237 Tasting Notes

87

Free sample from Teavivre

Small nuggets of green leaf curled into balls with a vegetal aroma when I opened the packet. The smell promised good things. The first steeping yielded a vegetal flavour, creamy on the palate. It reminded me of asparagus and was very pleasant. There were floral undertones to it, although my wife noticed them more than I did. It’s always interesting getting her view of teas, and it really highlights the differences in our palates and experience of the tea. The second steeping had less of the asparagus flavour and was smoother with the floral notes coming to the fore. I did not really get the baked taste that is meant to be there, but that could just be me thinking it is something else, just a variation on the way I perceive the flavours. We got four steepings out of this tea before we called it a day. Lovely tea. I would be very happy to have this one in the cupboard for regular usage and shall probably get some on my next Teavivre order.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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81

Free sample from Teavivre

It’s a wet and windy day here. It’s raining stair rods and I find myself looking for something to brighten the day up. Most of the samples I have are oolongs and green teas, and that did not suit my mood. Fortunately, Teavivre must have seen today coming because they packed me up with this Lapsang Souchong. Opening the bag I am greeted by a beautiful and not overwhelming smoky aroma. Hmm, smoky bacon crisps I think. It’s definitely a meaty smell and the tea is the same: smoky, sweet with a slightly sour aftertaste that perfectly complements the other flavours. Three steeps in and I am still getting all of this. It reminds me of camping and cooking over an open fire. I like this lapsang souchong. It does not blow me away with the range and depth of flavours. It does give me a sense of a reliable tea that will always bring comforting thoughts of open fires and sleeping under the stars. The flavours are very well balanced so there is enough depth to keep it interesting too. Good one, Teavivre.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

There are other things that I do with this tea other than drink it. I steam broccoli and other veggies in LS. Just put some in a t-sack or whatever you wish. Makes the house smell good too! My local tea shop has the best LS I’ve ever had. Multi-dimensional and a little sweet. The smoke is there but you can still taste the underlying tea. I have another that is tempered with a bit of orange peel and some freeze dried Jasmine puffs. Very smooth.
If you’d ever like any samples of tea from me, drop me a personal note. I’ll follow you…

Roughage

Those all sound great ideas. I think I shall have to experiment with cooking with LS. I have been thinking about using other teas to cook with, so it is not too great a stretch to use LS as well.

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90

Free sample from Fong Mong Tea

This is the last of my samples from Fong Mong and I had high hopes of it based on my experience with their other teas. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed.

The floral aroma that wafted off the tea both when I opened the packet and when I brewed the tea was lovely. The first steeping had a heady scent of tropical gardens that made me want to dive straight in. The tea itself was sweet and floral with a buttery feel. A slight vegetal hint lurked behind all that goodness and the buttered corn that others have commented on was definitely present. With all those heavy flavours and aromas the tea was still light and easy to drink.

The second steeping was like the first but with more vegetal flavours coming through while the third had largely lost the floral elements and had a stronger vegetal note still.

The leaves in the pot were whole and still joined to the stalks in pairs mostly with a couple of threes. They looked lovely and really spoke to the quality of this tea.

Overall, I really enjoyed this tea. It was like a floral assault on my tongue that left me grinning with delight at the end of each sip. I could certainly see my way to keeping a packet of this in the cupboard ready for use at all times. I would also love to try brewing it gongfu style to see what else I can get from it.

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

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85

Free sample from Fong Mong

Lovely tea. There, that’s all I need to write. It isn’t? Ok, well, upon opening the packet I got that proper oolong aroma, which immediately got me excited. The 6 minute recommended steeping time made me go “Eep!” as with the Blue Jade from Fong Mong. Still, I followed the directions and soon a lovely aroma was arising from my teapot. Impatiently I tapped my foot and waiting while the tea steeped. Then I got to taste it. It was light and creamy on my tongue. There was a definite fruity note to it with a sweet, slightly floral aftertaste that really came to the fore as I exhaled. Fresh, tasty, definitely one to keep in stock. I really liked this tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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73

Free sample from Fong Mong Tea

I was curious to taste this tea because it sounded like something completely new to me. Opening the packet, I was hit with a malty aroma and could see that the leaves were large.

When I began brewing the tea I got more of the minty aroma coming off it. So, malt and mint. What would it taste like? There were undertones of other black teas I have drunk in this cup, but the dominant flavour was mint with a bit of malt. If anything the minty flavour was too much for me but I decided to resteep the tea with a slightly shorter steeping time and see what came up. I was able to reduce the mintiness a bit and that helped my enjoyment of the tea. Overall, I was not sure about this tea. It is clearly good quality and the flavours are there as advertised, but it did not enthrall me despite that. Now that I know what to expect from it, I think I need to experiment a bit with brewing parameters to get the best from it. Perhaps I shall learn to like it more, or perhaps it is just not to my tastes. Still, as I wrote before, it is a good quality tea and others may enjoy it more if the flavours suit them better. Thank you, Fong Mong Tea, for the chance to try this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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95

Free sample from Teavivre

The pearls smelled malty and slightly chocolatey when I opened the packet. They were larger than other pearls I have had. I must say I rather liked the hefty chunk of them. So, out with the infuser mug, which I generally reserve for my jasmine pearls and gunpowder, but that is a practicality decision, not because it brews them best. I was not sure how many pearls to put in, so I plumped for five pearls. The mug is about 200ml.

As I poured the water over them, the maltiness of the aroma increased. Once steeped, I had to wait a bit, because it was really too hot to drink. I am not good at waiting! The first sip told me what I needed to know. This tea is malty with a smooth, thick underlying chocolateyness that is gorgeous. The liquor is reminiscent of dark chocolate too. The sweet aftertaste lingered at the back of my tongue for some time too. Lovely. In some respects, this tea was like drinking a mug of cocoa, but nicer.

In the end, I managed to get four steepings out of the leaf, but the real flavour only lasted for the first two. After that it was slightly chocolatey sweet water.

I generally struggle to find black teas that I really like (other than Darjeelings), but this one definitely hits the mark and will be making a reappearance in my cupboard soon.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

This is good. I think based on you liking this tea I’ll send you a sample of Laoshan Black from Verdant.

Roughage

Thank you.

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85

Still enjoying the grassy, vegetal notes and the nutty flavour. Shame that I am getting to the bottom of the packet now.

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90

Free sample from Fong Mong Tea.

Upon opening the packet the first thing I noticed was the oxygen absorber pad. That’s an interesting bit of attention to detail that I have not encountered before. Then I looked at the little green nuggets of tea. Smaller than I am used to, but the smell is lovely and grassy with a heady undertone of flower meadow that bodes well for the flavour of the tea.

As others have noted, the steeping guidelines indicate a 6 minute steep! I echoed their “Eeps” at that, so I started with 3g of tea in my 140ml gaiwan and an initial steep of 2 minutes. As I poured the hot water onto the tea, I was hit with a beautiful tropical garden aroma that built up as the tea steeped.

1st steep: the flavour was delicate, light and floral. It lacked a little depth, probably because of my short steeping time, but it was still lovely. The nuggets had not fully unfurled by the end of this steep, which may have been part of the problem with the lack of depth.

2nd steep: I increased the steep time to 4 minutes and suddenly the tea was right there. Orchid notes combined with lychee flavours to give a beautiful tea that made my tongue very happy. The sweetness lingered on my tongue for ages and I also noted a calming feeling in my body.

3rd steep: Up to 6 minutes now. The tea tasted lighter than the previous steep but still very pleasant and the sweetness still lingered on my tongue.

4th steep: 6 minutes again. Definitely past the strongest flavours now but the tea still reminds me of a walk in a tropical garden. The leaves have filled my gaiwan and smell lovely and the tea is light and Summery. The sweet aftertaste still lingers. I stopped here for now, but I shall return to the gaiwan later for more to see how long the tea will go on for.

Overall, I really enjoyed this tea and I am pleased that I have enough left over in the sample for another good session. I reckon I shall take the plunge and try steeping it for the recommended 6 minutes next time to see how that works out.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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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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