487 Tasting Notes
I randomly chose this out of my Butiki bag of fun leaves today. :) The dry leaves certainly are interesting. They appear to be striped in the picture. But in actuality, they’re creased in perfectly spaced lines. The aroma from both the dry leaves and the brewed tea is subtle, generic green tea.
The taste, however, is not subtle or generic. It’s delicious! Savory. That’s the main word that comes to mind. It’s very flavorful and savory. The taste is buttery veggies and salty nori (seaweed). It’s an interesting combo that I don’t know if I’ve come across before.
I’m wicked surprised that this tea calls for boiling water. It was really hard for me to put the brewing basket into that steaming cup. I thought for sure the whole thing would be so scorched, it’d be prone to burst into flames at any second. But luckily, the brewing instructions did not lead me astray.
I’m sipping at a yummy cup of green tea with a perfect balance of flavors. It’s not grassy at all and it’s also not overly veggie. Sometimes the green teas that lean too heavily towards artichoke aren’t to my liking. This is simply perfect. No bitterness and only a little astringency as it cools.
It’s different and yet the same. That’s what I love about green teas. At their heart, they’re mostly all the same. And yet, somehow they are all different and unique. If that’s not evidence for God’s beauty in nature, I don’t know what is.
I dug this out from the bottom of my stash this morning. Literally, it was the last pouch on the verrrry bottom. It’s been a really long time since I last had a cup. According to Steepster, my last tasting note on it was about 11 months ago. I’m excited to see if it’s still as tasty as I remember!
The dry leaf aroma is still going strong: orange and strawberry and sugary sweetness over a black tea base. This is the “old” 52teas black base. But you know what? It’s still delicious! I don’t think their former base was ever bad really. Just fickle. Luckily, this cup wasn’t fickle in the least.
I added a splash of skim milk and a bit of Truvia. Mmmm!!! This tastes like a strawberry orange scone all right! Why haven’t I drunk this up yet? It’s utterly scrumptious! The orange and strawberry flavors are about equal. The milk added a nice creaminess that doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors. And this former black base has a nice cake-y, scone-like quality to it. It’s completely YUM!
Wow, I’m so glad I decided to brew this up today. What a treat! If anyone else has a pouch lingering somewhere in their stash, I strongly recommend you pull it out and make a cup. It yields a tasty surprise. :)
Thanks to Indigobloom for providing a generous sample of this tea! My taste buds may be a little compromised because I just ate pan-fried hashbrowns followed by a glass of Moscato d’Asti. Why did I just drink wine in the afternoon when I plan on working out soon? I have no idea. Just like I have no idea why I’m watching commercials on a pre-recorded show. I keep forgetting I can fast forward. Anyway, I digress.
The brewed tea aroma is STRONG. Luckily, the flavor is less intense than the aroma, but definitely still flavorful in its own right. This tea is assertive and tastes of bergamot and citrus. I wish I could add some milk, but it looks like my carton expired four days ago. Thank God I read it before I poured it into the cup.
I accidently let it cool off too much, so I threw it in the microwave for a minute. This one is good. I feel like the base is a little heavy for these flavors though. I wish I had more adjectives to describe it. It’s not malty or robust nor does it have notes of cocoa or honey. The base just strikes me as heavy and dark, although not bitter thankfully.
I generally like lighter, more complex black teas. This tea oddly doesn’t give off any flavor if you swirl it around in your mouth. The flavor comes only in the aftertaste. I think that’s what I dislike about it. I’m willing to give it another shot again once I buy some more milk. This is definitely not my cup of tea sans additions. But I look forward to experimenting with it.
I’m in an adventurous mood, so I’m going to try a tea I bought on a whim and am most likely not going to like. Yep, it’s my second experience with the dreaded puer!! Dun dun DUN!
Just from reading the label, it’s already a new experience for me. You’re supposed to steep 4 grams in 4 oz. of boiling water for 3-5 seconds. And you get 20+ infusions??! Wow. Okay, here goes nothing.
First, the aroma. Leather. It smells exactly like leather. I like wearing leather and smelling leather but drinking leather? Hmm. First sip is…surprising. I do taste leather but there’s a lot more going on too. It’s very complex. Naturally sweet and a tad spicy. Aromatic and interesting. Wow!! Maybe I can enjoy puer?
I’d never be able to go 20+ infusions if I drank the whole cup each time, so I’m going to take a few sips, pour it out, and then move on to the next steep. Please forgive this blasphemous behavior. I can tell from that first cup alone that this is a high quality tea that any puer enthusiast would drool over. Lucky for this tea, I just set up a swap with someone who does like puer. So, the rest of this ½ ounce sample will go to the loving home of Shmiracles!! :)
Anyway, back to the mission at hand. Here are my thoughts from my inexperienced tongue:
1st steep: As described above, but also with a bit of something akin to dry autumn grassiness. The aftertaste is reminiscent of a high quality green; something like Organic Dragon Tip.
2nd steep: Wow! Burned my mouth. That’s HOT! Anyway, the leather is a little more enjoyable now and not so horse saddle-like. The grassiness/vegetal flavor is more pronounced now as well and reminds me of buttery vegetables. I had to read the description for more ideas of how to describe this unique flavor. I definitely get the association with oak. It is oak-y.
3rd steep: Leather is continuing to fade and is being replaced by a floral oak-y-ness and buttery vegetables. This is the first steep that I detected floral notes. This infusion also has a great umami!! Buttery and silky smooth. My favorite mouthfeel and flavor so far.
4th steep: At this point, the buds are open. Leather is almost completely gone now. Floral oak is the most prominent flavor now. It still has that buttery vegetable aftertaste too. This is becoming more and more drinkable for me! I can say that I’m actually enjoying it!
5th steep: Floral oak. Buttery vegetable. And some unidentifiable puer-ness that distinguishes itself as definitely not a green tea, despite the similarities I’m finding. After this cup, my teapot ran out of hot water. So, I had to wait while I boiled more.
6th steep: Same as 5 above but maybe a tad lighter on flavor. Very enjoyable.
7th steep: Went with a little longer steep this time. About 15 seconds. A tad more spiciness is apparent, matching what I tasted in that first cup.
I’m getting a little bored now though, so I think I’ll call it quits here. Although I’m rating it a 79, I’d probably rate it a 100 if I actually liked puer. A 79 from me is extremely high considering that my only other puer experience gathered a whopping 25 and was thrown out after a couple sips. No re-steeps there. So, don’t mistake me; I’m giving this one high praise!!
I have the 2012 variety by the way. Also, the liquor was extremely light yellow the entire time for me. It never reached that light brown color as pictured. But I did use very short steeps. Another thing to note, it’s really hard not to burn your mouth in between steeps. How do you puer drinkers do it? I don’t have a gaiwan, so I just used my regular stainless steel infuser basket and 8 ounce owl mug (although I was careful to only fill it up halfway each time).
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 12
I’ve finally made it to the end of the sampler, and it’s a bittersweet achievement. This tea is already sold out, so this is my only chance to try it and hopefully enjoy it too. Let me just say two things to Frank up front: 1) What a gorgeous iconic Christmas label! I love it!, and 2) THANK YOU FOR USING PEPPERMINT (and not spearmint)!!!
The dry leaf aroma is peppermint candy wonderland! But the brewed tea aroma is kind of…weird, for lack of a better word. It’s pulling at something in my memory, but I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. DAVIDsTEA Read My Lips maybe? While I wait for the tea to cool, I’m going to tell a quick short story.
My phone just rang. I answered, and it’s a recorded voice telling me I won a cruise. Press 1 to talk to someone and 2 to decline the offer and be removed from the call list. I pressed 1. I figured it’s probably not a free cruise in reality, but it’s worth a couple minutes of my time to find out. What happens next? I’m put on hold for about two minutes. And then…another recorded voice tells me that all representatives are busy assisting other customers and I should leave my name and number after the beep and they’ll call me back later…Are you kidding me?! YOU called ME you stupid people!!! Clearly, I didn’t win anything. What a pain. I’ve never heard of this type of scam before but it really annoys me.
Anyway, back to the tea. First sip sans additions was a pleasant surprise. After that weird aroma, I wasn’t too sure how this would turn out. But it’s a yummy peppermint-y dream! It has a nice creamy aspect to it and a natural tasting sweetness. It’s like drinking liquid peppermint candy!! Yum!
It really is a great cup of tea just the way it is. But I’m curious what a little Truvia and skim milk will to do it. Hopefully, I don’t ruin a great thing. As I suspected, it doesn’t change things for the better. Luckily, it didn’t necessarily make it worse either. More of that weird aroma makes it into the flavor as it cools. I prefer drinking it piping hot!
I’m not getting any chocolaty notes that others have. Quite frankly, the base is sort of elusive here. It’s covered by the cream and peppermint. This was a yummy experience all in all. The second cup was just as delicious as the first. :) But I’m not disappointed that I missed the chance to scoop up a bag. I’m happy with the amount in the sample.
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 11
Ah, Butterbeer! Another oldie but a goodie. The dry leaf aroma is just as I remember: root beer and butter. The taste is magically delicious! Wait, that’s the slogan of Lucky Charms cereal isn’t it…well, whatever. You know what I’m getting at.
This tea is perfect and a wonderful complement to my evening of unwinding after a hard day’s work. I don’t have much to add, so see my previous tasting note for more specifics. And thanks again, Frank!
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 10
Oh man. I was hoping for a new tea I hadn’t tried before. This one is a disappointment. I love Boo-berry and I LOVE Cotton Candy. But this blend has a gunpowder base, and I’m not a smokey tea fan.
I went ahead and made a cup anyway just to see if it’s any different than I remember. The dry leaf aroma seems a little more blueberry and less cotton candy than before. The brewed tea aroma is blueberry and smoke. A LOT of smoke. Phew!
The taste is a little more enjoyable this time around actually. The smoke seems to stay mostly in the aroma, which I definitely wasn’t experiencing last time. It’s still in the flavor, but I’m able to taste around it. I can find a sweet, spun sugar likeness in this cup. Surprisingly, the blueberry is quieter than before. I remember that being the dominant flavor along with the smokiness.
Although this is a better experience, I’m leaving the rating unchanged. See, 52teas’ Cotton Candy tea has a lovely floral element to it. And Boo-berry is just blueberry perfection. But with the addition of a smokey green base, I’m losing that floral aspect I love and the blueberry seems to have left the party early. It’s good, just not great.
1 tsp 52teas’ Cashew Turtle + 1 tsp 52teas’ Double Chocolate Decadence
The last time I tried Cashew Turtle, I was underwhelmed. Which is weird because I LOVED that tea a year ago. So today, I decided to add some extra chocolate with Double Chocolate Decadence. You can never have too much chocolate!
As usual, I added a splash of skim milk and some Truvia. Mmmm, this is a delicious combination! I lucked out. Well on second thought, I don’t see how this could have turned out badly. One great tea plus another great tea equals one super awesome cuppa!
Chocolate is the dominant flavor, as would be expected, followed by caramel. The nuttiness is subtle and light but definitely not imagined. I’m really enjoying this. Yummy! What a great dessert tea! I’d rate it about 90.
I’m amazed at the dry leaf! The aroma is strongly raspberry, and there are a TON of freeze-dried raspberry pieces and chocolate chips in the blend. I’ve never seen a tea so chock full of ingredients!! It’s almost a ridiculous amount of generosity. Almost. ;)
I usually try a new tea straight before trying it with additions, but I’m really impatient right now. So, I’m just going to add skim milk and Truvia from the get go. I usually enjoy black tea better that way, and I’m ready for this dessert tea treat!
The brewed aroma is mostly black tea and raspberry. First sip…mmm this is good! I probably should have tried it without additions first, but it’s too late now! It’s very sweet and cocoa-y with the raspberry adding a nice complement to the cup. All the flavors are very balanced in my opinion. It’s equally dark chocolate, raspberry, and black tea.
I’m not a huge raspberry truffle fan though. I’d have preferred coconut truffle or caramel truffle or milk chocolate truffle. Maybe even cherry truffle. But the tea can hardly be blamed for that. As a raspberry truffle tea, this one is hard to beat. As others have mentioned, it does possess a nice creamy quality.
It’s also very strongly flavored! There’s nothing subtle about this tea. Granted, I used an extra ½ teaspoon than recommended. I can’t help myself; I’m a rebel. ;) This truly is yet another stellar tea from Butiki Teas!
52teas 12 Days of Christmas Sampler 2012 – Day 9
This is another one I missed this year. It certainly is very lemon! The dry leaf aroma alone is super lemony. The brewed tea aroma is…different. I’m guessing that’s the Chun Mee and cardamom coming through.
The taste is rather lacking in my opinion. I get a strange green tea flavor that I assume is the Chun Mee. I’ve never had this type of green tea before so it’s a hard flavor to recognize. There’s also lemon but it’s not a super lemon like in the aroma. It’s much more subtle and blends nicely with the cardamom spice. But it’s not really spicy either. And neither sweet nor bitter. It’s just sort of…bland.
I’ve read reviews where people compare this to Sun and Cloud Mist. Honestly, they’re worlds apart! There’s really nothing similar about them at all in my opinion. Except of course that they both contain lemon. But really, Chun Mee and Yun Wu are two extremely different green teas. I much prefer the latter.
Maybe I needed more leaf, or maybe I needed to let it steep longer. I tried a second steep at 185 degrees for 3 minutes. The resultant cup is unfortunately not much different from the first. I added a bit of Truvia and now it’s a sweet lemony green tea. But it still sits heavy on the tongue and makes my mouth feel stuffed with cotton.
I’m not having an allergic reaction. :P Rather this tea leaves a thick, heavy feeling in the aftertaste. It’s not a clean feeling like I’ve experienced in other green teas, namely Organic Dragon Tip from Butiki Teas. In fact, I think I may go make a cup of that next to cleanse my palate. This is just too heavy and bland for my tastes.