1367 Tasting Notes
I don’t know why I keep writing tasting notes for pu-erh if they are always so darn tough for me to describe. They are just… pu-erh… pu-erh is pu-erh. Mainly, I guess I’m giving them a number rating so I remember how much I liked them. This is a very nice pu-erh, loose this time. It even has some hint of extra flavor but could I tell you what that is? No. Just another level of flavor. There isn’t any of that hint of pond though, so if that is what scares you from pu-erh, this would be a good one to try. The flavor is dark enough, but not darker than the darkest pu-erh. No bitterness with this one. I was worried with it already being loose and didn’t need to unravel that it might be bitter. Nope. I’m very glad I bought it.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // rinse // few minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 or 3 min? Don’t remember
This is from a while back — I bought a few samples from them when they were going out of business. Yes, I’m just trying it now. I’m trying to get to know my tea collection better for possible teabox or sale/swap pile possibilities! It’s a pity because this oolong is really good.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps // rinse // 17 min after boiling // 2 min
Though they suggested 180 degrees, my favorite oolong in the past was steeped using just boiled water, so I didn’t want to wait too long. I think I’ve just recently started with this type of oolong and they seem to be a little like ti guan yin, but a little bit different. Flavor notes here: pineapple, sugar, something that reminds me of licorice but doesn’t make it weird. Super smooth and very tasty!
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 2 min
This cup was too bitter. I think the ideal steeping was the last cup. Oolong steeping is too tough to figure out! The leaves here look exactly like the Teavivre Ti Guan Yin but it steeps so differently. This one wasn’t undrinkable but the bitterness killed it. I probably didn’t need to use two teaspoons either.
Steep #3 // 22 min after boiling // 2 min
Still a hint of bitterness, probably because I only steeped half a mug this time. I don’t have enough leaves to ruin this nice oolong! The first cup was delicious though.
Another one from the 52Teas grab bags! I didn’t think I’d like this one with the watermelon… I think watermelon is my least favorite fruit but I LOVE fruit. There was a big chunk of fruit, I think apple, that went into my infuser. If it were the black tea base, I’d pass, but this sencha would be delicious on its own! Then once in a while there are wisping flavors of fresh green apple and watermelon. Not enough to drown out the green tea which I really like.
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 1 1/2 steep
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 2 min
Thank you Teavivre for the awesome contest! I won a whole cake of pu-erh and I don’t think many other people would be hoping for a pu-erh among those other amazing teas they could have won! Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s Teavivre’s fault that I’m almost addicted to pu-erh as much as black tea and I REALLY love my black tea. I love that this came wrapped and then in a manila envelope type thing with a string to close it.
Steep #1 // rinse // few minutes after boiling // 2 min steep
It looked like a teaspoon and a half or so of leaves that I broke off. There are hints of gold in these black leaves. At first taste: Oh this is a good pu-erh. I’m already very happy with it! The flavor is already very deep with no astringency – it has hints of the pond flavor when first sipping, but then it’s hints of dark chocolate and even the things I like about coffee. I feel like I’ve tried a pu-erh like this before, probably from Teavivre that tastes very similar. I have sampled a FEW pu-erhs from Teavivre, so it’s tough to tell which one.
Steep #2 // 2 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Another really lovely cup, of course. More chocolate, more coffee. I really love this pu-erh.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
I’m surprised at the sweetness of this cup! I didn’t expect a longer steep time to make it sweeter! I think these leaves could keep steeping, and it seems like if it’s a longer steep time it will just keep getting sweeter? It seems like a sweeter pu-erh rather than a deeper, darker tasting pu-erh, if that makes sense. Very delicious! If I had sampled this before I won it for the contest, I probably would have bought it. I think Teavivre’s Fengqing Zhuan Cha Ripened Pu-erh Brick 2006 is still my favorite pu-erh from Teavivre by a tiny bit over this one though.
I HAD to participate in the 52Teas mystery bags, even if that meant splitting three bags with other Steepsterers: thank you Mandy and Marzipan! Marzipan did an awesome job splitting the winnings and Mandy did the math for what I owed. haha. I’m terrible with numbers. Also, thank you 52Teas for such an awesome sale! SOMEHOW I previously tried only one of the teas that we received and I have been able to sample many 52Teas! I got one I wanted: Rumchata Genmaicha but I was really hoping for Fruit Hoops. I’m willing to buy/swap some of Fruit Hoops if someone is willing!
The dry leaf here actually has a butterscotch scent. Surprisingly butterscotch. I didn’t see any banana pieces in the pouch, but the fruit is always hiding in these pouches. I will probably only ever drink the banana teas from 52Teas, since I love them! (Butiki’s banana walnut is good too though.) This is the black tea base I don’t love though. I don’t mind the black tea with these flavors though, some of the flavors make the black tea better. Oh, I just remembered I said this with Bananas Foster. The butterscotch flavor isn’t as strong as the scent and lends a sweetness. It isn’t a cloying, distinct banana either. Both steeps were good, but there are better banana teas from 52Teas (Banana Pudding, the Hojicha blend I miss and Bananas Foster).
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
I removed this from the Here’s Hoping teabox a few weeks ago. I loved the Little Red Cup teas I was able to sample. I had to try their keemun. Usually keemun doesn’t have the hint of smoke that they should. This one does but it seems like it isn’t naturally within the leaf itself but added later. It does remind me a bit of some of those artifical lapsang souchongs but with a lighter smokiness. The smoke kind of tastes like leather. The black tea itself is slightly sweet but then there is a flavor here that reminds me of stevia with a hint of cherry. The brew is on the lighter side. Not much of a fan of this one, but I’m always up for trying a tea.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 10 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
I had a half teaspoon of this I took from the Here’s Hoping teabox. So I brewed a half a mug. It’s an interesting half mug! It’s a very bright green with a surprising amount of flavor for half a teaspoon and the lotus adds an interesting flavor… tough to describe… kind of sweet. Should it remind me of jasmine, just less distinct? The second cup is even better but very different. More marine like. More floral. I wouldn’t mind some more of this in the ol’ cupboard. Maybe I’d be able to describe it better. haha.
Thank you so much MzPriss! This one sounded amazing: bergamot, cream, lavender on a base of assam. Cornflowers make the blend look gorgeous. And the scent makes me want to drink it… now. Maybe I didn’t steep it well enough, but the flavor isn’t as strong as I’d wish it was. Everything is kind of mild here… just hints of the bergamot, cream, lavender and even the tea which should be stronger because it’s an assam. At least none of the ingredients of the blend overpower the others. The second cup accidentally steeped for six minutes but it was a bit tastier anyway. I love the name. I had a Violent Femmes song in my head yesterday for some reason.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6 min
A sample from Butiki! A very solid assam. A bit of an astringency with a robustness yet still has a nice depth of flavor. This is sad though… I see so many notes for stone fruits on this one, but I don’t taste that at all, and it’s one of my favorite tea flavors! My taste buds changed a couple months ago and most assam tastes like tomato and pumpkin to me now. I can’t begin to tell you how much I do not like acyual tomatoes. I loved my assams before! I should have more to say on this awesome assam but I’m simply shocked at my taste buds now. OH and one other thing that changed is the flavor of ketchup, which is especially odd since I just mentioned my teas are tasting like tomato. It brings into question even the purpose of my own tasting notes for myself if years from now each tea could change because of my taste buds. This tasting note doesn’t really do a Butiki tea justice, but this isn’t the best Butiki tea anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 5 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Aw, I wrote a ton of things for this one and I lost it. Thank you Dinosara for this one! I had no idea how to steep this one, so it was a little bitter from the birch bark, which seems like that happen anyway. I’m not sure what it’s for anyway. I don’t taste much rooibos or yerba mate but there is a lot of mint, spearmint and lavender. It seems like I had this combination before but I have no idea where. It’s an odd mix of ingredients. Not bad but not Verdant’s best blend.