209 Tasting Notes
BOOOO! I join the hordes of people who say “nay” to this one. How on earth can something called Bailey’s anything be so bad? I did read some of the reviews prior to fixing this pot the way I like (with raw sugar and creamer) and I am thankful I did so. A few tentative sips was all I could manage. Yes, it is bitter! and not much minty. Maybe Bailey’s is not really THE Bailey’s we are all thinking of but some play on words or something.
Anyway, thank you to Dexter3657 who was probably spared tasting this one since she hates mint. No worries, you didn’t miss a thing!
A very long time ago I had a puerh tea that was flavoured like a cinammon bun. It was so good I didn’t even realize I was drinking a puerh. I also know that quite a few people say puerh has “bready” qualities. Well, tonight I was looking for something sweet and bready so I chose this out of the mountain of puerh I received in a care package. (Thank you!) Sadly I didn’t get any yummy doughy deliciousness out of this one.
I measured about a teaspoon or so in a 8 oz glass gaiwan, and poured off-boiling water over it. The brew darkened instantly. I waited a 10 second rinse and proceeded with the first steep. Aah, there it is, the now recognizable shou smell. Not too bad but definitely sea-weed. I only steeped 15 seconds each for the first two steeps. I saved some of the first steep in a separate cup so I can compare with the second steep side by side. Didn’t notice much difference between the first and second steeps. The third steep was about 20 seconds. Still pretty dark clay in colour, I have a feeling this one will keep going and going. I can’t take a longer steep at this stage, I can barely do 20 seconds! Tastes better as it cools a little but I just don’t get any sort of flavour! A touch of bitterness maybe. Not burned green tea bitter but chew on mild coffee bean bitter. Gosh, can I make any less sense?
It is not unpleasant (omg, I had some shou that made me gag when I lifted the cup to drink) but I can’t say it’s doing much for me. It’s an ok companion for job browsing activities but I wouldn’t take it upstairs with a book or anything.
PS. Don’t know about the fourth steep, I need a break. I need a palate cleanser. The jury is undecided on this one. :)
Sample sipdown, woo! one more ziploc bag down, 60 or so to go. About a month ago I received this from TheTeaFairy and since it was a generous sample I am only now finishing it off.
The very first go at this, a month ago, gave me not a whole lot besides base. This time around I sniffed the dry leaf in the bag before deciding whether I was in the mood for this one or not. Surprisingly, I smelled a berry tartness that I did not detect before. Anticipating nice juiciness I brewed the entire sample, enough for a 16 oz mug.
It is a lot better than the first time I had it, I actually do get a faint berry flavour this time. Not sure about the almond. I still will not restock this tea but I am definitely thankful for the sample. This tea has such rave reviews on here that I would have bought a 4 oz tin without blinking. And I’m sure I would have found many people willing to take it off my hands (cough, Dexter3657 cough).
As it happens, I have Silk True Almond- Vanilla in the fridge and I added some since the tea supposedly has almond flavour somewhere in there. Makes for a way better cup.
Thanks TheTeaFairy ! You saved me from a purchase that would have been disappointing.
I found this to be a little bitter, compared to 2008 Menghai “SPRINGTIME WATER” RAW. I shouldn’t even be comparing, they are different years, different companies. But I’m drinking Sheng now so I’ll be invevitably comparing them to one another.
There is only one tasting note on this and it says this tea has none of the “smokiness” that Xiaguans have. I have no idea what Xiaguan has in terms of smokiness but this one fainly smelled of … errr… (should I say this?) hot dog. I’ve started to recognize it as meaning something savoury and slighly smokey.
I overleafed so I ended up taking half the leaves out after the rinse and saving them for later tonight. Second steep still slightly bitter. I know my tongue is fine so I’m questioning whether there is still too much leaf. Guess I’ll never know. There’s almost the impression of something metallic present at the sides of my tongue.
Can’t say that I like this one all that much but thankful for the sample! I still have enough for several cups so I will give it a go once I rotate through the rest of my puerhs.
This will be a long review and only partly about tea. Skip along.
I went into the city today, got a bit of spring fever even though it’s still cold and nowhere near spring. But it’s no longer -20C and it was SUNNY for the first time in many days. Browsed bookstores, people watched, and then stopped at one of Toronto’s best ramen places. Had this: http://instagram.com/p/lTEyr3nqbi/
It was great while I was eating it and then quite shortly after i finished I got the “oh god, why did I do that?” feeling. You can perhaps understand why on the drive home I thought to myself “pu’erh”. I’m gonna have pu’erh. Which to have? I needed this and I needed to make sure I was going to drink it so I took it easy on myself.
Previously, my sheng have been white. So I was surprised this is dark in dry form. Shows you what I know, right? :)
Although the notes here advise on a 15s steep, to me that’s water. So I disregarded. Especially since the advice for steep time fails to mention water or amount of tea. I did 1 minute, I broke off a thin piece maybe the size of a thumb. My thumb, not shrek’s. 8 oz glass gaiwan came out to play.
The dry leaf smelled faintly smokey to me and then once I steeped it and took the lid off I could smell smokiness on the wet leaf. If I smell the wet leaf now, cold and having been steeped twice, the smoke is gone.
The second steep was also one minute, it gets a little stronger (shit, I forgot to rinse when I started) and it is getting a little stronger and a little, just A LITTLE astringent. Also getting a faint stone fruit in the after taste of the later sips, as the cup has cooled. you know, I’m talking out of my arse here, but I definitely get peach aftertaste.
Getting ready to steep for the third time. I am loving this one. Really. Really! Thank you :)
This is a sample from TheTeaFairy who writes this is “a really good straight black”. I had my doubts because up until now there was no such thing as a good straight black. But since tonight I’m not interested in the chocolate teas I’ve been guzzling like mad, polishing them off slowly, I thought I’d bite the bullet and have this. Steeled myself for great unpleasantness and followed the steeping instructions: 1.5 tsp, 2 minutes, 95C. Well, it was more like 203F but hey, close enough.
Cautious sniff, cautious sip… wait a minute, this … this is not bad. Does not need sugar or cream, in fact I find it vegetal enough at the back that I think it would taste weird with sugar added. I don’t know about malty, like someone said, to me this is more like a dark roasted oolong.
Thank you, TheTeaFairy I like this!
Sipdown! If I didn’t have so much bloody tea I might restock this. As it is, I have too much similar teas in my cupboard. I was going through a chocolate and caramel phase and overstocked those to the point that 80% of my cupboard is black teas with caramel, chocolate or coffee flavours.
It is tasty, I do get caramel (maybe not so much salt and chocolate) and I am a little sad to see it go but I have so much more tea to go through… If I keep restocking favourites I will never drink the not-so-favourite ones. My goal is to almost empty out the cupboard and then restock with favourites. No more random buying. I don’t have the patience and motivation to do swaps and then the tea I don’t like either ends up in the garbage or I drink it because I have to. Neither of those is how I want my tea experiences to be.
So by now I have enough favourites that I can just buy those. For now anyway.
I have never been more aware of the “save to wishlist” button than tonight. Mostly cause I’m thinking, who would wish for this?? Not because it’s awful, not at all, but it’s a weird little concoction.
I received a sample of this from the generous Dexter3657 (thank you, thank you!) and tonight was the night to sip this down. There were 2 scoops worth of leaf in the original baggie so I made all of it. I did not read any of the notes prior but went with a 5 min steep as I do with herbals usually.
The dry leaf smelled of citrus and mint, in that order. The mint was very cool. I don’t know how to describe it. The smell was not overly strong but it was very much mint. Like lozenges. It even tasted a bit like that when brewed, like an aspartame sweetened mint lozenge. I used to drink diet things and now I despise them and am very familiar with the lingering, throat-coating flavour of aspartame, sucralose and the like.
I took two sips of this hot and recognized that it might be like a mojito if I had it iced. So I did. I think it was the only way to drink this. I love mint but not mixed in with licorice. This is my first licorice tea and it will probably be my last. I would love to try mint and lemongrass together, minus the licorice. It would make a pretty tasty iced drink for the summer that, let’s face it, will never come. :)
So maybe I was a little too generous with my rating originally. I always seem to do that. Get so excited with new teas and all they have to do is not throw a curveball. Deliver what your name promises to and you’re golden. (Unlike some teas… Earth Teaz loves to mess with you, the tea drinker, like for example they say almond something or other you get strawberries. Wha?!)
I finished off the small 1 oz sample I bought on Black Friday. It seemed everyone was drinking this and raving and I had coveted for so long…
Speaking of coveting, it is easier to not crave new teas by avoiding this place here. I haven’t purposely avoided, I’ve just been consumed by other things, but the fact remains. If I don’t read about some fabulous tea someone else is drinking it is easier to be satisfied with my own cupboard. Keeping up with the Joneses is hard work, yo :)
I will not repurchase this tea because it’s all cake and no pineapple and I got tons of cake tea everywhere.
“A little weird tasting, but not undrinkable” says TheTeaFairy in her note stuck to the ziploc holding this 2-cup sample. Naturally, I have avoided it and tried all the samples she indicated were her faves. So tonight, after missing again, I thought to myself: self, I bet you will like the ones she hates. So I grabbed the so called weird tasting tea!
Don’t you know it, it’s not weird tasting to me. And it smells like butterscotch indeed. I did add honey because it wasn’t sweet enough for me. It smells faintly of chamomile but luckily it doesn’t taste like chamomile. It almost tastes milky too, I wonder which ingredient does that.
I wouldn’t call this an amazing cup — my goodness, I’d have to read my notes and find which teas I thought were amazing because lately I have found them all to be missing something. Maybe it’s me. I know it is. I haven’t been in the mood.
Great light amber colour on this, not astringent at 3 minutes with 190F water. It’s not a bad tea. I wouldn’t rush out and buy it or anything, despite the alluring name. Thanks again to the generous TheTeaFairy who sent me so much tea I’m still working my way through it.