1689 Tasting Notes
The leaf is intact and looks very dry and brittle. The silvery buds are neatly furry. Once water hits it, this becomes nicely aromatic, fresh, and green. It filled my little press carafe with hanging leaf. The brew is a golden color and very clear.
The taste can’t be compared to Chinese white peony or especially silver needle. Rather than melon and cucumber, this is woodsy and fruity. It has more in common with Darjeeling or obviously Nepali black tea than it does the aforementioned whites.
Being a white tea it is much more subtle than a black, so even that comparison fails. It struck me as crisp, clean, with a light mineral feel. No bitterness, but a little dryness.
Cup two was a warmer cup. Less mineral. Slightly sweeter. To me it edged on mushroom while hot, then turning more fruity as it cooled.
This is listed as an everyday white. It certainly works very well for everyday, with enough complexity to amuse you when you want to contemplate the cup.
I made a mistake with this one. I read the ingredient list before tasting it – vanilla, bergamot, jasmine – kind of a wow in my head. So I had already made up my mind what this would taste like. The cup itself is a ruby orange brew. It has a light vanilla scent. The taste is light vanilla with a pleasant black base. It is probably Ceylon but has no bitterness. It is kind of drying so have it with a snack. I had no desire to add sweetener. The bergamot is a very light touch and only serves to round out the cup. Sounds great, but I found myself disappointed searching for the jasmine. I just cannot pull it out of the blend. Had I not read the ingredients I would have accepted this as a nice vanilla black tea with just a hint of citrus. Maybe if I had this without the jasmine to compare, it would become obvious what it adds. I hat when your brain over-analyzes instead of just enjoys.
Yes, I know it’s fall. I drink iced tea all year round, just as I do with hot tea. This one comes in paper pyramid sachets. Each sachet makes one quart. Mellow Monk says this is a good cold brew candidate. This blend apparently won first place in the North American Tea Competition in its category in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Kind of impressive.
I used two sachets with two quarts of cool filtered water, then placed the pitcher in the fridge and walked away. Five hours later I poured my first glass. The roasting is similar in intensity to the few genmaichas I have tried. The taste is very nutty just as Mellow Monk said. I have never had a hickory nut so I can’t confirm it as the specific type. No bitterness. It is a little drying at this point. Very different.
On my blog I mentioned how green tea was as popular as black tea in the south prior to the world wars. Of course that means sweet tea. So I added sweetener to the glass. It was very good this way.
24 hours later I poured a second glass. This has really matured. The flavors are deeper with no rough edges. Deep nutty goodness. I had no desire to add sweetener. I finished the glass with a lunchmeat sandwich with jalapeno ketchup. The tea stood up to the sandwich with no effort.
If you like the roasted taste of hojicha and are looking for something unique then this is a real treat.
Thursday is shopping day. My grown son lives next door and he often goes with us.Today my wife and son decided they were going to die if they didn’t stop at Starbucks. I despise even the smell of coffee. I find the baristas don’t understand tea well enough to order hot tea and besides I am not a big fan of most of their offerings. Bored with green tea frap. My son suggested pumpkin spice without the coffee. Instead I opted to have them make a pumpkin spice frappuccino with matcha. Everyone including the barista flinched. What do they know, they’re coffee people.
In fact it was absolutely delicious. I think I have a new drink for the next month or so. It was made with 2% milk and half the pumps of syrup. For once they actually listened on the syrup. The matcha mixed seamlessly with the pumpkin and spices. It was almost dead on to biting in to cold pumpkin pie as my family always makes it.
Looking for something new? Give it a try and see what you think.
What a cool and interesting tea! Had I not read it was a Kenya white, I would have believed it was a Yunnan Dian Hong. The leaf is absolutely spectacular. The nose is caramel and malt with a scent that reminds me of corn growing in the field. The first cup is all malt and caramel deliciousness. In the second cup the malt steps way back with the caramel right in front. The corn type grain moves front and center. The aftertaste which was malt and caramel, now has a floral air that is not over the top. It is pleasant. I cannot associate it with a know scent but definitely floral. This is worthy of your investigation if you were planning an order while the sale is going on. Almost everything from What-Cha has been excellent.
Sitting in Sbux downloading an update for ITunes because my phone won’t sync to my laptop. I pretty much dislike Apple products. They are overly complicated for even simple tasks and the file system is intentionally cryptic. Give me open source anytime. While I watch the gauge spin and nothing is happening, I am sipping a green tea frappuccino. 2% milk but they say they don’t have sugar free syrup – why not? I had them cut way back on the syrup and its still very sweet. I may kick the sugar monkey off my back yet.
I wish I had read Stephanie’s review just before preparing this one. I used boiling water per the label instructions. The first cup I went one minute. The color was light caramel and the taste was like sipping water poured over stones, with a light jasmine note up front. The second cup, also boiling, at two minutes was bright orange. Wow, the young raw leaf had a strong bite. I wish I had used cooler water. The liquor is almost syrupy, including sticky lips. The taste is nutty, and vegetal, with a nice floral jasmine that I think is more aroma than taste. This had an interesting throat warming sensation that was not the hot liquid or a spiciness. Can’t explain it better. Except for the bitterness, that I ended up taming with sweetener, this is a really interesting cup. Cup three was very similar. Next time this gets cooler water to hold down the bite. Otherwise really good.
Stephanie, I haven’t forgotten you – just can’t stay home long enough to get a package wrapped and out. I will try hard to get it done this week.