1850 Tasting Notes
I plan on cold steeping the rest of this, but I thought I should try it hot once to accurately assess the flavors and its performance as a jasmine green.
I would consider this to be a fairly middle-of-the-road jasmine green tea, even though they qualify it as “special grade.” The tea base is not very grassy and is actually super smooth and somewhat “thicker” feeling than most green teas I come across. It is moderately flavored with jasmine, being neither overwhelmingly perfumy nor very faint. Actually in the body of the sip itself the jasmine is rather faint, and I mostly taste buttery green tea, but it is certainly present in the aroma and it shows up in the aftertaste as well.
This tea is tasty but there is not really anything exceptional about it. I guess I would put it at a notch above the jasmine green you might get at a restaurant based on the quality of the base tea, but the jasmine itself lacks nuance. You can get amazing jasmine greens at a good price right from China (Teavivre), so why bother with a middle man?
Swapdown this morning (not this tea, but getting rid of a few others, and actually not acquiring new teas in return, just postage), leaving me with 138 teas! Woot! It’s a good thing because I am approaching some travel times, which means few sipdowns, and then in less than a month I will be in Paris, buying way too many teas.
Anyway, this tea. Two ounces of black dragon pearls, which is what I had ordered of this one, is really not a lot. Some teas are like that I guess! My pouch already seems pretty empty, but may have more servings in it than I think. This tea is good but not great. It shows its Yunnan roots in the light hay notes. They discontinued selling this tea at the same time that I bought it on clearance, so perhaps my pearls are fairly old, but these pale in comparsion to most of the other pearls I’ve had. I don’t get much chocolate, I don’t get sweetness. I get a fairly normal non-golden Yunnan black tea that just happens to be rolled into pearls. Well, if I drink this up then I can order some pearls from Teavivre (my favorite!)
Sipdown, 146. Woot, last of the MBSC teas in my cupboard! Hallelujah.
I cold brewed this, and this is the second large glass I’ve had of it. This tastes way better with a glug of simple syrup in it, but it’s certainly not my favorite. Its just kind of generically fruity. Ah well, it’s gone now. Moving on!
Pretty sure this Huang Shan Mao Feng is my new favorite type of green tea. I also often enjoy a good dragonwell, but there is something about this one that is so good.
I think this is the first time that I’ve had a wide variety of different greens at the same time, and it has been interesting trying them. I think I have one pouch left of each green sample that Teavivre sent me, so I will be able to compare them all again, along with the Laoshan greens I now have through the Verdant Reserve Club.
Even though I used way too little leaf for this cup, I really do enjoy it a lot. It is less vegetal and grassy than some greens, and I love the chestnut flavors. Really quite good.
Sipdown, 147. Cold brew. I decided this one would be a sipdown this afternoon when I took a sip of my cold brewed tea and realized it just wasn’t that good. I have maybe two more cups of this left, but it’s just not worth it.
For one think, I really just don’t like gunpowder green teas. Green tea with some smokiness? No thanks, not for me. The flavor on this one has also faded dramatically and it’s really just like rose green, which in theory I should like, but this one isn’t doing it for me. I think I liked it better when I could still taste the lemon. Anyway, I don’t feel bad about throwing out a little bit of leaf. It’s pretty liberating.
kicks Steepster This is the first time in like 18 hours that I have actually been able to get Steepster to load. Granted I was in bed for some of that time, but geez.
Last night sucked. A huge storm system came through from 3:30am to 6:30am and kept me awake for much of the night. I have been known to sleep through anything—storms, fireworks, fire alarms—but there is something about large hail on your roof and thunder that shakes your house that was impossible to sleep through.
So I am pretty significantly tired today. Hoping I can perk up this afternoon a bit. I decided some guayusa might be a good idea; not sure if its working yet, but maybe it just needs a bit more time. This one is pretty good, but I think I like Good Morning Sunshine better. I like the cider flavoring in this, which is spot on, but the guayusa itself is kind of weird here. I think Good Morning Sunshine more successfully masks the weirdness of the guayusa with the citrus, and to me guayusa is still pretty weird. But I did enjoy my cup of this.
This was unintentional, but I guess it’s been a Lupicia kind of day. I wanted to try this one again while I am thinking of swaps (see my swap list on the International swap thread if you’re interested). This is one of those teas that has almond pieces in it, and lately those teas haven’t been sitting as well with my taste buds. I prefer my almond teas to just have almond flavoring, it seems. Kinda like how I never used to like to eat almonds, but I loved almond extract and almond flavored things. I still greatly prefer the extract (and marzipan, almond paste, amaretto, etc) to the actual nut.
The other thing about nuts in blends is they tend to leave a film of nut-oil on the tea, and that is also the case here. In this case its not too bothersome, but it’s another one of the reasons I dislike nuts in tea. I have a feeling that this would be amazing brewed really strong with additions. As is, it’s decent but not that impressive. It is rather smooth and creamy for a black tea, but it screams for some sweetness. I think I’ll hold onto it for now, though.
Another tea from my swap with Becky. I actually at one point thought the “mandarin” in the name of this tea referred to mandarin oranges, not the fact that it was Chinese. But it’s just a straight up jasmine green tea, which is fine. It occurs to me that I should try this hot as well, but I cold brewed it for my cup today.
I like jasmine green tea cold brewed, but it can get too strong and bitter very quickly for some reason, so you really have to watch it. At 8 hours, this bordered on too strong but it was ok in the end. Nice and jasminey, not-too-grassy green tea. It’s simple, but it works.
I got some of this ages ago in a swap with Becky, but have yet to try it for some reason. I love lychee, I usually enjoy Lupicia’s teas (and some of my faves are Lupicia), so it should be perfect, right?
I adore Lupicia’s keemun base that they use for their Earl Grey tea, and I’ve had good experiences with a few of their other black bases (but not all of them). This is also a keemun, but it seems to be a different keemun, or it is reacting with the flavoring differently. I don’t get any smokiness in the Earl Grey, but this one most definitely has that characteristic keemun smoke. It happens to be a flavor I do not like all that much.
The lychee in this is quite lovely; juicy, sweet, both citrusy and floral. It really reminds me of eating a lychee. It’s too bad that I just really don’t like this keemun base. I left it for a while and took a sip when it was cold, and the smokiness was even worse. I will try cold brewing it but I am afraid that this might be a tea that I just will have to swap away.