69 Tasting Notes
Usually, when a tea company promises baked goods, or sweets, I side eye it a bit. Better to keep expectations at a bare minimum, because they always end up disappointing: too thin, too bland, too weak, too artificial, and so on. And when David’s released this tea, my side eyeing just intensified.
But oh, this tea. This tea! It’s been a long, long while that I’ve genuinely enjoyed a David’s flavoured-black and this tea gives me hope for future blends. It’s ridiculously cozy and warm, and I don’t know how they managed to get that egg-custard-drenched scent to translate into taste, but they did, and I love it to bits.
When this tea is good, it’s fabulous, tasting just like it smells: chocolatey, coconutty, buttery yumminess. There’s a surprising richness to the cup, not in an oily, heavy sense, but in a really satisfying, you-just-took-a-big-chomp-on-a-palm-sized-macaroon kind of way. But when this tea is moody, it’s thin, bland, and weak, with a slightly off-putting smell (perhaps the scoop ended up with too much coconut and rock sugar, and not enough tea).
The fussiness has kept me from permanently stocking this in large amounts, but sometimes I grab 25g of it and shock myself with how much I love it. Like today, for instance. This cup is delicious, and is a perfect way to round out my morning.
A slow, albeit early morning today. One of the consequences of eating breakfast at 4:30am is the inevitable hunger at 9 or 10. To hold myself until a more appropriate lunch hour, I had a snack and mixed up a large tumbler of this matcha. I’d grabbed 100g of this and the vanilla matcha a short while ago, and let me tell you: while 100g of unflavoured matcha goes a long, long way, this most definitely does not. A lot of it has to do with how . . . light this tea is in flavour. Since I’m finicky and need to have matcha with soy milk, I discovered early on that I have to be overly generous in scooping this tea if I really want the taste to come through. My general method is to pour in a good amount, whisk with very hot water, top off with soy, whisk some more, microwave, and do a final whisk. It works for me.
This “brews” up a slightly muddy, murky, green. It’s sweet and comforting and all too easy to gulp down. And I don’t know if I’m just TELLING myself that I’m drinking matcha, so I better be more awake, what with David’s labelling this as low caffeine, but I do feel more alert—and without having my hands shake all over the place. So there’s that. With this tumbler, I’m officially done with my 100g of this, and I’m pretty sad. The vanilla really doesn’t compare, and I liked having a cheaper, easier to froth/whisk matcha alternative to my precious store of DoMatcha. I might grab more of this after I get through the tin of vanilla matcha, if only because it’s so nice to have on hand for those mid morning slumps.
Pretend!Monday is going to be vicious after the long weekend. Am choosing to fortify myself (4am wake up calls are no joke, arghhhhhh) by eating a bowl of sweet soup (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ching_bo_leung) and hoping against hope that the kelp/lotus/lily bulb combination will bring a better night of sleep than I’ve been getting recently. A girl can have hope, okay?!
I reached for the corn tea tonight because I needed a break from my Mulberry Magic routine, and this has gone pretty neglected. This is buttery sweet and grainy, and every time I drink it, I’m reminded of how enjoyable it is. I just wish it didn’t make my mouth/lips so darned dry.
You know what will make your day infinitely better?
Cookies with tea-infused browned butter. Cookies that taste of dark chocolate and lemon and caramel.
As much as I like this tea, and would never turn down a cup of it in the afternoon, I downright love it as an extra layer of flavour in baked goods. Going to try it in a honey-and-whiskey cake recipe next weekend.
I’ve fallen into a routine with my tea drinking. Every morning, while I’m blearily puttering around the kitchen, I fill up a 12 oz timolino with a cream earl grey and a 16 oz carry mug with genmaicha, and stash them both in my purse. I have no idea what company the genmaicha is from—I got a ridiculous amount from a Japanese restaurant eons ago and the packaging is long gone—but it’s exactly to my tastes, ie. dominant toasty popcorn/rice notes and no grassiness to speak of. I find it soothing in the afternoons, especially when I hit my 2:30 slump.
The first time I had osmanthus-anything was at a kbbq place we found last summer or so. We ordered everything they had on offer for dessert, without really looking, and it was a pleasant surprise when among the tiny dishes of green tea / red bean / vanilla ice cream, there was also a plate with a small rectangle of gold-white pudding/jello. And YUM. Yes. Definitely the best dessert. It reminded me of the steamed yellow cakes we get at dim sum—floral, subtly sweet, and tea-scented. The only thing was, I had no idea what tea it was. Not lotus, orchid, jasmine or chrysanthemum and I was stumped. My mom was stumped. The waitress said osmanthus with a question mark at the end, and we were further stumped.
Whatever. All I knew was I needed it. Now. Pronto. Gimme. Grabby hands! etc.
Stalking the local Chinese supermarkets, I’ve seen huge tins of Osmanthus Green or Osmanthus Oolong—some of which went for about 250-350g, ranging from 5-10 dollars, and that was tempting, but man, do I ever not need 350g of a tea I might not love. Luckily, when I popped into Square One yesterday, I hunted down Ten Ren’s, and grabbed this 150g packet. Still a large quantity, yeah, but manageable.
And I’m so glad I did. This is so nice. Smooth, lightly floral, and surprisingly reminiscent of a milk oolong. It’s buttery and chock-full of dried apricots and oats, and it gives me some serious hankerings for warmer days and sunlight. You know Quaker’s Peaches and Cream instant oatmeal? This tea is like Apricots and Cream. Crazy!
I didn’t want to admit it. I really didn’t.
It still tastes like wholemeal bread, subtly touched with molasses. And on subsequent sips, it is very much like taking bites of raw, earthy sweet potato. So there’s that. However, the most dominant note I’m scenting is cannabis, and it’s sinking my love, and sinking it fast.