980 Tasting Notes
Backlogging from yesterday – I seem to be making a habit of this tea. Pretty cool for a tea that I almost didn’t take a second sip of. It has got me wondering, if I use cooler temps and shorter steeps, like I use on this, on blacks from other suppliers – how would I like the results. Hmmm.
2 minute steep. Smoke on the Water (live) blasting. I’m ready. I love the dark chocolate smell of the dry leaf. The wet leaf has a good black tea scent but is slightly smoky, and I am nervous. This is my third time brewing this. The first time, I greatly disliked the first cup (ok I hated it) and loved the 2nd and 3rd. The second time, I tolerated the first cup. Today I get it. I can honestly say I am enjoying this. Smoke is still the big flavor, but there are a lot of other interesting things going on here. So much different than my first impression. Lighter. Smoother. Before finishing the cup I have already shifted gears and am listening to Emmy Lou Harris – Smoke along the tracks, off the live at the Ryman CD. Good fit. Really glad I didn’t have to play the Platters – Smoke gets in your eyes. Ha. Ready to commit and up the rating.
Back logging – It is 56 degrees with a tornado warning this morning. Going to be in the teens and snowing tonight. Crazy. Outside my window are billowing black clouds, a vivid lightning show, and a torrential downpour. The power of nature is awesome. I think cranking REO’s live version of Ridin’ The Storm Out seems appropriate. To go with it, I picked this very delicate tea as it represents just the opposite of the storm. The day holds in the one hand unflinching wrath, and in the other peace and grace. I choose grace. Wonderful cucumber/melon notes in this cup. Excellent choice!
Update – the storm passed with no reports of serious damage. We were without power for a few hours but all is well. Ordered pizza with family, then went to praise band practice so I never had time to post yesterday.
Sip down. Used a little more leaf than normal. Steep 1 minute. Oh my goodness is this hitting the spot today. I cannot believe my tastes have changed so much that I would ever say that about a Japanese green. It used to be the bane of my tea existence. What’s more, Bancha is supposed to be a people’s tea – of a lower grade than Sencha. I guess I am just a peasant at heart because this is wonderful.
Thank you TeaEqualsBliss, I would never have tried this on my own. I intend to re-steep this the rest of the work day.
I cannot remember the last time I had this one. Tagless bagged version. Over 3g in each bag. I do recall this used to make a very stout cup. I steeped for 3 minutes, and added a bit of sweetener to the cup. The past 6 months have been a joy ride of one fabulous tea after another and just for giggles I wanted to go back and see how this one stood up to the competition. Unfortunately, it has been in the cupboard way too long. The sparkle is gone. It’s not brisk. It’s just astringent. It still smells wonderful but the taste is flat. As it cools it improves but just not enough. I hate wasting tea. The flower bed will love it I guess.
Shared with a co-worker. He loves this. He said it is the first tea I have shared with him that he would actually buy. So I went looking and discovered Zoom Dweebies Tea Bar has apparently become 52Teas and Man Teas. You all probably knew that. I am so last year. Haven’t checked yet to see if this is still available through 52teas.
This kept calling me yesterday. I was right to wait. Perfect sip on this cold day.
2 days ago it was sunny and in the low 60’s. Today it is 15 with a wind chill below zero. Yesterday, I fixed another cup of this at work without realizing it was nearly quitting time. I left about a third of a cup. It is really cold in my office. Picked up the cup to rinse this morning. It was as cold as if it were iced. So… I took a swig. This is really good iced – or nearly so. I need to fix something hot now, but this was tasty.
Steeped per instructions printed on label. I don’t remember the last time I had rooibus. I have never had honeybush before, which is also in here. I looked at the dry leaf and wondered, am I supposed to drink this or eat it? Whole walnuts, raisins, pieces of carrot in the mix. The leaf (bark, whatever rooibus and honeybush are) looks kind of like redwood chips. The steeping pot smells awesome. This would make a great potpourri if it isn’t tasty.
In the pot this is murky, reddish brown, and mysterious. The cup smells kind of rooibus but with the spices it takes on more of a cherry aroma. I steep 9 minutes and there is no bitterness, and nothing harsh. No one flavor really jumps out. All of this mixes together really well. The rooibus is tamed, so it is not the horse stall straw taste I normally associate it with. I can’t say anything in this makes me think carrot cake other than the label. That being said, the aroma is wonderful. The taste is solid and well thought out. Normally when there is this many ingredients (11 listed) I find it over done, but that isn’t the case here. This is an excellently flavored rooibus. Hey, and the after cup aroma is amazing as well. The second cup was just as tasty as the first.
A serious thank you TeaEqualsBliss for sharing this sample. I can’t believe I am about to give a rooibus a 90+ rating.
The temperature is going to drop all day and it is starting to snow. Stupid winter. I needed to feel all warm and fuzzy so I grabbed this. My bagged Cheapster Steepster offering of the day. Steeped 2 ½ minutes in boiling water. Almost just left the bag in for old times sake. Ha.
Constant Comment introduced me to tea beyond Lipton. This tea started my lifelong addiction. Yes, the brew is a bit murky. Yes, there is usually an oil slick floating on the surface from the bergamot, but I love it so. It just smells so good. It doesn’t matter how many exotic teas I might be fortunate enough to sample, whenever I sit down with a cup of this dust in a bag, I am home. Thank you Bigelow for starting me on this journey.