1696 Tasting Notes
So in the last few days I have survived preparing my taxes, fixing a candlelight steak dinner for my wife on Valentine’s Day. Yes the smoke detectors were going off during the meal as apparently stove top iron grills smoke – a lot. Later it snowed like mad. Very little stuck but looked near white out at times. This morning the fog was extremely thick. The worse part of the weekend is my frother suddenly stopped working. I think the batteries are too big around to fit properly. If different batteries don’t get it up and running I will immediately order a new one. I need my morning froth.
None of that has anything to do with this tea. 3Leaf blends their own flavored matcha and hot chocolate. They also have a select amount of loose leaf. Furry Peak is a Mao Feng. The leaf is really dark with light green and yellow streaks. It is covered in fine hair. Dry scent is grassy, ocean, and malt. Once steeped the aroma becomes a wonderfully hefty umami. I just want to get a fork and eat the soft delicate spring green leaves. The brew is green tinted yellow. The taste is fresh, crisp, and lightly grassy, with a mild clean bite. Seems far more savory than sweet to me, but I have no desire to mess with this beautiful cup by adding anything to it. If you are a Mao Feng fan, this is worth considering.
I feel like I have too many things going at once and I am not doing any of them justice. I’d give you a list but I’m sure you have your own. Tea is on the list. I don’t seem to have time to drink just for the enjoyment much less serious meditation on the cup for reviews. With that in mind, I have been enjoying the alternative brewing methods that have come my way lately. Of these Pique tea is the simplest and most convenient. Cut the individual serving packet open. Pour the crystals in the mug. Add hot water (or add to cold bottled water). Drink. Except for RTD there is not a simpler method out there. Unlike almost all bottled RTD there are no piles of sugar added. Pique says they use only organic whole leaf to brew their tea before crystallizing it. While it is essentially instant tea, it is unlike anything remotely instant I’ve had before.
This is a scented green made with jasmine blossoms (not flavored). It has a very natural jasmine fragrance. The brew is golden in color. The taste is sweet, floral, jasmine. It is not overly intense but definitely not a wall flower. If you want a mellower cup add more water. The green tea jumps forth halfway in the sip and finishes with a clean bite. The aftertaste is sweet, grassy, and lingering.
This is really pretty good. Better than any bagged jasmine I’ve had. As good as many loose jasmines I’ve tried. The however here is if you are accustomed to the higher quality loose leaf, the crystallization process does seem to scoop some of the nuances out of the middle of the sip. If you need something for everyday on the go drinking, or a convenient fast way to have tea in the office, in my opinion this would be a solid one to try.
It snowing. I hate snow. Its cold. I hate cold. OK, maybe hate is too strong a word. I confess to being very ready for spring, though our winter hasn’t been that bad. It just feels forever since I was able to sit on my porch, at dawn, with a cup of tea, sipping, while the world wakes up. So here I sit instead, in my den, dreaming of sunshine.
On to tea – I grabbed this one today because… well, because. The box says use boiling water. I didn’t. It said to steep 3 minutes. I was typing and went 4 minutes. My opinion might be stronger if I followed directions.
I like these infusers. They are great for the lazies. I just didn’t feel like messing with the pot today.
The tea is a delicate green color. It is like a white tea in that respect – you look at the cup and wonder if you made it correctly (of course I didn’t – but you know what I mean). Dry it had a light grassy scent. Brewed, I’m not getting much of any scent. The taste is delicate. It is quite grassy, just very light. There is also a citrus like bite that gives it character.
I would never guess this is a Darjeeling green. It reminds me of Tazo green tea (but lighter) which I believe is a sencha. It has a sweet grassy aftertaste.
I did add sweetener halfway through the cup – my recommendation is don’t. It takes sweetening fine but tastes better without it. Take that Splenda monkey.
I haven’t had this one in about 8 months according to my tasting notes. It is really inexpensive. I have been drinking mostly higher dollar stuff since last time. I was a little concerned I might not like this anymore. Not a problem. It is still really tasty as a latte. Nice light green tea taste with a nutmeg spice note. Doesn’t have the deep green color of expensive powder. For everyday, lightly sweetened, with frothed milk, use, it is still a good budget conscious choice.
Pique Tea Earl Grey comes in individual serving packets. There website says they use organic whole leaf teas to brew the tea, then they turn it into crystals. I’m open to trying about anything tea related. My fear was this would be similar to the Nestea I drank in my misspent youth. I promise you, this tastes nothing like that stuff.
I used 8 oz of 205F water. The crystals dissolved immediately without the need for a spoon. The color was a beautiful Burgundy. Just a light bergamot fragrance. The taste was far more citrusy than I expected. What impressed me most was I could tell they used a Ceylon base. It has that brisk bite of clean almost tart astringency that I crave in my Earl. How they managed this I have no idea.
While sipping the cup I hit upon an idea to test the limits of the crystals. I grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and added the contents of a packet. Replaced the lid and shook the bottle. After a few moments I had an icy cold bottle of Earl Grey. It was a 12oz bottle but really didn’t seem weak.
I look forward to trying their unflavored teas to see if they capture the taste correctly. For now, I’ll say this Earl Grey was extremely convenient especially for on the go drinking and I thought it tasty both hot and cold.
Jin Jun Mei… Need I say more?
OK, I will. Dry leaf scent is malt and brownies. The steeped leaf aroma is honey and molasses. The brew is a deep reddish brown. It tastes of honey and malt with hints of sweet potato. I notice a crisp briskness running through the sip but it stays out of the limelight. I also thought it neat that the more I sipped, the more I caught a citrus type fruitiness. This is a pretty solid example of the type.
Had this yesterday. It was so good. Having it again today with cold milk and a little Splenda, frothed until the straw stands in the cup. Earthy, roasty, mountain stream stones. Definitely one of my personal favorites from Red Leaf. Not sure if this is helping cure the stomach virus i’m battling but it sure taste yummy.
This may turn out to be a mistake but I don’t even care. My wife shared her stomach virus with me and now I am trying very hard to keep lots of fluids in me. Yesterday I was too sick to care but today I need my morning matcha and cold milk. This one has a very unusual flavor that is perfect today. Its almost earthy but probably more nutty and roasted. I read Lion’s review and have to agree it has a stone flavor. Really good this morning.
I tend to love just about everything. One that I have so far hated and avoided is lavender. I can’t stand the smell of the actual flower and find it is soapy perfume in tea – until now. This is one of the blends included in Petit Teas Opulence Variety Pack.
When I opened the infuser package, I could smell the lavender and it was a bit soapy but not in an overwhelming sense. Steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes in 195F water. The liquor is lightly colored green with a bit of yellow tint. To look at it is one of those cups you think won’t have any flavor. The scent is lightly floral, sweet, and not offensive.
I took my first sip, and batted my eyes because I’m momentarily confused. Quickly took another sip. This I am actually enjoying. The flavor is kind of midway between a lotus (that I love) and a light jasmine. The green tea is what sets it apart and probably why it reminds me of lotus. It quickly rises mid sip with a kind of earthy presence and pushes through holding its own until the end. Does not need sweetened. In fact that just muddies the cup.
I once hated jasmine until I experienced it blended correctly. That is the same feeling I had with this one. Good job Petit Tea!
I don’t know about all of you, but I don’t own a scale. I just scoop out what seems appropriate at the time and go with it. The danger of that is that with time my scooped amount gets bigger and bigger. That becomes more obvious when you use a tea like this that come prepackaged in a single serving bag. I poured it out and looked in the bag, wondering where’s the rest of it. However -
The dry leaf smelled like a fresh uncut field. Alive and green. Steeped at 185F for 2 minutes. This is a Chinese green tea but the aroma reminded me so much of a high mountain Taiwanese oolong. It tastes even better. So sweet and floral, yet no where near perfumey. There is a cleansing bite that runs through the whole sip. Towards the end it almost hits metallic but draws back before crossing the line. Starts feeling thick like milk towards the end of the sip.
Really liked this one.