104 Tasting Notes
Notes written while sipping: Wood smoke. Tobacco. Dark, VERY earthy/woodsy. Slightly minty. Very assertive. Resonates. Coats the mouth. Lingers sweetly. Smoooooth.
I’m definitely digging this pu-erh. It was perfect for this wet, rainy day! Must keep in my cupboard at all times! :)
Oh my goodness, the SMELL. It’s so delightfully creamy and sweet. I could tell I was in for a treat as soon as I opened the package I got in the mail! (Thanks to Stacy for the generous samples!) I had to brew this one up right away. How could I not? After pouring hot water the juicy, robust aroma of the rooibos caught my noise. The coconut notes receded a bit, but are still obviously there. It smells like a tropical paradise. I’m getting impatient waiting for my tea to cool. :)
After sipping…ah. This is nice. Tart, vibrant fruity flavors play across my tongue first, then step back to let the coconut really shine. Creamy coconut goodness. :) And a little buttery-ness in the aftertaste, to. The rooibos seems to become less pronounced as the tea cools. I’m having a hard time putting my mug down! I’m also curious to see how this holds up to adding a touch of soy milk…hmmm.
It was definitely interesting to watch the flavor develop in this one. I picked a bad time to drink it the first time, as I was rushing to get ready for work and only got one steep out of the leaves before I left. :S Last night I sat down to follow through with my tasting. I started with a 15 second rinse and a 1 minute steep in pre-boil water, increasing the time by 15-30 seconds in subsequent infusions. Wow, wow. I honestly was not expecting to like this tea. It’s the light, creamy floral side of Tieguanyin that I love, so the description given by VT threw me off. First steep was very tangy and citrusy, with a very subtle hint of cream hanging onto the very end. It was mostly tangy. The kind of tangy that makes your mouth water. I was reminded of limes. Second steep, WHAT a change. The citrus notes are paired with equally strong notes of cream, and what’s this? Buttery, graham cracker crust? It tastes JUST like key lime pie. Oh my goodness. It left a pleasant sweetness in my mouth after drinking. Third steep, the cream and graham notes become a bit more prominent. Every flavor becomes more rich and full. I only followed through with three infusions because at this point I was exhausted enough for bed. Well, off to make another cup now! (:
First Steep (pre-boil, 1 min)
A little floral with that certain mellow undertone that an oolong has…Almost leaning towards bland or bitter but not really sweet to me. I wasn’t very impressed but continued steeping.
Second Steep (pre-boil, 1 min)
Smoother, and somehow more tangy? Towards the tail end it becomes sweeter and curls into a deep caramel taste that caught me completely off guard. After that, I start catching dark woodsy, earthy, vaguely VAGUELY spicy notes that make me think of cedar trees. Whoa.
Third Steep (pre-boil, 1.25 min)
Smells more like wood and spice; it’s more at the forefront. Feels like a mouthful of silk. It has a very rich, heady, full, sweet taste that gets to your head. Settles into a deepening oolong taste. Resonates. Now this reminds me of custard or caramel flan! That lingering aftertaste! It’s DELICIOUS.
Fourth Steep (pre-boil, 1.5 min)
The aroma is more floral and vegetal; somewhat sweet. The darker caramel notes have become something milder, sweeter, and more vegetal. Overall the taste was more “green.” I feel like I’m sucking on tender green tea leaves. The caramel creeps back in and across my tongue as I just sit and savor the soft lingering taste of the tea.
Fifth Steep (pre-boil, 1.5 min)
Now the aroma is much more subdued, earthy and plant-like. Had only a few sips this time. The taste was similar like the last steep, but much lighter. Very pleasant. I suspected it was the last steep I could get out of the leaves…but I might have been wrong. I would say more, but I noticed a bug in the bottom of my cup (How did it get there???) before I even drank half of the tea. Ended up dumping it (along with the leaves). Very, very very eager to make another cup of this. (:
Also first tasting note—whoop!