911 Tasting Notes
The Final Sipdown: Day 18
Decupboarding Total: 36
My third and final tasting of this one, once again with additives. When I had it plain I was picking up on something almost spicy/peppery in it and I can still taste that here, even over the milk and sugar. It gives an interesting tingle to my tongue. The bergamot doesn’t seem overly strong but it is there – perhaps it doesn’t seem overly strong because there are no perfume-y or soapy notes to it which is actually a good thing.
I’m a bit torn as far as where this goes in the overall Earl Grey showdown (really wish I had tried Arbor Tea’s version with additives just to make sure it doesn’t turn into radioactive sludge when milk and sugar is added, though I seriously doubt it does) but ultimately I think this slides into second place – in front of Upton’s EG Supreme but behind Arbor Tea’s Earl Grey.
The Final Sipdown: Day 17
Decupboarding Total: 34
My prep work on this tea this morning had paid off and I get to decupboard it. Yay!
This one is tasty – a bit foggy, stout, smooth, and best without additives – the flavor is fuller without milk and it doesn’t have any bitterness that needs to be countered with sugar. It’s probably not the end-all-be-all tea blend, but a very respectable one that has been very nice to have around. And it’s a good celebration tea tonight for learning how to sharpen knives with a steel. Yay!
The Final Sipdown: Day 16
Decupboarding Total: 32
Apparently I needed to catch up on my sleep after this Thanksgiving. I spent most of today napping. Which makes it kind of hard to decupboard teas. Fortunately, I had one more Tea from Taiwan sample, which is good because they can be a single serving pretty easily so I’d still be able to make my quota for today.
The dry leaf of this one smells pretty awesome – fruity and honeyed and kind of sexy, actually. The taste is a little fresher than the smell but it’s still got that rich sweetness about it that makes me roll it around on my tongue. I think this tea is trying to seduce me.
Flavor-wise it really doesn’t strike me as a ‘milk’ oolong (which tend to bring up thoughts of Juicy Fruit gum for me… in a positive way, I promise) but this is still very good. There’s a touch of dryness that sometimes pops up in the middle of my tongue at the end of a sip but it’s just a flash and it’s actually not unpleasant. It gives the tea a bit of a sparkle which it might otherwise lack with the heavier flavors it’s got going on.
It’s heavy, silky, sweet, a little fruity, a little floral, honeyed, creamy but with a dash of fresh crispness that keeps it all from being too heavy. It’s all very attractive and seductive and pretty darn sexy for a tea. I don’t know if a tea can be sexy, but this one seems to manage it.
Honestly, I thought I was going to get through my Tea from Taiwan samplers without finding a ‘must have’ tea. But I think this one just broke that streak.
The Final Sipdown: Day 16
Decupboarding Total: 31
And it’s another sample gone! I really like this tea – it’s got the sweetness and smoothness of a yunnan but there’s a little bright Darjeeling-like kick to the end of it that shows up sometimes. It’s a nice tea to drink straight, which can be a challenge for non-Chinese blacks (at least for me). If I had a larger container of this it would be very easy for me to drink though it is missing just a little something that would push it into the ‘must run out and get more of this!’ category. Still, a good tea that is definitely worth a try!
Previously when I had this one, I added sugar and half & half. This time I wanted to see how it went straight.
I’m actually a little torn. The bergamot is a bit strong and edges on soapy, but it never quite hits there because there is a spiciness to it that makes it fairly interesting and full-flavored. The tea base is pretty much non-existent here – this is all about the bergamot – but I’m kind of okay with that. The bergamot flavoring is interesting so it doesn’t seem flat.
But there is a note at the end of the sip that throws me off a bit. Sometimes it strikes me as peppery, which is good and interesting, and other times as a bit acrid/burnt/bitter, which is not so great. It’s sort of weird. But even with that weirdness and the strong flavoring, I think I like this one straight better than the Upton Supreme but not as much as the Arbor Teas Earl.
The Final Sipdown: Day 15
Decupboarding Total: 30
I’m definitely going to have to pick some of this up when I made my Arbor Tea Earl Grey order. It’s nice and smooth and sweet and very forgiving – I meant to steep for about 35s but kind of forgot about it…. A minute and a half later and it was darker than normal, but still smooth and tasty. I think I can say I’m definitely a fan of the green pu-erhs. So good.
The Final Sipdown: Day 14
Decupboarding Total: 28
I slacked yesterday and today with The Final Sipdown but honestly? I’ve been too busy cooking, eating and napping to worry much about what teas to finish off. However, tomorrow is a new day and I’m back on The Final Sipdown wagon. To show my determination to decupboard, I’ve finished off this not-tea tonight.
I went a little heavy on the leaf just to finish this off and the smell is even more rooibos-y than normal. The taste isn’t as bad as the smell though, so it ends up drinkable and a little orange-y. But I’m still not that hot on this one. Thankfully it’s gone.
The Final Sipdown: Day 12
Decupboarding Total: 27
I’m staring to like when good teas are caught up in The Final Sipdown. It’s a nice break from teas that are still around only because I don’t like them enough to drink them up. This is one of those good teas. I’m not dying to reorder this but, depending on the state of my pantry, I can see myself picking up more of this the next time I order from CTG. It’s quite tasty and I like the variety of flavors I can get from this.
This time I went the ‘high-flavor brew’ (11.5g/12oz) and it really is flavorful. The sencha aspect is really highlighted. The pan frying gives it a nice, somewhat nutty note that makes it feel more like a fall-mood sencha instead of a spring or summer one. Perfect for today with a cold front stalking us!
The Final Sipdown: Day 12
Decupboarding Total: 26
What a productive day! I’ve mopped, made turkey brine and ‘cranberry’ sauce, done some laundry and decupboarded a tea! Sure, I still have to vacuum, make a cheesecake and decupboard one more tea but I’ve got time. Yay!
And speaking of tea, I like this one enough to think about getting a non-decaff version to see if that really pops for me. Mostly because I love Kasugai Muscat gummies. And this is a less-sweet tea version of those gummies. Honestly, the smell is my favorite part. It brings back such good memories! But now this tea is gone, so I’m moving on!