1165 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 36 of 2014.
The last pot is better than this morning’s, perhaps because in an effort to drink it up I went heavy on the leaf. It could also have something to do with having eaten pasta for dinner, so there is no danger of this being heavy in my stomach (the pasta is taking care of that job).
The flavor this time still has that planty note that isn’t my favorite, but there’s a really nice, pleasant sweetness to the finish.
I am starting to think that how you react to a given tea must be as much about what the chemical balance in your body is at the time as anything else. Maybe there’s something about tomato-based sauce that goes particularly well with this. Who knows.
Another tea sachet from the work stash. Since I’m not at home I’m not entirely sure whether this is a sip down or not. I know I have some Maeda-en teas at home but I’m not sure whether this is one of them. Now, if I had a spreadsheet like some of you very organized people I would not have this problem. Oh well.
I hope this isn’t a sipdown because I’m enjoying this. It’s roasty toasty ricey in aroma and even moreso in flavor. The liquor is a greenish yellow. The toasty rice is the main event, but the tea is sweet, not at all bitter, and plays a nice supporting role.
The flavor of genmai-cha always reminds me of popcorn even though it probably should remind me of puffed rice cakes. I’m thinking it would be a good accompaniment to a movie night at home.
ETA: Apparently I did not order this in quantity, so this is sipdown no. 35 of 2014.
Sipdown no. 34 of 2014. Another sachet from the work stash. And another strawberry. Did I mention I WANT ALL THE STRAWBERRY TEA?
I don’t have a thermometer with me so filled my cup with water from the hot water filter tap and let it sit for five minutes before steeping.
The tea in the sachet has even more of a sweet strawberry smell than the Carol or the Champagne Rose, likely explained by their black tea bases and this one’s green base. The steeped aroma is a really nice mix of sweet strawberry and bright green tea. The liquor is a light lemony color with sediment distributed throughout (the sachet left little particles of green tea on my desk; they’re a bit too fine for the sachet, I think).
As flavored green teas go, this one is very nice. I get a fair amount of sweet strawberry flavor in and among the green tea, which is fairly mellow with a hint of butter and no bitterness.
In general, I prefer the heartiness of the Lupicia strawberry flavored blacks, but I’d definitely drink this again if I was in the mood for a fruity green tea.
I brought some of this with me in a tumbler for my drink in the car on the way to work. I steeped it 2.5 minutes instead of the Adagio-recommended 7 to see what effect that might have.
The more I drink this the more I wonder whether I don’t love white peony or whether I just don’t love THIS white peony. It’s been a long time since I’ve compared different whites and I just can’t remember.
This one has a heaviness that seems incongruous with white tea, a very planty taste that I don’t find at all evocative of melon or nectarine as indicated in the description, and that sits heavy in my stomach.
I do like it better plain than with flavoring, but it’s still not something I’d stock regularly.
In fact, I’m bumping it down just a tad. I’m within sipdown range and I’m finding myself looking forward to the sipdown.
Given my previous statements about how I feel about bergamot in Earl Grey (basically that it should sit quietly and not interrupt) I cannot explain adequately why I even have this. My only explanation is that it is tea, and don’t we all want to TRY ALL THE TEA?
The bergamot scent in sample bag is strong, but not overpowering—a little on the perfumey side with something of a metallic note. The tea steeps to a reddish amber. Despite the triple threat, the bergamot isn’t overwhelming in the aroma and I no longer smell the metallic note I did from the dry leaves. The aroma is, in my view, very promising because I smell a malty note that I think means I’m going to like the tea base.
And I do, for the most part. There’s something about the taste that reminds me of the Tavalon Earl Grey Reserve. There’s a bit of a minerally edge that could be either raw potato or metal, but it isn’t nearly as strong as that taste in the Tavalon and there is, as well, a sweetish, malty note. I think I may have slightly underleafed and will try more next time.
The good news for me is that the bergamot doesn’t strike me as overly strong despite the name. That would also be bad news for someone looking for a really really strong bergamot.
It’s a nice tea. Not among my favorite Earl Greys, but I’ll drink the rest happily.
Tasting note no. 600. Time does fly when you’re having fun. ;-)
Feeling rather more virtuous than I have in a while because I exercised today. The last time I exercised was before I got the awful virus a couple of weeks ago, so it felt good to get my lungs full of fresh air and my pores full of sweat.
I wanted something green and simple, not busy with flavors other than the tea. I also thought I should apply myself to the project of drinking up the rest of the open greens before too much more time passes.
I haven’t had a straight up Chinese green tea in a while and this was just fine for the purpose. I see by my original note I found it rather on the high average side, nothing spectacular but tasty enough. After sipping on this, I agree with my original assessment.
It has a pleasant, buttery vegetable taste—maybe a little hint of broccoli, maybe a little hint of spinach. No bitterness and a pleasant finish. A good after workout tea.
It appears I’m the first to taste this, and sadly, it appears I may be the last.
I went to look for this tea on The American Tea Room site, and I can no longer find “Berry Noir” available for purchase. There are other berry teas available from ATR now, but not a single-flavor blackberry.
Which is a shame, because the first thing I noticed when I opened the sample packet was the big honking dried blackberries among the tea leaves and a singularly amazing blackberry smell.
Alas, the poor blackberry. It seems to get short shrift in the berry world, taking a second seat to its more popular cousins, the blueberry, the raspberry and the strawberry. I will admit to putting it in my grocery basket as an afterthought when I’ve been berry shopping. And yet, I’m always very happy when I eat a really juicy blackberry. Though I can’t conjure the taste of blackberry in my mind in the same way I can with its little friends. Perhaps that explains the fate of this tea.
Would that it were not so. The tea’s steeped aroma is a deep, luscious blackberry peacefully co-existing with a mild tea base that I suspect is Ceylon. The liquor, in any case, is very similar in color to the other single fruit blends I’ve tried from ATR.
The taste is remarkable. Really, truly, like having a mouthful of sweet berries with each sip. And since they’re not blue, rasp, straw, or any lesser known berries I’ve tasted, I’m comfortable with the idea that they’re blackberries.
This would definitely go on the shopping list if only it still existed.
I was going to continue with the next tea in line as planned, but then I got some unexpected good news. So I thought I’d find something with “that French thing” going on to drink as a celebration. (The good news: my first (and so far only) novella was accepted by a speculative fiction publication. As there are a very limited number of places that accept stories this length, I thought perhaps I might end up having to retire this piece without it finding a home.)
I’ll be more detailed and think about ratings in a later note. For now, I just want to enjoy this lovely fruity melange. Is it chocolate? Is it vanilla? What fruit is it?
Right now, I don’t care. It’s yum.
Sipdown no. 33 of 2014. I don’t expect this will be the last I’ll see of this tea, though.
I still think my “likes” are screwing up. I click them but then when I refresh the page or the next time I go to it, unless the note I liked showed up on the first screen (not after clicking more) it appears the likes are gone and I can click them again. But the don’t stick the second time either.
Anyone know if there’s a workaround for this or a particular browser this doesn’t happen with? I hope it isn’t user error. I’ll feel really dumb.
Mmmm. The sweet, brown sugar/molasses thing going on is just right for this morning. It’s almost like having coffee cake, but without the calories.
A sad goodbye, but only for now.
Sipdown no. 32 of 2014 is the single serving sample of this one. (Wow, that was a lot of s’s in one sentence.)
I didn’t read the ingredients before I sniffed the packet just for fun. My first thought was “strawberry?” Then just as I was about to nod my head, I thought “blueberry?” So at that point I checked the packet and yes, both of those flavors are represented. As is (shudder) hibiscus.
The good news: after steeping I smelled mostly berry, almost no rooibos (yay) and just a little upswing of tart around the edges that is the hibiscus.
I was worried at first that the flavor would be too tart for me, but it isn’t. It’s actually sweeter than I expected. The berry flavor is pronounced, but not individuated. It’s rather like eating a slice of one of those pies that has several berry flavors in it.
And the rooibos? Excellent news for me. I barely taste it, except for a fleeting pass after the sip. As rooibos goes, Samovar’s is among the best I’ve tasted plain so even what I taste of it is fine.
Samovar’s descriptions are often a cornucopia of aromas and flavors that make me feel like a total novice. This is no exception. I get a mulled wine, natural punch but in the flavor rather than the aroma, and I can’t say I can identify the orange, apricot etc. Though I do taste a bit of something lemon like in the finish and there is an interesting little peppery kick in the aftertaste.
I would buy this. Yes, I would.
Sadly, it appears I am too late as I no longer see it available on the Samovar web site. It may still be part of the rooibos sampler, but it’s not clear that’s offered anymore either as the page I found that lists it says “out of stock.”
Ah well. Lesson learned.