553 Tasting Notes
I had a bad first experience with Lapsang Souchong. It smelled like bacon and tasted like watered down burned bacon grease. That being said, I am a little nervous over this tea because the smell of the dried leaf came back to me very quickly. I brewed this for two minutes and it smells smokey. More like grillhouse smoker type of smoke and less campfire this time.
It isn’t bad. It isn’t what I was expecting either. Yes, it does taste like smoke but it also has a mild and barely detectable sweetness. But I mostly taste smoke and I’m not the biggest fan of that taste. It makes me feel better about Lapsang Souchong now and I know that the tea itself isn’t bad.
If you like lapsang souchong, I believe that you would really love this one. I’m not rating this one because it isn’t a bad tea. I’m just not overly fond of it.
It is a cold and rainy day today, so I decided to break out my flavored milk oolong that Teavivre generously sent me to try. Now, I do have to confess that I have had it at least one time before and I just forgot to log it. I also figured that it would be good to review this after I drank the regular milk oolong.
I tossed about 4 teaspoons into my french press this time. I normally brew about 3 teaspoons at a time, but I had a little extra fall when I was shaking out the packet. So I will actually try to steep this tea to death this time because of the slight extra I used. I don’t want to waste any.
So far, the first steep at 2 minutes is very smooth. It has a slight milky scent and is creamy on the tongue. Because it is flavored, the milky quality is upped to the point where I can almost smell warm milk. There is no mineral taste at all yet. It is all satin on the tongue.
Second Steep at about 2 and a half minutes. I noticed that the liquor was a bright golden and it smelled ready, so I stopped it there instead of going onto three minutes. The smell is divine! It smells even better than the first steep. The leaves were opening up more and I can see that the leaves are going to be huge. They still aren’t fully open yet. The taste is still creamy smooth. There is a hint of floral riding with the taste now and a slight caramel hint. It is present enough to make my tastebuds register it as a sweet taste. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough. So second steep, nice and sweet.
Third Steep is even more golden in color than the second steep! Wow. And it has only been for brewing for three minutes now. It is starting to smell wonderfully buttery and I am restraining burying my nose deep into my cup. It now tastes sweet. The sweetness was creeping up in the second steep, but this steep is starting to taste like I put a little agave syrup in it. Not sugar sweet, but agave sweet. It is two distinct sweet tastes. The milky taste is starting to turn and starting to taste creamy instead of milky. There is still no mineral taste like there is in the regular milk oolong. There is a slight taste of green in there because of the oolong base, but no minerals.
It is time for the Fourth Steep! I swear, this tea is like honey dripping out of my french press. Warm and creamy scent to the nose still. I steeped it about 3.5 minutes. The silky smooth taste has drifted from milky to creamy. It is not as sweet as the third steep, but you can tell that it is much sweeter than the first and second steeps. I feel almost like I am drinking a dessert tea. The flavor is not waning at all yet. I am starting to get a hint of butter on the right tip of my tongue. Just a hint. Other than that it is all golden smooth cream. I am still not tired of the flavor yet.
I’m going to pause for a moment before the fifth steep and think about how I have taken one thing of tea from breakfast until dinner and probably one more drink after dinner if the flavor is still strong enough on this steep. Brewed this one for a whole four minutes. It is still as golden as it ever was. It is beautiful. It smells like butter to me now. No more milk, no more cream. Just butter. Wow, just wow. It tastes like cream. Thick and sweet cream. Five steeps in and it still tastes like this. I’m blown away.
I took a shower and decided that I at least needed to go onto the sixth steep. So now I smell like lavender and the tea still smells like butter. This one sat for four and a half minutes. It is starting to develop a very light mineral smell. I think the green oolong might finally be showing its head through the flavor. The flavor is definitely a little lighter on this steep. There is a lot less of a creamy mouthfeel in this steep than was present in the last steep. The flavor is still present but has developed into butter that you can taste best on the back and sides of your tongue. It is still sweet though.
I am stopping at the sixth steep even though I think the flavor could carry you through at least one more steep. The flavor profile is weakening and I think the next steeps will be weaker and weaker. That being said, every steep I made was like steeping enough for two cups so I got at least 12 cups of tea out of this. That is a lot of tea!
I now know why people really like milk oolongs. They are light and sweet. I think I may have found a new favorite type of tea besides Earl Grey. I am delighted that Teavivre let me try and enjoy this tea.
Thanks for being patient with my tea review for today. Next time I do a big one like this, I’m putting it in a notebook first. I didn’t expect to go through six steepings of this wonderful tea!
This is like an instant-calm potion. I take a sip and I can just feel myself relax. It is tea like this that makes me wish I either had a fantastic thermos bottle to bring hot water down with me or an electric kettle that I can keep in my room.
I will be surprised if I drink another tea today. I might bring this one through lots of steepings from now until bedtime.
I brewed a second steep last night with my fiancee and a friend. It was after we had a big dinner, so I figured it was a good tea to have to help us digest. I had it brewed for three minutes this time and it had a stronger flavor. It was still very mild and my friend that tried it said that it didn’t have that strong of a flavor. This makes me hopeful that it will still be nice and mild while still retaining that earthy flavor that I do love from the pu-erh teas.
I forgot to log my tea notes yesterday. I finally broke into the pu-erh that Teavivre sent to me. I forgot to check how much leaf to put into my french press, so I only put about 2 teaspoons worth.
The first steep was a very light color. So light that my dad noticed and asked if it was too weak. I just told him it was a different sort of tea and I only brewed it for two minutes, so I didn’t question the light color. The flavor was slightly earthy, but not as strong as some of the other pu-erhs I have tried. It was very pleasant and mellow. I think I would have to try a little bit more leaf to make up my mind about it though.
Went to bed last night before I had a chance to log this because my computer was acting up:
I finally decided that this tea is just too good not to drink. It’s just my last packet so I think I was trying to make it “last” by not drinking it, but by not drinking it I didn’t get to enjoy it.
I did notice that it is slightly sweeter if you have it with a dessert. I normally wouldn’t have placed it as a tea I would have with dessert, but that slight extra sweetness made it extra yummy.
The only trouble with oolongs is that they last all day. I need to get another french press so I can brew two types of tea during the day.
I haven’t been feeling that great today. So more plain tea with sugar! My ear hurts and I have a lump on the left side of my throat like my sinuses are swelled up in that spot. Why do I keep getting sick? I wasn’t sick for my last two years in college unless you count my gallbladder removal surgery that fixed all my problems. Now it feels like I can’t keep away from the doctor for two months. At least I like her. (And yes, I’m going tomorrow so all you Steepster mommies don’t have to worry)
Good news: I finally got my driver’s test scheduled and it is the day before my birthday. I need to practice parallel parking some more, but I am certain that if I just don’t panic, I will pass it with flying colors.