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Recent Tasting Notes
Happy Lunar New Year! Marking the occasion with this Taiwanese herbal, which I honestly thought I’d previously written a note for but the tea wasn’t even in the Steepster database! I find this tastes like a slightly savory chamomile. Not quite a buckwheat note, but that same kind of cozy grain quality. Which is just a nice combo for trying to unwind on a rough day: sweet, savory, grainy, cozy, and a touch floral.
Flavors: Floral, Grain, Savory, Sweet
Definitely needed a break from work, medical appointments, and honestly advent calendars too, so I carved out some time to meet up with a friend at Te Company recently. The weather was dreary. It made me want something really cozy, which means roasted to my mind. I found this so comforting and perfect for warming up on a cold day. It paired perfectly with one of their daikon buns!
Happy 7th anniversary, Té Company! I stocked up in celebration, so I’m trying to clear some space for the incoming teas. This was a delightful sipdown that I enjoyed to the last. It’s creamy, smooth, and fairly forgiving of oversteeping. I probably won’t restock this particular tea only because I tend to lean more towards roast, sweet, or floral notes in my unflavored oolongs. When I do want something creamy, I tend to want something I can latte, which this is just too good to do that to. So I’m glad I got it, I enjoyed it, but it’s not likely to be part of my standard Té rotation the way Oriental Beauty, Iron Goddess, and Ruby Brew are – and when I do want a straight creamy tea, the deliciously floral #2028 is more my speed.
With 2022 really living down to expectations, I’ve been finding more solace in being intentional about my tea lately. This week was particularly rough personally. I was hoping that Shabbat would be a good reset, but then I came back online only to learn of the Colleyville synagogue hostage situation. At least I was already drinking a good tea – this smooth, naturally creamy milk oolong. I drank four steeps western style before leaving the fifth overnight. Usually I gong fu any oolong from Te but today I really wanted just a big comforting mug of something that I knew wouldn’t disappointment me.
Rough day for lots of reasons, so when I got home and found myself wanting something sweet and juicy, this was a great choice. It’s gently tart, good for multiple steeps, and just all around feels like I’m treating myself to something really good. It’s refreshing hot but even better cold – alas, I had neither the time nor the ice to make that happen for this particular steeping.
Love this hibiscus tea. It’s different from others in that it consists of whole hibiscus flowers, and has a different flavor profile than hibiscus usually does. Yes, it’s tart, but the tartness is gentle and secondary to the juicy sweetness of the brew (which is also delicious cold, but tonight I kept it hot). Delish.
Flavors: Juicy, Sweet, Tart
I wasn’t entirely sure how to classify this tea when adding it to the steepster database: The bag says oolong, and iirc the menu at the shop did too, but the webpage for it claims it’s a white tea, as of course the name also implies. The leaves didn’t have the white down on them that I associate with white tea, but it’s lightly roasted so that seems reasonable, and it smells more like white tea to me when brewed.
All that confusion aside, I like it!
I gongfu’d it at 5g in a 140ml gaiwan at 200F, about 10s for the first steeping and taking it from there.
The first steeping was super savory – I really do see where they get the sundried tomato thing from. Fascinating stuff. But with the second steeping, a honey sweetness snuck in around the sides of my tongue. Still mostly savory, but it’s an interesting contrast as the flavor goes through me.
There wasn’t much change in the flavor after that – it feels like it gets all its complexity out up front instead of changing over time – but the flavors are so interesting from the beginning that that’s really okay and still works very nicely for me.