1178 Tasting Notes
I made a batch of this cold and it makes a pretty good cold mint tea. It’s similar to the Tavalon Purity in that I don’t really taste the black tea. It’s just sort of a backdrop for the mint, which gives it a bit more heft than a pure mint tisane would have, if that makes sense. Like the Purity, it also delivers a lot of mint leaf into the iced tea as they are slippery little devils and evade the strainer.
The main difference between this and the Tavalon Purity, besides the hint of ginger which this doesn’t have, is that this one has some serious astringency.
Which is a downside, in my book, for an iced tea. The last thing I really want to feel after drinking iced tea is that I need to drink water to rehydrate my mouth and throat.
It’s been a while since I had a Ceylon so I thought I’d enjoy one this morning. Besides, this was sitting on the counter and I didn’t have to look far.
I always love the sort of bird-nesty leaves of Ceylons and the earthy smell of the dry leaves. This one has a really lovely steeped aroma. Sweet, almost caramel-like. The flavor is not really sweet, but it’s pleasant. It’s got that quintessence of tea-ness flavor that I’ve sometimes described as now Nestea smells, but of course it is a much more deep, smooth, and genuine flavor that one gets from freeze-dried granules. ;-)
This would make an excellent iced tea, I can just tell. I don’t have much of it, though, and I can’t see using all I have to make a pitcher of tea. It’s too good for that.
There’s a soft mouthfeel that’s really nice, too. And a smooth, pleasant aftertaste. A tiny bit drying, but not enough to bother me.
Good stuff. I am putting in a dummy rating because honestly, it’s been so long since I have had a Ceylon I don’t remember how I rated them and why. That’s why it would be really nice to be able to search my own tasting notes using keywords.
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Sweet, Tea
Sipdown no. 56 of the year 2016 (no. 267 total).
Really enjoyable while it lasted. A great tea to sip during the work day. Optimally, I would have made this one go longer as it is a little on the sweet and vegetal side, which makes it more enjoyable for me if drunk occasionally rather than daily, but once I opened the packet I didn’t want to waste any time with this one given that it was already long in the tooth.
Sipdown no. 55 of the year 2016 (no. 266 total).
The last of my bagged teas, except for a few random samples. I do have some bagged tisanes (Refresh by Tazo and I Love Lemon by Bigelow) because I just like them better than the other mints and lemons I’ve tried. I’d buy them loose if they came that way, but I have yet to find them in loose form.
Constant Comment was a favorite of a college room mate of mine, and I feel nostalgic whenever I drink it. It’s got that distinct citrus spice flavor profile, and though I have tasted other teas with that profile that I like better, the Constant Comment brand is so strong in my psyche that my first thought is always “hey, that tastes like Constant Comment.”
I’m sure our relationship isn’t over, but I am so so glad to record another sipdown. Slowly, the stash is starting to shrink. Very slowly. Maybe too slowly, but it’s something.
So yeah, this was a 2010 green tea and I’m just getting to it now. [Hangs head in shame.]
It was vacuum sealed and stored in my magical California climate, though, so when opened, an amazingly fresh, sweet fragrance wafted out of the packet. Like sweet, buttery spinach, where the sharpness of the spinach has been filed down and replaced with sweet pea.
The leaves are amazingly fine and hair-like. They remind me a bit of gyokuro leaves but not as dark in color. These are a light, grass green, and may even be a bit finer in texture than gyokuro, though I’m not comparing side by side.
The liquor is almost a chartreuse color, and the steeped tea smells very much like the dry leaves.
The flavor is sweet and mellow. Very drinkable, very flavorful. Makes me wonder what this would have been like when fresh. I’ve been taking this with me to work the past couple of days. It’s a nice morning tea but I’m also having some now, and it’s just as enjoyable in the evening.
There’s something bright and happy about this tea. It’s like optimism in a cup.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Peas, Spinach
Sipdown no. 53 of 2016 (no. 264 total). A sample.
Having just sipped down a different jasmine silver needle that didn’t do much for me, I have to say this is pretty amazing.
I wonder whether it is the steeping instructions that make a difference. I steeped this in 8 oz of water. I intended to steep it for 4:30. I got to that by subtracting the minimum of 2 minutes from the maximum of 7, dividing by 2, and adding that number to the 2 minute minimum.
But I started doing something else and didn’t hear the timer go off. So I really can’t say how much time passed. Which is sad because that means I might not be able to recreate this. But why get exercised over that, since Samovar is no longer selling this. Sigh.
In any case, this is far more flavorful than any white tea I recall having, and it isn’t just because of the jasmine. Though that is a big part of it. There’s a piquant edge to the tea that makes me think of black tea but without the heft and depth. I taste hay, for sure, and something flowery and sweet. It’s almost like pollen, but since pollen isn’t a choice I’ve called it nectar. It’s sort of that pre-honey flavor/aroma that you get from some flowers.
The leaves were quite pretty. Silvery green. Made me think of snow on conifers. The liquor is a deep golden yellow, and some of the hairiness of the leaves sent little floaters into the tea.
I would SO drink this again. If only it was still around. Double sigh.
Flavors: Flowers, Hay, Jasmine, Nectar
Sipdown no. 52 of 2016 (no. 263 total).
The last of the Numi Puerhs is no more.
I have been swilling this at work like there was no tomorrow for the past week. It still reminds me more of gingerbread than chocolate. My favorite of the Numi puerhs and with the rest of them, a helpful starter puerh.
I may revisit it at some point in the future, but for now, too many other teas, too little time, so no immediate restock even though I quite like it.
Sipdown no. 51 of 2016 (no. 262 total). The rest of a sample tin.
This was, for a few days, the next in the line of “take it to work in the Timolino” teas. But the tin was pretty small, so now it is gone.
Definitely one I will miss.
I recently read somewhere that drinking green tea every day cuts women’s risk of pancreatic cancer by half. Don’t know if it’s true, but hey, if it helps, it’s sure a pleasant way to cut that risk.
Sipdown no. 50 of 2016 (no. 261 total). A sample.
I’ve had this one for a while, obviously, but it was vacuum sealed in its little sample packet and unopened. So when I opened it, a lovely, green floral scent wafted from the packet.
It looks like your basic Ali Shan, green and rolled. This one had some visible stems.
After a rinse, I put this through five steeps in the gaiwan. I did my usual 15 seconds for the first and added five seconds each time, except for the last one where I sort of lost count and probably let it sit for more than a couple of minutes. I didn’t do my usual anal note-taking thing on each separate steep. It’s raining outside and I just wanted to sip and feel the warmth, and enjoy without thinking about it too much.
I haven’t had that many Ali Shans, but I like them. I think I prefer Ti Guanyins, but in general I just like the greener oolongs. This one had a delicate orchid-like aroma and flavor in the early steeps. The liquor started out barely yellow and progressed to a solid, light golden color. The last steep made me think of chestnuts. There’s an interesting note that is a little salty, which mixes things up a bit. But I had to think for a while about what that note was, so it isn’t at all so salty as to be distracting.
Very nice, and though I may regret later not having better notes, I quite enjoyed drinking this without the anal critic in me scribbling between steeps.
Flavors: Chestnut, Floral, Green, Orchids, Salt