1689 Tasting Notes
Not really a review as I have already talked this one to death with few if any converts. Again, it is my favorite cheap comfort tea. Anyway, so I wake before daylight, try to just lay there quietly so as not to wake the wife or the critters. About 6:00 I realize my wife is doing the same. So we decide to head to the porch while it is still cool (it is supposed to be 90 today). I have a brewing station on my porch, for a total of three (spoiled individual that I am). My son who lives next door was up and joined us. Sat there enjoying the bergamot, the company, and the birds. What a tremendously excellent way to start the day.
Talk about shocking the system. Wow!
First off, I cleaned my press because it still has a hefty lapsang souchong aroma. Dumped the old leaf in the compost bowl, so my room has an awesome pine smoke scent. With the smells and my havig a lung infection – again, I don’t have a lot of ambition. So I randomly grabbed a sample, and with the extremely tiny print, thought it was mao feng green tea. The water hits the leaf and immediately turns ruby red. What have I done? What have I done? Oh, wait, this is Keemun black tea. Well, alright then, that will do nicely.
Even prepared with the wrong tea in mind this is really good. Silky smooth. A mix of honey, molasses, raisin, maybe some chocolate or cocoa.
I think I’ll take the rest to the porch and concentrate on being well.
I am a big fan of The Persimmon Tree. They generally approach flavored teas as I like them – with subtle flavoring. I want to taste the tea base. When it comes to LS, I want it to be a lot more robust with sweet pine smoky goodness, not ash trays. They deliver. It takes sweetening well if you are so inclined but doesn’t need it. Strong but not overwhelming. I tend to not mind if a LS has a bacon or smoked meat hint but this one does not. It is straight away LS. Worth your try if my description agrees with what you are looking for.
Today’s random green tea powder pick. This one is kind of pricey for culinary grade matcha at $6.25/oz. The powder is a tad on the gray side. Hot I found this a bit puckery. Today I had it as a cold frap mixed with milk and sweetener. It mixed easily and foamed nicely with just a spoon in my tumbler. The color was light.
My opinion is this is really pretty tasty prepared this way. There is a really long lasting aftertaste. It does not taste exactly flowery but for whatever reason it made me think of roses. With Starbucks as the standard – this comes about as close as any to it from the blind taste test samples. While I liked both of the Red Leaf Tea samples better, if I had a bag of this, I would certainly drink it happily in frap form.
I wrote exactly one review on my blog last month. Over achiever. Had plans to start June (JUNE!?!?) out better, but since waking up at least once every hour last night and today being a dreary gloomy gray day, dragging out the camera just wasn’t going to happen. Instead I’ve wandered about aimlessly much of the day. Finally got the ambition to brew. This was an excellent choice. The bergamot aroma of the dry leaf as well as the ruby red brew made me smile. This really is a good EG. I like mine a little on the rugged side, so I over leafed and used boiling water. That gave it a nice bite. Watching the leaf and cooling the water down to 195 or so will smooth it out nicely – but not today. This is barbarian tea day. grunt. scratch.
I randomly grabbed this one out of the leftovers from the head to head blind taste test. When I realized which one I had grabbed I got a little excited. This is good stuff.
I mixed about 1 heaping tsp of powder and some Splenda with a couple ounces of milk and whipped it with a spoon. I used a double walled tumbler like they sell at Starbucks for frappes. It is tall and narrow so the tea foams up very easily even with a spoon. The powder all mixes in pretty easily even in cold milk.
Then I grabbed a half cup of crushed ice, ran it through the shaver and added it to the tumbler. I have Xantham gum to thicken it but didn’t add it today. Then I filled the tumbler with milk and stirred.
The color is nicely dark green like a Starbucks frappe. That’s where the similarity ends. When I was mixing this I thought it had a black tea aroma. As I taste, it is very much floral like an Alishan oolong. The sweetener is not really necessary as this is nicely sweet on its own. Seemed very smooth with no grit. The only thing I found to complain about is it disappeared long before I was ready.
This was my top rated pick from the test, easily blowing away the competition.
I have been pacing myself today. It is hard because I actually feel like me.
So, Oollo Tea, they are new to me. They specialize in Taiwan teas and are located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This one is a black tea. It smells pretty tasty upon opening. Immediately malt. Then at first I think grape? I agree with Oollo that it is really more raisin and plum. Regardless it is fruity and delicious smelling. I also catch a baked bread aroma.
The taste is pretty much similar to the scent except there is a bite or spicy note late in the sip. Zero bitterness. Very easy to drink. Now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have caught this had I not read the description, but a few times late in the sip I caught light traces of cinnamon and peppermint flavor. Not the spice like bite but more the candy disk like presence.
Besides my morning matcha milk drink, this is the first cup of tea I have made in weeks. It is a bit of a celebration cup. It was prepared in a single serving sized plastic percolator on the porch. I put the tea in a Finum instead of the filter basket. This made the tea steep during the entire percolating process. The different method made for a completely different taste. This is bright bergamot with much subdued tea taste.
The celebration is for feeling well enough to make the cup in the first place. Fired my pulmonologist. Got a new nurse practioner. She changed my medicine and found a new pulmonologist. I am starting to feel more human. Now to get well enough to play guitar again.
This is from the recent Red Leaf Tea side by side blind taste test. If you were included but haven’t completed your survey yet stop reading now.
I grabbed this culinary grade one today for my morning breakfast glass. I looked at the number on the sample and had it in my head I didn’t like this one hot. Went to my notes and learned I rated it kind of low but not the worst.
It actually smells kind of appealing today. I used a heaping tsp – closer to 2 tsp – of powder, 2 packets of Splenda, and 12oz of 2% milk. I start with 2oz and spoon stir until mixed and foamy. This part was pretty easy. Then I stir in the rest of the milk.
The taste was just kind of meh. It wasn’t bad, just meh. I was left wanting more when the glass was empty. Not more to drink, just more. I thought it was a bit gritty as well. Since I don’t have a proper whisk or frother, it is most likely my fault, however most of the others have mixed fine this way.
Bottom line, you could do worse, but you can do a lot better than meh.