1623 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 176. I decided to cold brew this one because I had just the perfect amount for it, and black currant iced tea sounded tasty.
Unfortunately, this turned out very perfumy. I drank about half the cup but then couldn’t take anymore. I won’t rate it because I don’t know how this would perform warm, but I don’t suggest cold brewing this one!
I went through all my ratings and reset them down. Sometimes I would feel like I was giving a tea too low a score, but I had to remind myself that a 70 is still a “smiley face” on the scale. I think by stretching out the 80s into more of the 70s and 80s it is more accurate in its reflection of my likes. Now to keep it up!
Well the off taste of my lips is fading so I decided to try this one today. I got this in a swap with PositiviTEA, thanks!
The dry leaf smells almondy and coconutty, but in kind of a generic way. I’ve had almond greens and coconut greens but never an almond coconut green! Steeped, this smells more coconutty than almondy, and that plays out in the flavor as well. I’m really not getting hardly any almond from this, though I suppose there is some almond sweetness in the background. The green tea is kind of generic but inoffensive. Overally this is decently tasty but I get more coconut macaroon from it than almond cookie.
As an aside, I think I am going to overhaul my tea ratings. Most things will be dropped by about 10 points probably because I think my ratings skew high. 70-79 will now be the range for decent teas that are pretty tasty but not too special. Thankfully if you adjust the ratings on the ratings page it doesn’t make all your old notes pop to the top of the dashboard, unlike changing the rating by editing the tasting note.
Man, I thought this was going to be a sipdown and then it wasn’t. Also, I have some medicated lip balm on for my lip and it’s kind of making the tea taste like petroleum jelly, even though I thought there wasn’t much on my lips anymore. Bleh. I guess today is not the day to drink anything too special.
Sipdown, 177. Plus rose buds for this one!
I burned the heck out of my lip tonight while tasting dinner during cooking. A piece of molten hot spinach was stuck to the bottom of my spoon and latched itself onto my lower lip, and now I have a sizeable blister. So I had to wait until this one was fairly cool before tasting. Fortunately I somehow managed not to burn my mouth really.
This was pleasant, and even more so in the second cup after letting it steep for a looooong time, as the rose buds I put in came out more and added a sweetness that was lovely. I definitely need a verbena/lemongrass blend for evenings.
Today has been busy busy with spring cleaning. I need to start making dinner but I am taking a break for a bit with this oolong. As always, I want to say that I’ve never been the biggest fan of Wuyi oolongs, but some of them I do rather enjoy.
This one seems to be one of those examples. The first steep was honeyed, with lightly toasted grain notes. Honestly I drank it up pretty quickly because it was so tasty. Today I am really digging the bready, roasty notes, moreso than usual. The second steep is also sweet and more toasty. Slightly minerally and rocky, as well, like a stream high in the mountains. This one seems particularly well balanced, and no one flavor really overtakes the rest. The minerals come out more and more in later steeps. I have to say that I have not detected any orchid-like florals in this, but I’m not sure that they would fit quite right to me. Anyway I am really enjoying this relaxing session of tea this afternoon.
Sipdown, 178. Thanks to yssah for this sample.
I have been generally tired lately and last night I slept in for as long as I wanted. Now I have that odd feeling of being refreshed but also a kind of bodily exhaustion. I’m planning on some gongfu sessions later today but right now wanted an earl to get me going.
Like many of yssah’s teas, the dry leaf on this one smelled incredibly pungent. Mostly bergamot, but also with a distinctive rose note. The brewed tea mellows a bit thankfully and is a bit more balanced. The flavors are pretty decent. Definitely strong flavors with this one, but they don’t get soapy or perfumey. The black tea base is smooth and malty, without any astringency or bitterness. The rose and bergamot are doing something with each other such that neither quite tastes like itself. The result is somehow kind of sweet and cookie-ish, though, so I don’t mind. A pretty tasty pot of tea that I won’t have a problem finishing at all.
Sipdown, 179. Cold brew.
I’ve been drinking a lot of cold brews at lunch so I took the rest of my sample of this (probably 3/4 ounce) and made a pitcher of iced tea with it. I haven’t logged my previous cups but this is the final cup of it.
This is pretty tasty as a cold brew. The white tea is slightly vegetal but mild and generally nice, and the pomegranate is pretty juicy and not too fakey tasting. Of course it isn’t totally pomegranate, and there are possibly some other things going on. Rose hips add a tartness and slight berry flavor, but it’s thankfully not overdone. All the same I’m not too sad to see it go.
Happy Record Store Day! I am exhausted after a day of buying limited edition records. Mid-morning we stopped at a coffee shop in Columbus and I was surprised to see they had a bunch of Harney teas on offer. All tea bags, and none that I am very much a fan of, actually. I decided to go with this one, even though I don’t like it all that much, because any Earl Grey is better than no Earl Grey.
Oddly, they served me the tea in a heavy glass beer stein. So the paper taste in this was definitely from the tea bag… Blech. Ah well. Anyway, I never liked that this tea was very light on the bergamot and I didn’t like its base blend. Now I don’t mind those flavors (evolving tastebuds), but this still got old fast. Halfway through the cup I decided I wanted to sugar it a bit (there was a hint of bitterness for some reason even though I controlled the steep time), and then I decided I wanted a touch of milk. Of course, the milk pitcher was f-ed up and drip drip drip SPLOOSH! So I had a lightly bergamotty cup of milk after that. Oh well.
I don’t usually drink actual tea this late in the evening but I really wanted to. I decided to go shu puerh because the fermentation actually results in less caffeine in the resulting tea. I haven’t spent a lot of time drinking puerhs of any kind, and I have gotten most of my exposure through the reserve club. That’s the point, of course! I haven’t come across a puerh that I love, but I often do enjoy them and I am glad to get a chance to try them all.
I am having a similar experience with this tea. It’s earthy, it’s piney. Funny, I didn’t expect this puerh to be so similar in feeling to some of the shengs I’ve had recently. The first steep of this tea is at once light in flavor but with a slight bite. In the second steep the bite has increased, moving almost to bitterness. I’m also getting a lot of conifer notes… juniper berries, cedar wood, pine needles. Also a bit of rocky minerals as well. After a few steepings I’m definitely starting to get some tingly mouth going on here. I have to say this is probably my least favorite of the puerhs I’ved tried through the reserve club so far. Maybe it’s the “camphor” notes. But I’m still glad I got to try it.
Sipdown, 180. I thought I would splitting this into two tastings, but then I actually had just the right amount of leaf according to Den’s instructions. So this is steeped with the leaf:water ratio that they recommend, and I don’t know if I did that with the other sample I had (this one comes to me thanks to Ellen!).
I think I prefer this on at a slightly lighter ratio, as this is fairly strong and vegetal. Slightly buttery but not too floral or fruity. It was still a tasty cup of tea, but I think I prefer this a tad “weaker” than Den’s instructions produce.