391 Tasting Notes
I would really rather my first oolong NOT have been scented, but the lady at Murchie’s gifted me a sample of this “On The House” because it was apparently top-rated and one of the best sellers last year. Very nice of her.
Going to brew this in my Libre because it’s glass, and I wanted to watch the leaves unfurl. I plan, once it’s done steeping, to pour all of the tea out into a teacup (I’m not making very much).
Water is cooling… I have no idea what temperature to brew this at. I tried to look it up, but oolongs are quite variable anyways, and I was getting results anywhere from 180-boiling. So I went “screw it, 180 it is”. Or, rather, slightly under 180. Nevermind. Steep Time was another issue, so I’m going to do four minutes.
The dry leaves are a sort of milky green jasmine maybe? The milky smell was more evident in the bag, but I transferred them to a small tin. Slightly floral sort of smell too, that reminds me a bit of Andrews and Dunham’s jasmine green.
This is very pale. Sort of a tinge of green. Light a light green tea. Dunno how it should look—the tea leaves themselves did look fairly ‘green’, so.
No milkyness in the taste. Very… green. That’s really all I’m getting. It was interesting to watch the leaves, though. They didn’t open up as quickly as I thought they would. Slightly sweet. As I continued drinking it started to get sort’ve astringent. I always figured that I would enjoy a “blacK” oolong more. This hasn’t changed that opinion. Although this is only the first steep.
Wet leaves smell… vegetal, green. Something else, which I want to say is nutty, but it’s not.
Oooh leaves are huge now. Got this water closer to 180. Going to steep this one for four minutes too. While waiting for the second steep, I noticed a weird taste in the back of my throat… Uh. Peppery, maybe?
Second one is darker, probably because the leaves were already open for this steep. Only slightly, though. Stronger smell, but still just green. More strongly vegetal than before. That almost maybe? Not quite pepper taste is back, stronger. Don’t know. Still don’t really like it. Floral jasminy smell’s still there. Oh! Buttery! I got a buttery taste for a moment there. Like a watery, milky buttery taste. I’m not sure.
Not liking this one again. Ehrck.
Third steep smells… Sweeter? Tastes sweeter too. This one’s actually kind of pleasant. When I breath out there’s a butteryness. Vegetal pepperyness.
I’d go for a fourth steep (I hear good things about fourth steeps!),but I’m too full of tea now.
Don’t know how to rate this. Hrm.
Having this in between class. I was carrying three tins on me today—Earl Grey, 1001 Nights, and this. My travel tin of Lapsang is almost empty, oh no! I need to go home and refill it.
My Libre has been on and off temperamental today. It leaked the first time, not the second or third, and then I flip it for my smoky tea, and it leaks ALL over the place (and usually it only leaks when it’s on its side, and if you wipe the inside rim before you screw the parts together, it prevents this!). It stopped quickly enough, flipped it back rightside up and it was fine, but then I went and opened it (I waited a few seconds and gave it a few shakes to get rid of water that may have collected in the rim) and it EXPLODED water everywhere. Not a good thing to have near a laptop.
So I LOST some water in the process, but there’s still a drinkable amount here. Baaah.
The cafeteria at my college gives you water at 190 degrees (I know, I checked—got weird looks the whole time standing there with a thermometer in a weird glass travel mug).
Even after this I can’t hate Libre; I just keep blaming the leaks on myself. I probably didn’t wipe the inside enough, or screw the pieces together tight enough, or shake the water out of the cap well enough. I still love you, Libre.
Hmm tea came out a bit watery (funny, considering how much water I lost in the process of making it), but still deep and smoky pine tasting (I love that pineness—it’s weird and sweet), and seriously warming to the soul. The Libre container keeps my hands pleasantly warm and the smokyness of the tea keeps my insides pleasantly warm, and now it’s almost a bad thing because I’m feeling somewhat sleepy as a result, and I want to climb into a sleeping back outside in the fresh air and take a nap.
If I wasn’t so impossibly busy with class and work, I would go camping, I think.
There’s a slight, weird aftertaste in the back of the throat—it’s not bad or good, and I can’t really tell what it is (or if it’s due to the tea, or if it had already been there and I just hadn’t noticed it until now). Barky, I think. Maybe it’s the pine taste.
Also, mmmm smoky breath. My favourite part.
Ooookay! Steeped this one to taste, which was somewhere between thirty seconds and forty-five. I knew any longer than that and I wouldn’t be able to stand it. I used the still-hot water from the rooibos, and it was at a drinkable temperature already, so it probably wasn’t very hot at all.
First thing first, I reeeeeally haaaate mint. Mint gum, ew. After-dinner mints make my skin crawl. I don’t like the artificial cold feeling. Bleeeech. I’ve only ever liked spearmint, in that pink gum. Which probably isn’t actually what spearmint TASTES like.
This is okay at thirty-seconds in warm, almost-hot water. It smells STRONGLY of peppermint (I know, I’ve had that stuff growing in my garden for years). I think I can make out the tarragon. Liquorishy. Which actually doesn’t go too bad. Faint.
Makes my breath feel cool and minty like mouthwash, but not TOO bad. I doubt I’d be able to drink this if it were any stronger. At any rate, since I dislike mint so strongly (although this tea’s okay—brisk), I don’t think it proper that I give this a rating. I’m too strongly biased.
I needed something hot to sip on to keep me up while I worked on a geomorphology program, but not tea because I didn’t want to be AWAKE the whole night after I finished. I pulled this out of my mother’s freezer and made a cup. The bag smelt… woody with a faint berry. The tea itself smelt MUCH more like some form of berry.
It’s got a very silky mouth-feel (hey look! I use that word now too!). It’s got a berry…ness, but I wouldn’t really call it a taste. A tangyness at the back of my throat as well—unrelated, though. And then a mild woody (but not barky; somehow, there is a difference) rooibos taste. It’s okay. Didn’t wow me or anything, but I’ll probably drink it again sometime, come another late-night college project.
can’t remember the temperature… just under boiling I guess, and steeped around fourish minutes by the time I started sipping it, but left the bag in as I sipped a while longer before removing it.
Yiiiick, I just made the mistake of throwing two teabags of this into a too-small pot. I thought it was big enough for two, but apparently I was wrong. The tea got bitter FAST (four minutes!?), and it was STRONG. Very bitter and too strong, and yuck—even with milk and honey, there was nothing I could do. Never again shall I use more than one teabag. Not unless the pot exceeds four cups capacity at LEAST.