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578 Tasting Notes
I had forgotten I have this tea until I browsed my Adagio collection for something fruity to quench my thirst. A black based fruit tea is always perfect for making iced tea with and this would make a particularly scrumptious one. Juicy and sweet mango with rich and smooth black tea, not a strong mixture but freshing and tasty non the less.
The weather is starting to pick up here in the UK and the first promises of sun and hot weather have given me a craving for fruit. No fruit in particular just something sweet and juicy to relax with.
This fruit tea looked fresh and tasty in raw form, there were chunks of apple and berries that looked so soft and sweet that I had to munch on a few to try. :) Very yummy and fresh.
After the long 10 minute steep the tea is red in colour (from the hibiscus) and has a tart berry scent.
The taste is refreshingly fruity, with sweet apple being the strongest flavour followed by a sour/tart berry taste. It’s not very strong overall despite using 2 tsp of raw mixture and leaving it for 10 minutes to steep. It’s similar to one of those flavoured waters you can buy that have a slight fruity after taste.
Another eBay purchase, I’ve been doing that a lot lately. It’s unusual that I should buy bagged tea like this one but if the price is right I will try anything.
When I open the cellophane a strong bergamot and citrus smell was unleashed. The teas are enclosed into little individual sachets so they are handy to transport (pop into a hand bag or wallet :)
A drop of milk has been added. Once brewed the tea has a gentle bergamot scent with a touch of lemon. In flavour it’s quite mellow and smooth but also slightly sweet with a hint of bergamot and citrus fruit. For a bagged tea it’s very inoffensive and quite pleasing. My husband said it’s going down very well and asked if he could take the rest to work. That’s great for me, while this is a nice tea it’s not to my preferred strength standard so I would have to risk longer steeps which would risk harshness in flavour.
I would drink this again if I was in the mood for nothing particularly special (that didn’t require me to break out a Gongfu or Gaiwan).
I bought this one because it reminds me of my Grandad (who is Welsh and still lives in Wales). Plus I can never have too many black teas, great for when guests come over and just simply ask for tea. :)
The loose mixture smells strongly earthy with a touch of malt. Deep brown black in colour and looks like most other loose black teas.
Once steeped a drop of milk was added. A strong smelling malty tea is created.
It’s strong with a smooth and sweet malty mist. The strength is equal to a decent breakfast tea or for whenever you need a bit of a boost. Even though it’s strong it does taste fresh and the fact that it’s organic boosts it up in rank.
Looks like I have just found a cheap yet delicious and strong black tea to stock up on. :)
Thank you Sare for this sample.
The bag itself is filled with finely, somewhat powdered black tea that smells a little dusky and rich.
Once steeped and a drop of milk is added a strong and sweet yet malty tea is created. It’s better than what I was expecting in honesty, it’s natural sweetness is enough to cover the dusty somewhat musky taste that bagged tea has. The malt is also of good strength which is great for those of us that prefer a stronger brew. I can also taste a dark fruitiness amongst the malty rich black tea and there has been no bitterness so far.
This is one of the only Tazo Teas that I would not mind having more of on my shelf. It says what it does on the bag, it’s strong with a good caffeine kick…what more could I ask for? :)
This arrived this morning from a new eBay shop that I stumbled upon the other day. Almond Cookies sound delicious. Yum! Yum!
The raw mixture consists of long and thin chopped green leaves mixed with white coconut pieces. It does smell like almond but sweeter than normal … it’s starting to remind me of those sugared almond sweets that appear every Easter. Maybe like marzipan too. :) Licks lips
Once steeped it’s yellow in colour and smells like sweet almonds, more toned down than it’s raw form.
Yummy. It tastes like sweet almond sugar cookies. The green tea picks up in flavour the more I drink and it brings a fresh gentle floral hint, it’s also sort of toasty. The coconut is sort of in the after taste but other than that it blends in well. As it cools it gets a little stronger and much more like almond sweets. Perhaps next time I should try this one as an iced tea. :)
I am definitely going to have to buy more of this. Thank you eBay for this nice find and thank you Green Mountain Tea for this delicious blend.
Thank you Dinosara for this sample.
I open the tin wondering what will be on the other side to greet me, lets just say I was happy as to what greeted me. Small black chopped tea leaves that have an amazing sweet, fruity, fresh and floral scent that lingers. Very pleasant.
Brewing with 1.5 teaspoons worth of leaves in an empty tea sac.
Once steeped the tea is dark brown in colour with that same fruity and floral scent. It sort of reminds me of citrus flavoured sherbet.
Sipping…The citrus is sour at first but quickly mellows to become sweet. The bergamot helps to keep the citrus sweet and fresh so the two different sides work well together. There is a little bit of floral taste which is also sweet like peony but the fruit is more dominant. As for the tea as a whole it’s very smooth and of average/fair strength.
It’s an Earl Grey with a twist and for me it works together very well but I also think there is enough character in there to be enjoyed by non Earl Grey lovers.
In one word I find this tea … refreshing.
This is a company I stumbled across on eBay while searing for Earl Grey tea. A super duper fast two days later and here I have it sitting in front of me. The pouches are resealable which is perfect for me.
The raw tea was strong in smell with the bergamot being very notable and fresh. It looks great so far :)
I’m brewing for 4 minutes as instructed and I will be having the tea undressed (ie. no milk or sweetener).
Once steeped it forms a lovely brown colour with a weaker bergamot smell than the raw mix.
Ah lovely this is pleasant so far. The bergamot is sweet and rather mild while the Assam is very smooth. It makes a lovely Earl Grey altogether, the only thing I will have to try differently next time is to brew it stronger. While there was flavour there just was not enough for my personal taste level.
Rooibos and cinnamon go together so well. It may not be winter but I craved a big mug of this today and I’m glad I did. :)
(Read previous notes for a review).
Drum roll Roll up! Roll up! Ladies and gentleman I would like to say thank you for advice and friendship over my first year of tea blogging. That’s right I have now reached just over a year on my Steepster account. :) Also this is my 400th tasting note so it’s a double celebration. Drum roll end
Seriously now As most of you know I adore Earl Grey and when I was digging around in my Della Terra samples box I pulled it out with a grin so wide that my face started to hurt. I had remembered seeing it when I opened it just before Christmas and left in there for safe keeping, today it was a very nice find. Like finding a sunken treasure amidst a messy cabin room that has gotten worse with time. Well…it’s been one of those weekends that has now dragged into the start of my week. But enough of that…
Loose leaf this tea looks pretty with blues and yellows among the black finely cut and curled leaves. Very elegant. :) Not only is it aesthetically pleasing but the smell is divine. Strong bergamot (which is waxy yet sweet) and a creamy rather vanilla scent trailing behind it. Yummy.
Once brewed this forms your average dark brown tea colour but has that same wonderful scent but perhaps a little more vanilla like than before.
Usually I like to add milk and on those rare occasions a spoon of stevia sugar to complete my Earl Grey but I will be sampling this in it’s raw form (without either additives).
Wow. No that’s not good enough… WOW That’s better! This is delicious. It’s smooth and sweet with creamy vanilla tones making it some sort of Earl Grey mist. It’s so fresh and light yet there it is.. that sweet and citrus Earl Grey distinct flavour. It’s very different yet very similar. I may even try a stronger steep next time around to see what difference it makes but so far I am truly loving this.
Such a shame that I only received this as a sample pack and I didn’t think to order a bigger pack to try. :( Oh well, it has been added to my list for when I next place an order.
Thank you Kittenna for this sample.
I just realised that I have never tried Cherry Garcia ice cream but have always wanted to. It may be because if I get the option to buy ice cream which I seldom do (too many calories) then I go for my favourite: Cookie Dough.
The raw tea blend has super large round cherry pieces (they remind me of large currants) with finely cut black tea and a fair amount of cocoa nib. It does smell a little chocolatey and sweet but at this stage it’s too hard to say for certain what it would be, if I was blind folded I wouldn’t have necessarily said it had cherries specifically.
Once steeped the tea has a strong cocoa smell that’s slightly sweet but as as much as it’s raw form.
The taste is a little better, sweet and somewhat cherry like with a creamy finish. It’s not bitter but nor is it completely smooth which makes me think that perhaps the black tea is too strong for the cherry flavour. I think I would struggle to drink this straight so I will be adding a drop of milk to it, after all it should only help aid the ice cream effect.
Well the milk has helped reduce the black teas harshness which pushes the sweet fruit to centre stage. It’s still hard to define it as cherry though which is a little disappointing. The cocoa nib always seems to have a stale/dusty sort of taste (as do most teas that contain cocoa nib) so it’s not as fresh as I would have liked either. I think that’s the main issue, the black tea and cocoa nib are too heavy and harsh for the cherries to actually come through.
Happy to have tried this but it’s hands down not for me. I would have made this into a white tea instead of black as you can make it A – creamier, B – fruitier and C it would not overtake all flavours leaving it more balanced and lighter, fresher in taste. But that’s just me.
I bought two tins of this for £8 from a London China Town shop in Leicester Square when I visited last year. Each tin contains small vacuum sealed packs of around 5g or so each pack and the tin contains roughly 10 packs so 50g.
Well I am using my Gongfu again with 10g (2 packs) and shall be doing the following: 3 steeps:1m,2m,3m 100ºC/212ºF
Whilst raw the tea is small and medium brown in tight twisted shapes with a slight roasted and floral scent.
Once rinsed there is a thick and sweet floral scent with a touch of roasting.
Steep 1 – 1 minute
Golden yellow in colour with a rather toasted flowers scent. The taste is mellow and smooth with a toasted nutty finish. There is a subtle floral sweetness that keeps the Oolong light and fresh.
Steep 2 – 2 minutes
More of a golden brown now in colour with the same strength in scent. There is a much sweeter floral tang now that has pushed the roasted nuttiness behind it in taste order. Remains fresh, mellow and light and deliciously balanced overall.
Steep 3 – 3 minutes
Yellow in colour now with a deeper floral scent. This is definitely the last steep as it’s much softer in taste. There is not much toasted nuts as there is sweet flowers with a hint of rice.
Overall this has been a wonderful no nonsense Oolong with an added bonus of being fresh, light and flavourful. Some Oolongs can be heavy or too thick with one particular flavour but this has remained consistent throughout. For it’s money this is a nice Oolong and it will cure any cravings for Oolong that I get.
Japanese teas are so fun to say. Hojicha … HOOJICHAA! :)
It always interests me when a green tea is not actually green in colour much like this tea. In appearance Hojicha is brown and looks like autumn leaves with no real significance. They are sharp, crisp and smell like toasted rice cakes.
The Jing packaging says to measure 1 tea spoon of leaves per cup and infuse for 3 minutes. I’m thinking of trying this in my Gongfu so I’m putting one and half spoons of leaves to get two cups worth of tea. (One for me and one for my husband).
Whilst the leaves are steeping I notice that they are floating in the top of my Gongfu, slowly they are sinking down one by one as they expand in the water.
Once infused the tea is a golden yellow colour with a thick rice and floral scent. Very similar to it’s raw form in smell.
My first sips reveal sweetness with toasted rice behind it. It starts of reasonably strong before mellowing out quickly in my mouth which leaves a sweet foggy after taste. It’s similar to Genmaicha or Lan Gui Ren but not as thick or heavy, it most certainly does not taste like a green tea.
The second steep was infused for 4 minutes and it’s much more delicate and for me preferable. It picks up a more pronounced floral hint and the sweetness is much more subtle.
Overall I don’t think this tea is for me, it tastes too similar to many other teas I already have and well it’s just not as nice. I think I will stick with my Lan Gui Ren the next time I want a rice cake tea.
Ah Yunnan teas, how I adore you. This was a Christmas gift from my husband that we picked up in London (Covent Garden) on a trip last year. I have been drinking Earl Grey all day and now it’s 9pm I thought I would move on to the stronger/harder stuff (which funnily enough is what I would do with alcohol if I were drinking).
The needles are a wonderful mixture of gold and brown with a shimmery effect. Very hypnotic. It has a sweet almost woody scent that smells very fresh.
I am brewing two teaspoons worth of needles which I estimate to be 3g-4g in my Gongfu. I’m having a cup and my husband will have a cup which means it will be used at least twice (if not more, I will see how re steepable it is). Times and temperature taken from the back of the tin.
The colour is a wonderful golden reddy brown with a magical aroma of sweet malt.
Steep 1 – 4 mins –
In taste this is rich and malty with delicate sweetness. Very clean tasting and fresh, also very smooth. A somewhat malted caramel concoction. Delicious, so far it’s one of the tastiest Yunnan’s I have had the pleasure to drink.
Steep 2 – 5 mins –
The colour looks to be the same shade as the first steep but it’s scent is more mild. The sweet malty tones are still noticeable however. The flavour is still pretty much the same. Sweet, malty, caramel, velvet, woody Yunnan. You make my tongue dance with your flavours before you slip naughtily down my throat giving me a loving warmth.
I believe I can get another two steeps from this tea. Steep 3 will be 7 mins and steep 4 will be 10 mins. Joyous. :)
EDIT NOTE: My steeps for this reached number 3. Unfortunately it got lost in translation after that :( Oh well, two teaspoons and three cups is a worthy feat of tastiness. I have 100g of this so there are plenty more cups where that came from. :)
The quality of this tea is amazing and is now hands down my favourite Yunnan.
I am starting to truly love this tea. I’m on my second teapot of this today and it’s perfect with a dash of milk and sprinkle of sugar. Very strong and very yummy, it’s such a shame I only have half a bag left. :(
I’m trying my best to finish off samples today and since my husband is also off I thought it would be nice to brew a big pot of Earl Grey. It’s been a while since I last had this and I cannot remember much about it, thankfully my previous notes jogged my memory a little.
Thankfully this has stored well. It’s still got that bergamot sweetness and good black tea base strength. A great tea to drink while I play Resonance of Fate on xbox 360. :)
Thanks to a friend I remembered that I had some unusual handmade white teas on my shelf from Nothing But Tea. In their white tea Jade range they have various shapes (ring, lilly, spiral, bamboo) and then they also have butterfly. It’s not your typical butterfly shape (nothing like you would draw if asked) but they are cute to look at.
Pale green and slightly furry to touch with a slight floral scent, these little butterflies are a wonderful little novelty. To think that these have each been hand tied for my enjoyment is rather thrilling.
10 Butterflies are needed per cup with multiple re steeping encouraged. I will be using my small Gongfu for this which equals a nice cups worth of tea. Also just to note the leaflet states this tea is to be steeped at 70°C for 3 minutes.
Once steeped the tea is a very pale yellow colour with a gentle sweet floral scent.
The flavour is also very subtle with the same sweet floralness as the smell. So far it’s reminding me a little of Silver Needle tea. Slightly nutty and dry but the sweet floweriness almost like Peony but not as strong is the strongest feature. It’s very fresh tasting and easy to drink.
Lets try another steep of 7 minutes. The tea has fully expanded now during the steeping process and most have untied themselves from their pretty form to be long and thin.
Very much the same as the first steep put perhaps a little sweeter. The colour is very similar to the first steep but the scent is more floral.
It was a nice novelty of trying this white tea for not only it’s subtle sweet taste but also it’s aesthetics. Being hand tied and created makes it seem even more special which in turn made me special for drinking it. It may be something I try myself in the very near future.
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Oolong, Oolong the song of my life
Will it be bitter or will it be nice?
Oolong, Oolong will you be true?
Please be tasty because I love you.
Alright enough randomness for the time being. Lets get down to the review.
The raw tea consists of small loosely rolled leaves that are dark and light green in colour. They smell very sweet and vegetal but unusual in a way … not good or bad just … well different.
Two teaspoons worth are placed into my gongfu with just below boiling water poured over the top and left to steep for 3 minutes. This is as the instructions state on the package.
Once steeped the tea soup creates a yellow gold colour with a sweet pea almost peony like scent.
Funnily enough it tastes as it smelt raw … very hard to put my finger on it. It is sweet, vegetal, a little floral but it’s something I cannot describe exactly. Is it turnip like? Swede? Butternut? Like I said it’s hard to define but it’s not your average Oolong vegetal taste that’s for sure.
The sweetness advances with a touch of the roasted vegetables and it smooths itself out quickly and before you know it the flavour has gone. Maybe that means I can add misty to it’s description. The more I drink the more I like it and start to taste it’s strength a little better.
The quality of this sample is very nice overall with no stems or sticks to bulk it up. The leaves are dark brown with half having light brown tips, they are also curled and quite long and thin in shape. The characteristics are mostly down to the production, with this particular tea being highly oxidized and re roasted before being left to mature for years under specific conditions.
In turn it gives Big Red Robe (Da Hong Pao) smoky yet floral and sweet characteristics that set it aside from many other Oolongs and teas in general. Plus this brews into the most wonderful orange colour that fills you with warmth whilst drinking.
The tea whilst raw smells like musky autumn leaves with notable floral and sweet highlights.
Once the tea has been washed by a 2 second gaiwan infusion it smells much stronger. Almost like roasted flowers and fermented fruit.
Using my gaiwan I will be adding 6g of tea and starting my steeps with 20 second infusions before increasing by adding an extra 10 seconds per subsequent steep. Water is at 95°C.
Steep One – 20 seconds
Orange brown in appearance with a very roasted nutty smell. Floral on the pallet with a hint of sweetness and a little dry. Despite being roasty there is a lightness there which restores balance between strength and freshness. It reminds me of cooked pecans.
Steep Two – 30 seconds
Golden brown in colour (a touch darker than previously). Smoky baked bread aroma and taste with more pecan/chestnut nuttiness but now with more sweetness. Also a little rice like.
Steep Three – 40 seconds
My favourite steep so far. It’s mellow and roasted with more smokiness and a lot more nuttiness.. Definitely roasted chestnuts in flavour with similarities to malted fruit cake.
Steep Four – 50 seconds
Colour has weakened to a light golden brown. Subtle now in taste and much more floral, so much so there is a slight dry perfumey tinge to it.
Steep Five – 60 seconds
My last steep. Only hints of bread and nuts now with no sweetness to speak of.
Overall this tea had roasted charm, sweetness, floralness, nuttiness, dryness, smoothness, freshness and fruitiness. At it’s best it mimicked a malted fruit cake/loaf which I find agreeable with this snowy weather.
Very different to the Teavivre Da Hong Po I had last night.
For pictures visit my blog.
I cleared this off my shelf just before Christmas only to receive more for Christmas. Luckily it’s only a small pack of around 6 teabags.
The snow stopped last night but the ground is covered with a few inches of pure ice so work phoned to say I don’t need to come in today. Just as well because I know I would fall over like a penguin.
If you have snow where you are and you need to venture out then I wish you all safety and protection. The snow is beautiful but dangerous. Have a good day everyone.
Continuing my floral tea route tonight I decided on an Oolong and chose Da Hong Pao from my Teavivre samples. I have a bag from Canton Tea Club that I have yet to brew but I haven’t been in the mood so this will be a test. If this goes down well tonight then maybe tomorrow I can blog it.
Still brewing in my gongfu tonight with my 7g sample.
3 steeps:30s,1m,2m 100ºC/212ºF
The raw tea consists of large, thinly rolled dark brown leaves with light tips. They smell floral and sweet with a wonderful musky autumn leaves scent blended in. I can also note there were no sticks or stems amongst the leaves.
Steep 1 – 30 seconds
Orange gold in colour with a roasted, sweet and floral scent. Lightly roasted in flavour balanced with sweet floral highlights and a little nuttiness. Only a hint of perfume but overall well balanced.
Steep 2 – 1 minute
The orange colour is wonderful to look at. Dominance wise the flowers have taken over the roasted flavour with the dry perfume after taste remaining at the same level. Sweetness still lingers to create a light tea overall that’s smooth and delicate.
Steep 3 – 2 minutes
Now it’s a similar strength as the first steep. It’s still smooth with no bitterness and the dry perfume flavour is at a minimum. There is also still a little sweetness amongst the floral tones and that wonderful roasted almost baked warmth.
I found the quality of the leaves to be very good which was shown in appearance and taste. It’s not my favourite Oolong but as a floral tea it’s great. My mouth is left with a sweet floral after taste that is sitting very nicely with me. I can definitely see why this is so popular.