2229 Tasting Notes
Iced this one over the last day or so, a little too tart for me right now. Probably won’t refill this one again when it’s gone; I think there are better teas for icing out there.
Ooh, just caught Amanda’s post out of the corner of my eye, where she adds some honey… time for some agave. That might perk it up a bit tonight.
Ah, better. There’s some bitterness though, which is kind of unpleasant, but I can definitely finish the cup now :)
Second sample, also from Indigobloom! I was feeling bad for not trying many of the samples she gave me, so I’m making an effort today :)
Eep. The dry teabag had a hint of soapy smell to it. Not a good sign! (Although now that it’s in the water, I’m smelling just oolong. Much better.)
Uh oh! Minus points – I just tried to remove the teabag and the string came off!! An extra minute of steeping followed. Hopefully it can take it. I have to note that the little pyramid teabag is like a poofy pillow with the expansion of the tea leaves! Kind of neat :)
The steeped tea smells mostly of oolong. That’s actually quite promising, because a lot of tea blends are short on tea flavour. I don’t smell pomegranate at all though.
Hmm, ok. The oolong is a bit buttery, but there’s also a bit of astringency. If I try really hard, I can taste the pomegranate weakly in the background. Ok, didn’t even taste it at all that time.
Well, that’s kind of disappointing. The base here was actually pretty promising, but the pomegranate flavour is horribly lacking :( Maybe it’ll show up more when I try the other teabag? As an straight oolong, this is rather mediocre, so the rating will reflect that.
Oh well. Thanks for the sample, Indigobloom!
So, I’m now the proud owner of not one, but TWO new infusers. Yaaaay. One’s a collapsible infuser basket (gimmicky, but whatever) – it’s stainless steel and the holes are a bit bigger than I wanted, but it sits nicely overtop a cup, and I used it to filter this iced tea today. The other’s a cup/infuser set from Bodum – a nice glass double-walled cup (like I needed more cups) with a fine plastic strainer. I wish it was metal, but I can’t seem to find such things anywhere but on Amazon.com (grrr.)
Anyways, tried this cold-brewed for the first time. It’s not bad, a bit on the tart side (but I can handle that especially in an iced tea), but it isn’t melony enough. I think I prefer this one hot and cooled to room temperature.
Either way, I have super high hopes for DavidsTea’s Luscious Watermelon, coming back this Wednesday with the summer collection!
Finally, it seems my tastebuds are open to flavoured teas again. So time to start attacking that sample pile!
First up is a sample from the lovely Indigobloom!
This one smells so similar to DavidsTea’s Forever Nuts, but it almost seems sweeter, with a gentler cinnamon. I like Forever Nuts (but have none on hand atm), and would have liked to compare the two, but that involved too much effort.
Steeped, it smells like warm cinnamon with a touch of apple. Like a cinnamon apple streudel, or something of the sort. Perhaps a big sticky cinnamon bun. I’m getting hungry…
Ok, this tastes like warm, sweet cinnamon in a cup, with a touch of apple. It’s nice. It’s a little weak, which is funny because I used up my entire sample from Indigobloom (which was at least 2 tsp in my average-sized mug. Maybe I should have steeped it for longer. I seem to recall Forever Nuts being a touch more potent. Either way, it is nice. I’m going to let it cool a bit more now; I liked Forever Nuts cool as well.
Yum, it’s good cooled down to probably 30ish degrees. Still weaker than I’d like, but a very pleasant cup. I’m likely to stick with Forever Nuts because it’s way easier for me to acquire, but I think they’d be pretty good substitutes for one another.
(Oh, and although I can taste some almond, I’d hardly call this one Candied Almond, which makes me think moreso of a caramelly nut flavour.)
ETA: Second infusion (for forever, i.e. probably as much as two hours) has much more flavour and is quite delicious, even cold. Quite sweet, cinnamony, nutty goodness. No sourness as Indigobloom described. Love.
Verdant green tea #3 for the evening.
Hmm, my nose isn’t detecting any aroma. Maybe it’s tired. Mmmm, this is clearly different from the other two. I almost got the sort of tea flavour one gets from a black tea, which is interesting. It’s sweet as well, but much different from the dragonwell as there’s more body to it. I was strangely just reminded of an earl grey… yep, still getting that weird association. (It just occurred to me that I may be interpreting the citrusy note from my earlier review as the bergamot from an earl grey, but I can’t be certain).
Huh – I just went back to my first tasting note, and it totally isn’t meshing with what I’m tasting here, but I think I used a fair bit more leaf previously, given that I only steeped it for 1 minute that time. Also… wondering a touch if my teaball still had traces of Coconut Cream Pie lingering in it. Please don’t rag on me about the teaball – I know it’s less than optimal, but I only have two “open-water” infusers. Maybe I should have strained it instead. Actually, I had contemplated that earlier… I guess I forgot.
Anyways, this one probably is a poor comparison, in retrospect. I’m really thrown by how it’s tasting a bit like a black tea. Ah well. I know it was great the first time around. Might try a second infusion later, but I’ve kind of lost the will to bother at this point.
I think I should also compare these three in a more gong-fu sort of style (although I doubt I have patience for 3-second infusions, I could do 15 or 30 second ones). A fun experiment another night.
Verdant green tea #2 for the evening.
The liquor is unbelievably pale. So much so that I would be sure it was understeeped, but I highly doubt that. The aroma is the lightest, sweetest, vegetal aroma.
I cannot believe the sweetness of this tea. I really can’t. Like the first time I drank it, it’s rock sugar goodness, with a hint of vegetal. It is just SO sweet! No astringency/no bitterness. I think my decision to use more leaf this time was a good one. It’s still light, but not the verging-on-hot-water-flavour sort of light. Just amazing. Up with the rating.
Second infusion (2min/175F):
Still so pale. I have to sniff awfully hard to smell any aroma, and since I don’t want to inhale tea, I’ll just say that there is none. This time there’s a bit more flavour, in a sense. There’s still sweetness, but less so, and there are still vegetal hints underneath. There’s a touch of astringency (probably because I fiddled with parameters again), but it’s not bothersome. I think I actually could have reduced the amount of water I used and gotten a better cup out of it.
I think this dragonwell would be a tea for times when I want something sweet and delicate. I still feel like I would like to try using a bit more leaf to get just a bit more flavour out, but it is lovely as is. The smoothness of the cup also makes it perfect for times when astringency is completely unappealing (during which I usually would select a white or herbal).
ETA: Third infusion (175F/2min) definitely loses some of the magic. Astringency now present (bleh), although the aftertaste is still deliciously green tea. This may have been better had I steeped the third infusion last night (it seems green tea leaf doesn’t hold up well to sitting overnight). I think three is it for this one.
Time to compare the three green teas I have from Verdant, so I can work towards identifying favourites.
I brewed each of the teas more or less according to the parameters on Verdant’s website for western brewing, although I used more than 1tsp of leaf. For this one, I think I used a generous two 1/2 tsps, so probably 1.5 tsps with 250ml water.
The smell of the dry leaf is very… dry leafy. What can I say? It smells like rolling around in autumn leaves. Not an uncommon smell. I’m getting a bit of a hint of seaweed, which is interesting…. no, actually a strong seaweed smell. Makes me crave sushi, even though I was at an all-you-can-eat on Friday evening.
The aroma emanating from the steeped cup is gentle and kind of brothy/seaweedy.
Oh, yum. The sip first tastes sweet, followed by delicate, sweet seaweed flavours. The aftertaste is so sweet, and creamy. I’m getting… caramel? Holy. Yes, definitely caramel. Delicious, delicious caramel. There is definitely astringency present, and though I don’t always like it, it just goes with the whole flavour profile here. I feel like perhaps if I had used just a single teaspoon of dry tea, it may not have appeared. No bitterness though. Oops, I just about finished the cup – I meant to save some for directly comparing to the other two teas!
Second infusion (2.5min/175F):
The aroma is sweet and vegetal. Oh… I think I messed this one up. Too much astringency for me :( This will teach me to play around with Verdant’s parameters. I can definitely still taste the caramel aftertaste though. This would have been an excellent cup had I paid attention to the instructions.
To me, this is definitely more like a green tea to me than the others, but that caramel aftertaste really sets it apart from other greens I’ve tried. If I’m looking for flavour with a lingering candy-like sweetness, this one would be my choice.
ETA: I cannot get over this aftertaste! Definitely want to try again to make sure I can get it a second time, but wow.