265 Tasting Notes
In an effort to stay away from a) green teas, b) flavoured teas and most especially c) fruit-flavoured green teas, I ended up drinking this one tonight – and hallelujah, I’ve finally ended up with a tea that I really wanted to keep drinking.
The last Ti Kuan Yin I had was looked greener and tasted grassier than this, but that’s really not a criticism, just an observation. These leaves produce a golden liquor with that distinctive strong smoky taste, which leaves the barest hint of astringency on the tongue. As Ti Kuan Yins go, this is a good one.
I should probably stop buying fruit-flavoured green teas. They almost always disappoint me. The descriptions always make me think they should taste so good, and then I do taste them and… sigh
The leaves were very encouraging. They have pretty red bits all through them, and there was a strong aroma of apples as soon as I opened the packet. The aroma dissipated a lot in the brewed tea, so by the time I came to drink it there was only a faint aroma left. Then I tasted it and discovered the main problem with this tea: I can’t taste the fruit in it at all. The flavour is not quite that of unadulterated green tea, but that something else is so indistinct that the only reason I know it’s meant to be apples is because that’s what it says on the packet.
If they’d managed to translate a little of that fabulous apple aroma from the dry leaves into the taste of the brew, this might just have been a fabulous tea. As it is, meh.
Last week someone mentioned wanting to start a blueberry blitz, and since I’ve never had a blueberry tea before I thought that now might be a good time to try one. The manufacturers claim that this tea is exceptionally high in antioxidants since it is 37% actual blueberries, so that’s another good reason to try it today, since RL has been knocking me around a bit over the past few days and I’m still feeling a bit fragile.
The spearmint dominates the aroma of the dry leaves, which is fine, except that I was hoping for more immediate evidence of the presence of all those blueberries. The tea brews up into a medium brown liquor, and after ten minutes’ steeping – the required time to properly rehydrate the blueberries – the smell of the spearmint was a lot less obvious. The spearmint dominates the flavour initially, too, which is mostly okay since I like the taste of spearmint. Actually, it reminded me a little of Adagio’s Foxtrot at this point. As I continued to drink and the tea cooled a bit more I started to get a hint of blueberry in the taste, and by the time I got to the bottom of the cup there was a definite berry aftertaste going on.
Since this tea is marketed primarily for its health benefits, I was prepared for it to be average at best, but it’s actually a little better than that. I think it’s going to be a pretty good evening tea at least until I get through the rest of the jar.
The summer weather is starting to hit, and with the 32C (ETA: 90F) day came the stormy afternoon so typical of this part of the country in the summer, and so I’ve been on the edge of a migraine since, which is typical of me when trying to endure this sort of weather pattern. Because of being headachy, I wanted a reliable, unflavoured tea heavy on the anti-oxidants to give my system a boost and (hopefully) knock the headache on the head. I really should have gone for pai mu tan, but instead I decided on this one.
This is one of my oolong staples that I always have on hand in the tea cupboard. It’s a Chinese oolong, so it’s not heavy on the floral notes and silkiness in the way that my favourite Taiwan oolongs are, but I like this one for different reasons. It’s usually smooth and subtly complex – one of those teas that you spend time just savouring and trying to work out what’s going on just underneath the surface of the flavour.
It wasn’t as good as usual this time. It was still smooth, but those complexities in the flavour that I enjoy so much weren’t really there. This could have been my fault – with the second steeping, which is usually my favourite, I wasn’t paying close attention to what I was doing because of the headache-fog, and I let the water cool for a lot longer than I intended to before adding it to the leaves. It could also just be that I’ve had these leaves in the cupboard for a few months now and they’re past their best.
The issue with the tea getting old before I can finish it is related to the only real gripe I have with Ten Ren: their standard package sizes are on the large side. This tea comes in a 100g (4oz) bottle only, which is really a bit more than what I can get through quickly. I still haven’t tried their Alishan Oolong, though I’ve been eyeing it for ages, because it only comes in a 300g tin! $80.00 is a lot to pay for 300g of tea that I don’t have a hope in hell of getting through while it’s still fresh. If they sold it in 50g packets I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
I like the name of this tea. It’s accurate, as well as being a different way of describing a flowering type tea. It’s always fun to watch those unfurl as they steep. This one is just the tea, without any added pretty ‘flower’ colours. It’s a bit like a giant jasmine dragon pearl.
As far as taste goes, it’s not bad. Not the best jasmine tea I’ve had, but certainly not the worst, either. I can see I’ll be coming back to play with more of these balls in the future.
Somehow I didn’t drink any tea at all yesterday, so I was really looking forward to this cup of tea. I really wanted to like it, and so it was a shame that this tea didn’t quite get there.
As a fairly standard green tea – the base is bancha – it’s okay. As a flavoured tea, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. There’s a very slight apple aroma to the tea that you really have be looking for to notice, and very little apple in the taste. I like my fruit teas to be more… fruity.
So, yeah, this tea is drinkable, but if I’m in the mood for a green tea or a fruit tea or a green fruit tea there are plenty of others out there that I vastly prefer.
I spent the morning editing a loooooong document and just as I stopped for a break my latest order from Lupicia turned up at the door, so I decided to take that as a hint and went to make some tea.
The flavour of this oolong is elusive. Generally, I prefer the fruit flavour of a fruit tea to be more definite, but for some reason the delicacy of this one is really working for me. The plum is mostly in the aroma, but it lurks around the edges of the taste, too, and it somehow puts me in mind of the texture of a plum – and yeah, I have no clue how it’s doing that. The tea itself is smooth and feels a little viscous in the mouth, and now it’s cooling the taste of the Taiwan oolong is really coming through.
Time for another cup, before I start on the next fifty pages of this document.
All of you people posting about peach teas reminded me that I haven’t had any of this since I got back from my trip. I’ve now fixed that state of affairs.
This is still really good, still one of my favourite flavoured teas. There’s something about the combination of peach and oolong that works really well together, more so than many other fruit flavoured teas I’ve tried, and something about this peach oolong in particular that especially works for me. This really does taste like peach rather than peach flavouring, and the balance of the flavour and the tea is just right.
I got a bit overenthusiastic and used a little too much leaf this time, and used boiling water instead of water at just slightly below boiling point, so I ended up with a slightly stronger flavour and just a little more astringency than I prefer. Will make sure to go back to my usual method with this tea next time.
I’ve seen Stockholm Blend as a black tea before but not this white version, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
This tea produces a golden yellow brew, much lighter than the usual medium brown of pai mu tan. You can smell the different elements of the tea in the aroma of the dry leaves and also in the aroma of the brewed tea, with the floral notes gently predominating. The flavour is something different again, though. It’s not overly sweet – the Mellow Cream Oolong I had the other day is sweeter – and yet the flavour reminds me of honey more than anything else. It’s smooth in a way that reminds me of honey, too, and incredibly easy to just keep drinking.
This is a warm and cosy sort of tea, the perfect tea to be drinking on this cold, wet spring weekend. It’s also one of the best flavoured white teas I’ve had.
I needed something from the sweeter end of the tea spectrum to replace the aftertaste of the awful Sakura Vert I just had, and this was the first tea that came to mind. It’s doing the job excellently, but it’s a lot more than just a mouth wash.
I love the aroma of this tea, sort of creamy toffee. The flavour is less pronounced, but it makes a really effective blend with the oolong. Every time I drink it, it feels like a tiny indulgence, a little like the feeling you get when you indulge in a really rich, sweet dessert. And yeah, it goes really well with those sorts of desserts, too. After drinking this tea, I’m sort of wanting one of those desserts right now, even though it’s the middle of the afternoon. Oops.