911 Tasting Notes
Made tea for the parents and thought this would be a novel cup. Having it so soon after the London Tea Room’s blend helps me really compare. The other is a better cup, so I’m adjusting ratings a bit.
This isn’t bad though. Heavy bodied, cardboard-y and Assam-like. It tastes a little murky – not the cleanest tasting cup but it is nicely aggressive in an Irish Breakfast sort of way but it… brightens up in taste as it cools but can also start to get a little astringent then, too.
Anyway, the general consensus is that this is a good cup but nothing to write home about.
Backed off of the steep time just a little to hopefully make it a bit tastier for the husband and I think it worked out well for both of us. Still is a mix of cardboard-y Assam and bright-ish Darjeeling plus a little earthy but it lacks the bitterness of last time so I’m thinking 4mins is a good time. I also snuck a little sugar into the husband’s so I’m sure that helped but based on how my sugar-less one taste, he probably didn’t needed.
The dry leaves smell pretty boring with nary a hint of ginger until I stuck my nose deep into the bag.
Only 1.8g of leaf – look, it’s an ROT teabag! – so I’m using the whole thing. We’ll see how it goes. The leaf looks pretty dry and un-fresh so I’m not expecting angels to sing or anything.
Post-brewing the tea smells like a mix of powdered ginger and a little fresh ginger. Not 100% fresh ginger but there’s enough of a fresh smell that it makes me happy.
I’m… mixed on the taste. I like the ginger. It’s warm on my tongue and gives my mouth a lovely tingle after I swallow. It’s really not overpowering which I almost find disappointing. But I’m not so fond of the tea base. I’m getting a little hint of green bean water with it. Though as it cools, it becomes more floral and that melds with the ginger better.
I really wasn’t expecting a lot out of this, but the more I sip, the more I like it.
Attempting to replicate this morning’s caramel chew flavor and texture. I’m a bit nervous. I forgot exactly how much my cup holds so I might have used a bit too much leaf, but I’m hoping that won’t make much difference since it was just half a gram….
I’m getting the same silky, rich taste. And letting it cool just a little… and now I’m getting that burnt sugar taste on the tail… I’m excited. Letting it cool just a little more. Oooh, now that burnt sugar taste is melding to a smooth caramel. It’s not quite the sucking-on-a-caramel-chew from this morning but we are going in the right direction……. And there it is. Oh yeah. That beautiful heavy satin feeling on my tongue, the sweetness, the drips of caramel.
Three cheers for takgoti for figuring this one out. Lower temp and a chance to cool a bit makes this Keemun… beautiful. Even the husband can taste it and that’s huge!
Bumping the rating accordingly. Because really. It’s CARAMEL!
Work is delayed and possibly canceled today (we Texans just don’t know how to drive on ice) so I’m hanging out at home a bit hoping it will warm up just a hint (too many bridges on my drive). Since I was dreaming about this tea last night, I thought I’d have some this morning. Pouring it out of the pot, I can see why I like lapsang souchong – this has a very similar smoky smell (just without the meat) and I do love me some smoky Keemuns (or non-smoky, too… I’m pretty much an equal opportunity Keemun lover). The taste only has a tiny hint of the smoke though. Instead it’s silky and smooth and just lovely. The smoky becomes a subtle undertone at the very end, almost like very burnt sugar… a little bit of poke to your tongue to remind you that it is still there.
Logically I know that there is at least one other Keemun out there that I like more than this one. But it’s been a while since I’ve had that other Keemun and Jackee’s with me now. So in the immortal words of Stephen Stills, if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with. Yes sir.
ETA: Okay, this happened after I finished my log but it is VITAL, so I’m adding it in. I remember takgoti saying she found caramel in this – like heavy, heavy caramel. And I had never tasted it (not that I’d had this tea much) so I thought it was neat but maybe something specific to the way she read certain tastes… And then I hit the second half of my travel tumbler of this tea today. It started out with the poke-y taste turning into a burnt sugar taste. Like heavily burnt. I though “Ah ha! This is what takgoti was talking about.” And then about 2 sips later BAM. Caramel city. It was like sucking on a freakin’ caramel chew. Texture and everything. So silky, so rich and SO FREAKIN’ CARAMEL. It was, amazing. Like, stop doing everything and just roll the tea around in my mouth amazing. I have no idea what made it come up but I MUST FIND IT AGAIN! If I do, Jackee’s rating is going to go up. WAY up.
My logic in picking this tea is this: as soon as I got home from work, I fell asleep. While napping, I was dreamt about tea. Andrews and Dunham tea. Not this tea, though. Jackee Muntz. I woke up fully and decided to get some tea. I was going to get some Jackee, but this tea was sitting on the counter and therefore much easier to find than Jackee. So I made some.
It was only when I went to log it that I realized I had never had it before. I’m not sure how I could have let those lovely leaves escape me for so long. Seriously, I love the leaves on this. The brown, gold and copper little squiggles. So pretty.
It smells like a cocoa-infested Darjeeling. It’s got the bright smell of a Darjeeling – the one that makes my mouth water but that can also come across as bitterness – but running under it there is another smell of fuzzy warmth. It’s quite lovely.
Taste-wise, it’s not quite as comforting as it’s smell but it is nice. There’s a hop-y taste that makes me think of beer but it’s not strong enough to turn me off (sorry, not a beer fan). It’s got an overall dark, fuzzy taste to it with highlights of an almost green rawness (related to the hops flavor, I think). Normally that rawness doesn’t work for me but here it mostly does, probably because of the other feelings/flavors this has going on. The edges are smooth with none of the sharpness that can come up in these types of teas but as it cools a menthol-esque bitterness starts to show up in my mouth after a sip and the fuzziness decreases a bit.
I’m not totally in love with this tea, but I do like it. I’ll probably try a lower temp next time to see what that does to the raw highlights and if that keeps the bitterness away once it starts to cool. If I can decrease these two things just a bit, my rating will go up.
This tea always surprises me by being more pleasant than I anticipate. Of course, I anticipate it being something like drinking Pledge so that might not be saying much.
Things I have learned with this tea: It is too light for milk. Sugar is optional. It doesn’t really get bitter. The dry leaf smells horrid. The tea itself tastes pretty good. It doesn’t scream lemon so much as softly whisper “I’m not just plain tea. Promise.” It’s too light in body for a happy-making morning tea but ultimately it works.
When brewing, this smells like my Tangerine Ginger, but it looks like a slightly more upstanding citizen. There’s a bit more… maybe sweetness? in the smell of this one, too. But while they are both citrus + ginger, I imagine that it is the difference in the other ingredients the two have that will be the deciding factor. It smells insanely comforting. The ginger is warm and cuddly. I like that.
And it does initially taste a lot like the Tangerine Orange. But it’s the ending note that makes all the difference. No tartness, just a smooth and warm continuation of the front tastes. But not in a single-note-all-the-way-through tastes. More in a mulled cider spice sort of way – the spices are all through the entire taste, running around, mingling and dancing on my tongue.
I love the orange and the ginger, but I loved that in the Tangerine Ginger. It’s the end of this that makes it so delightful. This is citrus love.
Didn’t know what I wanted on this grump-tastic day. This came in the mail so I figured, sure, why the heck not.
1.8g in this tea bag. ROT’s bag size doesn’t thrilled me. But whatever. It smells good though. Exactly like chocolate covered strawberries. But once it starts brewing, the sour wood smell of rooibos is apparent. Meh. Whatever, we’ll give it a go. Maybe the sourness will blend well with the tart, fresh strawberry smell which I hope translates to taste.
Okay, my 18-year old arthritic and not-so-steady-on-her-feet kitty just traversed a table, two chairs, and a chasm between a chair and the couch to get to me for love so at this point, this could be the worst tea ever and my day has gotten pretty awesome. That was quite a feat for her! (She had to go via such a route because she physically can’t jump up to the couch directly and her stairs up are up to the chair on the other side of the living room).
Well, the good news is, this tea is not horrible. Nowhere near as cool as my kitty, but then what really is? (Nothing. Just in case you were curious. Nothing is.) It tastes pretty sweet but there is a little tart, too. Sort of like fresh strawberries with a dash of strawberry jam. The chocolate comes in mostly on the aftertaste for me but it is distinctively chocolate.. I can taste some ick from the rooibos hiding underneath everything, but eh. It’s not that bad. A little like moldy wood but not as obvious as I feared based on the smell. Easy enough to acknowledge and then attempt to ignore.
I could almost see myself buying this. Of course when I imagine it, most of the scenarios I come up with end with me giving it to my mom and just having a cup every so often when I visit. But still, that’s a lot better than I was expecting. A lot. Hordes. I don’t totally trust it though. I almost feel that I like it so much because it wasn’t disgusting and I was expecting to be disgusted. This tea and GM’s White Licorice tie for the ‘Weird Tea I Thought I’d Hate But Ended Up Liking But Maybe I Just Like It Because I Didn’t Hate It’ tea award. I kind of want to own about 5 servings of this so I can give it a proper taste run.
Happy New Year! Okay, okay. I’m a bit late on that but today is the first day I’ve had to work since 2010 began so the new year officially became… well, official to me today.
I’m feeling a bit conflicted today. There’s good and bad going on with life, but fortunately the bad isn’t all that bad. I mean, it’s insanely cold outside but at least it isn’t snowing. I was running late this morning but at least I wasn’t running absurdly late (though it was close). On the full-on plus side, my favoritest podcast ever is back after over a year of being off the air, so booyah. But on the bad-but-could-be-worse side, I’m almost out of this tea. But I’ve got enough for one, maybe two more cups after today. And that is sad (but at least I didn’t run out of it today).
I love this tea. It’s overwhelming taste/feel is that of bake-y delight. But I came to the realization today that it wasn’t just plain ole bake-y. It was stone-baked bake-y. It’s like the difference between a pizza and a stone-baked pizza. Except for, you know, the tomato sauce. And the cheese. And the crust. So basically it just… the bake-y bit. But a good quality, comforting bake-y bit that made me think warm and toasty thoughts. Not a frou-frou, delicate little cookie bake-y. Tough bake-y. A hearty bake-y. A manly bake-y. Don’t worry, that’s a good thing.
And a good tea. Mmm. Bake-y.