2603 Tasting Notes
Sipdown! 981. Apparently I had misplaced one of my Nina’s samples generously sent quite a while back by Laurent (very belated thanks!) and since it was both an easy sipdown AND in a baggie, it was an easy choice for tonight when I found it.
Upon opening the package, a delicious juicy aroma filled my nostrils… surprising, considering both age and packaging. By that aroma, if I’d had to guess, I would have assumed it was some version of a red fruits tea. Looks like I’d be incorrect though, and would have figured that out once I took a sip, since orange is definitely the most dominant flavour here, along with a bit of smokiness and additional fruitiness to round things out. Although a bit more muted, the orange reminds me of the orange flavour in Butiki’s Two Friends – and I really quite enjoy that flavouring. (I miss the chocolate though, haha.) Overall, it’s a pretty good blend – a fruity, possibly smoky (this could be contamination) tea, and I feel like it could be great iced, although I’ll probably never end up trying it that way.
Another delicious yum-smelling tea, a bit like caramel and vanilla. That’s kind of what I’m tasting too – kind of a caramel vanilla black. I was expecting a bit of fruitiness from the… fruit chunks (apple?) but am not really detecting anything. I see that this is supposed to be coconut-vanilla-apple (which sounds fabulous!), so I’m wondering if spending time in a baggie zapped a bit of the flavour. Possible, though it’s still good. Nine has won out for me, when comparing these three blends though (which is funny, since I even steeped it incorrectly!) Thanks for sharing another one Sil!
Another thanks to Sil for a sample! And again, I get to play the “what’s in this tea?” guessing game! This one is a lot less aromatic than “Nine”, but there’s still a little something peeking out that’s not quite straight tea. I’m tempted to say caramel, or perhaps even chestnut, again, but that’s not too likely. Other than that, though, it just tastes like black tea. A little mouth-drying (so a bit astringent), but not too bad, and that’s probably a result of again, the extra 45 seconds it got due to inattention (I try to be very strict with blacks).
Seeing that this is supposed to be a chocolate banana tea…. comes as a surprise. Maybe that caramelly flavour is actually chocolate. Or banana. It’s impossible to tell, really, because it doesn’t taste overly like either. I see that Sil also found it relatively flavourless, so maybe this was just a poorly flavoured or old batch. Or, maybe Adagio isn’t great at banana or chocolate flavouring. Either way, I’d happily try this out again, since as a plain black tea it’s certainly not objectionable, but not by means of purchasing it myself (whereas some of the other blends…. yes.)
Sipdown! 982. Thank you Sil! (I think there were a few teas accidentally missed in the count previously. And I need to add a Verdant and Butiki order. Plus the incoming 52teas’ Christmas sets. Crap crap crap.)
I took the time to look up all the teas I was steeping to check if any of them needed different parameters…. and then proceeded to steep the only one with green, with boiling water. Sigh. It doesn’t seem to be ruined though, but there is some bitterness and astringency, which I would definitely chalk up to user error. Anyhow! This is one of a few deliciously aromatic mugs I brewed up tonight, from the Doctor Who custom blends by Cara McGee. I genuinely have no idea what any of them are, so I get to play a little guessing game!! This one smells caramelly, with a hint of cinnamon or spice, but JUST a hint. The flavour is more or less the same, being thick and somewhat sweet/caramelly, fairly malty, a little bit spicy, and kind of astringent, which definitely impacts my tasting of the base teas. I assume, though, it’s Adagio’s standard black (and some sort of rolled green; I’d maybe guess gunpowder but I’m not detecting smoke). Despite the overly hot water, and 45 seconds longer infusion time than I intended, this is pretty good. I’d guess it’s a caramel spice tea (emphasis on caramel, not spice), but it appears to be chestnut and irish breakfast (with gunpowder?) Quite an interesting combination, but it does actually work. The chestnut must account for the sweetness, and the spice is perhaps an artefact of sample contamination or my imagination (I do have a Laoshan Chai a couple teas down the line).
Anyhow, I’m pretty impressed with this blend, and it makes me quite curious to try Adagio’s chestnut tea, if they have one available, because that caramelliness is gooooood. Thanks again Sil!
Underwhelmed :( The aroma from the bag had that weirdness that all 52teas’ genmaichas have had since the reblends started tasting/smelling off – a chemically, almost chloriney sort of flavour that I am convinced is coming from the toasted rice. It’s possible to almost get past that while drinking the tea, but sadly, the remaining flavour is, IMO, far from cashew. It’s actually pretty floral (rose??), which strikes me as quite odd, and there’s maybe some nuttiness beneath that, but the floral is fairly powerful. On the plus side, it doesn’t taste like I’m drinking perfume, but it’s not at all what I was hoping for. Another miss in terms of it tasting like one would expect from a “genmacashew” tea, although if you’re fond of florals and don’t pick up that weird note I get, you might actually find this rather pleasant.
Thanks to Sil for a sample of this blend (and it looks like some thanking applies to Dexter as well, who appears to have been the original source of this deliciousness).
Anyhow, brewing this up as one of only a couple flavoured teas I have on the go tonight, ALL I could smell was its delicious aroma. OM NOM. If I had to guess, I’d guess Hazelnut Mocha, I think, by the aroma. Flavourwise, it is pretty impressive too. Quite decadent and lovely, very nutty (again, I’d guess hazelnut), and a bit chocolatey. Not really picking up coffee, but that’s not a problem whatsoever. Also not really tasting too much in the way of the base tea – I wish it was a bit more solid, because it does come off slightly watery in that sense, but the flavourings are nearly good enough to overcome that. I think, though, that for me to really love this tea, it would need a base change. I might try infusing the last bit of the tea that I have a bit longer (I’m always very cautious with black blends since I hate astringency) to see if it helps the base at all. Flavouring-wise, though, this is a solid 90 tea.
Oops, a tea that was part of a group order quite a while ago that got lost in my mess of samples. Hoping it’s not contaminated!
By the aroma and flavour of the first sip, I would say it’s probably just fine. Both are quite roasty, and the flavour is a bit creamy as well, with that characteristic roasted oolong burnt flavour. It’s a touch light, but I’m sure spending a year in a tiny plastic baggie will do that to you. Still good though, but I’m ok not having purchased more, because it is (was?) rather expensive, IIRC. Similar to Verdant’s 10 Year Aged TGY, I think.
Happy to have tried it, though!
Ah yes. Hardly shocking that I see I previously rated this quite highly. It’s still quite good (and now that I remember that it’s a leafhopper tea, the aroma I was detecting while I was brewing things up makes a lot more sense. I was pretty confused.)
Anyhow, this is a bit lighter than I would have liked this time, but I’m sure that’s either a) underleafing, b) underbrewing, or c) age, since it was in an opened sample pouch. However, it’s still quite good, with a roasty aroma, and that characteristic leafhopper sweetness in the sip (which I think comes off to me as the flavour resembling ice wine).
In other news… I think I am outdoing myself tonight. I had 11 (yes, 11) mugs/teacups filled with tea in them on my coffee table (some were resteeps, but 6 were new infusions), and because the last couple teas I drank were the perfect temperature and absolutely delicious, I downed them, and am doing so with this one too… I wonder how far I will get before my bladder protests? Also, I am clearly having a good tea night, since everything I’m drinking is wonderful so far (minus a couple oversteeped second infusions of greens. Those are tough.)
Ohhhhhhh wow. This is freaking amazing. SO sweet (I could smell the sweetness while it was brewing!), light, malty, a bit of chocolate, but SO MUCH sweet. But that perfect sort of delicious sweet that’s not cloying or anything, just really decadent. And the tea is so smooth, too. A serious treat. Agh. I envision a solid Mandala order in the future, because so far, I’ve been very impressed. I believe I’ve had varying teas from golden tips/buds before, but nothing like this. And I even oversteeped this, based on my typical parameters.
Thanks for sharing all these absolute gems with me, Sil!
Thanks to whatshesaid for generously sending me a sample of this tea! I had no real idea what to expect, except that reading that it’s a blend of 3 Chinese teas makes me guess that I’ll like it. Which, as it turns out, is correct. It’s a little chocolatey, a little hay-y, a lot malty, and wonderfully smooth. The finish turns a slight bit fruity, but otherwise I’m not really picking up any fruity flavours. Overall, I’m pretty impressed. The smooth yet strong character of this tea would make this a great breakfast blend for me (if I wasn’t in the mood for something overly chocolatey, roasty, or fruity), because it definitely requires no additions to make it palatable to a hungry, astringency-averse morning tummy. Yum.
ETA: I swear I did not read the “flavours” list before listing off the flavours I picked up here. Score for my tastebuds! :P