786 Tasting Notes
I used to love baklava. I worked around the corner from a middle eastern grocery store that sold all sorts of strange and intriguing things, including small trays of the most delicious fresh flaky honey soaked baklava. By the time the store closed down, I had probably made myself ill several times by way of too much baklava consumption and haven’t been able to truly enjoy it since. It is either that or no other baklava has come close to comparing.
The scent of this tea when dry is both over powering and delicious. It mellows out a lot once steeped. The sips are starting out with tiny bitter edge (rose?) then morphing to a more honey/pastry flavor with pistachio in the aftertaste. I just peeked in my steeping basket and saw that some dried rose buds and stained rose leaves have come to life that I hadn’t notices in the dry tea! I added some sugar and it makes the whole cup awaken! The pistachio is noticeable throughout the whole sip, the rose is present at the beginning of the sip and the honeyed pastry taste comes in towards the end of the sip. My mouth is a little dry after each sip, which I could also see blaming on the rose. It seems to loose some of it’s magic as the cup cools. Adding cream is also working for me in this cup. It is reminding me a little of Teavana’s My Morning Mate and Tiramisu Treviso at the end of the sip! I really liked those teas. Must be the similar nutty aftertaste. I’m liking this cup!
I open the bag to a blast of raspberry almond! The tea is so aromatic! The strong scent stays once steeped, but comes through much lighter on the sip. I get a hint of alkaline flatness mid sip. Adding cream and sugar now… I’m getting more raspberry combined with almond. Sometimes there is a hint of cherry in there. No more flatness. I have a really hard time picking out pastry notes in tea. I think I can taste a little shortbread in the aftertaste. Aaaaaaand my cup is gone!
Weird! I don’t recall how I felt about this tea previously, but being an oolong (and oolongs not being my thing) I’m guessing I didn’t like it. I get a very flat cardboard taste from oolongs. OMGsrsly mentioned steeping Lupica oolongs in boiling water for a short amount of time, so I’m trying it. It is making all the difference! I’m getting a very floral like mango taste. It is very light and bright and lacks any of the flatness I have experienced in oolongs. There is a more natural mango taste that lingers after the sip. This isn’t the most delicious cup in the world, but I’ve almost finished it and I’m amazed at how big of a difference the right steeping parameters can make for a tea! Thanks for the tip OMGsrsly!
Sniffed the bag of this and could smell a little syrup dominated by cinnamon. My cup smells of syrupy cinnamon pancakes for sure. I’m trying to decide if I can pick out any pumpkin or if the tea relies on the pumpkin spices to give the impression of it. It smells very fall potpourri like. The first few sips are all cinnamon which doesn’t seem to want to give way to anything else. A little clove comes in and finally dominates. Adding sweetener makes the syrup pop right up mid sip and into the aftertaste. As I sip on, I can totally pick up on syrupy spiced pancakes, but I’m still not sure if there is actual pumpkin/flavoring in it. Pondering it makes me long for Costco’s pumpkin pie. They do really good gigantic pumpkin pies. I meant to try this with cream, but was enjoying it so much with a little sugar that I absent mindedly made it to the bottom of the cup without cream. I think a resteep may be in order.
Update: Resteep killed by cream. A touch of sweetener alone is enough to bring out the magic in this cup.
The first sip of this tasted very shortbread like, but as it has cooled the taste faded a bit. I can taste the green tea… a little butter with a green bite. I can smell a little bit of jasmine, but it is faint. I think I’m getting a hint of pecan too. Sweetener makes the flavors a little more pronounced. It is nice and buttery, but I usually prefer stronger flavors. I would like to try this cold steeped.
Sniffing at my cup of this I notice an almond/cherry scent, but no banana! I can also smell something deeper and earthier behind it. I’m surprised at how many AQ2T selections have the suggested steeping temp of 200. Greens and blacks, which I’m used to having very different requirements. Still, I figure if a company bothers to put a temperature suggestion on there, they have probably done some trial and error… unless it’s Lupicia which has horrible steeping suggestions of boiling everything!
When I sip I’m getting the same flavor combo that I was smelling. I got a piece of dried banana in my steeper, but cherries are still coming through strong. It’s only on the aftertaste that I get a quick hint of banana. I added a little sugar and it hasn’t changed. Adding cream is making it yummier, but still no banana. I am a lover of artificial banana flavoring. If I’m expecting this to be a banana tea, I’m disappointed. If I’m not expecting banana, then it’s a nice enough cup with cream and sugar.
I have a friend who makes a really good honey mead every year and is super protective of her recipe, leaving the magic as a fun mystery. I should have ordered a bottle this year!When I scooped some of this tea, I got mostly puffed rice and very little tea leaves. Not sure if that is normal for this tea or if I got an odd serving. Once steeped it smells mostly of genmaicha, but there is a little sweetness behind that. It is mostly gen on the sip and a candied honey flavor comes in on the end and lingers into the aftertaste. It has that perfumey hint to the honey that I associate with honey flavoring, not true honey, which is more complex and has a huge sweetness factor to it. This tea is intriguing. Very subtle flavors , but a nice cup and I’d like to try it again with some cream or sugar.
I dumped the rest of this into a small jar with water and left it in the fridge for a few days. Poured a little into a cup, added a shot of Treaty Oak rum and some agave and I have myself an almost perfect drink. There is a little bite in there that I don’t care for which is likely due to overleafing, but there is a ton of tasty watermelon flavor in there! Vodka would have had a cleaner taste that went better with the watermelon, but the white rum isn’t bad either. Could probably use an ice cube to dilute it a little. Eh.
Today is a rough day and the start of a rough new reality. I steeped a cup of this tea, took a sip, was intrigued and then got side tracked with some manual labor in my yard that included hauling bags of cement. Now I’m all sweat, gross and dusty while trying to focus on experiencing this cup instead of turning to my liquor cupboard. Yay me! LOL!
I absent mindedly chugged some of this before reheating. I’m noticing more coconut when it is warm and more of the tea flavors coming out when it is cool. I think I can pick up a bit of the butteriness from the cashew and maybe a hint of carrot. Adding cream isn’t doing much. The creaminess is heightened, but I’m not tasting any other flavor changes. Maybe a little more carrot at the end of the sip? I’ll have to revisit this tea when I’m in a better headspace.
It took a few sips before the flavors started to balance out and the bite to calm. I usually take my breakfast teas with cream, sometimes sugar, but I have gone through half this cup without so far. It has a slight sweetness on the sip along with a slightly astringent tobacco flavor that fades into a malty aftertaste. Adding cream is really changing this! My first sip tasted sweet and was reminiscent of cookies. A slight hint of banana at the beginning of the sip than lingers into the aftertaste… unexpected, but I like it. I’m not getting heavy malt like I’m used to with breakfast teas, but it is a very enjoyable cup.