300 Tasting Notes
On most days it’s enough just knowing you’re out there – doing what you do, smelling like you smell, tasting like you taste. On most days.
But on some days, I miss you so much it’s unbearable. Sometimes I’m soothed reading old notes and remembering minutes spent together.
On occasion, though, not even dwelling on mnemonic minutiae is enough. Some days, the insight that you’re a finite resource plagues me. The knowledge that there will eventually be an end to you haunts me. Some days, I just have to taste you again.
This is one of those days.
And another cold-steeped pitcher of this gone. Mostly posting this to say I steeped it for maybe 12 hours, rather than the usual 24, and that the longer steep definitely works better for drawing out the flavours. I use fairly little leaf, though, so I’m sure you can up that to balance it better.
Still so hot I haven’t even managed to have a cup of real tea today. It didn’t really rain that much yesterday, and now they’re saying it’s going to rain for SEVEN days straight starting tomorrow. Everyone else is all, ‘Boo!’, and I’m all, ‘TEA TIME!!!’
I love rain.
It’s allegedly 96F/36C and I’m drinking hot, reliably floral tea. The effort of flash-chilling this would probably outweigh the negatives of getting even warmer through tea, though.
But I love this weather – humidity’s at roughly 60% and the formerly scorching sun has retreated behind the clouds. It’s supposed to rain for four days straight starting tonight, but it’s not stifling at all; Rome will be washed clean, not thundered at.
Sometimes that’s all a city needs to feel brand new.
I don’t really feel like drinking anything citrusy right now, but my all oolong all the time agenda must not be abandoned, so I decided to revisit this. I completely agree with everything I said in my last tasting note for this – that it’s delicately flavoured compared to other Lupicia oolongs of the same kind, but also that it’s well-balanced and all-around tasty.
I will, however, give myself permission to adjust the rating down five points, because I don’t really see myself picking this up again in the near future. It’s excellent, but I’m still ambivalent about citrus and I already have a selection of oolongs I’ll be happy to stock permanently. This just doesn’t have the complexity of personality that would make me want to keep it around forever. Finally, I’m not sure how exciting it would be iced, and I really appreciate that versatility.
I’m pretty sure I haven’t written a note for this yet, because it’s so confusing. I tried it cold when I was in the US in the fall and it was so ragingly delicious I just had to get it. And then I tried it hot and it was just vile, which made me lose my momentum a little. I sent some samples out to ask tea frens how they felt about it and cteresa has written a couple of helpful reviews; here is one of them: http://steepster.com/cteresa/posts/233978
One of the main reasons I’ve postponed this review, is that it’s so hard for me to pinpoint the flavours. I definitely get a citrus, but sweet, like a really ripe orange. Then there’s an additional layer of sweetness – the supposed mango, I assume, but it’s not entirely mango-like for me. Then again, I’m at a loss figuring out what it really is, and I’m beginning to regret starting this tasting note.
Finally, there’s a beautiful aftertaste of really good ice tea, a very natural flavour that lets you taste both the tea (strangely, as this is a green rooibos and shouldn’t taste like that at all) and the added fruit. There’s even a hint of smooth vanilla that rounds the whole thing off ever so nicely.
To sum it up, I really, really love this iced, but it’s near undrinkable for me hot. I have no idea how to rate that – I mean, I will go through this tin like it’s nothing, but it’s against my principles to highly rate one-trick teas. Aaaah!
I will ponder. Consider this rating temporary.
[From my Lupicia spree at Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara, October 2013.]
I have to say I’m very confused about my former tasting notes regarding this tea. They’re like ghost notes – only half-materialized; stuck in the past. Why did I brew this at 79C, does it say that on the bag? I’m too lazy to go look right now. Probably, but that has to be Lupicia’s only oolong exception. And why didn’t I ever write a longer first tasting note?
This tea just sort of snuck in there and because I love the Momoko (green) and the oolongs, it just seemed reasonable I would love this equally, so I never really bothered figuring it out. However, after living a Lupicia oolong orgy fantasy for the past week or so, it’s impossible to appreciate this one as much. It’s a lovely tea, fruity and well-balanced, but it lacks personality, complexity and intensity.
Sorry, Momo – I still love you, only five points less than before.
Seriously, guys, you are all just a bunch of enablers. OMGsrsly peer pressured me into having a small evening foods, I made a pitcher of Jardin Sauvage because of TheTeaFairy, and then DTT posted about bringing old blends back into stock and I remembered this and absolutely had to have it.
And yes, this sample is still alive and there is enough left for one more cup. I was going to have some on my birthday, but I ended up having so much other good stuff there was no room for more tea.
This is still so tasty.
And I still feel dirty for liking it so much.
Considering possibly nudging it up five points. Shhh. Tell no one.
I decided to have this long-ignored oolong that I remember enjoying last time around. Smelling it makes it clear there has been a pretty considerable loss in terms of scent – what remains is a vague sweetness that is pleasant enough, but that doesn’t have anything to do with strawberry to my nose.
The same goes for the brewed tea – there is no, or in any case very little left of the delicate strawberyness and floral deliciousness I remember from last time. I think this might be the fatal flaw of flavoured artisanal blends, at least when it comes to my own situation. These teas are made to be consumed quite fresh, and not left to linger in the cupboard. Furthermore, and as I have previously pointed out, Butiki’s flavourings and my palate are not generally well-matched.
Another thing I have also stressed in the past, however, is Stacy’s superior selection of base teas. This cup is still very pleasant – as opposed to one of those bulk-produced, industrial German blends that has been lying around for a while and lost its flavour, this is a delight to drink.
So again I will conclude that Butiki’s unflavoured teas are something I very much look forward to trying – they will probably be far more in sync with both my palate and my tea lifestyle.
ETA: Or wait, is this even flavoured? Now I’m confused!
ETA2: Also please appreciate how masterfully I use the term ‘tea lifestyle’ instead of just typing I HAVE A LOT OF TEA AND DON’T DRINK IT FOR A LONG TIME AND SOMETIMES IT GETS OLD OKAY.