1919 Tasting Notes
Sipdown no. 2 of September 2019 (no. 93 of 2019 total, no. 581 grand total).
Made the last of this as a cold brew. Because I didn’t have enough to make a full pitcher, I eyeballed the water measurements for a half pitcher.
It’s unclear to me whether my impression of this as weak, not sweet Kool Aid was because I got the measurement wrong or not, but it wasn’t a great cold brew. No. 2 initially said he liked it, but later tried to put sugar in it, and when that resulted in something disgusting gave up.
I’m bumping the rating on this one down. It’s not bad, just not anything special compared to the myriad other fruit blends I’ve had.
Sipdown no. 1 of September 2019 (no. 92 of 2019 total, no. 580 grand total).
I seem to have a fair number of fruit blends and herbals at the lower end of my rating scale still in the cupboard, so I’m taking steps to clear some of those. I made this one into a cold brew for the last bit.
It’s nice cold. Both kids quite liked it. No. 1 said it tasted “like Indian food” — I am not getting that, though I think the juxtaposition of the mint with the tartness of the gooseberries may explain it.
Every time I drink a non-tea tea, I think pretty critically about whether I should boost or drop the rating. This one seems to have the rating right. I wanted to rate it higher because I love the idea of gooseberries (and I don’t think I’ve had another with that as an ingredient) but the overall flavor, while pleasing, isn’t enough to invite a boost.
Sipdown no. 5 of August 2019 (no. 91 of 2019 total, no. 579 grand total).
Given my poor sipdown showing last month, I’m trying to squeeze in a few on this very last day of August to get myself back to a respectable level. I’ve already bettered my July total with this one, but that isn’t saying a ton. I just don’t have it in me to sipdown 5 more teas in one day, so I’m calling this month a miss as well.
I remember liking this a lot more when I drank it way back when, but maybe it just hasn’t aged well. It was good cold — No. 1 really loved this one and drank it by the pitcher full. If I was looking for a Constant Comment-like tea but with a French twist, I’d buy it again.
Sipdown no. 4 of August 2019 (no. 90 of 2019 total, no. 578 grand total).
This became my take it to work tea for the last couple of weeks using the “shake it in the thermos” method.
It was a very matcha matcha. Nothing that stands out as particularly different from others, but everything I would expect. Which is a good thing.
Sipdown no. 3 of August 2019 (no. 89 of 2019 total, no. 577 grand total). A sample.
I haven’t done a proper tasting in a while. Too hot, too stressed, too busy on the weekends.
I had rinsed this one weeks ago and never got to it — I let the leaves dry out and started over today with a rinse, then a 15 minute wait.
Then: gaiwan, boiling 5/5/7/7/10/10/20/30/40/60
The description says this sample is a 2007 vintage.
I was a bit disappointed, but I don’t think it is the tea’s fault. I have a feeling my water may have been stale — I just used what had been sitting in the kettle.
The tea had a very dark, clear amber liquor which persisted through 10 steeps. It did not give off the usual strong buttery aroma of white chocolate. Instead, though that was present it was somewhat faint.
Instead I got something spicy. I identified it as cinnamon, but then I wondered whether that was because I’d had some Prince Vladimir before. I felt vindicated when I read that others also got cinnamon. I also identified a sort of mustiness which I attributed to my mistreatment of the tea and the possibility of not great water, like maybe I had boiled some algae, but then I read that others got that as well.
I also found espresso and toffee notes. But I missed the white chocolate, buttery, coco-ness I have found in other shengs.
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Espresso, Musty, Toffee, White Chocolate
Sipdown no. 2 of August 2019 (no. 88 of 2019 total, no. 576 grand total).
To the original note on this, I’ll add that it was quite nice cold. So much so that No. 1 pretty much drank up every pitcher I made before I could have more than a glass or two.
And with that, the cupboard is down to 18 pages. Yahoo!
Sipdown no. 1 of August 2019 (no. 87 of 2019 total, no. 575 grand total).
It was surprisingly OK cold, but the more I drank it the less enamored I became. I am bumping it down a bit more.
I don’t know if it’s the smoke and summer not mixing or that as smoky teas go, this has more ash and less sweetness than I tend to like.
Sipdown no. 4 of July 2019 (no. 86 of 2019 total, no. 574 grand total).
This is an illusory sipdown, because I bought more of this as part of the Lupicia panic order — but I am counting it since it was a sipdown of the original purchase (with some of the new mixed in).
I rated it too low, I think. It’s a very enjoyable flavored green with a tart but sweet and not bitter grapefruit aspect. I liked it in the original note, too. I think I was trying to be respectful of the amazingness of the white melon by rating it high and tamping others down. But this needs a bump, for sure.
Sipdown no. 3 of July 2019 (no. 85 of 2019 total, no. 573 grand total).
I liked this one quite a bit, but in its dotage it tasted more fruity than almondy. The original note tells a different story, so likely this one did change in its old age.
In retrospect I am bumping the rating, as I could see buying this again.