717 Tasting Notes
Backlog from yesterday.
I’m not normally a maté person, but I was picking up a bunch of iced tea pitcher packs from David’s yesterday, and I have to admit that I was very tempted by the lemon punch of this.
Got this iced to-go with some agave nectar, and it was pretty nice! The maté really works well with the lemon and the sweetness blended with the agave nectar. I may get some more of this to play with over the summer.
You know, I’ve been drinking this one a lot lately, and it’s grown on me. The dry leaf smells very rich, smoky, and caramelly. And today, when I steeped it, I got a sweet smoky note very reminiscent of my beloved Golden Yunnan.
I tend to do 1 tablespoon for 2 cups. This morning I steeped it for about 3 minutes (didn’t really keep count) and the liquor was a beautiful dark brown like coffee. A nice tea for a Saturday morning!
PS: I think I’ve gone a little tea crazy this week! Ubacat and I have agreed to split up some monthly tea boxes (she’s ordering from YS, I’m ordering from White2Tea, and we’ll each share half), then I bought some paper pouches on eBay, and just this morning I bought a pu’erh pick! It’s taking all of my willpower not to buy White2Tea’s $40 4-cake sampler kit.
Backlog from last night.
It’s been a year since I’ve have this and I think that in the intervening period my palate has really developed. I notice a lot more about this tea than I did before. There’s a lot going on here!
There are the roasty topnotes that I remember from before, but the aftertaste is more noticeable and lingering – it reminds me of barley, corn, grass. Very green, in fact.
There’s a richness and sharpness that reminds me of something fresh and wet, like a humid forest – it makes me think of the Phoenix Dancong I had from the GCTTB a few weeks ago.
Lovely orange liquor, huge unfurled leaves. I really think I’ll enjoy the remainder of the leaf from this. I may even buy a box from Temple Road (but I have way too much tea already :-0 )
I steeped this western style, 2 steeps each. About 2-3g for a 12oz mug. The first was last night, boiling water, for about 6 minutes. The second was this morning (I let the leaves sit overnight), boiling water, for about 5 minutes.
No rinse for either steep.
Last night’s steep had a smoky, bitter, tobacco note to it that I wonder was caused by the lack of a rinse. A bit of sourness underneath. Lovely orange liquor.
This morning’s steep was softer in flavour, but a bit more sour – I wonder if that’s because I let the leaves sit at room temperature overnight. (How do you store used leaves overnight? Should they stay in the fridge?) Still a nice orange colour.
Coldbrewed this overnight and had a glass this evening.
My little baggie of this had a lot of broken leaf, which is only to be expected since it’s been inside a TTB for a while. That led to the coldbrew tasting strongly of sencha and not quite so strongly of lemon. I added some lemongrass to the brew as well, but I don’t think it made things much more lemony.
I added some agave nectar to the remainder in the pitcher. We’ll see how that changes things.
I took the whole sample from the trading box and cold-brewed it in my iced tea pitcher overnight. It brewed up a lovely magenta colour, and even turned faintly pink as soon as I started pouring water over it in the first place.
I saw very little evidence of black tea or cherries, however. Most of the dry leaf was apple pieces and what looked like rosehip or cranberry. The resulting brew was quite tart, even with sugar added, and had a sort of vanilla/powder texture to it that I don’t like in my iced teas. It was pleasant enough, but my husband enjoyed it far more than I did (he had pretty much 3/4 o the pitcher before I even touched it!)
You know, considering there are big huge chunks of caramel in this tea, it doesn’t taste like much besides regular rooibos. There’s a bit of toastiness, and the caramel doesn’t melt all the way through so you can get a second steep, but I wasn’t getting a lot of flavour from this. I think it might be better if I added some sweetener next time.
Many thanks to Oolong Owl for sending me a sample of this tea. The leaf was very light and fluffy, and I ended up making a whole gallon of cold brew out of this – 2 steeps of 2L each.
The first steep was lemony, the second steep more astringent. BUT – you can read more in the first official tea review of my new blog! More info at http://booksandtea.ca/2015/06/26/tea-review-himalayan-full-leaf-white-tea-by-tete/