1254 Tasting Notes
ArtfulTea is an online retailer of traditional teas, blended teas, tisanes and teaware. They also have a tea shop in Santa Fe, NM.
I pilfered this from my aunt’s stash. This sold-as-loose tisane was made available as a sample in a large unbleached filter bag. Brewing instructions were to use 12oz boiling water and to steep for 5 minutes. I found the ingredients in this tisane to be very balanced, with each one moving through for an appearance. It was warming and earthy from the turmeric and ginger, bright from the lemongrass and citrus peels and oils and sweet from the licorice root which was at times a little too much. The licorice root also gave the liquor some texture.
I recommend this to those looking for a mild, balanced spice tea with just a bit of bite. The lower rating is a reflection of my personal tastes and I hope doesn’t deter anybody who might be interested in trying it.
I spent a while this morning picking the last of the persimmons off my aunt’s tree… upwards of 80 fruits, not including the handful pecked by birds and the resident fat squirrel. The tree has produced at least 300 large, edible fruits over the past 4 weeks. I ate some persimmon cookies last night after having a garden salad with sweet chunks of persimmon in the mix. And I had a cup of this tea this evening. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but the fruit note in this tea might also include persimmon. Or just be persimmon. The fruity note is so smooth and out of reach, almost like I was stretching the picker basket all the way to the top of the persimmon tree to get the last few orange fruits.
Boring, might be old.
The turmeric is tempered by the rooibos and honeybush which some people will appreciate. They also change the color of the brew considerably, from the typical powdered turmeric golden brown to more amber brown. Unfortunately, the cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla bean are barely perceptible. Texture is very thin. I was looking forward to this one. Oh well.
There’s something about the way the sweet, creamy vanilla cradles the herbs and flowers that makes Sleeptime Vanilla a soothing lullaby. The vanilla is a little sweet and strong sometimes, but I find I enjoy it more often than not. This one has come and gone from my cupboard over the years. It’s difficult to find in stores so when I do happen upon it, I sometimes take a box home. Preferred over any other CS Sleepytime.
I love a good red oolong and this is one of the best I’ve had. Highly oxidized, no roast and tastes very close to a black tea.
Fall 2017 harvest. Gone gaiwan: 3g, 60mL, 212F, flash rinse (these nuggets open up quickly), followed by 11 steeps.
This is a smooth, sweet tea that left me grasping too much to pick out distinct flavors so I’ll leave you with an impression. It’s like a dish of highly fragrant baked fruits, perhaps enclosed in a light layer of buttery pastry which becomes evident in later steeps. Seems like a mix of quince, apricot, peach, plum, faint dark cherry, studded with raisins and baked with a good sprinkling of brown sugar and golden syrup. Tones of baking spices and vanillin are also present. Later it turns a little tart, like a mix of orange and apricot, with some light mineral and mouth-watering qualities. There is a roasty note present throughout but it’s not a roasted tea and the flavor integrates well.
On top of all that, the tea is fragrant with perhaps fruit tree flower and rose notes. The liquor has a syrupy thickness that makes for a satisfying, loud swallow. It’s quite sweet and can get a little astringent in the throat but that transforms into a nice returning sweetness.
This red oolong’s fruitiness, floral quality and sweetness remind me of Yunnan Sourcing’s Big Snow Mountain Black Tea with Rose Flowers but this red oolong is calmer and more refined in the mouth like a smooth Taiwanese black and has a greater range in its fruity flavors. This tea also performs well western style. That, combined with its flavor profile, sweetness and not having to fiddle around with temperatures, inclines me to recommend this as a dessert tea for people wanting to branch out from flavored teas or those with added ingredients.
A Rishi seasonal blend bought bulk at the co-op.
The dry leaf smells fantastic with eucalyptus, lemon, tangerine, white grapefruit, lime and spicy and earthy with ginger. This tastes gooood. It’s like drinking a warm ginger eucalyptus lemonade. Lemon/citrus in the foreground, slightly warming but not spicy ginger mid and eucalyptus in the background. I can’t speak for the slew of other ingredients in this tea like the quince, linden flowers and leaves, peaches, black pepper or hawthorn leaves.
Since I can’t taste the other ingredients, I bet I could recreate this easily and cheaper with a lemon, a knob of ginger and some scavenged eucalyptus leaves from the park. In fact, I think I’ll try that. And if I fail, I will come back to this because I really do enjoy it.
Bei dou. Dou bei dou bei dou :) One of the two yancha samples I have left from Verdant.
Classes were cancelled today and tomorrow because the air quality is so poor. Great – no class. Not so great – headache is still there and my asthma kicked in this morning. My programming prof is having a Google Hangout in lieu of classroom lecture but my laptop overheats with Hangouts for some reason so instead I’m chilling, reading Crime and Punishment and drinking tea tonight.
Gone gaiwan: 5g, 100mL, 212-200F, flash rinse followed by 9 steeps at 10/12/15/20/25/30/40s and 1/2m.
Dry leaf smelled like orchid, semi-sweet chocolate, cannabis, herbs, lemongrass, berry, celery leaf and faint roast. Warmed leaf scent was of roasted grains, orchid, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel, mint and juicy orange. Interesting things going on. The rinsed leaf scent was pretty much the same, very fragrant and more herbal.
The dark red-orange first steep was full of aroma: mineral, dark chocolate, berry, orange, spices, wood. This mellowed in intensity but the tea carried a wonderful sweet aroma and bottom of the cup scent until the end.
The liquor was a mouthful of flavor. The berry and orange notes of the wet leaf didn’t come through but there was lots of wood, chocolate and orchid, minerals and hints of marshmallow, graham cracker and geranium. And oh boy did woody tannins dry out my mouth. I didn’t figure out until about halfway through that I should probably not have used boiling water since the leaf is pretty green, low oxidation. Once I bumped the temperature down to 200F, the astringency smoothed and I was able to taste the more herbal qualities that were present in the dry leaf. The flavors also mellowed quite a bit at this point, I’m guessing because this tea was a flavor bomb upfront rather than the temperature creating this effect.
At this point I also noticed some aftertastes of watery vanilla caramel and orchid with a strong returning sweetness. Even though the tea packed a drying and flavorful punch in the beginning, it really smoothed out in the end, ending on the same tasting notes as the aftertaste with very little astringency and even some silkiness.
The roasting has settled and was well done. It really bought out some great, sweet aromas and tastes. I’d say this tea possesses a medium level of minerality. In retrospect, because of the lower oxidation, I’d start with even shorter steeps and 200F to possibly combat the astringency while hopefully not sacrificing flavor intensity.