350 Tasting Notes
Oooo! This one was a surprise, because for some reason the name made me think it was going to be an unflavoured black tea blend. Ost sent me a bunch of sachets to try, so I tossed one in a mug, poured on boiling water, came back 3min later and was like “whoa… definitly not unflavoured”. :) Then I sipped and sniffed for a while, trying to guess the flavour. I definitely got a citrus flavour, thought it was bergamot or lemon. And then I was pretty sure there was a creamy vanilla sweetness in there. But it didn’t taste like just a cream earl grey, there were some other berry/fruit notes in there as well. Now that I’ve read the description, I definitely get the “preserves” essence that they describe. The base tea is rich and sweet and complements the flavour very well. This is really yummy, I’m happy to have more sachets for later. :)
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.