118 Tasting Notes
Too much going on these days to focus on sessions, so I’ve been going through the daily drinker stuff, but today I was like okay let’s revisit this sample. It is still relaxing, dirty, and nutty. Lost track of time on 8 and oversteeped. Wet leaves smell like a mud room at the sauna .
Flavors: Dirt, Nutty
It’s about what you’d expect given the astronomical hype – very good, uncommon progression, but makes sense when you think about the composition. I have nothing to add to the reviews that have already been written, except that it seems to taste good now, with no off flavors. Supposedly this blend gets better with age, but the cake may not survive the year. Glad I finally tried some.
w2t production names and labels make so much sense sometimes. Pretty leaves. Wet leaf scent places you a few sunny days following an autumn rain. You’d develop an instant crush on this girl, and almost any girl really, if she strolled by you on campus during first quarter when the air smelled like so. Makes me wanna try more dian hong yunnan blacks.
Flavors: Fruity, Honey
The scent and flavor and mouthfeel are all right. But I rather dislike what it does to my throat, which feels coated with something uncomfortable after only 2 steeps. Is it smoke? Is it lingering astringency? Either way, it isn’t a good feeling. I am not sick, and it isn’t from a reaction to something I ate just before.
This is the last of the sample. The first half was shared with dear company, so the conversation outshone the tea. The first solo tasting was low energy compared to others tasted week. This one lands in a similar fashion.
I can see how someone who smokes might not even notice the yucky throat feel and thus enjoy this far more than non-smokers will. Farewell, strange blend that smells good and feels like I am smoking a cigarette. Blecch. Merry merry.
Steepster has been eating a bunch of my reviews submitted on mobile, which is a shame, because it’s so convenient to tap notes out while curled up in my armchair.
Anyway, this tea is supposed to be an Earl Grey reminiscent complex blend, but the fruit – black currant – scent overpowers everything else until you’re a few steeps in. I prefer what it becomes after a good deal of the flavorings wash off. Of course, this is exactly the kind of tea that everyone else always seems to adore, so I gave it away as a gift, along with a travel tea set, to my uncle. He likes tea, but his office only stocks green, which upsets his tummy. I’d been on the search for a good daily black or oolong on his behalf, and stumbled across mentions of this blend of both. Let’s hope it works out for him!
Flavors: Black Currant, Vanilla
This is elegant. Nose jammy. I would have believed it if someone had told me this was an artificially scented pu. But it just wasn’t what I needed. After a recent raccoon encounter (I’m okay), an exhausting set of repetitive conversations with medical professionals, and outrageously high bills to match despite having a pretty good insurance, I yearned for a tea that tasted like it understood my trials and tribulations. Really, I just needed a strong alcoholic drink, or if it was going to be tea, I needed something that would make me feel invincible against any more unexpected trouble. I needed a liquid mentor who had been through the bitterness of life before me and could show me the way.
Alas, this tea, if it was a person, would be that insufferably perfect and thus holier-than-thou concertmistress or prima ballerina from the suburbs whose parents were surgeons, grandpas senators, grandmas judges, and cousins European/Southeast Asian royalty. It just tastes like straight up inter-generational, oblivious, imperturbable privilege. It’s that guy set to inherit entire buildings in Manhattan who doesn’t understand the local pizza joint owner is joking when he theatrically demands $60 for a regular pie and fountain sodas, causing the poor man to come sprinting after us for 2 city blocks, tomato-stained apron strings flapping, yelling and waving the $40 of change in the air.
I felt this while working my way through the w2t ripe basics set, and I felt it again while finally trying Storm Breaker from clt’s shou sampler. I don’t respond to newer shou made with higher quality material in a way that corresponds to the greater price and hype. The leaves look nicer as they steep, and it’s easier to clean my brewing vessel after. But that’s it.
I know many others really liked this tea, but I found the notes to be too muted and tame. It’s kinda milquetoast. It seems to say, “all is most certainly right with the world, dearie” with such an eerie wtf calm that I almost feel offended. The idealized world where this tea belongs doesn’t exist for 99.9% of people, so I hope whatever is left of it in clt’s storage makes it into lovely silver teacups in someone’s 407th vacation home.
Meh. It’s not the tea’s fault. I’m just in a grumpy mood. Will try again next year.
Flavors: Chocolate, Jam, Sweet, Wood
I switched to a single button tea set that most comfortably brews 150ml at a time. When not drinking an extremely delicate tea, this half gong fu style works fine. In fact, it appears to work even better than usual for this tea. I discarded one rinse of 150 after waiting twice as long as I had in the past. The expected bamboo chopstick smell is gone much sooner with this method. The tea is almost unrecognizable. Smoother. Cleaner.
I also acquired a jar of buckwheat honey and tried some in the tea. The deep, bitter, molasses-like flavor of bkwht honey complements this shou.
Takes forever to loosen up. Brewed in a new tea set. Eventually lost patience after about 10 steeps and prodded the nuggets open with a pick. This changed the flavor and made the liquid cloudier. Next time I will try to stay patient. Sharing tea makes it enjoyable in a different way, but also impossible to take flavor/scent notes.