450 Tasting Notes
Sipdown (103)! Ooh, I’m getting close to being under 100 for the first time since I went way over on my fall tea buying spree last year. Anyway, I remember having this as a cold brew just a little while ago, so I was very surprised today when I steeped it hot. As a cold brew, it was light, sweet, and refreshing. As a hot tea, it is totally different, but not necessarily in a bad way. It is definitely much bolder (but that could also be due to a different leaf/water ratio). It’s much maltier and has a touch of smokiness that I did not detect at all in the cold brewed version. I think I prefer the cold brew, surprisingly, because it was lighter and didn’t have the smokiness to it. I did quite enjoy the sample from Tea at Sea, but I do not think I will reorder this one just because there are many other straight blacks that I prefer and/or want to try out.
Edit: As the cup cooled down, there was also some tartness to the tea. Interesting.
Okay, so I had a pretty potent headache when I picked this one out, so I was in a rush and didn’t really pay close attention. Plus, the salesperson was very pushy about getting this one and I had no energy to question it. And then I just decided to cold brew it because I was curious about it, but didn’t want to drink something hot in this humidity. It had a nice nutty and cinnamon taste that I can imagine would be much better hot. The combo of flavors (especially the cinnamon) is odd as a cold brew. I also tasted something odd about the tea, which upon closer inspection I realized was rooibos. Had I realized that this had rooibos before, I would not have gotten it because I just am not a big fan of rooibos. Anyway, this tasting note feels like it’s kind of all over the place. Basically, I will try this again hot later when I have the chance, but so far doesn’t look too good for my personal taste.
I ordered a sample of this one because I’m not sure that I’ve ever had straight up Darjeeling on its own. Anyway, I cold brewed this one because the weather is still not too great for hot teas at the moment. It’s much bolder and maltier than the straight Assam (also from The Persimmon Tree) that I had earlier, and there is less of that honey sweetness compared to the Assam. I’m a bit confused because it seems like what I’ve read briefly around the internet has told me that it’s supposed to be the opposite? I guess I will have to try this one hot sometime to really help me figure it out.
After a terrible experience with a lime tea, I was scrambling to find another tea to wash it down with. Fortunately, I had one of these tea sachets cold brewing in the fridge. I may have left it in a little too long this time because there was a sort of sharpness or bitterness to it. However, the floral and fruity notes were still very present and delicious. Very helpful in clearing my head and getting rid of that previous foul taste in my mouth.
Sipdown (104)! I’ve been very hesitant about trying this one because of all the negative reviews and a warning from Skysamurai. First off, the smell was just so repugnant that I was almost scared to try this tea. It smelled like someone used a citrus cleaning product in a retirement home. And of course it tasted just like cleaning product as well. The smell was so strong it actually made me a little lightheaded. Needless to say, I had to dump the rest of the mug. Yikes.
Sipdown (105)! I’ve had an interesting time with this tea. Didn’t like it hot, and then it was too bitter as a cold brew, but I finally hit the sweet spot with amount of leaf and time for cold brewing that actually resulted in a pretty refreshing, almost minty cold brew. Though I did finally figure out how to hit the sweet spot with this one, I will not be repurchasing because it’s just too overpriced for what it is. Farewell, “monkey-picked” oolong!
I’ve been trying to scrounge up some more black teas for my sipdown drawers since I’ve mainly been cold brewing oolongs lately. Anyway, this is one that I had forgotten about, so I stuck a tablespoon into my water bottle and into the fridge for maybe around 7 hours. Anyway, I should have guessed from seeing that it is a CTC that it would be strong, but it still caught me off guard a bit with the heavy smokiness. I can tell that there are some other flavors there in the background, but I’m too distracted by the smokiness to be able to really tease them apart. If you couldn’t tell already, I think it was too smoky for my own taste, but I will definitely try steeping this one hot to see if anything changes.
Sipdown (106)! I used up the last tablespoon I had of this as a cold brew in my travel mug for about 7 or so hours? I kind of lost track. Anyway, it’s light, clean, sweet, and floral like I expected it to be. Also, I don’t know if my migraine is just distracting me, but I feel like there is almost something savory about it, too. In any case, it’s a pretty decent oolong, but I don’t think that it is unique or special enough for me to want to purchase more of. Thanks again to Courtney for letting me try some out!
Edit: I think that savory flavor I was confused about before is actually a nutty flavor.
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.