911 Tasting Notes
People stress me out. Fortunately, I have tea to counteract. A nice pretty afternoon tea to drink (shockingly) in the afternoon. This time, I’m not expecting or even wanting a bold, in your face tea. Gentle and pretty is the way to go since I need to relax a bit. So I’m taking a few minutes, staring at the 0-0 Olympic hockey score, sipping tea and wishing my office had satellite. Or anything other than just a TV/DVD combo.
It smells warm and toasty and a little bright. Tastes that way, too. I’m getting a little more of the Assam this time – it gives it just a slight bit of texture – but it’s still soft and gentle. The Darjeeling is mild – adds just a light tone of flavor to it. It’s a little softer made with water just off the boil and I think I prefer it that way – it doesn’t have the slight dryness I seem to be picking up with this one at the moment.
Oooh, USA goal! Anybody have a link so I can see who actually made the goal? All I can find is the score. I need more details! (And another! And apparently Hiller is in goal for Switzerland so GO USA!)
ETA: 2nd steep @ 2:30-ish with water a little off the boil. Much lighter in color but smells pretty much the same. I’m picking up more Assam this time, less Darjeeling, but it’s very sweet – almost like I added sugar. Much milder but pleasantly so and not bland at all. Good second steep.
Okay, I’ve no idea what’s been going on with this tea – whether it is the tea or user error – but this is not giving me happy tea vibes the past couple of times I’ve made this. So yeah, rating is going down. I still have more so I will keep trying to fix what is obviously broken but if I can’t, expect the rating to go down even more. Because this? Not fun. Thin, flat, weak with just a faint nutty taste but otherwise like drinking dishwater. That’s all I’m getting out of this.
Though now that I think about it, I think that this time and last time were the only times I’ve ever prepared this with milk (which tends to be my default setting when I’m putting something in a travel tumbler). I thought it was strong enough to take with a dash of milk but now I’m thinking that is the source of the flat boringness. Mental note – take it straight next time and see how it goes. (And can I just add? I get grumpy over black teas that aren’t able to deal with at least a tiny bit of milk. Wusses.)
I only had a little bit left so I used it all. Since I went heavy on the leaf, I decreased the steep time just a tad. I wanted something warm and comforting and minty to help my oh so congested sinuses. It’s very warm and the spices are present and obvious without it being too spicy. I can see this being a good go-to tea when I’m feeling under the weather. It makes my sinuses happy.
Today this smells like brown sugar and grass. No no, that’s a good thing. Tastes sweet and mellow and green. It will make me sad to go back to drinking Jade Cloud once I’m done with this one. Probably need to go back to the 4min steep time, though, since this is just a hair too light.
I don’t always like jasmine green teas because of the tea base use – most Chinese greens are pretty briny to me. This one seems to have more of a sweet Chinese green taste than a salty one. The jasmine taste is softer than I expected. The jasmine surrounds the edges of the tea taste on all sides but the center flavor is still sweet Chinese green.
Typically, I prefer my jasmine teas to be softer, more delicate – jasmine with hints of soft, light, sweet tea. This is more evenly balanced and, while not stout like an Assam or anything, stronger than what could be considered delicate. But even though it’s not my preference, it’s still nice. Quite tasty.
Did a quick rinse before making two cups of this. Brews up dark, smells very sweet and wet earthy and dark. The taste is smooth and mild with a little damp earth and fruit and maybe a little sweet grass.
I don’t think I’m ever going to love pu-erh – the type of sweetness it has seems to be a bit darkly fruity for me to really enjoy, like dried plums or raisins. I tend to gravitate toward lighter or floral sweetnesses. Regardless, I think this is a good tea. Nothing I’m going to crave (since it’s pu-erh) but enjoyable nonetheless.
Another random tea from my grocery store. Dry, I smell hints of cinnamon and pickle. No, really, I do. Just whiffs but it’s there. Brewed, it smells a little buttery and a little fruity and pretty strongly tea-like. The taste is nutty and a bit Darjeeling-like without having quite the same edge, but there is a nutty bitterness and astringency that fills my mouth after I swallow. The taste before the bitterness is pretty okay. Sort of like an old and un-sparkly Darjeeling. Not overly interesting but tasty. Before the evil bitterness.
I wonder if that bitterness will go away if I use less leaf, treating it like I would a black tea instead of like an oolong. At the same time, though, the taste of the tea might be pretty thin using less leaf because the flavor right now is obvious but flashes rather quickly through my mouth, chased away by the bitter end taste. Eh, I’ll have to try that next time because this tea tastes nice for that brief second before I swallow, but that end taste and feeling pretty much ruins this for me.
Okay, trying to save this. I diluted the remainder of my cup with hot water at a pretty much 1:1 ratio. Yeah, it’s like faintly Darjeeling hot water with an astringent tail. It’s boring. So it looks like my choices are flavorful but horribly astringent and bitter or a thin taste with lighter astringency and bitterness. Meh.
Yeah, just not a fan.