2098 Tasting Notes
A long, mostly tea-less Thursday means a not-ready-to-be-awake Friday morning. I knew I wanted a black tea that would help me wake up a bit, but was having a hard time choosing. I almost went for an Earl Grey, or some chocolate tea, but instead I grabbed this one. Figgy and fruity and floral, it’s comforting but also the black tea is bold enough to make for a good wake-up cup. Doesn’t mean that I’m not still tired, but at least I have enough energy to get the morning started.
Today was an early morning and it’s going to be a long day. It’s also going to be a day mostly without tea… how am I going to survive?!
I decided to take this one on the go with me this morning sine it’s such a fortifying tea. Doesnt mean I feel awake right now, but at least the tea is tasty. This is quickly becoming my go-to Earl, which is saying something for me because I have so many of them. This one really stands out from the others in a good way. More than that, although I love plain Earl Greys I don’t often find myself reaching for them out of my own cupboard, I guess because none of them really grabbed me. But this one I look at the pouch and think, “I want that tea!” A sure sign of a keeper.
I thought I would try these oolongs again before I go to China to get a reminder of their flavors, and what I might want to look out for. I know I’m going to be completely overwhelmed, so I’m trying to restrict the actual kinds of teas that I will specifically look for while I’m there. I’m hoping I can also discover a some teas I’ve never heard of while I’m there, so keeping all the varieties straight in my head is going to be tough. :)
This is a nicely balanced floral and vegetal oolong. It’s got a smooth texture throughout the sip, and then there’s a light astringency and a sweetness to the aftertaste. I don’t find this one particularly creamy or buttery in flavor this time. It’s light and fresh and floral and pretty springy, which is appropriate for the warm, lovely weather we’re having today.
Also, I am completely obsessed with the new Frozen Planet penguin livestream webcam. It’s of the penguin enclosure at Sea World San Diego, and there are a lot of penguins in there! They are hilarious, and I love watching them while I’m working. My favorites are the Adelie and Gentoo penguins. Fortunately my screen is big enough that I can have a small window with them open at all times.
There is something that is just so caramelly and sweet about this blend. Maybe it’s the tea base, maybe it’s the red fruits flavoring that’s just really rich. This tea always surprises me because the leaf looks so… not inspiring of confidence. Tiny tiny pieces of tea that look like they belong in a tea bag. A lot of times those teas can get bitter (or just too strong for me) quickly because of all the surface area. But not this tea! I brewed it at four minutes this time, and there is not a hint of bitterness. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t use more leaf, though, because I could still go for a somewhat bolder flavor. Definitely enjoying this cup, though!
Another tea I have little to say about at this point. I love it, it’s one of my faves, and you can see other tasting notes to see why. Short story is that it’s chocolatey, almondy, caramelly, and has a nice black tea base that plays well with the flavors.
I feel like I’ve been leaning toward black teas lately, especially my favorite flavoreds, and today I realized that it might be because in a few weeks I will be in China and I subconciously think this will mean no more black tea. Of course it will likely not because I am going to try to pick up a couple teas including a gongfu black right when I get there so I can have them for my 3 week stay in Beijing. True, I won’t have flavored teas except for florals. I am glad I’m at a much better place in my tea journey than if I was taking this trip last year… at this time last year I didn’t like (nor was I interested in) any unflavored teas at all, really, and a trip to China would have just resulted in lots and lots of jasmine teas. Fortunately that’s no longer the case, and that’s definitely due to swaps on Steepster and Teavivres samples, which have been like a mini course in Chinese teas. Now my biggest problem is fitting it all in my luggage…
Dealing with idiocy this morning, and you know that means a nice, comforting, tasty tea. I love the combination of bergamot with red fruits, and when you add in vanilla and caramel? Yum. I’m really enjoying this one today, and it’s reminding me that I need to pick up samples of the rest of Kusmi’s bergamot-based blends.
Mmmm. I guess today is a day for old favorites or something. I haven’t felt like adventuring to a tea I hadn’t tried before. Just the smell of this tea steeping makes me think of Paris and the Dammann Freres shop. And of course of Laduree, where I buy my macarons (which reminds me, I still haven’t been to the Laduree in NYC! I can’t believe I forgot it was there).
Man, now I want to go to Paris.
I had this tea with lunch today, and it certainly was tasty. Having a tea with a meal is not the best time to suss out all the flavors, but I do think that the 1 minute steep time worked out for me well here. I used a fair amount of leaf (about 2 “perfect teaspoons” for a 12oz cup) and after 1 minute at first I thought it didn’t look like it possibly could have steeped long enough because it looked so pale, but the scent persueded me otherwise. Definitely nutty and lovely.
I don’t know why we always go birding on Sundays, it makes Mondays so much harder. It’s always so fun but sooo exhausting. This weekend it was because Saturday wasn’t a very pleasent day here.
I haven’t had this tea in quite a while so I thought I would try it out again. I’m not a big darjeeling person, but this tea is an exception. The bright lemony citrus really complements the base, and the caramel just sneaks up at the end of the sip, adding a sweetness and just making the whole thing pretty delicious. I think this darjeeling may appeal to me because the added caramel flavoring tends to recall a darker black base. Still really enjoying this one and it’s reminding me that I need to stop by the Harney store more often… this was a tea of the day there that I never would have chosen to sample on my own, but I didn’t say no to a free sample and was surprised by how much I liked it.