576 Tasting Notes
I had a lot of errands to run after classes today, which usually wouldn’t be too bad, but the cold weather seems to make simple tasks seem all the more formidable. Anyway, I was finally relieved to get back to my cozy apartment and brew up a nice pot of tea to warm up. Because I’ve been drinking sweeter teas lately, I decided to change it up a little and drink this bancha. It has a more vegetal and slightly roasty taste that I also drank with my dinner.
Backlog from this morning. I brought this to class today, and I think that making this tea and LB in my Aladdin tumbler really brings out a strong sweet potato taste that is eventually followed by the chocolate-y goodness that I’m used to. I’m not sure what the reason is for that (leaf/water ratio? room for leaves to expand?), but it’s kinda cool that I can bring out such different flavors from the same teas.
I finally get to use my new Adagio teapot that I received as a belated birthday gift! If this had been the first houjicha I ever tasted, the rating would be a lot higher. However, I have tried many different houjichas, and this one doesn’t really stand out among the rest. It has the trademark roasted taste, but its not particularly pronounced or special that I can tell. I’m not sure why I have seaweed on the brain today, but the leaves smell like roasted/dried seaweed. Anyway, it’s a nice cuppa, and I appreciate the sample that Adagio threw in with my order, but there are better houjichas out there to reorder in the future.
Thank you bluebelle for a sample of this oolong! This tea confuses me, but in an exciting kind of way. It’s definitely unlike other oolongs that I’ve had (& I’ve been drinking a lot of them lately). First off, it has that nice, roasted taste with a bit of nuttiness in there as well. What confuses me is the “dark chocolate” part. I’m not detecting any chocolate-y notes, but I’m rather getting a roasted seaweed taste from it. I actually quite enjoy it, but I do not think it is aptly named.
I didn’t realize until yesterday that I still had one tea to try from the Steepster Select December box! A lot of my issues with karigane, kukicha, sencha, etc. is that they are either too grassy or too savory. I think that this tea really hits the right combination of the two that makes it a very comforting tea to me. I will say, though, that I had a lot of sediment in my tea because it was so fine, and it does make for a bitter cup toward the bottom. That’s not too much of a problem for me, though, because I drank it pretty quickly before the bottom could get too bitter.
EDIT: I resteeped and I actually think I may prefer it this way. There is less sediment (I rinsed out the bottom from the first cup), which I forgot to mention before made the texture kind of thick. This cup just tastes a bit cleaner and less bitter to me. Of course, the tradeoff is that the flavor is a bit weaker, but I tend to like my tea on the weaker side anyway, so it’s working out for me!
Thanks to bluebelle for this surprise in our swap! The dry leaves smelled so strongly of caramel and general sugary goodness that I was pretty impatient while letting it steep. The steeped tea smelled and tasted more like a combination of caramel and nuts. I was expecting the caramel, but was pleasantly surprised by the strength of the nuttiness in this tea. It did taste a bit artificial, but much better than other caramel teas that I’ve had that just taste like chemical caramel flavoring. I will savor the rest of my little sample while it lasts!
So I made myself a pot of this early in the morning before heading off to class on a rare day when I was actually awake early enough to make and drink tea before leaving. It is as floral, sweet, and smooth as I remember. Although, this time it also tasted damp? I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense because all tea is liquid, but something about it tasted extra wet or damp. Anyway, other than that, this is a nice greener oolong, but doesn’t have anything super special about it compared to other green oolongs that I’ve had.
Brought this one with me to class today, which may not have been the best idea because the water temps at school vary so much. It was actually unusually piping hot today, and I didn’t wait long enough for it to cool before steeping the tea, so it ended up more bitter than usual. I think the strong smoky taste helped mask the bitterness a bit, though, so it all worked out. Plus, when I’m in the middle of lecture, I’m not too picky about what tea I have as long as it helps me focus, haha.
Backlog from yesterday. I was really excited to try this tea because people on Steepster seemed to rave about it. The tea for me started off with a bit of a tart fruit flavor and then ended with a smoky taste. I could tell that it was a good quality tea, but I think those flavor profiles just didn’t do it for me personally. I still have enough of the sample left to make another cup later, so I’ll check back and see in a while.
Backlog. As always, the water temperature at school fluctuates like crazy and yesterday, I ended up with some cooler water than I wanted. When I first sipped this and tasted chocolate, for a moment I thought I was drinking Laoshan Black. But this tea is mellower (it is an oolong..) and as it cooled, the tart fruity notes came out as well. As I keep drinking up my Verdant stock, I am more and more tempted to place an order soon.
Edit: Resteeped and accidentally neglected it for a bit, so it cooled down quite a bit before I got to it. It has a much nuttier taste this time around. What an adventure this tea has been taking me on!