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Recent Tasting Notes
Forgot it was a black tea until I was dunking it, at 830pm. D’oh! Really, with a name like “calming lavendar” shouldn’t it be an herbal???
I didn’t drink much, and since it was brewed in a paper cup of microwaved water, I doubt any comments I had would be fair anyway. So, notes self: always read the labels!, and bring my hot pot next time I travel!
The Final Sipdown: Day 6.6
Funny that they should compare this to jasmine tea in the description, because that is exactly what this smells like. A the tail end of the scent, I get what I think might be magnolia, but I can really only identify it as something between rhododendron and artichoke because we’re not far south enough to get a lot of magnolias around here and I haven’t had much opportunity to acquaint myself with them.
Anyhow, this also smells like an oolong. Like Auggy [the giver of this tea] has mentioned, it also smells like it should be buttery. It isn’t.
In fact, it’s on the whole unremarkable, though it could be a decent starter tea for someone who’s never had an oolong. It’s lightly floral and a teensy vegetal with a wafer-thin buttery quality. I also understeeped this on accident, so that could be part of why I’m finding it rather bland, but it’s not something I’ll be seeking anytime soon. Not when I have so many good oolongs already shuffling for places in my life. It’s not a tea that has much going on in it, and so it’s not a tea I’ll be writing any more about.
Teas Downed: 18
The Final Sipdown: Day 18
Decupboarding Total: 37
I tend to use cooler water to steep my green oolongs simply because it seems that those not-so-sturdy teas can be cooked with high temperature water. But sometimes, a greener oolong doesn’t really sparkle at that lower temperature and it takes something a bit warmer to really make it tasty. With that in mind, I decided to do my last cup of this at 195° instead of 175°.
So close and yet so far. The taste is clearer and there are some new notes to this that I haven’t tasted previously – almost a lemon spark to it – but the astringency is also heightened, even more than the new notes of flavor. As the tea cools a bit, the lemon sweeten and mellows into something that, when blended with the floral note, tastes almost muscadine-y. Which sounds good, but then the ick happens.
The astringency kicks in hard, making the back of the roof of my mouth feel sandpaper-ish as I begin each swallow. After I finish a swallow, that prickle slowly expands up my tongue, making the back and middle feel bumpy, dry and a little sticky. Then a sour taste shows up on the dry, sticky bits and I am reminded of morning breath. I have to swallow a few times to get enough saliva in my mouth to make the dry feeling go away and to keep the tissues inside my mouth from being glued together. And that’s when I get a faint taste of armpits or maybe raw onion.
So on the plus side: lemon and muscidine.
On the con side: astringency, morning breath, armpit and maybe raw onion.
I’m going to go with higher temperature water is not the way to brew this one.
Oh dear. I decided to try this in my gaiwan and I was a little (okay, a lot) too enthusiastic with the leaf. It’s a bit like eating a flower bush – hugely floral and a little bitter-green.
I transferred the leaves to a (much larger) pot and continued to brew gaiwan-style. I no longer feel like I’m being attacked by plant life so that’s a step in the right direction. It’s still pretty floral, though – like a dark, heavy jasmine. Still getting a hint of bitter but I think that taste is just stuck in my mouth from my first much-too-strong cup. Yeah, don’t think intense flavor is a good match for this tea.
There’s not that much to say about this tea. It’s not distinctively magnolia, at least not to me. If asked, I would have said it was a mild, slightly darker and more buttery jasmine oolong. There is a slight hint of perfume-iness at the end but maybe I’m just imagining that. All in all, it’s very drinkable and there’s really not anything bad, but there’s also nothing that really jumps out at me as particularly special.
Amount: 1 teabag, 2.4g
Water: 160 degree hot spigot, 1 mug full
Steep Time: a little over 6 minutes
Leaf Smell: Strong Jasmine and honeysuckle
Smell: Jasmine, honeysuckle, lovely floral sweetness
Flavor: slightly vegetal, floral, i really had to feel for the flavor as it was watery light
Aftertaste: floral, sweet
Liquor: light clear green-brown
smells delicious but was a weak flavor, though a strong after taste. Perhaps it needed to brew longer? I think adding sweetener or creme would kill the flavor. It was a nice tea, and a gift from JaneFan
Post-Steep Additives: none