771 Tasting Notes
I used up the whole sample of this tea that Ubacat sent me – about 2 tablespoons.
And boy, was it a great idea! I love the way this tea smells. It’s got a deeper scent than other buckwheat I’ve tried. This one smells like cocoa and honey, actually – like a Crunch chocolate bar, the kind of chocolate that has rice crisps inside it.
This extends to the brewed tea. A lovely golden liquor with notes of honey, puffed rice, and roasted seame seeds. This is pretty awesome! I’ll see if I can get a second steep out of it.
The Aged DHP was a lot smoother overall than the fresh. The dry leaves were long, dark, and spindly, and they smelled like wood, cigarettes, and roastedness. I also smelled a hint of something salty at the back of my nose, like soy sauce.
After a 5-second rinse with 90°C water, the smell of the leaves deepened into cigars and charred wood, but I didn’t get the burnt sugar/burnt pie crust sensation that I got from the Fresh DHP.
The first steep resulted in tea that was an ochre colour — much redder than the Fresh DHP. The fragrance was light, but sharper and woodier than the fresh stuff. Again, I couldn’t sense any burnt notes. This tea was definitely smoother, but there was a more alkaline aftertaste, especially on the backs and sides of my tongue.
What I find interesting is that White2Tea described this tea as “mineral.” I can see that, though I think what they consider “mineral” was what I was describing as flowers/sandalwood.
The Fresh DHP is made of black, gnarled nuggets of tea leaf. Dry, they smell of paper; there’s also a skunky sort of smell that reminds me of weed, unfortunately. I took about 3.8 grams of dry leaf and put them in a gaiwan. After rinsing them in 90°C water for 5 seconds, the smell deepened and the whole thing smelled fresh and wet with notes of graham cracker, blackened sugar, and burnt pie crust. The first steep was 10 seconds; the second, third, fourth, and fifth were 15, 20, 25, and 50 seconds respectively.
This didn’t taste as harsh as I was expecting. There was an orchid note there along with the note I’m learning to associate with roasted oolongs: green, wet, and sticky, like someone’s just cut into the heart of a plant and the wound is now welling with sap. There was a surprisingly soft aftertaste here like grass and orchids, along with that burnt sugar/pie crust note.
Man, this tea is weird. It looks like your typical dark roasted oolong — long, spindly twists of black leaf — and it even kind of smells like it too, with a sweet, strong smell of buckwheat and burnt sugar.
The first taste was of something extremely alkaline on my tongue, like I splashed some sort of industrial chemical on it. On the back and sides of my tongue the taste became more floral, like honeysuckle or lilies, with an aftertaste like rose or osmanthus. The colour of the tea was amber like beer.
Over subsequent steeps I felt that the texture and taste on my tongue was like that of fabric: cotton, denim, linen, thickness covering my tongue. The floral honeysuckle/lily flavour was also there — there was none of the juicy, grassy sweetness that the smell of this tea promised.
Then it hit me. Industrial chemicals? Flowers? Fabric?
It tasted like the tea embodiment of a dryer sheet.
You know, those little wisps of perfumed, polymerized fabric you put into the dryer with freshly washed clothes to make them soft and non-static-cling-y.
What the fuck? I’m mystified, but also kind of horribly fascinated.
Backlog from last night. I got this from the GCTTB4 a few months ago.
Drank this while finishing off “And When She Was Good” by Laura Lippman. The chance to just read and sip and read and sip…. I haven’t had that a lot lately, and it was very restorative.
This tea smells great! I didn’t get a lot of the pineapple notes that others have mentioned here. Instead, I got butter, brown sugar, caramel, maple – all the flavours that are perfect for when you’re starting to get hints of fall on the air.
It didn’t taste as good when it cooled, though. I think that I probably have enough left for only 2 more cups, so I’ll add sugar to those and see what that’s like.
This is a very sad sipdown – because it was completely wasted.
I’m doing some work right now in an office (on-site self-employed contractor, long story). where there are storage lockers where people can store their things. As you can predict, lovely Steepster-folk, I was storing tea in mine.
However, the lockers are all connected, and there are air vents between the walls of the lockers. I didn’t notice this until Monday, though, when my locker started smelling funny. I traced it back to the locker next to mine, which was filled with an overwhelmingly strong fruit/flower/baby powder smell. I think someone’s goddamned PERFUME BOTTLE broke in there. It’s the only way to describe the strength of the smell.
My poor lovelies, guess what happened to my tea? It still smells like fucking perfume 2 days later, even though I switched lockers! And now, the new locker smells like the old one did because my belongings transferred the smell over!
It permeated the disposeable filters I brought with me, and the cups that I’ve had since taste like this perfume. So this tea was used up in equipment that ruined its fine flavour. So sad.
I think I’ll stick to keeping the filters in my backpack, which I take home with me every day. The rest of the tea in my locker is more heavily sealed and strongly flavoured anyway, but I don’t plan on bringing my more delicate stuff to work until I can air things out.
I’m going to admit that I made this tea twice for this review. I used half of the 50g packet to make a pitcher using 4 cups of hot water topped up with 4 cups of cold water, added some agave nectar, and left it to sit in the fridge overnight. However, this pitcher was too weak and watery in flavour.
I then brewed the remaining stuff left in the packet with 3 cups of hot water and added 3 cups of cold — but the resulting iced tea was still too weak and watery. It was a bit sweeter, but not by much.
Despite the weak flavour, I still do taste and smell fruit but it’s fairly indistinct. The tea is a pale peachy-pink, but ultimately, the nice colour wasn’t enough to wow me. You’re better off just dumping all 50g into a single pitcher and letting things work from there.
Full review: http://booksandtea.ca/2015/08/tealish-tea-reviews/