911 Tasting Notes
I should have used a bit more leaf – I only used 3.5g for my 6oz – so this isn’t as strong as before. But this tea is still so good. Clean, sweet and fresh tasting. The tastes makes me picture lush green hills, a cloudless sky and temperate weather with a slightly cool breeze. Delightful.
Quick rinse then brewed. The smell is very sweet – very much the sweet hay smell I seem to get from pu-erhs. It’s pretty potent, in fact. Maybe a little too strong for the not good mood I’m in right now though. But as it cools a little it seems less… syrupy sweet hay and more dry sweet hay and not as potent so I could be okay with this today. We’ll see.
Sipping and wow. This is nothing like the smell. I mean, it is, but I was expecting something thick and (maybe too) sweet and glaze-like. And it’s not. There’s an initial sweetness but it isn’t heavy and then there’s a warm taste that gives it a hint of spice and then the sweetness falls off – not so much that it is bitter or tart – to something more earthy. I can’t get the espresso or chocolate taste from Samovar’s notes but that’s okay. This is sweet without being syrupy. Rich without being heavy. Smooth without being boring. This is very good for a pu-erh.
I’m attempting simultaneously to be productive and relax today. The relaxation part is where this tea comes in. A smooth, comforting tea that is dark and strongly flavored, but not stout – perfect for relaxing. But not too sure about how it’ll mesh with the productivity portion of today’s program.
Last night was on of the first nights in quite some time that I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep. Because of that, I don’t need a comfort tea this morning so I brought this one out for a few reasons. 1) Because the husband loves grenadine so I thought he might enjoy this. 2) Because I want to see how it is with zero sugar and milk. And 3) I still can’t reconcile the fact that grenadine is pomegranate.
I love pomegranates. The husband does not. However, we tend to go through those giant bottles of grenadine fairly rapidly – and I never use the stuff. I suppose though, once something is so processed that there is no actual fruit in the syrup, it no longer tastes like what it is supposed to come from. But that still doesn’t prevent my mind from saying that grenadine is fake cherry, even though I now know it is wrong.
So aside from the flavorings of this tea messing with my head, what else can I say about this tea? Without sugar and milk, it’s not really super-sweet. There’s no bitterness or anything – it’s just not as sweet as I was expecting. And the grenadine flavor comes through more on the front smell when I sip and the aftertaste once I swallow. It doesn’t really show up in the middle that much. I can’t specifically taste the vanilla, but I imagine the lack of an edge I feel to the tea is due to the vanilla addition. The flavors are strong but not smack-you-in-the-face strong – but at the same time, not a whole lot of just ‘tea’ taste going on.
I put a tiny bit of sugar in the second half of my cup and while it didn’t really increase the sweetness that much, it seems to bring out the grenadine flavoring and makes the overall taste of the tea taste lighter, somehow. I think I might prefer it with that little bit of sugar.
The dry leaf smells like honeydew rind. Distinctly melon but not very juicy or as sweet as the meat of the fruit. Brewed, the tea smells more like very ripe cantaloupe.
Taste wise, it’s very melon-y on the front and transitions to a sweet nectar taste at the end. It’s very sweet. I mean very. Melon and nectar. There’s not a lot of depth to the flavor as both tastes are pretty high and sweet. Honestly, I think it may be a little too much for me. At the same time though, as this cools, it’s less super-melon and more… buttered melon. Melted butter instead of creamy solid butter.
I can get behind the buttered melon thing, but the initial hot taste of melon and nectar is just too sweet for me. Maybe if paired with a darker tasting white tea, this would be more my thing as the melon flavor is very nice. But ultimately, too overpoweringly sweet for me.
I don’t like licorice. At all. It’s evil. Oddly enough, I don’t anticipate liking this tea. But I’m a glutton for punishment so we’ll give it a quick go.
The dry leaves smell horrid – exactly like licorice. The juice smells like someone dropped a licorice candy in my tea to dissolve. Those bastards. It’s not as strong as the dry leaf but still smells like licorice so it’s icky.
But oh my gosh. The taste is… good! What the what what? There’s a faint sweetness and a little hint of licorice but not actually licorice. Not icky licorice. A sweetness that lightly melds with the (silver needle-tasting?) white tea giving it an almost dark nectar-y, somewhat floral taste.
I’m really really shocked at how delicious this is. I don’t know if this needs to go on the ‘to buy’ list but it has potential. Sadly, I only had enough leaf for one cup but I’ll see how the resteep goes. Because this was really quite yummy!
ETA: The second steep was more licorice tasting but not in a bad way. It was more identifiable but without the cloying… stickiness that I associate with licorice. Really surprising how good this one was.
The leaves are so pretty. Dark and almost velvety looking. And they smell like cocoa? Of course, I just ate some clementines so my hands smell like them and that could be throwing things off.
The tea itself smells like it has been sweetened with honey. It smells light and fruity and sweet. And wow. The taste is… like maple or cane syrup. The end tastes just like raw sugar. This is really sweet and almost rich. I was so surprised that I called the husband in to make him taste. After one sip he gave me a shocked look and grabbed the cup back to have another sip. He said that it tasted like there was cream in it. After another sip, I’d have to agree. The smoothness gives it the feeling that it has been spiked with a little milk.
This is really good. All sorts of sweet, natural tastes combining into one yummy tea. This is probably going on my ‘to order’ list!
Haven’t had this tea in forever since the husband isn’t a fan of it. But I had a sniff of it the other day and the smokiness appealed to me so I’ve been waiting to have some. Smelling this, it’s probably not a big surprise that I like lapsang souchong because this Keemun is smoky and a little meaty smelling. Taste-wise, however, it is a lot milder and pretty meat-free. I don’t know if I’d say it has an orchid-like flavor to it though. It is sweet but I see it more as a honeyed or nectar-like sweetness. And while it smells smoky and a little bit meaty, it doesn’t taste it.
I think this might have actually benefited from being ignored in my pantry for a while – it seems to have gotten smoother. The husband agrees on the increased smoothness, too, and he no longer hates it – so YAY! I’d have to say I like this one better than Rishi’s now which seems to fight a sometimes overwhelming pine bitterness/rawness. Maybe the Rishi’s just needs to be ignored for a while, too.
I’m probably going to regret this in an hour when it is time to go to sleep, but I couldn’t end on that sad sencha note. I had to bring something out that reminded me why sencha was yummy. Even though this is old, the leaves are still prettier. It’s at the very very bottom of my tin so there’s a lot of broken leaf. It’s actually pretty close to what I just had. But with this tea, the smell actually exists as does the taste. The juice is a little darker yellow with a little cloudiness. There’s a bit of a fuzzy taste to it. Not a very full-bodied tea, but thicker than water (or the previous sencha). Mild with spikes of sweet and buttery and fresh and a tiny hint of astringency that gets nowhere near bitter but instead coats my mouth with a thin layer of dryness that doesn’t build into saltiness or unpleasantness. Milder than it normally is, in fact, since I cut down on the leaf since I had just had some sencha and it’s pretty late. Using more leaf increases the potency of the flavors and the mouth-feel, which is quite nice.
Sadly, my cup is now empty. Time for a second one!