1014 Tasting Notes
I have a lovely cough and cold symptoms right now so I’m gravitating to my “clean” teas in a sad box of isolation. It’s probably (hopefully) just the cold but got to get tested Friday just in case. Numbers are up in our area. Hurrah…
This tea is a bright beacon of positive energy. Very grapefruit. Very goji. good without milk. Definitely a re-order for my goji and sour grapefruit-loving heart.
Flavors: Astringent, Bergamot, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Goji, Grapefruit, Malt, Nutty
Fall 2017 Harvest
I seem to be on a roll with eating a food and tasting the food in the tea. Pear meet pear note in tea!
My first steep was probably too short (1min30s) so I’m attributing the initially light flavour to that. A lot of typical red oolong flavours are coming through though: baked bread, stewed fruits, the aforementioned pear, blueberries (also pretty distinct), vanilla, brown sugar, nuts, and a hint of sweet spice… Despite thinking this a weak and watery cup to start, the typical mi xiang sweetness really smacks me one near the end. Sugar crush!
The second steep (3min30s) cooled down quite a bit before I payed attention to it. It tastes strongly of cherries, and is complimented by vanilla, brown sugar, and bread notes. There’s a bit of tree resin too. I initially thought it was citrus-like, but it’s woodier (pine, cedar, or even eucalyptus). The sweet, cherry-like aftertaste is strong.
Third steep (over 4min) is a smoother version of the second steep. It tastes of cherries, resin, vanilla, and sugar, verging on floral honey. It’s still extremely sweet, with a hint of cinnamon to finish. Maybe even a slight return of the blueberry and pear.
Steep Count: 4, Western Style. This tea also deserves a gongfu session at a later time.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Blueberry, Brown Sugar, Cherry, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Honeysuckle, Nutmeg, Nuts, Pear, Pine, Plums, Resin, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruits, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Wood
Spring 2020 Harvest supposedly.
For breakfast I had a slice of toast, with butter and pineapple coconut jam. Now, I only bring this up because if I didn’t know better I would think that some of that butter and jam slipped into my cup while I wasn’t looking!
This oolong is relatively buttery, floral, extremely tropical (tangy pineapple, coconut), with a pleasant jam-like sweetness. Like my pineapple coconut jam, which contains a hint of rum, this also has a faint, subtle “bitter-sugar,” flowery undercurrent that adds depth to this first steep. It reminds me of sarsaparilla (vanilla, licorice, green note, etc.) or just straight up bitter vanilla. This vanilla quality softens to a silky fineness in my third steep; the tropical, butter, and floral notes are well balanced here. It’s my favourite cup so far.
This oolong is almost perfect for me, although I do prefer more butter, and less tangy flowers. Still, it tastes like Hawaii in a cup – or maybe it’s fairer to say it’s Taiwan in a cup (there’s a lot of subtropical and tropical goodness in Taiwan too)!
Steep Count: 5 @1 minute each, western style.
Next time I will try it gongfu or grandpa style. My gaiwan hasn’t seen use in years but this tea makes me think it’s time!
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Floral, Jam, Melon, Pineapple, Sarsaparilla, Tropical, Vanilla
I wasn’t initially super impressed with this one when I first tried it straight up. It was essentially everything I don’t love about David’s Tea dessert teas: a drowned out (green oolong) base, smothered by sugar and flavouring.
As a latte, however, it’s something else. The lush offerings of salted caramel candies fill the void that generally only the decadent fall dessert beverages of Starbucks fill. It’s still very sweet, but oh-so perfect.
This (as a latte) gets bonus points for pleasing a wide array of family members as well. My mom and sister both tried to drink from their empty cups, and wanted refills. That must count for something.
Flavors: Butter, Butterscotch, Caramel, Cream, Molasses, Salt
Last night I had a killer migraine from nowhere that made me want abdicate my head, neck and shoulders and go live in my stomach or something. It’s still kind of lingering on the left side but it’s not even a quarter as bad as last night. It did leave me a delightful red spot on my forehead between the eyes (this has happened before, but still fml). So, I’m a little grumpy and out of sorts today.
I decided to dive into this tea because I’ve been hoarding it for too long, holding out hope that WP would get more of this or Premium Assam in stock and not sell out in 10 minutes (never happens). It’s starting to age and today it was more tart jam than powdered sugar and baked bread (still some of that though).
This is still one of my favourite teas, along with Premium Taiwanese Assam, so I thought I’d give Taiwan Tea Crafts Yuchi Wild Mountain Black Tea a try to see if it’s comparable (what do the “lots” mean? So confused), as well as some from What-Cha that look similar. Here’s hoping (otherwise, it’s good to try new things!).
Steep Count 2
Flavors: Apple, Baked Bread, Dates, Malt, Plums, Powdered sugar, Sweet Potatoes
First off, this tea smells amazing. It has cracked the code for tart berry, meringue cream aroma. Steeping up a cup is the best room diffuser ever. It smells like lush sweet summer: picnics in the park, fairs and carnivals, grandma’s berry pie in the garden, cream soda on a porch kind of good vibes.
The flavour is pretty on par with the aroma, but regardless of whether or not I cold steeped or had a hot cuppa I was never left fully satisfied. This tea is pretty thin and veers on tart over cream (still good cream though); I just want it to be thicker and maybe sweeter!
So tonight for my last cup I decided to have it hot, then changed my mind and poured that hot steeped cup over ice, and… then came the Eureka moment! I can’t add milk because the hibiscus will curdle it, but whip cream sits on top of the liquid so minimal curdle. This turned out to be a wonderful idea and made the abstract meringue a physical reality. Now I’m sad this is gone so I can’t do this again. And again. Forever.
Also, I’ve never had Eton Mess or heard of it before so every time I see that I unfortunately think of Elon Musk. Thank you, brain. (Edit: Turns out Eton Mess is essentially strawberries, meringue and whipped cream? Nailed it).
Flavors: Berry, Cream, Hibiscus, Meringue, Rosehips, Strawberry
Five Year Anniversary Tea || June 2020 VIT (at least, I think it was June)
I may have been a little apprehensive about this one. Cinnamon has really dropped to the bottom of my preferred ingredients as of late.Thankfully, the pearls themselves, and possibly the additional flavours, prevent this one from becoming a one note tea! The Yunnan Pearls have delicious honey and malt notes, which gives this tea both a thick “bready” and vibrant sugar liquid quality. There’s something buttery happening too which means.. pancakes. Yep, this tastes like pancakes, or its french toast namesake. Syrupy breakfast “bread stuffs” that are so soggy with butter and sugar that they’re nearing a liquid state.
I had a cup today without milk and another with milk after I accidentally let it steep for +10 minutes ( it didn’t get bitter and stayed super smooth, like the good Yunnan Black tea that it is). Both cups were great, although the latte was extra rich!
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Honey, Malt, Pancake Syrup
I think the coconut and the honey are my biggest issues with this tea. When these two ingredients are at their strongest they dominate the blend. The latter in particular accentuates the rooibos in a way I do not enjoy and that makes me think of honey cough drops (also, why not just use the less medicinal, sweeter honeybush instead of rooibos + honey?). Bee pollen, which I generally like, also adds a sweet floral quality that exacerbates the medicinal quality for me today.
There are moments when this blend works. The aftertaste is creamy, with hints of vanilla, and the cup smells pleasantly buttery. It’s not a terrible latte or cold brew either! I’m just not terribly into coconut as a sub/filler ingredient at this point, and I’ve never been fond of rooibos/black tea blends (I don’t get it), or teas with added sweeteners. This blend has brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey and it’s quite sweet but also thinner than I’d like a “toffee” tea.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Butter, Coconut, Cream, Honey, Maple Syrup, Medicinal, Vanilla
July 2020 Blend
This did not last long enough.
52Teas does delicious “Danish” flavoured teas, as well as lovely lemon flavours. Combined, the flavouring is sublime (best of both worlds)! The cream cheese is pretty vivid here too and it’s just wonderful. Yeah… this is hands down one of my favourite flavoured honeybush teas; it hits all of my sweet spots.
Flavors: Cheesecake, Cream, Lemon, Lemongrass, Pastries