New Tasting Notes
I is for… Irish Coffee Keemun!
This tea smells good, nice and creamy, but there’s an odd, vegetal(?) note here that reminds me of some white teas – and that I don’t really care for. It’s… almost minty?But not quite. It’s possible that it’s the “whiskey” flavouring, or alternately, an element of the “irish coffee” flavouring is responsible, I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s coming from the keemun base. (It actually has occurred to me that this has sat so long, it’s possible that it was adjacent to a minty tea and absorbed some flavour, but hopefully not). The flavour has this same vegetal note, along with coffee/cream flavours, but that note is definitely affecting the experience of drinking it.
Either way, an ok cup, not a favourite, but obviously for the best since it’s unavailable!
K is not for… Fantasy Island
I wanted something sweet after dinner and this caught my eye. Today’s its actually a little astringent and metallic which is not doing it for me. In fact, I loved this tea when I used to have it many years ago but my latest package of it could be finicky at times. It’s nostalgic but not quite the favorite it once was so I am okay with this sipdown.
I is for… Irish Rock Shandy!
First tasting note on a years-old tea? Ok!
Really had to dig through my stash for “I” teas for today – the only DavidsTea one I had I finished off last month (Irish Breakfast). Definitely a theme with the names here, though!
This was not ever a favourite tea of mine; I didn’t really care for the citrus – it’s just edging toward a cleaner sort of flavour, and there’s also a flavour in this tea that I can’t place but don’t really care for. It’s not a terrible tea, but just not matched to my preferences, which generally don’t include orange-flavoured teas.
I baked a loaf of cranberry orange bread this afternoon (don’t get excited; it was a mix) and can’t touch it because it’s to serve at work tomorrow—-but it smelled so good, I broke out its tea equivalent.
Previous reviewers don’t give it a lot of love, but I think it’s a nicely balanced triad of rooibos, cranberry, and orange. The berries aren’t tart, the orange isn’t bitter. I drank it outside in the glider watching my new little pot of lemongrass grow. (And once it does, wouldn’t that be a nice addition to this combo?)
K is not for… Raspberry Sunshine
I cold brewed this earlier and noticed I had one serving left. I don’t love this one so I decided to just finish it off. It’s just never been very good or interesting. Mostly lemon grass and a tartness that wants to be raspberry but just isn’t. Glad to be saying goodbye to this one.
This is a fairly average sheng that’s quite mellow and sweet. Dry leaves smell of apricot flowers, cream, and cherry while after the rinse I get aromas of wood, beeswax and leather.
The taste is sweet above all else, with notes of cilantro, tree sap and stonefruit pits. Lightly astringent finish is followed by a mildly spicy and nutty aftertaste.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Cherry, Coriander, Cream, Flowers, Leather, Nutty, Sap, Stonefruit, Sweet, Wood
From Whiteantlers envelope dump! I look forward to these. I am going to be honest that I will have a hard time with some of the Pu-Erh leftover from the LP group buys (I’m having a hard time getting through some of my own), but they will be drank and they are deeply appreciated. The oolongs are my first hit.
Being the basic snob I am, I began with the 2018 Alishan. Dryleaf is extremely floral and fruity and peachy, bordering on scented from a distance, but nice and woodsy close up. I’m guessing there’s a hair of roast or more oxidation than the usual green Alishan. Brewing it up slop-fu-ly, 15, 30, 25, 33, 25, 35, ?, 60, ?, 3 minutes as of now…? means I lost track, and could have overbrewed it, but it turned out nice.
A lot happens. The rinse had slight honeysuckle, and the tea transitioned in the second and third steeps from creamy florals of hyacinth and a hint of a young red fruit I usually don’t get like cherry, to slight grassiness, melon, osmanthus hint, honeysuckle, then lingering sweet finish. Steep 25 sec is was sugarcane sweet, but floral and the remaining steeps were fuller and thicker with a nice deep yellow.
Later steeps got sweeter and fuller, and more of that weird red fruit. Some honey, still floral and creamy, but mostly sweet. It almost reminds me of a young cherry. I know I’m appropriating that from the notes of Camellia Sinensis’s Shanlinxi-unoriginal Daylon. Yet there is something fruitier about this one in later steeps. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an Alishan that has fuller fruit notes. Most of them from the last few years have been more vegetal, floral, and creamy than anything else-this is a good change of pace. It’s like a lighter greener version of Wang’s light roast Alishan.
While not super bold with its flavor, the balance and aroma of it is really nice. I was very pleased with this one. I wonder where you got this from Whiteantlers. It made my morning.
I’ve been intrigued about this one for a while, but couldn’t quite fathom a rooibos blend being anything like a typical black breakfast tea. It turns out, I was right.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this tea, and I actually enjoy the rooibos base that B&B uses, this does not make me feel like I’m drinking a breakfast tea. The scent and taste of rooibos is all I’m getting here.
Thank you for sharing Cameron!
Only three teas or so left from the Swap Box.
Again, stoked about a Wuyi Origin Tea. This note will be shorter since I decided to test it out in my Phoenix Spirit Tea Tumbler, which was an early birthday gift. I know it’s a risk to grandpa a dancong, but I divided up my sample so I’d have just enough for a smaller vessel gong fu….don’t get me started on the teaware I have that is incomplete because a cup or a piece of it was broken in some divine accident.
This dancong actually took quite a bit of time to fully diffuse, starting off floral and lightly fruity-like honey and lemon in fresh hot water. The fruits further developed 8 minutes in, going back and forth between a floral orchid to honey, apple, apple juice, nectarine, and guava. Despite writing “lemon” in the beginning of this paragraph, this tea grandpa is not as citrusy as other Dancongs I’ve had, and I haven’t gotten the usual lychee note, though I may gong fu. There are some roasted nuts in the profile and some acidity, but it’s a heck of a lot smoother. It must be the 12 oz to 3 grams ratio.
I’ve gotten 3 brews of it so far, the first one having the most change and diversity in the notes. The other two are fruitier and a woodsier orchid, but still sweet and honeyed leaning more into apple as far as fruit goes, with some tartness or flavor acidity you get in things like peppers. There’s a little bit of “moss covered earth” rocks, and mineral for me, but it could be due to steeping in the vessel long. It’s super light and likely superfluous, yet I don’t see a lot of people getting it as a note for themselves. I think it’s my imagination popping images from my other senses, and I could just use "wet rocks "that’s already in the pre-set notes for steepster.
Overall, this one is very easy going and very mellow. Astringency or bitterness never showed up. I’ve seldom had a Dancong that works this well as tumbler fuel, though it could be because I lowered the ratio. I’m satisfied either way and very pleased. Not sure what to rate it, so I’ll wait until I gong fu it.
Flavors: Apple, Apple Skins, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Guava, Honey, Mineral, Nectar, Nutty, Orchid, Roasted Nuts, Wet Rocks, Wet wood, Wood
I found myself kind of at a loss for how to brew this tea so I opted to empty the entire 4g sample in my 150mL glass gaiwan and do somewhat short steeps.
This tea, while a past year’s harvest, has so much more character than the Huoshan huang ya I had a few years ago at Imperial Tea Court. It is subtle, yes, but it has a slick and oily medium body that carries a sweet and alkaline taste, like a mix of corn husk, gently roasted buttery nuts, some kind of mild, sweet seafood like squid, quartz-like minerality and hint of anise. It’s a little cooling-spicy in the throat, too. Short, sweet, buttery and flowery mouth-watering aftertaste. Gentle nourishment with no bitterness or astringency.
Thank you for the sample, Mandala :)
Edit: It’s on sale right now.
Flavors: Anise, Butter, Corn Husk, Flowers, Grass, Marine, Mineral, Mint, Nectar, Roasted Nuts, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet
Thanks for the sample, Amandastory!
The flavors in this one are pretty light. I can taste light marshmallow, but not much else. No rice flavor. Any flavor there is doesn’t seem well complimented by the tea base and they seem to be fighting it out and both loosing. Maybe I’ll try a larger serving for my next cup.
K is for…Kanchanjangha Black
I really need to say thank you to Mastress Alita because her alphabet sipdown challenge has done wonders for my sipdowns!! I think I am at 28 empties for the month already. Plus, it makes figuring out instagram content for the Sororitea Sisters blog so simple. Thank you Mastress Alita!!!
Also thank you Sil for this “K” tea. It is one of 3 K teas I have and so its nice to have some variety. This is the only caffeinated one in the mix.
Tasting it now, it’s an okay tea. Nothing particularly interesting about it. It’s a sort of standard darjeeling profile – a little on the greener side though not metallic at all. Smooth. A touch vegetal/floral. Fine. Meh. Still always fun to try new things though!