58 Tasting Notes
So I think I’m getting the hang of this batch of Darjeeling. Short steep time, allow the drink to cool slightly, then drink relatively quickly before the tea completely cools. Also I seem to be having more success in getting a better flavor and less astringency when I make a larger pot (at 600 ml of water and 6 rough teaspoons of tea in my large french press) I still prefer the second flush.
Today I brewed a larger pot of this, for to share with my darling wife, and I let it steep a little longer than I had previously. As is generally the case I find larger pots of tea tend to have a deeper, fuller flavor and mouth feel, and such was the case. I got a hint of caramel or raisiny smell. The taste is still pretty much that really good “basic black” tea flavor that describes itself. A little milk, a little sugar, and we have tea power. Shall we go to the brain?
It’s what’s in the cup.
Sugar really ruins the flavor.
Three steeps seems to be the useful limit.
Still nasty. Sometimes I wonder if this particular batch was made with rancid bergamot. The bergamot is overpowering, and deeply unpleasant.
I drank this last night at work. The first steep was fine, but the second steep was really good! I used significantly cooler water than the first steep, and once it had steeped for somewhere around 2.5 minutes I let it cool in the cup. I will definitely be making iced-tea using this tea in the near future.
As it turns out, I did not misbrew this tea last time. This is what I might call a solid “tea” flavored tea. It really does have that aluminum kind of taste to it. The only thing that I can possibly relate it to is the way a (traditional) martini feels along the side of the mouth. It’s a good solid black tea, especially if you’re looking for what I;d asked for: A non-floral black tea.
The temperature and steeping time seems to be fairly forgiving, so in that sense it is a good standard to to keep around, especially if you just gotta have a cuppa righta nowa.
Okay, today i think I finally understand what I was being told about the “front of the mouth” flavor. It’s not so much the vast difference in the kind of taste, but the location of taste. Yes, that what the phrase should have indicated to me, but I can be daft. So this tea is not my favorite of the two. It is very picky with brewing time and temp. It also sees to need to be drunk with a small range of time after cooling in the cup for a bit.
So those might seem like detractors, but the tea is very very nice! The flavor is hard to describe due to my poor palate. That being said it reminds me of spring, in the same way that Japanese green teas remind me of hot summer. The flavor is crisp like a fresh ripe granny smith apple, tart too. It has nearly no lingering taste or texture, and the bright almost fluorescent green color of the leaf in the liquor is very attractive. I think in the future if I have to choose between several varieties of Darjeeling I might not choose this one, although it is wonderful. I got exactly what I wanted out of this one, and if you prefer front of the mouth flavor, I recommend it.
I have yet to do a true test on this tea, but today I did at least give it some variation. I let it steep for three minutes, outside my tea-monger’s recommendation. I also let it cool a little before drinking it. Yeah this tea is wonderful. Again I still taste that sorrel taste, actually it reminds me of lamb’s tongue (also known as lamb’s ear). It kind of reminds me of rose petals, or rose perfume in taste.
Mellow, full flavor. Much improved (from what was already very tasty).
I let this cool in the cup a little longer and I think that may be a part of the change.
There is a lot more of that “flavor of the sea” taste, much greener, but still the toasty “clean barn” is there. So glad I tried this!
This is a first for me, and I’m glad I tried it. The flavor reminds me of sembei (or O-sembei if you prefer). It is, well toasty, yes, but it has what I’m calling a “clean barn” taste. It has that taste that reminds me of the combined smells of dry haw, old wood, and worn leather. It definitely has that “flavor of the sea” that Japanese green teas have (in my opinion), and it’s a good thing. This is all after the first steep. I will steep at least twice more, and report on my findings. Or, I may have a stroke from all the tea I;ve been drinking. Either way.