235 Tasting Notes
Going back to this one because it’s still hanging around my cupboards, and I wanted frame of reference. Harkening back to my first puerh, and my first gong fu experience. How tea has taken over my life since then!
The overall taste is very earthy and subtle. I’m likening the taste to sweet hikes on coastal trails. A bit dusty, and earthy, but warming and familiar. At least that’s how the end of the process it is. This tuo cha also is ALMOST on the edge of giving up (I hope). It’s been going all weekend. I think I started it in my SeiSei tumbler on Thanksgiving. I can’t even remember what the first few steeps taste like. (note: 9 oz steeps) Total like 14 steeps.
Maybe just because I’ve had some oddly sweet puerhs lately, so this is definately on the earthy side. For example the puerh frisbee that LP put in the Here’s Hoping TTB is nice and sweet. I would take some, but there is SO MUCH TEA in my room. o__o"". With more Black Friday/ Cyber Monday tea incoming. I should just stop buying things until next November… last year I held out until February. Let’s see how that goes…
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, R5
Blergh. Nope. Not my cup of tea. Even with three heaping tsp, there was mostly fruit pieces and very little tea to be found. Anyone have any experience/suggestions to make this taste nice? I’m thinking maybe I’d have to add a lot of sugar, but I’m not really wanting to have such a sweet cup of tea. Might as well have actual juice at that point in my mind. Maybe I can blend it with another oolong?
I am totally ready to send this box on, but have been requested to keep it until after Thanksgiving, so alas, it stays with me for another two weeks.
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, R5
I’m trying as many small samples/sipdowns as I can to make the box smaller, lol. (I’m also not doing very well at that task. Plotting how to make it smaller while wanting to add more tea is hard!) Unfortunately there’s not really much that I’m interested in that fits that description. This one I tried purely to compare to the GoldenTeaTips version I’ve tried.
Package instructions says 203F for 3 min. To my defense it was very early in the morning and I was half asleep, but I should have known better than to brew a darjeeling for that hot at that long. I did follow package instructions though, I have enough left to try it at my normal preference for a darjeeling (hopefully for more fragrant results, 195F @ 1.5min). Anyways, the result was surprising not as bad as it could have been, but I think it could have been better.
About medium darkness, but malty, with some honey and bread notes along with the usually floral sweet notes of darjeeling. BUT astringent, pretty astringent, which for now I’m blaming on the brew temperature. Compared to GTT’s version, it’s a teensy bit sweeter, and less floral, but that could be attributed to maybe the sample’s a little older? When I tried GTT’s it was with their subscription and it was pretty fresh. When this is cold (because I set it aside and forgot about it), the astringency isn’t too bad to deal with. If I didn’t know this was a tea I would say it’s my kind of beer with the malty and sweet notes with a little bit of bitterness.
I’ll probably try to brew it again to drink down the sample, but I’m probably not logging it again, there’s maybe 2-3 small cups left. If you’re behind me in this box and want some, drop a comment for me to leave it in the box. =). On the other hand I’m fairly bored with the box already (not many greens or oolongs in here…) and will probably be passing it along soon.
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, R5
Kind of bland and sad. It tasted kind of more like a chinese black and green tea blend than a roasted green tea. My first Houjicha was also from Yunomi and it got me throughly hooked, so this was a disappointment.Recommended steeping is 1 min @194F, but it didn’t give off much flavor even at 3+ min. To be fair the ‘best by’ on the package is APR 2015 (It’s now NOV 2015, for future reference). I wouldn’t have expected it to be so bland regardless. Oh well, it was a really small sample. Sipdown?
p.s. – this listing was really confusing to find. There’s a vendor name (Yunomi), a ‘by: NaturaliTea’, and ‘sold by: Matcha Latte Media’. =/
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, Round 5
I’m glad I got to try this. I’m really really glad, especially because I was really looking forward to the French Toast Dianhong and I can’t find it! LOL, oh well.
I’m convinced I would have hurt myself if I took a tea needle to this little cake, so I brewed it kinda gongfu style, but in my gravity steeper. Obviously this means aLOT more water to tea ratio, but looking at how this tea expanded over the course of the steeps (over three days), I think if I tried it just in my gaiwan I might have passed out in tea drunkeness. As it was even at 12 oz flash steeps, the fourth and fifth steeps especially made me super duper hyper/caffinated and tea drunk. The 2nd and 3rd steeps were kind of bitter and fermentedy tasting, but after that it was all sweet sailing.
Over the course of the tasting I’d say a few things that stood out to me was the smooth mouthfeel, yet it was heavy, like the feeling of honey water. There was no astringency, which I search for in a black tea, but rarely find. It was dark, yet mellow, and such an easy drinker. Even toward the end when I was starting towards the 3-4 min steeps it was behaving beautifully and I think it got to maybe seven to eight steeps before it really started to stop giving off flavor.
I imagine if you rinse it a few times, this would make a splendid grandpa brewing tea.
Taking a short break from the TTB (because the last tea didn’t work out well).
Thanks to Skysamuarai for including this in her Secret Pumpkin package.
I actually ALSO got this as part of my Secret Pumpkin package last year. Lol.
I’ve seen alot of reviews that say that this year’s blend does not really hold up to last year’s version. I have to say that I agree. Assuming that this is the current version.
The scent is a gentle pumpkin and spice scent, which is not bad. But the scent is not strong enough to carry over while actually drinking the tea. The black base is unassuming and unfortunately also non-distinctive. It is a smooth cup with barely any astringency or dryness, but not much wow factor either. Not any factors barely at all even, it’s almost like drinking scented hot water, that’s how tasteless this is. I’ve tried steeping at my normal parameters for black tea, and then also just leaving it in the infuser for a very long time to try to get something out of it. Oversteeping it lends a little astringency… to water. An odd concept isn’t it? I kept wanting to put in a bit order for this because I liked it so much last year. Glad I held back. There are plenty of other teas to keep my attention. (This made also made me miss Butiki’s pumpkin teas SOOO much).
p.s. I have no idea how people are mixing this as a latte. Maybe I just got a sample completely devoid of the chai spices.
From the Here’s Hoping TTB R5,
I don’t know if this tea is just old or not to my taste but I didn’t particularly enjoy this cup, which is sad in a way because I’ve been looking forward to trying WP vanilla teas.
There’s also something in this tea that made my throat very scratchy and swell up. It was not fun. I didn’t even attempt a 2nd steep. =(
Thank you to Skysamurai for including this in her Secret pumpkin package!
I must admit that if I didn’t know it was a Milk Oolong I wouldn’t have been able to identify it as such. At all.
It is a smooth cup. With a light florally oolong fragrance, but nothing really in your face. No bitterness or astrincey that I could detect, although the recommended steep time is really long comparitive to what I usually brew an oolong (Rec: 5min. I brewed 1st steep @ 5min, 2nd @ 6min). I definately don’t get the creamy notes or the bready notes I’ve gotten from other Milk Oolongs, flavored or unflavored.
Just a mild and non offensive cup. But not much to remember either.
There’s a bunch of other teas I got in my Secret pumpkin package, BUT I just received the Here’s Hoping TTB R5 today and it is massive. I’ll probably be working on that for a bit until I get back to my Secret Pumpkin teas.