779 Tasting Notes
Day 1 of the 12 teas of Christmas…
SURPRISE! Wasn’t expecting this! And then I looked up the date it was made and realized it was from November 2010 (but after the 2010 12 Teas of Christmas had already been finalized) I was hoping Frank would do it this way (why yes, I have given this too much thought) because otherwise a lot of teas could be excluded from the final list, if you only include teas from January – October.
Anyway, on to the tea! I’m trying to identify what the tea is before I look at the label, just to see if I can. When I first opened this pouch I could smell…fruity. But it also smelled familiar somehow. I eventually gave up and pulled the label out, and realized I was likely smelling the butter smell from other blends (Pancake breakfast, etc). Don’t know why the fruit essence came to mind, but it didn’t show up in the smell of the steeped tea.
I steeped up about 2 tsp. of this in my Breville (500 ml water) at the below parameters. The smell of the steeped liquor was BUTTER. Like in your face, without a doubt butter. During the sip the butter predominates, and in the aftertaste the popcorn makes itself known. I’m drinking this without additives (although I did try salt and some honey to bring out the flavors to the previous cup, but it hurt rather than helped in the end) and I think the taste is really accurate. It’s definitely a black tea, and the flavoring is in perfect balance with it.
I also have to admit I’m a little surprised at myself – I mean, I like savory teas, but I’ve never really gone for the idea of a savory flavored blend. I just assumed it would be not to my tastes. But it’s really, really good! And I came on to Steepster after it was produced last year so I would have never gotten a chance to taste this if I hadn’t gotten the sampler – so yay for new experiences!
This is one of the few flavored teas that the boyfriend will drink, so I tend to make it at night for the both of us as he doesn’t drink tea in the morning.
This also marks the end to a fabulous day – I’m officially done with my classes for the semester, grades are in and I did well, and the 12 teas of Christmas starts tomorrow – I can’t wait!
Just one last test and I am DONE for the semester.
I’m almost out of this tisane. It is quite palatable with sugar, but I prefer 52 teas chocomate to this so I’m thinking I won’t be rebuying it when I run out. (Well, that and I’d preferably like to spend money at shops other than Teavana, if I can help it).
Anyway, back to studying!
4 tsp. to 500 ml. water, at the below parameters in my Breville. Taken without additives.
Today when I prepared this the leaves smelled slightly spicy – cinnamon-esque with some cocoa, too. It retained that aroma once steeped, and the dark brown liquor tasted exactly as it smelled. The mouthfeel was starchy and chewy – with light astringency at the finish.
I love this – it’s going to go on my shopping list, as will samples of the other Yunnan black teas offered by Teavivre.
Second infusion from last nights’ leaves, 8 minute steep.
The scent of the leaves is surprisingly floral, and less grassy this time. The creamy mouthfeel is diminished this time around, leaving a green, grassy and lightly floral tea that I had (and really enjoyed) with my breakfast this morning. It does well when paired with food – better as a background tea than as the main focus, if that makes any sense. Not something I’ll be buying but I would not refuse a cup, if it were offered to me again.
This is a very light, clean tea – I used the entire sample (which ended up being about 10 grams) of the tightly rolled green leaves in about 18 oz. of water at below parameters.
What I got was a pale yellow liquor with a creamy texture, and a spinachy taste and smell. Considering the amount of leaf used I can only imagine how light it would be if I used the 1-2 grams of leaf per cup that was recommended.
While it was a nice gentle tea – it was very straightforward in both taste and smell. I’m not really sensing any difference (besides the texture, I guess) between this and green teas. Is there something I’m missing?
I made this as a tea infused hot cocoa since it worked so well on the Teavana almond biscotti yesterday. My hypothesis was that this tea + hot cocoa would taste like an Almond Joy in liquid form. I’m super happy to report that it actually kind of did!
I already knew that this was one of my favorite flavored teas, but if I could, I would raise it up above 100 because of how well it’s playing with the hot cocoa.
Seriously, this is a tea that can do no wrong.
I used the entire sample provided by thepuriTea in 500 ml. water in my Breville.
The scent and initial taste of the dry leaf was very strongly reminiscent of an earthy black tea, but it turns into more of a roasted green (genmaicha-ish) in scent and taste once steeped. I’m not really getting any other nuances in this infusion, but the boyfriend likes it enough to go another round so we’ll see what develops.
As it stands, this is a nice solid tea that would pair well with savory foods.
ETA: As the first steep cooled, there was a distinct nutty taste in the liquor – I was hoping that it would show up more in the second steep, but it did not. The second steep (at five minutes) was much like the first, with the exception of it being a little lighter in taste and texture. Overall I think that it wasn’t a bad tea, just not an overly complex one.
My 200th tasting note!
Before bed last night I did a quick 2nd steep of the leaves (at 8 minutes, doubling the length of time for the first steep) and set it in the fridge to enjoy with lunch today.
The flavor of this steeping is lighter (as is the liquor) and more floral, but the apricot/fruit taste is also more prominent throughout the sip, instead of just in the after taste. Despite such a long steeping time, there was no bitterness whatsoever. In fact, it’s quite refreshing like this – I would love having it iced in the summer, for sure.
I love this oolong, hands down, and definitely want to try more Dan Cong varietals. Does anyone have any recommendations?