So, Steepsterites! I gave in. I’m a sucker for world wide flat shipping rates, especially when it turns out the actual tea isn’t very expensive either. I was somewhat amused at my order number being so low and containing so many 0s too. :)
Obviously I just received my order today and now have a fair selection of Chi of Tea in my cupboard, including even two bonus samples, one of which looks very interesting and the other… well… pokes it we’ll see. (If nothing else, it’ll be an experience)
I’m starting with this one, because this is the tea that got my attention first. It’s no secret that I’m fond of orange flavoured pu-erh and apparently this means that I find an urge to try everything of the sort that becomes available to me. I’m not a great fan of floral things, however, so there is a bit of head-scratching going on over this combination. Not that I find it a bizarre or strange combination at all; in fact it sounds very plausible to me, but I’m sort of wondering what I’ll think of it, considering the fact that I’m having expectations of both like and dislike. It feels very strange to actually expect ambivalence.
The aroma of the dry leaves is much sweeter than my NBT orange pu-erh. That one is more zest-y, while this one seems a little more fruity. CoT says that there are mandarine notes in it, and I can definitely agree with that. It does lean more towards mandarine than the NBT does. CoT smells sort of like the girly little sister to the NBT. All sweet and well behaved, with dolls and miniature tea sets.
After steeping, the fruit is taking a little more of a background role, letting the flowers come forward. It’s a quite mild aroma, rather discreet, actually. The notes of flowers and the notes of fruit mingle quite well, though, and it smells like a very natural combination at this point. There is a touch of creamyness somewhere in there as well. Just a small bit that makes me think of sweets.
Unfortunately, Little Sister is just a wee bit TOO well behaved, and the first sip put me in mind of a bubble bath. It doesn’t actually taste like soap, but it tastes sort of like a bubble bath might smell. (Yes, I know, I have confused senses!) I had rather hoped that she would be the sort to only be well behaved on the outside, while successfully shifting the blame for all her naughty activities away from herself.
In other words, the flavour is quite floral. There’s still the fruit in there, definitely discernable as a sweet citrus, but it’s so mingled in with the flowers that I can’t really pick it out individually. What little I can tell, however, is that it seems to be staying quite firmly in the mandarin camp.
The tea itself shines through wonderfully. It’s still mostly scenting and flavouring, but underneath I can really feel that there is pu erh, and not just some random unimportant base tea, because there has to be something to base the flavouring on. I like that. I like that it still feels like I’m actually drinking tea and that’s a huge factor in how I form my opinions on flavoured teas, I think. That’s probably why I tend to like more subtly flavoured stuff like many of the Kusmis and such.
It’s hard to form a conclusion here. I’m generally rather pleased with the way this is flavoured and the way it smells and so on and so forth, but I cannot let go of the bubble bath association. I think I come closest to an actual opinion by saying that I like this, but I like the big brother-y orange pu-erh from NBT better, and I think I might be sticking to that one as my standard orange pu-erh.
(Also, one of these days I’m going to have to agree with myself on how to spell puerh!)