759 Tasting Notes
This is lovely. I’ve had it several times now but am just now doing a note for it. Green oolongs are my favorite oolongs.
Visually this is appealing as are most oolongs. Leaves unfurling to immense sizes compared to the tight little balls they start as. And there are little hints of reddish brown around the edges which is neat.
This one has nice floral notes up front with a light buttery feel. Almost a jasmine but not really. Second steep becomes more like jasmine. It goes well with a jasmine green tea rubbed goat cheese drizzled with a tiny bit of honey. The strong sour notes in the cheese are offset by the floral jasmine tea leaves, which also bring out more jasmine in the tea itself.
Lengthy steeping brings out a faint bitterness so avoid that. I started with about 30 seconds, left leaf in water while drinking, so probably 2:00 for second cup, 4:30 for third, 6:00+ for fourth – by then it was developing some bitter notes. Watch water temp as well.
With the second pitcher, I waited about a minute before pouring the first cup. Third pitcher was still decent.
Fourth pitcher and a large portion of the flavor was gone. So a good 8 ounces, a decent 4 ounces and then a not great but drinkable 4 ounces on a teaspoon and a half of leaves.
And continuing Use All The Teaware month:
I think I got this travel set from Verdant last spring. I really haven’t used it much. It’s pretty but 1) I’m nervous about traveling with glass and 2) the infuser basket takes up a good chunk of water space. It came with 6 cups but you’d only be able to serve 4 mostly full ones on a single steeping. I like the cup size, but for this pitcher, they are too large. Not that it matters tons, I rarely have anyone at all to drink tea in this style with me, much less 6 someones. :)
I love the design of this. The aesthetics really appeal to me. The plunger does indeed stop 95% of steeping. Medium sized and larger leaves don’t skoosh out around the edges, not sure how it would do on something like rooibos.
You can’t toss it in a bag, or even go around curves very fast with it full – liquid will splash out. It’s nice to be able to drink from anywhere around the lid, but not optimal for taking in the car.
Also, it gets really, really uncomfortably hot to hold if you are doing water temps around 200F.
Still searching for a steep and sip travel tea tumbler that isn’t stainless.
Still thick, malty and Assamy after a year or more. Not going through this quickly but I am starting to see the bottom of the tin. I can see in a couple of months needing to decide if I should restock this or if the other Assam types of tea I have on hand are good enough/better.
Not lying if I say that a large part of the appeal of this tea is the company and what they are doing. I am happy to see that the site now offers bags as well as tins, though I wish they would say how much tea is in each. I am also guessing that this is now Mount Kenya Black.
Use All The Teaware for this cup is my Emma Bridgewater Badger mug.
And since we are having pizza for dinner, Coke is kind of necessary. Assam types of tea go pretty well with pizza but I just can’t go without a Coke with it. :) And yes, I have been eating and tea-ing my way through today.
So, so tasty. Fig and cherry and some almond. So good. This is the only tea from Capital that I haven’t been able to get a close approximation of elsewhere and I feel silly ordering just one tea. So thanks, Liquid Proust for sending some of it along in a swap awhile back!
Use All The Teaware:
A 16 oz Santa teapot, a thistle cup & saucer set my Aunt K brought back from Scotland and an adorable penguin plate that Mom gave me – covered in fresh oatmeal shortbread cookies! Yay!
Mmm… having a mug of this since a nice swap from tea-sipper reminded me how much I love it. Gorgeous golden curly leaves that are so soft and downy.
Thick with cocoa and butter and no smoke. Mmmm….
And continuing the Use All The Teaware theme:
Much good. Wow cocoa.
A big mug of this tonight. Apparently December is going to be use all the teaware month. :)
Grabbed a tin of these sachets and a sample of plain old English Breakfast to see if I could tell the difference.
Verdict after a tasteoff: nope, can’t tell much difference and I don’t think I’m really an English Breakfast person at this point. I’d prefer a thick Assam, a Yunnan or a Taiwanese black to be my first cup of the day.
2.5 grams to 60 ml of just off of boiling water (tap water). Steeped for 35 seconds.
1. English Breakfast HT Blend:
dry leaf scent – like smelling freshly turned earth, hints of a malty scent
taste of liquor – light fruit, dry mouth feel, maltiness from scent not present
wet leaf scent – definitely fresh earth, this has a deeper, more complex scent than the normal EB. That would seem to indicate that the taste should be deeper and more complex and I am just not getting it.
2. English Breakfast:
dry leaf scent – light fruit and earth but not as fresh as the HT blend
taste of liquor – a somewhat lighter version of HT with more fruit notes coming to the fore, still induces a dry mouth feel. I don’t get any smoke and isn’t that what Keemuns are kind of known for? This is 100% Keemun according to the website.
wet leaf scent – reminds me of a second flush Darjeeling with a lot of fruit notes on top of the mild wet earth scent, no malt that I can discern
Always possible that if I try again with different steeping parameters (lower water temp, less tea) these may be easier to differentiate and I may like them better. For now, I get a lot of Ceylon taste in the HT blend and just basic tea from the EB, pretty much. If I had to decide tonight, I’d keep neither in my cupboard though I’d use the sachets when going out to restaurants as it is better than the junk you normally get there. :)
Did a Jin Jun Mei tasteoff today, though I discovered afterwards that I had left out Verdant’s JJM. Ah, well. It’s a start.
Did 2 grams of tea to 50 ml of water at just below boiling. I did not use filtered water since I think that whether or not I keep tea on hand should depend largely on whether or not I like it with tap water. Steeped each for 15 seconds, tasted, let tea continue steeping another 60 seconds while tasting and tasted again. These notes are based on an overall impression, not separated out by 1st and 2nd steeps.
1. What-Cha China Fujian Wuyi ‘Jin Jun Mei’:
scent of dry leaf – meat and smoke
taste of liquor – smokiest of the 4 teas, savory meat, very drying to the mouth
leaf appearance – medium leaf size, some gold leaves, mostly black
2. YSG International (AliExpress) 2014 Top Wuyi Black Tea Jin Jun Mei:
scent of dry leaf – savory smoke and wet leather
taste of liquor – light ash and smoke, a little bit of sweet, more of sour, leaves mouth dry
leaf appearance – medium leaf size, some gold leaves, mainly black, not nearly as gold as the product picture on the site.
3. Shanshuijian (AliExpress) Jinjunmei Paulownia:
scent of dry leaf – hardest smoke & ash scent of the 4 teas, charred wood
taste of liquor – smoke, ash, bitterness, drying in mouth
leaf appearance – largest leaves, no golden leaves, all pretty uniform black
*note that this tasting varies from my earlier note on this because that was with filtered water at work. This should be a work tea since at home I am not very fond of it.
4. MinRiver Tea Jin Jun Mei:
scent of dry leaf – not much smoke and wet cat
taste of liquor – sour, sweet, fruity like date or fig
leaf appearance – smallest leaves, lightest liquor color
This is super good. Light but still sweet with creamy vanilla and some tart cidery appleness. Odd, but adding cream does not bring out the vanilla, but rather the floral notes in the oolong and that doesn’t mix well. I normally wouldn’t add cream to oolong but… I had some and it smelled like it might go well.
And breaking in the Calamityware Things Could Be Worse mug that just arrived today! Woot, woot!
Smells decent, looks okay. Steeped… ermahgerd… this is dessert in a cup. I get the hazelnut and the caramel, mostly the caramel. Tea is an aftertaste here, but that’s okay for what this is supposed to be. Little bit of orange but not a lot. The caramel is a fresh, buttery caramel taste, too. Add just a little splash of cream and wow does it feel like a dessert! I would not serve this with any food course at a tea party unless it was just a plain shortbread cookie. And then you’d leave the table feeling utterly decadent. As flavored teas go, this is off the charts.
And since I consider this a fundamentally unserious tea, I pulled out the frou-frou. :)