2201 Tasting Notes
Ahhh, tea. I’ve been on one of those weird streaks of non-tea-drinking for whatever reason, and it’s nice to get back to it. And with this tea (#76)! It’s been too long since I’ve had LB in any form. Sweet and creamy and chocolatey with a bit of honey and molasses. Yum.
So, this falls outside of my taste-through-the-cupboard, but I wanted to have a gongfu today (it’s been forever since I’ve done one), and I have the samples I just got from Tea Ave to try. Plus I was going to play with the aroma cup, so it made sense.
Anyway, this is a bit roastier than I usually prefer my TGYs. I found their gaiwan instructions kind of confusing because besides the volume, the steeping instructions seem to be the same as the western style. So I did about 6g in a 6oz gaiwan, steeping a few seconds to start and going up from there.
The aroma cup was fun. I really got the florals in that, moreso than in the tea itself. They had a rich, orchid note, especially in the early steeps. Also a hint of charcoal and leafiness.
The tea itself is roasted to the point of edging toward bitter; not bitter as in the tea steeped too long, but bitter in a burned charcoal-y way. I got it in all the steeps, really. The flavor is nutty with a bit of vegetal notes.
This seems to be a pretty nice roasted oolong with some charcoal notes, which is not my favorite type of oolong, but I still had a nice session with it today.
I did a little switching around of teas here because I am pretty sure I bought this one (#78) at the same time that I bought the Melon Oolong.
This is one I SHOULD be drinking since it is so wintery, but I always forget about it. Also for some reason I think it is going to be smoky, but I know it isn’t smoky, so I’m not sure what my problem is. I enjoy the tea, but I never crave it.
Like most of these teas back here in the last pages of my cupboard, I haven’t had this one (#79) for a very long time. But it is super delicious. Like drinking a super ripe and sugary melon. Almost like candy, but it doesn’t come across as artificial. I will probably swing back into a fruity oolong phase at some point, and then I will remember to drink this tea all the time.
I totally needed to adjust my countdown for my cupboard run-through, because I have skipped a few teas that are herbals for specific purposes (cold teas, woman teas), and I also skipped the matcha. So this tea should actually be #80 (and I edited my past notes to fit the numbering scheme).
I think this is in a particularly airtight tin because it smells so amazingly rosey still. And I am realizing that I have started a lot of these notes with variations on “this tea is still amazing.” Like I said before, 95% of my old teas are things I love and have hoarded. I think this is a little less sweet than it once was, or maybe I just overbrewed it slightly. I still love the rich rose and buttery dragonwell combo; I’m not huge on flavored greens these days, but florals seem to be an exception, especially when the base tea is as high quality as this one. Still amazed I happened across this one in a small shop in Berkeley, but very glad I did, as I haven’t seen hardly any high-quality rose dragonwells through other vendors.
This tea (#82) is still amazing. Sweet and floral and delicious. I do love Verdant’s green TGYs, and I swear their bags must be magical or something because all of the teas that I have stored in them stay tasting fresh so long. This is pretty old at 2 years (ancient for a green TGY!), but still tastes nearly as good as the day I bought it. I would say I should drink these down faster but I don’t seem to need to.
I redid this one this morning, this time with a new filter in my water. It’s definitely better. This has always been a somewhat subtly flavored tea, and I do think it has faded a bit, but I can now taste the maltiness of the base tea and the bright citrus of the flavors. Overall, a much better experience.
What the what? This tea (#84) does not have as much flavor as I would expect, even given it’s age. I am wondering if my water filter is shot. The unfiltered water here has a tendancy to strip all flavor from my teas.
Well, I will change the filter and hopefully everything will be fine and dandy. I really don’t think this tea has suddenly lost all flavor.
This tea (#85) used to be my favorite Earl Grey! Not sure if it is age or what, but I am no longer so enamored by it. I dropped the rating a bit but I didn’t want to go too far just in case I am unfairly judging it based on age. It’s still pretty good, but the base doesn’t really do it for me. I will be interested to see how other Earls fare as I come to them; I’ve also just not been into single-flavor teas lately, so maybe it’s more of that. Anyway, this was a decent tea for the morning.