404 Tasting Notes
This came from Dexter3657 . I want to mention how much care she puts into her swap box, you should see how well everything is separated and labeled, thank you for that.
I always say I’m not the tisane type. I know it’s not always the case, but I have this negative association in mind that tisane automatically = camomile.
This blend worried me from the get go. Don’t have a list of ingredients but I could really smell camomile. But I am adventurous and always willing to try, so….I’m hoping mint and liquorice will tame the bad, bad, camomile.
Well it does…for the most part. But the licorice is so strong and upfront it makes the blend overly sweet in my opinion. I’m not crazy about hibiscus either but when it,s well balanced, I can handle it. There might be a little hibiscus in this blend, but I think in this case, more could have been suitable and would have cut the licorice sweetness to perfection. I can barely taste the mint, would’t have known it was there.
This is not for me, but it could have been, as I like licorice and love mint! Just not blended right for me.
Thanks Dexter , the choice was thoughtful :-)
So, nothing against it, but I’m not much of a Valentine’s day type of gal. I much prefer unexpected love days throughout the year :-)
But since today is supposed to be about love (and not about picking up some cheap flowers last minute at a grocery store cause you feel you have too), I chose to do things I really love.
Drinking this tea was one of them. Top 3 favourite tea of all time for me. Discovered Da Yu Ling last year, I keep two from different companies, equally good. Learned that it is grown at the highest plantation in the world, 8500 feet altitude!
This green oolong is similar to some of my favourites Tie Guan Yin, but brings it to the next level.
I’m using the yixing pot I dedicate to fragrant green oolongs. The brew is a beautiful bright yellow colour.
The aroma is breathtaking. I picture a vast garden with luxuriant vegetation all around as I sip on it. Think orchids and lilac scent, mixed up in a twirl of honey and fruity notes. Not sure what’s the specific fruit I get, but it feels like apricot to me.
It’s very sweet, and yet, the finish is minty fresh. Not in your face mint, more of a sweet faint spearmint. The most fabulous phenomena about this tea is how long the taste lingers in the mouth. Long after I’m done drinking it, I can still feel its imprint.
This type of thick buttery mouthfeel always reminds me a silk ribbon dancing in my mouth!
It’s pure liquid gold, but I rarely see people reviewing any Da yu ling at all.
Is there other Steepsterites out there that are as taken by it as I am??
I’ll end this note with a little love story…
It might have been the side effects of the snowstorm, but my cat Happy today was such a little bugger. Dexter (my dog) and I were trying to chill, me having tea and reading a book, him all curled up next to me. Happy likes Dexter’s ears. He’s obsessed with them . He keeps toying with them while Dexter tries to nap. Eventually, Dexter wakes up and gives me the helpless puppy look while Happy takes over his whole head. So what does a 100 pound dog do to an anoying kitty you ask? Well, have a look here:
No worries, although it looks like it, Dexter is not having a “Happy meal”, lol!
Here’s how it usually ends:
As the song goes «…so “happy” to-ge-therrr…»
The idea of this tea is appealing to me. And the composition is very clever. Mint and licorice. I’m a fan of both. Dexter3657 is definitely not, so she was happy to send me the rest of it in its original pouch, lol.
So I get the concept, locorice for the anise flavours found in Absinthe, mint for its fresh and green colour. There’s a whole science surrounding the original mystic powers of Absinthe (also referred to as “The Green Fairy”). It was even banned at one point in history. But we don’t live in the 1800’s anymore, so I wont digress.
So yes, the idea is fun. The problem: white tea.
I think white tea might have been chosen in order to stay true to the concept and keep the liquor on the greenish side? Other base would have made it too dark I’m assuming. And I don’t think green tea would have worked taste wise.
The thing is, if white tea is being used, it can only go two ways:
a) completely mute its delicate taste with stronger flavours.
b) try to keep the added flavours to a minimum in order to preserve it.
B is the answer for this blend. All the components are there to make it a very interesting, but it falls flat. If you choose Absinthe as a star, go BIG, this is not the time to play subtle. I can barely taste the licorice in there. But its not bad tasting, it’s just a refreshing generic white flavoured tea.
But I’m glad I got to try it, there’s absolutely nothing I hate in this, I just find it a little boring and my expectations were high due to its name. Thank you so much for the opportunity Dexter3657 :-)
Super Sil sent this beautiful red tea my way.
Sigh, I really wanted to love it…I though, hey maybe the French people do it best, here’s my chance to actually like a red rooibos!
First, the smell gave me the utmost favourable anticipation. This smells like freshly squeezed orange peel, pure citrus essential oil. I’m thinking the tannin and medicine taste will be tamed by this wonderful aroma. The fact that it’s supposed to be cream and orange will work for sure.
Bla, bla, bla, keep trying to convince yourself, foolish fairy. Really, who was I kidding? I have a red rooibos detector, I just can’t stand it. I can appreciate the complexity of this blend, for me, it would have worked its magic if the base had been green rooibos instead.
Kamyria, you know what I mean, right?
We were just wondering earlier today how little green rooibos blends there are out there…too bad, I can totally dig green rooibos, but sorry, can’t handle the red stuff.
Sil, I am grateful I got the opportunity to try it. I thank you, just the smell of it made me happy :-)
(Not gonna rate, wouln’t be fair)
Yesterday was such a lazy day that I feel just a tad guilty this morning… It’s VERY tempting to do the same today…hmmm, will have to debate on that.
This morning I woke up early and went to the grocery store to pick up some dragon fruits (pitaya). A friend mentioned them in a conversation and I’ve had a huge craving since then.
It’s the most spectacular fruit I know, the fushia skin aroud the snowy white flesh and black dots is just fascinating, isn’t it?
Anyways, I wanted malty and fruity black morning tea to go along. I chose this assam cause I have only one serving left and I know more is on the way, so no need to be all sad about it!
This is a golden tip second flush with a long bud. This tea is one if my favourite assam. It’s very good quality and thanks to Zen Tea, very affordable! It’s on sale right now at 30% that’s why I took the opportunity to replenish.
Because it is second flush, it’s very creamy and malty, with fruity and chocolaty notes.
There’s an earthy/tobacco undertone that makes this tea feel organic.
It’s on the strong side, full bodied but no bitterness, just a little astringent. Very smooth considering it produces such a strong cup. Like pretty much all western brewed assams, the second steep is of no interest to me, I steep the first cup long enough that I extract all the good stuff I need from it, the second steep being just a pale version of the first, I choose not to have it. I do cold steep the used leaves occasionally though. Makes a decent ice tea the next morning.
This tea made my permanent stash a long time ago, and it’s not going anywhere!!
(See previous note)
Reading my book and sipping on this for the last two hours.
I made it the way I really like it when I have all the time in the world for it. I fill the gaiwan with leaves, really, I fill it almost to the top. This tea is light in weight, so for me, that’s the best way to extract all the goodness I know is in there. It might seems like a lot of tea to waist, but it’s no waist when you can brew it for several hours. And the steeps remain rich and flavourful. A good night companion…
This is another one from Butiki I’m hoping will never disappear!
(See previous notes)
OMG is this ever good!
The lovely Sil sent me this pu’erh. I won’t give you an elaborated review of it, cause really, two main notes are the superstars here: chocolate and raisin (oh, chocolate covered raisins???) It’s so obvious, I find it almost hard to believe there’s no added flavouring to it.
I also get some buckwheat feel in the background.
I did a strong brew, cause the smell told me it could handle it. Yes, don’t laugh, the tea does talk to me sometimes, haha! (yeah, I do see a shrink for that, thanks for asking!)
So it’s a little astringent, and I like that, it acts as a flavour booster.
I know not many people appreciate astringency in a tea, I feel a little like an outsider :-(
Hello? anyone else out there who’s a fan?
Anyways, this feels round in the mouth, super rich and decadent. And I have some on the way, so it will be in my cup again really soon!
Sil, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try this beautiful tea…