564 Tasting Notes
Backlog. I went to afternoon tea in San Francisco, and this is the tea that my mom ordered. Our waiter said that this was his personal favorite as well as a popular pick among customers. My mom did seem to enjoy it, but I did not like it so much. First, there were some floral notes that verged on being too perfume-y for me. The main problem, though, was the strawberry flavor. It came across as very artificial and almost medicinal to me. Once that hit my taste buds, I couldn’t really tease apart any other flavors in there because I kept getting distracted by it. I just think that this tea was a little too all over the place for me, personally.
Backlog. My mom and I treated ourselves to an afternoon tea in San Francisco, and it turns out that they had Dammann Freres teas. I picked this one because I always like a nice, bold breakfast tea. Unfortunately, by the time they brought the teapot out, it was oversteeped. Now usually, I don’t add anything to my tea ever, but the bitterness was a bit too overwhelming for me, so I added some milk. Surprisingly, it turned out to be quite delicious. The malty flavor of black tea was still there yet the bitterness and astringency were tamed by the smooth milk. This experience is making me think that I should experiment with adding milk to other teas!
I reached for this tea this morning. It was a tad less bold than I would have wanted, but the maltiness was definitely there. It kept me company while I had a phone interview, which turned out well. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I’d like to think not ;) Anyway, as it cooled down, I got some strong honey notes coming through, making it sweeter than the piping hot cuppa. I just love the complexity of good black teas. When I resteeped the leaves, the flavors were definitely weaker but still tasty.
Eek, I only have one serving left of this wonderfully magical tea. So of course I’ve been resteeping the heck out of today’s leaves. I just can’t get over how chocolatey the tea is with that nice pop of cereal/rice flavor from the genmaicha part of the tea. Once I run out of both this and LB, I’m seriously going to have to break my tea buying hiatus to put in another order with Verdant. I’m just hoping that they’ll have the teas I want in stock! Timing is always the toughest part.
My final tea of a surprisingly tea-filled day was this tea. Like I said in my previous tasting note of this tea, I’m not a huge fan of the green tea base in this one. Something about it doesn’t taste very clean to me. Today, there was also a sharp kind of taste that was also a little bit bitter. I’m thinking that it was because the water temperature was closer to 185 F than 175 F. Oops. When I run out of this tea, I’m not going to be restocking, but it is nice to have a genmaicha in my cupboard!
Backlog. I was at a cafe today, and even though I own this tea at home, it was the most decent tea option on the menu. I have no idea how hot the water was because I wasn’t able to control it myself, but I’m thinking they probably used hotter water than I would have for this tea. Despite that, the tea still wasn’t very bitter. And I’m not sure if it relates to the water temperature, but the peach flavor really stood out above the melon today. Anyway, it was a nice afternoon pick me up tea.
Backlog. I have cold brewed this with a lot of success in the past. Today, I tried the other iced tea method: pouring hot tea over ice. I was surprised to actually register some differences between the two methods. The cold brew is sweeter with more prominent honey notes. I think that the cold brew version also had a smoother feel to it while drinking. On the other hand, pouring over ice resulted in a bolder/maltier taste. It was also on the edge of being bitter, but thankfully was not so. My personal conclusion is that I prefer the cold brew version, even if it does take significantly more time (but same amount of effort!) to make.
Backlog. Yesterday morning, I was making this tea hot, but at the last minute, I changed my mind and wanted something cold to drink. So I just poured this over some ice, and voila. Iced tea! It certainly wasn’t the smoothest black iced tea I’ve had. There was some bitterness and astringency still apparent. I think that this tea is just very finicky in general. It was still pretty good, though. Nice and bold.
For some reason, I woke up in a mood of sorts, so I reached for a tea that could get my mind off of things and that I could resteep through the day. I always feel like I build this tea up in my head, and that there is no way that it can actually live up to my expectations, but it always does! The malty flavor with cocoa notes was perfect for today. There was also some nuttiness in there that I hadn’t really noticed as much before. The flavors really got weak suddenly on the third steep, which usually doesn’t happen. I’m not sure what I did differently, but I’m not really complaining.
Part of me is really tempted to buy like a pound of this tea. But then another part of me likes only having a little bit of this tea because it makes it feel special when I drink it. For now, I will savor what little I have left of the tea, and think about how much to restock later.
I used my Starbucks reward to get an ounce of this tea. Usually, I go for biggest bang for my buck (aka reward), but I have just run out of all genmaicha in my stash, which is unacceptable to me. So I went for this tea as a filler until I can order more genmaicha. Anyway, I first wanted to comment on how little tea there is in comparison to the rice. In my ounce, I feel like it’s 90% rice, 10% green tea. Perhaps it is just the way that the girl helping me was scooping it from the tin?
Because of the little tea to rice ratio, I used a heaping tablespoon in my teapot (enough for 3 mugs of tea). It did have quite a tasty rice flavor, but I wasn’t quite happy with the green tea base. Not only was there not enough of it, but the flavor itself was very murky compared to the clean flavors that I have come to expect of Japanese green teas. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a terrible tea, but I think I’ve just had so many other better genmaichas that I felt picky about it.