A C Perch's
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
I found a little bit of this leftover in a random HOME stash and had it cold brewed in my Steep & Go! Apparently I was NOT using the Steep & Go properly so NOW I am having much more luck with it! YAY! Duh…me! Anyhow…I don’t really think Cold Brewed is the way to go with this one. I do – however – LOVE this one HOT – and will keep the rating as-is.
Ah! Finally! I find Lapsang Souchongs to be special occasion for me. Typically, only when it’s cold and rainy. Since the summer has mysteriously disappeared and it’s torrential downpour, I am finding myself looking for some smokey comfort!
Hello A C Perch. And thank you so much Angrboda.
I used about 1tsp of leaves for ~5oz and steeped for.. ~3 minutes? All approximate, but I’m busy and just enjoying being able to sit down and have a cup of tea finally!
The taste is wonderful.. smokey pine with a nice black tar flavour. It’s got a sweet caramel layer to it as well. Not so much caramel in the taste, but the feeling (thick). Though it is sweet for sure. Just a mysterious sweet.
mmmMmm yes. This is exactly what I needed on this cold rainy (summer) day. Delicious LS.
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:
I brewed up a cup of this for lunch today after not having had it for quite a while. When I first tried this tea I was very excited about it but then ultimately underwhelmed. I don’t know if it was just my tastes at the time (which are definitely shifting) or my expectations shifting or what, but I enjoyed this one considerably more this time around. Nice, natural raspberry with a tasty oolong base. I feel like I should brew another cup of this sometime when I’m not eating while drinking it and do another review.
This is one that the boss and I drink copious amounts of at work, and the boss especially is very fond of it. And yeah, once again ACP’s steeping instructions are Teh Krazey! A fruit flavoured blend of black and white, there is NO WAY I’m steeping that for 7 whole minutes. And there is even less way I’m doing it in boiling water. I can only conclude that the good people at ACP like their tea vastly different from how I like mine.
Anyway, fruit flavoured black and white. I have not been able to discover exactly what sort of fruit, but there is some sort of citrus peel in there and on the whole I think it tastes vaguely tropical, so my best guess is orange and something else. Perhaps pineapple or passion fruit. I have finally succumbed to curiosity and sent them an email asking about it.
The first time we bought it, it was the boss’ choice and I think she was initially drawn to it because she liked the tin, and then found the description interesting. She has since then requested the tin re-filled. We have a selection of six different ones to choose from and as it looks like now, three of them are always this, the Late Summer blend and the internationally acclaimed Raspberry Oolong. Slowly we are beginning to understand that the remaining three needs to be flavoured as well, because unflavoured teas, even those that we otherwise really enjoy, just don’t seem to fit in properly in the work place and they’re never even half as nice when made there.
I’m very certain of the orange, and here at home where I can brew it far better than I can at work, it’s very very orange-y indeed. I can also detect some floral notes around the edges, which I attribute to the inclusion of white in the blend. This flavour is shaped like a half globe. Most of it is orange-y fruit flavour, the flat bottom surface is the black base and the curved surface is the floral note. I’m not really getting much of the black base here, but I’m rather getting the impression that it would be very noticable if it weren’t there.
Brewed here at home, under more controlled conditions than is possible at work, I’m finding it really rather pleasant. At work, it very much varies. Not surprising considering the white content and the inability to really control water temperature much.
I’m slightly surprised that the boss has fallen for such a tea under those circumstances, but really, even though the quality of the individual brews vary, it’s not at all a finicky tea. As mentioned, brewing conditions are FAR from controlled and we don’t always have time to actually hang around in the lunchroom until tea is finished brewing. We make a liter at the time in a thermos using those filterbags that you put leaves in yourself, and it has happened more times than I can count that a tea has had a good half hour because we were distracted by Evil Work and forgot about it. I think that’s part of the reason unflavoured teas just don’t work well there. Added flavouring can hide a LOT of abuse.
Yay!! Raspberry Oolong!
After a beautifully sunny and warm bike ride (finally!) – I arrived to find a white parcel sticking out of my mailbox. NO way! No Way No Way! Angrbodas wonderful parcel! Which meant that A. C. Perch samples were just waiting for me to drink them. So, me and my massive smile made a wonderful cup of this legendary oolong (with filtered water! Finally!)
Dry:…It is beautiful. Smaller green and larger, twisted black pieces of leaves with raspberry chunks. Oh jeez this is the bees knees. The smell brings me back to ANY raspberry bush I have had an intimate encounter with (by intimate I mean scouring a bunch of bushes for 2 or more hours in order to eat any raspberries in sight).
Liquor: The smell is not super raspberry on the nose, but more of a linger in the background. The forefront smell is a combination of roasted and green oolong. The taste – delightful. It is a very well balanced cup. I can clearly taste a light raspberry.. which reminds me of raspberry iced tea. But not fake flavouring. The roasted note is mild but definitely present… and I feel like the last bit of a sip has a more green buttery/baked goodness to it.
Wow. Well rounded delicious tea. I am on my second steep and this time around I did a longer steep (1.5 min vs. 5 min)… This is different for me as usually I steep oolongs for shorter periods of time at lower water temperatures but this definitely needs a longer steeping time and high temp to bring out the raspberry. Ooh jeez my cup keeps draining so fast. I swear there is a small leak at the bottom of my mug and sneaky sugar ants are drinking it all up. Or it’s me… but that means I will have to order some more of this tea. hmph.
Thank you SO Much Angrboda! A great tea that is very much appreciated!
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.
EMPTY THAT BOX!
I got this one as a free sample with an ACP order. They’ve started doing that, I’ve noticed, tossing in one of their satchets as a free giftie. I’m just hoping that eventually they’ll put one in that isn’t already a confirmed dislike for me. With this one it was the ginger. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really like ginger at all, so I needed to get this one out fo the way some other way. It seemed a good candidate for a cold brew so that’s what I did.
The citrus is coming out very nicely this way, both in aroma and flavour, where the ginger is somewhat more to the background. Now THIS I like! The ginger adds sensation mroe than flavour, really. It actually tastes a bit like a fizzy lemonade that’s gone flat. That’s not really a bad thing if you ask me.
A surprising like on this one!