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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve noticed that this one is actually a Keemum tea, and that I probably could have resteeped this sucker, but the leaves are already in the garbage.
I have company coming over, and it’s been pretty hectic, so I just wanted a no nonsense tea to jumpstart me in the morning.
I don’t know what happened to my water, since I started at around 8 oz, but it looks like it disappeared to around 6 oz. Bizarre. That’s never happened before.
I think I’m actually enjoying this the second time around more than the first. My first whiff of this tea, and I immediately though, cocoa! I have no idea where this comes from but even after several inhales I was still smelling a dark chocolate-y, spicy aroma. It almost reminded me of Yogi’s Stress Relief Kava blend, which has an immensely delicious smell if you’ve never had it.
Drinking this, I’m getting a faint hint of cocoa, mixed with a slightly tart taste that’s altogether delicious. This is all layered under a very delicious, robust taste of tea-ness. It’s a bit astringent, but not in a bad way at all.
After re-drinking the Twinings blend the other day, the two are so different that it’s really hard to compare them. Loose leaf is just completely far superior. I can’t even describe it. I think as I drink more of it, I’m appreciating that bold =/= bitter, and that this just damned tastes better. I find that I’m enjoying the act of sipping more than actually drinking, my face warmed by the steam, the aromas drifting up my nose, the flavor hitting my tongue, and the delicious and content feeling I get after I’ve swallowed.
And this is why tea will always be better than coffee to me.
And so the journey begins…
I just finished my first cup of loose leaf tea, and what a tactile experience it is! I brewed this up in my brand-new IngenuiTEA, using a teaspoon of Adagio’s blend, and steeping it for the recommended five minutes. I couldn’t help but sniff the little tin over and over again as I waited impatiently for the cup to finish brewing.
The tea steeped to a much more amber color than I was expecting, but I’ve read in several places that this is typical of Adagio’s blend. But the smell! It was so tea-like, so indescribable in a tea way, that my nose is too newb-ish to make out everything. It’s so awesome to watch those leaves unfurl and grow. It looks like an actual plant, and not dust from the factory floor!
The taste is amazing. Beyond the taste of the English Breakfast blend, and this tea in particular, I’m going to talk about the taste of the loose leaf itself. It tastes clean, and pure. It’s not bitter at all (the five minute steep time sort of freaked me out, because if you steep most bagged teas for that long, you have a fairly foul brew). It’s rich and smooth and nuanced. It’s almost like seeing in 3D for the first time. There’s no flatness of taste, or stale flavor. It’s just pure, unadulterated joy.
To talk about this English Breakfast – it’s a bit lighter than I think of when I think of English Breakfast, but it has a lot of the smokey elements that I can sometimes detect. It has an almost buttery quality underneath the main tea taste, with a pretty sweet aftertaste. It isn’t astringent at all, and rolls on my tongue in pure delicious awesomeness.
I am definitely craving another cup. How yummy! It’s like I wasn’t wearing glasses anymore, and now I can see! The only complaints I have right now is that I probably want this one a little stronger. I probably have to add a teeny bit more tea to my teaspoon.
Here comes a ridiculous question, regarding the teaspoon. How does everyone put their tea on the teaspoon? I tried digging my measuring spoon into the tin, but then freaked when I realized that I was probably breaking my precious leaves! So I washed my hands and dried them a million times before carefully picking up the leaves and placing them on the teaspoon. I wasn’t sure how to really “make” the teaspoon, though. The leaves are fairly wiry and long. It didn’t seem like a full “teaspoon,” even though the leaves were peeking out beyond the level point of the spoon.
I know I’m getting all technical. Perhaps I just have to add more tea to the teaspoon, or buy one of those teaspoons made especially for measuring out tea.
Either way, this was an awesome, awesome experience. I can’t wait to continue my journey with loose leaf! YAY!
Infusion 6 of my apple chai sencha. 1st noticably stronger liquor since infusion 3. Strongest so far. Aroma is light and slightly spicy and the taste is mostly (although still lightly) spicy, but the sweetness from the apple (that doesn’t taste like apple anymore) makes it not harsh.
Infusion 2 of my apple chai sencha blend. 40 sec.
The liquor reminds me of a white tea. Light and clear. The aroma is mostly of apple (a good thing as the steeping time increases) with just a touch of warmth from the spice. The taste is much like the 1st in proportion, but a bit stronger.
Decided to make my own green apple chai this morning. I blended 1.13g of apple sencha from Den’s tea w/ 1.13g bengal green chai. For some reason the sweetness of the apple came out more instead of the jolly rancher, although there was still a bit left. Maybe because I measured it by weight this time? The spice was stronger than I expected for only steeping it 30 sec., but still light. For a stronger flavor, use 2.25g apple sencha and 1.13g chai spice mix (sans tea). Steep 30 sec to 3min.
Backlogging from last night.
I tried adding milk to this tea but it pretty much killed the rich, earthy, cocoa-y flavour of the tea, just leaving behind the tanin-y/smokey flavour (I think it’s what some people are calling cigarette flavour, and I think I might agree with them for all that I’ve never smoked).
Note to self: Yunnan teas and milk don’t mix. DX
Resteeping the leaves from last night. The tea has pretty much unfurled completely and I noticed that the leaves are quite skinny and they almost look like bits of ribbon floating in my cup when I’m steeping.
No cocoa flavour this time, just the smokey-tannin taste that I’m beginning to associate with Yunnan tea. I’ll probably be able to get at least one more steeping out of the leaves.
It’s so neat watching the pearls unroll; they wiggle and wave little fronds about like they’re alive. I decided to cut back on the amount of tea a little and only use three balls this time. The tea has lost some of its cocoa flavour but the tanins also have less of a kick to them. It’s still a rich, robust, and satisfying brew.
After hearing all the hype about these, how could I resist? Since people around here seem to think the more balls the better (hehe) I decided to start with four of them in my mug. The dry odor is incredibly cocoa-y but there’s also more than a trace of that tanin/smoke scent underneath that I get from my Yunnan Jig tea. I suppose it makes sense since both teas are from that region.
When I add the water the ‘Yunnan Jig’ smell becomes stronger, although if you sniff carefully you can still detect the cocoa. It was so fascinating watching the balls slowly unfurl in the water like a dark sea anemone.
The brew is very dark and rich-looking. Upon first sip it seems to taste quite like a milder version of Yunnan Jig aswell, but then the cocoa hits you in the back of the mouth. It’s not like drinking say Adagio’s Chocolate Chip tea; the flavour is much more subtle and it’s more like raw cocoa powder to me than actual chocolate.