367 Tasting Notes
Blues Brothers + this tea = the saving graces of this crappy day.*
So this is what plain Honeybush tastes like! As I suspected this is that “lotioney” taste that’s been part of the flavored versions of this tea. That lotion taste isn’t bad…it’s just different. I’m also having trouble with this note since I drank 6 steeps of a Jade Oolong that I picked up today at a tea shop that shall remain nameless for now. I feel like that oolong actually steeped itself into my tongue – is that even possible? It seems that l’m still tasting the oolong while drinking this. So I plan on drinking this again in the near future when not under the oonfluence. NE
*Here’s the summary of my crap day: I drove an hour to my closest tea shop to go to a green tea tasting class with a friend. This was my first visit there. After being told by employees that the class was actually 2 hours later we went to Whole Foods (bought a couple of Rishi teas!), and then returned to the shop. Um, yeah, the class is actually next Sunday. ::facepalm:: That last part was my bad – I got my dates mixed up. My friend can’t make it next week and they said that they won’t do a class if it ends up just being me. ::sigh:: We shall see. The other saving grace is that my friend experienced her first loose leaf tea today (an oolong) and LOVED it. So, I picked up 2oz of the oolong and a sample of their Lapsang Souchon and came back home.
Oh the disappointment. I sooo wanted to enjoy this tea especially after reading the reviews. Buy nay, our love was not to be – perhaps my expectations were too high? This was the tea where I finally had to admit to myself that I must get my “winging the temp” issue resolved and soon. I just don’t want to think about how many teas I’ve potentially butchered. (eeek!)
This is another tea where I swear I tasted soy milk (plain soy this time – or what I like to call “bean juice”). Then the melon taste to me was like a not-quite-ripe cantaloupe. I’m so sad that this earns a M in my book.
I’ve decided that I’m a floral freak and I’m letting my floral freak flag fly (say that ten times fast)! Oolongs are still new to me, so I’m guessing that someday in the future I will think this one’s ho-hum. But for now I’m loving this. I’m on the third infusion and plan to keep goin’ as many times as possible – I just had to get my first 3 steeps down before I forgot (and will edit to add more info if I feel it is warrented).
Steep 1 (180ish for 3 minutes): I always think that I’m going to hate oolongs on the first infusion. The dry leaf smell doesn’t do anything for me and then the first taste is always so very veggie and I’m not a huge veg fan. Still nice, but very veg and no floral (but the leaves hadn’t fully opened). Oh – and I had done a short rinse on them.
Steep 2 (180ish for 3 minutes): Less strong veg and just the tiniest little whisper of floral. Mmm…
Steep 3 (180ish for 4 minutes): Where the hell did this sweet floral side come from?!?! It’s like a completely new tea! It has a great floral taste and then it’s the most interesting sweet lingering sensation on my tongue. I’ve never experienced that lingering sensation before. If someone handed me this tea on its third steep and had me try it, then I think that I’d be utterly confused and not know what it was. A floral white perhaps? Again – remember I have a noob palate. ;) Off for the fourth steep I go! TG
Apparently I’m a wimp when it comes to black teas. I enjoyed this a lot more than any of the loose leaf varieties with which I’ve been experimenting. This definitely hit the “spot-o-yumminess.” Right at first the peach seemed a bit fake and too strong, but then it mellowed nicely as the cup cooled.
I’m thinking that for me black teas will take time for me to grow into. It took me working as a barista for 7 years to finally embrace coffee and espresso, so I’d speculate that my black tea journey will take some time (hopefully not as long as the coffee one did!). But now I know to be patient with myself. :) NE
As inspired by Morgana’s “Tale of Three Vanillas” I chose this one out of my sampler for my morning tea. This is the first vanilla tea that I’ve ever had and it was nice. The dry leaf smell reminded me of Vanilla Silk (which is neither good nor bad – I just only have it with cereal and not as a straight drink). The steeped tea smelled like a gentler Vanilla Silk.
That being said – this is the first loose leaf black tea that was actually “smooth” to me. Maybe a little too smooth because it sort of bored me, but it did give me hope that someday I’ll like black teas more than I do at present. Ultimately it’s like this tea was going out of its way to be overly polite. M
I’d never had a plain mint tea before, and so when trying to find more caffeinie-free options I saw spearmint (which I tend to reach for when buying gum) and decided to get a sample. I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s pretty much what I expected, only maybe a bit more crisp. I think that this shall be my mint tea of choice to keep a small amount on hand. NE
Such pretty little pearls! And the tin smelled great! Then post-steep I had a moment of panic when I smelled a bit of that “tootsie roll pop” sweetness. I think that I successfully reset myself and my expectations before taking my first sip.
This one falls right between Adagio’s Jasmine #9 and Golden Moon’s Jasmine Pearls as far as sweetness goes. I’m not a huge fan of that sweetness (as discovered with the Pearls). There was a hint of that candy-o-doom in the first cup, but then the second and third steeps were less sweet, more floral/tea, and for me that made it much better. I’ll be happy to finish off this sample tin, but then I’ll even more happily reorder #9 again and again. NE
Oh gunpowder: you evil love-child of green and black tea! Okay, maybe not, but it sure tasted like it. I shall keep my mind open to future gunpowders, but am I ever happy that this was a small sample.
So, the scent of the packet (I forgot to smell the leaves before steeping them) was a really light and pleasant smell that I couldn’t put my finger on – just a hint of smokiness. I sniffed the tea after steepage and it reminded me of the food I gave my pet Hammy the Hamster back in my elementary school years. ::shudders:: And once that scent-association happened it was all an uphill battle for this tea to become likable for me.
I thought that I had oversteeped the first cup – I tossed it out halfway through and tried again. Steep two – I made it four sips and tossed it. My face actually resembled the “yucky face” on the rating scale on my final sip. I mean, I didn’t even toss out any of my lowest rated teas until I’d had at least one cup. Therefore, even though there are probably some very redeemable qualities to this tea, it’s recieving my first 1 (because I made that EXACT face). GA
::bangs head against a stone pillar:: What is wrong with me?!?! I’m struggling to enjoy black teas, and I really would like a healthy relationship with them. This is probably an excellent Irish Blend (I do like it more than Stash’s bagged version), but for me it’s a black tea that reminds me how frustrated I am with my taste buds. And of all the flavors this tea claims to have I think the only one I picked up on was prunes.
I’ll be going to a green tea tasting class this Sunday to get a better handle on that type of tea – I must remember to ask them if they plan on having a black tea class in the near future. Until then I think it’s time for me to start experimenting with additives (like a sweetner) to see if that will bring me around to the dark side. M
Now that’s what I call a cup of “meh.” The smell of the dry leaves was divinely apricot – I might just keep a sample tin for that smell. Tearomatherapy?
There was a ton of “dust” in my cup unlike the Honeybush Mango. There wasn’t much of a fragrance to the tea itself. The taste was not apricot. It really didn’t have much of a taste. I’m really wondering if I used enough tea chippies? I used more than I usually do for the Honeybush Mango, but I’ll try even more next time. So my rating may change, but for now it’s a big ’ole M.