2184 Tasting Notes
As I mentioned in the other note, this was one of several teas Equusfell and I had today at our gongfu session. I’m not going to write notes for the others just now, to keep interruptions to my cupboard sip-through to a minimum, but since this is the only time I will likely have this one a note is in an order.
Anyway, this is totally like drinking gingersnaps. Definitely baked ginger cookie flavor going on here. It became a bit more floral as the steeps went on, but overall I definitely got a gentle, not spicy, ginger flavor, with even a hint of cinnamon. Very tasty; it would be interesting to try it as a western brew too.
Taking a quick break from my cupboard sip-through notes to write one for this tea, which I shared with Equusfell during our marathon gongfu party this afternoon. She came over and we had Verdant’s Early Spring TGY (2014), Tea Ave’s Ginger Lily and Magnolia Oolongs, and this one. Now I am a little sloshy in the belly.
Anyway, this was an interesting tea. I kind of “packed the pot” (well, the gaiwan) and used an entire sample pack in a medium-large gaiwan, and it was pretty intense. We agreed that the overarching flavor was that of artichokes. When it started it was fairly green and fresh, with a bit of sweetness. As steeps progressed it became more fruity, although not in an indentifiable way, and woody. It was kind of a spicy wood, like cedar but not quite. It also got more bitter and astringent as the steeps went on, which was somewhat unexpected. I am going to blame that on the somewhat excessive amount of leaves used. But then again it would not be considered excessive by some (based on various gongfu instructions). I was having a hard time placing the fruity/spicy notes at the time, but now I think it was quite reminicent of some of the black leafhopper teas I’ve had in the past. The taste of injured leaves, LOL. Anyway, an interesting tea to try and very different from all the others!
Such a funny name for a tea. This one (#8) is the one THE-O-DOR tea on my list that I was actually able to get at a shop in Brussels; they hadn’t gotten a restock in a long time. I drank it once after I got back but made it too hot and it was bitter, and I never wrote a note for it. So this will actually be my first note!
The flavoring on this is lemon meringue pie. It is definitely reminicent in aroma of DF’s Noël à Venise, although the caramel notes in that one have been replaced here by a definite creamy meringue note. Brewed at these parameters I am not getting the bitterness (maybe a tiny hint), and instead it is lemony with a decidedly creamy meringue note. Overall, pretty tasty, although a little finnicky (and more bitterness is coming out as it cools, which is not really pleasant). I would still go for Noël à Venise over it any day.
Officially on the last page of my cupboard! It seems odd that I’ve only ever logged this tea (#9) once. I enjoy the super bergamot, super floral aspects of it, although I guess I do prefer the added richness of chocolate and almond in DF’s Amore, which is otherwise very similar. Possibly one of the reasons I don’t reach for it is that it isn’t in a tin but stuffed in an old Teavivre bag, so I don’t think about it super often. I will have to figure out if I can shuffle some things and get it a tin.
Ah, my impulse-buy tea (#10). It just smelled too good to resist, despite the fact that it is one of the only-in-a-tin expensive editions. Fortunately, it is quite tasty. Not perfect; honestly it could be more caramel-y and more rosey, but still a nice cup to drink. I think the base this one might benefit from being steeped at a lower temp (while Love Song is fine at boiling), as it gets a bit harsh and the caramel becomes almost burnt tasting. Will try to remember that for the future.
Ooh, it’s time for the tea I picked up in Europe last fall! This one (#11) was high on my list to get, and fortunately easy to find at the MF in Berlin. I am very happy with the rose and almond in this. It doesn’t quite reach La Naissance levels of awesome, but it is quite delicious nonetheless. Today was particularly almondy, which is awesome.
This tea (#12) would be awesome if it lacked the maraschino cherry flavor. Otherwise, apple and caramel are great. I still like it enough to drink it and defintiely enjoy it, but it wouldn’t be a re-purchase for me because that hint of cherry is enough to keep me from reaching for it often.
Last time I drank this one (#13), I wished for more creaminess. Not sure if I was off my rocker or what but today it couldn’t get much creamier. This is an intensely vanilla-y tea, and if you appreciate Dammann’s standard black base (which I of course love), it doesn’t get too much better in terms of a simple vanilla black tea (which is to say, not one that relies on a complex black base but rather those that are all about the vanilla). I’ve had a few others and none seem to come close in terms of pure vanilla power. It is amazingly sweet and creamy. Drinking it nearly back-to-back with Fleurilege I can see the similarities: Fleurilege is this plus hazelnut. Not sure I would need to keep this one around, although it is tempting just because it is giving me a delicious cup today.
I drank this tea (#15) and the next one at the end of last week, and thought of just backlogging some notes on then, but I would never give up the opportunity to drink some of my favorites again. :)
Love love love this tea. My favorite caramel black tea. I have to add that “black tea” modifier now because the Oolong caramel au beurre salé from Dammann is also too amazing (and soon I will get to it!). This is one of the few single-flavored teas that I still crave regularly; most of the time I want complexity, and rarely go for my single-fruit or single-floral teas, but this one is too delicious to ignore.