512 Tasting Notes
Okay, I’ve had this sample for over a year. I’ve been afraid to try it. The other notes on this tea have been terribly discouraging. But I just have to do this once and for all.
The leaves are balled up but pretty dark. I find that the dark oolongs tend to be long and twisty and the green ones are balled up like tiny wads of spit balls. (Maybe I should have used a better example…) But these are dark and balled up. It’s a crazy upside down world.
First, the the smell of the brewed tea is like roasted brussels sprouts. It also tastes like brussels sprouts only it’s weird at first because of that honeyed fruity flavor on the front of the tongue. This also reminds me a bit of chrysanthemum tea. The flavors in this tea clash for sure, but I don’t hate it like I feared. I wouldn’t say I liked it either though.
Will have to try a few more steeps. You never know an oolong unless you infuse it a few times. But first, I’ll take my pups out for a walk before the sun goes down. They didn’t go out much in the winter cause they are so tiny that they’d get too cold, even with coats. They are loving this warmer weather. :)
EDIT: Okay, no resteep because I’m an idiot. Took the cup and infuser basket into the kitchen area so that I could pour the hot water over the leaves. Except when I got to the kitchen, I dumped the leaves and started washing out the tea ware. Half way through scrubbing the infuser basket my brain went, “….wait…wasn’t I supposed to do another steep with those leaves? …those leaves that are sitting in the garbage can? …I suck.” I’ve got enough leaf to try again, but that will have to wait for another time. It’s time to move on to herbals and other decaf/noncaf teas.
Finally, cup of black tea that fulfills my cravings. Dark cocoa. Hint of vanilla pastry aroma. Bit of malt. Roasted, but not too much. It tastes a bit untamed and unrefined. Just a bit of unpleasant harshness. But still, Yunnan black! Delicious Yunnan black. Just what I needed all weekend.
Okay, so I’m probably just making is sound really good because this is the closest I’ve come to a black tea tasting the way I want it to in a few days. It’s probably just above mediocre for a Yunnan black tea, at best. There are better ones out there. But I haven’t had any better ones lately, and that makes all the difference for excitement levels.
This reminds me of that time I went camping with my friends and we didn’t have anything resembling fresh veggies or fruits for daaaaays! On the way home, we stopped at a diner and that minuscule side of soggy from-the-freezer string beans was the best thing I had ever eaten. But I digress.
I knew this was going to be what I’ve been craving all weekend the moment I opened the bag. Roasted dark chocolate aromas wafted up to me. The brewed tea is a clear orangey black. Pretty and tasty.
Steep 2: Unfortuately, not chocolatey on the second steep. Just kind of generic now.
Their Gyokuro Black is better.
I’m trying to create a new tea for the Spinach Chive, but it keeps bringing me to that “kettle was left on” page. Argh!
Anyways, I got this as a sample from the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival. I was really intrigued and hopeful about this since I do love soup and the idea of having soup whenever I want sounds pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I don’t much like this. There’s a reason why I rarely cook with dried herbs. They don’t taste good to me. The concoction here actually does taste like a soup made from bouillon cubes, but it also has that bitter medicinal quality dried herbs have.
Anyway, I definitely taste the chive. The spinach is a milder flavor. I think I would be pretty interesting to use in cooking, maybe. But I wouldn’t drink it straight. Maybe good as a base for a potato soup?
Went for this after my last attempt at creating a tasty cup of Laoshan Black. sigh. You should have seen my face at the first sip. I was completely taken aback by the syrupy sweetness. The honey. It was just a bit of a shock to go from one flavor profile to another. It’s also toasty roasty like a roasted dark oolong. Minerally as well. I can also detect that dark cocoa nibs. As I continued to sip, the novelty of the honey notes wore off and was peeking out a bit behind the heavy roasted flavor and the malty chocolate notes.
Not sure that this tea is to my taste as it’s a bit more roasted than I prefer and the honey note isn’t strong enough to make up for it. Might be good as a cold brew.
Aaargh! I can’t do this! This…just isn’t tasty. Barely at all! I tried everything! Various temps and times. Gong fu and western. Water filtered and not filtered. This batch just doesn’t taste good to me. I see from the description on the website that this is from the autumn 2012 harvest. So, note to self: don’t get autumn harvest of Laoshan Black ever again. It’s just too heart breaking.
So is there a summer harvest? Or do they just do spring? I need to know which harvest produced that nectar of the gods I had the first time I sampled it. As for the autumn harvest version, if you want it, let me know. It’s maybe 1.5 oz at this point. I can’t deal with this batch anymore. I’m also removing my rating because it’s too confusing for me to rate. It’s good sometimes but not always…what? See? Too confusing.
Buttery fresh green oolong. Sweet tropical pineapple. A hint of creamy rich coconut.
Mmm… Green oolong, my true love.
Brothy mouthfeel. Refreshingly cleansing feeling on the tongue. Eminently slurpable. There should be more flavored green oolongs. Especially from Lupicia. Utterly fantastic ripe luscious pineapple flavor. Love. And it’s not trying to mask the tea base. The quality comes through and supports the fruitiness, keeping if from being too sweet. I would certainly enjoy this without the pineapple, but it wouldn’t fulfill my desire for a light fruity tea.
It was not long ago when I discovered a love for black tea. But the more black teas I try, the more I realize that I only really like the quality unflavored Chinese ones. I’m not sure why this is. But ah well. It has been fun. My flavored black tea experimentation will likely slow to a few select blacks. I may occasionally crave a milky black tea, but for those instances, I’m happy to stick with EGs or chai. I’m still keen on exploring the world of quality unflavored blacks though. :)
As for this tea, it is pleasant enough. Caramel and vanilla are evident from the beginning. The fruity qualities don’t really show until the cup has cooled. Nice enough with a smooth base. I wish I loved it as much as other Steepsters seem to. :)
Thank you, AlphaKitty, for the sample!
Hm. Not a highly rated tea, but I did not find this as offensive as some others did. I actually quite enjoyed it with a heavy dose of milk. :) I had brewed it strong to have a nice milky tea with my breakfast scone. Perfect combo. Tea base was quite nice. Better than the other EGs I’ve sampled from Upton this far. The bergamot was pretty intense. I find myself wondering once again what a real fruit smells like.
Overall, the best of a mediocre bunch. Still have hopes for the Sacher Blend.
Thanks AlphaKitty for a sample of this! Definitely nutty sweet and pretty tasty. However, I am reminded of why, for a long time, I thought I did not like black teas. Love the flavor. Not sure I like the combo of black tea with this flavor. Not sure I’d like the black tea base at all unflavored. I guess I’m more sensitive to black tea quality? In any case, love the caramel flavor and hint of rose. Nicely done.