148 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Carol Who who sent this in the Christmas Card swap.
Dry leaf unfortunately didn’t look anything like the photo. The tea was pretty much mostly dust by the time it got to me, so my tea to water ratio was kind of iffy. The smell is rather strong in cinnamon and clove. It reminds me a bit of pumpkin pie spice.
Brewed the tea was kind of flat. I got a little bit of spice and vanilla, but the base wasn’t really robust enough to make a really good brew. It was mildly astringent and a little bit dry. I think I’ll try the rest of my sample again on another day and use up the rest of the leaf/powder. I have a feeling this would go better with some sweetener, maybe cream.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I ordered this, but I enjoy it. For some reason I’ve been buying up mini tuo chas but I’m not sure if I’ve actually used any yet other than this. I usually go for the loose stuff. But with my brand new little white gaiwan, I decided to take a go at gongfu brewing. My first time! I’m sure I messed up a little somewhere… but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of practice sessions down the road. Along with the little gaiwan I’m using a teacup that holds twice as much as my gaiwan… a thermos for the water, and a cookie tray for lack of a tea tray.
I’m sure it was not that much tea (only a bit over three tumblers worth) but it felt like a lot of tea! It also felt very LONG and alot of work. I’m not completely sure I enjoy the method, but it’s different and the change in the flavor as the steeps went by were interesting to document.
The first few steeps were lighter and kind of sweet and leathery. Around the fifth steep thing got darker and definitely a bit smokey. I’m not the biggest fan of smokey teas, but I’m sure that the flavor is still developing, as now around the 15th steep the taste is more earthy and like mushrooms- yet the little tuo cha hasn’t broken completely apart yet.
The leaves are small! Very small. I wish I had a small fine strainer to deal with it, but I ’m mind the sediment as much if I let it settle. That results in kind of a wait between cups though.
The flavor keeps developing, it’s definitely keeps me interested. Now if only I weren’t practically vibrating and the front of my tongue didn’t feel kind of numb…
This tea is soo yummy! Even then, I’m sure that I’m not getting the full flavor of it.
I just got my very first yixing vessel, a clay mug (also from Butiki). It’s nothing like I was expecting it to be, but very interesting nonetheless.
Anyways, I’ve done multiple (at least 4) steepings according to directions (1tsp, 4min) and it’s still going strong. The taste hasn’t really developed much, but that might be because of the cup. What I’m getting though is a smooth and sweet oolong. Not green or particularly roasted, but a good medium type brew.
As a grasshopper tea I was expecting much stronger honey notes. Maybe they’ll be stronger when brewing in a normal vessel.
Question though- I’ve decided to dedicate my little cup to oolongs, I drink oolongs the most- would it mess very much with the taste to brew flavored oolongs in it?
Admittedly this is not the best tea out there. But it’s certainly drinkable and I’ve been chugging through boxes of this stuff since undergrad.
Today I’m sick. At least I think I’m sick – headache, stuffy/runny nose, sneezing and asthma going through the roof. But being so foggy headed this morning I woke up extremely late, and still thought it was a good idea to go into work. (Not so much a good idea, but I can’t miss a Tuesday! It’s my busiest day of the week!) I’ve got a box of this stuff in the car, for days I forget or am running so late I can’t even think of tea.
The taste is strong enough that I can still get a slight whiff of the green even though my nose is all clogged up. Usually I brew this 30sec-1min. Today I let it go a full 2min. This brought out a bit more astringency, but the tradeoff is actually being able to detect more than hot water when you’re sick.
I’m not going to touch the TTB I’ve got for a few more days at this rate, I don’t want to contaminate it. I’ve got nitrile gloves though, and if I can find a face mask I might be able to pack it up and ship it out.
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, Round 4
Happy Thanksgiving! I was supposed to make pumpkin pie but didn’t prep enough so I’m making due with apple pie and some green bean casserole.
This tea smells deliciously sweet and creamy. Almost too creamy. I never really got into lavender scents until recently, and this certainly appeals to that sweeter type of lavender. It ends up just smelling delicious instead of bathroom-perfume-herbaly.
The tea is actually kind of brisk, which is a nice contrast to the how thick it smells. It’s a little astringent in that good way, and makes for a very nice morning cup.
I wonder why s’mores is spelt with an apostrophe. From the Here’s Hoping TTB, round 4
I actually like this lots better when it’s completely cold. For some reason when it was hot it was very chemically smell/tasting to me.
The cool liquor is very sweet smelling, but the mini marshmellows did little to sweeten the taste. The feel is filling, and only a little bit drying.
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, Round 4
Well… I didn’t look it up before I brewed it, and it was in the flavored blacks bag so I brewed it as a black. I didn’t really make the realization until I was emptying out my teaball. Even the dry leaf looked like black tea, but the wet leaf is green.
So 212F for 3 minutes, and surprisingly not entirely bitter. When greens are brewed like this some of them gain that utterly baffling in-between phase where it’s like a green, but like a black. It does taste a little burnt, but clearly that’s my fault.
It smells like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie base and a gingerbread cookie base. There’s too much vanilla and cream notes for me to think of it as purely gingerbread, but maybe that’s where the ‘coffeecake’ bit comes in.
I sure would like a recipe for gingerbread coffeecake. That sounds lovely.
The smell of this tea is also making me sleepy… interesting.
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, round 4
From the dry scent alone I got roses and cinnamon. The leaves dry are quite small and brittle. There are rose petals scattered in the sample, small pieces though, less than a cm square.
Brewed the liquor is the color of light maple syrup and it smells of chocolate and ginger.
The base tea is light, but distinct. It’s smooth and full-bodied. Not astringent or bitter.
The taste doesn’t linger, or intrude on the room. I can only really smell it when I’m trying to, but it doesn’t really interfere with food or anything else.
I would drink this again. It’s more of a dessert tea in my book though. Something light but indulgent.
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