A C Perch's
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.]
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. <3!
[Sample gifted by my sweet friend T, October 2013.]
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 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.
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!
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.]
This morning on my way to work I passed by a building where I saw this in the window
The sign says that they are opening both a shop and a tea room there in August this year.
YOU GUYS, IT MADE MY DAY!
They’ve had the shop in Copenhagen for over 175 years, of course, and they’ve also managed to get a foot in on the Japanese market as a luxury item so they’ve got a couple of shops there, but this is the first new shop in Denmark, and it’s right near where I live! I’ll be walking right past it every (work) day.
This, ladies and gentlemen, has the potential of becoming very very expensive. (While actually saving money, because I’ll no longer be bound to amounts dividable by 100g and I’ll no longer have to pay the (modest for within Denmark) shipping fee.
I am celebrating this with a cup of the Late Summer blend which contains cranberry and vanilla on a black Chinese base, and which is one of my absolute favourites from ACP.
Can it be August yet? Can it? Can it?
One more sipdown today, 184. :)
I’ve had this one for a while and its gone from unimpressive in my mind to quite tasty. Sometimes is fun to see how tastebuds change! Some teas get better, others get worse, and then there are those that don’t change. Now I appreciate a nice formosa oolong so much more than I used to, and also I appreciate slightly more subtle flavoring. Not that this one is super subtle, but it was subtle in comparsion to what I was drinking exclusively a year ago. It’s funny because I read my first tasting note of this and say (now), well that sounds delicious to me! But at the time it was not the flavor profile I was after. Glad I got to try this one and glad I had enough that I came around to it eventually.
Today I am drinking a number of teas that are penultimate sipdowns, meaning I have one more cup left. That way when I get back home in two weeks after my trip, I can sip down a bunch of things in quick succession. This is one such tea!
This is a really nice raspberry tea. As I have noted before, the raspberry is juicy and authentic tasting. It’s also a bit lighter than some highly flavored teas, and it’s one I wasn’t able to appreciate until much later in my tea tasting career. The oolong is a fairly generic formosa oolong, so it is neither green nor roasty, but it does contribute a few subtle plummy notes I think. A pleasant afternoon tea.
Lapsang souchong in the house!
Oh yes! I don’t even know the last time we had an LS in the house, but it has definitely been quite a while. A looooong time. So when I was buying tea for the boss and me at work anyway, I decided to stock up since it was from the same shop. Husband agreed with my assessment that this was a necessity and therefore not a frivolous purchase. So 200g of LS and 200g of two other favourite fruity teas. That should last us a while, and I’m sure you will all agree with me that this was hardly excessive. Nothing new, only old favourites. Unfortunately we are still living in the Age of Frugality. (Although there are good omens regarding the Age of Frivolity at the moment. Well. Better omens than before, anyway. We’re keeping everything crossed here.)
So I’m having the first cup of my Perfect LS in a longer time than I can remember. It’s like an old friend come home and it beats the Lapsang Bohea Husband and I drank at the meeting with Roughage yesterday by several horse lengths. Not that there was anything wrong with that one. It just wasn’t this one.
Actually, while we were there, Husband asked me what the difference was between a lapsang souchong and a lapsang bohea. My initial reply was something along the lines of, “uuuuuhh…”
Eventually I came up with an educated guess that it probably had something to do with the leaf grade as I know souchong refers to the rougher older leaves on the bush. I figured it was possible that the bohea would have been made using younger leaves.
Turns out I was completely wrong in my guess, but the basis for it wasn’t far off.
Regular old LS does use the older leaves (unless otherwise stated, of course), but bohea refers to the Wuyi mountains where the type originates. For this reason lapsang bohea is often more expensive because the growing area is so small and the demand is growing.
So while many do consider bohea superior to any old lapsang (and it probably is too), it’s not really anything to do with leaf grade as such.
So there you see, Steepsterites! The sort of trouble you can get yourself into when you think you’re smart.
This is from a very generous sample sent by Angrboda, thank you so much! I had sent her some tea from Mozambique, and was interested to compare with other different African teas. Kenya tea I have had before, Tanzania never.
Not sure why it took me so long to try this. Breakfast teas are usually the ugly ducklings of my tea cupboard – I only dare have them in the morning, but I never have tea at breakfast, so mid morning at most, and to brew loose leaf, I got to have my things. Loose leaf breakfast teas have a very narrow niche of opportunity with me. Here goes this one though.
First thing, I think I brewed it wrong. About 5 minutes with boiling water brought just below boiling point. It was too long or too hot, this brewed up a bit too tanninic, too astringent for my taste. Got to experiment with it, definetely a bit colder brew.
Other than that, oh this is tea indeed. A nice cuppa, so to speak. A lot of body, a lot of taste (though like Angrboda points, a sort of generic tea taste, no real individual notes), and I think a lot of caffeine (will be surer of this in a couple hours). It reminds of Ceylon teas mostly, and it´s a pretty different thing than the Mozambique tea I know – which is more like an afternoon tea almost. I think this would make an awesome base for flavors. And I really got to tweak those brewing parameters, this is worth getting right.
Sorry I haven’t been posting lately; I have finally reached that stage in my tea life where I am drinking tea but don’t have much of a desire to write about it. Mostly it’s not new tea, for one. Actually I have been missing my usual “tea times” for no good reason except that I am preoccupied and stressed. Tea would make it better, of course!
The first time I had this tea, I was underwhelmed. The second time, I was pleasantly suprised. This time I am not surprised, but it is pleasant. The raspberry is so juicy and natural tasting, and the oolong is a nice background. It’s not really easy to pinpoint as a green oolong or dark oolong, but rather has subtle characters of each. A slight touch of roastiness here, the hint of a floral background there. It’s really quite a nice blend.
Still trying to get through this at work. Our work-selection are still “stuff we would never get around to drinking otherwise.” When first I had this one I thought it was quite pleasant. Now, each time I have it, I like it a little less, and have as a consequence adjusted the points heavily downwards. I’m not sure what is causing this phenomenon, but I know that not all of it is due to the fact that it’s just not a very work-friendly tea, because I had the same experience when we had some of it at home still. But it definitely isn’t work-friendly. We have found that anything that is not black and flavoured doesn’t seem to be going well at work. I believe it has to do with the way we drink it there and the way circumstances dictate that we brew. In a 1 liter thermos, using a paper bag, unable to control water temperature and frequently oversteeping as we just don’t always have time to do something about it when it’s finished. Only flavoured black really seems to be showing up right in those circumstances, borderline abusive as they are. I think it’s because the flavouring of the tea hides the taste of the paper, and non-flavoured leaf is just wasted there. We have found few that didn’t just turn boring this way.
Anyway, what I was saying was that we are still trying to get rid of this one among others. Today I learned that it does not take kindly to being steeped for two hours and ten minutes. It was fine in the beginning. A bit strong, yes, but still okay. Once it started cooling down however… WHEW! Hello, Mr Astringency!
On the upside, though, but the time I got around to remembering to remove the bag of leaves from the thermos, it had turned a most lovely bright orange, which would have amused me greatly in most other sorts of tea. In this one it was merely slightly disturbing if I am to be completely honest. So two hours plus worth of steeping? Don’t do it again, self. Ever.