412 Tasting Notes
I’m not a huge fan. I’ve been enjoying white teas a little more lately, so I went looking for my Adagio white sampler today, and.. well, maybe I didn’t make this the way it should be. I’ll try steeping it longer next time.
I can taste the peach just fine, though it’s not overpowering, but I almost wish it were because I’m not impressed with the white tea base. I used 2 grams of tea for a 4oz pot, but it just doesn’t have the rich mouthfeel I’ve been getting from (say) LeafSpa’s Silver Needle or Rishi’s Snowbud. It has lasted for two steeps so far.
Mixed this 50-50 with Celestial Seasonings’ Madarin Orange Spice tonight, and I like it a lot better this way. The anise taste is still there, especially on the back end, but it’s not the only thing going on anymore. The orange comes through very well in the aroma and beginning of a sip. I’m not going to adjust the rating, but I’d give this particular blend at least a 50.
Got my free samples from Life In Teacup today – very exciting! Yunnan Gold Bud is indeed composed of lovely golden buds (the picture is quite accurate). I used 2.1g in my little 4oz pot (the whole sample was about 5g, so there’s enough for another strong serving) and I’ve steeped it twice so far for 1 minute each. Both steeps are a lovely honey-brown color. It smells sweet, and very tea-ish (unhelpful, I know, but it’s that true “black tea” scent) and a little earthy, like the hay flavor I get from pu-erh and white tea sometimes.
Oh, that just coats my mouth in a kind of savory honey flavor. Very full and smooth mouthfeel; zero bitterness with these steeping parameters. This is really reminding me of a milder sweeter pu-erh, which is funny because I haven’t liked pu-erh that much and I love this. I’ll add a rating after a couple more steeps :) I’m impressed. I’ve steeped this six times now, adding 30 seconds on each pair, and it’s still good (though it finally started to lose a little color on the 6th). This is like a cross between a sweet black and a lightly roasted oolong.
ETA: I ended up steeping this twice more this morning, for a total of eight steeps or four 8oz cups. From 2 grams of tea leaves. Seriously folks, this totally evens out the $8/oz price point. (If you’re interested, it comes out to 15¢ per 8oz cup if you include the multiple steeps, 60¢ if you don’t).
Clearly I just need to stop pushing this tea to be stronger than it is, because I am having a single delicious steep right now. There won’t be a second, alas, because my second steeps of this have never turned out well, but this one is very good. The sweetness of raisins and dried fruit, a nice full mouthfeel – it’s a little like bread pudding without the cinnamon. Only a little (the tea isn’t that buttery or sweet), but that’s the best comparison I can think of.
I was going to do a QPR but it appears to be out of stock currently and I can’t remember the price. I’ll update this if/when it comes back. My google-fu has come through. It was $11.95/4.05oz, or about $3/oz. A single cup at 30¢ with no resteepability is a little high for my taste (unless I love the tea), but it is fairly cheap for organic.
In any case, I vow to try to enjoy this for what it is rather than constantly trying to get more out of it.
3g, 8oz boiling water, 4:30 steep
Finishing up TM’s Cold Season sampler – this and Gypsy Cold Care were my favorites (over Throat Coat and Breathe Easy), in terms of flavor. This one is mild, minty, and slightly citrusy, as they say. Or at least it was, until I spilled it all over myself and the couch. Argh!
To finish the comparison: this is most similar to Breathe Easy, but easier to get down (for me, not overly fond of herbals). BE is more strongly minty, but also more herb-y and bitter; if you want to taste your medicine, try that. I liked Gypsy slightly better for its cinnamon flavor (and Throat Coat less for its licorice flavor), but really any of them are solid all-purpose medicinal herbal teas.
I made this iced to take on the road today – using several steeps, 16oz of tea from 1.5 grams (about a teaspoon and a half) of leaves is a pretty great deal. Sweet, fresh, but also slightly toasty; not like roasted oolong toasty, but sunny-day dry grass toasty. Nice, and refreshing, and good at many temperatures. I think I slightly prefer it warm, but it was good chilled too.
This reminds me a lot of Mighty Leaf’s Bleu Peacock. Like, a lot. Caramel flavored green oolong. This is probably a little smoother, a little sweeter on the aftertaste. They’re similarly priced (Bleu Peacock is $3.25/oz. This is $4.21/oz), so I’d probably buy this instead for variety when my bag of BP runs out, but I don’t drink it that often so… that could be awhile.
Nice, but nowhere near as awesome as the Coconut Pouchong – it doesn’t have the synergy between the oolong and the flavor.