260 Tasting Notes
Lena tea, take two.
I brewed this much shorter this time around, and I think the results suited me much better. The bitterness of the previous attempt was absent this time around, and though I probably should have tried a full cup without adding anything, I had already gotten the sugar and the milk out and yadda yadda yadda…
Anyhow, I got a kind of salty note in the first few sips, which was a little strange, but it went away. Then I started to get a cardboard/wafer-like taste from it. At this point, I poured in a bit of milk and added about a half teaspoon of sugar and gave it a stir. I might try adding a little bit less next time, or perhaps re-upping the steeping time, because the milk was mainly what I was tasting. There was, however, a nice undercurrent of black tea flavor to it that I found enjoyable.
About halfway through the cup, the tea began to hint at caramel flavor, though it never quite got there. I think that if the milk hadn’t been in it this would have been the malt kicking in – the milk made it taste richer and creamier, unsurprisingly.
I’m looking forward to playing around with this tea. I think I’ll try it straight with a 2 minute steep time and at a longer steep time with milk and sugar. Luckily, Lena sent me enough for me to perform extensive experimentation! For now, this tea deserves a solid rating.
I recently discovered a wealth of Rishi tea in my local Wegmans, which made me really happy. I grabbed this and ran before I could convince myself to buy more.
This is quite possibly the strongest unflavored white tea I have ever had. The flavors involved are mostly light, but it’s definitely not weak. That could also be because I used a lot of tea [Rishi recommends 1 tablespoon per 8 oz. water].
It reminds me a lot of Ancient Emerald Lily, actually. It’s got the grassy, nutty, and roasty notes that I keep on talking about in a lot of these green tea logs because I lack creativity and an experienced enough palate to pull much more out of the flavors. The difference between this and a tea like Ancient Emerald Lily, however, is that the sweetness in this soars upwards – like that nearly sharp smell of freshly cut grass. It reminds me, in a way, of the high sweetness of honeydew melon.
In fact, yes. That’s the difference. Honeydew Melon : Snowbuds :: Sweet Corn : Ancient Emerald Lily.
It’s an enjoyable tea, and I think it could become a good staple tea for me if it weren’t so similar to AEL. In the battle between those two, I think that AEL wins out, though time and experience may change that.
Feeling inspired by JacquelineM’s post the other day, I decided to give this a try with sugar and milk. I almost always do my tea straight because milk and I don’t always get along so well in the morning and it’s carried through into my tea habits throughout the day. However, I am slowly learning that sometimes adding a dash of something can help bring out and bolster flavors in ways I could never imagine a tea capable of achieving so thoroughly.
This is a tea that I can firmly say that, for me, benefitted from additives.
Strawberries and I don’t always see eye to eye, because quite often they can be too tart for my liking. But, dress them up with some freshly whipped, lightly-sweetened cream and a warmed, spongey shortcake and I will nom that shizz regardless.
With a short tilt of cream and a shake of sugar, this tea boarded the train in Berryville and got off in the Hamlet of Strawberry Shortcake. The heavy richness from the cream swirled around the lightness of the strawberry and the sugar lifted the tartness just a smidge, but not enough to make it taste fake. And somehow, somewhere in there I was definitely getting that distinct flavor of those little bowl-shaped store-bought sponge cakes that are sweet with a bit of roughness and breadiness to them.
I never liked that Nestle Quik Strawberry Milk stuff, or even strawberry milkshakes, but this is like what I think would happen if Strawberry Quik grew up. Get outta here, cartoon rabbit.
I’m very happy to know now that I can get two distinctly strawberry tasting, though different, versions of this tea – one for lighter fare and one when I’m seeking out the richer fulfillment of strawberry shortcake. It’s especially lovely now, as I am a bit past indulging in winter and ready for the sunnier landscape of spring. Jumping into summer for a spell doesn’t feel unwanted.
I got this from Micah in a tea swap, and I’m not really sure what to say about it.
It was very bland.
I had enough to try a couple of cups, and I did one at the recommended 195F and one at a lower temperature of 165F. I tried resteeping for longer times to no effect. Both of them tasted like pallid reflections of what the I think the tea is supposed to taste like. Barely-there floral, washed out sweetness.
Ultimately, it felt like someone had Scrooged the flavoring in the tea. It felt like I was drinking hot water.
I’m sorry, I can type Scrooge without thinking about Scrooge McDuck. And then I think of Duck Tales. Life is like a hurricaaaaane, here in Duckberg.
And before I go off on a very distracting youtube search for my favorite cartoon theme songs, I will say that I can’t recommend this tea.
OOOH, CHIP N’ DALE RESCUE RANGERS!
GM Sampler | Tea 6 of 31
This tasted like darjeeling, which means that it was bitter for me. Whenever I get a black tea that has this high, sharp, bitter taste to it with a fruity fwip of flavor afterwards, my brain goes to darjeeling now. A former round with a sample of SerendipiTea’s Darjeeling Autumnal from Auggy taught me that if I hit the right parameters [although it could have partially been the tea itself] darjeeling doesn’t have to equal BITTER, but this one had it. It wasn’t as loud as I tend to get with Darjeelings, but it was there.
As it cools, as I’ve come to expect, the bitterness falls back and the sweetness comes forward. Then that grape taste that I’ve come to identify as the muscatel is much more apparent in the tea; not just on my breath or in the aftertaste. I probably would have been tempted to wait and drink the whole thing cooled, but IT IS COLD HERE, Y’ALL.
So the moral of the story is that this was decent, but I won’t be ordering it. I probably should have steeped it shorter to compensate for my apparent sensitivity to bitterness in tea, but I used the packet up and reading the other reviews doesn’t make me think I missed out on anything phenomenal. There’s really not much else to say, as it was relatively straightforward.
[Sorry, I couldn’t resist doing it one time. Here’s the actual Darjeeling picture: http://bit.ly/bIf03p .]
I got some of this from ever-awesome Lena in a swap and I decided to start my morning off with it. However, I’m going to have to leave a rating off of it because my morning also involved reading for a class and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pay very much attention to the tea.
I’m going to try it at a shorter steep time next go round because this was a little bitter for me. It had a slight smokiness to it and an even slighter sweetness at the finish. In some aspects, it nearly reminded me of coffee, but the flavor wasn’t as full and it didn’t have that roasted quality that I usually get from coffee. I also didn’t get any maltiness from it, which I was expecting to at least get a hint of.
But anyway, this could all be for nought because I really wasn’t doing a good job of paying attention and, let’s be real, if acoustical wave forms are actually able to hold my attention in the morning I need to let that ride.
What I can say with certainty is that the caffeine didn’t take very long to kick in and I was feeling antsy before long, which began to disrupt my reading kick a bit so I didn’t finish the cup. Caffeine jitters and being snowed in do not mix very well – especially when you’ve been cooped up in the house for almost a week.
No, wait, it’s actually been a full week now. I have literally been stuck in the house for an entire week. Our street still hasn’t been plowed. The tea I was supposed to get in two days ago has been delayed yet again because of “adverse weather conditions” [this being the order that includes my greatly anticipated Caramelized Pear]. Steepsterites, I am going to lose my mind if these roads do not become drivable very soon.
So thanks for the tea, Lena! Sorry this entry bites pretty hard. I’ll try to get some better thoughts down next time. In the interim, have some snow pictures.
I got this tea from Jillian and decided to steep it in my Sorapot.
[It was very pretty – I’ll need to take pictures next time.]
First off, one of the things that I absolutely love is the short steep time, because it means that I don’t have to wait that long in between cups. I got a pretty good rhythm going, lengthening the steep time by maybe 15 seconds or so on each subsequent cup, stopping at four. I could have gone longer, I suspect, because the flavor wasn’t weakening for me – a very good sign.
This tea was buttery, with some sweetness that sashayed around and swished through the aftertaste. At times, it had a very pronounced vegetal quality to it, which is something that I’m somewhat indifferent on. For me, it didn’t stick around consistently, and I consider that to be a saving quality. It had a darkness that colored the flavor of the tea, which keeps me from wanting to compare this to a Formosan Oolong since it had some similar qualities.
Overall, I found it wholly enjoyable, so thanks for sending this to me, Jillian! I look forward to many steeps in my future.
I’ve been on a really big kukicha kick lately, so when I got some of this from Micah in a tea swap it was one of the ones I decided to try first.
First off, I want to say that I think that kukicha is really pretty. I think it’s something about all those linear strips of varied, yet tonally cohesive greens. It makes me want to pull the colors into a room with some warm medium wood tones and fresh cream fabrics. […Am I bleeding HGTV yet?]
This particular tea, while pretty, unfortunately couldn’t run with the refreshing aesthetic it inspires [at least in my head]. It wasn’t nearly as buttery as the kukicha I’ve been inhaling [Samovar’s] and while it had grassy and nutty tones to it, it was missing a lot of that sun-kissed sweetness that makes grassy teas enjoyable to me.
In a way, the taste almost reminded me of the pith of an orange, but without the citrus taste and residual tartness. It rested somewhere in limbo between bland and bitter, in a way that wasn’t completely off-putting, but also wasn’t enjoyable.
Fortunately, some sweetness eventually began to arrive on the aftertaste and grew in volume on my breath, but it wasn’t enough to make it good. I’m going to take the water temperature down into the 160’s on the next go round, maybe steep it a bit longer, and see if I can get this tea to bloom.
I got a bag of Honeybee in a swap I did with Carolyn because she suspected I’d like it [and she was right]. It brews into a beautiful, deep gold, honeyed hue, but the taste is extremely light.
For me, the majority of the taste for this resides at the back of the tongue, and a bit at the sides. At the front, I get some light floral notes that are much less obvious when the tea is hot, but at the back…mmm…
When the tea is VERY hot [like right when it becomes drinkable], it’s difficult for me to get much of a taste out of this tea at all, so on my second cup I let it cool down a bit more before I got started and I found it to be much more enjoyable that way. The honey taste is definitely evident for me in the aftertaste, and if I inhale through my nose while the tea is still in my mouth I can taste it near my throat.
Again, it’s a very light tea. While part of me likes that, I also find myself wanting just a liiiittle bit more from it. I need to work to get the flavor, and while that’s fine when I’m concentrating on the tea, I feel like this is going to be a tea that I can only enjoy when I’m concentrating on it. I’ll play around with a longer steep time to see if that makes it a little bit stronger, but in the meantime this is a good tea. Thanks, Carolyn!
Auggy sent me some of this tea [because she’s awesome] and I was pretty excited to try it because I enjoy sesame.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to really get any sesame taste out of it. This is what my notes say:
Bitter. Bitter. BITTER.
Didn’t get any sesame.
Oh, wait, on the breath…? Yep. A bit. Not enough to be sating.
…Am I broken?
I think that pretty much says it all.
I had enough for two cups. I tried the first one at 4:00 minute. The second time I tried this I moved the time down to 3:15.
Thanks for sending it, though, Auggy. Ah, well.