80 Tasting Notes
Thank you Green Terrace for this sample!
Today was not such a good day for me. I was having such horrible abdominal cramps that I actually left work early, I think it was probably a food reaction. Either that or I’ll be having a very unpleasant week. I came home and napped the afternoon away and then woke up to make tea. =)
Usually the honey tea I’m familiar with is from Milk tea shops. In which case I doubt it has the same type of ‘honey tea’, usually I think of it more along the lines of milk tea+honey+tapioca pearls.
Color me very surprised when this tea brewed actually reminded me of that taste, although thankfully without the sweetness. I set to brewing it, and then forgot about it for awhile as I took out the trash and watered the plants. I brewed at about 190*, which is lower than normal for a black tea, but the result was a really smooth and beautiful light black tea with honey notes. A touch of floral and a touch of creaminess was laced throughout the sip and it wasn’t at all drying. I’m really glad this is a pretty big sample, but even if it wasn’t, this would be on my ‘buy’ list. I can’t wait to try the other two samples.
Well I wouldn’t exactly call it decadent, but for me it is warm and familiar. I just sat with the cup under my chin as I was browsing the internet, taking in that beautiful jasmine green tea aroma. Yummy. Oddly usually 2 minutes is plenty to draw out a good flavor from the green tea, but this particular blend didn’t impart much at two minutes. I would try it again at 3-4 minutes.
The leaves are quite small AND tightly curled, so if you’re brewing in a teapot a fine strainer would probably be nice. I brewed in a Kati cup today though so that wasn’t much of a problem for me.
From the Small Big TTB
WOW there is soo much tea stuffed in that little box. Because half the samples were wrapped in foil that actually forced me to actually go through the entire box to find things. I ended up sticking labels on the outside of the foils for easier access, but it’s actually a pretty smart idea, it forced me to look at what I was looking at instead of just wandering through the box randomly or skimming just the top of the box.
Mango green. Sadly it seems after a few months on Steepster I’ve developed this view of Adagio in my head that isn’t entirely complimentary. The least of the offenses I’ve heard them cited for was under-flavoring and entirely artificial tasting additives. Well this tea didn’t entirely dispel those ideas, but the result wasn’t as bad as I had feared either.
I was distracted and boiled water. I think I had intended to make a black tea but for some unknown reason went with this instead. Surprisingly the results didn’t taste burnt at all. So ~210*F for 1.5min, then into a happy little thermos. I told you I was distracted. Usually the thermos is pretty leak proof… but not so when the lid isn’t properly secured. Hot water all down my leg. Ouch. Surprisingly I didn’t lose that much tea, but I decided that hot water wasn’t my friend this morning. I had some cold tea from the fridge and came back to this later.
So it’s a mild green with milder mango flavoring. Honestly I could barely smell the mango, and I pretty much didn’t taste it at all. The tea was still hot, so it’s not like its composition changed all that much in the time I left it in the thermos. That being said, it’s so entirely average that I would be hard pressed to call offensive. It has no WOW factor, and lacks even enough interest to consider it as a good daily drinker (for me). I might offer it to a child or someone that doesn’t like strong teas.
I picked this one up with my last Zen Tea order and I’m not disappointed. I was actually a little afraid of this one. Too many times I’ve seen people interpret Strawberry cream as Strawberry Ice Cream.
This has a sweet strawberry on top of a creamy black tea. I love that it isn’t too sweet, and it isn’t too vanilly. The strawberry compliments the black tea well and the cream adds a nice milky mouthfeel without taking away from the flavor much. The strawberry note isn’t quite a recognizable stage note. It isn’t tarter like early strawberries, nor does it have that heavier ripe note you find with late stage strawberries. The strawberry is kind of generic, as in it doesn’t lean too far one way or the other, much like strawberry candies, but it also reminds me of great mid-season cold strawberries in the best ways.
From the Herbal TTB
I’ve been wanting to make everything iced! I was good though and made this one hot. When I add ice to anything it feels like I’m getting rid of a whole layer of flavor, anyone else get that feeling?
It’s pink, and it smells like a jolly rancher. It TASTES like a jolly rancher if jolly rancher was a tea. Mildly tart, but not drying. If I added sugar I could definately see it as a jolly rancher. I’ve an idea in the back of my mind to pour the rest over ice and cut it with soda water, but I didn’t make it concentrated enough to survive that. I do think it would do well as a tea soda though.
From Another TTB?!? round 2
I’ve been rifling through this box all day looking for something to tempt me, but this is only the 3rd tea I’ve tried today. And it’s pretty far off my normal spectrum because I really really am not a fan of rooibos. But it is 10:30pm and I’m hoping to reset my sleep cycle this weekend. I’m likely to send it off Monday or Tuesday. If anyone had any standouts still in the box, pleaseplease let me know. Admittedly I haven’t heard of MOST of these teas and have been going off of names and scent of dry leaves and pure fickleness.
Persimmon, ah love I love this fruit. This tea despite the rooibos smelt pretty good. A little too sweet of an aroma to the dry leaf to be believably persimmon, but DT has such admirers that I am willing to just try it. Maybe it’s more reminiscent of soft persimmons? Admittedly I’m much more a fan of hard persimmons and hardly ever have tasted the soft variety unless it’s preserved.
Brewed it smells like candy and rooibos. UGH.
It tastes better than it smells, the rooibos taste is covered well, but I wouldn’t call it persimmon. Some other fruit maybe, but not persimmon. Disappointing from a persimmon aspect, but not a bad tea. At least it doesn’t taste of the dreaded rooibos.
From Another TTB?!?! round 2
A very nice vanilla green. It probably could have taken more steeps, but I simply didn’t feel like it. This tea is nice, simple, and not particularly a stand out in the crowd nowadays. I could see this as a daily drinker. I was busy doing cleaning, so this was nice to sip on, the flavor retains nicely as it cools. Where did the day go though??
1/3 tsp in 4oz @ 185, 1.5min
note: the leaf texture is add, very flat narrow leaves, stiff as if they had been flash fried. It was hard to measure out.
From Another Traveling tea box?!?!
It’s a small teacup saturday! Mostly because I want to get through as many teas as possible before I ship it back out and I take up less tea this way. Only about 1/3-1/2 a tsp. It’s also the first time I’m tasting anything from Della Terra Teas!
It smells odd when dry, like some sort of tropical fruit blend. But brewed it smells exactly like a PIna Colada with black tea. OMG soo nice! The dry leaf had exactly what it says on the label: black tea, coconut bits. I didn’t see any pineapple bits, or maybe they were just too small for me to differentiate. Admittedly I wasn’t looking very closely.
It tastes like a coconut black tea, a very nice one. There’s only the slightest hint of sour at the start of the sip, but then it’s all smooth coconut. The coconut taste is of the unsweetened dessicated coconut variety, if you’ve had that. Otherwise it’s like unsweetened coconut macarons. i’m tempted to keep it, but I probably wouldn’t be able to give it the love it deserves. If I ever get around to order from DT though, I’ll probably put it on my list.
The disadvantages of a small cup is wanting more after it’s all gone. Now I want to second steep but I also want to rummage though the box for another tea. Decisions, decision….
Flavors: Coconut, Pineapple
I should have been tasting teas from the TTB today, but I didn’t. This morning was a trusty, well-loved jasmine tea. Lunch included Twinning’s Breakfast tea. This evening I decided to try my hand at Morrocan Mint tea, which has been bouncing around my brain since I heard about it.
Yesterday I was in the 99ranch to pick up some stuff and I wandered over to the tea area, I always do. I was looking for Gunpowder green tea. You know, despite stories of it being very popular, I had a heck of a time trying to find it, most of the teas available were sencha or long ling or some other green. No Gunpowder to be found. I actually drove over to SF market (another Asian supermarket) to go through the tea selection there. I finally settled on a ‘China Green Tea’ whose characters seemed closest to the ones Wikipedia showed me for Gunpowder. Eh, it was cheap. $4 for about 8oz? Does it remind me of gunpowder tea? Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ve only had it Gunpowder a few times, but at this point I’m just going to finish off what I started even if it’s not completely right.
My mom planted some mint in a pot in on my patio and it really really likes the weather here. The mint is thriving! (I wish I could say the same of my sad little Basil plant) I grabbed a bunch of mint and did my best approximation of Morrocan Mint tea. You know, for not knowing if I have the actual right tea, and lacking the beautiful tea pot, settling for a pot on the stove.
Well, it tastes nice. I would probably try it again.