2031 Tasting Notes
I haven’t had this tea in a long time and so I actually did look it up to see about my prior steeping parameters, so I found out that this is a somewhat tempermental white tea and that I should steep it at a low temp. I also reduced my leaf amount a bit this time.
Well, it turned out pretty delicious, and I have to bump my score up some notches. Way passion fruity with floral notes that don’t scream rose, but do add a nice rich floral flavor that I appreciate. At a lower temp it is a bit more complex, although I have to admit the white tea here does little for the overall flavor. I can just imagine this with a creamy yunnan white and how amazing it would be then! I will have to remember to add this to my regular rotation, although I doubt I will order more after it’s done.
ETA: ugh I had to try to submit this note like five times!
So, now that I have worked down on some blends club blends and I am actually at 100 teas in my cupboard (not counting the samples from Cameron), I feel like I can finally start trying those WP samples that Cameron B. so generously sent me. You might have heard that WP is kind of a big deal around on Steepster lately, so eventually I decided I should probably give them a try. The only WP tea I’ve had before now is North Winds, which I understand is the base for this tea (?).
I followed the steeping parameters exactly for this one; it was convenient because they happen to be my default black tea steeping parameters. It left me kind of… what’s the big deal? This tea has just a
little crapton of hype about it, so I guess I was expecting nothing short of heaven on earth. For most of my cup, it tasted pretty much exactly like North Winds, which is to say bittersweet-chocolatey, not unlike some Fengqing pearls I’ve tried in the past. I had no vanilla or related flavors (creaminess, etc) until I got down to the very bottom of the cup and it was pretty much stone cold. Then the last couple of sips were vanilla bombs, no doubt thanks to the little vanilla seeds swimming at the bottom. It was a tasty cup, but it was not liquefied fudge or a chocolate sundae or any of the other superlatives people use for it. I have another small serving of it, so I will happily try it again, and I could even imagine getting another sample of it sometime just to give it another shot. I could always order some North Winds at the lower price and cut some of the roughly 1 kilos worth of Madagascar vanilla beans I have in my cupboard into it (a perk of doing fieldwork in Madagascar). :)
I will say that I feel like my tastes in teas are diverging from a lot of the Steepster crowd these days, so I guess you can take my note with a grain of salt. Thanks again to Cameron for the sample! This is why I wanted a sample first. :)
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla
Sipdown of this one yesterday. I enjoyed this one pretty well but in the end the Dragonwell was a little too savory-buttery for me. Sometimes it was almost broth-like. It probably would have been decent cold brewed but the amount of fluffy flowers in this would have made judging leaf amounts very difficult.
Cold brew sipdown! I was supposed to sip this down on last Thursday before I went out of town but I ended up with an extra scoop of leaf. So I threw that in with a bit of Bali to amp the lychee and it turned out well. I prefer it with more lychee and less banana blossom, although the banana blossom is still there to give it a unique flavor. This was a fun one to try out but it’s nice to sip it down!
The Blends club package came while I was away over the weekend, but I don’t think I will count them just yet to my cupboard since I am at 101! And that will hit 100 later today. Plus I didn’t count my swap from Cameron B., so if I just don’t count any new teas I can be make believe that I hit 100, LOL.
Anyway, the blends club. It’s getting pretty repetative. The teas this month feel like things I have seen before. Jingshan green with lavender? Check. Let’s add some coriander, yes? And this one, an oolong with sarsaparilla… where have I had that before? Oh yes, Sarsaparilla Tieguanyin and Wuyi Whiskey Trail. And why not throw in some tulsi? All of the flavor profiles are really similar. I got sucked back into the blends club when they reblended some of my favorite lost blends, but I am reconsidering again. It wouldn’t be too bad if I wanted floral, herbal, tonic-ish blends all the time, but I don’t. I’m going to give it to the end of the year because I want to see what they do with the holiday blends, but probably not much more beyond that.
So this one specifically. Well, it’s kind of herbal, and tonic-y. It’s also a little bitter and I’m not totally sure why. Overall it’s not bad, but it’s kind of boring. To me, anyway; I just don’t crave those types of flavors in my tea. Oh well, if anyone is interested it will be posted in the sales thread and for trade (as soon as I can get to that thread, since the boards are hardcore broken).
Sipdown on this one, and boy was this cup full of flower dust. But still magically tasty. I think that possibly Yunnan White Jasmine can do no wrong. I would not be mad about more blends with that base in the future. Which reminds me, I still gotta try the Tropical Jasmine from last month, which I already got more of from Cameron B. :)
Whiskey in the morning? Sure, why not, as long as it is actually tea and not whiskey at all. Maybe this will help the horrible pain in my chest from coughing; whiskey does usually get that nickname “grandma’s cough syrup” (or some such old relative).
Of course, this tea doesn’t really taste all that much like whiskey, so tangential benefits are likely to be low. Still, it’s soothing and has that distinct herbal flavor that makes you think you might be drinking something good for you. :)
This tea is getting weird toward the bottom of the bag. I’m pretty sure there has been no crushing involved, and yet the last bunch of tea has TONS of little tiny bits in it. I think they are mostly flower petals from exploded chamomile flowers and maybe something else, but there definitely appears to be broken tea leaves as well. What’s more it’s so blended up that it is impossible to get a scoop without tiny bits. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, so I scooped a LOT of tea into my infuser to make sure I would actually get some of everything (and not just tiny bits with not enough actual tea leaves), and then steeped it for only 1 minute.
It worked! It was delicious. Floral and creamy and a little tart. It didn’t taste overleafed or bitter at all. At least I’ve found a way to make it work, even if it is a little odd. Penultimate note to a sipdown!
Finally sipped down this one, one of my least favorite Dammann blends. There is just something overly floral about this, even for me. That said, I did enjoy it pretty well cold brewed, which is how I have been drinking it lately.
So that brings me down to 102, so close to my 100 goal! And yet it seems so far away. :) Of course I also just found out that Dammann was previewing their 2014 Autumn/Winter collection at an expo in Paris, so now I want to know if they might have new teas that I want before I order. Hmmm, dillemmas!