1644 Tasting Notes
Back to reality. Last week was pretty much all traveling/vacation, even though we got back home on Thursday. Then yesterday I had an entire day of orientation for my new job… and only some mid-day iced tea to sustain me. At least it was decently tasty iced tea. But now I’m back at my desk, if only for the rest of the week. Saturday I’m off to Barcelona for a week-long scientific conference! I’m excited but I will be ready to be done with traveling by the time it is over.
Anyway, I’ve been away from my kettle and water filter for a while, and I wanted to make sure there wasn’t going to be anything weird going on with it. I wanted a tasty tea, but a tea that I had enough of that I wouldn’t be super disappointed if it got a bit messed up. This one seemed to work. Luckily my kettle and water are fine, and this is very tasty. Taking the rest of it home to cold brew… I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before, but as this tea is an homage to a tamarind soda it would make sense cold!
Sipdown, 126. Gongfu this afternoon.
With my first steeps, I was reminded that, no matter how much I try, I just don’t dig puerh in any form. It’s not that it tastes bad to me, I just don’t love the flavor. The first steeps of this were also a bit oversteeped (kind of bitter) given the amount of leaf in the pot, and perhaps the amount of broken leaf from the bottom of the pouch (even though they were 4-6 second steeps). But then there was a totally awesome floral, osmanthus-like aftertaste lingering in my mouth. Hmm.
My third steep I did a super quick, pour in pour out, couple second steep, which was mellower but still had a bite I didn’t love. But once again there was this awesome floral aftertaste that came out a few minutes after I finished drinking the steep. It really reminded me of something but I can’t place it, and it’s kind of driving me nuts. Although I don’t really care for the bulk of the sip itself, the lingering florals are so lovely that I am definitely enjoying this tea a lot more this time. Interesting!
Another cold matcha latte today! Today I decided to go without sugar and see how it turned out. I’ve had this shaken with just cold water before and really enjoyed it, so I figured shaken with milk would be good too. Turns out yes! There was a slight sweetness from the milk and the matcha itself that made was just enough. Nutty and delicious!
One pot of tea closer to killing this one. Not that I don’t enjoy it, because I do, but it is quite old and has lost its spark to me. Now I it’s just the latest in a group of teas that I am excited to sipdown and clean out my cupboard. In one week I leave for Europe and in two weeks I will be buying a stupid amount of tea in Paris. Quite happy with where my cupboard is right now, but a few more sipdowns before I go would be great. Go go go!
Earlier today I made a iced matcha latte with this using some instructions I found in a discussion thread here, thanks to Stephanie. They were: 1/2 tsp matcha, 2 tsp sugar, 1 cup milk, shaken with ice. I don’t have a cocktail shaker (for some bizarre reason), but I did happen across a shaker bottle intended for making frappés (this particular frappé being a Greek instant coffee, milk and sugar drink that I grew fond of when studying abroad in Athens years ago), which works well.
It was super delicious! I will try it without sugar to see how it turns out as well, but the two teaspoons in this weren’t overly sweet. I need to get through some of my matcha because it is pretty old at this point, so this will be a great way to drink it up this summer.
Sipdown, 127. It’s been an exhausting couple of days. I got sick a few days ago but refused to let it slow me down on my few days back in NY, so now that I can slow down I am totally exhausted. It’s really hot, but fortunately we have AC currently and so I am having the final of these teas that I brought with me. Hopefully it will perk me up a bit.
I always drink chai sweetened with milk, and I decided this one would be no different. Before additions it smells very spicy and kind of like Christmas… Clove, cinnamon, ginger. I think I can smell the cardamom too, and it adds a “roundness” to the spice mixture, keeping it from being too sharp. With additions, this tastes to me like a fairly generic chai. Then again, I’m not a chai person normally, so I don’t know if I’d be able to pick out the intricacies of the spice blend. But it’s pretty tasty, and I can feel the black tea giving me energy already.
Sipdown, 128. This tea was the whole reason that I bought the variety box from this company, because I had a pot of it in Argentina and enjoyed it. I was hoping this one would surprise me like the English Breakfast one did, but it was a decent but fairly mediocre earl grey with some notes of rose. Not something I will miss too much.
Sipdown, 129, and backlog.
When I brewed this up it smelled like candied mangoes. Pretty tasty smelling overall and nicely tropical. I don’t know if its partly some interaction with papaya or what, but in the sip this almost taste peachy! There is a bit of hibiscus in this but it is deployed with a deft hand and it’s not very noticable. Overall a pretty decent tea for the afternoon.
Sipdown, but I apparently never added this to my cupboard. Oops!
Green tea, chamomile and orange. This tasted mostly like chamomile, with a bit of grassy green tea. As it cools, I got a hint of orange, but other wise it was ok but less successful than the other Inti Zens I’ve had today.
Sipdown, 130, and backlog.
This is an English Breakfast, and in the past I have shied away from English Breakfasts because I haven’t really liked them. There was a period of time where I actively despised them, actually. But I’ve been enjoying Chinese teas and the components of English Breakfasts way more lately, so I was cautiously optimistic that I would like this one. And what do you know, this was pretty good! I was shocked that it was actually sweet when I took a sip! Malty and grainy and yum. Not very complex, but satisfying and way more than I expected from a tea bag.