589 Tasting Notes
At my hotel convention center meeting, I also grabbed a bag of this tea when I was done with the Organic Green Dragon. I have to say, I was surprised to find a cardboard taste in this tea. I wasn’t even drinking it out of a paper cup or anything. Perhaps the tea was getting old and starting to take in the “flavor” of the paper packaging? Anyway, it was otherwise a pretty boring, mild black tea. I honestly couldn’t pick out the fruity flavors that it claims to have because I was distracted by that cardboard flavor. It wasn’t terrible, but it was a bit of a disappointment after how pleasantly surprised I was by the organic green dragon. Bummer.
I had a meeting at a hotel convention center for work, and to my delight, they had Mighty Leaf teas instead of the usual Bigelow or Twinings. The first tea I tried out was this organic green dragon. I let my water cool for a few minutes before steeping because I have had so many painful bagged green tea experiences due to scalding hot water. Anyway, I’m so glad that I had the patience to wait because this tea did not turn out bitter at all! It was actually a bit sweet and nutty. It also wasn’t overly grassy, which is what usually puts me off many Chinese green teas. I even resteeped it once, but the resteep was definitely weaker flavor-wise and just a tad grassier (unless I was going crazy at the meeting, which is totally possible).
Overall, it was quite a nice cup of tea for a bagged green tea. I’d definitely have it again, and consider even buying it if I needed a bagged green tea for any reason.
Ever since I found out that this tea existed, I’ve been wanting to try it. Houjichas and genmaichas are two of my very favorite types of teas, and I am always turning to one or the other for comfort or as a palette cleanser or for any other excuse. Today is a warmer day, so I opted to steep this one extra strong and pour over ice to drink as an iced tea. As it was steeping, I really could smell the strong genmaicha toastiness. When the tea finally cooled, I was surprised to find that the dominant taste was houjicha in contrast to the smell while it was steeping. In fact, for the first couple sips, all I could really taste was the houjicha. After settling into it, though, I can definitely pick up the toasty genmaicha toward the end of the sip. These teas blend together so perfectly! Perhaps they don’t quite contribute completely unique flavors to the tea, but I’m okay with it. I love my roasty Japanese green teas :)
Finally reordered this tea! I went back to look at my old tasting notes and WOW I’ve already been here for two years? Time flies. I still feel like I have so much more to discover about tea, so that’s nice. Anyway, this reorder was long overdue. I don’t actually like straight up matcha all that much, but in combination with genmaicha (one of my favorite types of tea), I love love it.
I’ve been having a really hectic couple of weeks at work, so this tea has been perfect for my sleepy, confused self in the mornings. Unlike most other greens, this one doesn’t seem to be too picky about temperature. I noticed that I noted this in my tasting notes from over a year ago as well. I also wanted to add to my previous notes that it resteeps incredibly well. I think I had 3 steeps out of it before I added a tiny pinch more of tea to resteep another 2 times.
The unfortunate news is that 2 ounces did not turn out to be as much as I thought it would be. Maybe the matcha makes it heavy? Anyway, that is not so great news for me because apparently, I am really awful at reordering this tea even though I know I want more.
Apparently it was Iced Tea Day two days ago (June 10). I didn’t have any iced tea that day, but I blame it on the weather wildly fluctuating between regular hot, California summer day and weird muggy, gloomy colder days. Anyway, I have decided to kick my cold brewing back into gear regardless of what the weather outside is telling me to do. So of course I had to break out this lovely tea. I was actually shocked to see how low I am running on this tea. Fortunately, now that I am back in California, it isn’t quite as difficult to obtain more of it :)
I just wanted to note that it tastes a bit milder than I remember. That may be because this tea is starting to get old, so the flavor is probably getting weaker from that. Also, I think I underleafed a little bit when I threw it in the fridge last night because my usual handy dandy tablespoon was dirty, so I used a regular spoon to measure. Anyway, so glad to have this back in my life. I predict I will be posting a sad sipdown note of this sometime soon :(
Backlog from yesterday. I actually went back to my old tasting note to see what I thought of it last time because it has been quite a while since I last had this tea. Apparently, I cold brewed it. I had a similar idea yesterday for iced tea, but this time I steeped it strong and hot, then poured over ice. I could still get that peachy taste, but the white tea flavor was also pretty strong when I prepared it this way. I’m not usually much of a fan of white teas because of their floral, hay-like flavors, but it somehow worked in the iced tea to help make the tea refreshing. So maybe I just don’t like white teas as hot teas? There’s still so much to discover!
Success! After a couple attempts at steeping this tea at work resulting in a bitter mess, I finally decided this morning that I would not distract myself with anything else and just watch my tea steep to stop it at the right time. This is the gentle but malty tea that I remember loving before. There’s also a raisin-y taste, which I may have mentioned in previous tasting notes, not sure. It’s subtle enough not to be off-putting to me though (I generally am not fond of raisin flavors in my tea). Now that I have proven to myself that this tea can succeed at work, I predict that the rest of this will get sipped down quite quickly.
For the past week or so, I’ve actually been drinking a lot of this tea. About a year ago, I suddenly went from loving oolongs to being put off by them and it has been a slow journey back to loving them ever since. Even nowadays, I still can’t ignore this odd taste in oolongs, but I can still enjoy them. Anyway, I really enjoy the roasted flavor of this oolong, but this morning it was not cutting it for me. So I took it as another opportunity to try a flavored iced tea. This time around, I poured my tea over ice and raspberry flavored syrup. That was a baaad idea. I can’t explain why or how, but the raspberry and oolong flavors are not playing nicely. Actually, I think that the raspberry emphasizes that odd taste that I don’t like in oolongs. I’ll finish my Frankenstein-monster-cuppa tea but I will not be repeating this combo again. Oh well, good to know for future experiments.
I brought this tea in to work because I remember it being such a lovely cuppa to have in the morning during the winter. However, when I steeped it up at work this morning, it was a completely different experience. First off, the leaves had this powdery stuff on it that I don’t remember from before. I think maybe some of the leaves were crushed and became like a tea dust coating the other leaves. Perhaps due to this, the tea turned out bitter in contrast to the gentle tea that I remember from months ago. I was disappointed, of course, but then I realized that I could use this opportunity to try out some more iced teas with the syrups at my office.
I dumped the rest of the tea into a cup with ice and a pump of strawberry syrup. I do feel a bit blasphemous using this nice tea to make a flavored iced tea, but oh well. The strawberry syrup did a nice job of not only adding some strawberry flavor but also masking the bitterness with its sweetness. The syrup wasn’t so overpowering that I couldn’t still taste the maltiness from the black tea, though. So I guess what started off as a disappointingly bitter cup turned into a successful iced tea experiment. Not bad.
Backlog. The first time I had this tea, it was at work, so I didn’t quite trust myself with exact steeping parameters. So this time, I brought the tea back home to pay better attention to it. The result? I still get a raisin taste from it, and not so much Laoshan Black flavors as several others have commented on about this tea. I don’t know if maybe this batch is different or my taste buds are crazy (which is always a big possibility!), but I’m not really tasting LB. That said, it is still a very nice tea, but not my absolute favorite. I’m glad that I was able to grab a sample with my last order.