2196 Tasting Notes
Had two steepings of this (I think) on Thursday and left the tea ball in my office… went in there today to grab a few things (including my packet of Fantasy Island) and figured I’d take home the tea ball for the weekend along with my cups to wash them (they get a bit stained at work). This evening, not really thinking, I decided I’d steep this one a third time, since it still smelled yummy and banana-y!
I maaaayyybe should have thought about the fact that I left it sitting for two days, probably more like 2.5 when you consider I first drank it around 9am Thursday at work, and it’s into the wee hours of Sunday here now. Anyways, the purpose of writing about this is because it now tastes like caramelized banana oolong! Which I’m slightly concerned about (as in, has it fermented and that’s what I’m tasting?) but also finding interesting and tasty. So what the heck, I’ll finish it anyways… not toooooo likely to do me much harm… right? XD
So I guess I should have listened to everyone warning about hibiscus imparting a bitter flavour if steeped too long… I cold-steeped this one for a couple days in the fridge (yes, forgot about it), and tried it today. YUCK. It is disgusting. There’s a hint of grapefruit and a ton of nasty, disgusting bitterness. I noted a bit of tartness as well, which was nice, but the bitter/gross flavour ruined it for me. So much so that I Actually Threw It Out.
I guess I’ll try again later, perhaps hot-brewing it then chilling :D
Cold-steeped this again in the fridge for a couple days because I was craving it. And it satisfies :) Not a fan of this one hot, but iced and a little stronger than recommended it is infinitely better. Upping the rating because, you know, I might actually pick some more of this up for the summer!
Onto another tea, fun fun! Tried this one at work before and found it gross (or flavourless, or something objectionable), so brought it home to try here, even though it should be pretty difficult to screw up a black tea, right? Maybe I steeped it too long initially.
So this time, I noticed chocolate chips in the bag. Not sure if I saw these last time, or got any in my teaball, but I made sure to get a couple in there and you can definitely smell it in the steeped tea. Actually…. it smells quite marvelous. Chocolatey with a hint of fruitiness.
OK! This time I’m actually tasting something! Perhaps I should try Fantasy Island tonight too(?) Definitely tasting that lovely chocolatey flavour that IIRC Read My Lips has, but unfortunately, my sense of the fruity flavour is that it tastes rather fake. The strawberry in Strawberry White tasted much more real; perhaps this is a case of either mixed flavours or artificial flavouring that I don’t care for. Ah! I figured out what it reminds me of. It makes me think of cherry candy kisses. Or other fruity filled chocolates, which I’m not the biggest fan of (I prefer nuts, caramel, etc.). Which explains why most people like it, but I don’t (same thing with these filled chocolates!)
So I’m really not sure what happened with my first couple cups of this. Thinking oversteeping (I only did 3.5 minutes with it this time) and a lack of tasty ingredients in the teaball, since I remember only tasting black tea last time.
Glad I got to taste the true flavours of this one, but it won’t be a re-buy. There are other flavoured blacks, chocolate teas, and strawberry teas that I would rather drink.
ETA: Second steep the next day is surprisingly good. Just under boiling water, for four minutes, and I’m getting lovely chocolatey fruity flavours. It’s a bit mellower than yesterday, so tastes less like a filled chocolate, which is nice. Still not enough to make me want to buy it, but it’s certainly pleasant enough to drink, and you even get two steeps!
Trying to drink myself into a tea stupor tonight, apparently. Going on about 8 cups now…
First cup (94C/2min) is VERY milky, but finishes quite nicely with a vegetal and then floral flavour. It’s very smooth and quite tasty. I find the milky flavour dissipates a bit the more I drink, so it must just be my mouth getting accustomed to it.
Second cup (95C/3min) is still quite smooth, less milky though, and the floral finish is a bit stronger. I’m getting just a touch of astringency/dry mouth/tannin feel mid-sip, but it doesn’t carry down the throat so I do find it enjoyable.
I have to admit, I did let these cool down a bit too far, but I do typically prefer my tea in the range of warm to lukewarm. They’re just… a bit closer to “cool” now. But still delicious, unlike some teas that taste odd at room temperature.
ETA: Two more steeps of this tonight. Third cup (96C/4min) smells just lightly floral and milky, but it’s not all that discernible anymore. Most of the milkiness is gone, and there’s just a hint of floral remaining, but I’m left with that absolutely delicious lingering taste in my mouth that just screams oolong to me. The same taste I’ll get in the second/third steeping of Banana Oolong. Honestly, the finish is better than the sip itself; I wish my mouth tasted this good all day! Yum. Nothing objectionable at all in this cup except that the sip initially tastes weak.
Fourth cup (kind of a shot in the dark, near-boiling water for 5min) is interesting and deviates quite a bit from the first three cups. There’s hardly any smell, but the flavour is now kind of toasty-buttery? It’s hard to describe. It’s different, but weak, although not objectionable. The oolong aftertaste is mostly gone as well. I probably wouldn’t bother going this far again, but it was interesting. No unpleasant bitterness coming out at all, so I’m going to blame user error on my boyfriend for the third-steep bitterness last time :D
I am drinking the most comforting tea from my stash that I could think of. And it’s delicious.
Second steep is kind of washed out tonight. Either it’s again the consumption of dessert affecting my tastebuds, or I should have brewed the tea in a smaller cup of water the second time around. Probably both. But it still smells heavenly…
Lately I have become rather enamoured with oolongs, and trying them out in blends while actually making an effort to taste the tea part of the blend. I had good success with that the other day with Happy Kombucha, and now am really wanting to try Long Life Oolong and a few other of DTs oolong blends. I also was at Bulk Barn tonight, and it took everything I had not to pick up their bulk oolongs (but I’m sure that’s not too far in the future :D)
Anyhow! This tea smells EXACTLY what I was hoping the Three Lemon Green would smell like! Pure citrusy and lemony, no cleaner scent at all (well, except for those cleaners whose companies have nailed the tasty lemon scent. But in that case, I want to eat the cleaner anyways….) And for a blend, I saw a fair bit of tea, which made me happy.
Steeped, it still smells deliciously citrusy, and… what’s that? Do I actually smell OOLONG?! This is a first!
Oh yum… this is a gooder. I can’t quite taste the oolong, but it’s there, adding to the complexity of the sip. And so citrusy, just like it smells.
Yum. I think this might be better if I supplemented it a bit with another oolong, but I’m pretty impressed. For whatever reason, this hadn’t made the cut when I made up the ginormous list of teas I wanted to buy from DavidsTea, but I received it as a sample in my last online order, and am happy for it :)
ETA: Two more steepings of this today (94/4? minutes, and 95/? minutes). I don’t think I like them as much as I did the first steep yesterday, but they are still ok. The third is starting to have a bit of a funky taste in addition to the lemon, so that’s all I’m going for. This one might have a sometimes home in my cupboard, and I still plan to blend it with a straight oolong in the future.
Finishing this one up tonight (it feels like I’m making progress! But when I finish up teas I like, I just plan to buy more, so that’s hardly progress, is it….)
Still smells as sweet and delicious as ever. Hoping there’s no metallic flavour like last time…
Ok, no metallic flavour, but I think I should really lower the steeping temperature to reflect the green tea in this blend. There is a bit of an odd flavour, and I don’t recall noticing it the first time around, at which time I’m pretty sure I steeped it around 82C instead of 94C. Still a treat though, and I’ll at least buy another sample size package before deciding whether this is a keeper or not.
ETA: Second steep of this tonight (Wednesday). Regretting the decision to have sweets prior to drinking tea, because things aren’t tasting quite right anymore! I don’t think the second steep of this one was fabulous anyhow… rechecks notes It’s just tasting a bit bland to me. But then again, that could be because my tongue just had a sugar overload. Ah well!
Drinking this one last time before I send it off with the boy, since it just doesn’t do it for me (and he’s an Earl Grey fan). However, since I haven’t ever properly reviewed it, I figured I should do so before getting rid of it!
The dry leaf smells like a good (to me) Earl Grey; lots of flavour and bergamot and a big POW of a delicious florally-berry scent. That’s the reason I bought it, hoping that delicious berry/floral scent would be predominant. The smell of the steeped tea retains the delicious scent, which makes my mouth water every time.
And I have to admit… today the tea actually is pretty good. I meant to steep it for four minutes but missed the timer going off, so I’m not sure how long the tea ball was in there. Probably only an extra minute or so. It’s reflected in the small amount of astringency I can taste, although it’s not nearly as strong as the last time. And I can actually taste the berries this time! Exciting! I do like Earl Grey’s, but I’m so accustomed to drinking them loaded with milk and sugar that my mouth rebels a bit when the creaminess isn’t there (which is why by contrast, I can drink Cream of Earl Grey just fine).
So. Looks like this one isn’t the washout I thought it was, but I’m still sending it away :P I can always buy more later, and right now I’m preoccupied with trying other sorts of tea.
Hmm.. ok, as I’m drinking it down with a freshly made oatmeal raisin cookie and some dried mulberries (did you know Bulk Barn has them?? I’m SO adding extra to Gold Rush next time I buy it!) I am actually rather enjoying its lack of sweetness, but can’t much taste the berry flavour anymore. Oh well!
Hmm.. ok, as I’m drinking it down with a freshly made oatmeal raisin cookie and some dried mulberries (did you know Bulk Barn has them?? I’m SO adding extra to Gold Rush next time I buy it!) I am actually rather enjoying its lack of sweetness, but can’t much taste the berry flavour anymore. Oh well!ETA: A second steep is weak, but still drinkable, with a lingering floral scent. I think that’s as far as I’d take this one though.
Oh wow. Decided the boy and I needed to pick up a special tea to try tonight (before he goes back home on Wednesday :( ) and we decided on an oolong. Sniffed the other two in the store, then hit this one and holy crap, I have never smelled dry tea that’s so incredibly creamy! Like, it smells like a cup of cream. My mouth started watering instantly, so of course we picked some up :D
First steep at ~90C for 2? minutes was quite tasty. Very creamy, which made it taste a bit thick, with a hint of floweriness (orchid?). Second steep at 94C for 4 minutes was a bit less creamy, and a bit more flowery. Both quite good, and the leaves are sitting downstairs waiting for another steep this evening.
Although this tea is pretty good, I can’t see myself drinking it too frequently as it’s just too rich(!) I think I prefer teas that are a little less creamy, and more vegetal. Definitely love the flowery aroma/flavour though, and will look forward to drinking it again.
ETA: We had a third steep that was ok, but I noticed some astringency and odd flavours coming out just a bit. The creaminess was pretty much gone, although I still got a milk sense from the tea. Perhaps 5 min was too long for this steep, or maybe the boy used water that was too hot? Either way, I’ll try a proper series of steepings later.
(Hee hee, the boy has just objected to being called “the boy” and would like to be called “the boyfriend”. Too bad for him :P)