303 Tasting Notes
I have to say I’m very confused about my former tasting notes regarding this tea. They’re like ghost notes – only half-materialized; stuck in the past. Why did I brew this at 79C, does it say that on the bag? I’m too lazy to go look right now. Probably, but that has to be Lupicia’s only oolong exception. And why didn’t I ever write a longer first tasting note?
This tea just sort of snuck in there and because I love the Momoko (green) and the oolongs, it just seemed reasonable I would love this equally, so I never really bothered figuring it out. However, after living a Lupicia oolong orgy fantasy for the past week or so, it’s impossible to appreciate this one as much. It’s a lovely tea, fruity and well-balanced, but it lacks personality, complexity and intensity.
Sorry, Momo – I still love you, only five points less than before.
Seriously, guys, you are all just a bunch of enablers. OMGsrsly peer pressured me into having a small evening foods, I made a pitcher of Jardin Sauvage because of TheTeaFairy, and then DTT posted about bringing old blends back into stock and I remembered this and absolutely had to have it.
And yes, this sample is still alive and there is enough left for one more cup. I was going to have some on my birthday, but I ended up having so much other good stuff there was no room for more tea.
This is still so tasty.
And I still feel dirty for liking it so much.
Considering possibly nudging it up five points. Shhh. Tell no one.
I decided to have this long-ignored oolong that I remember enjoying last time around. Smelling it makes it clear there has been a pretty considerable loss in terms of scent – what remains is a vague sweetness that is pleasant enough, but that doesn’t have anything to do with strawberry to my nose.
The same goes for the brewed tea – there is no, or in any case very little left of the delicate strawberyness and floral deliciousness I remember from last time. I think this might be the fatal flaw of flavoured artisanal blends, at least when it comes to my own situation. These teas are made to be consumed quite fresh, and not left to linger in the cupboard. Furthermore, and as I have previously pointed out, Butiki’s flavourings and my palate are not generally well-matched.
Another thing I have also stressed in the past, however, is Stacy’s superior selection of base teas. This cup is still very pleasant – as opposed to one of those bulk-produced, industrial German blends that has been lying around for a while and lost its flavour, this is a delight to drink.
So again I will conclude that Butiki’s unflavoured teas are something I very much look forward to trying – they will probably be far more in sync with both my palate and my tea lifestyle.
ETA: Or wait, is this even flavoured? Now I’m confused!
ETA2: Also please appreciate how masterfully I use the term ‘tea lifestyle’ instead of just typing I HAVE A LOT OF TEA AND DON’T DRINK IT FOR A LONG TIME AND SOMETIMES IT GETS OLD OKAY.
I just reached for the cup and it was empty. I guess this counts as backlogging, then. Pfff.
Apparently I feel very oolongy right now, so it’s pretty much all I crave. There’s very little to be added regarding this perfect tea that hasn’t already been said in previous notes, except that I’m hoarding this one, too, as it’s not available through French Lupicia (yet).
One thing I really look forward to is doing a massive post-summer inventory of my tea stash. If there is anyone I’ve promised to swap with, send me a reminder, and I’ll add you to the list – I’ll look through my messages, too, in case we’re both senile.
This tea makes me so happy.
Oh, bad, bad, bad. I hate the sound of traffic accidents in the street outside. It’s beyond a stretch of park and out of sight, but somehow not being able to see the extent of it makes it worse – there’s just the shock of the impact and then the perplexingly slow motion screech of metal and the honking and yelling far away in the distance, sometimes not even carried all the way here, and then finally the sirens. I’ve seen so many accidents there – it’s a badly planned stretch of road, with trams stopping in the middle, pedestrians meandering all over in a fairly heavy flow of traffic… and to top that off, trams crossing the road to turn around. Now I’m just waiting for the sirens – the crash occurred just as I clicked this note open, so this has been a live report from Rome, reminding you to be careful.
I was just going to say – and mostly for the benefit of those of you with whom I’ve been discussing cold-steeping methods lately – that this has been in the fridge for about three additional days now, leafs removed, of course, and that it tastes just as fresh and clean as it did when I wrote my first review. I’ll keep experimenting with various tea types, but these oolongs are very forgiving.
So I finally got around to cold steeping this, and I have to tell you – if anything in the mortal realm could ever taste like ambrosia, this would be it.
This is golden plum honey balm. This is perfect.
Seeing as this tea should have been given an 85 in the first round, this will kick it up an unprecedented 10 points, right up to 90.
Really, now. All the talking I do about this tea. All the references to the delights of the melon oolong. All that swagger. And yet I barely ever log it.
The main issue is that I’ve given most of it away, so I’ve been hoarding the rest of it, just a little bit, for summer. But now summer is here! 33 C in the shade, and Em and I have to go groceryin’, and Em is all but the heat and I’m all I love when it’s warm and Em is all noooo please carry me and I’m all well, if you’re a very very good little puddle of sweat i will buy you a gelato and I could go on but you get it.
This tea is gorgeous. I’ve been in doubt after all these melon white discussions – did I really note such a big difference between the two? Was I mistaken? I am very happy to announce (ha, classic hog) that I was not. This is so much better than the melon white, in my opinion – ripe, fruity, smooth, complex. This is really, really, really good.
You and me, Champagne & Cream rooibos, we’ve been together since fall 2012. And you know what? I’m still into you. You still taste and look pretty much like you used to – I’d like to think that’s mostly thanks to me, seeing as I’ve treated you lovingly, kept you in an air-tight tin in a dark, cool cupboard, written you up and introduced you to several of my friends. We’ve had a good run. We’ve been good together.
Now, in your old age, it would be predictably trite, of course, for me to discard you. But that’s just not me. I’m steadfast and loyal and true – I stick around. You might not be the freshest of my teas, nor the fanciest, but I still love you. When I commit, I commit. When I say forever, I mean forever.
What I’m saying is that I’m going to finish every last little rooibosy bit of you.
Because that’s just how I keep a promise.
Someone had liked my review of Kotobuki (Mirabelle) and I reread it because I remembered nothing, and then I remembered everything, and so I cold-steeped some for tomorrow. I so very much look forward to getting a tea scale so I can leaf more scientifically – this randomness is not Anna at all, now is it.
And while I was at it, I made a warm afternoon cup of this for myself – because if you act like it’s not 33 C/91 F outside, it’s probably not. Also highly scientific.
I just like this more and more. It fills the whole room with its lushness – in stiff competition with the sweaty jasmines outside, should be noted. But it’s the lovely lingering aftertaste that really gets me. This reminds me more and more of Lupicia’s green tea Bravissimo! in terms of that perfect linger.
(And we all know what a sucker I am for a good linger.)