2855 Tasting Notes
This is one of Tasty Brew’s offerings for the Spring round of the BBBB.
It’s certainly an interesting idea, & I approached it with a mixture of fascination & reluctancy, if that makes sense to anybody. For those who know my history (a grand tale of addiction, an intensive wild youth filled with various substances, & although I wouldn’t change it, it definitely included some very low points), I tend to not care for most alcohol-like things, not because I’m afraid that they’ll send me into a relapse after 30 years clean & serene, (there is no actual alcohol in the tea), but really just because I don’t care for the taste. Or the smell.
But I was still fascinated. I mean, this was aged in a Bourbon barrel! It’s got to be interesting, right?
I wasn’t sure how much tea to use, or for how long, so for the first cup I went with:
1.5 tsp + 8oz X 3min/5min
Too weak :p
I should have gone with a full Tb. We live, we learn.
Initial perceptions? meh…I really want to be amazed by this, but I wasn’t.
Call it ‘user error’. I’ve made a note on the package to up the dose next time, & I’ll let you know how it goes. :)
I’d like to start out by thanking Angel & Teavivre for this wonderful sample. This is the most amazing looking green tea, absolutely beautiful. It looks like fronds of some exotic sea veggie, with iridescent shades of green that I can’t even begin to describe. Dried & pressed into long bud sets, averagine 2 to 2.5 inches long! It’s so beautiful that I took pics & posted them on my FB, for those who might like to see.
The dry aroma is rich, thick, & buttery. I rehydrated single frond, just so I could watch it unfurl alone, & take photos of it. I gave the entire 5 G sample 1 minute at 180F in my test tube steeper, & the resulting liquor was a pale apricot color, with a sweet, thick, & buttery green taste, delicate & refined.
2min: still rich & buttery, with a yellow taste, bring to mind yellow flowers. As I continue with this cup I also taste saffron & pumpkin seeds.
3min: a little tangy-er, fruity like apricot, but also savory like buttered asparagus. Slightly astringent, slightly bitter.
4min: sweet melon/pumpkin taste.
This is a lovely bi luo chun style black tea, very golden, nicely rolled up into the classic spring snail form. For my first cup, I steeped a tsp for a minute, which was weak. I sampled it again at 3 minutes, & ended up giving it a full 5 minutes. The resulting tea was tasty, like a pale milk chocolate, a little honey, & pastry. I’m also getting that flavor that translates to coriander for me, commonly found in ‘Beauty’ teas.
I gave it a 2nd try, this time using 2 tsp for 3 minutes. The flavors are basically the same, with a little more pastry, a little more honey, etc. This is a pleasant & gentle tea, nicely refined & sweet. I kind of wish, in retrospect, that I had dumped the entire sample into a Gaiwan & given it the gongfu treatment, but I wanted to save some of it for my dear Sil, and so this is a sipdown. Tea Sister, I’ve officially started a new box for you :)
I’ve been busy all day. My grand daughter came to visit, we made raspberry chocolate chip almond flour muffins, we had tea, & for the most part, all of the teas I drank are teas I’ve reviewed numerous times, so I’m not writing anything about them.
Then there was this!
One of the oldest teas in my collection, & merely a sample (from Life in Teacup), I’ve pulled it out a few times, ready to give it a go, only to realize that it might be better to wait. This is a tea I really want to savor, to dedicate my full attention to. So this was how I spent my afternoon & evening.
The dry leaf is compact & brown, with no real aroma.
Warming it up in a hot yixing, it bloomed into a marine aroma, but not necessarily in a bad way. Basically, it smelled a lot like spiralina, & as I breathed it in, I also smelled Matcha…
I gave it a rinse & then started in with short steepings, with were immediately a beautiful orange amber color, & I only took a few sips before I was instantly transformed to a cosmic state of mind. The first cup or 2 tasted of aged clean straw & chalk, but with successive steeps there was a rapidly growing menthol quality, a vaporous sensation, wood, leather, & gratefully not a trace of anything undesirable.
I lost track of the number of cups I drank, but somewhere in the middle I passed through a tangy citrus/tangerine element for awhile, followed by a slightly bitter round which passed quickly, a briefly soapy taste, & then a pristine sweet spring. That’s where I’m at now, & I dare not drink any more tonight. Tomorrow I’ll probably give a rinse & see what else I can wring out of these leaves with some longer steeps. The color of the tea is still a beautiful bring amber orange. Absolutely gorgeous!
I’ve drank several teas today, but didn’t really get around to posting about them.
This is my last tea of the day,
It’s another one from Sil, sent to her from Schmiracles.
This is a black tea with peach flavor, & it’s not bad if you add a bit of sweetening, though it does get bitter as it cools.
Another sipdown from Sil, which came through her from Schmiracles.
The dry leaf smells like an amazing pipe tobacco. Not that I’m a fan of pipe tobaccos, but that’s what it immediately brought to mind for me.
Which was very unexpected.
With a name like ‘Forest Draught’, I was thinking this would have a base of Puerh, but that is not the case. This is blackberries, vanilla, & a tobacco-like taste. There is an underlying bitterness, & I want to sweeten it, but I realized a little while ago that I’m not really tasting sweet very well today, the entire center of my tongue is engulfed in a tart taste, that I can’t seem to shake. I brushed my teeth, scraped my tongue, sucked on an ice cube, ate some pears, rinsed with baking soda…everything tastes tart. Go figure…
So don’t take any of my reviews seriously today!
Another Sipdown from my *Sil*box, which was sent to her by Cavo, I think.
I really enjoyed Tiger Eye, when I had some in my cupboard, but I don’t feel like there is a highest enough percentage of it in this cup. Honestly, I don’t really get this combination of teas, but then again, many of the Adagio fandom combo’s don’t make sense to me.
It’s not horrible tasting, but not really tasty either.
Darkworld…is it some kind of Legends of Zelda thing? I should have gave this to my 21 year old son Leif, he’s a long time Zelda fan.
I think I’m getting old…