69 Tasting Notes
OK – second attempt with this tea and I did a couple of things differently: I slightly underleafed, and I promptly stopped the brewing process after 3 minutes exactly. It made quite the difference! This is still a strong, solid black tea that can handle (really is best with) full fat milks, but brewed this way there is not a trace of bitterness. There is still a slight tannic quality, but much less than when I tried it the first time. I still want to try this iced, and am very glad I could salvage it – I was afraid I had to ditch it since it’s so far past the “best by” date.
I was looking for a basic, hearty black tea this morning, and decided to tear this open. I know it’s not the fanciest tea in the world, but that’s fine with me, as long as it tastes good. I respected the brewing instructions and was glad I did because this is STRONG! Very tannic. I very rarely drink Irish Breakfasts, and this was (literally) an eye-opener. So. Awake. Now. Bordering on just starting to get bitter, so maybe slightly underleafing/less brew time for next time. I felt that the 1% milk I had would not stand up to it, so I used a drop of heavy cream (I know, so evil), and this tea can certainly stand up to it.
I was disappointed (in myself and the store I bought this from) to see that the “best by” date was long gone (June, 2014! Eep!), and the sad truth is that I bought it in August of 2014. Too distracted being a tourist on vacation to look at the date, which is so unlike me. Perhaps that is what is contributing to the very slight bitterness. I did drink this tea in the restaurant affiliated with this store, so I know it’s a strong tea, and I liked it then. Here’s the final kicker: I discovered a few months later that one of my local grocery stores carries this, so it’s not a big deal to get it.
Still, all that said, I enjoyed it and will continue to drink it. I will, of course, have to try it iced. I’ve got a good feeling about that. We’ll see!
Don’t pay attention to that first review of mine – must’ve been crazy when I typed it. I take it back. This is super juicy fruity strawberry deliciousness. I mean, Strawberry Quik??? What was I thinking? The only thing I still agree on is the score. I loved it then, and I still love it now. Such a wonderful strawberry black. Lupicia scores again!
It’s starting to get warm out, and I just couldn’t face a steamy hot beverage this morning, so a nice cold glass of iced matcha latte sounded like a good plan. Super easy to make, and the tiny clumps of powder ended up dissolving into the milk with no problem. Lightly sweet, creamy, nice matcha flavor, and quite satisfying, although I couldn’t detect any caramel notes. Not a lot of the mix comes in the bag, so I may end up going through this rather quickly.
Picked this up from the PB (Puerh Bklyn) shop in Williamsburg a couple of weeks ago. I should review the shop separately under Places, but wanted to log this tea first. Now, the very first time I ever had TGY was in that shop, when I ended up buying the tea, so I don’t have any experience with this particular type. I also brewed it in my gaiwan, and as I’m a total noob with the tea AND the brewing method, I would take this review not very seriously. It’s mostly just so I know that I like it very much, and that I should buy it again in the future. Long story short: 7 infusions, more “green” and vegetal flavors for the first couple of steeps, with more butteriness coming out from steeps 2 thru 4. Fruitiness appears in steeps 3 and 4 – kind of a berry flavor. Steeps 6 and 7 have the same subtle flavors, and 7 was so subtle I figured I’d stop there. Very pleasant, very refreshing, lovely light flavor all around. My steeps ranged from 30 seconds to over a minute, the color was always pale, although in the shop, it was much darker, even though it didn’t brew for all that long. Considering that my gaiwan is really small (it’s supposed to be 100 ml, but honestly, by the time the leaves unfurl and grow in volume, there’s not much room for the water), I don’t think I should add any more than the 3g I used.
Flavors: Fruity, Green, Vegetal
Reordered a larger amount of this tea a while back and I’m just getting around to brewing it again. Rich, earthy cocoa flavors dominate – almost like drinking a hot chocolate/tea hybrid – so delicious! This was one of their fall 2014 teas, and I am so glad I reordered – it’s still fantastic. I usually enjoy drinking teas in the appropriate season, so it’s strange that I don’t mind drinking this one now that it’s spring, but I guess that’s the chocolate fiend in me! I didn’t even add any milk to it, and both infusions were great. This one is such a winner!
Picked this up at the San Jose Lupicia store (now closed) when we flew out to Cali earlier this year. Since there are no Lupicia retail stores where I live (BOO!), I make it a point to stop by one if I am ever in the vicinity. I take no credit for choosing this tea, it was basically a call of “Hey, you want anything?” over my shoulder to the husband as I went inside, so this was his choice.
I thought I was buying a straight black. Upon sniffing the dry leaves I got a definite sweetness and vanilla scent. Interesting! Then I looked at the ingredients on the package: black tea and vanilla beans. Duh! So now I know my nose works, at least! As I’ve stated before, vanilla blacks can be tricky – too many of them end up with a thin, marshmallow-like flavor which I don’t tend to enjoy. Not so this tea. It’s so smooth and so drinkable, the entire pot of tea disappeared effortlessly. Awesome with breakfast. Added whole milk for extra creaminess. I didn’t get any maltiness from the Assam, just a really nice smooth black tea flavor with a hint of natural vanilla. Delightful! I should have never doubted Lupicia – I find their teas to be generally of high quality. So, kudos to the husband for choosing a nice, solid, very enjoyable tea (beginner’s luck!)!