1608 Tasting Notes
I made a cup of this tea to reassure myself that bergamot and (some) keemun and I are all still good friends. Sometimes I dislike keemun but not this keemun, which I love. Hopefully.
Yay! I do still love it. Honestly going into it the bergamot (of all things!) was kind of smelling not good to me, and I love bergamot! But upon first sip I was reminded of how delicious a good Earl can be. I love the base, I love the bergamot, I love everything about this tea. It really is my perfect Earl Grey.
Car wouldn’t start this morning. Ugh. And I just had it in the shop! I’m not sure how much longer I can keep pouring money into it, it’s getting quite old. Sigh. I spent this morning looking at new cars and daydreaming about how nice it would be.
I decided to go ahead and try the rest of my Kusmi teas from my sample tin set (the Russian sampler), most of which I haven’t tried even though I’ve had it for a while now. This one smells like bergamot and orange, with a floral orange blossom note. It also smells strongly of what I believe is one of the base tea, and it isn’t a pleasant smell for me.
At first I was not feeling this tea, but it’s perhaps getting better as it cools. One of the teas in the base blend really isn’t my favorite, but it’s smoothing out a bit I think. Still, I am not finding this tea to be all that tasty overall. All the flavors are there that mean that I should like it, but then I just don’t. It’s not pleasurable. I dunno, I just hope that this dislike of my Kusmi teas is temporary or doesn’t extend to all of them because I have a huge tin of Petrushka that’s not going to drink itself!
Hmmm not sure what happened with this one. I had a sample of this before that I definitely enjoyed, and now I have a small sample tin again. I made a cup of this tea this afternoon and it wasn’t really tasty at all. I can’t even put my finger on it, but I didn’t enjoy really enjoy it and I even felt a bit nauseous with a headache after drinking it. I dunno, I am going to try it cold brew, and maybe I’ll give it another shot hot since I did like it once, but otherwise it’ll be swap fodder. :/
I can never say no to one of Verdant’s bergamot-based blends, nor can I say no to one of their tieguanyin blends. So this? Had to happen, I was just waiting for the right time to order it. And the right time came last month, when I went a little tieguanyin crazy.
Steeped, this bears the familiar aroma of buttery tieguanyin combined with jasmine, orange and saffron. Hmmm, Gardens of Anxi reborn, with more ingredients? I don’t think I noticed that before. There is an added spiciness, to be sure, which must be a bit of the frankincense, and the brightness of bergamot as well. But definitely a comforting familiarity with one of my favorite tea blends of all time (now retired forever).
The flavors are lovely. Saffron always seems to bring out the rich butteriness in tieguanyins, and this is no exception. Sweet and citrusy, with a darker, slightly spiced background, and over all a high floral orange-blossomy note. I will very much enjoy this blend, although it may suffer a tiny bit from “too many ingredients”… at least for me. It’s a very very tasty tea, but there is so much going on, and they compete a bit. But if I weren’t mentally comparing it to a simpler, beloved blend I might be more entranced I suppose.
Sipdown, 165. Cold brew.
Let me tell you, this tea was freaking awesome cold brewed. Like, I want to buy a tin and keep it around just for cold brewing. Except that probably wouldn’t be very financially sound. It was so deliciously almondy, creamy, with light, juicy fruitiness. Here, it tasted like a macaron, delicious and sweet. If I was just rating the cold brew I would rate this into the 90s for sure.
I had an anxiety-filled morning during which I had to write an email to my advisors requesting to delay my dissertation defense, which was emotionally draining. Everything worked out, but at the time I was very stressed. I wanted something in the morning that would be comforting, and I grabbed this one out of the box it is currently residing in.
I am all out of sachets of this tea (that I had bought in Mongolia), which is a shame, because it is a tea I love to take with me while traveling. It is delicious and comforting, with a yummy black tea base and citrusy notes that complement it so well. A delicious tea that is comforting but also that I can just drink without thinking about it too much.
Added the teas from my Verdant order and I’m only back up to 166 in my cuboard! Yay.
Still have kind of a headache (and I don’t really want to take any painkillers), and I don’t quite feel like going gongfu at the moment. At first I was going to brew up one of the random teas I have around here with additions, but then I remembered I had just gotten this one in the mail!
I had the pleasure of trying the unofficial first draft of this tea, and it was delicious. So I was super excited to try this one! The steeped tea smells toasty but not too chocolatey, more like toasty rice cereal. The chocolate comes out more in the flavor, although I think I probably could have added more leaf to this pot because the flavor is a bit thinner than I’d like. In any case it definitely has a toasted rice/toasted grain flavor to it, almost like honey smacks cereal (which I have been eating in the morning, lol). It’s kind of lightly sweet, and I can also detect the wuyi oolong in this as well, giving it some slight rocky, minerally notes. All in all I am very much enjoying this pot of tea.
I enjoyed the first draft blend slightly more than this particular blend, but that could be in part due to my slightly weak steeping of it, and also likely due to the inclusion of the wuyi oolong, since those are not really among my favorite teas. Still, I’m happy to have my ounce of this and I think I may go through it moderately quickly! I only got an ounce because some people have said that the autumn Laoshan Black (which this batch is made with) is roastier and less chocolatey than the previous spring batch (which is the one I have and love). It is of course impossible to really tell with this blend, but if I do drink this one down quickly and decide I need more I might go for more of the spring blend.
I brought the rest of this one home with me to have it with milk and sugar; I had just enough for my tea pot at home but too much for my cup at work, plus I decided I would negate any further bitterness in this one by taking it with additions. I have to say, it was comforting and delicious. I woke up this morning with a headache and this tea has done some good in relieving it. It went well with my waffles for breakfast as well. Vanilla, caramel, and a robust black tea. I quite enjoyed it.
So I’ve become pickier and picker about my flavored tea bases over the last year or so, to the point where I only really trust certain tea companies to deliver. However, just recently I have come to very much enjoy a nice pot of flavored black with additions, which cover all manner of sins. I guess it’s good for my potential of getting through some of the older flavored teas in my stash!
Sipdown, 160. Somewhere along the way I drank the rest of the other sample I had of this but didn’t log it. Ah well.
I went home early today (but still doing work, unfortunately), so I am doing this gongfu while I write. I definitely think I prefer this one western style. The gongfu brewing really brought out the vegetal notes. The first steep was probably 15-20 seconds (no rinse) and tasted like vegetables and sugar, which is kind of an odd combo. Later steeps brought out more of the florals and became increasingly vegetal and less sweet. It was a pretty tasty TGY, but I am getting pickier and pickier lol. If I had to have certified organic (which I don’t really care about), this would be a good pick.
Ugh, ate too much at lunch today and now I am stuffed. I wanted something light, so I decided a green or a white tea, and this only had a serving left so I decided to go ahead and sipdown.
This does remind me a bit of a white tea… I think it’s all the fuzz and the hay-ish, alfalfa-y flavor that accompanies the vegetal notes. Quite tasty, though it does give me a bit of tickle in the back of my throat.