1300 Tasting Notes
Review: Green Tea with Mandarin and Ginseng, that sounds wonderful, I do love orange (and similar) flavours in general.
As I open the cap I am met with an amazing sweet and fresh mandarin scent.
In terms of flavour this is as mild as the ‘original’ iced tea ie Green Tea with Ginseng, but the mandarin is so sweet and juicy it tastes like cordial. Albeit a natural and rather nice cordial. A few sips in and the mandarin increases in strength, enough to be waxy but remaining fresh and very delicious. At times it’s like eating an actual mandarin! I can almost taste the flesh and pulp.
As I mentioned before, I’m an orange fan; and quite frankly I found this delicious. The balance of flavour was nice, not too strong or weak but sweet enough to be refreshing and heavenly. I highly recommend this to fellow orange (and the like) fans.
For pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/06/tg-bottled-iced-green-tea-a-way-to-beat-this-heatwave/
Review: I do like the bottle design, the label is rather cute. Very easy to see how many calories, the ingredients and a brief description of the blend.
Once the lid is open I can note a soft yet sweet scent, subtle but refreshing non the less.
The first sip was rather wonderful, sweet ginseng met with clean tasting green tea with mild grass qualities and a lingering aftertaste that keeps getting sweeter, like rock sugar. On the whole it is rather mild in terms of green tea but so very refreshing because of it. The sweetness brings out the ginseng a little better. It’s a nice level of sweetness, not as much as some of the other brands of iced tea I’ve tried. If anything it tastes more naturally sugared than artificially which adds to the pleasantry. Also getting a touch of dryness after a few sips though no bitterness at all.
I can see this going down extremely well on a hot day, enough flavour to be pleasing but fresh and refreshing enough to quench ones thirst from the sun. A very nice combination.
The hot weather has finally hit the UK in full force as we experience a heat wave. It’s times like this that I tend to crave green tea and Oolong in general but lately I’ve found myself craving some black tea. That’s when I remembered about my sample of this from March – Yunnan Sourcing – Premium Club. I know what you’re thinking, “But Kitty, that was months ago!”. And yes it was, but if I’m honest I just haven’t been in the mood for black tea. I have had some in that time to try and de stash but I’m sure most of you understand what it’s like, you fall in love with one tea and similar types and before you know it your fancy has changed and you end up pushing the pre loved tea towards the back of the cupboard. So after such a long wait I am looking forward to finally trying this.
Once the tea leaves are free from their silver packet I can note some gold tips among a dark brown base tone. The leaves are rather thinly rolled and average roughly 4mm in length. A nice mixture of size to be frank, some small and some large but most being similar and meeting in the middle. This deep, Autumn feeling tea has a dry and wooden scent with a touch of sweet malt and cocoa.
Leaf – Approx 7g
Method: Gaiwan 100ml
Water: 100C – Boiling
Rinse: 5 seconds
Steep One – 30 seconds
Golden brown colour with rich sweet wood and malt scent.
Flavour is dry and sweet with wood, malt, date, brown sugar and soft leather notes. Wonderful combination of flavours there and each bowl offers more and more. They blend in very well and linger in the after taste. The only downside is the dryness which is rather thick in my opinion, especially for a first steep.
Steep Two – 1 minutes
A little stronger but still well balanced in terms of flavours, most of which remain for the second steep. The notable characteristics of this steep being: The malt is thick but seems to have smoothed out slightly and is less sweet, the dryness in the after taste has also dissipated a lot and on the whole it tastes better balanced compared to the first steep. Meaning that this steep the flavours are less surprising and less temperamental. That makes this my favourite steep from the two so far. Also the after taste is very much date and prune like, it’s delicious!
Steep Three – 2 minutes
Notes: Softer scent and colour is light golden brown.
Flavour is also softer in this steep, which cuts out a few of the previous notes. Dominance being embraced by the malt and wood tones in particular. Also the date flavour is still present but rather soft at this point. The after taste no longer lingers as such which has been replaced by some sourness. Only a touch of sourness though, nothing drastic and not enough to claim it is bitter.
Steep Four – 3 minutes
An increase in sourness and decrease in strength (as I was predicting). Though despite that the dryness is not as bad in this steep and it still has a nice malt and wood finish. Still enough flavour to be pleasing and on the whole remains fairly smooth for the most part. I would also say that with the sourness it reminds me of light tobacco notes rather than leather.
Steep Five – 4 minutes
Note – I honestly thought it would end on steep four but I felt there was enough flavour left for this steep ie steep five. A pleasant surprise :)
Yes, this is my final steep but it was worth having that one extra. Albeit soft and light, there is some sweet malt tones that remain with a mild sour finish and a touch of dryness in the after taste. I feel that completed my drinking experience perfectly.
This black tea had a wonderful burst of flavours at the beginning and it slowly began to soften. With the main flavours throughout being: Wood, Sweet malt and date; this made for a delicious and rather special black tea. I have tried a few sources for Bai Lin Gong Fu and I believe this is my favourite so far. Reason being that it had the wide array of beautiful notes that for the most part remained consistent and pleasing, plus I found the strength was about right for my personal liking. Not to mention that this actually went very well with the heat wave thanks to the fruit tones.
Now I regret keeping it in my possession for so long without trying it sooner! I suppose all it means is that for right here, right now this is ‘my kinda cuppa’.
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!