1305 Tasting Notes
Same as many of you – yesterday it was sunny and near 70 F. This morning woke up to a rumbling rainy day. Now its below freezing and spitting white crap. I hate winter. Go away!
Also yesterday I spent most of the day researching, organizing, then actually preparing my taxes. So many new and unique things happened last year with our finances that it was a challenge. But its done. Today I had to calculate Estimated Taxes so I don’t get a penalty like the state is trying to charge me now. How are mere mortals supposed to know this stuff?
Basically what I am saying is I need a simple moment of relaxing and refreshing. That is where the last of this tea comes in. It isn’t pretentious. It is just simple green tea done right. It has enough depth to be interesting along with a bit of bite. Floral and green and just what I needed today. Inexpensively delicious.
I am in the middle of the other reviewers with my opinion of this one. The dry smell is kind of like musty fish. Verdant calls it raisin aromatics with forest moss undertones or something like that. I get fishy. The dry scent reminds me of a not so good puer I bought in a can some years back. I know the dry aroma is usually misleading so I carry on. Once steeped the wet leaf aroma is still a bit harsh to me but it adds dark notes like cocoa and bread or grain. The taste is old dusty book leather (Oooh I like that) and wheat – like the shredded cereal (I like that too). As it cools I do get some notes I will agree are raisin like. The aftertaste is nutty and fruity. Mid sip the flavor gets real pronounced but not harsh or bitter. All in all, I like this fine but it is not one of my favorite shu. If I change my opinion with more steeps I’ll update. Thanks Terri.
A sample of this was included with my black Friday order. I am just getting around to opening it. I had this a long time ago and recall liking it but not being as wowed by it as others at the time. One thing I notice today is the recommended steep time for western brewing is 5 – 10 minutes. That sounds excessive but maybe it needs it?
I first catch a spicy note like cinnamon that melts into malt. Just past the malt it becomes nutty/woodsy then gets a brisk little bite. The aftertaste has just enough astringent briskness to catch my interest. I can’t think of another Chinese black that has this element. Better than I remember.
Interesting. When labeled Earl Grey Creme this received an 84 average rating. As Earl Grey Heaven it has a 71. Hmmm.
OK, I love bergamot. Earl Grey is not just a tea, it is an addiction. If you mess with it you better change the name – blue cornflowers are an exception, they add nothing to the flavor and are just too cute to dislike. I hate surprises when it comes to EG. The Persimmon Tree clues me in advance that this is not simply black tea and bergamot by adding Heaven to the name. So I will not be taking off points just because there is added vanilla.
The dry scent was almost alcoholic in nature so I wasn’t sure what I was in for here. The wet leaf had a similar aroma. The cup though is very nice. It is very balanced. I know this because if you read all the reviews under both listings there are an equal number saying the vanilla is heavier than the bergamot and vice versa. How you judge it depends on which flavor you want most to taste or which you dislike the most. For me personally, the vanilla could be tuned down a notch but then it would not be balanced.
This not at all bitter. It is slightly drying. As the vanilla/bergamot fade I can briefly taste the tea base before the vanilla bean aftertaste kicks in. I thought this was one of the better EGC’s I have tried. The closest comparison is The Tea Merchant’s French Earl Grey. I recall that one leaning a little heavier on the vanilla.
I am slow at getting back to this one. I took my wife to the doctor (nothing serious) and am just now getting back to trying to get this one right. So rebooting, I used 1 1/2 tsp and 12 oz of just off boiling water and steeped for one minute. Yeah, this is much improved with no bitterness. I do think 2 minutes might bring out a little more of the flavors. I expected cocoa based on the wet leaf scent, instead I got nice notes of leather wrapped in light smoke. It is slightly spicy with some pepperiness. There is also some earthy/woodsy hints mingled in. Based on the cost – just under $10/3 oz, this has way more depth than expected. This is not Zhu Rhong or Golden Tips but it isn’t competing with the big dogs. I feel comfortable recommending it as a really good value everyday Yunnan.
I could not find this on the website. I have contacted Simple Loose Leaf to see if this is still available. So no picture and no product detail. Actually no real review yet. This is more about being consistent. I normally use a 10-12 oz mug. I had the bright idea this morning I would use a 5-6 oz cup instead. That would be fine had I adjusted the amount of leaf and/or the steeping time. So one scoop of leaf equivalent to about 2 tsp and a 3 minute steep is way too much for this little cup. So its dark, strong, and bitter. I can tell it had some nice smoky/chocolate notes but they are overcome. A packet of Splenda in such a tiny cup is just as bad of an idea. Sure it softens the bitterness but now it tastes like bottled tea. Who needs it that sweet? Time to reboot my day. I owe this tea a better review. I mean its Yunnan tea!
Oooh a Yunnan red tea. I have seen this reviewed many times and knew it would be interesting. This one comes from Terri. Thanks for being awesome.
The dry leaf is gorgeous but scent wise didn’t give up much information. Add 205 F water for 45 S and that all changes. Baby is that a dark aroma. It is like dark chocolate and slightly overdone brownies. It is slightly malty and a little spicy.
The sip is honey and rich browned cocoa. Throw in some fruit and spice notes. Feels thick on the tongue. You can catch the roasting at various times through the sip. Very good!
My earlier Tazo EG post was from yesterday. I am sitting at Starbucks again today downloading a cad program so I can draw up a porch for our home. We hope to finally build it this summer after 23 years.
The kind folks behind the counter are new and they don’t seem to get tea – imagine that at a coffee shop. I asked for iced, I am pretty sure they forgot and just prepared it as a hot tea as they gave me a leftover cup. The iced cup has no ice – it melted, so they gave me a cup of ice. This is very bitter. I kind of get the whole blergamot thing. What a difference a day makes. I took it in stride. It amused me and it is my fault for expecting s small town coffee shop to get tea right.
I know I have posted on this tea before but I don’t feel like digging through the archives to figure out under what listing – anyway, from Starbucks, iced. Not my favorite EG but it is pretty good, especially from the full leaf sachets. For years people rated Tazo EG much higher than I did. I thought they, like Sil, must hate blergamot as she calls it. I never got any wonderful bright citrus notes out of it. All I was getting was wimpy plain tea. Maybe I always got an expired bag or one stored in direct sunlight. Whatever the reason I was not impressed. Same goes for Harney Supreme EG – I did not get bergamot from it so it did not speak to me. Fortuitously, ordering this Tazo EG in house results in a pretty good cup. Makes me happy I did not give up trying.