545 Tasting Notes
I have steeped the Ceylon leaves again. The wet leaves smell more strongly of dusty cinnamon when I removed them from the tea as well as of dried old paper. The tea smelled of dust, paper, and old under its natural tea-y smell. It still tastes good, but much weaker. I will steep it longer the second time next time. I don’t think it will manage a third steep.
This morning I moved on to the next tea in my A&D DFT Series 1 set – the Ceylon. The leaves are dark chocolate colored with hints of red tones on some. They are medium in length and cylindrical in shape. The smell is rich, sweet, and dusky when I put my nose above the open tin. The tea is a medium golden brown. It smells warm and tea-y, not strongly though. The leaves have unfurled to a consistently medium chocolate shade and smell like light cinnamon dust with a hint of fresh artichoke hearts. I know, odd, but I’m new to tasting notes and I keep sniffing and thinking what does this smell like, how can I describe it. I’m better with colors than smell and taste. This tea was a smooth, enjoyable black to drink. It had a slightly drying in a good way mouth feel, much like the Dragonwell from the set. I can see how these two teas were picked by the same people. This tea is another hit for Series 1.
Last night, I had a second and third brewing from my Dragonwell leaves. They were both as tasty and enjoyable as the first, if not better. I think I could have gotten more brewings but it was quite late and I needed to get to bed.
2nd brewing: 5 min
3rd brewing: 7 min 30 sec
I was so excited and surprised when my A&D DFT Series 1 arrived today, only three days after I had ordered it.
The Dragonwell came in a medieval green and white labeled tin. The leaves are flat and varies in shade from light-medium to very dark green. The smell is green tea, vegetal, musty, and soft. The tea is a pale yellow and oh so good! The leaves became long and thin and muted deep spring green. The smell was fresh and tea-y. The tea tastes green and light and a bit bitter in a good way. It’s Damn Fine and I’m about to brew the leaves again for a second cup.
This morning, I continued on my clearing out of the tea cupboard. My mom brought this Earl Grey back from Charlotte, NC, where she was visiting my uncle, for me. I remember it being a strong black with no Earl Grey flavors when I first had it. I brewed it for a shorter time this morning and it was much the same. The second brewing produced a cup of good strength.
Second brewing: 6 min 30 sec.
I tried the Vanilla Bean with milk this morning, per Jillian’s suggestion, and it was much better this way and more drinkable. It still has the strong vanilla smell and only a general black tea taste. I will finish the box as a morning black though. This does not make me interested in buying more Mighty Leaf teas.
This tea is another from a sampler pack of bagged tea on my quest to reduced some of the nearly finished boxes of bagged tea in my tea cupboard. I brewed a cup of Gunpowder Green Tea earlier while waiting for dinner to cook at the same time I made the husband the Vanilla Bean. It tasted lightly of green tea with no bitterness. I saved the bag, in case the re-steeping the Vanilla Bean experiment went well, to try re-steeping. Since it did, I’m glad I did. I’m surprised I never tried to re-steep bagged tea before.
I made the husband a cup of Vanilla Bean while we were waiting for dinner to cook (chicken enchiladas – yum!). The husband is a coffee drinker and I wanted to see what he’d think of the strong tea. I did brew it for a min less for him – three min instead of four. He said it had a lovely vanilla smell but no vanilla taste which was discerning to him because it seems like it should taste of vanilla if it smelled so much like it. He said the tea wasn’t overly strong so the decreased steeping time seems to have helped.
I don’t ever re-steep bagged teas. But this one was quite strong and I brewed it for less time than recommended so I decided to try brewing it a second time. I was much surprised to be right when it turned out tasting much like it had this morning with a little less strength. It still has little vanilla taste and is still bitter.