2549 Tasting Notes
I always forget that part of having people over is not just providing them with copious amounts of food, but also feeding them – especially when they’re at your house for like nine hours…
We had a few snacky things during the day in between tea while Robyn was here today; some Ardagh Wine Cheese from my fancy cheese stash and some Chicago Mix which is the best popcorn ever; it’s sharp cheddar coated popcorn mixed in with caramel corn – a great mix of sweet and savory! And then eventually we ordered pizza for the three of us.
We had the brilliant idea of each picking out an ingredient for the pizza; Spinach was mine, Robyn picked Feta, and Tre went with Banana peppers. It actually tasted really good. I’m happy we’re not practically living on pizza anymore; but it’s nice to still order it as a treat for ourselves. Of course, the Nestea came with the pizza like it always does, though between the three of us it’s all gone now.
Thank you Nannuoshan for the review sample!
It was really amazing being able to do a Gong Fu session with her because I don’t typically have people over for tea other than family and Tre (who is pretty disinterested) and, up until quite recently, I didn’t even have the proper brewing vessels to share the same tea with someone; no pots, Gaiwans, and otherwise. Just tools for matcha or Western brewing.
I’m sure I could have gotten more infusions from the leaf because the flavour wasn’t really even starting to fade when we stopped steeping; but we stuck with four because we had ordered food for supper an it had just arrived. And greasy Spinach, feta and banana pepper pizza didn’t seem like it’d go too well with a nicer oolong like this one.
Started with a quick wash; was surprised how much the leaves had started to open up just from the really short amount of time they were steeping. The smell was amazing; lots of mineral notes, just a smidgen of earthiness, a little sweet. Very lovely, and interesting.
By far the most mineral tasting, with a pretty roasty body flavour as well as some stronger loamy, earth notes. A touch astringent; not much. There was just a little bit of sweetness poking through; like dried apricot maybe? For a tea named after cinnamon, I was definitely expecting that flavour though I definitely didn’t sense any in this first infusion. I think this was my least favourite infusion – though that certainly doesn’t mean it was bad; far from it.
My favourite infusion! Still had roasty and mineral notes, though less so. Accompanying these notes were the sweetness of walnut with a little bit of a drier mouthfeel from the tannins in the time. It was a nice astringency, though (while I usually dislike all things astringent; I have come to expect at least a little astringency with nearly every nut flavour in tea- hazelnut being the exception). A bit more than in that first steep. Didn’t taste anything particularly earthy this time around; and the fruity note was a lot stronger. Still reminded me a little of apricot, but a little peachy as well and definitely more of a fresh, ripe flavour than the flavour of dried fruit. Some cinnamon notes in the background; still less than I had anticipated. The leaves were almost completely opened up.
Third and Fourth Infusion:
I’m grouping these ones together because they tasted almost identical to me. Leaves were completely open for both. Hardly any roasty or mineral flavour at all, but a lot more walnut and cinnamon. Maybe even maple notes? The bulk of the flavour was made up by a very, very sweet borderline syrupy peach flavour. Really fresh, ripe and natural. And, I’m wondering if it’s the sweetness of the peach that’s making me think of maple as an extension of the walnut notes? A few fun floral notes in the background as well.
This was my first Rougui, though I have another variation from Nannuoshan to try still and I’m quite excited for it given how much I enjoyed this one. I’ve also got another from a different company, and I look forward to trying that one after I’ve finished with my Nannuoshan reviews; those are definitely more of a priority for the time being.
This definitely seems like a tea type right up my alley though; there wasn’t any part of it I disliked so I’ll probably explore it further once I’ve finished up what’s in my cupboard. Sharing it with a good friend made it better too; though part of me wishes I hadn’t so I could’ve drank all the tea…
Flavors: Apricot, Cinnamon, Dried Fruit, Floral, Loam, Maple, Mineral, Peach, Roasted, Walnut
Robyn just left, so time to log the teas we enjoyed while she was here! It was a really good visit; about nine hours in total of, essentially, non-stop Sims 4. That game can sure be addicting! Hopefully no one minds if the bulk of this tasting note details our Sims session. And if you do mind, well fuck you – this is my tasting note!
Our original family consisted of four sims; each based upon, and named after, a Stereotype. The oldest was “Thunderbeads Willis” – a Widower and ‘late in life gay’ getting to know the side of himself he’d been suppressing all his life. Then there were his three children; the youngest was “WhiteGirl Willis”, a stereotypical ‘Five minutes late with Starbucks’ teenager with a stick thin figure. Seriously; her thigh gap was probably as big as her disproportionately sized head. The other two children were “Hipster Willis”, an artsy young adult looking to get her big break in the music industry, and “Fuckboy Willis” who was a ‘Frat Boy/Bro’ type with a desire to be the worlds best bartender.
After building our house, the first thing we did was find Thunderbeads a hubby. Eventually, after vetting a few other seniors, we found a single guy named Emmett with some matching interests. Thankfully, the two hit it off and after a pinch of forced romance and cheating they were wedded! Emmett moved in, and hit it off with the rest of the family – except for WhiteGirl. No matter what we did, we couldn’t get them to get along.
With that settled, we moved on to finding someone for WhiteGirl to cheer her up. Eventually we found someone named J Huntington III – he was this rare cross between jock, prep, and ‘bro’. Sadly, he was a young adult and since WhiteGirl was a teenager they couldn’t be together. But, something unexpected happened – J hit it off with Fuckboy! Since they both shared the ‘bro’ trait they were fast friends, but one thing led to another and they started getting really, really close. Eventually they were sleeping together, but it was no big deal; just two bros helping one another out. Scratching that ‘itch’ for one another. Fuckboy invited J to move in together – but just as close friends, of course. And they shared a bed – it was the fiscally responsible move. But more on this later.
We moved on to Hipster. After finding several suitors (literally seven) she wasn’t making progress with any of them. Too much of a snob, I guess. I mean, I suppose it didn’t help when we gave her the ‘snob’ trait. So, to help her out a little we cheated and made her irresistible to men. The first guy she snagged was a Grecian God named Johnny Zest. After a whirlwind romance of five minutes they decided to get married, elope, and try for a baby. And just like that Hipster was pregnant! After an intense seven day pregnancy Hipster gave birth to a beautiful baby boy whom we named Lemon (making his full name Lemon Zest) who inherited all of his father’s amazing genetics, and who took after his father’s comedic personality.
Soon after, WhiteGirl aged up, and became a Young Adult – making her eligible to date! We tried pairing her with a few different people, but didn’t spend much time on it. Sadly, just hours later poor Johnny Zest drowned in a tragic, and not at all expected swimming accident. Lemon seemed totally un-phased by this, thankfully? However, it seemed to hit Hipster pretty hard, though did drive her to write some truly inspired songs which furthered her music career. She also wrote a beautiful message on his tombstone, which was thoughtfully left poolside. The message “Thanks for the sperm”.
And, as the Grim Reaper was collecting Johnny’s soul, who seized the opportunity? WhiteGirl – who had finally found a gentleman caller who caught her interest. The two hit it off splendidly! Grim was even invited to the surprise wedding between Fuckboy and J who, after aging from Young adults to regular adults, were finally able to admit to one another they were more than just ‘bros’ and, after Fuckboy and Emmett caught Thunderbeads and J flirting with one another, decided to solidify their relationship with an all out wedding ceremony.
Unfortunately, that’s where we stopped playing – just when the story was getting interesting!
Anyway; tea related – this was the Spring tea Robyn picked out to drink while she was here (though I gave her samples of the others we didn’t try out to take home) – so we each had a cup. I still didn’t like this one: it’s just really, really aritifical and the cream flavoring tasted really gnarly to me. Like milk right on the cusp of going bad. However, she loved it so I, without hesitation, passed on the rest of the 25g from the Spring sampler on to her.
One more bad tea out of my cupboard! And, at least it’s going to someone who’ll drink and enjoy it. It probably would’ve taken me a really long, drawn out time to finish it all or it would have been snuck into different swap packages.
My friend Robyn’s coming over pretty soon; it’s been a while since we’ve hung out. I think right before Christmas was the last time, so I’m excited! We’ve got a pretty casual day of Sims and snack foods planned. She should be here any minute now, so just sneaking in this review before she gets here.
Woke up with the craving for this one; it’s that time of year! It’s very gorgeous where I live right now; all the snow’s been melting, and it’s sunny with the perfect weather for wearing hoodies outside and ditching the bulky winter coats! Finally it feels like Spring! So bring on the sweet, light and tropical fruity spring/summer teas.
This one had really lovely lemonade and kiwi notes to it; just as fun, simple, and perfect as I remembered. Maybe even a few subtler notes of under ripe green melons in the aftertaste? Melon and kiwi are such a great pairing!
And it’s been such a long time since I’ve had this too. It’s the right balance of gentle flavouring and “slap you in the face” juicy fruit to drink at the start of the day, to wake up with. Still one of the only DT green blends that I really like.
I think Robyn’s hoping to try some of the things from the DT Spring collection – so probably not gonna get a lot of diverse tea drinking in today, though I have set aside one of my Nannuoshan samples that I’m hoping she’ll be interested in sharing; I’m excited to show off my pretty new birthday teaware to someone other than Tre.
Happy Belated Pi(e) Day!
For people who don’t/didn’t know – Pi Day is March. 14th, and named so because the date is “03/14” – like the mathematical term. And, this year was extra special because the date was 03/14/15! I think I first learned about this fun pseudo holiday from a math teacher in highschool? But, ever since it’s been something fun to celebrate by going out and buying a pie and eating the whole thing with a few friends. Which is what I did yesterday; bought an apple pie after work and shared it with Tre.
I also wanted to drink pie tea – but couldn’t actually think of anything I owned that was pie related. That is, until this morning when it struck me that, duh, I have this! So, I drank it a day late – but it’s still in spirit of the holiday, so it totally still counts, right? I think so.
Whisked up in matcha; was really tasting the cinnamon pastry notes, with more of a berry aftertaste. It was good though; super frothy!
And – not Pi(e) day related, but it is matcha related! We got confirmation from Rikyu today that Birthday Chawan choice #2 is now officially mine! Hooray! It’s gorgeous, and I’m so excited for it to show up! Now just the hard part; waiting for it to arrive…
(This is the one I got: http://www.rikyucha.com/item/list2/104031/)
Oh, and PS. Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! Definitely added a lot to my day!
And saying goodbye to yet another DT Seasonal blend that I was hoarding…
Finished this one off as a cold brew because I was craving a creamy mint cold brew and I don’t really have any other mint/chocolate/vanilla teas in my cupboard currently. Unfortunately it probably wasn’t the best way to sip this one down and still get that really rich, creamy taste I love – and somehow it manages to be even more of a mess than this blend normally is!
The mint flavour was great; super hydrating and just the right concentration to feel refreshed but not like I just ate a tablespoon of toothpaste. However, all the white chocolate swirls from the bottom of the tin really messed this up; obviously they didn’t melt – but they did dissolve. Or really, I should say disintegrate. So there were a million floaties, without really contributing much flavour – and then on top of that they managed to coat the entire inside of the mason jar in a surprisingly thick layer of waxy chocolate that was a bitch to clean out.
Darn; I feel like I made a bad judgement call here.
Still; I’m going to miss this blend a lot. It was a really nice herbal to have around, despite the goop, and I think one of my most drank herbal teas ever?
First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY VARIATEA! I hope you’re having an absolutely fucking wonderful day; and drinking tons of splendid tea! I couldn’t have asked for a better tea twin!
Had this one yesterday on the way to work. It was kinda off tasting while it was hot; something in it was coming off very sudsy/soapy. I want to say that it was the peach flavouring – ’cause the ginger I could taste was ok (as far as ginger goes), but the peach was really artificial/fake.I actually didn’t finish my mug, and I left it up in the staffroom. When I came back for lunch, I grabbed the now super cold half mug and slurped it down. It was much better cold; no soap taste and the peach read as less artificial tasting! This leads me to believe that cold brewing might be a really good option for this tea, so definitely going to add it to my list of future cold brews!
Flavors: Peach, Soap
Last tea of the night; cold brewed – and I’m totally into this one. It’s sweet and really fun; though it kind of seems a little more like a summer tea to me.
It’s totally honeydew; but maybe leaning just a little bit towards a slightly unripened honeydew; it’s got that unripe sort of “tang” to it, which is just kind of accented by a sharp kiwi sour note as the start of the sip. It’s a nice sour though; just a little initial tartness, and then fade into yummy sweet melon. Very juicy and refreshing! Maybe just the tiniest bit of papaya? Mmm!
It’s a shame this is so heavy! I swear with each seasonal collection DT puts out a herbal tea that would be pretty affordable if it weren’t so heavy – and that just makes it super hard to justify buying it – and that’s the one I fall in love with every time! I used up almost all of the 25g sample I got for this cold brew. All I’ll be able to brew with the remaining leaf is a small hot cup…
Queued Tasting Note.
This is the only Winter/Holiday tea from this year that I even remotely considered restocking; but it’s so heavy that, for what it’s priced at it was just hard to justify buying it. But, when the Spring teas came out it dawned on me that if I was going to get it I had to act quickly.
Thankfully, I was able to get Tre to pick some up for me for my birthday! I was expecting 50g – but he got 100g, which was perfectly ok with me. It’d been a while since having it, and I wasn’t sure if I was remembering it more fondly than I should be but I know that VariaTEA liked this one – so worst case I’d just pass it along to her!
But, it is pretty good! It smells AMAZING – so creamy, with such a supple apple smell. Just a little bit of spice – not a lot. I think I underleafed when I steeped this up though; there were a few sips that were delightfully sweet with a lovely vanilla custard and light caramel flavour – just a touch of coriander in the aftertaste. But there were also a few sips that just tasted really thin and watery; with more chamomile flavour. And, the liquor was an awfully pale colour.
I’ll keep that in mind next time I have it; though it was still really good overall. I am glad I picked up more – I seem to be going through my DT herbals awfully quickly.
Also go me! This is the last tea in my queue – and so far I’ve written seventeen tasting notes (and counting) today! Wow, productive day!
Thank you TheLastDodo for the sample! Definitely not my usual jam; not too big on lemongrass, ginger or green tea. But I gave it a shot, and I did my best to be as open minded as I could be!
I cold brewed most of the sample; I was impressed with the smell of the dry leaf actually – it smelled surprisingly like really sweet, fresh squeezed lemonade! No noticeable ginger. The taste, however, wasn’t quite as good. It definitely wasn’t bad – and like in the smell, I couldn’t taste ginger at all despite seeing several sizable pieces in what I had measured out for the brew. That was a plus for me. The lemon was intense though; and while some sips tasting a little more like natural, sweet and tart lemon flavour most of it tasted just like lemongrass – which I’m really fickle towards. Not really sure why. It’s just… different and weird.
The base itself was ok; definitely grassy but for what’s in the blend it works well and comes together pretty seamlessly. It definitely wasn’t the problem with this blend, for me that is.
Thanks again TheLastDodo – it was pretty average overall with definites negatives and positives. I was more than ok with passing the rest of my sample along to a coworker though.