1918 Tasting Notes
This morning I have an occasional shooting pain in my thigh that is really not pleasant at all. And since tea cures all ills, maybe my morning cup with help. A girl can hope, right?
Apparently I’m having rose-scented things lately for Valentines day. Actually if I went through my cupboard I bet I could drink only different teas with rose in them until then. There is the weekend, during which I don’t drink much tea, but I would still have today, Monday and Tuesday. I think I have just set a challenge for myself, and I accept.
This tea is a lot better than I remember. My first time I logged it as a 76 because I didn’t really like the black tea base they used. I’m not sure if my tastes have changed or brewing at a lower temperature helped, but I find it perfectly fine now. The bergamot is still pretty light (probably just above Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme on my bergameter (© K S) scale… read his review of that tea if you don’t get it), but definitely more present than last time and the rose is nicely, lightly floral. I hadn’t gone back to this one in a long time because I’m never very enthusiastic about going back to a tea I don’t care for much, but now at least I can go back to my sample without fear.
This time I dumped a fair amount of leaf into my steeping basket and hoped for the best. I think I can call it a success. It’s still very pale but the tea is pretty flavorful; nicely nutty and a hint sweet. I definitely enjoy this one when I’m looking for a nice, light green tea that’s not very grassy. That chestnut flavor is great and I could see this being a nice tea to have with a meal as well.
Geez, Steepster is slow for me this morning. I was really not sure if the page was ever going to load. Anyway, I decided to have this “seasonal” tea this morning to hopefully wake me up and energize me a bit. I bought a couple of ounces of this tea a while ago but I haven’t had any of it too recently. This is a pretty tasty chocolate tea, but it’s not nearly rosey enough for me. I mean, I pretty much don’t taste it at all. I’m thinking I might have to start throwing in some rose scented black to amp up the rose and bring it to a level I want. In the end I probably won’t rebuy this one again, but I don’t think I’ll have much problem finishing it up anyway.
I had one Dong Ding oolong and really liked it, so I asked for some samples of others and luckily Amy Oh sent me a sample of this one! I tend to love the teas from Naivetea, so I am definitely excited to try it.
This one smells way more toasty than the dong ding from thepuriTea. The roasted grains aroma reminds me of some of the darker oolongs I’ve tried. When I breath in deep I get a nice autumn leaves aroma. The flavor is not unexpected based on the aroma but not exactly what I was expecting based on thepuriTea’s. That one was basically unroasted, but perhaps it is unusual? In any case, I do enjoy it a lot. It’s a bit vegetal, nicely roasty, a tiny bit sweet.
Thanks so much for this sample, Amy, I’m glad I got to try it!
Another one from my recent order from Ovation. I couldn’t resist the combination of jasmine and passion fruit, even with some ingredients that sounded odd (juniper berries?). The tea is what looks like a sencha with a scattering of jasmine pearls and a lot of jasmine blossoms, orange peel, some cornflower petals, and yes, a good number of juniper berries. It smells kind of similar to some other jasmine/fruity teas I’ve come across, but way more natural. There’s an interesting herby hint to the aroma too that I’m going to guess is the juniper berries.
Steeped it smells mmmm very nice. Lovely jasmine, sweet passion fruit, and some aroma that reminds me strongly of asian grocery stores. Actually, the whole thing kind of does; I was just in my local asian market not long ago, and it’s definitely reminding me of that. In any case it’s a pleasant aroma, and amalgamation of a lot of scents and flavors. The flavor of this is quite tasty, and fairly similar to the aroma. I put a little more leaf in than I would usually use (because that’s what the bag called for, 2tsp per cup), but I think I wouldn’t do that again because it does seem a little strong for me. But otherwise I enjoy it a lot! I don’t like gin so I was worried about the juniper berries, but they seem to just give it a pleasant, grounding, herby taste.
I have more than once bought jasmine, passion fruit & citrus flavored green teas (actually the same blend from different companies but I didn’t realize), only to be sorely disappointed by poor quality flavorings that tasted like fake fruit candy. This seems like the flavor profile that those teas were going for, but it actually succeeds. I can still pick out the jasmine and separate it from the passion fruit and a hint of citrus. It definitely works. Even if Ovation’s black tea base isn’t for me, their green & white blends have been great so I definitely see myself ordering more of those in the future.
I seem to be allergic to the heat in my house, which explains the mega sneezing/runny nose fits I have mornings there in the winter, but not anywhere else and not any other season. Bleh. By the time I get to work it’s usually settling down a bit but I’m still a little sneezy.
Of all my Dammann Freres teas, I have the least of this one left, mostly because I have sent a bunch of samples of it out. That’s ok, though, because though I do really enjoy this tea, it’s not one I have to keep in my cupboard. It is a nice morning cup. Not too complex, a lovely blend of flavors, and a smooth black tea base. Chocolate/hazelnut is a common blend, and the orange adds a little punch of citrus to this, but not enough to make me crave it. It is, however, enough to make me crave more Dammann teas… curse my tea-buying ban! :)
So I kind of sort of broke my no tea buying rule this year… but not really! This company offered a free sample of this tea if you paid $1 shipping, so how could I resist? I mean, I didn’t buy tea, I bought shipping! Watch me rationalize. Anyway, the sample was a whole ounce, so it was a really good deal anyway. The dried tea has a nice floral, fresh aroma to it, and when steeped that turns into a very floral, very buttery scent. The first thing I thought when I took the steeping basket out of my mug was “woah, those are some huge leaves!” There are some small leaves, some pieces of large leaves, and some stems in the mix.
The flavor is both strongly floral and strongly vegetal… they just play off each other so that they both get time to shine. It is a bit buttery but overall the tea is a little astringent in that way that green oolongs sometimes are. No sweetness to it, really, but it is a rather nice cup.
As a side note, this company has a lot of interesting oolongs but they only sell 5oz or more on most teas, and that is more than I want to buy untried. They have some flavored oolongs I’d like to try too, but those are only sold in 10.5oz packs! Oh well.
I got a fair amount of this tea in my recent swap with brandy3392… thanks again for the swap! I was interested in it because I like the idea of an anjou pear oolong, and also because I enjoy trying a bunch of Teavana teas without ever having to deal with the company. The dry leaf on this was something I have come to expect from some of these big flavored tea companies (not just Teavana) of a high “inclusions” to tea ratio. What’s also interesting is that the oolong seems to be a mix of dark oolong (short, uncurled leaves and some stems) and green oolong (reasonably well rolled balls).
The steeped tea on this one immediately lets me know that the rosehips and hibiscus are not going to be hiding here. It is a lovely “dusky rose” color. While I do get a pretty obvious tart hibiscus aroma from this, I also definitely smell the slightly vegetal, slightly floral oolong base underneath. Overall, I’d have to say that I like this tea ok, but I don’t think it does what it intends to… or at least what it advertises. It definitely has a super tart, hibiscusy taste at the front of the sip, which fades into a sweetish, fruity flavor toward the end. The hibiscus/rosehips kind of overwhelms the rest of it. I used to see teas with hibiscus in them and think that they’d be fine because I love hibiscus, but really I love it cold and highly sweetened, not in hot teas. I will definitely look forward to making this one iced in a big pitcher when the weather warms up.
I decided to have this tea this morning because I haven’t had it in a while, and wow I am enjoying it a lot. At the beginning of the sip I get a tart berry burst and then it rounds out into a full, rich, almost syrupy taste at the end. Delicious! I was thinking earlier about how I remembered liking this tea but I didn’t think that I would need it in my permanent collection, but now I’m not sure about that! It’s got such a great flavor, and it would also be great for blending for other teas.
Another cool thing about this tea (for me) is that it comes in sachets, which isn’t a big selling point for most people except Harney sachets are my favorite to bring with me while traveling, and I do a lot of traveling.
Well this is a polarizing tea! I got a sample of this one in my swap with brandy3392, and I’m excited to try it because I love figs. Also the dry tea smells really nice… definitely figgy and a little floral and sweet. I better not like it too much, though, because it’s apparently discontinued.
The steeped tea smells less darkly figgy to me and more other fruits, probably melons. The flavor is somewhere in between, a fruity blend that is pretty good but kind of odd. Fig, melon and carrot is not a combo I would have thought of! The oolong underneath is kind of generally formosa oolongy but not too notable… it’s neither very roasty or very green. Overall it’s a pretty tasty tea, but I’m not too broken up that it’s not available anymore.