4143 Tasting Notes
Yesterday, I received a HUGE box from my SororiTea Sister (aka TeaEqualsBliss), so I have her to thank for many of the teas that I will be tasting over the next few weeks. Yay! Tea!
This is the first of the teas that I’m trying from said box. I mean… hello? Jasmine? Oolong? New company I’ve not tried before? Yep, that’s got ME written all over it.
So, I got out my beloved Jasmine Yixing mug. I’ve three yixing mugs, one for Alishan Oolongs, one for Jasmine teas (except for jasmine black teas), and one for My Precious yellow teas. I love my Yixing Mugs, and I love that they’re dedicated to one tea. It makes it a little more special when I brew one of these three teas.
This Jasmine Oolong is amazingly good. The jasmine is sweet and tastes so pure and natural. No icky perfume-y taste here. Just simple, subtle, DREAMY jasmine notes. For those who don’t like jasmine, you should try this tea. While I am always quick to note that not every tea is for every palate, I believe that more often than not, those who think they do not like jasmine have simply tasted an ill-prepared jasmine. For good jasmine flavor, the jasmine blossoms should be layered with the tea in the early stages of processing, allowing the essence of the jasmine flower to be absorbed by the newly harvested tea leaf and not added as a flavoring oil after the tea has been processed.
Now, I shall step off my jasmine soap box and remark upon the beauty of this tea. It is soft and silky. Absolutely lovely. Perfect. I love this.
I am surprised that this tea has never been logged here.
This is really nice. It is sweet, the pollen gives it a pleasing honey-like flavor and enhances the floral tones of the lavender. The lavender starts out really soft, almost blurred but in a very palate-pleasing way. As I sip, the lavender slowly comes in to focus. It reminds me very much of an impressionist painting. Up close, at first, it looks a bit messy and the paint strokes don’t seem to make sense, it is not very clear. But after a few steps away from the painting (or taking a few sips of the tea), everything comes in to focus and before you is a beautiful, breathtaking work of art.
I had ordered this for a friend of mine who isn’t too keen on tea, but seems to like fruity tisanes like this one. I didn’t tell her it was a children’s tea. :)
Well, after I gave this to her, she was nice enough to open the pouch and give me enough to brew a cup of it for myself so that I could try it, since this is one I hadn’t yet tried.
I’m not crazy about hibiscus, but I was hopeful that there was enough other ingredients in this to keep the tisane interesting. But after I steeped it for five minutes, it looked like hibiscus … which worried me.
Fortunately, the hibiscus adds a lot of color to this but not a lot of its syrupy texture or tart flavor. Yes, there is some tartness, but, some of the other flavors balance that out a bit, making this a pleasant sweet-yet-tart kind of tisane. It has a candy-like taste to it, reminding me a bit of sweet-tarts. I don’t taste much of the individual fruit… but I am enjoying the way they all sort of meld together. I can also taste the rose which is a nice surprise.
It’s a little tart, a little sweet, a little fruity and a little floral. Overall, an enjoyable cuppa, but not something I’d drink on a regular basis.
Even though I’m a monthly subscriber to 52Teas, I still tend to stalk the website on Mondays, checking to see what Frank came up with for the tea of the week. If the tea doesn’t get posted on Monday, I find myself clicking on the website even more often on Tuesday, because I am becoming impatient. I want to know! If for some reason, Frank is later (and I suspect he does this just to tease me because he knows I am waiting), I become really impatient and have a hard time leaving the computer until I know what the tea of the week will be.
It has gotten better since I started subscribing though, I think some of the anxiety of worrying that the tea will sell out before I have a chance to buy it is alleviated with the subscription. But it doesn’t alleviate the curiosity.
Most of the time, I’m not only excited about the tea but also quite astonished at what Frank has come up with for the week! Case and point: Pancake Breakfast. Wow! But occasionally, I’m a little disappointed by the tea of the week.
If you go to the 52Teas website right now and look at different teas that appear on the homepage, most of the teas there are ones that excited me. Cotton Candy? Custard-Filled Maple Long John? Chicken and Waffles? (Oh, never mind…) and let us not forget this week’s creation: Double Chocolate Decadence. (for my birthday! yippee!) These flavors are exciting!
And there are a few that are a little less than exciting. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t interested in trying the Doggy Tea. The Citrus Piledriver I wasn’t too excited about, but, that one turned out to be a big winner after trying it.
But this tea. This tea actually disappointed me when it was announced. I don’t really like grape. I like the fruit. But I don’t usually like grape flavored stuff like soda or candy. I don’t even really care for grape juice.
That being said, I have actually found some grape flavored teas that I’ve enjoyed. But that didn’t stop me from being just kind of “meh” about the announcement of this tea.
All that was before I tried it.
This is good. This tea makes Concord Grape worthwhile.
I LOVE Alishan! My very favorite Oolong. And this is one of the best of the best… if not the best. Did that make sense? Basically, this is one amazing Alishan. Sweet … like honey. A pleasant mouthfeel that is thick but not so much creamy as it is reminiscent of a warm, thinned honey … but not sticky.
Floral, yes, but the floral tones are not sharp or pungent, they are more of a sweet, delectable floral, with a nice fruit note in the background that makes this Alishan quite unlike any that I can ever recall.
If you only try one Alishan in your life, make it this one.
Decided to finally try my second custom sample. I am glad that I held off and waited a little while, because the flavor this time is perfect. Delicious maple, delicious creamy, custard-y taste. YUM! The black tea is pleasant, strong, but not overwhelming.
I like this one quite a bit, I might end up ordering a batch!
The description suggests that every cup of this tea is a mystery. Right now, as it is still very hot, I taste sweet, malty tones and a hint of bergamot. It is very robust. I can smell the jasmine notes wafting out of the cup but I don’t really taste it. As I continue to sip (carefully, as I don’t wish to burn my tongue!) I notice hints of jasmine develop.
As it cools, a freshly baked bread taste emerges. The bergamot seems to be waning, as if it is drifting off into the distance. The jasmine that started to develop at the start seems to have distanced itself as well. Now, I taste mostly black tea – rich and bold with a fair amount of astringency.
Very nice. Lightly sweet. I prefer green rooibos over red rooibos and this tisane reminds me why. The sweetness here is much more natural tasting, like it’s been derived from sun-ripened fruit as opposed to that saccharine-like sweetness that I taste from red rooibos. No funky aftertaste either.
The flavor is slightly vegetal, not quite grassy like a green tea kind of grassy, but, more like a sweet/fruity kind of vegetal, and notes of nut and wood in the background. It is light and crisp. Enjoyable.
Last night, as I was sorting through some of my stash (it seems a never ending process!) I came across the last little bit that I had of this. It seemed like it was just enough to brew up a pitcher of iced tea, so that is just what I did.
This is delicious iced. The green tea is prominent, but the berry notes give this an almost-wine-like quality to the background. Sweet and delicious, with hints of tart to keep things interesting. I’m glad I found this… but sad now that the pitcher is empty! This tea will be missed.