456 Tasting Notes
So the last time I had this tea, I suspected that it would taste much better as an iced tea. I’m pleased to report that I was right! I dropped two tea bags into my water bottle, filled it up, and left it chilling in the fridge for a few hours. The resulting tea is this bright pink-red juice, basically. It starts off with a tart note from the hibiscus and then leaves with a more subtle raspberry flavor. Again, I’m not getting “rose” out of this tea, but it was a nice, tangy, refreshing iced tea. My only complaint so far other than the rose thing is that there seemed to be something a bit missing. Maybe next time, I’ll try three teabags or adding a simple syrup to give it a bit more substance.
Thank you for the free sample, Tea at Sea! This is the second of the three samples that I’m trying out today. I feel like most of the oolongs I’ve been trying out have been on the greener side, and this oolong is definitely different. It has a dark, roasty, malt flavor to it that was really intense for me on the first steep. I think the second steep really hit the spot because the intensity mellowed out a bit, yet the flavors were there. It was also a bit sweeter, maybe even fruity the second time around. By the third and fourth steeps, the tea was getting weak, so I just sipped on it alongside some dinner and didn’t think too much about it. If it weren’t for my overflowing cupboard, I would probably consider purchasing more of this. Maybe in a couple months…
I’ve been finding a trend with Shan Valley’s green teas. They have been nice, but not great. This green tea was not bitter, which was very nice. However, the flavor was pretty weak and unmemorable. I’m finding it hard to describe this further because it was just a standard cup of weak-ish green tea. Perhaps next time I will add more leaf and see what happens.
Thanks to Courtney for a sample of this oolong! I drank this tea while eating a very spicy meal, so I will leave the rating for next time when I can taste it properly on its own. That being said, I really enjoyed it. The tea was floral, sweet, and smooth. Three qualities I love in a greener oolong. It did get a bit bitter as the cup cooled down, but that seems to be happening with a lot of oolongs that I’ve tried lately. I already resteeped twice with the flavors holding strong. I will probably continue to resteep this one as it is evening and I don’t want to steep up any fresh caffeine.
Today, we went to a bakery for the cutest little cupcakes in a jar. So we sat down with our jars of cupcakes and some tea. They had a large selection of mediocre bagged teas, so I opted for my default- English Breakfast. I’m finding that this bagged tea + paper cup = cardboard-y and bitter (bitter mostly because they always let it steep for so long before giving it to you). Anyway, the flavor was mostly drowned out by my extremely sweet cupcake, so I guess it worked itself out.
Thanks to bluebelle for a generous sample of this in our swap! I’m really loving TGYs, and this is no different. It delivers on the sweet, nutty, smooth combination that I’ve come to expect from my oolongs. The flavor for the first two steeps was a bit intense or sharp, though. And it got bitter as it cooled down. So I waited a little longer for my water to cool before steeping the third and fourth times and really hit the sweet spot. The flavors were still there but mellowed out and blending together well. By the fifth steep, started to lose too much flavor, but I’m gonna keep resteeping it until I’m just drinking hot water.
Thanks to Kat_Maria for a sample of this in our swap! I can’t figure out dan cong oolongs. I know they’re supposed to have some kind of fruity taste, but all I can taste is a robustness that reminds me of English Breakfast teas and some pepperiness. Well, even if my taste buds are broken, I really enjoyed this tea. I think it would be nice for mornings when I don’t want a black tea, but still want something strong.
Woke up late for class, travel tumbler was unwashed, went to school without tea. Nooo! But we have these new “healthy” vending machines that had cans of this flavored green tea, so I thought I would try it out. It was tasty, but definitely not tea. It was more like raspberry and sugar substitute water. More like a watery juice than tea. If there was any green tea flavor, it escaped me. It’s too overpriced for a can of non-tea, so I won’t be getting it again. I did finish the can that I had, though, because I was thirsty and it wasn’t bad for a watery juice.
I seem to be a magnet for bitter today. I ordered a very reasonably priced sample of this from Shan Valley. When I smelled the dry leaves, it smelled like a typical grassy green tea. Steeping it up, it’s still a typical, grassy green tea. It’s also pretty bitter, though, and I didn’t even steep it for very long (maybe a minute or so?). Perhaps I should have waited for the water to cool down a little more, but even if this tea weren’t bitter, there didn’t seem to be anything all that notable about it. I will fiddle with the rest of the sample for sure, but it looks like I will not restock on this tea.
Like I said in my other tasting note, I went to afternoon tea where they served Harney & Sons! The tea I ordered became bitter very quickly, so I stole a few cups from my friend’s pot of this lovely tea. I’m pretty picky about my jasmine teas because I can be on the fence about jasmine in general, but this one really hit the spot. It had a very clean jasmine taste that wasn’t too perfume-y or astringent like ones I’ve had in the past. It did become bitter, but only because the leaves were left to steep in the teapot between cups. When I finally put in an order with H&S, I will be sure to include this one! Oh, and the restaurant used the same teapot (but in white) that I have at home to serve the teas in! It was so nice seeing my teapot in a fancy place :)