2565 Tasting Notes
First to review this one!? Really!? Did no one else request it or am I just the first to get to it…
Anyway; I’ve got a few queued tasting notes to get to but it was important to me that I write this one first ‘cause I know Nanuoshan really wanted reviews up by the 19th – which was yesterday, and due to some stupid decisions (which I’ll get to in another tasting note) that didn’t happen with the last two samples from them, despite what I thought was a well thought out drinking schedule.
I drank this one Gong Fu in my CS Gaiwan; I picked it out because I also got the other Rougui that they were offereing, which was new to me as well, and I wanted to sort of compare and see the differences between the two. And basically what I did was just write tons and tons of jot notes while I drank this one and then went back afterwards and edited them into more concise, easy to read paragraphs. I also did a wash for this one, though took no notes on that step.
- 30 sec Roasty, Mineral, very brisk/dark and a quite astringent w. charcoal/ashy notes? Some cinnamon – it’s very ‘dry’. Leaves opened a little; leaf in the gaiwan smells strongly roasty/ashy and reminds me a bit of bitter, black coffee. Overall kind of reminds me of the smell of a campfire AFTER water’s been poured on it to put it out; wet/damp, ashy/smokey still…
- 30 sec Smells less harsh and a bit sweeter with cinnamon notes. Lost most of the astringency/charcoal notes. Still has mineral notes and a touch of roastiness. Definitely sweeter; some floral notes are starting to emerge near the end of the sip & in the aftertaste. Has a bit of sharpness to it; very pithy.
- 60 sec No roast/mineral notes, but some astringency and bite from the bumper crop of pithy notes popping up. Floral notes are more amped up with an underlying, softer fruit flavour than the citrus/pith that’s been present so far; maybe a stonefruit? Cinnamon note is the same. Pumpernickel bread notes? Leaves are totally opened up now.
- 90 sec Very floral and still a little bit mineral and cinnamon tasting; still reminds me of stonefruit a little bit. Most of pumpernickel flavour is very toned down and while I still taste some citrus/lemon there’s no longer that bitterness/‘tang’. This is the ‘gentlest’ tasting infusion thus far with a very soft, smooth mouthfeel.
I think, between the two different types, I enjoyed the other one a lot more; it was sweeter/fruitier and I liked the nut notes in it, which I didn’t observe with this one. However, this was still very good and absolutely had similarities while still being different overall. Much more floral, and I think the first infusion was a lot more abrasive than Rougui.
Wish someone else would review this though (if anyone else grabbed a sample of it?) because I know I’m not that experienced with this variety and I’d like to see how others viewed it, and how my observations line up. The fact no one else has written for this one unnerves me a little.
I hope I’m not missing another page for this tea, with other reviews…
I walked home after work today instead of busing because it was beautiful outside and I thought it’d be a good time to see just how long the walk home takes me because, during the summer, it might be a lot more financially smart to walk instead of bus – and the route I take to work doesn’t run between May and August. Took me 40 minutes overall; not too bad. That’s actually less time than it takes to bus home. My feet are killing me though…
I drank this one from a timolino during the walk though; it’s another one that I’m trying blindly. I expected to get a lot of spice/heat from it but the flavour was much, much milder than I anticipated. In fact, I barely got any spice or heat at all! The closet thing would be some super watery cinnamon or black pepper? What I did taste a lot of was licorice though! That seems like a weird pairing to me; but it’s absolutely what I got. Some kind of licorice root and actual licorice cross, perhaps? I liked it, but also found it a bit boring as well.
Certainly wouldn’t buy this one for myself, nor would I go out of my way to try it again but, if served to me, I would be totally ok drinking it. And, you have to keep in mind that it’d bagged too; it could’ve been much worse.
Side Note: I’m sure it wasn’t the intention, but the woman on the bag art/design reminds me a lot of Frida Kahlo, and that made me smile this morning as well as prompted me to switch up my Magnetic Fridge Frida Kahlo’s wardrobe. She’s now rocking a Hijab, Anarchy Shirt, and Skull leggings and has a Capuchin perched on her shoulder. Fridge Frida is one of my favourite things about my kitchen…
But anyway, thanks MissB for the sample!
Flavors: Black Pepper, Licorice, Sweet
Happy St. Patty’s Day! I realize it’s over for most of you now, but technically I’ve still got about a half hour left until midnight…
Thank you MissB! It’s finally nice enough here that I was able to ditch the crappy, leaky glass tumbler I use for hot teas on the way to work and switch to my large, beautiful plastic one that holds my daily 25 oz. cold brew, and then some! Spring is really here!
So; I did this one “blind” – by which I mean I just didn’t look it up at all when making/drinking it. So, these are my completely ‘unbiased’ thoughts about the blend.
Dry, I thought that the leaf was very grassy with obvious peach notes as well as melon – most likely honeydew? I very much anticipated there to be peach in this; I know enough French to know “Peche” is peach – however, I don’t know what “Mignon” is supposed to be. Were I to guess, though, I’d say probably melon just based on the smell. It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
Obviously I cold brewed this one since I’ve already pointed out that I drank it in my cold brew tumbler. It got a whopping 16 hour steep though, because I forgot I was steeping it. First thing I noticed was the green base, which was really strong. Strong in a good way though; it tasted the way freshly mowed grass smells and kind of like chlorophyll? It also has a very, very fresh ‘dewy’ melon taste. At first I was thinking honeydew, but the more I drank the more it tasted like cantaloupe to me. Having now checked out the ingredients I see that it is, in fact, cantaloupe.
Where’s the peach though? I definitely pick up on it in the smell, but I can barely taste it. I also noticed some really, really light floral notes and a third fruit flavour but it’s blending in too closely with the melon for me to identify it. I’ve seen the ingredients list now though; and I’m pretty confidant was I was tasting was strawberry.
This was delicious! I love the way the flavours came together, and it was one of the fruitiest greens I’ve ever had – with interesting and unusual fruit flavours, as well. I don’t know if I’ve seen cantaloupe done by a company other than Butiki.
Today’s word of the day was forlorn, meaning: “1. feeling sad and lonely especially because of being left alone; 2. hopeless”.
Last one of the DT Spring Collection that I hadn’t tried; I cold brewed this for work yesterday, but didn’t finish it. I’m drinking the last little bit now thought before I start getting ready for work.
It’s not quite what I was expecting; the flavour is more “punchy” and juice-like than anticipated. Whoever it was that described this as tasting like powdered juice crystal/mix was right on the money. That overly sweet, sugary fruit flavour is so characteristic of that sort of drink; it totally overrides any flavour that the white base could’ve contributed. And, I think that intense “from concentrate” juice trait is only amped up by the sweet blackberry leaves; what’s going on here is everything I’ve experienced with other blends that use them.
But once I get over how different it is from what I had expected it’s really not so bad; I like how forward the apricot flavour is even if it’s not the most realistic flavouring and I taste some peachy notes underneath it, and maybe something just a pinch floral? I’m intrigued to try it hot and see how the flavour shifts.
So, now having tried everything I think my favourite is, surprisingly, Elderflower Spritz. Strawberry Fields is the clear loser; and everything else falls pretty close together in the middle.
Flavors: Apricot, Candy, Floral, Peach, Sugar
I feel like I’m probably going to be drinking a lot of bagged teas on the way to work for a little while; today I got a box of samples from Sil and MissB – 35 new teas to be specific, many of which were bagged. I’m super excited to get to explore them all; they all, yes even the bagged tea, seem quite interesting!
When I realized just how much bagged tea I had, though, I decided to bring the majority of my older and neglected bagged teas in to work – I know that a lot of the staff will appreciate having some tea to drink on break; currently we’ve just got coffee in our staff room and the tea we sell at the Coffee Bar is gross Lipton. Plus, it’s good for me too because easier sipdowns!
This was the first of MissB’s bagged tea samples that I decided to try; it seemed like the most unique of the samples – and I definitely like black currants!
Dry, this doesn’t smell like anything. However, once the boiling water hit the tea bag all I could smell was black currants; almost jammy, but not quite sweet enough to be a jam. I kept my steep time pretty short; I know that black currant has a tendency to turn medicinal very, very quickly and that’s definitely not what I wanted. The flavour was spot on for black currants; and thankfully didn’t taste medicinal at all to me. It was a very monotone flavour; but I didn’t really expect it to be otherwise anyway nor was there anything that indicated it would be otherwise.
It definitely didn’t have a lot natural sweetness; just a tiny bit of agave probably would’ve made it pop a little more. Still, this was really enjoyable and different, and I really liked it! I wonder if there are any Canadian retailers that sell this brand? I’ve never seen or even heard about it until today…
Flavors: Black Currant
I think my eyesight’s getting worse; I’m near sighted (so I can’t see things that are far away) and normally can read my computer screen just fine without my glasses on, but today I had to wear them to see the screen for The Sims, and writing tasting notes right now I’m struggling to read the font while my laptop’s resting on my lap as I type. Might be time for an eye appointment…
Last tea of the day, and my daily cold brew. I wish I had more information about this one; it was one of the two samples that came with my JADEsCHA cloud pot from VariaTEA but it’s not listed on their website at all. I tried searching under green teas, scented teas, and by looking up the word “pearl” and nothing. Dry, the pearls were about the size of a pea, and rather powdery.
Jasmine greens aren’t really my thing; I much prefer white jasmines or jasmine in oolong blends. The base of this tea is nice enough though with some buttery notes and sweeter vegetal notes as well but the jasmine tastes kind of cheap to me; a little more on the artificial side, a little too perfumey. Maybe trying this hot would’ve brought that out less; but I’ve got a hunch that even if there had been a bit of difference it wouldn’t have been much. Bad jasmine is bad jasmine.
All in all is balances out to a mediocre to average brew. Another one out of the cupboard!
Today’s word of the day was reticent which means: “1. not tending to talk or give out information; 2. quiet in tone or appearance; 3. showing doubt or unwillingness”.
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.