971 Tasting Notes
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. ;)
Tea of the evening…..
First of all, thank you to Teavivre for this sample. I have really appreciated the way their tasting activity has made me expand my comfort zone for tea.
Now that I have a gaiwan, it is much easier to test this kind of tea. I am definitely still new to pu’erh, but I have to say this has been my favorite so far. It could be that I am finally getting better at preparing it, too. Leaf smell is very earthy, but more like the garden smells when you are planting, rather than a barn! I used what roughly looked like a tsp of leaves. I rinsed them. First steep was 1 minute, second was about a minute and a half. The liquor is more golden brown that I would have expected. The other few pu’erhs I have tried definitely had more of a dark reddishness to the tea. First steep smells of hay, but tastes earthy and very mellow. Really, the taste is somewhere between strong black tea and a porter beer. My very first pu’erh tasted of dirt, but this is not anywhere near the same. Earthy and warm. It has a heavy mouthfeel, and there are no small bits of debris like I have had from lower quality tuo chas from other companies (maybe I did not rinse them very well in the beginning…like I said, my preparation has improved, too). I am drinking this after a not so healthy dinner, so it is definitely helping calm my stomach. Second steep is a little stronger due tot he longer steep, but just tastes a little more intense than the first cup.
I do find it interesting that this one seems so much more mellow than the 2010 pu’erh that I recently had from another company. I did ask Teavivre for a beginner’s pu’erh, and I do think this is a good place to start.
Tea of the afternoon…..
Yes, I am a Hot Cinnamon Junkie. I finally figured out that I would probably love this green as I am quite enamored with the black and herbal versions. Yes, this is good. The tea base is lighter than the black, a hint less rich tasting than the herbal version, but still oh so good. I am not sure how they get this to taste so sweet without adding anything, but I don’t really care. I just know I love my Hot Cinnamon Teas! There will be a pound of this one in my future. I had a friend over who tried a sample, and she loved it, too. (I sent home some of the Hot Cinnamon Spice black tea with her!)
Teapot method with about 180 water and 3 minutes.
Back logging a tea of the afternoon….
Since I am going for the stronger flavors, I decided to give this one a try. I would not say it is heavily minty, but just enough. Definitely helps with the congestion. I definitely need to try it again when I am feeling better, but this works for when I am feeling a little under the weather. Warm and refreshing.
Usual teapot method, about 185 water, 3 minutes.
Tisane of the evening……
I got this in a recent order, and it is really helping with the cold. The ginger is the main note with a touch of sweetness from the liqorice root. The ginger is really helping me breathe a little better. I am wondering how a little spearmint or holy basil would taste with this. All in all I am glad to have this in the cupboard.
Usual teapot method, 8 minutes, no additions.
Tea of the afternoon……
I am going through all my favorite strongly flavored teas in an attempt to feel better. (It was Hot Cinnamon Spice earlier….) I need the strong ones because I am all stuffed up with a cold. This one just smells so good, even though the congestion. So thankful to have some of this one as it reminds me of the kindness of many swappers, too. Buttery, creamy, coconutty, and yum.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the afternoon…..
I agree that Steepster is slow today! It is taking forever just to get to the next page.
As for this tea, I really enjoy it. It is the perfect tea to drink with food. I am having cinnamon raisin toast with it right now. (Sun Maid Cinnamon Raisin Toast is my favorite from childhood….I am trying to perk myself up a little as I am coming down with a cold.) The tea has a bready taste and is incredibly smooth. The taste of the tea is not easily affected by what you are eating, so it is the perfect accompaniment with just about anything.
Usual teapot method.
Tea of the morning…..
I recently picked up a few samples at Adagio, mostly to compare to things I have. I really do like their black teas for the most part. I guess when I first started on my tea journey, I was heavily invested in the flavored ones, so I did not really appreciate their black teas like I should have. Even though I don’t care for their flavored tea base, there are many things this company does well. I also enjoy their herbals that don’t contain hibiscus, mostly because anything with hibiscus is not for me. And the chai is yummy.
I wanted this one to compare to my Mystery Assam, as I noticed there were plenty of golden tips in the product picture. The actual product looks pretty much the same as the pic. It brews up into a malty breakfast tea with notes of bread. You know, that really good crusty bread. As far as comparisons to my other Assam, the other just seems a little richer. These leaves are thicker and brighter, if brighter is possible for a shade of brown! I also think this one is much more malty than the unknown Assam. It is pretty good. It does have me wanting to add in some Keemun, though, to fill out the body of the tea. The taste of this one is all in the front, there is a slight astringency in the middle, and the end…..I keep looking for a taste at the end, but I am not getting anything. Strange. Anyway, I don’t expect to be an expert on Assam any time soon. I mostly like it in blends.
Mug method for 3 minutes.
Tea of the evening……
I have been having trouble with insomnia lately. I decided it was time to give chamomile a try. This intrigued me because of the addition of lemongrass and peppermint. In theory, it sounds like such a relaxing and comforting tea.
Not bad. I think it will take some getting used to. Chamomile is not a favorite, but this is pleasant enough with the other players. I might even add some tulsi next time.
Teapot method for 7 minutes.
Tea of the afternoon……
This was one of three free samples that came along with my gaiwan and cups…..all pu’erhs. I guess it is time to get my feet wet on these. Dry it smells pretty good. Earthy, but not in a scary way. (Yes, this is the review of a pu’erh novice, so you might not really want to put a whole lot of stock in my review if this is your usual type of tea…) I rinsed the leaves first, and then brewed for about 30 seconds. This really reminds me of coffee. It is a little more earthy than coffee, but far from the dirt taste I remember from my first experience with a tuo cha. I am thinking the right tools to enjoy this will make the difference. I am not saying pu’erh is something I will reach for regularly as I am more an oolong in the gaiwan type, but it is a nice experience. There is something to be said for the short steeps for certain. It helps that the brew is not so thick as attempting to brew this western style.
As for the teaware, I love my little gaiwan and cups from this vendor. Everything was well wrapped and arrived safely. I even asked for a change in color of the cups (my gaiwain is light blue, but rather than matching cups I originally ordered, I asked for the white instead to see colors better..) and Scott was more than accommodating to see that I got what I wanted. I will order there again at some point, but I think I will go for the less expensive shipping. With EMS my order was here in less than a week.