247 Tasting Notes
I woke up early and spent some time looking through the tea bins. I didn’t set up the tea maker for this morning, so I was trying to find something that caught my fancy. When I came across this sample packet from American Tea Room, I thought, “Hm. It’s poufy, so the tea must be fluffy… and I just happen to be in a fluffy tea mood today.” (Sleep deprivation will do that to you.)
So, I took my fluffy tea and popped it into the Breville. I brought the temp down slightly from my normal oolong steeping temp. 190F(87C)/2.5 min.
The aroma that emanates from this tea is amazing! I can smell it as I lift it up. The taste is equally amazing. It’s as if I’ve added cane sugar to it, that kind of deep, syrupy sweetness that just fills your mouth. The oolong has a slightly woodsy taste to it. It’s nice, tasting a touch of cinnamon, but with fruitiness, too. I can’t quite pinpoint the fruit flavor, kind of like a very ripe lychee with maple syrup. All in all a complex and delicious fluffy tea.
Morning tea time and I’m eager to solve the mystery of this tea. Harness’s reviewed their tea and wrote, “A blend of three Chinese black teas: Keemun, Yunnan, and Panyang Congou. A great afternoon blend.”. It’s interesting because I don’t normally associate what I’m tasting with any of these teas. Well, mostly, anyway. So, what am I tasting?
First and foremost, and I think mostly because I’m so sensitive to it is the smokiness that stands out to me. Next is the deep maltiness that dries my mouth a tad. There’s also a thicker taste to it, which I’m thinking is probably a honey like flavor. I am picking up on slightly astringic notes. It’s not too prevalent, though. The finish is smooth and flavored more of raisin. I don’t taste any floral notes. All in all, an excellent morning tea.
Mariage Frères are masters at creating teas that smell heavenly, to which this tea attests. It’s phenomenal! Berries and fresh, green sencha. Lovely!
165/1.5 min – Still, the aroma is strong and enticing. From the first sip, the berries are forefront in the flavor. This is followed by the fresh, grassy green of a buttery sencha. The finish, however, is all vanilla which lingers for a while. (Disclaimer: I do not generally enjoy vanilla.) So, it starts out wonderfully and finishes so-so. Still a great tea and probably outstanding for those who enjoy vanilla in their tea.
This tea smells delightful when dry. It’s floral and smooth.
The orchid scent is literally wafting into my kitchen. Yes, it’s a very floral tea. The taste is nice. The oolong itself is fresh and pairs well with the orchid. I think this was an enjoyable tea, but the floral flavor is really intense. This oolong requires a certain level of tolerance for floral tea.
Logging yet another lovely milk oolong on my quest to try them all. :) Thank you, Indigobloom, for this delicious swap!
Dry, the tea smells slightly milky. It reminds me of the caramel with the cream center. It’s a pleasant aroma. 195F(90C)/4 min. Mmmm… now the aroma is a bit more pronounced. When I smell it, my mind clicks on that this is a milk oolong. The taste is really pleasant. It’s interesting the variety of milk oolongs that are out there. Some are fruity, some are floral, some are nutty, and some are a combination of multiple flavors. This milk oolong is a nutty one. The oolong is very pronounced, which is nice as it’s my favorite type of tea. It’s very slightly bitter due to my unintended oversteep. It’s smooth and definitely creamy. Definitely an enjoyable stop on my milk oolong tasting tour.
This tea was a surprise from out of the blue for me. I really didn’t expect to like it, which is a bit unfair to the tea. Even more unfair is that I willingly chose and paid for a sample of this tea, only to think mean thoughts about it.
On ATR, the description says, “An earthy blend of Organic Pu-Er, Figs, Dandelion Roots, Coconut Flakes and Fennel.” The big turn off to me is the “Pu-Er” part. The rest sounds interesting.
So, today I decided this was the tea for me. I opened the packet and smelled the tea. It smells like brandy. Like a holiday fruitcake. It has that thick, syrupy, molasses-like scent. Pu-er. Fruitcake. It’s all feeding into my aversion, but yet I’m going through with it… and thank goodness I did! 195F(90C)/1.5 min.
Once steeped, yep, fruitcake scent, although less now. I take a sip. And another. It’s really, really good! (Lesson learned.) I can definitely taste the figs and now that I have the flavor in my mouth, I can completely identify the aroma as coming from the fig component. Yes, there is still that brandy taste to it, but it’s not very strong. (I’m very thankful I took such a light approach to steeping. I’m a black tea sissy.) The pu-er, I have to say, does not, thankfully, taste like dirt. Yes, there is a slight earthiness to it, but it’s not at all offensive. I think it’s a fine example of how a pu-er should taste. I can still get a sense of this being a tea and not a chunk of mud. The coconut is nice because instead of making it taste tropical, it lends a creaminess to the flavor. It’s a fine mix of tea and other ingredients. I’m very pleased with it and happy that my tea fairy didn’t let my preconceptions get in the way of tasting it. I think I’ll be ordering more to keep in my cupboard to share with guests, too.
I’m sampling this one thanks to Indigobloom. Thank you! :)
Dry, the tea is unremarkable. I don’t pick up any hints of anything out of the ordinary to remark upon. Instead, I find it calming and it reminds me of smelling the tea my mom would make. 200F(93C)/2 min. Interesting… a darjeeling. It’s not my favorite tea most of the time, but I’ve had a few knock my socks off and I’m hoping this is one of them. Now that it’s steeped, I’m able to pick up a syrup scent. With the first sip, this is confirmed. I can taste a syrup like sweetness, but it’s not overly sweet. The tea is good and solid. It reminds me of tea from my youth. Plain, yet strong and slightly malty. The strength of this tea surprises me as it’s a medium brown color, yet it packs quite a punch in the flavor department. As it cools, it becomes bitter quickly and I find that I’m unable to finish the cup. (Shouldn’t have filled the entire travel mug!) Hot, I really enjoyed it!
Thanks again, Indigobloom! :)