1118 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 15 of 2016 (no. 226 total). The last of the green tea sampler.
The dry leaves looked like the gunpowder of yesterday with some mint leaves among them and smelled quite minty. The steeped tea is a clear golden yellow and smells minty and grassy. It actually has a pretty interesting note, like very fresh water from a glacier or stream. I think that’s the mint at work as well.
It’s a nice Moroccan mint tea, refreshing, light and tasty. Good on a throat that isn’t yet back to where it should be.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Mint, Vegetal
A name like Classic Black sort of begged for being made into a cold brew, so my first encounter with this puppy is in icy mode. And it is, in fact, an excellent cold tea. There’s a softness and smoothness to the mouthfeel that is quite nice and though the flavor doesn’t call attention to itself, there’s some complexity. A touch of sweetness, a touch of fruitiness, and much “essence of teaness.”
I am looking forward to trying this one hot.
Sipdown no. 14 of 2016 (225 total). A sample, the second to last of the samples in the green tea sampler.
This is an interesting putty-green color in the packet, with some rolled leaves and some that are less rolled. It smells vaguely smokey before steeping, and after steeping it has an interesting aroma. Slight butter and vegetal, with a smokey, woodsy edge. The liquor is a rich liquid butter yellow and clear.
I have a bit of a sore throat today, and this is gentle and soothing to the throat. It’s a mellow tea, not sweet, but not bitter, with a richness to it that goes deeper than a lighter vegetal green. The smokey, woodsy edge does come through in the flavor, but it is somewhat subtle. It’s really a great tea for me today; it’s pushing all my yum buttons.
P.S. Steepster thinks I’ve rated 599 teas. This isn’t true. I will be celebrating 600 soon, but in three more teas than Steepster thinks, because I have two teas in my log I have never tasted and can’t figure out how to remove. And I have a joke entry for “wine” which is what I was drinking one year on my birthday.
Flavors: Butter, Smoke, Vegetal, Wood
Sipdown no. 13 of 2016 (no. 224 total). Another green tea sampler sample.
In the packet it smells like, I kid you not, latex paint. Fortunately, it doesn’t smell like that once steeped. There’s an orangey or really a more generally citrussy note and a butter yellow, clear liquor.
The flavor is strange. It’s not really tangerine tasting to me, though I know what about it is supposed to taste like that and I suppose there is a sort of flavor to it that is a very subtle version of a orange flavored chewing gum flavor. Which is, at least, preferable to baby aspirin, which is another thing that orange flavor often evokes.
It’s not bad tasting, it’s just that I really love tangerines and had high hopes for a tangerine flavored tea (the only other one I remember having was an Adagio that wasn’t to my taste either). This one is sort of an off-orange flavor and didn’t meet my expectations.
Another of the Andao teas that I never got around to opening before the company went kaput.
At least I had the foresight to buy some yunnans.
This one has really pretty dry leaves. Long and twisty, with more dark than blond but still a nice variation in color from the tips. A malty, cocoa scent from the dry leaves.
The steeped tea is clear and brandy-colored, and it smells bready with a hint of pepper.
The flavor carries some of that breadiness over. It’s medium bodied, with a bit of perk to it. It isn’t sugary sweet like some yunnans, but it does have a gently sweet aftertaste. More cocoa than honey.
I’m going to enjoy sipping down this one.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Pepper
This is another sample from the pure T sampler, and the first of the Sanctuary T samples I haven’t sipped down in a single serving. It’s about 9g of tea, and that was too much for my gaiwan. So I get more than one shot at this one.
I expected this to be pretty much what I’ve experienced in other tieguanyins from the look of the dry leaves and their green, floral aroma.
But I started with hotter water, and the first steep after rinsing (15 sec) was more like a darker oolong. More of a roasted flavor than a floral/dairy one. The steeped tea does have a strong floral/dairy note, but it’s got a roastiness as well.
So I decided to go cooler for the next steep and see what that did. The water temperature didn’t seem to make much difference in the flavor. So I’m concluding that this is a medium or dark roast tieguanyin, rather than a green.
There’s an interesting toffee-like note to this, particularly in the finish, and once I stopped looking for the green oolong flavor, I could focus on the nuttiness of this one.
I took it through several more steeps, but I’m reserving the rating for now as I’m not sure how to classify this. I’ll think about it more and give it another try before rating.
I spent the morning going through papers that had piled up and have paper cuts on three out of five fingers on my right hand, so my notes are likely to be a bit shorter than usual for the next day or so. Ugh.
Flavors: Almond, Floral, Nutty, Toffee
Time to try a new tisane. I have a few samples left, as the collection continues to get whittled down.
In the packet, it smells like some sort of baked good. Gingerbread, maybe? It’s not so chocolatey that I’d identify it as a chocolate aroma. The mixture looks heavy on the chocolate and caramel pieces and light on the honeybush and rosebuds.
Steeped, it smells boozy. A liqueur smell. Kahlua, maybe, though it has been a while since I had Kahlua. It has a tea-colored liquor that’s remarkably clear given the various sugary things in it that undoubtedly melted when steeped.
Fortunately, it doesn’t taste boozy. Well, at least not in the sip. There’s a bit of liqueur flavor in the aftertaste. The sip is mostly caramel, with some vaguely cocoa notes. It’s smooth and tasty, and a bit on the subtle side which I think improves it over what it might taste like if it was the sort of thing that hit you over the head. I can’t really taste the honeybush, which is a plus.
I was going to say I couldn’t really taste the torte, either, which would be a minus. But as it cools, I do get a suggestion of baked goods. Not as strong as the one in the Amaretti Cookie, but it is there.
This is the sort of thing I would have gone nuts for a few years back when I was marveling at the fact that a drink could taste like a decadent dessert without the calories. It’s good enough that it’s tempting me back toward desserty non-fruit tisanes tonight.
For that I rate it high, but I’m not sure it’s enough to make me completely buck my trend of late to crave fruity tisanes instead of desserty chocolate, caramel, cake, etc. ones.
Flavors: Alcohol, Caramel, Chocolate
Sipdown no. 10 for 2016 (no. 231 total).
After sipping my way through this, I can safely say that the ginger was more prominent than the lemon throughout, not just in the cup I wrote about initially. I continued to enjoy the ginger flavor in this, though I can’t say that in the last few cups I sipped down I got the effervescence impression that I mentioned initially. Perhaps that is a function of age (the tisane’s, not mine).
Flavors: Ginger, Lemon, Wet Wood