28 Tasting Notes
I FINALLY …am the proud owner of some Samovar leaf. I was so excited to get my order this week – I checked the tracking info a million times yesterday morning to make sure it was being delivered… but by the time I got home to meet my little bundle of joy, cruel fate had decided to give me the beginnings of a crappy head cold. I couldn’t wait, and brewed up a cup of this anyway. :/
A scant 2 tablespoons was about 5g, used about 6oz water.
Well. I tasted sweet, and creaminess, and a hint of warm starchiness.
That was about it.
Anyway, I resteeped for a total of 3 times, enjoying each cup, but I’m sure there’s more to it than I was tasting. I’ll have to wait until my stuffy, runny nose has cleared up to try this again. Can’t wait!
My first second-steep! (If that makes any sense). Woke up late. Eyed the sodden leaf still clinging to the teapot from last night’s kai hua escapade. Didn’t really want to wash the pot out or rummage to find a new leaf. Decided I could live with being a little disappointed in myself by steeping the soggy mess a second time, 10 or so hours later. It would be it’s own tiny adventure. My first second-steep. I held my head high as I poured my tea into a tumbler.
No I didn’t. It’s a Monday for ****sakes. But it was still buttery and green and hinting of sweet, if not a little subdued all around. I don’t blame the tea though, it is Monday afterall.
Edit: Sipping this cold now. Ack. A little bitter. A little more grassy. Might pour this over ice and see if I can find a dab of honey…
I’ve got to agree with everyone that’s put this tea experience in between a green and white. I was actually tempted to steep it longer than 3 minutes because it was so pale in color, but it does just fine here. I really wasn’t in the mood for any of the many flavored teas in my stash, and I’m really glad I chose this instead. It’s so slightly sweet, with a very pleasant buttery greenness to it, but it’s lighter and not as drying as I’ve found most of my greens to be. A very enjoyable, comforting Sunday night cuppa.
If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain…
…or, well – nevermind the rain. If you like pina coladas, you’ll probably like 52teas take on them. Dry, the leaf hits you with pineapple – good pineapple (not runts-style fake fruitiness), then boozy rummy goodness all backed up by creamy coconut.
Pouring proved to be a bit of a problem as my coil-filter teapot was much too effective at holding back the big bits of honeybush, while clogging the spout and allowing some tiny bits to flow through. A second strain in the quickly rinsed pot rectifies all. I really like this pot. That’s the first time it’s experienced such a dilemma. Hmm.
Steeped and piping hot, I think the honeybush comes forward first (this is my first honeybush, but since my first-sip impression wasn’t pineapple, rum, or coconut, by brilliant deduction I assume it’s the honeybush).
As it cools, the pineapple is mellow-sweet and the coconut stays close on it’s heels, rounding out the flavors in my mouth. There’s a slight drying in the back of my throat and down the middle of my tongue, but it’s not enough to be unpleasant.
A splash of cream (yup, conveniently I have an open carton of heavy whipping cream – go big or go home) really takes this to the next pina colada level. Creamy, pineappley, coconutty goodness, and if I swish, is that caramelly sweet backdrop perhaps rum?
Though a bit too sweet to use as an everyday-tea, this will come in handy as a dessert stand-in. Kudos 52teas! (by the by, i just looked up the rest of the lyrics to Jimmy Buffet’s Escape (the pina colada song) – oh sad. and here i thought it was just about innocently throwing back a few blended beverages. boo. bad, jimmy. naughty naughty.)
Ehh…So I’m traveling for work and all that’s here is a local grocery store with the likes of Lipton, Tetley, and a few Stash selections. I was feeling bergamot, and though it’s a bit generic, the bergamot is actually a bit more present in a citrusy way than I’m used to. This bagged Stash stuff isn’t so bad in a pinch. Now so long as I don’t get cancer from nuking my styrofoam-ish cup of water to boiling, it’ll be a total WIN!
Was completely out of it this morning but didn’t think I could handle a caffeine punch to the head, so I swapped my morning cup of coffee for some tea. This was all I had at work. A little weak (but that’s 1 bag for 12oz water) and the sage isn’t really working for me today, but it shook some of the fog off and was gentler than a coffee jolt. Eeh.
I should preface this by saying that the way I’m use to getting chai is as a chai latte from the likes of *bucks and I’m pretty sure they use some sort of a mix instead of whipping out a teapot and loose leaf on the spot. :P So when I looked in my tea drawer and saw this in there, I thought I’d try it and go legit.
Out of the bag I get a spicy-spice smell more than a hot-spice smell. Cardamom, cinnamon, maybe the almond or cocoa in the background and then something that smells like whole peppercorns (versus the sharp peppery smell of cracked or ground pepper). Not bad.
11/2 teaspoons for about… 9-10 oz water? I should make a habit of measuring. Anyway, this steeps up with a nice spiciness filling the kitchen, and I’m kind of jazzed about trying something new. 4 minutes are up. The game plan is to try this on it’s own and then add dairy to mimic my lattes. Decant. Sniff. Sip.
For all the spicy-spice I smelled, I’m totally shocked at how the hot-spice grabs the back of my throat. I almost choked in surprise. I guess that’s where the cayenne was hiding. Of all the dried peppers I cook with, my ground cayenne adds more heat than any actual flavor in my opinion. It’s the case here too, I feel. Swishing, I get a tingliness at the back of my throat and sides of my tongue from the pepper, but the tea is there as a definite foundation- which I can appreciate. Sip. A swirl of spices keeps me interested. I close my eyes and try to slowly find and hold onto each individual spice, but …there’s something else here too. What is that??
Okay, so now I add a little half & half and a splash of skim milk. The skim is way too thin for a creamy mouthfeel. Sip. Okay, so now I add a lot more half & half and another splash of skim. Thaaats about right. Half tea/half dairy? Sipping now, the pepper is still there but much calmer now that my milk is beating the capsicum into submission. :) The cinnamon and cardamom are still there, more distinct now that the pepper isn’t in the way, and if I concentrate I can kind of find the cocoa lingering here and there, but never long enough for me to get a hold of it. What has rushed to the forefront of my tastebuds, however, is that taste . What is that?? I glance at the ingredients list.
I blame my mother for this. She gets heartburn from ginger and never used it when she cooked for me when I was a kid. So now anytime I get a load of ginger in my mouth, my tastebuds are beset with this alien taste they have no idea how to cope with and they then proceed to throw a small tantrum. Now anytime I take a sip, all I can register is ginger! ginger! ginger!
Well, show’s over kids. Mayan chocolate chai goes back in the drawer for now. Perhaps I’ll pull it out again another day when I feel up to the challenge of acquiring a taste for this stuff they call ginger.
Whoa! Okay Steepsterites, explain this one to me: I made an 18oz pot of this, steeped for 5 minutes, then promptly poured into 2 separate mugs – one big pour for each mug, then a little bit here and there to top off each evenly. One mug (mine, lucky me!) tasted as I think it should – the other (my unfortunate bf’s) is waaaay too bitter to choke down. …What happened??!? As a side note, the roads in MN are so bad today, my boss called me this AM and told me to stay off the roads and “work from home”. I can’t believe I’m out of school and still getting snow days!!! :D
Woke up and decided to deal with being 10min late to work so I could make this in the AM before my drive. Then thought I’d make it into a latte (as per 52teas recipe) thinking that the only thing better than eating your dessert before dinner is eating dessert first thing in the morning before any meals have been had. What’s even better is that although my tire blew out on the interstate when my gas tank was on E and I had to wait an hour and a half to get my tire changed with my car off for fear of running out of gas and then really looking like an idiot (and hey, it’s freezing rain outside – no I’m not going out to change it myself), I got to sit and smugly wait in my car, sipping my dessert before I even had breakfast. I highly recommend it. :)
This is my first pu’erh. I didn’t prepare it, but I think it went something like 3 little nests for about 18oz water. I don’t know if the bundles were broken up. Should you break them up before you steep? Either way, this both smelled and tasted like dirty plant to me. Wait. I mean: “I detected earthy vegetal notes”. When I stared into my cup, it was dark. Almost an inky type of dark. A dirty dark. Should it look like that? Hmm. Maybe there were too many nests used? I think the tin says 1 nest for 2-3 cups of water. Do they mean 8oz measuring cups or 6oz standard drinking cups? Either way, I’m guessing too many nests. People like pu’erh, and I doubt it’s because it tastes like a dirty plant. I’ll have to play with this on my own. Stay tuned.