577 Tasting Notes
Backlog. I’ve been reaching for this one lately, so I’ve had it a couple times in the last few days. Both times, there’s been a very strong baked bread or even potato-like flavor and texture. And of course, there is the malt taste to round it all out and give it a heavier body (though, not too heavy). All in all, a pretty tasty, complex black tea. I would definitely consider reordering!
Backlog from yesterday. Fire alarms are usually so annoying, but it was nice weather outside, so I decided to actually be a good person and evacuate rather than hole up in my room and wait for it to pass. And it’s a good thing I did because I ran into a friend who had just gotten back to the US after being gone for a few months! So of course we had to chat after getting back into the building, so I made a pot of this tea to sip on while hearing her charmingly adorable engagement story.
The tea was pretty roasty as it was the last time I had it. The surprising part was that as it cooled (we talked for a long time), I almost felt like there were some chocolate notes in there as well. It also seemed to be overall a smoother drink than it was last time. Anyway, this is kind of inspiring me to perhaps try cold brewing this one to bring out sweeter flavors. I’m sure I will report back on that front soon!
My allergies have decided to make my face look like I’ve been crying for 24 hours straight, hooray! Plus, I don’t dare put eye makeup on as usual because of all the itching and puffiness, so I just look extra tired/sad to people, haha. Ah well, hopefully it will be over soon.
Aaaanyway, the good news of the morning is this lovely tea. It’s definitely not as bold as my breakfast blend teas, but that’s actually very fitting for this morning. It has that signature malty taste that great straight black teas have, but there’s also something a bit tart(?) about it today. Oh, and now that it’s cooling down a bit, there’s some smokiness there as well. Quite an interesting combination. Sounds weird, but it’s working for me! I’m surprised that I’m not getting as much potato/honey notes as I would have expected, but it is definitely possible that my sense of taste is being thrown off by my allergies that have decided to take over my life.
Okay, so I went back to find my old tasting note about this one. I mentioned the same tartness and smokiness, but I guess it didn’t seem to hit it quite right for me last time. So I’m bumping up my rating of this one cause it’s pretty tasty today.
Hmm, not sure what I did wrong today, but I’m just getting a mess of bitter and astringency. It’s kind of reminding me of when I use water that is too hot to steep Chinese green teas. Perhaps that is what the problem was- water that was too hot? In any case, I will not hold my silly mistakes against this perfectly nice tea. On to the next cup of tea!
I actually had a pleasant in-store experience at Teavana today. I felt a little bad that I was using my Starbucks reward just to get the free ounce, but I really can’t buy more tea right now because I’m trying to sip down as many as I can before I move! I have this one box designated for tea when I move, and it’s currently overflowing.
Anyway, the Teavana guy was raving about how roasty and delicious this tea is. It’s almost like he could read off my face that I liked roasty teas. And I have to say that the tea does not disappoint! It has a dark, roasted flavor with even some smokiness (but not overwhelming) in there as well. It also has that sweet flavor that I’m used to finding in slightly greener oolongs, which was a nice surprise. The texture of the tea has a creamy quality to it, which was also another nice surprise.
The flavors are all holding up nicely in the resteep. Though, the unfurled leaves are not as full and impressive as I had hoped they would be, especially compared to some other darker oolongs that I’ve had.
Overall, a very delicious tea, but not the best dark oolong I’ve ever had. Which, I guess is good news because in typical Teavana fashion, I think that it is overpriced compared to all the other online vendors. I will probably not purchase this with actual money, but I will definitely resteep the heck out of every last leaf that I have. And perhaps I will use a future Starbucks reward to restock.
Perhaps I underleafed this today, but the flavor seemed a bit weak this time around. It had a typical grassy/vegetal flavor about it, but it was hard to pick it apart more than that because the flavors were so very subtle. It also tasted the slightest bit smoky, but that may be because it was next to a gunpowder sample I had from the same Persimmon Trees sample. Also, the rest of my sample seems to have been crushed a bit, so I’ll probably put the rest of it into a tea filter and cold brew. All in all, a lovely cup of tea that was calming and a bit of a palate cleanser after the last tea I had. However, it doesn’t seem special enough to order again.
Sipdown (116)! So I just saw a post on the tea subreddit on Reddit about how someone bought these teas on a discontinuation sale, but they had arrived already spoiled. That was a not so nice reminder that I have had one of these in my fridge for about forever. The expiration date on the cap said June 22, so I thought I’d just go for it… cautiously. I’m not sure if my tea had gone bad or I just plain did not like it, but I could not drink more than a few sips of this stuff. It had an overwhelmingly medicinal/honey-in-a-bad-way flavor that almost made the tea seem thick? I had to check the bottle again to see that it said “unsweetened” on the side. I probably didn’t drink enough of it to really give a more coherent tasting note about this tea, but it definitely did not seem like a refreshing, simple, “unsweetened” green tea to me. Plus, I’ve been cold brewing tons of green tea lately, so I think I have a good comparison. Anyway, enough confused rambling. Time to go make some more tea to get this “tea” flavor out of my mouth!
Cold brewed this one again! I realized that the reason I like this one so much as a cold brew is that it maintains the balance between that vegetal quality of a green tea but also the roasted flavor. I feel like with a lot of my roastier cold brews, the roasted taste kind of takes over, but in this tea the two flavors really complement one another. I’ll probably pop some more into the fridge after I wash out my water bottle. I have a feeling this sample will be sipped down very soon.
When I have this tea lately, it reminds me of how much my tastes have changed. I used to really love this one, but I’ve since found many other great peach teas, so I’m lowering my rating on this one just a tad. Today, I’m having it as a cold brew (2 tsp in water bottle for ~7 hrs). I’m not liking this one as much as a cold brew. It has an oily feel and the peach flavor is on the perfume-y side. It’s not terrible, but I have tastier options for cold brewed peach tea.
Edit: As I kept sipping on this tea, it also suddenly became very bitter. I think it’s because of the white tea because I’ve had similar problems with bitterness when steeping this hot.
So I haven’t been posting as many tasting notes lately just because I’ve been drinking the same reliable teas over and over again, so they would get pretty repetitive and boring. Anyway, here’s a snippet of what I’ve been steeping and resteeping lately:
- Yu Lu Yan Cha; Never disappoints! I’m a huge Verdant black tea fan
- Da Hong Pao; I especially love Teavivre’s version. Sooo creamy
- barley tea; My one and only pitcher is dedicated to this tea. I think I drink about a liter (or more) of this a day. It’s basically my water.
- genmaicha; I’m using the sample I got from Argo Tea to make this delicious cold brew. I’ve found that I really love roasty cold brews.
- Momo Oolong Super Grade; My favorite fruity cold brew! I love the way the candy-peach flavor tastes as a refreshing cold brew.
I’m also experimenting with cold brewing a bunch of teas that I wouldn’t have thought to cold brew before just because it’s getting humid, and I’m more of a dry heat kind of girl. I don’t know how to handle the humidity other than drowning myself in refreshing cold brews and constantly splashing water on my face!
P.S. I love how people have been adding flavors to the random steepings page. A tea with “Flowers, Stonefruits, Honey, Lemon Zest, Plants, Asparagus, Mineral, Potato, Orange Zest”? Sounds… complex, haha.