3620 Tasting Notes
Tea 102: Regions of The Tea World – Lump Post…
I don’t have the energy to write out a post for each of the three weeks of class that I’ve had, and I’m kind of dying on the inside right now because of the events that took place during class tonight (the third week of class) so instead here’s a lumped together jumble of notes from each week…
Tea 102: Week One (CHINA)
- Teas: Pai Mu Tan, Silver Needle, Dragonwell, Light Oolong, Keemun, LS, and Pu’erh
- Great class for this week! Got to talk in depth about yixing and gaiwans!
- Sadly, the teas came late (the day before Week Two’s class)…
- So, the cuppings weren’t done on time…
- Overall, pretty tasty! I liked pretty well everything except the Dragonwell
- LS tasted a little weak, not sure why…
Tea 102: Week Two (JAPAN)
- Teas: Sencha, Gyokuro, Matcha, Hojicha, Genmaicha
- Sencha was the most disappointing of the five teas, but none were bad
- In particular, I quite liked the Genmaicha and Gyokuro! Very fresh!
- Matcha was very lumpy/chalky, but not a bad flavour
- Going through the Japanese tea history makes me want a new tattoo
- An “Ichigo Ichei” tattoo!
Tea 102: Week Three (INDIA/SRI LANKA)
- Sri Lankan Teas (that I had): Kandy, Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya, Rahuna, Uva
- Indian Teas (that I had): 1st Flush Darjeeling, 2nd Flush Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri
- This week was a MESS
- 1/3 the Sri Lankan teas were not included in my package
- And one of the Indian teas was missing as well
- So couldn’t do cuppings for those teas
- Because of freezing rain, there were frequent outtages ALL day as well
- I literally finished the cuppings ten minutes BEFORE class started
- From Sri Lanka, my favourites were Kandy and Uva; a sweeter, less harsh profile = yum!
- I loved getting to try the different regions
- Odds are I’ve had ‘em before but not known the specific regions I was drinking
- As a lot of Ceylonese teas are JUST called “Ceylon”
- Indian cuppings were nothing new: obvs the Assam wasn’t my favourite
- Did probably the MOST unproffesional thing I’ve ever done in class though
- I ACCIDENTALLY sent a link to a tumblr post to the whole class
- The link said “I need to know how many donuts you can fit on your erect penis”
- And then my connection immediately cut out…
- So… fuck!
- How do you recover from that!?
- Anyway; I missed class almost all of class, and fuck my life.
- So that’s how this week went…
Here’s the infamous post that’s caused the headache…
I may be done drinking tea tonight; switching to alcohol to numb the pain…
Really nice afternoon Gong Fu session while I was waiting for my tea eggs to finish! I’m honestly liking this the more that I drink it, but I’m also finding that the more I drink it the less I taste the honeysuckle in it. So it’s a bit of a catch 22.
Today’s session had such beautiful peanut notes, with an underlying grassyness and a bit of a hay note that reminded me of the timothy hay that Eilert, my guinea pig, eats. But in a good way! I love the smell of the timothy hay right out of the bag. First couple infusions had an almost “lemon pepper” taste but it quickly subsided. Last infusions had that sort of refreshing “mountain air” kind of taste.
So, I’ve made more tea eggs before – with soy sauce and oolong tea, for my Sommelier courses (the cooking with tea module) but that’s not so much what I did today, and that’s for a variety of reasons. The main one is that half of my tea/teaware has already been packed into boxes so I didn’t have the full range of tea to select for the recipe that I’d have liked. Another factor was that I didn’t realize until after I’d started boiling the eggs that we were out of soy sauce…
So my make shift/unconventional tea egg recipe was basically this:
- Six hard boiled eggs
- Six tbsp of cooking wine (marbling should still occur but with a different tasting profile)
- Three tbsp of loose leaf (of this blend… duh)
- A whole cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp of cloves
- A splash of maple syrup
- And then enough water to fill the rest of the pot so it was just over the top of the eggs
After the eggs were boiled and I’d cracked the shell with a wooden spoon I just mixed everything together and left it to simmer for around two hours. Some recipes recommend leaving the eggs to sit in the mix overnight but I’m impatient and wanted my eggs now. They turned out nice, too!
The marbling is really pretty, though a little lighter than it would have been with soy sauce. I wish I’d taken pictures; by the time I’d thought of it there weren’t any eggs left. And no, I didn’t eat six hard boiled eggs in one sitting: I ate two and the rest of the fam ate the rest. They’re a little sweet/fruity from the wine and cherry in the tea with a light smoky finish from the Lapsang in this blend! Sadly, you can’t taste the spices so much. Very interesting, and all in all tasty!
I don’t know that I’d make them this way again though: both flavours that come through are a little, I guess, half assed? I’d either try the wine in place of soy sauce again but with a different tea (Keemun?) OR soy sauce with a straight up Lapsang Souchong instead of this, which is a blend that incorporates LS as one of many ingredients.
Cold Brew Sipdown (122)!
Well, I might not be hungover – but this tea is helping with a nasty migraine I’ve had all morning. The flavour isn’t bad either: I expected this to be much more herbaceous than it’s turned out to be. Instead, it’s pretty sweet and refreshing! Starts off with a strong, juicy red apple note, and finishes with cooling mint and a little bit of a gingery tickle in the throat. It’s not overly complex in flavour but it delivers a surprising one! Were I actually hung over I think I’d really enjoy having this around to sip on…
I’m glad I picked up a sample of this to try Gong Fu because tonight’s session was really lovely overall! Actually, for a pure tea from DAVIDsTEA I definitely thought this exceeded my expectations, which probably weren’t as low as they should’ve been. I wonder why the tea is being discontinued? Supply issues? Lack of popularity?
Anyway; the first thing I noticed about this tea right from the start was that it had a really powerful floral aroma and taste. My little sister was convinced that the tea incorporated lavender in some regard because that’s what it smelled like to her. Personally, I didn’t taste lavender per say in any of the ten infusions I had but it WAS very floral and sweet. Quite lovely, actually.
In addition to that, the middle infusions were absolutely the sweet spot with this tea: I was presented with not only the floral notes I’d tasted in the first infusions (and latter ones) but a bouquet of clean, crisp vegetal notes, and a really smooth butteryness which also reminded me quite strongly of coconut or coconut water in the first half of the session. Less so in the second half.
The last infusions were quite fruity; definitely stonefruit, I’d say. DAVIDsTEA calls it ‘plum’ but I disagree with that – if anything I’d say it’s more of a peach or apricot kind of fruitiness. It really isn’t super distinct though. Along with this fruityness I also taste cane sugar.
This tea was also a lovely one to share with my sister because I kind of got to show her how a tea’s profile changes over multiple steepings. I shared the second infusion with her and she disliked it a lot; she called it too grassy/vegetal (a word she’s learned from me) and not sweet enough. However, a few sips from the seventh and eight infusion changed her mind and she couldn’t believe I wasn’t sharing a totally different tea with her! The profile had changed that much.
This is a queued tasting note!
I LOVE fennel so I was pretty excited when this came out as a ToTM; I’m always down for trying a new fennel blend and I love when they’re caffeine free because then I can enjoy them as a late night sweet treat.
I grabbed this one hot as a “To Go” in store when I went to restock Juicy Orange and Buchu Superfruit – it was certainly quite tasty but not really surprising in any regard. Very strong, sweet licorice/anise/fennel flavour and then a more herbaceous undertone which is nice because it stops this from tasting totally one dimensional.
I wont grab more, at least right now, because the Dutch Licorice rooibos I have in my cupboard currently fills the slot in my stash for a licorice tea just fine but when I finish that tea off I don’t know whether I’ll opt to restock this one or Dutch Licorice. Both are quite lovely.
This is a queued tasting note.
Wonderful cold brew! I thought it had a phenomenal, accurate root beer flavour though my family had some other opinions. It’s not that they thought it didn’t taste good – they just thought it didn’t taste like rootbeer. My mom thought it was bubble gum flavour; my sister believed it was candy cane.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Root Beer, White Chocolate
Cold Brew Sipdown (125)!
Thanks for the sample Kittenna! This one is pretty nice; very very chocolatey with a nice coconut undertone. It’d be good for an after dinner sweet craving fix. However, while I find it pretty tasty it’s also pretty average as far as chocolate teas go. Nothing to phone home over.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Coconut, Dark Chocolate
Tea comes from Kittenna!
I was SO tempted to spike this with rum the first time I made this, but ultimately decided it’d be best to try it plain before making any major alterations.Also, it amazes me I’m still trying ‘new’ Butiki blends. Truly, Butiki is a company that just keeps giving…
- This was VERY lime flavoured, and had a sour tinge
- Also a hint of orange
- Quite pithy
- I would’ve liked to see the flavour more well rounded
- And sweeter over sour…
- But I realize flavour may have faded over time
- And I’m not trying this at ‘optimal’ freshness…
Flavors: Citrus, Lime, Sour, Tart