911 Tasting Notes
Spring is starting to show up. Finally. There was even non-white and fluffy precipitation today so yay! But even though my mood has taken an upswing with the weather, I find myself gravitating towards heavier, non-spring-like teas today. Like this one.
This tea is not springy. This tea is too rich and darkly decadent to be springy. Crisp, mature, fresh and sweet. More like very early fall than something that matches what is outside right now. But I don’t care. It may not be seasonally appropriate, but it is good. So that works for me.
Whee! Smoky! I kind of feel like this is so smoky that it is seeping smoke out my pores. But I like this one – it’s a bit sweeter and much less tarry than any other lapsang souchong I’ve had. So it is super-smoky but it isn’t thick or too heavy. Lighter bodied for such a strongly smoky tea. Really glad I got a tin of this. It’s my favorite lapsang souchong, hands down.
This has pu-erh in it but it also has other stuff which, I will admit, is the reason I picked it up. The thought of chocolate + pu-erh was interesting to me especially since the reviews I’ve seen for the Numi Chocolate Puerh make me want to try it. But the store didn’t have the Numi, just this. So I got it.
This is like pu-erh with training wheels – serious training wheels. I can pick some pu-erh characteristics – the smell has a faint sweet hay note to it and the taste has some light earthy notes that can only be the pu-erh. But if I hadn’t had pu-erh before this one, I might have missed those things so it certainly doesn’t strike me as a strong pu-erh blend. The main taste I’m getting is mostly a fairly standard Yunnan-like taste and a bit of chocolate. The chocolate smells a lot like Lupicia’s The Au Chocolat (of which I am a big fan) but the taste is milder. The chocolate really comes through as a cocoa aftertaste for me. Occasionally I get a hint of tart on the end of a sip but not so much to impede my enjoyment of sipping.
The tea is smooth and a little silky. Pretty full-bodied texture but not chewy. I’m not sure if I would really call this ‘robust’ – I suppose with my lean towards Scottish and Irish breakfast blends, ‘robust’ is fairly typical for me so while this is more robust than your typical English breakfast blend, I think this guy might be intimidated by a few of the other blends I have in my pantry (Samovar’s Russian blend would kick its butt and the Samovar Breakfast blend would laugh while it happened… Shoot, Thomas Sampson might get in on the action but ultimately, he is a gentleman).
Anyway, this seems a little gentle to me to be considered (what I view) a breakfast blend. That might be the chocolate to it, though. Well, the chocolate and the overall smoothness to the tea. But that’s not a bad thing. Not ever tea can be an aggressive, wake-me-up-so-I-can-attack-the-morning tea (though it does seem to have a good caffeine kick). So as a breakfast blend, I think I’m missing the boat (probably mostly because it is chocolaty). But as a general tea, I think this is pretty tasty. Smooth, rich, dark, chocolaty and caffeinated. Not the best chocolate tea I’ve had (that’d be Lupicia’s The Au Chocolat) but certainly not the worse (TeaGermanname anyone?). But I won’t be sad to have to drink this and I could see repurchasing it under certain circumstances. Though I really don’t think this has the taste profile to actually qualify as pu-erh.
Want more tea, don’t need the caffeine, having something herbal. Herbals have such big chunks that it seems they can be less than consistent, especially when making smaller batches. Sometimes this one gives me a good citrus taste. Sometimes, I get more hibiscus. Always I get ginger though so that’s nice. But I think I prefer to make this is larger batches because then the tangerine bit is more noticeable, the hibiscus less. When the hibiscus is not strong, it adds a nice tartness that couples with the citrus to make a good tangerine taste. When the hibiscus is strong, it just makes my sinuses feel stuffy. Anyway, I made two big cups so I’m having a nice experience with this one tonight. Not overwhelmed by tart. Makes me want to up the rating. Which I’m not going to do because it will start to be somewhat yo-yo-like since I think the last time I had it I dropped the rating (small, hibiscus-laden batch).
By the way, finally got my tea pantry all straight again. It’s absurd. http://bit.ly/bnWuYU
How have I not had this one before? I would have paid more attention to it if I had know I hadn’t logged it before. Oops!
Smells of dark, exotic jasmine. Not overpoweringly but just strong enough. Really pretty. Mouthwatering. Mmm. The flavor is a lot like the smell. Very dark and exotic. Like a dark purple flower. If you ate it. Okay, maybe not, but if a dark purple rainforest-y flower had a non-flower taste, it’d taste like this. With a light sweetness of jasmine laid on top of it. I’m guessing that dark, lovely flavor is from the Silver Needle which is pretty nifty since I’ve yet to find a plain Silver Needle that doesn’t make me think of soybean water. So this makes me hopeful that I can find a SN that is yummy, not like boiled veggie water. Because this is lovely. My cup went away very quickly.
I’m currently watching Hockey Night in Canada and trying to corral my ever increasing tea collection. I didn’t need more tea. But I got it. So yeah, the corralling thing is gonna take some time.
I have a little stack of teas that I’m almost out of and this was one in that stack. I decided to make a big ole cup with the remainder of the leaf. Not only could I use a big cup of tea, it will be nice to unclick the “In Your Cupboard” button on something.
So this one is a big favorite of takgoti. She was nice enough to send me some a bit back for me to try. Honestly, I never quite got it. I adjusted the parameters some and got it more my speed but it still never quite fully clicked with me. It was good, but I was missing the love takgoti had for it.
This cup? Has the love. Maybe because I went a little heavy on the leaf, maybe because this tea does best when brewed in large quantities. I don’t know. But this is good. Fresh and rich with a bit of a sparkling floral top note. Not delicate but not heavy handed either. Just a really good, fresh tasting, comfortable, tasty green oolong. And I’m not reminded of being made to eat cattail leaves by my dad, which is always a bonus.
I’m sad that it took me until my last cup to discover the pretty of this tea, but I’m really glad I have. I’ve upped the rating a bit to reflect the yumminess.
For me, this tea is fresh bread. The kind of bread that is dense, hints of yeasty, is almost sticky in the middle and has little bits of chopped nuts and seeds in it? Yeah, that kind of bread. It’s flavorful and smooth but with good texture though not quite chewy – it is an Irish Breakfast and it tastes like it, but it’s a classy, well-rounded, full-flavored Irish Breakfast.
Yep, quite glad I got a tin of this one. Even though it is making me crave fresh bread. Fortunately, I’ve got to run to the store today so I bet I can dig something up.
I meant to grab Scarlet Sable to bring with me to work but this one is in the same size and color container so… oops. But my Russian blend caffeine ran out about an hour ago so I need something else to perk me up. Sadly, my office has not instituted nap time. (Item #762 on the list “Things to Enact When I Rule the World”).
Smells thick and chocolaty. And raisin-y. The smell is cuddly. The taste is happy. Bright. Snuggly. Sweet. Brisk. And hopefully the caffeine content will lead to the ability to write full sentences.
This tea boldly states, “I AM TEA.” It makes me think of standard teabag tea. If standard teabag tea was actually good. It reminds me of the smell that comes from the Luzianne bags as I make the husband’s gallon o’ iced tea. They strike me as being in the same taste family. But this one? This is the heights to which a standard teabag blend like Luzianne can only hope to achieve. This is a typical, normal, standard, plain tea blend made good. No. Made GREAT. Full, round flavor. This is tea.
And caffeine. Please. Let there be caffeine.
Had a pretty late night last night (but hockey is worth it) so I had a lot of trouble getting up this morning. So I’ll be honest – I picked this tea out purely for caffeine content. Cause it’s got some. Oh yes.
Today is also a chance to try this with some half & half and sugar. And in a travel mug. So yay! Multi-purpose tea day! I feel so productive! Quick conclusion: if the rest of my day goes how this tea did this morning? Today will be awesome.
Sweet, smoky, substantial, thick and almost a little syrupy (the fruit – lychee I believe I read – adds a thick sweetness that makes me feel like this has been spiked with syrup like a homemade cherry coke). This tea made me happy. It also made me think of sausage. Meander with me for a quick moment. Every time I stop by the fancy-pants grocery store I so love, I check out to see what nifty sausage they have in the case. A few weeks ago, they had a cherry and walnut chicken sausage. I like interesting things so I gave it a shot. So good. Sausage-meat-heartiness plus sweet, tangy fruit almost to the point of potential dessert-dom and a little earthy/nutty note? Yum. Just yum. This tea? Cherry and walnut chicken sausage. All wrapped up in awesome. And caffeine.
This morning? Guarantees this tea a reorder. Seriously good. Not something that I think would be a daily tea for me, mind you. But then I wouldn’t eat cherry and walnut chicken sausage daily either. Both are a bit too rich, distinct and flavorful to have daily without making me feel like I’m attempting to bludgeon my taste buds to death. It’s a tea I’m going to have to be in the mood for and be able to deal with the strong wow-ness of the flavors. But what flavors they are. I seriously could have had twice my normal morning amount if I didn’t think I would be plastered to the ceiling afterward.
Seriously. Awesome. Can I have more?