70 Tasting Notes
I was really excited about this tea. It brewed up strong and vegetal which tasted nice and bracing for the first few sips, when it was very hot. Then I helped make dinner (sopas! So good) and sort of forgot it was sitting there on the counter. By the time I got back to it, it was lukewarm and almost knocked me over with a nearly undrinkable bitterness. I’m not going to rate it based on this cup, though. I was somewhat distracted during the process of brewing so there’s a chance it was up to 10 degrees too hot or brewed up to a minute or two too long.
Exhausted and needing a tea fix, I waited in line (!) for tea this morning. The last white tea I had was really tasty, so I said “screw it” and picked this one. Kind of a mistake. There might be hibiscus or something in this, because it was pretty sour, more than I think the orange would account for, and not terribly nice. The smell was pleasant, spicy but not overpowering, but there was very little spice to taste in the cup…and yet, it still came through more clearly than the actual tea. This drink was much better smelled than drunk (drunk? don’t mind if I do! /whiskey).
I loved the clear, bright yellow color of this tea! Very sunshiney. This is actually my third cup, and I feel quite smug for finally winning at guess-that-smell: grape leaves! The soaked tea leaves especially have that vibe, bringing back memories of an old Army friend who made the best dolmas I’ve ever had.
There’s more to it than just “oh hey it has some veg-tastic undertones,” but that will have to wait. I have to get to the post office before it closes!
A surprise box of Upton samples appeared in my mailbox this afternoon. Oh, Claire. You really DO love me. A better friend, there is not! /yoda
I started with this Darjeeling blend. (Mug infuser also courtesy of Miss Claire. I’m starting to feel like this box may as well have contained samples of smack, a needle and instructions.)
Holy crap, boiling water is really hot. Did you know that? I like my tea plain most of the time, so I had to wait around for five minutes or so while it cooled down enough to sip (instead of just dumping in some milk or whatever). It had a nice mellow baked pumpkin-y smell, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe some kind of flower. Faint. Overall the fragrance was pretty BIG! and very pleasant. Once it cooled off, I could taste a little of that in the flavor as well.
When it was really hot, the flavor seemed light. The cooler it got, the more I could taste. Now, it could just be because I’m coming from a pot-a-day coffee background, but I always think tea has a delicate flavor. Subtle, especially when compared to the grassy-brick-to-the-face that is a Burundi dark roast. So I’m not sure how strong this is on the spectrum of tea. It tastes good and flavorful and bright.
The second brew still has plenty of that pumpkin smell I like and the flavor is great. I might actually like it even more the second time around…makes me wish I had a spiced pumpkin cupcake to go with it.
Man, I cannot WAIT to get my tea shipment. Lacking a tea/pot delivery on my stoop, the day was tea-free till late. Swooped through Starbonx on the way to class to get a perk infusion and wound up with one of these weird nylon bags of chai. It looks like mulch, so it must be good. (That IS how it works, right?)
Aaaanyway. It tastes like chai! Shocking. I removed the sachet after brewing and kept it for another soak. The second try was weaker but also kind of…sparkly. Almost carbonated. Spice was nice with a little kick. Way more expensive than the Numi stuff they have at the other place, though. My internal skinflint says, “hurry home, little teapot!”
There’s a little Starbucks kiosk at my community college where the desperate may buy their sundry caffeine fixes and perhaps a sandwich (usually in exchange for a promissory note for future progeny). I got coffee there once and it cured me of ever wanting it again!
Anyway, I decided to see if they would sell me a cup of tea, since it’s pretty hard to screw up a tea bag and some hot water. There was a wall of Numi tea selections in there and I chose a breakfast tea, since I’ve never found a bad one of those. Steeping went a bit long—I was doing some homework and forgot to take it out!—but it wasn’t bitter. It wasn’t very strong, either, just pleasant, mellow, and inoffensive.
I don’t know from tea, but this is all right. It’s sweet…real sweet. I admit, I love sweet drinks but hate the lingering sour taste of sugar. This tea neatly sidesteps that by being perfectly sweet with no harshness afterward. The spice feels like one apple-juice-steeping away from Christmastime.
Don’t drink the stuff in the bottom. Yow!