469 Tasting Notes
I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t tried this one yet! I bought it from Hapatite a while ago, and it’s just been sitting, waiting patiently alongside my other flavored teas. I decided to pull it out today because I was wanting a flavored black. I don’t see any pieces of fruit in here, just black tea leaves. It smells very pear-like and somewhat tart. It reminds me of some other pear-flavored thing, but I can’t quite place it. I steeped for 3 minutes.
This pear in this tea is actually fairly authentic, in my opinion. Granted, it’s more of a cooked pear flavor, but it’s quite true to the fruit. I added a bit of sugar to mine, and it’s reminding me of canned pears with a bit of a honey note over the top. Very yummy, and I would recommend that any pear lovers out there try this one! :)
Flavors: Honey, Pear, Sweet
I got this tea in the latest round of TeaVivre samples. I believe I was supposed to get their Chamomile Rose Silver Needle, but since I don’t like floral teas, Angel was nice enough to send me this one instead. This tea isn’t currently listed on their website. The buds look very similar to the non-organic version that I tried yesterday – they’re very fluffy and puffy with little silver hairs coating them. Dry scent is very hay-like and sweet with a distinct oat or grainy note. I noticed that the packet recommends a lower brewing temperature of around 170 degrees, but I wanted to brew these in the same way as the non-organic version so I did 185 degrees for 3 minutes.
Mm, I’m finding that I love silver needles teas. The brewed aroma conjures up visions of honey-drizzled pastries with oats and almonds. The first thing I wrote for the taste was “creamy fantastic”. And it’s totally true, too. Creamy oats and light grains with a bit of honey – I am definitely reminded of soy milk. The nice pastry and almond notes from the aroma are present here as well. There’s also something very marshmallow-like about this, even though it’s not that sweet. I can almost taste vanilla here in a very mild sense. Yums! I don’t really get the fresh melon or cucumber notes from the other silver needle, but the depth of creamy lovely flavor is fantastic. :D
Flavors: Almond, Creamy, Grain, Hay, Honey, Marshmallow, Oats, Pastries, Smooth, Vanilla
This sample came from Tommy. This is one of the oolongs that I didn’t order during Butiki’s birthday sale, and I was excited to receive it in a swap so I could try it anyway! The pellets are quite tightly rolled and extremely dark in color. Dry scent is very roasted autumn leaves, and it’s milder than I expected. I followed the instructions on Butiki’s website and did a 4 minute steep.
Once brewed, the tea smells very charred, kind of like burnt toast along with deeply caramelized sugar. It smells quite similar to strong coffee… and it actually tastes that way too! The first thing that comes to mind is dark roast coffee. It’s also quite nutty in a toasty kind of way. There’s a little bit of a seaweed or marine flavor that makes it a touch savory, along with a very mild mineral note.
Overall, this tea is quite unusual but I did enjoy trying it. I’ll definitely need to try it gong fu style as oolongs tend to be best that way in my (limited) experience. Come soon, gaiwan! :)
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Coffee, Mineral, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Seaweed
This was a freebie bonus sample from Stephanie. She magically managed to send me a different one than I got from the last round of TeaVivre samples, and for that I am very thankful! The leaves are large and fluffy, fuzzy and silver-green in color. They cling together tightly, I had a difficult time separating the sample into halves. Dry scent is soft hay and oats with a slight grassy aroma. There is also a touch of honey. I brewed this at 185 degrees for 3 minutes, just because I wanted to. :P
Once brewed, this tea smells strongly of sweet hay and oats/oatmeal, with a bit of a vegetal note and some lovely honeydew or cucumber (I have trouble telling them apart when there’s sweetness in the tea). This tea is extremely creamy and lovely, and there are strong oat and grain notes with a bit of hay mixed in. I am reminded of slightly sweet pastry, maybe with a touch of honey over the top. I’m so happy to find honeydew/cucumber in the taste as well as the aroma, as I love melon in general.
Overall, I’m finding this tea to be delicious and I’m amazed that this is TeaVivre’s “lowest grade” of silver needle. I can only imagine how wonderful the organic and nonpareil varieties are! Thanks again, Stephanie!
Flavors: Creamy, Cucumber, Hay, Honey, Honeydew, Oats, Pastries
I seem to be rarely in the mood for white teas, so much so that I think I need to make myself try one every day, just because I have quite a few samples to get through. I believe this is my very last sample from my visit to Shang, and I have certainly enjoyed all of their teas so far. The leaves look similar to other bai mudans I’ve had – a varied mixture of sizes and colors with some silvery buds mixed in. Dry scent is lovely grain and hay with sweet honey. I only did a 2-minute steep because there was so much leaf (I used the whole packet, as they recommend on the instructions).
The brewed aroma is a mixture of oats and sweet hay with a lovely honey scent and just a hint of either melon or cucumber. Yum yum yum! This tea is deliciously grainy, like all of Shang’s teas have been. The flavor seems most similar to oats in my opinion. There’s also hay, but in a mild sense. Overall, it’s quite sweet and creamy and feels lovely in the mouth. I thought I tasted a hint of cinnamon in a couple of sips, but I never really got any of that melon/cucumber from the aroma. Overall, very delicious if you enjoy grainy teas. :)
Flavors: Creamy, Grain, Hay, Honey, Oats, Sweet
I chose this as a sample with my TeaVivre (I think it may have been one of my free samples? I don’t remember :P) order. I don’t have much experience with Keemuns, but I’ve liked all of the ones I’ve tried so far. I thought they were supposed to be smoky, but I actually don’t think I’ve tried a smoky Keemun yet. Weird. The leaves of this tea are super thin and twisty. I had a hard time separating out a teaspoon as they all wanted to stay tangled together! :P Dry scent is very sweet and malty with dried apricot, yums! I did a 3-minute steep.
Brewed, the tea smells like rich, deep dried fruits with honey and molasses. I also pick up on a little bit of floral. Oh my, this tea is a wow moment! I think this is the smoothest, creamiest black tea I’ve ever had. The main flavor is creamy, smooth grain with honey dancing around it. In the background, I pick up on that deep, rich dried fruit flavor combined with a bit of molasses or burnt sugar. There’s maybe the tiniest bit of floral somewhere in the middle, but it’s not enough to make me love this any less! When I first started drinking this cup, I noticed a little bit of bitterness, but it seems to have dissipated as I continued to drink.
Thanks TeaVivre for yet another delicious black tea! Love you gals! :)
Flavors: Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Grain, Honey, Molasses, Smooth
Another sample from Stephanie. Laoshan Black is one of the most beloved teas around these parts, so I’ve been wanting to try it for a while now. I think most people who have tried this tea have said that they like the original better, but I’m just happy to get the chance to try either of them. The leaves are smaller than I expected, and jet black. They’re thin and curly. Dry, this tea basically smells like straight cocoa powder with a little bit of malt. I did my usual 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma has that elusive herb/spice note that I often find in Fujian blacks but can never seen to identify. Whatever it is, it’s very present in this tea. There are also strong malt and grain scents. That mystery herb/spice is also quite present in the taste. This tea has a lovely, strong cocoa flavor with some sweetness to it. It’s also very grainy, which I love, with an ample malty taste. And the overall flavor is very roasty and comforting.
Overall, I find this tea to be very good but not necessarily mind-blowing compared to other similar teas I’ve tried. I would very much like to try the original Laoshan Black, I’m hoping there will be some left in the Lewis & Clarke TTB when it gets to me! :)
Flavors: Cocoa, Grain, Malt, Roasted, Sweet
I had a perfectly lovely Saturday. We went to a creperie for lunch, and it was quite delicious – I got the ratatouille crepe, yums! They also have tasty pommes frites and a variety of creative dipping sauces (I got the curry mayo). Oh, and I got a Moroccan mint tea that was actually quite good! Then we lazed about on the couch for a few hours, which happens to be my favorite weekend activity. I’ve spent the last couple of hours browsing yixing pots on AliExpress for no reason whatsoever (and adding about a million to my wishlist). I think I would like to get a basic yixing soon, to use for black teas. I wouldn’t mind having one for just Yunnans, actually… :P
Anyway, this tea. It’s perfectly nice and I like the almond flavor, and I find it to be very snuggly and comforting with sugar and soy milk added. It’s not a fantastic tea in my opinion, but I can see it being a good desserty standby. Thanks again to Stephanie for sending me a sample! :)
I ordered this sample with my TeaVivre order. I figured since this was the only one of their Dian Hongs that I hadn’t tried, I should order a sample. The leaves are extremely dark, and they’re long and twisty. They kind of remind me of a smaller-scale version of the “creepy tree branch” Taiwanese teas. Dry scent is sweet honey with malt and some cocoa notes. I did a 3 minute steep at 200 degrees.
The brewed aroma is quite light, with grainy bread and honey scents. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with this tea brewed western-style… It was kind of just vaguely bready/grainy with a little bit of honey and a bit of a mineral note. And overall, it felt kind of dusty in my mouth, like it should have been rinsed first. I’m thinking this tea either needs to be steeped longer, or it just doesn’t lend itself well to western style preparation. I’ll definitely try it gong fu style when I get the gaiwan that I ordered recently. For now, I’m not going to rate this.
This was one of the samples I ordered from TeaVivre. I’m not really into green oolongs, but I do love strawberry so I figured it was worth a try! The leaves are fairly tightly rolled and various shades of green. Dry scent is sweet and tart strawberry candy, and something about it kind of reminds me of pineapple too. I brewed for 3 minutes at 190 degrees.
The brewed aroma is also strawberry candy, but I can smell the fruity green oolong in the background too. I actually like this quite a bit, considering it’s a green oolong. There are fairly strong peach notes that meld really well with the strawberry flavoring, and I don’t really get much floral, which is very nice. The strawberry itself is definitely more of an artificial strawberry flavor, but I find that it works quite well in this tea. There’s a also a lovely creamy texture here, and the tiniest bit of vegetal green taste at the end of the sip. Really, quite nice, especially considering I don’t like green oolong much. :)
Flavors: Creamy, Peach, Strawberry, Sweet, Vegetal