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Recent Tasting Notes
I picked up some barley tea while I was in a Hmart earlier this week. The teabags are huge!! But from my research you really need to steep alot at a time, so I’m guessing they’re single serving. It was roasted, grainy goodness, but I don’t think it’s a tea that I can drink while I’m doing the fasting portion of IF, phooey.
Today is a super duper busy day, I have my grandmother’s death anniversary to attend, a musical show, and then a red eye flight across the country. But tomorrow I shall be in the ‘happiest place on earth’ so hopefully I won’t be too dead. Caffeine to the rescue!
Because I have decided to brew the High Mountain Oolong tea for my ceremony, I have been making it pretty frequently to find out how I like it best in regards to steep time and amount of tea and water used. I have come to the conclusion that I like this tea best with 3 grams of tea and 12 ounces of water. I like to steep it between 3 minutes and 15 seconds to 3 minutes and 30 seconds, which is how I made it this time. This tea is the perfect amount of flavor for me, without it being too overpowering. I really like teas that have a very calm flavor, because it puts my mind to ease and I feel very peaceful and relaxed. It has a slightly sweet aftertaste too, which is nice. I enjoy this tea the most when I make it in the morning to get my day going in a positive way.
After tasting several different teas, my favorite overall has been the High Mountain Oolong tea. I decided to make it again to see if this is the tea that I want to use for the tea ceremony. Last time I made this tea, it was very light and refreshing. Because the flavor was so light last time, this time I decided to make it with 3 grams of tea instead of 2. I also decided to brew the tea for a few seconds longer. I made this tea around 9 o’clock in the morning. After taking the time to enjoy it, I decided that this tea is definitely my favorite and I will probably end up using it in my tea ceremony. I also really enjoyed the stronger flavor, from using another gram of tea leaves and steeping the tea for a few seconds longer. I will probably make this tea several more times before the ceremony, to see which way I like the tea best (temperature, steep time, amount of tea and water).
I bought this High Mountain Oolong Tea from the Buford Highway Farmer’s market. I am not quite sure what brand it is because everything else on the packaging is in Chinese characters. I did some research, though, and found out that this tea is actually from Taiwan. I have had oolong tea before, and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to brewing it myself. I made it at 8 o’clock in the morning, because I have found that I really enjoying starting off my mornings with a cup of tea. After steeping this tea for 3 minutes, I let the tea cool down a minute before trying it. I really enjoyed this tea. It had a very nice, light flavor. I was a little bit sweet, but definitely not overpowering. I felt that this tea was very calming, especially the aroma. This is definitely my favorite of the teas that I have tasted thus far.
The pleasant smell of this tea is almost reminiscent of chocolate. This is followed the standard bitterness, however this gives way to a very pleasant, lingering sweetness. In considering the process through which this tea is created, with the difficulty of picking the buds, and how the bushes grow from harsh mountains, the pleasantness of the flavor is all the more pronounced.
A coworker came into work the other day with some kombucha she’d purchased from someone in town; I really wish I remembered where it was from because I’d very much like to credit the maker, but alas…
This was the best Kombucha I’ve had in a LONG time though – it tasted a lot like choke cherries, and reminded me of summers spent at my Grandmas. Also, a lot of kombucha has that acidic vinegar quality and this one very cleverly leaned into that and used it as a way to play up and enhance the ‘sour cherry’ taste/vibes. It was just really good overall.
This tea was a gift from a family member’s trip to Europe. All of the other teas were herbal blends that were brought back. I have a pretty big bag of this along with the big bags of the herbals. The package is called “Lakrits” and says it’s made in Stockholm,Sweden. My family wasn’t sure if this was tea or potpourri when they bought it but it’s tea.
Flavor wise this tea reminds me more of anise than licorice although I’m only basing this off of herbal licorice teas consisting of licorice root. I’ve never had a black tea with licorice before. My guess is that the black tea base is an assam because of the taste and slightly malty flavor. It’s far from a favorite tea but is not a bad tea. It’s just not a flavor of black tea that I’d choose.
Flavors: Anise, Licorice
This tea totally matches my mood today – slight bitterness, with a bit of brightness peeking through. if I can ignore the astringency it’s not a bad tea, but it reminds me why I usually stay away from Darjeeling teas in general. (I’ll take any Assam or Yunnan over a Darjeeling)
Why am I bitter? Oh! Thanks for asking. :P
Turns out when I went to update my tea spreadsheet last night, I broke the sort order in my columns and now my ratings are no longer tied to the teas and it’s a huge mess and several years of data that’s just… nonsensical? I saved after I broke it so I don’t see how to get back.
But, fine. Ok. New start. I’m here. I can add my cupboard here. I can create a new spreadsheet, and why not. My tastes have adjusted over the years, along with my budget. :P (That’s the brightness poking through! :D)
I am using this for a Ginseng Oolong because I have no idea what company it came from. My friend from my tea book club went on a two week trip to China and brought me back a gift tin of Ginseng Oolong. The tin and vacuum sealed bag is all in Chinese and she couldn’t tell me much about it. The only English it has on it says “A taste of zen.” I looked it up and couldn’t find a tea company with that name so I don’t think it is the company name.
This is my first ginseng oolong. It certainly looks pretty cool. The flavor I am mainly getting is the vegetal and slightly floral flavor of a lightly roasted oolong along with almost a sweet licorice type flavor that I assume is the ginseng.
The smell of the brewed tea didn’t appeal to me as it smelled very green and most greens and lightly roasted oolongs are not exactly my favorite. But the flavor, while being much of the green oolong, is saved a bit because I do enjoy whatever flavor the ginseng is imparting along with a throat coating sensation which I tend to enjoy.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Licorice
Had a small sample of this — not sure who made it. I’ve never had a golden earring tea before, so I was fascinated by the appearance of the leaves. Dry, this tea looked like tiny balls of rolled-up thread. It was fun watching them uncurl into silky olive-green leaves. It has that mild mineral note that is kind of characteristic of a roasted green tea, and the liquid was very pale.
Got a large bag of thIs from an Asian grocery, and have been having it iced every few weeks. I think I got a bad bag since it brews up kind of bitter and I definitely can’t brew it as strong as I’ve been able to in the past. Some of the smaller grains are black and burnt so maybe it’s just overtoasted. It’s a shame because I really enjoy iced barley tea. Hopefully I’ll find a better bag before summer.
I’ll use this one for the Vanilla Black tea I have – that I have mixed from vanilla pieces and a none-too-good black tea of unknown origin.
As the vanilla pods were really good, this tea has a nice vanilla taste, covering up the less-than-perfect black tea (it is drinkable, mind you, just not up to my usual standards).
Needs a bit of sugar, but can be drunk without milk.