4231 Tasting Notes
I haven’t had this tea in a while so I thought I’d have some for breakfast this morning. I really enjoy this tea and I also wanted to find out how my taste buds were doing. I figured with some of the more delicate flavors in this tea – I might be able to see if my taste buds were getting somewhere back to normal (what is normal?) so that I might be able to start trying some of the newer teas that I’ve recently received.
Unfortunately, my taste buds are not completely in check, but, they’re getting there. The smoky quality of the tea stands out in the first couple of sips, but it is not too smoky. I can taste the smooth buttery characteristic as well, and that makes me smile, as it is one of the aspects of this tea that I have always found so delightfully unusual. The raisin is quite delicate, as is the cinnamon. However, I do note a sweet cinnamon note in the finish that sort of rests upon the palate.
So, my palate isn’t quite up to par just yet, but it’s MUCH better than it was say two weeks ago. I won’t rate this tea numerically just yet, perhaps with the next cup (which, by the looks of it, just may be my last cup of this outstanding tea!)
Just a quick note – enjoying this at the moment, along with my favorite movie: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
As I’ve written before, it’s important to “rinse” or “awaken” these leaves. I pour enough boiling water over the leaves to cover them, let it sit for about 10 – 15 seconds, strain, and then steep them as usual for 2 1/2 minutes.
This tea is quite robust, with a smoky note which thankfully translates much stronger in the aroma than in the flavor. I like the tangy vinegar note to this tea, that sort of rests upon the palate much the same way as eating something vinegar-y might.
I love Darjeeling.
Some years back, I received a beautiful tin that was filled with the tastiest Darjeeling. It was the first Darjeeling I ever experienced, and since that time, I’ve been trying to find a Darjeeling that compares. The tin has long since vanished in the “black hole” that is my art studio (don’t ask!) and the name of the company that distributed the tea has long since vanished from my memory. So I haven’t ever been able to restock my shelves with that exact brand.
However, I have found some suitable substitutes… that taste almost (if not just as) good as that first Darjeeling.
This is one such Darjeeling. It has a very pleasant muscatel essence to it – slightly spicy, musky/woodsy, with a pleasant, palate-cleansing astringency. Tannic, but not pushing the edge to bitter. Like a fine, dry wine.
Steven Smith rocks!
As I’ve noted before, until my senses return to full capacity, I won’t be offering a numeric rating to this tea – as it wouldn’t be fair. However, I do have enough of this tea to last me until I’m feeling better, at which time, I’ll rate it accordingly.
This is a bit of a backlog – I had some of this tea yesterday afternoon. I kind of wish I hadn’t though – not that I didn’t enjoy it, it was fine. But, my taste buds being funky and out of whack, it just didn’t taste as good as I remember it… I didn’t get much of the more delicate notes of the chestnuts.
So, I will save what I have left of this tea for when I’m feeling better so that I can truly enjoy it!
This is a bit of a backlog. I finished off the last of my stash of this Stash tisane. You can read my published review of it here:
I selected this tea because I had hoped it would be a strong tasting tea as I wanted to counteract the “buffered taste bud syndrome” from which I seem to be suffering. Unfortunately, the tea just wasn’t strong enough… I mean, I could taste the tea, but, I really had hoped for more flavor. It’s not really the tisane’s fault though, as much as it is my own palate at this point in time.
As a result, I’m not going to give it a numeric rating – it just doesn’t seem fair. When I did write the review for the Tea Review Blog, my taste buds were operating in full capacity, so hopefully you can extract my feelings about the tea from it.
This is one of my favorite Dragonwell Teas. I did not brew it “traditionally” – that is, I did not allow the tea leaves to become turgid. I have found that when I brew Dragonwell tea, if I brew the first infusion just 1 minute, I am able to get quite a few more infusions out of the leaves, and I prefer the flavor of the short steeped tea much more than that of the traditional method.
I’d like to think that my relationship with Dragonwell has come a long way since I first tried it some 10 years ago. My first experience was not a positive one, to say the least, and since that time, I’ve learned more about myself as a tea drinker and my preferences, and have experimented a bit to find that Dragonwell is one of my favorite green teas!
The flavor is sweet, only slightly vegetative (not nearly as vegetative as most Japanese greens), and has a very pleasant floral note. It tastes … like spring!
Even though I had said I won’t be rating teas numerically while I am sick, I have chosen to do so with this tea, because… my stores in this tea are getting quite low and I don’t know how long I’ll be sick vs. how long I’ll have this tea to rate it when I’m well. Even if I weren’t sick though, I would rate this one very high, because it is so good and worthy of the high rating.
I opted for an Earl Grey as my first cup of the day (yes, it’s my first cup, I took a rather long snooze after getting my youngest on the school bus this morning!) and decided to go with my favorite.
I am still kind of unsure though – I really love this blend, but I also really love Steven Smith’s… and they are both different enough from each other. One of these days I shall do a side by side comparison and decide which one is best.
I will say though, I really shouldn’t drink this tea while my taste buds are impaired. Yes, it’s still good, but it’s not as good as it is when my taste buds are fully functional. Today I think the bergamot tastes less “distinctive.”
It’s still very good, but, I think I’d rather enjoy it when I am 100% better.
I feel like slowly… but surely… my taste buds are returning to normal. I’m not 100% yet otherwise, and I don’t even think that my tastebuds are quite at 100% yet either… but they’re getting there.
On to the tea! Nice and bold flavor. The Assam’s malty flavor really seems to be standing out today, which brings to mind Numi’s Aged Earl Grey but much, much better. The bergamot doesn’t seem quite as strong today, but I am sure that is because my taste buds are not quite as strong as they usually are.
Even with the impairment, this tea is still so good!
There are very few teas (that I haven’t flavored/blended myself) that have earned a spot on my “permanent” tea shelf. This tea – which isn’t a tea at all – has earned that coveted spot. I love this tea… and I’ve been hoarding it until I knew for sure that I’d be able to get more. Fortunately, more is forthcoming!
Yummy. Chocolate. Yummy. Banana. Yummy!!!
And I’m not that big on bananas, nor am I big on rooibos. But this blend – as Randy Jackson might say – worked it out! Dawg!
Awesome. Absolutely my favorite blend from 52 Teas.