78 Tasting Notes
Tonight I’m cracking into my Verdant herbal blends to see if I want to add any to my next order. The dry leaf for this one is so pretty! Little flakes of green sprinkled with pink rose petals, and pieces of ginger & lemon zest poking through here and there.
4 minutes is probably too long for the size of the cup I used, though it did seem a little weak at 3 minutes. The ginger is pretty mild but strong enough to make my tongue tingle. Unsweetened, there were some bitter & earthy flavors I couldn’t put my finger on (can’t say I have any idea what burdock or rhodiola are supposed to taste like), though after adding some agave nectar it tasted quite a bit like ginger ale. I’ll let you guess which way I liked it better.
Hmm. I think I like this one, but I’ll have to try it again to be sure.
I’ve resolved to make greens & lightly oxidized oolongs my priority, after reading a Verdant blog post saying they only stay fresh for about 4 months. Let’s just say I have my work cut out for me.
Dry leaf smells a bit like being on the coast – herbaceous, but with a whiff of ocean air. After being rehydrated, the leaves appear very delicate, almost the texture of seaweed. The flavor is light and similar to the aroma; very clean, with a satisfying thickness to the liquor. It’s very similar in taste to a Japanese green, and quite different from the only other Korean green I’ve tried, which was biscuity and fruity-sweet.
I was expecting a lot worse, considering the overall rating! Yes, its flavor is barely-there at times, but so is the tea I’ve had at most of the Japanese restaurants I’ve been to. I’ll have to seek out some other Korean teas.
Oh my gosh this is good. I’m only on my first steep (1/2 tsp, ~6 oz water) and I need to go out and run some errands, but I got all excited drinking it and had to write a little note. Smells like roasted nuts while brewing, then wonderful swirls of creamy/toasty/fruity flavor that made me slurp down my cup a little too fast. Yesssss. This is a good find. I bought it from Rachel of iHeartTeas in a stash sale she did last summer – not sure why she got rid of it, but I’m really glad I was able to pick it up!
This is my first time trying a Da Hong Pao. When I first sipped it I thought “wood”, but on second thought it’s more like roasted grains. I’ve steeped this three times now, each infusion much like the one before and a bit one-note (NB: I bought this tea nearly 10 months ago, so age might be catching up with it). I do like the fact that it tastes toasty rather than charred, unlike many other roasted oolongs I’ve had. Not amazing, but very smooth & drinkable.
Backlog: I made a pot of this a week or two ago from a sample I pilfered from the first round of the European Traveling Tea Box. The dry leaf smelled amazing, but my expectations weren’t all that high based on what I’ve heard about & tried from Adagio.
I had taken more from the box than the brewing instructions recommended for a cup, so I used what looked like proportionately more water (didn’t bother measuring, though) and followed the parameters on Adagio’s website. The first infusion was rather heavy, resinous, and almost piney – interesting, but not really what I was hoping for. Probably too hot & long a steep.
From the second infusion on, I decided to just go with what I thought was the right amount of water/temperature/time. That’s when rainbows appeared and birds started singing. Gorgeous perfect jasmine flavor! As if that weren’t enough, these lovely little leaves gave me another five delicious steeps. SEVEN steeps from a white tea brewed western style! Super impressive. I’m definitely grabbing some more of this next time I place an Adagio order. Thanks for sharing, KittyLovesTea!
This has been my breakfast tea for the last month or so, and it’s probably my favorite in recent memory. It’s strong but not harsh; full of flavor, and takes milk & sugar like a champ. I still can’t tease out individual flavors in these blended teas I drink with milk, so I’ll just say it’s pretty close to my ideal of what a breakfast blend should taste like. Yum!
I’ve been awful at drinking my non-blended blacks. I’m a creature of habit – black tea is for CTC in bags with milk & sugar, and I keep thinking that the good stuff that you’re supposed to drink plain is going to be an assault on my tastebuds. I am aware that this is a terrible way to go through life (especially if you own as many of these nicer black teas as I do), so I made a conscious decision to try one of them today.
The dry leaf smells lightly forest-like, and the liquor chocolaty and earthy, with a rich brown color. It tastes less strong but more tart than I was expecting, with some bitterness and little astringency. The earthy and bark-like flavors become sweeter and a bit smoky in the aftertaste. It’s a lot more drinkable than I thought it would be, but I’m not sure it’s my thing. I bought it from a stash sale last summer (from Rachel of iHeartTeas, I believe) so it’s probably gone a bit stale. I might pick some up next time I’m in North America to see if I like it any better when it’s fresh. If anyone’s interested in the rest of the packet, let me know.
Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Wood
I was in one of those moods today where I didn’t really want to try anything new and risk the possibility of an unpleasant brew. At first I wanted a straight tea, but couldn’t think of anything that appealed to me more than this lovely blend. Such a perfect melding of flavors and a wonderful creamy-juicy mouthfeel. I think I’m going to have to keep it permanently stocked for days like this.
Flavors: Cream, Melon
I seem to be coming down with a cold again, so today I’m reaching for my comforting teas to soothe my scratchy throat. This is so damn nice brewed strong (2 bags for a mug) with milk and sugar/agave. It’s like a hug or a fluffy blanket for the soul. I feel so much better now than before I started the cup. Upping the rating!
Not sure what I did differently this time, but it tastes quite a bit different from how I described it in my last note. The dry leaf still has the lovely chestnutty aroma, but the liquor is more astringent, more beany, and less umami than I remember. It resteeped better than last time, though. I added some salt toward the end of the second cup, thinking it might bring out that brothy quality I noted before, but oddly enough it seemed to only bring out the bitter notes.
Dropping the rating a bit, even though I doubt it’s the tea’s fault. It’s probably past its peak, and my tap water is HARRRRRD. Might be time to start using the Brita pitcher again, or at least descale the kettle.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans