911 Tasting Notes
This poor tea gets ignored a lot. Shouldn’t though. It’s tasty. But I think the relative mildness of it makes me forget about it. The smell of the dry leaf is sweet and earthy – like a old hay loft (that’s good). The tea smells like plums or maybe figs. The taste is sweet like molasses or brown sugar. Smooth sweet and mellow. A nice relaxing afternoon tea. That tastes of sugar and the barest hint of cocoa earthiness. Mmm.
Having yesterday’s steeps 4 & 5 iced. Steep 3 was a horrible experience because of mouthwash (and my own stupidity) but the leaves still smelled good so I brewed more up and stuck it in the fridge.
The taste is very strong actually – stronger than I was expecting for a green oolong iced (which usually seem to need to be warmed up to have a lot of taste) and for being later steeps. Very green tasting, floral – a higher, sweeter floral that I was getting from it last night. The overall feel of the tea is a bit thin but that thinness doesn’t carry over into the taste. All in all, a surprisingly good tea iced.
Decaf huh? Not a big decaf drinker but I had a strong tasting dinner and then (stupidly) used mouthwash so my third steep of oolong was… horrid and flat and gross. The leaves still smell good so I’m going to hold on to them for a bit but I want more tea so I’m giving this one a shot. Something that will hopefully compete with the remaining mouthwash-ness going on.
This tea smells awesome. Like the Muscat gummies I’d always get at the Japanese grocery store before they went bye-bye (the grocery store, not the gummies – Amazon has them, see: http://bit.ly/cZPFVs ). Best. Gummies. Ever. Even the tea brewed up smells like muscat gummy. Warmed muscat gummy. Mmm. I could just smell this all day. Juicy, sweet and muscat-y. Seriously, 100 for the smell.
Okay, the taste is milder than the smell (not hard – the smell is awesomely strong) but very true to the smell. The first taste is soft muscat gummy, then warm black tea with a light sweetness and then it finishes with a poof of muscat. I’m still dealing with a little mouthwash taste so I’m not getting all the nuances but I don’t care. This tastes of muscat gummy but without the teeth-hurting sugar levels and plus a nice tea base.
I really like this tea but my taste buds are a little strangled by stupid mouthwash so I’m not getting all the details that might be there. So this rating is tentative. I don’t think it will go down at all but there is a good chance it will go up.
Muscat gummy = ♥
Second steep @ 5:00. A slightly lighter version of the first steep. The muscat still smells wonderfully gummy-y and the taste of muscat sweetness surrounds the tea. I’d be interested in seeing the difference between this and the full octane version (if there is one).
No brewing directions so I’m just using my general oolong parameters. I know it says this is ideally suited for gaiwan brewing, but honestly? I’m too lazy to do it right now. Western(ish)-style it is! I’ve got almost 8g in this sample so I’m going to split it about in half which means I get to try this heavy on the leaf. Should give me hints of gaiwan possibilities.
This smells so good. The dry leaf is sweet, fruity, buttery, a hint of something spicy. Maybe a dark floral? It makes me think of a milk oolong crossed with a pouchong. Brewed up it smells sweet and light and floral but there is a tickle of a dark, rich scent underneath.
Taste-wise, I was expecting something more like a light floral Tung Ting oolong but it has a slightly darker taste, more like some Ti Kuan Yin I’ve had. But at the same time not. There is a buttery flavor in there that reminds me of a good Ali Shan I had from Red Blossom. This is really hard to describe because there is so much going on – the base flavor is that of a less delicate green oolong. But there is an under-note of a rich, buttery and green thickness. And a top-note of spicy floral sweetness with almost a hint of fruity sharpness that makes me think of the Fuiji apple I had at lunch.
This tea has lots of depth to it, which I find is not always true of lighter oolongs. This is borderline delicate but I think falls ultimately on the rich side, not the delicate side. It’s not quite a sip-it-quietly-and-contemplate-beauty tea for me. More like a mmm-guzzle-it-down-and-wish-I-had-made-a-bigger-cup tea.
Second steep @ 2:00. The lighter note is not really there on this steep but the rich flavor is a bit more present. The tea feel silky as I swallow. Mmm.
The smell of this made one of my coworkers state, “That’s a lot better than what I get out of a Lipton bag.” You know it. Maybe one day they will be tempted enough to take me up on my offer of making them a cup.
This is sweet in a way that reminds me of cane syrup, a little earthy, brisk and fuller bodied than the Yunnan Gold I’ve had. It also leaves a pleasant peppery tingle on my tongue after I swallow. I was prepared for the more breakfast-like intensity of this tea this time so I’m appreciating it more and have upped the rating a little. This would really make a fantastic morning tea I think, and one that I would hope could stand up to a little doctoring because that’s just how I roll with my morning teas.
Had it with a little sugar and milk because I wanted to give it a try. Very nice – light cardboardy taste that worked well for morning but not too thick or overly aggressive. The leaves look so lovely and really smell nice and fruity. I wish some of that smell would show up in the tea (with or without additives) because then I’d enjoy this a little more, but overall this is a very nice tea.
I love the smell of this. Sweet and smoky and spicy, it tingles in my nose like menthol. The citrus makes it clean and refreshing and the pine flavor (from a Keemun, I’m guessing) pokes a bit to do the same – not unpleasantly, just in a clean, walking-through-a-quiet-forest-during-a-brisk-autumn way. The lychee and lapsang (I’m assuming since that’s exactly what it smells and tastes like) combine to make it sweet, the lapsang and the rooibos make it smoky, woody and warm. This tea makes me think of a forest in fall – beautiful in a brown, earthy way, crisp and clean and perfect for a small campfire for ambiance.
This tea really seems to sparkle either in a smaller cup (8oz vs. my previous 12oz) or else done at boiling instead of just under. The woodsy note is the solid base of the tea but the hotter water (or smaller cup) really let the sweeter flavors dance. The citrus and sweet flavors pop just a bit more, making the tea really full flavored and just delightful. This is really just a fantastic tea. Love it so.
I added a good amount of sugar and milk (about 1.5 tsp each for my 12oz) to this tea this morning. While it won’t be mistaken for the most sophisticated cup, it’s got a good, relatively non-aggressive flavor for a Scottish breakfast that goes well with sugar and milk. But sometimes I just need a comfort cup of morning tea, not a nuanced and exotic one, and this one does pretty good at fitting the bill. Mind you, Thomas Sampson wins as far as the best comfort breakfast tea for me, but I am out until I reorder Series 2 so this is what I’ve got. And it works.
And updates! Things are in different places! Ah! Change! It’s too early! (Though I must say, I always enjoy the fonts Steepster uses – go Overlords on good font choices!)
Nothing I’m having tonight is really hitting the spot. But this one is good and I want a sweet green. And while this isn’t exactly what I’ve been hunting for tonight, it’s good enough that I just don’t care.
Grassy, sweet, refreshing and clean with a little tiny hint of mouthfeel. I like it with the shorter steep time – it keep the darker, almost tart taste to just a delightful contrasting hint at the end of each sweet sip. There is a great transition in each sip – buttery then grassy then sweet then finishing off with a hint of almost lemony tart. Probably one of the most complex cups of kukicha I’ve had.
ETA: 2nd steep @ 5 – 10s. A little lighter than the initial steep but very similar flavor. Might do a slightly longer 2nd steep next time but maybe not because of the potential for bitterness.
Opening it up, this smells like green apple. But not like an apple. Like pretend apple. Like green apple candy. Not a huge fan of that flavoring so things aren’t looking good. It smells better in my cup, though. Still like candy green apple but with a little real green apple juicy to it.
The taste is not happy making. It’s like green apple schnapps but without the sweetness and the alcohol that makes it worthwhile. It’s not horrible but I’m not a fan. Not only is it green apple flavored (a mark against it in my book), it’s lacking the sweetness I’d need to get through the green apple. It doesn’t taste as strong as the smell (thankfully) and there is an obvious tea taste to it (which is good) but I would rather see this paired with a sweeter green. Maybe as a sencha it would be tasty.
On the other hand, the husband approves of the tea. I could finish it, but I don’t really want to so the rest of the cup goes to him. And he’s okay with the fact that it tastes like an unsweetened apple gummy.
1 teabag (3.2g – go Lupicia!)/6oz