576 Tasting Notes
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.
I’ve been pretty terrible about writing tasting notes lately, but only because I’ve been drinking most of the same teas over and over again. One that I’ve been reaching for many mornings is this tea. A little goes a long way leaf-wise, so I’m happily surprised at how long this sample from the T&C TTB is going to last me. I think I really enjoy it because of its boldness without the usual accompanying bitterness that loud black teas can have. And it’s been fairly hard to mess this one up, which is great because my brain does not function well in the morning.
Backlog from earlier today. The first time that I steeped this tea, I used 185 F water, which turned out to be too hot. While the flavors were delicious, it was also a bit bitter. It didn’t help that the leaves were very fine and settled at the bottom of my mug, continuing to make the tea bitter as I drank it. Second time around, I used 165 F water, and it really did help with the initial bitterness. The problem with the leaves falling through and making it bitter were still there, though. I need to get a finer strainer.
Anyway, I really enjoyed this tea (despite the random bitterness) because it combines umami and vegetal flavors so well. Plus, it tastes clean yet a little thick at the same time. I find that true of most Japanese green teas, actually. Anyway, it is a very nice, sothing tea. I just hope I can find a better way to strain the leaves.
Backlog. I went to a cute cafe to yesterday to meet up with a friend and get some work done. While they are known for coffee, they had a nice selection of Mighty Leaf teas. I’ve been wanting to try some more Mighty Leaf because I love White Orchard, so I bought a cup of this one. Houjichas are one of my favorite types of teas, so I’ve become a bit picky about them. Compared to my favorite houjicha, this one was weaker and slightly more dried anchovy tasting, but for a bagged tea, it was actually really smooth and nice. If I needed a houjicha on the go, I’d be happy with this one.
Even though it’s still pretty cold (California cold) out, I suddenly had a craving for a fruity cold brew. So of course I turned to my favorite cold brew tea, Momo Oolong. I accidentally forgot about it and left it steeping for about 20 hours, but it didn’t turn out bitter. Instead, it was nice and juicy peach as usual with the smooth oolong base helping it along. I just love the way that Lupicia flavors their teas. There are so many other teas from there that I really want to try, but I’m trying to cut down my cupboard, not build it up! Eek.
Sipdown (88). I overleafed a bit more than usual because it was the end of my stash of this particular tea. It didn’t turn out as great as I would have hoped for the sipdown of one of my favorite teas. It was a bit bitter and surprisingly a bit smoky as well. I don’t recall this tea ever being smoky. The strong malty flavor was familiar, though. Anyway, I am sad that I’m out of this one, and I hope to be able to sip down enough other teas soon to make another Verdant order!
Thankfully, my sense of taste and smell have been coming back to me today, so I thought I’d celebrate with a cup of this wonderfully smelling and tasting tea. It seems a little extra malty today to help me celebrate. I’m on my second steep, and the flavor is still strong, so of course I’m going to resteep until the leaves basically disintegrate.
I’ve really been wanting clean tasting teas (more than usual) while being sick because my head can’t comprehend anything complex very well. This bancha did a nice job of warming me up and providing a clean, veggie broth-like flavor tonight. I have to admit, that this tea can be a little TOO veggie for me sometimes, but it really fit the bill tonight!
Backlog from this morning. I’ve been a little extra clumsy today due to being sick, so I made this waay too strong. Even through my stuffy nose and dulled taste buds, I could taste the bitterness. However, upon resteeping, the boldness became manageable and actually enjoyable. My coffee-loving mother especially loved this one. I have a feeling she will be the one to finish off most of my 3+ oz of this tea.