2006 Tasting Notes
It’s freaking cold! And sitting in my freezing office is not exactly pleasant. Ugh. Well, at least I have this tea from MissB! Get use to seeing her name in tasting notes from me because she sent me a ton of samples.
This definitely smells nice, like an Earl Grey Cream but with an extra sweet punch from the marshmallows. I have to say, with my usual parameters I didn’t get a ton of flavor out of this. I mean, there was some light bergamot and vanilla, but I wanted more. So I threw the leaves back into my 3/4 filled cup, added the last pinch of leaf I hadn’t used before, topped it up with hot water, and steeped it for another two minutes. It sounds crazy, but it actually turned out nice! The bergamot picked up, the vanilla picked up, and the base tea has a bit more heft to it. Still, I don’t quite get marshmallow from the taste (definitely there in the scent), but I bet I would if I sweetened it (which I don’t do unless I can’t drink a tea straight).
I have a sneaking suspicion that Herbal Infusions will be like Della Terra for me. I requested a number of samples of both from MissB (and she graciously obliged me) because I always read the raves and feel like I’m missing something. I tried Della Terra a while ago and liked the teas ok but couldn’t get into them because of a boring base that had no role in the flavor of the tea (a plus for some). I wanted to try again to see if maybe I was just too harsh on them.
So far, this is a nice, drinkable cup of tea but nothing I have to order more of (I’m a little relieved, haha). Thanks MissB!
Mmm, roasty chestnuts! It’s been a long time since I had this one, but I don’t know why. It is the perfect tea for this snowy snowy day that we are having!
This isn’t a heavily flavored tea, really… it really reminds me of a nice nutty black tea with a good heap of roastiness. It’s almost like this tea was the base of that ATR Sultan’s Delight blend. Quite tasty overall.
Second gongfu session of the day. I ordered a sample of this tea because I really enjoy Verdant’s reserve Fuding white tea, and thought I would check this one out.
I would say that although this one doesn’t really approach the quality of Verdant’s, it’s a decent tea. Not quite sweet, but with allusions to the marshmallow notes I was hoping for. A bit of hay, a tiny floral note. I’m fairly picky about white teas (in that I’m not huge on white teas so one has to be really impressive or unique to win me over), so I’m glad I have just a sample of this one, but it won’t be too hard to finish it.
Ok, after having my gongfu session with this tea today, I can say that I am kind of disappointed in it considering it is supposed to be very high grade.
So first off, the flavor is not very complex or interesting. I look for butteriness, florals, perhaps a hint of fruit, and fresh leafy flavor. The first couple of steeps (post rinse) were kind of bland and almost savory, which is just wrong in an oolong like this IMO. As it progressed I steeped a bit longer and got some florals to peek out, but the savoriness got stronger as well. Then the florals left and there was only spinach soup. When I steeped this western style I thought I had oversteeped it and masked the delicate flavors, but now I see there just weren’t really any delicate flavors to begin with.
Also, I pulled a few leaves out and they were not whole, but rather with raggedy edges and missing ends. No attached leaf-bud pairs, and no intact, non-shredded leaves. Yeah, not the quality I was expecting. Disappointing, but there are plenty of other TGYs in the sea.
I totally did not look at my previous tasting notes for this one and I was convinced that I was going to have a bitter cup… I remembered to underleaf it (relative to what I normally would add) but I definitely brewed it hotter and I initially set my timer for longer. I pulled it a bit early, and it turned out great! Lots of crisp, citrusy bergamot and a substantial (but not too robust) tea base. A good cup to start my (late) morning off. :)
I have to admit, I wasn’t thrilled to see that the January blends club theme was tulsi. I haven’t had a lot of tulsi (and never just tulsi), but what I have had I haven’t been fond of. But I will try it nonetheless!
When I smelled the dry leaf I was a little put off, and I think it must have been the tulsi because there isn’t anything else in this blend that should be objectionable. Fortunately after steeping it evens out a bit and smells better. Herby, cocoa-y, almost minty even though there isn’t any mint in this. It honestly reminds me a bit of the scent profile of the Peppermint Bark herbal. The taste has a lot more oolong in it, and I’m definitely tasting the toasty, minerally flavor of the Wuyi oolong. A bit of cocoa, and a bit of herbal, root beerish flavor. Considering this blend contains a few things I’m not really a fan of (wuyi oolong, tulsi), I don’t mind it too much, but I wouldn’t say that I really like it that much either. Ah well, can’t love them all!
Finishing this one off this afternoon. Steeped in a gaiwan but each steeping combined into one cup. There is something about a snowy day that makes me think of a light, springy green tea. I do enjoy a nice, crisp, nutty green, but I think the “reserve”-ness of this is wasted on me, haha. Perhaps one day I will need to restock a plain green but right now I think my cupboard is fine without one.
I brought this tea home because I planned to do some cold steeping with it… I do enjoy this tea, but I don’t LOVE it, which means I won’t reach for it as much and it will sit around longer. I figured it would probably be really tasty cold brewed and that way it will move through my stash faster. However, this morning I really wanted a black tea I could have without milk and sugar, and I have so few of those at home, so I reached for this one!
And it was quite tasty this morning. Lots of red fruits, a hint of vanilla. It will be good to have at home for drinking on the weekends as well, it seems!