109 Tasting Notes
I guess Shang could tell by my jasmine-heavy order that I’m not afraid of a flower, so they sent this sample along. You know how they say scents are connected with memories? I had entirely forgotten about a vacation to Florida when I was very little where I wore orange blossom perfume. Even moving to Florida more than 30 years later was apparently not enough to remind me of that. But this tea did it. And it makes a much better tea than a perfume! There is also a savory deliciousness to it that I suspect is simply the quality white base tea. Today is Shang Tea day though, so I suspect that will become clear as I taste my way through the ridiculous white tea stash that arrived yesterday.
Fascinating from the first steep. Though I admit I didn’t love those first couple of woody steeps, they were certainly interesting, and the love came later. Somewhere around steep 5, I started getting…was that a danish? The recommended steeping parameters were dead on in that I really started to want to pour off the tea pretty much as quickly as I could. This is a lot like that guy I immediately disliked when he walked into the bar but I later fell for his charms and married him. Hyacinth, butter, citrus, other things I can’t begin to name…they’re all here for the party. UPDATE: I just made a big ol’ western-style pot of this, and I’m am hugely surprised to like it even better this way! All the flavors are there at once to overwhelm and charm me. It was this brewing that put this tea back on my wish list for a restock.
I followed the suggested steeping parameters exactly, and my first two steepings were unremarkable. Starting with the third, this tea developed an enchanting sweetness that has only grown stronger here on my sixth steep. I absolutely agree with other reviewers about the notes of cream and almond. I will have to give this a try western style as well, since I generally prefer stronger flavors, but I am really enjoying this one.
I don’t know what it is about black teas. They make me feel all sorts of panicky and stressed, with or without too much caffeine. Really weird. Anyway, having given in to a black tea earlier today, I’m now under the impression I can counteract it with herbals. Why not. So I started with Capital’s Calming Tea. Halfway through the cup, I don’t feel any less agitated (because that would make it Miracle Tea), but it certainly is a nice, soothing cup. I had bought this as a possible chamomile-category competitor with American Tea Room’s [That’s an edit: I had thought Zzz was from Capital too.] Zzz Tea. The flavor doesn’t blow me away like the Zzz does (that verveine goodness just really knocks me out), but taking away that top note does leave it more purely calming. I would say it’s an easy win for the Zzz, but this is really hitting the spot after too much black tea.
So funny how we all taste so differently. Where others found the jasmine overwhelming (in both good and bad ways), I find this a pleasantly delicate jasmine, and I certainly do taste a vegetal green underneath. This is actually one of the categories where I’m still looking for my go-to tea, and this one would be a candidate. I usually look for something more assertive, but this just blends and balances so sweetly that I may have to keep it around.