Life In TeacupEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
The dry leaves on this were intimidatingly black and twisty! And indeed, it is a very roast-y tea. It doesn’t have the sweet undertones of some other roasted oolongs that I’ve been trying lately, either, although there’s a lot of tea going on underneath the smoke.
Here’s a picture from the third steep, although the reflections off of the side of the teapot are keeping the twistiness of the tea from being clear:
(That’s my newest teacup in the photo as well, by the way. I had been feeling like I didn’t have enough drinkware to support my telecommuting tea habit and also like I wanted something better sized to my wee Samovar teapot, but I didn’t really have the budget for full-on-fancy teaware — and then I was wandering around the outskirts of the farmers’ market on Saturday and found someone selling a punchbowl and eighteen nice little punch cups for, y’know, flea market prices. So, uh, now I have three new glass teacups and a fifteen-cup backup stack in my storage cupboard.)
This tea is magical. Really, truly, magical. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I love it.
I really didn’t know what to expect going into this. No tasting notes yet, no description, no steeping parameters even. it was just a free sample that I won by replying first to a thread. But, intrepid tea explorer that I am, I went in head first, and boy was I rewarded for my bravery.
I decided to start off with a 45 second steep. I used about a teaspoon and around 8 ounces each steep, and gradually increased the steep time as I went on, up to around 3 minutes by steep 6. I would have kept going as it was still strong and delicious, but I had to stop in order to get some sleep and pack, as I had a flight in the morning.
The first steep was like stepping into a garden at dawn; lush, dark greenness, a heavy mist in the air, and large white magnolia and gardenia flowers all around you. Steep 2 and onward were even more magical. Each cup was like gardenias, magnolias, and milk. There was the most delicious buttery component, like orchids and unsalted butter, and a hint of sweetness, like lactose or white bread, or maybe just from the flowers themselves. And something else, like the taste of “comfort”—the smell of warm skin, or your kitty’s fur, or your favorite fleece blanket—I don’t know how to put a name on it, but it was surely there.
The mouthfeel of the infusion was remarkable. Absolutely luscious…it was thick, and rich…just a “whole mouth experience.” Like something that you needed to bite into, but would give way easily to your teeth and tongue. Not that the tea was actually like gelatin or something, but it had an impression, if you will, of smooth thickness.
I wasn’t expecting to re-order anything from Life in Teacup when I first received my samples, but after trying this I know I’ll be placing another order soon.
Hmm. This tea smelled intriguingly nutty, but it tasted very weak. When I tried steeping it longer, it got distressingly bitter without getting any more flavorful. Probably I made it too weak — I’m still figuring out the best way to judge proportions. I will definitely try it again, because a tea which tasted the way this smelled would be fantastic.
(Backlogged from Saturday.)
I tried this with short steeps, but the resulting tea was barely there (despite turning a beautiful deep golden color almost immediately). So I steeped the third time for two minutes, and what a change! This tea isn’t sweet, per se, but there’s a hint of burnt sugar around the edges; there’s still not a lot up front, but the back of it hits almost immediately with a savory grilled flavor that just keeps going.
Amount: a bit under 1 tsp
Water: 6 ounces / 8 ounces boiling filtered water let cool to 175 then steeped in cup with mesh basket
Steep Time: a little over 2 minutes
Dry Leaf Smell: AmazonV: Nothing / MilitiaJim: Faint green tea
Steeped Tea Smell: green tea (slightly vegetal)
Flavor: green tea (slightly vegetal)
Liquor: translucent green (MilitiaJim: de-neon-ed mountain dew)
This was a sample from Life in Teacup
I was very pleased that this tea is not bitter! I tend to over heat or steep greens and get bitter tea. This is a nice mellow green tea and I am enjoying it. I wouldn’t mind getting it again, although I know I am more a black tea / red tea person than green.
Post-Steep Additives: honey = sweetened green tea
I tried a shorter steep this time, and the tea was a bit different — it tasted strongly and smelled even more strongly of raisins! I’d heard people describe tea as tasting of raisins before and always wondered what that would be like, since I’d never found it before. Well, here it is, and unfortunately it’s reminded me that I don’t like raisins. Alas!
Hmm. I used the brew-in-mug method here again, with cooler water, and this tea began and ended very strong, although it was smoother in the middle. Oddly, the leaves never floated at all, but only unrolled slowly at the bottom of the mug. I was liking it in the middle, for the second steep and around the edges into the first and third steeps, but there’s a bitter aftertaste lingering from the third steep.
Still, many thanks to Gingko for letting me try it! (I feel more than a little embarrassed to have forgot to actually, y’know, sample this for several weeks! All the excitement of the very first tea of the year — and then I let it go to the end of March.)
You know, I’m starting to wonder if I didn’t do something wrong in storing this — I put it in a tin, but it’s a biggish tin for a small sample. This pot, like the previous one, is just not as flowery as the very first one. I mean, on any other tea I’d be calling this flowery, but here? Only barely.
Well, I’ve already ordered a bit more. I’ll have to see if I can treat the next batch better!
Interesting! I made this in my larger pot this morning because I wanted to take a full-sized mug and go, and I don’t know if it’s that I got the proportions different or that the bigger pot is making the water temperature change or what, but this is a much less flowery tea this time! It still tastes of orchids and sugar, but they’re much farther back and the tea taste is much thicker now.
My god, it’s full of
When I ripped open the little sample foil packet, I couldn’t smell much of anything, but when I gave the leaves a rinse and set the pot back on the counter, I turned around going, “Wait, why does it smell like flowers in here? Is that coming from outside…but it’s not spring flowers…it’s more like orchids…wait just a moment!” And yes, it was the tea leaves.
So I poured myself a fifteen-second steep in my teeny-tiny pot and promptly burned my tongue trying to discover if it tasted like flowers. One glass of cold water and a cautious two-minute wait later, I can tell you this: it doesn’t taste like flowers. It tastes like candied flowers. It tastes like someone dipped orchid petals in sugar. It tastes like spun sugar in a field of orchids. I didn’t know tea could do this.
Fifteen-second steep number two: still full of flowers! It’s getting a little bit rounder, but this is still the sweetest airy-fairy-flowery tea I’ve ever tasted. I can’t believe there’s caffeine in this.
Twenty-second steep number three: the flowers may have come down to earth now, but this tea is still best described as “flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers!”