Friday, August 8, 2014

Simple Loose Leaf: August Subscription Box, Part Two

Today is part two of Simple Loose Leaf's August Subscription Box, covering the teas that I decided to brew in my gaiwan. I am sad, this is the end of the wonderful three month sponsored tea adventure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to ask for a subscription for my birthday, because it is such a fun thing to get in the mail.

Milk Oolong

Ah yes, Milk Oolong, one of my favorite of the green oolongs, this particular milky oolong is Jin Xuan with Natural Milk Flavors to give you a serious creamy treat. And let me just say, holy moly! I opened the package and was greeted with an intensely sweet and creamy aroma. It is a blend of honey, orchids, and cream, incredibly sweet and heady! This might be one of the sweetest Milk Oolongs I have sniffed, although Ben (who is also a very picky fan of milkies) said it was way too sweet for his nose. After steeping the leaves, the aroma has a bit of fresh vegetation along side loads of creamy sweetness and floral notes, the liquid having been liberated from the gaiwan, is very sweet and creamy.

The taste starts out with a gentle fresh vegetation and then there is an explosion of sweet cream and flower nectar. It is like someone took a ton of honeysuckle nectar (or nectar from a ton of honeysuckles) and poured it in a cup of rich cream. The floral notes linger after the sip is finished, which I like.

The second steep's aroma is identical to the first steeping, for a moment I wondered if I fell into a paradox and was sniffing the same tea. The taste is also almost identical to the first steeping, but much stronger on all fronts. There was a slight vegetal bitterness at the finish.

Third time around, the aroma is still creamy sweet, but it has a vegetation flair to it, like freshly broken stems. The taste is not as sweet, it is more focused on fresh vegetation and a touch of chestnut. Too bad Ben was scared off by the intensity of the sweetness in the aroma, his loss and my gain *slurp*

Jasmine Special Grade Green Tea

A classic tea, jasmine green teas have been sipping in China for an exceptionally long time, far longer than I have been sipping tea (see, I am not a time traveler, I swear) and it just might be a lot of people in the West's first encounter with green tea. The aroma if this particular jasmine green is quite heady and sweet, it does not have the perfume aroma that some jasmine teas have, instead it has the aroma of fresh jasmine flowers in bloom. Surprisingly there is no aroma of the base green tea at all, the same goes for the brewed leaves. The liquid sans leaves is honey sweet with jasmine headiness and a delicate hint of fresh vegetation.

The first steep is surprisingly sweet, like flower nectar and sugar, there is also a nice heady taste of jasmine that permeates throughout the entire sipping experience. At the end of the taste and into the aftertaste there is a fairly delicate fresh vegetation taste, there is no bitterness at all.

For the second steep the aroma is very jasmine heavy, the fresh vegetation aroma from previously is still present, but it is stronger. The taste starts out sweet and jasmine heavy, this transitions to slightly smoky green, like fresh vegetation and spinach. The smoke is barely present, like a tiny whiff of a distant fire. Again, the tea is mild and not at all bitter. I am always  fan of jasmine teas that are not overwhelming.

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