I tried this again a second time and was able to focus a little more on getting the timing and temperature right. As was noted, the astringency dropped right away with shorter infusions. I did still taste the slightly roasted undertone, but not as thoroughly as my first time round. Otherwise, the flavor was much the same, but more mild and consistent.
77 Tasting Notes
I recently ordered some samples from the Tea Spot and, on a whim, decided to throw in this flavored tea as well. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I don’t usually care much for flavored teas. The dry leaf was a bit malty and sweet, but didn’t leave much of an impression.
I first tried this plain, with no sugar or milk. The flavor was very nice like this, but I wanted to see where it could take me. I added a small amount of sugar and suddenly the caramel was much more prominent (as tends to happen when adding sweetener). It wasn’t until I added a splash of milk that I felt the tea was fully rounded out.
I think the reason I enjoyed this as much as I did is due to the flavoring being mild and in coordination with the flavor of the tea itself. So much in the past, I have encountered flavored teas where the flavor vastly over-writes the tea itself. This has primarily been with the various Teavana teas I’ve tried. And I guess it’s biased me against flavored teas in general.
I just got the chocolate tea sampler from 52teas and am looking forward to exploring the world of flavored teas in a nicer capacity where the flavor of the tea itself is a considered component in what flavor it is and how flavorful it is.
I very rarely care for flavored teas. And when I do, I have to indulge in them in serious moderation. While the vague concept of moderation will still be required with this tea, I think I finally found the exception to the rule.
I have been hearing about this tea for a while and finally had the opportunity to try it during a tea party with FyreTyde and another friend.
I was so eager to taste the brewed tea that it fell out of my mind to smell the dry leaf, so I’ll have to skip that part just this time. My first impression of this tea was maple syrup. It was pretty remarkable, really. Just the aroma of the liquor was enough to set my mouth to watering.
My first sip was pretty magnificent. The flavor of the black tea was clearly present and simple melded with the flavors that conjured the magical image of a plate heaping with pancakes. It wasn’t until I added a bit of dark brown sugar that the maple syrup really came into play. I know part of that was the brown sugar itself, but I’ve also found that if you use a minimal amount of sweetener (as I did in this case) that the natural sweetness is simply brought to the fore.
This is definitely a flavored tea I plan to order for myself sometime so I won’t have to meet up with FyreTyde each time I want a cuppa!
A friend gave me a sachet of this tea to sample. She received a tin of it from a family member and found it was going to be too sweet and fruity for her (simply not to her taste). I had been thinking of trying a Pomegranate Oolong from somewhere else, so jumped at the opportunity to try it quickly and easily.
The scent of the dry leaf is very sweet and the pomegranate tang overpowers the scent of the leaves. Once I steeped it, however, everything changed. The liquor is a nice light yellow/green and the aroma clearly displays the Oolong as well as a light amount of the pomegranate.
I was still a little worried that the pomegranate would overpower the Oolong, but I could not have been more pleased with the result! The balance of sweet tanginess from the pomegranate is perfect with the earthy Oolong. Both flavors are clear and full, while working complementary with one another.
Well done, Harney & Sons on this one!
When preparing tea for the day today, I figured I’d give this another try. Unfortunately, I enjoyed it a little less this time than the first… The dry leaves smell pleasant and green. But the wet leaves were almost more like wet socks (not necessarily gym socks, but socks nonetheless). The first sip reminded me too much of the wet leaves. After that, it was a little nicer, but I still probably won’t be drinking this much. I think I’ll give it another go after a little while to see if my opinion of it changes.
When I tasted this tea, it was by accident. I meant to grab the shou cha cake from the same year and factory, but picked up the sheng cha by mistake. I prepared the tea as I would any other pu-erh, with a quick 3 second rinse, then a 30-45 second first steep.
The aroma was stark and rich. My first sip assaulted me with astringency that I couldn’t help but think was out of place in, what I thought was, a shou pu-erh. I remember thinking that it didn’t taste like it had been cooked at all. I was definitely entertained later when I realized that I had grabbed the wrong cake and had, indeed, just tasted this raw specimen.
In regular fashion, I prepared further infusions and each successive infusion was milder and less abrasive on the sense with astringency. In the end it was a very pleasant experience. Not what I was planning on tasting at the time, but it did end up providing something of a small challenge for someone such as myself, who is still relatively new to the world of really understanding the tea I’m drinking. In my own way, I won a contest I never knew I was a part of, so it was definitely a victory in the end!
This was quite a pleasant tea! The scent of the dry leaves is nice and roasty. With the first infusion, there was a nice bitterness and astringency. The roasted flavor was particularly strong the first infusion, enhanced by the bitterness. There were grassy notes, almost like grass that’s been cut and has been sitting and drying for a couple days. Still pleasantly sweet, but mild.
I’ve got enough of this left to try it once more and, depending on how my tastings of the other Dong Ding Oolong samples I ordered from Life in Teacup go, I’ll make a decision about which one to order more of first!
I love the name of this, because the shape and size of the leaves are, indeed, very eyebrow-esque. Each individual leaf is quite small, but it’s extremely fun to see and smell them. The scent of the dry leaf is lightly sweet, with a hint of the distinctive smell of a Yunnan red.
The first infusion yielded a nice amber liquor and the aroma was particularly sweet. It started out like the scent of damp hardwoods, lying out in the morning after a night’s rain. With the first sip or two, it became a high, clear floral scent, bordering on rose. This first infusion was becoming a bit overpowering for me, personally, but my friend enjoyed it quite a lot.
With the second and third infusions, the floral tone grew milder and no longer overpowered me. At the same time, the red tea flavor started coming out of the woodwork in a very subtle way, mostly as an after-taste. I have to say, I greatly preferred this tea after the first infusion was consumed. Again, this speaks more to my personal taste than anything else.
After reading *ScottTeaMan*’s review of a different Jasmine Pearl tea, I was suddenly craving some. Being at work, this was the only option I had available. I was recently gifted with one of the Perfect Tea Makers from Teavana, so I brewed it up in there with some nice hot filtered water. It brewed a few minutes to evoke any real flavor before drinking.
The first go around was just lovely. Exactly what I needed to suit my palette. Unfortunately, it seems that I just don’t do well with flavored and scented teas in too great of a quantity. After about half the mug, I just sort of got a weird after-taste/feeling in my mouth from the Jasmine. I’m not sure if it’s just this jasmine tea or if I’m just too used to plain teas without flavoring or scenting.
I enjoyed this quite a lot! When I first was opening the various bags my brother sent me from China, this one surprised me most! It’s a type of tea I haven’t experienced before and the pure visual of it caught me off guard at first. I pinched out a sampling for the photo I took, and was surprised at just how soft and downy the leaves were. They are also quite larger than I was used to in general.
One of my first thoughts of the appearance, which was incidentally repeated by a friend after she saw the picture, was that the leaves look a bit like grasshoppers! After tasting this tea, I feel like that visual consideration almost has an effect on the flavor of the tea. Yes, I know that sounds weird, but hear me out!
My first infusion of this tea yielded a nice mild yellow liquor. The aroma was mild and sweet. The first sip took me to a dewy spring morning with the fresh new growth of wild grasses. Every proceeding cup and infusion only served to enhance this feeling for me.
There was a light sweet flavor niggling at the back of my mind that I couldn’t quite place. All I could think of is that it reminded me of sweet grass. Of being a kid playing in a field where sweet grass grows. And every now and then, you pick a stalk and chew the end in a Mark Twain-esque moment. Something about the flavor eludes me in such a way as to require this kind of description!
It will be fun to try this again to see if I can put my finger on the flavor. Additionally, my brother noted that this tea ages well, so I think I’m also going to stash at least some of it away to age for future tasting!
I don’t usually care for flavored teas. This, however, is one of the exceptions to that rule for me. The flavoring is so mild and naturally done that it is delicate on the senses and does not overwhelm the tea in any way.
I picked this up in a tin with 20 sachets, so it’s not quite the full on loose leaf, but with the silk pyramid bags, it might as well be.
The aroma of the dry leaf is light and vanilla-y. It has an added sweetness that seems beyond the simplicity of vanilla, but it’s hard to pinpoint. The liquor was a nice amber color with a fine flavored steam wafting to me.
I first tried this tea as it was and found it very pleasurable. This is even more rare for me to care for a CTC black tea without some form of even mild sweetener (just personal taste). I think it was the vanilla that brought it together for me in this case. I later tried a cup with some local honey and enjoyed that immensely as well.
Despite the general mildness of the tea and the flavorings, I can’t handle drinking this with too much frequency. I just prefer to have the flavor of the tea and the frequency of the flavors affects my taste buds for longer than I would like.
The dry leaf has a very sweet scent. It caught me a little off guard, but it was suddenly clear why it is referred to as fragrant.
My first infusion was perhaps steeped overlong. I steeped for around 2 minutes. The liquor was a very lovely shade of citrine, hence the yellow, I’m guessing. It was quite bitter and astringent, but not in an unpleasant sort of way. Just in such a way as to give the impression it perhaps demanded a shorter brew time. I wasn’t able to taste much of the flavor beyond that in this infusion, so I kept on.
Each successive infusion became less astringent, mellower, and sweeter. It also acquired a smoothness to the brew that I found particularly pleasant. Some of the sweetness reminded me of teas that have been scented, but without the strength of an actually scented tea.
Next time around, I’ll definitely steep the first infusion for a shorter time to get a better impression of the beginning flavors for this tea.
I wasn’t quite sure what my brother meant when he noted “spicy red flavor” regarding this tea. I smelled the dry leaf and it was very nice, like a well dark oolong, but it didn’t exactly have a bite or spiciness to it.
Despite my uncertainty as to what to expect, I snagged a friend and we retreated to the break room in our office to enjoy a miniature tea party. Fortunately, our office provides a filtered water supply with a choice of chilled or instant hot water, at around 200F (give or take). As the first infusion was completed, we admired the gorgeous amber-orange color of the liquor. It looked like the color of a baked pumpkin.
With the first infusion, the aroma was surprisingly mild. It was definitely earthy and lightly vegetal, but I didn’t detect strong hints of much. Upon my first sip, I suddenly understood what my brother meant by “spicy red flavor”. It has the initial kick of a Chinese red tea with a mildly biting aftertaste. This infusion, the spiciness was more like the affect of something with cloves in it.
The second infusion, however, everything changed. The aroma was more powerful, the flavors of the tea were more distinctive, and the biting aftertaste began to distinctly remind me of the final cool-down after accidentally eating something with a jalapeno in it. I don’t do well with spicy hot things, but this had the lingering characteristics of that without any of the pain, discomfort, or even the flavors I disliked. It was like it took everything I hated about spicy hot foods and removed it, leaving only the pleasant tingling as it sat in your mouth and the slowly fading after-bite.
Yue Guang Bai in a loose form was one of the first finer teas I had an obsession for. This is the first time I’ve had it from a cake and it tastes just gorgeous.
The liquor is a beautiful amber with the familiar damp hay aroma wafting up. While the first infusion does indeed have the same astringency that I’ve grown accustomed to, there’s something milder about the flavor. It makes me wonder if perhaps some of the loose Yue Guang Bai I’ve had was rather new and this cake had been aged, even briefly. I’ll do some research into this and discuss it on my next tasting, I’m sure.
All this does so far is assure me of my affections for a hearty Yue Guang Bai!
As I was drinking this tea, I realized it is only my second ever Tie Guan Yin, so I was excited to really think about the flavor in comparison to the other I’ve had.
The first infusion was very vegetal and the liquor was a lovely hay color. It was lightly astringent, but the flavor really came out in full force. With the second infusion, the astringency took a brief leap and tickled the tongue in a fun sort of way that helped me taste the tea itself a bit more completely.
For each proceeding infusion, I was joined by a friend who, not a great drinker of tea, found it extremely palatable and enjoyed more than a few cups. At this point, the tea really mellowed out and the flavor lingered nicely.
I’m most excited about this Tie Guan Yin, as it is from the family tea plantation of a tea shop owner my brother knows. He sent along a tin with 8 more samples, so this will hopefully last me at least a little while, as I make my way through the many other teas my brother sent me!
I am going to refrain from adding a number rating to this tea on this note. As I get into this description, you will understand why.
I was visiting family down in Arizona and, while waiting for a shop to open, decided to pop into a coffee shop that advertised fine tea on their sign. I found the tea selection and it was all Two Leaves and a Bud. I was pretty excited because the boxes provided some good information about each tea and it was clear the company knew what they were talking about (and doing). After some deliberation, I decided to give the Tamayokucha a try.
As they were getting the tea ready, I asked them what they knew about the company (since it was new to me). The shop owner looked at me with a blank expression and just informed me, with a question in her voice, that it was the tea company they liked the flavor of best of the options they tried. They didn’t know anything about the company or their tea. But that’s okay. I wouldn’t expect them to know about every brand they carry, but it was a little off-putting the way they reacted to the question.
After a minute, I was handing a burning hot take away cup. Seriously. Even with a sleeve on it, my hands were burning. I also wanted to take the tea bag out early with how hot the water was. I was pleased to see that the bag was a silk pyramid bag with plenty of space for the leaves to expand. I was not pleased to see that the entire bag, string, label and all, were flat at the bottom of the cup. I had to find a way to fish it out and ended up burning myself in the process with how hot the water was.
I had to sit for 5 full minutes without touching it for it to sort of be cool enough to sip. It was extremely disappointing. The tea didn’t taste…. like tea. It was almost buttery and left a weird after taste.
From reading this tale, it’s pretty freaking clear that there were issues with how the tea was prepared and served. Not to mention the fact that it was probably relatively old and may have been a little stale by the time I ordered it.
So this is something I’d like to try again in the future. Perhaps order samples of the different teas the company has to offer and go from there!
I got a box of this tea filled with tea bags that contain whole leaves. The bags they are in are pretty dense paper and allow very little room for the leaves to expand, so I’m planning to try this again in the future by opening the bag and steeping the leaves as though they were never contained (since they are definitely whole leaves).
The steeping time was longer than I usually would for a tea like this, but it was required with the bag containing the leaves. By the time the tea was ready for consumption, the leaves had expanded in the bag completely (as in, the bag was absolutely packed) but they clearly were not fully unfurled.
Despite this, I believe I steeped them long enough to achieve a decent infusion. The liquor is a very light hay color and the aroma is quite nice as well. It smells almost malty or oaty. The flavor is very mild, slightly roasted in flavor. There is almost no astringency at all and it is very smooth to drink. I think it will have a bit more flavor with the second round of steeping (despite the bag it’s in). So I’ll give it a shot as soon as I have the opportunity!
I also look forward to trying and logging again once I try it without the bag at all.
This is a pretty typical black breakfast tea. It didn’t really have the mild maltiness I usually associate with a breakfast blend I enjoy.
It was a smooth drink and I did enjoy it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to pick up this blend over any other breakfast blend in a teabag.
I normally have more to say about the teas I drink, but this one just sort of tapers off at this point in the discussion.
I have been drinking my bagged black teas with milk and sugar for as long as I can remember. Twining’s Darjeeling has always been one of my favorites.
Since I have been drinking tea more seriously lately, this is the first time I’ve had it in a while. The initial aroma is pleasantly sweet and malty. Unfortunately, when sipped plain, it is overly bitter. I am beginning to believe that it is just not as good as I remember.
After trying some plain, I added in my typical sugar and milk and it brought back some of my former feelings. However, I can now detect the undertone of tea that just isn’t quite the quality that I thought or hoped for.
I still will drink this tea, but probably not with the regularity I once did.
Second time around, I enjoyed this even more than the first! There was the same bright green, hay aroma and the astringency to mark the first few sips. But the astringency and associated bitterness slip into a smooth, almost sweet after taste that sits well on the tongue – mildly malty! That’s how I would describe the after taste after the first few sips.
After giving this another try, I am increasing my rating on it and planning on ordering more for the future.
This tea was brought over by a friend to try out. She enjoys it quite a lot, so I had to give it a shot!
The aroma of the dry leaf is a little overpowering, but not in a wholly unpleasant sort of way. I find that using the recommended amount of leaves and steeping time with Teavana teas leads to a very dull flavor, so I used more tea than they suggest and steeped a little longer as well. This did seem to prove me right once more and I could tell the full flavor of the tea was working its way into the liquor.
The bergamot was a little over-strong for my taste, but I am not a particular fan of bergamot, so this is very subjective. There are those who love the bergamot flavor, so this would be more up their alley. I did enjoy the creme undertones, however. It was nicely noted on the tin that there was no dairy involved in the creme (important for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant).
After trying a few sips plain, I added a small amount of sweetener and a little milk to bring out the creme flavor more fully.
Overall, I did enjoy this sweet, creamy Earl Grey. The sweetness of the bergamot and the blue cornflowers almost were too much for me, but they balanced with the creme and small amount of milk I added after the first.
I probably wouldn’t buy this for myself, but if someone gifted it to me, I would likely drink it somewhat regularly on a weekend morning.
This was yet another gift from a friend. It is definitely floral, but definitely requires a longer steep than suggested. I’ve noticed when in an actual Teavana, their teas all seem to be super crazy mild in the samples. I think it’s because they steep at their own instructions and it produces a lesser quality brew.
In any case, this is an alright jasmine green overall. The jasmine isn’t overpowering, but neither is the tea. It’s extremely mild and ideal for my afternoons in the office as I power through my final hours of the day. Gotta have that final caffeine boost to pull me through.
Final word on the matter… I probably wouldn’t think to recommend it to someone unless they said, “Well, I sure do like those Teavana teas and I’m looking for a green tea with jasmine. Any suggestions?”
This wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It does seem to have most of the flavors as described by Teavana, but I didn’t find it particularly enthralling. It was tasty, don’t get me wrong, but it did not have the same kind of fun flavor I’m used to in a Darjeeling. As the champagne of teas, I think this is more in the “sparkling wine” category. Still good, but if you’re having a real event, it just doesn’t quite live up.
My brother and I found this particular tea while travelling China. We first tried it in our hostel in Beijing where we shared some tea with one of the ladies running the hostel. We both found it to be delicious and made certain to get more information on it so we could track it down as we traveled further.
It was purchased in markets in early 2011, so was harvested 2010 (though harvest date and precise location is uncertain). Some was purchased in Kunming, and more in Menghai. In Kunming, it was found at a stand in an open-air market. In Menghai, in a tea shop near the bus station.
The aroma is lightly vegetal, very slightly hay-like, with a hint of sweetness. Overall, this is a mild tea. It is lightly earthy, with mild astringency with each sip. With a small amount of bitterness with each sip, but mostly the herbaceous sweet flavor of the tea, I absolutely adore this tea.