4221 Tasting Notes
I chose to start my day with a Nilgiri. One of my two favorite black teas (with a good quality Yunnan being first, a good quality Nilgiri being second).
This one has a nice complexity. It is bright and flavorful, with interesting fruit-like notes (I can definitely taste a citrus-y flavor, especially right at the finish).
Very smooth and rich tasting for a medium-bodied tea. This is definitely a tea you want to watch carefully to not over-brew, as it can get bitter.
I had to use a different tool today to brew my tea (yep, had to grab a different gadget!) The brewing of the Fleur De Vie tea last night left my smart brewing device smelling quite like the very fragrant tea, so the device requires some added attention to free it of that aroma so that it doesn’t possibly affect the flavors of the teas that I brew today.
So, I got out a teapot, and used for the first time a Mary Pop-In. This seems like an effective tool to strain teas from a tea pot, but I don’t know how well it would fair with a rooibos or a finely cut chai. I shall have to do a little more testing.
I also used for the first time a tea cozy from Thistledown Cozies – I like this cozy! What it lacks in handmade charm it makes up for in conventional wisdom.
So, there! See! I can and do use gadgetry. However, there is something that is quite peaceful and meditative about simplicity when brewing tea, and I prefer that overall sense of calm to being the TEAtective Gadget, which is why I am so resistant to the gadgets in the first place. Tea isn’t just about good taste, it’s about that beautiful sense of serenity that comes from the process… it helps the chaos of everyday life melt away for a few moments each day.
The last time I wrote a tasting note on this tea, I was unsure about this tea. I liked it, but something felt a little off so I wanted to add a little extra leaf and adjust the brewing parameters a bit. I didn’t adjust the brewing parameters, but I did add a little extra leaf, and I do think I like it better now than I did.
I can taste the bergamot, but it is a gentler bergamot than a typical Earl Grey tea… the green tea is also a bit mild, but the tulsi is vibrant. These three flavors together with the rose create a very exciting and unique cup of tea that I’m enjoying quite a bit. The rose is really delicious in this blend… and really works well with the bergamot. (I also quite like tulsi and rose together).
This is my favorite “non green” jasmine… and quite possibly my favorite white tea (I think I had responded on an earlier tasting note that there was another white tea I liked better than this – Frutto Bianco Pearls from Teavana… but I like this one better than Frutto Bianco).
The jasmine flavor is remarkable in this blend, delicate yet so delightful. Sweet and exhilarating. Beautiful…absolutely beautiful.
You can read more about my thoughts of this tea here:
Now that I’m finished with my “matcha break” I have moved on to my third infusion of these leaves. Those little tiny slivers of leaves have expanded to at least 5 or 6 times their size! And they are still providing amazing flavor.
This time I steeped for a full minute, just like the first infusion (the second infusion I steeped for just 45 seconds) and I must say that I prefer the full minute to the 45 seconds.
The flavor is sweet, nutty, and much less vegetal than the first infusion. Not that the vegetal flavor was bad, because I liked it. There is very little bitterness to this – there was more bitterness to the first infusion (although it was still quite subtle). Buttery! Nice floral note – but difficult to pinpoint the flower. It’s delicious though… whatever it is!
Tea is truly perfection – and this tea is a clear statement to that perfection. How can anyone prefer a soda (or coffee, or anything else, for that matter) to this?
Wow… 2 bowls of matcha in 3 days! Not at all like me… Steepster is having an influence on me… good influence? bad influence? Haven’t decided yet.
I love this ginger matcha. Smooth and sweet – yummy! I love the ginger in it, and how you can actually bite into the little bits and release some of their peppery power! This particular bowl of matcha has quite a bit more ginger bits than the previous bowls.
This is still not my favorite matcha, though… but, it IS delightful and if I don’t start staying away from Steepster I might end up having matcha on a daily basis or something like I do my Oolong.
A very low temperature and short steep time is suggested by SpecialTeas for this tea, and I recommend it as well.
The aroma of the dry leaf is vegetal with pleasant floral notes. Upon brewing – or I should say, when I finished brewing and strained the tea through my smart brewing device, I could smell a very pungent vegetable scent… like freshly steamed vegetables with butter.
The flavor of this tea is excellent. The vegetative flavor is softer than the aroma suggests, it is smooth and buttery, with a slight bitter undertone. There is also a fruit essence. It amazes me that this much flavor came at such a low temperature with such a short steeping time – especially after my last cup of tea (Lupicia’s green paradise).
A very pleasant, complex cup of tea, making me eager to seek out other Gyokuro teas.
This is one of two free samples that I received in my order from Lupicia a couple of weeks ago… while rummaging through my samplings this afternoon, this one seemed to jump into my hand and beg me to brew it.
The aroma of the tea when I first opened the pouch was overwhelming – a vibrant smell of tropical fruit.
The sample came in a tea pyramid, and after seeing how much the leaf expanded, I wish I would have cut open the pyramid and infused the tea as a loose leaf. The infused leaves completely filled the pyramid to the point of looking overstuffed!
The flavor of this tea pales in comparison to the aroma of it. When I smelled how beautifully fragrant it was, I was expecting a very pronounced flavor, but, it really isn’t. The flavors are very soft. I can taste a subtle, melon-y kind of flavor to it, as well as a touch of citrus and maybe even a little coconut? Because the flavors are so soft it’s difficult to discern just what I’m tasting beyond the flavor of the bancha tea.
It’s not a bad tasting tea, it’s just a bit soft in flavor so it becomes difficult to know what I’m tasting beyond green tea. There is something there but I really wish it were stronger. It’s one that I would actually be interested in trying again, simply so that I could try to discern some of the flavor… kind of like a mystery that needs to be solved.
Another sampling from Doulton!
When I first saw Andrews & Dunham’s third series, THIS is the tea that I really wanted to try from the three. I didn’t think I would be interested at all in the Caravan as I’m not really into smoky teas, and the Jasmine didn’t excite me to the point of wanting to place the order. I mean, Jasmine greens are great, don’t get me wrong, I love jasmine… but, I so prefer jasmine pearls to jasmine greens and since I have quite a few jasmine pearls I didn’t feel the necessity to order a jasmine green.
That being said, and now after having tasted both the Jasmine and the Earl Grey from A&D – I must admit that the tea I am now excited to receive from them is the Jasmine!
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good Earl Grey. But lately, I’ve tasted some really REMARKABLE Earl Greys (Lupicia, Steven Smith Teamaker), and this one isn’t quite as remarkable as those two. However, this is a very, very good Earl Grey.
I like that the bergamot in this tea is a very clear and focused flavoring. You can actually taste that the bergamot is an orange in this tea which is something that I can’t always taste, because the bergamot oils used in some other teas tend to be too flowery. This has less flower and more fruit.
The tea base is much smoother than in the other two Earl Grey teas I mentioned in this note, and perhaps that is the reason why I prefer those… I’d like the black tea in this to be just a little brisker… and if it were, this might be a contender.
Overall, an excellent Earl Grey, but not an exceptional one.
This is really tasty.
The flavor of the rooibos is a perfect union for the root beer flavor… and the flavor seems to nicely off-set that funky, saccharine-ish flavor from the rooibos that I generally find so off-putting when it comes to rooibos.
I am very pleasantly surprised by this blend. I didn’t try it with milk this time around, but, I think when I brew up the last of my sample, I will froth up some milk and serve this latte style to see how/if that enhances the “float” part of the flavoring.
I must really be happy with me today, because not only did I have Norbu Oolong tea, but I’m treating myself to some Jasmine Pearls.
Now, a little explanation – these are “custom” because, well, I get my jasmine pearls from various sources. There are some perks to being a tea purveyor. Anyways… as I haven’t really found much difference from brand to brand, I just keep them in my pretty little washi paper tin, combining them as I get them… and to be honest, I really don’t know which source(s) I received these from.
Anyways, until I find the “perfect” pearl – if it exists – a pearl is a pearl is a pearl… and all are equally lovely in my eyes.
When it comes to pearls, I have found that a moderately low temperature and extended brewing time works wonders.
The flavor is amazing. Jasmine. Smooth, delicious, sweet green tea leaves, delicate in flavor. Sweet, floral jasmine tantalizing my palate. Delightful.