1120 Tasting Notes
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
Sipdown no. 9 of 2016 (no. 230 total). After saying I should shake up the tin to try to distribute the mint and chocolate more evenly, I forgot to do that every single time I had this until after I was already steeping. Oh well.
Not much to add. It’s more mint than chocolate, and it’s ok but not the best I’ve had.
Sipdown no. 8 of 2016 (no. 229 total). A sample. The second of the green tea sampler from Sanctuary T.
I was delighted to find jasmine pearls among the samples as they are such a favorite of mine. These smell very jasminey in the packet and steep to a very pale, clear yellow that is almost colorless. The jasmine is the primary note in the aroma as one might expect, and the same is true with regard to the flavor. The tea is quite mild in its jasmine-ness as well as in its tea-ness. Not bitter, or otherwise having any off notes. Just not very present, and the jasmine is rather light. It’s actually a good combination to have the jasmine light where the tea is also light. Otherwise you get a pasted on jasmine flavor, which this doesn’t have.
It’s a good jasmine pearls, but I prefer more depth to the underlying tea.
Sipdown no. 7 of 2016 (no. 228 total). A sample.
It has been a while since I had a genmaicha. I like them, when I’m in the mood for them. Since it’s still pretty early in the day, I thought I could risk turning to this one, which has matcha in it, after a couple of black teas this morning without ending up awake at four a.m. We shall see.
It makes a cloudy, yellow liquor that is quite pretty. It looks like liquid lemon drops. The aroma is mostly toasty rice, but with a seaweed/grassy tone as well.
One of the things I like about Genmaicha and also one of the reasons I have to be in the mood for it is that sometimes it can remind me of eating sushi. The green, vegetable, and seaweed tones combined with the rice tones can sometimes remind me of kappa maki (without the soy sauce, wasabi, and the need to chew).
This one gives me a bit of that experience. It’s tasty, not bitter, has quite a lot of toasty rice and is nicely balanced with the grass/seaweed flavor of the tea.
I am not sure I fully understand umami, but I would venture to say this has it.
Flavors: Rice, Seaweed, Toasty
Sipdown no. 6 of 2016 (no. 227 total). The rest of the sample.It tastes particularly brisk and bright today, with honey in the aroma and in the finish. The assam throat grab is barely present. It teeters between being a great tea on the surface and something that has a bit more depth.
So here’s a question. When you’re tasting tea do you ever perceive distance in taste? I know some people taste colors, etc. but I noticed that I taste depths and heights. I find myself often saying something is “deep” or “on the surface” or has “high” notes. It’s like taking a VR walk through the taste, I guess, or it feels a little bit like that. Hmmm.
OK. This time I’m going to be a bit more systematic about what I noticed about this tea.
It’s got tippy leaves that smell earthy in the packet, and not smoky, though there is keemun in this. The steeped tea is a clear, reddish chestnut color, and has a malty, sweet aroma. I recall it being smoother the first time I tried it. Today I’m getting a bit of assam throat grab, but not enough to be bothersome. There’s some astringency in the sip, but the aftertaste is more cooling than drying.
I am working on a project to clean up my home office and right now it seems sort of insurmountable, though I’ve definitely made progress. Good thing I’m binge watching Veronica Mars, so I have something to do when I can’t take the organizing any more.
Today was a slow tea day. Too much running around.
I cracked open this tin and made some in the Breville, but I just poured it directly into the Timolino so I could leave the house. I’ll have to do a more detailed note later.
Given how much I love jasmine, I expected this to be something I’d adore. But it tasted like a washed out version of the Leafspa Jasmine Pearls which has far more flavor. And not just more tea flavor, more jasmine flavor as well.
It was easy to drink and it won’t be hard to sip down even though I have a ton of it. And I am not sure I’ve had a jasmine silver needle before. I believe I had the Adagio one, but I don’t have a note on it and I remember having trouble finding the sample I thought I had. In any case, I don’t have a lot to compare it to and I am perhaps unfairly comparing it to the jasmine pearls. I have enough to play around with it quite a lot, so I’ll try it in the gaiwan and at different concentrations and steeping times. I hope I can get more out of it but today it was like lightly jasmine flavored hot water.
Sipdown no. 5 of 2016 (no. 226 total).
We drank this one in quantity during the BF’s evil grippe as well. He found it sufficiently gentle and sufficiently hot that it had medicinal value for him. Because it was being drunk in quantity, I mostly prepared it Western style, and I have to say that although I could discern a flavor some of the time, it was pretty much too subtle for me most of the time.
In the gaiwan, which I just tried again with the last little bit, I get more flavor. There’s a sweetness and a grassy/hay-like flavor. With a little bit of wood and something slightly (and oddly) marine-like as well.
I like the idea of white teas, and I think they look pretty, but I am not sure they are for me. I’ve had some really good flavored ones, but the plain ones often either have an eau de dead plant thing going on, or are just so subtle I’m not sure I’m tasting the tea to its full potential.
Perhaps I should have someone who knows how to make a good cup of white tea make one for me. My kids always say the bread and butter tastes better when I spread it than when they do.
Sipdown no. 4 of 2016 (225 total). A big tin.
After putting some in the fridge to cold brew, I had about two spoons left. I made some hot so I could record the sipdown.
I will say that as much as I don’t find the hot version at all interesting, the cold version is quite nice. I think the same things that make it not a great hot tea to me make it a good cold one. It’s unobtrusive and lacking in depth, bland but not without flavor. And these things make it easy to drink as a cold tea.
Now I have to figure out what to try cold next…