1964 Tasting Notes
Ahhhh, snow! We just had a brief snowfall here… perfect day to stay inside and huddle with blankets and tea.
So, I broke my don’t-buy-52teas rule and bought this tea. I have not have much success with them, and they are often just not to my taste. I have bought pumpkin teas from them in the past because I want them to work for me, but they never do. This one got through because dragonwell. I don’t like their black tea base, but this is dragonwell! And maybe it won’t cover up the flavorings so much.
The dry leaf, of course, smells AMAZING. They always do. Like pumpkin and spices and toffee. Brewed, I still get a good amount of pumpkin and spices from the scent, with perhaps a bit of buttery toffee, and the dragonwell base comes out.
It’s interesting. The dragonwell is an interesting choice of base because it is buttery, but it’s also green, so I feel like it lacks a bit of heft I might want from a pie tea. That said, the pumpkin is nice here, and I actually taste it as pumpkin, which is saying something. Pumpkin itself is often lost in pumpkin spice teas. I normally wouldn’t sweeten a green tea but… I think this one would really be awesome with an added hint of sweetness, which might bring out the green tea. Overall I am reasonably happy, although my mind isn’t blow or anything.
Sipdown, 137. I wanted to try this assam because a lot of people rave about it and it seems to be a pretty classic assam. So thanks to Sil for sending me some to try. I have always thought I didn’t really like assams, but then I started trying them here or there and was unsure. I have to say that if I don’t love this one I will probably give up on most assams, haha.
I’m not sure what to think of this one. I do think it’s funny how some people say things about certain teas like “this one never ever gets bitter!” Do we have different definitions of bitter? Because I do find this one to be bitter when steeped at these parameters. I’m not sure what other flavors I’m getting… a hint of malt, but I don’t find it super malty, some other flavor I can’t quite identify. After one small cup I also kind of felt a little ill, so I think straight strong assam and my stomach doesn’t really get along (even though it’s not on an empty stomach!). I had this reaction to the Antarctic Expedition Blend the other day as well. Super bold teas, maybe not for me.
Anyway, I added milk and a bit of maple to smooth it out. It works a bit better for me, but I’m not in love with it. I think the only assam I like are the Taiwanese varietals.
Sipdown, 138. Only one sipdown today but I did have three yesterday, so that will have to do. I had this one at “tea time” at my office today, and it was pleasant. I like having a non fussy oolong for the tea time get together, and this one fit the bill. Creamy and floral and just a bit vegetal.
I ordered some Taiwanese black teas from this company after they posted a $20 coupon to the discussion boards, and after I tried some other Taiwanese blacks that I really liked.
So I brewed this to exact specifications provided, which was perhaps a higher tea to water ratio than I would normally. This one reminds me of the first Taiwanese black tea that I tried, rather than the recent ones. It’s a little flat, without a ton of flavor, honestly. It smells floral and a bit fruity. But no caramel, no chocolate, not really any honey. I’m not the biggest fan of naturally fruity/floral black teas for whatever reason. There’s also a bit of astringency here, but that may be related to the ratio.
I think I will try it with my usual ratio before I rate it. Interested to try the other blacks that I got as well.
Sipdown, 138. Cold brewed the last bit of this tea! It was only a tiny bit left, but I did a tiny cold brew and it worked. It was kind of amazingly sweet! The pear came out moreso in the cold brew, and even toyed on the slightly fake edge of things, but it still maintained itself. White teas can be tough to cold steep, I find, but this turned out pretty well.
Sipdown, 139. Thanks to Sil for this sample. The history behind this one is pretty cool so I am interested to try it.
I have read tasting notes on this one that say it is “bold” and a little rough around the edges. I would imagine that is what you need when exploring the antarctic. I knew I would likely prefer this one with milk and sugar, but I didn’t want to try this one only with milk and sugar. So I brewed it two ways: one straight, and one with additions.
I also brewed it a bit cooler. Straight it’s not as rough as I thought it would be, but it does have a hint of bitterness/astringency around the edges. With additions, it’s a reasonable black tea but nothing that really jumps out at me. I mean, I guess that’s what it is, a sturdy black tea. But if I were exploring the antarctic today, I would bring a slightly more interesting tea with me. :)
Thanks to Sil for this sample! For some reason I thought this was a green tea instead of a white, but it’s kind of nice that it’s a white. For one, the best pear tea I’ve had so far was a white base, so I think it has potential.
This is quite nice. I really like the white tea base on this one, and the pear is subtle but pretty authentic and not fakey at all. Which has become one of the most important things for me with flavored teas. The white tea is relatively robust, with a somewhat sweet note and a thick, creamy texture. Definitely enjoy this one! I do love flavored whites when done properly.
Sipdown, 141. Thanks again to Sil for a sample of this.
I still concur with my previous tasting note that this tea is a nice example of a dragonwell, but I don’t find it super exceptional. It is buttery and vegetal. This cup I probably brewed a little strong, but it’s tasty anyway. Onward!
Sipdown, 142. Now that I’m back I have to get rolling on sipdowns! If I average 2/day I should be ok, I think.
This one is quite tasty today! I ended up steeping it a bit cooler because I got distracted, and it’s very smooth and lovely. It’s nutty, it’s a bit cinnamon-y, it’s pastry-ish. Yum. Thanks for sending a sample of this, Sil!