2410 Tasting Notes
My first dong ding oolong experience was with Teavivre’s, and it went very badly. Mostly, I oversteeped it (and probably overleafed as well) and it tasted awful. I still have at least one sample pack, so should really give it another shot some time.
Anyhow, in the spirit of trying all the teas, I picked up a sample pack of this from Verdant a while ago. And since I felt like some straight tea tonight (and am planning a teensy Verdant order in the near future), I figured I should make some progress on a few sample packs tonight!
I approximately followed Verdant’s instructions for this tea: 1 tbsp of tea, 8 oz. of water, a brief rinse, and then a 30-second infusion. I thought it would be a bit weak, but the aroma seems to indicate otherwise – it’s a bit toasty and a bit florally-green… definitely intriguing! The first sip is lightly sweet and floral, kind of like TGY but without that turpentine smell/overly green flavour. The second sip (this tea is a bit too hot for my liking, still) brings out more sweetness, and is a bit more vegetal, but also has more oolong aftertaste. I keep spying bits of Dinosara’s note as I’m writing, and I agree that it’s quite savoury. I’m enjoying it, although I’m not sure it’s quite my favourite sort of oolong (and what that is, other than good milk oolongs, I can’t really tell you quite yet to be honest.)
I’m interested to see where the next few infusions take me, but this is certainly pretty tasty so far!
ETA: Like the other oolong, the second infusion of this one (1 min) was pretty tasty, but the second infusion (2 min) tastes a bit astringent and oversteeped. Perhaps should have gone with 1.5min. I’ll try a fourth infusion tomorrow to see what happens.
This one also smelled kind of soapy while I was brewing it, but drinking it cooled, I’m not getting any soapiness, just a herbally citrus flavour with a bit of spice. I bet this made a great iced tea way back when it came out like 2 years ago! There’s still a bit of bai mu dan flavour peeking out here too, which is really tasty. Overall, a pretty good tea.
ETA: Second infusion was good; third started to taste too much like lemongrass.
I forgot that this tasted better the longer it was steeped. Oops. So it’s alright, but not wonderful (age may be a factor here too). It tastes a bit citrusy/orange, with the creaminess of banana, so does mimic a breakfast smoothie, although I think there are other HB blends that I’d prefer over this one.
Drank this, but confused it with sTEAp Shoppe’s White Chocolate Tea. Clearly there are similarities… This also means that I couldn’t pick up any citrus :( There’s definitely creaminess though, so this one will get another shot sometime in the future!
ETA: Second infusion of this one also smelled like dry cat food, and induced gagging and cup-dumping. As with White Chocolate, I did remember this aroma from when I was brewing it as well. I will add, though, that in this case, it was spiced cat food. But once I’d made the association, it was just downhill from there. Hopefully the second attempt is better.
Uh…. so I brewed up both this and sTEAp Shoppe’s Chocolate Orange tea…. and… I can’t tell them apart. I mean, they taste a bit different, but I can’t tell which one is which, which is kind of bad, given that one is supposed to be orange-flavoured.
Anyhow, both taste alright, and have a bit of a white chocolate/creamy flavour to them, but I’ll definitely have to give both a second go to figure out which I’m even reviewing!
ETA: Uh… so the second infusion smelled a lot like dry cat food… and kind of tasted like it too… so I gagged on it and threw it out :( I forgot that I remember having that same impression of the dry leaves/brewing leaves for the first infusion as well. Thankfully the first infusion was drinkable, but #2 was not.
I’m fairly sure that this tea is rapidly losing flavour; I suspect it was a bit old to begin with, and now is rapidly going downhill. I have a few cups of it left, and will try my best to finish them off quickly! It’s certainly not bad, and the creaminess/cupcakey aspect is still present, but the strawberry flavouring is quickly disappearing. Although I apparently only have one previous tasting note for this, I’m pretty sure I had it in a travel mug at one point too (but I’m bad at logging those sometimes), and it was fairly tasty, so hopefully I can use it up quickly that way. Basically, travel mug blacks have only two requirements: no astringency, and some sort of tasty-enough flavour, and this one in its current state still satisfies those requirements :D
Well, this tea unfortunately kind of underwhelmed me. It was certainly dark-tasting, but I wasn’t really tasting much chocolate. There was a hint of the molasses taste as there was in the Milk Chocolate tea, but it was definitely less prominent. I’ll have to try a second cup with the recommended brewing parameters (I reduced the infusion time by a couple minutes) to see if I can coax a bit more flavour out of this one.
Sipdown! 819. A big thanks to momo for this one :)
Although I caught a hint of soapiness from a couple teas I brewed up tonight, by the time I got to this one, at least, it was gone, and what was left was a fairly pleasant coconut black with a hint of nuttiness. It was rather weak, however, but I think that the cause of that was either tea age, or perhaps understeeping, as I only steeped for 2 min, as I’ve tended to do with most “unknown” black teas lately (e.g. flavoured blacks where I don’t have reliable other recommendations, such as Butiki/Verdant).
Anyhow, I’d happily drink this in the future! Not a bad tea at all. It would probably be one to compare to Della Terra’s Chocolate Almond Coconut (which I also found to be weak, hmmm), or possibly H&S’s SoHo Blend… which is also kind of weak. Maybe it’s just the flavour combo! I think SoHo had the most chocolate flavouring… but come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that chocolate wasn’t an ingredient in here. Oops :D
Delicious last cup of this, but I’ll take a break from it for a while. It’s good, but there are just so many other teas to try. This was definitely one of my “gateway” teas though – one that made me switch from sugary coffee lattes to straight tea!