386 Tasting Notes

50
drank Kenyan Tinderet by DAVIDsTEA
386 tasting notes

I got this tea at Boston, mostly because I knew that my favorite Kenya was starting to run out, and I was on the lookout for a restock. This is a CTC tea, on the lower side of tea quality “rankings”, so I found it strange that the company brands it with the following words: “Most connoisseurs drink it as a little luxury after a good meal”. Most tea snobs would likely not be willing to even try a CTC tea, let alone treat it as a luxury, but I’m not a snob, and I decided to let the tea speak for itself.
OK, so DAVIDsTEA got the timing on this one completely off, unless you are trying to get your tea to taste like (bad) coffee. 2 or 3 minutes for this tea is way to much, as like many other CTC teas, it brews on the strong side. At less than a minute it brewed strong enough for me to be afraid of trying it without milk and sugar.
How is it? Not great. It’s drinkable, but it’s nothing to write home about. I actually don’t see myself grabbing it at all if I keep it at home (with all the good stuff), so I’ll bring it to work, for an afternoon caffeine kick, or for the guys that come slouching to my tea stash and asking, “so what d’you have that’s really, really strong?”

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
OMGsrsly

They made this up as a Hong King style iced tea in the summer, and I think it works. Hot tea, sweetened condensed milk, over ice, maybe with tapioca pearls or coconut jellies… :)

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67

Thank you Terri for this sample! There’s actually enough in the bag for three sittings.
This tea has the smokiness of Keemun, an added astringency that isn’t usually present in Keemuns (at least not the ones that I have tried), and less sweetness than in other Keemuns. It also really needs the full three minutes of steep time recommended.
Not my favorite keemun by far, but a nice tea to try out.

PS – Just when I promised myself not to buy more tea (I went a little wild during Verdant’s Black Friday sale, and I had more than enough before it anyway), Norbu Tea has 25% off your order until the 31st of Jan (code: 2014Horse). Bought three interesting new oolongs and their wonderful white bud pu’er. If you haven’t purchased from Norbu yet, I urge you to give it a try. They have some of my favorite teas, and have yet to disappoint me.

Sil

while i’m SO glad you shared the norbu sale, my cupboard and wallet may end up hating you just a little lol going to check it out tonight haha

Terri HarpLady

HA! Sil, I was just thinking the same thing!

NofarS

I loaded over $100 worth of tea into my cart and then spent an hour pairing it down to anything close to my budget. I’m super worried that I might break down before the end of the month and buy “everything else”. They have an amazing Yunnan black tea called “Ye Sheng Hong Cha” that is out of this world good and unique, and their oolongs – don’t get me started about those. And their white teas, and their wonderful pu’ers (bamboo roasted and white buds are both mind blowing), and, and… You see my problem.

Terri HarpLady

All too well! I went a little nuts on Yunnan sourcing yesterday, pretty much the same as you…fill the cart…take a few things out…add a few more…prioritize… ;)

mrmopar

And I made 2 orders…. boy will i be in trouble! I am going to blame you guys for it!

Sil

the one tea i wanted more of from norbu that you share with us isn’t there… so i settled for 5 other random teas AND managed not to pick up 300g of a tea at the end of it’s season that looked tasty good.

Terri HarpLady

I haven’t been to the Norbu site…yet…
My birthday is this month…
Sil, what did you get?

NofarS

Enabling is fun!
Sil, which tea did you want? Was it Lao Cong Zi Ya by any chance? Drop a line to Greg, he may be able to get the tea you want for you. If it’s Lao Cong Zi Ya then count me in (there’s usually a minimum weight involved in these cases).

Terri HarpLady

Maybe I’ll put that one on my order for a 3 way split

Sil

NofarS…it wasn’t that one but i was SOOOOO sad i couldn’t find that particular one on the website. I really want that one!

Terri – uh i posted it in the share your orders thread.

Sil

I emailed greg…will keep you both posted!

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100
drank Golden Fleece by Verdant Tea
386 tasting notes

It always surprises me to see that I logged this tea so few times in the past, when I’ve had it so many times before. This is my “treat tea” or dessert tea. Verdant had a bit of stock left, and I had a $10 voucher from their Black Friday madness, so guess what I used it for? And for the ultimate decadence, I treated myself to one of Verdant’s lovely caddies too.
The king of all Yunnan blacks, and in my opinion of Chinese black (i.e. red) tea in general, is Dian Hong. Verdant cleverly rebranded it as “Golden Fleece”, evoking ancient myths while separating themselves from other Dian Hong sellers. This is likely the best Dian Hong that I will ever get my hands on, so I think that the branding is justified here. If Verdant has it in stock, hoard it like a dragon’s treasure.
As for taste – there really isn’t anything that I can say at this point that hasn’t been said. Spun sugar and sunshine in a cup.

Terri HarpLady

…sigh…oh yeah!

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81

This Darjeeling tea is strong with the Darjeeling force. It’s scent warns you as you approach that this is not a tea for the feint at heart. It is perfumey, acidic, astringent, and slightly dry, and some sugar does go well to taming it. The diametrical opposite of bass-y teas like Assam, or trombones like Yunnans, or domicile cellos, err.. Ceylons, this is a brash young trumpet that is lively, fierce, unforgettable – but not suitable for all occasions. Drink with care.

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drank Beijing Breakfast by Postcard Teas
386 tasting notes

Having this now, and it has a fantastic lemony flavour to it. Tried to brew it nice and strong, but no luck. I don’t see this teas as a breakfast tea, or as a tea that would take milk well, but it is a good, interesting black tea nonetheless. Happy new year to all those who celebrate it! Ours was way back in September.
Back to the end of semester study grind for me.

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95

Having this now with crystallised brown sugar and milk. Almost as traditionally taken (I used milk and not cream, and I stirred the tea). Very, very good. This tea somehow makes the milk more creamy. Symbioses indeed.

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85

This tea was expensive. Super, super expensive. Which made me hope that it was a real milky oolong, and not one that has had additives thrown in it. I specifically enquired at the Covent Garden branch of Whittard’s if this was the real deal, no flavourings etc, and was told it was. So, I’m going to treat it as such. I’m writing this down because I have been tricked in the past. But I do think that this is the genuine thing this time, not only because of Whittard’s reputation and the knowledgeability of the attendant at the shop, but also because of the way that this tea brewed and re-brewed.
This tea should be called “buttery oolong”. It brews a light orange-yellow, and is silky smooth on the tongue. The yellow green balls of large whole leaves unfurled fully at the third steeping, though they kept growing until the 5th or 6th one. I got 10 steepings of full 200ml cups, each one full of flavour out of a teaspoon of leaves. So an expensive tea, but economical if you re-brew it (and you should!). This tea smells and tastes like good, creamy butter. It smells like butter when dry, the tea “soup” smells like butter, the wet leaves smell like butter, and all ten steepings tasted like butter. The difference between them are with the added flavours that rise in later brewings. If you are a butter person, take the first few cups. Otherwise, take later ones. This tea will not take milk well (very light), is naturally sweet (no sugar needed), not at all astringent, and I have a feeling that it will be hard to ruin it by over brewing.
The only question is: do you like butter?

NofarS

I’ll add it to the envelope :)

Terri HarpLady

LOL, naw, I’m not much on buttery, I just couldn’t help saying that :)

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81

Yellow teas are a rarity in my cupboard, and in the shops that I normally buy tea in, so when I saw this in The Tea House, Covent Garden, London on my latest visit there, of course I had to snag a 50g packet. The leaves are whole, and huge, and need weighing, to know just how much to use. I brewed it at 70C, as I would a white tea, and the black, light green, yellow, brown leaves opened with a flourish. This tea tastes like a sweet, slightly smokey sheng, with fruit tinges (apricot, a little grape) that round off each sip. The yellow liquid of the tea matches the tea’s name, and makes for a nice evening cup. An interesting experience, which I will likely repeat.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec
JustJames

i love yellow teas =0)

NofarS

They are still a novelty for me, since they are so hard to come by. Have you tried Norbu’s Darjeeling Yellow tea?

TheTeaFairy

Hmmmm, I’ve only tried one yellow tea (from Tealux), and it’s now a staple in my cupboard…it is soooo sweet and full of different nuances.
I like your description of this one.

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76

I overleafed this one to death accidentally at work on Thursday. Putting this out there to remind myself to re-review it during one of the times that I properly make it.

Terri HarpLady

I often end up either over-leafing or under leafing when I’m at Tony’s. His cups are different in size than mine. You’d think I’d have adjusted to that by now…

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Profile

Bio

An Israeli computer programmer with a passion for tea (mostly bought in yearly shopping sprees in the UK), particularly black, oolong and white. I don’t generally enjoy flavoured teas or herbal infusions, but if a tea sounds interesting and smells nice I’ll most definitely try it. I drink several cups of tea a day, usually one or two in the morning, another one after lunch and one or two in the evening. My favourite tea so far is Lao Cong Zi Ya from Norbu Tea, but I’m constantly trying new teas. Only in the past year have I branched into Pu’erh and non-roasted oolongs. Finding good tea in Israel is difficult, so I import most of my teas from yearly visits to London, or from online retailers. If you see something in my cupboard that sparks your interest and you would like to swap with me, then please message me. I’m almost always up for a swap.

Location

Tel Aviv, Israel

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