1696 Tasting Notes
It’s raining here today and in the low 40’s. That is kind of achy weather. So pretending it is sunny and mid 70’s, I finally opened up this sample. Right from the start this smells wonderfully peachy – very natural. I enjoyed reading several of the reviews and what they did or did not detect. I am not sure how to account for all the differences. For me, fixed western mug style, I got a wonderful cup of light peach tea. I am not sure I detect the green tea in the first cup. If I did not know it was scented with jasmine, I don’t know if I could have made that connection. It bounced around from kind of vanilla, to maybe caramel, then into a wine like flavor, and back to peach. All of it was mellow and without bitterness. There is a slight amount of astringency in the form of cheek tingle. On the second mug I got distracted by shiny objects and oversteeped. This produced a mug with a lot of green tea flavor along with more astringency but I like that in a green. The jasmine was far in the background. The peach was light but still present. Very different than the first and still a solid mug. As a peach tea this is pretty good though I have to admit to preferring the Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls.
I really enjoyed this tea. It has a lot going for it. Problem is, again today, my time with it was continuously met with interruptions. I am going to set the rest of this sample back and wait until I have the house to myself. It seems to attract crowds. That would be fine if they would taste the tea with me. It is amusing and annoying at the same time. What do you mean I sound grumpy? sigh. Going to my happy place… oh wait, its fully occupied…. Arrrrrggghhh! ;)
Had trouble getting to sleep last night. Got up at 4 am. Had my morning green tea powder. Not going to make it… must have bergamot. Not just any Earl Grey will do. I need one that fights back enough to wake me up with out scaring the puddin’ out of me. Ahmad comfort tea to the rescue. I could use the more fragrant scent of Nina’s today, however I really need the cheek grabbing power of Ahmad’s Ceylon base. Astringency rescue me. Going to be a long day.
I really tried to do a serious review of this one today. I already was frustrated and had a headache from dealing with govt bureaucracy. Safety tip – don’t ever lose access to the email address you login with because you become trapped in an alternate reality without it. There is no option to change your email without your email – what? Exactly.
So then I prepare this tea, needing its healing superpowers. Unfortunately (and happily), my grown son pops in and starts going through my stash. I offer him some but he takes a sip and says not bad for green tea and then returns to asking, ’What’s this?’ to everything he picks up. During his constant chatter, my wife pops in and starts her own chatter about the mail, or a sewing project, or maybe how I don’t listen. I’m not really sure, as there were too many words in the room. Yeah, the headache is not going away :)
I’ll try again tomorrow. What I can say is I think this is the same basic type Vietnam tea that I love scented with lotus blossoms. Side by side they looked identical. Of course this one is an unscented tea. The flavor is very mellow, lightly vegetal, slightly sweet, with a hint of smoke. Pretty sure I really like it. Tune in tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel.
So after my morning green tea frappe I decided to grab yesterday’s leaf for a second cup of dark tea. I steep about 3 minutes. The color is a little lighter than yesterday (caramel today – orange yesterday). The flavor is still spot on, except I am enjoying it even more so. The musty/dusty top flavor rests on top of a stone kind of taste. Beneath that is a sweet fruitiness. This is definitely wonderfully earthy. Another thing that I notice this morning is how syrupy thick this feels. Maybe my tastebuds are just ready and primed today or more likely I should have waited before posting yesterday’s review. What a good start to my day. I’m two for two!
Looks like Riimu and I are the only two brave enough to give this a go on Steepster. It is my first glass almost every morning. Today was different though. Started with my usual frappe – 1 tsp green tea powder, 12 oz of 2% milk, and a small splash each of vanilla and caramel sugar free syrup. Then I toasted a bagel and smeared cream cheese. Here is where it turns different. Looking at the bagel, I thought I’d rather have had my usual wheat toast and honey, but since it was fixed, I just squeezed the little plastic bear over the cream cheese. I kind of thought, this can’t turn out well. I thought wrong. The strange combination brought the green tea powder to life. It tasted the most like fresh green leaves of any time I have made this before. One morning I should try dissolving the honey directly in the frappe and see what happens.
Steepster is behaving badly today.
Dark Tea! I haven’t had dark tea in a long time. This one dry has an aroma of old damp logs decaying on the forest floor. It is like the log was partially on fire the day before and the rain put out the fire and washed away the smoky ash before I stumbled upon it. Brewed up Western mug style this is orange tinted. The cup smells musty/dusty but not off in any way. The taste is old damp cedar with spicy undertones. I catch some sense of charcoal as I exhale. The earthy aftertaste lingers. I hope to try multiple steeps next time but today I a lucky I finally got to have one cup. Rather enjoyed it.
Remember me telling you about the ‘total tea girl’ server at our Saturday breakfast? As I crossed the river this morning, I remembered I did not pack tea as I promised. D’oh! Anyway our server today (a guy) brought my extremely preheated mug and a pot of already brewing tea to my table. I told him I was impressed. As he walked away I said to my wife, Steph must be rubbing off on the other servers. I took a sip and went Mmmmmm. Later total tea girl stopped by the table, I mentioned the morning cup. She told me when she saw us come in she started heating the mug. She added the other server asked her how come she made better tips than him. She told him it is because she goes the extra mile. When the guy came back to check on us, I explained to him how it really did make a difference. Progress has been made. Let’s see if it sticks. Now I need to pack up some teas and set it with the Saturday coupons. For cheap tea, when prepared going the extra mile, this stuff is pretty darn tasty.