3216 Tasting Notes
I think I’m going to have to humbly admit that this tea isn’t worthy of a ‘100’ anymore;
It definitely was when I first tried it and many times afterwards, but my tastes have changed enough that I don’t feel as strongly now. It’s still is pretty damn good though. Just not that good.
I cold brewed this; and the rich vanilla pudding/custard notes were still flippin’ phenomenal with brilliant butter and cream notes too, and a sliver of a graham kind of flavour. I quite enjoyed the decadence of it even if my mind wasn’t blown the same way it’s been in the past…
In other news; my freezer is not doing the one thing it was built, and named, to do. I opened it up this morning/early afternoon to grab some ice cream only to realize that the temperature was oddly warm and, upon further inspection, everything had thawed out. Ice cubes were just slightly chilled water, hashbrowns now mush, ice cream no better than soup, and many other super sad things. I’ve had to toss pretty much all of it; and that’s soul crushing. I’m not a wealthy person; and there was quite a lot of food there that’ll be costly to replace – namely all of my soy/veggie meat products.
The fridge isn’t working either; but there’s nothing too important in it – just milk and some other dairy things like cream cheese, and eggs. The bulk (fruit/veggies) I think will be perfectly fine. I hope, anyway. I still don’t know what’s wrong though; left a message with my landlord and waiting to hear back from him.
It’s been a rough morning though.
I know I said I wasn’t going to do a cold brew for this one after being disappointed by the iced brew, but I changed my mind and did one anyway.
It was actually a lot better than anticipated just based on that iced brew; and not that I disliked the iced one, it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be and the hot version was a lot better. This rivals the hot though! The Suncha base was very lovely with a strong earthy and kind of metallic/rusty taste to it – and then the strawberry and rhubarb almost evenly balanced creating such a bright flavour over top of that base.
But the best, most surprising part of cold brewing this was that the cheesecake flavour, which has all but escaped me with each tasting I’ve done of this, was full force making itself well known. It’s not so much that the cheesecake had that sort of “tang” to it, the fruit had that element of the tea covered, but that it had the richness and creamy taste and mouthfeel of really decadent cheesecake including to some extent the graham crust.
Very lovely, would drink it this way again. However, sadly, that’s not gonna be possible since this used up most of the remaining leaf and what’s left wont be enough for a solid/reasonably sized cold brew.
Today’s word of the day is… Dour!
Dour means: “Sullen, gloomy, severe : stern”.
Thank you Scheherazade for the sample!
I made this one iced in my timolino, and it was pretty tasty! I have to admit, it’s been a fair while since I had an unflavoured matcha and it was initially a little bit of a jarring switch up but after that initial shock was over I quite enjoyed this.
The most prominent thing for me was the lovely floral notes of the matcha; sure it was quite vegetal with very strong grass notes and a touch of more marine seaweed flavour, but the flowery delicate finish is what made this stand out to me. It was a very clean refreshing taste overall as well. One downside for me was that I found it to be quite clumpy, and not easily suspended within the water so I was constantly shaking up my timolino to keep the matcha from sinking to the bottom but while tedious that is a fairly small problem overall.
Sample comes from Liquid Proust!
Tried this for the first time and finished it off by making a pot of it to sip on during my Sommelier class. I didn’t think I’d like it that much, but by keeping to a pretty short steep time I think I managed to produce a brew I was really quite happy with.
The predominant thing about this blend was that it was very buttery and creamy with some really nice, lovely nutty and marine notes and a bit of a mellow, sweet vegetal flavour. It reminded me a little of stewed spinach or green beans to some extent. But also seaweed. And I think the matcha added this tiny little kick of floral flavour too. Overall, it was a very pleasant and rich pot of tea – one of those ones that makes me question why I don’t drink more green tea (other than matcha) than I currently do.
Had my second class for the current Tea Sommelier module I’m taking, Sensory Development, this afternoon;
The instructor for this module is definitely pretty interesting; while the Tea 101 instructor was great he didn’t do much of anything to engage the class in any sort of discussion, in fact we were all muted in our online meeting. Instead, in this class we were actually called upon to discuss some of the different tastings we did this week (olive oil, water, chocolate, and coffee). In particular, I got to discuss this week my observations with the chocolate tasting; and one of the things I learned this week was that despite always thinking of myself as someone who “doesn’t like dark chocolate” my favourite I tried was an organic, fair trade 85% dark chocolate that, thanks to all the practice doing this with tea and a crash course on professional chocolate tastings, I was able to break down as having a berry-like fruitiness to it which was very enjoyable.
And now I’m finally into the part of this module where I’ll be actually doing tea tastings! We’re tasting four different teas this week, and I’m quite happy to see that they appear to be a step up from the teas tasted in the Tea 101 module; we’ve been given more information about each of these teas we’re tasting, and the varieties of tea are a bit more specified from things other than “Pu’Erh” or “China Green”.
I still have three of four teas left to taste, but I started after class with the cupping for a Pai Mu Tan. The recent, albeit small, journey of ‘self discovery’ I had with white and yellow peaches and my relationship with both couldn’t have come at a better time – with the tasting of this tea I found it to have very strong hay/straw notes and a floral quality and sweet peachy finish in line with white peaches that I felt I could better appreciate now, after that discovery, than I would have been able to appreciate prior to that breakthrough.
I also feel like my understanding of why people tend to describe the fruityness of white tea (or even green tea and less oxidized oolong) as “peach” more than any other fruit was strengthened after learning that white peaches have a more naturally floral flavour to them. If these are all teas that taste relatively floral then it makes sense for the fruit they’re tied to/compared with to have a more naturally floral taste to it as well.
I still prefer Yin Zhen/Silver Needle to Pai Mu Tan/Bai Mu Dan though.
As most people know Della Terra has, supposedly temporarily, closed up shop. Recently I got the chance to take part in an East Indies Tea Company group order; East Indies Tea Co. appears to be the company that supplies Della Terra with their blends or if not they’re each getting from the same supplier because the overlap of their blends is quite large.
Since this is one of the teas I ordered (because it’s my favourite Della Terra tea) that was up on the Della Terra site I decided to just readd the Della Terra blend into my cupboard instead of create and East Indie’s Tea Company page for what’s the same tea.
I think this is the freshest Pineapple Upside Down Cake I’ve ever ordered; and I’ve ordered it from Della Terra a few times prior to their closure. When I cracked open the sealed up bag it smelled so rich and sugary, and the cherries guys! I gave up long ago on tasting the pineapple cherry in this blend clearly but there’s so much visible cherry, and to a lesser extent pineapple, in the dry leaf! It smells just as fruity as it does like rich cake.
This remains to be one of the best cake teas, in my opinion. I steeped up a large mug after cracking open the bag and getting so excited just by the dry leaf’s aesthetic and the aroma; this is incredibly rich with quite strong brown sugar and molasses notes and a very lovely yellow sponge cake flavour. And I do taste the cherry, and the sweetness of the pineapple creating a wonderful “glaze” sort of taste. It’s wonderful! I’m sure going a while without drinking this helps a lot, but this is one of the best cups of this tea I’ve ever had.
Very happy I participated in that group order.
Enjoyed drinking this tea as my morning cold brew today; I think I’ve cold brewed it before and if I have it must not have been overly good because it didn’t leave a lasting impression. This was pretty tasty though; it came out this very dark, chocolate-y brown colour. Very roasty flavour with strong hazelnut and caramel notes, weaker coffee notes.
Drank most of it straight, but finished up the last portion with some cheese and crackers. Fancy cheese and crackers though; Flax Seed crackers with melted on kale infused Gouda and a Merlot balsamic reduction drizzled on top. The crackers were phenomenal; the crackers and tea pairing? Not sure much.
Honestly, I can’t wait for the part of my Tea Sommelier course that deals with food pairings; I think I’ve got much to learn in that area…
This is a queued tasting note.
After my initial disappointment with trying this one hot in a timolino I decided to drastically flip the script and instead try this cold brewed. One thing about trying this with that preparation style was that the flavours were far from muddled or unclear which automatically qualified the change of direction as a success in my eyes.
There were a few noticable flavours – some of them were a little more traditional and characteristic of white tea such as the fairly pronounced flavour of straw/hay creating much of the body flavour. Other flavours I tasted were floral notes primarily within the finish and a bit of a buttery flavor that translated a little into the thicker, creamier mouthfeel as well. The best part of the tea, though, was the strong lemony top notes that made the start of each sip much more interesting and vibrant.
After the first taste/trial with this tea I was definitely feeling a little less interested, but this tasting has reignited my initial interested and fascination with this blend and I look forward to retrying it hot and then, when I’ve finished off my sample of DT’s version, moving on the What-Cha version which I can only imagine will be even better.
Today’s word of the day is… Exertion!
Exertion means: “Vigorous action or effort”.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Hay, Lemon, Straw
Recently I’ve been binge watching Secret Life of The American Teenager on Netflix thanks to a recommendation from my friend Bobbi; I kind of hate it if I’m being honest. Shailene Woodley is one of my least favourite actresses and with her character being the main protagonist of the series but essentially just a whiny, naive, bratty fifteen year old is mentally tiring. Actually, all of the characters are incredibly immature and whiny (is that I sign I’m getting old/am an actual adult) and yet…
And yet, I can’t stop watching the damn show. I covered the entire first season, in between work, in roughly three or four days, or something like that anyway. I think I’m secretly hoping that the character will all magically mature and become bearable but I’m pretty sure that’s not how this kind of show works.
The point is, it was 4AM last night/this morning and I desperately wanted to drink some black tea but it was 4AM and not only was I exhausted and not in the mood to measure out loose leaf, but the caffeine would’ve been a bad idea. This is pretty much the only caffeine free black tea I have anyway, so here we are.
At least I can say the tea was more satisfying than that season finale.
Thank you Liquid Proust!
In Canada Lupicia teas are fairly hard to get a hold of without swapping with someone else, which is what I did in order to try this sample, or joining a larger group order. I’ve only tried a handful of their teas, but generally speaking I’ve enjoyed most if not all of them. That said, I’ve read almost entirely negative, or at least relatively critical reviews about this particular blend so know I have some expectation bias prior to trying this blend. With the sample I have, I decided I’d cold brew this tea because I thought it would work well for the fruity aspects but also the dual bases used.
My first thought upon trying this was that it tastes very familiar. I realize I drink a lot of tea, and so it’s no uncommon for new teas to bear a resemblance to ones I’ve tried before but I’m talking serious Deja Vu with this tea; I was convinced I’d had the experience of drinking this one before even though I know I haven’t.
As for the actual flavour of the blend I do have to say the peach element comes through the clearest to me: I made a recent discovery regarding peach, actually. I’ve always thought of peach as a flavor that I could go either way with but someone at work recently pointed out to me that I’m actually very consistent with some peachy things and that’s either “Peaches & Cream” or “White Peach”, both of which I regularly like. So I did a little bit of research (I asked one of our produce clerks the difference between white and yellow peaches; that counts, right?) and it turns out the main difference is the acidity – yellow peaches have a much more noticeable acidity that only levels out as they ripen while white peaches are more delicate and naturally sweet, ripe or not. They’re also a little more floral. Makes sense to me.
So in addition to the clear and enjoyable flavour of white peaches, I tasted a few other fruits – however one fruit I didn’t observe was grapefruit which is actually the flavour that’s supposed to be present. Instead I tasted a more mellow strawberry flavour which was a great compliment to the peach notes. Chef Darcy, at work, tried a little of the cold brew and said he tastes peach and green melons and while I didn’t taste that melon flavour myself I can see where he was coming from: there was a sort of “bubblegum” sweetness, and as I’ve observed from honeydew teas sometimes the flavor of of those two things can be similar. As for the bases, visually I know there was more green tea in my sample but the taste of the green rooibos was a lot stronger in my opinion. I really like the green rooibos that Lupicia uses though – it’s one of my favourite of any company’s.
Overall, this was a really great experience – not just for the flavour, but for the little journey of self discovery that it took me on.
Flavors: Candy, Peach, Strawberry