1297 Tasting Notes
I am extremely excited to try this tea, it’s all I have thought about since I got it. 1988, 27 years ago…and also the year I was born. I have tried a Pu Erh from 1988 once before but not an Oolong, it just sounds extremely special. Plus the fact that it’s ginseng just adds to the power of it’s awesomeness. I simply must try it.
I have two hours free before visiting my parents for our weekly catch up. For now I am filling my day with my favourite things. I’m wearing my new A Day To Remember vest top whilst listening to them (favourite band and new favourite item of clothing at the moment). Plus I plan on having ramen for lunch (my favourite) and I’m sure you can all see the theme. It’s all the preparation before trying this tea because that is how special it feels to be trying it. 1988 nostalgia.
The Oolong itself is a medley of brown tones with gold/red stems. Good sized pieces, averaging (3-5mm). They look kind of, squiggly, still in balls but slightly loosened over time.
They smell wooden, dry and musty. Like an old book that hasn’t been read in a long time. The more I smell the stronger the gingseng becomes, herbal yet refreshing and slightly sweet amidst the age of years since passed.
Water Temp: 100 C
Method: Gaiwan 100ml
Rinse: 3 seconds
First Steep – 35 seconds
Medium brown colour. Coffee like scent, dark, sour, bitter, rich…just like coffee.
It also tastes a little like coffee. It’s darkly roasted and sour with some bitterness (but pleasant) and it finishes with a brown sugar lightness. Lingering after taste of chestnuts and prunes.
Second Steep – 1 minute
Still coffee like at first but a little more mellow and smoother than the first steep. Still getting the chestnut and prunes in the after taste. Slight increase in sweetness. Also a touch of dryness during the after taste. The ginseng also adds a refreshing tone.
Third Steep – 1 minute 30 seconds
This is more earthy than the previous steeps. I taste wood and earth, damp, musty and almost Pu Erh like. But still with soft coffee sour vibes. The aftertaste appears increasingly nutty with aid of dryness. It’s a lighter and cleaner steep so far, but still that lingering after taste. Lovely.
Fourth Steep – 2 minutes
Less bitter but still remains sour. Coffee notes are dominant at first before the sourness kicks in and behind that is brown sugar, sweet, refreshing ginseng and chestnut lingering, dry aftertaste. Every other sip the damp wood comes through a bit stronger than it did before.
Fifth Steep – 3 minutes
Light steep but still a good strength after taste. A lot less coffee tones in this now. Increase of dryness.
Sixth Steep – 4 minutes
Not much remains at all, no coffee, no sweetness. Now It’s wet wood, ginseng and chestnut. Light but in the after taste.
It tastes wise, like it has secrets that no one else knows. Wisdom from the years. As coffee like as I found it (and how much I actually dislike coffee) this was a very interesting tea, and I rather enjoyed it. It had more to offer than just the coffee, at times it was like drinking two different teas. First was the coffee tones and then came the nut and fruit tones which was certainly more tea-esque.
Needless to say this was certainly not what I was expecting, but still it was wonderful to try it and I have a feeling I will develop an odd craving for this one. May have to pick up more of it when I can :)
For pictures please view my blog: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/03/1988-aged-ginseng-oolong-a-tea-as-old-as-me/
I have had this a few times and must have forgotten to review it. Whoops! Just as well I have a large cloth bag full of them. I was reminded of this tea when I rummaged my stash to find supplies for the EU TTB, of which this one has been included.
This tea is from Jiulu Tea whom I found on Aliexpress and my reason for buying this particular tea is that I had never tried goji berry in Pu Erh before. It sounded like a nice combination of sweet and earthy.
I like the little wrappers for the mini tuocha, they have a small goji berry flower like symbol on them, along with 4g (which always comes in handy).
In appearance on the smooth side of the mini tuocha there is a single goji berry flower pressed/molded right into them. Wonderful contrast of yellow, green and dark pink/red against the dark and golden brown Pu Erh. So cute! They smell dry, wooden and musky with strong earthy tones. Frankly as you expect Pu Erh to smell, though it is a little disappointing that I cannot smell the goji berry.
Leaf – 2 x Tuocha – 8g
Water – 100C
Method – 100ml Gaiwan
Rinse – 1st for 3 seconds and 2nd for 5 seconds
Reason for both rinses being that I’m trying to unleash the goji berry goodness, as much as possible.
First Steep – 10 seconds
Mahogany in colour with a musky, deep earth scent with some smoke and wood.
Flavour is quite soft and damp tasting with some dryness and a touch of sweetness in the after taste. Smooth for a first steep (which must have been due to two rinses). Also has elements of clay, wood and mild leather.
Second Steep – 15 seconds
Musk and fresh soil greet me at first sip, though smoothly before a soft, floral sweetness develops into a dry after taste. Some clay and damp wood tones too. A little stronger than the previous steep but only just. Also sour for a second before it smoothing itself out.
Third steep – 25 seconds
Darker appearance – reminds me of soy sauce.
More musk and less smooth at this point. Also has a herbal taste that is sour and damp. Not sweet as it once appeared. Dryness remains and takes over in the after taste.
Fourth Steep – 30 seconds
Thicker in flavour though less musk and more damp soil. Also more smooth, slight sourness left but not much. Remains dry in the after taste but the sweetness if coming back slightly as well from the goji berry. Still a herbal sweetness above all else but it makes a nice change.
Fifth Steep – 45 seconds
Another nice steep, perhaps my favourite so far. It’s a lot smoother than it was and the flavours are more balanced. It’s thick in warm, fresh, damp soil but in a way that makes me think of a forest late at night. Light smoke, musk and herbal tastes with dryness break apart my hazy day dream which just leaves me asking for more.
Cryptic in terms of a review I suppose but that is what it made me think of and part of my
reviews is to incorporate my experience, thoughts and feelings with others. To share a vulnerable part of myself with the world, in a sense.
Sixth Steep – 1 minute
Back to mahogany in colour.
Smooth and soil like still, if anything the dryness is not as bad as the start. Unless I am just used to it? Sweeter I think than any other steep, particularly towards the after taste. Beautiful surprise.
Seventh Steep – 1 minute 30 seconds
Going milder now, but as it does it increases in sweetness. Finally! I have been hoping the goji would have more flavour than it has. No wood or smoke at this point. Also dryness truly is disappearing.
Eigth Steep – 2 minutes
I would say sweet herbs and soil is all that really remains. Sweet enough to be counted as brown sugar like. Not a whole spoon of it but a pinch.
Ninth Steep – 3 minutes
Not much remains but that touch of sweetness is a nice reminder of what once was.
I said it earlier but it’s worth mentioning again, the goji berry did not taste as strong as I was expecting. It wasn’t a case of tasting it and going “oh yes, that is goji berry right there”. If I didn’t know what it was then I would have guessed it had some herb in it, something I probably hadn’t heard of and wouldn’t have thought to mention much of. Still it was ‘different’ yet at the same time the Pu Erh was nice enough and ‘typical’. So yes, it was not as special as it looks and sounds but it did what I expect of a basic Pu Erh.
It is with thanks to Red Fennekin that I may try this tea. I’m sorry for the 5 month wait before reviewing!
Good morning everyone, it’s 9:18am and already 23C and expecting to go over 30C. In other words, it’s too damn hot! I hate hot weather, the type of heat that you just sweat in and can do nothing to prevent it. I truly hate it. The only thing getting me passed it is the thought of hydrating myself spectacularly with copious amounts of tea.
This will be my first tea today so far.
Leaf – 5g
Water Temp – 90 C
Method: Gaiwan 100ml
Rinse: 5 seconds
The leaf is tightly wrapped into good size (around 4mm) balls that consist of deep brown and green colours with a subtle yellow tinge near the stem. They have a high gloss appearance and the stems almost look like golden tips.
Scent is thick with sweet grass, honey and cream notes. Very beautiful!
First Steep – 40 seconds
Pale yellow colour with a sweet honey, cream scent. Reminds me of sweetcorn and honeysuckle flowers.
Flavour is soft with grass, honey, cream, floral (honeysuckle, peony, gladiola) notes and a dry yet perfumed after taste. The pre rinse has truly opened up the leaves to unleash it’s beautiful flavours. Also I know gladiola may seem a little random but it was the first thing that really sprang to mind in terms of flowers so I wrote it down. Wonderful first steep.
Second Steep – 50 seconds
Still light in strength but has smoothed out a little in this steep. More grassy and dry and a touch less sweet. Still very floral and with dryness. Also would say it’s lightly toasted. Like fresh flowers and grass that have been dry toasted in a hot pan for thirty seconds.
Note: The after taste now starts to taste like sweetcorn. It’s sweet but also dry, fresh, juicy and lightly earthy.
Third Steep – 1 minute
Note – More yellow in colour but still remains light.
Light but with a stronger after taste than previous steeps. It starts sweet and mild but grows into thick grass with flowers and that touch of dryness that makes it almost perfumed. Also still getting a lot of cream notes but less toasted element.
Fourth Steep – 1 minute 15 seconds
Still a lot of flavour and very beautiful, fresh floral notes. Very smooth and well balanced, the dryness has not increased. I would also say I detect an element of fresh hay.
Fifth Steep – 1 minute 30 seconds
This is the first steep that actually has reduced strength and flavour. It no longer has sweetcorn or sweet grass notes, in fact the sweetness only remains through the flowers which still hold strongly. The cream however is still just as wonderful as the first steep. Also still smooth but an increase in dryness.
Sixth Steep – 2 minutes
A very light steep, all that remains is gladiola and cream with a dry finish.
This was a wonderful tea and I dare say one of the best Li Shan that I have had in a long time, perhaps even ever! To me this is what hot days are all about.
(ps. For those that follow me on Instagram there are a few pictures of this, before, during and after steep).
I also turned it into a blog post. http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/01/pussy-cat-pussy-cat-where-have-you-been-featuring-li-shan-oolong-review/
Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Hay, Honey, Sweet, warm grass
Bloody hell it’s hot today! Heat wave across the UK. Apparently it’s nothing compared to tomorrow (which is apparently going to be 30C in my area). Funnily enough it’s made me crave black tea rather than Oolong which is my usual ‘go to’ when it gets remotely hot.
My big flaw with this tea with the first tasting was that it was very beetroot like, and it still is though today I seem to really be liking it. Earthy and beetroot, almost dust like but in a nice way. Though I know that is strange and doesn’t sound very nice. It’s strength is not overly complex either which works well in hot weather, evidently. Very re-hydrating.
On steep two so far and I’m about to do dinner so back later or tomorrow. Blog entry coming tomorrow (at last) and Sororitea Sisters post is written and should be published soon. :)
I woke up with a headache and back ache this morning which has persisted through the day. Not to mention my new Vans have cut the back of my ankles up pretty badly from yesterdays visit to the in-laws. It takes a couple of hours travel via bus and train to get from my house to theirs.
With all of this in mind I’m not really ‘feeling’ up to much today. So we decided to marathon ‘24’ and forget about the house work for today. It was when I decided I didn’t want caffeine that I searched my tea cupboard and found this blend. It’s been a while since I had it and thought I would perhaps add sweetener in it this time, just some calorie free stuff. Plus I do love rose petals in tea, they make me feel so pretty.
Sweetener has made honey like tones to this now which blends the dryness of the herbal infusion together a lot better. Much more satisfying than I remember, and the right move it would seem. Albeit perhaps a tad too sweet now it’s better than dry and sickly herbal. That being said this is not a bad drink by any means, it just has an acquired taste. Plus with it being sweeter I can taste more of a rose flavour.
Plan for the day: tea and tisanes followed by 24 and perhaps a naughty take away in a bit. A local vegetarian restaurant does some amazing fishless burgers.
I’ve been drinking this today in preparation of my driving lesson. I was in no mood to drive but had to regain focus so I had three or four bowls of this before my lesson. It was a good plan because my instructor said if I continue to drive like that I will pass my exam :D
I reviewed the sweet, cow milk version with pictures on my blog and honestly going from that blend to this one was difficult. This one is much less sweet (which I decided would be better for my diet) and I prefer soy milk anyway in general. So less sweet, more dry (from the soy I believe) and with a nutty sort of light after taste. I adored the sweetness so to adjust I did have to start using sweeteners. Now I’m happy with this ‘au natural’.
The Matcha itself tastes mild but with enough grassy and warm umami tones to be pleasing and recognizable. More soy than Matcha in terms of flavour depth but it’s nice and if it helps me stop the sugar intake then I cannot complain. Would buy this one again for sure.
Well I was about to type and say my plan for the day but as I was about to begin I received a text message from my husband to say his uncle has passed away. I only met him once as he lives quite far away but he was a nice man, welcoming of me into his family and it’s truly tragic news. He looks like the double of my father in law, it shocked me the first time I met him. Like twins, I will always remember that.
So getting onto what I actually was going to say and start with before being given such sad news. Today I am cross stitching up a storm to try and get somewhere on my Heaven and Earth Designs chart. It’s a massive piece and will take a long time to finish but I adore the design and plan on persevering through. It’s a free chart on their website called Ice Princess by Hannah Lynn, so if you’re into cross stitch/sewing then take a look.
To aid my busy sewing day I have a large pot of this delicious Bi Luo Chun that I plan on re-steeping a few times. Usually I would glass tumbler this tea but today I grabbed my personaliTEA teapot from Adagio and decided to brew it that way. Much thicker than the glass tumbler way but just as tasty, gives me a real burst of energy which keeps me sewing.
Then to top it off I am watching horror films throughout the day. Started with Carrie 2 and now moved onto Stake Land. I adore horror films more than I do tea and that is truly saying something. It’s a trait I picked up from my parents and we often enjoy watching horror films together. The more gore the better.
And that is my day and tea of the day, I hope you all drink some wonderful tea today!
I’m in the mood for something black or dark after dinner so I chose this tea.
The leaves are a beautiful combination of silver, red, and brown shades in little cute, squiggly pieces. Dry and wooden in scent.
This tastes as dry and wooden as it smells, but at the same time it’s slightly sour and slightly floral without being sweet. It’s not too thick in strength which makes it rather refreshing. The after taste is sour and wooden but it lightens to leave a musty, earth tone.
It’s quite nice but not one of my favourites in terms of Darjeeling, nice for every day but not for special occasions. At least not for me. May try this iced shortly and see what the difference is.
Oh my word, has it really been two months since I last wrote? :o Many apologies! During that time I was studying for a Driving Theory Test which I have now passed and in honesty I went to a bit of a dark place and had to lift myself back up. I drank tea but did not feel like doing much of anything, I’m sure some of you will understand. It’s behind me now and I’ve had my time to recover.
Today I have had approx four mugs of this which includes a re-steep. It’s been helping me get through my day very nicely, a random pick this morning after breakfast. The leaves are beautiful, brown that turns green in the water and smells lightly of brown sugar and dry wood.
Flavour has been incredible all day, remaining consistently sweet, earthy, wooden and with a slight sour hint in the after taste. Not enough to be malty but almost, more sour wood but fairly thick.
I think this is one of the nicest Bai Mu Dan that I have tried, even with the re-steep it’s delicious!
Will work on a new KittyLovesTea blog entry featuring an award winning Canton Tea Black so stay tuned for that. Also keep an eye open for more SororiTea Sisters posts :D Will be working on one in a day or two.
Oh and ps – I’m listening to Spotify as I just joined and must say I’m loving this song at the moment, if you like rock/metal then check it out.
Red Is The New Black – Funeral For A Friend
It is with thanks to my wonderful international friends that I can proudly review this Davids Tea sample. From Canada all the way to the UK!
My first thoughts on this tea are of the scent, which I was met with as soon as I opened the packet. Sweet yet spicy cinnamon stick tones mixed with light herbs and wood with a dry, nutty finish. Chai like but super duper cinnamon-esque. As a huge fan of cinnamon I find it particularly charming!
In appearance the small/fine Rooibos blend is met with large, rough pieces of what I believe to be apple and cinnamon stick. Giving it a rocky, desert feel.
I followed the steeping parameters given by Davids Tea which can be found further up in the Tea Description.
Once steeped I am met with a delicious spicy cinnamon scent that reminds me of ‘Red Hots’ candy. My childhood was built around that candy! This scent takes me back.
In flavour the cinnamon bursts through with spices behind it before softening into a sweet, light, herbal blend that lingers in the after taste. It’s a little dry but still acceptable. In terms of Chai there is a spicy touch about it but the heavy cinnamon makes it completely different, it takes the idea of Chai to a new level. And similar to scent, this does have nutty notes which are increased by the dryness. Tried to consider which type of nut but came to the conclusion it tastes mixed and I couldn’t differentiate it.
Also I can’t help but taste ‘Red Hots’ candy when I take small sips of this. It’s pure nostalgia in a cup!
Overall I really enjoyed this tea. It truly is cinnamon heavy and though it does offer a spicy Chai element and slight Rooibos flavour (which others may find more pleasing) I am taken aback in awe by the simpleness of it. Plus it has to be said that this being Organic is the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak.
Chai? Yes please.
Cinnamon Chai? Heck yes please!
Nostalgia? All the time. :)
For more information on this tea please view my SororiTEA Sisters post.