390 Tasting Notes
wow, WOW! this was an excellent bad idea. you know when you’re decently sure you’re executing a bad idea, but it makes you happy so just too-damn-bad? yup. that’s this.
it is 2:22 am, i haven’t had much sleep the last week…. we have new tenants moving in, i start school next tuesday and regular old life stress. it was a gonzo day, this is the first time i’ve had any time to myself and i wanted to try this awesome smelling iced tea!
the sensible part warred with the rebelious side of me:
-but it’s so late at night that it’s morning, james.
-sleep is a good thing… this tea is a black base.
-iced cream in liquid form is a good thing, quit lecturing!
-i’m the one that listens to the griping when you make bad decisions like this….
-then stop up your ears!
it was the very best bad decision i’ve made this week. all three flavours are clear without being muddy. a simple syrup… 1/2 a cup of a 50/50 mix added to the 8 cups of tea. i’m convinced.
my compliments to frank and crew! and now to sleep…. ;0P
first off, i won’t rate this one numerically… i don’t feel i’ve had sufficient experience with straight green teas to give a number.
i really like other languages— i’m fluent in french and learned latin for long enough that spanish and italian… and german…. and old and middle english are understandable and moderately speakable. however, one of my frustrations with other other languages comes into play with teas. i love puerh, but the word itself means nothing to me— there is no sexiness. if i were not the curious type i never would have tried a puerh! variations on a theme here: anji? baicha? okay, asian in origin… cantonese? mandarin? japanese? cambodian? well, maybe not cambodian because to my ears that language had distant ties to french. as always i digress….
anji baicha means nothing to me. there is no suggestion of alice in wonderland with it with a high squeaky subliminal ‘drink me!!!’. when my harney and son’s order arrived and idiscovered there were some things i had expected to like that i didn’t and vice versa and as a result left this one for last: my score at that point with my 8 samples was about 60/40 and (as i previously mentioned) the name wasn’t terribly inspiring.
i like sleep. i haven’t had an abundance of it lately. i love tea. i need both, how can they coexist. hmm. i concluded that black tea was a no no. same for puerh. absolutely no oolong and i’m out of white…. that left me with an anji baicha which i could only hope was none of the tea types i’d ruled out.
indeed it is a green tea (for anyone not speaking anji baicha). and while i don’t have much experience with green teas i will say it is one of the best!
the dry leaf reminds me very much of pine tree snippets… the sad leavings of christmas tree. light green. after hot water the needles unfurl and become basil like! the smell is light and sweet, i swear i smell a bit of lemon basil in there very mildly. there is a fruit LIKE essence that is undefinable— muscat grape would be the closest, but again it’s fleeting.
at this point i would like to strut just a little bit (we’re all allowed from time to time. i am drinking this without sugar. or honey, or sweetener of any kind (yay cold turkey!)… and again i don’t miss the sugar with this tea!
the last point in this teas favour is that there is no pungency. i don’t know if that that’s a common thing with greens, or whether it’s been bad luck on my part, but aside from this one and a verdant’s spring green every green i’ve tried has had an stale genmaicha like flavour while not being a genmaicha.
this is a lovely tea. i would highly recommend it. and i may buy it again, or at least try more greens in future. i’m narrowing down what i like with green tea!
oh, and i oversteeped to boot! lol.
lovely dark, rich, hints of cocoa, a light smell of fruit though i don’t get it on the palate. very, very smooth.
as it cools very subtle fruit elements become more detectable and the liquor becomes creamier. no acidity, no stick from caffeine, no bitterness.
i brewed this strongly: 1.5 tablespoons for my 16 oz. for 2.5 minutes. no sugar (i’m trying very hard to go cold turkey), though a spot cream.
know what? i don’t miss the sugar. thank you ducklers. i appreciate you.
hum. is this a passion fruit taste? i can’t make up my mind…
the dry leaf gives me different values than does the steep: ripe apricot, raspberry and blueberry, each of them very distinctly. the steep is definitely fruity, but not along the same evolutionary tangent as the dry leaf.
the apricot remains… but differently than before.
my question is this: IS this an accurate passionfruit taste that i am not recognizing because of my lack of fresh familiarity?
i have had fresh passionfruit only a handful of times, but have always loved the flavour in juices and smoothies.
either way i think i’d like the flavour to be more robust. i will hold off on a numerical rating until i’ve tinkered…
this is my follow up review for this tea.
a golden assam… it’s a novel idea. it certainly looks lovely, all golden and curled, reminding me of verdant’s golden fleece or a nice loose puerh. however, for me an assam is darker, has smokey notes or maybe cocoa which this one does not/is not.
i like my teas to stand out, to be really distinctive; comforting, a wake up in the morning, brilliant flavour… it can be distinctive in it’s subtlety. visually it is elegant, but when judging teas there should be something about the taste that you never forget— and honestly, this tea has none of that for me.
i wasn’t sure how i felt about a golden assam, i am now (or at least how i feel about this one). it’s not memorable for me on any level. hot short steep, cooler longer steep… it just doesn’t do anything for me.
hmmm, the ever diligent angel contacted me the other day having noticed my low initial review of this tea. she politely offered some suggestions for steeping differently than i had. let me emphasize that in no way was she pushy or inappropriate— she is a woman passionate about tea and teavivre and so customers, reviewers and their opinions are important to her.
i agreed to resteep… it’s hard to refuse when someone asks so politely. honestly, the first go round was so bad that i really wasn’t expecting to like the tea regardless of the advice, but i was wrong.
1.5 tspns for 16 oz tea cup steeped for a hair short of 90 seconds (it was getting rather dark and i wanted to err on the side of caution).
what did i get? a light tasting, non caffeine stick tea reminiscent of a fruit/wood mix. not oak though… more like the light scent of balsa wood crossed with a just-left-the-room sandalwood. truly lovely!
thank you so much angel for your expertise.
i am happy to re-rate… (and yes, ultimately i will buy).