122 Tasting Notes
Our final tea of the evening (for by then it was evening, and I was learning the mesh knitting pattern of my new shawl project!) with Dinosara was a tea sample I got from MissB. I don’t know how to describe this tea other than extremely unique with an indescribably good smell that reminds me of… something… I just can’t place it but it was so good! I think this may have to be the first tea of all my samplers lately that I’m going to have to buy a goodly amount of! On the the steep records:
10 seconds: Creamy sweet, almost vanilla flavor, which is just fantastic! There is a bit of crushed green something on the sip that contributes a freshness to it.
20 seconds: Indescribably good smell in my aroma cup that would continue through the rest of the steeps. Maybe fruity, maybe floral? Light astringency, but a vanilla and butter aftertaste that is fabulous.
30 seconds: A bit beany now, but that wonderful smell continues.
35 seconds: Mildly green beany, but good almost-vanilla still on the sip and aftertaste.
45 seconds: losing the smell, and the astringency is up. Reminds me of buttered collards.
Flavors: Creamy, Green Beans, Vanilla
The third tea, this time from *Dinosara*’s collection, at our knitting/tea drinking extravaganza yesterday. This was a fun tea.
First steep, 30 seconds: ginger snaps in a mug! Cinnamon scent and cookie flavor!
Second steep, 45 seconds: more sugary, I can feel the presence of the oolong now and smell it in my aroma cup, but the flavor is still very cinnamony.
Third steep, 1:10: more floral, less sugar, cinnamon ever present.
Fourth (stopped keeping time here in my notes): pure brown sugar cookie in my cup! Really cozy tea!
Fifth: same as above, but the flavor was fading and it felt thinner.
Overall I think I would love this tea around the holidays!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cookie
The second tea at *Dinosara*’s yesterday. After the Sticky Rice flavored puerh a few weeks ago, I think we were both set to enjoy a nice sheng.
After a quick rinse, the first steep (pour in-pour out!) had a light jasmine flavor, with a surprising depth and vague sweetness. I recalled a nice jasmine flavor and surprising sweetness from the one steep I had when Liquid Proust gave this to me, and I was hoping for a repeat performance on the second steep.The second steep had a stronger sheng flavor and the jasmine was stronger as well, lending a sweet blossom flavor to the tea, but not nearly as sweet as I recalled. Perhaps it is because we gongfu steeped this tuo, and the previous had been steeped in a rather large pot.
The third steep the jasmine scent was stronger, but the flavor was decently bitter. The fourth it had pretty much turned into a nice sheng with little hints of jasmine now and then. We stopped at the 8-10 steeps range (we lost count), and it continued as the fourth steep throughout.
The compounded leftovers of all the steeps was quite delicious. Much more depth and the presence of jasmine flavoring was still obvious. I would chose to drink it this way next time.
Had this yesterday as the first tea in *Dinosara*’s and my marathon knitting and tea drinking session. Thanks to MissB for the sample of this one!
The rinse had a vague cinnamon flavor that I’m concerned was a contamination from some of the more strongly flavored teas in the box. The first gongfu steep of this was 30 seconds and smelled of vanilla in the aroma cup, possessed a slightly chestnutty flavor and reminded me of my overripe, too-starchy peas. A slight astringency made us keep the next steep at 30 seconds. The seconds steep was more chestnut flavored, and was still astringent, but a tolerable kind; it reminded me of the bitterness of walnut skins. The third steep, still at 30 seconds, had no intense flavors, but the astringency made my mouth feel wet and sweet after the sip was over. The fourth steep at 40 seconds was greener in character, with maybe a collards flavor, but a decently sweet aftertaste.
This was a fun tea to check off of my “To try- Green” list!
Flavors: Chestnut, Green
This is like orange-colored apple-flavored jello mix, with just a touch of whipped cream on the end of the sip. Bizarrely good.
I do get the slightly woody after’flavor of rooibos, but it is not bad or strong in this tea.
On an unrelated note, I have finally decided to add all my samples (since I just got two huge mystery boxes) to my cupboard, so my tea collection has “expanded” exponentially in the last few days. Unfortunately, they are but samples, enough for maybe a cup or two, but at least now I have some way to keep them in order!
Flavors: Apple, Cream, Pear
I liked this waaaay better than I thought I would, but I had to try it because the smell coming from the bag was way too enticing- exactly like cooking sticky rice! This has been my “learn to knit” tea for the past two nights at Dinosara ’s house, and it has served admirably. Total, we have gotten 25+ steeps (pour water in gaiwan, and immediately pour tea out of gaiwan), and I will continue with it at work today, because it had reached a really good point.
The first steep (after a rinse) itself tasted just like sticky rice, with just a touch of what was to come. The second steep was super bitter and difficult to drink, and I think this was the point at which we bumped the brew time down from 10 seconds to as-fast-as-you-can-, which greatly improved it. Around steep 6 or 7 the bitterness calmed down and the sticky rice flavor came back in force. It gave the the sense of being warm and toasty- the smell of cooking rice and the warmth of the tea was very comforting, and at this point I decide I liked this experience! We probably got around 20 steeps out of this the first day and put it in a tupperware in the fridge overnight.
Day 2 with this tea saw me learning how to stitch a purl, and not only had my knitting improved, but this tea had, greatly, as well! The sticky rice was smooth and present, and dare I say the liquor was sweet! It left my mouth with an almost minty feeling… maybe like how vics vaporub feels in your nose, but in my mouth? I super pleasant experience and worth continuing, even though we took a break from this tea after maybe 6-7 steeps today to enjoy a lovely tieguanyin. I will keep going with it today at work, because the leaves clearly had more to give.
Note: do not let the tea in your cup cool down. The bitterness comes back quite strongly if you wait to drink your tea!
Thank you very much LiquidProust, I have certainly enjoyed this new experience!
Flavors: Menthol, Rice
Had this lastnight after Dinosara and I got tired of drinking the sticky rice puerh (on the 25th steep, or so!), and for the special occasion that I learned the purl stitch! It is clearly not enough that I’m a convert to her tea obsession, I must now also absorb her knitting obsession!
Anyways, this is a super lovely tieguanyin. On the first steep the florals are so spicy that they seem halfway to the Magnolia Oolong in intensity- from an unscented tea! Also, a very buttery mouthfeel.
The second steep presented a much more sugary taste, so, so, so sweet!
The third steep was a bit more buttery, but with all the previous flavors.
The fourth steep had a greener character, and the sweetness switched from plain sugar to rock sugar.
The fifth steep was even greener, with less rock sugar.
Overall a really fine, delicious example of a tieguanyin!
Flavors: Floral, Sugar
The dry leaf of this smells like those indescribable fruit flavored lip glosses from Claire’s, there is something in this combo that is very juvenile to me, but super enjoyable. Makes me think of being a teeny-bop exploring candy flavored perfumes for the first time! The scent translates relatively well into the brew, but a little more florist’s shop creep[s into the flavor. I definitely can still taste “fruit”, which is almost melon-flavored candy-esque, but the florals bump up their presence compared to the scent . I don’t get anything tart, which I would expect from something with gooseberry and pomegranate in it. It’s pretty darned good, to be honest, and the base is unobtrusive and surprisingly smooth for such a cheap tea from such a big company. So far I’m impressed and looking forward to trying more of their blends.
Thanks so much LiquidProust for providing me with a healthy sample of this, I shall enjoy drinking it down!
Flavors: Flowers, Fruity, Melon
Short, short steeps in my gaiwan, about a third full of leaves.
First steep: roasty notes, mineral notes, rock sugar notes, but all very mild. Smells a bit salty.
Much sweeter scent in the aroma cup this steep. The minerality and rock sugar notes have purified.
Third steep: roasty and salty again, with a sweet aftertaste. Not sure I really want to continue with this tea. It’s not rocking my world.
Flavors: Mineral, Roasted
I’ve had this tea for a while, and I think something was off with my set up, because every tea I tried had a weird soapy flavor that it no longer has. A friend stopped for the night at my place last night in the midst of his move to Boston and I offered tea. I took a chance on this instead of Yunnan White Jasmine (though I knew that would be a winner) because I wanted to show my guests an awesome unflavored tea, and I was hoping this would do.
Long story short, it was by far the best steeping I’ve gotten out of this tea, enough that I now feel comfortable giving it a relatively high rating.
For my future reference, I filled my travel gaiwan about a third full with leaves, heated water to 195 degrees and just kept brewing from the same kettle as it cooled. I started with a 5 seconds steep that was more of a rinse, and the flavor was barely there, just a hint of sweet florals. I had to coax my friend’s moving buddy to have a second cup, but after the second steep he kept holding out his cup for more! I also used the aroma cup set and it greatly enhanced the experience!
I increased my steeps by 5 seconds each time for a total of five steeps, the last of which was severly degraded, both in flavor and scent.
The second steep was much more nectar sweet and full of high florals and very strongly floral in the nose.
The third steep was even sweeter smelling, but the flavor was a little greener, with a little more body and a switch to a more stately rock sugar sweetness.
The fourth steep was when you could tell it was going down hill. The aroma cup was still full of sweet spring air, but the flavor was much flatter and a tad greener.
The last steep was a weaker version of the fourth steep in flavor and smell.
Overall, this is the best tea I’ve gotten for the amount I paid (50% off sale!) and I’m glad to have it in my cupboard!
Flavors: Floral, Sugar