32 Tasting Notes
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!