1616 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 114. I actually had this one last night but didn’t get around to writing a note. Thanks to MissB for sending some along!
So the other day when I had the Lupicia rooibos blend I remembered another reason I don’t typically drink rooibos: like some people, it tickles the back of my throat and makes me feel a little allergic. I had heard that putting the rooibos in a paper tea pouch (instead of a metal infuser) helps to cut down on this because there’s not as much leak-through of tiny rooibos bits, so I tried that with a bit of this tea because I did want to taste it.
I will say, the taste is nice. The rooibos isn’t medicinal or weird, and it meshes well with the flavors. It was fruity and sweet. Honestly I didn’t pay too much attention to it because about halfway through the cup I got that tickley, swelly feeling in my throat. Don’t know if its real allergies or just some other reaction to the particulates, but I do know that I am crossing rooibos off my list of possible teas officially. But this seems like a nice blend if you like rooibos! I passed the rest of this onto my local tea friend who does like rooibos.
Sipdown, 115. Hoping this tea will perk me up for the afternoon. I definitely very much enjoy this tea. Very smooth, malty, a bit sweet. It has a nice, rich texture that complements the flavor well and gives it a good body. A pleasure to drink.
Today I used a touch more leaf but pretty much the same steeping parameters… it turned out different, but good! People sometimes talk about a waffle note with Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black, and I have to admit I have never tasted waffles in that tea. But perhaps that put an idea in my head because this totally tasted waffley. For sure less fruit, and somewhat less caramel. But now a baked, doughy flavor that does remind me of waffles. This is definitely an interesting tea and definitely my favorite black tea from this company.
Sipdown, 116. Thanks to MissB for this sample! I am saving the rest of it to give to my friend who almost bought a tin of the apricot at TJ Maxx the other day but didn’t. Now she can see if she wants to go back, haha.
This smells very apricot-y, which obviously makes sense. Like apricot jam, in that it is very concentrated apricot, not the light flavor I get from fresh fruit. The flavor is nice: sweet and tart at the same time, not unlike apricot jam. The black tea base is not hiding here, either; it is smooth but robust. I think there is perhaps a bit of keemun in here (they only say black tea from China and Sri Lanka). Overall a tasty tea. I am sure it would make a lovely iced tea as well!
Sipdown, 117. I get it. I finally get it. What a really, really lovely tea. Thanks again so much to Teavivre for sending me this.
So the first couple of times I had this I was a bit underwhelmed. I don’t typically looooove high mountain Taiwanese oolongs but I do usually enjoy them. My first gongfu session I used my small teapot (6oz) but that was clearly too much. This time I followed Teavivre’s gongfu instructions on the site exactly and used the gaiwan that they sent to me (3oz). The florals were just intoxicating.
I ended up having one tiny cup from each steep and dumping the rest (only enough for another tiny cup at the end once all the leaves expanded!) into a cup to drink at the end. All of them were lovely, including the final cup. Smooth, luxurious florals, fresh and green. The texture was smooth and silky, and the flavor was rich and complex in every steep. Spring in a cup, which is lovely to have at the beginning of winter.
Sipdown, 118. I did two steeps with the last of this one: a cold brew, and a western. So I’ve tried it all three ways, haha.
And they are all pretty much no. I think I like this less than some of the puerhs I’ve had, perhaps because I keep expecting TGY out of this and it isn’t delivering, in my opinion. Very mineral, earth, and leafy. It really does remind me of a sheng. The cold steep was crisp and refreshing but really reminded me of drinking from a creek in the woods, haha. Interesting how different this one is from the 10 year aged TGY I just had! Glad I got to try it, though.
Thanks to MissB for a sample of this tea. The description sounds very interesting (fig, peach, and apricot) and I love figs, so I am happy to try it out.
I have to say, this is definitely the most success I’ve ever had with a MF tea. No strange bitterness, no odd tartness. It’s smooth, fruity, and tasty. Huh. I actually do taste the fig in this one, what I don’t quite taste is the peach. That’s fine, fig and apricot are nice. And yeah, there does seem to be some red fruits (strawberry, cherry) buried in here as well. A nice, fruity black tea for sure. I am certain this will make a delicious cold brew and the rest of this is earmarked for that!
Sipdown, 119. Working from home today because I’m not exactly sick but not quite well. Mostly stomach issues of some kind, so I thought I would start the day with this. Mint should be good for my stomach, and it does seem to be settling it fairly well. Still, I prefer ginger teas when ill, so I am not likely to keep a mint tea around for that. I’m going to pass the rest of this (one serving) to a friend who I believe enjoys mint teas. At least, she drinks a lot of morrocan mint so she may be more into this than me.
Tonight I tried this steeped with half boiling water and half very hot apple cider, a la Bonnie’s method. I like this better than just this blend straight, although I still think there is too much fennel in it for me. Actually now that I think about it most of what I taste when made with the cider is the fennel. Hmmm, maybe I did like it better without the cider. Maybe it needs a longer steep time when using the cider. Definitely still not sure about this blend.
This is not a tea I would have normally gone after but a friend bought a tin the other day at TJ Maxx because she loves thyme. I told her that I had heard that the thyme was super strong, but she was not to be swayed. She stopped by this morning and said she didn’t think the thyme was too strong and gave me a sample to try. So I am taking a break from my short list of sipdown teas to have this one. It certainly smells strongly of thyme!
I associate thyme with savory things like the chicken pot pie I made recently, so it’s a bit odd here. But I can definitely smell the sweet juiciness of the peaches under the thyme. I agree that this is weird, and for me, who is not totally in love with thyme, I am going to say “not bad” instead of “good”, haha. I agree that as it cools it gets peachier and the thyme cools down a bit, but it’s a bit too “herby” for me. This is definitely an “if you love thyme…” type of tea!