530 Tasting Notes
Lately it’s been too hot for tea, especially the black tea which seems to have finally completed it’s aggressive conquest of my shelf space. Under an Everest of unopened black and puerh samples I found this stranded oolong- originally a smuggled sample from Amariel’s giant Teavivre swap bag (you gave me so much tea, Amariel!).
I’m glad I decided on this one; the minty floral profile is a refreshing thing in a house with no air conditioning. The first steep of the first serving had an interesting curry leaf aroma (I have witnesses that can vouch that this cup smelled distinctly of that plant), but this quality never resurfaced on the subsequent steeps. Probably for the best; mint and flowers are good enough.
Flavors: Floral, Mint
I went through this quicker than I expected- it’s all I’ve wanted to drink lately. I hope I can manage picking up more before fall!I love how the flavours come through when it reaches a lukewarm temperature. It’s sweet, floral, creamy, and even malty at times.
Flavors: Cream, Rose
While the Organic Nonpareil Ming Qian Dragon Well wasn’t too my taste, this sample from Amariel is more appealing.
It has spinach, an abundance of roasted nuts, and a dash of sweet butter that mixes up into a creamy nut butter. There’s a subtle touch of floral and salty notes too. Just how I like it, for the most part!
Flavors: Roasted nuts, Spinach, Vegetal
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