260 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.
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.
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.
Free sample from Teavivre
Opening the packet I am met with a milky. slightly floral aroma and the sight of beautiful dark green nuggets of tea highlighted by lighter yellowish green elements and some browns. Already I am excited by this tea. It looks great and the aroma is intriguing.
The first cup is creamy and smooth with a strong milky flavour, which seemed to dominate the cup. I’m not sure what else there was in there because I was distracted by the strength of the milkiness.
The second cup has a less overpowering milkiness to it. It is there in the background more as a silky, smooth highlighter for the more vegetal taste that is now coming forward.
I don’t really have enough reference points to describe this tea, I think, but I can say that I have really enjoyed it. I doubt I would drink it every day though. It seems more like a tea to be enjoyed when the mood comes upon me. Thank you, Teavivre, for another great and different tea.
Free sample from Teavivre
I thought I would try this one yesterday and have been trying to find the right words to describe it ever since. Reading through the tasting notes of others, I find little that really describes what I got from this tea. To be honest, I find describing this tea very difficult. Still, here goes.
The tea arrives in the pot as little solid nuggets of green. The remind me of space rocks or some other similar sweets. The aroma is strong and sweet, not like the dry woody smell that I associate with ginseng. It has a toasty quality to it that is not unpleasant and a warm feel to it.
Steeping the tea brings out the warmth and the toasty quality more. The first sip is odd. I had not been sure what to expect and the roasted, toasty quality of the flavour is unusual for me, different from other teas with that roasted flavour. I warm to the taste as I sip the tea more. Once I get past my lack of familiarity with the taste, I begin to notice the ginseng flavour, but sweeter and less woody than I would have expected. The roasting is present still, but I think I can detect aniseed underneath it all and a bit of camphor or eucalyptus. It is really very pleasant but the real strength of the tea hits me only a few minutes after I have finished the first cup. Suddenly my tongue is coated with a warmth and flavour that I can only describe as like a Fisherman’s Friend, a type of menthol lozenge. My tongue is toasty warm in a good way, with the camphor/eucalyptus and aniseed flavours dancing around on it. There is a hint of capsicum to it too that enhances all the other flavours. This aftertaste was awesome and it went on for ages, a good 45 minutes or more. It was really quite incredible. Thank you, Teavivre, for letting me try such a brilliant tea.