1351 Tasting Notes
I received my first Bruu Tea Club package today after being tempted by a trial price of £2.99 for my first one instead of the usual £10. One thing that temped me was that you get random little things included each month, one blog review mentioned receiving seeds, chocolates, tealights, tealight paper holder, sweets and that sort of thing. I always love a surprise so I took the plunge.
I took a picture of my box on Instagram.
As you can see this box was Olympic themed and I got a random flag (Somalia in this case), a party blower, a cocktail umbrella and a gold coin chocolate. It also comes with a printed club letter explaining a little information about the teas and some notes on the gifts included with the theme for this months box.
The first tea I tried was Pina Colada Green which is coming to SororiTea Sisters soon. Second is this Brazilian Blend which I have already had a cup of this earlier and my review will be to the second cup. It’s a little silly really because I didn’t know what it tasted of before so I don’t know how I’m going to review it this time.
Ingredients: Mate Green, Red Currants, Papaya Pieces, Bamboo Leaves, Rose Petals and Strawberry Chips.
Raw Leaf: I can see a leaf heavy mix with some rose petals and strawberry chips in though not many, and even less papaya pieces. It smells like soft tropical fruit with a fresh herbalness behind it.
Once Steeped: A yellow liquid is created that bares a mate, herbal type of smell. Don’t ask me what mate smells like because I have no idea how to explain it, it has it’s own unique smell. Think herbal, grassy and toasted all in one.
Flavour wise the mate is the strongest which matches the scent I tried to describe above. It’s not too dry or strong which becomes sweeter with the fruity after taste. Refreshing and light making it easily drinkable which is why I had a second cup of it, that and the stimulating effect. I’ve tried mate a few times and haven’t liked it but this was actually pleasant.
I’m glad I took a chance with the Bruu Tea Club, I have one more tea to try and have agreed to carry on next month for the full £10. I wonder what I will receive next month?
Opening the packet is tricky but I do it eventually. Once opened I pull out a large piece of cake which has remained whole despite it’s journey. There are quite a few golden tips present on the outside of the cake and a beautiful shine. Some of the golden tips have downy hairs that I can stroke, as though the Pu Erh were an animal. I don’t know why I decided to stroke it…perhaps the heat is getting with me? Further inspection shows dark brown leaves the colour of old, dark chocolate. The cake remnant bares a soft, dry wood and clay scent.
Steeping Parameters: 220ml Glass Gongfu Teapot. Tea Leaf 12g. Boiling Water. 2 Rinses each of 15 seconds.
First Steep – 15 seconds
Colour is golden orange with a soft clay scent.
Flavour is mild with some sweetness and an earthy, dusky wood tone toward the after taste. The more I drink the more I can define the sweetness to being brown sugar like.
Second Steep – 20 seconds
Still soft with brown sugar and dusky wood tones, but with added dryness.
Third Steep – 30 seconds
Darker though still soft. Less sweet and more musky now, with old wood and dry earth notes that linger in the after taste. Also the tea liquid is dark at this point too, like red soy sauce.
Fourth Steep – 45 seconds
Slightly sour in this steep and the wood is coming through with some cocoa notes. Still dry and mildly sweet.
Sixth Steep – 1 minute
Similar to the previous steep though with more clay and dryness. It reminds me of autumn, the dry, musky leaves crunching under my feet as I walk through a forest. The smells of an autumn forest match this flavour quite nicely.
Seventh Steep – 2 minutes
An increase of musk though still soft and the sourness is slight. Very wooden.
Overall – I found this Shou to be mild and delicate throughout the steeps which made it difficult to describe the flavours. At least it was consistent throughout. I would say this is an everyday Shou for Pu new drinkers or those that prefer softer teas. Personally I like strength and depth in my tea which this just didn’t have, though despite that it was drinkable and pleasant enough. I had some difficulty breaking up the cake piece so I did it by hand in the middle of my steeps, partly to see if it increased strength.
I honestly cut this steeping short, originally I planned on 10 steeps rather than 7. Don’t get me wrong, it really isn’t a bad Shou when it comes down to it; my personal preference is just that and I can’t like them all. I still think that for the price it’s a decent every day Shou for new drinkers and would recommend it for that. If I can be nothing else then at least I’m honest.
I decided to ice the last of this tea so it would be ready for this morning. While I was sad to see this tea go I thought icing it would be a nice send off.
This morning I served this tea with a slice of lemon. It’s a deep red/orange colour that is cloudy. It looks stronger than it actually tastes but admittedly I did make it a little stronger for a boost this morning. It’s wonderful, slightly sour which is enhanced and sweetened by the lemon. Lightly smoky from the thickness and a date fruit finish.
Why didn’t I ice more of this? If I knew how nice it would be I would have done it more often.
I tried this tea hot last night and mentioned it would be nice iced, so after I wrote the review I got my ice tea bottle and prepared some. I left it in the fridge overnight so I can have it in the morning. While it’s not as hot as yesterday it’s still going to be a scorcher.
I feel like I steeped this a little too strong but it’s probably right on. Raspberry notes are more sour and it’s floral with a perfumed after taste. Slightly dry too. It’s refreshing and hydrating in this mornings heat.
Out of the two I think I prefer it iced, so now I know what to do with the rest of my stash. I think I have around 40g of this left so that is a good few batches of iced tea.
On the cat front, the new stray I have rescued (called Misty) is a little more settled today. It’s still less than 24 hours but she loves her fuss and has finally had something to eat. The litter is another story, I will have to see if she uses it. I haven’t seen her go at all so far but she may have in the night.
I’ve had a feral cat before, Honey became my best friend over time. She took almost all of my patience over the first couple of years but she settled and became happy. She died earlier this year but she was going to be put down without my care, and I feel the same with Misty. She may be younger than Honey was when we got her but no one wanted her and RSPCA refused to take her in. She would either die outside from the dangers (heat, foxes, dogs etc) or someone nasty would find her and hurt her. I still think I am doing the right thing. My other cats are not sure what to make of her but it’s early. And my husband is grumpy…but at least I can sleep knowing I’m trying my best.
What a crazy day! It’s a heat wave with highs of 33 degrees c (which is 91.4 Fahrenheit) and because work is a glass building I had to work outside in the heat. I have also got a new cat now to make number 5. This morning when I pulled in to work someone near by said she has a cat living there and no one wants her. She is black, fairly small and lives in a hedge. I have been talking to my husband all day and after some arguing I brought her home anyway. She has been here for about an hour and half, she’s in my living room with my other female cat. Though they are not seeing eye to eye Cassie is being patient and gentle, the perfect introduction I think. My boys have had to be kicked out of the living room as they stalk her, she needs to be introduced slowly. For now she has no name but I am thinking Misty.
So for a change of my usual tea taste (which has been black and Sheng) I pulled this out of the cupboard. Originally I wanted a green tea but saw the osmanthus in this and thought it was perfect for the heat.
This smells very sweet and floral, the osmanthus clinging to my nostrils like perfume. The steep revealed the leaves are not great quality (some discolouration and holes) but it tastes nice enough. It’s sweet with a slight sourness to it like raspberry and the Oolong is light and milky. On the whole it’s only mild strength and the osmanthus doesn’t last long in the after taste.
Further steeps remain consistent, even the raspberry quality. Essentially it tastes like creamy raspberry tea which is not a bad thing on a hot day. It was 50g for around £3 so I didn’t expect much from it, needless to say it is nicer than I expected. I can see myself using this for iced tea in the near future.
I’ve spent approximately 8 hours hunting down Pokemon thanks to the official release of Pokemon Go in the UK today. I’m pretty thrilled with my Meowth which I found lurking in my house…with 4 cats here already it makes sense another would find it’s way here. I will have to put more effort in tomorrow, today I have been too tired to walk around much.
I have had this tea before but didn’t get around to reviewing it. Frankly everything about this tea is amazing. It’s a good quality Baozhong with butter, cucumber and sweet floral notes before a juicy watermelon after taste that lingers freshly in the mouth. There is nothing about those flavours that is not to like, at least to me. Cucumber and watermelon are two of my favourite foods ever and having them in such a pure and delicious tea form makes it amazing. Not to mention the Baozhong base can be re-steeped successfully a lot of times so it’s a case of having as much watermelon deliciousness as you can handle.
Yay I just caught another Pokemon while writing this review. It’s a good night!
My husband is out with work friends and I almost regret offering to give him a lift home. His problem is time escapes him and before he knows it the bar will be closing and he stumbles into the street at 4am. I have work in the morning and it’s already 10:30pm, hopefully he phones me early so I can snuggle in my bed. I got a teddy bear soft sheet that Oliver kitten loves, he has a thing for sucking soft wool things. Apparently wool sucking in cats and kittens shows that he was taken too early from his mother and he is trying to find a way to bond with her. I had him when he was 4 months, he was the one found on the street and so I took him in. I do worry about him sometimes, does he even remember his mother? What about his siblings? I can only pray that they are alright.
Anyway, back in the world of tea I am drinking this in the hopes that it will keep me busy to help me stay awake. My eyes are feeling heavy and a little droopy but if I’m not clear minded I cannot drive. Enter some purple tea in a beautiful cake form. I’m three steeps in and am impressed by it so far. It tastes like you expect for Sheng but it’s darker in colour than you would expect, of a normal Sheng that is.
It’s sweet and smooth with earth, musk and floral notes. On the whole it’s easy to drink and would make for a nice everyday tea. The cake was $8 for 100g which I feel is a very good price. Usually I cannot stomach cheap Pu Erh, it’s either too strong, too sour or it lacks flavour altogether. This may not be top quality, but it’s certainly nice enough to make me want more. I think I’m going to steep the shit out of this tea!
BTW steep three in a teapot was large enough to open the leaves fully and for the most part they are whole. I love seeing the leaves after, it’s a reminder that I’m drinking something natural.
I will be here, steeping and waiting for a drunken phone call.
First Steep – 1 minute
Tea Colour and Scent – The colour is burnt orange and it bares a thick, malt scent.
Tea Flavour – This has a lot of flavour for a one minute steep. It has both malt and dry wood attributes with sour cocoa that transcends into chocolate for the after taste. Some sweetness though mostly sour and with a rich mouth feel.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
Tea Colour and Scent – Red colour with a sour malt scent.
Tea Flavour – Thick and rich with sweet malt dominating a sour wood undertone. The aftertaste is cocoa like and sour but smooths out quickly. Also slightly drying in the after taste.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
Tea Colour and Scent – Orange/red colour with a sour wood scent.
Tea Flavour – It’s toned down but still thick in malt and sourness. Whilst still sour it has at least relaxed and it doesn’t last for long. The after taste is just as thick but evermore drying. Perhaps my favourite steep as the balance is better.
Overall – A thick and flavourful tea which is more like a classic black, albeit better quality than average. It’s a good quality everyday black tea which has it’s pro’s and con’s. I found it became sour very quickly but I did enjoy the richness of it.
The processing tastes more like a classic black tea and what I am more familiar with, so this method must be quite common in production. It’s also my usual preference in a black tea, I like them strong and rich.
It says that this tea should improve with age and I am very tempted to test that theory, given that it’s a new tea it should smooth out in a couple of years. If I can leave it alone for that long!
Pics and more information: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2016/07/13/white2tea-club-july-2016/
My small YS order arrived yesterday and this tea was in it. I bought the easy purple clay gaiwan set for me to use at work and thought this tea would go well with it. I will go on record and say that for the best part of my tea drinking exploration I have disliked Pu Erh. I kept trying it over the years and found it either too bitter or too soft. There were a few exceptions but for the most part everything I had I disliked and I felt that perhaps Pu Erh was just not for me. That was until this year I decided to perhaps explore even further. I believe I was getting tea from the wrong places, and the cheap grade Pu Erh is not worth it. Some came without certificates and some deals were too good to be true, it’s no wonder I disliked them, you get what you pay for. Now I will only buy Pu Erh from dealers that I trust.
That leads me to this tea, purchased from a trusted place and a nice quality. The golden tips are beautiful! Full of downy hairs and shine, with a musty smell that is sensual and peppery. I’ve come a long way to even willingly drink Shu let alone describe it as sensual.
I’m not keeping time of steeping times and this is a relaxed review, something I do for personal enjoyment. Sometimes there is no fun in having to start a timer.
In flavour this is soft, smooth and very easy to drink. While it’s subtle in flavour the creaminess makes it very enjoyable. Earth mixed with raw sugarcane and an aftertaste of dry, light musty wood. No impure flavours or scents.
A few steeps in and it remains consistent in flavour and strength.
I’m writing this when I’m supposed to be doing my white2tea club blog. I should really get back to that. Until then I will be drinking and thoroughly enjoying this tea.