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Recent Tasting Notes
When I got to the Perch shop in Aarhus were I live during the autumn, it was one of these perfect days. I had got a lot of good response on my MA thesis and lots of funny assignments on my internship, that I got downtown to buy something new to drink for my evening-studies. And what is more perfect than go to Perch to buy new teas and some ginger cookies?
Anyway, when I got in to the shop, the woman behind the desk laughed for herself. (I had been there two days a week since their opening to buy new teas so well, and I believed I went there the day before as well.) When I smelled the tea I got seduces by it sweet scent. It was hypontic and heavy in a way I never smelled before. I bought it and the first thing I did was to made a large cup, I got my book about the Scandinavian design that I was suppose to read and took a seat on the large bench on the balcony, in the sun.
I smelled the tea and the sweetness was so dominant and so hypnotic. In my first sip, I could taste the fudge, the cream. The second steep was more fruity, still fudge and caramel but a fruitiness of something I never been tasting before. Even if I got seduced by its scent in the shop, I lost myself after tasting it. I fell in love completely! This one is really a favorite that I need to have at home. It’s one of my most-have teas. If you are able to get to Perch, try it. It’s so interesting and so good. Love at first sight!
I’ve been drinking this one for a couple of weeks. I bought it when I was looking after my White Symphony tea and I couldn’t in the shop decide which of those two that were the one (The special takeaway cup) I was looking for so that’s why I bought both. But The special one was the White Symphony.
If I should talk about this tea, I am still confused because I have no clue of what I think. When I smelled it I loved the strong scent of Black Currant, but when I were tasting it, after been drinking White Temple, White Symphony and White Mulberry which are my absolute favorites of Perch’s teas, this one were quite boring. I like it though but its just tea for me. It doesn’t give me the wow-feeling. But still it’s drinkable. When I don’t like so much is that the flavor is so mild and for someone who likes milk and sugar in their tea, I think this one would be a good morning tea, or night tea before going to sleep. I haven’t tried this one as an ice tea, but I think it can be okey.
Have acquired a tiny little stress-related tic in my left eyelid. It’s tiny, but it’s driving me up the wall. Don’t feel particularly stressed, but there’s always a certain constant level of stress these days because of Reasons. I don’t dare tell you about that yet. Mustn’t jinx it.
Having this again this afternoon. This time I took care to only use about two thirds of the leaf I used last time, and it yielded a much better result. The creme note came out very clearly, the coconut note was about the same as before, and I quite clearly got some elderflower notes as well. Best of all, that courgette-y aftertaste of the white tea in the blend was much diminished.
This felt like rather a larger change then these sorts of adjustments usually result in, so I’m giving it a few more points.
Once again the new Perch’s shop has let me down. Some of you may recall having heard me complain about how the girl in the shop the first time I was there told me that the minimum amount was still 100g. I was so disappointed and decided to whine about it on their facebook page. A representative of the company then told me on Facebook that I would be welcome to buy less than 100g at almost the same time as a former colleague of mine replied to my message saying that she had had no trouble buying less than 100g of something the day before in the same shop. Today I was then told by a different person in the shop minimum 100g again. She didn’t seem very interested in what I had been told on Facebook previously, so I had to get the full 100g again. I didn’t have my phone on me, so I couldn’t show it to her anyway. I reckon it’s no use making a fuss about it in the shop. If two different people have told me this, then that’s likely what they’ve been told by their boss and they wouldn’t be allowed to let me have my way either way. So I have whined about it on Facebook again, requested a clear answer as to who’s right or wrong and if I should be allowed to buy less than 100g at the time, then could this please be communicated out to the personel? So now we’ll just have to see what happens next.
Otherwise I’ll just continue shopping via their website in the comfort of my own home where I don’t have to squint to read the squiggly old-fashioned text on rather shiny brass-coloured tins. I have an awfully difficult time seeing it. I’ve loved this shop. I would like to continue to love this shop. Right now they’re not really making that very easy for me.
This is a new blend from AC Perchs, and when I first saw it announced on their facebook page I thought it would be flavoured with mandarins, as in the little citrus fruits that look like miniature oranges. Turns out it isn’t. (It’s not flavoured with Chinese imperial civil servants either) It’s even more interesting because it has coconut, creme and elderflower. The coconut and creme, I can take it or leave it, but I love things that are elderflower-flavoured. Elderflower cordial is one of the best things to ever come into existance.
It’s not truly a green base, though, because it has white tea blended in as well. I can taste this as well by the courgette-y, walnut-y aftertaste. I haven’t been too keen on white teas lately, which I’m about to be somewhat challenged on. The other one I got to day is a white base… Oh well! This one does have that courgette-y aspect that is part of why I don’t much care for white, but it’s fairly subdued and only on the aftertaste, so it’s not really a big deal in a blend like this.
I’m also getting the coconut on the aftertaste, but not in large amounts. It mixes in well with the notes and almost manages to hide among them while in a peculiar way still being quite strong. It’s like strong and subtle simultaneously. How does that work?
The coconut is particularly clear on the actual sip, though, and the creme is also showing up there. The creme is more a feeling rather than a flavour really. I quite like that. I once had a cream flavoured tea and it seemed to me to be a waste of both tea and flavouring because I could have achieved the exact same result with a simple plain black tea and adding a smidge of cream myself. In this blend, however, I’m not getting that feeling, so that’s the ideal creme-ness for me.
The elderflower is a lot more difficult to pin down. I can’t really take a sip and say ‘that note there is elderflower’. It’s more sort of all over the place, a diffuse sort of elderflower-y cloud permeating through everything else. I should have liked this note to be a little clearer, but then again, I really like elderflower.
Husband says he really enjoyed this one. He says it reminds him of something but he couldn’t think what it was.
I think I may have over-leafed a little bit on this cup though, so it might be possible to bring this note out better. I also suspect that this is a blend that would perform rather well as a cold brew. I must remember to try this as well. It really does need a little more experimentation. For that reason, the rating might change in the future. I’m quite pleased with it right now, though.
So after steeping that White Mulberry for 6 minutes, it wasn’t too daunting to leave this in the basket for 8, in accordance with the instructions on the bag.
Dry, this tea smells sweet and fruity. It’s very pretty, all long leaves and flower petals. In the cup, it’s all blackcurrant. And nicely done, too – it’s very present both in the nose and in the sip. The elderberry would have been a nice companion, though – again, this is me and my search for those complex, surprising trickster teas.
I’m definitely enjoying this one, though, and I look forward to trying it iced.
[Sample gifted by my sweet friend T, October 2013.]
It’s no coincidence I picked this as my second tea to try from that massive gift batch from T – rhubarb is something I love growing in my garden and cooking with – I’ll even get excited about rhubarb cordials and lemonades, but in tea? Firstly, I feel much of the complexity of the rhubarb flavour is lost in a warm beverage, and secondly, it’s just a really hard one to mimic.
So seeing how that White Mulberry floored me, I figured I’d just go with this one now, or T will demand my firstborn or something.
There is actually a convincing, albeit elusive note of rhubarb in the dry tea. This doesn’t really stay with the brewed tea, however, and in the cup, the flavour is very subtle. It’s very astringent, bordering on bitter, and completely lacks the creaminess I expect from a cream-labeled tea.
However, I think this is one of those greens that are extremely sensitive to brewing – there are no specific instructions on the site, and T did hers at 80C/6 minutes, so I went for 80C/3 minutes, which seemed like a fair middle ground.
I’m definitely going to experiment with what’s left of the sample, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to squeeze the complexity of flavour I want out of it – much like that quince tea from Kränku, this is a bit of a one-trick pony, and an easily spooked one at that.
[Sample gifted by my sweet friend T, October 2013.]
Again, I cheated a little. I surreptitiously emptied the tiny tiny sample left of this that I’d been clinging to into the extra super pretty Lupicia tin I got in October. Poof, gone! Because thanks to T. and her unsurpassed Christmas gift giving skills I now have a full tin’s worth of this. I could not be happier about that, as I absolutely love it.
So good. There’s so much melon in the nose, but then when I taste it, there’s a whole new set of unexpected flavours.
[Sample polished off in Rome, December 2013.]
[Gifted by my sweet friend T. in Rome, December 2013.]
I’m feeling a little like Veronica Mars here (channeling Goodfellas), but this really is one of those, just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in! moments.
You know – you sit there, all smug, having logged all the teas in your cupboard. And then it happens. Mail time. SBLAM! Your lovely darling friend T… sends you more T. And you have 11 new samples.
I’m overly excited about the whole thing, so I’ll just get right to it.
The dry tea is beautiful, with strands of colour, the occasional amber chunk of something or other, and long, slender leaves – even after having bravely traveled to me in an envelope! In terms of scent, White Mulberry carries a strong note of fudgey sweetness. As it steeps (at a recommended 8 minutes/80C) this turns into a maltier, more full-bodied fudge, which bears a strong resemblance to Mariage Impérial (!) albeit (and predictably) with a vegetal base note.
In the cup, I’m really loving this. It’s weird and complex and a little confusing; just how I like ‘em. There’s some tartness right at the beginning of the sip, then it dissolves into a charmingly ambiguous vegetal note that then, in its turn, slides straight into something surprisingly malty.
I absolutely love it – but not as much as I love you, T – thank you, you’re the best; you really made my day with this.
For the moment I discover A C Perch teas, and during the weeks that I’ve been living in Denmark I have bought ten different teas, but i believe it will be more. Anyway. White Temple is one of my favorites of Perch teas.
When you smell on the tea, its fresh and fruity in its scent. I can feel a dominant scent of papaya and mango. When you drink the tea the sweet mango taste is strong. In the aftertaste the orange and papaya brings forward the freshness in the drink.
White temple is also perfect with fruit especially pears. It is a very fresh combination.
This one is the tea that I am drinking when I’m working. Especially when I work with my creative stuff. I like this one a lot, because the taste is kind of bittersweet. At first you can taste the rhubarb which are kind of sour but sweet, after that it gets like a bittersweet after-taste. The mix between bitter and sweet makes it very interesting.
It also fits with cookies and desserts with ginger, lemon and chili. I tried it with A.C Perch Ginger cookies and the tea really emphasize the spiciness in the ginger. Try it with lemon and ginger cupcakes. Just a suggestion.
I have been drinking this tea three times now and it’s so delicious that I can’t stop drinking it. When I smelled on the tea at A C Perch Tea Shop, my first thought was candy. The tea had a sweet but sourish and fresh scent. I think it’s because of the pomegranate and elderflower. First time I tasted it was as a takeaway and from the first sip I loved it. The flavour of pomegranate comes as an aftertaste, which makes the tea even more interesting and more tasty. At first I didn’t catch the name of the tea and I was searching for the “right one” for a couple of days until I found it. When I finally got it, I loved it even more. So this one I can really recommend. I prefer to drink the tea warm but it’s also good as an ice tea and lukewarm.
So the new AC Perchs shop opened on Friday! YAAAAY! I stopped in there on my way home from work this afternoon. Work. Yes. Nose to the grindstone once again. I want more summer holiday as I was not finished with it thank you very much. Anyway. I was rather looking forward to this shop opening as it’s one of my favourite places to shop online even though I have to get at least 100 grams of each item. I was hoping with a real shop where they would measure it out on scales for me, I could get less at a time, and maybe have a sample of whichever tea I might be interested in but not certain I would care about.
Well. Tough bloody luck. I was told I could still only get a minimum of 100 grams. And yeah, I could get samples, there were a basket of pre-packed ones to choose from, which at a glance of course turned out to be the same ones as they offer online.
I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around the logic of this, and I have to say I’m now feeling rather disappointed.
So, having spent a few minutes scouting out all the things I’d have liked to get samples of, I was forced to control myself with one certainty (vanilla, which I would probably have got in that amount anyway, as self lurves vanilla black and even if it was Awesome, it’d definitely get used) and one new one which is this one.
It smells like marcipan and sweeties both before and after steeping. I reckon this would be pretty good around Christmas as it reminds me strongly of Christmas marcipan confectionary.
I’m expecting a marcipan-y taste as well now. Creamy and sweet and sort of thick-ish. I’m fearing that it’ll turn out to be a lot more sort of raw almond-y, which like other nuts, can be slightly astringent in flavour. For me, anyway. (This is why I don’t much care for hazelnuts on their own. Feels like chewing wood)
Strangely enough, it’s sort of a middle-y thing between the two. It’s definitely thickish and creamy and somewhat sweet, but it’s not particularly marcipan-y. It strikes me as rather more nutty than marcipan-y, but doesn’t have the astringency that I was afraid of.
I had to have a few sips before I could come to any conclusion on this, but I think I’ve decided that I rather like it as it is, BUT that, like vanilla, it will probably be excellent as a ‘mixer’ with other flavoured teas as well. I want to try it with my hazelnut brittle!
And another cold-steeped pitcher of this gone. Mostly posting this to say I steeped it for maybe 12 hours, rather than the usual 24, and that the longer steep definitely works better for drawing out the flavours. I use fairly little leaf, though, so I’m sure you can up that to balance it better.
Still so hot I haven’t even managed to have a cup of real tea today. It didn’t really rain that much yesterday, and now they’re saying it’s going to rain for SEVEN days straight starting tomorrow. Everyone else is all, ‘Boo!’, and I’m all, ‘TEA TIME!!!’
I love rain.
So yesterday, when I said I was going to make another pitcher, I did make another pitcher.
And now I find myself having to make yet another pitcher, because this is so very good it seems to just evaporate all on its own.
Sorry about the utter lack of variety in tasting notes at the moment, but the few teas I have yet to review are all problematic in their own way, so I’m procrastinating.
(Also this is just so very good.)
This time around, I cold-steeped this, as opposed to cooling a hot-steeped tea. There’s definitely a difference, and for the better – it tastes clearer and lighter, and even the most delicate flavours seem crisper, more well-defined.
Now this might be typical for cold-steeping versus cooling a hot-brewed tea of this kind, but I haven’t experimented with that much at all before, so I’m excited about these highly scientific findings.
Really, really good. I’m making another pitcher.
When I bought this, I got the tea in a paper bag, as per A.C. Perch’s usual routine. At Kastrup airport, my whole carry-on smelled like a ‘Caribbean whorehouse’, according to the security guy, who looked like he knew what he was talking about. The tea proceeded to invade my kitchen cabinet for more than a week, even after I put it in a tightly sealed plastic bag (I was out of canisters! Stop looking at me like that!). I do love a richly scented tea, but this over-the-top fruit explosion just seemed too artificial. It reminded me of those crazy technicolour infusions you get at Apostrophe (UK) or Argo (US).
Since those initial doubts, I have proceeded to treat this tea very badly, by continuously ignoring the ‘steep for 8-10 minutes’ directions. Let’s just say shorter steeping times suit my current schedule better. Today, however, I tried the 8 minutes. The difference isn’t huge, to be honest. It gets significantly darker and exhibits a slightly bitter aftertaste I’m not used to. The general body of the taste, however, doesn’t really change. This is a fairly simple tea, both scent wise, in the bag, and taste wise, in the cup – to me, both amount to a nicely balanced tropical fruitness, but picking out individual notes is a challenge. It’s tropical. It’s fruity. And that’s it.
Still, I’m very pleased with it. It’s easy to drink, works well to re-steep (at least if the initial steeping time isn’t so long, otherwise it tends to lose too much flavour) and I enjoy it very much cold – I’ve kept a big pitcher in the fridge for the past week. Drinking it cold (and steeped for a shorter period of time) brings out more character and complexity. A definite summer staple for me.
[Purchased at A.C. Perch’s in Copenhagen, June 2013.]
So I have been really quite angry today that I have all this great new tea that I can’t try due to infection of doom whose symptoms keep rotating (though today and yesterday’s rattling cough are new and yes I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow).
After dinner I decided to brew up a pitcher of Silver Yin Zhen Pearls, but alas it tasted awful perhaps partially due to a bit of soap and chai residue but mostly I think because it was an old tea from a clearance gift set, never cared for the pearls anyway.
So after that I thought anything would taste good and proceeded to brew this one from Angrboda, which I had actually measured out earlier in the day. I’m not liking it and I’m not sure why. It bares no resemblance to the pearls, that was all musty and stale perfume, this is fishy and metallic and calls to my mind shark (no idea). Might try a resteep but could just be my tastebuds being all wonky, should probably just go back to my throat coat :sigh:
And for December 12th we have… jasmine. Jasmine?! PERCH’S, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! December of 2014 will forever be known as the Month of Meh! If you want a detailed tour of my dislikes, then look no further than this Christmas calendar. All I need now is for hibiscus to show up. If it does, I might actually just refuse to drink it.
I get that there’s a certain risk involved when buying a tea calendar like this that not everything will be to your liking, but this is just ridiculous. We are halfway through and so far there has been one (ONE!) tea that I really liked, one that was at least interesting sounding, one that was acceptable and the rest have been at varying stages between meh and blegh.
I’ve had this one before when it was sent to me as a free sample. Didn’t like it then, don’t like it now. I don’t like jasmine because it’s so very very very floral. I find it’s like drinking perfume. Some people find it sweet and I can sort of see that, but it’s not a kind of sweetness that I enjoy.
Just Say No.
Here is another one, received as a free giftie with an order, and another fine example of how ACP tends to shoot rather past the target with these. I’m not keen on floral scented things to be honest, and out of those, jasmine is probably my least favourite. And I’ve accumulated two of these somehow.
I think this is meant to be taken in very small amounts. I can drink maybe half a small cup before the jasmine overpowers me with the perfume. It’s so…. little old lady.
Eh, I give up. It’s just so not me it’s not even funny. Obviously my Open Mind is having a day off or something.