1302 Tasting Notes
There is no doubt this is beautiful leaf. The flavors are well blended. I would think with vanilla as the first word in the name that this would be far more vanilla. To me it was only a subtle hint of creaminess. Mainly this is ginger, orange, and cinnamon. The black base peaks out occasionally. I think that is my main complaint. I want less stuff and more tea. Good but not my thing.
You remember your first bike? Mine was a red 16" one with training wheels. I remember the day and the hill I was coasting down when the training wheels fell off. It was a glorious moment. I see this little guy the same way. I am having so much fun with it. You guys riding your high quality and equally expensive bikes would know my little red one was little more than a toy. Not me. I thought it was amazing. This teapot was $6.98 plus shipping. Is it machine molded? – of course. Is it real yixing clay? No idea, and wouldn’t know the difference. What I do know is I have had quite a lot of thrills with this.
Oh my. I have finally lost my mind. I was looking for my tasting note on this one, only to realize I hadn’t written it yet. Eek.
This is a moderately roasted oolong. The leaf really expands when brewed. The aroma is moderate roasting with light orchid floral notes. The sip is very nicely balanced. The orchid notes rise up and the roasted one drop just a little. No bitterness or bite, but some dryness. This has a good presence of honey like sweetness. It is also nutty.
My own preference is for greener nonroasted oolong but otherwise there is certainly nothing wrong with this cup. Since there are only two ratings at this point, I will rate this one.
I have had more tea today than I have had over the last two weeks combined. How I missed it! I let this go the full 4 minutes that is recommended for the steep. Wow, it makes a big difference. I get some bite but not bitterness. Yes it is somewhat drying. It is Earl Grey after all. The base is fuller but remains refined as it supports the blast of glorious bergamot. If you love Earl Grey it is not over the top but it is definitely no wall flower. If you aren’t a fan of bergamot you really aren’t going to try this any way. For those who do, go for the long steep. Respect.
This one brewed smells kind of like pond water. I don’t mean fishy. I mean the scent of green wet leaves. This is definitely sheng. The taste is mineral and a bit bright. It does not have an astringent bite but is slightly drying. There is a slight sweetness and a hint of fruity or floral late in the sip but not strong enough to identify.
Now the real enjoyment for me with this one comes after sipping. There is a deep inside cooling sensation without any menthol scent that makes my lungs feel fresh, free, and alive. This lingers on and on long after swallowing. There is also the tummy rumble that I love. I find sheng is more likely to have this affect on me than any other type tea. I can literally feel it working its healthy benefits on me. Excellent good tea energy here!
I’ve been awake since 5:00. I stood looking at my tea and couldn’t decide. This one happened to be out, so my zombie brain made the decision. I forgot about the recommended brewing parameters and just went with the gut. It’s more awake at this time than the rest of me anyway. My steep was shorter than normal. This smells so good steeping. Cocoa and malt. I think I called it chocolate before but that is not what I’m getting today. Because of the short steep the brew isn’t quite as strong as this time of the morning usually requires but I have no schedule to worry about. This is the strangest tea. This is straight black tea but it tastes like it has hints of rose in it. The shorter steep really brought the malt out that seems to get lost in longer steeps. I should listen to my zombie brain and my gut more often. Good choice guys.
Last night I ran several pots of hot water through my new yixing teapot. Then I used a cheap shu to brew a pot and let it set and steep to help season it before pouring it out. I chose this 2010 Menghai Dayi today for my first session. I like the rich cedar and spice of this one with underlying leather notes. I imagine this early in the life of this pot I am imagining it but the flavors do seem more pronounced. Good start.
I know next to nothing about Yixing. I’ll do a formal review after spending some time with it. This is a very inexpensive machine molded pot. I am OK with that. It has what appears to be hand added graphics lightly etched on the sides. This one will hold about 10 oz and looks much larger than I expected and is quite heavy for its size. I have never used or even held a pricey Yixing so I can’t compare. I am sure the experts could easily tell. What I know is, the pot was hot and the handle stayed cool. it pours well without making a mess and only a small amount of leaf passed in to my cup. I couldn’t be more pleased at this time.
It is a good thing I like this, its as close to tea as I have had since yesterday afternoon. I sat with my wife at her craft show booth last night and all day today. I am such a good husband – I have been tracking a package of teaware as it traversed the continent. It arrived today without me being present. It was setting next to the garage when I got home. So I have my first Yixing and a small clear teapot for visual teas. To late for caffeine tonight. Depending on what my wife has planned for me tomorrow, I may have to wait until Monday to try them out. Sigh, but in a happy anticipating way.
My first experience with Ocean of Tea. I am no stranger to Earl Grey. I know what I like, what I’ll tolerate, and what I won’t. If you are going to call your tea Earl Grey it better not have anything but black tea and bergamot. That is cause for immediate dismissal (I don’t mind additional flavors but don’t call it Earl Grey because its not). This one passes the first hurdle.
I also cannot stand a wimpy Earl Grey. It is Earl Grey – give me bergamot! I don’t want faint traces of it. Don’t make me search. This one has a bright lemony citrus scent when dry and even more potent in the wet leaf aroma. I could sniff it all day and never grow tired.
On the other hand don’t overwhelm me, or give me a weak base, I want to taste tea. I like Twinings Earl Grey but find its base to lack presence. Admittedly my tastes run towards a Ceylon base that fights back. This one is more refined. It has depth without the rough edges. I can definitely taste the base without it moving to the forefront.
Earl Grey Premium has enough bite to be satisfying while remaining very well balanced. The bergamot is the primary note but is not overwhelming. The bergamot is very natural and pleasant. I can’t think of anything to complain about with this tea except my cup is empty.