58 Tasting Notes
Sadly, it pains me to write this note. I guess I shouldn’t have had the high expectations that I did, though. So many people have written their ravings over this tea and I love bananas and so I thought that this tale would end with me penning, typing rather, the words ‘and everyone lived happily ever after’…such is not the case.
As I said I shouldn’t have had such I high expectation. To clue you in to what this tea was for me I could first mention that I should maybe change my name officially to ASTRINGENCY WEENIE MAN. It seems it has come into play during several of my recent notes. This will be no exception.
I will go into little detail. I will simply say that the drink started out with strong cinnamon flavor with the vanilla/banana coming soon after. The obvious problem is that I could not get through the strong astringent ‘like licking chalk’ sort of ‘mouth devoid of all moisture’ effect it played on my tongue.
I’m certainly sure it’s me, it’s all me (sounds like every other break-up I had in my yoot-youth). Too many others had nothing but good to say about it so don’t consider what I’ve had to say, though my wife didn’t like it either.
no tune,flick (kinda like’no Coke-Pepsi) The Grey/ with Liam Neeson
Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample. I’m gonna jump right in and say that this is a bold cuppa. My palate was a little sleepy from the half hour I laid down- that was supposed to be sleep (4th week on third shift that this has happened) so the first sip GRABBED me. I was about to write something to the effect of ‘if this is Canadian breakfast I’m starting to think that they’re all lumberjacks and steelworkers-including the women’, but within a few sips I got used to and started to really appreciate the boldness it has (and yes I realize that women can equally fill the roles of lumberjack and steelworker. My wife and I are both commercial/industrial painters who may be climbing steel,hanging off the side of a building,or just painting the walls of a brand new hospital on any given day,so no offense intended).
Soon after I got used to the initial boldness I started really seeking out the malt aspect. I must agree with the makers description that there is an oak characteristic, though I’m not too sure how flowery it is. For me the touch of sweet I find is subdued by an equal touch of smoke…almost a mesquite, but ever so slight. I- ‘THE ASTRINGENCY WEENIE’
am shocked to find that the astringency most other taste notes spoke of was hardly present…at first. This may be because, out of fear, I elected to steep this for two and a half of the three to five minutes suggested. At first, I only found slight dryness on the roof of my mouth with very little on my tongue not sure if that’s normal or not.
As the cup cooled, as cups always do, the astringency rose a bit as well as the malty notes. Now my tongue was getting that dry, almost chalky, feeling.
Second steep was three minutes with a little less water. As before the cup started out smoother before cooling. Out of curiousity I checked it when pouring my cup-one hundred ninety degrees farenheit. It’s not as complex either. Maybe a little less water still would be in order. Mostly what’s left is a semi-sweet malt flavor that gains astingency when it cools. That’s all I got, a pretty good cuppa especially to start the day with.
tunes-Benny Goodman=Mambo Swing,Louis Prima=St.Louis Blues/Just A Gigolo(David Lee Roth didn’t write this song),Charlie Byrd=So Danco Sambo/A Carol For All Seasons
Thanks LiberTEAS for this sample. Let me start by saying this is a good tea to break me (or anyone else needing broken in I suppose) to green teas in that I’ve not had but a couple I enjoyed and I am an oolong fan so obvious deduction= green oolongs.
Dry leaf is, as you would expect- green (shocker) and smells floral and maybe even fruity. The liquor steeped to a bright yellow with just a tad of greenish brown. Wet leaf smells very green indeed, kinda like seaweed maybe.
I was happy to see that, although this is a green oolong, it starts out not overpoweringly green and with a certain amount of nutiness in the sip. A faint sweetness is present, aside from the organic kind of sweetness I associate with grasses,but there’s not a strong enough presence for me to decipher what it resembles. The level of astringency is within my embarrassingly low threshold of tolerance for enjoyment. It, as I’m learning, leaves my palate feeling clean without any kind of bitter aftertaste. As the cup cools the grassiness becomes stronger, thereby reinforcing my earlier statement that it’s a good drink to break in to greens with. With the utmost of manners it brought me along into it’s vegative flavor and in turn kept itself from being poured out prematurely. Who knew that common manners could be so self preserving.
Since the cordial mannerisms of this tea were worthy to make mention I also deemed it worthy a second steeping. Fret not those of a frugal mindset; I shall not waste this sample but rather once this note is finished will continue steeping for any family members enthusiastic about drinking it during the wind down moments before bed.
Second steeping; a little info to start- often times I try to split even small samples in half in case I oversteep or something. I’m not stocked up on teaware yet so to do this I use one of those two cup glass pots with the finum basket inside you see at Asian groceries. It loses temp quickly. That said, when I went to steep a second time I forgot to set a timer (do not mock my primitive means you fortunate ‘Breville One Touch’ owners) and it went for maybe ten minutes. To my surprise it wasn’t bitter or overly strong…it seemed fine. I can only now assume that with the rapid temperature loss that the tea ‘stopped’ steeping once it got low enough. It was greener still,with a slightly more dry mouthfeel which may have been due to oversteeping. Generally this was a good tea, just not so much for me with my slowly but surely leaning away from green stuff palate.
tunes-Johnny Cash=Hurt/Rusty Cage/Thirteen/God’s Gonna Cut You Down
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.