911 Tasting Notes
Freebie teabag from Lupicia. This is fruity. Like FruitStripes gum (what I remember of it) fruity. I can’t really pull out any individual fruit tastes – it’s just one big flavor of sweet, almost candy-like fruity. It doesn’t taste synthetic or anything, so points for that. But there’s an astringency from the green tea base that I just don’t love. Maybe that dryness would work better with the sweet fruit flavor if chilled, come across as a crisp & refreshing type taste, but hot it just doesn’t mesh great for me.
Ultimately, this is drinkable and not horrid but it’s not something I’d pick up for myself. If they had this flavor with a black tea base… now that I’d probably give a try.
I forgot I had a teabag of this, a freebie thrown in to my Kusmi order. So sure, why not? Which means that this log is a review of the teabag more than the tea itself (because I already know I like the tea).
This teabag is funky. It’s a rectangle and made of a not-very-tight-mesh muslin-like material. It doesn’t really give the leaves room to expand; theoretically the leaves could expand into the top of the rectangle, but they don’t. Instead they clump down at the bottom of the rectangle and form a pretty hard-packed ball o’ leaf when steeping.
The smell is simply delicious but the taste is a bit harsher than the loose leaf version – not quite so smooth and silky. The caramel also isn’t hitting me as strongly as it did in the loose leaf version so it’s coming across more fruity than caramel-covered fruit. It’s still a tasty tea though and doesn’t require any additives to smooth it out.
Is the loose leaf better? Yes. But not by a ton.
Would I buy the teabag version? No. The loose mesh of the bag material lets little bits of tea scatter about my counter top which means that the bag really isn’t all that neat or convenient, the only real reason I’d go for bags. Also, the lack of expansion room available kind of makes me frown, though I suppose since that doesn’t really seem to impact the taste of the tea, I can’t hold it against it. (Of course, I am assuming that the increased harshness and slight flavor change is due to broken leaves in the teabag, not a lack of room.)
Based on this single bag experience, Kusmi seems to do (weird but ultimately) decent teabags. Don’t think I’d go out of my way to get something in bag form but I wouldn’t turn it down.
Yeah, I know this is a Steepsterite favorite, but I just don’t love it. Actually, I’m not sure how much I even really like it.
It is a pretty darn frou-frou cup of tea. I’m not against frou-frou or anything (hello, pink monkey) but it really seems like that is all this is. Predominately jasmine with a hint of rose, this isn’t very Earl Grey-y. In some ways it reminds me of Mariage Freres 1854 (another mild and jasmine-y EG) but in other ways… not so much. It doesn’t seem as full flavored as 1854; I think 1854 had a woodsier taste to it that gave it more depth, and depth is something I’m just not finding in this tea.
There is an astringency that has camped out on the tip of my tongue and refuses to leave. It is pretty much requiring that the next time I have this tea, there will be additives (which I have had it with before but was unable to give it my full attention). Though I am a little concerned about that though since this tea really doesn’t seem strong enough to hold up to creamer. I might end up with jasmine flavored hot milk.
As it cools, there are hints of Earl Grey, but it blends into the astringency at the end of the sip making this just taste a bit bitter. The EG does hint at a more solid tasting tea but it doesn’t save it from overall tasting like a weak third steep.
Eventually I suppose I’ll give this one another try to see if milk and possibly sugar saves this but I’m thinking that this one is just not a match for me.
Yay! Grown up peach gummy tea! This makes me happy! A great celebration tea for what has been a great celebration weekend – today is my birthday (and it’s been fantastic) but even cooler – yesterday the husband and I paid off our house! So yeah, I’m pretty happy with life at this moment and this super-sweet, tasty, floral and fruity gummy-like tea keeps the happy going! YAY!!!!
I’m giving this a bump because apparently this is the tea I crave when I want a toasty, darker oolong. It’s sweet and roasty but doesn’t make me think of cigar smoke. There’s a lot going on in this tea. I’ve already mentioned the sweet and roasty but there’s some stone fruit, some honey and even some raw-sugar-like notes. It’s woodsy and somewhat autumn-y with slight notes of rawness that remind me of Nilgiri but in a smooth way I can totally get behind. As the tea cools, the flavor continues to develop, getting more and more complex. I don’t normally go for darker oolongs but this one is worth being the exception.
ETA: Gave some of the second steep to the husband and he said that it reminded him a bit of genmaicha. And now that he says that, I can see it. It’s got a similar roasty, toasty, smooth taste.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a Chinese green so this was a bit shocking to my palate, especially because this seems like a pretty bold Chinese green – I just wasn’t prepared for it! It’s very fresh and vibrant tasting – very grass/hay tasting with a spike of something sharp that I sometimes read as mineral-y and sometimes read as nutty. Even reading that note as mineral-y, this still isn’t briny/salty which is a note I get from a lot of Chinese greens. Instead, it’s more sweet with almost a fruity taste to it. It has lots of flavors going on and has a great fresh and bold taste (for a Chinese green). Quite lovely! Thanks so much to TeaEqualsBliss for sharing this one with me!
The dry leaf smells tangy, creamy, fruity and rich. The flavor is darker and deeper with really only a hint of milk oolong. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have guessed that this was a milk oolong based on the taste. The smell, sure, but not the taste.
The taste is dark and heavy on my tongue and reminds me a bit of Samovar’s Four Season oolong (which I never really had all that much luck with). The way this differs from FS is that this one does have a lighter top note to give it better depth. The top note isn’t floral or even really sweet but somehow manages to make me think of fruit. Actually, I take that back, it makes me think of the tangy fruit notes in Valrhona’s Manjari chocolate ( http://www.valrhona-chocolate.com/Grand-Cru-Manjari-Bar-246oz_p_48.html ).
And I would say more but my cup is gone. * Poof * So yeah. I suppose it’s pretty tasty.
I’ve got some serious Steepstering to catch up on. Saturday night, I (through my own stupidity) broke my Zojirushi. Not awesome. At all. But with the combination of an understanding husband, an Amazon Prime free trial, five additional dollars for a next day shipping upgrade and, of course, the joy that is the internet, I am now the proud owner of a new Zojirushi (the CD-WBC40). Thank goodness. The kettle and I just weren’t getting along.
To celebrate the return of temperature-controlled water-dispensing to the household, I thought I’d give this one another go, this time with Shinobicha’s suggestion of just a tiny amount of water. I did 4.2g of tea to 4oz of water and gave it about 30s in my preheated Tokoname.
First off, I was surprised at how mild this was with so much leaf. And sweet! Not quite creamy like my first delightful taste of this, but still very enjoyable. Oddly, it made me think that if the Japanese made green tea gum (what am I talking about? I’m sure they do somewhere), this would probably be what it would taste like. Like a sweet mint gum but without the mint – just the sweetness and freshness.
I’m still not raising the rating any on this one though because 1) for a higher rating, I need easily-found buttercream and 2) as tasty as this is, there’s not a whole lot of depth to the flavor aside from sweetness and fresh green-ness. But still, this ratio is definitely worth repeating.
I didn’t notice that this was sweetened when I bought this but drinking it? OMG, do I notice. In fact, that’s all I notice. Cane sugar and ascorbic acid. HORRIBLE. This tastes like any typical bottled “tea” that you’d find at a gas station. Truly horrible. Two sips and I threw the rest away.