1695 Tasting Notes
Like many of you, we have been in the deep freeze this week. This morning the sun was shining and we ventured out for breakfast anyway just to blow the stink off from being cooped up ;) Anyway they were really busy. The manager brought my tea. Typical restaurant version – kind of steaming water in a metal pitcher, a cold cup and a tea bag. Some assembly required. Tea was good but not like usual.
A friend happened in at the same time and I asked him to join us. His 90+ mom was in the hospital and is now back at the nursing home. She has given up. My friend is coming to terms. He has been her care giver for as long as I have known him. He is a good man and a great son. It was sad talking with him but glad I could be an ear today.
The server who loves tea was working the other side of the room. My wife took her the chai I had sacked up for her. She told my wife she starts chemo tomorrow. It brought a flood of thoughts as we just lost my sister-in-law right before Thanksgiving. The server told my wife, so far the jasmine pearls are still her favorite. I don’t know if chemo and caffeine are OK so I may need to hold off any more sacks for a while.
Had a second cup of tea and gave thanks that today we are doing well.
Fixing a cup of this to get me through to suppertime. Cranking out some BTO and REO Speedwagon. These were a couple of my favorites back in the day (when I had hair down to my waist). The music holds up well, better than I have :) Anyway, this smells delicious. I need to add honey to my normal EG and see if it turns creamy nice like this. Delicious. Feeling the need for some Ted Nugent…
Man, did I need caffeine this morning. So of course that means road blocks at every turn. The biggest hurdle was getting the CTC from yesterday out of my teapot. That won’t happen again.
So this smells malty, dry. It smells malty, and a little baked brownies, steeped. It tastes lightly malt and unsweetened chocolate. There is a much desired, by me this morning, briskness to it that starts at the front, early in the sip, and expands around to the sides. It drifts into a sharp finish. Along the way I sense a fruity taste like the Muscat of the Darjeeling I had a couple days ago.
Not a one note tea by any means but not super complex either. Perfect for my first couple cups of the morning.
The dry leaf smells good. The wet leaf smells better. The tea tastes yum! I can taste the caramelized bottom of the cookie from staying in the oven just a minute too long. So homemade. Going with the recommendation by Lupicia I added milk. I also added sweetener because, well, Cookie! This smooths everything out and adds a rich texture to it. This was a fun break. Thanks Stephanie.
Grabbed the gaiwan for some gong fu action. Amanda is a super taster. She tastes cucumber in this. What-Cha even says right on the label tangy cucumber. This is amazingly good, but even gong fu, I am getting sweet buttered corn. I do get passing hits of tangy something. Maybe I need to change my Brita filter or maybe I don’t know what cucumber tastes like. So when Red Lobster throws cucumber on top of my salad, am I tasting cucumber or what ever it is soaked in? I have experienced cucumber as I know it in Teavivre’s silver needle combined with melon notes. That is not what I get here. Amanda, I kneel before you and her super powers (I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy). Seriously, I wish I had your palate and descriptive abilities. Cucumbers or sweet buttered corn, this stuff is awesome.
Let me begin by saying, it is cold here. Negative numbers cold. So I have a box of Swiss Miss Candy Cane and some green tea powder. Hmmmm. Yeah, the idea is a good one, but the reality, not so much. The powder wanted to clump in warm milk. I usually use an ounce of room temperature water and it mixes fine. Maybe the carragean (sp?) in the Swiss Miss caused it to clump. Anyway the peppermint tasted old and the tea was BITTER. Live and learn. On to the next.
Thank you Stephanie for this one. This toucha took me on a wild ride. I used my gaiwan and did 6 cups. It would have gone more. I did not do a rinse – because, lets be honest, I’d just drink it anyway. So the rinse I didn’t do, was breaded deep fried fish and chips meets hazelnut. Yep, that’s what I got and I liked it. Cup two at 10s was bitter spicy barnyard. Almost added sugar or poured it out but did neither. Cup 3 at 5s was spicy, cedar, and underlying leather. Cup 4, 5, 6 @ 10, 12, and 15s, were all similar but each an improvement on the prior. Each mellowed more with the spiciness detaching from the cedar and reattaching on the old book leather. Pu-erh is so much fun!
I am not well versed in Darjeeling tea. That won’t stop me from giving my opinion. The dry scent is a combination of fruity, woodsy, and fall leaf (Muscat?). The brew is bronze/caramel and has a similar aroma to the dry leaf with the addition of a bready note. In sipping this begins fruity and mellow, then swells mid sip to a brisk bite that just as quickly recedes back to fruity and mellow. This is kind of naturally sweet. The aftertaste hangs on. It is fruity, woodsy, and almost malty.
I had no bitterness as prepared. There is a standard amount of dryness. I drank this on an empty stomach and it did not cause me discomfort.
Is this a great Darjeeling? I have no idea. I did enjoy it.
When I opened the sample it was like spring bouquet with cinnamon and clove or maybe cardamom added. I tend to like green oolongs far more than the roasted ones. This is nicely green. The steeped leaf is even more fragrant. What is interesting to me is the first thing I notice when tasting is this is creamy. With the next sip I start thinking creamed corn. Then I notice the floral notes that usually get described as orchid. The aftertaste is leafy, vegetal, and makes me think geraniums. That is my go to descriptor for that green oolong aftertaste. The aftertaste does not drift into latex as with some overpowered teas. I was not disappointed in the taste. For me if it were more floral it would be too much. For me this is the perfect levels of floral and green.