191 Tasting Notes
Day #3 of the Advent Calendar is Creme de Menthe Pu-erh tea. This is my first pu-erh, and I’m still trying to decide if I like it or not (never a good sign). It isn’t bitter at all, and the mint is really strong, in fact, it seems to drown everything out. The pu-erh smell is present though, and it is kind of muddy. I took a sip of this and thought, “ah, this is what people mean when they say a tea tastes earthy.” It isn’t bad, that earthy minty combination works well. It leaves a very cool aftertaste from all the mint. I don’t really get the other flavors that people talk about—cinnamon, vanilla, licorice (probably best I don’t get the licorice). This isn’t a bad tea, I don’t think, but it isn’t necessarily one I’d order again. It reminded me of the Read My Lips, which I like better.
Backlogging from last night….
Green and fruity indeed! It is delicious. Perhaps getting this DT 24 Days of Tea was a bad idea (well, good for me, bad for my wallet). This is another delicious tea. The dry leaf smell reminded me of Juicy Fruit gum from my childhood. Ah, the power of smell. Anyway, this was my first green rooibos, and I think this is a category I might have to explore more. I only made one cup of this, so I have plenty of the sample left. I can’t wait to have more!
So I busted open my DT 24 Days of Tea today, and this is the first one. It. Smells. Delicious. If it tastes even half as good as it smells, this is going on my shopping list. Chocolate mint is such a lovely smell.
It is good. Not as strong on the chocolate, much heavier on the mint. But the mint doesn’t drown out the tea taste. So it’s all good. Its a pretty smooth cup, a bit of astringency, but nothing too significant. The mint smell just wafts off of the cup. If you don’t like minty teas, this is not one for you. It really is the dominant flavor note. I think I’m in love!
I got a cup of this at Teavana today while picking up a Christmas gift for a work friend. Yikes, a brewed cup was expensive—$5! But I wanted to try it, and it’s only money. I’m glad I did try it. It is delicious. Earthy, and a tad smoky, I want more. Badly. I might have to give in and buy a couple of ounces for myself. It never ceases to amaze me the differences in tea. How different varieties can be so different. I must get myself more of this tea!
I had a cup of this last night, post dinner. I’ll admit, the stevia in it was a bit of a concern when I bought it, but I decided to try it anyway. And even though it is sweet, I did enjoy the cup. The anise was really prominent as well. Normally that licorice flavor is not my favorite (I have other digestif-type teas that I drink in spite of the licorice flavor). But the anise isn’t so bad as licorice is, so I enjoyed it more. It is probably one I’ll buy again. I might try a few others to compare, but I like it better than the similar Yogi tea that I’d been drinking for digestion.
I got my David’s Tea order and I was really excited—one of the things I got was the Golden Pu-erh. I was really excited to try it since I’d never had a pu-erh before, so it was going to be a totally new tea experience. I opened up the bag of tea and the smell of citrus hit me immediately. “Yummy. This must be why they call it ‘Golden’ Pu-erh.” The cup was delicious, though not what I was expecting. Not earthy. More green. Citrusy, not musty, like the packaging mentioned. It was a head-scratcher of a tea drinking experience.
So I started to look at the little catalog that came with the DT order. I flipped back to the Pu-erhs to see what else they had. I liked this one, so I bet I’d like other ones as well. I glanced at the Golden Pu-erh entry. Not a single citrus peel in sight. And the leaves looked curled, like whole leaves. Not like the cut leaves in the cup I brewed.
Further investigation (looking at the page on green teas) tells me that apparently what I got was the Countess of Seville instead. It looks pretty similar to the picture, and now that I’m paying attention on my second steep, the flavor does remind me of an Earl Grey.
Luckily, I like this tea. I’d be really annoyed if it were some awful tea that I hated. I can’t wait to try it properly steeped!
ETA: Doh! Further investigation, plus the discovery of a berry of some sort reveals that this is not Countess of Seville, rather, I believe it is Some Velvet Morning.
This is the last of the Hot Buttered Banana Bread. I’m trying to bust stash to make room for the new things I have coming (yay David’s Tea)! I’m getting banana and walnut on this pot, with no bitterness. There is a tiny bit of astringency at the end of the sip, but not a lot. I had to pay attention on a drink to notice it. Still don’t appreciate the base tea, but that’s okay. I’ve accepted that 52teas black teas really aren’t for me.
I definitely like white. I’m brewing my second cup of this as I write this. I was much more in the mood for the delicacy of a white tea this afternoon, and I enjoyed it much more than yesterday. It hit today’s spot perfectly.
When it comes to describing the taste, I’m rather at a loss. I just don’t have the taste/descriptor sense to describe it without prior prompting. The scent is vaguely cherryish, I can smell it when inhaling deeply. The tea itself doesn’t taste of cherries. It isn’t quite vegetal. Really focusing, there seems to be a bit of sweetness. Its good, and smooth. I like it, I just can’t descibe what I’m tasting. Very frustrating.
ETA: Toasted! Weighty! Yes—I looked up another bai mu dan (Le Palais des Thes, I think) and it mentioned these as part of the profile. I can see that. I think I might get woody, which the review also mentioned, but toasty and a weighty mouth-feel I definitely feel like were present. I think woody might have been that not-really vegetal but somehow vegetal sense I noticed that I couldn’t really describe.
So I’m getting zero cherry on this mug of tea, despite a four minute steep. Instead I’m tasting all white. It doesn’t taste like much at all. Not like watery tea, not green, like I somehow thought it would. It is very delicate. Unassuming. I’m not sure I like it. I’ll definitely have to try more straight up whites. Based on this cup, I’m sort of underwhelmed. I think it is more of a mood thing than a white tea thing. I think I wanted a more powerful flavor punch, be it cherry flavored or tea flavored, so a white tea really wasn’t going to satisfy my yen.
These two cups were the last of the Strawberry Zabaglione. Now that I figured out the parameters to get a good cup, I’m kind of sad to see it go. But not enough to buy more of it. So there you go. Anyway, the smell was delicious, as always, and I got a pretty subtle (but still present) taste of strawberry.