792 Tasting Notes
The first time I had this I got one big orange slice and no chocolate. It tasted like juicy-sweet marmalade with astringent malt.
Today I have no orange slice and a lot of chocolate. Now it tastes like one of those chocolate Christmas oranges, especially after I added milk. Sweet tangerine notes to finish.
I’m not the biggest fan of marmalade or orange chocolate, but anyone who is shouldn’t hesitate to give this tea a chance. The malty raisin-rose assam/nilgiri blend makes the tea even fancier and gives it a rounder profile.
Flavors: Chocolate, Jam, Malt, Orange, Rose
Taken with 2% milk.
The ceylon base is on the bright and astringent side, but, wow, that flavouring swamps it the best it can! The syrup oozes into my nostrils and down my throat, while pumpkin spices catch on the tongue.
I don’t necessarily get pancakes, but their is something extremely dessert-like to the finish; it reminds me of cupcakes and fall candles.
This isn’t as high a priority repurchase as other AQ2T teas but it will definitely find its way into my shopping cart come end of summer/early fall.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Clove, Maple Syrup, Pumpkin
After the last three Verdant oolong offerings, this one’s a real treat! Now this is something I’d order again.
If you’re planning to drink this tea I advise not to be like me and pair it with strong foods, like sharp cheddar, balsamic vinegar, or salmon burgers. The first steep is lilac butter, and while it does feel “fat thick” it’s still a delicate flavour profile.
Second and third steep offer lighter floral notes, with a touch of cream gaining ground on that butter note. Lingering aftertaste reminds me of an uncooked plantain, or soaked rice; it’s subtly starchy, and creamy-sweet from it.
Fourth steep smells of spiced flowers and lime fruit. There are a lot of things going on that I can’t pinpoint so I will sum it up as “floral fruit juice cream.” It’s like eating mango-flavoured tofu desserts (texture), while walking through a flower garden and sniffing all the violets.
Fifth steep is starting to get tired, so we’ll call it quits here.
Steep Count: 5 (x2)
I was drinking a gongfu cup (180-190F, 15sec), alongside a less impressive western style (185-190F, 3min) cup, which I didn’t make a note of here. It was generally flatter than the gongfu method, but the third steep was distinctly citrus-lime; the added cream and malt notes made me think of key lime pie.(2016 Fall Harvest)
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Lime, Malt, Mango, Rice, Violet
I noticed today that I’m coming near to the end of my packet here. I drink this guy a lot, and want to gush about it endlessly (much to the concern and confusion of friends and fam), so I guess it was to be expected. Still disappointed that this oolong isn’t self-replenishing.
The weather here was gorgeous today, so I took this to-go with me for a long walk along the beach, and then enjoyed some extra steeps in the afternoon on the patio. Practically perfect.
There isn’t much more to add about this tea that I haven’t said elsewhere. I do love that when the oolong unfurls, the leaves are a Frankensteinian assortment of colours (dark vibrant green, pale green). It’s like they are the scraps of unwanted oolong leftovers that have been baptized and reborn in sticky rice glory. How can you not love them?
Steep Count: 3
A small fly drowned in my third cup, and it was the tea tragedy of the month.
(2016 fall harvest)
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Rice, Vegetal
I think this may become my staple Cream Grey; it all depends on if I can find another one or two offerings that warrant placing orders with Camellia Sinensis. It’s definitely a cheaper and more naturally scented specimen than my long favourite from David’s Tea, which is more dessert-like but also more artificially “sour”.
This is my go to morning tea when I want to combine the indulgent and the traditional.. and also a splash of milk. I just have to remember to be frugal with my teaspoon serving because this bergamot has a lot of personality; although, that’s part of what makes it so decadent.
Flavors: Bergamot, Cream, Pepper, Vanilla
I picked the most generic looking Tieguanyin to start me on my +15 guanyin journey.
I did a short rinse, and a first gongfu steep of about “how long it takes to open up a little and for the water to change colour.” The aroma is incredibly floral, like jasmine with a smudge of lilac. This carries over into the flavour profile, which is a buttery floral bouquet.
Second and third infusions are incredibly sweet, with a vegetal element. Just to show that my family doesn’t have a flower nose, my mom said this cup smelled like “rose, dandelion, sweet, orange blossom.” Name all the flowers and eventually one will be right. We can all agree it smells and tastes “beautiful” though.
Fourth and fifth infusions became increasingly mellow and smooth. The floral notes have taken on a backseat role and become more of a soft honeysuckle. The vegetal sweetness is front and center.
I had to cut this session here, which is too bad because this was slowly becoming more and more delicious.
Steep Count: 5
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Jasmine, Peas, Sweet
Oh, man. There wasn’t enough leaf left for a full cup. Why did I save this?
At half strength there’s still a lot of flavour. That flavour is cream cheese, which is a lot more delicious than it sounds. There’s a bit of butter too.
I now want toast.
All in all, not a bad send of for this tea, even if it was only a quarter teaspoon amount.
Flavors: Butter, Cheesecake, Cream
For reasons, unbeknownst even to me, this is the only item from AQ2T where I picked up more than a sample size. I tend to dislike apples and mead, and found the tea flavour/base pairing to be… bizarre, which may have held a lot of appeal to my subconscious chaotic self? It’s a mystery.
The loose-leaf is heavy on the apple and honey aromas, with something boozy, while the steeped liquid is deceptively like genmaicha with a touch of honeyed apple. The flavour is pure mead, with a dash of apples and toasty rice kernels which manages to accentuate the mead a lot.
At first I was repulsed, because it tastes so much like mead, but then I got further into my cup and started to love it because it tastes exactly like mead (this sums up my relationship with actual mead too).
Sometimes I lie to myself and say it tastes more like that infused honey apple cider I like to pick up, and it does taste a lot like that! I also get baked apple pie as well. Cider and pie or the only times I like apples, so this tea hit the lottery.
Good job, boozy genmaicha! You muddled my brain and made me your fan, whether I like it or not.
Steep Count: 2
The “headiness” of the flavouring loosens up a tad when the tea allows to cool for a few minutes and on second steep. It’s still pretty citric and sweet though.
Flavors: Alcohol, Apple, Honey, Honeysuckle, Spices, Toasted Rice
I’m winding down with a gongfu session for the evening. I’m currently craving a 1st Flush Darjeeling, but since I don’t have any this does well in a pinch!
Tonight I’m getting the usual smooth cup with orange/grapefruit tang, but also some juicy pear and cucumber notes I didn’t notice before. It’s slightly more floral than I remember it being. It’s also almost.. smoky? But not quite. Hop-like notes linger on the tongue. The citrusy profile makes it a deceivingly good palate-cleanser!
Steep Count: 4 (plus 1 1/2 of the western steeped mug my mother didn’t finish. Not wasting this tea).
Liquid Colour: soft pastel yellow (gongfu) to vibrant sunshine yellow (western)
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Cucumber, Grapefruit, Hops, Muscatel, Orange, Orange Blossom, Pear