911 Tasting Notes

80
drank Afternoon Tea by Lupicia
911 tasting notes

Since I’m finding that I like tea with not-quite-boiling water, I’m trying to be a bit more careful at work. This time, I stopped the kettle right as the water started to boil, poured the water into my empty cup, then poured the water into my ingenuiTEA. It seems to have helped though I could probably go down temp-wise just a hint more. There is no bitterness to the Darjeeling so that’s good. And actually, as my cup cools this is back to being a smooth but bright, fairly well balanced, tea-tasting tea. Another few seconds before I poured the water over the leaves might have helped calm it more but it’s not necessary for me to enjoy this cup. So yep, water just cooled off from a boil is great for this tea.
3.0g/8oz

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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64

I was in the mood for something stout and chewable. Okay, okay, I was in the mood for Thomas Sampson. But alas, I don’t have any and don’t plan to get more until next month. So I grabbed this one, added some sugar and some half and half (whole milk has seemed a little thin for me lately so I picked up some half and half at the store – mmm) and away we went.

Now my hands are shaking just a bit cause I made this a tad strong. Even with some sugar (a decent amount – about a tsp) and half and half, there was a hint of bitterness to this. Not so much bitter from overbrewing, but more like a nutty bitterness. So maybe I made it a little too strong or didn’t use enough additive. And it wasn’t quite the chewable, bake-y delight that is TS. But it had a good flavor, it was very bold, stout and gave me a good caffeine rush so it’ll do.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec
JacquelineM

We looooooove you Thomas!!!!!

Auggy

Ah, Thomas. Delightful man. Quite wonderful. The kind of man I’d like to bring home to my mother. (Well, except for the bit about then I’d probably have to share him).

JacquelineM

I see him as a sort of bad boy with a heart of gold(en tips!). :) :) :)

Auggy

Hehe! I love the punny!

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60
drank Jade Fire by Rishi Tea
911 tasting notes

Ever since teaplz had this as her work tea a day or two ago, I’ve been tempted to torture myself try this one again. I thought I’d try using a little cooler water so I put the water into the pot and let it sit for a moment before putting the leaves in and I left the lid off while brewing.

With the horror that is the second steep of this, I’ve forgotten how much I enjoyed the first steep. Actually, I think this is better than the other time I’ve had it because I can get a hint of buttery, grassy sweetness. There is a little brine-like tingle left on my tongue but it isn’t really salty – more like a salt lick which, if anyone has ever licked one (yes, I have*) have a mineral taste that doesn’t burn like straight salt and is a little… almost sweeter. Or at least the pink ones I used to give my hamster do.

As the tea cools, more of the salt-lick/mineral taste is coming out, almost overpowering the sweet grassy green taste I had at the beginning of the cup. Almost but not quite. But the dry taste it leaves in my mouth is stronger and not that fun. I’m bumping up the rating a little bit because even with that mineral taste, the tea is nice. I’m still going to try a second steep, but I full anticipate burning salty horror.

*For the record, I don’t lick a lot of salt licks. But you know, I was curious.

ETA: Second Steep @ 2:00. The not-brine taste at the end is more tingly but as long as the tea is still pretty hot, it is okay. But the second it starts to cool, I start making faces as I sip.
5g/12oz

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec
teaplz

Yay! Glad I could inspire you to um… make a very bizarre cup of tea! I’m not quite sure if my bizarre cup was even that bizarre, because of my water situation/problem/mess. Hrm.

gmathis

Growing up on a farm (I did) … one learns what lots of interesting substances taste like, salt licks included.

Auggy

@teaplz, Any tea-related inspiration is good! And actually, the second steep wasn’t bad! I just have to drink this hot and quickly and that keeps the mineral/salt taste down to a decently pleasant tingle. So yay! I’m not so scared of this one anymore!
@gmathis, Any idea if the salt licks for cows and other livestock taste the same as the ones for hamsters?

LENA

I kind of forgot if you liked the tea or not…I was too busy laughing at the licking of salt licks. My mom is a geologist, so I grew up watching her randomly lick rocks. Yes, I too have licked many a rock and a salt lick…but I think it was set up for deer to lick. I think I’ll pass on the salty mineral tea here.

gmathis

My hamster lore is really rusty. I don’t recall providing salt licks for the various and sundry hamsters we had growing up, although a) family legend goes that Henry the Great (before my time) would ride in my older brother’s model train box car and b) we had a white one that liked to steep himself in his water bowl, then sit in his green-tinted litter (this was…uh…a while back…) so he was half green from the posterior up.

Auggy

Okay, between picturing Steepsterites licking (then rating) rocks and multi-colored hamsters having little hot tub parties in water bowls, I’m cracking up.

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81
drank Thé au Chocolat by Lupicia
911 tasting notes

I’m discovering that there is a difference between teas made at home and made at work. At home, I have my Zojirushi, usually set on 208° and I rarely reboil or even preheat the pot when making something that requires ‘boiling’ water. At work, I use a little quick boil kettle so things that call for boiling are actually made with boiling. I think I prefer teas typically made with water just under the boiling point. The only possible exception to that is Samovar’s Scarlet Sable – the flavors might pop a bit more made with fully boiling water (though I’ve only brewed it at home once to it is possible that other issues were in play).

For this particular tea, just a hair under boiling seems to make the tea feel a little richer and make it where the tea is an under-note to the chocolate. At a full boil, it seems that the tea flavor is just a hair stronger than the chocolate one and there is a little dryness hanging out at the end of the sip. Still a very delightful, grown-up chocolate drink though. Soon I want to try this with sugar and milk to see if that does delicious, decadent things to it.
3g/8oz

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
Erin

I agree about the boiling. I always shut off my kettle right before it comes to a boil, although this is partly due to my impatience. I just don’t want to have to wait for my tea to cool off a little before I can drink it!

Auggy

That’s a good idea – my electric kettle is so noisy that I can’t normally tell when it is almost boiling until it actually starts to fully boil, though if I paid more attention to it… But at the very least, I need to take the time to pour the water into my cup and then into my pot since I think that cools it just enough get it about Zojirushi equivalent.

Ricky

Hmmmm, I never knew that the 4 degrees made a difference.

Auggy

I think it’s probably a little more than 4° since I don’t preheat the pot or do anything to get rid of that first little bit of slightly cooler water that comes out of the Zojirushi. I haven’t measured it but based on checking the temp on the 175 setting, I would guess it is probably closer to 10°. Just guesstimating though.

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92

Pungent and grassy. Probably could have gone lighter on the leaf or shorter on the steep time and it still would have been good (and maybe more universally appealing), but this is remarkably thick feeling and tasting without being bitter or even hinting at astringency so I’m pretty much in love.
4.4g/8oz

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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82
drank Birthday Tea by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

I’m now out of this sweet, dessert-y little beastie. No more tea sprinkles. So sad.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Erin

I’m so going to try this in my next order! It sounds awesome!

Auggy

It makes me happiest with milk and sugar – really brings out the dessert-like quality to it and makes me think of vanilla icing!

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82
drank Momo Oolong Super Grade by Lupicia
911 tasting notes

Tea bag. Dry, it smells peachy and juicy with a little extra something that is coming from the oolong. Yeah, I know Lupicia says to use boiling water, but I can’t. So I didn’t. Brewed up, the peachy and the floral of the oolong seem more evenly balance with perhaps the floral being a little weightier. Taste-wise, this strikes me more as yellow peach than white. A little bolder in peachy taste. Very yummy peach. Matches well with the floral taste of the oolong to make something that tastes like it came right off the tree in the middle of summer. Mmm.
2.2g/6oz

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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60

Trying this without milk to see if that’s what’s killed the taste the last two times I attempted to take it to work in my travel tumbler. And it is, some. The nutty taste is warmer and has more depth but it’s still pretty thin. I remember my first two cups being much better than this has been treating me now. Boo.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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69
drank Orange Blossom by Rishi Tea
911 tasting notes

Haven’t been able to have near as much tea as I wanted today and now that I have time, for some reason I wanted this. Smells very lemony when dry and more tangerine + lemon when brewed up but the taste is pretty much lemongrass. The edge has been taken off by the osthmanthus and citrus, which are more of a feeling to me tonight than an actual taste. Not a delicate tea but fresh and I’m enjoying the citrus-ness.
6.1g/12oz

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Russian Blend by Samovar
911 tasting notes

Trying this the normal way this time. Wow, this brews up dark and thick and I might not be awake for something this strong without a little milk or something but we’ll see how it goes. The smell is very thick and rich. Smoky but sweet. And the more I smell it, the more I think I can handle it without milk to soften it.

The first sip is a lot milder than I anticipated. Very smooth and the taste just sort of slowly built as I swallowed and afterward. Sweet and smoky seem to seesaw back and forth. I can’t decide which one is more obvious but as it cools the fruity sweet seems to take the front taste position.

The initial taste is very smooth with a hint of sweet some sweet smoky. Not quite campfire smoky but not cigar smoky either. It’s more like a menthol tingle smoky. Finding some Icy Hot after a house fire? I have no clue and I’m going to stop trying now. Anyway, after I swallow, I feel myself exhaling smoky flavor and it fills my mouth. But it doesn’t have a real acrid edge to it or anything. The fruity sweetness takes care of that, I think.

After trying this the traditional way, drinking it now makes me really want to have toast with strawberry jam with it. This is definitely hearty enough to stand up to having with food. I imagine it would do well with milk and sugar too but there is enough sweetness that it doesn’t actually need sugar and milk might be overkill with how silky this feels anyway – or it might be decadent and yummy so I’ll probably still give it a shot!

This is a great morning tea but due to the smoothness of it, I could see it making me happy at any time of day. It’s stout and strong but not mean about it. It’s rather heavy so I think for me it is a great winter tea.

Really want my toast with jam now.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 45 sec
sophistre

Mmm. This sounds delicious. I could’ve sworn I tried to pick up some of this, but I have only Scarlet Sable in my kitchen…strange! Definitely one to put on the list for next time, whenever that will be!

mattscinto

why do I want everything Samovar has to offer?

Auggy

sophistre, Scarlet Sable still wins the smoky deliciousness battle for me but this is good! Glad I have a large tin of it!
mattscinto, Because it is all AWESOME. Hehe.

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Bio

I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.

1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.

Location

Texas

Website

http://pinkness.danzimmermann...

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