783 Tasting Notes

85

Thank you to the lovely Angel for sending me some oolong samples :)

The dry tea looks like clusters of darker green tea. The scent it a bit cabbage-y. It very much reminds me of a long jing green tea scent.

I have had this tea before, and looking at my review, I feel like this is a totally different tea. To be honest it probably is a different tea as it would be from a different years harvest. I also brewed it differently.

The tea brewed up quite nice. The clusters did not fully unfurl which indicates to me there are many more steeps to come.

This tea is very lightly floral, but there is that nice vegetal flavour similar to the long jing. It is smooth, slightly buttery. I am not getting any astringency that I picked up on the first time I had this tea.

Again, very impressed with Teavivre as usual :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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75

Another sample from the Awesome Scribbles!

I was looking for just a straight black tea this morning. I couldn’t stomach the thought of a flavoured tea for some reason. No matter, I picked this one.

This tea is interesting. I am getting a lot of earthy tones, slightly mushroom. I immediately wondered if this one was blended with a pu-erh tea, but it doesn’t seem to be. It is thick, bold, malty and slightly sweet, sweet only in the way a black tea could be sweet. Still getting lots of fresh soil, earthy tones. Which is not terrible, just not what I anticipated from this tea. I could imagine how good this te would be with milk, but I went for straight black as I usually do not add any milk or sweeteners to my black teas.

Not my favorite Joseph Wesley tea so far, but it is still good, just not to my taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
scribbles

This one is just ok for me too.

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Do you have the 2013 Classic Chinese or the 2014? The 2014 is very tightly rolled and full leaf. The 2013 was quite broken and not very tightly rolled? They were made from the same estate, using the same leaves but we took last year’s leaves and used them for one of our tea sachets. This year’s tea is a much higher graded black tea. I suspect you have the leaves from last year. If true, I would be interested in getting your reaction to the new leaves. Send me a message at [email protected] and we can figure out a way for you to compare the two tea. Cheers, Joe

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80

Another sample from the awesome Scribbles!! She sent me a few Joseph Wesley teas to try in addition to all the Assam teas that she scent me.

When I first smelled the dry tea, there was a very strong scent of cinnamon and sweet fruit. I think there was some scent contamination from how it was packaged, I left it in an envelope with other fruity flavoured teas.

However, after it was brewed, the cinnamon scent was gone. There was a very sweet potato scent to the tea, slightly vegetal, a bit malty.

I quite like other Bailin Congfu teas and this one doesn’t disappoint. The liquor is thick but it is not bitter or too bold at all. There is a slight spice, which I am unsure if it is supposed to taste like that or if it was the contamination, but either way, I like it. There is the sweet potato flavour but also a hint of some fruitiness, makes me think of dried fruit. I feel like I am getting a bit of burnt flavour, kind of like burnt caramel without the over the top caramel sweetness, but also it makes me think of charcoal.

This one did not disappoint. I am very grateful to Scribbles for sending me these great teas to try. I think I am starting to like this Joseph Wesley character :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Sil

i really like their teas

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88
drank House Matcha by Hibiki-an
783 tasting notes

Ok this should be my last review on this matcha, for now anyway. I have now tried it cold shaken so I think I have done my due diligence in reviewing this one.

I used 1/2 tsp for approx. 6 oz water, I added 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of white sugar. It took a little more shaking than usual to get it to fully dissolve, which is ok, I am pretending that was part of my exercise routine for today :) It frothed up very nice and was a dark but still bright green colour.

It tasted very smooth, no bitterness or astringency at all, it was slightly sweet vegetal. It could have used a bit more matcha, I will have to play around with it to get the right proportions,

I am super happy with this matcha, which is pretty obvious by my raving, ha ha. I think for a cold shaken, I would not need to use this specific brand name of matcha, but it is the best I have found so far in regards to versatility with a good price point and excellent quality. I also like how I can determine how much sweetener, etc, to mix in with it versus using a pre-mixed sweetened blend.

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88
drank House Matcha by Hibiki-an
783 tasting notes

Made this one as a latte. Sooooo good! Ha ha.

I used 1 heaping tsp of matcha and about 1/2 tsp white sugar. I dissolved that in a little bit of warm water from the kettle. I then frothed up about 3/4 cup of 2% milk and added it to the matcha.It made a delicious emerald green foam. It pretty much tastes like a sweet, slightly vegetal, smooth green tea/matcha latte. No bitterness at all (even when I let it sit for longer than 3 minutes – see my previous review). There is a bit of matcha sediment gathered at the bottom of the cup but I would say that is normal for any latte.

Sil

nice! glad it’s been a positive experience for you

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88
drank House Matcha by Hibiki-an
783 tasting notes

So I have been looking for a new supplier of matcha. I found I was having trouble getting the quality for the price point I wanted. So a supremely long time ago, back when I first joined steepster, some old steepsterites who do not seem to be around anymore, used to recommend Hibiki-an. So I thought I would give it a try. (And I was not disappointed by the company at all).

Please see my post from the official what did you get in the mail thread cut and pasted here: “As many of you know I am a total sucker for “the tea experience”. It doesn’t matter what kind of experience, just any experience will do. All a company needs is cheeky marketing or to send me a toy or button with my tea (Hello A&D) and I am totally sold. OK so I just had to come here and rant and rave about my recent purchase from Hibiki-an that just arrived today. I ordered some new matcha’s to try. First of all, quick shipping from Japan, and it was free. The package arrived as a very thick and sturdy green paper bag (will be super easy to recycle). It was sealed perfectly, not to little tape and not so much you can’t open it without a chain saw. It was supremely labelled in both English and Japanese and the customs declaration was very clear, and as a result it was not opened and violated by customs officials. So I open the outer green package and inside there is a beautiful colour patterned paper bag that is sealed with a decorative sticker. Inside that bag (which was also very easy to open so I didn’t have to wreck the cute paper bag) were little boxes which contained vacuum sealed packages of matcha. They didn’t need to be additionally packaged in little boxes, as far as I’m concerned matcha isn’t really ruined by squishing. I also got a beautiful post card and an English pamphlet on how to create traditional style of matcha. Super impressed :) I am sure I will be ordering more from them, I really want to try their tea treats.”

I ordered the house matcha and also the superior grade, just to try. I mostly use matcha as cold shaken in the mornings, mostly due to ease of use.

When I first opened the vacuum sealed package, the sweet slightly vegetal smell wafted up to my nose. It was delicious. I was surprised at the remarkable emerald green colour. I had some other matcha I bought from local store. But even as cold shaken it was so very bitter. It at one time appeared green to my eyes. But when I compare the colour of that one to the Hibiki-an matcha, there is no comparison. The local matcha almost looks dreary muddy brown-green. I very carefully cut open the Hibiki-an package and then when I tried to dump it into my matcha canister the fine emerald green powder sprayed all over my counter and floor. I really didn’t lose a lot of the matcha but it was a pain in the you know what to clean up.

I thought I should try this one hot. The recommendations that came from the company were 2 chasen (1tsp) whisked in 70 ml of 170F water. I mixed 1tsp in an estimated 70 ml of water. The recommendations are to drink it within 3 minutes or it will get bitter. My problem is that it was still too hot. I am sensitive to hot temperatures and often have to let my tea sit quite a while before I drink it. So on first sips it was so super delicious, but way to hot for my mouth and tongue. Nice and smooth, slightly vegetal, and just the right amount of sweetness. It did get quite bitter towards the end but only because I was unable to drink it as fast as recommended. I will have to make a smaller amount next time so it will not feel so hot. I will mostly be drinking this as cold shaken anyway, the review will come in time :) , but I will also probably try a latte as well.

If this is just the house matcha, I am quite excited to try the superior grade!

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 70 OZ / 2070 ML
Sil

great review lala :)

Lala

Ha ha. Thanks Sil. I feel like I wrote a whole lot about only a little bit :P

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68
drank Tisane du Berger by Dammann Freres
783 tasting notes

I find it funny when there are teas that are added to the Steepster database but there are no reviews or limited information added. It makes me wonder who added it or why it was added if the information is incomplete. Anyway….

This was a free sample with my last Dammann order. The dry and brewed tea smells strongly of verbena. There are strong mint and verbena flavours over top of a lighter citrus flavour. The citrus leaning more towards lemon than lime or orange. This is a hard one to describe because this tea has no sweetness to it, but it is not astringent or bitter or sour, I have no word to describe that part of it. The mint lingers a long time in the aftertaste.

I was a little scared I would not like this one based on the ingredients but it did not turn out too bad.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Assam by Joseph Wesley Black Tea
783 tasting notes

This one came to me via the wonderful Scribbles!

Scribbles sent this to me becuase I made such a big deal in one of my posts about how much I loved assam. This one does not disappoint.

The dry tea is dark cut up leaves, not crushed though. There is a strong and thick scent of dark purple plums (you know the ones that are so dark purple they almost look black).

The brewed tea is thick and dark with a very slight sweet scent. I am not getting a lot of malt with this one as the description on Steepster states. Maybe getting a very light malt. There is definitely a dark chocolate note to this tea. I am still getting the plum notes.

This is a bold, sweet assam. There is only a very slight dryness in the aftertaste with no bitterness. I feel like I am also getting the slightest metallic tang on my tongue after each sip.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Sil

joseph wesley has some good black teas :)

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Thank you for the thoughtful review Lala. I’m happy to read that you enjoyed the Assam and would love to read how your coming with you goal of making “the perfect cup of chai from scratch.” I’ve cobbled together my auntie’s chai recipes in India which can be found on our website and have found that an often non-discussed step in making chai is (1) letting the milk simmer for about 1-2 hours to thicken it and (2) scalding the milk to initiate to create a toasty, caramel taste, before mixing with the infused tea.,,for whatever it’s worth. Cheers, Joe

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

Thanks Sil for the nice comment. You made us blush!

Dexter

I too am questing for the perfect chai recipe, will have to take a look at your website. Interesting comments about the milk – I haven’t really thought about milk too much other than I like more fat content (skim doesn’t really do it for me). Thanks for posting those thoughts. :))

Sil

I haven’t been able to order yet from JW, but when I do, I can send some samples your way dex.

Dexter

Thanks Sil but the awesome fabulous Miss Scribbles sent me some. I haven’t tried them yet (scared of falling in love with more tea when I’m not allowed to buy any). I will soon though…

Sil

don’t buy! i have a box coming to you! uh… eventually. when it’s full

Joseph Wesley Black Tea

you can all buy different tea and share ;) — just kidding — I sincerely appreciate your interest in our teas. Joe

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88

I ate too much Halloween treats and I feel gross.

So I am drinking this tea and my tummy is starting to settle down.

This was most likely a free sample from Teavivre. I have a giant box of free Teavivre samples. Angel was so nice to have contacted me a long time ago and invited me to take part in Teavivre’s free tasting activity. Every so often Angel sends me a box filled with samples. She is so awesome!

This is by far the best long jing I have had. It always tastes fresh. Slightly cabbage-y or spinache-y, whatever you want to call it. But it is still smooth and buttery.

My new favorite way of brewing this up is kind of gongfu and kind of western. I put the whole 7g package of tea into a strainer then into a latte type mug (like a 12-16 oz). I brew it up with less than boiling water for maybe 20-30 seconds. I make a few steeps out of it but the first one is always the best.

And now the trick or treaters are here!!! I have to go.

Signing off.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
caile

This is a nice one!

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80
drank Christmas Tea Vert by Dammann Freres
783 tasting notes

Free sample from Dammann.

I have had this one before. Today I am getting delicious buttery, creamy flavours. Makes me think of thick and creamy cream cheese icing, the sweet kind with no tartness, mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon. With a hint of sweet and mellow vanilla. Mmmmmm. So good.

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Profile

Bio

I am a lifetime tea lover.

I did foray into the world of coffee for a period of time, but I returned to my true love. I still, however, enjoy a good cup of java.

My all time favorite tea is Earl Grey, which I drink every morning, the stronger the bergamot the better. I definitely prefer natural oil of bergamot to artificial flavouring.

I mostly like black and dark oolong teas. My current favs are Fujian blacks, Keemun and Assams, and Wuyi oolongs. I gravitate towards anything with lychee in it. I also drink a lot of herbal blends but am wary of hibiscus. I do not favour mate, or pu’erh tea, although I have found a few blends that I like. (I so badly want to like straight pu’erh tea but it all tastes gross to me. I keep trying though). Rooibos, green and white teas fall somewhere in the middle. I find myself gravitating towards heavily roasted oolongs and teas from Paris/France based companies.

I love iced teas and cold brews.

My current tea goal is to make the perfect cup of chai from scratch – almost there…I think.

I am in love with the whole experience of tea.

Location

Saskatchewan, CANADA

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