195 Tasting Notes
Free sample from Teavivre. Thank you.
On opening the packet I did my usual thing and stuck my nose right inside, before breathing in deeply. There is a warmth to the aroma of the dry leaf. My first thought is of hay, but tempered with the smell of fresh wheat, newly harvested and threshed. This aroma develops into something slightly malty and a bit flowery when the tea is brewed. The taste of the liquor is sweet and mellow. There are chocolatey undertones here, but little of the maltiness of other similar teas. Instead it is lighter and the unmalted grain flavour comes through. I’m not sure I get the fruitiness that Teavivre’s site tell me is there, but the sweet, mellow, grainy flavour is very good, and the aftertaste lingers pleasantly on. I like this tea.
Sample from Bonnie. Many thanks.
The dry leaf is smoky. It reminds me of a winter’s day in the mountains. The campfire is burning (as is dinner, probably), the skis are stacked for the time being and the sun is out. Or maybe it is the smell of the smokehouse with racks of meat hanging in the rafters being cured. It really is that sort of smell. Very strong but utterly lovely.
Drinking the tea, it is smoky, sweet and there is depth to it as waves of flavour break on my tongue. In some ways there is too much going on for my fuddled brain to sort it all out. It is fantastic though. As I drink the tea a beautiful lethargy comes over me. I am calmer and more relaxed. It is also somewhat cooling. It’s odd really. I feel kind of spaced by this tea but not in any unpleasant way. I have thoroughly enjoyed this tea and I’m off to make more right now.
Thank you to Bonnie for this sample. Muchly appreciated.
This is another summery tea. The pineapple is present without being overpowering and I can taste the oolong behind it. The whole package is light, easy to drink and very tasty. I am on my third steeping of it and it is still very nice. Good stuff.
Thank you Bonnie for this sample.
I needed more than my usual caffeine kick this morning and thought I would try this. I’m not familiar with guayusa at all, so this sample beckoned for that reason to.
The lemon smell was lovely and sweet when I opened the packet. The aroma of the brewing drink was the same. Nothing too intimidating there then. Then the taste of the brewed leaf is creamy and lemony, not bitter, just right. It’s novel for me is this guayusa but I reckon I might well get used to it! Let’s hope the caffeine kick helps me too. I have a lot of writing and editing to do today and I need all the help I can get! :)
Sample from Bonnie. Thank you, Bonnie, you have done me a great service with your excellent tea samples.
Dark leaves when dry. Unfortunately I cannot watch them steep easily now because I dropped my small glass teapot on the kitchen floor yesterday and it is now in a thousand pieces in the bin. :( When steeped the brew gives off a malty aroma (I seem to be calling every black tea I try at the moment chocolatey and malty!). There are dark cocoa notes in there too that enhance the whole aroma. The taste is more cocoa than malt. It’s really good. I’m sitting here holding the liquor in my mouth trying to work out everything that is going on here and trying not to laugh at memories of sitting with Benedictine in my mouth as the delicious pain builds and you eventually have to swallow before slurping down your coffee. Hmm, anyway, back to the tea. More cocoa than chocolate, malty, the aftertaste endures nicely. I could definitely drink this one regularly.
Free sample from Peony T S
First off I would like to thank Peony for including me in their shipping experiment. I received three very generous packets of tea in a very short time from them. I hope the experiment was worth it for Peony, because it certainly was for me.
So, I drank this last night and am only now getting around to writing it up. The dry leaf is a beautiful golden colour. Sticking my nose in the packet I get a whiff of hay. It’s that lovely smell of fresh hay that you get when stacking it in the barn. I think there is a bit of molasses in there too, so maybe it smells like the feed room when mixing up the horse feed more than the barn. Yes, that’s about right. I love that.
Drinking it, I am struck by its resemblance to Teavivre’s Fengqing Dragon Pearls. That’s probably not a surprise because the packet tells me, now that I look at it, that the tea is from Fengqing. The tea is malty, sweet and mellow. There is a hint of chocolate behind the maltiness and a smidgin of something citrussy. Most of all, though, it is smooth and thick. It seems like the perfect after dinner tea in many ways and could replace my post-prandial black coffee. I really like this tea and I managed to get three good steeps out of the pot too.
Another sample sent to me by Bonnie. Many thanks for the generous selection and especially for this tea.
This was not what I expected from a white tea. I made it as per the directions on the website and took a sip. Prime steak! Yes, that’s right, the first flavour that hit my tongue was a high quality steak flavour. Then it settled down into a more pea-like vegetal flavour. This was nothing like any white tea I have had before. It was meaty yet smooth, sweet and silky. It gave me a prickly feeling on my tongue and the aftertaste was delightful. I resteeped it half a dozen times and each cup was as good as the last. Better yet, it has left me all relaxed like a good massage might. This tea is most excellent.
Thank you, Bonnie, for yet another interesting sample. I would not normally choose a flavoured tea when there are so many flavours of unflavoured tea, but Bonnie sent me a sample and it would be rude not to try it! ;-)
Opening the bag, I am met with a strong chocolate and orange smell. Interesting. So, the liquor is a beautiful orangey-red colour, becoming close to a dark chocolatey brown as it fills up the cup. It smells of chocolate. The orange is almost an undertone. Tasting it, the chocolate dominates once more, but this time the orange and the earthy notes of the puerh are more dominant too. There is even a slight hint of chilli spice. I like this. It is like drinking a Terry’s Chocolate Orange with added puerh. Yes, I don’t think I would want to drink this every day but I could definitely see getting some of this in for an occasional treat.
Sample from Bonnie. Thank you, Bonnie.
It’s citrussy with a golden orange liquor. It leaves me feeling calm and happy. There’s a hint of something else at the back of the flavour but I cannot for the life of me think what it is. It’s clearly a very nice Darjeeling and I really should learn to drink it, not inhale it. Oops. That hurt a bit. Ok, better now. Let’s try again. Yes, it is smooth and easy to drink. It’s what I expect of a Darjeeling. Not my absolute favourite Darjeeling but definitely worth trying, if you have not already.
Swap from Bonnie. Thank you, Bonnie, this is muchly appreciated.
A parcel of tea samples arrived on Monday (it is now Wednesday) containing a large range of teas. Naturally I was excited to try them all out, but I wanted to finish the samples that Teavivre had sent me first because they had been around longer, so yesterday I wrote them up. Now on to Bonnie’s teas. Where to start? I had no preference and all excited me equally, so I picked a bag at random. It was this Gyokuro.
The leaves were a dark green, like pine needles. They danced in the hot water and an aroma of fresh greens wafted up to me as I waited for the tea to brew. Visually this tea is brilliant. So, on to the tasting. Very nice. It is smooth with quite a thick buttery liquor. The flavour is a bit like asparagus to me. It is very pleasant. Good tea. I think that I have enough to try this under ice next time. That will be an interesting experiment.