52 Tasting Notes
I’m back again! I didn’t abandon tea or anything, I just found myself in the inevitable part of the “liking tea whilst not rich” experience where I ran out of most of what I had and needed my money for other things.
This is a really interesting black tea. I love teas with spices in them (weirdly enough, since I’m not a huge fan of chai), and this has just enough different tastes in there not to taste like basically every other straight black tea I’ve ever had.
I’m really blown away by the number of smells and flavors I’ve gotten from different stages in its preparation! Like, I’m really bad at distinguishing interplaying flavors in tea, but they’re all both really obvious and not overpowering. The leaves smelled mostly like mint and clove (a LOT of clove, but not too much) in the packet. The prepared tea basically just smells like delicious honey with some cinnamon and maybe a little mint. And the taste is kind of earthy with a mint kick and every once in a while there’s a little cinnamon at the end.
It’s just such a cool tea! I wish I had more than a sample. I’ll probably get more come fall.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Earth, Honey
I understeeped this last time and didn’t really like it, but I tried it again today and I think it’s interesting. It’s lighter than I expected, not really delicate but not heavy, and a little astringent but not overpoweringly so. Also, it doesn’t really taste like nori, which is a first for me with Japanese greens! It’s vegetal and a little bitter, but not bad at all. Kind of a nice backup Japanese green to have around, I think, and I’m glad I bought it.
So I got this as a sample with my order of White Christmas (which, sadly, I am out of for this year already), and I’ve got it made and sitting next to me, and my best friend comes in.
I go, “Want to taste my tea? It’s strawberry champagne.”
Her: “That sounds like sin.”
Me: “It SMELLS like sin, taste it.”
I had to tell her not to drink the whole thing, haha.
Anyway, I really, really like it! I have to admit I can’t really taste the champagne, but then again, I don’t drink champagne a whole lot and I’m not that familiar with the flavor. When I smell it, there IS a fruity/grape-y flavor in there besides the strawberry, and I think that might be supposed to be the wine/champagne taste? I don’t know. However, I can taste the strawberry, and that at least is very gentle and sweet and absolutely delicious.
Yummy festive black tea and one of the best strawberry flavored teas I’ve had.
Honestly, my first impression upon trying the cup was “Wow, this sure is green tea?”. Nothing really stood out about it to me; it was good, but kind of generic. I’m on my second cup now, though, and it turns out there’s a lot I like about it.
I guess this is just me figuring out what chun mee tastes like (I’ve never had it before), but while it isn’t my favorite green tea, it’s a really solid one. It’s heavier than a few other greens I’ve had, and more astringent than I’m used to Chinese greens being. Kind of like I said about Misty Mountain: it smells like a Chinese green, but it’s more vegetal and full-bodied than, say, dragonwell. Actually, it tastes kind of…I don’t know, roasted? But in all honesty I’m not sure whether or not I only know to look for that because I read the tea description.
All in all, as far as solid staple green teas go it probably isn’t as good as that one from Charleston, but it makes a good case for itself and I’m glad I have it around for now. It’s kind of like the green tea equivalent of a winter sweater that, while slightly scratchy, does its job of keeping you warm.
One day I’m going to make this properly. My first note for this was, what, two years ago? Well, I still have the same tin of tea, and I finally steeped it a minute longer like I said I was going to (I’m going to the midnight premiere of the next part of The Hobbit tonight, and this seemed really appropriate to drink beforehand), except now the tea is 2 years old and I have no idea whether it’s supposed to taste like this. The flavor is definitely stronger, and there’s basically no astringency to it. It’s like the floral Chinese-green-tea scent is a lot more vegetal than it normally is? So like a Japanese green kinda snuck in there and played around while I wasn’t looking.
I like it fine, and a lot better than I did last time I made it, so maybe the years aged it, I don’t know. I hope I didn’t, like, tea-poison myself.
I wish I could be more professional about this, but the only words coming to my mind are “super friggin tasty”. I tried this for the first time on a whim during one of my Zen Tea excursions over the summer, and both my best friend and I thought it was so good that it’s now become the tea I have to force myself not to order so that I’m not just getting the same thing every time I’m there.
It smells amazing. I think it’s the almond part, but it almost smells like amaretto, except fruitier. Almond and papaya are just a super interesting combination of things to throw in a tea, in my opinion, and they make a nice sweet interesting delicious pair.
Honestly, this is probably one of my favorites now, up there with Uji Sencha and Brioche. No word yet on whether it tops White Christmas.
HI EVERYONE I’M ALIVE
I can’t believe I haven’t logged this yet, because it’s one of my favorites that I’ve recently bought. It smells absolutely amazing. The green tea base is nothing special—which isn’t to say it’s bad, it’s just not astonishing, as green teas go—but the subtle sweet sesame flavors make it, and it’s a very nice, cozy, lightly sweet green tea.
I think I’ve had mine a little too long, as I can’t taste the flavors as well as I used to be able to, but this effectively got me through my hellish senior year of college, and for that I salute it.
This is the second time I’ve gone “Oh, what the hell” and bought tea for myself for Valentine’s Day, and it seems to work out splendidly every time. That said, I don’t want to imply for a second that this is any degree of subtle. It’s EXTREMELY rose. Like, straight up, if you don’t like rose, you will HATE this, it’s basically just like drinking a bouquet of them.
What makes me like it so much is that the chocolate part actually is subtle, and manages to accomplish “subtle but definitely present” rather than “the description calls it subtle but what that actually means is I can’t flipping taste it at all”. The chocolate comes in right after the rose is done kicking you in the tongue and makes the whole experience a lot better by being muted and sweet and cocoa-y and blending with the rose extremely well.