1621 Tasting Notes
Thanks to yssah for a sample of this tea! I didn’t see her temperature recommendation before I brewed this one so I went conservatively. I never know how bud-based Chinese blacks are going to respond to full boil water.
The dry leaf of this tea is very golden with very squiggly leaves. Steeped, it smells way less hayish and woody than the Pure Gold Yunnan from LIT. Instead, it has more honeyed and sweet potato notes to it. The taste is smooth and sweet, with flavors of sweet potato pie. This is definitely more similar to the Dian Hong Golden Buds from Teavivre than the other Yunnan. It’s quite tasty, though a little thin, which is like a result of slight understeeping. Still, this a nice dian hong and a good example of the type of Yunnan black tea that I really enjoy!
Sipdown, 179. I’m actually not traveling (though I do start another trip tomorrow) and am not stuck in an airport. This is actually the tea I am drinking this morning, thanks to ToiToi, who sent me a sample in our last swap.
Darjeelings are a tea that I haven’t explored much because I haven’t had too many that were that intriguing to me. But I am always up for trying new teas, so here goes! First off, I might have steeped this one too hot. There are a lot of greenish leaves that have made themselves known post-steeping, and that seems to have resulted in a bitter note that comes out at the end of the sip. The aroma of the cup and the first part of the sip are promising, however. This tea smells both like a malty black but with some floral notes. The first part of the flavor is bready and nice, but then those bitter notes come in. They’re not super strong, so I am still drinking the tea. The darjeeling brightness sometimes gets to me, but in this case it is subtle enough.
Overall I am enjoying this one more than I typically do a darjeeling, but it’s still not totally winning me over. Glad I got a chance to try it though.
Well I’m traveling again and stuck in an airport all night with delays. Last night nothing was open but one small shop and the only thing they had was Lipton! I was so desperate I went for it. I noticed it was the new blend that they’ve been advertising on tv, so I was kind of curious as well.
I steeped the bag for 3 minutes at whatever temp the shop water was. The first thing I was greeted with was quite the aroma! It had a nice malty smell with some honeyed notes and a light roastiness. There was also a brightness that was pretty uplifting.
From the very first sip, I really enjoyed this tea. It must be the fresh-pressed tea leaves that they’re now adding to the bags. It really makes a difference! The tea was full bodied but still light and not astringent. It was smooth with a silky texture, with notes of molasses, fresh bread and a hint of chocolate. I really felt great drinking this tea.
I feel like I have to spread the news! This amazing tea can be had at your grocery store! I even found a special coupon code for ordering online today for 50% off, what a steal! The code is: APRILFOOLS
Sipdown, 180! Yay. I am sad to sip this one down but I have a strict no hoarding policy so if something is within sipdown range I drink it, not save it, even if it is basically irreplaceable (like this one).
Mmm, I think I will vamp on this one when I eventually try my own herbal blend. Lots of bright, lemony verbena, juicy orange, sweet appley chamomile. Yum. For my own herbal, I will add rose buds/petals because why not?
Argh, Steepster ate my quite long tasting note! Maaaan. Sipdown, 181. Thanks to Fong Mong for the sample, and sorry it took me so long to get around to reviewing it. I decided to brew this one gong fu today, using the 6g vaccum sealed sample in my teapot.
I did a rinse first and then a 20 second steep. I normally would have a shorter first steep for gongfu, but even at 6g these leaves didn’t look like a lot in my tea pot so I decided to steep them a bit longer. It turned out well; the first steep smells floral and a bit buttery, and it tastes like buttery sugar snap peas. It definitely has a hint of vegetal sweetness.
For my second steep I actually decided to go ahead and go 1 minute because the first steep was fairly light as it was. I also just used the water in my teapot that had cooled to 190degF. This steep is more vegetal but it still has a floral quality and a sweet note here and there. This one isn’t particularly creamy but it does have a very smooth texture. Definitely an enjoyable tea for this afternoon.
Sipdown, 182. Thanks to Ellen for this sample!
Today I learned when it comes to Japanese green tea, follow the f#%king directions. This time I followed Den’s directions exactly. And this tea is delicious. Really quite amazing. Chestnutty, which is my favorite green tea note, and so sweet! I was amazed when I took the first sip. It is fairly green and grassy too, but those nutty, buttery sweet notes are amazing.
Second steep, also following their directions, is a little stronger, edging on astringent. Defintiely very spinachy. I preferred the first steep, but this one is still pretty tasty. But that first steep alone was worth the experience because it was so tasty. I haven’t played with Japanese green teas much before (part of why I requested the samples from Ellen), but with an introduction like this it’s definitely a fun new genre that I could see myself experimenting more with in the future.
Sipdown,183. I made a big pot of this tea this morning with my sample from yssah. Thanks!
All of the Earls that yssah sent are super duper bergamotty in scent, and it seems like they carry that over to the taste as well. The level reminds me of Todd & Holland’s double bergamot, it’s that strong. Obviously that works well for me, who loves bergamot. This Earl I went into somewhat blind as it was only described as having flowers and herbs, but I was intrigued. It is very herbaceous, but difficult to discern individual herbs except a lot of lavender and perhaps a bit of rosemary? I’m unsure. I am not the biggest fan of lavender in teas, but I don’t hate it either. This is fortunately bergamotty enough to balance them out so it doesn’t get too perfumey or soapy. It’s not so much for me just because of the lavender, but it is otherwise quite a nice blend.
Sipdown, 184. I see now that I said this one was kind of weak on my last note, and that is also the case this time. Lightly lemony, lightly cinnamony, even the rooibos is light. Well it was fine this even anyway, and this was my last bag, so that’s that.
Sipdown, 185. I, like many others, received a sachet of this with the Lupicia newsletter, although my newsletter seems to have come much later than most other people’s. Ah well. I figured I would go ahead and drink it down otherwise it might sit for a while. I’m not the hugest fan of strawberry flavored things, although I guess I like them ok. I used to love strawberry candy when I was a kid.
When I unwrapped the sachet it smelled intensely, incredibly strawberry. Strawberry candy, strawberry pie, strawberry jam. Basically strawberries + sugar, which is to say not like fresh strawberries. After steeping it calmed down a bit (but only a bit) and the black tea base came out more. I tend to enjoy Lupicia’s bases, so I am definitely pleased.
My first thought upon sipping was wow, strawberry candy! But then a tart note appeared, toning it down and reminding me of the white part of fresh strawberries, the part that never gets super sweet. There’s also almost a leafiness here, which is surprising given that this is a black tea. A lot of people are disappointed that this one doesn’t taste as strong as it smells, but I for one am glad it doesn’t taste as strong as it smells. I like it at this blend, and I like it more than I thought I would. Go Lupicia, for making me enjoy a strawberry tea.
Sipdown, 186. Cold brew.
This one really shines as a cold brew. Of course I also have come to realize that I really like cold brew apple teas. Anyway, to me this tastes even more like dried apple chips, and it is much less cinnamony overall. It was also super pretty in the glass bottle, where you could see the shimmeries all throughout the tea. When I brewed it hot the shimmeries looked like a oil sheen on the top of the cup, but here they were gorgeous. And it was very appley and sweet with a hint of tartness. I really enjoyed this one as a cold brew!