2189 Tasting Notes
It feels like forever since I’ve had a good solid Earl, mostly because that is true, it has been ages. But yesterday while I was running around picking up stuff for my new apartment I checked my PO box and found a lovely package from SimplyJenW. Yay! This was one of the teas that she sent me. I love Dammann Fréres but I have never tried an Earl from them so I am definitely excited.
Jen says that this seems like it has the same base as their Goût Russe, which is exciting because that tea is delicious. And so is this one! Geez, Dammann Fréres, why do you have to be so excellent all the time? This is a lovely Earl. It’s basically Goût Russe with only bergamot instead of a melange of citrus. The bergamot isn’t super powerful, but nor is it very weak. A perfect amount of bergamot to complement the delicious black tea base, which is that nice blend of Chinese black teas that ends up being warm and rich and just yum.
Thanks a bunch for sending me some of this Earl, Jen! It is definitely on my list of teas to acquire from DF. I have the most gigantic order ever planned once I somehow reduce my currently epic stash.
Second tea of the morning. I have all these teas that I’ve only tried once! This is from the previous harvest of this tea. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a jasmine tea, and my mouth is watering in anticipation.
Mm, this is definitely a nice jasmine tea. It’s not quite sweet in the way that some jasmine teas can get, but it is very fragrant and delicious. The white tea provides a nice background for the jasmine, which is very fresh tasting. I think I could have used a bit more leaf in this (tough to dish out teaspoons when the leaves are so long and spindly!) but that can be easily remedied for the next!
This tea again! Yeah, I was thinking about how I needed to use up my opened, non-airtight sealed Teavivre teas quickly before they lose flavor, and since I usually drink a black tea in the morning this one sprang to mind.
Because it seemed a little weaker the last time I steeped it I decided to up my steep time to three minutes instead of two. I considered adding another pearl (I use 5 for a 12 oz cup), but that would mean that I would have an awkward number of pearls for the last one or two cups. Sticking with five means two more cups of this tea!
Yup, the extra steep time seems to have taken care of it. This tea is almost sweet on its own! Definitely one of my new faves. I just have to give a shoutout again to Teavivre who sent me all these free samples in the first place, which introduced me to a ton of different kinds of teas, some of which are now my favorites!
I am soaking wet since it poured on me on my walk from my car to my office today. No umbrella could stand up to that amount of rain! Which of course makes me all the more eager for a delicious tea.
For some reason my brain wasn’t working this morning and I added a bit too much leaf in my cup. Nevertheless, this is a delicious cup of tea. That little prickliness to the mouthfeel of it is so interesting, a bit smoky and a bit minerally. Then there are those roasted-grains, unsweetened chocolate (maybe even cacao nibs) notes that really fill it out and are what is particularly tasty to me. I still prefer the Laoshan Black mostly because smoky teas (even if they aren’t really that smoky, like this or a Keemun) aren’t really my favorite, though I do enjoy them on occasion.
First off, I got an apartment, woot woot! It is a nice little one bedroom and I am really looking forward to it. Finally!
I had a huge lunch of Indian food today so I wanted something relatively light. I also wanted to try to use up some of my Teavivre samples that have been opened so that they don’t age too badly. I decided to have another go at this one. It is very tasty but it lacks a creaminess to the body that I usually want from my milk teas. It is nicely fresh and green, with a bit of buttery peachiness. It’s particularly delicious as it cools down, making me think this would be a fantastic and refreshing iced tea as well.
I am currently on a slightly earlier schedule for my wakeup and such than I was before I left for the field, partly due to the jetlag and partly due to just having an earlier sleep schedule while I was in the field. It’s kind of nice having a big chunk of time before lunch to do stuff, and it also means I have time for two mugs of tea instead of one. Score! Originally I was going to do what amounts to a little less than 1Tbsp for my 12oz cup, which is becoming kind of a standard for fluffy black teas for me, but then I reread my old tasting note for this that said I had used 1Tbsp per 8oz in my first cup and it seems to have worked out, so I added another perfect teaspoon to the mug (total 1.5Tbsp) and went ahead from there.
Oh my goodness this smells delicious. Like lovely bakey chocolate, like chocolate cookies or chocolate chips after they’ve been baked in chocolate chip cookies. Tastes delicious as well, and the liquor is so thick and rich on the tongue. Chocolatey, grainy, nutty. It’s less caramelly and honeyed than some of my other favorite blacks, but it also has some almost fruity note the others lack. I can’t even really place it, but it’s a great combo, and now that I started tasting it, it’s coming out more and more. Almost like black currant? Yum.
I am sad that the Bergamot Rose Laoshan Black is currently out of stock, but I am heartened that it will be back within 2 weeks, because I have got to try that blend. It will be one of the only teas I allow myself to order this fall, and I can’t wait!
This is one that I should probably drink up pretty fast because it isn’t currently in an airtight container (nor do I really have one to put it in). But that is kind of sad because it is such a delicious, amazing tea, and then it will be gone. Mmm, so caramelly and delicious.
Om nom nom… while looking around Steepster in an attempt to catch up on things I saw mention of some black dragon pearls, and suddenly I had a craving for these before I even finished my (extremely delicious) cup of Bailin Gongfu. I honestly feel a bit tea crazed right now… it’s like, when I got back and still hadn’t had any tea I was just cruising along, not really super craving tea at that point. And then I had the first cup and now I definitely cannot get enough tea. YUM. Why won’t this cup cool down faster to a drinkable temp so I can drink it up??
See what I mean about a bit crazed? LOL. I think these pearls have suffered a bit from sitting in a non-airtight pouch (clipped shut, but not sealed) for 2 months, but they are still pretty tasty. I think I will up the number of pearls and steep time for my next batch to see if I can counter the effects of age, because this was the same as my first trial of these but I remember that batch being much more robust. I think it does go to show you that air tightness really does make a difference because my Bailin Gongfu black was older but still fresher when I steeped it today, and it is in an airtight pouch. Must drink teas faster!
Now watch as I survey some of my favorite teas. Going back to all of these after two whole months away is interesting. On one hand it is a revelation, I can’t believe tea can taste that good (Malagasy tea is really that bad). I also pretty much forgot how all of my teas really taste. But on the other hand they are all so familiar, like an old comfy sweater, and when I sip them its as if I had just been drinking them the other day.
This one is easily one of my favorite blacks, and I am always astounded that it is so affordable and delicious. Lovely cocoa-caramel-grainy notes that I could just drink all the time. I think I have a couple more cups of this before I need to order more, although again I am torn by the want for my staples that are gone, and the need to drink the tea I have before I order any more. My stash is kind of astoundingly big, and I think my new goal is to drink it most of the way down before I move in 4 months (this time moving out of my office, too, which is where all my tea stash is).
tap tap Is this thing on?
Yes, it’s true, Steepsterites, I have returned! After two months in remote Madagascar, I am back in the states and back in tea heaven. Malagasy tea just plain sucks (tastes like nothing no matter how long you steep it), so I have basically been tea-less for over 2 months now. My return was even delayed two days by some mega-craziness at the end of our field season.
Now I have about a million things to take care of plus I am currently homeless and not having a lot of success finding an apartment. Do you know how many problems you run up against in daily life if you don’t have a permanent address? A lot.
But yes, lovely delicious tea is now mine. It is very difficult to chose a first tea after all that time, but I didn’t spend that much time thinking about it really. And fortunately this tea is still flavorful and wonderful despite it’s advancing age. Love that floral marzipan combo, and the tasty black tea peaking out from underneath the flavors. Man it’s good to be back and having a nice cup of tea.