176 Tasting Notes
I am back… kind of.
Okay, Steepsterites, I can explain! I know I’ve been away for a long time, and I know you missed me (hardehar). But you don’t understand…
Texas is hot. Like, really hot. And I’m not used to this. I’m used to being able to go outside and do things. I am not used to stepping outside, vomiting from heat exhaustion, and subsequently having to spend all summer all day inside.
So I really didn’t drink tea all summer. Once again, I know. I miss drinking tea. So as soon as we had a cool(ish) day, I grabbed at the opportunity. This was about a week ago. It was rainy and it almost felt like a normal New Jersey summer day in terms of heat. I got out my old teapot and favorite mug, cleaned off the dust, and reintroduced myself to my tea cupboard. Man, I have a lot of samples in there!
This tea was delicious as usual, no surprise there. See my other tasting notes if you want more detail. It reminded me of just how much I love tea and winter and things not Texan. I miss tea and I miss home.
So, Steepsterites, I guess I’ll see you the next time it’s semi-cold! Until winter!
I haven’t been around Steepster lately, as you may have noticed. The weather turned blisteringly hot seemingly overnight (don’t they have spring here?) and I just cannot cope. I’m not as fond of iced tea, so I’ve been drinking less and less tea. My job is keeping me spectacularly busy as well. I hardly have any free time, but I do have more money to my name than ever before (I don’t mean to brag, just simply to tell you how strange it is to buy stuff without feeling guilty). It is burning a hole in my pocket, just itching to be turned into tea leaves and teacups and teapots. I’ve already converted a large portion of my paychecks into books – I now need another shelf.
Thank you Doulton for sending me this tea a while back. It’s stormy and not nearly as hot today – only 74 degrees – so I don’t think I’ll suffer heat exhaustion if I enjoy a cuppa. Hopefully.
The aroma is that of an apple pie baking in the oven. This storm has both my dog and myself on edge, so the first sip felt like sinking into a warm, cinnamon scented bubble bath.
Doulton has made me a liar! This is really hitting the spot, so I’m not going to be able to have just one cuppa today… I made myself another pot and this time took it with milk, just as an experiment.
Either absence (of tea, in my case) really does make the heart grow fonder or this is an exceptional tea. The milk adds a whole new layer. It is now like eating a cinnamon bun but without feeling like one is simultaneously developing type two diabetes. Thank you, Doulton, for helping me to remember what it’s like to take a metaphorical chill pill in the middle of my day.
This was my free sample that came with my latest Republic of Tea catalog. The aroma is interesting… it smells like artificial peaches and… chlorine? I find that any artificial fruit flavor or smell will have a chlorinated edge to it. The steeped tea came to a lovely light orange color.
The first sip is pretty good. I’m not getting very much green tea or ginger, mostly just peach. It doesn’t taste like true peaches, but rather a peach flavored lollipop. It isn’t bad, but if you’re looking for a real peach taste, don’t get this. I’m picking up just the slightest hint of green tea in the aftertaste, so this would be a good tea for people who don’t exactly like green tea. As for the ginger… I can’t find it at all. Darn. Still, this is decent.
I’m in need of a good comfort tea today – I’ve been wallowing a whole lot lately and it’s starting to get pathetic. So hopefully this will blow my mind and make me forget where I am.
The smell of this was divine. It was a whole lot of burnt sugar and caramel. Now, I much prefer caramel to chocolate; it is probably my favorite sweet out there. So you can see why I chose this tea today.
Right away, I taste the oolong. It’s one of those nice buttery, creamy oolongs, so it is complemented very nicely by the caramel. The caramel doesn’t come out and assault your taste buds, but rather it very gently massages them into submission until you’re lost in the taste. The longer I hold the tea in my mouth, the stronger the caramel becomes. It’s not the sickeningly sweet caramel you would pour over ice cream; it’s almost like there’s nuts added.
This doesn’t come right out and scream “Desert Tea!” It isn’t sweet enough, so it’s perfect to have around as a comfort tea. Which is what I needed right now. I bet after a couple more infusions I’ll be wondering why I was ever in a funk in the first place.
This has nothing to do with the tea, but it just started absolutely pouring. Like, the kind of storm that sends my poor dog running under my bed with her tail between her legs. It was perfectly nice out a minute ago. The weather is so weird here…
EDIT: Oh, lovely. Now it’s hailing, too. And raining sideways.
I love melons, and Rishi’s Honeydew Melon is one of my favorite teas. I’ve heard that this is quite similar, so I’m expecting to like this one very much. I took this unsweetened.
The scent of this one is like baking bread. It’s yeasty and almost smells a little like beer. The melon in this is pretty subtle, not surprisingly. It blends perfectly with the white tea in the background. This is a very light tea that would probably be sublime when iced. It leaves practically no aftertaste. I feel that the addition of sweetener would make this too sweet.
I can’t decide if I’m tasting muskmelon or honeydew or both, but whatever it is, it is good! Another winner from Golden Moon!
EDIT: In case you were wondering, I think I like this better than Rishi’s version. Rishi’s is still excellent, but the melon is a hair artificial. This wins by a mere 3 points.
From the looks of it, I’m one of the few people here who actually like licorice. The dry leaf smelled quite delicious. The tea smells more herb-y (as in parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, not the horrible Lindsay Lohan movie with the talking car) than licorice-y.
This is very pleasant! The licorice doesn’t smack you in the face, so there is no need to fear this tea. Up front there is just a taste of general herb. The licorice is only a very quick note on the tail end. It leaves your tongue feeling heavy and tingly (and in my case, happy).
I could certainly see myself buying this again. It’s light enough to enjoy as a hot summer tea, but the mouth feel is curious and heavy enough to enjoy this in the winter, too.
My job keeps me even more busy than my classes did! It looks like during the summer I’ll only have time to log tea on my days off. This was a tea that the lovely Takgoti sent to me. Once again, I’m using my tiny oolong teapot from Samovar for this tasting.
I rinsed the leaves, then got down to some serious oolong business.
The tea is a medium brown color. It smells sugary sweet. The one taste that stands out the most is (obviously) honey, and this is a pretty light tea. It also tastes slightly doughy, yeasty, or “bakey”. It’s a good combination!
This is the second tea I’ve had from The Simple Leaf. I love Dawn, and I like this. Thanks, Takgoti!
This is another fabulous Takgoti tea. I wanted to wait until I had a decent chunk of time on my hands to really give this tea the tasting note it deserves. This is a special tea! Not many teas are grown in America, so I feel honored to be able to taste this. I’m using my new teensy weensy Glass Oolong Teapot from Samovar for this tasting, as well as my new Lotus White Teacup from Rishi. The teapot is so cute! This is how small it is in comparison with my hand (and you can also check out the unique shape of the dry leaf): http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4598524179/ Upon steeping, the leaves unfurl to epic proportions: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4599146076/ I rinsed the leaves first and then made my first infusion. Here is the finished first infusion in my new Rishi teacup: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4599148028/
First infusion: This tea has the kind of buttery, smooth mouth feel that I associate with a white tea, such as Samovar’s Downy Sprout. The texture is like a white tea, but the taste is a strange cross between an oolong and a sweet green. It is just slightly grassy, but I also taste a tree-like note (and reading what Samovar has to say about this, I think I’m tasting the pine or evergreen) like how a Christmas tree smells. It is less buttery and more sweet as it cools down.
Second infusion: The mouth feel has become a lot lighter; it’s not nearly as buttery anymore. This infusion tastes more like an oolong instead of a green/oolong/white hybrid. After each sip, the aftertaste makes me think that I just ate a few grains of sugar.
Third infusion: The color is beginning to lighten up a hair. The taste is starting to get more sweet and flowery, and the Christmas tree taste isn’t as prominent anymore. The buttery feel is no longer existent.
Fourth infusion: Color is even lighter now. The Christmas tree taste is just barely there, but the floral taste is now the most noticeable note. It continues to get sweeter, but everything is starting to taste a little watery.
Again, I want to thank Takgoti for this experience!