33 Tasting Notes
Still experimenting with oolongs with a specimen that was found roughly a month ago and which just waited patiently as the other life decided not to give any slack for a decent cup. Not that yours truly needed to ask any permission to take it slow this morning in order to take a sniff or four, type, sip, type, sigh, type, devour the cup, create and artist book while minding the tea cup being safely away from the papers, and type again before eating breakfast and hitting the blizzarding city. Small joys.
The scent is heavy with floral notes, but also lihgtly fruity with a sliver of dried fruits, maybe apricots? The wet leaves give once again a rather pleasant surprise with the fresh floral-ish aroma accompanied by a well-moistened edge of late summer’s morning dew that’s tilted towards mature sweetness which is heavier when compared to, say, sugared fruits, and more enticing than average joe’s dark chocolate. Definitely far away from flavoured dark chocolate as well. It’s basically something one would love to smell on slow mornings after revolutionizing the laws of time and space way too many times in a row.
Scratch tasting, this one’s designed definitely for the sense of smell only.
The scent of the bright yellow liquid leans more to the fruity side with a somewhat intriguing layer of something not quite roasted but darker still than the rest of the tea’s aromas, and, well, one can’t sniff the cup without taking a gulp.
Comparing to the Green Jade this one is slightly heavier on the tongue, it’s wholesome with all its notes and acts as an all-around good guy towards my taste buds. The aftertaste seems to be quite scatterbrained since it occasionally just disappears and then pops up unexpectedly, like it would forget to linger around for a while longer and then suddenly remembering what it was supposed to do just now. Entertaining cup this one.
Still sniffing the wet leaves constantly, though.
Light. Airy. Sweet.
As it seems that I’ve fallen heavily for oolongs after the previous good trials with these specimens, it’s more than required to take a couple more tasting tests to see if this tea type could take a permanent residence in my cupboards.
This little one is giving its best at the moment.
The aroma is very subtle but still filled with different, even complex layers among the actual key scents, which further creates a well-composed body for the specimen. It’s something to just breathe for a while and enjoy the wholesome-ish, lingering grassy sweetness which gives yet again hope for the actual Spring to come in these neighborhoods.
The sip itself presents firstly the shy optimism of an airy character, which evolves into surprisingly thick palate with the more fruity notes of ripe fruit flesh, and offers a very pliant feeling on the tongue. The taste lingers long enough to be fully noted instead of just demanding to fill one’s mouth with another sip, although the aftertaste is a tad bit thin and dodgy. This feels like a tea that would blush all the time as it would stutter and twirl its hair constantly if asked something; both cute and frustrating at the same time.
But the scent that caught my nose the most is actually the aroma of the wet leaves. It’s so heavy with fragrant fresh, fruity and floral notes all at the same time that it makes my head reel a bit. Enticing. Also the beauty of the leaves is just amazing, just to observe the slow process of them unraveling from tightly rolled pearls into big and lush leaves is something that makes my drawing hand itch. Or I really need to use more moisturizer. Either way…
This I could happily have as a fragrance right next to the two made of Japanese blended and Scottish single malt. If I could ever have an impact on perfume industry, that is…
..but the application for the cupboard residency has good credentials so far.
Very greenish-black scent. Somehow it has the same greeness in it as sencha but it’s still definitely black. It might be due the main ingredient, which is a plant called Camellia Sinesis they grow there. The scent is also very fresh, surprisingly so even though this specimen has been opened for a long time ever since I got it from a friend who was traveling in Malaysia for a while ago. She also served yours truly some other tea she bought for herself, and that had a faint flavor reminding us about helium balloons. That was fun.
But back to this. As it steeps, the blackness comes more forward with both the color and the brewing scent. It remains fresh, I give it that, but it has matured quite much also. It could be described with the cautious use of the word ‘strong’. The wet leaves give away a malty aroma, very tangible rough-edged feeling. Since the leaf itself is very, very tiny and delicate that note is amusing in itself. It has very earthy tone in it, though not the way puerh has, but somehow more…moist.
The tea itself smells earthy and the color of the liquid is very rich dark brown. Way darker than the puerh I have, but with a similar red tint.
Very earthy. One could almost taste the mud and tree barks. With a roasted hint. Tasty. Very plain black tea as it’s presented, but with a nice personality. It could use some small boost, perhaps, something that’ll give the palate something more to mull over rather than tasting it as a whole and then just letting it linger with its roasted aftertaste. But then again, those qualities can be reserved for other teas.
This is more than fine for what it’s meant to be.
And that is good tea.
If I ever thought that out of all the things man can create, a simple cup of tea just cannot be as pompous and presented with an ego equally large as any narcist walking..
This one is a rare treat indeed.
Have never laughed so hard while reading the description nor when typing it down for this site.
The leaves are indeed leaning into blue hue, and they are well-sized, granted…and it’s still mere tea. No enlightement reached here so far.
The scent if the first to give the chocolate in it, albeit maybe a bit too light for my liking (taking 100% chocolate for delightful snack, 99% made me giggle once while observing as others were trying to restrain from spitting it out. After that nobody gives me permission to buy the chocolates for parties without someone else keeping watch. Killjoys.) After that comes the roasted aroma with the lingering trace of nut. Sadly it’s not as compatible with the chocolate as I hoped it to be. Although hubby seems to fall head over heels for it…his train of thought takes it towards very old malty whisky.
Alright, it may be perfect fit for some.
The scent grows stronger when steeped by each passing second, now the chocolate hits heavily with even more tangible sense of it being roasted. Almost like a soaked pastry made of dark chocolate. The liquid does turn very deep yellow, although it does have a slightly dimmer tone in it when compared to Tit Kom Yum, the oolong yours truly tried out once. The nut seems to be a bit lost now, need to sniff the wet leaves for a while in order to find it again.
…The mouthfeel is nice. Not so full as hoped. There are nutty fragments in the taste, but sadly very narrow ones. The chocolate has dimmed down considerately, which is somehow nice since the overwhelming scent was already making me hesitate on the next actions with it. Now the palate is focusing on mainly roasted notes. The crop is barely there and more as in giving support to the roasted flavour rather than standing on its’ own.
This could be a treat with the right food or scotch by its’ side. But on its’ own..hmm. I can taste that it’s sophisticated and does have similarities with puerh….
And there’s something lingering on the tongue. Hoping that to be the aftertaste.
This little Napoleon is taken down a peg or two in my books.
Ahhh, the seasons. The bane and joy of one’s existence, especially in a land containing all four of them! Added with all the nice holidays life is grand, especially when one has the mind as dirt-, ahem, inventive, as yours truly. If you still regard seasonal candy as innocently as children I’m not tarnishing your mind. For now.
To celebrate a phenomenon called vacation (a word far too unused for art people so we need the society around us to remind us for that small thing) I’ve decided to dedicate this post to all the strange Christmas teas found from my cupboard, which were promptly forgotten after receiving them from a classmate since she isn’t a tea drinker.
Therefore the tea name on this post has actually very little to do with these teas, except that the provider is the same in most of them. And it’s all white outside. With horisontal snowing and over knee-high snow banks. Not kidding.
Ratings: naughty / nice
‘Green Christmas Tea’ by Forsman Tea; green sencha flavoured with cherry, grapes, white chocolate and orange peel bits.
First sniff: sweet, getting some notes on a subtle choco and orange, otherwise very dodgy aroma. A little twist of greeness in the scent.
Initial sip: …Taste..? Ah, there it- ick. Ugh. Ew. Not nice. Definitely not nice.
Naughty, naughty tea!
’Santa’s kiss’ by Forsman Tea: black loose leaf tea spiced with cherry, grapes, white chocolate and orange peel bits – should I be worried at this point?
First sniff: almost identical without the previous tinge of green (obviously), somehow the sweetness is actually stronger now..sweet orange.
Initial sip: I’ve been kissed a lot better than this. Sloppy Santa.
‘Christmas Tea of Health and Well-being’ (rough translation, but that’s what it screams at me) by Forsman Tea: First off, it’s rooibos. Flavoured with cinnamon, vanilla and orange and I quote: “velvety flavour”. I should really worry now.
First sniff: the sweetness that rooibos usually has on its own is now increased with something that is NOT cinnamon NOR vanilla but a twisted version of orange infused with…something vanilla-ish-if-you-push-your-imagination-hard-enough. As it brews the scent takes turn for worse. Starting to think it wasn’t so good idea to taste all of these pouches at once – I might just cripple my taste buds.
First sip: My tongue is going to hate me for a while.
‘Christmas Tea (Selected Quality)’ by Lipton: black tea with spices (they mention cinnamon), rosehip, orange peel…and ‘flavours’. Oh the joys of mystery in Christmas season, eh..
First sniff: Okay, there seems to be some berries in it…maybe lingon or cranberry…and I see some cloves as well, that’s nice…and some small little things I can’t seem to pinpoint, maybe some peppers..? Sadly the scent is only sweet with no traces of other layers and the orange peel dominates a lot. Oh well. Here we go.
Initial sip: Seemingly tasteless at first, a very thin taste afterwards..it was an opened pouch so I’m guessing it has aged before given in this household, since the scent while brewing was way better than the previous three. Plain. Simple. Now getting somewhat ‘old’, muffled taste. Definitely not the best teas I’ve enjoyed but from this foursome this is the nicest.
And now some chai to wash my mouth.
Dark. Smoky. Strong. Rough. Bare and thorough. Makes the mind wander and the mouth to tell the world to take a hike for a moment. Enjoying it already.
With the leaves a very strong scent of smoke pushes through first, almost like lapsang but without the subtle sweetness the aforementioned one usually has. This one doesn’t do hints. It presents itself as it is. A smoky blend without a fuss. It does give away a trace of tree bark. And very dark and sour rye bread. Wearing only black from head to toe suddenly seems all the more appropriate for this specimen.
As it steeps it gives a very beautiful and rich colour scale of red, black and brown with a sliver of gray. Reminds me of the Keemun I had once, not to mention Lapsang. Or Pu’erh. The wet leaves give away a somehow muffled scent, something between wet wood and slightly burnt pie crust. Of all the choices it gives those. Clever one.
Now the sweetness announces itself as I take a sniff at the cup, it lingers there as a thin, shy underlayer beneath the smoke. Something fruity, maybe ripe plum, reaches out as well. The smoke steps aside in the aroma and gives the other scents the space they need, making the tea’s character more solid instead of being very onesided and thin.
Oh, the smoke hits first, but then the sweet untertone gains more weight and suddenly accompanies the smoke rather than stays on the background only complimenting it like small sweet characters usually do out of sheer kindness and just daring to hope that someone takes notice of them. This is a bold one. That’s appreciated.
The feeling on tongue is thick and heavy, but not overly so. It takes its’ place and makes itself noticed. Lingers nicely as well, turning into full aftertaste, albeit vanishing a little too quickly for my taste. Glad I made a pot of it.
And as it gets accompanied by a plum pie made yesterday and now tasting all the sweet and sour layers in it…bliss. Just right companion for it, the bite of a plum gets more dimensions with the gentle, round smoke and the turkish yoghurt with some honey gives an extra push towards the sweetness and still keeping the feeling in mouth airy.
As the cup chills a bit the flavour turns more soft and fresh, the tongue getting a sliver of bitterness but only enough to keep things interesting. Having a wonderful dialogue with this one.
Not bad company for waiting the winter which is still yet to come. Even the seasons are shy here.
First of all, fixed finally the blurry image for you guys.
Secondly, found myself with excessive time suddenly before going to work for the evening and feeling no guilt whatsoever for spending it with my cup and pot.
Thirdly, still having a feeling that my skin pores are infused in tar because of the latest exhibition I helped to put up in the gallery. Made me crave for Lapsang for those two days.
And now for the neglected cup of tea. Been a while.
Sweet, subtle promise of warm pleasure expands in my nostrils as I take a deep breath of the dry leaves. Visual looks and the scent associates with steaming cup in the middle of autumn morning on an old wooden pier in a cold wind. Cold, harsh and moody wind that is. Accidentally enough the one we have right now. Gray, rainy, windy, moody..if you feel up for adventurous weather feel free to visit Helsinki within the current month. Surprises guaranteed. Which makes the simmering pot and cup on the side even more appealing at the moment.
A sliver of smoke lingers through. That or I just should’ve taken a glass of whisky with this and my brain tries to suggest that course of action. Choosing to ignore it.
Surprisingly the scent does give away the aroma of green tea which means very pure and..well..‘green’ sweetness, even though the roasted feeling almost pushes away all other scents this one has to offer. My mind ends up with a nagging feeling of a mixture of smoked fruit..but which one? Dates? Figs? Plums?
Oh the heck with it, my pot’s getting cold.
When brewed the aroma changes into more subtle mixture of previously mentioned without being so straightforward, especially with the roasted smokiness. Somehow the scent turns more solid and the color of the liquid is intriguing, very pleasant brownish-reddish-hint-of-gray-and-green-if-one-squints-enough. Fellow students could mention similarities to my color schemes (which I would choose to ignore as well). I wonder if anyone has ever made black tea as in black-like-charbonnel-black-printing-ink. That would be something to try. This tea puts strange thoughts in my mind. Worth loving for that already.
Nice. More than nice. Smokiness, roasted taste palette, definitely round and tasty and where did that sweet untertone suddenly come from? This would be divine with carrot cake or cinnamon rolls or pancakes with turkish yoghurt and cherry jam or better yet black currants, the character of this specimen could carry the creamy sweetness and caramel tones of pastries very well and I bet it would be compatible with the bitterness of smetana and yoghurt. One could describe the flavor a tad bit plain, which it honestly is, it does have very simple key flavor which is supported with the subtle layers of others. Maybe that’s why first thoughts concentrated on tastes it could compliment on the side. But it still holds its’ ground when enjoyed alone. Even the aftertaste hangs around quite a bit, oh how I love the smoke-
This won’t do.
I will not hype a tea.
But I will bite the one who dares to steal a sip.
Not sure if I had this, even though it was from Maeda-en and sencha. The bag was different, although that could’ve just been updated. It could’ve also been a sort of ‘fancy’ type. Anyhow.
Was a bit disappointing. It was green, I give it that, but otherwise very thin taste. No matter how many different variations on temperature and steeping time was it tested with. Just couldn’t grasp it. It was sencha, but ended up nothing more than worker’s tea for me. Took me three weeks to drink all hundred tea bags with a fellow student while we worked on our artist books and prints and after that during lectures. Then again it provided me a bunch of tea bag papers to use for my works. So nothing was done in vain.
Very, very mouth-watering tasty iced tea that my German friend treated me with while we were sweating in our tiny kitchenette making Japanese dinner for six (which was delicious, that lady is something unique. Although my kitchen is still recovering from it.). She herself went for a flavoured one with honey and lemon as yours truly chose original, since getting molested by sweetness is something that makes my skin crawl with iced teas. Goosebumps during the hottest summer, how nice is that. Serving chilled shouldn’t mean chilling the spine…reeling back on track again..
This one gave what it promised. It really tasted chilled green tea, maybe not sencha but more of a mixture of oolong-ish and jasmin tea, which it apparently had as the main ingredient in it when I checked after a sip. Very full flavor, fills the mouth nicely and stays on tongue, slowly forming more into soft than fresh in its’ aftertaste, and without the sometimes annoying lemon-y tinge that usually always is present in these tea types.
Though I did also take a taste from the honey/lemon mix..
…and the phrase about cats and curiosity is a bad understatement.
That was…something. Maybe it was the honey or they had just used more sweeteners in it beside honey…couldn’t taste the tea through it, no matter how much got it mulled over on tongue. And the used lemon was somehow twisted, not resembling lemon-y flavor on any scale. That was all I got out from it. Sweet like pink unicorns with glitter on them prancing on a rainbow.
As the authoress Dorothy Parker has said: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”
So if sweetness isn’t your cup of tea, try something else than honey and lemon version. Like the original one.
This product is also a bit confusing when the origins are considered, these cases announced themselves to be Japanese green tea on the labels, but the origing is Thailand and the sites have both japanese and thai influences. And we bought them from Asian market which pretty much had both the mentioned nations covered beside others. Maybe they refer to the ingredients as Japanese, or the company is from Japan and is just based in Thailand, since they also have franchising restaurants on Japanese ramen..
Oh well. It doesn’t affect the taste. I think I found my summer drink.
A small praise for a loyal companion.
Keeps me from bumping into walls, doors and other people in the morning and effectively makes one consider the pros and cons about having the possible outcome of a burned hand when rushing around with a hot cup.
Keeps the priorities in check – no tea no function.
Forces my brain awake when steeped illegally long.
Kindly cooperated when had to print offset lithography for twelve hours straight without any considerable breaks.
Doesn’t get in the way with its’ taste but stays on the background providing means to survive the everyday life of an art student.
Workers’ tea in a good way: swift to make and always satisfying with the result.
Loyal for what it comes to flavor palette; black, bite of bitterness occasionally, mellow with bergamot and soft and harmonic when treated gently. Honest, basic tea.
Feisty when drank cold accidentally. Then not so enjoyable, the lemon pushes through almost violently.
Simply being there when needed.