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911 Tasting Notes

89

I need tea before I am operational this morning. Until I have more caffeine running through my blood stream, I cannot guarantee to make sense.

Sample from Arbor Teas that The Final Sipdown has encouraged me to bust open finally. This tea is now officially part of the epic EG hunt for the husband. Okay, maybe it isn’t epic but it sure feels that way since I have so many EG samples in my pantry. SO. MANY.

The smell of the dry leaves is very nice – potently EG in a way that manages to be strong but not OMG-at-the-bergamot-it-burns strong (I’m looking at you, Upton’s Extra Bergamot). There’s even a nice menthol-type whoosh at the end of the sniff which strikes me as fun (and much better than the more perfume-y after-smells that can pop up in EG).

Without additives. This is really nicely done. The tea feels heavy and smooth and clear but there’s no bitterness that sometimes pops up with additive-less flavored teas. The bergamot isn’t as strong in smell or in taste as it is in the dry leaves but it seems to mesh with the tea flavor and smell instead of sitting on top of it. There’s no chemical aftertaste, no tacky-mouth feeling from the flavoring. The bergamot flavor is nicely balanced – there’s a hint of sweetness to the flavoring but not so much that I would say this is sweet (though sometimes the aftertaste is a bit fruity-sweet which is pleasant). The overall taste is noticeably (but not overpowering) bergamot throughout the sip – from initial smell to aftertaste – and a tea tastes that, while not overly nuanced, gives a full, unmuddied flavor and a smooth but somewhat thick mouthfeel.

Honestly? Best EG I’ve had in the EG Hunt. There’s one Upton EG that might compete with it (their premium or supreme or something) but I had that one with additives and this one without so that makes me think the Arbor Tea’s one will win if there is a head-to-head. I do have super-fond memories of A&D’s EG – I recall it being a juicy type of EG and I really enjoyed that. But the husband didn’t and ultimately this hunt is to find his perfect EG that I also really enjoy. This tea officially makes me list of contenders two.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Jaime

I look forward to watching the EG contenders battle it out the TFS. I, too, am on the hunt for the perfect EG.

Auggy

I got a little EG’ed out but we were having different EGs daily for a while a month or so ago. But now with The Final Sipdown, I’ll be finishing those samples off so I’m sure lots of EGs will be popping up again in my logs!

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79
drank Kukicha by Rishi Tea
911 tasting notes

This tea was so unexciting the first time I had it, it’s been sitting in my pantry for the past 5 months, ignored and unloved. But with The Final Sipdown: Day 3 approaching rapidly, I decided to do some prep work and used up about half of the remaining sample. For one really big cup. Okay, the initial idea was to decupboard more than one tea today, but I do not need to drink 40-some oz of green tea at a go, so it’s being split in half. Plan on seeing this one go bye-bye tomorrow.

It’s not as bad as I remember it but it’s still not super-tasty. I decreased the steep time by a minute and that helped it a lot – there is a fair amount of astringency but it doesn’t dip into bitterness like it did at 3minutes. I’m sure being abandoned in my pantry for months and months has not helped it any as far as freshness but it was still acceptably tasty. I tend to prefer deeper steamed senchas and this one doesn’t have that same sweetness or quite the same thickness I’d get with one of those, but as lighter steaming goes, it’s nifty.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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81

It’s The Final Sipdown: Day 2 and this is the sample to which I must say goodbye.

I have a problem using the last bits of good tea samples. Because if it is a good tea, I want to make sure I always have it on hand. If I only have a cup or two left, I don’t drink it up, I save it. After all, if I drink it, it will then be gone and I will be sad.

But I simply cannot fail in my decupboarding adventure on Day 2! No! If I’m going to fail, it will be after a long and arduous attempt, a mere three feet from the peak of Mt. Everest, not before we even leave base camp!

And with that determination in mind, I used my last bit of this to make a travel tumbler full of tea before heading out for Mt. Everest Costco. I was daring and used no additives. (Because that’s intrepid explorer-types roll, you know. Without sugar.) It is a rare tea that can stand up to travel tumbler abuse additive-less but this one performed swimmingly. Oh, there was a moment I held my breath when I could only slurp tiny amounts (it was very hot, you see, and we hadn’t brought a medic so I had to be cautious) and the taste was coming across somewhat bitter. I began to fear that the tumbler had defeated this tea. But the tea pulled through and, once it cooled and I could sip without fear, the taste reverted to normal yumminess. In fact, I believe it responded well to the travel tumbler challenge as it was bolder and stouter than before.

So two thumbs up for this intrepid tea sample as it successfully conquered my travel tumbler, even though it ultimately perished in the attempt. To those I must decupboard, I salute you!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
takgoti

As soon as I read this log, I could not help but think of this: http://bit.ly/dcE4G0

And to follow up: http://bit.ly/brB9F3

Naturally, once I went to go look for that entry, I got sucked into clicking on a bunch of other things and so this comment is going up about 20 minutes later than intended.

IT’S TIME TO FIND ADVENTURE!!!

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85

Wow – sweet sweet sweet with a hint of spice. It tastes like I just made chai using the stovetop method – which means, rich, creamy and sweet. And I mean really rich. The sweet creamy is the strongest flavor so it’s more sweet than spicy so those that go for strong chais might be disappointed but as for me, someone who enjoys sweet and milky chais, this is pretty cool!
(Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aug3zimm/sets/72157625259950135/ )

takgoti

Mmm. Now I want some chai. It’s too late for chai, right? Someone tell me it’s too late for chai.

Auggy

… It’s too late for chai. Lavender chai? Eew. Nevermind.

AmazonV

Such pretty photos! your photography skills put mine to shame

takgoti

@Auggy Quite possibly one of your worser ideas.

Auggy

AmazonV, Thanks! I got my a new camera recently-ish and have been doing my best to wear it out. :)
takgoti, Yeah, not one of my shiniest ideas. Urk.

Jillian

I don’t know…lavender could work in a chai if it was used in moderation maybe and mixed with the right spices.

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94

Very rich and chocolaty. It’s citrus and chocolate but it’s not like a chocolate orange – it’s got a fuller flavor that makes it scream fancy, sophisticated chocolate. It doesn’t scream Earl Grey to me but has a nice citrusy flair that I really really like.
(Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aug3zimm/sets/72157625259950135/ )

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80

I wouldn’t have pegged this as jasmine but there is certainly something soft and sweet and floral about it, especially in the aftertaste. Rich and creamy. Not overly tea-like but a very pretty chocolate and I like it.
(Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aug3zimm/sets/72157625259950135/ )

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96

Mmm, very pineapple-y but more dessert or mixed drink pineapple-y than fresh pineapple-y because it doesn’t have the tart bite, maybe from the passionfruit? I don’t really pick out something straight passionfruit-y, more of the pineapple, but it’s very sweet and fruity. It is all creamy and smooth and sooooo tasty. Not overly tea-like but as a chocolate, it is fantastic.
(Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aug3zimm/sets/72157625259950135/ )

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80

Wow. I mean, wow. Rich – insanely rich and tarry and smoky. The smoke is strong enough that it is definitely the stronger taste compared to the dark chocolate, but the two flavors pair together to give really heavy richness. Wow. Probably more tarry of a lapsang than I normally go for and it reminds me a bit of a bacon-flavored chocolate bar I had, but the richness is pretty fantastic. Totally and noticeably ‘tea’.
(Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aug3zimm/sets/72157625259950135/ )

Cofftea

After seeing these I’m thinking a lapsang chocolate cheesecake.

Brian

I’m gonna have to order some of these now 0.o
@ Cofftea, please make one and share the recipe!

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91

Very different – thick and grassy and heavy, like a super-rich green tea ice cream. Not very sweet (well, it is but compared to the whole truffle idea – ‘not sweet’ in the same way that green tea ice cream is more heavy/dark/grassy than sweet) but very realistic and obviously green tea. Very tasty. I would love to have a container of these for chocolate treats. This one is the most noticeable ‘tea-infused’ of the truffles.
(Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aug3zimm/sets/72157625259950135/ )

takgoti

Fancy! Lovely pictures, by the way. Welcome to the flickr club!

Auggy

Thanks! I got a fancy camera so I finally caved and got a flickr account. What can I say, I’m a follower! I need to work on white balance in the house though but eh. And yes, super-fancy goodies!

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74

It’s The Final Sipdown: Day 1 and this is the one I’m decupboarding. The smell is truly overpowering and makes me fear the first sip, but the taste is much better. It’s sweet and fruity and sweet. And possibly even tea-like, which is always nice for a flavored tea. I can’t say it is something I’m going to seek out in the future because it’s a bit too flavored and fruity for what I normally go for (and I have a mental block with flavored non-blacks), but I think those that enjoy fruity flavored teas would enjoy giving this one a home.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
takgoti

This is either going to be genius or a disaster.

Auggy

GENIUS! IT WILL BE GENIUS!

Jaime

Do you have official rules for Sipdown 2010? I think I may need to jump on that bandwagon!

Auggy

The Final Sipdown rules are simple – one sample per day (or in takgoti’s case, three per day) must be decupboarded or you will get beat with a wet noodle. Though I suppose any tea could be decupboarded, not just a sample-size or swap sample. But since takgoti is drowning in swap samples…

takgoti

Indeed. Though, as I don’t believe that I cupboarded all of my samples it means that I just have to drink the thing in its entirety so it’s gone. UNLESS there is a really, really good reason not to finish it, but I’m only allowing myself five opportunities to do so.

Oh, and log it or it didn’t happen!

Jaime

I think I’m going to attempt this, even though few to none of my samples/swap packs are in my cupboard.

TeaEqualsBliss

Apparently I have been doing this and didn’t even know! LOL – I will continue but try to remember to mention in the meantime! :) Thanks girls!!!!

Auggy

Yay for finishing off samples!

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Profile

Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.


1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

Location

Texas

Website

http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

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