1631 Tasting Notes
I have not made this tea since I came home with it from California, but today I wanted to try it. I mean, I just decided that I don’t like flavored greens all that much anymore, but this is different. For one, purely scented florals don’t count, really, as they are not “flavored” like so many fruity green teas are flavored. Secondly, I know this isn’t some crappy sencha base but rather a delicious dragonwell.
And delicious it was. This tea is like a revelation after drinking scores of mediocre flavored greens. The rose is so lovely, and almost fruity. I’ve never had rose go fruity on me before, but it’s funny because cteresa just commented this morning that rose can be fruity for her. Interesting! This is one of those teas I want to have forever and ever because it’s just so so good.
I went poking around in my stash of teas that I haven’t drank in forever, and plucked this one out. I quite enjoyed this tea at one point, and only after I chose it did I realize it would also be a good test of my recent dislike of flavored green teas.
Turns out, yeah, there is something about flavored greens that is really not doing it for me. I mean, this was pretty tasty. It was definitely better than many of the other flavored greens I’ve had lately. I mean, it’s fruity and floral and those flavors are all nice, but they just don’t come together for me. I think its the base tea that is probably a lower quality chinese sencha and I just don’t like that flavor much anymore. This is partly saved by the fact that it also includes jasmine pearls, and they are always tasty.
Maybe (hopefully) this is just some taste-swing and I will come around to enjoying flavored greens again, but right now I will likely avoid them!
Sipdown, 164. Cold brew.
The cold brew of this unfortunately did not taste like much. I did use a little less leaf than normal because I’ve been having green teas “oversteep” when cold brewing, but this still turned a deep yellow so I’m not sure it was the leaf amount. As it warmed up a bit it tasted more like grass, and finally at the end I got a hit of bergamot. It was perfectly drinkable merely because it was very inoffensive, but still, it wasn’t very tasty anyway.
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.