430 Tasting Notes
Made a pot of this for both of us this morning, and got about half a mouthful of it before I had to run out the door for work with half a poptart in my mouth. Sadness.
Mmmm. This was just the cup of tea I was in the mood for. Straight, simple, tasty. It is a naturally sweet tea, and brewed as I did, didn’t get too bitter by the end of the pot. Brewed this Western-style in our new little teapot I picked up from Staples in their post-Christmas clearance for $3.50, two and a half minutes in boiling water. This tea is light and sweet, but leaves a pleasant aftertaste with just a hint of smoke. Thank you once again to Teavivre for their generous samples; this is going right to the top of my straight-tea collection.
. . . hum.
While I can taste the various fruits, and the mint calmed down a lot from the scent of the dry leaves into the brewed tea, it was . . . weak? Strange? Disproportionate? Yes, let’s go with the last one. Disproportionate. It should have been a lot better than it was. Oh well. We’ve learned our Teavana lesson.
Picked some of this up in their sale, for the price it was hard to resist for a straight oolong. Brewed about two and a half teaspoons in my gaiwan. First steep was five seconds, each progressive steep five seconds longer. Did five steeps, I’m sure I could have gotten many more.
This was an interesting drink. It brewed up very dark, despite the short steeps, with a dark golden liquid and a heavy aroma, vaguely vegetal. Someone else compared it to a pear; I wouldn’t say that, but it did have that kind of heavy fruity-planty quality to it. On its own, it was somewhat underwhelming; blended with dried fruits to bring out that natural headiness it could be very good.
Giant Thermos, etc. Vunderbar. We were very busy at work, so I barely got to the end of the Thermos today, and the cups that I poured ended up cold way too fast. It’s still decent while cold, retains a lot of the zing, but I don’t like iced tea in the slightest so the effect was lost on me.
My process for selecting a Giant Thermos o’ Tea is pretty basic, mainly because I tend to do it at butt-o’clock in the morning while I’m getting ready for work. Factors I have to keep in mind are caffeine content (preferably high), whether or not it will get bitter, and overall flavour. I tend to reach for the same small collection of greens, but this day I skipped over them and reached for this old favourite instead. Last Valentine’s Day, I picked up the little tin of this tea and some chocolates for my wife, and every time I drink it, I’m always surprised by how all-around delicious it is, like Santa’s Secret with a bit more chocolate.
It was kinda funny, though. As I was drinking, it was like reminiscing to an earlier, simpler time – a whole year ago. Well, maybe a bit more than that. But when we first discovered DAVIDsTEA, we stuck mainly to the flavoured blacks and herbals. Not sure why – maybe we were intimidated by the other choices, maybe we didn’t see the point of straight looseleaf teas when we could buy bagged, whatever. We have since gotten over that. But drinking this today reminded me of how good those flavoured blacks were to me, who had theretofore been subjected mainly to Red Rose.
Anyway. I think I’m going to back to some of the teas we got at the beginning, dig up old favourites. Now that I know a bit more about how to brew tea, especially blacks, properly, I think I might find some real treasures.
Back-logging a bit. One of my Giant Thermos o’ Tea selections for work. Discovered that my newly-loose-leaf-addicted coworker has also been drinking a buttload of it. I think I’m figuring out more and more that I prefer the smoky Chinese greens to the Japanese greens, and I think this has a sencha base. Regardless, it’s still delicious. The burst of fresh citrus from the orange makes it amazingly refreshing, and the good stuff from the green tea kept me bouncing.
I like the description of this smelling like books, because it really does. A sort of musty scent and flavour. I’m not sure how I felt about it. It was . . . wildly different from any other tea I’ve tasted. Then again, it’s one of the only straight aged pu’erhs I’ve ever sampled. I think I’ll have to try it again. I am definitely intrigued. Not going to rate this one quite yet.
I bless the student who gave my mom a sampler box of Tim Horton’s teas however many moons ago, because I could have a cup of this instead of burnt Red Rose. A solid Earl, but nothing special.
This time tried it blended with the Yunnan Golden Buds, and it did tamper down the more intense spice aspects of it. Still tasted overwhelmingly like gingerbread cookies (yum!) but without the burning after-effects of drinking this straight. Still cleared the ol’ sinuses right out. I do enjoy this in small doses, but I don’t think I’ll be reordering this particular blend.