1938 Tasting Notes
I did a bunch of gongfu steeps of this one in my gaiwan but combined them into one big glass. It was essentially the same tea:water ratio, but instead of one long steep it was multiple 10 second steeps, so it would be interesting to know how it would taste different from a western steep of it. But of course teas like this seem to beg to be short steeped, even if you are just going to combine them.
This was fresh and lovely. Green, sweet, like sugar snap peas. I rarely crave a straight green, but I like having them around. Obviously this is not one I will keep around longterm, but it is a pleasure to drink.
I was up way too late last night because I went to see the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) and had a long drive home, and then I had to get up way too early this morning to teach. Ugh. So now that I’m sitting down at my desk I brewed up a cup of this extra strong to hopefully energize me. Seven pearls this time, instead of six!
It turned out pretty well. This may be one of those teas that works better bolder than it does when brewed the way I usually would. It has more body, but hasn’t acquired too much bitterness or astringency. It is a bit like unsweetened cocoa powder in flavor, which is to say a little too bitter for me, but it’s not bad.
This is the tea I made (hot) to replace my cold brewed disaster. It was, of course, delicious. Peachy, floral, refreshing. The jasmine on this is fairly subtle but really makes this more interesting than just a standard peach flavored green tea. Glad to have a bit more of this one around.
I made some of this tea cold brewed, and I knew from the beginning that it was going to be bad. I think I never brewed any of this before in part because the dry leaf smells like nasty fake berry cough syrup, but it’s been so long since I opened it up that I had forgotten. I brewed some anyway on the off chance that it would settle down.
I am wondering if the batch of this that I got is different somehow than the ones that others have tried, because this was just bad. Same fake berry cough syrup flavor, along with some fake jasmine flavoring. I took a sip and dumped the rest, and I don’t intend on keeping the rest of the leaf; not only would I not wish this tea on anyone else, it’s also fairly ancient (though clearly that hasn’t diminished this crazy flavoring), and I have been pretty much unsuccessful giving it away anyway. So, unexpected sipdown, 142.
Sipdown, 143. Thanks again to Teavivre for this sample.
This time I brewed the entire sample pouch in my 12oz cup, at the recommended steeping parameters. I did that with my first pouch as well, but my water was off. This time it was totally awesome. The black tea flavor was extra bold, without tasting oversteeped or astringent. It’s rich and a hint cocoa-y. The rose is fairly subtle still, but it is certianly present. It just lets the dian hong really run the show. The dian hong isn’t as earthy when brewed this strong, and the flavors are more complex and interesting. Glad I made my last cup like this, I may actually have to pick more of this up at some point.
I think this is officially the last of the teas I brought back from Paris that I haven’t yet tried. It’s also the third of Dammann’s “Jardin” series of flavored oolongs. The dry leaf on this one smells fruity and very floral, which makes sense since all the flavors listed are a myriad of flowers, most of which I would not be able to pinpoint (acacia? waterlilly? aloe vera?). I think the fruitiness may be coming from the plum blossom.
Steeped, it smells pretty much like a bouquet. In a good way! This is a rich bunch of florals, but I feel like the fact that a lot of them are different from the usual florals keeps things interesting. It doesn’t smell as fruity brewed as it does dry, it’s more pure floral. Despite all of this, it is definitely not overwhelming in the flavor. Smooth, sweet, and floral. It kind of reminds me of Naivetea’s Rose Violet Calendula oolong, but with more florals that are kind of unique and exotic. I also don’t find this one to be overly floral, like I did with that other tea. When I’m in a very floral mood, this will definitely be the tea for me.
I haven’t had this tea in a long time. I am getting ready to send some out in a swap, so I decided to brew some up this morning. I remember the time when I had a huge number of different Earl Greys around, when I was searching for my favorite. Now I only have this one (that’s not some other variant like an Earl Grey cream), if you can believe it.
Yup, still loving this one. It’s a really well balanced Earl, and oh so satisfying. Glad to always have it around when I need it.
I have been craving black dessert teas lately. Particularly caramel/vanilla types, for some reason. At first I really wanted to make a cup of Dammann’s Caramel-Toffee, but then I decided to have a cup of this because I just bought some and I’ve only had it once before.
I orginally wasn’t going to order more of this right now, particularly because I do have the Dammann Caramel, which I love. But that is very toffee, and my first note on this says that I found it to be more dulce de leche. Different caramels are different! So obviously I needed both.
Ok, so I overleafed this cup a bit. Well, it was still delicious, just edging a hair toward astringent. Anyway, I do feel like the vanilla in this is mellowing the caramel to a caramel creme type thing, versus chewy caramel candy or further to toffee. So I do have to edges of the spectrum. This is also a less buttery caramel, but again, more creaminess. Glad to have both, and hopefully I won’t power through either of them too fast.
I drank the second of three sample pouches of this one today. It was quite tasty; the jasmine is certainly present but not super strong, letting the bi luo chun shine a bit as well. I’m quite pleased with this one for an everyday jasmine green type of tea, and one that has a bit more interest than a more generic jasmine green.
Sipdown, 144. Thanks to Stacy for including a sample of this one with my order!
This one sounded interesting to me, but I was unsure about whether I would really dig all the flavors together. Toffee dragonwell sounds amazing, ginger is a plus, but strawberries I’m not huge on (actually it’s one of those things where I love fresh strawberries but not so much in other forms). Thankfully Stacy graceously sends out samples and I asked for this one.
I ended up steeping this for three minutes instead of 2min 30sec because I might have added a bit more than 8oz of water. As it is it it brewed up very pale but also with a good amount of aroma. It smells pretty much like dragonwell and strawberries. Those are the primary flavors I get, too; light buttery and slightly vegetal dragonwell, sweet strawberry, and perhaps the barest hint of a gingery note at the end. I don’t taste any distinct toffee notes, but perhaps they are blending in a bit. Overall a fairly tasty tea, especially if you love strawberries.