970 Tasting Notes
Tea of the afternoon…..
I received this sample from Nav, the driving force behind thepuriTea. We have exchanged a few emails about sample packaging, and he offered to send a few samples to me. I requested this one as well as a little more of the Golden Yunnan. I do have to say, that I am impressed with everything they do. I can tell thepuriTea spends some time in carefully choosing their offerings. Also, they continually make strides to improve service as well as web presence and the overall shopping experience. Admittedly, I wait for sales and free shipping offerings when I order, and I so appreciate that this company offers them from time to time.
This tea is good. I like the light vegetal notes, and it seems less floral than the Tie Kuan Yin or Ali Shan. I think this would be best suited to those who are not fans of floral notes. For me, I think I am better suited to Tie Kuan Yin or Ali Shan. It is good to know this, though! Thank you, Nav, for the sample!
Gaiwan, steep#1 at 2 minutes, 180ish water. More steeps to go!
Tea of the morning……
Today the task was to make Elyse’s Blend from Harney & Son’s just a little more subtle in the tea base. I did a 2:1 ratio of it and my Franken-Breakfast Blend and it worked. The honey notes were still there without the bite that is in Elyse’s tea base. I am sure Elyse’s Blend was made to go with milk, but I am not really a milk tea type. However, I love honey flavored teas. I think I will try my China Congou from Upton with this next. It just needs something to smooth it out a little for my taste.
Usual teapot method with a 3 minute steep.
Tea of the afternoon…..
This one came to me from Indigobloom. I have really been wanting to try this to see if another one of my favorites is close…..
Light green/yellow liquor, lovely coconut smell and taste. Very slightly buttery. Yum!
I am, of course, comparing to Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong. Honestly, though, I like them both. This one is a little more roasted tasting and maybe not quite as buttery. I really don’t see a need for both of them in my cupboard, but it is great to know that there is another source for really good Coconut Oolong/Pouchong out there, and it really just depends on where I am shopping at the time. I just know I am always in need of this kind of tea in my cupboard.
Thank you so much for the sample!
Mug method, 3 minutes, about 180 water. No additions.
Tea of the late morning……
If I had to choose one pu’erh to have in my cupboard, this would be it. When deciding how to approach the pu’erh samples sent to me by Teavivre, I decided to save the most expensive for last. Price in tea is usually a pretty good indicator of desirablilty, and in this case for me, it was very true. The price difference is enough that I would want there to be a significant taste improvement over the one with the lower cost, and this tea definitely delivers.
The smell of the dried leaf is less earthy than all of the pu’erhs I have tried (we are only talking about 7 or 8 total…), but only slightly different than the Teavivre 2007 ripened cake. I can see the golden buds in this one. The liquor is only slightly reddish, golden reddish like the 2007 cake. The taste is like you would expect from a pu’erh. Mellow, rich, slightly earthy, and this one is sweet. I am sure that is the first time I have used the word sweet in a review for a pu’erh. Kind of a note of honey which is surprising to me. I do love the mellowness and….I am going to call it the clean-ness of the 2005 Fengqing Golden Buds Ripened Pu-erh Cake as well as the same from the 2007 Fengqing Ripened Tribute Pu-Erh Cake. Very little debris from these two even on the first rinse. Nice high quality full leaves. The liquor still has a clear quality to it rather than a murkiness I have experienced with others. And it is the sweetness of this one that has won me over.
Thank you to Teavivre for the generous samples of their pu’erh cakes. I may become a real pu’erh drinker, yet! It is good to know there are pu’erhs out there that I would enjoy. One just has to know where to shop and who to ask. Thank you for your guidance in choosing these for me to try!
Gaiwan, boiling water, roughly 1 tsp cake, 30 second rinse, 1 minute for steep #1, 1 minute for steep #2…and I am sure it will go much longer!
Tea of the morning……
I really should just call this my Franken-BreakfastBlend. It started with a little Harney & Son’s English Breakfast and Teavivre Keemun #2. Then some Upton China Panyang Congou. Then a little of my Mystery Golden Tip Assam. Then a little of Adagio’s Assam Harmony and the end of my tin of Florence (which was only about 2tsp added to about 3 oz total tea). I am almost to the place where I can’t remember what all has been added.
But….it is really good. I should probably stop adding teas and just enjoy this while I have some. Then I can start all over on a new monster….. ;)
Tea of the evening……
I have forgotten how good this is. It really is the perfect evening tea. I did have to shorten the brew time due to the fact it is a decaf and a little more finicky than a regular black tea….too long of a steep and it tends to go a little bitter,just like most decaf blacks. The vanilla and the decaf base seem to work together so well that you hardly know it is a decaf. Bliss, and part of that is knowing that this tea won’t keep me up later than need be.
Teapot method with a 3 minute steep.
Tea of the afternoon……
And courtesy of KS! (Thank you! I have been waiting to try this for a time when I no longer had a cold! It has taken a little longer than I would have liked to be on the mend, but I am mostly back to normal!)
This is really good. My first green Earl Grey. I really think the bergamot goes better with a green tea base than it does a black. And the bergamot in this one is the bright kind….so rather strong, but it works! This is great hot, but I think it would be very good iced in the summer. So refreshing. And so missing summer right about now…. I think I need some of this! Thanks again for the sample!
Second tea of the morning……
I tried this one as an afternoon tea yesterday, but it just did not go as well as it does when I have it in the morning. It must be the smokey notes of bacon! Definitely smokier than the Wild Wuyi Black I just had, and very good. I will just have to make sure I keep it as a morning tea! I am not really wanting to rehome this one, because I think it is different enough from others that I have to keep it on the shelf.
Tea of the morning……
Oh, yum! I forgot how wonderful this tea is. It is definitely a little darker and more mysterious than the gong fu blacks I have been drinking. So sad I have only about an ounce left, which is why it is not in my Steepster cupboard. I was very indulgent and made a whole pot of this! I do hope it comes back in stock at Harney some day.
I am also going though my cupboard. I have so many teas that are close, especially in the Chinese black tea category. It is time to resample and hopefully edit! I am getting close to having my flavored blacks under control, but the traditional blacks are another matter. Time to start working on another list for swap!
Backlogging tea of yesterday evening…..
I have a new batch of this! Ovation has gone to a more coarse and organic honeybush base. It is just as good as I remember, but there are not as many bits escaping my infuser basket. Chocolate notes are light, the caramel is a little more prevalent. There are also pecan pieces in the tea along with the cocoa nibs and caramel pieces. Nice and cozy on a cold winter night.
I do have to comment on Ovation’s customer service. I had a mixup in tea base, and they were very prompt in answering my email, and sending out a corrected batch. Very friendly and helpful, as well as taking care of the issue very quickly. Thank you, Melanie!
Now…..is there anyone who wants some Chocolate Pecan Rooibos? I have several ounces to spare and it is not for sale on Ovation’s website….it is a very limited offering. ;)