545 Tasting Notes
Backlogging. Three days ago.
This is the last tea I had left to try from the four free tins I won from LeafSpa. The first three were quite good and I’ve drank them multiple times each. But it is summer and hot and I tried to try a new tea when I can concentrate on it at least some. (Ironically, I’m not concentrating on this tealog very well. But I am four tealogs behind and it needs to get posted while the tea is still fresh in my mind.)
This tea is a green darjeeling, which is somewhat uncommon as far as my googling told me, and indeed, the leaves look like a darjeeling, except in shades of olive green with hints of black. They smell strong and distinct, unlike other greens I’ve smelt, but I can’t put my finger on what the smell is reminiscent of exactly. Musky? Musty? Pungent? Sharp? But in a good way.
The reason I was looking up green darjeelings was because 2-3 minutes at 180°F seemed like it might not be the ideal temperature for it and I wanted to confirm it correct. I didn’t find much. I did find a site specializing in darjeelings which recommended 2-3 minutes at 150-175°F. So I tried it at the parameters that LeafSpa suggested this time with a mind to try a lower water temperature next time.
1st steep: 2 min.
Woody. Bamboo! Different and tasty.
2nd steep: 2 min 15 sec.
More vegetal than woody. Still yum.
3rd steep: 2 min 30 sec.
Light. Leafy. I need to steep this one longer, at least 30-45 seconds longer.
4th steep: A really long time.
Since the third steep was light, I decided to steep this one three minutes instead of two minutes and 45 seconds. Very little color and tasted like water. I steeped it another minute. The same. Another two and a half minutes. The same. I left it in and walked away to do some stuff before bed. The same. This tea hold out for a forth steep, but that’s okay cause the first three was quite good.
The wet leaves looked like a pile of raked leaves in autumn, but in greens and browns instead of fall colors. They grew bigger with each steep. Both the wet leaves and the tea smelled nutty, citrus, and apple at some point during the steepings. I have more to say about both the smell and the taste but I’m not remembering as much as I’d like to. I plan to drink this again next time I have an afternoon tea, which is not often during the summer as that is the hottest time, if I don’t want something else specifically.
I’m rating this tea a 72 initially, which is in the middle of my good range (60-80). I do suspect it will go up. I kind of think as I drink it more that it will switch with the Blink Bonnie from LeafSpa and be the higher rated of the two. But, I don’t know. I like the Blink Bonnie quite well too.
This tea only takes three steeps. Increase the steeping time of the third steep by 30-45 seconds or more. Later, try at a lower temperate.
Backlogging. Two nights ago.
Woke up in the middle of the night. Couldn’t get back to sleep. Drank a mug of this and read. I always forget this tea is more minty than chamomile. There is a distinctive spearmint but the chamomile and other herbs bring it back from being overwhelmingly spearmint.
Backlogging. A couple of days ago.
My first cold brewed tea! I made mention a few tealogs back that I had set it up and put it in the fridge. It was a success, especially given that I wasn’t very fond of the tea I used in the first place.
1st steep: approx. 24 hours.
Light! Lemony! Green! Refreshing! In that order. Way better than I’d been expecting.
2nd steep: over 2 days.
This steep never really colored up so I left the leaves in until I drank it. It was cool water with a hint of lemon sencha. Had I more of this tea to cold brew again, I would only do one steep with it.
I am planning on cold brewing tropical sencha or cherry sencha or earl grey next. How well this cold brew went has lead me to wanting to cold brew again more.
And lastly, I am decupboarding this tea. I was thinking about bumping the rating from 35 (right in the middle of the meh range, 30-40) to 40 (on the low end of the drinkable range, 40-50) since I liked the cold brew. But overall, I just wasn’t fond of this tea hot. I didn’t like the way it tasted (roasted lemon) and rarely found myself reaching to drink it. Thankfully, it was a 1oz sample bag from the farmer’s market so there was not much of it to get through.
Backlogging. A couple of days ago.
I had an itch, scratchy, swollen throat that day from allergies and the heat. So I made an afternoon cup of Ceylon with honey. Tea with honey always sounds good to me when feeling any allergy-head-type symptoms.
1st steep: 4 min.
I used less honey when the Ceylon this time. A much better match. Still more honeyed tasting but the tea strong up nicely in the background.
2nd steep: 5 min 30 sec. Some fresh leaf.
I have another cup almost immediately after I finish the first one. It’s just as enjoyable.
Early evening, my husband wakes up before he goes on night shift. He asks me to make him some of what I’ve been having. He drinks one steep. So…
3rd steep: 6 min.
I add my husband’s leaf and just a bit of fresh leaf, thinking I’ll get a weak but drinkable cup from it. I don’t add honey this time. Wow, is it strong. There is a strength/roughness on the end of each sip that I’m not sure that I like but think I do. It adds character to this tea. I might try more leaf and/or time next time with the tea and see if I can find this deliberately.
4th steep: 6 min.
Based on the strength of the last steep, I know I can get another steep out of these leaves. I add no new tea. I get a cup of normal strength. I can still taste a bit of the end taste if I look for it.
The results of the steeps after leaving the tea leaves in the fridge overnight. I’m not sure I liked doing that. Although, I wouldn’t rule out doing it again completely if the need arose again. It did not come out as good as resteeping the leaves straight through. But this set of steeps over the course of two days didn’t come out as good as the first set I had. So I think it is not having left the tea leaves in the fridge over night for sure. I think it is not the tea either. I think it’s likely me, possibly my tired, sometimes allergy head. But I still liked this tea this time.
3rd steep: 3 min 30 sec.
Light. Not too much flavor. Result of coming out of the fridge? I did let them come to room temperature first before steeping.
4th steep: 3 min 45 sec.
Young pale yellow sweet hay again. Good.
5th steep: 4 min.
Tasted watery when first sipped right after steeping. Put aside to cool a bit and see if the flavor came out. (This tea seems to have more taste when cooled just a bit after steeping but still hot.) Ended up absentmindedly drinking the cup and not noticing if it still tasted like tea or had gone to watery. Think it’s likely it still tasted like tea or it would have jumped out at me that it was watery. Will try a fifth steep again, possibly more time if not strong enough. The cup did have color.
Overtired and feeling a bit yucky last night, I decided to heck with being able to concentrate and enjoy this tea the second time I made it (as I didn’t get to resteep it as much as it might have been last time). I wanted a green tea and this one edged ahead in this wanting. Very yum. I enjoyed it and I glad I decided on it and went with it. I did only steep two times and since it was late at night, I did something I’ve never done before and put the infuser basket in the fridge to resteep the next day. I feel those steeps should be a separate tealog though.
1st steep: 3 min.
A bit light. New green hay.
2nd steep: 3 min 15 sec.
Tea-flavored. Like a light black tea.
(And I almost forgot) Backlogging — 2 of 2 matchas from this past week.
I decide to have an alcoholic drink while taking a cool bath. I think light rum and lemonade. I think light rum and Strawberry Matcha lemonade. Could it work? Will it work? It works! It tasted like Strawberry Matcha lemonade with just a hint of rum. Ever so drinkable.
At 7pm yesterday, it was too late in the day to be having a black tea. But I needed one so I had one anyways. It’s been a tired week so I thought the boldness of the Tiger might stand up well to some local honey and it sounded comforting. The honey came through nicely but it totally muted the essential Tigerness of the tea. Hence, I think this is not the best combination. Though, I did enjoy drinking it. I gave my husband the second steep when he woke up before going on night shift.
In other exciting tea news in my world, I am cold brewing for the first time! I’ve been thinking about doing it for awhile now, but have been unsure what teas would make a good cold brew. I’m also not a huge iced tea fan. I decided on a Lemon Sencha that I only had two servings left of.
I think flavored greens might cold brew nicely. I think flavored blacks would too, but I don’t have many of those. I have mostly plain blacks and I think the nuances of nice black loose leaf teas would be lost in cold brewing them. Ditto for plain oolongs and whites. I don’t know, for some reason, it just seems like flavored teas/tisanes would be better for cold brewing than plain ones.
Anyways, the Lemon Sencha. I only had a small bit left and it is not a tea I like a whole lot so if it doesn’t turn out well, I won’t feel like I wasted a yummy tea. If it does, I’ll be more inclined to try cold brewing teas I like more.
It went in the fridge at 7pm. I’ll check it when I wake up in the morning and see when it needs to be tried again. I’m curious if one resteeps the same leaves when cold brewing? It seems like it would be a one-time thing and I should try to get the most flavor out of the leaves without it going bitter.