34 Tasting Notes
So I wake up this morning feeling drained after finishing yet another term paper. For some reason, though, I really don’t feel like black tea this morning. I guess being throttled by midterms and that paper is enough for now, no need for my first cup of tea to do the same. I’m hoping this sample of Peach Flavored Oolong is just right this morning.
The peach scent is much more subtle after being steeped than in the dry leaves. I was a bit worried about the candy sweet smell when I opened the package. If you’ve ever had those Japanese candies called “Flower’s Kiss”, that’s what the dry leaves smell like.
I guess peaches make me nostalgic for Japan. Before my study abroad trip this summer I never thought I liked peaches (I preferred peach flavoring to the actual fruit, which is kinda nuts). But, you know, JAPANESE PEACHES ARE AMAZING (and expensive…but primarily amazing). They’re juicy and sweet and flavorful and gigantic: everything peach flavoring tries so hard to be and fails.
I really wish I was better at drinking hot tea. If I were, you wouldn’t have to be subjected to my rambling as I wait for the tea to cool. It always happens. When enjoying a hot drink with someone else, I tend to start to be able to drink when they’re more than halfway done. It’s frustrating since I’m really impatient, but that’s the way I’ve always been. I can’t understand people people who order things “extra hot”. It’s just mind boggling, since I need to let the “regular hot” cool for what seems like forever. I know I should accept myself and my sensitive mouth just the way I am…but my need for caffeine is getting urgent! Go, me, for flipping out right as the reason to is gone. I can now partake!
Alright, so far the peach is more present as a scent than anything else. It’s not overpowering in the least, which had been my first concern.The oolong is smooth and mellow with not a lot of astringency. It seems pretty close to a black tea, definitely oolong, but darker rather than lighter.There’s a little bit of, what? smokiness, maybe? I like it, especially since I noticed it right as I was about to write this tea off as pleasantly simple. I’m trying to develop my palette so I can level up my tea snobbery skill. Yeah, I’m a nerd.
There’s some juicy sweetness coming out as it cools, along with a bit of astringency in the aftertaste. The smokiness is still present and keeps it from being too sweet, which I appreciate. The wet leaves smell weird in a way I can’t describe, so I’m not expecting much from a re-steep.
Overall this was a pleasant cup of tea, better than I expected. I feel alert, but not startled, which is what I was hoping for. I’m not sure about a reorder, since there’s so much I want to try thanks more experienced Steepster-ers(??), but I will definitely enjoy my sample. Maybe next time I should try reviewing tea when I’m not still asleep.
My poor tongue has suffered more burns than it cares to discuss, so I’m with you on the hot issue. [And am also impatient, so usually end up burning it anyway and THEN needing to wait for it to cool.]
I’ve never been to Japan, but it’s on my list. Those peaches sound pretty phenomenal. And as a side note, NERDS ROCK. Have you seen this? [I’m assuming that’s where the Hyrule came from? It gets slightly graphic towards the end, but it’s College Humor and to be expected.] http://is.gd/4w7gf
One last thing – I’ve learned through limited experience that a good oolong should benefit from multiple steepings. The best one I’ve had sat through three rather comfortably [with the fourth starting to fade] and the flavors evolving through the cups. You might want to give this one a chance on a second if you haven’t already.
I’m so with you on the awesomeness of Japanese peaches. So wonderful.
You might also want to check out Lupicia’s flavored teas. Their flavoring has a more Japanese taste so if you like Japanese fruit candies and whatnot, you’d probably enjoy their stuff. Their Momo Black is really good and I’ve heard good things about their Momo Oolong, too. I’ve been really impressed with how nicely their flavored teas are done.
I’m really surprised anyone actually read that heap of rantiness.
@takgoti- haha I do feel like that when I’m playing zelda. You have to run around doing random crap so you can, you know, save the world and everything…but it’s a wonder that Hyrule is still around by the time you get to it 10 or 20 hours later. >__<;;;
I usually resteep oolongs, since they do develop in really interesting ways…but this one was pretty hopeless. I did give it a resteep, but it was so weak and lifeless that I felt kind of bad making them try again. The quality just isn’t there.
@Auggy- It’s funny you should mention Lupicia, I actually brought some back with me from Japan to share with my mom and sister. I wasn’t expecting anything special, but I quite like it. I feel like they use flavorings to compliment better tea, rather than cover up the flaws in a lower quality leaf. I’m really glad they have an American site!
Lately, though, I’m more interested in looking for tea that has complex flavors on its own. That’s part of the reason I joined steepster so I can figure out where I want to put my money. o__o
Um…have you SEEN my posts? I tend to take verboseness to the next level. The way I see it is, I like to read. And if I like what you’re saying I’ll keep reading.
…And thus beginneth my series of one word tasting notes.
[@Auggy Joking aside, I do appreciate you taking the time to read what I say. It may not be immediately apparent, but I do put some effort into them. I’m not just a pretty typeface, you know.]
@takgoti: I love your rambles. It sort of creates the setting for the tea review and gives the experience of the tea, not just the taste.
@Hyrulehippie: sorry for hijacking your comments. But what I said above is why I like your review on this one. It’s not just “tea is good, tastes like peaches” but more the experience.
Plus, anything that brings to mind Japan is a good thing!
Having lots of comments makes me look important, please use them for whatever you like. _
Actually, this is what I was hoping steepster would be like. I’m so relieved that I don’t have to somehow disguise my personality lest I be chased off…Well, unless this is an attempt at chasing me off, in which case a change in tactics might be a good idea.
@Auggy: I completely forgot to ask you(or maybe I just want lots of comments to make me look like the cool kid I never was sob). What were you up to in Japan? Do you know the language?
After I graduated HS, I was a Rotary exchange student in Sendai, Japan for the ‘96/’97 school year (I’m so old). I’ve been back a couple of times since then – 10 days in ‘00 in Tokyo as part of a sister-college thing and a week in ’04 back in Sendai to show my hubby around my ’hometown’. The ’04 trip is really the only one I have well documented electronically, so if you are bored… pictures are here http://danzimmermann.com/album/thumbnails.php?album=4 and trip journal is here http://amanda.danzimmermann.com/travels/jpn2004.htm
I know the language but am super-rusty – not such a useful second language in Texas. I tend to talk to my cats in Japanese but they don’t understand me… and I teach hubby random words (トウモロコシ was a running theme of our ’04 trip). And since I learned Japanese as a HS student, I pretty much still sound like one. Oh well.
Anyway, I saw that you are majoring in Japanese, yes? Way cool. Your Japanese is probably much better than mine! But if you ever want to talk about Japan, I’d love to. I’m getting old so I feel nostalgic. :) I’d really be interested in hearing about what texts, etc you use for your classes. Japanese language and culture continues to fascinate me. You can email me @ email@example.com
Wow, せんぱい, that’s so cool! I’ll definitely take a look at your album when I get the chance.
It’s definitely frustrating not to have people to practice with…but kitties are good listeners, at least. Sometimes I narrate my life in Japanese, which is significantly crazier. >__< The only time I think sounding like a high school student would be a problem is during a job interview. Any other time, though, I think it’s much more authentic than the other foreigners who sound like anime characters. u_u
Expect an email from me soon. o thanks so much.
The sweetness I mentioned before is proving to be prevalent in subsequent steeps. I think there’s something else there, but I can’t place it. It isn’t nearly as interesting as the first steep, but not at all unpleasant. I guess this is why re-steeping black teas isn’t really recommended…But you know, I’m cheap and admit that freely!
Yeah, I know about maltiness, but I really only have a faint idea of what malty is supposed to taste like. I’ve had tea before that’s described as “malty”, but I’m unsophisticated and can’t pick out that specific quality. I really have to stop myself from saying things like “oh, you know, it’s like that one thing in the other thing i drank!”. Yay for my vocabulary!
Hee. That’s how I am with a lot of tea. The more I drink things and the more I’m on here, the more I can start to pick things out. Just so you have a base of comparison, if you’ve ever had Whoppers, those are malted. It’s also a flavoring used in milk shakes sometimes. I find it kiiind of similar to caramel, but saltier? And slightly flatter as opposed to rich.
@takgoti: That description really helped me figure out what the heck malty tastes like. I totally get the salty caramel but flatter. Thanks!
That helps so much. I think i may have had whoppers once, and had a vague idea of what malty tastes like….but saltier, flatter caramel makes it so much easier!
Even though I’ve been “into” tea for at least a year or two (and a lifelong tea drinker) I never really had a chance to be able to discuss things like this. Having input from many people is really helpful for me.
This is the first time I’m trying this. I steeped it for just over 2 minutes with water just off the boil. I’m drinking it black/unsweetened and quite like it so far. It’s pretty astringent, which I find pleasant and invigorating. I can’t help but think that I’m also detecting some sweet, floral notes. Maybe at some point I’ll try it with some soy, but right now I don’t feel the need to.
I drank this yesterday morning and wondered why I never finished my sample of such a pleasant tea. Thanks to my current cup I’ve remembered. The caramel scent/flavoring just isn’t sitting well with me right now. I enjoyed it yesterday but I’m seriously about to pour out almost an entire mug. I hate being wasteful :(
I find that sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a tea but it just doesn’t suit me. Sounds like you might be the same. :)
I think you’re right. I’ve definitely felt that way more than once. I do feel guilty, though, since I know I’m not being fair ^__~. I definitely get too emotionally involved with tea.