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Recent Tasting Notes
Grandpa Brew Sipdown (1153)!
Thank you VariaTEA for the share! I enjoyed this one a lot when I had it earlier in the week, but it wasn’t the type of mind blowing black tea that I think will stick in my memory among all the others I’ve tried and I don’t feel like I need more of it. I thought it had sturdy body to support a malty and almost powdery feeling cocoa note, with hints of fresh out of the oven brew and a little bit of redfruit undertone. Moderate astringency, which added character to the tea and kept the most sweet leaning notes from feeling flat. I think, brewed Western style, it might be a bit too mild and Gongfu I imagine it wouldn’t resteep well after a steep or two so this might have been the brewing sweet spot. At least, that’s my impression.
Another great sample from VariaTEA!
I am really enjoying this one! It’s a simple, straight black tea.
Every time I open a new black tea I fear ‘the smoke’. I taste smokiness where others don’t ever seem to (Laoshan Black has been forever ruined because of this). Many Teavivre teas I’ve ordered have no mention of smoke, but then there it is for me. And I can’t handle even the subtlest hint of smoke. All of this to say, when I have an opportunity to try a new black tea and it’s smoke-free, I am so happy!
This one does remind me of something I can’t quite put my finger on, but I’m really enjoying it as my evening tea. It’s a bit malty and I’m here for it!
Edit: I did a second steep of this for 30 seconds longer and it was just as delicious the second time around.
Not the most intensely blue colour I’ve seen from a butterfly pea flower blend before but at least it is blue which does count for something. I fully expected this to be more mango than dragon fruit, because that’s such a hard flavour to nail, but it’s actually the other way around. Still a very light and refreshing flavour though and not really sweet/juicy. Sometimes dragon fruit blends feel like more of a “fruit punch” sort of concentrated dragon fruit and this is actually more of the mellow and somewhat watery crisp and pear-like dragon fruit flavour that real dragonfruit has. I could drink this like water; it’s the type of refreshing flavour that feels like it would never build up into too much or get too cloying and it feels light – not like something you’d get bogged down by after a glass or two. It also reminds me of something very familiar outside of dragonfruit but I can’t put my finger on it.
All that said, it’s not incredible and I don’t think it’s something I’ll gravitate towards often. It’s just both different and better than I expected, which is nice.
I took this in to work earlier in the week and drank it there, but on my way to the office I had an impromptu photo shoot with a flower patch I walk by near daily – something in my brain found the idea of flowering tea cones and actual flowers very funny.
It’s a nice tea – smooth and medium bodied, without bitterness/astringency which makes it perfect for Grandpa style brewing. Hints of a red fruit note, but more in that golden honey/malt/cocoa end of the black tea flavour spectrum with hints of wood and maybe even a touch of smoke. Excellent over all and just so convenient.
Gongfu Sipdown (1077)!
Sipped down this tasty tea sample of Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong this afternoon, which was a gift from VariaTEA! With a thick liquor and sweet and starchy notes of carmelized yams, malt, brown sugar, and red fruits – this was a delicious tea break for the afternoon!
It’s also my choice for today’s #SeptemberSipdown prompt, which was a gifted tea. To be honest, my tea friends and the tea community in general are some of the most generous people I’ve come across so I have probably hundreds of teas from over a dozen people that could have worked for today, but Rachel is the very first person in the tea community that I connected with on such a deep and real level so it feels right that I highlighted a tea from her today!!
Fun fact – this is currently my most listened to song on Spotify…