60 Tasting Notes
Two words define this one: ‘black tea’. That’s what it tastes like, no honey aftertaste, no smokiness, no vegetal-ness, no bitterness, just straight up tea. If you are still drinking Lipton, The Original Ceylon Tea is a drop in replacement: same taste without the tannin overload.
I found this in a local Indian market. It was pretty cheap and I needed some more black tea, so why not. I didn’t recognize the brand. Apparently neither does Google.
This tea is the exact opposite of the Rishi Silver Needle Jasmine Iogged yesterday. It is simply tea, thick, slightly roasty Indian tea.
Some music pleasantly complements a particular activity like marching, dancing or running. Some music fades nicely into the background, setting the mood for a nice conversation.
But some music requires your whole attention. Sometimes it intrudes: the 5th movement of The Firebird nearly killed my while driving to Philadelphia. Sometimes it sulks: I was initially disappointed with Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill Live In Seattle because I didn’t hear the guitar at all. Then I stood right in front of the speakers and it made sense…
Um, about the tea, this tea is like Live In Seattle. If you’re not paying total attention it tastes like warm tap water. It will not complement any food. But if you pay very close attention, there are a whole variety of flavors just on the edge of perception. There are wisps of grass and wet leaves and there is the presence of flowers (it is jasmine tea after all).
Basically, this tea is like potpourri in foggy redwoods. So it complements the weather in Northern California at the moment. Maybe it will play nice with something after all.
The peach flavor is quite good. Its not overwhelming or missing or bitter. The tea itself seems very light. No malty, chocolaty or much of any other flavor that I can detect. Since I put one teabag in our teapot (which I’m sure is more than 8oz) I may try more tea next time.
Q brought this tea back from China a few years ago. It had just enough English on the bag that I was able to figure out (more or less) what it is. The jasmine smell is very strong and the flavor is pretty mild, but I’m not sure about the ‘long-standing’ bit. Like the tea in many Chinese restaurants, it seems to get bitter fairly quickly.
I’m not sure how to enter the temperature. I poured the water into the cup just after boiling (about 200°) but it quickly dropped to around 180° and stayed there. Anyway, It was pleasant start to the morning. I still smell more than I taste in this tea.
Much better with 3 cardamom pods. Mildly, but not unpleasantly astringent. I may try it a bit hotter tomorrow.
Ok, that’s far enough. At this steep time, its noticeably astringent and is starting to have a bit of a chemical smell. I can’t even smell the fruit any more. This is the end of the line for messing around with steep time. Next up, temperature.
Another step in the journey, this time to three minutes: its a bit more astringent and darker tasting. Perhaps I’ll head to 3:30 tomorrow morning, perhaps I’ll go back.
Definitely not bitter yet. I’m still not tasting fruit, although the tea itself is much more distinct and chocolatey (that is neither the correct word nor a word, but its the best I can describe it.) Stay tuned for more steep time tomorrow.