204 Tasting Notes
Thank you to TheTeaFairy for a sample of this. I used the entire 2-cup sample. I have to say I am not getting a lot of toffee. It’s an ok tea but I sweetened it with honey and so I’m getting mostly honey flavour. I tasted it before the honey went in though and it was slightly … toffee. As in, if I try really hard and someone whispers to me “toffee”, then I’ll be like “yes, yes, you’re right, toffee!”
My first Zen tea. Didn’t make a whole lot of impression.
A couple of days ago I made a cup of this hot and I said I would try to cold steep the rest of the sample from the generous TheTeaFairy because I wasn’t getting as much blueberry flavour as I was hoping to get based on the smell.
I was right. Cold steeped this is way more berry than choco :) 1.5 tsp for 8 oz cold water in a closed mason jar in the fridge. Once it was ready (approximately 2 days because I kinda forgot it) I made a quick simple syrup and sweetened my cold brew. It is finally satisfying. Leaving rating the same.
Nooooo! Why do I have to be the one with the first note?!? Me! A total newbie! One who is determined to like ripe pu’erh and drinks it solely because , well, breaking in a horse is tough, right?
Again, many thanks to Dexter3657 for the sample. I am certain this is good pu’erh. Maybe even excellent pu’erh. Also, according to mrmopar who I’ve sought out for advice I should be trying a good pu’erh at least three years old so that it’s starting to mellow a bit. You see, I really didn’t want to purchase pu’erh from unknown sources (or even known) without knowing for sure it is good pu’erh. I mean, I’m already struggling. I’d hate to struggle and then find out I’ve been drinking shitty stuff that’s just not going to be tasty no matter what you do. But how to know for sure? Well, Dexter3657 swears by Mandala and mrmopar steered me towards menghai. As luck would have it dexter sent me a piece of this cake, which fits all the criteria I’ve been presented with. It’s ripe, it’s at least 3 years old and it’s menghai sourced by mandala. How can it not be good?
So here I am, steep number 4. I made it this far!
I am certain I overleafed because I don’t have a digital scale so 5grams got eyeballed. Also I used less than 2 cups of water.
The first steep was my favourite. (30 seconds after a short rinse). Gorgeous reddish brown colour, kinda like clay. Did only barely smelled fishy. Which I need to say, because I forgot, the dry leaf to me smelled like smoked/cured whitefish. So yeah, I was surprised. Not fishy! I can drink it although I think the days where I actually look forward to this are rather faraway.
Second steep. (1 minute) Uh-oh. It has darkened. Like coffee dark. But happily, I can drink this because it DOES NOT smell. And I am not sure what I taste. And it’s chewy. I think.
Third steep was the same as the second in colour of the liquor and its taste.
Made it to steep four, kept steeping times not much longer than a minute because I was afraid. It’s cooled because there is only so much I can drink in one sitting. It tastes a little fishy. I cannot get any subtler notes or anything. Patience, grasshopper.
woohoo! A few more practices and who knows, I could actually be joining the little league. Well, maybe the bush league first.
Gosh. I am not looking forward to tomorrow’s practice but we must press on!
Thank you to dexter, mrmopar and of course mandala for providing a source of tea we can actually trust when it comes to quality. Maybe there are others out there but hey, for me if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Also known as why look for better when you have the best?
Smells awesome, this one. I love blueberries. Taste is alright, I get blueberries more than chocolate which is great because I have tons of chocolate tea so if I wanted a chocolate tea I would have just brewed those.
Unfortunately it is way more juicy smelly than it tastes, you get a fair bit of base, — oh man, if this tasted like it smells! — but I will definitely enjoy it as i start my workday this morning. Taking in the travel mug, two steeps combined, with 1 tsp of sugar added. Has good but faint blueberry aftertaste.
Thank you to TheTeaFairy for this sample. I think I will cold steep what’s left just to see. DAVIDs blueberry jam tastes way better cold steeped (don’t know about the chocolate bits in this one though).
Side note: I slept 3 hrs last night. I started reading “50 shades of grey”.
I totally should have read the description on line before making this tonight. Then maybe I would have changed my expectations and wouldn’t have been disappointed. Because if I were reading “tangy and astringent” would have likely opted for a different one tonight.
I was thirsty and thought yeah, iced tea, since TheTeaFairy who sent me the sample — thank you! — said she prefers it iced. I really thought I was getting green apple and it sounded delicious. I got no apple in sight just a bunch of astringent base. I thought to myself “ok, I know, maybe this is like the SBT: watermelon, a bunch of sugar will make a lot of difference”, so I added 3 tsp to the 14 oz iced tea I had in the mason jar. Nope, still no green apple.
Also, I have yet to develop appreciation for Sri Lankan tea. Thanks again, TheTeaFairy for leading me in this exploration but no promised land in this one.
Oh look, a sample from TheTeaFairy (who probably didn’t know, when she picked her name, that it will be really hard for people to mention her properly since they have to capitalize three letters in what the iPad recognizes as one word. That’s like having to write PaRtY!)
Just kidding, fairy, you know you’re special.
Anyway, this tea was kinda not my thing. I trusted the steeping instructions written on the sample label although I rarely steep a green for 3 minutes and rarely use 185F. I am getting mostly orange, not at all almond although the orange is not in your face so there’s something muting it. Also,the tea is lightly bitter. Not sure if a two minute steep would have fixed that or not. I used the whole sample in one shot figuring I won’t want to drag 1 tsp around so I went for broke: 2 perfect scoops in the 16-oz DAVIDs steeper they went. Did not resteep (yet).
Can be enjoyed as is but to cut the bitterness I added 1 tsp of honey.
Quick! Someone other than me compare this with Bai hao Yin Zhen from DAVIDs Tea. I would swear up and down that they are the same tea except Bai hao is supposedly white. Maybe they are marketing is as white thinking it works better than saying it’s pu’erh? The teas look the same in dry form and they taste the same once brewed. Even the steeping instructions are the same. Bonus for me is that DAVIDs is $29 for 100 grams when not on sale and the Tealux works out to be $25.00 for the same quantity.
I am serious, you guys. Dexter3657 , I know you have both. Pleeeease have the Bai Hao tonight and let me know? Whoever else has both of them and can compare, please tell me I’m not crazy!
Also, I think now is a good time to maybe address the pu’erh issue. I maintained I do not like it. Maybe I need to clarify by saying I am trying to get an appreciation for the shou kind. The cup I have right now is awesome! But again, I don’t feel like I’m drinking pu’erh.
Many many thanks to Dexter3657 who sent me some pu’erh samples so I can figure out once and for all if it’s for me or not. Dex, you’re a gem.
What a lovely surprise to find a sample of this in the box from TheTeaFairy !
I have to say I thought this would be way more flavourful. More carrot cake like, if you will. Maybe I’m used to the dessert teas from DAVID and Della Terra where you really get cake. I know butiki is usually more delicate. But then again, I had “Three Friends” and I found that tea to really deliver on the flavour promise, it wasn’t pussyfooting around that one!
Here I get a fairly strong base, stronger than the carrot cake or vanilla frosting. I do get the vanilla and yes, there is carrot cake but don’t expect this to be your dessert. Have some cake if you want it because this will not be standing in for the craving. This is tea. Remember. Tea.
Many thanks to the fairy who parted with this limited edition and no longer available tea. Hopefully it wasn’t too begrudgingly, I was thrilled to be able to taste it.