526 Tasting Notes
It’s suddenly become so humid at the same time that my allergies decided to flare up. All in all, not a great time to be drinking too much hot tea. So I threw a couple teaspoons of this tea into my water bottle and left it in the fridge for about 12 hours. It has a nice earthy taste like crispy fall leaves with a roasted flavor as well. I think the roasted seaweed flavor is still there, but a little less prominent. I knew it was a good idea to cold brew this one! This is one of those rare teas that I seem to like the hot and cold brewed versions pretty equally.
I’ve been consciously trying not to drink this one as often because I’m running so low on this delicious tea. However, as it is the beginning of finals week (and perhaps the very last finals week of my entire life), I thought I deserved to have this one. There are so many complex, delicious flavors that complement each other so perfectly in this tea that it’s hard not to love it! Anyway, here is to surviving the rest of this week!
Sipdown (117)! I only had about two teaspoons of this left, and I realized that I’ve never tried cold brewing a Da Hong Pao before. Given that I love roasty cold brews, I thought this would be perfect! So I took the last of my sample and stuck it in the fridge for 16 hours. In hindsight, I should’ve taken it out sooner because it was a bit strong, but I never remember to take my cold brews out on time.
Anyway, I’m so glad that I tried this one out as a cold brew because now I love da hong paos both hot and iced. There was that signature sweet oolong flavor with the roastiness of a dark oolong. I think that between this one and the hot version, the cold brew is more naturally sweet.
So, this is good news and bad news. Good news because I love it! Bad news because I’m rapidly running out of da hong pao, and cold brews use up more leaf. Oh well, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the rest of this one for now!
Every time I open my drawer of samples, I’m amazed at how fluffy this package is. Today, this tea is reminding me of roasted seaweed in a good way. It’s a very clean, smooth tea. It’s really nice on its own as I am having it now, and I can imagine that it would go well with food as well. Now that I think about it, it will probably make a nice roasty cold brew as well. I’m excited to keep experimenting with the rest of this tea!
It seems that I’ve always had this one while eating food, so I finally had a chance to sip on this and this alone this morning. It has a thicker mouthfeel that I didn’t notice as much before. It still has those nice, sweet, and vegetal flavors. It was also just a little bitter because the leaves are so fine that I had quite a bit of sediment still steeping at the bottom of the cup.
A major oops with this tea today. I accidentally let it steep for about 30 minutes while I was making something to eat. When I finally realized, my first thought was that it would be so bitter that I’d have to dump it. Wrong! I was pretty surprised and excited that it wasn’t bitter at all and only a little astringent. I usually am very timid about steeping black teas because I don’t like them too bold, but this tea just had this really deep, malty, potato flavor that was really delicious. So my conclusion and reminder for myself with this tasting note is to play around with longer steeping times (but definitely not 30 minutes) when I try this tea again. Yay for accidents?
Sipdown (118)! I have definitely had this tea before, but I don’t see a previous note about it, so I guess I just forgot to log it last time. Anyway, this is a perfectly nice, light, floral green oolong. It is a bit weaker in flavor than other oolongs that I’ve had, so I don’t think this one would be a restock for me. However, I’m really enjoying it.
On a side note, I’ve found that lately all of my green oolongs have had this damp flavor to them. Not sure if that has always been there and I’m just becoming more sensitive to it or if I need to store them better or they’re just getting old (but they’re not THAT old!). Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see if this happens when I buy fresh tea. I hope not because oolongs are my favorite, and this damp-ish flavor is hindering my enjoyment a bit.
Edit: The steeped leaves are also really beautifully full when they’re unfurled.
Oops, I had forgotten about my little samples from The Persimmon Tree, but now I’m getting around to them again. I’ve had many a breakfast tea blend as well as flavored teas with Assam bases, but never just straight up Assam. That’s why I decided to get this one in the sampler pack. It’s malty as expected, and a little bit astringent (also pretty expected). I guess I thought it would have a stronger/bolder taste than this tea actually did. It seemed much mellower than my usual EB blends. Not sure if that would apply just to this one Assam or to all Assams in general, so it looks like I still have more tasting and experimenting to do! I do quite like it, though, and it still is bold enough that I can appreciate it on this slightly cool slightly sunny morning.
I was experimenting with fruit infused teas again, so I put about a tablespoon of this tea with orange slices in my water bottle and cold brewed it. I think that this tea was a little too delicate because the orange really overpowered the green tea. However, I could definitely tell that there was something more than just orange-flavored water there. I probably won’t use this tea with other fruits, but on its own and with lots of leaf, it can make a good cold brew.
Sipdown (120)! I used up the last of this leaf in a cold brew since I don’t really drink too much hot tea these days. I left it in the fridge for about 9-10 hours, which in hindsight was probably too long because there was a bit of bitterness to it that I feel could have been avoided. The tea was grassy and savory, much like the hot version of the tea. I think I actually prefer it hot, but it was nice to try out as a cold brew.