2201 Tasting Notes
Standard disclaimers apply: dark oolongs are not my jam, and wuyi even less than dan congs. They just don’t make my heart sing, but I can still enjoy my gong fu session with them. I am also not in a super analytical mood today, so maybe not the best time to do a real tasting note, but I wanted to log it anyway.
This is from the reserve club, January. The warmed dry leaves smell a little charred and minerally, with definite plum/prune notes in the background. My rinse ended up being longer than usual (maybe 5 seconds), so I drank it and I’m glad I did. Someone posted recently on the discussions about only enjoying the first steeps of teas, and it made me think of how much usually enjoy the rinses of my teas. I feel like I’m throwing out so much flavor if I throw them away. Anyway, the rinse wasn’t super toasty, although there were definitely some of those notes in there, and not minerally at all. More fruity, and a woody.
Later steeps brought out the charred wood flavor more, along with the rocky minerals. A few steeps in I had a nice, lightly sweet one that I enjoyed. Someday I want to go to Minneapolis and have a gong fu session with David on some of these teas, just to really experience them as they should. Although I know the steps well by now, I am still convinced there is some error in my gong fu.
It’s been a while for this one, mostly because of strong hoarding impulses. I would probably have to travel to one small town in the Andes of Argentina to get this tea again, and while it is not completely out of the question that it might happen again in my life, it is pretty unlikely.
This reminds me a lot of the black currant tea I had before (it has red currants), but with more florals from the jasmine. I used a full two perfect teaspoons for my 12oz cup this time, and it worked perfectly, no bitterness even after a four minute steep. Not sure what they did to these CTC leaves but somehow they wrung all the bitterness out of them (but none of the flavor!).
I was going to try one of my other Harney samples this morning, but I still don’t have a water filter here so I decided to go with a tea I (now) have a lot of, and could probably stand up to crappy water.
Mmm, I of course forgot how delicious this tea is. Even with crappy water the black currant is juicy and rich and lovely.
5 hours later… Haha wow I got wrapped up in other things and forgot to finish and submit this tasting note! Too many tabs open on my browser. Suffice to say I love this tea.
I just walked around outside for maybe five minutes without a hat on and now my entire head feels frozen. Ugh. I need some tea.
I wanted something that I knew would be delicious, wasn’t feeling the fruity just now, and I remembered this one this morning when thinking about chocolate-rose blends. Mm, so chocolatey and amazing. And my head is thawing, too.
On a side note, I think I’m going to have to bring a filter in here for the water. Something about it is not qutie right. it doesn’t taste bad out of the faucet, so I figured it would be ok, but all of my teas are flat and not as flavorful as I remember. The water seems pretty hard/minerally here, so maybe that’s it.
I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while now. I had thought I would get some in a swap, but I got a package in return (even though I didn’t intiate the swap!). Oh well, I ordered a sample with my Harney order so I definitely have some now. I love ginger, and I love lychee, so this was a must-try.
The steeped tea on this smells a lot like ginger but not a lot like lychee. The flavor is a bit more balanced, although the blend is such that I don’t really pick up any one particular flavor very strongly. The most predominant is probably the ginger, which is not really spicy and is a bit sweet, like candied ginger. I do get a bit of juicy, lightly floral lychee to it as well, rounded out by a decently tasty black tea base. Overally a pretty tasty tea, although I am not sure that I would reorder.
Ah, now this is definitely scratching that rose itch. It has been so long since I’ve had this tea, even longer than the lychee tea I think, because after I finished my sample I still had leftover rose black from another company.
The minute I opened the tin I was reminded of how incredibly rosy this tea is. It smelled like sweet rose candy. What’s kind of amazing is how much the black tea base comes out and holds its own against the strong rose. I am becoming more familiar with Harney’s simple black bases, meaning the ones used in simple flavors like the rose and lychee. These more traditional scented flavors get more traditional Chinese bases, and the quality shows.
I find myself unexpectedly at home this afternoon, because there was an armed robbery on campus this morning, so they made everyone on campus go home. One of the benefits is that I got to open my package from Harney & Sons that was delivered this morning! It is kind of amazing to get that much tea in one package, because I haven’t made that large of an order in a long time. I am so happy to finally restock some of my favorites. So, what to drink first? You might have thought that with my recent rose fixation I would have gone for Rose Scented first, but I decided to go Lychee. It has natural rosy notes anyway, plus a bit of fruit. Apparently I last had this tea in October of 2011, so it’s been a while coming!
Mm, delish! Lovely lychee and a solid and interesting chinese black tea base. Glad I restocked on this one for sure. Now, with a 4oz tin, I will have enough for a long time (at the rate at which I drink my teas!)
I got a sample of this tea from Kasumi no Chajin, thanks so much for sending it along!
I’m not going to lie, I requested a sample of this tea first because each tea has a cute bird assigned to it. This one is the Red and Yellow Barbet (they even list them on their website!). Secondly, it was a Kenyan tea and I have almost no experience with African teas. Despite the fact that I was IN Kenya last summer, but it’s one of those situations where the tea you get served is CTC teabags, and it takes a unique tea company to export really high grade stuff. Third, the description of this tea sounded delicious!
The steeped tea smells really tasty, with definite notes of molasses, chocolate, and raisins. I have to say, even though I knocked off a minute off their suggested steeping parameters, this tea is still a touch too “robust” for my taste. I should have expected it… East Africans like their tea very robust. It edges on bitterness, which I think could be avoided by steeping it at a slightly lower temp or for a shorter time. Otherwise, though, the flavor is very good. It reminds me of a Fujian tea, almost, which is awesome. There are hints of grain and a good helping of honey notes. I wish I could brew this one again at a lower temp, but I do like it enough that if I fall in love with any of the other Majani teas, I would consider putting some of this on the order.
I am on such a rose kick lately, I don’t even know. I crave rose tea pretty much nonstop.
I think the water out of the faucet at work is tasting odd this afternoon. I mean, it seemed fine this morning, but after the jasmine tea earlier and now this one, it seems off. This tea seems flat, and not as flavorful as usual, although I’m pretty sure I just had some not long ago and it was fine. Most disappointingly, the rose seems to be what has lost out here. Now I will continue to crave rose, argh!
It has been forever since I have had this tea, and I’ve been hoarding the last few cups of it for I don’t know how long. Mores the pity, because even though it has been in a heavy airtight pouch the entire time, it has lost some of its original luster. It doesn’t quite have that rich honeysuckle sweetness that I know it had at one point. Still tasty, but no longer mindblowing. Ah well, teach me to keep my teas too long (which I am certainly very guilty of)