972 Tasting Notes
This sample came from miss cookies. Between looking at the description and the tea itself, I was a bit confused as to whether this is technically a white tea or a sheng. So I ended up just steeping it like I would a regular silver needle. The leaves are similar to other silver needles – they’re long and covered with silver hairs. However, I can definitely tell that they’re been compressed into a cake. They look somewhat flatter than usual and they have an interesting crimpy texture. Dry scent is subtly sweet with hints of stonefruit.
The steeped tea does smell like a combination of white and sheng teas – it has the soft hay notes but there’s also a touch of menthol. Yum, I was afraid this would come out bitter, but it’s not even close. It’s actually very sweet and there’s the most lovely and super creamy grain flavor that reminds me of oatmeal with cream. There’s a bit of apricot that especially comes out near the end, and I also get a tiny hint of sheng-y menthol and a slight cooling sensation on my tongue. I really like this one, and I imagine it would only get more delicious as it ages.
Flavors: Apricot, Cream, Hay, Menthol, Oats, Smooth, Sweet
More Yunnan Sourcing! This one came from a swap with Ubacat. I’m not always a huge fan of greener oolongs, but I figured since I’m trying all the YS teas that I possibly can, green oolongs should be included as well, especially since I know how much my tastes have changed in other areas. These pellets are a gorgeous color of green with some lighter and darker tones. Dry scent is sweet and grassy with strong peach notes.
The steeped tea smells quite floral, which worries me, and I can smell the peach as well. Luckily for me, it’s not horrendously floral in the taste. This tea has slight, soft grassy notes. I know people generally take “grassy” as being a negative term, but it’s definitely a positive thing in this tea. The overall taste is quite light and sweet, and there are soft peach notes throughout the sip. The floral and peach come out more strongly at the end. This still isn’t my favorite type of tea, but it’s tasty enough and I wouldn’t turn down a cup.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Orchid, Peach, Smooth, Sweet
Another Yunnan Sourcing tea from a lovely tea friend! Visually, this tea looks different from the other pure bud teas. The leaves are large, but they’re not as fuzzy and there’s quite a bit of grey-brown mixed in with the expected golden color. Dry scent is fairly strong on the stonefruit notes and is almost tart.
In the steeped tea, I smell cucumber which is quite interesting. I also get a bit of cucumber in the taste and I find it nice and refreshing. There’s a bit of an earthy base underneath the flavor of cucumber and strong apricot notes. I think I overleafed this a bit, but considering it’s a Chinese black it’s not bitter at all. With a bit less leaf or possibly a slightly shorter steep, this would probably have a bit less earthiness and more lightness to it. Still yummy though!
Flavors: Apricot, Cucumber, Earth, Hay, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruits
Another one from Sil! The leaves look as I would expect for a jin jun mei – they’re thin and somewhat wiry but still soft looking, and there’s a nice tiger stripey mix of black and gold. Dry scent is somewhat sweet but it also has a touch of savory to it.
The steeped tea smells quite roasted with a bit of clear sweetness. Wow, this is an interesting one! It does have that roasted rye bread quality that I tend to associate with Fujian teas, and it does have quite a bit of clear sweetness to it. It’s also quite malty and thick and overall very satisfying. There’s a bit of dark chocolate flavor here as well, which is easier for me to find because of the sweet quality. Quite good!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Malt, Roasted, Rye, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
Hello tea friends! I haven’t been posting notes lately because I’ve been working on sipdowns of teas that I’ve already logged, and I’m not the type of person who feels the need to log a tea every time I drink it. This sample is from Sil. The leaves definitely look quite wild, they’re long and gnarled and their color is a combination of gold and dark grey/brown. I didn’t get much of a dry scent from them.
The steeped tea smells quite fruity in a wine-like way. The aroma almost reminds me of Darjeeling a bit. Wow, this is a unique one! It has a strong herbaceous note at the beginning of the sip that reminds me of thyme and perhaps oregano? There’s also malt and a touch of hay. The end of the sip has strong and fuzzy stonefruit notes, mostly apricot or peach. Underneath it all there’s a thickness and a smooth bread-like flavor, though I would describe it as more of a flatbread than a yeast variety. Very interesting and tasty!
Flavors: Apricot, Baked Bread, Herbs, Malt, Smooth, Stonefruits, Thick, Thyme
This was one of several individually wrapped tea bags that Sil thoughtfully included as bonuses in her “swap” package (she never told me what she would like in return!). I don’t usually gravitate toward black tea blends for whatever reason, so I’m glad others see fit to send me samples of them! This one is apparently a blend of Ceylon and Assam. Mine is a traditional paper tea bag, so obviously the leaves are extremely broken. Dry scent is mildly fruity.
This is actually quite good for such small leaf pieces! Fannings, really. It’s not bitter or astringent, which surprised me a lot. It does have a bit of that “generic” tannic quality to it, but it’s softened by some lovely soft stonefruit, specifically peach, notes. There’s also a tiny bit of breadiness to it. Overall, pretty good, especially for a tea bag.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Peach, Sweet, Tannic
This was a sample from Roswell Strange. I’ve tried the vanilla and maple versions of it, and this one is a “plain” version but it has a green tea base instead of black. I mixed the whole sample, which looked to be about two tablespoons, with 8 ounces of hot unsweetened soy milk.
I must say, it’s just okay for me. The level of sweetness is somewhat high, but I tend to like sweet things so it’s not really a problem for me. I do find the spicing to be a bit too mild, I would call it more of a mildly spiced creamy beverage than a chai. I also can’t taste the green tea, which makes me question the point of doing a green tea-based version. It’s perfectly drinkable and tasty and decadent, but I see no reason to purchase this version over the black tea one.
Flavors: Creamy, Smooth, Spices, Sweet
The very last untried Lupicia holiday tea! The tin features a trio of children – one singing, one playing a harp, and one playing an oboe or clarinet. Love the stained glass style art on these! The tea itself appears to be the mix of whole leaf and CTC that Lupicia uses in a lot of their flavored blacks. There are also pieces of red rose petals and small coconut shreds. Dry scent reminds me of those strawberry candies with the juice centers that are wrapped in the strawberry printed plastic.
Once steeped, the tea smells of strawberry candy and french vanilla ice cream. Hmm… This one is just okay. I can actually taste the base tea more than the flavoring, and it’s a somewhat earthy and woody black tea. There’s just a little bit of strawberry candy flavor and a tiny touch of cream. Meh!
Flavors: Candy, Cream, Earth, Strawberry, Wood
So… I got my Taiwan Tea Crafts order yesterday. I was planning on waiting to try any of these teas until I had sipped down a few more teas from my cupboard, but I figured trying just one would be a lovely way to start the day, and Steepster chat agreed. I chose this one to try first because miss Ysaurella’s note makes it sound delicious, and I love strong honey notes. The leaves definitely have that creepy tree branch look – they’re very large and long and twisty in a way that looks gnarled. Their color is a deep brown that’s almost black with a hint of red. Dry scent is heavenly sweet and creamy honey with bread.
Mm, the steeped tea smells of sweet and rich honey with a touch of warm cinnamon. Yummy! This tea has a lovely thick and silky mouthfeel that makes it feel even more decadent. The sip opens with bread and a touch of hay, but almost immediately it transitions to tasting of sweet waffles with honey slathered over the top and just a sprinkle of cinnamon. The amazing honey flavor just lingers and lingers on the tongue, and the cinnamon stays as well. The two together are such a sweet, warm, and comforting combination. This is making me want stroopwafel! Curse you, Marzipan! :P
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Honey, Pastries, Smooth, Sweet, Thick
Last DF sample! Thanks again to the lovely and generous tea friend who sent these to me. This one is a mix of smallish black tea leaves and cream-colored dried flower petals. Dry scent is sweet and creamy and vanilla-ish, which makes sense considering it’s supposed to be a hazelnut/vanilla tea.
The steeped tea smells delicious – creamy, sweet, nutty with vanilla notes. Hmm… I’m actually slightly disappointed with this one. The vanilla flavor here is similar to bourbon vanilla or vanilla bean, which I think seems wrong for this blend. I feel they should have gone with a more creamy, confectionery vanilla flavor. It’s not a bad tea, just not what I expected from the aroma. Still yummy though.
Flavors: Hazelnut, Sweet, Vanilla