587 Tasting Notes
I’ve tried this before in a sample pack I had back when I first started drinking whole leaf tea. I didn’t write a note, though. It might actually have been before I joined Steepster. Anyway, Silver Needle is one of my favourite varieties of white tea. I love the creamy green, downy buds, the smoothly floral scent, and the honeyed texture. It’s a tea that appeals to my senses.
Dry, the scent is lightly grassy with a delicate floral edge, almost like honeysuckle. Just the smell of this tea makes me think of spring, which is why I finally broke it out tonight. I’ve had enough of winter, and it looks like it might (finally!) be over.
Brewed, the liquor is very pale champagne-yellow, and the smell is delicately equally delicately floral. There’s a slight grassy note as well, but I have to sniff deeply to pick that up. The taste is very similar. Dew-like honeysuckle, and a flavour I find unique to white tea, almost like an unripe banana.
I find this tea great for helping me to calm down and relax for some reason, maybe because it’s so subtle and gentle. I’m definetly taking some of this to work with me tomorrow — we’ve got a manic week ahead and I’ll need all the help I can get to survive it. All I can say to sum up this tea is that it’s simply sublime. I luffs it.
Almost a sipdown on this one today — two cups worth left. This has been languishing in my desk drawer for a while, so I might take it home and finish it off this weekend. Then I can replace it with something new on monday. I always enjoy this one as an everyday black, but it’s definetly time to try something else!
Finally got to try this, thanks to a sample from Sil! Marshmallow cereal bars are one of my favourite things, so I’ve been interested in trying this for a while. The dry leaves smell just as I expected; sweet, faintly of marshmallow, maybe slightly nutty. It’s put me in mind of a Rice Krispie Squares bar already!
Brewed, this is no disappointment. I haven’t had a genmaicha in a while, so I’ll be interested to compare this to some of the others in my stash. Maybe at the weekend. For now, though, this tastes pretty much as I expected. Initially, it tastes almost exactly like every other genmaicha I remember. In other words, a little bit like sugar puffs. The marshmallow taste is subtle, but it does come out pretty well in the aftertaste. Sweet, squidgy — it is remarkably like the real thing, only with a much stronger nutty-tasting start.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to try this, as I’d have always wondered about it otherwise. It’s not quite as marshmallowy as I hoped, at least when it’s hot, but it’s not bad. Cold, though, as I discovered by accident, the marshmallow taste is much more prominent. Something to remember for next time! Thanks again to Sil for sharing this with me!
Tried this with milk last night, and I was pretty impressed. It’s rather like drinking raspberry milkshake, but warm. Creamy and pleasing.
That’s all I really remember, as I didn’t finish the cup in the end. Some stomach bug I picked up at work expressed itself, and I spent the rest of the night feeling awful and being sick. Not a good evening.
Nice tea, though. Shame it was so rudely interrupted.
Sipdown! Drank the last five cups worth of this today at work, with a little honey added. It’s pretty good stuff, but I could do with a break from it now! I guess it might make a reappearance in my stash in the summer, but I’m content for it to be a memory for now :)
My third and final Yumchaa red for today. I have to say that these are taking me by surprise quite a bit. The ingredients I think I’m least likely to be able to pick out are the ones that seem to come across most strongly. This tea is a case in point. It’s got a lot of ingredients, some of them, like hibiscus and rose hip, quite powerful in terms of flavour. Despite this, it’s the caramel and apple that I can pick out most clearly in the brewed tea. It’s no bad thing, I’m just surprised that they come across so well in quite a complex blend.
Anyway, that said, the dry mix is another busy, pretty one. There are quite large pieces of apple, kiwi, hibiscus, and rosehips, and generous fragments of almond. The smell is quite spicy — mostly cinnamon or nutmeg, I think, although neither are explicitly identified. It’s quite a clean and refreshing scent despite this, though, and if I inhale deeply I can definetly identify the apple and kiwi.
Similarly when brewed, the spice is the first thing I can smell, and then a slight frutiness. The biggest surprise is the taste. Looking at the ingredients list, it’s the kind of tea that shouldn’t work at all. Somehow it does, though. There’s a mild, background tart sweetness from the hibiscus and rosehip, and then a decided frutiness from the apple and kiwi. It all ends with a savoury, nutty twist from the almonds, and the deep richness of the caramel. All of which is held together by the spiciness that runs over and above it all.
I’m glad I saved this one until last, because it’s certainly an odd, complex tea. There are a lot of facets to the flavour, and I feel like it’s taking me a lot of time and concentration to absorb and appreciate them all. It’s so aptly named, because it absolutely is an adventure for the tastebuds. A unique and interesting tea, this is one I’m going to take the time to get to know properly. A great, if intriguing, first acquaintance!
The second of today’s Yumchaa reds, and a relatively simple taste profile this time. Just raspberry, vanilla, and rose petals. Dry, the scent is much as you’d expect. A slight brassiness from the rooibos, a whole lot of raspberry, and a creamy sweetness from the vanilla. There are a fair few rose petals in the mix, but they’re not contributing much at this stage.
This actually brews pretty quickly to a deep red-brown liquor, so I immediately considered adding milk. I’m resisting that impulse for the minute, though, as I’d like to know what it tastes like au naturel before I start on any additions. The scent, as with the dry leaf, is creamy raspberry, with a tinge of rooibos round the edges. Flavour seems to be the central thing with these teas, and I’m glad about that.
The scent does nothing to prepare you for the taste, though. This is pure, strong raspberry from the very first sip. Initially, it’s just very fruity, but the creamy sweetness of the vanilla creeps in afterwards to give this a smooth, thick taste that belies its appearance. It’s definetly one I’ll try with milk at some point. Another winner from Yumchaa!
On to the reds now, of which I’ve three still untried. Berry Berry Nice is the first, and the scent certainly matches the name. This isn’t the same kind of rooibos as lemon sherbet, I don’t think. The dry leaves are shorter, wider, and more brown in colour. This is a mix that’s packed with additions, though. Pieces of berry abound — blueberry, blackberry and strawberry are all in evidence, as are pieces of kiwi, and they’re making the rooibos delightfully sticky. I can also see rose petals and pieces of vanilla pod. It’s interesting to look at, to say the least! The scent at the moment is a sort of generic “berry”, but I’m not smelling the typically woody rooibos, which is another point in its favour.
Brewed, this is another really fragrant tea. Yumchaa do that well, I think. I can smell a slight earthiness from the rooibos, but it’s more or less overpowered by the scent of strawberry, kiwi and rhubarb, which are the three ingredients I can pick out most clearly. To taste, the rooibos is fractionally more dominant in the initial sip, but the fruit certainly makes its prescence known. There’s a slightly floral note from the rose petals, and a sweetness from the vanilla, and then again a powerful berry flavour. The flavours of the fruit come out particularly well in the aftertaste, more so as it cools, but it’s mostly strawberry, rhubarb and kiwi I can taste. The blueberry and blackberry seem a bit lost, and I’m not really able to identify them at all.
This is pretty nice for a rooibos, certainly one of the nicest I’ve tried so far this year. Given that its berry flavour develops more and more as it cools, I’m definetly going to try this as a cold brew at some point. I’ll also try it with milk, just to see what effect that has, but I’m pretty happy with this. Definetly a hit!
One of the things I like most about Yumchaa is that the bases vary from tea to tea. I sort of assumed all of their green teas would use the same base, but they obviously don’t. I think they used to say they were all sencha, but they’re just identified as ‘green tea’ now, so I guess they must have changed that at some point. Saying that, though, I think this one actually is sencha, so that was a pretty misplaced perception.
Anyway, the leaves in this one are quite broad and thick, and look like they’ve been rolled. They’re all fairly long, but they’re relatively flat too. The scent is mildly fruity. I’m getting blackberry and rhubarb mostly. There are a lot of peony petals among the leaves, so I was expecting it to be quite floral in fragrance, but it’s not at this point.
Brewed, this one smells gorgeously sweet and fruity. It’s actually reminding me of a rhubarb and custard sweet, which came as a complete surprise. When I saw the thick, dark green leaves I was expecting a strong and bitter green tea taste, and not much else. This has come off surprisingly delicate, though.
The taste is similarly surprising. The green tea isn’t strong or bitter, and, as with Wanderlust, it remains resolutely in the background. What I can taste is fruit. Rhubarb and blueberry, primarily, with a very creamy-tasting finish. I never really expect a lot from green tea. That’s my one inexplicable tea prejudice. This tea is going a long way towards changing that, though, as it’s actually left me pretty speechless. It’s absolutely, geuninely lovely. Sweet, fragrant, fruity, perfect. Anything that can get me to drink green tea with a smile on my face must be some kind of enchanted. Yumchaa are rising quickly in my estimation.