1794 Tasting Notes
The weather is getting hot these day so I dug out my tea and made a pitcher of iced tea. Steeped according to the directions it’s nice and refreshing although I do wish there was a bit more black currant/berry flavour. The base is smooth and not bitter, which is a problem I’ve noticed with some iced tea.
Because I’m Canadian I like my iced tea sweet, although the commercially available bottled and powdered iced teas are way too sugary, so one plus of making my own is that I can control the amount of sweetener (in this case agave nectar) that I add.
Life has hit a few bumps lately for me so it’s been awhile since I’ve had the chance to peruse Steepster. Those of you who are waiting on packages from me – I’ll deal with those in the next few days.
Now on to the tea. This particular tea is a Ceylon from the Uva region of Sri Lanka. I picked up the last time I visited the shop in the Granville Island Public market (which is a wonderful place, BTW) and according to the owner this one they only recently acquired.
To be honest I was expecting something with a bit more flavour. It has a generic tea taste and…that’s it, mostly. The body of the tea is quite light, even with an extended steeping but oddly enough I found I still needed to add milk in the end to smooth out the taste. It would make a good introductory loose-leaf black tea I think, or maybe for an afternoon tea where you don’t necessarily want a robust, full-flavoured brew.
The tea smells like a sweet, ripe peach – or at least something close to it. It brewed up as a nicely mellow tea with sweet fruity notes. Normally I find Adagio’s Formosa Oolong to have a bit of an unpleasent burnt flavour, but the peach and the white peony in this blend seem to even things out. It’s a good tea to drink in the evenings when you want something light and smooth.
Wow this tea smell strongly of seaweed when I open the pouch! It’s a very fine-textured tea, with litrle dark-green pieces that would probably be called Fannings in an Indian-style tea. It brews up a murky, green cup that looks a bit like over-diluted matcha. The flavour is full and complex – a mix of savory, sweetness and grassy bitterness, though the bitterness is less pronounced than it would be in another tea like a sencha. I’ve always liked the high-quality Japanese greens Den’s Tea carries, and this one is no exception.
My sense of taste is mostly back to normal so I figured this was as good a time as any to crack open my Adagio order. I sort of expected bigger leaves out of something touted as a high-quality tea, but I suppose size isn’t everything, lol. :D Dry, the leaves were black with flecks of gold but when they brewed they turned a light brown shade.
The flavours are bold and dramatic – bitter cocoa with a little bite that actual does resemble pepper a bit. There’s also a hints of tanins and smoke, something I’ve come to recognize as a characterstic of most Chinese black tea to one degree or another. The tea has a substantial, almost thick feel in the mouth and it lingers on the tongue, not letting you forget it.
I think a five minute steep is on the light side of things as my cup tasted a little bit weak. It was quite an intriguing tea (or tisane, I guess), lightly grassy with fruity strawberry flavours and a smooth, almost creamy feel in the mouth. I’m not getting any heat from the peppercorns so the ‘blazing’ part isn’t really happening at the moment – but at least the ‘strawberry’ is!
On a side note, I’m glad I finished my tea before reading the horror stories about finiding snail and worms in this tea – now I’m afraid to look at the spent leaves. 0_o