1887 Tasting Notes
Pulling off the lid of the sample tin (this one was on tight) I caught a wiff of the dry tea. The only thing I can describe it as is a cross between cinnamon and light dill pickles. Yeah, I don’t get it either. It’s not that I don’t like it – I LOVE dill pickles – it’s just such a non sequitur for me and my nose.
I’m glad to see the large number of buds in this tea instead of the crumbled up bits you sometimes get. Taste-wise this tea is actually very close to the taste of raw cucumber, though I’m also still picking up a very minute trace of cinnamon or some other spice.
After hearing all the hype about these, how could I resist? Since people around here seem to think the more balls the better (hehe) I decided to start with four of them in my mug. The dry odor is incredibly cocoa-y but there’s also more than a trace of that tanin/smoke scent underneath that I get from my Yunnan Jig tea. I suppose it makes sense since both teas are from that region.
When I add the water the ‘Yunnan Jig’ smell becomes stronger, although if you sniff carefully you can still detect the cocoa. It was so fascinating watching the balls slowly unfurl in the water like a dark sea anemone.
The brew is very dark and rich-looking. Upon first sip it seems to taste quite like a milder version of Yunnan Jig aswell, but then the cocoa hits you in the back of the mouth. It’s not like drinking say Adagio’s Chocolate Chip tea; the flavour is much more subtle and it’s more like raw cocoa powder to me than actual chocolate.
I’m pretty sure I steeped this tea for too long so when I try it again I’ll likely adjust my rating.
The smell of the dry leaves is slightly sweet in a starchy way and while I was brewing the tea the odor of sweet potato unfolded quite clearly and pleasently. The taste wasn’t so pleasent unfortunately, as it was quite bitter with a starchiness I didn’t really care for.
Seeing other peoples’ reviews of this tea I noticed that most of them used less time in their steeping so the next time I try this tea I’ll adjust accordingly and then I’ll see if that makes a difference.
I got the savory teas sample collection with my Adagio order and tonight I decided to try the most intimidating-sounding one first. I’ve never really eaten much artichoke and it’s always been mixed in with other ingredients – such as in a calzone or an omelett – so I don’t really have a definitive taste pinned down in my mind except that it always tasted rather pickled and salty.
The smell of the dry leaves and the brewing tea is surprisingly fruity – in fact it almost smells like peach or mango to me. The dry leaves are of a nice size and a bright, fresh-looking green shade and they brew up to make a clear, pale-green coloured tea.
The taste is almost as fruity as the scent and it’s sweet, though in a rather subdued manner. It’s only on the aftertaste that I get a faint hint of what I’m used to thinking of as artichoke – savory and pickled.
OMG this smells incredible, I can’t stop sniffing it! It like hazelnut but richer almost. This is a scent I’m used to associating with coffee so my brain keeps thinking ‘cafe latte’ at me, even though I know better. ;)
Now the only exposure I’ve had to chestnuts has been the water-chestnuts in chinese cooking – which I LOATH with a passion. I do understand that those are from a completely different type of plant, so I’m trying not to let my dislike interfere with the tasting.
Given how sweet the scent is, it’s a bit of a shock how bitter the tea tastes in comparison. I’m already thinking that this would be a tea that’ll be improved with a touch of milk. The rich, nutty flavour is still present although it’s muted a little by the bitterness (I’m not sure if that’s the tea or the flavouring talking BTW). I have to say that given how lovely the smell was I’m a bit disappointed, although I’ll have to fiddle around with this one before I make my final verdict.