2102 Tasting Notes
I made a cup of this tea, which is also old (I forget how old, but it’s one of the older ones in my cupboard, probably 2 years?) to mainly convince me that not all rose teas age poorly. This one certainly hasn’t. Still intensely rosey, and the base is still smooth but robust. I do think it has probably faded a little, but since this tea was already intense at the beginning, it still packs a punch.
Eight months ago I had this tea and thought it tasted old and musty. Aging it further has not improved it.
It kind of reminds me of the Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black, in that it almost doesn’t taste like anything, although this one does have a mustiness that is quite unpleasant. I was going to cold brew it to see if that improved it, but I’m really not sure. It’s that mustiness that’s almost worrisome, although it has certainly been in a dry, climate-controlled environment its entire life. Maybe I will decide after I try the BRLB that I cold brewed last night and have for lunch today.
I am supposed to be reviewing teas more regularly because I am officially within 10 tasting notes of 2000 notes. I should be able to do that before I leave for Europe in a week!
I couldn’t remember how I usually steeped this one, so I guessed, and it came out SO GOOD. Gotta do it next time too. Very sweet and lovely. I don’t reach for this one often and it is finicky, but it can be awesome if you catch it in the right mood.
So. A lot of leaf, and a shorter time to balance it, to try this one out again.
The good news is that this tea now tastes like something other than leaves and earth. There is definitely a bright fruitiness that I mostly associate with goji berry, and there is definitely an incense note. Not sure how I feel about that one. Ok, well I’m not in love with it. I don’t tend to like overly herbaceous teas, and I feel like the incense gives it an almost medicinal quality.
Overall, meh. Not my style. I can sometimes tolerate these things better in cold brew, so that will be my next experiment.
Well darn. I tried this one again with double the leaf I would normally use, and my water has a fresh filter in it, and this is still lackluster. I taste the rose more now, but the LB in the base is still almost absent, and what’s more, what is there is almost bitter.
I have a LOT of this tea. I’m going to try cold brewing it because that may still result in a good cup, but otherwise there is like 2oz that are basically garbage now. This tea has aged much more poorly than many other of my black teas. LESSON LEARNED.
When I read the description for this tea, I was not thrilled. Inspired by inscense in temples… inscence can be nice to smell, but I rarely want to drink it. However, when I smelled the dry leaf I was really surprised. It does not smell like inscense (to me), but instead dead up like molasses-covered grain (horse feed). I know that sounds like a bad thing to many people but it isn’t! Some of my favorite Fujian black teas remind me of molasses grain, and it’s a pleasant olfactory memory for me anyway.
There are (also surprisingly) not too many crazy ingredients in this one. The one that is an unknown quantity is the Aloeswood Tincture. That sounds like something that I wouldn’t care for, just because anything called “tincture” sounds medicinal and herby and gross.
Brewed, the smell of the mi lan oolong comes out. Kind of woody, slightly sweet smelling, a bit like autumn leaves. It tastes like… um, I’m not sure. At first I thought “nothing” and then I changed my mind to “dirt” but then maybe it was like “dead leaves on the ground”. Ok but that was when it was still quite hot. It cooled down and then it tasted like… not much. I mean, it did have flavors of autumn leaves and a bit of honey (the dirt taste went away mostly), but honestly it wasn’t very interesting. I couldn’t taste the berries, I couldn’t taste the aloeswood.
I would think my lackluster experiences might be due to needing to change my water filter (and I might anyway, it’s been a while), but I did just have a delicious and satisfying cup of Dammann Frères tea, so I doubt it. I will try to brew this one stronger and see if it can’t leave more of an impression.
I had a cup of this tea this morning and it was almost tasteless. Ruh roh. This is an ooooold tea, but it still took me by surprise because the Yunnan White Jasmine I have from the same order is still flavorful. I would expect a white jasmine to die faster than a black tea. Not even just the bergamot and rose, but the LB itself was weak. I guess I will have to try more leaf and see if I can coax out more flavor. I guess the lesson is: don’t sit on your LB.
ETA: I made this in a (failed) attempt to remind myself of blends from Verdant that I love. I got disappointed again with this month’s blends club. At first I was excited about the Shandon Rose blend because the description was about a rose-infused green tea they had in China, but then I read the ingredients and saw Peppermint (bleh), Sarsaparilla (again?) and Coriander (of course). WHY?? The tea smells mostly like a candy cane. Still not dropping the club until after the holiday blends, but it gets tougher every month.
In honor of the blood moon/lunar eclipse this morning, which I did not get up to see because I am way too lazy for that. But as I was trying to figure out what tea to drink this morning I remembered this one and realized it would be appropriate.
This is one of the few MF blends that I actually love. This is the tea that convinced me that I could really love a MF tea! I suspect there would be others, but it’s tough to know. It really depends on the base tea, which varies from tea to tea. I will probably take a chance on a couple of others when I am in Berlin soon. The almond is perfect in this, strong and intense, like eating almond candy. The spices are well-blended, too, and aren’t too in-your-face which can happen with things like cinnamon and clove. The base tea is smooth pleasant. This is like Pleine Lune without the fruit (which I don’t care for) and lightly spiced. An almond cookie for sure. Yum.
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg
This is one of my oldest teas, and one I don’t drink nearly enough. This tea still tastes delicious, even though it is ancient. But I bet it would taste better fresh! I should try to drink this one more regularly and eventually stock up more at Harney (fresh!).
Lots of rich almond, a nice burst of fruity cranberry. Definitely still one of my favorite almond teas.