648 Tasting Notes
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…
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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!
I find most Christmas teas, like the other two of the 2018 seasonal collection, are heavy in flavor. This one, however, is quite light. It has a citrusy appeal that gives you a clean mouth feel but without the heavy astringency sometimes found by combining both black tea and citrus fruits. If you tend to drink tea a lot you will be able to detect the subtle nuances of flavor this tea adds to your palette but those who don’t drink tea much or at all they will most likely find this to be too light. I personally am not a big fan of this type of citrusy tea and don’t appreciate the unneeded flavoring but I do think this could appeal to others.
When you spend a good penny on tea you really want it to taste like heaven is in your mouth. Unfortunately, this pretty penny tea just isn’t doing that for me. When I first opened the lid I was hit with a medicinal aroma. Not at all what I was expecting. Then again I’ve never smelled a Lotus flower so I had no idea of what to expect; just assumed it would have that sweet floralness to it like Jasmine. The green base has a somewhat roasty flavor to it that blends really well with the lotus flavor but for the most part is overpowered by the lotus.