520 Tasting Notes
I’ve been having a bad week. Okay, it’s not bad. It’s just stressful. There are guests and holiday accommodations and arguments and late nights. I’m so tired and stressed out right now. Today I have to spend most of my day preparing food for Thanksgiving. I won’t have time to do much cooking tomorrow. I really need some time with a good oolong. Everything can just take care of itself for a while. Time to break out another sample from Tea from Taiwan.
The smell is amazing. Buttery and bakey. Like fresh biscuits. The first cup is refreshing and comforting. So smooth and rich. I took a deep whiff of the wet leaves. Smells like buttered peas (yum!) and bok choy. This is perfect and exactly what I needed.
Second cup is very sweet and fruity. There’s peas at the end of the sip. Delicious. I love peas. and fruit. (Speaking of fruit, I need to go to the Japanese store and pick up more persimmons…)
I don’t have time for a third cup right now, but I’ll be back. This tea is so good. I’m perked up for now and I’ll need to de-stress with this tea later. :)
It’s just dried ginger bits. I love ginger. There isn’t anything in the world that wouldn’t taste good with some ginger in it. I dare any of you to name a food that wouldn’t be good with ginger.
Moving on… I love the smell of this. I usually make ginger tea by grating fresh ginger and pouring boiling water over it, but I recognize the convenience of a dried ginger. I’m glad I got this shipment before Thanksgiving because I was planning on making a stomach easing after dinner drink with ginger, mint and lemon grass. Or maybe minus the mint since some people don’t like mint (how can you not like mint?). But first, I want to try the ginger on its own.
I gotta say. I’m a little sad. I might have put in too much ginger, but the package doesn’t offer any suggestions. It’s nice and spicy which is great, but it’s also bitter and medicinal. I don’t think I can drink this without honey.
Okay, I just watered it down a bit and now it tastes better. I used too much ginger. I’ll know better for next time. This will probably be better in a blend. It’s super convenient for tummy problems, but I’ll stick to fresh ginger when I can.
The strength of the floral flavors is surprising. So much so that I only noticed the coconut as an after thought. However, as I kept drinking, I realized how pleasant and creamy the coconut is. It’s a smooth white base with some hay notes.
The smell of the coconut is fantastic. I was hoping for more coconut flavor, but I pretty much love coconut. I could put it in everything. The flowers are a bit much. They add a hint of medicine to the aftertaste.
Overall, a yummy good tea!
Very green and pleasantly floral. I love the smell in this one. Puppy sniffed my cup and wrinkled his nose though. It’s a very nIce to kuan yin that I would certainly recommend. However, I find it not very interesting. It’s good but not memorable. I’m probably jaded though. My mom only ever makes ti khan yin. Perhaps I’m too familiar with it to find it special. I’ve had many that are subpar to know that I’m drinking a good one right now.
I am soooo not a fan of chamomile. ugh. I was offered this tea at someone’s home and accepted out of politeness. Some people are really uncomfortable with the idea that you just want to drink water. People seem to think water is what you drink when you have no other choice. But honestly, water is often my first choice. But anyway, this was gross. I didn’t get a chance to see the ingredients, but I tasted mostly chamomile and a bit of mint. I didn’t really notice any citron flavors, which I had hoped would mask the chamomile. Why do I hate chamomile so much? :(
I’ve been looking for a nice herbal that’s relaxing and tasty enough that my husband won’t make a face when I try to share my tea with him. Since he loves lemon, I figured this would work. And it does! He enjoys it! Some guests of ours were pleasantly surprised as well. They had never heard of lemon grass.
It develops this smell that reminds me of green onion? or something that seems savory… But it’s not very noticeable. The second steep smells more strongly of it than the first, but they are both pleasant.
I can’t wait to mix this with some spearmint or peppermint. Nobody around here likes mint except for me. :( It was a hit when I mixed it with some decaf sencha though. :)
It smells amazing and tastes just like it smells. Very floral wirh a slight hint of bitterness at the end which I find common with jasmine. Very nice and relaxing. I left my tea loving friend with the rest of the sample. I know he’ll appreciate it. :)
Does anyone else want to bathe in jasmine tea? I think I’d smell so good afterwards.
First attempt at creating Paradise Oolong. I used David’s Tea’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong and Upton Tea Import’s Empress Guei Fei Oolong. It was a great idea that was badly executed.
You see, I had written earlier about how Empress Guei Fei was a bit of a disappointment since the flavors were unrefined and harsh. I figured that the smoothness of David’s Milk oolong would neutralize that, and the two would combine into something like honeyed fruit drenched in cream. Sounds decadent, doesn’t it? I thought so.
Well, things didn’t quite go as planned. I think the milk oolong is either stronger than I thought or I put in too much of it, because I mostly tasted milk oolong. The second steep had more honeyed notes and the dark oolong flavor rounding out each sip. Mostly, the flavors clashed and distracted. I couldn’t really tell what I was tasting, honestly. My taste buds are confused.
The worst part is, I got so excited about my idea that I went ahead and drank oolong at 9PM. I am so hyped on caffeine right now. I think the Guei Fei isn’t too caffeinated, but David’s Milk Oolong always had a kick to it. I’ll probably be up till dawn at this point and it wasn’t even all that tasty. :(
For next time: Get smoother oolongs to play with.
My quest for naturally honey flavored oolongs continue. The latest in my trials is this little number from Upton Tea. From what I’ve read, Guei-Fei oolong is supposedly gnawed upon by little bugs which allow for a honey like flavor to develop from the leaves. I think, that if done well, it could be amazing. But this particular one is only mediocre. the honey like flavors seem almost spoiled. Here are the tasting notes I jotted down as I drank:
over ripe fruit, astringent, banana peel, honey, soapy. Dark oolong.
I wouldn’t order this again. It’s harsh and unrefined. The flavors are trying to club you over the head and drag you into a cave instead of wooing you with wine and poetry like a real gentleman.
It’s not horrible, but it’s not worth paying for when I know there are better ones out there. I’ll just finish up on my sample and move on. :)
Veeerry interesting… I just ordered some herbs from Upton because I need more stuff I can drink late at night and still get to sleep. This is the first one I opened, and it’s the first time I’m having lemon verbena on it’s own. I can see why it usually comes in a blend. On it’s own, there’s a light lemon flavor. Less lemony than the lemon balm in my garden. Mostly, it reminds me of cheap mint tea, but without the menthol. Is this how lemon verbena is supposed to taste? Hmm… Well, I also bought a couple packets of mint that I wanted to mix with this, so maybe that’ll be better. Oh! and lemon grass. :)
I don’t know where I’m going to put all this…