1313 Tasting Notes

95
drank Pu Ti Cha by TeaSpring
1313 tasting notes

2nd Steep: Still good. Tastes a bit used but it’s okay.

3rd Steep: Weaker. Definitely. It’s all light yellow now, sort of like a white tea that has been allowed to stand still and develop a bit. It’s drinkable still, but if this was the first contact you had with it, you so wouldn’t come back for seconds. Not sure a 4th steep is worth the effort, but I’ll attempt it anyway.

4th Steep. Yeah. Coloured water. Useless.

Apparently two steeps is the ideal. Three only if you’re desperate. Four if… well, never four actually.

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95
drank Pu Ti Cha by TeaSpring
1313 tasting notes

I never thought I’d ever actually drink this tea. I mean just read the description. It’s sanctified! It’s speshul! It’s… It’s… It’s… !!!

It’s enormously expensive, is what it is. 9 grams = $5.10 The 108 g box = $ 55.60

But how could I not get a packet? Sanctified tea! Speshul! I might never get the chance to own something unique like this again.

I’m not sure what possessed me to make it today. Maybe it should have been saved for a special occasion like a good bottle of champagne? Thing is though, I know from experience that if you save a really expensive bottle of champagne for a special occasion then you’ll never get around to tasting it because you never know if there might be an occasion that was even more special. And when you finally DO open the champagne, it’s gone dull. This happened to my parents with the bottle of Dom Perignon they bought at the winery when we were on holiday in France. Talk about a disappointment. (Yes, it’s possible it wasn’t stored correctly. But still.) I wasn’t old enough to like wine yet when I was that age, so I at least was spared.

Anyway, I didn’t want to not have this special tea anymore, but I didn’t want aforementioned fate to befall it either. That would have been worse, so I’ve made a small pot of it now, using half the leaves, and I’m going to wring as many steeps out of it as I can.

The dry leaves are large and very dark brown, almost black. They don’t seem to have all that much aroma to speak of, but it is there. Delicate and I seem to be picking up a note of something chocolatey. When steeped the chocolate note is less pronounced but it’s still there, underneath some more sweetly floral notes. It smells very nice!

The flavour is also a delicate one. I pretty much agree with Teaspring’s description of flowery sweetness. Possibly more flowery than sweet, but it’s close enough. Not much in the way of aftertaste initially, but again, I find myself agreeing with Teaspring’s description. It sort of builds up as you drink.

I find I’m liking this a lot. I could most definitely see myself stocking up on this tea, although I would probably go for an ordinary Da Hong Pao and not this sanctified stuff that costs an ungodly amount of money.

But it is still kinda fun to own it. :)

Carolyn

I’m so glad you’ve tried this and written about it! I have been wondering whether the more expensive teas are worth it.

I’m eyeing this beauty: http://tinyurl.com/yk3kabn which is a better version of one of my favorite black teas. I’m wondering how I can justify paying $21.80 for a mere 10 grams (.35 ounces) of tea, even if it is a better variety of my favorite. I may take the plunge (or at least weigh your experience) after hearing this.

I think if I did buy it, I’d have to drink it while dressed as Inara and while sitting in a very, very beautiful place.

Angrboda

Yes, that’s exactly why I ended up buying this one. I could have got one just like it for much much much less, but the uniqueness of it was just too much to withstand.

If I were you and I was shopping anyway, I’d probably go for the smaller 2 g sample first. And then keep it around forever because I couldn’t make myself use it because it’s a special edition. So I don’t know how much use I am. :)

I’ve been told I have a spine made of winegum on such issues, so I say go for it. :p

(Personally, for once, I’m happy with the shipping rates to Denmark being what they are. Keeps me out of trouble.)

Carolyn

That sounds like a good idea. I may have to wait to have a large enough order to make the shipping make sense.

Jillian

Cool, it seems like a big part of this is just the experience. And even if you aren’t Buddist I think there can be something really special about taking part in something with significance like this.

I am glad the quality wasn’t a bust and that you enjoyed the taste as well.

Angrboda

Yes, I was a bit worried about it having gone stale, because I’ve had standing around for over a year. And of course I’d opened the packet too and poured it into a tin because I was too curious about what the leaves looked and smelled like. I’ve saved the little foil bag it was in though. :)

Now we’ll see if I get good luck and whatnot. Maybe it can guard me against swine flu ;)

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70

I fought long and hard against this tea. I’d just had the raspberry oolong and I knew that one more pot of tea so quickly after would result in over-active kidneys. But you can’t stop inspiration, can you?

This tea was given to me as a gift along with two other teas from this estate. They’re organically grown and bought (I think) directly from the estate and then sent to me from India. Which of course meant I had to pay blood in taxes and customs and fees and what not (and let’s not even get started on the problem with the courier company and the half package number!!!)

The white leaves are big and gorgeous to look at. If you were to ask me how I make it, how many leaves I use to a pot, I’d have to just say, “Plenty.” My tea scoop was so not made for this size leaves! A scoop could be a decent amount of leave or it could be just a couple lying on the wrong angle of the scoop. No pot is ever the same when it comes to this.

It makes a very nice tea, though. Depending on how much it is steeped it’s got a good strong flavour. It’s not one of those white teas where you sit and search desperately for just a smidge of taste. This has got almost as much as an average green tea.

It coats the tongue quite nicely although it doesn’t really linger. There is some small aftertaste that seems to go on forever, but it’s not very strong.

It’s surprisingly suitable for the season. I would never in a million years have thought that a white tea could be anything but spring-y!

ETA: Do not under any circumstances allow it to oversteep. If you brew like I do, with the leaves loose in the pot, decant or drink quickly because it does get quite bitter.

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97
drank Raspberry Oolong by A C Perch's
1313 tasting notes

Yeah this again. Nothing to say about really. But I had to enter a tea in order to make a post so… shrug

Am I the only one whose Dashboard page is acting up?

The ONLY updates I’m getting is what people liked and commented on. No reviews at all since some time yesterday.

And that’s not like you all to be so active with comments and stuff and logging nothing!

What’s up???

(Is anybody even going to see this…?)

Auggy

Not just you… I thought people just weren’t posting. But if you go to Explore —> Tasting Notes you can see what people have been posting. Not as friendly as having it all on one page though. :(

Angrboda

Fantastic. Thank you! It was driving me nuts.

Auggy

Yay! It is fixed!

Angrboda

Awesomesauce! It’s working like it should now.
On the upside, I (re-)discovered the tasting notes page. I’d been missing that since the site face lift. Don’t know how it slipped past my attention. I DID think it was odd if it had disappeared.

takgoti

I definitely thought they’d done it on purpose.

Angrboda

It did make me wonder though if it might be an idea to separate what shows up on the Dashboard, so that we get reviews on their own and other activity on their own. I’ve thought about two columns but I think that might be ugly and annoying or two different pages but that might be annoying. IDK. I can’t decide if I should suggest somehting of the sort or not, because I can’t decide if it’s something I’d actually want…

Jillian

I sort of liked how it was before with the comments/likes/etc. in their own column off to the far right.

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97
drank Raspberry Oolong by A C Perch's
1313 tasting notes

I seem to have my innards back under control (fingers crossed) and I have also managed, it seems, to get rid of that godawful bad taste in my mouth. Good thing, that, because I’m sick and tired of peppermint infusion!

I’m sticking my neck out and trying some real tea. Hopefully I won’t regret it later.

This one was my first ever flavoured oolong (that I can remember), and it’s quickly become a favourite. It was lucky I found it because I was buying something else from the site at the time and just randomly started clicking around to see what else they had.

It smells absolutely divine and it tastes equally as lovely. I like it better and better every time I have some of it. It’s just what I need for a post-sick comfort tea.

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35
drank Peppermint by Unknown
1313 tasting notes

I don’t really care much for mint flavours on their own. My colleagues drink this mint/liquorice root concoction that they claim is delicious. I disagree. You don’t even get the two flavours at the same time. First it’s minty mint and then the liquorice root doesn’t come through until you swallow, which to me seems like trying to have two different sorts of tisanes at the same time. Like they couldn’t decide if they wanted one or the other. But that’s not what I’m having now so I’ll shut up about it.

As mentioned I don’t really care much for mint. I have it so I can mix it into other stuff.

But then, on days like these where I’ve apparently eaten something or other that I shouldn’t have, it’s the only sort of tea or approximation of tea* that I can stomach. The very idea of anything else, even my normal favourites just make me go bleeeeargh!

So I’m having plain peppermint infusion now. I’m not enjoying it really, but it’s the only thing I want.

*Herbal infusions are of course NOT tea. Herbal infusions never HAVE been tea. Herbal infusions never WILL be tea. Herbal infusions have never even as much as seen a tea bush and are therefore no more tea than cocoa is coffee.

Auggy

I feel the same way about mint, but I have a tin of spearmint for those days where my stomach can’t handle full on tea and then I usually mix it with a cream-flavored black. Mint is more medicinal than happy.

takgoti

I reserve my Moroccan Mint for when I’m feeling frazzled and need to hit the refresh button. Or the wake-up button. Or hit both buttons frantically until I break the machine and then go cry in the corner. It’s not for everyone, though.

Cynthia Carter

Mint by itself is kind of a one-hit wonder. Try mixing it with a green or black tea. You’ll still get a heady hit of freshness, but the tea will add a satisfying complexity.

Jillian

Licorice root is better for coughs and sore throats I find, although apparently it’ll coat and soothe irritated digestive systems aswell.

Have you tried mixing in camomile with your peppermint?

Angrboda

Aug3zimm & Cynthia Carter: I’ll save those suggestions for later, when I’m feeling better. At the moment I can’t have tea primarily because I think my stomach would revolt against me, and secondarily because when I’m sick it just doesn’t taste good.

Takgoti: I’ve never had Moroccan Mint, but it pops up everywhere regularly. Maybe I should get around to trying it one of these days.

Jillian: I don’t have an chamomile at the moment, otherwise I’d totally try that. I’ve used liquorice root successfully before with sore throats, though. It might have been somewhat placebo, but as long as it works I don’t care if it’s psychosomatic or not. Just a small bit of parted lengthwise liquorice root in the cup, boiling water on and in combination with strepsils. That totally works.

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85
drank Hazelnut by Adagio Teas
1313 tasting notes

Yes, it’s me again with a word of advice. Don’t carry a full teapot seconds after you put lotion on your hands. Wasted a good deal of this when the handle slipped through my fingers leaving a very warm teapot in the pouring position.

Anyway, since the raspberry wasn’t all that autumny and I put half of it in the fridge for later, I found something else. Nuts. That’s very autumny, although this particular tea is sweet enough to probably be more of a dessert tea.

Doesn’t matter though. Not when my main reason for choosing this particular one right now admittedly had little to do with autumny-ness and much to do with lack-of-cake-in-the-flat-ness…

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75
drank Raspberry by Adagio Teas
1313 tasting notes

I’m having it now in spite of it hardly being a particularly autumny tea, simply because I found the tin in my tea cabinet and realised I’d quite forgotten I had it.

I see I’ve reviewed this one before and theorised that it might benefit from a little bit of sugar. So we’ll try it with a little bit of sugar this time.

Before, I said I could easily find the raspberry in the aroma of the dry leaves, but not really in the actual tea. I still agree with myself on that. I can find something nice and fruity, but not something directly recognisable as raspberry.

Trying it with a little cane sugar, but not too much, is nice and sweet and enhances the fruityness. It just doesn’t make it any more raspberry-ish.

Another tea that would be very nice on ice though, so since I made a small pot, I’ll drink this cup now and pour the other one on ice for later.

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85
drank Vanilla by Adagio Teas
1313 tasting notes

but with a twist!

Following yesterday’s chocolate chili fail, I got lots of suggestions for stuff to try instead.

Vanilla with a bit of peppermint was one of them.

I’d never have thought of this combination on my own, in spite, bizzarely, of having a pack of very nice chewing gum with this exact combination in my bag right now. I’d just never considered ‘translating’ it to tea.

It is, in tea, very nice! Both vanilla and peppermint have a natural sweetness, and their flavours surprisingly suit each other, making the tea sort of sweet but not.

I suspect it’s a combination that would also work very well on ice.

gmathis

Adagio’s foxtrot does the vanilla-peppermint thing with rooibos, so you’re definitely onto something. I salute your experimentation!

Angrboda

The person who suggested the combination to me mentioned rooibos also, so that might actually have been the one they ‘learned’ it from. Not that I know, of course, but I could imagine. I’m not really a big fan of rooibos myself though, so I’ll just stick to the black. :)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

This blend sounds super yum. I’ll have to try it when I have the ingredients on hand.

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75
drank Chocolate by Adagio Teas
1313 tasting notes

but with a twist!

I’m f-f-f-f-f-freezing! So I wanted a tea with a warming sort of flavour. You know chocolate with chili in it, right?

So I had this chocolate tea and I had this here chili powder and I thought, “hmmmmm…. Self, it’s worth a try.”

I made a small strong pot of chocolate tea and added half a teaspoon of chili, stirred and steeped.

The result was… this very red sort of tea, seriously it’s almost as red as a pu-ehr. It smells like a spicy spaghetti sauce and the flavour has gone really sweet in an unpleasant sort of way, with the hotness of the chili scratching my esophagus all the way down.

It’s not very pleasant and it’s not even warming. It’s not impossible that I used too much chili, but I don’t really feel inclined to experiment further with this.

I’m not going to drink the rest of the pot, but at least I’ve learned something. That in itself is a good thing, right?

Jillian

Well the Aztecs drank it that way, but then again a people who loved bloody human sacrifices might not be the best thing to compare yourself against. ;)

Maybe something a bit milder like cinnamon would work instead.

Angrboda

I don’t much care for cinnamon in tea, but I’ve had good experiences with adding other things to this, like for example a smidge of mint tisane.
Elsewhere I was also suggested to try it with cayenne instead of chili since a lot of commercial chili powder is actually a spice mix, and sure enough mine was! So I’m guessing there were several factors that made it a bad experience.

I have soooo many ideas for variations on this tea though!

Jillian

Now you’ve got me eyeing my Chocolate Chip tea from Adagio in a speculative manner. I afraid of wasting it though since it’s only a sample tin and it’s almost gone.

I think if you started off by adding less chilli (say 1/4 tsp) and slowly work your way up in amount it might turn out better tasting. Ginger might be another warming spice you could add instead. If you’ve ever eaten chocolate-covered ginger you’ll know how good they taste together.

Tabby

Yeah, I think that might be a tad too much. I suggest using cayenne pepper instead. (AND ONLY A TINY SPRINKLE.)

Angrboda

Jillian: I don’t much care for ginger at all, so that’s not really something I’d ever consider.
I’m not sure it would work with Chocolate Chip…? How is it different from just the chocolate variation? I’m sort of thinking of cookies. :p

Tabby: I’ve had lots of people suggest cayenne, so I’ve filed that away for future experiments. If eventually I decide I dare. ;)
I’ve also had suggestions of ground pepper, so I’m currently looking into what sort of teas they use that with. I suspect not every tea would be able to carry pepper very well.

Jillian

I’ve never tried the plain chocolate one, but from the description the only difference is the absence of tiny, dark-chocolate chips in the tea. The chips melt in the hot water and it makes the tea extra cocao-y, mmmmmm. Actually I think I’ll make myself of a cup right now. :D

As for the ginger, I’m just sugesting what I remember of the ‘warming’ herbs and spices that are used in eastern medicine.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I think the Cayenne chili (pepper) powder (or any hot chili pepper powder) will work. I’ve used it in hot cocoa to make spiced cocoa. I’ve also used ginger powder (and mint extract and vanilla extract). Use very little and work your way up. Since I do not think steeping will make any difference, you should be able to stir it in before drinking and add more as needed. I do not think black pepper would taste good.

Also, dried herbs and seasonings are about three times stronger than fresh. Chili powder, in America at least, tends to always be the stuff you’d season chili with (as your was) and not hot pepper (chili) powder.

I look forward to hearing about your future experiments and I love your avatar.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

The Formalities

Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
Contact Ang on IM on Google chat

Find Ang on…
Steam: Iarnvidia (Or Angrboda. She changed her display name and now is not certain which one to search for. She uses the same picture though, so she is easily recognised)
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Bio last updated February 2014

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