1696 Tasting Notes
I was pretty ill over the last 6 months. During this time I had this tea waiting to be reviewed but never got to it. Sorry What-Cha. So, I pull it out today, took pictures for the blog, but all the time I had decided this one was just for the love of tea. I just wanted to enjoy the look and the smell of the leaf. To watch the dance, and breath in the brewed aromas. To taste like it was my first cup. Lately I have forgotten how to just let the tea take me on a journey.
It is a good thing I went in with this attitude as this tea is no longer available and may never come back. Well poo. Not sure if I’ll go ahead with a blog post or not. Either way, I really enjoyed the trip.
The dry leaf is really dark for a green tea. It is lightly twisted and curled. It smells leafy and loamy with some tobacco notes, and an earthiness to it that made my mind briefly envision puerh.
I steeped in my clear glass teapot so I could watch the dance, and dance it did. Some leaf stubbornly clung to the surface while others white knuckled the bottom. It reminded me of school kids at a first dance – boys on one side and girls on the other. The brave leaf that did dance, swirled with abandon and glided about, occasionally tapping one of the clingers and dragging them to the dance floor. Thank you for the dance.
The wet leaf is large broken pieces that become green and revived. What really struck me as unexpected was the wet leaf scent. I can think of no other way of describing this. It is the aroma of a filtered cigarette. Not the nasty ash kind but the sweet and fragrant kind. I have never been a smoker, but there are certain brands that from a distance I enjoy the scent of in the open air – for a brief period. This is like the that.
The liquor is a beautiful mix of honey and orange in color. The taste is… oh yes this is green tea. It is sweet with a solid bite. Underneath is a subtle smoky note that is welcome. It is not like the wet leaf scent, and not like a camp fire. It is a roasted kind of smoky. This is also quite crisp. The aftertaste is sweet with a light fruitiness.
Glad I got to try this one.
This definitely makes the best looking cup of the bunch. This starts rose then turns tart from the hibiscus. I never really caught the jasmine. Adding a little sweetener opens up some space. Cold water bottle method is also good. I found the hibiscus to be far more present and tart than most every one here is saying. Though I wasn’t all that enamored with floral herb, it is my opinion this will probably be the most successful blend with the herbal crowd.
This one left the most amount of silt in the cup of any of the blends. It makes for a less than appealing visual. The taste is a different story. This was my wife’s favorite of the bunch. It needed just a hint of sweetener before I could separate out anything but the peppermint. With sweetener I could catch the chamomile and the lemongrass. It is a mild relaxing cup. The chamomile never crosses into tart apple tasting.
I am not the biggest chai fan. Rooibos is kind of hit or miss with me. This combines both and I liked it. No additives this was very mild with no rough edges. The clove, cinnamon, and rooibos play well together. Next I added a little sweetener. This made the ginger really jump out and heat up the cup. It was a little too intense for my taste. Next I added a splash of milk, because chai, you know. This was my favorite method. Very balanced.
My first Yerba Mate. To me it is earthy, woody, and reminded me of rooibos and coffee beans. My favorite part of this is the licorice. Definitely don’t need sweetener with this one. The licorice adds it for you. I liked the play of the sweet against the earthy. Pretty sure this is not for every one but I thought it was fun.
Cold, shaken in a water bottle is the way to go with this one. Minty but not too minty, but then I like peppermint. As with most of the samples from Chi Whole Leaf, I liked it with a small amount of Sweetener – just 1/4 packet of Splenda. I can taste the tea base in the aftertaste. I’ve never had eucalyptus before. I can’t say I could identify anything out of the ordinary that I could guess was eucalyptus. This my favorite of the 5 samples.
Hot and straight, I get malt, seaweed and floral with a touch of hay. There is enough bite to be interesting without calling it bitter and mixed with enough sweetness to make it easy to drink.
I’ve had this the last couple mornings cold with milk. I does not mix well in cold milk. The taste is still a bit floral but mostly has a bready taste.
Porch sitting at 6:00 AM with a latte made with classic matcha. It is 60 F and there is a gentle rain. My latte was made with cold milk. Why am I not freezing? Oh, right, because my body doesn’t wake up until after 8. My brain loves this weather. Anyway, so the neat thing about participating in a blogging matcha tasting event is you get to try like a zillion different matchas. The bad part is they start tasting so much alike, when you aren’t real skilled in them yet. Such is the case with this one. I found it to be umami with popcorn notes, when testing. Today, with milk it is very smooth. There is little to no bitterness and the taste with milk leans towards nutty and green leafy. Makes a good sweetened latte.