894 Tasting Notes
I sipped down my cup of Yunnan Imperial really fast at disability awareness training today, and I needed something else. I had this bag of leaves from yesterday in my bag, so I figured I’d try resteeping them a third time, and what do you know, I got a really great cup of tea out of them.
There was more malt and less grape in this steep, but still very tasty. Might even try for a fourth later.
Flavors: Grapes, Malt
This was today’s cup for disability awareness training. I threw a couple of teaspoons into a travel mug, steeped for three minutes in about 3/4s of 94C water and then topped it off with cold water to make it drinkable.
Today’s cup was just okay. None of the really intense brothy notes that made me pick this up after my togo cup from Tea Emporium. Ah well, I don’t think I steeped it well.
I’m resteeping the leaves in my gaiwan, gongfu, instead of continuing with them western style.
The second steep, which is 2tsp in 100ml of 96C water for 1min, is malty and surprisingly floral. Really nice.
Third, 1.5min is starting to loose complexity of flavour. There’s still a bit of maltiness, but there’s a depth that’s missing.
Flavors: Floral, Malt
Major reading comprehension fail caused me to miss my flight back home from Toronto (seriously, I can’t even count how many times I looked at my itinerary and read 8:10 as 8:30.) So I’ve been up since 5:30am for pretty much no reason at all. I’m running on about four hours of sleep and I have more than an hour to wait for my rebooked flight. And here I am, sitting in Pearson, sipping a take out cup from DAVIDs.
I knew I was wanting a straight tea this morning and I figured that I should give this one a try. And I’m quite impressed.
The nose is very fruity. The liquor a warm, reddish brown and very clear. On the palate, there are lovely notes of sweet, fermented grapes and something that might be chestnuts. No bitterness, but a drying sensation that builds quite intensely toward the bottom of the cup. A hint of vegetal on the finish, giving it a bit of a tangy quality. This reminds me a lot of a Darjeeling black actually.
This is a pretty delicious and unique green tea. A very short steep is probably called for. I can’t imagine steeping this for the recommended 3-4 min.
Edit: Second steep was even better – some malt in addition to the previous flavours, and very smooth. almost no astringency.
Flavors: Astringent, Chestnut, Sweet, White Grapes, White Wine
This is lovely. The rooibos is not overpowering and there’s a lovey fruity taste that combines raspberry, citrus and a bunch of other stuff which I can’t quite identify.
Definitely glad I picked this one up. Thanks for the recommendation, aisling of tea!
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Raspberry
This was alright but not very exciting. I think it got a little over steeped (to go cup), so there was probably a bit more bitterness and astringency than there would normally be, but there’s also a strong charred, woody note that I’m just not that into, and that I find fairly common in oolongs.
Second steep is smoother and less astringent, but this still isn’t much to my taste.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Char, Roasted, Wood
I grabbed a to-go cup of this, this morning, as I just couldn’t manage sorting out my travel mug and brewing basket.
This was pretty amazing. Super malty, a bit sweet, very broth like in a way that’s quite different than green teas, and almost a note of some rich meat, like lamb.
The second steep wasn’t nearly as interesting as the first, but the first makes this something that I will be picking up.
Flavors: Broth, Malt, Meat, Sweet
This is one of the strongest smelling tisanes I’ve ever come across, and the roll top bag that it came in is powerless to stop it from smelling up my whole hotel room. Which is kind of okay, because this smells amazing. A very intense, juicy smell of fresh grapefruit, with the sweet, sour and bitter notes.
The dry leaf is red rooibos, green flakes of mint, curls of citrus peel and some large citrus wedges.
As it steeps, the sweet mint fragrance comes out, mellowing the intensity of the grapefruit. On the palate, this is much milder than the smell would suggest. There’s definitely grapefruit and mint, with a bit of rooibos woodiness and a touch of a drying mouth feel. The grapefruit and mint are well balanced, but I wish that both were punchier. I want this to taste as intense as it smells.
Still, it’s delicious, and I’m glad I got a big bag. I did a sloppy job of making this cup, as I’m in a hotel room, so no measuring or timing anything, and no way to know how hot the water was. And even though this doesn’t taste as amazing as the smell, the smell is good enough to just enjoy on its own.
Flavors: Grapefruit, Mint, Sweet, Wood
This was my morning cup. This weekend I’m at Playground Conference in Toronto. It has been a seriously intense day.
I was up way too late last night, working on my presentation, and so I woke up kind of tired this morning. Grabbed a quick breakfast and this tea with it. I have no idea what water temperature this was steeped at or for how long, but it seemed to be pretty forgiving.
I really enjoyed being able to taste bot the coconut and the floral green oolong notes distinctly. Coconut can be a bit of an overwhelming flavour, but this was nicely balanced. A really good way to start off a day, which included going to the morning plenary session, sitting on a panel on polyamory, presenting on how to organize a successful sex party, a workshop on expressing desire as feelings, and a panel on media influence on sex work legislation.
An absolutely amazing day, and if you have any interest in sexuality, gender, relationships or related topics you should be at this convention. It’s one of the most inclusive, diverse and safe space I’ve ever been in, and the community is warm and welcoming. If you’re inexperienced or new to dialogues about sex, this is a great place to get started.
There’s one more day left, so if you’re in Toronto, I highly recommend coming down to check it out for the last day. Or if not, plan to come next year.
Now, I need to go find some hot water so I can resteep these leaves. Edit: Second steep wasn’t worth drinking, but I think I really underleafed this tea. My travel mug is twice the size of my regular mug and I didn’t put much leaf into it.
Flavors: Coconut, Floral, Green
Oh my god, this is so good.
This is a steamed green tea from Korea. Unfortunately I can’t recall if this one was picked before or after the rains. I picked up a sample from House of Tea in Toronto.
The dry leaf is intense green and needle like, like a sencha. It has a sweet, nutty smell.
Steeped for 1.5 min at 90C, it produces a clear, bright green liquor. The taste of it is incredible. It’s very broth like, with a medium body and smooth mouth-feel. Notes of nuts, umami, grass and sweetness are very well balanced. On the first steep there’s no astringency or bitterness at all, and on the second steep only the faintest hint.
This reminds me more of a gyokuro or kukicha, more than a sencha.
I’m really tempted to go pick up a bag of this, even though 100g seems like an awful lot.
Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet, Umami