4663 Tasting Notes
For some reason this wasn’t added to my cupboard but I’ve had it since December 2018. It’s a nice tea. Mostly similar to the plain marshmallow treat genmaicha, with a touch more sweetness. I’m pretty happy with it and love the cute sprinkles, even if the colour of them have filled with age.
“Ice cream” always gets me. Even if there is bergamot, if the words “ice cream” comes first, I’m in. That’s why, I tried this last year when I was sick but saved a serving for when my tastebuds were better.
Alas, this is not my favorite. It is sort of creamy vanilla, as EGCs are but it’s not ice cream. That creamy vanilla doesn’t compensate for the sort of flat and slightly bitter earl grey component of this. It beats out the creamy vanilla which makes this cup less enjoyable and more soapy than I would like. It’s the last cup though so I can finish this and say good bye for good.
I brewed this as a latte and lately I find when I froth milk in my milk frother, it smells a little off. Not bad but off-somehow. I wonder why considering I clean it thoroughly after every use…
Anyways, I don’t know if it is the milk or the tea (steeped for 3 mins at 185F) that I am not enjoying. It’s not bad per se but I think cardamom is coming through more in the scent than anything and there is something floral about the latte in general I was not expecting. I am not a fan but I think this may be user error…maybe.
This was my second gong fu session yesterday. I used 7 grams of leaf in my older gaiwan. Both gaiwans are supposedly 100 mL and yet the new one seems much bigger so who knows.
This time around, I had a similarly minerally/astringent experience as I had with the oolong session earlier. Is that typical of gong fu brewing or is it my timings?
At least this time the drying was no so offensive and I was able to also get some flavor from the tea itself. The first few steeps had stonefruit and cocoa. Then I just kept steeping. I got about 10 steeps, the last few being the best as they no longer had the mineral/astringent quality despite the particularly long steeps (8+ minutes).
I’d really thought I had this before but there is no tasting note so I guess maybe not. That or Steepster is pulling another disappearing act. However, today I had it during a gong fu session before class. I used exactly 4 grams and as soon as the water hit the leaf, it gave off a very strong oolong scent. Unfortunately, the first few steeps were so strongly mineral flavored and drying that I dumped the first out and had to push to get through the rest. After the third steep, I gave up. I will try this western style or perhaps only use the recommended 2 grams because as it was, I was not a fan.
Broke in my new gaiwan, teacup and tea tray this evening with a gong fu steeping session. It was not nearly as good as the one I had in Montreal where Roswell Strange was in control and knew what she was doing.
I decided to use a teabento tea because they have timing instructions and unlike Roswell, I can’t just sense when things are good to go. I am past the hand burn-y stage of my learning but not quite at the timing stage. I think the new gaiwan also gives a bit more to grab on to protect from the burning as well.
The recommended amount of tea was 4 grams for 200 ml. I wasn’t sure but thought my gaiwan was 100 ml. I used the last of the leaf of this anyways which was about 4.69 grams so I used double the recommended amount but Roswell suggests 7 grams for 100 ml so a little more than half what she recommends. So basically followed no direction there and just hoped for the best.
Timing wise, I followed the directions on the package…until I ran out of directions and then I just sorta poured the water and let it sit. I started with a 30 second steep and then proudly poured everything everywhere like Roswell did and was carefree because I had the tea tray and didnt need to worry about pouring water all over my butcher’s block. Also the gaiwan and cup are perfectly sized for each other which is nice.
1st steep: 1 minute – this steep was a little tannic and floral (drying) but not offensive. Mostly it has a lot of plum-like flavor but is not at all sweet. It also smells much fruitier than it tastes.
2nd steep: 30 seconds – this steep mellowed out a bit but still had some plum flavor with an added touch of malt. The tannins calmed a bit and it was a bit more floral.
3rd steep: 90 seconds – this steep is more malty which is combining with tannins. I want more plum and berries.
4th steep: 3 minutes – this steep had a lot more plum and some malt. No more floral. No more tannins.
Subsequent steeps (4 additional): there was no longer any specific guidance from teabento so I sorta just poured and let it steep for a while, several minutes at a time. The plum came out more and was sweeter. A little splash of honey came out more with the more steeps/longer steeps with the exception of the last steep where everything but the tannins brewed out.
In other news, I still managed to pour some tea on myself. I picked up the teacup thinking it was empty but it had a little bit in the bottom and that ended up on my pajama pants. Oops.