161 Tasting Notes
Often, I’d prefer decaf tea at night, but up until now, I’ve been disappointed with the ones I’ve tried. Since I’ve been extremely pleased with Butiki Teas, I decided to take a chance with Organic Decaf Korakundah. As I sip it right now, I’m pleasantly surprised. It is certainly the best decaf black tea I’ve had. I’ll be getting more of it.
The weather has been very unusual in Atlanta this summer. 22 degrees below normal yesterday, high in the 60’s. Another cool day today. Last summer was very hot and dry; this summer cool and wet never getting above 92. Normally in the summer I enjoy all my teas iced, but this evening, being a little chilly, I pulled out the last of my Vanilla Comoro. It will please vanilla tea fans I think. It’s a little astringent for my tastes, and I prefer unflavored teas these days, but all in all, its decent for an evening cup.
Last summer I posted that I enjoy Laoshan black cold brewed. Today, based on some advice on the Verdant website about making iced tea, I brewed it using 1 Tablespoon in 8 oz boiling water x 1 1/2 minutes, then added ice to make 16 oz iced tea. This did not dilute the flavor. I got 2 more steeps. Very tasty and refreshing with nice chocolate notes!
This time, I left it to Stacy to pick the samples to send with my order and am so glad she sent this one. I actually have never been that big on caramel, but surprisingly, I’ve found that I usually enjoy it in teas a lot. On the other hand, I really like vanilla, but have been somewhat disappointed with vanilla teas. My first impression of this tea is that it is very well blended, as I’ve come to expect with Butiki teas. The vanilla, caramel, and Assam play off each other nicely. I will definitely order it in the future. (Can’t get the rating thing to work-will try later)
I can’t believe I never reviewed this Long Jing from the spring 2012 season. They are currently sold out, but I will order more when spring 2013 becomes available. These are my notes from previous tastings. A winner! Delicate, light, fresh, yet plenty of flavor and with no bitterness whatsoever. Overall effect was relaxed and refreshing. When it was cool it was still very good. More expensive than their organic superfine dragonwell long jing. Both were very nice.
My house is empty tonight, with my husband on a 75 mile backpacking trip with one of our sons in the Carolina foothills. I did my own 2 hour urban hike with the Atlanta Outdoor Club today, and having been gone most of the day, I’m feeling that pull to the tea cabinet. I’ve been neglecting my Darjeeling teas lately, and had forgotten about the Upton Premium Darjeeling Sampler I had purchased. The company offers quite a few sampler sets which consist of 4 tins, each holding 35 gms. They also offer all of their teas in individual samples. Upton describes this as one of the finest from the 2011 first flush season, so my expectations are high. Right off the bat, before even tasting it, I enjoy the nice aroma of this golden amber cup. The delicate sweet liquor has an elegance about it with its layers of flavor and accents of tropical fruit. So very different from an Assam or a China Congou, yet amazingly, still a part of the black tea family. There is so much variety among all the different teas, even though they are all from the same plant. This Darjeeling is quite nice and one that I would recommend trying.
Its been awhile since I’ve had a pu-erh. I like to take some time with them since you can get so many steepings-16 for this one, according to Teavivre. So today, I have the time, and I’m motivated since my husband used my other sample yesterday, not realizing I was saving it for the right time. I start out in a conventional way using a gaiwan. Following the instructions on the website, I rinse 10 gms twice and start out with quick steepings, as follows: 10s, 10s, 10s, 5s, 5s, 5s, 10s,10s,10s,and 10s. I give my husband some of the later ones and he says, “Now that’s some good tea.” We’re in agreement on that. The first cups taste thick and rich, but all the steepings are nice. After ten 3-oz steepings, I do a final? two minute steeping for my husband with 10 oz of water, which he says still has plenty of flavor-so maybe we’re not done yet after all. The liquor is dark, the color of cola, with a pleasant earthy aroma. Sweet, earthy, and smooth are good overall descriptions, and importantly, there is no fishy taste, bitterness or astringency. So, for pu-erh lovers, or if you haven’t had pu-erh and want to give one a try, get a sample of this one. The pu-erh teas I’ve had from Teavivre do fine with either gongfu or Western style brewing.