Apparently mixing two types of tea I don’t really like gives me a tea that is actually pretty good! This one really surprised me. I’m not a big fan of Earl Greys, and smokey teas are even farther down the list, but for whatever reason when they’re mixed it’s pretty tasty – might even make my “should actually try again list”. Thanks ToiToi for the sample!
32 Tasting Notes
Got a sample of this over the weekend from Awkward Soul (thanks!) over the weekend at our OC meetup! And I am resolving to do better about logging swaps so samples don’t disappear into oblivion. :P
I steeped this one hot, because I apparently don’t read directions. It was good though. In a word – peachy. I wasn’t expecting the yogurt chips to dissolve so much so it was a little surprising when I poured opaque tea. I have a bit of the sample left so I’m going to try it over ice next time
No notes yet.
Thanks Pekko Teas for the sample! It felt more like getting a gift than a tea sample with the tissue paper and gold packaging :P
Loved this tea – this is the third time I’ve made it. The second time I steeped it a bit too long and it got bitter — I think the sweet spot is definitely closer to the 3 1/2 min mark. It has a bit of the floral-y sweetness of a Darjeeling (I could call it muscatel but I would be lying if I said I knew exactly what that meant for the flavor). Definitely an afternoon tea for me – not quite as heavy as my Assams or Yunnan blacks – which today is a good thing.
I enjoyed this while working outside on my laptop and listening to variations on one of my favorite songs, Canon in D. Yay Friday!
Thanks Nature’s Tea Leaf for such a generous sample!
I steeped this a bit hotter than the recommended time (since that’s what my zojirushi was set to for today). I used to not be such a fan of silver needle — I remember the first time I tried it I felt kind of guilty that I didn’t see what the fuss was all about, but lately I’ve done a 180 on that. I love how it can be vegetal and sweet, full-bodied and light, and stand up to my mildly abusive work-steeping habits.
Fresh and flavorful :)
So this is the last of my TeaVivre samples from waaaay too long ago, and the only one that I hadn’t tried yet. In between getting those samples and now, we have moved to Southern California, land of perpetual sun and practically no rain (at least so far – I’ve been here since June and he’s been here since March). This pu-erh reminds me of autumn rainyness, without — as I saw in an amusing assesment of ripe pu-erh elsewhere — tasting like hamsters. The closest we’ve come to that after-rain smell here is from the sprinkler system that runs at 4 am every morning in our apartment complex. The tuochas are also a tiny bit bigger than some of the others I’ve seen, so I was able to get away with shorter steeping times for more steepings.
I’m not getting a lot of smokiness with this tea like some of the other review, but it’s definitely a sturdy tea. I rationed out this sample in my group of tea to drink on those “oh my god I think I got hit by a train” mornings. Especially for the price – this is worth keeping around
Another in my backlog of teas that I have been drinking but not logging…(going to be a long list) This one is probably one of the best Long Jings I’ve had – the best one being in a tea shop a couple years ago, and I’m not sure where they got it from. This isn’t too nutty or smoky, and it’s also not overly sweet.
Yummy :) On the sweeter side out of all the silver needle teas I’ve had. I love silver needle because it’s (nearly) impossible to ruin it – I just steep the leaves straight in a cup, either while working or on the go, and there is always a 50/50 chance I will get distracted with something and come back to my tea a while later. This one never lets me down.
I haven’t quite yet figured out how to steep Chun Mei in a way that I really like. Haven’t figured out yet if it’s that I am not a Chun Mei fan or if I just haven’t found the right steeping parameters. For a Chun Mei this is good, it just keeps coming out a bit too dull and bitter for me. I’ve reached the end of my sample so it might be a while before I figure this one out.
So I made this one gongfu style because, well, actually I don’t know why, I just did. It was pretty good; kind of had this sweet/peppery thing going on and a roasty bakey goodness. I liked it.
Wow, this was sweet – almost candy-like. One of the things that I always like about jasmine pearls is that you never need as much leaf as most other green teas to get a good flavor. It’s also one of the things that I forget the most and usually end up with super jasmine-y tea. Which in this case is yummy. This is probably a tie with the Bailin Gongfu for my favorite of the TeaVivre samples.
So I kind of have a completely neutral relationship with white tea so far. The last one I had was a silver needle, that — while I’m sure it could have been a great silver needle — didn’t really do it for me.
I think this one is better, but I didn’t really get much of a delicate floral taste. Probably due to my “throw it in a cup and add hot water” style of drinking tea at work, it tasted a little more “bakey” or “bready”. Those don’t really sound like the most appetizing words to describe tea, but it’s not in a bad way, I promise. Another aspect that I repeatedly fail to consider is that some of the little leaf pieces don’t sink to the bottom and it’s kind of tricky to drink straight out of the cup (and a bit awkward during meetings). But overall it’s a solid bai mu dan.
Finished the last of this today, and I’m a little sad it’s gone. It was a really good Tie Guan Yin. My office just got a new water dispenser as part of a switch to a new vending company, and it has a hot water spigot that dispenses clean, hot, and not funny-tasting water on a consistent basis. Yay! This means I get to take teas to work that are better than I would have normally taken, since I’m hesitant to waste good tea on “office water”. Before this I don’t think the hot water dispenser was properly maintained – it always tasted like some cleaning product. 0_o
This was a good work tea since it didn’t get bitter with extended steeping (I tend to throw the leaves in the cup and wing it) and it lasted for more steepings than I expected.
Thanks Angel for the sample!
I just love it when a tea is good enough to outsmart the questionable water in my office. We had this hot water spigot which was already shady enough, but lately the water has come out smelling of unknown chemicals….so I have been using my trusty old Zarafina. It’s good but it generally handles black/dark teas better than green or white.
On to the tea itself….this one has a full-bodied bakey goodness that I love in a morning tea. I used the entire little bag (~7g?) for 16 oz of water and it was really good. It really caters to my need to have pastry-ish things in the morning without actually needing to consume a pastry. Also, as I accidentally found out, quite good cool/cold as well. Forgot a bit in my cup and when I came back and took a sip my first thought was “heh…cookie”, although I would have to go with a generic cookie as it didn’t taste like a cookie long enough to make a distinction. :P
Overall, quite tasty. I will probably end up bringing most of the rest to work. Part I will keep at home to test different steeping conditions.
Om nom nom…I think I might have found our household breakfast tea. This really is full-bodied and malty (I think I finally understand what malty is..or maybe not..meh). It’s also suitable for members of the household that might not be as tea-crazed as this one is (i.e my husband). There have been only a handful of teas that he has tried and liked. When on a whim I asked him to try this one as I was impressed by the first sip, he actually really liked it. It always makes me happy to share good tea :)
Bonus note about Silk Road Teas – I had a small teapot in my order and the lid arrived broken. I called to ask for a replacement and they apologized and were really nice about it, and asked about the packaging so it wouldn’t happen in the future…all in all a great customer service experience (part of me always expects hassles when dealing with stuff like that). It was my second order with them and I will probably order again. The only thing that bugs me a little is that they only do 4oz increments of tea, which is more than I usually like to order at once of a tea I haven’t tried (although the price per oz. ends up pretty good).
If you like grapefruits, you will like this tea. If you don’t like grapefruits, you still might like this tea. I’m not personally a huge fan of grapefruits. I can’t stand them actually – I kind of like the way they smell but I won’t eat them. This tea has a nice citrus-y flavor that seems like a hybrid between grapefruit and generic citrus-y goodness. Bonus points for grapefruit peel pieces.
The last two times I tried this, I ended up with a “punch you in the face” jasmine flavor since I always overestimate how much tea to use with pearl-type teas. This time was a lot better though. This is definitely not a jasmine tea if for someone that only kind of likes jasmine. Very floral. It’s also a bit finicky — it’s really good if you hit that sweet spot of time/temp and then it tastes lovely and light and sweet. Anything at all out of that range brings out the bitterness.
Erm…I need to put “trying a young sheng at 8:30 at night” on my list of tea-related things I should never ever do again. This is the second sheng I have tried, and while it is better than my first experience (which was awful) it still isn’t great. Granted, I know that a big part of the problem is trying teas too young. So I will still be searching for a sensible sheng.
This was kind of smoky, a little bitter, and just kind of harsh. It is from batch 901, but as a puerh newbie I’m not sure how much variation there is between batches. It made me feel jittery (and not in a caffeinated way).
Note: The review ends here. What follows is a late backlogging/recount of my first sheng puerh experience because now I am all twitchy from drinking this tea and have nothing better to do.
So…I got a small sample of a 2011 sheng – I can’t for the life of me remember what it was, only that it was free. So I figured it couldn’t hurt anything to try… (famous last words). From the first sniff – the tea seemed, well, mean. I’m not one to attribute emotions to tea, but this tea was somewhere between cranky and mean. (warning sign #1)
And it was strong, too…oh, it was strong. Smoky, astringent, and just overall unpleasant, like having a conversation with a snotty coworker (warning sign #2). I think I kept up for 7 infusions, just for the “experience”.
And then it hit me…it was one of the worst things I have ever felt – kind of like a panic episode..but stranger. It felt like all of my molecules were vibrating to the point where twitchy was putting it mildly (result of not listening to warning signs 1 and 2). My head felt funny, I felt anxious, my stomach hurt, and so on… I’m not really sure how else to describe it.
I have heard people discuss the “qi” of tea, and kind of wondered how you would even detect that sort of thing – but I think I get it now. This tea had a nasty qi. And I learned my lesson (or so I thought) about trying sheng too young. Here’s hoping the one I’ve got in my order from Verdant Tea turns out better!
It might have just been a while since I’ve had a green oolong..but this is pretty good. Really floral. I kept thinking while drinking it, “hey, this kind of reminds me of Tieguanyin”…turns out the varietal is a strain of TGY from the 80’s (confirming for the moment that I’m not crazy). I got 4 good steepings out of it with my gaiwan before I made dinner.
Found out about this from Reddit…one of the proprietors/owners did an AMA on /r/Tea and mentioned an offer for a free ounce of this if you pay $1 shipping (not sure shipping costs to countries other than US, but they did seem pretty responsive to questions). They also offered a coupon code for 5% off (reddit).
Not bad, but not a favorite. I couldn’t really taste the mint, but it was a nice smooth, slightly sweet tea. I only have enough for one more cup and I think I might try adding some extra candy cane bits or something to bring the flavor out a bit more.
Ahhh tea…..gotta love tea. This tea probably ended up being one of the tastiest teas I’ve had – not because it’s the best tea ever, but any post-disastrous day tea is bound to be tasty. Lost my tea stash in our house fire Wednesday (along with pretty much everything else – but let’s be honest, the tea stash is the biggest bummer ;) ) The hotel we stayed at had a pretty typical stock of Bigelow tea (yaaay). I had some of Verdant Tea’s Diyi Cornfield puerh in my purse and some more tea at work so I am pretty happy about that, but at this point tea is just one of those things that makes everything seem like normal again for a little while and I am enjoying every cup.
I got this one as part of my Black Friday/birthday tea order and after reading all of the glowing reviews decided to save it for my birthday (instead of including it in the massive tea-drinking binge that usually follows a tea order).
Oh…..wow. I was not prepared for how incredibly awesome this tea would be! It might have just snagged the spot for my favorite tea ever, and I am not usually the type to have an absolute favorite (can’t leave any tea out, you know) Flowery, sweet, nutty, yummy…and I think I might have oversteeped it but it didn’t hurt it at all.