260 Tasting Notes

83

All right, Steepsterites. I tried this at a shorter steep time and it was still noticeably bitter, though not nearly as much as before and a weird part of me [my elbow, maybe] didn’t mind it. Maybe I need to drop the temperature down a bit, or wash the leaves before I let it sit. I don’t know, but what I will tell you is that the second steep of this was absolutely phenomenal. Grape-y in a lovely, lovely way. I can’t get into it much more because I need to study for a test I’ve got tomorrow, which allows me to segue somewhat clumsily into the next paragraph.

I’ve been drinking a lot of tea lately, but I’ve got finals coming up, and that means that I don’t have time to log things like I’d like to. It also means that I’m going to have to go dark on Steepster for a week or two because I need to throw myself into school right now. SO, I will see you guys on the other side of the semester. I fully look forward to my activity feed being so blown that there’s no way I’ll be able to catch up. ENJOY YOUR TEA!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
sophistre

Good luck on your finals!

Jillian

Darjeelings are mostly prized for their astringent ‘muscatl’ flavour rather than for smoothness.

Good luck with the finals, by the way. :)

kat

We’ll miss you . KILL it!!

gmathis

Best wishes and prayers for time management and total recall during finals.

Mike

Good luck!

Angrboda

Good luck with it all! I’ll miss you while you’re gone.

LENA

No worries…you’ll nail those tests! You will be missed!!!

Grinnyguy

Good lcuk!

Carolyn

Good luck with the finals! Hopefully tea will work its magic for your grades.

Fred

I have had some first flush Darjeeling. That biting muscatel taste is definitely a an acquired taste. It’s not the worst tea though. I drink it from time to time. Milk makes it better but from what Ive read milk destroys all of the antioxidants.

teaplz

Good luck, tak-tak! :D Hope those finals go really well and you kick ass, and we’ll talk on the other side of your break!

laurenpressley

Good luck on your finals!! I hope you’ll get lots of tea drinking in along the way!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Good luck on your finals! Enjoy your tea even we won’t be able to enjoy hearing about it.

takgoti

Oh, wow, with your powers combined, I am Captain Pla – I mean, ahem, you sure know how to pad a girl with confidence. One more week, three more tests, and then you won’t be able to get rid of me until school starts up again!

THANKS EVERYONE!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

27
drank White Cucumber by Adagio Teas
260 tasting notes

Trust Auggy to send me a conundrum in a tin. [Hahaha, just kidding. Love you, Augs.] But seriously y’all, this tea belongs in a carnival somewhere between the bearded lady and the contortionist. It is bizarre.

The leaves will punch you in the sarcophagus if you aren’t ready for the stench when you open up the tin. And yes, I am going to call it a stench, because I don’t think it’s an extremely appealing smell. It smells like brine, with maybe a hint of cucumber [but just a hint]. There’s a spicy nudge that almost smells like cinnamon, but it has that sweet edge Auggy was talking about so it really reminds me a lot of Red Hots, which I was never a fan of. Sometimes it has this sharpness to it that reminds me of when I got pine sap on my hand one time and it was really hard to get off and smelled kind of nasty. It’s one of those smells that is impossible to ignore and makes your nostrils feel not unlike they’re being poked with a skewer.

With a smell this pungent, you’d think the tea would be inarguably disgusting, but surprisingly, or not surprisingly as I am discovering with Adagio’s smell to taste ratio, I didn’t find this to be true. This was one of the rare cases where I was so glad the taste did not live up to the smell that I let out a huge sigh of relief after the first sip.

It kind of tasted like cucumber, but even more of that cinnamon/Red Hots note came out in the taste. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t hate it. The scent of the liquid is still a liiiittle bit overwhelming, but the taste was surprisingly mellow. Cucumbers, a cross between dill and sweet pickles, and Red Hots. There is nothing in my head that say those flavors should meld together, but for whatever reason worked okay.

As it moved to luke warm, it began to get a little bit sweeter, which I liked. But when it cooled, the any taste I could pick out was pretty much gone. It sort of tasted like cucumber water, which I can make a little more easily by just sticking cucumbers in water. EDIT TO ADD: Somewhere around here, in the lukewarm range, I also was getting the flavor of plain, unbuttered popcorn. That kind of weirded me out. Not sure where it was coming from, but it wasn’t completely unwelcome.

So, for the novelty, I’ll probably finish off this sample tin. I’ll just have to hold my nose a bit because the stink of the leaves is strong enough to actually make my eyes water. [I wish I were kidding.] But this definitely isn’t something I’m going to buy.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 7 min, 0 sec
Ricky

Cofftea recommends it iced xD

teaplz

I hate cucumbers and I hate pickles, so this sounds like nightmare-in-a-tin for me. Throw in the Red Hot taste that everyone seems to be picking up on (which I, too, never liked), and I doubt I’d be able to even take a sip of this, even if the flavor wasn’t as bad as you thought. I don’t think I’d ever be able to get past the stench alone.

Auggy

Thank you, thank you. I will continue to do my best to throw you difficult and confusing teas!

Ricky

Want the rest of my tin? That’s what I’ve been smelling cinnamon! Didn’t think of it before.

takgoti

@Ricky Yeah…thanks for the suggestion, but I don’t think I like this tea enough to give it a lot of effort. Plus, I didn’t like it cool, so I really don’t think I’ll dig it iced. I can chill cucumber water for much less trouble.

@teaplz It is certainly not a tea for everyone, but it’s one of those things that I’m glad I’ve experienced if that makes sense. Maybe if someone just gave you a shot glass of it hot so you could hold your nose and get a feel for the taste? The smell I would not inflict upon anyone who wasn’t willing to sniff it. It is knock your head back, kick you in the gut strong.

takgoti

@Auggy Yeah, thanks for that left hook. APPRECIATED.

@Ricky HAHAHAHAHA one tin’s enough for me, but thank you very much for your offer.

Angrboda

Ricky, if you seriously want to get rid of it and don’t mind sending across water, I’ll happily take it. I’m dead curious as to whether or not it’s as dreadful as it sounds.

teaplz

Angrboda is much, much braver than I am. Cucumber is already extremely offensive to me, so I can’t even imagine putting this anywhere near my mouth.

If I have to hold my nose to drink something I’m not drinking it! :P

Angrboda

Teaplz, yes, but if I like it it’ll be a huge let-down now. :p If I can’t get my hands on a sample, I’m definitely going to include one the next time I feel I can afford an adagio order.

Ricky

Stay tune for tomorrow’s holiday tea giveaway thread =D and I’ll send it to you. Now, it’s not that horrible as we all say it is. I mean I can finish the tin, but I’d prefer not to, given a choice :D

Jillian

It does sound like a good candidate for the Travelling Teabox. Sure someone out there along the route will love this tea. <

Cofftea

@Ricky, not iced- well unless you steep it 2x strength, but that just seems like a waste to me. Just stick it in the frige. It’s definitely a conundrum, but that’s what I like about it. I try weird teas even if I’m almost positive I won’t like it just to say I did. I LOVE savory teas. lol Not finish the tin? Heck I have an 8 oz tin at my house!:)

kat

haha thats a trip. I received a free sample of this from Adagio when it first came out and I could not BELIEVE the DISGUSTING smell!!!!!! I tossed it in the trash right then which after hearing fromu guys that the taste doesn’t match the smell maybe I should’ve tried it. Im a wimp. Ah,well.

teaplz

Cofftea, ahh, that’s a bit confusing, ‘cause I’ve seen you refer to it as “iced” on several posts. And then on your profile it says that you use teacubes. Do you make teacubes of this and that’s the “iced” part? Or do you just have it chilled?

Cofftea

@teaplz, yeah it is a bit confusing. I need to find a succinct way of saying “iced using ice cubes made of additonal tea instead of plain water”. Truth be told I’m normally too lazy to make them (or too impatient to wait for them to freeze) so I just chill it.

Cofftea

@kat even though I have MORE than enough, the thought of you throwing it (or any tea really) physically hurts me lol. But yeah it smellls gross. I’m used to it thought. I’m even getting used to the aroma of the raw sesame tea leaves which in my book are FAR worse.

Kitch3ntools

i asked for a sample of this for Christmas from my sister so hopefully she’ll get it for me :) even though you all seem to think it smells gross im kinda excited to see what it smells like :p and i LOVE pickles so just the thought that it may taste like a pickle is promising

sophistre

This review has me very curious. Brined cinnamon tea that turns, somehow, into buttered popcorn for a few moments, and then becomes cucumber? It’s one of those things that sounds so implausible and strange that I’m instantly wanting to try it just to see how it happens. I’d be content if it really did taste like cucumber, though…I really like that smell/taste, when it’s fresh and clean (I’ve even had cucumber oil for a perfume, though I will say that it didn’t smell like brine, pickles, or redhots…so strange…)

Cofftea

@sophistre, I drink this often and never get the red hot thing. In RE: the perfume, I have cucumber and aloe scented deoderant.:)

takgoti

@Kitch3ntools Hehehe, if you love pickles then you might really, really like this tea! After reading all the reviews I saw popping up on it before Auggy sent me the sample I was kind of morbidly curious to try it, too, so I understand.

@sophistre Well, not buttered popcorn, but that kernally popcorn taste. It was definitely out of left field, and only brief. I don’t even know how to explain the tea appropriately, this was the best I could do. It is just…something you need to try. I didn’t find it especially refreshing, though I also didn’t find [the taste anyway] bad. It’s just…it is. Maybe you can talk @Ricky into giving you the rest of his sample!

Cofftea

@takgoti, a sarcophagus is a stone coffin, esp. one bearing sculpture, inscriptions, etc., often displayed as a monument, do you mean an esophagus? LOL:)

takgoti

No, it’s from a poster I saw. Feel free to google it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

54
drank Formosa Oolong by Tavalon Tea
260 tasting notes

The Axis of Teavil does it again! Love the new update, Overlords. The tabs are wonderful, and I love the way that the little number count pops up on the notices button to let me know there’s been activity on there. I also am so incredibly appreciative that you’ve now included comments in the tea log stream! Saved me SO MUCH TABBING OVER in an effort to avoid losing my place! [Especially on this laptop, because while I love the Apple’s multi-touch, sometimes when I right-click it doesn’t register and then I end up losing my place anyway. But I digress.]

EDIT TO ADD: Jack, [I think it’s you that’s mainly responsible for this] I just want to add that I love the way that this site looks. Clean, uncluttered, minimal, pretty. It’s one of the more aesthetically pleasing sites I’ve had the pleasure of using. Not to discount your counterparts; you’re all pretty swell.

So, Formosa Oolong. After glancing at the description on here it’s clear that I’ve got some experimenting to do, because my label says 180 at five minutes but Sir Jason has copied over here that it should be 212 at three. This could be why this tasted somewhat weak to me. I was surprised to see the 180 water temp, but I usually try the companies’ suggestions first before switching things up.

I’m beginning to redefine my thoughts on formosa oolongs. I’ve now had a good number of them and two of them now [this one and the Silk Oolong Formosa that Auggy sent me] taste of tropical fruits and sunnier climates.

There wasn’t as much of that buttery taste that I’ve grown to love in most of the formosa oolongs I’ve had. The flavors also seemed more separate, like it juuuuuust wasn’t quite coming together. And it was also just a tad watery.

Okay, tea. It seems that you were doing your best impression of that awkward first slow dance – where you’re standing arms length apart and just kind of rocking back and forth. I’m hoping that changing up some stuff on you will result in more of a Viennese Waltz. We shall see.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

61
drank Ceylon King by Tavalon Tea
260 tasting notes

Ah, ceylon. I didn’t grow up drinking black tea, and so this doesn’t really speak of nostalgia or anything to me. I think I might have tried one of Adagio’s ceylon teas at one point near the start of my getting into teas, but I just never bothered trying to get a baseline for this flavor.

So, I got my order from Tavalon in the other day, and I decided to pop this open.

It isn’t complex, but ceylon doesn’t strike me as a tea that is trying to be. It’s simply there. Some days, that’s what I want. I also think that if I EVER get around to playing around with adding things into my tea, this is the one that I am going to want to use.

It’s also nice to know with certainty that this is what I’ve been tasting in all of those flavored black teas I’ve since had, and I now feel like I might be able to pick it out of blends more easily.

This order also marked the arrival of my brand new tea stick, which I used to brew this. YAY. As we currently don’t have the ability to review tea ware, I’m just going to write a couple of thoughts on here.

1. It’s pretty solid. I’ll admit to thinking that the mesh sliding part would be a little flimsier, but I was pleasantly surprised to open the plastic cylinder to discover some pretty solid construction.

2. It recommends just scooping the tea out of the tin, but I’m not really sure on the logistics of this quite yet. It’s a bit unwieldy as a scoop, and if I eventually begin weighing my tea out like I think I will, I won’t be able to do that anyway.

3. The holes in the mesh are rather big, and the chamber is obviously more limited than a pot or a basket infuser, so that limits the kind of tea I’m going to be able to use it for. It’s not big enough to let, say, an oolong expand. And any teas where you notice small bits would not be ideal for this.

4. It’s rather long, so the hook at the end is currently of no use to me as it’s longer than any mugs I use are tall, but it’s not something that gets in the way or anything and it was a thoughtful thing to include.

Anyhow, I really like it. And when using it to brew this tea, it worked splendidly.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Suzi

….tea stick? What is?

Angrboda

Some sort of mix between a tea spoon and a tea ball, sounds like?

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

So…I am really very much at odds with this tea. Not knowing a ton about darjeelings, I’m not sure how this measures up in terms of what you typically get from them, but I think that I could really like it. Here’s what’s got me scratching my head.

Steep one was VERY bitter. I followed what they said on their website, which said five minutes in boiling water, so maybe toning one of those aspects down could get rid of it, but at the same time, the bitterness…I don’t know. It kind of began to remind me of wine at one point, and that was likely because I could really taste the grape.

It took me a while to get used to what “grape” can mean when I got older. As a younger me, I used to devour white and red grapes brought home from the grocery store. We used to freeze them during the summer and suck on them. I sometimes ate grape-flavored candy, or have a grape-flavored soda, or, though this was far from appealing – grape-flavored medicine.

Now, grape means much more to me than that one-dimensional [well, two-dimensional if you count red vs. white] grape taste I knew then. I’ve had dolma, though that technically involves leaves, and I’ve grown to love wine, so this tea fits in with my newly acquired idea of what grapes can taste like. In fact, it kind of reminds me of the flavor profile that dolma can take on.

What this REALLY makes me think of is this spray that I got from Caudalie. It reminds me of it a LOT. It’s in the taste, it’s in the smell. And I don’t mind it, but it could be a turn-off point for some people.
http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml;jsessionid=VBQGKJ50ET4RICV0KQNQIGQ?id=P6025&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=4171 – the spray is awesome, just as an aside. Super refreshing. Makes me face all tingly.

The thing that I found very intriguing about this is that it sweetens a lot in the aftertaste. You drink it, and I discovered that letting it sit for a little bit allowed it to settle so the aftertaste would be stronger, and it’s kind of intense but afterwards? Complex, and dare I say delicious? I was really digging it. It reminded me a lot of wine at that point.

In the second steep, the bitterness was almost gone. I stopped there because I got distracted or…maybe it was time for dinner or something. I’m not sure. But I ended it with cup two. I’m definitely going to make some time for this over the weekend so I can play around with it any more.

I’m glad that I soldiered through the bitterness to discover how enjoyable it ended up being because otherwise I would have surely sent Auggy a ‘BLECH BLECH BLECH BLECH BLEEEEEEEEEECH’ email for sending it to me. It makes me think of warheads – you sit there and suffer through the bitter sour taste, but that makes the sweetness at the end just that much better.

Changing some things around could completely get rid of it, but…I don’t know. The more that I think about it the more I kinda like it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Three things:
1 – I am addicted to Sephora. Love it.
2 – I love Caudalie (though not as much as Sephora).
and
3 – I think I normally do this tea about 3 – 3:30. Significantly less than they recommend but it brings out a lot of the muscatel/grape but not much bitter. So you might see how it goes with a lower time. Might be happier.

East Side Rob

I tend to be a five-minute steep guy with black teas, but I find the Darjeelings like shorter steeps, lest they get tannic on you. Try shortening the brew time to three. You might be suprised.

takgoti

I’m going to have to try this again tomorrow with a three minute steep. Given that what I liked out of this I REALLY liked, I’m getting that “I think this is gonna be good” feeling.

East Side Rob

…You might even be SURPRISED if Rob would check his spelling before he hit the “post comment” button.

takgoti

Hahaha, no worries. We’ve all done it. And comment editing is on the way!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

Confession.

I’ve gotten so used to my tea experiences evolving to surprise me pleasantly that it’s a pretty huge shocker when something begins to lose its hold on me.

Does this mean that I think that Jackee Muntz sucks? Niet. It is, however, different.

I’ve mentioned before that black teas do weird things to my taste buds. Sometimes they taste one way, sometimes they taste another way. On one day I might think, “WHOA, raisins?!” but on the next it might be, “Ooooh, malty.”

When I was reading people’s thoughts on keemuns [not just this one, but others as well] and they kept talking about smoky notes and woody taste and whatever, I didn’t get it. I thought that maybe I was missing something, but I didn’t really care because to me, this tea tasted like I was sucking on a caramel. Caramel was what I tasted, and that was really all I tasted, and MAN was it good.

I have no idea what happened that changed this tea for me. It could be the water. It could be that I was doing something weird with the temperature gauge and I didn’t notice. It could be that I was hitting a very specific time with my steeping and there’s something off now. It could be that when I started drinking this I was having ongoing problems with a cold of fluctuating intensity and so my tongue was out of whack. Maybe I ruptured the space-time continuum and in the warping of time I was unwittingly residing in a magic place where this tea was phenomenal. Maybe a unicorn was pooping in my strainer. I have no idea, but now, I’m tasting what all of the rest of you are talking about and I’m not nearly as much in love as I was before.

That last sentence sounded really depressing.

So, anyhow, woody, check. Smoky, check. Kind of a hint of that caramel, but because it isn’t nearly as present as before it’s become disappointing. It’s got a hint of bitterness to it as well.

What I really need to branch out and try more keemuns to get a better gauge for what I think of this one. I should probably try that one from Adagio that people keep talking about. I need the playing field to level a little bit more before I can fairly judge poor Jackee, as he’s got a lot to live up to in his former self, but for now I’m dropping the rating.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
sophistre

Unicorns are jerks.

teafiend

I am unsure how I feel about unicorn poop tea. I hope it would taste like a rainbow.

LENA

OF COURSE it would taste like a rainbow…everyone knows that! now i’m thinking about the “Charlie the Unicorn” youtube bit.

takgoti, maybe you have suddenly developed a super sensitive, uber palate overnight. if dear jackee can’t cut it for you anymore, i would love to swap teas with you. i can hook you up with a couple of adagio’s keemuns….and some others, of course. in the meantime, i’ll just keep hoping for my palate to mutate too.

teaplz

http://pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF044-Falling_Dream.gif

I have no idea what relevance this has to your post. I just thought you’d like it.

I described Gunpowder’s appearance as “pellets from a rabbit god.” Why are we obsessed with poo-poo?

Jillian

LOL I was just thinking of echoing Lena’s offer of a trade, although I suspect her tea collection is much more interesting than mine! ;)

Grinnyguy

Don’t worry that your tea tastes different from day to day. But also, don’t pay attention to what people tell you the tea tastes of. My pu-erh hasn’t been the same since my housemate told me it tastes on haddock

takgoti

@sophistre Especially ones named Charlie.

@teafiend If indeed there was a unicorn pooping in it, it tasted like caramel!

LENA F. I'd love to swap teas! [My email's <a href="mailto:heather.takgotigmail.com" rel=“nofollow” target="_blank">[email protected].]

@Jillian D’oh! Later, perhaps?

@Grinnyguy Ah, I’m not sure that it’s so much worry as it is sadness. My tastes on other teas changes somewhat often, but it’s usually an improvement in some way or another. This was definitely a let down and it was pretty obvious to me what had changed. In any case, your advice is appreciated. I’ll be sure to keep it at hand in the future lest haddock attack me.

Carolyn

I think it is time and temp with this one. I almost always get the smoky leather taste from it but one day I made it and must have steeped it slightly differently (cooler water as I recall) and I got the caramel notes you mentioned.

takgoti

@Carolyn Blerg, I really have tried just about everything I can think of in terms of messing with time and temperature, so unfortunately I think I’m past the point of advice by now. When I was getting the caramel syrup effect, I WAS brewing it at a slightly lower temperature for just under 4 minutes. The first time I tasted the caramel was with A&D’s instructions, so on this cup I decided to return to it and see if the magic hit again, but I didn’t have a ton of luck [as you can see, sigh]. So yeah, at the point I’m really too frustrated to worry about it much more. I’ve got one last ditch effort that I’m going to try with the final bit I’ve got left.

Auggy

I will laugh if your last ditch effort works. With joy. But still. Laugh.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

I drank what I had left of this today, and while I’m not going to move the rating down because I still think this is pretty awesome, I definitely like it better hot than chilled.

To be fair, part of the reason that I like this so much is because it reminds me of that hot chocolate I was talking about before, and drinking this cold removes that comparison. And it’s not that this tastes bad cold or anything. It’s more that the sensations become very dissonant.

There’s that spiky heat from the chilis, clashing against the cool bite from the…well, the cold. And something about those two butting heads and not really melding results in a striking sensation that I don’t really find pleasant. Spiced chai cool, I find almost calming. That feeling was absent in this cup.

This is in no way going to deter me from continuing to drink this. I’ll just be doing drinking it hot.

Preparation
Iced
Jillian

Just doubled checked to make sure I’ve got this tea on my Shopping List. ;)

takgoti

Ohhhh it’s so good. If anyone has any other Upton Tea Import recommendations, could you send them my way?

Jillian

Well EastSide Rob seems to really enjoy their Yunnan blacks.

Carolyn

Upton Tea recommendations:
Mélange de Chamonix
Panyang Bohea Select
Maracuja Flavored Tea
Creme Caramel

takgoti

Most excellent. Thanks!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

63
drank Mandarin Orange by Lupicia
260 tasting notes

I wanted something citrus-y today, but most of my citrus teas have a lime kind of flavoring to them and I wanted something more along the lines of orange. Then I remembered that Auggy had sent me this so…bam.

I popped open the bag and gave it a whiff while I read her tasting note. It smelled like orange sherbet, which is my favorite kind of ice cream, so I got a little excited. I was surprised to see that this sucker is supposed to be steeped in boiling water, but I took one for the team and did it anyway.

It didn’t scald anything, shockingly enough [or not, maybe, since Lupicia says to boil it], and it was actually pretty light in flavor. It definitely tasted like an orange. A sweet orange. Really, more of a synthetic orange. Like the kind of orange you’d taste in a Capri Sun, as opposed to something fresh squeezed. Maybe orange jello. It didn’t have any tartness to it, which I didn’t miss.

To be fair, this is comparing it to something like a navel orange, though, and not a mandarin which typically read much sweeter to me. However, it still doesn’t quite taste natural. The flavor is also light. Barely there. Like something you know is definitely there, but you have to grasp at.

In my mind, this is both good and bad. Bad, in that if you reach for this because you’re craving that flavor it probably won’t sate you. Good, because it keeps it from being…well, Capri Sun. This wouldn’t be an every day tea for me, and I think that the orange flavor being both so light and unnatural tasting is going to keep me from buying it. I’ll enjoy what I have left, though. In the meantime, I have a box of orange jello powder in the kitchen if I want that flavor. No Capri Sun, though. [I always hated the stabby pouch thing. Led to disaster too many times.]

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

62
drank Mirik Valley by The Tao of Tea
260 tasting notes

I haven’t had a lot of darjeelings before. I think that I recall maybe having tried a couple, but for whatever reason I never revisited them and I can’t really remember what I thought.

I figured now was a good time to start trying them again because I got a couple from Auggy, so I brewed this one up today.

I think I like it? Unfortunately, I was trying to read a textbook at the same time, so my attention was a little divided. It definitely wasn’t unpleasant, but being at a disadvantage both because I couldn’t fully concentrate it and I don’t have a lot to compare it with, I can’t say anything definitively.

What I can say is that it was…I don’t know if light is the right word. It wasn’t light like a white tea, or even some greens. Maybe soft is more accurate. Yeah, that sounds right. I tasted a sweetness that wasn’t grassy, and it wasn’t sugary either… It almost tasted like the sweet taste I associate with green beans or peas, but…I don’t know, with more of a floral touch? I also, at times, got a woody taste and there was a bitterness to it when it began to cool. I steeped it a couple of times, and it didn’t change much from one to the next. I probably could have gone for more but then my stomach started telling me it was time to eat so when I got back I decided to move on to something more familiar since I was having difficulty focusing.

This probably isn’t helping you very much; I’m losing my trail of thought, too. But I wanted to get this down so that I would remember it when I inevitably try darjeeling again. It wasn’t unpleasant, but I definitely need to be drinking it when I can pay attention. If I remember what I’ve read about these correctly, they’re supposed to be relatively complex.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

Shortbread.

That’s what I tasted on the first two steeps. Delicious, warm, buttery, with fruity notes and that distinct cookie flavor, shortbread.

I should mention that I’m now on steep five of this.

I know that I’m really digging an oolong if I get this far with it. Even though I know that oolongs are generally meant to unfold over steeps, if it’s really not gelling with me after steep two, I have a lot of trouble forging ahead [and often don’t]. Clearly, that’s not a problem with this one.

Auggy [thanks Auggy for this, by the way] and LENA F. mentioned tropical, candied, Juicy Fruit-ish flavors from this, and I didn’t really get that strongly until at or around steep three. The buttery component had become significantly weaker during the second steep, though I could still taste the shortbread, but by steep three it became notably more tropical in character. It shed its tartan and bagpipe and threw on a hat made of fruit and a coconut bikini.

Here in steep five, it’s light and fruity. I’m probably going to stop at this cup because it’s become significantly weaker for me. Similar to when you drop some fruit into water and let it sit for a while. It’s still enjoyable at this point, but in another cup I suspect the flavor will have dissipated beyond the point of notability.

This isn’t as complex as other oolongs I’ve had, and it is very, very different from other formosa oolongs that I’ve tried, but I imagine that I’ll want to have it around for, at the very least, those first three steeps.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
teaplz

This sounds like awesomeness in a cup. :) I’m terrified of multiple steepings, but I’m going to give it a shot tomorrow with my Gunpowder from Adagio! Oolongs, greens, whites, and pu-erh can use multiple steepings, correct?

Your summaries are awesomesauce, by the way. I just pictured a burly Scottish man in a kilt wearing a coconut bra. WIN.

Auggy

If it weren’t so late, I’d make me some. So much love for this.

Auggy

@teaplz: A lot of blacks can get another steep or two out of them. Flavored teas seem to lose the most out of a second steep, but I’ll do most Keemun or Yunnan teas 3 times. I think I did the Assam I had twice and it turned out nice, too. So pretty much everything can take multiple steeps. The big question is how much you like what they give you in them. :)

takgoti

@teaplz Aww, don’t be scurred! I’m going to say that it really depends on the tea. For me, multiple steepings tend to go better with oolongs and pu-erhs. In fact, they almost always result in the cup evolving and are well-worth it to explore. [Some oolongs can have a much more vegetal taste on the first go round than on subsequent ones.] Some Japanese greens are meant to undergo a lot of steeps at different time intervals to unlock the flavors.

Pretty much anything else has the capability of taking more than one steep, but in my experience it’s wholly dependent on the quality of the tea. Some flavored blacks, for example, can become rather tasteless even on steep two because they use a low quality tea and the flavoring comes out in the first steep. The best way to learn from tea to tea is to experiment!

takgoti

@Auggy We are of one mind.

teaplz

Oh no! I threw out my Yunnan Jig leaves today. D: Do you just gradually increase the time of the steep? And should you keep the water temperature the same for subsequent steeps?

I guess I always figured that blacks would get more astringent/bitter on a second steep. Guess I’m wrong, then!

I’m pretty much borderline terrified when I make ANY cup of tea. I just keep thinking “Oh no oh no oh no this is going to go WRONG what if my water temperature isn’t exact and my timing exact what if there’s too much leaf or too little leaf oh gawd.” That’s pretty much the mini panic attack every time I make tea. With bagged tea I’m pretty insane as well.

takgoti

@teaplz Tea is pretty forgiving, but you’d best believe that we’ve ALL ruined plenty of cups along the way. One of the best feelings I get is when I revisit a tea, tweak some things, and all of a sudden it’s like I’m drinking something completely different.

For the most part I usually keep time and temperature the same. If I notice that something is starting to taste weak, I might let it sit for a while longer to see if it brings more flavor out, but more often than not the tea is just sputtering out. One of the best things about Steepster is that I can go back and look at old logs to see what I did and try something new the next time round.

Letting go of “The Fear” is very difficult, but I think/hope that once you’ve played around with things a bit more it will begin to lose its hold on you. We tend to dissect things and get so specific on here that I can definitely see it sounding intimidating, but seriously, brewing a cup of tea isn’t rocket science. So long as the tea is ultimately enjoyable to you, you’ve won anyway!

Auggy

Awww, don’t panic! There are very few teas that you will ruin by fudging a little on the time, the leaf or the temp. (Japanese greens tend to be the most picky in my experience). And just because you CAN resteep does mean you have to. I almost never resteep my morning tea because I just don’t have time.

I think the general rule is to increase both steep time and water temp, however I’m lazy and rarely change the water temp. I sort of guesstimate the next steep time depending on the tea type and how the first cup was, but typically end up with something like 3:00, 4:00, 5:30, 7:00, 9:30, 13:00, 17:00, 22:00… But that’s my own personal set up that I find works best for me (and usually with oolongs – blacks never seem to last THAT long). Again, that’s just me. You probably might want to increase your steep times more since you seem to prefer bolder tastes.

If you play around with it enough, you’ll be able to start getting a feel for how things will react best for you.

teaplz

“The Fear?”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-wGMlSuX_c

I think the panic comes from really cheap bagged teas. And that PG Tips really scarred me. I kept thinking to myself, HOW DID YOU GET SO BITTER IN TWO MINUTES?! And Earl Grey! Earl Grey perpetually seems to screw me. It’s like it doesn’t want to be made correctly, for some reason. :(

I do really like bolder tasting blacks. But I do like mild tea as well! I don’t think I’ve had a good one yet, though. Even though I like my tea somewhat strong, here’s a little secret: I loathe coffee. I actually can’t stand the taste of it. Aren’t I weird. But I like expresso (with no milk added in) better. Which means I can stand to sip it a little without wanting to gag.

Auggy

Maybe if you do a little dance with some cute butlers, you would be more relaxed prior to tea brewing. Hehe.

Oh, I should have shared earlier… I made my hubby PG Tips this morning in honor of you. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

Former coffeeist, turned teaite. Lover of writing, reading, photography, and music. Traveler of life. Known to be ridiculous on occasion.

Location

Virginia, USA

Website

http://takgoti.tumblr.com

Following These People