1611 Tasting Notes
After today, I have enough left for a couple more sessions. I was really looking forward to ordering more of this one. It is one of my favorite Yunnans. It kind of trades the sweet potato notes for a wonderful smoky bohea like flavor. Sorry to find out RiverTea is apparently no more.
Today I prepared this in a little green ceramic teapot my wife found for me at Goodwill. It holds roughly 12 oz. The perfect size for my needs. I have wanted one for a while, just for my black teas. I heated the pot first and brewed this at 194F for 2 minutes. It was so good. The smoke filled my olfactory, while the honey, caramel and leather (leather? – yup) rejoiced on the inside. Best $4 buy ever.
This is one time I wish I had read other’s reviews before tasting. I mean there is a snow man on the box with kind of not decorated Christmas trees in the background and Bigelow says its a holiday season blend (IE Christmas without saying it). I am all geared up with a scarf and mittens (metaphorically speaking) and ready for a cinnamon and sugary ginger snap cookie like my grandmother made. So… this is nothing like that. Had I realized I would have approached this differently. This smells of ginger and lemongrass/lemon verbena. It tastes of lemongrass/ lemon verbena. The ginger to me only briefly appears late in the sip to add a little spicy heat. I added a little sweetener to see its affect. At first, I liked it better without. As the cup cooled it did bring out the ginger more, balancing the ginger with the lemon. Now, there is nothing wrong with the flavor. In fact it is a very pleasant and relaxing sip. The problem for me is it does not stir any holiday memories. I would be far more inclined to enjoy this one on a cool summer night out under the stars. Would I recommend this one? Yes, as long as you understand what you’re getting – It’s a lovely lemon herbal tea. Thanks GG!
It’s Cheapster Steepster time, it’s Cheapster Steepster time. I love bargain teas when they deliver. This one does. GGmathis shared this with me. It is not something I would have tried on my own. The smell when I open the bag is spot on to those little square squishy candies. The tea brews up a dark reddish brown. The taste was at first less than spectacular. I could taste the simple black base and faint traces of caramel. Nice enough but mostly meh. Then I noticed on the bag it said to add sugar and milk. I opted for Splenda. Just wow! it is like biting into one of those candy squares without the calories. Pffft. I could have the whole bag and not feel the least bit guilty. Except with green tea powder, I never add milk. Today, I made an exception. The taste was not a lot different but the tea looked more like the candy and it did feel richer and a little more decadent.
I am left wondering, if I used an apple tea bag and a bag of this, would I get a good caramel apple – the kind that does not get all over my beard? I guess first I would have to find a cheapster apple tea that actually tasted tart.
Oh and bonus, my fingers smell like caramel from squeezing the bag.
It’s 6 AM. I’ve already had my morning green tea powder. Started to grab a black tea when I remembered this was still in the press from yesterday. This is the third western mug and the pearls have loosened up a lot. I suspect being left for several hours allowed them time to unfurl. One review I read elsewhere said it took 7 steeps to get the leaf to relax. The liquor is golden this morning. The scent is different today. It reminds me of a high mountain oolong from Taiwan. The aroma is fruity and floral. The taste is different too. The butter is gone. This now has a tangy bite at the beginning that fades quickly into a flavor I don’t quite know how to describe. It is kind of earth, slightly mushroom, and nutty. Combined with the aroma it makes for a great cup.
I finally convinced the government I do exist even if my old email address does not. Whatever you do, if you change email accounts, inform them long before you lose access to the old one.
Today, I am celebrating with some Zomba Pearls. These look so cool. It reminds me of Cicada right after they crawl out of their shell. That’s awesome. After the first steep they look like cocoons (tent caterpillar – hate the real thing) which again I think is so cool.
The first mug I am expecting cucumber as the label says. I got something totally different. The scent is kind of green tea like. The taste is is butter, and corn, and hay. Very smooth. No bitterness. Only he slightest dryness. I love it.
The pearls are still very tightly wound and What-Cha says it takes six or so steeps to get them to completely relax. I hope to find out. Maybe the cucumber comes in later but even if it doesn’t this is a delicious cup of white tea.
I found this in one of my boxes. I really don’t recall who sent it to me. Apologies.
This is an interesting tea on many levels. The dry scent is awesome – malt, honey, sweet potato. The leaf is beautiful. The first sip is Mmmmm. It starts honey, sweet potato, and woodsy. Then after reading BrewTEAlly Sweet’s review I realize I am tasting cinnamon and clove, but without the sugar I normally associate with it. So, I am chugging this cup down when I begin to notice the white wine dryness. I’m still thinking where is the mint. That is when the cheek tingle kicked in. It has staying power. My cheeks tingled long after drinking. The first cup went straight down and immediately I started number two. What I thought was woodsy in the first is now much stronger and it is like apricot without the sweetness, surrounded by the spices. The mint sensation is also amplified. So this cup went straight down as well.
I am left perplexed. I just drank two cups straight down – that means I had to enjoy it, right? Yet, I find I am not craving any more of it. I’ve never had this experience before.
With the remaining leaf I will add sugar or honey and see if additions change my view one way or the other.
I get to be the first to review this. If I have ever had a green Assam before, I don’t recall it. In fact, I have had very, very, few Assams that were made of entire unbroken leaves. So I’m impressed from the start. The dry leaf smells of malt and oat cereal (otherwise known as Cheerios). The wet leaf is vegetal with an ocean breeze freshness and a hint of citrus. Now describing the taste is harder because it reminds me of a memory from when I was 12. Simplified – it reminds me of a fountain that tasted like a fresh mountain stream. Pretty sure it will not evoke the same for you – sorry. It has a touch of astringency and a light amount of bitterness that add to the experience. I also get lemony citrus notes. The aftertaste really lingers with grassy notes. The second mug had even stronger flavors. Especially while hot this had cave notes or sort of mild mushroom. It became more green tea tasting as it cooled. I am pretty certain this would go at least another mug. A neat everyday green.
My Saturday morning restaurant tea. It is pretty funny right now watching the guy server trying to butter up to me because I gave tea to the lady server. He is trying. It is kind of like an agnostic trying to talk Bible with a believer. He doesn’t really ‘get’ the connection. I’m working on him. I think I’ll take some Candy Cane Lane and Sugar Cookie for him to try. He isn’t ready for meat. Right now, he sort of heats the cup but the water is already cooling by the time he gets to the table. Still a pleasant tea for cheap bagged stuff.
Total Tea Girl – the lady server – was swamped but we talked as she ran past the table. She wasn’t feeling well so kind of glad she kept her distance. ;) First time she ran past she said, I just have to say I have been enjoying some amazing teas all week. Specifically she mentioned the Dragon Pearls. The one’s I gave her are good but no where near as good as the Teavivre Premium. I’ll dig through my stash and find her the good stuff.
She also mentioned the Nina’s Earl Grey. She said it was amazing. Her roommate could smell it across the room and asked what she was drinking – nothing, move along nothing to see here. This is not the tea you are looking for. (I sense a disturbance in the force from a pilfering roomie – just guessing)
Talking about all of the teas, and especially some of the green’s (dragon well for one), she commented on how clean and crisp they were. This comment made me very happy.
She told me she lived in China for a while and has been asked to return as an English teacher. Can’t wait to discuss this more in depth with her.
I promised her some lapsang souchong next time, which she has never heard of, and I think she needs to experience golden tips. It was a game changer for me. I’m debating on pu-erh. Ashmanra has much success with it. Since I can’t control the pot, I’m not sure about it yet.