1856 Tasting Notes
I have been so bad about tasting notes the last two days! Just super busy I guess, and a feeling of not knowing what to write.
Continuing with the cupboard chronology, I finally picked up a few ounces of this tea last fall. I’ve only ever had it in my cupboard as random samples before, but I finally got to add a substantial amount. This tea is kind of amazingly expensive, but it’s also kind of amazingly good. Getting it at one of ATR’s many 20% off sales was key.
This is sweet and creamy, and it has a distinctly fruity character as well. It’s a tieguanyin, not a jin xuan or one of those quangzhou milk oolongs, so it’s really quite unlike other milk oolongs. I’ve never come across another oolong like it, which is kind of amazing. Happy I have some more, and I will probably hoard it a fair bit due to the price.
I drank this one yesterday but didn’t log it. I still think I need to drink this one back to back with my Beijing tan yang to properly evaluate it. It’s a really tasty tan yang, it hits what I normally expect from a tan yang. Wish I had some of Harney’s Panyang Golden Tips to compare as well! So this is a lame placeholder tasting note to basically say that I did drink it in my chronology.
I’ve made my way back around to my order from JK tea shop, of which two of the teas are left. The first time I had this I wasn’t super impressed. I mean, I enjoyed it but it tasted mostly like a regular Taiwanese black tea (so, fruity and honeyed) but it didn’t have a lot to keep me interested and there was an edge of bitterness at the parameters I brewed it.
Today I dropped my steep temp; I seem to prefer most black teas at less than boiling anyway. And today this tea is really quite delicious. I’ve lost a lot of the “harsh” fruitiness, that overly fruity quality that I dislike. Instead it is sweet, honeyed, caramelly, and the grains come out way more. Last time I said it smelled like a cross between a Fujian and a Taiwanese black. At boiling, the flavor was all Taiwanese black, but at 195°F, those notes relax a bit and the Fujian makes itself known. There is still a bit of fruity Taiwanese black hanging out, though.
All in all, this is a way more interesting and way more delicious tea. Glad I made it with these parameters.
I actually had a cup of this last Friday but it didn’t turn out quite like I expected it to. I realized that it was probably because I tried a smaller amount of leaf (2 tsp) and longer steep time (3 minutes) when in the past I had always used one sample pouch (7g, probably closer to 3-4 tsp) and 2 minute steep time. So this morning I tried closer to my usual parameters and it came out much better.
Nicely green and fresh, a little bit floral, and nicely creamy. It certainly isn’t a (flavored) sweetened-condensed-milk milk oolong, but I like it better that way. There is always something fake about many of those other milk oolongs to me. And this one is one of the naturally creamiest Jin Xuans I’ve ever tried.
I should really try to remember to keep my faves in the rotation more frequently. I haven’t had this tea in a long time and it’s a shame! Because it is so so delicious.
It was also a good idea to remind myself of the honey-caramel-grain notes in this since I have another bailin gongfu tea sample from Sil to compare it to. Today there is a hint of cocoa in this cup as well. It is smooth and sweet with a nice, well rounded body. I can tell this is fresher than what I was drinking before (the dregs of my samples) because it has more potency at the same steep parameters. Will have to keep that in mind!
I am finally busting into these pearls after having them for a while! Mmmm, my favorite pearls. I’ve been drinking a lot of flavored teas lately so it’s always nice to go back to the basics.
I actually had a cup of this yesterday and another today since yesterday’s cup was at “tea time” and made with unfiltered water. But it turns out that that one was the better cup! This morning I wanted robustness so I added an extra pearl to my steeping basket and I think that was my mistake. I didn’t get nearly enough sweet chocolate goodness from this. But I do know that it’s there, it just got overwhelmed by being too robust. I still drank the whole cup, of course! But in the future I have to remember to get my parameters right.
I don’t think I’ve ever noticed how much weird stuff is in this sachet. Not only the green oolong balls and some flower petals, but chunks of dried pineapple, a ton of little silver dragees, pink peppercorns, and some bizarre spiky light blue candy thing (?).
I accidentally steeped this a little longer than I normally would but it seems to have suffered no ill effects. Lupicia’s flavored oolongs seem to be remarkably robust to differences in steep time and temp. This certainly makes them good traveling teas! I know I can take this oolong sachet with me and not have to worry about fussing with water temps or things like that.
I tend to like Lupicia’s flavored green oolongs and this one is no exception. It’s like their pineapple oolong, but instead of pineapple and coconut it’s pineapple and guava. So it makes a fruitier and more refreshing cup rather than the creaminess that the coconut brings. Also I love guava so it’s extra awesome. I would love to have enough of this to try cold steeping it as well because I bet it would be outstanding. Maybe I’ll be able to pick some more up eventually!
Hey hey, I remembered to bring in my Hawaiian Lupicia sachets today for work. I bought these in sachets because by the time I got around to purchasing them all the loose leaf was sold out, but that just means I have them for travel, which is kind of nice. I’ve even drank this one in stupidly cool water at a crappy hotel breakfast and it was pretty tasty even then.
This was quite delicious today, and I would gladly pick up more of it if I get a chance. C’mon Lupicia, put them back on your site! :D This is a nice change from a usual Earl Grey, as the passion fruit adds a softer side and a sweetness that is very pleasant. Definite yum!
I’m doing a bit of a leap frog over one of my Verdant reserve teas (at home) and the white tea that I accidentally got from Golden Moon but am really not that interested in drinking today.
So this is the tea I actually ordered and got a few days later when when I brought the mistake to their attention. I haven’t had this tea in forever but I remembered enjoying it so I figured I would get a small pouch of it. It does smell way more like sugary caramel than it tastes. Definitely a lightly flavored tea, but I am enjoying the cup anyway.
The main part of the sip basically tastes like a lightly roasted tieguanyin, or perhaps a Taiwanese oolong. It’s a bit nondescript except for the roastiness. The sugar caramel really comes out in the aftertaste when you are just sitting around not thinking about it. It’s not astounding, but it’s pretty tasty. I wonder how it would come out cold-brewed?
Apparently I’m bad at writing tasting notes in the afternoon, unless, like today, I teach all morning and so only get to my computer in the afternoon. I drank this tea yesterday afternoon but never logged it. So! We are on to Black Friday orders. How about that?? I only have two pages of teas in my cupboard left to go.
I love this tea so much. Definitely it is my favorite coconut pouchong, though I am interested to try the coconut greens I recently got from MissB. This is absolutely like a coconut macaroon, baked cookie-ish flavor and all. I have to remember not to sit on this one, though, since as a pouchong it has the potential to lose flavor faster than my black blends.