1623 Tasting Notes
Another tea from my swap with Becky. I actually at one point thought the “mandarin” in the name of this tea referred to mandarin oranges, not the fact that it was Chinese. But it’s just a straight up jasmine green tea, which is fine. It occurs to me that I should try this hot as well, but I cold brewed it for my cup today.
I like jasmine green tea cold brewed, but it can get too strong and bitter very quickly for some reason, so you really have to watch it. At 8 hours, this bordered on too strong but it was ok in the end. Nice and jasminey, not-too-grassy green tea. It’s simple, but it works.
I got some of this ages ago in a swap with Becky, but have yet to try it for some reason. I love lychee, I usually enjoy Lupicia’s teas (and some of my faves are Lupicia), so it should be perfect, right?
I adore Lupicia’s keemun base that they use for their Earl Grey tea, and I’ve had good experiences with a few of their other black bases (but not all of them). This is also a keemun, but it seems to be a different keemun, or it is reacting with the flavoring differently. I don’t get any smokiness in the Earl Grey, but this one most definitely has that characteristic keemun smoke. It happens to be a flavor I do not like all that much.
The lychee in this is quite lovely; juicy, sweet, both citrusy and floral. It really reminds me of eating a lychee. It’s too bad that I just really don’t like this keemun base. I left it for a while and took a sip when it was cold, and the smokiness was even worse. I will try cold brewing it but I am afraid that this might be a tea that I just will have to swap away.
Man, this tea is delicious. Really, really good. Honeyed, malty, warm and rich. I drank it up quickly this morning, and didn’t have many lucid thoughts about it except, “damn, this tea is tasty.”
I have been thinking about this tea lately for some reason. Maybe it’s the influx of tieguanyins to my cupboard, maybe it’s just thinking about teas I’ve had for a long time. I actually have a significant amount of this tea left. I ordered four ounces of it when it was going out of stock forever, and those came in two pouches. The second pouch hasn’t ever been opened. I have a strong drive to hoard this tea, even though it’s a tieguanyin and I know it is just losing flavor sitting there.
And yeah, it has faded a bit. But this tea, slightly faded, is still miles beyond so many others (to me). It has lost a bit of its natural sweetness, but it’s still floral and buttery. It will probably take me forever to drink this tea, and it will likely be old and flavorless when I finish it, but I will always remember how delicious it was at the beginning when I drink it.
I think I will try another of these Kusmi teas. They have been the victims of changing tastebuds, because there are several Kusmi teas that I used to love (or at least enjoy), and now they are not tasty at all to me. All the Russian blends apparently have the same base (a blend of Chinese, Ceylon and Indian teas), and one of the components doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not any sort of bitterness or astringency but a flavor I just don’t care for.
Yeah, no. This one is the same way. It’s pretty frustrating really, to have a quality tea that you just don’t like anymore. The one good thing is that I still like the teas cold brewed, so I guess I’ll be drinking a lot of iced Kusmi this summer.
Edited: Actually I ended up enjoying this one enough to drink the whole cup. Maybe it was the combination of citrus fruits but even though I didn’t love it, I liked it enough. It did get a bit astringent when it got really cool, though.
I was poking through my stash, opening tins to see how much was left of certain teas and sniffing them at the same time. There were a lot of delicious smelling teas in there, but for some reason when I sniffed this one it just made my mouth water and I had to make a cup.
I am going to boost my rating on this one as it really is delicious. It’s not just the pineapple but the coconut too… a little piña colada-y, but not too much for the morning. Last time I wished for more buttery oolong flavor, and I do still want more butteriness from the oolong, but the flavorings are so good it doesn’t matter all that much. This is certainly tasty and a nice balance of flavoring.
I see that the last time I drank this I didn’t really write a tasting note because I was distracted. Well, I guess I better remedy that!
This is quite a lovely tea. It is kind of one of those black teas that reminds me of a honeyed dan cong oolong, but better because it’s a black tea (not the biggest fan of dan congs here). Anyway, this is definitely on the fruitier side for a black tea, and I do get a sense of stone fruit (peach, apricot) and a hint of lychee. There is almost a floral quality as well. I’m usually not the biggest fan of fruity (unflavored) black teas for some reason, but this one I quite enjoy. I think I like it best when it is toward the hot side versus once it really cools down… as it gets just warm it starts reminding me of a darjeeling (fruity florals, I guess). Quite tasty overall.
Forgot that I had this one yesterday and never logged it. I bought an ounce of this because it sounded like a fantastic combo: apples, roses, pistachio. But then I started falling out of love with flavored greens in general, so I put off trying it.
The good news is that the green tea base actually works fine for me. It’s not that super low quality sencha that so many flavored greens seem to be, and it tastes ok. Not great, but ok. The bad news is that the flavoring tastes like candy. For me, not even green apple candy (which I do love), just generically fruity candy that’s really fakey. I didn’t get any rose from this, surprisingly. Toward the end, once it was cool I would occasionally get a hint of pistachio, but it was far from prevalent. Overall disappointing; I will of course try a cold brew of this one, which I suspect will bring out the rose at least.
So I got this in a swap aaaages ago from darby, I believe. Thanks for the swap, and sorry it took me so long to get around to it. I probably should have been drinking it before, because now I am losing my taste for teas like this. This is definitely sourced from TeaGschwendner, and I haven’t had the best success with their base teas, which is part of the reason I have put off trying it for so long. Also I think I got it around the time when I was starting to have a harder time with nut teas.
I will say, I am enjoying it more than I thought I would. It probably has lost some flavor and potency over time, but it’s still marzipanny. It’s not bitter, but it’s also kind of boring. There is maybe a hint of something off about it, perhaps the nuts in the blend. I am finding that I dislike actual nuts in my tea, and although I love nut flavoring, real nuts give off some kind of something when steeped that doesn’t sit right with me.
I will probably take this home and drink it strong with milk and sugar. Perhaps I can coax more flavor out of it that way.
Sipdown, 148. Cold brew; most of my sipdowns now will probably be cold brews for a bit, since it is summer and cold brews are a good way to use up leaf.
This was quite good today. At first I thought it was too strong, but as I kept drinking it it seemed to mellow out and was just yummy green apple with green tea. There was a hint of astringency, but that actually made me really think of eating a granny smith apple and how they can have that astringent, drying character. It worked well, and made for a tasty tea today.