509 Tasting Notes
I found some black tea in my numerous unsampled sample pouches from Verdant! I have high hopes for the company that turned me on to black tea!
First, the fuzzy little curls of dried leaf were beautiful and cute at the same time. The smell made me swoon. So chocolatey! I never really believed it when people would say a tea was chocolatey, but now I am a believer!
My first impression of this brew is a chocolatey dark roasted oolong. There are sweet honeyed notes along with the roasty autumnal flavor I usually get from dark oolongs. Then there’s a subtle taste of dark chocolate. The end of the sip is a bit bitter. It’s not ideal but it’s also not bad. In between sips, as you let the lingering flavors play over your tongue, you get a sense of wood chips, like for a campfire. And there’s the slightly hint of astringency. I’m thinking I probably should have used cooler water, though I think the website recommended boiling. Maybe less time.
In any case, this tea is delicious! It’s a cross between a dark roasted oolong and my new love, Loashan Black. Tasty!
As it cools, I’m getting more of an oolong taste than a black tea taste. Love that lingering dark chocolate flavor. :)
Steep 2! Used cooler water and then forgot about it for about 10 minutes. doh! But the resulting tea is magnificent! Lots of dark chocolate notes and something fruity like blueberry jam. No astringency this time. :)
I finally got around to sampling this from Teavivre. Sorry it took me so ling. :( this tea is just lovely to look at. It’s cute and furry. I almost felt like I was drowning little fuzzy animals in hot water as I brewed my cup. :( fortunately its just dried leaves I’m drowning! Delicious dried leaves!
The tea is light yellow smells softly floral and tender green grass. Like a perfect spring day. It’s good to remind oneself such days exist on miserable rainy cold days like this one. I’m also getting some summer squash. Second steep went a bit too long but there’s no bitterness. This tea is truly lovely. If teas belonged to a season, this would go with spring. Drinking this tea now is like having a perfect summer tomato in the middle of winter. This tea is out of its rightful time. To get the proper feel of fall, I’ll have to drink some darker oolongs later. :)
As it turns out, night time is not a good time for drinking this tea. I had a craving for something full of umami and and hint of smoke. Shoulda stuck with my Tencha Houjicha from Den’s. That’s a tasty tea that’s low on caffeine!
This tea is tasty too! Clearly I wouldn’t have pumped myself full of caffeine at 9PM if it wasn’t. :) It’s a total mystery to me how this tea can taste like concentrated umami and other teas can taste like fruit or chocolate. Tea is magical! There is something really familiar about the flavor in this one. It’s like a food that I can’t put my finger on. What is it??? It smells like the inside of a Chinese dry foods store. Where they sell dried squids, dried scallops, dried mushrooms, dried herbs and roots and nut and berries. Dried everything you can imagine! It smells like that store. Any body have experience with such stores know what I’m talking about? Next time you pass by a store in China town with open bins of mysterious dried things for sale, walk in and take a good sniff. Then try this tea and tell me if I’m crazy.
Beware the spicy salad! Holy smokes, dad! Your hot peppers are strong this year! whew! Now I wish I had a cup of iced tea instead of this tasty cup of hot tea. :( Luckily I had a cup of this before eating my dinner. I don’t think I could taste anything other than burning right now. :)
First of all, thank you Allison Tsui, for sharing this wonderful sample with me. It’s a tasty Oriental Beauty. The smell of the dry leaves had me expecting great things. It was roasty and fruity and yummy smelling. The dry leaf looks great too. I love the varied shapes and colors. Dark brown, rust red, fuzzy white. Lovely.
My first sip of this left an impression of wet cardboard with an underlying flavor of plum and honey. This sounds bad, but it’s really not. Upon further sipping, I’m also finding flavors of toasty autumn, like with many dark oolongs. A very tasty tea.
On a side note, I’ve been trying to drink my stash down so I have had no new notes of late. I also find myself constantly wanting a black tea. I need to order some because I seriously have none. Stash depleting time is seriously the worst time to discover a whole new love for a whole new tea. I need more tea parties.
Had a weekend with my friends this past weekend. Made many pots of tea in hopes of conversion. They are still addicted to coffee, and sadly non-reactive to my favorite oolong. They liked 52 Tea’s Neapolitan Honeybush though! I’m all out of that now. ah wells. They’ll never get me to drink coffee and beer so we are even. :)
I had taken the remainder of my sample to work since it’s where I need tea the most. I was craving it all weekend and couldn’t have any! And we had Monday off! Argh! But today nothing was going to stop me!
Mmmm…. pure chocolate decadence. Made three very satisfying western steeps. The second one went on a tad too long and turned into dark chocolate. So rich and lovely! I’m going to need to order a full 2oz of this, at least!
It’s rare that I give 100s, but this tea converted me to the “dark” side. :) And it’s magical!
I wouldn’t usually put this drink in as a tea log but it’s a hot drink using spices and fruit and useful in the cold season so I thought I’d share.
Today, I found myself sneezing more than usual and constantly trying to soothe a scratchy dry throat. No other symptoms have emerged thus far, but experience tells me that I may soon be facing a cold. In hopes of nipping this in the bud, I made this drink called “sujeonggwa” which is traditionally a Korean drink served cold, but it strikes me as a wonderful drink to have hot when feeling under the weather. It also tastes amazing if you like cinnamon and ginger. Here’s a link to the recipe I like to use:
Now, I realize dried persimmons are not easy to come by, especially not right now. They are easier to find in the middle of winter, but even then, you’ll have to visit an asian supermarket. Rest assured that even without the sweet date/yam flavor of dried persimmon, this drink is still mighty tasty. Maybe trying subbing in some other fruit. I imagine raisins, fresh peaches, or fresh apples would work! It also makes your whole apartment smell like cinnamon. Awesome.
I just had a mugful of this hot with some fruit bits. Sipping it from a spoon makes it feel more comforting somehow. It also makes the drink last a bit longer, allowing the soothing liquid to have more time going down my scratchy throat. Hot and slightly burny from the spice and ginger. I can almost imagine I’m burning some viruses as I sip. :)
If you’re not in need of a hot drink, try this iced, which is how it’s actually meant to to served. Float a few kernels of pine nuts on top and enjoy a lovely digestif after dinner. Ginger is great of settling the tummy after all.
Stay healthy in this coming cold season!
Okay, something crazy has happened to me. Ever since I had that extraordinary cup of Laoshan Black, I’ve been craving a cup of black tea every morning. It’s crazy! I’ve never been a huge fan of black teas! Especially not unflavored and unsweetened black teas. The world has gone insane! Insaaaane!
So because I’ve never had this fondness for black teas, I have no black teas in my collection. None! I wake up this morning with a craving for a black tea knowing that I probably have none. With I sigh, I rummage through my samples to find a puerh or dark oolong or something else that might be like black tea. Then I come upon this sample from Teavivre! I’ve sampled this tea before and couldn’t find anything special about it. At the time, it just tasted like black tea. Whatevs.
But today! Today was different! The leaves smell so sweet and pastry like! Like a biscuit! And the flavor! I definitely am finding that baked sweet potato everyone is talking about! Tasty! Sweet potatoes baked with a touch of honey and and dash of spice! What a lovely fall tea! Now I have a whole category of tea to be obsessed about! And I will need more tea to add to my stash! Halp!
Gotta move this rating up from 70. 70! What was I thinking?!
Edit: Might I just add this this tea is perfect with a holiday morning breakfast of amaretto matcha brownies. Yes, brownies can be for breakfast because I’m an adult now! Sorry Mom!
This is tasty tea. It’s very sophisticated compared to all the flavored things I’ve been drinking. :) I was a bit confused by how this is both an oolong and a black tea, but after my first few sips, I’ve concluded that this is merely what I would call a dark oolong, something more oxidized but still lighter than what I would think of as black tea.
I really like the mouthfeel on this one. Smooth and full. It has a luscious quality to it. The flavor here is pleasantly floral, but only a little. Just enough to make you intrigued. Only lightly roasted. Mellow.
I’m finishing up my third steep made western style. There’s a lovely natural sweetness here. It can probably go once more but I need something different now. :)
So after dinner, I had to rummage through my collection of jars to find something to put this matcha into. I know I’m not making any preserves in a while because those jars are all filled with matcha. It’s for a good cause. :D So I find a jar that’s way too big but it will have to do. I rip open the bag and the most intoxicating aroma just comes spilling out. Mmmmm heaven! Husband is watching the big debate so he’s totally engrossed. I wave the open under his nose and he literally does a double take. Hilarious! At this point, he’s only disappointed that we have to share just half a cup because we are totally out of milk. I kept having to tell him to wait while I whisked it up. So impatient. heh
Finally, I presented the cup to him and he practically drank the whole thing. I had to wrestle the mug from him to get a taste for myself. This matcha is amazing. There’s a slight grassy vegetal flavor from the matcha, but it’s really mostly amaretto without the alcohol burn and without all the sugar. Absolutely fabulous. If you like amaretto, you’ve got to try this:
For those of you who have tried amaretto and almond, how would you compare the two? I’m wondering if it’s worth investing in both flavors.