612 Tasting Notes
What a visually beautiful tea—lots of long green buds of course, but also dark, almost purple leaves. I neglect my whites something awful because something about them makes me want to pause and focus completely on them every step of the steeping and drinking process in a way I never seem to have time for when the urge for that taste strikes, alas. So I wasn’t sure how this would turn out (and it’d be entirely my fault if it was wan, to be clear). But something about the cold weather and a sense of wanting “calm before the storm” of holiday madness made me want this tea tonight, and for once I have the time to devote to it.
I was surprised to find the dry scent surprisingly strong, mostly hay or straw, something like that. First taste is incredibly creamy, and there’s a surprising peppery spicy note at the back of the sip. This is not a particularly delicate or feminine tea, though the scent in the cup is a little bit floral (not rose or lavender-floral, something more jasmine-y, soft instead of soapy). The more I sip, the more the flavor of sweet almond builds, but it always remains subtle. The tea becomes more drying too with each sip.
Quite enjoyable. Going to do the other half of this in my gaiwan another evening this week, I hope.
Had this yesterday, let’s see if I can remember…
I wasn’t as into this one as Raspberry Macaron and Evening in France. It still had a beautifully layered aroma—parceling out swap samples I got to smell all of them and that appears to be par for the course with all Fauchon blends, at least the ones I’ve got—and like the others it feels more apt to describe it as scented tea than flavored as the tea itself is relatively delicate tasting given the headiness of the aroma. You get more the haunting or impression, the tail end wisp of the scent lingering in the tea upon tasting. There was an element in here that read as vaguely plasticky to me if I recall. It definitely wasn’t bad/undrinkable, I just loved the other two way more.
More of the same deal, learned pretty quickly I didn’t care for David’s actual tea leaves in general. On the plus side, I used the rest of the pouch to make a vegetarian-friendly smoke rub per Sally Schneider—you just grind it to a fine powder in a spice or coffee grinder and store it until needed, and it gives things like beans a smoky bacon-y flavor.
Between this and the Wild Black Yunnan, this sealed it for me that I wasn’t a fan of David’s actual teas (as in, pure teas, whether bought to be enjoyed as such or as the base for flavored blends). I already knew I liked a good assam; that was a type I’d been drinking since adolescence. So this was the clue maybe David’s wasn’t the best spot for me to do my “try to get more into good specimens of pure tea flavor”.
Between this and the Assam Banaspaty, this sealed it for me that I wasn’t a fan of David’s actual teas (as in, pure teas, whether bought to be enjoyed as such or as the base for flavored blends). It was nice to learn later I do in fact like some Yunnans (and I always knew I liked a good assam; that was a type I’d been drinking since adolescence), I just hadn’t had any online yet from a spot more into the actual tea leaf.
Backlog (it appears I rated these teas back then, but never described them)
I remember being so disappointed in this one at the beginning of this year. It sounded incredible—I had no idea people were doing things like this with tea!—and then just didn’t smell or taste enough like what it’s labeled as. This was my first inkling that I wasn’t a big fan of David’s, didn’t care for the base and found the flavors/scents underwhelming and sometimes artificial seeming.
One of the first loose leaf teas I bought (in January of this year!), and along with Foxtrot it quickly became my favorite in those days of only knowing Adagio and David’s for whimsical/modern flavored blends (I’d known of Upton for years but that’s not really their thing). It was funny a week or two ago, serving this to my husband…brought back a lot of memories and made me realize how far I’ve come this year with tea, 99% thanks to Steepster.
This always sounds SO GOOD and then is a little disappointing, I think because I just generally don’t care much for the base teas Adagio tends to use. It wasn’t bad, it just lacked strong flavor. I try to shy away from comparisons to other companies unless I really think it’s salient and I do here: months and months later when I tried Butiki With Open Eyes (green tea with notes of strawberry jam, ginger, and toffee) it delivered everything I’d hoped for in this one and more.
I’m trying to go through and backlog all the teas I had this spring and summer but was too busy to review. Pretty daunting, but some headway’s better than none, right?
Once I quickly figured out I’m not nuts for Culinary Teas’ black base for its flavored offerings (Ceylon usually, I think?) but do appreciate the aromas and flavors, I put most of ‘em in the “cold steep” pile…and learned to my delight they are fabulous that way. This was the stand out for sure. I emptied the pouch in no time at the beginning of the summer, loving every refreshing glass. It was so good that way I’d reorder it just for that purpose. Yum.
Steeping the base hot, this smelled at first very chemical-y, kinda like chlorine, but then after I topped off the jug with cold water and it settled down a bit there was a kind of tangy key lime and cream cheese (! yes) scent going on. I know not to judge much based on the scent of the initial steep as it’s hyper-concentrated.
Today completely cold, this tastes mostly like plain black iced tea to me—refreshing and iced tea-y, but not too much other flavor. There is a sweet note, very very subtly lime-y, but I’m not sure I’d even detect it as such without the power of suggestion…
Wait a sec. Well, actually there’s more key lime in the lingering aftertaste…it sits on your lips and tongue and is in fact quite accurate, just light. This makes the lips tingle and get numb slightly too, not sure what that’s about. This is one that grows on you; unlike many Zoomdweebies/52teas offerings it’s not an upfront whammy of smell and flavor that recedes to let the tea taste come in at the end of the sip; it’s the opposite, where at first you just taste tea and then the cooling lime and cream cheese (yay, it’s in there!) and crust elements wander in gradually and grow fuller and louder with time. I do like this after all.