Hans & GreteEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I am lucky Anna sent me this lovely blend. Thank you Anna.
This is chocolate and kind of chaï and I like it. Strangely. Because I don’t really love that much chocolate teas but this one is really nice.
The mix of spices and perhaps pepper too works perfectly for me.
Even if it is not a great great tea, this is a very correct one and it really makes me want to explore more chocolate and spices tea.
I am exploring my tons of samples and I decide to go for this lovely package from Anna
So it’s a green. I decided to play it carefully with the steeping parameters because I don’t know the brand so I brewed it at 75°C only and for 3 minutes only.
While in mug, steeping in my brewing basket, I saw the coconut floating at the surface. Coconut ? I was expecting a Walnut tea so I rushed on Steepster to discover this blend is more complex on flavours : coconut and walnut but pineapple as well on a sencha base. Seems a lot on paper. At least to me.
Drinking it, it’s a correct tea. Not much. The tea base has a lack of consistency and personnality, the leading role is clearly devoted to the flavours.
They are pairing correctly together but without any passion. The walnut flavour is really lovely and natural and for that the blend is a total sucess.
Thank you Anna for sharing
Another of Anna´s surprise samples, and this is indeed a surprise and interesting. I love walnuts and can not remember ever tasting a tea with walnuts. I was doubtful if would work – walnut kernels go rancid fast, and the thin inner skin is bitter. This dried leaf showed little kernels of some nut (almond according to the site description) without skin and some other bits and pieces (after googling, must be the dried pineapple and coconut).
I was very cruel with this, by making it impulsively without googling it first , water too hot and too long. It survived it graciously, though if anything my problem with this tea is its base being a bit anonymous. There is a lovely walnut flavour, and something else in the background, a hint of strangeness which was not bad, just a bit surprising. I could not ID it on my own, but googling it, thereis dried pineapple and coconut here, and that is the tropical strangeness I was detecting. The flavours go together better than i would think, and quite well with the green tea, but they go against my expectations of what I would want in a a walnut tea (maybe something more pastry like: caramel, maple, pecan, cinnamon or just plain lovely walnut).
The tea base, sencha according to seller, is not unpleasant, but totally anonymous IMO. I guess the best way to describe this would be one of those german blends – in the surprising fillers and combinations and weak tea base, though a nice example of a certain kind of tea.
This was a sample which Anna, very kindly and out of the blue sent me! She picked some things I am finding very interesting (Jardin Sauvage, am getting there, maybe I will cold brew it overnight).
This tea looked pretty familiar, it smelled familiar, and it is tasting familiar! I think there must be a blender somewhere selling it to independent tea shops across Europe, because I swear it is precisely the same as this one
which I got 100 grams of in Lisbon a couple years ago. I am liking Anna´s sample a bit better than what i remembered, isn´t that perverse? But maybe my memory of my tea is of the last times I drank it when it was already more aged and less flavourful. I am finding the piquancy not quite as hot as I remember though, but I suspect my parameters for hot teas were recalibrated by (the glorious) Winter Fire.
So a chilli tea, with some chocolate underneath and a musk-like note which could be the pepper, but somehow reminds me of coriander seed (or am I just somehow associating with those swiss coriander filling chocolates they make for christmas? dunno ). A very interesting tea, which seems to pop over all of Europe.
So I was lavishly T-spoiled for Christmas – this is one of the teas I got. It smells absolutely ridiculous – it’s just too good. Like a somewhat sweeter, a little more chocolatey version of Cookie and Mariage Impérial blending together. I was worried about the chili element first, as I have a hard time with spicy-hot teas in general, but I managed to avoid any chili sting in this first cup, at least.
I steeped this one minute longer than recommended, and the result is lovely – a somewhat lighter, less complex version of the two above teas. It’s quite tasty and accessible, and the dry tea is a true delight to look at what with all the beautiful pink peppercorns studding the black leaf.
I doubt there will be a permanent place for this in the cupboard due to reasons of accessibility, and because it’s so similar to teas I’m already deeply committed to, but I will definitely enjoy finishing it.
[Gift from T, Christmas 2013, Rome.]
It’s hot as all get out here these days. Work was awful and my particular spot was, of course, the hottest place in the whole lab, and also, of course, the only place where we can’t have a fan going. (When you’re dealing with paraffine sections 2 µm thick, the last thing you want is air movement. All your work will fly away)
So yes. Hot and humid and sweaty and dreadful. And I swear this is relevant information.
I tried brewing this directly in my cup, since my boss is off on holiday and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to drink a whole pot myself in this heat. I was definitely right that we would get a better result if the leaves had more space, but hot tea wasn’t really something I wanted.
So I had this bottle of ICE cold water (Half an hour or so in the -80°C freezer. Just right) and I had this here cup with once-steeped leaves in it. Why not just try some kind of cold brew.
Okay, I admit the water was likely too cold, but I wasn’t really after something exquisitly tea-like. I just need something to drink to stay relatively cool and prevent dehydration and such like.
The result wasn’t half bad. It didn’t have much flavour, but then I didn’t let it sit for all that long before drinking either. It might also be that it was so cold that it just didn’t taste of anything anymore.
It was solely a source of fluids in the heat and as such it was really nice and I’m going to do it again tomorrow. If I had been looking for a flavour of tea however, I’d have been hugely disappointed. But it was definitely more interesting to drink than just plain cold water.
I wouldn’t say I warming to this. I’m just getting more used to it not having a lot of flavour. I took the rating down a bit too.
If we could brew it with the leaves floating loose in the pot, I think we would get a better result, but that’s not possible. (Well, it is, technically, but then we would run into some cleaning-problems afterwards)
In a way it’s quite good for work. It doesn’t have much flavour but then again, if there’s nothing to taste for, I don’t really have to pay attention to it either.
But we’re still getting a stronger one after we get through this, I think.
We are drinking this at work now, my boss and me. We just polished of the Da Hong Pao yesterday and she’s like me and loving the cocoa-y notes. (Also, Fujian Province. I knew it) So we decided to get another oolong to have at work. I don’t really have anything at home that would be work-suitable at the moment, so I went to this tea shop in the city where I work and bought this.
I am not a fan of said shop and I only use it when in dire need, like for example not having any tea to drink at work the next day and not being able to make it back to own city and proper tea shop before they close. So I didn’t really have a choice!
And that’s when it happened, that incident I wrote about the other day and I made a random choice of this one over the supposedly wildly different Formosa oolong that looked and smelled exactly the same. Cause… you know… Formosa and Taiwan? Totally not the same thing. Apparently.
That shop disappoints me every. Single. Time.
And the tea itself, I’m afraid isn’t really that much of a change.
It seems to be less fermented than the Da Hong Pao and the dry leaves didn’t have any of that cocoa-y quality that I’m beginning to suspect is a more or less uniquely Fujian-y quality (what do you think?), a freak coincidense when it shows up in other teas. This was more vegetative and grassy, which made it smell a bit more perky, but I really missed that cocoa note.
After steeping I thought I got a small under-note of cocoa, but the aroma was more or less the same as before. A little difficult to pick up though. My boss said she mainly just got nose-fulls of steam.
In the flavour the cocoa was still absent. As was most other flavour. It had a grassy taste at first, but no aftertaste to speak off. It was like, at first you got the grass note and then expected some more body and got a mouthful of nothing. Not even a hint of an aftertaste. Not one little bit. It was just gone. Very fleety.
As it got nearer to lukewarm, a weak weak weak cocoa note appeared, but not enough to satisfy. Especially because it took the tea getting lukewarm to get it in the first place. It’s the same with the aftertaste. It put in an appearance in a sort of oolong-y wooden note, but it still took the tea getting lukewarm.
We’re going to experiment some with longer steeping times, but other than that, we’ve got about 250g of boring tea to get through. Not bad tea. Just boring. I think I’ll suggest we get a strong black the next time we need to stock up…