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Recent Tasting Notes
From the queue
This one came from Auggy a looong time ago now. In summer, actually. For the last couple of years we’ve exchanged a rather large parcel in summer but not during the rest of the year. I’ve already started planning what to put in mine next time. I’ve got some candidates in my drawers.
Anyway, this afternoon when we had both come home from work Husband requested something black and unflavoured and I asked if puerh was close enough to black for him. And it was. He was just in here a moment ago commenting that it was a nice cup.
It smells quite earthy and surprisingly sweet. A bit like warm dark syrup. That’s not actually very accurate for the sweet note but it’s sort of close enough. It’s got another aspect to it though, which I can’t quite put my finger on.
The flavour is mild and smooth. Probably not the most outstanding puerh flavour in the world, but it’s got all the right elements, I think. A smidge earthy, a bit malty, a touch of grain and a great deal of Just Tea. I’m greatly enjoying this flavour profile. Husband was rather less keen the second time we had it though.
Found this tea in the super awesome bulk section of a local supermarket! They are wrapped up individually in colored foil and look very much like wrapped chocolates. I had a child with me who was convinced I was hoarding the goodies, which I was, just different goodies than suspected.
The tea came with instructions to brew it for 4-5 minutes, which seemed super long. I chose two minutes instead and got a really deep color like coffee in my cup. There is that pu-erh earthiness to be sure, but I can definitely taste rice as well. It makes me hungry. So far I have gotten two good steeps out of it, both of which were super smooth, but it seems to have a bit of caffeine too so I need to stop drinking this if I want to get to bed tonight. I’m already buzzing around the kitchen and can feel my heart beating a little faster than normal. It is going to be a long night. Tea! Right! This is seeming like a pretty nice pu-erh in my limited experience with them and I hope to steep it more tomorrow! Maybe first thing in the morning. I could sure use a jolt like this earlier in the day!
Came home from England a few days ago where we, among other things, spent a day in London, visited family and took the fast lane down the stairs. Again. I was told my undignified descent was marked by a certain amount of resignation, because having done it before, I know that once you slip, there’s no way you’re stopping before you reach the bottom. Fortunately for me the steps are carpeted, so in spite of a spectacular bruise to my rear, it wasn’t particularly painful. This visit was then followed up by a visit to the bank with regard of finding out whether or not they would be willing to let us borrow a LOT of money, which they were. Then this morning I finally remembered that I’ve actually got a handful of these pre-written posts and I ought to post one. And tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone.
Another one from Auggy. The leaf of this tea smells funny. It’s heavily chocolate-y and kind of… I want to say jam, really. Chocolate and jam. The steeped tea smells more keemun-y. Heavy, thick and grainy. Very much like Danish rye bread (which, people who have never been to a Scandinavian country, is not what you understand as rye bread I don’t think. It’s dark, dark brown, very grainy and eaten in thin slices.) and still with a strong note of something… jam-y. Rye bread with jam. A peculiar (but rather good, don’t tell my mother) combination.
So the aroma is just awesome. The flavour, however, is a little more controlled. I’m still getting all the same notes, but they don’t feel as full and heavy. There’s also a smidge of something nearly smoky in here, which may or may not turn totally floral when swallowing. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
This one is nice. I like it. It went well with breakfast.
My husband’s favorite tea ever is CTG’s Sticky Rice pu-erh. We stocked up when CTG closed but that supply is finite, so I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for something to replace it. Yesterday, I was meandering through the grocery store and saw they had added new teas to the bulk section; this was one of them. Naturally, I had to buy some. I haven’t been overwhelmed by Lahaha, but some of the their nicer teas are quite decent so here’s hoping this is one of them.
The smell of the tuocha is very similar to CTG’s version, but a little sweeter and earthier. Well, that makes sense as this is done with a black tea, not a green. The liquor is not overwhelmingly sticky rice, but it’s definitely there. Along with a fair bit of dirt syrup I find typical to pu-erhs. Not as overwhelming as it could be though and it seems nicely balanced out by the rice notes.
Okay, I will confess: I wasn’t anticipating being able to really enjoy this tea. I don’t typically get into the dirt syrup that pu-erh is to me. But this is nice! I don’t know if the rice flavor balances the overly thick sweetness of the pu-erh or if this is just a milder pu-erh. Honestly, I am thinking option one as I’ve never found a pu-erh mild enough to not be too syrupy for me (though I do keep looking). There’s a nice depth of flavor here; it is thick (but not overwhelmingly), silky, a tad bit toasty tasting, sweet (but not overly).
It’s probably not the most sophisticated pu-erh but I really like this. I could see it being super comforting after a rough day or on a chilly fall night. It’s definitely different from the CTG version but I think I might like this a bit more because of the smoothness. Two thumbs up!
So many new teas to try! I love getting in tea orders! Except, this isn’t from a tea order. In fact, I really didn’t mean to have this one today. Or ever, really. Because this is a tea I picked up at the grocery store for the husband. He tends to prefer stout things that can be sugared and milked for his morning commute and since I don’t go for that much anymore, I get some less fancy, more additive-appropriate teas at the store for most of his morning cups. This one is a new brand our grocery store just started carrying and I always like to try new things. Or, in this case, make the husband try new things. (Well, that and the brand name made me giggle.) But while I was making this for the husband this morning, it smelled so yummy, I decided to scrap my previous plans (of LPdT’s Yunnan d’Or) and try this one out.
I did cut this out of the bag and brew it loose (just in case the bag was corn-based) and the leaves were pretty long and leaf-like for a bagged tea. Only 1.9g, though, so I used a small cup. But this smells really unusual for a bagged black tea. Most smell like plain, slightly muddy tea. Or, at best Assam. This? Smells sweet and cuddly and fruity, like a really nice Chinese black. Actually, it smells like Fujian. And how unusual is it to find that in the grocery store?
The taste is a wee bit thin feeling (even with a 3min steeping) but what is there is really nice. Super smooth, a little fruity-tart, a bit of earthiness hiding underneath the cheerful hay-ish sweetness and cuddly notes of slight malt. It’s nicely complex with no astringency and it’s a very easy drinker. It doesn’t feel quite hefty enough to stand up to additives, which is fine for me but I’ll have to keep that in mind next time I make it for the husband. There’s a nice caffeine buzz to it, though, which does make it morning-appropriate.
I’m pretty sure this is a Fujian tea, but it has a little something that makes me feel I haven’t quite pegged it. I don’t know if it is the slight thinness that does it or the stronger note of fruit-sourness that I tend to get more in Keemuns or the just the fact that it’s a lower quality Fujian than I’m used to so it doesn’t 100% mesh with my prior experience. Regardless, this is a surprising grocery store acquisition. I wouldn’t go out of my way to order this or anything, but it’s nice to know that, if I am ever in a tea deficit, I can grab something this tasty at my local store.