1160 Tasting Notes
Today was kind of a victory celebration. I turned in the final project for my college course. Yeah! There are a few weeks of class left preparing for the certification test but the class is winding down. So my wife and I did a little Christmas shopping and went to Cheddars for lunch beforehand. The Philly cheese steak was so good. Anyway, even if no one else agrees the iced tea they serve I find to be spectacular. It is brisk as I think any good iced tea should be and it has a roasted flavor similar to that found in a dark oolong.
Oh, and while shopping I found Candy Cane Lane so I grabbed two boxes. They also had an empty spot on the shelf labeled Sleigh Ride – so I’ll be back.
I knew I had tasted this before but with my hectic schedule I forgot how this tasted. It’s like getting to try it for the first time all over again. I love how the aroma of steeped Chinese green tea leaves often remind me of stew meat. The liquor on this looks green in the press and like white grape juice in the cup. I was expecting a subtle tea. Instead I get BAM! This is a killer tea. It reminds me of a cross between premium Long Jing and Huang Shan Mao Feng. Just an awesome cup!
I stopped putting ratings on teas but this one would be way up there.
I did not realize there was an organic version of this one available. That may explain why this non-organic version is my third favorite white tea. Top honors goes to Teavivre’s organic Silver Needle. Oh my that one is so good. Second favorite is Concept Teas White Peony. The difference between this and the Concept Teas version is the latter is far more fragrant and more developed in flavor. It is a noticeable difference. However, now realizing there is another higher level White Peony by Teavivre this may require further investigation!
Totally unrelated – while sipping this and typing the note I grabbed a generic fudge striped shortbread cookie. When I picked up the cup again for a moment I could have sworn this was puerh. The cocoa brought out all these wonderful earthy notes. Seriously you need to try it. Like you need an excuse to nibble on cookies.
I have spent most of the day with my face staring at a computer screen. The final project for my class is due next week and there is still a ton of work to be done. Like Lala I have not been feeling the tea lately. Rather than half-heartedly writing a review on a new one I just haven’t tasted much. Today I decided to shake off the tea blues and finish this one. I put care into the preparation but had it mostly because it is the best white peony I have yet tried. I knew I would love it even if I was only half paying attention. Sipped multiple cups – the present one is ice cold from sitting there. It is still awesome.
It has been unseasonably cold lately (maybe that should be unreasonably cold). Green Tea Frappe just didn’t seem like the best idea today :( Come on spring. Someone mentioned Chocolate Chai recently so I thought why not? I kind of liked it and kind of not. It starts out heavily nutmeg/allspice? flavored then mid sip the cocoa kicks in. The two flavors don’t exactly mix but I am ok with that. The result is closer to pumpkin pie than many of the pumpkin teas I have tried. My biggest issue is this is just too sweet. This coming from the guy that sweetens everything. It is a concentrate mix so there is no adjusting that the barista can make. I used to buy a can mix at Sam’s Club called Mystic Chai that was just as sweet. I always wished it came unsweetened. Same here. Not gonna replace my frap!
I grew up in a house where Lipton is consumed more than any other beverage. My family thought I was a bit of a tea snob, what with my hoity-toity fancy pants Bigelow teas and all. Nowadays, with the large amount of loose teas in my possession, they just think I am a psycho tea weirdo. They might be correct. The mail lady was getting suspicious at all my packages from faraway lands until my wife explained it to her. Now she agrees with my family. Such is the life of an enthusiast.
One thing I know is I am not a tea snob as I really enjoyed this little gem last night. It is inexpensive bagged tea. Snobs don’t do inexpensive or bagged. It is also decaffeinated. I thought this was very fragrant. It smells like tea. While there is not a lot of depth, it tasted nice and took sweetener well. There are times when that is all I need.
Wild Thing you make my heart sing. Fujian Jin Jun Mei do I need to say more? I found I prefer this with steeps around one minute. It can get a bit drying with long western steeps. Keep it short and this delivers the goods. Honey, caramel/cocoa, and lighter malt than I normally associate with this tea. Re-steeps well.
This is actually the 2013 version of this tea. It has Yunnan in the name so I immediately come up with an idea of what this should taste like. I’ll learn someday. The leaf is captivating. I’m glad no one was around to watch me playing with the leaf. Non-tea people already look at me with concern. Long and twisted with some heft to the appearance. For Chinese green tea the dry leaf is big. The taste is really hard to define. It isn’t weird. It’s just different. If I am using the term correctly it is umami. It is also quite subtle. The liquor itself has a kind of broth like quality – or at least this is what I’m perceiving.