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202 Tasting Notes

78

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! :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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88
drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
202 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Poor glass pot! Mine has a plastic overcoat thing or I would have broken it long ago!

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89
drank Yunnan Black by Peony Tea S.
202 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

You sound like your old self again! Rested! Sounds like a delightful Yunnan malty cocoa mellow tea! (I’ve been ordering this late afternoon at Happy Luckys with a ginger molasses cookie and it’s a pretty sensual experience!) I had to look up post-prandial you word dropper!

Roughage

But surely everyone uses post-prandial, although usually in the context of having a nap! :)

Bonnie

No in my case it would be post-prandial dishes.

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96
drank Laoshan White by Verdant Tea
202 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

Yes, most excellent! Glad to share this with you!

Hesper June

Oh,My!
A steak and massage?
Sign me up;)

Bonnie

Hesper June Ha! You’re right! But we’ll have to fly off to England!

Hesper June

Bummer! I guess I will just have to order the tea then:)

Roughage

Sorry to have got your hopes up! I reckon the tea is better than any massage I would give, anyway!! ;-)

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77
drank Chocolate Orange by DAVIDsTEA
202 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

I told you I was sending you some of everything. I picked out things that I knew you didn’t have but were pretty popular with many on Steepster. This was my very first introduction to Puerh. Without it, I would never have ventured into puerh at all!

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80

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

Sam is one of the young men who works at Happy Luckys and he likes this tea.It’s one of only three Darjeelings I own.

Roughage

You clearly need more Darjeelings. I shall have to sort out more samples next time I order Darjeelings.

Bonnie

I’m afraid of them. I don’t understand all the first, second flush business and the numbering. It’s like tea bingo. I’m bound to lose. T48 second flush…bingo!

TeaBrat

oooh, I LOVE ’em!

Bonnie

I know Amy loves um…I just don’t understand them?! I don’t know how to pick one out!

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87

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.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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90

Free sample from Teavivre

Back to reviewing teas after a few days off. This is the last of my samples from Teavivre and it is one that was well worth waiting for. I love the flat leaf and bud. The aroma of the dry leaf is sweet and nutty. The tea brews into a light yellow liquor and the taste is smooth, sweet, slightly nutty with a slight vegetal hint. The second steeping is as good as the first. I wonder how the third will be. I am really enjoying this tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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86

Mmm, milky goodness. Enjoying this one more, I think, because I knew what to expect second time around. Thank goodness Teavivre does such excellent large samples. It gives you a real chance to get a proper feel for the tea.

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81

Still enjoying it. That’s the end of the sample though.

Bonnie

Sooo glad you like LS since I sent you some to try from my local shop!

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Profile

Bio

I am a historical consultant, Vikingologist and tea enthusiast! To be honest, I have always liked decent tea, but in 2011 I started working at learning what good tea really is. I continue to expand my horizons and discover new teas with the aid of my chums on Steepster, much to the chagrin of my wife, who despairs of my enthusiasm.

My favourite teas are Darjeelings, sheng puerhs and Anji Bai Cha. I return to these every time, after whatever flirtation with other teas I have been involved with.

I no longer rate the teas I drink because keeping ratings consistent proved to be rather hard work while not really giving me anything in return.

Location

East Yorkshire, England

Website

http://ruarighdale.wordpress....

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