985 Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon…..
I agree that Steepster is slow today! It is taking forever just to get to the next page.
As for this tea, I really enjoy it. It is the perfect tea to drink with food. I am having cinnamon raisin toast with it right now. (Sun Maid Cinnamon Raisin Toast is my favorite from childhood….I am trying to perk myself up a little as I am coming down with a cold.) The tea has a bready taste and is incredibly smooth. The taste of the tea is not easily affected by what you are eating, so it is the perfect accompaniment with just about anything.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…..
I recently picked up a few samples at Adagio, mostly to compare to things I have. I really do like their black teas for the most part. I guess when I first started on my tea journey, I was heavily invested in the flavored ones, so I did not really appreciate their black teas like I should have. Even though I don’t care for their flavored tea base, there are many things this company does well. I also enjoy their herbals that don’t contain hibiscus, mostly because anything with hibiscus is not for me. And the chai is yummy.
I wanted this one to compare to my Mystery Assam, as I noticed there were plenty of golden tips in the product picture. The actual product looks pretty much the same as the pic. It brews up into a malty breakfast tea with notes of bread. You know, that really good crusty bread. As far as comparisons to my other Assam, the other just seems a little richer. These leaves are thicker and brighter, if brighter is possible for a shade of brown! I also think this one is much more malty than the unknown Assam. It is pretty good. It does have me wanting to add in some Keemun, though, to fill out the body of the tea. The taste of this one is all in the front, there is a slight astringency in the middle, and the end…..I keep looking for a taste at the end, but I am not getting anything. Strange. Anyway, I don’t expect to be an expert on Assam any time soon. I mostly like it in blends.
Mug method for 3 minutes.
Tea of the evening……
I have been having trouble with insomnia lately. I decided it was time to give chamomile a try. This intrigued me because of the addition of lemongrass and peppermint. In theory, it sounds like such a relaxing and comforting tea.
Not bad. I think it will take some getting used to. Chamomile is not a favorite, but this is pleasant enough with the other players. I might even add some tulsi next time.
Teapot method for 7 minutes.
Tea of the afternoon……
This was one of three free samples that came along with my gaiwan and cups…..all pu’erhs. I guess it is time to get my feet wet on these. Dry it smells pretty good. Earthy, but not in a scary way. (Yes, this is the review of a pu’erh novice, so you might not really want to put a whole lot of stock in my review if this is your usual type of tea…) I rinsed the leaves first, and then brewed for about 30 seconds. This really reminds me of coffee. It is a little more earthy than coffee, but far from the dirt taste I remember from my first experience with a tuo cha. I am thinking the right tools to enjoy this will make the difference. I am not saying pu’erh is something I will reach for regularly as I am more an oolong in the gaiwan type, but it is a nice experience. There is something to be said for the short steeps for certain. It helps that the brew is not so thick as attempting to brew this western style.
As for the teaware, I love my little gaiwan and cups from this vendor. Everything was well wrapped and arrived safely. I even asked for a change in color of the cups (my gaiwain is light blue, but rather than matching cups I originally ordered, I asked for the white instead to see colors better..) and Scott was more than accommodating to see that I got what I wanted. I will order there again at some point, but I think I will go for the less expensive shipping. With EMS my order was here in less than a week.
Tea of the afternoon…..
I have new teaware! I ordered a gaiwan and two tiny cups, (and it looks like I should have ordered a fairness pitcher, too!) It looks so small next to my teapot, but I know it will be the tools I need for multiple infusions of the same tea without getting too saturated. I decided to try this tea out first, as I know how to make it and work some of the kinks out of my method. I discovered that my gaiwan holds much more than my two little cups…. And I did find a pyrex beaker to use as my pitcher for now….
As for the tea in loose leaf….. The liquor is light yellow green in color, and the pomegranate flavor is a little sweet and tart at the same time. I love that I can drink this one without any additions….. I had forgotten how much I like this one! The first time I had it was at the SoHo shop last Spring. I purchased 4 oz. of this at the Millerton shop in the early Fall as it comes by the pound in loose leaf on the website. I guess this tea also reminds me of the fun I had visiting the shops…..
Gaiwan, 1 tsp tea, about 180 water, 1 1/2 minutes. More steeping later!
Tea of the morning…..
I should know not to mess with the sample packaging from thepuriTea early on Monday morning. The package is too short and near impossible to measure out of because of its stiffness and the way it is gusseted, and too small to be folded over for later use. It is really annoying. I am sure I did not measure out enough tea for fear it would go all over my counter top, so my tea is weak. I hope they come up with a sample packaging solution that is easier to use, because frankly, it does not reflect well on the tea experience and how I as a customer feel about it overall. I really think they are trying to make the samples to fit in their little cardboard sleeves which do kind of make a good first impression, and it just is not working once you get to the tea. My advice: skip the cardboard. I just have to recycle it anyway.
So, I have weak tea this time around. I should just make another mug, right? Unfortunately, although they claim there is enough tea in this sample for at least 10 cups of tea, I have enough for maybe 3 total…really, probaby 3 weak cups as this is a fluffy tea. Maybe they include the resteeps in that number? I did get more like 7 cups from the flavored black tea sample I had and it was the only one that was close. I really don’t have enough of this one to make in my 15 oz mug set a second time….so, not even 4 cups worth….. Disappointing. The packaging certainly does not accommodate fluffier teas well, even though it sort of worked for the flavored black.
The tea is long fingered, fuzzy, and a beautiful golden color with only hints of brown. Beautiful. Too bad I will not get to really taste it. The moment for this tea to shine is ruined by the sample packaging and the amount in that package. I think it has potential, too.
On my resteep, I decided to add a little more tea. I am really thinking there was only enough tea in this sample pouch for just over two cups. Much better in taste. Notes of malt and honey. Roasty. I did just double check the website, and they suggest I can get 10-12 cups of tea out of this sample. Maybe if I resteep it 5 or 6 times?
tl;dr Yeah. It is Monday and I am a little cranky this morning.
Tea of the morning……
This time it is a 1:1 blend of my Mystery Assam and a good basic Keemun. I think we have a winner. It is not quite as rich tasting as Malachi, but this will definitely get me through until I can buy black tea again.
Usual mug method for 3 minutes.
Another tea of the afternoon….
I think I should have picked another one after my not liking the Chinese Sencha from thepuriTea very well. I fixed this up and then did my research on what was in it. It turns out that Bancha is a lower grade of Sencha. Man, do I have a long way to go on my education of green teas. Anyway, the roses help this, and I did sweeten it just a little. I think I don’t mind this as a tea with other things….. this one is less vegetal and more woody, maybe?
Tea of the afternoon…..
I still have a huge pile of samples from thepuriTea……at least 6 or 7. This was one I received for free. As it is my first Sencha, I really don’t know what to expect, and I have a feeling that my Premium Dragon Well has me spoiled. So far, it is fine, but not anything special. A little vegetal, light yellow liquor, only a slightly heavier mouthfeel than water, and a hint of something minty at the end. I would not choose this as a stand alone tea as it is very ‘meh’ compared to dragonwell. It seems very similar to the tea base in the flavored greens I have tasted. I wish I could tell you how it compares to other Senchas, but all I can say is the color of the leaves was a dark green, not dull, but somewhat bright, and the leaves varied in size from short to about half an inch.
Mug method for green….about 180 water, 3 minutes.
Tea of the morning…….
This is my first attempt at something similar to Harney’s Malachi McCormick (yes, I should just buy some, and I will, but I am trying to see what comes close and use up some of the tea I have in my cupboard to make space….). I used a 1:2 ratio of the Mystery Assam from Heather’s Heat & Flavor (the hot sauce store) and my Keemun Grade 2 from Teavivre. It was good, but I think it needs a little more Assam. Next trial is a 1:1. Tune in tomorrow…..