617 Tasting Notes
SIPDOWN! This is the last of my sample from momo – it will be missed, but not for long as I definitely will be getting more of this one! Like last time, it is all strawberries and cream. I had a touch more leaf than I wanted to use for 12 oz., but there wasn’t any bitterness despite the extra tea… yay!
I’ve had both Strawberry Zabaglione by 52Teas, and Strawberry shortcake by DAVIDsTea, and both of those are similar in taste profile to this, but this edges both of those out on three points. One, it’s actually available for me to buy again. Two, it was consistently good both times I had it – both other teas seemed to be touch and go, sometimes when the parameters didn’t even change. Three, it has a good resteep where the others did not. Definite must buy!
And now for something only marginally related to tea:
There are so many things I’m happy about right now that I think I’ll list them:
2.) 4 days off – all on a weekend, no less!
3.) It’s raining.
4.) My tea station has wheels!!!
That last one is especially awesome, and I really need to be extra nice to the boyfriend for it. I didn’t think I would particularly NEED the luxury of just moving my entire collection/set up into another room but it is REALLY awesome to just sit it near the couch and lazily reach over for refills.
Aside from a quick grocery store run and some laundry, this is probably what my day will look like: couch, books, Steepster, and bathroom. One more day until Taurus starts – I can’t think of a better way to welcome it!
It’s really looking like spring now. Like, the temperatures are staying nice rather than having trouble making up their minds. And it’s almost Taurus! I’m a Taurus rising and I have a slew of April/May birthdays in my family so this time of year feels like coming home. I always like any year better once May rolls around.
I had this the other night before going into work and it helped relax me, like it always does. I have it with milk and sugar but I tried a bit plain and can see how it might be a bit bitter or strong for those who typically don’t like to add anything to their teas. It really works best as a dessert tea, which are my favorite kind of teas anyway!
This is definitely one of my go to blends that I’m going to have to keep on hand. There’s a pound in my near future I’m sure…
This was a sample from my last Butiki order – thank you so much Stacy!
I took it to work with me for some reason – I don’t know why, exactly, because I don’t really have adequate brewing conditions at work. See: generic hot water heater, styrofoam cups. And a flavored green, no less? Clearly I’m ready for that 4 day vacation heading my way starting Thursday morning.
I have to say though, it wasn’t bad. I got the grassy green of a dragon well (besides sencha, that’s my favorite green) and then that acidic citrus note of the grapefruit. It was very light and fresh tasting, and above all, it tasted like what it was supposed to!
I liked this more as it cooled off, and was kind of bummed I didn’t get to try it iced. Even though generally I don’t drink iced greens, I think this would work that way. I can only imagine how tasty it will be when I can fully control every aspect of the steeping process!
Just so you know, this really does go very well with mexican food when iced. In case you were curious or anything. :)
So, I think I want to name my gaiwan Midori. It means green in japanese and I am apparently unable to muster up anything more creative. But I think it looks like a Midori. I do have a problem with anthropomorphizing inanimate objects, actually. Can you tell? :)
Anyway, after doing the initial rinse, the leaf smelled SO. GOOD. Chocolate and the blackened potato note I recall from having this before.
1st steep = 15 seconds. Now the leaf smells less like chocolate and more like char. The liquor smells similar. It reminds me of the Anxi, actually. The taste however is cocoa powder and honey, with just a little of the burned note hovering on the periphery. This is much more complex than the Anxi ever got for me.
2nd steep = 25 seconds. I am working on being faster with this but I can’t seem to just add an extra 3 seconds on per steep – it takes that long for me to get the lid on the cup sometimes, since I get easily distracted watching the color seep into the water. The liquor smells and tastes predominately cocoa now, and is honey colored. This is really encouraging! I’m still really hoping for some cinnamony notes to come out because that cinnamon + chocolate combination was the thing I loved about my initial Lao Shan black experience, and what was missing from this batch the first time around. Fingers crossed!
3rd steep = 45 seconds. THERE IT IS. OMG happy happy. Cinnamon brownie I missed you! I’m probably going to go even slower than normal drinking this steeping because it’s my favorite. This is the whole reason I bought Lao Shan black. The leaf has gone back to smelling like just cocoa powder, and the liquor is lighter than
4th steep = 1 minute. Mmm. The liquor is even lighter in color but this is all baking chocolate. The cinnamon is gone, but that’s okay – it’s kind of fun knowing that I’ll only get to have it for that one small steep – that makes it even more valuable of an experience.
Sigh. I took so long to write this that my Breville’s turned off and I don’t have enough in it to start it boiling again. I’m being lazy – too lazy to refill it apparently. So I’ll keep the leaves and probably try for a few remaining steeps later tonight.
Yay for more playtime with Midori!
Latte style tonight! I put this in a small empty Upton tin to store it and had a brief moment of panic that I wouldn’t be able to get it open without spilling it EVERYWHERE. It was stressful but ultimately no matcha was wasted!
This one is so good. The cocoa powder and tang of the cheese, and the ladyfingers are all pretty evident in the taste. It is the essence of tiramisu, really, and sweet enough without sugar. I love matcha lattes but I have to be in a special mood to take the time to put one together – sifting and heating and whisking and frothing dirties up a lot of dishes for the 5 minutes I manage to keep it in my cup!
But tonight it was absolutely worth the effort – tornado watches and bad weather and tv with the boyfriend. Yay for nights off!
I am debating whether I should go to sleep now or not – I’m pretty awake despite the fact that I worked all night..
I figure if anything can keep me going though, it’ll be a strong breakfast tea. I love strong breakfast teas. Bold malty chocolate teas. The leaves look like an oolong, spindly and unbroken. Really they remind me a lot of dan congs but the smell of them is much heavier – very earthy.
Chocolate chocolate chocolate. That’s mostly what I get. Occasionally a breadiness, interspersed with something a little brighter that I can’t quite describe. I think it’s what most are calling fruity and if I’m hard pressed I could say its raisins, but I still feel like there’s something else there that I’m not putting into words. It’s definitely a perfectly chewy, full bodied tea.
It reminds me most strongly of my favorite East Frissy, except with bonus cocoa notes.
I’ll have to resteep this and see how it does….
I’m still amazed with how much I like this one – I just don’t do mint teas normally.
But I took a teabag of this to work and even in a styrofoam cup, with inexact steeping times and water that was most likely too hot – even with all that, it was just the recharge that I needed.
I think it must be the vanilla. Regardless, if the boyfriend likes this as much as I do we may need to do something about it..
This is a combination of long, unbroken leaf with some smaller broken pieces. A few of the pieces have slipped through into my cup with each brewing. Not really a positive or negative, and really just a result of each 5 gram sample being individually packaged more than anything else I think. The dry leaf smells VERY heavily of unsweetened dark chocolate/cocoa powder. It really is reminiscent of the Lao Shan Black.
Steeped gong fu style with boiling water and my (precious, as-yet unnamed) gaiwan.
1st steep – 10 seconds.
Smell strongly reminds me of LaoShan black – roasted, baking chocolate/cocoa powder. Very toasty and bready. The liquor is very dark for a 10 second steep. This is a heavy, earthy tea. Just the way I like it!
2nd steep – 12 seconds.
There is more of a charred taste to this. Like the bread has been toasted to the point of blackened. The liquor is even darker. Not really smoky, but definitely burnt tasting. For someone who typically doesn’t like that sort of thing, this is surprisingly tolerable.
3rd steep – 15 seconds.
Now the color of the leaves are slightly lighter than the previous steep. The charred note is receding to more of the quality of the first steep, which is preferable. I can only do burnt for so long!
4th steep – 25 seconds.
The roasted note is even fainter, and if I think about it I can maybe get some cocoa. Now that its cooling I get a honeyed taste as well. Yay! Up until now this has been a largely one note tea for me so I’m glad to see it starting to evolve a bit! It’s even starting to smell sweeter!
5th steep – at least 30 seconds.
Predominantly honey and chocolate. I was thinking I’d be tired of this by now but it’s just getting good! WOW. Well, guess I’ll be refilling the Breville!
6th steep – 1 minute.
Now I’m back to the roasted quality again, though the base is discernible through it, unlike in the first few steeps where it was like drinking straight char – maybe Angrboda’s description of ‘ash’ would be more apt? I need to stop reading her notes because I’m quite suggestible, it seems. :)
7th steep – 2 minutes 30 seconds.
This is officially the longest I’ve resteeped any tea. I’m loving my new gaiwan so much! I do think I’ll probably only be able to get one more steep out of this, though. Right now I get a burnt sugar honey, but it is somewhat muted compared to earlier steepings. The color is lighter, too.
8th steep – 10 minutes.
Whoops, got caught up in chores and let this go twice as long as I wanted. The flavor is kind of weak though, anyway. An echo of its earlier bread-ish self with some faint dustings of cocoa. I have exhausted the leaves (for my palate, anyway) and I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to do it!
Overall, I feel like this was similar to Lao Shan black initially, but a less complex, less sweet version of it. I had high hopes for the chocolate and honey elements judging by smell alone, but they didn’t quite manifest as strongly as I would have liked. I will have to see what it does Western style, but I did really enjoy the whole process of gong fu with this. I just think that between this and Lao Shan, if I had to choose, it’d be the latter over the former.
I love mexican food. Like, it’s my favorite food on earth and I could live off of tacos. Or refried beans. Or cheese dip and guacamole and salsa. Cilantro, consequently, is one of my favorite flavors. Being that pineapple is one of my favorite fruits, this tea is combination of things I love and therefore could not be passed by.
The only thing I’m not sure about is the Bai Mu Dan base. White teas are so gentle that it seems like I miss a lot of their nuances. They are usually just weakly flavored water. I’m hoping that this will be different.
Steep notes: 2.5 g tea, 500 ml water, below parameters in the Breville.
The dry leaf smells FUNKY. There’s pineapple but it smells unnatural somehow. Maybe like candies or dried? Who knows, it may be the cilantro. But someone else mentioned the weird smell and the tea went on to be okay so I’m hoping that will be the case with me.
And it is! The hot water has made the leaf smell much more natural. I mostly get pineapple but there is some cilantro note hovering in the background. Mostly it’s a kind of generic clean herby smell, rather than specifically cilantro.
The flavor is much the same – light and clean. Sweet pineapple, fresh herbs and a light base that I don’t really taste. Thats good though – it doesn’t overwhelm the herb or fruit flavor this way. As it cools more of a creaminess is evident in both the scent and taste, and the cilantro comes to the forefront while the pineapple recedes a bit.
Amazing. A white tea that I really like, and a nice light tea that I could see myself drinking hot in summer, even. I’ll try it iced too, but this really is light enough that it’s cooling even when served warm, if that makes any sense. I have a feeling this one will go fast!