92 Tasting Notes
Aaah, yet another wonderful tea from Yezi. Chinese black tea of gorgeous, golden-licked, swirly, needle-like leaves. It steeps into a dark ruby brew that is slightly more on the copper side than I am used to with Chinese black teas. It is also very clear and I wish I was having it in a mug not quite as tea-stained as the one I am using (the only mug that comes with an infuser that I own!).
The aroma at first made me think of how a forest ground smells when it is moist – slightly needle-piney, earthy and sap-sweet. Later on I am getting complex sweetness of maple and burnt sugar.
But the taste of it… So malty! Did I ever mention that I love malty beers, like stouts and porters? Well, the way this Jin Pin tastes reminds me of sweet maltiness of some of my favorite stouts. It never transfers to the chocolate side, it stays on the sweet syrup side, and the tiny astringency in the aftertaste adds to its complexity. There’s also earthiness that I detect, and that the aroma hinted at. Not really like pu-erh, the earthiness seems more elusive here. I think, in general, this tea is full of notes that are very elusive – but exquisite.
I hope to resteep the hell out of it before I leave for work today :D
This… THIS TEA!
If I had said anything about other dessert teas being delicious, I kind of halfway take it back, because this is truly delicious. This tea defines delicious.
I have been intoxicated by the aroma of dry leaf. And also the way it looks – I absolutely adore the almond pieces! I was also very pleased with how the brewed tea was clear, ruby-red and beautiful with no chicken-soup greasy blotches that flavored teas’ brews sometimes result in. Then I let it cool slightly… And had a sip, then another one… I totally fell in love.
It’s not the cinnamon, it’s not even the almonds, it’s this lovely baked-goods buttery note that I absolutely adore. It is kind of like a cookie, perhaps a biscotti? I have never tasted anything like it.
I want this tea to be made for forever, so I can always re-stock it.
The loose leaf is bancha sprinkled with sesame seeds. It looks pretty lovely, even though it doesn’t smell like anything.
The resulting liquour doesn’t seem to be much more engaging when it comes to the aroma. Actually it smelled like it was going to be very bitter. And there was this other note that I find I dislike in teas – and what I am guessing is caused by the caramel flavoring – that smells to me like old and forgotten socks that you find at the bottom of your laundry basket (Can you tell I was doing spring cleaning today?).
The taste… I really wanted to like this tea. I don’t know why, but I really did. Me and the Tokyo blend, forever. That’s how I imagined it. But it ain’t gonna happen.
Because, lo and behold, it tastes just like some average sencha (or in this case – bancha) with no flavoring whatsoever. It does taste smooth, much smoother than a straight sencha would, so I am guessing that would be the result of the supposed caramel. I think I got more hint of sesame and caramel in the first two or three sips. Then the whole brew just started to turn bitter, although not overwhelmingly so.
Next time I am going to play around with the steeping time – perhaps a minute would be enough? I’ll see how that goes. It is not a bad tea, it just doesn’t deliver what it promises, in my opinion.
So this is a SIPDOWN! I’ve been sipping teas down like crazy recently, and replenishing my little tins with new ones, the ones that have been sitting in a tote waiting for their turn…
Also, the weekend that was supposed to be off, the weekend I thought would be my New Teas and a Bazillion Tasting Notes weekend – and the weekend that JUST passed, was spent mostly at work instead. Oh well, that only means there will be more money next paycheck FOR TEAS, right?
I am now taking a break from spring cleaning of my clothes wardrobe & totes (daunting task!) and making a list of teas that I want to send in a swap…
And yes, the tea is really good. It resteeps nicely up to 3 times western-style. It seems to taste more flowery than vegetal this time around. And I absolutely love the leaves of this oolong, they are always almost neon green. Even more so after they are steeped.
I do love lychees but all the lychee teas I had before never did much for me.
This one is just as tedious, although perhaps better quality, than the ones I had in the past.
I don’t know much about Keemuns, I don’t think I have ever had any straight, so i won’t be able to judge the base properly. The whole brew seems a little weak. The aroma is definitely lychee-ous, but as I taste it, the lychee element seems harder and harder to pinpoint… I do not know where it ends and where the base starts.
It’s an okay tea, but nothing that I would be interested in re-purchasing. I predict I will probably swap the hell out of it, too. Perhaps there’s people out there who would enjoy it more.
I absolutely love this. It could be my favorite oolong, as of today.
It smells like brown sugar, plus there’s a definite floral element. The way it tastes emulates the aroma almost in every detail. Sophisticated vegetal-floral sweetness that just stays in your mouth for a while after each sip. It gets itty-bitty bitter as it cools down (but that is barely detectable) and the smell of it turns even sweeter. An amazing experience.
I swear that some oolongs feel more like desserts than the “dessert teas”.
I can’t wait for another steeping of this, but before I make another cup I will take a nice relaxing bath… Oh, this is going to be a lovely weekend. I hope it is going to be just as good, or better, for all the Steepsterites :)
I got this tea as an extra to my order of MissB’s stash sale. Thank you, MissB!
While I mostly taste earthy pu erh here, I also definitely detect some dark chocolate. I am not sure about the truffle part – perhaps it is in the general silkiness of every sip that I take? It doesn’t matter. Overall, it is a tasty and naturally flavored pu erh that serves me real well as a nice after-dinner dessert today.
I’m finally trying matcha!
This is the free sample from Red Leaf Tea that I got a few weeks ago and have been afraid to try. But here it is.
I have no matcha equipment whatsoever, so I had to do with some random bowl and a fork. I believe I whisked it just right – and until the foam appeared. I used roughly 1/4 tsp per 6 ounces of 170 F water. And yes, I sifted it. Also, this post was very helpful: http://oolongowl.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/how-to-make-a-cup-of-matcha-the-easy-way/
Okay, so this is supposed to be French Vanilla – I could smell it a bit in the dry powder, not so much in the ready brew. I cannot taste it at all. But that is okay since all I care about is pure matcha anyway. It’s my very first experience with it, so perhaps it’s even better that I cannot notice the supposed flavoring.
Well, umm… It’s odd. There’s this bitterness to it, not overpowering, just different from any other bitterness that I know. It settles on the back of my tongue for a bit and then disappears. What a weird taste! I can definitely see how this would be better with milk… I cannot have dairy though (or too much of it) and I am not sure if coconut or almond milk work well heated up. Perhaps in the summer I could make iced lattes…
But anyway, I really quite don’t know what to make out of this experience. I think it is growing on me with every sip. My mouth started to get used to the “unusual bitter” and detects more of a complexity of the flavor of matcha itself. I think I could perhaps learn to love it but it might take a few more lessons. I might also tweak the amount of water used as well as the amount of matcha powder and see how that goes. Maybe add a bit of coconut milk to the brew made with warm water. I know there’s like a million ways of preparing it!
I am really glad that RLT offers these free samples, so that I didn’t have to splash out a whole bunch of money on a pack of matcha and then not know what to think of it. I still have about 4-5 servings of this sample left, and that should be enough to confirm whether I want to start a matcha adventure or not ;D
I also know, though, that good things take time :)
It’s ridiculous how cold it is outside :(
I wasn’t very impressed when I got this tea in this year’s Happy Bag. And then CTC Assam that I saw disappointed me further (Not sure why? I keep thinking that CTC stuff is some below-mediocre leaves. Where did I get it from?). I thought it would be just a boring and astringent blend.
I am happy to announce, however, that it is much better than I expected. While it brews into a very dark amber color, it is not crazily astringent at all. Sure there’s bitterness, but with no wince-worthy aftertaste that I dislike. Actually there’s a fair amount of sweetness to it.
While I probably wouldn’t seek out the opportunity to buy it, these days it seems to make a nice everyday morning tea – which I am guessing was Lupicia’s goal here. So – well done!