3229 Tasting Notes
Uh…. so I received my (restock) order of Laoshan Black earlier this week, and was thrilled to brew some up for today’s travel mugs. Not particularly noteworthy… except that I just took a sip, and got the most intense sweetness I’ve EVER had from a straight tea! Like, straight-up sugar. So sweet that I actually did a double-take, of sorts (AKA a second sip), with the same result. Sure, I’m tasting malty, chocolatey Laoshan Black, but never ever before has it tasted so incredibly sweet! It’s not a bad sort of sweet either; doesn’t even taste like I added sugar, the sweetness tastes natural. But it is crazy.
I’m wondering if it’s because I brushed my teeth over half an hour ago… but my mouth doesn’t taste “minty fresh” anymore, and usually toothpaste makes sweet things taste unsweet, instead of the other way around. I will have to see whether this sweetness is maintained over the afternoon, or whether it was merely a function of my tastebuds (in which case I am totally brushing my teeth before drinking this tea again, hahahaha).
ETA: It wasn’t as sweet when I finished the mug later, but a re-steep later in the evening ended up producing similar sweet results. I wonder if this is a harvest difference, and there are just more honey notes this time around. Delicious!
I am so disappointed. This one did not work well in a travel mug for me (or I screwed it up). I thought this delicious earthy caramel tea would be fabulous, but I tasted mostly a sweet, somewhat caramelly but fishy flavour. It certainly wasn’t terrible; I finished it before I finished my mug of Della Tera’s Eight Candles. I wonder if this tea needs to “air out” after being brewed, or something?
Ok, I oversteeped this one a bit yesterday (note to self: just go for four minutes), but it was still the first travel mug I finished drinking of the three, by a good solid few hours. There was just a bit of bitterness. There’s something about pumpkin spice teas in travel mugs that just makes me happy, so I’m glad I grabbed another 2 oz. of this one.
Well, it looks like I’m just going to be a dissenter on this tea. I had it in my travel mug yesterday, and while it was ok, there was something off that I didn’t enjoy. It’s light on flavour, to begin with, and I can definitely taste marshmallow, but that’s about it. I’m wondering if I’m wanting a stronger black base here to kind of offset the marshmallow/caramel sweetness, because usually I like a sweet black.
I think I have enough left for a cup or two… perhaps Raritea or Indigobloom would be interesting in sampling it (if I remember to bring it along this weekend), because I really have no desire to finish it off.
Thanks to LiberTeas for a sample of this one, that apparently has been sitting in my box for quite a while!
I think this tea may be suffering a bit from old age; I can both smell and taste some delicious real grapefruit flavour, with a brothy green base, but the flavour isn’t terribly strong. It may also be that my expectation was for something more along the lines of Butiki’s Grapefruit Dragon, which literally tasted like unsweetened grapefruit juice.
Either way, this isn’t bad; I’d try using more than 1.5 tsp leaf next time to see if I can amp up the flavour a bit. There wasn’t any astringency, so I think I’d be ok with an extra half teaspoon.
I’m pretty sure some of this is soon en route to me as part of Lupicia’s Happy Bag sale… (so I’m hoping I can figure out how to improve its flavour a bit!)
Decided to use a whole 5g package of this one instead of leaving remnants… so since I didn’t want a huuuuge mug of tea, I opted to go for gongfu-style brewing, which I don’t often do. I used about 10 oz. water with my 5g of tea, so definitely a higher water:leaf ratio, but I didn’t want an accidentally overly bitter brew!
First infusion (15 seconds):
The aroma I’m getting is quite burny, at first. Not smoky, just… burny. The good sort though! As the cup cooled, the burned aroma turned a little bit chocolatey, and that’s how this cup tastes. Predominantly of… burnt chocolate! Keep in mind that this is not a bad thing at all… it’s pretty tasty, in fact!
Second infusion (10 seconds):
Less “burny”, more dark chocolate. Pretty good, although perhaps 15 seconds would have been ok after all (I now err on the side of caution with the second infusion; I’ve noticed that if I increase infusion time on the second infusion, I usually end up with something unpleasant and bitter, because the first infusion of course included the time to hydrate the leaves. I imagine that if I rinsed my teas, I wouldn’t have this “issue”, but I don’t want to waste any tea goodness!) Anyhow, in addition to this slightly modified flavor profile, there’s a nice sweet finish at the end of the cup now that I hadn’t previously noticed. Granted, I also just finished this off cold, so perhaps it’s an artifact of the tea having cooled.
Well… I think this is better than the first time I had it, but I’m still not a big fan. It’s quite cloudy, and tastes like a cinnamon, watery, somewhat chocolatey chai. Can’t really taste the coconut at all, though it’s probably just coming out as a bit of creaminess. So unfortunate; this blend sounds like it should be so tasty, but it’s really just a big flop.
Bumping the rating up a bit, because this is certainly not as terrible as the first time, but still not a tea I’d recommend to anyone.