the lethargic old leather couch and the cozy robustness of a midwinter celebration with old friends. Green/black blends are not my favourite but I love this vibe. Definitely a Watson tea.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cinnamon, Citrus, Grass, Malt
There is so much fudge here.. I’ll never have to buy fudge again. This tea is my new, regret-free, fudge, that doesn’t make me feel violently ill after consuming too much of it (yay).
Golden Orchid has quite a few similarities to North Winds, such as the delicious stonefruit and cocoa honey notes, but the additional vanilla makes this tea it’s own individual entity (aka-fudge). There’s some waffle cone malt too. My only hold up is that it doesn’t have the multi-steep prowess that North Winds demonstrated, although it’s still adequate.
Flavors: Apricot, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Stonefruits, Vanilla
Mrs. Hudson, you smell like delicious noms, but you’re actually kind of plain and sharp, aren’t you? The dry leaf has an amazing almond sugar dessert aroma, while the liquid steam is full of raisins, malt and almond. The actual flavour is something else.
This assam nut tea is easily flattened and drowned out by milk, but somewhat nippy without it. I think I prefer it without the milk- at least the talons to the tongue keep me occupied, and they come armed with almond cookies! There’s also a juicy note that seeps out for the finish. There’s no denying this tea has a lot of life.
As with other Indian Assam varieties I’ve come across, I think I’d rather drink this alongside some yogurt. I like my tea a little tamer than this!
EDIT: Steeping this at 200F for a couple minutes yields more hospitable cookies, and less attitude. I miss the lack of raisin prevalence however.
Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Floral, Malt, Raisins
This cup is provided by the awesome Amariel, and her big bag of green tea samples. I’m so glad she threw this one in; it’s slowly becoming one of my favourite flavoured greens.
I don’t think this tea has ever been so one with the cinnamon as it has in these last few sessions. It’s a little sharp, but still enjoyable. Oh, bottom bag bits, you work in magical ways. Fried potato and butter are strong today as well. The apple note has a lighter touch, and mingles well with the other flavours.
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Cinnamon, Potato
After a short visit at Amariel’s yesterday, my tea count jumped by 20 to a big 70- and here I was doing so well. I didn’t know where to start so I let my roommate randomly select one of the dozen green tea samples from the bag for the evening’s pot. This one was the winner.
The vibrant green leaves look and smell like seaweed, but once steeped the brew is more akin to beans, with a drop or two of honey. There’s a lot more going on in this tea, especially in the second steep, but I can’t pin most of the flavours. It’s a beautiful and gentle tea to wind down to for the evening. This cup has peace and tranquility written all over it (sappy but true).
Thank you, Amariel, for sharing this lovely sample with me!
Flavors: Green Beans, Honey, Peas
Backlog. I revoke my statement about not needing this pudding rooibos anymore. Sure, the relationship doesn’t spark as it used to, but I think we’re in a comfortable place that’s full of trust. This caffeine-free dessert beverage fills a niche in my tea cupboard that needs to be filled.
Erm, I’m procrastinating again.. Away from this familiar saccharine goodness, back to Slaughterhouse-Five..
Flavors: Cream, Custard, Lime
I love everything evergreen in my tea, and this one fully delivers. I’d previously pegged down White Wolf, from Bellocq, as my quintessential, super-expensive, cedar-vanilla tea but this one is really good too.
Port has a nice balance of flavours: cedar, smooth vanilla bean, and accents of salt and of something “nippy” that is distinctly eucalyptus. It’s a nice level of eucalyptus, and not at all like the time that I put a little too much eucalyptus oil on my hot hand towel and inhaled deeply- when hot, that stuff burns with righteous intensity. I probably won a Darwinian award somewhere in that story.
This is a “darker” tea than my other cedar-vanilla option, which has a white tea base. However, it also isn’t as cold, and so set in the dead of winter, as my other one. I can drink this at the lake camp in the midst of a broiling summer too, or on a foggy autumnal day.
I haven’t had a lot of exposure to saffron and I’m going to have to carefully budget it out, but I love this tea and I want it to be a part of my life! Also, the dry blend reminds me ever so slightly of marzipan. It also resteeps well, although the cedar is more pronounced in the second steep.
Flavors: Cedar, Eucalyptus, Malt, Vanilla
This was generously included as a surprise sample in my Whispering Pines order. Thank you!
I can see why this tea gets a lot of love. Not only does this have that delightful cocoa note that I adore, but the texture is also thick with a milk-like quality.
Although I drank the first steep too quickly to discern any other qualities past “creamy”, I’ve had more time with this second steep. The cocoa and milk are still present, but there is also a distinctive fruity note, like sweet, tangy plums.
It’s a delicious cup, and I think I’ll appreciate its profile even more in the fall or winter. As it was, it turned out to be an awesome rainy evening tea.
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits
Although I was initially disappointed with this one, I’ve grown increasingly more impressed with this one as I’ve had time to experiment with it. My new favourite oolong steeping strategy is to “rinse” the leaves until they begin to unfurl, and then do a first steep of about 2min 30sec.
The aroma of the dry leaves is equally buttery and floral, with a touch of something sweet and lemony, and that is much how it tastes once it has been steeped. It’s a fine and delicate flavour that layers itself on the tongue, like silk, over time. The finish leaves behind a melted butter texture and taste, which make this tea feel heavier than it is.
This has some of my favourite aspects about oolong, but my all-time favourite component is actually the heady floral aroma of that first rinse. I wish I could make my whole room smell that floral, green, and fresh. This oolong is real pleasure to work with! I’ll often get to around six steeps without realizing how much of it I’ve drunk.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Lemon