89 Tasting Notes
Ever have one of those days where it both simultaneously drags and goes way too fast at the same time? That was my day. It doesn’t help that despite working all day I feel like I got nothing accomplished. sigh Ah well, this is why we have tea!
I actually wanted this tea yesterday but by the time I had a chance to actually make it I was an hr away from heading home and I don’t like feeling rushed when drinking tea… anytime I’ve got a time limit (real or self-imposed) it just detracts from the experience for me. So today it was… I do really enjoy this tea, the orange brightens up the whole cup but the spice is still nice and deep. Not to mention that it’s smells divine too. Today’s cup felt particularly rich to me… thick in a way that I hadn’t noticed before but was really nice to relax to.
Ok Winter… I’m good now you can change into Spring anytime! (Heh ya right… like the weather/seasons have ever listened to me!) -34C windchill walking to work today… I’m still chilled!
It’s definitely a Monday morning too, I really needed a pick-me-up and have been craving this for a bit now so I took the plunge. Lots of raspberry flavor today alongside the chocolate and roasted mate notes. I was also getting a few notes from the almond but they were almost a bit burnt… not sure where that came from. I must say though, this tea has grown on me… slowly. I never really liked it and now? Now it’s not half bad :)
In other news I think I’ve finally adapted to my new teaspoon… my previous one won’t fit into the jars that I’m now using at work so I snatched an actual teaspoon measuring spoon from home (Hi honey! There’s still two left in the drawer, and you haven’t even noticed this one missing yet! So no harm no foul right? wink Right?) It’s been a bit of an adjustment but I think I’ve got it now!
Big thanks to Dex for sending some of this to me. This is my very first matcha experience, and it’s one that I’ve been looking forward to.
The very first thing that I thought when I saw the packet of dry tea was how much it resembled henna powder both in color and in texture. There was a similar grass note to the scent but I was definitely getting some cheesecake like notes as well (though they didn’t smell “smooth” but “tangy” instead).
I made this with just hot water as I wanted to get a sense of the “natural” tea before making a latte. After adding the water and attempting to whisk it with a small fork (worked not too bad IMO) I found that those same scent notes carried over to the aroma of the “brewed” tea.
My first sip was very interesting, grassy and a bit sweet it did end up delivering the promised cheesecake notes, though they were quite subtle. The mouthfeel was full but a bit chalky (I’m not sure if I just didn’t whisk it enough but my partner who had tried some in Japan a number of years ago said that it was the same texture as she remembered so who knows.) I also found that the cheesecake flavor lingered for a while and actually built up in my mouth over the course of the cup. I definitely enjoyed it though I really do want to try it as a latte.
Unfortunately that’s where the good parts of my experience ended… I came down with a big headache immediately after finishing the cup (I’m prone to them so it wasn’t guaranteed to be from the tea but there’s usually at least some buildup for me.) Then my stomach decided to disagree with it as well, violently… :(
Now I’ll be the first to admit that trying a new tea type first thing in the morning on an empty stomach was probably not the best idea, but I drink tea at that time/state all the time so it never even crossed my mind. Also a little research (better late than never?) pointed to the fact that I may have used a bit too much matcha for my matcha-virgin body to handle, especially since I was having it straight. Lesson learned… Next time, I’m trying this as a latte after lunch!
Pulled this one out from the depths when I was reorganizing my home tea cupboard (it’s amazing where small packages of tea can hide!)
I love it’s smell, apple pie was one of my favorites growing up (both my folks and my grandmother had big apple trees) and it’s something that I don’t get a chance to have very often any more. And this smells just like it, lots of apple and spices (though mostly cinnamon), and sweet, but not overly so. I don’t get much from the dry green tea leaves though…
The steeped liquor is a murky yellow and the aroma has mellowed significantly while the cinnamon has become the predominate note. The apple is still there but it’s darker and subdued a bit, it still smells quite nice though. As for the taste… it’s good it just doesn’t live up to the promise of the dry aroma. I actually find that I have to significantly over-steep this to get a full “apple” flavor which ends up making the tea somewhat bitter. Aside from that though it’s not bad, there’s just the right amount of sweetness and spice and the green tea keeps this nice and fresh. My one other complaint is that I wish they would have used a tea base that gave some creamy, pastry like notes… maybe an oolong would have been a better base, but that’s just my opinion.
I really love the idea of an apple pie tea but this just isn’t quite the right one for me so the search is on (along with my pumpkin chai search… though I have a number of samples from Dexter that I need to crack open soon!)
OK back to work… (well for at least as long as this intermission lasts! Go Canada Go!)
Another from the GCTTB. This one has been on my DT’s to-try list for a while but whenever I go into the store there’s always other things that call me more, so I’m glad I was able to get a sample of this from the box.
The dry tea is very citrusy smelling, not sharp but definitely there. I could also catch a bit of the cornflowers and the green vegetal tones from the tea base (speaking of the tea itself I was really surprised at the length and shape of the the leaves, dry they almost look like Dragon Well’s long lost cousin).
The liquor comes out a bright, green tinged yellow and had an interesting mixed scent from the citrus and cornflowers. I really wasn’t sure on the taste of this one though, some sips I liked and some I didn’t… It kept flipping back and forthcoming me.
The citrus was quite refreshing and not at all harsh on the mouth but there was this odd almost metallic taste/feel to the tea that I think they contributed to. The cornflowers added a nice sweetness to the tea and helped to smooth out some of the rough edges from the citrus while the green tea notes got a little lost in the rest, I would get the odd grassy note once and a while though.
This is a tea that might grow on me but for now it’s certainly not something I could see keeping on hand regularly.
Another from the GCTTB. I’ve been wanting to try something from 52 teas for a while now and I absolutely love cheesecake (and turtles!!) so this seemed like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
The dry tea was sweet smelling and I could catch the odd hint of chocolate and a bit of nuttiness but not much else. There were some definite hunks of pecans in the mix tho so I was holding out hope.
The steeped liquor was a dark brown and had a slit cheesecake scent to it (yay) with a bit of chocolate undertones. Unfortunately the aroma didn’t really match the flavors, the cheesecake pretty much disappeared aside from an odd aftertaste. There was still the odd chocolate note but no real caramel flavors (tho the mouthfeel was somewhat creamy) and the black tea base really didn’t add much. The one note that was particularly present was the pecan flavor, a bit bitter but I’d almost call this more of a candied pecan tea than turtle cheesecake.
Oh well it’s just as well as I’m not sure how happy I would have been if I had found that I really really liked this tea since I only have enough for one more cup and it’s currently out of stock :)
Back at work today, I hate being ill… and now I’m trying to catch up on all my email, ugh. Time for some tea. I spent some time late last week doing a bit of organizing of my tea cupboard and found that I actually had more remaining of this tea than I thought, so I decided to bring it all to work with me today. Ended up having some too. :D
I really enjoyed today’s infusion… The fig is a lovely tart sweetness and complements the earthy flavors present in this tea nicely. I also, finally, found some cinnamon which really helped to lift up the tea for me. It’s very dark though, not that I mind but when you’re not looking for dark it’s a bit surprising.
Ok back to the inbox…
More backlogging! I woke up the other morning and just knew what I wanted to have after breakfast, this tea. It’s the last of my sample for now but I’ll definitely be putting in an order for more, it’s just that good. Dark warm sweet and yet a bit grassy/earthy, it was a wonderful tea to help me on my way to feeling better.
I particularly enjoyed how the natural honey tones progressed from a dark, almost malt like flavor to a lighter floral tone (I think I termed it clover honey in my initial tasting note.) And the slight bit of astringency is a nice touch to cut through the sweet and creaminess of this tea.
I’ve been on a bit of a tea logging hiatus lately as I’ve not been feeling very well but I’m back for now… Time for some backlog (backlogging?)
This is another from Teavivre’s Green Tea sample pack, I picked it at random since I’ve only got two left to try and neither was particularly calling me over the other.
The dry tea is quite fresh and floral and there are definite grassy notes mixed in but what surprised me was the amount of “nut” aroma I was getting, it actually reminded me of the Dragon Well Long Jin (which I also tried from this sample pack) in how nutty it was.
After a quick rinse my first steeping (30 sec) gave me a very pale gold liquor that smelled of sweet floral notes mixed in with nuts and a touch of summer grass. The flavor, though mellow, was quite nutty compared to the brewed aroma and contained a few buttery undertones alongside the sweet floral highlights. The mouthfeel was rich and creamy while still being rather light and there was no bitterness or astringency what-so-ever.
My second cup (1 min) was a pale yellow color and the scent carried a few more floral and buttery notes compared to the first cup. Flavor wise I also found a few more buttery tones, to the point where it was almost pastry like, while the grass notes hung in the background (which made for a very interesting contrast). The floral flavors moved into the finish of the sip while the mouthfeel lost a bit of its rich creaminess.
The last cup (1:30 min) was the most floral (in both taste and flavor) of them all, as well as being the least sweet. The majority of the nutty and buttery notes had disappeared and the summer grass flavors were now at the forefront. The mouthfeel had also shifted, still light but with just the slightest touch of creaminess.
In the end it was a lovely experience, the progression of flavor and scent changes over the course of the steepings made for a wonderful afternoon.