472 Tasting Notes
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @ 90C, steeped 5 minutes, drunk bare.
Yes, water at 90C. I’d set the Breville for oolong but changed my mind. I didn;t then change the setting because I thought water on the rolling boil would scald the sweet stuff in here.
It smells and tastes like red velvet cake. This is exactly what they intended. I catch the faintest touch of black tea on the back of my tongue.
I’m generally not a fan of flavoured teas, but I keep trying them. The DavidsTea Buttered Rum really appealed to me earlier in the week, so I took the chance on Red Velvet Cake. I’ll keep it on hand for when I want to eat something sweet and see if taking this tea instead saves me a few calories.
1.5 tsp for 250mL water @90C, variable steep times, 3 infusions.
I am drinking a LOT of Quangzhou lately. I am getting ready to submit a new book to a publisher, and my nerves are shot. That’s my excuse.
I find the Quangzhou from my local indie shop to be better, so I figured my tide-me-over packet from DavidsTea wouldn’t be as blissful. Even so, I’m a bit disappointed. I think this batch is stale — like air got at it. The scent is faint, and it’s only good for one infusion. Quangzhou milk oolong is hard to find, so I really don’t want to take it back; besides, I’ll only get a replacement from the same batch, and someone’s got to drink it. ;) Still, I wish it was a little more potent, rather than this shady memory of itself. My rating goes down, but only because this batch is stale: 85. A good rating, but a shameful drop for Quangzhou milk oolong.
To be clear: the staff at my local DavidsTea location wouldn’t hesistate to offer a replacement. They’re really good over there.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water @90C, steeped four minutes.
Tie Kwan Yin, or, Iron Goddess of Mercy, is the tea with the best name, hands down. It’s also the first oolong I ever tried, and I fell hard for it.
This one has some notes similar to Quangzhou milk, as though someone a ferw desks down had just made some Quangzhou. This is not a creamy oolong, of course, instead floral and slightly mineral. Good body, lovely mouthfeel, lots of nuance. If I can’t have Quangzhou, I turn to supplicate the Iron Goddess.
1.25 tsp for 250 mL water @100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
I’m not a fan of flavoured teasm but I keep trying them. My local DavidsTea has a little rack at the cash of 25 g packets, 2 for $5.00, so I picked up 25g of Buttered Rum.
I can actually taste some tea in this one. The coconut is an inspiration, lending the liquor a creamy mouthfeel. Not too sweet, not too heavy, definitely a bit different. It smells like a Buttered Rum Lifesaver but tastes way better. I can see drinking this one a fair bit, to my pleasant surprise.
Made for me at a DavidsTea store.
I sniffed this one last week and found it dusty; I blamed the cinnamon. I also didn’t like th elook of it; dark oolong generally doesn’t appeal to me. And the former name, Dr CHocolate, irked me because the blend contains no chocolate. See? mbh, the tea bitch.
It’s got a pleasant ginger bite which balances well with the cinnamon and carob. Inoffensive. But I detected no oolong at all. I’d drink this medicainlly, but I doubt I’ll drink it for pleasure.
1.25 for 250mL water @90C, steeped 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.
The first infusion gave up so much cream I thought I would swoon. I got three excellent infusions from the one little scoop, and could probably have gotten a fourth, more orchid than cream by then. I needed this tea so badly this weekend that I shook out my bag for every loose coin — I’ve just gotten my kids ready for school and really have no business buying tea right now — but oh, oh yes, it’s worth whatever ya gotta do to get some. As I’ve noted before, I don’t know where my local indie tea shop, Britannia Teas and Gifts, gets their Quangzhou milk, but it is better than what DavidsTea carries. Delicious, fragrant, nuanced, and creamy — perfection.
1.25 tsp for 250 mL water @ 82C, steeped 3 minutes.
Not for me.
1 TB in 2/3 cup gourd, water @ 90C.
Smells sooo good, lots of cinnamon, but not air-freshener or bad candle cinnamon. The roasted mate itself can get bitter, but a lower temp on the water helps. Pleasant milk chocolate notes. Gives a decent mate buzz, though Jumpy Monkey is better for that.
1.25 tsp, steeped, er, God knows how long forgotten on my desk (11+ minutes), drunk bare.
I noticed yesterday that a five-minute steep brought out bitterness in the Tiger, but there’s no bitterness today. What I’ve got here, in my covered mug, is a thick and creamy Assam concentrate that remains, somehow, gentle. Not bitter. Not malty enough to strip paint (though there is a lovely pucker), and nowhere near acidic enough to upset my stomac, as some stronglybrewed black teas will. Floral and plum notes round out a chewy liquor that may well keep me awake through the night. A&D are correct; this one forgives a long steep. This is a really good Assam, mellow and easy-going, and well worth the price.
1.25 tsp for 250mL water@100C, steeped 4 minutes, drunk bare.
Like, omigod, the tea even came with, like, a blood-dripping A&D button I can pin on my jacket!
An excellent smoky China black tea. Not quite the same as I remember — it’s missing that almost savoury /salty note — but still a more nuanced smoky tea than many. The smoke scent is strong but not smothering, while the liquor itself, a light brown with some reddish tones, is mineral and sweet and sparkling — not carbonated, obviously, but giving definite bite. Smoky notes in the finish. A very light body. I may try making this stronger tomorrow.