Hans & Grethe
Recent Tasting Notes
It’s hot as all get out here these days. Work was awful and my particular spot was, of course, the hottest place in the whole lab, and also, of course, the only place where we can’t have a fan going. (When you’re dealing with paraffine sections 2 µm thick, the last thing you want is air movement. All your work will fly away)
So yes. Hot and humid and sweaty and dreadful. And I swear this is relevant information.
I tried brewing this directly in my cup, since my boss is off on holiday and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to drink a whole pot myself in this heat. I was definitely right that we would get a better result if the leaves had more space, but hot tea wasn’t really something I wanted.
So I had this bottle of ICE cold water (Half an hour or so in the -80°C freezer. Just right) and I had this here cup with once-steeped leaves in it. Why not just try some kind of cold brew.
Okay, I admit the water was likely too cold, but I wasn’t really after something exquisitly tea-like. I just need something to drink to stay relatively cool and prevent dehydration and such like.
The result wasn’t half bad. It didn’t have much flavour, but then I didn’t let it sit for all that long before drinking either. It might also be that it was so cold that it just didn’t taste of anything anymore.
It was solely a source of fluids in the heat and as such it was really nice and I’m going to do it again tomorrow. If I had been looking for a flavour of tea however, I’d have been hugely disappointed. But it was definitely more interesting to drink than just plain cold water.
I wouldn’t say I warming to this. I’m just getting more used to it not having a lot of flavour. I took the rating down a bit too.
If we could brew it with the leaves floating loose in the pot, I think we would get a better result, but that’s not possible. (Well, it is, technically, but then we would run into some cleaning-problems afterwards)
In a way it’s quite good for work. It doesn’t have much flavour but then again, if there’s nothing to taste for, I don’t really have to pay attention to it either.
But we’re still getting a stronger one after we get through this, I think.
We are drinking this at work now, my boss and me. We just polished of the Da Hong Pao yesterday and she’s like me and loving the cocoa-y notes. (Also, Fujian Province. I knew it) So we decided to get another oolong to have at work. I don’t really have anything at home that would be work-suitable at the moment, so I went to this tea shop in the city where I work and bought this.
I am not a fan of said shop and I only use it when in dire need, like for example not having any tea to drink at work the next day and not being able to make it back to own city and proper tea shop before they close. So I didn’t really have a choice!
And that’s when it happened, that incident I wrote about the other day and I made a random choice of this one over the supposedly wildly different Formosa oolong that looked and smelled exactly the same. Cause… you know… Formosa and Taiwan? Totally not the same thing. Apparently.
That shop disappoints me every. Single. Time.
And the tea itself, I’m afraid isn’t really that much of a change.
It seems to be less fermented than the Da Hong Pao and the dry leaves didn’t have any of that cocoa-y quality that I’m beginning to suspect is a more or less uniquely Fujian-y quality (what do you think?), a freak coincidense when it shows up in other teas. This was more vegetative and grassy, which made it smell a bit more perky, but I really missed that cocoa note.
After steeping I thought I got a small under-note of cocoa, but the aroma was more or less the same as before. A little difficult to pick up though. My boss said she mainly just got nose-fulls of steam.
In the flavour the cocoa was still absent. As was most other flavour. It had a grassy taste at first, but no aftertaste to speak off. It was like, at first you got the grass note and then expected some more body and got a mouthful of nothing. Not even a hint of an aftertaste. Not one little bit. It was just gone. Very fleety.
As it got nearer to lukewarm, a weak weak weak cocoa note appeared, but not enough to satisfy. Especially because it took the tea getting lukewarm to get it in the first place. It’s the same with the aftertaste. It put in an appearance in a sort of oolong-y wooden note, but it still took the tea getting lukewarm.
We’re going to experiment some with longer steeping times, but other than that, we’ve got about 250g of boring tea to get through. Not bad tea. Just boring. I think I’ll suggest we get a strong black the next time we need to stock up…