240 Tasting Notes
At my moms for Thanksgiving, which means a new selection of teas. She loves fruit teas and blends, but does have a few goodies like this.
This is a great Breakfast Tea. Good balance, nice, sweet, simple taste, not overdone but certainly flavorful. Good stuff.
Another new one from Red Blossom. I love their selection of Oolongs, and I think I am learning a lot from cruising through their stock.
This one is no slacker. I was worried while brewing it that it would be a bit tastless as the water stayed very clear and light, but the taste certainly shined right through. Big and bold, very well balanced, a hint of maltiness hidden behind butter and wet straw. Certainly closer to a green then most of the other Oolongs I have tried, this one would certainly make a great Fall Season tea.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Wet Earth
Of the Pu-erhs I have tried, this one is a great middle of the road example. Super basic, fairly easy to brew, all the good things about a Pu-erh front and center with a great balance, nothing surprising or super special.
Nice and rich and malty, just like a great Pu-erh should be. This is what I think of as a great benchmark for anyone interested in getting into high grade, very good Pu-erhs. I love it!
Flavors: Earth, Malt, Rainforest, Scotch, Tobacco
I think I have finally figured out a good method to make this at home and am getting better at it. The hard part was steaming milk without a milk steamer. The innerwebs suggested using a French Press, heating the milk first and then putting it in the French Press and continually running the press in and out of the milk until it doubled in size.
It seemed to work, and in combination with Red Blossoms directions the rest of the way, I finally got a good Chai without that burned milk flavor. I still have some learning to do, but I think I am getting closer to making an enjoyable Chai at home.
This just keeps getting better and better, I can’t wait to taste it when I really know I am doing.
Finally getting around to writing about this one. The last of the 3 teas I brought home from the Azores last summer. I had tried it a few times, but I guess never got around to writing about it.
At the basics, it is a green tea from Gorreana Tea Company on San Miguel and added Jasmine.
Brewing is simple, although I might up the steeping time next time I brew it. The green tea base is great, but the Jasmine flavor is so hidden I hardly notice it is there. If I tried it without knowing what it was, I would guess t was just green tea.
So, next time I will up the steep time to see if I can pull out a little more of that Jasmine taste.
Other than that, this is a great tea. Tea from The Azores has a very distinct and specific flavor to it. Probably due to the soil being volcanic remnants, it gives the tea a hard to describe taste. Very different from American or Asian grown tea.
It’s one of those things every tea fan should try. I am a big fan.
My new housemate works at Peet’s Coffee, and they recently bought Mighty Leaf Tea Company. So, he sometimes brings home free tea!
This was his first gift to the house, so it will be the first one I try.
It’s been a while since I have had a rooibos based tea, so I am a bit excited. Although, it is blend with many other flavors, but that’s OK.
The first smell is really good. Very fruity, very tropical. I don’t smell much of the rooibos base, but maybe it will come out in the taste. Smells like a great hot weather, Summer tea.
The flavor confirms that. This will be a great dog days of Summer tea. The tropical fruity overtones dominate the palate, hiding the rooibos base. I would like to get more of that base into the mix, so I will experiment the next time I brew it.
Overall, a very good tea. Just wish it had more rooibos and less fruit.
Flavors: Fruit Punch, Fruity, Tropical
Red Blossom loves to toss in a free sample when you buy tea online. Not always, but usually, you open the box and there is a little something something in the bottom, a thank you from the wonderful folks in San Francisco.
I usually save them, so I have a small stack of them, but today I decided to go after one. I had two samples of this, which I need in order to use my 32 ounce Bodum Assam teapot.
It is amazing. Totally different from a regular, traditional black tea. This is like traditional tea meets science to create a super tea.
The Steve Austin of tea.
The aroma is amazing, so smooth, so full, but yet so delicate. By looking at it, you would think it would have a thick, creamy, velvety feel. But no. It’s so smooth and bright, absolutely not bitter at all.
The Red Blossom website mentions hints of green apple and cantaloupe. Yes, in a black tea.
This is totally different from what I am used to, so it takes some getting used to. It is so well balanced, the individual flavors can be hard to pick out, but overall it’s smoothness is mind blowing.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Green Apple, Smooth
Yet another of my favorites to reach the end of it’s jar on my tea shelf. This has become one of my standard black teas, the benchmark I compare new black teas to. It’s super solid, sweet, uber smooth aroma and taste amaze me every time I brew it up.
I had a little more than what I normally use in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam, but not enough for a single serving later, so I just brewed it a little strong today with just under 10 ounces of leaves in 32 ounces of 200 degree water.
And hot damn. I didn’t think it could get much better, but here it is. The complexity is amazing, such a strong, rich, velvety smooth malty base, with hints of dried fruit, brown sugar and syrup.
Possibly my favorite fall season breakfast. Goes great with oatmeal or cream of wheat. Such good stuff.
I’ll certainly be ordering more of this!
Love this green tea. Nice and strong, big, and bold. I try to always have some in my personal stash. It has been my go-to green tea for years now.
It’s also great for using as a base for blends!
I brought home some Lemon Scented Jasmine, A.K.A. White Azorean Jasmine, from my trip to the Azores last Summer, and decided to try it out using this Gunpowder as a base.
It is great! The Gunpowder base is strong enough to force it’s way through the Jasmine, but not so much as to overpower or unbalance the light, delicate, lemony flavor of the Jasmine. Good stuff!
A slight adjustment on this tea I brought home from the Azores. I think I over did it last time, thinking it was tougher than it really is.
So, I went with a slightly lower temp, just under 200 degrees, and slightly less leaves. It worked. I got a much more delicate, rich and creamy, velvety smooth black tea this time, which is what I was after.
With a more delicate steeping, I was able to get a much more balanced tea, with every customary black tea characteristic right there and presented in fine fashion.
Just what I am looking for in a straight up, simple, basic black tea. Easily one of my go to standards.
And I love that it has another flavor, something distinctly Azorean. Something about the volcanic soil and rocks there, from what I hear. But there is a flavor, a presence, that is hard to place.
Glad I bought a lot of this, it’ll last me a long time, and I’ll be able to ponder over that extra flavor for years to come.