1005 Tasting Notes
I met up with 2 ¡awesome and kind! Steepster members – Mastress Alita and Todd – at the San Francisco International Tea Festival today. I got blasted on tea and being around that many people in general is exhausting for me. Now that I’m home, I figured a cooling cup of peppermint from my aunt’s stash would help me settle.
So I spent all this time perfecting my loose-leaf peppermint brewing only to have that effort decimated by some bagged leaf drank grandpa style. Seriously, this blows all peppermint tea out of the water. Pure, potent peppermint that opens my sinuses, cools my lungs and warms this icy heart. No leaf stew here, no burps, no scratchy throat. Good job sourcing that leaf, two leaves and a bud!
After drinking this tea and Numi’s Moringa last week, I can say I really like lemon myrtle.
Compared to the Golden Tonic Turmeric Tea, either this one:
1) was fresher,
2) had ingredients that worked better together, or
3) was simply more suited to my palate.
The turmeric wasn’t terribly muted and the citrus quality of the lemon myrtle accented the brightness of the turmeric. Chamomile seemed to be a faint background note that tied the other two ingredients together and kept them from going too far in the spicy-earthy-bitter turmeric direction or the citrusy-grassy lemon myrtle direction. Well done and I think it would appeal to a lot of people (unlike myself) who like a more approachable, less medicinal turmeric tea.
Another sample courtesy of Togo :)
I didn’t quite know what to do with this tea since I had never had a balled green tea (unless I count gunpowder green) but I think I did ok!
Teapot time :) 5g, 100mL, 195F dropped to 175F for the third+ steeps, 10s rinse followed by 9 steeps at 10/15/20/25/30/40/50/60/75s.
It took me forever to place the dry leaf smell, which wasn’t terribly complex but it was very fragrant – Grape Nuts cereal with something green vegetal and a hint of honey. Some tanginess tickled my nose when I sniffed the warm leaf. The rinse carried the same notes of Grape Nuts, tang and vegetal.
In the first steep, the tea had a very light grainy aroma. I could taste Grape Nuts and citron with a lingering finish of lemon, faint cream, grass and wheat. The liquor was noticeably drying and remained so throughout the session. The tastes were the same for a few more steeps, with the liquor thickening up and producing a really pleasant tart aftertaste. Mid-session turned oily and the grass taste turned vegetal, similar to spinach. At one point, I picked up on unplaced fruit and florals in the aftertaste and an unexpected strong returning sweetness. After this, the tea rode out with it’s oiliness, tartness, and astringency and fading tastes of Grape Nuts and butter. I ended the session at the ninth steep due to the astringency.
Overall, I really enjoyed the flavor profile though the astringency makes a snack a requirement. It didn’t really pull me in but the session was still very enjoyable. I was pleased that this tea didn’t have any of the funk I’ve experienced in other GABA teas. When I’m ready to cry my money away at Taiwan Sourcing, I’ll be looking to try a more recent harvest of this tea.
This was a really fresh, clean, well balanced tisane with a zippy mouthfeel. I’m not too keen on mixing cinnamon and mint and prefer if the mint is the dominating note. I think it’s done well here and will appeal to a lot of people but the cinnamon is still too dominant for me.
The weirdest thing happened while I was drinking this tea. I was sipping on some appley-floral chamomile. Next thing I knew I had a mouthful of wood shavings. Jk. Smelled good and tasted good going in but had a woody aftertaste and was pretty drying after the swallow. I’m sure some honey would take care of that.
Bag and brewed, it smells like Big Red chewing gum, so like serious cinnamon flavor. On the sip, it’s a good light level of sweetness with apple-cinnamon but then it finishes pure Big Red and drying. My tongue feels weird. I guess I can taste the dragonfruit flavoring. To me, that’s not something you’d mix with this level of cinnamon since fresh dragonfruit tastes to me like an incredibly light and delicate pear. Part of me likes this tea because of the flavor profile. The other part says wtf because it makes me think of drinking liquid potpourri or a Yankee candle. My uncle loves it with half a teaspoon of honey, though.
I stopped by the Imperial Tea Court today and drank this in house. Gotta say, 9 years later, my impression of this tea echoes TeaGull’s. There was barely anything to it. Medium bodied, almost non-existent flavor that was kind of bamboo-grassy-alkaline with a hint of florals. No aroma. Resteep potential was low, like two or three. I did get a nice calming effect going on, though. I have had some good teas here but this one was subpar and didn’t seem to be enough leaf for the gaiwan volume.
I liked my dumplings more.
On the plus side, I walked by a vendor on Market St on my way to the streetcar. Dude was selling tea cups and pots that he beautifully glazes and for a decent price. Picked up a blue cup that looks like it has liquid in it when the light hits the glaze just right. I asked him if he was going to be selling at the SF Tea Fest this weekend but he said he didn’t know about it. Bummer.
I could taste and smell mostly carob, sarsaparilla, and cinnamon and faint cardamom and hazelnut flavor but it was really thin and just weird. After the first sip, I wasn’t sure I’d continue but I finished the mug over the course of an hour. Way too sweet from the stevia. Blergh. Relaxing from the kava extract? Unsure. Verdict: gross.
I grabbed one of everything in my aunt’s herbal tea drawer to take home except for the fancy stuff.
The dry bag strangely smells just like… sticking you head in a pillowcase full of Halloween candy. That’s the only way I can describe it adequately. It’s pleasant. Brewed up, it smells strongly of lemon myrtle mixed with some sweet, chocolatey chicory in the background. The taste is making me think of eating a Tootsie Roll followed up with a roll of lemon PEZ. I don’t know what role moringa plays in all of this. Overall, this tisane is citrus bright and a little earthy sweet. Very clean. Nom.
And yet another one from the teaswap with Togo. Thanks!
I started taking tasting notes and quickly figured out by smell and taste that this is probably the same tea as What-Cha’s Indonesia Harendong #12 ‘Jin Xuan’ Dark Roasted Oolong, which I adore and have reviewed.
I’m not sure if this is a different harvest or if leafing it a gram more than the What-Cha tea revealed some differences between the two. With this one, I did pick up on a cinnamon aroma in the dry leaf (think cinnamon sugar wheat toast) and some raisin. I also noticed some astringency which I don’t recall getting in What-Cha’s tea. This one had more defined cream-caramel and red/purple fruit flavors and a really strong returning rock sugar sweetness but less minerality.
I’d say the two teas are equally pleasing and I don’t think I’d rate this one different if I had gone into this blind because the overall theme of the tea is the same: roast/char, toast/grain, wood, berries, stone fruit, cream, light caramel, grass, mineral.