191 Tasting Notes
Backlogging from this morning.
I decided Pu-erh was the order of the day today. I was in the mood for a black tea of a different sort, and this is what I came up with. I really can’t compare it to any other pu-erhs, since it is the only one I’ve had, but it is growing on me.
The odor of the dry leaves was less disturbing and fishy this time, which clearly indicates that the fishiness was all in my head as a result of suggestion (this would be the danger of reading pu-erh reviews before I’ve actually ever had one). The brewed tea smelled earthy and peaty, and tasted exactly the same way. I also got a taste reminiscent of leather. Brewing my tea stronger does appear to be working to make me taste more of the things I should. I’m still not very good at picking things out, but flavors are becoming more obvious.
Brewed at boiling with 3 teaspoons/750 ml water for four minutes, first steep.
This is another tea sample sent to me by the generous Aisling of Tea. I must say, I might be changing my mind on oolongs. I have to be in the mood for them, mostly afternoon or evening it seems. They just don’t pack enough punch for me for a morning cuppa.
When I opened my sample of this, I immediately smelled sweet cream, rather than a proper milk scent, which doesn’t necessarily upset me. The brewed tea smelled like warm milk, rather than of sweet cream. The taste? Ye gods, the taste. It tastes milky, with a vegetal contribution from the green oolong (my first green oolong, if I’m not mistaken). The mouth feel is heavy, rather like milk, it sort of coats the mouth and leaves that after-feel of coatedness, but no funky aftertaste.
Steeped 2t in 500 ml water in the Breville at 90C for 4 minutes. I definitely plan on resteeping shortly.
This is my first time breaking into the tin of Jasmine Green. It smells divine. Not like soap, more of a true floral smell than a fake soapy-floral smell. I brewed it at recommended time and temperature, and poured it in a beautiful porcelain cup from Russia. The cup is gorgeous—blue and gold and white and lovely. I’ll enjoy using them, before I inevitably break the ones I have (one of them, alas, did not survive the trip home in the luggage).
The tea itself is a robust golden yellow, darker now on this third cup than the previous two. I always wonder why that happens—greens get darker the longer they sit. Anyway, back to the tea. It is very much jasmine, jasmine seems to overwhelm the green tea flavor. The jasmine pearls from Teavana that I have are more balanced between the green and the jasmine. The jasmine still retains that natural floral note, it isn’t overly artificial or like perfume. This is definitely a tea I’m going to enjoy drinking!
Steeped with four teaspoons to 1000 ml of water in the Breville at the below parameters. Incidentally, I discovered that I have been using too little leaf in the Breville for most pots of tea that I make. Teach me not to read directions. That may explain why so few teas really taste like they should. At least, I hope.
I’m about to head out the door to a friends house for a New Years Day Hoppin’ John. For those not in the know, Hopping John is a traditional southern good luck for the new year dish. One of my friends hosts a party each year with hopping john, gumbo, greens, and the most lovely company a hungover woman could ask for.
I’m taking Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride with me since I could use more fluids right now, and water just doesn’t sound appealing, and because I really like Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. It is rather annoying how much I like it, I’m going to have to stock up before it goes away.
Anyway, the roasted barley, vanilla, it’s all delicious. The downside is that I have to double bag it—the tumbler I’m making now requires 4 bags of tea! It is going to take me no time at all to go through what I have at that rate. The need to double bag is the only drawback to this tea.