1604 Tasting Notes
It’s been awhile since I’ve drank this tea – I’m not quite sure why, I certainly don’t find it objectionable. It smells just as smokey as I remember, but I find myself surprised at how smooth and gentle the tea actually is. The tea doesn’t have a heavy, lingering flavour and I find it feels quite clean in my mouth.
I just noticed that this tea/tisane brews up a very bright, almost neon yellow color – I’m not sure I’m fond of drinking something that looks like it’s practically glowing. 0_o
It’s been five months and I still can’t really bring myself to like this tea – it’s too vegetale and hay-like in it’s flavour and it tends to leave my mouth feeling a bit dry after drinking it. Meh.
I dug a sample packet of this tea out of my cupboard just now; I’m honestly not sure when or from whom I got it. Hmm.
It an interesting tea that starts out with a floral flavour when the tea is hotter and then as it gets a bit cooler it takes on a deeper, and more well-rounded flavour. The floral notes fade and the tea takes on a sweetly buttery flavour. The feel of the tea in my mouth is very smooth and pleasent. As the tea cools some more the floral notes come back slightly along with a honey-like sweet flavour.
The resteep (@ 5 min) is less floral and has more of that honey flavour. It was an enjoyable oolong and I liked that it wasn’t as flowery as some other green oolongs can be.
The name ‘Chunmee’ always makes me laugh – I mean precious eyebrows? I consider my eyebrows to be a lot of things but ‘precious’ generally isn’t one of them. The dry tea does sort of bear a resemblance I guess – the leaves are twisted into short little curves, though to me it’s still a bit of a stretch.
The tea brews up fairly dark for a green tea, turning the water a sort of dark-golden colour. Right away I can taste the sourness in the description, it’s not exactly gack-worthy but it takes some getting used to. In my head it’s not so much like sour plums as it’s comparable to a crisp, dry, white wine like a sauvignon blanc. The body of the tea is rather grassy and the aftertaste has a touch of sweet that I wish was a bit stronger.
The resteep (@ 3:30 min) is much mellower, but it still has a hint of that dry, grass-like sourness. The sweetness at the end is a bit stronger however – possibly because the other flavour elements aren’t drowning it out.
All in all I’d say that this isn’t my cup of tea (pun not intended…okay maybe a little) although I think that might be down to personal tastes rather than this being a crappy tea – I haven’t really tried enough chunmees to form an option of how this particular tea holds up to others of the same kind.
I got a sample of this tea from Mike to review for his tea blog It’s All About the Leaf. I picked out a couple different Rishi herbals blends to try because I’d discovered that the only non-caffinated teas in my cupboard were pretty muche exclusively rooibos and honeybush. A little variety wouldn’t hurt.
The dry tea smell liked Christmas dinner in a field of peppermint – no really! The scent is a blend of savory sage and mint with no bergamot apparent to my nose. The taste of the peppermint is quite dominant in the tea itself, but the sage and thyme provide a strong counterpoint to it. There’s not a lot of bergamot really that I can pick up – a faint, sweet citrusiness is all I get from it.
I find the whole thing to taste a bit medicinal, like the sort of thing I’d drink if I was sick with the flu. All the same it’s a nice alternative to the typical mint tea and I think it would make a nice drink after a big meal to aid digestion.
This tea steeps up with a fragrantly floral aroma that makes me think of just-opened lilac blossoms. The first steep tastes floral and sweet with an oddly spicy aftertaste that linger on the tongue. The flavour has more body and weight to it than many other green oolongs I’ve tasted.
The resteep (@5 min) is mellower and significantly less floral. That perplexing spicy aftertaste is also absent, but the tea still has a full, pleasent flavour that’s sweet without being cloying.
This is the end of my little sample and I had it plain with a bit of honey added to it which turned out to be really good. The sweetness mellowed out the bite of the hot pepper a little bit, but it didn’t sacrifice the other flavours to do so. It also brought out the flavour of the cocoa nibs a little bit – and if there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that more chocolate is always appreciated. ;)
I’m still not sure if I’d buy a whole bag of this tea – like I said in a previous entry I’d have to be a specific mood to want to drink this tea. It’s a good novelty tea (or may that’s novel-tea) and I enjoyed having the chance to expand my horizons a bit.
This looks and smells a lot like the Ryokucha that I tried from Samovar – tea leaves and toasted rice kernels covered in a green dusting of matcha powder.
It doesn’t have quite the same full, savory flavour the Samovar version does. This tastes a bit ‘watery-er’ (for lack of a better word – taken by itself the tea isn’t watery) and it has a rather distinct grassy flavour that I don’t entirly care for. Maybe I’ll try cooler water and a longer steep next time.