2606 Tasting Notes
Man, Steepster has not been behaving all day. Finally I’m on and able to check things, but I have a ridiculous backlog STILL, since earlier when I was trying to log everything, the site was hanging for me again.
I felt the need to finally get around to trying this tea, the last of my Teavivre samples, since everyone else seems to be loving it! I used 22 little pearls in my 8oz. steeper. For whatever reason, the liquid in the infuser looked cloudy. I’m hoping that I didn’t improperly wash the infuser the last time I used it…
The tea smells lightly like jasmine and the flavour is similar, a light, crisp jasmine that lingers in the mouth. There seem to be no ill effects from the cloudiness so I’m not sure what that was all about, but that’s ok. There’s absolutely no astringency/bitterness, but I also can’t really taste the green tea, which is unfortunate – I’d rather be able to taste it alongside the jasmine. It is present in the aftertaste, but that’s it.
I’m not the biggest fan of jasmine teas; I like them and they remind me of eating out at my favourite chinese restaurant, but they’re not something I’d pick for much of the time. So although this one gets high marks for me for being tasty and light, and without any off-putting flavours, it’s not something I’d be too likely to purchase in any large quantity, although it would be nice to have around. One jasmine tea would be enough though, and in addition to this one, I have a good portion of Verdant’s Yunnan White Jasmine to finish off, which will take me a fair while.
A big thanks to Teavivre for such wonderful samples!
Smells much like other coconut oolongs I’ve had. Taste is a little bit sweet and nicely coconutty, without much oolong aftertaste. I have some of Golden Moon’s coconut pouchong left (and some more on the way from iheartteas.com); I should compare the two. Unfortunately I did use up the sample from Spice & Tea Exchange, so can’t compare that one with it, but it would be nice to narrow down and choose the best coconut oolong!! Hopefully more infusions this evening.
Thanks for the sample, Azzrian!
ETA: Second infusion, 180F/3min, is toasty and light. Still pretty tasty, so I suspect a third would work well. (A day passes) Yep, the third, 180F/3:45, is still pretty flavourful. I wish I could taste more oolong though, that’s my only complaint. I love that toasty coconut flavour. The leaves don’t smell like they have much left in them now, so I think I’ll stop there :)
And thus I reach the reason for my swap with Amy oh – my desire to try mugicha! Thanks for passing the huge, heavily filled teabags along!
So I followed the instructions (kind of) for this one, and brewed one teabag in 1L of water (in a Pyrex measuring cup!) I used cold Brita-filtered water, but instead of “cold-steeping”, I steeped it at room temperature, for probably an hour and a half to two hours. The teabag exploded a bit, which was annoying, but just means I have to filter the tea before I drink it.
Anyways! So the smell is earthy and a little bit fishy, almost. Kind of reminds me of pu’erh, which seems odd. The taste though… is very interestingly much like cold coffee! Not wonderful coffee, but there’s no astringency or bitterness, it’s just the roasted coffee flavour. This isn’t what I was expecting – I was expecting more like a genmaicha, as Azzrian had talked about, but this is intriguing. Will this make a good coffee substitute, flavour-wise? Iced coffee substitute??! This is exciting!! I’ll have to try it. I’m not sure this is something I’d drink plain too often (although I finished my cup last night; there are 3 more in the fridge), but it was definitely worth the experience, and I am hoping to experiment with milk and sweetener this evening and see how that goes!
Thanks again, Amy!
Apologies – I have a bit of a tea backlog to get through because not only was my internet down most of the evening yesterday, Steepster seemed to be down as well! It was driving me crazy. So I have like 8 tasting notes/additional infusion notes written down in a Word document to paste into here (probably a good plan anyways, but it irritated me not to be able to post thing as I was drinking them).
This one’s another sample thanks to Amy Oh! :D
My notes are scarce (I was talking with/listening to drunken roommates while drinking it), but I noted that it tasted sweet and woody-ish (a flavour I find common in late infusions of green oolongs, and earlier in oxidized oolongs). I am wondering if my infusion time/temp/amount of leaf were off though; since I couldn’t access brewing parameters, I just made them up myself, and although they’re typically ok for an oolong, I think a longer infusion would have been better, at the very least. So this one tasted alright, but definitely needs some tweaking (and I definitely have enough leaf left to do that, since Amy sent me a very generous amount!) I’ll withhold a rating until then.
Thanks again, Amy!
I’m valiantly trying to get through my swap samples from everyone to get a bit of a handle on my tea stash! It’s crazy, really. My roommates were contemplating an intervention of sorts, where they were going to lay all my tea out on the dining room table and invite people over to take some away so I’m not so overwhelmed. I think it’s just a plot to steal my tea >.>
Anyways, I decided to go for a one-cup sample tonight, so I can “remove something from my cupboard”! Woo! Missy and Dylan were lovely and sent me just the one cup’s worth of this (and a couple other 52teas mint blends) I asked for, because I’m always willing to try one cup, but don’t want to waste someone’s tea if I don’t like it, and mint is one of my least favourite flavours (but I’m just so darn curious!) Also, it’s nice to “finish something off” – need to feel good about something, since I’m sitting here alone in my house (roommates out dancing… I was too tired earlier) being all depressed about being single after over 4.5 years of being with my boyfriend (we broke up nearly 4 weeks ago… I am far from over it). :(
Sob story over. Onto the tea.
The aroma is pretty pepperminty. Enough pepperminty to make me wrinkle my nose and go “egh”. I don’t have high hopes, but I’ll drink this one cup at least (barring it being absolutely disgusting!) Ok… first sip, definitely very peppermint. I can taste spearmint too, which I have less of a problem with, and luckily there’s a really nice creaminess in there as well to negate some of the icky peppermintness. I’m not tasting any green tea at all though, so this is really coming off as more of an herbal tea. I must say though, this is definitely not a tea for me. Drinkable, yes, and the creaminess redeems it a bit (I love creamy), but I reaaaaally don’t care for intense peppermint flavour, and there’s just too much of that. I would drink it if offered though, and would be surprised if any peppermint tea-lover didn’t enjoy this! Withholding a rating because my peppermint bias would lower it to somewhere in the 60s, perhaps, and I think this is more of an 80s tea.
ETA: Second infusion (82C/4? min) loses most of the redeeming creaminess. Don’t think I’ll finish this one.
Thank you so much for including this as an extra in your swap package to me, Amy Oh! I wasn’t initially interested in it, then once I started reading tasting notes I regretted my decision not to buy it (admittedly still kind of am, see tasting note below).
The aroma is caramelly and malty and far more delicious than I could have imagined. And the flavour? Wow. The perfect caramelly black tea, perhaps? Flavour is malty and full, with a sweet caramel and absolutely no astringency. I’m drinking it a touch on the cool side and it’s tasting just the slightest bit weak; I think I would give 3 and a half or 4 minutes a shot next time. There are flavours in here reminiscent of Adagio’s Jane Austen Mafia; I am not yet well-versed in black bases (ok, I have zero idea about them), so I’m wondering if it’s that, or if it’s a flavouring thing. Either way, that was a delicious cup. I’ll try a re-steep in a bit, but am not expecting anything amazing.
So further to my comment at the beginning of this post, this tea is now on my incredibly long list of 52teas to buy in my next order. Of course, I’m hoping for Frank to come out with iced teas (and another batch of Cotton Candy?) before I do so.
ETA: Second infusion (96C/4min) still smells tasty. Basically a lighter, less butterscotchy version of the first. (I should go back and change that… I get butterscotch and caramel confused a lot.) Good enough to drink, but this will be the final infusion.
The flavour is not exactly what I was expecting from a tea called Severe Degree of Fermentation (I was expecting something very roasted and strongly-flavoured). A two minute infusion produced a very light cup, which has some faint toasty, woody flavours. Little oolong aftertaste, but the flavours are characteristic of the late infusions of a (green?) oolong for me, minus the accompanying astringency I often find in said later infusions. It’s just very light. I think there’s enough leaf left for at least a generous additional cup, so I will have to give that a shot with a higher leaf:water ratio. It’s good, but just very light.
Second infusion (175F/3min) is more like a less green green oolong. Does that make sense? Similar flavours, but the green-ness (vegetal qualities) aren’t so present, and it’s a bit toasty/roasted. It’s better, buttery and more flavourful than the first infusion. A bit weird actually, because I feel like the flavours I’m getting here belong moreso to the first infusion of a tea than the second (and I didn’t get the two mixed up). No astringency in this infusion either, and quite a bit more oolong flavour.
Definitely a different oolong that I would like to explore a bit more. Hopefully tomorrow I can get another couple infusions out of this set of leaves as well :) I love oolongs :D Thanks for the sample, LiberTEAS!
ETA: Third infusion (175F/4 minutes) is pretty weak. Still no astringency but kind of has a woody flavour.
Mmm, first infusion smells light, fruity and delicious, and… are you kidding me. I just spilt it on my bed. :( I guess I got a bit overzealous in swirling it around. Luckily only spilled 1/4 of it.
The flavour is a light oolong with overtones of fruitiness. The fruit flavour here does strongly remind me of that in DavidsTea’s Blazing Strawberries, yet strangely also makes me think cherry blossom, like in Den’s Sakura Sencha. It’s pretty tasty though, and plenty strong enough.
The second infusion (4:30, 180F) is similar; definitely more oolong flavour and less fruitiness. Could probably get another few infusions, so might give that a shot tomorrow evening.
My one kind-of complaint is that the flavour is not so much of strawberry to me, and much more of cherry blossom. So more of a cherry blossom oolong. Don’t get me wrong – it’s delicious, but not quite what I was expecting, especially after the grape oolong.
ETA: Oh look! I finally remembered to mark a Tasting Note milestone!!! I’ve hit 400, woo! Missed every other landmark prior though, whoops. (And technically this tea shouldn’t even be #400, since I have two iced teas to log that I drank earlier, but oh well!)
ETA again: Third infusion (180F/4:30) is light and pretty tasty, with a floral-y, oolong aftertaste. Fourth infusion (180F/6ish min) is pretty similar. Basically tastes like a floral oolong now. Surprising amount of flavour left. I might try one more infusion, but I’ve had nearly enough of this one for the time being. Fifth infusion (180F/7min) tasted metallic and off; I threw it out as the leaves had probably sat too long, but I suspect it would have still been good.