650 Tasting Notes
The world’s most awarded tea. One might scoff at such a remark but take a look at their credentials and your brain will agree. Still, tasting is believing. So I decided to try it out for myself. It took over two months to make it to me thanks to customs but luckily it got here before C19 hit. Don’t know why I forgot about it on my shelf but I felt the need to confess that. Like most Sri Lanka tea, this one is bold. Though not as bold as their CTC varieties. The dry leaves are a mix of dark chocolate brown and cream. The dry leaves are a nice subtle woodsy tone. But the wet leaves reminds me of a hearty vegetable soup. The liquor is gorgeous, a perfect golden amber. The flavor is bold with strong earth tones. This first time around I am steeping it gong fu style. Though I admit it is a bit tough with the shorter leaves. It requires a firmer grip on the lid. I’ve done 3 sessions now and the first was the best. The second was still good. The third has lost its tenacity. I am excited to try this tea a few ways to see how its flavor profile changes.
Like a walk in the forest.
Picking up a soggy branch and tearing the bark off.
Sweet subtle notes of brown sugar.
This tea grows near Darjeeling and shows some of the unique characteristics of the terroir. It is a fuzzy tea which leaves are processed to end up being mixed dark chocolate brown and golden “light brown”. The fuzz is very akin to the fuzz found on a peach. It’s all over the inside of the tin; probably one of the strangest things I’ve seen. Even the golden leaves display a strange fur like appearance. Golden retriever tea. Still having much difficulty with this site… Really wish someone else would take it over.
2019 Autumn Laoshan Black – Please do not mind me as I sit here and gaze at this pulchritudinous tea. It is somewhat difficult for me to describe the color of these brilliantly twisted leaves. It is dark brown with hints of grays and greens. The aroma is fresh, toasty, and warm. The wet leaf aroma is vegetal. Slightly musty. What a unique flavor. Toasty notes are the forerunners. Followed closely by a chocolate and cream sensation. If steeped too long it takes almost like burnt chocolate. The after taste is a bit mineral and this really shows when it comes to the feeling it leaves on the tongue.
This is very reminiscent of a Gunpowder green tea. Tightly rolled balls. Though to be honest these aren’t quite balls. They’ve been twisted and manipulated in a way that resembles a curing road in a mountain or like the road on the Northwest shore of Maui. The dark dark leaves give off a slight aroma of chocolate / slight roasted aroma. The aroma of the steeping leaves is gorgeous. Roasted barley. Slightly milk. Dark amber liquid. Creamy feel on the palette. Roasted nuts are the main attraction in the flavor, while hints of charred veggies like zucchini and asparagus come through deeper as you steep it longer. This was picked in Autumn 2019.
Picture this: You are are on the island of Kaua’i walking in a little farmers market in the town of Kapa’a. A few feet away you hear a man start to sing, “Ice cold coconut! Fresh from the tree! Ice cold coconut! Get them from me!” With a jingle like that, you find it hard to not buy one. The white, silky meat is delicious. Nothing like those sadface brown coconuts you get in the grocery stores at home in the midwest.
But wait! This isn’t a post about coconut it’s a post about tea right? That is correct. Well, not real tea anyway but instead a tisane of all fruit. Mango, pineapple, and coconut to be exact.
This tea comes from VOCE. They have a small and appealing collection of fruit tea. Some which have herbs, like Lemon Raspberry Mint. That sounds amazing.
This evening I’m sipping on Mango Pineapple Coconut. Thus my introduction. I’m not going to lie I was very skeptical. Most fruit teas taste artificial and… somewhat gross. This one though does not. Even the teabag is enticing! These aren’t just your regular coconut flakes these are the stuff of memories! Memories like the one above. The taste is silky and full of all of the flavors. I’m tempted to add some rum…
No notes yet. Add one?
Two bags left. So far I am not impressed. I’ve had 3 cups and found each to be lackluster. A truly boring cup of tea with nothing but a slight astringency and minimal grassy flavor. I’m truly disappointed because I was hoping for the volcanic terroir to impose some interesting characteristics… but this is just a plain cup of blah…
This is the 2018 harvest. A marvelous cup… or three. Only 5g of the sample so I used the whole thing in one go to aquire the most flavor. Should probably be writing down the sipping times but then I feel like I focus more on the time and less on the flavor. This doesn’t have the roasted notes like you would find in a hojicha, I find them a bit more subtle. Though they really come out in the aroma when using an aroma cup set. Also sensing some strange green pepper notes every now and then. No astringency just a smooth flavor and mouth feel. So many unique flavors on ones palette with this tea. Sometimes I taste chocolate notes other time floral notes. Tomato? So unique!