This is such a bittersweet feeling: reaching the last portion of a sample. I think I steeped it a little bit too long, but the second and third steep will be just as fantastic as it has always been. Yunnan Black Full Leaf, I will miss you until I get more of you in my stash.
484 Tasting Notes
I have been having other teas, I just have to drink another round of the flavored milk oolong before I can attempt to describe its wonderfulness.
I had this hot with milk at breakfast with two slices of toast and a fried egg. I had attempted to make a poached egg, but the egg stuck to the bottom to the pot and I think I had undercooked it. (I only successfully poached an egg once before.) I need to re-read my directions before I try poaching an egg again.
Apparently I have a small sinus infection. It sucks and I don’t really feel like doing much, but my doctor says I have to drink plenty of fluids. This counts. I’ll have a cup of tea in between my water intake so that I don’t get too tired of it.
Hot with a little bit of milk with my bacon and eggs this morning.
I am finally feeling better again. I have less pressure in my ears and my sinus pressure has gone down. Apparently I just need to threaten my body with a trip to the doctors and it behaves. Lol! The decongestant that my fiancee gave me probably helped too.
The leaves to this tea are much bigger than I expected. Instead of shaking them out or getting a teaspoon out, I just took two pinches and put them in my press. The leaves are so silky and look like they have been covered with a layer of delicate white fuzz. The aroma was nearly intoxicating just from the leaves. It smelled like very lightly toasted almonds that have been covered in jasmine flowers.
After impatiently waiting for the water to get hot, I steeped this for about two minutes. The liquor is very, very pale. I didn’t even notice it had color until I put it in my white ceramic mug. I was expecting it to be light because it is a white tea, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this light. The smell is still the same as the leaves, but the jasmine is lighter. I close my eyes and I imagine delicate white lace, lilies, and jasmine.
Confession time: I don’t like white tea. The ones I have tried had no flavor to them and just ended up tasting like hot leaf juice.
This tea is astounding! Mind blowing. It tastes goregous. There is this very light toasty taste (which I am assuming is the white tea) that dances right beside the jasmine. And the jasmine in this tea is light. Very light. I didn’t even taste jasmine the first time I sipped this it was so light. But as you sip on it, the jasmine becomes more and more apparent.
This might become a favorite for a while. It was just what I was looking for today. Perfect to break my earl grey with milk streak. I’m going to have to try to re-steep this after dinner to have as a nice before-bed drink.
If you haven’t had this yet, get it. It is awesome.
Made a big pitcher of iced tea using one bag of this and three bags of Lipton black tea. It was nice and refreshing. Lightly raspberry and it didn’t overpower the rest of the tea. If anything, I might want to add the bag earlier during the brewing process so the raspberry will pop out more.
This has become the tea that I drink. It has been all I have been drinking for a while. I have a feeling that this will end shortly and I’ll be drinking different teas again soon.
I decided to try something different and put a little hot cocoa powder in my tea today to see if I would like chocolate earl grey. I would. The chocolate and bergamot dance together in such a pleasing way. I might try to find a chocolate earl grey blend to try now.
Finally had some hot tea. With milk. Feel better.
It has been really hot here recently so Dad has made really strong iced tea that we have been drinking almost exclusively. I want it to cool back down so I can enjoy my earl grey in the morning again.
I didn’t get to have my re-steeps of this last night, so I am having one now. Good thing it is even good cold because it cooled off in my mug while I was multi-tasking.
I needed this lovely and slightly sweet tea. It just makes me feel better when I drink pretty tea out of a pretty mug. This tea is pretty because of the jasmine scent. I only used two teaspoons this time and I think I like it better. The taste is more delicate and lovely.
I might be sipping this tea all night long. I’ve been having a difficult time dealing with the thought that I went to college and I’m going to have to settle with a minimum wage job for a while before I find myself a “real job”. But extra income will be nice and my brother will be going to college himself in two weeks. Yay for him!
I made a third steep of this last night and dumped it in my little tea bottle with a little bit of sugar and put it in the fridge. Now I am having it iced.
The first present flavor is a lovely and smooth black tea. Then you get that semi-sweet chocolate taste on the back of your tongue. The semi-sweet chocolate gradually turns to a dusting of dark cocoa powder over your tongue.
I don’t know if I like it better hot or iced right now, but I should think about getting a tin of this when my sample runs out. It is delicious!
Four pearls this time with enough water for one tea cup steeped for three minutes.
There is the dark cocoa note! It is standing front and center and announcing that it is there. I hope to get three good steeps out of this one. Yum.
Time for the second steep. I actually lowered my steep time on this for two minutes. The flavor didn’t change that much. It felt more like sucking on a potato. No sweet flavors to my tongue at all. So I tried putting a little bit of sugar in my cup. It didn’t bring out or cover up any of the flavors. It was a little sweet but not that much.
The more I sipped on it, the more I realized that I was starting to get a case of “numb tongue”. My tongue was starting to go numb and that is never a good sign. I think it is just too much ginseng for me to handle.
I want to thank Teavivre for sending me a sample to try. It was interesting, but just a miss.
This tea is interesting. I have never had any ginseng tea before. The only reason I know what ginseng tastes like is because I have had the Arizona green tea with ginseng before. I used what came out to be 2 teaspoons because the first teaspoon and the last teaspoon were half spoons.
I brewed the first steep for 3 minutes. It is a light color and doesn’t smell like much. I had this with some Nature’s Harvest veggie crunchers and I think that is bringing out a more savory element to the tea. The aftertaste is very ginseng. There was a while there where I started to taste some pepper. I let it cool down and that is gone now. Cooler the aftertaste is less sharp and the tea is smooth on the tongue. I think I’ll wait a while before making the second and third steeps on this one.
Apparently this has moved into my morning tea slot because I don’t have to think about it to make it. Just steep it five minutes in boiling water and add milk. I have been trying to get up earlier and this is the only thing that helps me stay up right now.
It was a toss up between the black pearls and this dragonwell last night, so of course I couldn’t wait to try this one today!
The leaves smelled like butter when I opened the package. Not strongly of butter, but it reminded me of how my last dragonwell brewed up. The leaves are so big compared to my last bag of dragonwell. Long and flat. They wouldn’t fit into my teaspoon so I just poured out enough leaf to lightly cover the bottom of my press.
I impatiently waited two minutes for this to steep. I was worried for a minute because the liquor was turning out so light. In the press it was almost still clear but in my cup it was a very, very light yellow. I sipped it and the first word that popped into my head was “smooth”. It tastes so smooth and I drank it fairly quickly because it went down so easily. At the end of the cup it tasted a little mineral-y but not enough for me to really notice it if I wans’t paying attention.
I got busy organizing books so I didn’t get to have the second steep until after lunch. This steep was for three minutes and the liquor was much darker. It is still light and smooth but there is another note teasing the edges of my tongue. It is a slight creamy sensation with the tingle of light mineral water. I was afraid my lunch would overpower the tea, but now I’m thinking that I should have had it with my tea.
I have never steeped a green tea more than twice (mostly because I have never had a high quality green before), but I am going to try a third steep in a little while to see if it still has more to give.
Third Steep: I steeped this for four minutes and it tasted exactly like the first steep. I don’t think the flavors would develop any more after this so this is probably a three steep tea for me.
This is my favorite earl grey to have with milk so far. The bergamot just pops and is so juicy. Really stands out with the milk. I haven’t had my morning earl grey in a while either.
I accidentally set the smoke detector off while frying bacon this morning. Apparently I need to use a lower heat once the pan is hot. Oops.
I came back home from vacation to find a brand new box of tea samples from the wonderful Teavivre. It took me all day to figure out which tea to try first, but this won the right to be my 300th tea tasting note.
I brewed three pearls in my french press for two minutes with the first steep and three minutes for the second steep. The pearls themselves are about twice the size of the green jasmine pearls and smelled like dry hay. It was interesting to watch the black pearls unfurl with the hot water.
At first the tea didn’t taste like much. It isn’t as earthy as my yunnan black and that is what I was expecting from the tea for some reason. Only after I let the tea cool down for a while I began to notice a dark note. It wasn’t very strong but it was a dark note. Not earthy and not very sweet, but present.
On my second steep the dark note was a little bit stronger and that was when I was able to pinpoint the flavor. It tasted like a small sliver of bittersweet baking chocolate. I think I am going to have to brew this again with another pearl or two to really bring out the chocolate note.
I think the next time I try this I am going to put either my second or third steep in the fridge to try this iced. I think it would make a nice iced tea.
Thank you again Teavivre for this lovely tea sample. I would have never imagined that I would go from having a tea bag every once in a while to writing about loose leaf tea samples.
Backlogging from Vacation #2:
I didn’t drink a lot of tea at my fiance’s father’s house because they don’t have a hot water kettle. To me, a house without a kettle is like a house without books. very strange.
My fiance heated my water up on the stove and brought it to near boiling. Then he steeped it for about three minutes. I had it plain for the second time since he has had this tea and it tasted better. It was still very earthy. I figured out the smell. It is the deep soil that you find down in the water table. That smell. That is why it also smells a little like fish to me because I associate the earthy water smell to freshwater fish. It reminds me of diggng for worms in the garden when I fished with my dad.
I wanted a glass of this because I ate too much and I thought it might help my stomach feel less bloated. It didn’t quite work the way I wanted to, but it was still good.
Backlogging from Vacation #1:
I spent a week at my fiance’s father’s house with him. It was a nice vacation. I really like his father in some ways and not so much in others. I think it is like that for everybody. He is a fantastic cook though and I learned how to make a stuffed zucchini. That was yummy.
We went out to breakfast one day with his grandmother to Perkins. I got this and put honey and half & half in it. It stood up to the extra additions fairly well and warmed me up. I did taste it plain and it was fairly standard. I could see this being used like Lipton is used in our family. The standard tea that you grow up with. Not drop dead amazing but not half bad either.
Dad made a big pitcher of the 4x strength and iced it. Good old fashioned iced tea. Always a pleasure.
That isn’t really why I’m writing the note. I’m writing to talk about what I had to go with this good iced tea. I had an egg nest. It is basically whipped egg whites with cheese folded in and baked. Halfway through the baking process you put the egg yolk in the middle of your “nest” form. It is really good. The yolk tastes like silk and the egg whites taste like air with that hint of cheese. It is just a plus that it also tastes really good with iced tea.
Recipe Here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/egg_nests/
My raspberries went bad so I didn’t get to use this to make a smoothie, so I just drank it because it is good. I’m actually a little sad to see this one go but I am so glad I had it iced.
The result from my third steep is in: it worked with the way I have been steeping it this time!
At first I was nervous because the liquor was a little lighter than the past two steeps and it didn’t smell as toasty/chocolatey as the previous two steeps. Then I sipped it and it was still pretty good. It did not taste watery like the third steeps did when I still had my first steep time at 4 minutes.
I have always wanted to try this tea with just a bit of milk and I always enjoyed it so much that I never did. I figured I would try it with this one just because. At first, the tea didn’t taste any different. Just a little creamier. Then the milk started to bring out this nice nutty taste. Creamy, nutty, and still roasty. Sadly, all the dark cocoa taste has worn off but I wasn’t expecting it to last through the last cup.
When I want it to I can make this tea last through three steepings. That makes me happy.
I almost dumped the rest of the sample into my press by accident. I shook the packet a little bit too hard and the tea just came out! As a result, I think I put a little bit more leaf than I usually do.
It came out dark and roasty. There was a hint of dark cocoa to it that I crave whenever I have this. I have been steeping at a shorter and shorter time and it comes out darker and darker. I must have used more leaf. The flat leaves don’t like fitting into my teaspoon so I have to eyeball this one.
It looks like I only have one more good sampling left of this one though. I normally get two big mugs worth of each steep, so it was a very generous sampling. I just love it so much. I will have to plan my next tea purchase and decide if I run to Teavivre right away or if I will play with 52teas.
I’m going to try a third steep again. Normally I stop with two steeps of this one, but I think the leaves might have enough punch left for a third steep. I’m on the second right now, so I will report my findings after dinner.