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Recent Tasting Notes
Another tea I received from a swap. This one came from Artp. A friend of his went to India and came home with tea. How great is that?
I don’t have any information on this tea except that it is a first flush darjeeling. What I can tell you is it’s a beautiful tea. It brews into a coppery colored liquid and has mild floral smell. The taste is initially floral before becoming fruity and sweet. The fruity note reminded me of apples or pears – very crisp with a clear sweetness. There is also a caramel flavor as the tea cools. It’s most noticeable at the end of the sip. There is a bit of astringency, but it’s a darjeeling so it’s to be expected. I like the dryness in combination with the fruity flavors in the tea. It’s funny, but even though this is a first flush it reminds me a lot of autumn.
This one is a winner all the way. Thanks again, Artp!
I just found out that one of the new grad students in my current department is a tea drinker, and even a loose tea drinker. Cool! We were talking about tea, I showed her my astounding amount of tea in my office, and then she came back with a tea that she said I might not have tried. She said it was a green tea from Vietnam and it smelled amazingly like vanilla, which she claims is all natural, not flavoring. So I grabbed a cup’s worth to try. But she just had it in an unmarked ziploc baggie, so I have no idea about what it is! The leaf dark green and somewhat broken up and it had a ton of stems in it. She warned me that it is most vanilla-y early on and gets bitter later, so I steeped conservatively at 1 minute (because it looked like it was done).
And man, do I need to find out what this is. Flavored or not, this is delicious. If it’s actually unflavored, it’s astounding. Almost like a milk oolong, but definitely not a milk oolong. It’s vanilla-y, but also a little creamy. Oh I think maybe toasted coconut? (It’s really interesting to try a tea “blind” when you don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like). Definitely toasted coconut. This has got to be flavored somehow, but it’s really well done nonetheless. It’s actually gotten more creamy and coconutty as its cooled and I haven’t had a problem with bitterness.
What a great tea! I will definitely have to figure out where she got it.
Second experience with this particular mystery leaf—coworker’s spouse brought back from China; that’s all I know. And it seems to be a completely different brew from the first. With water a little hotter, and possibly a shorter steep (you know how scientific and precise my tasting notes are—not)it is cleaner, brighter, almost a little lemongrassy. Pleasant for a rainy afternoon with a contented cat lounging on your lap. Tazo says hey.
I drink this ya bao probably once a week in the office. It’s light, refreshing, and simply delicious! In the office, we’re limited on our hot water resource, so I put a little cold water in with the leaves first, then fill my teapot the rest of the way with hot so that it steeps at approximately the right temperature.
Added benefit: It’s just the right temperature to drink immediately!
Every sip of this tea makes me smile and gives me happy little caffeine jitters.
I made my unknown matcha blend as a latte this morning. I added some hot water to the matcha powder and whisked it rather poorly. Then I added cold almond milk, a little sugar syrup, and ice. Yum. I really like matcha this way, especially the ones of unknown quality I pick up randomly at Asian supermarkets. :)
Oh, and weirdly my “Likes” are disappearing. :( I can’t keep track of the ones I’ve read and haven’t read. So sorry to the people who might be getting multiple notifications that I’ve liked their tealogs!
I may be able to source this one later; a work friend brought it to me and said she’d snap a phone picture of the box. She was disappointed because, and I quote, “I paid $15 for it and it smells like fish and paint thinner.”
(No, it doesn’t.)
Steeped, it has that characteristic, upper-end, fruity oolong fragrance. Nice yellow-orange color. Silky texture. Flavor is on the toasty end of the spectrum. Lick-lippy astringency.
It’s been a while since I last drank this tea, and I re-discovered it while digging through my stash to find something different. Anyways, I decided to brew it with my gaiwan, just as an experiment, so I threw some leaves in it, and used some approximately 140 degree water to steep the leaves for about 15 seconds. I know, that really short of a Japanese green, but bear with me, it was an experiment. The tea is a very pale green, but the flavor profile is much bolder. The tea is initially very sweet, and it’s hard to taste much else, but as time goes on a pleasant grass flavor emerges. While fairly standard for a Japanese green, it is still very pleasant and adds a lot to the experience. Finally, the tea has a smooth mineral aftertaste. It’s not like a Wuyi Oolong, but that’s the best way to describe it. As the tea cools, the sweetness becomes more pronounced and the grass flavor diminishes a bit, but it’s hard to actually let the tea sit that long. All in all, it’s very pleasant, and I’d say that the tea actually benefited a bit from this brewing method.
Can’t figure out where I logged this before – so this will do nicely. This mystery oolong came my way ages ago from gmathis. Today I am finishing off the generous sample. I put the bag away but I think she wrote she pays $0.31/oz for this loose. I am jealous that she can buy loose leaf locally, and that she can buy it cheap, and that its pretty good. It kind of reminds me of formosa in that it is close to a black but still retains oolong qualities. Just a hint of background roasted notes. A nice tea.
Finishing off some mystery gyokuro from a tea meet from Meeka, ty!
Always something weird going on at my house. My husband and I were driving home from the grocery store (OMG 8lbs of watermelon for $1!) and there was a poor turtle crossing the street. We drove around and my husband decided to take him home. Aaacck. Well, okay. Now researching what to do, or take it somewhere.
Thankfully, I had this tea going, cold steep style, in the fridge. Tastes a little grapefruity of an aftertaste, and a little light for gyokuro. Now to wait to see what my husband comes up with.
Vividly green, sunny and lovely summer to you all over there!
To celebrate the fact that the peak of the finnish summer has been reached with the festivities of the Midsummer and now all that’s left is to prepare for the winter, yours truly will dedicate this post to a tea which has become more than just a good comrade during the hectic springtime.
Thus, I’ll hype about matcha a bit.
It’s illegally cute when given the first look.
Honestly. Green powder. Endless possibilities for how to use it in art. It’s the same as drinking pure pigment. Only healthier. To some extent. A friend did use it in his prints of his etchings, which were very, very impressive examples on how sophisticated the otherwise almost eerily intense green could modify itself into when given the right push.
It’s always intriguing to make, and one does respect the years of doing physical work after whisking the specimen into shape for the first time (With a fork. Yes. A fork. I don’t have the faintest idea why. We weren’t thinking that day). Not using a bamboo whisk for it, though. Learned to improvise with a regular whisk and a mean wrist move. I have my biceps for a reason.
This little pleasure powder is delightful to drink. I love the grassy, somehow summery and full (maybe even buttery?) scent, I love the faint, subtle sweetness that’s just about to say something but is actually just content to smile coyly. I love how it just is. Pliant and full on the tongue.
When chilled, it makes my days.
Keeps from keeling over occasionally. Sometimes gravity just has its way.
Matcha latte, you have my respects. Astoundingly good despite the suspicions I first had.
Matcha cheesecake. Divine.
Steamed matcha muffins. I’ll leave the most suitable definition for your imaginations to create. Otherwise I might get sued.
It’s sinfully delicious when mixed with vanilla ice cream, since it takes away the sweetness of the treat but turns the whole palate into something that just feels bad to swallow, really, since one wants it to stay and build a cozy nest on the tongue and invite some friends over a cup of tea. Staring at the empty bowl is downright depressing.
Staring at the empty cup is even more so.
I’ve decided my husband’s friends from back in high school are awesome!
After a lovely trip to the conservatory of flowers in SF, where we enjoyed tons of butterflies and orchids, we had dinner at my husband’s friend’s family’s restaurant. That was a mouthful! So the restaurant is a Japanese restaurant with sushi and teriyaki, and they give everyone a huge pot of free genmaicha to drink with your meal. I get the whole pot to myself because my husband doesn’t drink hot tea, which is fine with me! Haha! So, my husband’s friend just happened to be there and when I told him I enjoyed the tea, he grabbed me some loose leaf from their bulk supply! Nice!! This is the second friend of my husband who has given me free tea. So like I said, they are awesome!!
Four five six cups later
Too little sleep…need more tea.
Mixing this with chamomile to an interesting effect.
So! Attempt #2 at making iced tea for real. The first one was a lemon tea and I did not find it palatable at all. This particular tea came with the iced tea pitcher thing I bought.
Overall…I oversweetened it. It’s not terrible, just very sweet. Well, I’m still getting the hang of iced tea and I’ll know not to put that much sugar in next time. The iced tea pitcher performed admirably. I cold brewed the black tea (one packet’s worth, loose) in the steeper overnight for about…11ish hours.
Attempt #3 coming soon.
My friend came over today and he just got back from a month and a half long trip to Asia! He went to Korea, China and Japan, I’m jealous haha. He brought over a tin of this type of tea to try today, he got it right at the tea farm near West Lake. I’m very pleased that he brought some over for me to try!
I had to look up Longjing tea, and once I found out it was Dragon Well, I was like oh I can figure out how to brew this. So I went on Verdant’s site and looked up the parameters for Mrs. Li’s Dragonwell. We decided to try it Dragonwell style, where you put about 4-5 g of tea in a glass and add the water and just keep topping it up, as that’s how my friend had it in China. First of all, WOW, they know how to pack a tea tin there!! The thing was just bursting with tea, and none of it was broken up, it was all in perfect large flat leaves! The color was a rich, vibrant green, they looked very nice. It definitely smelled like a Dragon well, that nutty green tea scent.
So we made this in the glasses with 175 degree water. The first cup was very nice, but difficult to drink due to the leaves all being at the top of the glass. The next couple of top ups were easier to drink though. Man, the flavor was delicious! Very reminiscent of Mrs. Li’s fall version, the nutty sweetness and a definite sparkling quality. I was super impressed that the leaves never got bitter, even when there wasn’t much water in the cup. I think my favorite steep, in fact, was the last time I topped up the glass. Maybe because I could actually sip without eating the leaves, but it was soo delicious!
I’m not sure what exact farm this tea was from, as I can’t read the Chinese characters, but it was really good. I can’t wait to have it again, he is going to bring it over again to have when my boyfriend is back from working. Yay for tea!
Any more early mornings are going to require buying more of this. Three or four cups.
This seems to have become a temporary morning staple. Three cups in…
Starting the pu’erh drinking with a really early morning cuppa.
Thoughtful of my doctor’s office to offer me a cuppa while I was waiting. Not-so-thoughtful to whomever (I didn’t look at the brand) packages green tea for a Keurig that gets the water entirely too hot and ruins it. Bitter and plasticky. The manufacturer should know better! (I didn’t know it was going to be green, or I would’ve stuck with water.)
I received this in a TTB that I organized long ago on another site. It was a home blend by one of the participants, made to replace one of their favorite teas when it was discontinued. I picked it for my morning class tea, as I was still craving something sweet. I definitely get the sweet strawberry flavor, its very smooth and creamy. However, I’m getting more of a chocolate flavor than a vanilla flavor. Its still very good, just not quite what I was expecting.