148 Tasting Notes
Backlog sipdown…I’ve really been depleting my stash at this rate! This one took a few months to get through, and right back on the wishlist it goes. It’s a perfect example of a green oolong that is greatly enhanced by the blend into something decadent but still refreshing. Though, my desire for greener teas has been plummeting as the weather gets colder, so maybe I won’t look for this one again until sometime next year.
In my experience Dancongs, moreso than any other Chinese tea, are remarkably consistent. Of all the ones I’ve tried from different sources, they’re all quite good, and good in the same way, with that sublime incense-grapefruit-esque fragrance. It’s good to have a tea that one can hardly go wrong with!
Smells like vanilla and cream, tastes like vanilla and cream, with a touch of peachy Ceylon crispness to let you know it’s really tea. I was impressed with Harney’s decaf Ceylon before, and this is along the same lines. Not very strong or resteepable, but good for a cool evening at home when you’ve already had enough caffeine for the day.
Things are pretty crazy around here—I’m finishing up my PhD, so if I drop off the face of the earth I’m probably just working madly. All tea is appreciated at a time like this!
Finally, I’m trying the unflavored barley tea from Lupicia after having enjoyed a few of their flavored ones. This one is just what I expected: a rich, roasted-grains flavor and aroma, with a slightly coffee-like edge and a natural sweetness. It’s deliciously cozy hot, and quite refreshing after it cools down a bit too. We’re getting a final burst of summer-like weather (in November!), and the chilled version of this tea reminds me of the bottled barley iced teas that were a favorite while I was growing up.
This was one of the teas I just had to try from Butiki, since it sounded very unique, and I’m generally a fan of pistachio. The dry blend does smell delectable and just like pistachio ice cream, with the pistachio being toasted or slightly caramelized. Brewed up, it becomes more complex, and the first note I smelled was actually salt. The flavor is dominated by the green tea, very vegetal and savory, with a little hint of seaweed. The pistachio is there in the background as a roasted nut flavor, and there is also a sweetness and cream note.
I think I’ll hold off on rating for now—there’s a lot going on in this tea and I’m not sure I fully appreciate it yet. It’s also a little late in the evening for a robust green tea, I just hope it won’t keep me awake later…
I’ve had a box of this at work for a while, but hadn’t really thought to make a note for it since it seems like your typical, grocery-store green tea. The tea is probably Japanese in origin as it has that flavor profile.
I hadn’t really noticed this tea until I was traveling through one of the wine-producing regions here in California. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of tea, but every single restaurant, cafe, and hotel in town seemed to only be serving this kind of tea, so I couldn’t avoid it. A tea monopoly in wine country might be a dubious distinction, but it was better than I expected (granted, I was expecting something fairly bad). It’s quite smooth and and mild, not very fussy, and not easily made bitter or astringent even with neglect, which I’m grateful for since I often make a cup of this in the busy after-lunch hours.
This is as rosy as tea can get! The blend consists of silver needles and brightly-colored rosebuds, and no matter how I tried to portion it, I was going to get more rosebuds by volume than tea leaves. The dry scent is very strong rose, but not cloying or perfume-like. The brewed aroma has an added note of tart champagne. I’ve played around with this one a bit, and while the champagne isn’t too obvious in the flavor at first, it becomes more prominent and crisp as the tea cools, and is a good balancer to the very strong rose aroma. The rose fragrance really lingers after the tea is gone. There is a touch of something vegetal from the silver needle tea as well. It also brews to an interesting, light green color. Overall, this is a very, very floral tea, dainty and not overwhelming. Maybe a bit of an acquired taste for some, but fairly enjoyable.