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Recent Tasting Notes
This is the last of the teas I took notes on while I was in the throes of academia. It is another one of the teas Carolyn sent me, and though I was afraid I might jinx myself by prematurely drinking a celebration tea before the semester was actually over, it was too pretty to put off trying it any longer.
This cup is pleasant. It’s smooth, and it’s not too strong, which I was a little afraid it might be when I looked at the ingredient list. I was half expecting a fireworks of exploding flavors [much like the tea is a fireworks of exploding colors], that would perhaps result in a great clashing and clanging with much dissonance on my tongue, but I was surprised to discover that this wasn’t the case. It all melded together. I’m still trying to decide whether or not I was disappointed by that, even more than a week later.
I wasn’t really able to pick anything out of the cornucopia of components, except for a black tea flavor with the slightest hint of maltiness to it, and a tangy fruity flavor. The maltiness makes sense because the description says this contains assam. The fruit flavor slightly reminded of the dreaded hibiscus, if I’m being honest, but only slightly. Probably I wasn’t paying full attention, what with trying to watch a physics video and jot down thoughts on the tea at the same time. [In fact, I have a formula written on the page here that I think is for the escape velocity from Earth. Wow. Guess I retained something after all.] It also had a kind of spiciness to it. Nothing overwhelming, but enough to give it a nice kick.
Luckily, Carolyn was very generous with the quantity of tea sent to me [again, I must thank you, Carolyn] so I definitely have enough to be able to sit down and really soak this one in. Maybe play around with temperature and steep time a little bit. I might have had this a little cooler than it should have been. The rating on this tea is very likely to change, but then again, I’m constantly shuffling all my ratings around anyway, so this point is likely unnecessary.
This is one of my favorite teas. The first time I had “milk oolong” it was at Vital-T Leaf shop in Seattle, where they brewed it for me to taste. Once I ran through that stash, I turned to the Internet to mail order some more. This particular one from Holy Mountain is one of the best of this variety I’ve mail ordered, and has been for 2 years in a row, so I will definitely order it again from them.
I find sometimes the flavor gets richer as the tea cools, and that the milky notes come out more when not scalding hot.
The Final Sipdown: Day 2.2
Today has been one of those days that hasn’t stopped. Hasn’t stopped rushing, hasn’t stopped production, hasn’t stopped to breathe, hasn’t stopped being insane. I arrived home tired, sore, and exhausted, and then I took Tucker on a long walk and made dinner.
The entire day at work, I found myself wanting tea, and when I spent my 15 minutes of break mentally sifting through the samples of tea I could remember receiving, this one popped in and I have been craving it for the nine or so hours since I thought of it.
This is a sample I got from Carolyn almost a year ago [yikes] and I haven’t finished it because whenever I’ve gone to order it, it hasn’t been there. [It is now, I see.]
Not wanting to waste an opportunity, I pulled out Sorabuddy and decided to take some pik-chas. [Do not know why I decided to spell pictures like that, but it’s how it sounded in my head and I think the tired is starting to take over, so bear with me.]
As I waited for it to steep, the anticipation built until it was almost unbearable. But then, as I was pouring it out, I became nervous. Would it be as good as I remembered it being? Had it held up after lying in a box for so long?
Eff it. I’m drinking it anyway.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Creamy and milky, with more of a floral aroma and flavor than I remember there being previously. The milk is predominant, though, and that is why I prefer this one quite a bit more to Serendipitea’s.
At times, I get other flavors sneaking into this tea. A hint of sticky rice, a slice of bread, a few kernals of buttered popcorn, a sweet strain of honey. But mainly, it tastes of sweet cream and milk, and it does so rather gloriously. The floral taste I can’t quite place, but it’s something low and perfumed, like gardenia or maybe plumeria.
Ugh, I don’t know if I can express to y’all exactly how tired I am, but I keep falling asleep as I write this log. I promise to do four tomorrow [this promise is more to myself than you guys since nobody really needs to care about this besides me and my accountability buddy whom I hope will not maim me for this infraction], today was just out of control and I am oh.
Combined with my physical and mental exhaustion, this tea is like the equivalent of drinking a glass of warm milk before bed. Speaking of which, holy crap it’s already past 12 AM and I really do need to go to sleep if I’m going to get up on time tomorrow.
Urgh, sorry this log turned so crappy, but I’m going to stop it before it starts to become nonsensical on the cloud bed past quarter of morning. Stretch before you go to the steamer truck stack boat. And in conclusion.
This tea is damn good.
ETA: Unable to finish my cup last night before sleep took over, I drank the remainder of it this morning. It really is much better hot, but retains that buttery, milky quality even significantly cooled down. The floral notes become a little louder and there is a hint of something almost grassy but probably closer to spinach.
Samples Downed: 5
It’s official. Formosan oolongs are currently my favorite type of oolongs.
This is another Carolyn tea, and I’ve been drinking it pretty much all day. Haven’t bothered to refill the infuser with leaves, just been Energizer Bunnying it since at least lunch time. When I finally got around to checking the recommended business it said 180-195, but I definitely boiled the water. It didn’t seem to have an effect on it. I also stopped counting how many cups I’ve had but I’d say five easy, likely more.
It’s creamy, and it does indeed taste of milk. It’s so close at times, that I could actually fool myself into thinking that it IS milk, but the aftertaste gives it away. Sometimes it’s a little more floral and has a shy sweetness in the aftertaste, sometimes it’s more buttery and rich tasting. Occasionally there’s a hint of that vegetal, almost spinachy smell the leaves take on when they’re wet and sometimes I taste bread. Whatever the tea is deciding to do, I’m enjoying it all, so this is a definite win.
This is one of those kinds of teas that I like to watch unfurl. Put in a teaspoon or so and all of a sudden my entire infuser’s full of leaves. They brew into a color somewhere between bright yellow and copper and the tea is smooth in the mouth. There’s just a teeny teeny bit of dryness at the finish, but nothing that I can’t handle. By no means one of those teas that leaves your mouth completely devoid of moisture.
I’m liking it a lot better when it’s hot to warm [this is when having a double walled mug is crazy fantastic]. Once I go through what Carolyn sent me I’ll be ordering this one.
And now, for the first time in weeks, I’m going to bed at a decent hour. I just powered through 45 physics problems and some java programming and my brain is screaming at me for mercy. We’re finally rounding the corner towards the home stretch for the semester, and my motivation is surfacing again. Were it not for this tea, I can guarantee that I would have fallen asleep on the floor, because that’s what I did yesterday. And maybe the day before. I’m not telling.
This was one of the first teas I tried before I learned that time and temperature were important. As a result I steeped it for a long time in boiling water and I hated it.
I decided to try it again. It has a pleasant sweet fruit smell like warm fruit punch and light sweet taste. There is a slight amount of astringency but no bitterness. The liquor is golden with small suspended particles. I like it now. What a difference time and temperature make!
This was my first experience with good teas and I’m so glad I tried it since it has led me down this delicious and involving path. It brews up into a beautiful golden color with only a touch of green. The smell is an inviting cream oolong smell and the taste carries through to the taste perfectly. It has a very clean taste with floral undertones and (of course) the milk taste. The tea is not flavored, it comes by this taste as a result of the conditions it grows under. As such, the taste varies from year to year as the weather varies. I am told by Cecilia that this last year was not the best milk oolong, but since it is new to me it seems marvelous. I can’t wait to try next year’s Jian Xuan!
First time trying this tea. I am using a gaiwan and short steeping times to experiment. It is quite aromatic and tastes sweet and floral. Yet it has a slight acidic bite to it that makes it interesting. The taste lingers in my mouth for a good while after finishing the cup. I have done 3 infusions so far and will continue until I can’t get any more out of the leaves.