1995 Tasting Notes
The first time I brewed this, it had a musty aroma that put me off and I never went back to it. I decided to cold brew it since sometimes cold brewing makes weird teas better. So it was with this tea: my cold brew is all coconut and vanilla, slightly sweet, and nice and refreshing. I would consider having this one around just as a cold steep, actually, since it’s so tasty. I’m not getting any florals from the rose buds, but that’s ok. I’m rating this one strictly on it’s cold brew, but I suppose I might try the hot again to see if I can get a better cup. Definitely has the potential to be very tasty!
I’ve been thinking about rose blacks lately, and this morning I decided I had to have one. And I thought: go big or go home. So I am having the last of my sample of the supremely rosey Rose Scented. This may go on my list to purchase more of because I feel like I’d like to keep some of this around just for occasions when I want something out of this world rosey. I actually still very much like my ESP Emporium China Rose for a more subdued but still sweet rose flavor.
I suppose I could have had this one this morning as well, since its a ginger lemon blend. I’m feeling better now, but I decided to have it anyway since I’ve actually only ever tried this one cold steeped. The last time I had it I described the scent of the dry leaves as like a lemon drop candy, but this time I’m getting more sharp, spicy ginger aroma as well.
The brewed tea smells lemongrassy lemony… you know, in that way that is both lemony and a grassiness that doesn’t come from the green tea. It also smells a touch sweet and a touch spicy from the ginger. When still very hot, I didn’t get a ton of flavor from this tea. There was basically an inverse relationship of flavor to hotness. By the time it cooled to just warm, there was more flavor, but it was still pretty light. Light and lemony, with a warm gingery flavor that has the sweetness of a ginger chew candy. Once it cools down to this temp, I’m really enjoying it and I think this will do nicely for times when I need a ginger tea. Also when I just want something lemony!
I’m not feeling the greatest today, so I was looking in my stash for something soothing. I actually don’t have any primarily ginger tea right now, which is odd and needs to be remedied. This is described as a rose oolong, but it also contains ginger and lemongrass (and the lemongrass seems to be the primary flavor), so I went with this one.
This tea is crazy because every time it tastes different. First time I had it, it was strongly lemongrass and ginger. Second time, it was only faintly lemony and mostly the green oolong. Today, it’s actually very rosey! With a nice, light hint of lemon underneath, adding a bright note that pairs well with the rich, sweet rose. This iteration is definitely an oolong I’d buy again, but I’m unsure I’d ever be able to replicate this cup.
This past weekend we went back to Coney Island to find our super rare Gray-hooded Gull again. If anyone is interested in seeing the gull, my pictures are here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvGy7Wq
There’s a NY Times article about the gull today, but the reporter was pretty lazy and didn’t even try to contact any officials or try to find the person that reported it originally (me!). http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/01/nyregion/gray-hooded-gull-rare-bird-in-us-is-apparently-on-coney-island.html?_r=1
ETA: Here’s an article from the American Birding Association, which actually does give us credit: http://birding.typepad.com/peeps/2011/07/gray-hooded-gull-coney-island-new-york.html
Cold steeping this one really brought out the earthy leafy flavors of this oolong. The other flavors are more subdued, but definitely present: hints of lovely rose, a bit of berry, some tropical fruit. It’s more rosey than when brewed hot; I’m starting to find that cold steeping seems to draw out some flavors more than others (florals and vanilla flavors seem to come to the forefront with cold steeping). Overall I’m really enjoying this one cold steeped, and it just adds to my appreciation of this tea. Every time I drink this tea it endears itself to me more.
I’m pretty excited this morning since I got notice that I bird I saw last weekend on Coney Island may be a Grey-headed Gull, which is only known from one or two records in North America (it’s a South American/African species). Still waiting to hear back from Cornell Bird Lab, but this would be my first confirmed rare bird sighting!
I almost forgot to brew some tea, but once I settled down a bit I chose this one. I neglected to look at my previous tasting note until I already had set my water boiling, so I didn’t realized that I wanted to try this tea at a lower temp this time. Oops! To compensate I decided to try it at a shorter steep time instead.
It seems to have worked pretty well! I’m not getting any bitterness from this cup. It’s vanilla caramely and very tasty. It doesn’t seem to be too weak or have suffered from loss of flavor from only a 2 minute steep. I’ll also try it at lower temp for 3 minutes, but it’s defintely good with these parameters.
I decided to try this one back to back with the Polish Monk’s blend since they seem to be very similar in ingredients. They really are very similar, but this one seems a little sweeter somehow, and the jasmine is stronger. It’s an herby jasmine, which I know seems weird, but I guess it’s a bit like herbaceous rose. I think the bergamot is somehow tempering the floralness of the jasmine, when I feel like usually the jasmine is enhancing the floral character of the bergamot. The vanilla smooths things well, but it still has that hint of bitterness that surprises me. This may be a blend that I want to work better than it does, but I won’t give up on it until it I mess around with a lot of other steep times and temps.
I brewed this tea at a cooler temp this time since now I know it’s a black green blend. The brewed tea smells vanilla-y, but with a fair dose of bergamot and some robust black tea. I don’t remember getting much of that the last time I tried this, but there it is. I’m not getting much jasmine in the taste this time, and it’s actually a tad bitter, which is surprising. I guess this is another finicky tea that’s going to require some messing around with time and temp to get the steep just right.
I probably should have had another sachet for cold steeping this tea, but even with only one for 16 oz of water it was very very tasty. So peachy and delicious! I could see buying some of this for only iced tea. I mean, it’s good hot, but I really think it makes a fantastic iced tea. It’s a great blend of a nice black tea with fruit. And I could drink this one in the evenings too!