1155 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 19 of the year 2014 (a tiny one as there’s almost nothing left in my sample)!
Steepster is angry with me this morning, I think. I can’t “like” anything, get my notices, etc. and when I tried posting this before it disappeared. I hope that’s not an omen for the rest of the day.
I put this one on my shopping list. My problem with Harney & Sons is I have a hard time disliking anything they make. I did honestly want to try to whittle things down, try to make some fine distinctions among their black blends, but I think I have to admit that I’m at the point where I just throw up my hands and say you can never have too many Earl Greys and you can never have too many delicious black blends.
And be grateful that tea takes up less space than shoes.
I wanted to try this on the kids tonight, but they fell asleep before it finished steeping. There’s always tomorrow.
I haven’t had this in a while and I worried that perhaps it would have faded some but looking at my prior note it’s exactly how I remembered it. The key to this one is to double the amount of “leaf” (it’s not really leaf so much as fruit chunks) you’d ordinarily use to get a good, strong flavor. It’s a nice, sweet lemon, with just a hint of strawberry, enough to act as natural sweetener.
I’ll be taking mine to bed with me shortly. I hope there’s a new Castle this week.
Trying this today with a lower steeping time (3 minutes) to see whether that helps bring out the tangerine flavor. Alas, it doesn’t seem to have made a difference with regard to the tangerine, though it does perhaps make the tea a bit lighter overall, which has the effect of making it somewhat less planty. Oh well. I am closing in on sipdown with this one but not quite there yet.
From the Maestro sampler set.
Really beautiful leaves, like a tin full of little ampersands. Not just gold, but a range of colors that ends somewhere with dark green.
I love how Yunnan smells, dry leaf, wet leaf, steeped tea-all of it. This has a rich, smooth malty scent with tangy, champagne-like high notes, but it’s more complex than that. There’s something that’s almost like tobacco, something almost like cocoa. A lot going on.
Peachy-golden in the cup with a wonderful malty-leathery aroma. The flavor is interesting and I wonder whether I should try it with more leaf. It’s not as rich as I expected, but it’s very smooth, and leaves a really pleasant, sweet hay-like aftertaste. Like with the Yunnan gold, I can taste something that I am sure is what is described as pepper, but without the spicy kick of pepper.
I should try this next to the Yunnan Gold some day as I quite liked that one as well, and see how they compare. Since it has been a while and I don’t really remember that one apart from my notes, I’m rating this the same for now as a sort of placeholder.
Another tea I bought way back when but never even got to open before life intervened. The BF was very interested in it this morning, so I opened up the packet.
Wow. The dry leaf smells just like the ice cream tastes-sweet and nutty and buttery, and a good bit of that smell carries over into the steeped tea. The flavor is really true to its name, too. In judging teas like this, I give lots of points for trueness to the name. But it’s clearly tea as well, with a black base that plays nicely. Every now and then it comes to the fore but just enough to wave hello.
What I like best about this is that before I tried it, I thought it would probably need to be sweetened or to have milk added to make the flavor taste like what’s in the ice cream. BUT NO! It’s lovely and sweet enough as is, sans any additional caloric content. (For me, anyway. The kids took a sip and said “needs sugar.”)
Of course, those who snooze lose in the 52 teas game, and this is no longer available. I will have to husband my supply.
Sipdown no. 17 for 2014. First cup of the day. Getting a late start today because I stayed in bed, it being a holiday in the US, and watched the Tivo’d first episode of Sherlock, series III, and the little documentary afterwards.
All that stuff I said yesterday about the flavors having come unbalanced? Today this is working just fine for whatever reason. Isn’t it funny how tea does that? I suspect there’s actually a reason, which is that I used a bit more leaf today.
I’m sorry to see it go and I definitely want to get more, whenever the day comes. Meanwhile, I have lots more ATR samples to try.
The peanuts, by the way, each had a tiny sip and decided this wasn’t for them. Not really surprised, and secretly relieved given the label says caffeine content: high.
Once upon a time, I was searching for the perfect lemon blend. It has been a while, and I don’t really recall how the things I tried on that search tasted. I’ve read back over my notes and I see that some were disappointing and some were quite good.
Apparently, I didn’t get around to trying this one and I wish I had.
I can’t now remember where this would rate among the others I’ve tried so I sort of have to start over, but damn, it’s a GREAT lemon, even given its age. The sad part is that I checked the 52 Teas site and it’s, of course, long gone.
In the package, the lemon smell is divine. Rich, sweet, tart, no bitterness, and the honeybush is definitely in the background.
After steeping, it’s a milder smell, but retains the character it had before steeping. The flavor is a really nice lemon. Not bitter, like some I’ve tasted, not too tart. Just when I thought it might take a tart turn, the sweetness would come back. And I am not even aware of the honeybush.
I can only imagine what this was like in its prime. I wish I’d gotten to taste it then and stocked up!
Sipdown no. 16 for 2014. Another sample in the “to be drunk soon” box that I didn’t get to during my last tea tasting frenzy.
The dry leaf has so many interesting shapes and colors in it. ;-) The red peppercorns are really pretty. They look like miniature holly berries against the green of the tea. I can see little squares of what must be the papaya or the pineapple (probably papaya because of the color). And the little cardamom pods! The dry leaf has a mostly sweet scent to it with just a hint of spice.
The liquor is golden and smells very fruity. I get a lot of pineapple in the aroma.
I’ve had some bad experiences with flavored greens, but not so here! Very tasty and not at all bitter. Not as toasty-ricey as I expected, though there’s a hint around the edges, and I’m not getting the spice I thought I’d get with the pepper and cardamom (though there’s a peppery kick to the aftertaste that’s playing with the tip of my tongue). I get mostly pineapple, as a gentle fruity flavor. As I was sipping I wondered where the bamboo was, but I’m getting it, a long with the toasty rice, in the finish. I should perhaps have steeped this a bit longer. I also suspect that with teas like this with all the various ingredients a lot depends on the individual makeup of your sample. I’d drink it again, though I don’t love it enough to buy it.
And now I really must detach myself from the internet and go write something. Alas, I fear I will not be successful.
ETA: The fruity tea lover in the house, the BF, had one word for this.
“Aces.” I’m bumping the rating because he’s more of the target audience than I am. I’d give it a 75. He’d give it, I’m sure, at least a 90. So I’m putting it at 85. I also have to revise my prediction as to whether I would buy this, because he’s already asking if there’s more!