1689 Tasting Notes
I see I never added a note for this one after posting my blog review. I think it is because Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson did such a great job explaining it.
Agreeing with everything she said, I’ll just add, I liked it but don’t ever see me craving it. It tastes like just what it is, a cup of seeds and spices. That is fine. It just isn’t for me.
However, let me point out this is one my wife chose. She was in the tin 3 times before I could get to it for a review. She loves herbals and picked this specifically for the coriander. I tried to get her to review it but she declined.
The Persimmon Tree uses all natural and organic ingredients and my wife loves it. That my friends is why there are a million different blends. Some you love some you don’t. Only about 999, 011 more left before I try them all! I made that number up. I really have no idea how many I’ve tried. Let’s just say a lot.
When I first started drinking green tea powder mixed with milk in the mornings, I would douse it with flavored syrups – vanilla and caramel to be exact. I was buying Cafe al Fresco brand from Walmart. They quit carrying it (though it seemed to sell well – figures). So I bought some Torani brand at twice the cost. It is one of the big name brands but I don’t like it. Later bought some off brand at Dollar Tree. Made it through the bottles but just no.
I gave up and just started doing without syrup. Know what? After a few days I discovered I really like this without additives except the milk and a little sweetener. The taste is mild and not bitter (though I have never tried it without milk). With toast and honey, it makes a good way to ease into my day.
In other exciting news – my youngest son ran down the stairs last night and asked if we smelled smoke. He opened the basement door and immediately we saw smoke. The blower on the furnace may have locked up. Pulled the breakers and we are waiting on a repairman. We tried to find a space heater in town. If we were wanting a bikini, they were readily available. Heaters, not so much. Makes sense, yesterday was the first time it has been above freezing in a month. We had a couple heaters already at home so they kept us toasty last night. My den is pretty cool today. Considering when I was a kid we had an outhouse and had to carry water up the hill from a spring – not going to complain. I remember so many school day mornings, grabbing my clothes and running to the kitchen where the oil heater located and getting dressed with chattering teeth. Feeling thankful today for hot water, plumbing, a well insulated home, and memories of when it wasn’t so easy.
I recently tried the autumn flush from the same estate. They are day and night different. I only thought I knew what Darjeeling looked and tasted like. This one dry has a hay, grass, and orange blossom aroma. The leaf appears more like a green or a white peony. Steeped the liquor is honey yellow with a slight green tint. It certainly has no traits at this point to suggest black tea.
The wet leaf is freshly green and mostly whole leaves. Due to settling there are some large broken pieces but nothing to suggest this is less than top quality.
The wet leaf does have some woodsy muscatel notes to confirm it just might be a black tea after all.
Copying from my blog post concerning the taste: The What-Cha description on the sample label nails this tea, “A brilliant sweet start with a spicy finish.” Attempting to expand on this a little – after the sweetness I catch the first notes of muscatel. It is a light grape leaf like flavor. It fades quickly into a moment of mineral. Just as quickly it moves right into that spicy finish with the leaf taste moving below the spice. The aftertaste lingers well in a sweet fruity note, as just a touch of cheek tingle moves in to further please the senses.
If you find Darjeeling interesting (or if you know almost nothing about them) I highly recommend getting a sample of this one and the autumnal flush to experience the wide range of this tea.
I have never tried straight lemon grass before. Who knew it had a ginger note to the dry scent? Steeped up for 5 minutes, it makes a sunny yellow cup. Its spring in a cup. The aroma is as expected, quite lemony. What I didn’t expect was how pleasant lemon grass would taste all on its own.
Since this is decaf my wife had to try it. I thought it strange because she claims to hate lemons. She says lemongrass is different. Whaaat? ;) All I know is she claimed the rest of the bag for her very own.
I am sitting with a cup of this saying goodbye to Leonard Nimoy. Truly one of the biggest influences of my childhood. If it hadn’t been for algebra, which I could not grasp, I wanted to become an astronomer or work for NASA. Instead, I settled for playing Kerbal Space Program and watching old reruns of Star Trek TOS. It’s NCC-1701 for me. No bloody A, B, C, or D! I don’t know about Mr. Nimoy, but I feel certain Mr. Spock would have enjoyed this tea – or will in a couple centuries. Que spacey music.
I’ve read about marshmallow in teas as an ingredient. I’ve never tried one. This one, marshmallow leaf is the only ingredient. This is a bagged herbal. The bag is unbleached, organic, kosher. The box is 100% recycled material. The tag is staple free. The string is long enough to not cause the tag to be drowned when filling the cup.
Each bag contains 1.5 grams of leaf. I prefer 2g for a cup and 3g for a mug. I opted to use a 6 oz cup. Boiling water and 5 minutes later, I get a sunny yellow cup. The leaf has turned very green and feels squishy like a wet marshmallow.
According to the company description, this uses the leaf of the plant, while the marshmallow as I know it evolved from the root. That explains why the taste is nothing like a classic Stay Puft marshmallow. It is sweet but not overly so. It has an almost minty quality to it. This tastes lightly citrus to me, slightly like lemon. While not what I expected, it is rather tasty.
This is one of a series of five teas inspired by Jane Austen. The tin is attractive and should be useful for something after the tea is gone. Inside are 10 sachets each containing 2 grams of leaf. The leaf appears to be very nice quality – definitely not grocery store fare. The sachet aroma is mostly cinnamon (very pleasant and not over the top), along with a sweet fragrance wrapped around the black tea. This is kind of cherry like and reminds me of my grandfathers pipe tobacco when I was a kid.
A two minute steep produced a nice orange/red brew. Because of the cinnamon, my brain tries to interpret this as chai, but there is no cardamom or other typical chai spices. This is flavored with Marsala wine (no alcohol in the tea).
The taste is really good. At first you catch the cinnamon. This is replaced by a sweetness with a touch of peppery spice. It fades into a flavor that inspires thoughts of cherry wood. I have never tasted Marsala wine, but if it tastes anything like this, I would love it.
A little pricey but I really enjoyed the cup.
Put this leaf in front of me without telling me what it is and I would guess Golden Monkey. Beautiful dark leaf curls and golden tips. The fragrance is malt, and honey, and cocoa. Mmmmm. The brew is ruby/orange. I inhaled malt all the way to my lips. Then I was was hit with a rush of briskness. I did not flinch. Next I noticed how smooth and thick this felt. The taste is similar to the fragrance, though not as intense. This is not bitter. For an Assam, it wasn’t particularly drying. I am highly sensitive to tannins, especially in Assams. I could not drink this regularly on an empty stomach. I did, however, steep it four minutes, so willing to take the blame. A shorter steep might calm it down, though seriously it was pretty smooth after the initial hit. The addition of milk and sweetener might be another route. I just didn’t want any additions messing with it. No, I can’t believe I just wrote that either. The Splenda monkey is currently ashamed of me. He can go fling poo. This is too tasty for additions :) The aftertaste lingers of malt.
My very first ever gyokuro. Know what I love about the reviews for this one? Every one has a very different take on it. Here’s mine – One of the reviews said the leaf looked like confetti. Yeah, that’s it. To me it has a grassy aroma with some citrus notes. When I read the instructions for this tea I thought, man that’s fussy. It requires more leaf and waaaaay cooler temperatures than anything else I recall brewing. As fast as a kettle heats, it is hard to get it right. Then 5 minutes for the first steep? Crazy.
Turns out this is worth the fuss. This is probably too cool for most people’s taste. It is perfect to me. I taste of grass at first. My brain adjusts and then I pick up on citrus. Then cucumber. I love that flavor in a tea so it jumps out at me. Others mentioned this being sweet. I don’t really get that. To me it is savory. Not salty but that sensation. And there is a note that reminds me of dill. There is no bitterness. It is kind of drying. It’s OK because the cucumber and dill linger in the aftertaste. With the next cup it added a touch of earthiness.