801 Tasting Notes

Well I WAS going to go to the zoo today, but the weather had different plans, it is going to be one of those all day storming events, so instead I shall satisfy a different kind of craving. The craving for muffins! I plan on baking blueberry mochi muffins later today and then I will gorge myself on them. I woke up with such a muffin craving, it is rather intense! But first I have to go gather the needed ingredients.

Today we are looking at one of my favorite rock oolongs, Rou Gui, specifically Tea Yuan’s 2013 Rou Gui, and this one is fancy because it is a Zheng Yan, meaning it came from inside the Wuyi Scenic Reserve area, a legit Yancha! Since this is from a couple years ago, the roasting has mellowed out, and you can tell this from the aroma. There are the usual char notes, but they are mellow and distant, alongside the gentle char are notes of tobacco, cocoa, very gentle spice like a spicebush flower, and a touch of sweet nuttiness.

Yancha pot time for the leaves, giving them a steeping and then sniffing. The aroma of the wet leaves is stronger in the char department, but instead of smelling like burnt wood, it smells like burnt nut shells, and just toasted nuts in general. Like fire roasting chestnut shells and walnuts, it is pretty pleasant, it has the usual char notes but with a fun twist. There are also notes of tobacco and a touch of burnt plum, no spice though which is always sad. However, the liquid has a gentle spice quality, not terribly strong, but like a distantly blooming spicebush. There are also notes of creamy sweet chocolate and plums, with undertones of wet slate and a touch of wet char.

Ooh this is a pleasantly woody Yancha, like fruit wood that has been roasted rather than charcoaled, it is sharp and a bit brisk, a good start. The initial woodiness fades to a fun combination of char, wet slate, and wonderfully sweet and gently spicy cocoa. The spice notes are pretty mellow, as are the char, it is like only slightly burnt chocolate rather than chocolate that has been lit on fire. The finish is sweet and a touch creamy, with a fruity plum and cherry aftertaste.

The aroma of the second steep is surprisingly sweet, it blends plums and creamy chocolate with wet slate and gentle char. I always love that about Yancha, it is like eating dessert out in nature and the tastes and smells of both blend perfectly. This is a thick Yancha, usually I found their mouthfeel sharp and crisp, sometimes smooth (especially with the aged ones) but this one has a real thickness to it similar to many Taiwanese oolongs I have interacted with. The taste is smooth and sweet, chocolate and plums dance with gentle spice and wet slate. The finish is a blend of wet slate and plums, the mineral is strong in the tea and it lingers for a while in the aftertaste.

A thing I can certainly say in this tea’s favor, it has some excellent staying power for a Yancha, usually I find most of them putter out after four or so steeps, but this one lasted for seven, which was awesome. The aroma for this steep is sweet, not as sweet as the second steep, but still quite sweet. Notes of fruit and fruit wood blend with chocolate and char, with a strong mineral finish. The taste is so sweet this steep, there are the strong notes of mineral and some char, but there is such a wonderful juicy plum and chocolate note that I was surprised when this tea turned out to not be sticky. I really enjoyed this tea, it had great strong mineral qualities which I love in a Yancha, and of course it had the char notes I love, but it was pleasantly mild and not like drinking the remnants of a forest fire.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/tea-yuan-2013-rou-gui-tea-review.html

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My weekend was excellent, even though my sleep schedule is totally off now! I enjoyed fighting games and worked on painting, who can ask for more? Sadly though, my happiness is at an end, sort of. The basement has a hellish flooding problem, so there is going to be a lot of noise and a lot of mess this week, with the warning ‘anyone with lung problems shouldn’t be here.’ Bah. So I am going to spend a lot of time outside, meaning no painting, though I am going to hopefully spend a lot of time at the zoo.

Today I am looking at Tealyra’s Da Hong Pao Superfine, specifically it is a Ban Yan Da Hong Pao (because if it was Zheng Yan it would cost a small fortune) see the term Ban Yan comes from Ban Yan Cha, or semi-rock tea (as contrasted with Yan Cha) meaning it is grown outside of the Wuyi National Scenic Area. It is still a Wuyi ‘Yancha’ in style and spirit, but being grown outside of this rather fancy region means us mere mortals can afford it. Good for people who want to drink Da Hong Pao everyday and not as a special treat. So how do these long twisty leaves smell? Like a Da Hong Pao, strong notes of char and tobacco with undertones of cocoa and lots of loam. It smells like the remnants of a campfire on an autumn’s day, a campfire where someone was smoking a pipe and eating s’mores and the air still holds both of those memories.

Time to use ye’ol Yancha pot, and the aroma of the tea leaves is still fairly char heavy, giving the tea a sharpness. There are also notes of loam and black walnuts with a finish of wet limestone. Not terribly nuanced but certainly very strong. The liquid for the first steep has mellowed out a bit on the char, smelling like wet coals and molasses with an accompaniment of walnut shells and a very faint creamy candy note, not unlike molasses candies…something which I am craving suddenly.

The first steep is surprisingly mellow, it starts with a loamy mineral note, like wet limestone and damp autumn leaves after a rain and then bursts into molasses and scotch. The finish is loamy and gently sweet but does not linger long. It was a good first steep but very mild for a yancha, which is usually balls to the walls from the first sip.

For the aroma of the second steep, there are notes of sweet molasses and chocolate with wet limestone and a nice burst of wet coals at the finish. It is stronger than the first steep, but sadly has lost the walnut shell notes. The taste reminds me of strong dark chocolate, just a touch sweet and nicely bitter with a coal and mineral finish. Often when these rock teas have a strong coal and dark chocolate flavor it reminds me of the burnt edge of a s’more you let catch on fire. Tasty but burnt chocolate!

The third steep’s aroma is faint by comparison, just notes of wet leaves and wet coal with a ghost of molasses. The aroma made promises of faintness that the taste fulfilled, this tea has given up the ghost. All that is left is the ghost of burnt chocolate and mineral, like rainwater more than wet limestone. If you want a tea that lingers for a while I say look elsewhere, but if you want a nice char heavy DHP for a fairly cheap price then this one works and fulfills that craving if you are running low on the higher end stuff.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/tealyra-da-hong-pao-superfine-tea-review.html

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You know a reference I need in my collection? A guide to glazes. I have a wonderful book on symbolism used in Chinese art, many books on tea, but no real references on pottery and the styles used in teaware. I have checked the library’s books on pottery and porcelain and not had much luck, so I need to dig elsewhere. I want to know what makes Ruyao and Geyao different, how long ago was Junyao developed, and what exactly is Huoci? I love the aesthetic of teaware, but what really gets me excited with it (and pretty much everything) is its history and story, even a brand new piece has a history and I want to know it!

Guys, I feel really bad today, so I am going to use this as an excuse to indulge in one of my favorite ways to drink tea when I feel ookie, and that is oolong grandpa/bowl style. Back around my birthday I ordered some tea from J-Tea International and with my order was a sample of Lucky Golden Lily, and it might be well known, I really like drinking Jin Xuan in this style. It is soothing to just take a bowl and toss the leaves in it and fill it with water, not only is it immensely convenient, it is also aesthetically pleasing because you get to watch the leaves unfold while you are drinking. The aroma of the curled green leaves is what you expect from a Jin Xuan, it is buttery and sweet with notes of cashews, cream, sesame seeds, honey, and of course slightly spicy lilies and honeysuckles. It manages to be sweet without being too sweet.

The aroma of the leafy pile and soup is very sweet, creamy and floral with nutty tones, sesame and cashews being the dominant nutty notes with lily and honeysuckles being the dominant floral. There is a slight green undertone, like butterhead lettuce, which is my favorite lettuce if you were curious on that little snippet. In classic Jin Xuan style it starts out sweet, wonderful notes of honey drizzled cashews and sesame, with a hint of chestnuts which gives a bit of extra thickness to the buttery texture. It has notes of flowers as well, though it is light when compared to some of the more flowery oolongs, with gentle notes of spicy Asiatic lilies and honeysuckles and an undertone of hyacinth.

The more the leaves steep and unfurl and the more my bowl is refilled, the more the buttery to the point of being savory notes pop up. I love this about Jin Xuan, it is not savory like eating cooked spinach, and it certainly is not salty as in someone salted my tea, no it is savory like butter and mineral like I just licked a piece of limestone. There is a touch of salinity to it, since most rocks are ever so slightly salty (word of advice, don’t lick rocks unless you know what it is, as some are rather toxic, especially when wet) but it is more mineral than salt. It is not just mineral and buttery, there are flowery notes but by the late game it is faded, mostly gentle ghostly flowery notes remain, the nutty notes mostly faded as well.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/j-tea-international-lucky-golden-lily.html

Daylon R Thomas

Would you recommend it? There’s a few Golden Lily’s that I wanted to try from J-Tea but haven’t because of the price.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I would, its good stuff, not my favorite but still really solid

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Sometimes, fantasy names sound better in our heads than they do on paper, and that is what I assume happened with Shyish. Today I was reading the booklet that came in my Age of Sigmar starter box and ran into the word Shyish, ‘The deathrattle legions stalk from Shyish’s underworlds, the cold mists of the grave curling towards their mortal prey’ describing an army of undead. To me, this sounds like describing someone who is only a little shy, rather than the purple wind of magic and the Aethyric certainty of the passage of time and the inevitability of death. The most mysterious and terrible of the wholesome forms of magic. Warhammer is a silly place, it is awesome but sometimes I run into things like this and just lose it.

Today I am taking a look at MeiMei Fine Tea’s En Shi Jade Dew Green Tea, also known as En Shi Yulu, from the Wuliang Mountains in Hubei. This is last year’s harvest, in fact my little stash of this tea is long gone, this is just me going though my ever expanding pile of notebooks, because I have to take notes on every tea I drink. MeiMei Fine Tea is (according to the beautiful photos on their Instagram feed) out sourcing tea in China, so I would not be surprised if this year’s harvest shows up soon. The aroma of the really pretty curly leaves is surprisingly sweet and nutty, blending notes of toasted sesame and wheat germ with peanuts and roasted soybeans. Underneath the nuttier notes is a touch of sweet peas and snap peas, it is lightly vegetal in aroma, focusing more on grains and nutty sweetness in its aroma.

This tea is fancy, not only is it pan fired like most green teas from China, it is also steamed like greens are mostly done in Japan (and like it was done in the old days of Chinese tea) it is then hand rolled and lightly fired more to remove moisture. The aroma of the wet and very green leaves is more balanced with its nutty and green notes, with a blend of sesame and soybeans, with snap peas, sweet peas, broccoli and green beans, they definitely smell more vegetal once steeped. The liquid is gentle with nutty sweetness of peanuts and toasted soybeans and a slight bit of sweet peas and cooked broccoli.

The first steep is wonderfully light and refreshing, with a gentle mouthfeel. It starts with fresh bell pepper and snap peas, moves to cabbage and broccoli, and finishes with artichokes and sesame seeds with a distant gentle floral note that teases from the edge of taste. I was really impressed by how fresh this tea tasted, not in a ‘fresh from the field’ kinda way, but in a ‘wow this tasted freshens my mind’ the flavor notes are very fresh in nature.

On to the second steep, the aroma is stronger this time, nutty notes of peanuts and sesame with a soybean finish, alongside green beans and bell peppers, it is both sweet and savory. Wow, this steep was impressive! It starts very crisp with notes of bell pepper and nap peas, a bit of edamame as well, then it moves to a more savory vegetal quality with cooked spinach and green beans, but then the finish slams you with sweet honey drizzled sesame seeds. I love when teas do that, switch from tones quickly, it keeps my brain from becoming complacent when tasting.

The third steeping’s aroma is not much changed from the second, strong notes of sesame and soy with peanuts alongside green notes of bell peppers and green beans, it is a touch sweeter this time, overshadowing the savory side. The taste takes its cues from the aroma, similar to the second but milder and more sweet. The savory burst of green beans and spinach at the midtaste is much shorter and quickly replaced by honey and sesame seeds which lingers longer in the aftertaste. I was sad when I finished this tea off, it was quite tasty and balanced savory and sweet wonderfully I thought.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/meimei-fine-teas-en-shi-jade-dew-green.html

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It is a beautiful day! Perfect weather, intermittent cloud cover with a pleasant breeze, 75 degrees (the perfect temperature for me) and the hint of possible storms in the future. Of course I am spending the day watching Fighting Games on the West Coast Warzone Stream and have been doing that since yesterday. I am using a break in stream (by break I mean it is a game I don’t care about, sorry Guilty Gear) to blog about some yummy tea.

Today I am looking at one of the teas from Eco-Cha’s most awesome club which I am a member of, I joined at the beginning and paid for the whole year because I know Eco-Cha has good tea, so far I have been very pleased. I plan on writing about all of the teas I have gotten at some point, but this one needed blogging about now because Taiwanese Black Teas are a thing of epic beauty. ShanLinXi Black Tea (the link takes you to their blog post, very informative) comes from, you guessed it, Shan Lin Xi Mountain, one of my favorite mountains in Taiwan to procure tea from. The aroma of these curly leaves knocked me out of my chair from first sniff, seriously, I am so easily floored by red teas, it is a bit embarrassing. There are notes of lychee, mango, papaya, cocoa, cream, and nutty almost coconut water undertones, this tea smells tropical and immensely sweet and rich.

Into my beloved ruyao gaiwan the leaves go, the aroma keeps up the tropical fruit notes with papaya, longan, lychee, mango, and a touch of cherries. There is also an undertone of chocolate and cream, it is so sweet, it is almost cloying but manages to sneak right under the cloying radar and fall happily into richness. Wow, somehow the liquid manages to smell even sweeter, but still manages to not be cloying, probably because it smells like fruit juice rather than candy, with notes of papaya, cherry, and lychees, with a woody and cocoa undertone and a delicate hint of cream.

Wow, just wow, this tea is sooo sweet! It is a bit mind boggling! It is very smooth in the mouth with a tiny bit of bright crispness at the finish that let’s you know there might be some tannins somewhere in this tea, but only a hint. It starts with papaya and lychee, then moves on to woody and creamy with cocoa undertones. The finish is a bit of autumn leaves and mineral. Then the real fun, the aftertaste on this tea goes on forever, super sweet tropical fruit creamy goodness that just does not quit.

Second steep, the aroma keeps up the intense sweetness, but it also has a distant floral note that took me forever to pin down, at first I thought maybe the spring flowers outside my window were playing with my sense of smell so I took the tea elsewhere to sniff where I was able to determine it has a subtle peony and plumeria notes. The taste also has a hint of that floral quality, it is almost ghostly dancing in and out of taste. The fruity and creamy cocoa notes stay strong, and woody notes become a little more pronounced, along with a mineral quality to the finish. The aftertaste is not quite as long lasting as the first steep, but it was still long lasting.

The third steep’s aroma has a stronger floral note, definitely picking up on that peony and plumeria, though it is woodier this steep, the cocoa notes are also more prominent. Wow, the mouthfeel on this steep is super smooth, which goes well with its nectar like sweetness. The tropical fruit notes are not as strong this steep, mostly the lychee note sticks around, it is joined by strong creamy cocoa and coconut water and a woody finish. The aftertaste is still strong but not as strong as previous steeps. And perfect timing, as I wrap this post up Mortal Kombat Top 8 is starting, so I shall take my tea and stare at the stream happily. Happy weekend everyone!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/eco-cha-tea-club-batch-5-shanlinxi.html

Daylon R Thomas

Sounds so good.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

It is, I wish they had it in their shop because I am going to cry when I drink it all…and it will be soon since it is so yummy!

Daylon R Thomas

Good black teas are to be savored. I’d be upset as hell too. I even hesitate whenever I drink Mandala’s Milk. I could drink it all the time, but it is so expensive. I’ve been so tempted to join one of their clubs solely for their Alishan, Shan Lin Xi, and Lishan blacks. Plus I’m curious about their greener oolongs-which Luckyme will send a sample of to try.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I really need to try more of Mandala’s teas, all I have had is their puerhs

Daylon R Thomas

There’s a reason why Mandala’s Milk Oolong is one of the top teas on here. It’s probably the best Milk that I’ve had thus far because of how naturally thick and sweet it is.

Daylon R Thomas

It’s just pricey-which is a given. The re-steep value makes up for it though.

Matt Warren

I just got this for my first Eco-Cha tea club shipment. At first I was like, what the hell? A black tea from my Taiwan Tea Club? Then I brewed it up. Outrageous. I can’t wait until next month.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

I know!! I hope we get more black teas, Taiwan’s black teas are a thing of magic :D Though of course I will be quite happy with all the oolongs too!

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Ah, playing on single player with cheat mode on is awesome, I am like unto an Ark god! Rebuilding my swamp base will only take a few hours instead of a few weeks, and now I have a level 120 Mosasaurus, because I can. I am very against using cheat codes in multiplayer, you will see me go into a serious rage if I find out I am playing with a cheat, but in single player where it is just little ol’ me I have no problem. I do have a rule for myself though, no cheat mode until I have thoroughly experienced the game on ‘normal’ mode, that way I get a good understanding of the game and I am not cheating myself out of what could be an awesome experience. This became very important with Minecraft, I only play on creative because I don’t find survival fun anymore, certain grindy aspects of Ark affect me the same way, it was fun the first time! On a fun note, if you don’t know what a Mosasaurus is go look it up, they are maybe my favorite prehistoric sea creature.

Today I am looking at a fun, rare tea from Japan! Yunomi’s Mimasaka Bancha by Furyu Bancha Specialty Shop. Japan has some epic dark tea, it is somewhat hard to get my hands on, but when I do I am happy! This particular tea was said to be the favorite of Miyamoto Musashi, legendary swordsman of classic Japanese literature. This tea looks a lot like a favorite of mine, Kyobancha, the leaves are shinier, the aroma is similar to but with a twist. Notes of soy sauce, sour ponzu sauce, pine resins, roast, pine needles, and underlying autumn leaf pile and dry wood. It is pleasant, the savory food like notes are light and the more woody notes prominent.

Into my kyusu the leaves go for a very long steeping, Yunomi recommends 8 minutes which works for me. The aroma of the soggy leaves (which look like mulch and this amuses me) is wet autumn leaves, a bit of sour fermented soy (kinda like tempeh but a bit more sour) meaty winter stew, roasty toasty, pine wood, and a finish of oak barrel. This is an evocative pile of leaves. The aroma of the liquid is nice and mild and seriously comfy, it doesn’t smell like a warm robe on a cold day but it certainly evokes that. Notes of wood, soggy leaves, soy beans, and a sweet caramelized sugar and rice undertone.

The first time I tried this tea I found it a but underwhelming, turns out I just underleafed it, this is a tea that tastes best when you are very heavy handed with the leaf amount. Do not be afraid to just load up on the fluffy leaves. The taste is smooth, similar to a mildly roasted Hojicha or Kyobancha with notes of autumn leaf pile, gentle roast, and sweet caramelized sugar. Towards the end the roast becomes stronger, bringing in notes of rice and toasted soy beans with a hint of meaty soy sauce. Like other Japanese dark teas I have tried this tea is pretty good chilled, bringing out just a hint of sourness like a very distant lemon. I was able to get a second steep out of this tea, but it was like the first only diminished, so I stuck it in my fridge and had the rest for breakfast, which I found immensely refreshing and hydrating. If you are a fan of either Hojicha or Kyobancha I say give this one a try, it is more of an entry level to the uniqueness of Japanese Dark Teas.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/yunomi-furyu-mimasaka-bancha-dark-tea.html

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The next tea I looked at was the White Peony (Bai Mudan) another White Tea from Fujian, that has the needles along with the fluffier first leaf. This is the first standard BMD I have had in a while and it excites me, like silver needle this tea can take a beating and give you wonderful tea in return. The aroma is a blend of melon, cucumber, lettuce, pollen, and a touch of hay and distant sweetgrass. It is less sweet than the silver needle but smells very fresh and crisp.

Into the basket of steep the leaves go, and when they are removed they still retain their crispness! Notes of melon and cucumber, lettuce, and a touch of wildflowers. There is also a very distant hint of apricot at the finish, but it is light. The liquid is much sweeter, notes of sweetgrass, broken fresh hay, pollen, wildflowers, melon, apricots, and a cooling hint of cucumber. Not as honey sweet as the silver needle, but still quite sweet.

Another tea whose liquid looks like liquid gold, specifically the gold of sunbeams at sunset. The taste of Bai Mudan always reminds me a bit of summer, where silver needle is spring. It starts with pollen and wildflowers and quickly moves to a triple crispness of lettuce, melon, and cucumber. The finish is gently sweet apricot and sweetgrass with a touch of hay in the aftertaste. It lasts for several steepings and gets greener with later steeps, really showcasing the lettuce and cucumber notes. On a whim I took the last steeping of this tea and more or less cold steeped it for about an hour (I used 120 degree water rather than cold, so it was only a sorta cold steeping) and found that it was immensely cooling and crisp, which is good because the day I did that was a bit warm for early April.

For blog, photos, and other ramblings: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/quantitea-silver-needle-bai-hao-yinzhen.html

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Today’s blog is about the two white teas included in the Quantitea 12 Loose Leaf Starter Tea Set, starting with the Silver Needle (Bai Hao Yinzhen) a beautiful fuzzy bud tea from Fujian. I love Silver Needle steeped grandpa style, and really steeping things western style is similar to grandpa style, so it is no surprise that this tea works really well in this fashion. The aroma of the silvery needles is a blend of pollen, cucumbers, sweet honey and apricot, with a touch of lettuce and wildflowers at the finish. It is delicate and light while being very distinct.

Into the steeping basket the tea goes for a nice steeping, the aroma of the not so fuzzy leaves is sweet stuff, like honey drenched cucumber and melon with applies, apricots and a crisp lettuce finish. The liquid is light and sweet, with notes of honey and apples and a touch of lettuce. I am really liking the apple notes, not something I run into too often.

It looks like liquid gold, I never get tired of looking at silver needle, so pretty! The taste is wonderfully light and sweet, I love how you can put silver needle through its paces and it never gets bitter, the only time I have had one get bitter was due to overleafing, but water temperature and time is so easy to play with. It starts with notes of honey and pollen with a wildflower edge to it, then it moves to apples and apricot, and the finish is crisp lettuce and a cooling note of cucumber. It is very refreshing and takes multiple steeps, later steeps being sweeter and less green.

For blog, photos, and other random rambling: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/quantitea-silver-needle-bai-hao-yinzhen.html

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The blog is getting a make-over of sorts! It came to my attention that my blog is not as FTC compliant as it should be, especially if you are viewing it from a feed reader or a phone (pointed out by a fellow blogger talking about FTC stuff) I had not updated things in that nature since I started this thing. Yipes. So going back and adding disclosures to all the posts, adding a new page for disclosure information, and that means as a side note that the blog got a new look. I am not 100% sold on the color scheme, I think it might be a little too cold, so I might play around and see if I can get it more ocean blue than ice blue, to match my hair better. So that is what I am doing, giving this thing a much needed update.

Having spent my entire day staring at my blog and editing things, I decided that for tonight’s blog I wanted something relaxing and fairly short to work with, so I reached for Grand Tea’s Osmanthus Tea, a tisane made from what is possibly my favorite drinkable flower…ever. The competition is steep too, competing with lotus flowers, rose, and various citrus flowers, but wow, Osmanthus is something else. The Osmanthus plant has a ton of different species, but the one most frequently used for culinary purposes is the Osmanthus fragrans variety, and is native to various parts of Asia. It goes by the name Sweet Osmanthus, Tea Olive, Sweet Olive, and Fragrant Olive, but like many plants it grows other places, one of which is my grandmother’s garden so points for nostalgia. The aroma of the tiny flowers is heavenly, like a blend of honey, apricots, scuppernongs, peony, and pollen. They are immensely sweet, though to me they never come off as heady, just sweet and flowery.

Usually I have this flower blended with other things (love it blended with chrysanthemum) or used for scenting teas (like my beloved Osmanthus Oolong) but on its own it is quite wonderful. The steeped flowers are very sweet, honey and apricot jam with a creamy undertone and notes of honeysuckle, peony, and pollen. It is a complex blend of notes for such a tiny flower. The liquid is really sweet and surprisingly creamy, like some sort of strange honeysuckle themed ice cream with a side of apricot jam. Someone make that as a dessert for me please.

Oh yum, this little cup of flower nectar is heavenly, seriously, I love osmanthus so much! It is smooth and very sweet, I am not joking when I say it is nectar because it really reminds me of what it feels like to be a butterfly or hummingbird, it tastes like flower nectar. Notes of apricot, honeysuckle, creamy sweet honey, and pollen blend with a gentle pansy petal and violet flower note. Those last two are only present because I leave a few of the flowers in the liquid to nibble on, without them it is all nectar. There is a powerful aftertaste too, it lingers in sweetness for quite a long time. There really is no wrong way to enjoy these little flowers, you can drink this tea chilled for a stronger sweetness, blended with other teas, as a late night sip for those watching caffeine, as a cooking ingredient…it really is quite versatile.

I received this tea as a prize in a photo contest. For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/grand-tea-osmanthus-tea-tea-review.html

Teatotaler

Floral fanatic that I am, I have just added this one to my must have list. Thanks for such an enticing review!

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It is update day! Ark got the Xbox update which has the new animals and caves, most of which I am ambivalent about…except for the much anticipated Dunkleosteus. So far my attempts at taming one has been fail, mostly because the info on taming them is incomplete on the wiki (still too new) and also because I have seen two. Funnily enough I did run into my first wild Mosasaurus, it is very hard to see at the bottom of the sea and I thought the oddly shaped thing in the distance was the new Dunkle…so I took my Plesiosaurus (really it is an Elasmasaurus) to investigate, and once it was very clearly not a Dunkle (Ark’s term for it, not mine) I took off running…err…swimming. It was surprising since Mossies are very rare and not supposed to be in the area I was, sigh, if only I had the kibble.

It is springtime, meaning all my favorite tea companies that I hound on social media are posting updates of their spring harvest, and even though I don’t drink as much green tea as I used to, I still find myself drooling and finishing off last year’s harvest to fill the green void. One such tea is MeiMei Fine Teas’ Organic Sichuan Mao Feng Green Tea, a green tea from Gao Xian county in Sichuan. The aroma of the gently curling leaves is both green and sweet, notes of chestnut and sesame seeds blend with cherries and notes of green beans, sage, and bamboo to pull in the green. I do enjoy teas where the majority of the sweet notes come from its nutty quality, but that cherry not is quite tasty smelling.

After a visit with the gaiwan and some hot water, the aroma loses most its sweetness and ramps up the green, notes of spinach, artichoke, green beans, and Brussels sprouts with an underlying savory mushroom broth and sesame nuttiness. It smells a bit like stir-fry. The liquid is savory, notes of bok-choy, asparagus, mushroom broth and Brussels sprouts waft out of the pale tea and into my nose.

This is a very smooth green, especially in the mouthfeel department, it is gentle and smooth but not at all thick. It tastes very green, strong notes of kale (but without the bitterness, more like cooked kale) and spinach with Brussels sprouts and green beans. The finish is a blend of asparagus and green beans with a light sesame seed sweetness in the aftertaste.

On to the second steep, the previously light colored liquid takes on more of a richer green and the leaves have plumped up quite a bit. The aroma is very green, reminding me again of stir-fry, but with a stronger asparagus note, it is not quite as savory but it is still very green. The taste is richly green, notes of asparagus and green beans dance with sharp raw broccoli and celery, and a finish of sesame seeds and kale. I feel like I have gotten my daily need for veggies now!

I’m really not sure what I prefer, green teas that are savory and vegetal or ones that are sweet, both are so delicious, but I honestly cannot pick a favorite. This steep’s aroma takes on a buttery quality, almost a yellow squash tone to its buttery note, with broccoli, cooked cabbage, and bok-choy being the strongest notes. The taste this time is mostly sweet, buttery chestnut with sesame and a touch of honey at the aftertaste. This steep is not nuanced but it is like a sweet palate cleanser at the end of a meal.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/04/meimei-fine-teas-organinc-sichuan-mao.html

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I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a large chunk of my life painting miniatures and contemplating my various army layouts. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading and researching category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. I love nature and worked as a Naturalist in the Northwoods one summer, it might have been the best job ever.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it so fair warning! I do tend to not vanish very long though. Also I have some ‘social disorders’ which basically translates to I am really awkward and bad at socializing, so forgive any lack of social graces.

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, have teal hair, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony black teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P

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Kansas City, MO

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