401 Tasting Notes
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…
Thanks to Dexter3657, I now have a VAST collection of chai to choose from!!
Hey, I know a good morning in a cup when I see one. This screams «good morning, you can’t ignore me so wake up sleepy head!!»
Although there are no chocolate in this blend, it sure feels like a chocolate chai to me. The base must be spectacular on its own.
I really like the depth that peppercorn adds in this tea, in makes all the other flavours pop and tingle like Pop Rock candies!
Once you swallow, you get a warming heat feeling from the ginger. I like that it is not overly spicy, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, they don’t fight with one another, it’s pure harmony in Yu Lu Yan Wonderland :-)
I could definitely see myself ordering this…but I wont, cause it would mean I have to place an order with Verdant, and if I’d place an order with them, it would also mean increasing my stash significantly which I’m suppose to bring down instead!!
Thanks you Dexter for another hit! Love!!
Backlog from yesterday…
Ahhh…Gongfu love in the afternoon…yes, being off work allows me to have tea sessions in the middle of the day if I choose to!
Dexter3657 sent me this generous sample. Me and milk oolong have a history. I have tried several, I like both the scented and the non scented version so I always keep a provision of both from two different companies. I thought I had find my favourite non scented milk oolong and have been sticking to it. Then came along Mandala, and all of a sudden we are caught in a love triangle. Yes this tea just blurred my focus, and made me question my current relationship.
First, the smell of the dry nuggets is quite interesting. It’s a mix of sweet and creamy, almost candy like. No sign of the strong dairy smell you get from a scented version.
As soon I took my first sip, I noted cotton candy on my pad. The sweetness I found in the first two steeps just evoked that. I get some nuttiness and creaminess, but not so much buttery notes. The milk oolong I’m used to is more floral than this one. This is fruitier.
At the 3rd steep, I got less sweets and a slight bitterness.
The 4th infusion brought the sweets back, some more present buttery notes and I got a very distinct fresh and clean mouthfeel, light camphor note, reminiscent of Ginseng oolong.
The subsequent steeps all brought their share of deliciousness and happiness. It eventually evolved in a more fruity and floral taste. I cold steeped the used leaves and 12 hours later, I’m having a delicious fruity and refreshing beverage. In conclusion, this tea is more complex than your average milk oolong. It transforms along the way, giving a lot of unexpected notes. Yet, the usual creaminess of such a tea stays present.
Thank you so much Dexter for this wonderful tea…I am grateful…but my budget might not be!
(Now, I have to hurt some other tea’s feeling by dumping it. Sorry, but a more exciting fellow milk oolong just came into my life and can’t be ignored!)