31 Tasting Notes
It took me about 5 minutes just to break apart the cake – it felt like I was chiseling away at a rock. The dry leaf aroma is almost a lack thereof. What I can find is a subtle, earthy, almost sweet aroma.
I gave it a quick rinse and the water instantly turned a reddish brown. Then, I steeped the leaves for 30 seconds. The liquor is the color of black coffee – a very deep brown.
The aroma of the tea is very earthy. Kind of smells like wet dirt. It reminds me of walking around a campsite after all of the fires have gone out.
The taste is very, very strong. The first tiny sip took my breath away. It is very bitter and has a strong smoky, earthy taste. The after taste stays in the back of my throat for quite some time… and I’m not extremely pleased by that. I still have two other tiny cups to drink (they only hold 20ml each), but I am looking at them in spite… no thanks.
Not sure why I am doing this, but I am going to try a second steep. I tried to steep it for 30 seconds, but I got nervous and pulled it at 20 seconds. The liquor is still as dark as the first steep. There is still the same aroma, except I can detect some slight floral notes. (wait, what?!)
This time the taste didn’t kick me in the butt as much as the first. It is a nice, sweet, earthy taste in the beginning, but I can feel the bitterness on the back of my tongue and throat.
I made it through the first cup, onto the second… and now the third. Ok, this is drinkable, but I still have to brace myself before each sip. Those who love Irish Breakfast tea or take their coffee black would adore this stuff. As for myself, it’s an exotic experience, but I couldn’t do this everyday.
Here are some informal pictures of my tasting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/17428844@N07/sets/72157623321744964/
Green tea and Super Mario Bros, that’s what I say! Went over to a friend’s house after class and ended up playing the new multiplayer Super Mario Brothers game for the Nintendo Wii. Before we sat down to conquer Bowser and save the princess, I stole a couple of his Zen tea bags and made us each a cup.
For a bagged tea, Zen makes a decent cup… enough for me to keep coming back to it if I want a quick brew. I adore spearmint. I believe this flavor, along with a touch of lemon, save the mediocre green tea that is in this blend. I guess I really like this one because it is a flavored tea that is not all about the flavorings. The green tea is most definitely the base in which the spearmint and lemon complement it – I taste the slightly grassy green tea first, the lemon provides a bit of acidity, and the spearmint is left in the end.
Took this to class with me last night. I sat down in a seat while wearing my orange Chicago Bears (Matt Forte) jersey. I took a sip of tea right as the professor said “I see we have Tennessee orange today.” /swallow choke cough/
Rewinding a bit… while making this tea, I noticed that the package says “Black Tea” right under the title of “Wuyi Oolong.” Needless to say, that confused me. But, it does taste more like black tea than oolong. It had an average bit of dryness with a slightly smoky flavor. Not bitter at all. The color was an orangy-yellow.
Overall it was a decent cup… but I am still confused that the title is “Wuyi Oolong” and it tastes like black tea.
Took this with me to class tonight (the liquid not the leaves). I am not a huge fan of oolongs, but I do crave them every now and then. I really wanted some green tea, but I am out of the good stuff and wasn’t about to settle for gunpowder.
Anyways, this tea had the typical oolong taste which I have yet to figure out how to put into words. It was on the greener side of things with the gentle grassy and smooth vegetal flavors. It was not bitter or astringent at all. The liquor was mostly yellow with a slight green tint to it. Overall I was pleased… it gave me something to do while lazily taking notes about American History in the 1800s.
I figured I would treat myself to another cup of tea after plowing through my mountain of homework (I could have done more, but I’m not gonna).
So, I am sitting here with a freshly made cup of Decadence while listening to Disturbed’s Ten Thousand Fists album… track three, Decadence. That’ll do.
This brew smells more musty than I remember – like the inside of a barn after it rains… err something like that. I can still smell that familiar mild “spring” aroma. The color is also darker than my previous memory. It is almost the color of a blacker oolong.
The taste is a little bitey, dry, and nothing like I remember. Where is the smooth, gentle grassy taste? Hmm… maybe this sample is too old, or I steeped it too long.
“Decadence isn’t easy, is it?”
I have a large amount of homework to tackle this morning, on top of already being stressed out, so I needed a tea that could keep up with me today.
And holy unbelievably bold tea batman… I have found it. While adding my inventory of teas to the virtual cupboard, I rediscovered a few teas that I had forgotten about. Irish breakfast was one of them.
This is a very hearty brew, with quite a bit of astringency and dryness. The dryness kind of turned me off by the time I got to the bottom of the cup – hence the lower score. If this tea were any bolder, it would probably have the ability to make one see through time.
I have made and bottled this stuff to take to class with me for the last three days. It’s a hearty tea, somewhere between a Ceylon and Assam in body. It’s a bit astringent, but the taste is lively and slightly smoky.
More green tea this morning… another test to study for…
The tea that turned me on to greens… I’m almost out!
Had to have it again today.