174 Tasting Notes
Thanks Cameron B for the sample.
I’ve really been on a black tea kick the last couple days. Good thing Cameron sent me a bunch of yummy blacks! Ooh, and, guess who got an A in her Managerial Accounting class. This girl! I’m so happy, I really needed the A. I did not do so hot Spring semester, and it pulled my GPA down from 3.5 to 3.28. So, this should boost it to at least a 3.3. So of course so celebrated a wanted a good chocolately black, and this beckoned to me.
The pearls of this are so huge! I think it’s my first black pearl, and they’re so much bigger than the green dragon pearls I’ve had. This is one I really regret not steeping in my glass french press because holy expansion! I love watching leaves expand, I’m easily entertained.
I steeped all 5 pearls in 8oz of boiling water for 1 minute, and the result was a medium bodied, cocoay and malty cuppa, but theres also some woodsy taste, and leather? Mixed with the cocoa and malt, it adds depth and interest. Yummy, this is good. Second steep at 3 minutes was more full bodied, a little more cocoa, and I that note that I think you guys call Autumn leaf pile? My cup seems to keep emptying on me, I don’t understand (;
I’ve been avoiding studying for my final (I busted my butt this last 6 weeks, and managed to set myself up so that as long as I get 74% or more I’ll get an A in a notoriously impossible to get an A in class. But I should still study just in case), so while I’ve had my webcourse page open, and my Lana Del Ray Pandora station playing (my preferred station for homework/quizzes/studying), I’ve spent that last couple hours catching up on things I’ve missed lately on here.
So, the dry leaf of this smells like fresh coffee beans, I don’t usually crave coffee anymore, but the smell made me miss it a tad. Like caramel coffee almost, thats what the dry leaf smells like. I set a timer for 3 minutes, and when it went off, I went to the kitchen to straight it, but then a good jammin’ song came on, and I stood there gettin’ down with my bad self (don’t mind the strange terms, avoiding studying gets me feelin’ some type of way), and then I realize that I forgot to pull the leaves out first, and I don’t know how much time has past: Seconds? Minutes? Hours?! I don’t know! But the tea liquor is inky black, like the swamp from chessey 60s swamp thing horror movies.
Thinking I ruined it, I sweetened it, and braced myself for the first sip. Not bad! I don’t slaughter it! It tastes like dark burnt (the good burnt, not the bad) caramel, and coffee, and some earthiness all mingled together creating what could possibly be Mr. Swamp Things favorite drink. Dark, thick, sweet, but sturdy, a mans dessert tea.
I’m surprised, and glad I got this. This is my second flavored puerh, and the first that I’ve liked. This is perfect for a dessert tea lover that wants to ease into the world of puerh safely.
Hmm, I think I underbrewed this, or underleafed it, because I’m not getting much flavor from this. The dry leaf smells sweet and berry, the wet leaf smells a little vegetal as well. I forgot to cold brew some tea to take to class yesterday, so I steeped 4 tsp of this with 2 cups of 165 degree water, for 4 minutes and poured over ice. Unsweetened, it tasted like those lightly flavored no sugar added type of flavored waters. Water just barely hinting at berry. Sweetening it drew out the flavors a little bit, making it taste lightly vegetal and fruity. Not bad, I mean its more flavorful than water, and it was still refreshing.
I tried resteeping the used leaves, cold brewed, for 24 hours. The result has more flavor, reinforcing me belief that I did something wrong the first time. A little more fruity, with a hint of vegetal. Unfortunately, I think the combination of steeping it for so long, and resteeping leaves that aren’t good for resteeping also made it a bit astringent.
It’s hard to tell if this experience was because of the tea, or because of the way I prepared it, so I’m not going to rate it.
I’m wanting more Wee Snaily Yums, but trying to save the last of the sample, so I decided to try out this tea.
This want reminds me a little less of bread, and a little more of raisins dipped in molasses, drizzled with a bid of honey, and sprinkled with crushed whoppers (I never used to be a fan of whoppers, and I didn’t think I liked malt, period, but I’ve discovered that I like malt in tea, especially with cocoa). The front of the sip it rich and malty, maybe a touch bready, and then theres this dark fruity rasin like note, accompanied by thick dark molasses, and morphing in to a malty cocoa note at the end of the sip.
Thanks Cameron B
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Molasses, Raisins
Thank you Cameron B for the Wee Snaily Yums! The dry leaf smells malty, but also a bit like bread. And they really do remind me of wee little golden snailys.
Mmm this tastes like warm malty bread drizzled with honey and molasses and a sprinkle of raisins. The next 2 steeps were pretty similar, although they became a bit more bread and malty, and less honeyed molasses. Delicious, definitely on my list for my next order.
The dry leaf of this smells thick and sweet and gooey like caramel and toffee. The wet leaf smells more strongly of general black tea, and toffee. The tea liquor smells like a sweet toffee.
This is pretty good. Sweet, caramelly, toffee, buttery goodness. I can’t really pick one flavor out from the other, but then again, what makes toffee so different from caramel, or either of those different from butterscotch? They are all in the same family, a sweet sticky gooey delicious family. Definitely a dessert tea. I didn’t notice much from the tea base, which is better than noticing an unpleasant base tea. This would have been perfect for me back when I didn’t like lack teas. And even now it makes more a nice sweet treat.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Sweet, Toffee
I’ve never had ginseng before, let alone a ginseng oolong tea. The dry leaf smells roasty like the skin of roasted peanuts, and the knarled little oolong leaves are covered in a dense coating of powdery ginseng.
Taking a sip, I was not a fan, it took me a moment to place the fimilar savory clashing with sweet type of taste that was getting. Then I realized, it tastes like a lotus tea I recently had, which tastes like licorice, my arch nemisis. That sneaky little devil keeps into the most innocent seeming teas, and turns them evil. I know that there was a roasty note to this, but I couldn’t tell you what else was here. Once my taste buds spot that evil villain licorice, it hones in and mutes all other flavors so that it’s all I can taste.
I’ve you’re the type who doesn’t mind canoodling with the licorice enemy, then you could find yourself enjoying the sweet roasty earthiness of this tea.
Thanks Cheri for the sample. There was a slight smell contamination from a lemony sample that was by this tea, so I can’t really tell what the dry leaf smells like.
I can definitely see how this is compared to candy, this is naturally sweet. It’s also creamy, both in taste and mouthfeel. There’s also a citrus note here that I can’t tell is from the other tea or from this one. Across the next 6 cups, the milky creamy buttery sweet tastes weakened, and fruity floral notes became more evident.
Overall a delicious tea.
This is my first ever flowering tea, so I was excited when I saw that it was included in my samples, I was double excited that they sent the jasmine instead of the rose one, because I am much more of a jasmine than a rose person.
I wasn’t sure how long to let this steep, and I kept thinking it was done unfurling, but then it would blossom even more. It was definitely a beautiful sight to behold. I love watching oolong expand, and this is 10x better. The green tea leaves expanded along the bottom of the bundle, like the skirt of a Christmas tree. Then there were some more tied around a big flower that acted as a base for an arch of beautiful jasmine blossoms that extended up out of the bundle.
I originally drained out the tea too soon, and the first cup came out nice and jasmine scented, but almost clear, and the jasmine taste faded significantly as it cooled. I added more water, and let it steep until the tea had turned a pale brownish gold color. This cup had less jasmine and more depth. With an almost savory green vegetal taste, and an almost buttery mouth feel, leaving the jasmine at the end of the sip.
The third cup was much like the second, but the tea was an almost orange color. Overall, definitely a fun experience.
When Paul at Mellow Monk told me that Kuma Green 1228 was in the same family as Top Leaf, I couldn’t wait to try it. Comparing the dry leaves, I can absolutely see it. Appearance wise, I can hardly tell them apart. Kuma Green 1228 has the same dark green leaves, the only difference is Top Leaf is a little less tightly twisted. While Top Leaf has more loosely rolled leaves, Kuma Green 1228 is more spindly and twisty.
They also both smell fresh and vegetal and mouth watering. But while Top Leaf smells a bit more darker some how, Kuma Green 1228 smells a bit more almost fruity. The wet leaf also resembles cooked spinach on both.
This too produces a beautiful green broth. The first steep is a delicious sweetly vegetal green, just barely hinting at a seaweed like note, which I love. It’s also dm very smooth, with no astringency or bitterness. I practically gulped down the 16oz cup.
Second steeping, the tea is a bit cloudy, but that doesn’t seem to affect the flavor in any way. This steeping, the vegetal notes have mellowed a bit, allowing a citrusy note to come into play at the very end of the sip. It reminds me of cooked spinach with the smallest touch of lemon juice.
The third steep is even more mellow and delicate, and this time there’s a floral note dancing with the citrus note at the end of the sip. Overall it’s a very subdued cup.
Like Top Leaf, I loved this. I like how in the second and third steep, instead of just becoming weaker, new notes are found as the overall cup becomes weaker. I’m going to have to do a side by side comparison to see which one I love more.