3051 Tasting Notes
My sincerest apologies – I’m going to be a bit of a tealogging machine in the next few minutes, because I haven’t logged any teas all day yet have been drinking them and playing board games/chatting with Sil, Indigobloom, and Raritea all day! And Steepster wasn’t behaving on my phone.
Anyhow, started off the day with an absolutely fabulous travel mug of this one. Probably one of the best cups I’ve brewed of it yet! Currently enjoying a re-steep as well, since these leaves have a lot left in them!
Sipdown of the last of this one from Alphakitty. It’s certainly not as potent as what we got in the 12 Days of Christmas, but when the water hit the tea, up wafted the most delicious, sweet spun sugar aroma. Worth it just for that, haha.
And actually… I overleafed a little here, and I’m actually really enjoying it. This is definitely a blend much better consumed either lukewarm or cold, for the flavour to come out, and I do think Frank did a pretty good job of it!
Ooh, a tea that I haven’t yet tried! Also courtesy of Alphakitty, thanks! Also, oof, did I mention that I’m trying to hit 1200 tasting notes by the time my 1-year Steepster-versary rolls around, which is on Jan. 29? I have 37 to go….. yikes! I thought I had until the 31st, which would totally be more doable…. so hopefully I drink a crapton of tea tomorrow with Sil, Raritea, and Indigobloom!
So I really had no idea what osmanthus was, but when I sniffed this tea, it smelled sort of peachy. Since I was expecting floral, I assumed contamination… until I just read the tea description that mentions notes of peach! Awesome! Much more stoked to try this now, haha.
Strangely, the flavour reminds me quite a lot of 52teas’ Virgin Fuzzy Navel green… well, strangely until it occurs to me that Fuzzy Navel is orange/peach, not just citrus. (And then I read Alphakitty’s note which also mentions citrus…. go go tastebuds!!) So yes, the primary initial flavour is peachy/citrusy, which is tasty, and once those fruity flavours fade, I’m left with a really nice caramelly flavour, which I totally wasn’t expecting! I assume that it’s from the green tea.
So I’ll admit that this is another tea I wasn’t super stoked to try, but I’ve been proven wrong again. This, is tasty! And the sencha base is pretty good. So, I’m glad you sent me a sample of this one, Alphakitty!! And for those of you missing Virgin Fuzzy Navel, I’d suggest you give this one a shot. Perhaps it isn’t as strongly flavoured, but it’s hitting the same flavour combination for me!
Sipdown! Another sample from Alphakitty (Yeah, that’s right, look at me sipping things down! Woooooo!)
Partial cup of this one as well, because I didn’t leave quite enough for a full cup. No astringency, but I can taste hazelnut and chocolate, and it’s reasonably tasty. A little bit lacking in flavour, but still decent. I think I mentioned previously that this would be the most likely one for me to pick up (of Boston/Florence/Paris), but I probably wouldn’t again, as there are simply too many other desserty teas I enjoy more.
Deeeelicious. I didn’t have enough left of this one for a full cup, so I made half and do think that it has perhaps lost a touch of flavour… but it still tastes deliciously like a Bounty Bar. Eventually, I will acquire more of this one… Either way, SIPDOWN!
Ok…. in conclusion, I suck at brewing this tea. 172F for 20 (or was it 30?) seconds, and I’m literally getting tasteless water. There’s a hint… juuuuust a hint, of tastiness, but even with the fairly weak houji-genmaicha that I just drank, it’s too weak. Bleh. I think I have yet another cup’s worth of leaf left, but I’m about to give up. I’m sure that age is affecting this tea (although I see that JC logged this tea a month ago and clearly thought it was still ok).
ETA: Ok, half the water, 1-minute infusion at 175F for the second infusion. Best flavour yet, but it’s flirting with being too astringent. Oh! But there’s finally a nice aftertaste! Not enough for me though, unfortunately. I just don’t think this tea is for me (and it’s seemingly impossible to brew, haha, perhaps someone can offer a suggestion?)
So, tonight I brought out my box of samples from Alphakitty and hung my head in shame that I have ridiculous amounts of so many of them left. Here I was wanting to make a Harney order, and I have at least 3-4 cups’ worth left of both Tokyo and Bangkok, plus 1-2 cups of Paris and Boston. SoHo blend is now gone (note forthcoming), but… still! Bad me. I should at least finish what I have before I get more.
Anyhow, apparently last time I tried this, the tea:water ratio, even with a 1 minute infusion, was too weak for me. Tonight, in spite of just having drank a wicked cup of Mayan Chocolate Chai…. my 30-second infused cup is quite tasty! Toasted and like genmaicha, but definitely sweeter and lacking any “green-ness”. It’s more like… just the rice, with a base that’s less apparent than the usual green genmaicha base. I should try a higher leaf:water ratio just for curiousity (this is super smooth, so I think there wouldn’t be any negative effects), but I’m happy how it is tonight.
Thanks Alphakitty! I’ve decided to tackle one swap box every week or so, and make as much progress in the evenings with it as possible. I have been neglecting my samples lately, and am worried that they’re all going to get contaminated! (My samples from tea companies are of course better packaged, so less chance of contamination).
ETA: Oops, neglected this one during its second infusion…. but I am pleased to report that a 2-minute second infusion in boiling water (about 1/3 of the original volume) results in a pretty darn delicious (small) cup! No astringency, just toasty sweetness. It reminds me an awful lot of puffed wheat, like in puffed wheat squares…. I like to eat that stuff by the handful, haha. Delish!
Brewed this up alongside the Dragonwell-Style Laoshan Green that I also had to look at the differences. While the Laoshan Green definitely had the beany Laoshan Green flavour, this one was more subtle and was definitely less vegetal. Of course, the same thing happened with this cup as with the Dragonwell – I drank half, and it was then forgotten and therefore had to be chucked. Luckily I also still have some of this one left!
With apprehension, I had to try my 2011 Autumn version of this one again…. after the disappointment of my Laoshan Green having lost a good deal of flavour, I wanted to see if this one was also ruined. Thankfully, although it is perhaps lacking in flavour a little, it still tasted pretty darn good! Unfortunately, I only got through half a cup before I forgot about it, and green teas do NOT sit overnight well, either in an infuser or in a mug. So that’s all I got (but I still have more tea, yay!)