2459 Tasting Notes
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Mount Shasta was discovering this adorable and incredibly well stocked tea store! Talk about a pleasant surprise, I was not expecting anything like this in such a small town.
Here is the website if you want to check them out:
We did try to limit ourselves to a few small selections and this was one of them. Ordinarilly this is not something I would have picked out for myself but they were giving away free tastings and thus, I became hooked.
This is a blend of green tea (I believe a sencha), mate, coconut, “flavoring” (smells very strongly of almond extract), rose petals and cornflower blossoms.
It is a slightly sweet tea and the coconut and almonds really made it for me. This was a great thing for the cold mountain weather and got me all prepared to brave the snow (kind of). Recommended!
I liked this pretty well but I think the passionfruit oolong from Naivetea is still my favorite of the flavored bunch I had the pleasure to try.
This is a tea which is meant to be savored and appreciated. The strawberry flavor is here but it is very slight and subtle. I am intrigued by their process for flavoring tea which they describe as thus:
“Also in the Naivetea family are a selection of teas infused with the essence of fruits and flowers, such as lychee, peach and lavender. Unlike many commercially-infused teas, which are simply “sprayed” with the flavor, Naivetea’s are infused the traditional way, by allowing the tea to actually absorb the flavors naturally from the raw ingredients after the fermentation process”.
This is not a dessert tea and it does not taste like gummy bears. It’s an oolong that has been lightly kissed by strawberry essence. I am getting more of a buttery flavor here with my second steep. Very enjoyable, I think this would be fabulous in the summer…
I haven’t always been a big fan of sencha but when I saw this at the Lupicia store yesterday I got curious about it, since it supposedly has a lingering sweetness like sweet potato I figured it would not come with the astringency I normally associate with sencha.
I am pretty fond of this – it is very bright, smooth and vegetal. There is a definite sweetness here which reminds me not of sweet potato, but of corn or sweet peas. This is a very flavorful green tea! I was told by my salesperson yesterday if I like this I will like the gyokuru yame, but I decided to wait on that one for a while since it’s $32.00.
This was a bit of a mess for me to make in the office in an infuser mug since the leaves are so small and very absorbent, I might try a tea sac next time. I was able to get 3 infusions out of this before I gave up on it.
This was pretty enjoyable for me and I will definitely get some more. I’m not a sencha expert so your mileage may vary… ;-)
Finally I made it to the newly remodeled Lupicia store in San Francisco. They changed locations and seemed to have downsized their square footage slightly as well as the number of teas they carry – I was looking for a few they have listed on their website that they did not have in the store. Still, it is quite a good assortment of tea and tea related paraphernalia they have there in the retail shop. The salespeople were helpful but a wee bit pushy. Just a wee.
In any case I left with only a few selections and not the entire lot of hundreds – exercising some self-restraint! I am not sure what possessed me to take this, as I know I am not a big fan of red rooibos. But I do like rum, and caramel, and honeybush sometimes.
This is really sweet – over the top for me. I added some soymilk to it to make a nice dessert tea. It’s not bad but again, I get the weird roobois aftertaste which bothers me. I am getting a lot of rum but not so much caramel. I might try brewing this up also with some decaf black tea to take the sweetness down a notch. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it could be, but I did not love it either….
Sometimes I DO need a break from caffeine, I know, this is crazy talk. :)
I really like this herbal blend from Arbor teas. It’s a perfectly balanced blend of lemongrass, orange and ginger. Evidently there is cinnamon in here as well but I am not picking up on that too much. All of the ingredients mix together very well and nothing is too dominant or pushy. I’m drinking this hot but I think it would also make a really good iced tea. It’s refreshing and soothing with a tiny bit of sweetness. I am enjoying this as my after lunch tea and it’s making my tummy very happy! A+ delicious….
This is a nice offering from Harney and I definitely like this style of darker oolong. I brewed this western style for about 3 minutes using nearly boiling water.
Lots of stone fruit here, a very soft tea with a bit of minerality… is it good? yes. Is it exceptional? not to me. After reading the description on their website I think I ’d like the fanciest formosa oolong better because this would be good with some charcoal aroma!
My first time trying a green pu-erh so I really have nothing to compare this to…
I infused this for about 3 minutes western style. The tuo cha does not want to open up and come unfurled – is this a good sign? A bad sign? Who knows.
First infusion is very mild, green tea is not a very prominent flavor here. I am getting apple and a bit of malty sweetness. Like many pu-erhs this reminds me of mushrooms, but a delicate white button mushroom instead of a deep, dark shiitake.
Second infusion is very much the same with no loss of flavor… a very light and aromatic brew. Not sure I will need to buy this again because I think I prefer the black pu-erhs but it has made for a very nice sample. :)