591 Tasting Notes
Backlog. I had this wonderful tea this morning. I accidentally left it steeping for a whopping 8-9 minutes because I was distracted with filling out forms. To my surprise/delight, the tea wasn’t bitter! I mean, it was definitely stronger than I would have liked and there was some astringency, but all in all, not bad for steeping almost 3 times the recommended time.
I was in Berkeley today to see a friend off before she moves to New York for a fancy new job. So sad! A few years ago, she introduced me to Asha Tea House in Berkeley, so we went there today. I was really craving bubble tea, so I did skip the many many tea options there to get a nice milk tea. The honey boba was delicious and chewy. The tea itself was not quite as good as I remembered, but I liked that they let the black tea shine through by not adding too much extra sugar and whatnot.
Again, my taste buds seem to diverge from others about this tea. Instead of chocolate flavor, I’m getting more of what I think is muscat. It also tastes leafy to me (as if I could be any vaguer). Anyway, it’s not usually my favorite combination of flavors, but I really found myself wanting it today. Plus, it has a really clean taste, which I can always appreciate. I think that when I’m in the mood for it, this tea really hits the spot!
Backlog. I’ve been reaching for this one most mornings this past week for two main reasons. It’s convenient, and I have a ton of it! Today, I have a little more to add than usual because I was only able to drink half my mug before rushing out of the house. When I got back, my tea was stone cold, but I tried it anyway. Surprisingly, there were some sweeter, honey-like notes in there that I don’t really taste in the hot tea. This makes me think that this tea will be an interesting experiment for a cold brew!
I haven’t posted a tasting note in a while even though I’ve been drinking tea everyday. I think it’s just because I’m going through a tea blah phase where even some of my usual favorites are just slightly off-putting. I find that when I go through these phases, I just need to find that one tea that puts me back on track and play it safe for a while. I think that this oolong may be the tea to do it. I’m loving the roasty, charcoal flavors tonight. Although, I do detect some astringency that I don’t remember encountering with this particular tea before. Odd. Hopefully that’s just a fluke.
In other tea news, I finally bought a Finum brewing basket because (drumroll), I’m starting a new job next week! I’m kind of scared, actually, for my first real, full time job out of grad school, but at least now I’m armed with new tea supplies to help me make it through the day!
Sipdown (88)! I steeped this one at a low 180 F today, which turned out to be perfect. Also, not much leaf got through the strainer today, so they didn’t sit at the bottom of my mug making the tea bitter. The end result was a really nice, sweet and grassy tea. It was just the perfect mellow and relaxing tea to have this afternoon!
I’m bumping up the rating a little because I think that in previous steeps of this tea, I just used water that was too hot, which made it too bitter. In terms of senchas, this was a good one, but not the absolute best that I’ve had. I may consider adding it to an order if I ordered from Persimmon Tree again, but I’m not going to start an order just to restock on this one.
Sigh. I’m on the brink of a major life decision (or at least it seems so at the moment), so I don’t have the energy to try new teas. Instead, I’m reaching for another favorite, even though my stash of this seems to be dwindling quickly. Anyway, I really saw a transformation from hot to cold tea today. When the tea was piping hot, I was mostly getting baked bread and malt flavors. As it cooled a little, I really started tasting more of a white tea in terms of a hay-like flavor. Usually, I gulp down the entire mug before it gets cold, but today, I was distracted. So when I picked up the cold cup of tea, I was pleasantly surprised by a nutty taste that I didn’t notice in the hot or lukewarm cup. I am tempted to try cold brewing this one, but it takes so much leaf! I probably will chicken out and save it for hot brews.
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.