255 Tasting Notes
I hate it when my tasting notes vanish into the ether after I hit that submit button!
To get to the short and sweet of it, I was looking for something different today, after finally conceding that yes, indeed, the doctor was right about the apple allergy. So I’m backing off my apple blends and heading towards things like this.
I was hoping that the ginger would have a nice bite, but instead of nipping at my senses it just gummed at my temper. In its defense, I do wish I hand’t used the rock sugar that came with the sampler. It just wouldn’t dissolve, and stubbornly clung to the bottom of the cup. The top was plain, the bottom was syrup.
This is not going to fill the hole left behind by my favorite apples.
Sipdown. I’m feeling tired but restless, so I decided to finish up the rest of this tea. Last night I used two thirds of the sample, so tonight I dumped in the final third. This is slightly more mellow (compared to the tart zing of last night) but the flavor and the color are nearly just as intense.
I was at a meeting today where they offered this tea at the coffee/tea station. The last time I tried it, there seemed to be some scent/flavor contamination from a Pu’erh (yeah, fishy Earl Grey!) but before I receive some of the full leaf from a swap, I wanted to try a Pu’erh-free teabag to compare.
This was actually close to par with the fishy one, if you can believe that! I didn’t have a way to time my steep or control the temperature of the water, so I just had to guess. It was a short break, so the steep only lasted something like three minutes. I was pretty surprised at its bitterness, and the savage bite of its astringency. The bergamot overwhelmed the black tea base, and the three packets of raw sugar I added didn’t make a dent.
I finished it, but mostly because I was thirsty and didn’t want to interrupt the meeting by getting up. So much for the second try!
Wow… that’s shocking. I’m not rating this because I think I messed up the steeping. This tastes like it might have been poured out of a bottle of TrueBlood, and Erik is nowhere to be found! This is tart and bloody. Seriously. I could smell the rose as it steeped but it has vanished into an ocean of hibiscus.
Sipdown! I thought I had already finished this, but when I was re-organizing my stash I discovered one more cup’s worth in the tin. This was a favorite for a while, but then I found the better and cheaper version at DAVIDsTEA. Their Pink Passionfruit tastes nearly the same but without the slightly perfumey note in the aftertaste. When and if I decide to replace it, that’s the direction I’ll be headed in.
This sample arrived today from Teavivre, and I didn’t wait long before trying it out. The dry leaves were lovely and intact, and it was fascinating to see how much character each little leaf contained. The smell was deceptively simple, and primarily grassy.
When steeped, its other flavors came out to play, and I must say the 2nd and 3rd steeps continue to be my favorite. The liquor remains the same very pale yellow, but the sensation of each sip is light yet silky. The understated notes of butternut squash, nuttiness, and dry grass balance each other beautifully.
I’m trying to build more whites and greens into my cupboard, and this was a fantastic place to start!
You can read my full review here:
Of the teas I received in Verdant’s $5 for 5 introduction promotion, this was the one I was most hesitant about. I like my blacks blended, but the urgings of several Steepsterites (you know who you are!) I decided to give it a go before I sent out the rest to its new home.
I put a pinch or two in my gaiwan, boiled the kettle, and let it sit for a couple minutes to cool off a little. I did forget to set the steep timer, so I think it ended up at three minutes instead of the shorter steep I was aiming for. With the first sip, I do admit I was impressed. It was much, much more enjoyable than I anticipated.
It was very toasty, slightly nutty, and it reminded me of sesame seeds. There was some sweetness, and a very silky smooth sensation up until it started to cool, when it became lightly astringent. I guess I was expecting something closer to a Lapsang Souchang or a Pu’erh, but this managed to become a fishless “just the good stuff” version of my husband’s favorite Pu’erh.
It’s still not something I’m going to gravitate towards, but I am glad I let myself get talked into trying it.
Today was my first day back at the school. I came in several days early to meet our new principal and start getting things back in order, but right now my mind is racing at fifty-zillion miles about things to do and prepare, and…. and… and… I could keep going but I really need to calm down and get ready for bed!
While I haven’t really found a Persimmon Tree that’s grabbed my senses and shook them, it has been a lot of fun to try out all these little samples. So tonight as I watch Mythbusters I’m settling into this and playing fetch with Mei-Mei. The tea’s got a lovely steam rising from it, and the flavor is woodsy and sweet.
I’m not loving this tea, but I’m not hating it either. It does suffer from the same issues as their other rooibos… it’s just a wee bit too rooibossy. And I do mean bossy. Those little particles are ganging up on the other notes and overwhelming them. In the dry mix I was able to see a couple other elements, but there was considerably more of the rooibos pieces. It’s not a chunky blend by any means, and I think that’s why I’m having such a difficult time picking out the hibiscus and most the orange, although it does peek out a little in the aftertaste.
But right now I’m trying to calm down, so I don’t want something that’s going to blow my mind and get it racing again. So I’ll keep sipping and playing fetch with our sweet little cat.
Wow, this is so much better iced!
I made up two pitchers the day before yesterday, one of this and another of Zhena’s Caffeine-Free Firelight Chai. The little red bow I used to mark the caffeinated tea (Stop! Don’t drink this after noon!) has actually acted as a lure instead of the deterrent I figured it would be.
I just tried it as a lark, but I’ve been really enjoying it. Hot, it was rather anonymously fruity, but chilled it has a few more layers to it. This is totally something I’m going to do again!