592 Tasting Notes
I was looking for more tea samples to restock my sipdown drawer with when I realized that I never got around to trying this one. It was much too humid to even think about drinking it hot, so I scooped a touch less than a tablespoon into my water bottle and left it in the fridge for about 12 hours. I was worried that I had let it steep for too long, but the tea is surprisingly light, sweet, and clean with no notes of bitterness or astringency at all. It probably also has to do with the fact that I think I underleafed a bit, but I wanted to save enough to prepare a hot cuppa in the future. Anyway, it was just what I needed to clear my head, and I’m looking forward to trying it hot as well. I will save my rating for whenever that happens.
I’m having this one because though it is summer, I have this one in my sipdown drawer to work on before the end of the month. So this time around, I cold brewed about 2 teaspoons in my travel mug, but only for a few hours because I was impatient. The tea is a nice light, amber color. It turned out much sweeter than I expected or remembered from the hot version. The sweetness transitions quickly into a light smokiness that reminds me a lot of gunpowder, even though it says that there are only black teas in this blend. I’m actually kind of glad I was too impatient to let it sit for longer because I feel like it’s on the brink of being bitter/astringent. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise that the cold brew turned out so naturally sweet.
Ok, I think I’ve officially given this tea enough tries. I tried cold brewing this time with about 2 tsp in my water bottle for only a few hours in the fridge. It was an improvement over the hot version with the apple flavor becoming more crisp and a little more prominent, but the waxy crayon feel/flavor was still there and highly distracting. So bummed cause I really wanted to love this one, but I guess I should also be relieved that there is one less tea out there that I’m constantly tempted to buy?
I couldn’t remember if it was this tea or the grape sencha that I liked, so since this was more readily available to me, I steeped this tea as my hot tea for the morning. Now, looking at my tasting notes, I realize that it was the grape sencha that I preferred, oops. This tea smells waxy, tastes waxy, and has a sort of waxy/greasy feel to it that it off-putting. It’s a real shame because the candy apple taste beneath all that is actually quite nice. I guess I will try cold brewing with the rest of it, and maybe that weird waxiness will magically disappear?
Another sample sipdown (106)! I’m going through my sipdown drawer amazingly fast considering it is summer. Although, maybe it makes more sense because I’m cold brewing a lot and it takes up more leaf? Anyway, I took my last tablespoon of this and cold brewed in my water bottle overnight. Cold brewing really emphasizes and brings out that honey flavor in the tea, so the malty flavor becomes more of a background taste. It’s quite refreshing, and I’m glad to have tried it both hot and cold. While I appreciate honey as an ingredient (like in baked goods and roasted nuts), I don’t actually like straight up honey, so this tea is getting a little too close to that for me to restock. However, if you love honey and want a light, refreshing black tea, this is the one!
A surprisingly fast sipdown (107). I feel like I just bought this box a little while ago because I was missing California and access to good milk tea. And then it somehow turned into having a travel mug full of this one ready to go in the fridge constantly. Even though I was drinking it so frequently, I was actually shocked when I realized I was down to my last two. Anyway, sometimes I feel like this can be a little too sweet because it leaves that kind of sticky taste in my mouth afterwards, but I love it anyway. I’ll have to resist the temptation to get more at the Asian supermarket soon.
Sipdown (108)! OK, so I know I was supposed to try this hot at some point, and I had plenty of leaf to do so, but the weather got warmer and blah blah excuses blah blah. I used it all up on cold brews, but I feel okay with that because it made a very refreshing cold brew. This time around, there was less rice and more green tea because it was the bottom of the bag, so it’s not quite as roasty as other times, but still good. I won’t be repurchasing this one just because there are so many other genmaichas out there to try and love. One more out of the sipdown drawer successfully sipped down! Woohoo!
This is another tea from my sipdown drawer. I’ve been cold brewing this one because it didn’t really blow me away as a hot tea. Anyway, I think the key with cold brewing this one is not to overleaf and not to let it steep for too long or else the bitterness is unforgiving. I steeped a bit less than a tablespoon in my water bottle overnight and it turned out light and lovely with floral and vegetal notes. I kind of gulped down the entire thing because I wanted to get that caffeine going in my system, but I think I overdid it with both this tea and the morning cuppa cause now I’m a bit jittery. And I’m sure my anxiety from my upcoming meeting today is not helping.
Ok, back on track, I just wanted to write this tasting note to remind myself, less leaf, less time in the fridge! I’m terrible at keeping track of how long my cold brews have been sitting, and some teas are great at being ignored, but this one is not one of them!
I have this tea in my sipdown drawer, so I picked it as my morning cuppa. It’s a good tea with malty, honey flavors, yet is a bit too gentle for my mornings. There is some astringency, but it’s not too noticeable. I’m enjoying this tea, but I’m not going to repurchase because there are just so many other straight black teas that I prefer and that I have yet to try. I think I only have one serving left, so I’ll definitely be able to sip this one down before I move at the end of August.
Oh, wow, how frustrating. After the weirdly salty cuppa I just had, I decided to break out a reliable tea to make up for it. And this is a big deal because I’m running out of this tea and on a spending ban, sigh. I was almost positive that the saltiness in my previous cuppa was from the mug or teapot, so this time I used totally different equipment, but the tea still came out slightly salty. So I guess that means it’s the water? Or the electric kettle? Not only is my new water chlorine-y, but I guess it has now decided to become salty as well. I hope this is only temporary and that it will go back to just being chlorine-y (never thought I’d say that). Anyway, the Zhu Rong has powerful enough flavors for me to ignore the salt, so I’m just powering through. It’s the flavor of spices in this one that really keep the salt at bay. My old reliable tea pulling through for me once again. Thank you, Verdant, for this amazing tea :)