243 Tasting Notes
In case you have not noticed, most of my recent infusions have been ones I am doing in a travel mug on my ridiculously long drive to work – which means my tea is infusing for way longer than necessary and being drank while the leaves are still submerged in the cup. As one of my first entries (on a Dragonwell – I think Teavana’s) explained, this is how I usually drank green tea, over-infused so as to get every ounce of tea flavor out of a single infusion. Today is no exception.
I really want to finish the Golden Moon sampler. I have but a few samples left – I chose this one because I really needed to relax today and this usually does the trick. The little tiny pearls are perfectly curled and rolled into little balls, none of them are broken or damaged, no torn or flailing leaves, very nice. The aroma off of the un-infused tea is jasmine and green tea, so far so good.
Added the sample pack to my travel mug, filled ¾ with hot water and the rest with cold water (I do this so that the tea is not brewing so hot because it is going to infuse for so long – this is not correct practice, I know this, but I do not want to scorch it up front and have a wasted cup of tea while on the road.) The pearls took about ten minutes to completely unfurl into long green leaves with a light honey colored liquor, the fragrance is strong Jasmine. The flavor initially is green with some Jasmine. After a bit longer on the infusion, the tea shifts in flavor to be less vegetal green and more Jasmine. By the end of the cup, it is mostly Jasmine, no real other flavor playing any role here.
Overall, I like this tea, you cannot have it every day, but that is true of most people and most Jasmine teas. The floral aroma and smell is just too powdery and overwhelming to enjoy every day. When I need to relax and have something special, I could definitely see me reaching for a cup of this, it was very good, but too strong for every day.
I will not lie, this has little to no green tea taste – it is very sweet, there is definite melon and citrus flavor, it tastes like more of a juice than a tea, but I do find myself ordering one every time I go there.
Something about iced tea, I just like it to be sweeter, and the fact that it is fruity really is a strong selling point for me. Very little green tea flavor, but very good.
Happy Tuesday! Actually took some care to brew this one right today – 1 scoop tea, no additives, hot water, infuse 7 minutes. The tea is clean, crisp, refreshing, rejuvenating even, yet has an interestingly heavy mouthfeel. I feel good, but I am feeling better with each and every sip. A hint of vegetal flavor, a sweet almost minty after taste.
So I just brewed up some of this to make up for my poor experience this morning. Unfortunately, I got pulled into a meeting and it over-infused by like 20 minutes. sigh I will drink it, though now it is a bit too bitter. Added some sugar, downed it and onto the second (much shorter) infusion.
This time, I will add my sugar and milk and it should be perfect.
Found a tin of this tea this morning, and all I could think is “Where did this come from?” Duh, Adagio, but seriously, I do not remember ordering this at all. Anyway, since it looks mostly full, I supposed I never had it and should give it a shot. My theory is that when I brew my tea on the drive to work, I should always brew an oolong, green or white because they are more forgiving than say a black or a tisane. This of course also based on the ingredients in the blend. This tea is vanilla and oolong, so should be able to hold up to my hour long brew while commuting.
The smell of the leaves is overwhelmingly plain. No vanilla, no oolong, pretty much nothing. This concerned me a bit because as I said, I planned on way over-steeping this, so I added some rock sugar for safety and used below boiling water so that it did no scorch. Filled my travel mug with one heaping scoop of tea and 1/4 tsp of the rock sugar, added hot water and left for work. My first sip was around 7 minutes (so that I could get an accurate taste for this review). At this stage, the liquor is very pale, typical of oolong, there is a tiny hint of vanilla and oolong, but neither is a predominant or strong flavor, they both appear to be lost: hints of flavor hidden away in a background, calling faintly for your attention, but never quite getting it. I thought maybe I just needed some more time, so continued the infusion while driving, about 40 minutes. The liquor is now very dark, this is probably from the vanilla; the tea is still light in flavor and aroma.
The smell reminds me a little of oolong, but not really, something is lost in this, the vanilla kills the flavor I am used to and looking for. This is disappointing. There is vanilla flavor, but little to no oolong. Strangely, this is still a bit bitter with the sugar. I say strange because I very rarely find oolong to be bitter, it is also rare that I think vanilla is bitter, weird. Did I ruin it with my killer infusion? Maybe, but based on my first impressions, this was not what I was looking for anyway.
Oh well, I will finish the mug, because I prefer to start my day with oolong, it helps me get to that first coffee break, but it is looking more and more like that first break will be coming sooner rather than later. This is not undrinkable, just not what I was looking for this morning.
All Work and No Tea Makes Cinoi Very Annoyed.
Currently rectifying the above issue with this tea. It is towards the end of the tin. I have no idea how old this tea is at this point, but I know that I still love it, it is still fresh in the tin and I am glad I could turn to this in my time of need right now.
This tea is my new obsession – a few of the restaurants and delis by my job carry it and I buy a bottle whenever I see it. I do not normally purchase pre-made iced teas, it kind of goes against my nature – you lose some art and simplicity when buying a bottle, not to mention cost of one simple bottle and of course that I do not like to put damn-near-anything in my tea.
The tea is sweeter than I would usually drink, using pure organic cane sugar, so at least it is a sugar I approve of. The tea is like many bottled iced teas, but it has a uniqueness, a real oolong flavor with a smack of raspberry. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean, raspberry up front followed by the cool, refreshing, crisp and clean flavor of oolong. Absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend that if you happen to see this, or one of the other flavors from New Leaf to try it, you will not be disappointed!
I do not want to write a full review here, from my previous posts on the tea, you should know how I feel about it, but I wanted to add a very interesting note to it.
I brewed a full 16 ounces of this wonderful tea this morning at 5:45am Eastern. Drove to work taking a few sips at best, then proceeded to be swamped at work until about now (I am still swamped, I am on lunch break) but now, at 1:48pm Eastern, this tea STILL tastes as good as it did at 6am, the only difference is that the tea is now cold. The tea is still light, slightly sweet and delicious and taking this kind of abuse from me and still being delicious means I HAVE to update my rating.
Previous rating: 74
Had this today and I absolutely loved it, definitely my new favorite pu-erh.
This is a green tea pu-erh cake flavored like sticky rice. The little nest is very green with a remarkable lack of odor, until it gets hit with hot water. Once the hot water hit the cake and released a hit of sweet sticky rice and tiny natural outdoorsy smell, not at all like regular pu-erh, but clean in a way that makes you almost consider not rinsing before drinking, but the directions say to rinse for 30 seconds, so I obliged.
So 30 second rinse in hot water, then 30 second infusion, hot, no additives. The tea smells just how it tastes, like sweet, starchy, sticky rice mixed with a very sweet green tea. Similar to Genmaicha, but I do like this one a lot more. There is no earthy flavor or smell, this tea is the most mild pu-erh I have ever had (in cake form – as in the Chocolate Pu-Erh I rave about is actually more mild of a pu-erh, but I digress). You really still get the mouth-feel and richness of a pu-erh, but the lack of the fishy, outdoors odor and flavor really makes this one of the greatest pu-erhs I have ever had.
That being said, I believe this is my first green pu-erh cake and I should expand my horizons and not be so terrified of pu-erh, but I will definitely be buying more of these from Chicago Tea Garden…