1413 Tasting Notes
Glass of milk – check
Honey multi-grain bagel with cream cheese – check
Grape juice – check
Morning cup of tea – check and double check
Not sure what I did different today but if I would salt this it would taste like movie popcorn. You know the kind with tons of drizzly butter. Oh yeah. As that rush fades a new one begins with luscious fresh green tea notes reminiscent of dragon well. This is good tea. Much love.
I have never seen a Darlene’s Tea Port offering reviewed before – at least not that I recall. This one is old. I found it in the drawer today unopened and thought it needed to see the light of day. This came from Katiek a long time ago. Bad me.
I steeped this 4 minutes. It’s black tea. I knew better. It isn’t bitter but the black tea is pretty assertive with briskness and tongue tingling astringency. Shorter steep next time. There is no passion fruit listed in the ingredients but that is what I am getting in the taste. Along with it is a pepperiness. Not pepper from a shaker but little red peppers from the garden that ought to be adding a bit of heat except they are not. This is spicy tasting but not spicy hot. It is really kind of an interesting tea and currently is $5.49 for 4 ounces. Even old it is way more complex than the price would suggest.
This is so much lighter than I expected. It has some tongue bite which is interesting. I get a light earthiness with what I agree is olive oil notes. In the aftertaste I get hints of malt. As the cup cooled this became far more flavorful to me. It developed more of the traditional Yunnan flavors I expected – honey, grain, and cocoa. An unexpected flavor is grape. It is more the leaf than the fruity berry but it is grape. It reminded me of the lovely Oriental Beauty oolong I drank yesterday mixed with a mild black from Nepal. Maybe this needed more leaf (I used 2 tsp) or a longer steep. I’ll try that with the second cup. Like not love this one – I normally go for subtle but not so much in my Yunnans.
It’s snowing here. Snow? It is spring according to the calendar. Someone should tell nature to knock it off.
Oolongs I like. I am always willing to drink one. On the other hand, I never wake up thinking I need oolong. This one may just be one that might cause that to happen. Seriously.
From the moment I opened the sample I knew this was different. The dry leaf scent is grain and malt. Malt in an oolong, who knew? The leaf looks like Bai Mu Dan but darker. The wet leaf scent is dry forest leaves and malt. The liquor is deep honey colored.
The taste is wonderful honey soaked in malt. There is a light earthiness with some fruit and floral notes. This is not strongly geranium floral like most green oolongs and it is definitely not roasty tasting. It reminds me as much of Bai Mu Dan as anything. This is not so subtle that you have to search flavors out but it it is not overly anything either like I generally find in oolong.
Reading through some of the tasting notes, I think how you feel about this will depend as much on how you feel about oolong as anything. Those of us who don’t crave oolong seem to view this very favorably. Count me as impressed.
I started today by giving the screen in my press a thorough scrubbing. I didn’t realize how long I had let it go. It could use an overnight soak to get the rest of the stains out but it will do as is for now. Heated extra water for a bowl of brown rice. Ended up with about 16 oz water left for the press. I used yesterday’s leaf. Steeped 15 seconds – not 4 minutes like yesterday. I filled two cups and based on the strength of the tea this will go more, maybe many more. I had 24 oz yesterday. The brew was beautiful burgundy colored. There are no rough edges in this cup. It is leather and honey, along with what I am still calling wood although who ever updated the product info (Teavivre?) called it loam and orchids. While the leaf in the press has a barnyard scent, there is nothing even close to that in the cup. When you pay attention to what you are doing this is really good. Now I feel comfortable checking recommend.
Flavors: Honey, Leather, Wood
So I think my tea tasting of this one is plagued or something. I used the whole sample – something I almost never do – I prepared this in a 12 oz mug and the sample was mostly one intact piece. I should have used half. Then I went with the website directions instead of the label. 3-10 minutes is way too long for the steep. I went with 4. I had to add sweetener, something I would eventually do anyway, but it was necessary here to try and tame the harsh edges. The second mug I tried to do a 15 second steep but I haven’t soaked my press screen in a while and when I neglect doing so it develops a tea resin build that makes the holes in the screen so small it creates a vacuum and won’t pour properly. So once I realized what was happening I pushed the plunger down on the press breaking the seal and so the steep ended up being about 30 seconds. The brew is dark. Not quite molasses but close. At least the taste is not harsh. Now I can tell this is leather and wood with cinnamon notes. It is not bitter or astringent. Pleasant, drinkable, but I know it is capable of better. Later I may try using the leaves again as they show no sign of giving up. If all else fails I have another sample. Right now it reminds me of the cute little straight ripened toucha. I prefer the rose one as I think the rose knocks the rough edges off the cup without really adding any flavor.
Just got home from watching The Muppets Most Wanted. Many of the reviews of it are like the reviews for this tea. Are either the movie or the tea going to change your life forever? Of course not but I left feeling good. I laughed out loud more than a few times. As we left I overheard kids telling their moms they loved the movie. What better review do you need? This tea is pleasant and fruity. It makes me smile. Nough said.