294 Tasting Notes
I’ve got a test, a quiz, and two assignments due today, so I heated up a lean pocket for a quick and easy lunch. Nuke it for two minutes, and when I take it out of the microwave, the sleeve melted two penny sized holes into my plate. How did that even happen? I’ve never seen a plate melt from two minutes in the microwave.
Anyway, so this tea intimidated me. The dry leaf smelled a bit smokey and bitter and astringent, all think I don’t like in tea. The wet leaf, though, smelled like savory dark green vegetables, and I started to relax a bit.
1teaspoon, 8oz water, 170F, 1 minute steeps. 180F 2 minute steep.
The first steep is actually quite mild and gentle. No one flavor really stands out, just a vague sweet vegetal flavor. Second steep is much like the first, maybe a hint of green bean?
The third steep I bumped up the time and the temp to try to get more flavor out of it. But it didn’t seem to help, because this cup was as uneventful as the previous two. I’m not impressed, and even though I expected not to like it, the reason I don’t is because of the lack of flavor instead of flavors I don’t like.
Where I work, we do a fruit bar in the mornings: fresh watermelon, kiwi, strawberries, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, canned mandarin oranges and canned peaches. Everyday, everything but the cantaloupe, honeydew, and canned fruit is gone by 9am. All the left over fruits are mixed together into a fruit salad, and added to the lunch bar. And everyday when I leave at 3:30, the canned fruits have been picked out, and all that’s left are the two melons. They just don’t get any love.
Melons, both real, and flavorings, seem to be tricky things. The actual fruit so often aren’t the proper ripeness, and as such taste bland, while the flavorings taste artificial and far from a good melon. After trying and loving Golden Honey Dew, I had high hopes for this.
The dry leaf is just as intoxicating as GHD. The aroma once steeped up is floral and fruity and sweet. Flavor is sweet melons and floral green oolong. Fruity, juicy, it’s like sitting on the porch in late spring, eating half a melon with a spoon, smelling the spring blooms in the breeze, and listening to the birds chirping.
Second steep is almost as good as the first. Thank you Ost for sending me a sample of this in my surprise birthday package last week!
3g, 4oz water, boiling, rinse and then 20,20,30,45,60 second steeps.
I started with a quick wake up rinse, poured hot water on and then immediately poured off. After allowing the leaves to rest for a minute, I smelled them. Light roasted peanuts. Yum.
First steep is pale yellow. The aroma is vaguely roasty, buttery, and fresh green. The flavor is like fresh edamame drizzled with just a touch of butter. Second steep picks up some of that floral taste that a lot of green oolongs have. I’m not usually a fan of floral, but today I’m enjoying it. I’m getting honeysuckle (which I don’t mind in tea) and I want to say orchid (which is ok depending on my mood). I’m also still getting the edamame and maybe some Lima beans. I think it’s the interesting mix of the floral and the buttery sort of nutty legumes that makes this oolong so enjoyable to me.
Third steep is less pale and more medium gold. The floral notes take on an almost heady intensity, but never losing the buttery edamame note. Forth steep I forgot to time, but I think it was an about 45 second steep. Color is a bright sunshine yellow. The floral has mellow out a bit this steep. Now it’s almost creamy, and a touch of mineral swirling in with the floral aftertaste. And of course the edamame and Lima bean.
I probably should have went longer with the 5th steep. It’s creamy, a little buttery, a little beany, and a little floral, but overall, much weaker than the last. I might do an extra long steep to pull out the last of the flavor, but I think these leaves are pretty much spent.
I’ve loved the two other green teas that I received from Mellow Monk, so when I got this in the mail yesterday, I couldn’t wait to try it. My boyfriend made burgers for dinner, and after such a heavy meal, this seemed like the perfect choice to calm my tummy.
1 teaspoon, 8 oz water, 160F, 60, 40, 60 second steeps.
The dry leaf smells darkly vegetal, but sweet. The wet leaf smells less sweet, and more like steamed dark vegetables.
The first steep steeps up cloudy with fluffy looking floaties that settle down to the bottom after a couple of minutes. The flavor is gentle, but savory. Soft and buttery, fleshy and dark vegetal. Like a broth made from broccoli, green beans, spinach, and maybe a bit of seaweed.
Second steep, this is less cloudy, but still some speckles at the bottom. The flavor is more gentle this time, lighter, more seaweed and less green bean. Still silky and buttery, a little less savory, and a little more sweet, melon like note. There’s also a sort of mineral note at the end of the sip.
Third steep is even more sweet and melon and seaweed and gentle. It’s a little bit on the weak side, so I don’t know if I needed a longer steep, or warmer water.
Another solid offering from mellow monk, and another I can see myself cold brewing and taking with me to work in the morning.
I actually drank this and wrote a note a while ago, but I can’t find the note, so I’m thinking Steepster ate it during one of its tantrums. So let’s try again.
I don’t remember what I used last time, but this time I did 1teaspoon, 8 oz water, 200F, 2 minutes. Sweetened.
Unlike some teas that develop most of it’s flavor in the middle to end of the sip, this tea seems to lay all it’s card on the table, so to speak. Front of the sip presents malt, a dark fruity note, cherry, maybe craisins, and some dark honey like flavors. The mid to end of the sip is a dark bread like taste. A very smooth tea.
As it cools, the flavors seem to spread out a bit, still the same notes, but spread out throughout the sip. I liked this steep a little but better than the first time, so 2 minutes seems to be my sweet spot.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Honey, Malt, Raisins
I started a session with this last night at a friends house. Making a tea at a non-tea-drinkers house just isn’t the same. But I really wanted to try my sample of this so I improvised.
6g, 8oz water, boiling water. Two 8 second rinses. 15,30,40 second steeps.
The first two steeps I drank at the friends house. I was distracted while drinking, but I do recall it being a more wet earthy, almost smokey, puerh. Not as sweet and chocolatey as the 2012 puerh I had from them the other day. I also noticed some leather-like notes. This is an almost manly tea.
Third and forth steeps were at home, today, after work. Ahh, so much better making to at home. These steeps are much like the last, but less smokey and leathery, and with an almost fruity note.
The next six steeps, the tea becomes more sweet and fruity and almost molasses like, while still staying true to the manliness of the first steeps. The tea reminds me of a bad boy, all leather and smoke and manly at first, but as you get to know him, he becomes sweeter and softer.
So I had a $15 Starbucks gift card that was sitting unused since I don’t drink coffee anymore. Yesterday was The first home game of the year for UCF, and my dad had gotten tickets, but had to work and couldn’t go. I’m a student so I get in for free, but my boyfriend needed a ticket, so it worked out perfectly. On the way to pick the tickets up from his house, I decided to stop at the Teavana by his house.
I’ve only had pearls like this one other time, and I knew I had to try these. I used 6 pearls in 8 oz of 205F water. 2,2.5,3,4 minute steeps.
First steep is medium reddish brown. Flavor is a little malty, a little chocolatey, and a little honey. The second steep is darker in color. The flavor is also a bit darker. Darker honeyed, cocoa, malty, and a touch smokey at the end of the sip.
I combined the third and forth steeps. They are weaker than the second steep, more like honey, less like chocolate. And more smoke appears, especially as it cools down. Over all, not a bad tea, but still over priced.
So even though we have take home boxes from both of my birthday dinners (one with my boyfriend and then one with my family), my boyfriend decided he wanted to get subs for lunch. I dot know if it’s all the bread or what, but subs always seem so heavy to me. Nursing a full belly, I decided I wanted shou, and remembered that I had these leaves in the fridge. I had started a session with it on my birthday, but then my boyfriend wanted to go to an early dinner and my session got cut short after only 2 steeps.
6g, 8oz water, boiling, two 10 sec rinses, 10,10,15,15,15
The first two steeps, I remember them being smooth and silky, dark cocoa, which seemed to fill my mouth and make me think of it as more like a good cocoa powder, a little earthy, and a touch of something spicy. I had a sip of the second steep several hours later, after it had gone cold, and there was a sort of smokey note to it.
Third-fifth steeps were less cocoa powder, and more dark chocolate. Along with some dark sweetness, a little lighter than molasses, almost like dark brown sugar.
Sixth-ninth steep continue to get sweeter and the chocolate gets more creamy and milky. I just got back from Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, where it rained all night, and it was opening night and a really busy for September. Now I’m winding down with one last steep of this, and but the leaves in the fridge for later.
I received 3 samples from Crimson Lotus Leaf. I couldn’t decide which one to start with, so I just picked this one at random. The smell is earthy, woodsy, and a touch like pond water.
I rinsed twice, 10 second each. 15,60,45,60,60,60,90,90,120 second steeps. 5g 8 oz water, 200F.
First steep is sweet and gentle. A little earthy, a little woodsy, a little cocoa powdery. Second steep I stepped away and accidentally steeped it for 60 seconds instead of the 30 seconds I intended. The result was thick and yummy. Still sweet, still earthy, still super smooth. It sort of coated my throat and lingered around for a long time. Third steep is much like the last two. Some caramel or honey like notes.
I’m noticing that while this puerh is thick and lingering, it’s not heavy. In fact, it’s sort of up lifting. Forth and fifth steep, the earthy note is a little toned down. And there’s an almost fruitiness now. 7-10th steeps stay smooth and sweet.
This baby can keep going, but I think I’m going to call it a night and maybe cold steep the leaves.
I drank this during my break at work this morning. Used hot water from the coffee machine and steeped about a minute-a minute and a half. It was sweet, with lots of honey notes, maybe some sweet potato, a light malt, and a touch of caramel. Went well with my lunch, which was chicken curry and rice with some garbanzo bean stew. Definitely one I’ll look into repurchasing when the store opens back up.
So, I work at a hospital and they do this coding system for the nutrional value of the foods: green is safe foods, yellow are foods to eat only sometimes, and reds are danger foods that you should try to avoid. But what makes no sense to me, is that the chicken curry and the tofu curry, as well as things like eggs, are all red foods. But white bread, plain bagels, and the rice are all green foods? Really sounds wrong to me.