1868 Tasting Notes
These came from a friend of mine who lives in the UK (and unfortunately is not on Steepster). The blossom held together well despite its trip through the mail and unfurled nicely without shedding too many bits in the process. The tea was an interesting one – a mix of vegetal and nutty notes with a hint of smokiness. The floral jasmine was in there too, but it was light and restrained which I appreciate as there’s nothing I hate worse than feeling like I’m drinking a cup of jasmine perfume.
90ºC seems like a hot steeping temp for a green oolong, but the short length of time seems to keep the leaves from getting scalded, I suppose. It’s a tea more suited to a gong fu style brewing, I think, and maybe one of these days I’ll get the proper utensils to give that a try, but not today unfortunately.
The first steep at one minute brewed up a nice gold colour and had a lovely lilac scent. The flavour was floral and sweet with a slight fruity note. I think I can pick out the osmanthus, but it’s quite subtle and mixed well with the natural floral notes of the dong ding base.
The second steeping at 45 seconds was lighter and more floral and the third steep at 35 seconds took on more of a vegetal tone with an slight peach-like aftertaste. Each time the tea never lost its smoothness and refined character. Overall it’s an interesting-tasting, good quality oolong, but if you take away the osmanthus notes what’s left isn’t anything really unique.
This is another blend that I missed out on the first time around but managed to pick up thanks to Rachel. It’s not a tea that’s really suited to being drunk plain with very fine broken tea leaves and lots of ginger and cinnamon making it too harsh without some milk added to it. But it really does taste like gingerbread and it practically screams autumn/cold weather/holidays to me. I’d love to do this up as a latté – I’m betting it would beat out Starbucks’ artificial syrup-laden version any day. ;)
I found a couple samples for Chi of Tea in my cupboard – no idea how old they are. ¬_¬ Clearly this is a sign that I need to concentrate on drinking up all my older teas and samples.
The scent makes me think of bubble gum, which is a bit odd as I’m used to pu-erhs smelling very earthy. The earthiness comes back in the flavour, though it’s fairly mild compared to some pu-erhs I’ve tried (admittedly my experience is pretty limited). I can taste the orange flavour clearly, though it’s more like a sweet mandarin orange rather than a sour, acidic navel orange type of taste. However I noticed that each sip ends on a weirdly dull note that I’m not sure I care for – maybe I just need to steep the tea longer or hotter.
Have you ever opened a bag of tea and it smelled so good you wanted to eat the dry leaves then and there? That’s what this tea smells like to me – it reminds me of the awesome almond cherry biscotti my dad makes.
The tea brewed up quite dark for a green tea, like many gunpowder greens. That base was a pretty good choice because it gave the tea more of a robust slightly smokey base rather than a light vegetal one liked you’d get with a sencha. The almond and cherry (two things that I absolutely love BTW) blend very well with it and the end results weren’t artificial-tasting at all. Two thumbs up, Frank.
I’m not sure why I decided to get this particular tea, I think it just caught my eye when I was rambling through the Teaz Tea (Herbal Republic is their brand) shop on Granville St in Vancouver last year. Any how, I found it tucked away in the back of my cupboard today and decided to give it a try.
The dry tea smells quite spicy almost as if chili pepper had been added to it, though I guess that might be partly due to the ginger. Interestingly the flavour itself wasn’t spicy at all. Instead the tea tasted lightly sweet and herbal with a hay-like note – from the clover maybe? Not sure if it’ll cure all my ills but it’s a pleasant tisane to drink late at night.
I used to thinking of iced tea as being fruit flavoured so cotton candy struck me as a bit of an odd choice for this style of tea. None the less it seems to work pretty well. The spun sugar cotton candy flavour was a bit on the subtle side but adding a tablespoon or so of agave nectar to the jug helped bring it out.
I first tried to order this blend when it initially came out on the 52Teas website – unfortunately that was also during the Canada Post strike and my parcel vanished into that mysterious limbo dimension where all lost mail goes. I was pretty bummed about this, so when Rachel offered it up on her website I was all over that. It was well-worth the wait in my opinion.
The naturally sweet honeybush gives the caramel flavours a nice boost and the apple flavour is easy to pick out and doesn’t taste like that fake green-apple flavouring stuff. Very tasty.