347 Tasting Notes
I’ve been working my way through my samples from Ost, but foolishly not logging many of them. Suffice it to say that I’ve been enjoying them. :) This is my second time trying this cookie tea from Lupicia. It has quite a rich black tea base, with notes of toasted almond and burnt sugar. Quite tasty and true to the name.
I got a lovely package of samples from Ost, and while opening it I nicked this bag with my scissors, so that made it really obvious which one I should try first. :) Actually, it worked out great because I’m in the mood for something caffeine-free since I’m about to crash out super hard.
Anyway, this is a delicious dessert tea – lemony, creamy, and yes, cakey. Sweet and comforting, definitely hits the spot tonight. So happy I’m getting a chance to try some Della Terra teas. :)
Finished up my sample from OMGsrsly. I was digging through the sample drawer looking for a tippy black tea in the hopes that the caffeine might wake me up. Still pretty sleepy, but I don’t think that’s the tea’s fault. ;) 4g in the 4oz gaiwan. I tried a variety of temps from boiling down to 80C, and didn’t play close attention to time – mostly just went by colour. Maybe I should have been paying more attention, because I think I was having trouble finding the sweet spot – sometimes understeeped and a bit bland, sometimes oversteeped and too astringent. If I got it right, there was a balance of sweet and brisk (astringent) that was pleasant. There are definitely some cocoa notes in early steeps especially, but I didn’t find this tea to be overwhelmingly chocolately. When I focus I can pick up on some floral and fruity notes, as well as a somewhat woody character which is what the cocoa seems to fade into. Not bad, but I think if I wanted something with this sort of briskness I’d just drink an assam and be done with it. :)
Bonus tea from the Sheng Olympics. :) I drank this off and on for most of yesterday, and a couple of steeps this morning. I think the sample was about 6g, mostly all in one chunk, and I tried a variety of water temperatures and mostly short-ish steeping times (10-30sec for the first kettle full of water anyway). It’s an interesting tea – extremely beautiful dry leaf, wow, and quite a unique flavour. I’m finding it to be almost overwhelmingly herbaceous, with a strong dill flavour persisting throughout many steeps. So overall it’s hitting my palate as much more savoury than sweet. Interesting, but not really my “cup of tea” so to speak. :) Glad to have had the chance to try it though!
Last night I wanted something caffeine-free, so pulled this sample out of the sample drawer. :) The leaves are cool – twisty and very dark green – and I ended up steeping this for a long time so the liquor ended up very dark green as well. Despite that, it didn’t really turn bitter, just very vegetal in the base with a lot of creamy, nutty top notes. Very tasty! Before going to bed I poured some still-warm water on the leaves and put the mug in the fridge and cold-steeped it until tonight, where it was much lighter in flavour but still quite pleasant.
Working my way through these Sheng Olympics samples. :) Same as usual, 7g in a 4oz gaiwan, water roughly 90C, short → longer steeps. For this one I had to keep the steeps pretty short and the water a little cooler in order to mitigate the astringency and bitterness, but was rewarded for my persistance with a thick, sweet huigan. After the first couple of steeps it had the intensity of a fresh sheng, I wouldn’t have guessed that these leaves are from 2009. Not many distinct floral or vegetal notes, to my palate at least. Not bad for drinking right now, but I suspect this one will get better with age.
I had this earlier today and was underwhelmed – it was a bit astringent and bitter. I steeped western style – 3g in a 10oz mug, boiling water, 3min steep. I think next time I’ll try cooler water and maybe a shorter steep to start out. Alternately, this might just be one of those teas that needs milk +/- sugar to be enjoyable. Lowering my rating a bit.
I had this yesterday as a change of pace from all the sheng. :) It’s a typical Taiwanese black: long, twisted, black leaves. Sweet, malty, biscuity flavour. Not the best one I’ve ever had, but quite good. I was distracted by work and not paying a ton of attention – will have to do another review some day when I’m more focused on my tea.
A sample from the Sheng Olympics. :) I had this yesterday and I’m already having trouble remembering the details. This is why it’s necessary for me to log as I sip! Anyway, it was 6-7g in my 4oz gaiwan, water in the 90C range, 10sec steeps to start, and continued until I was steeping for 2-3min. One of the things I found interesting about this was that when I first smelled the wet leaves, I had a moment of being reminded of a black tea – there was this malty note that I’ve never detected in a green/sheng type of tea before. Anyway, it wasn’t there in the flavour, but the early steeps did have a fruitiness that was somewhat reminiscent of a fruity black, that stone fruit thing. After those early steeps it got very vegetal and mellowed out quite a bit. Sweet and smooth. I didn’t really get the bitter/sour notes that other people have described? Anyway, it was good but it didn’t blow me away or anything. Good for drinking now, anyway. :)