90 Tasting Notes
How strange that my last tasting note two years ago was for this tea and, not even realizing it, I reached for it this morning! This is still one of my favorite teas though I do not reach for it as often now due to the time constraints of dealing with two children.
This morning I used a bit more than a teaspoon of this in my 12oz tetsubin and did an initial infusion of 1 1/2 minutes. The second infusion I’m drinking now was steeped for 3 minutes and is darker than the first. I probably could have gotten away with a 2 minute steeping time. I’ll likely do a third infusion at 4 1/2 minutes and might even get a fourth. I’ll have to update this if I do.
On the third infusion of this and loving every moment. I’m so glad I took advantage of Chi of Tea’s samples offer and if the other two teas are as good as this I will definitely be ordering from this company.
The first two infusions (2 and 4 1/4 minutes respectively) had identical color and flavor: a deep red liquor with an earthy-sweet and slightly floral orange flavor. The third infusion (7 1/2 minutes) has a slightly lighter, deep peachy-red color with a slightly lighter flavor.
I had to do a lot of experimenting to find just the right steeping time for this tea. I started with the recommended 3 minutes and gradually lessened the time. I think I finally got it down this morning. 2 1/4 minutes seems to be just right for my tastes.
That is totally what this tea reminds me of in both taste and fragrance. One of my friends describes Lapsang Souchons thusly: “Smells like beef jerky, tastes like tires.” I have to agree with the smell part but you know, I LIKE beef jerky. Quite a lot actually! My favorite is hickory smoked with teriyaki-glazed coming in close second.
A lovely medium-amber color with a malty/earthy/fruit flavor. I even picked up a couple floral notes and a bit that I want to say was . . . pumpkin? Yes, definitely pumpkin for a few sips there.
I oversteeped this yesterday and was interested to note that the flavor overlay was distinctly different from that of a Chinese black that has been oversteeped. Not quite bitter, more like, I suppose woody would be one way to describe it.
I’ll admit, my interest in this tea was mostly because my Pakke’s family is from the section of Friesland that lies in The Netherlands. After tasting it I’m very glad that I decided to purchase it.
I’ve had this twice since my package from Upton tea came in yesterday. It is a very enjoyable tea with or without milk though I wish I had some cream so I could try it with it’s traditional presentation. The first infusion requires precisely 4 minutes, anything over and it starts getting quite bitter. If you go for a second infusion you can be much more lenient with the time, I forgot about it while dealing with my kids but even at 10 minutes there was no bitterness.
One of the random teabags that Dan sent to me. I really like this one, can’t say as I’ve had a good apple-flavored tea before. This was juicy and slightly tart, very much like a Gala or Pink Lady apple, though not tart enough for Granny Smith.
Many heartfelt thank yous go out to Dan for his generous gift of this fascinating tea! I have been waiting for enough money to be able to order it for months now only to find out last week that the company had closed up shop. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed but then Dan stepped up with his generous offer of a sample of this tea and I must say I was over the moon.
But of course Murphy had to have a good joke on my behalf this morning. As I was waiting for my tea to steep my son needed to use the bathroom. Being just under four he still needs someone in there to make sure he washes his hands. Just as he was turning on the faucet I caught a glimpse of the time on my watch and I let out an expletive. MY TEA! Rushing to the kitchen I hurriedly removed the leaves from the pot and looked at my watch again. 8 1/4 minutes! I had oversteeped it! This tea I had been waiting so long to try and would never be able to buy more of. Not one to waste tea and being much more hopefully optimistic than most (or just plain mule-stubborn!) I poured a cup, added sugar and waited for the liquid to cool a bit.
Oh my goodness! I was overjoyed to find that this is one of those rare teas that do not go bitter when mildly oversteeped. The toasty, nutty notes hit my tongue first. It wasn’t until about halfway through the cup that I picked up the vaunted cocoa flavor that had hit me full in the face when I opened the sample package. I certainly tasted it through the rest of the pot though!
Currently working on my second pot (9 minute infusion) and the flavor is just as lovely as the first steeping.
Again, many many thanks to Dan! I’m looking forward to trying the other teas he sent as well :)
Still loving this. It is definitely going on my list of “teas to keep in stock AT ALL TIMES”