4405 Tasting Notes
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.
You know what? This tea is awesome!
Because I’m still sick, I’m not going to bump up the numeric rating just yet, but, I’m quite tempted. The flavor (Now – with impaired taste buds) is very nutty… much more so than I remember. A very pleasant buttery flavor to it. Sweet, and yummy… what a treat this is! I think I like it better now than I remember.
One thing that is “nice” (I’m trying to look on the bright side, here) about one’s taste buds operating at limited ability is that it gives one ample opportunity to clear out the tea shelf to make room for new teas.
So that’s what I’ve been doing… drinking teas that I’ve tasted previously and written reviews for on the Tea Review Blog (even if they haven’t yet published). I am making good use of the tea (It is rather comforting even though I’m not as effective at tasting it) and I am not “wasting” teas I’ve not yet tasted and reviewed on my miserable lack of tasting ability.
This tea is actually quite tasty, even with my funky taste buds! I think it tastes more like artichokes now than when I tried it originally. There is a faint lemon-like essence as well as a nice buttery flavor, which is quite appropriate to me, because the sauce I generally serve with artichoke is usually either a lemon-y butter-garlic sauce or a vinegar-y butter-garlic sauce. (Both are yummy, it really usually just depends upon whether or not I have lemons readily available… but I digress!)
It is a very unusual flavored tea, but, I really do like it. Of the teas from Adagio that I’ve tried, this is definitely one of my favorites, if not the favorite.
This afternoon I decided to treat myself to this. This is one of my favorites from 52 Teas – it reminds me so much of an old time soda shop cherry cola. (No, I’m not old enough to actually remember those old time soda shops, but, I used to work at a retirement home as an administrative assistant and they had an old time soda fountain for the residents. This soda reminds me of the cherry vanilla cola I’d have there on occasion)
Today, the smell of this tea is more reminiscent of that “old time soda” than the flavor. I need to remember to limit the brew time of this particular tea to 2 1/2 minutes or less. Any longer and the tea becomes a bit too astringent and that astringency interferes with the flavors. Then again, it could be my present lack of ability to taste.
I chose this tea because I remember the flavors being quite strong… and yes, even with my taste buds impaired, I can taste the cherry and even a touch of the vanilla. And as I said, the black tea base is a bit more astringent than I remember it being, which leaves the mouth feeling a little dry.
Overall, though, I really like this tea. I am going to save what I have left of it for iced tea. Right now, we are having winter-like weather, so it’s no time for iced tea! I am not going to issue a numeric rating for this tea at this time, because I don’t really think it’s fair based on my inability to discern subtle flavors.
I have tasted this only once before. I was rather curious to see how my taste buds would pick up on this blend’s smoky and earthy qualities.
I can really taste the yerba mate – more so than the Lapsang Souchong – in this blend today. Perhaps it’s because of my palate’s impaired state that the smoky qualities of the Lapsang are not so off-putting for me.
In fact, I find this blend rather enjoyable – and who knows, perhaps it’s my “gateway” to the strong, smoky type – although I rather doubt it. What I will say with absolute certainty though is that this is a great tea to enjoy now as my taste buds aren’t quite up to par, because I can actually taste something… subtle flavors would be totally lost on me at this point.
I did not steam and froth milk for my cup this time around, although I did add a generous dollop of honey. This right now seems less of a “chai” blend than a spiced blend, because the spices are less of a focus than the earthy qualities of the mate and the smoky, caramel-y flavor of the lapsang souchong. But again, that may just be because my palate is not right, right now.
A nice strong flavored tea, which is something that I need right now.
Very tasty – A strong ginger flavor, and the peach is very good… this reminds me a bit of a gingered peach cobbler. Yummy! I only enough of this tea for another pot… which is a bit bitter-sweet. Sad that it’s going to be gone, because I’ve enjoyed it, but happy it’s going to be gone to make way for other teas (I have so much tea!)
As I’ve said before (and you might be tired of reading about), I have a nasal infection. As such, I have decided to not drink any new teas (that is, teas I’ve not tasted before) because my taste buds are a bit impaired (although I am able to taste more flavors lately, and not just powerful, peppery flavors). Because I am able to detect more flavors, I feel more at ease writing about some of the favorites in my cabinet.
This is a long-time favorite of mine, although I have noted in previous tasting notes that it somehow does not taste quite the same as I remember it tasting. Some eight years ago when I first became familiar with Mighty Leaf teas I remember this tea being quite Earl Grey but with a hint of sweet orange. Like someone added a squeeze of blood orange to the bergamot orange.
The vanilla taste is different than a typical Earl Grey Creme in that it doesn’t come off as really “creamy” but more of a soft, sweet note – a very delicate soft, sweet note. And the jasmine… really pushes this blend over the edge into a place of pleasant indulgence.
But, as I said, while the blend today is still quite dreamy, it tastes different… like someone replaced some of the bergamot (but not all) with more orange, and it is more orange and less bergamot orange now. Still good… but not as good.