55 Tasting Notes
WOOO!!! It’s the weekend! Sorry for any of you who work weekends, but surely you get some form of weekend or time off or you atleast make alot of money because you work so much and your happy about your days off or all the money you make and I will be happy for you, but right now it’s my weekend…. A HOLIDAY WEEKEND, and so I’m elated, not to mention that I can finally do some tasting notes (deep breath of air), which I’ve been too busy to do all week.
Now that that’s out of the way…
I want to thank LiberTEAS for this sample that I was very glad made it into my sample box. The dry leaf smelled like something I would eat for breakfast-sweet and syrupy. The color of this tea was a deep redish brown. I can’t seem to make out in my hand written note what the wet leaf smelled like though.
The first few sips I got a strong woody/walnut impression that leaned toward, but not quite, malty. Within a few sips I started to detect the buttery sweet notes that would end up being present throughout. I was second geussing myself as to whether it was a floral sweetness or not, so I won’t commit either way.Then came the malty! I’m not overly excited about malty tea, but this one has a great balance of malt/wood/sweet worth noting. There’s enough malt to give it more depth, yet still allow it to be a sweet gulper once it’s cool enough. It’s got a little dryness, but not bitter at all, and there’s a woody aftertaste with just a little sweetness mixed in.
All in all, a fine cuppa and a wonderful suggestion by LiberTEAS.
Another from AZZ’s generosity. Though I saw mixed reviews on this one I still went into it optimisticly, yet this optimism was soon tempered once opening the bag to smell the dry leaf- a strong artificial cinnamon smell that you often find with scented candles. The color of the liqour was a deeper brown and the wet leaf smelled slightly more appealing than it did dry.
First drink I was surprised, intrigued actually. There was a certain degree of complexity right away. The nutty tones mingled nicely with the dark chocolate ones. It’s so nice when flavors can play well together and no ‘time outs’ need to be administered. The slight astringency was easy to overlook when considering all that my mouth had to process. The chili was so faint it was barely detectable, which I was glad since I’ve not had chili in tea yet and didn’t want to be overwhelmed by the spice. The bold black flavor played well in this drink for me too.
My wife loved the tea and stated “this may be my favorite so far”…which she ended up saying three times today in all. To be fair she is even newer than me and so I try to bring her along as much as possible. I must also note that, in general, when I list low to moderate astringency in a tea she tells me she doesn’t find any at all. Again I’m an astringency weenie.
We liked it, my soon to be sixteen year old as well, though the wife liked it most. This tea made it on her "one to buy’ list until,that is, she tried another tea. That is another note altogether isn’t it.
tunes-Richie Havens=Freedom/Eleanor Rigby/Motherless Child/Here Comes The Sun
Thank you so much for this generous sample,Butiki Teas. Once again, I have to comment on the pristine condition of the leaves. I am just so impressed at the care with which this sample was obviously handled. They infuse beautifully as well, yeilding a bright yellow liquor.
I just did a note on a Bao Zhong and wasn’t too impressed so the fact that greener teas are not among my favorites could dictate some of what I write. For me the Bao Zhong leans hard toward the green side of oolongs. That said I am still impressed with the overall taste I’m currently experiencing. There are delicate intertwining notes of citrus,vanilla,floral notes, and green sweetness. The pineapple is genuine tasting-I’ve heard complaints about other teas attempting to create this flavor unsuccessfully. There’s a buttery creaminess that seems to come from the vanilla that is so prominant in the aftertaste as well. The green portion of this tea gives me that tidbit of dryness, though it’s still juicy and mouth watering. My wife insists that she detects no dryness or astringency whatsoever and she only finds the buttery creaminess throughout.
I ended up steeping this tea three times. The flavors all settled down into a mellow tasty cup. Somewhere in there I was able to appreciate the Bao Zhong part alot more with the subtle blending of added flavors. Thanks again Stacy, a wonderful drink indeed. I look forward to the other samples you’ve sent me yet to be tried. I’m sure to love them.
tunes-Adele=Crazy For You/Fool That I Am/Make You Feel My Love/Lovesong
I enjoy her classic jazz songs best and she chooses some greats to do covers tunes of.
Thank you LiberTeas for this sample. I hate to admit that I was busy choosing Beatles songs, wow what a list they have, and I oversteeped…twice. This note is then suspect by default.
The color-a nice pale golden green, lead me to believe I was OK since it hadn’t darkened. There was a little bitterness that may or may not have been there under normal circumstances. The wet leaves were crowded in my little infuser pot and had I read K S’ note first I woulda used my press as well. The smell was more grassy than nutty/woody.
The first sip threw me when I tasted that same grassy flavor. There was less wood and more vegetive flavor-like dry grass I think. This gave way to nuttiness that then gained a malty coppery edge. All of this happened within the first two steeps, I lost track of which steep I was on in the descriptive notes I was jotting down. Don’t let me forget the overall but slightly muted honey sweetness. The second steep (I believe) added a tiny bit of charcoal too.
Did a third steep and saved a little face with myself,though I know I missed out on some stuff in first two go arounds. Sweeter note more pronounced. More floral notes to the smell. And finally, it’s now less like dry grass and getting up into lighter wood flavor. You win some you lose some, right? I hold nothing against this tea and rather fault myself. We shall meet again I may have to force myself to listen to top 40 pop during tasting so that I have absolutely no fear of getting distracted.
tunes-as I said The Beatles(said in Ed Sullivan voice with the gesturing of hand)=Norwegian Wood/Ob La Di,Ob La DA/I Saw Her Standing There(where I started to get got)/I Want You-She’s So Heavy(where I finished getting got)/Rocky Racoon
I wasn’t blown away by this tea simply because I’ve not gotten into greens much. Beautifiul gold color and nice floral aroma. The drink was like fresh cut grass-wet grass,very green. There was a crisp water chesnut tone in there with a melon sweetness as well. I think the floral was more smell than taste. The astringency was low, but enough to make it not shine for me. By the third steep it had lost alot and only had simpler oolong notes to remain. Even though less grassy is a plus for me I opted to move on to another oolong so I can crank out another note this morn.This is the third weekend that I skipped a night’s sleep due to the third shift adjustment to first shift for the weekend. This forty year old body is not digging it.
So I talked to Incindiare earlier and she reminded me of my heavy metal background as a yoot(youth). So I blew the dust off of some old grunge for this tasting. Not metal, but as close as I can get at 5:00am with no sleep.
tune-Alice In Chains=Love,Hate,Love/Nutshell Mad Season=Long Gone Day Pearl Jam=Garden/Release Soundgarden=Gun/4th Of July/ Nirvana unplugged=Where Did You Sleep Last Night
This sample came to me by way of LibeTEAS, thank you so very much for it and the generous amount as well.
I will start by saying use caution if you intend to abbreviate pu’erh as pu .Twice today I stated that “I could do pu everyday”. I need not explain the ramifications of such a statement.
So here I am loving some pu (easy) and I wanna tell ya all about it. The dry leaf smells too sweet for hay but not enough to be called floral. Another sweet plant… After doing a 30 sec rinse I steeped for 1 min to start. Wet the leaves take on a strong aquatic/earthy smell (as wife says “it’s fish,Dave”). I must note that it’s not unpleasant for those not yet exposed to pu’s.
The flavor of this pu is so rich and wonderful and silky smooth. There’s predominantly a leathery sweetness accompanied by mint. I must pause and say here that I’m either gonna have to find a new word or rethink what I’m tasting because this is the third pu I wanna say taste kinda like toothpaste! After cooling more vegeative notes are apparent.
Second steep 2 minutes with a little less water as well. Even after opting for a stronger cup this time to explore the parameters of the drink I can honestly say it’s still smooth and sweet with almost no astringency. I feel a nice buttery richness that maybe I’ve overlooked in past taste notes of teas due to my young palate. What a drink! This may make it on the ‘gotta have it’ list.
I ended up with 4 steepings before I decided to quit drinking tea for the night.
tunes-Bill Withers=Use Me Up,Geuss Who-She’s Come Undone,Harry Nilson-Everbody’s Talking At Me
Even after reading that the person who sent me this tea, thanks AZZ, didn’t like it I gave it a shot anyway. As a sidenote I end up going to Olive Gardens about once a year and 90% of the time I order Chicken Marsala. Since I no longer drink alcohol this is the best indicator I have as what to expect, I drank whites when I did still drink alcohol.
There’s cinnamon to be sure, it reminds me of baked apples loaded with it. Not tasting alot of vino yet, but saw other notes mention it comes later. It’s malty and maybe a touch smokey. Fair amount of body to this drink. For me the only drawback is astringency, which I will have to put a disclaimer in my profile about me being an astringent weenie. Other than that it ain’t bad, though not a potential ‘buyer’ for me.
That’s what this is all about right, finding what fits your taste with samples from tea friends and courteous tea companies so you can buy lots of the ones you love. Tasting notes are great and helpful, but we’re all still different and we have thousands of choices before us.
My many thanks go out to Azz for this sample which came in an incredibly awesome care package, she is ‘the man’,er…uh…you know what I mean. So I steeped this up and my mouth was watering. I mean, who doesn’t like vanilla. Add to that the residual giddiness I still have after opening my package from Azz (there was even a cool little adjustable measuring spoon and a spongy biscuit that I believe to be Mr Bill and teas that convince me she has telepathic powers).
Then the phone rang. ARGH!…and it was important.
So between distracted sips I can tell you I got some vanilla. It tastes buttery and creamy, though mouthfeel(TeaEqualsBliss word) is not creamy- it’s a little astringent. If you’ve read many of my notes I’m picky about astringency so this may not be a factor to many of you. Also, it’s not super dry/bitter or anything like that, just a little dryness on the tongue.
There’s a sweetness on the inside of my cheeks, which is where the lingering sweet aftertaste is as well. I seem to taste a bit of nutmeg coming through. I still can’t get over how much vanilla I taste, I can’t imagine adding sugar to this already sweet drink.
Luckily for me this is one of those cases where I have enough left to do another note later. My appologies that this note is a flop, I am disappointed at getting a phone call and I’m sure it shows.
tunes-Eddie Vedder=*Satellite/Gauranteed/Society/Long Nights
Into The Wild soundtrack *live with a ukulele.His solo work is folky and nice and moody.
I was at work when I tried this. Had I read the description I might have waited until I could be more attentive to the infuzion. That said I may have over steeped this just a little. Luckily I have enough for another tasting so I can revise the note if needed.
As is common with pu’erhs dry leaf has a strong earthy smell, this one more aqautic (“fish, Dave…it smells like fish” is the reply my wife gives whenever I use that term for pu’erhs).Also common to pu’erhs is the dark color that quickly comes during infuse. Wet leaf smells like a pu’erh…
then came the difference. This pu’erh is sweet, like honey sweet. I’ve used the description of toothpaste for this flavor before, that hint of mint sweetness.As a sidenote; wife says I need to brush my teeth more when I drink pu’s, yet I say it taste like toothpaste=hows that work…anyway.
Also in the sweetness is a faint tart, like blueberries that are mostly sweet with a little tart. I detect a little toasty note in there too. There’s alot less earth or wood about this one. I would like to think it would be an ideal beginner pu’. My second steep was a tad astringent, but I chalk it up to being at work and poor steep management. Since I will taste it again I will close this one for now and will revisit soon.
tunes at time of writing-Laura Marling Dharohar Project=Anmol Rishtey/Meheri Rachi/To Darkness-Kripa/Devil’s Spoke-Sneh Ko Marg
Mumford&Sons appeares on. If you like Indian music like Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha You’ll love it. If you’ve never tried it I encourage you to do so.
All the hype has came down to this one moment. I just got my expedient package of gracious samples from Stacy at Butiki Teas.‘We was giddy as schoolgirls reading the names of and smelling the selections recieved. The leaves are beautiful and you can see that there was great care taken in the packaging not to damage them. On with te drink.
Dry leaf smells scrumpteous,though I’m running off of memory. You see, my wife whisked the samples from the mailbox and started the tea in a flurry whilest I was waking. I got a quick whiff and then the finished product thrust in my face. That aside I still have a great tasting note to share (great in the sense of the tea, not my writing). Color is a golden brown. Due to just waking I won’t bother mentioning wet smell(nose wasn’t working yet).
First taste I am impressed by just how how creamy this really is. A vanilla flavor almost sweet enough to compare to ice cream, yet still light and airy. Speaking of that there’s a subtle silky dryness with thirst quenching attributes. This tea is a gulper!
It took a few drinks for the melon to come out, but it definitely showed up. The afterflavor is pleasant and leaves you wanting more. As I said in my last note I don’t gravitate toward flavored teas normally, but maybe I will start to branch in that direction.I’m getting ready to start my third steeping. Thanks again Stacy for a wonderful sample that I was glad to write a note on