597 Tasting Notes
Thanks first to Angel at Teavivre, who graciously sent me this tea as part of the spring harvest offerings.
I’ll start out by saying that I don’t really think I have a well defined palate for distinguishing subtleties in teas, especially greens. I do my best and try to gage what I taste, based on what others are tasting, and if I can connect the two somehow.
The leaves of this one are simply divine…rich green, broad and flat leaves. The scent coming from the newly opened packet was crisp and fresh, with some vegetal presence. I don’t think I could tell you which vegetables though. I used a bamboo tea spoon in my steeper, and used boiled water that had cooled for a few minutes (I lost track of time so I don’t know exactly how long). I also lack a thermometer so I am unsure of the exact temperature at the time of steeping. I did follow the 1 minute time for western style.
The brew, after a minute, was very very pale. I wondered whether I should have steeped longer. I get a mild tasting green tea, which has some presence and body, but not much. It’s still a bit too hot to get a good sip. I did add a small amount of sugar, less than I usually do. It does have that very savory flavour to it, in that brothy sort of way though, with or without sugar.
I am not an expert of green teas, especially Chinese green teas, and I can’t say as I’ve ever had a Dragon Well before. I feel like I have, a long time ago though. Also, I really have a hard time distinguishing varieties of the same tea. Maybe it is my allergies too. I’d like to have a tasting some time, with someone who knows what to look for in the teas to help me develop my palate sensitivity more.
What do I think of this tea then? I think it is a lovely looking tea, and the taste is smooth from what I can tell right now. I suspect more notes will come out stronger as the tea cools some, so I may come back here and add to this note. I can say that I do like what I have tasted thus far, but I can’t say I am in love. It is something that is a nice change of pace for me though.
I had this a long time ago, and I think I fell in love with Swampwater after this so I haven’t had any in a while, but I opted to try this again because of the green rooibos, and having been told by a friend that I am dehydrated, and green rooibos supposing to be good for that sort of thing. When I opted for some caffeine-free options, I had wanted to make sure they would be just as good hot, as iced, as I do find many herbals are better suited for iced only. This one is definitely suited for both, and since it is still periodically chilly and rainy here, hot is good.
In terms of a rooibos, green is way better than red in my book. And the fruits in this one are super yummy. I used too much sugar though…this is one I can definitely cut back on, cuz it is pretty sweet to start with.
Although I did source more Swampwater locally, I might opt to keep this one in rotation for a bit.
It’s a no go hot. Too tart. I had hopes the hibby wouldn’t be too strong on this, but for me it is. I even used a bit more sugar than normal, but it is still too tart. I can taste the passionfruit in the distant background, saying “I’m here!” but getting hushed by the hibiscus. Maybe I’ll handle it better iced, when it’s hot out. I really want to like it, but this is the first tea I’ve not been able to finish n a long time. I probably could have finished it, as I dumped it at about 1/3 full, but I wanted something else, something I like, so I swapped it for Forever Nuts, instead, keeping with the pink theme.
Ok, so this is one of two black teas I got from Angel at Teavivre in this round of teas. I have liked most of the blacks I have received from her, so I picked either Golden Monkey or Super Fine Tan Yang Gong Fu to replace the Organic Superfine Keemun Fragrant Black Tea. I was worried about the fragrant part of the tea. So Angel ended up sending me both of the alternate teas, instead of picking one, so that was too kind of her.
I realized I have not properly reviewed the first black tea, the Tan Yang, aside from saying it is yummy, though I have had a few cups of it. And it is indeed yummy. The leaves on the Golden Monkey are much darker than those of the Tan Yang. The brew of the Golden Monkey turned dark red within a few minutes of the steep.
I did add milk and sugar, as always, to this tea, though I did try a sip without first. Anyhow, the first thing I noticed was the juicy mouthfeel—that saliva inducing feeling. I can’t recall if I noticed that with the Tan Yang. This brew also seems to have more body to it than the Tan Yang also, but that is neither good nor bad.
I get the same malty, bready, yammy taste with this as I do the Tan Yang. I am reminded of the carrot muffins I had recently. I don’t really notice much smokey tones at all in this tea, nor can I detect any cocoa, but I don’t really pride myself on having a refined palate when it comes to picking out the more subtle tones. Also, since I westernize the tea by my additions, I probably loose some of the more subtle tastes that are more present in a straight tea like this by itself.
I can say that, like the Super Fine Tan Yang Gong Fu black tea, this one is equally delicious. I am brewing my second steep right now. I will enjoy the rest of this sample. Many thanks go to Angel at Teavivre again, for including this one in my latest round of samples for review. Teavivre has some excellent straight black teas in their line-up.
Got this as a TTG after work, as I was on my way to a girl’s night “spa night” so I thought I would give this one a go. It was pretty good. Smelled pretty peachy, but it was pretty mild. While there was no hibiscus, there was rose hips which are still tart, but not as much. So I like this tea, for an herbal. It was fine hot and once it cooled, so it is a versatile one. I might get some for summer, but I dunno. I like it but i don’t love it. It would be a nice one for evenings at home though. So maybe…
Don’t like it hot very much. It is not bad but there’s something weird about it, but it has cooled now, and it is MUCH better. Interesting that the tea seems to be a mix of Vanilla Orchid and Coconut Oolong, only with a white base. Also, the coconut seems different in this blend than other teas like Checkmate, but it is like the coconut in Coconut Oolong. I don’t know if this is an ongoing trend or not.
This in an interesting blend for sure. It sort of tastes like a heartier version of Cocomint Cream. This is definitely something that works better cold, or iced, rather than hot, but it is ok lukewarm too.
It is juicy, minty, light, and refreshing. I think that I will enjoy the rest of my small sample, and I might restock this.
Giving this sample a go today, as I am out of milk right now. Thanks to Angel at Teavivre for sending me this one to try…she knows I like oolongs.
My first attempt, I think I let the water cool too much, and possibly under-leafed this as well. I got a much lighter and thinner liquor than I was expecting. I’m tasting something though, but I am unable to put my finger on it. It seems possibly fruity or buttery or brothy but maybe a little of it all?
Although I have a second steep coming, with hotter water and more leaf, so I can compare then if it was my steeping parameters or not. Water had cooled a few minutes (maybe 5?) and I did a 3 minute steep. this current steep I am using just boiled water and a 2 minute steep. We will see.
I am very intrigued by this tea though. The leaves are long, thin, and spindly…and the colour is a dark green with a slight purple tinge to them, I think. Someone said seaweed, and I think that is a good descriptor.
What do you think?
EDIT FOR RE-STEEP:
So I used more leaf, hotter water, and less steeping time and I got a stronger brew. I’m not sure if that was for the better or not. I feel like I have gone in the opposite direction now and it is too strong a steep. I feel like I need something in between. I’m not getting sweet potato, but I am getting a saliva inducing feeling in my mouth. I am still tasting something fruity, but I am not sure. It doesn’t seem peachy to me, but someone mentioned grape, and I think maybe I am getting a raisin note, or plum or tart cherry, because I am getting a little bit of astringency with the juicy mouthfeel. There is a little smokiness too, I think, along with a mild floral note.
I think that I need to play around with the steeping parameters on this one still, to get the optimal balance of flavours I am looking for.