2036 Tasting Notes
When I read the description for this tea, I was not thrilled. Inspired by inscense in temples… inscence can be nice to smell, but I rarely want to drink it. However, when I smelled the dry leaf I was really surprised. It does not smell like inscense (to me), but instead dead up like molasses-covered grain (horse feed). I know that sounds like a bad thing to many people but it isn’t! Some of my favorite Fujian black teas remind me of molasses grain, and it’s a pleasant olfactory memory for me anyway.
There are (also surprisingly) not too many crazy ingredients in this one. The one that is an unknown quantity is the Aloeswood Tincture. That sounds like something that I wouldn’t care for, just because anything called “tincture” sounds medicinal and herby and gross.
Brewed, the smell of the mi lan oolong comes out. Kind of woody, slightly sweet smelling, a bit like autumn leaves. It tastes like… um, I’m not sure. At first I thought “nothing” and then I changed my mind to “dirt” but then maybe it was like “dead leaves on the ground”. Ok but that was when it was still quite hot. It cooled down and then it tasted like… not much. I mean, it did have flavors of autumn leaves and a bit of honey (the dirt taste went away mostly), but honestly it wasn’t very interesting. I couldn’t taste the berries, I couldn’t taste the aloeswood.
I would think my lackluster experiences might be due to needing to change my water filter (and I might anyway, it’s been a while), but I did just have a delicious and satisfying cup of Dammann Frères tea, so I doubt it. I will try to brew this one stronger and see if it can’t leave more of an impression.
I had a cup of this tea this morning and it was almost tasteless. Ruh roh. This is an ooooold tea, but it still took me by surprise because the Yunnan White Jasmine I have from the same order is still flavorful. I would expect a white jasmine to die faster than a black tea. Not even just the bergamot and rose, but the LB itself was weak. I guess I will have to try more leaf and see if I can coax out more flavor. I guess the lesson is: don’t sit on your LB.
ETA: I made this in a (failed) attempt to remind myself of blends from Verdant that I love. I got disappointed again with this month’s blends club. At first I was excited about the Shandon Rose blend because the description was about a rose-infused green tea they had in China, but then I read the ingredients and saw Peppermint (bleh), Sarsaparilla (again?) and Coriander (of course). WHY?? The tea smells mostly like a candy cane. Still not dropping the club until after the holiday blends, but it gets tougher every month.
In honor of the blood moon/lunar eclipse this morning, which I did not get up to see because I am way too lazy for that. But as I was trying to figure out what tea to drink this morning I remembered this one and realized it would be appropriate.
This is one of the few MF blends that I actually love. This is the tea that convinced me that I could really love a MF tea! I suspect there would be others, but it’s tough to know. It really depends on the base tea, which varies from tea to tea. I will probably take a chance on a couple of others when I am in Berlin soon. The almond is perfect in this, strong and intense, like eating almond candy. The spices are well-blended, too, and aren’t too in-your-face which can happen with things like cinnamon and clove. The base tea is smooth pleasant. This is like Pleine Lune without the fruit (which I don’t care for) and lightly spiced. An almond cookie for sure. Yum.
Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg
This is one of my oldest teas, and one I don’t drink nearly enough. This tea still tastes delicious, even though it is ancient. But I bet it would taste better fresh! I should try to drink this one more regularly and eventually stock up more at Harney (fresh!).
Lots of rich almond, a nice burst of fruity cranberry. Definitely still one of my favorite almond teas.
I got two sample bags of this one with my DF order. I have to put a caveat first that a lot of fruity greens all taste the same to me, and this one falls in that category. It’s a very fruity green tea. Definitey tasty! But also it doesn’t make a huge impression, and it’s not something I crave. I think ic an taste the passion fruit and the peach, mostly the peach. It’s also got a somewhat boring sencha base. That said, it probably would be very refreshing as a cold brew, which is really where I prefer to drink fruity greens these days anyway.
Well, this one is gone. It made a pretty tasty cold brew, so I drank it up quickly. Not too sad it’s gone though.
I did finish this cold brew up with a bit of Silk Road because I didn’t have enough leaf, and that one did not make it better. I’m going to have to say a big “no” to all tulsi blends in the future, blech.
I have drank teas lately, but I have not felt inspired to write about them. Finished off some WP samples (that I had reviewed before) but they were so unmemorable (possibly not their faults) that I didn’t feel like writing notes that didn’t say anything about them.
I haven’t had this tea in a while and thought I would revisit. Definitely one of my faves. Anything with DF’s caramel flavoring (and the cute little caramel/toffee blocks that come in the tea) is a hit with me. Also I’m going to be visiting Prague this November, although unfortunately too early for the Christmas market. Can’t wait!
My final sample from Cameron B.! Thanks for all of these. This is another discontinued tea from WP, as the name so clearly indicates.
When this was first brewed and still really hot, there was definitely an overcooked spinach off note to it. Not really pleasant. I didn’t think I would be drinking any of it, but I left it to cool dramatically and came back for a tenative sip later and found that the off flavor had faded and instead there was a definitely creamy floral note to it. It still doesn’t have a great flavor blend, but it’s not as bad as initially feared. Not the best golden lily I’ve had but no one is in danger of buying it, so it’s not really an issue.
Finishing up this tea this morning. Still very fruity, unexpectedly so. I think this morning I did get some more malty notes from this, which helped balance out the fruitiness for me. All and all, tasty, but not really my style. Thanks again for the sample, Cameron!
So I drank the rest of this tea yesterday (thanks again Cameron!). I had a bit less leaf than I would use normally, so I brewed it for 4 minutes instead of 3, also hoping to bring out some more of the vanilla and creaminess.
Nope, just brought out a stronger toasted (almost burned) note. Still reasonably tasty (and once again a hint of vanilla came out at the very end of the cup). I will say that I will probably get another sample of this from WP someday to give it another shot.