2229 Tasting Notes
Super stressed and trying to write a paper that’s due in about 6h that I’m nowhere near complete… gah. Why do I always do this to myself.
Anyways, 6:30am, sounds like a good time for a tea break (also I need some caffeine. Fading really fast.) Time for another sample from Teavivre!
Getting quite a vegetal smell from this one – didn’t know what to expect as I haven’t tried a Dong Ding oolong before.
First infusion (3min/100C)
Smells like sweet boiled veggie. Taste is pretty strong, astringent without being drying. Probably should have gone with shorter infusions but that wasn’t happening tonight… er, this morning.
Second infusion (3min/100C)
Definitely less aroma. Also less flavour, and possibly a strange taste coming out that I’m not sure I like.
Hmm, so I’m not sure that Dong Ding oolongs are for me. This certainly isn’t bad, but it tastes to me like more of a green tea – I’m not getting that oolongy finish that I love. Also, I’m finding there’s too much astringency for me to really enjoy this, so I think I need to cut down the infusion times for the next packet, and perhaps try it when I have time to write a more detailed note!
Backlogging from what I suppose would be yesterday (doesn’t feel like it since I’ve yet to sleep though!)
Not bad, definitely very fragrant this time, and it was pleasant enough, just not a) sweet enough, nor b) interesting enough. Put sugar and cream in and they quite overwhelmed it too, but perhaps I should have steeped longer. Oh well!
WOW. I received the samples I had requested from Teavivre today, and I am blown away by their generosity! Samples of five different teas, each sample looking to be enough to brew 4 cups. I am so excited to get going on these!
My roommate has never tried a milk oolong (or straight oolong, for that matter) before, and requested we try this one first.
The dry tea definitely doesn’t smell as creamy as DavidsTea’s Quangzhou Milk Oolong, the only other one that I really have experience with, but it does smell good and a bit floral. I’ll have to take better notes next time; I’m not opening up a second packet just to write about how the dry tea smells (and I just don’t remember the details right now).
I used one packet in 250ml of water in my little steeper.
First infusion (~95C, ~2min)
Smells floral and orchidy, with perhaps a hint of creaminess. The taste is delicate and lightly floral, with just a touch of creaminess. I’m getting some vegetal classic “oolong flavour”, particularly lingering at the end of the sip, which is really tasty.
Second infusion (~96C, ~2min)
Mostly a fresh orchidy oolong smell this time. Really not getting any creaminess, just a touch of floral notes back by the delicious oolong flavour.
Third infusion (~96C, ~3min)
Very little aroma this time, and the taste is clean and a bit astringent. No creaminess and barely anything floral left, but still a good infusion because I can taste oolong! Actually, I’m getting a bit of something fruity or sweet in the finish as well. Yum.
Fourth infusion (~98C, ~3min)
Again, pretty much no aroma. The flavour is now somewhat like a fruity, astringent wood, but in the best possible way I can mean that! I’m actually getting a bit of a resurgence of creaminess although it’s a bit different this time. Perhaps buttery instead of creamy.
Probably could have gone for a fifth infusion, but I’m exhausted.
Overall, a good oolong, but the difference between this milk oolong and DT’s is quite striking, so much so that I would have assumed that this one was just a regular tieguanyin. I’ll have to do some direct comparisons to really get my head around it. If I’m looking for a tea that’s very creamy though, I probably wouldn’t pick this one. Next time I plan to keep to stricter infusion times and temperatures, perhaps trying the boiling temperature that they recommend, as it seems people have had success with it? I also should mention that my tastebuds seemed a little off today, so that could account for flavours not tasting as they should as well.
Alright, so here goes tea #2!!
I have to say, this tea smelled MUCH more promising when I opened up the bag! Tart blueberry was the main scent, and I definitely recognized it as blueberry! The tartness made me think of candy though, perhaps sour Warheads, or whatever those were called? Either way, it made my mouth water. Didn’t smell any hazelnut, but that’s ok.
This time, I did look into the teabag, and there was clearly some green tea (sencha??) in there, not too terribly broken up, and a bit of powderiness, which I’m going to attribute to lyophilized (hee) blueberry. And possibly hazelnut, but I’d think that might be added as an extract?
Steeped tea smells like tart, mouthwatering blueberry candy. Nom nom nom. Frankly, I don’t care if I can smell/taste hazelnut right now, cuz this smells good!
Unfortunately, drinking it is a bit of a letdown. I am greeted by a bit of a perfumey blueberry taste which makes me think… blueberry Jelly Belly, I think. There’s a nice green tea finish, which is enjoyable, but I’m just not digging the artificial fruit flavours. :( No hazelnut, either.
This one’s definitely better than my ‘Coconut Banana Oolong’, but again, after tasting DavidsTea’s White Tiger, where the blueberry flavour is just SO authentic (even if they did something to enhance it, I don’t really care), I am looking for that sort of flavour in blueberry teas. Tartness optional, but perfumey candy is not going to cut it anymore.
Might give another couple teas a shot, or order their Ice Wine tea (as someone, perhaps Azzrian? thought it was pretty good), but as of now, no plans to order larger quantities of any of “my own” blends.
I’m so excited to try some of “my own” blends! Let’s see how this one turns out…
The teas came in an envelope, which is fair enough given I paid $1 for shipping, but I was a bit worried that the tea had been crushed. Looking in the teabag, I didn’t check too closely to see if it was, but I did see a white powder on top of the tea… do they just plunk tea in a bag, plop on some powdered flavouring, and go?? I didn’t see any banana, but perhaps it was powderized freeze-dried banana.
I can’t really place the smell of the steeped tea. There’s a touch of fruitiness, but I wouldn’t say banana, and maybe an artificial coconut flavour, on top of a darker oolong base. Not particularly grabbing. Also, it smells…. musty. Not that I think this has been sitting somewhere for a really long while, it’s just a scent I’m picking up.
So here goes… Man, I wish I better knew what a darker oolong tasted like, because then I could better separate the flavours. I would have preferred a greener oolong (e.g. like in DavidsTea’s Banana Oolong), but knew that wasn’t what I was going to get. Anyways, I’m definitely tasting coconut, but it is kind of fakey tasting, and what I can taste of the banana is very subtle; there’s a bit more of it at the end of the sip. Likewise with the coconut. The tea is there in the background rounding out the flavour.
Overall, it’s not bad, but the white powder bothered me to begin with, and I wish the flavours were more authentic. The banana also isn’t strong enough for me (after knowing how delicious banana can be in tea). Might try a re-steep, but I highly doubt it will re-steep well.
Think I’ll try the other one tonight as well. Sleep? Psh…
(And guys, if you don’t ever hear from me again, please let someone know that this tea was the last thing I consumed! Particularly those of you that know my address :D:D)
Fellow Steepsterites…. does anyone else find a strong resemblance between Pumpkin Chai and DT’s Glitter & Gold? It just occurred to me when I opened up the bag tonight, and the smell was familiar, and I realized it smelled exactly like Glitter & Gold! Which is fine, because I love G&G! (It just means I don’t have to worry about Pumpkin Chai being seasonal!)
And yes, I’ll admit that there are some different flavours going on here, perhaps a bit of pumpkiny goodness, but predominantly I’m tasting a warm cinnamon black tea. Less sweet than G&G.
I’ll have to compare the two together, which will take a while since I shuttled G&G back to work after swapping and have none here, but… I’m interested to know if I’m alone in this!
I think I might be losing my love of this one. Or, I brewed it incorrectly. Either way, wasn’t bad, but wasn’t great, and I really think a fruity iced tea would have done me better. Oh well!
Settled down for an evening in the basement of the campus library… keep seeing Steepster messages but am not allowed to putz about on here and reply until this paper is quite a bit closer to completion!
Also, I got my Design a Tea samples in the mail today! Exciting! Going to try them once I make it home. Blueberry Hazelnut Oolong & Coconut Banana Green (I think). Of course, they’re from Buffalo NY, which is literally like 2 hours away, so a week to get here does not make me hopeful for everything else I’m waiting for. Sigh…
I was craving another tea this evening (in addition to Jasmine Pearls, Cherry Blossom, and Dulce & Banana), but was feeling exceptionally picky. No oolongs (I’m a little oolonged out right now), it’s about 5am so a black would also not be a good idea, I’m not in the mood for tart, nor rooibos… finally settled on a fruity green, Daydreamer. Until I flipped through my newly organized tea stash and came across Super Chocolate! Yes, this is what I’m craving! A hit of chocolate, some fruitiness, and not a ton of caffeine.
Ahhh, and it delivers. This is just what I wanted. Chocolatey in that fruity sort of way, and without much tea in the background. I have to up my rating on this one… I have yet to find anything else like it, and this is not the first time I’ve craved it. I think it will actually go on my to-purchase list along with Dulce & Banana…
Trying this one again :D
I think it’s not quite so caramelly today, but I do still like it. Very soothing and like a light dessert.
Today’s second steep is kind of watery – either I didn’t steep it long enough or used too much water. Might throw it out – it tastes a little icky. I figured out that the taste I dislike is kind of chloriney, so if it’s masked it’s ok, and if not then I’m not a fan. And I think the chloriney taste comes out in weaker infusions more prominently. Might try a longer third infusion later.
In the mood for sweet, light teas tonight, so this was perfect! This tea (and the other Numi flowering teas I have) is from a boxed set of 9 samples given to me a few years ago, so I was a bit wary about how things may have held up. It appears my worries were unfounded though, at least with this tea!
I had previously (shortly before joining Steepster, I think) used up half of the packet of these cute little Jasmine Pearls for a cup of tea, so used the other half today. Although I assumed that I was supposed to use the entire packet in one go, I definitely don’t think the flavour is lacking, so it’s nice that I was able to spread them out over two cups!
The flavour of the tea pretty much smells like jasmine, and gives me serious cravings for my favourite chinese restaurant back home, and their hot and sour soup, chicken chow mein, mixed veggies…. drool Taste-wise, that’s exactly what it is. A nice, light jasmine. No fooling around, nothing funny going on here, it’s simply a jasmine tea. There’s something to be said for simplicity, when one’s tastebuds are tired of trying to tease flavours out from other teas!
I don’t have a ton of experience with jasmines (aside from in the aforementioned chinese restaurant), so I have no idea how this compares to any others, but I would certainly pick it up again if I wanted a dependable jasmine green tea. Of course, I’m likely to try others first, but this one is pretty good.
(Side note: the instructions that came with the box of Numi teas indicate that all the teas included (greens, blacks, and whites) should be steeped with boiling water. I disagreed, so steeped this one somewhere below boiling, although I didn’t record the temperature. I’m perfectly happy with it, and suspect I might have ruined it using boiling water.)
ETA: Second steep, ~4-5 min, is good but weak.