1342 Tasting Notes
Thanks so much again, Teavivre! Teavivre’s three year anniversary will be soon! For some reason I thought they have existed for so much longer. The leaves here are very unique – I don’t even think I’ve seen a Mao Feng that looked like this before. They look like tiny green branches. The scent of the dry leaves is surprisingly stronger and sweeter than the tea actually tastes. Teavivre suggests THREE tablespoons for 17 ounces of water. Tablespoons! Not teaspoons! Wow, that is a lot of leaves… that would not even fit in my infuser. So I went with around four heaping teaspoons of leaves (difficult to measure by teaspoon), an entire sample packet, which had to be the most leaves I’ve ever used for one steep (also… three tablespoons would be nine teaspoons! I figure my mug is nine ounces so nine divided by two is around four teaspoons anyway.)
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 2 min
The brew color is a very light yellow. The flavor is also very light, but it does have a hint of bite to it. Not surprising with four teaspoons of leaves. Usually to me, a Mao Feng tea tastes like a creamed/breaded corn side dish that would go to a meal. This is a much lighter version of that. Some Mao Feng teas would have this much flavor with just one teaspoon, but maybe I’ve been brewing them all wrong with just one teaspoon. I’m starting to think “maybe I should try this tea how Teavivre would suggest brewing it” to most of the teas that I steep. They usually seem to know exactly the right way to steep a tea. I know I’m always describing some green teas like corn, but that is all of my green tea knowledge or tastebuds at the moment, I guess. There is definitely something here that makes this cup special, even if I don’t know what that is. But I can definitely enjoy sipping this tea.
Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 3 min
This cup has even more of a briskness to it (but a pleasant sort – not astringency) as well as a nutty flavor. It’s very good! Mao Feng is one of my favorite greens. I’m off to watch some Akira Kurosawa movies while sipping this… Oh and when I sipped the last of this after it had sat in the mug over night (I don’t usually waste ANY tea, even the next day) it was even nuttier and I liked it even more. Maybe this would be really nice iced? I almost wanted to steep up a third cup but I needed my black tea in the morning.
Another sample from Butiki! Sadly, I haven’t immersed myself in Doctor Who yet (too many other things I’m a fan of) but SOMEONE sure is staying with Doctor Who since it has been on for so long. The base is the lovely Premium Taiwanese Assam that is a unique creation just in the tea leaf itself. This blend has additional banana and coconut. I just had the Foxy’s Banana Walnut the other day and I’d say that one has the same amount of banana as this one. It’s a light banana but it’s REAL banana. The coconut is front and center and it’s one of the best coconut teas I’ve tried. I’d say it does taste more like a coconut cream pie, only because I don’t really taste any of the praline/toffee… maybe a banana/coconut pie. I’ve been craving a banana cream pie lately! For some reason the base didn’t taste as strong as I remember, or maybe it’s the additional flavors of the caramel vanilla that make the base so nice. Butiki does it again!
Steep #1 // 6 min after boiling (accidentally) // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Thanks again for that month that was a whole dollar, Simple Loose Leaf! Unfortunately, I like the name of this one better than the blend itself. It smells fruity, lemony and refreshing… but it brews up a deep red cup color of a warning: hibiscus. The dry leaves are actually smaller than I expected… I thought it would be giant fruit chunks but the tea is very fine. I guess rooibos is an ingredient too. It isn’t very citrusy. Too much hibiscus to be for me. I forgot if I learned last year that hibiscus works better when it’s iced.
I bought a few things from puerhshop.com, mainly to have a couple things I could definitely include in teaboxes (most of my teas are samples at this point with 1-2 teaspoons left). This one sounded good! The leaves are very long and wirey, half gold and half black. I used two teaspoons.
Steep #1 // 8 min after boiling // 3 min
Uh oh, the brew color is very light, but I figure it will just be like Verdant’s Golden Fleece. It does taste similar, but since the leaves are half black and not entirely gold, it does lack a bit of that honey flavor that Golden Fleece has but that tea is a high standard. This one isn’t terrible though! Still plenty of honey. I wonder where the black tea leaf flavor is though. If the leaves were all gold, there might have been more honey flavor. I should have tried using two teaspoons and a hotter temp though.. next time.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Oh, this cup is really nice too. More honey and hints of that yunnan flavor… tiny bit of chocolate. I like this. No astringency or overbrewed leaf flavor at all. I just need to use more leaves next time. This would be lovely if you want a light tea. It will fill a niche for that honey tea in my collection.
Thank you again for the samples, Just Organic Teas! I wanted to try the Earl Grey but maybe I didn’t try it soon enough sitting with the others samples, because there doesn’t seem to be that much bergamot with this one. This is the base that tastes like pumpkin to me, I’m not sure which base that is. Maybe it’s the oothu… I haven’t tried it yet. But it definitely isn’t the assam that tastes like tomato to me. The base is always good, but again, not enough bergamot for me! When I want my bergamot, I want my BERGAMOT. The second steep was the same as the first. Not the EG I’d choose to buy. But maybe it’s just the thin baggie it was in made the bergamot disappear over the last few weeks?
Steep #1 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Thank you so much for this one a while back Dexter3657… but I guess it’s just Dexter now. :D I haven’t seen any rooibos and roasted yerba mate blends before, but it sounds like it would be a good combination. Add those little caramel cubes and a HINT of marzipan flavor, and it’s pretty magical. I see there should be cocoa nibs in the blend, but I didn’t see them or taste them. I think it would do better without anyway. It’s a fully thought-out blend. The caramel balances the rooibos and the rooibos with the roasted yerba mate is like a rustic autumn cup. Perfect outside reading with the cooler weather today. A good one! I’ll enjoy the last few teaspoons!
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 5 min
Steep #2 // just boilied // 4 min
Thank you KittyLovesTea for sending this a while ago! This is actually similar to the tea I just tried, even though the leaves seem very different even if they are both green. These leaves look like lawn mower clippings. :D There is also two different colors to them, a darker green and a lighter green. The flavor is very similar to the Dragonwell I had yesterday. It’s like creamed or breaded corn and the steep color is very light. The second cup was almost the same. I’m used to these types of greens being much different. Maybe I’m steeping them differently now. To be fair, the package says this expired at the end of February (way after KittyLovesTea sent it) and one sip did have a hint of that “old green tea leave” flavor, so I’m not trying this at its freshest. It’s still very good anyway. I’ll steep up the last teaspoon soon!
Steep #1 // 40 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 42 min after boiling // 3 min
Additional notes: Sample sipdown! I should really be sampling the teas Butiki just sent, but I wanted this one. I thought this would age quicker (my sample is over a year old), because of the walnuts, but it actually tastes the same as the last time I had it. Wow! This is a very well done blend, as usual. It could maybe use a little bit more banana.. the pieces are so small! The banana flavor is still there though.
This was from the first round of the HH teabox and also a sipdown! I’d like to focus on sipdowns this week or next-cup-sipdowns. It’s so difficult though because I like holding on to those last teaspoons of teas to savor later.
Steep #1 // 20 min after boiling // 3 min
This is supposed to be a black and green tea. I didn’t see too many green tea leaves. I waited 20 minutes after boiling to steep it anyway. This is very tasty – it doesn’t really taste like green tea but the black tea tastes like sweet cherries. It’s pretty good! It isn’t the most brisk tea (a “library” tea should probably be pretty strong for focus) but it does have a bite to it.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
Since I didn’t see any green leaves in the dry blend, I used just boiled water. I didn’t want to wait! But as I was pouring, I did noticed some green leaves that had unfurled! It didn’t ruin the tea anyway. I still can’t taste the green tea. I think the cherry flavor of the black tea might balance any astringency from the green. This one is unique!
Thank you so much for being so generous Teavivre! Wow. I always appreciate it so much! It really makes my day (or week) to receive a package of teas all the way from China. A sample package just in time for triple review points! I promised I’d try this one as soon as I got it because I insisted they wait to send it with the other teas they wanted to send. As fresh as possible. Hopefully it didn’t affect the teas too much sitting in the 95 degree mailbox for an hour before I rescued them (and probably warmer because it is a brown mailbox).
The dry leaves are a lovely jade green, flat yet wide. I love the look of these leaves – it reminds me of how much I love tea. The fragrance is surprisingly strong! Very sweet.
Steep #1 // 32 minutes after boiling // 1 1/2 min steep
I used two teaspoons of leaves. I didn’t exactly use the right parameters for this steep since the 17 ounces of water suggestion always confuses me. The color of the cup is a mellow yellow. The flavor somehow reminds me of the flavor of a Mao Feng – creamed or breaded corn. I love that sort of flavor, it’s very good but I don’t think that is what the flavor was supposed to be. Maybe a longer steep time and hotter temperature WOULD have been better. But I can’t imagine the black teas should be steeped for one minute and the green should be steeped for four minutes.
Steep #2 // 30 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Now it has turned into a tea I’ve never tasted before. Such a garden of flavors this one has turned into: what was once corn is now cucumber and melon. Very interesting. This cup also seems like it should have more flavor, especially with such a strong scent to the dry leaves. Maybe I should have used more of them. There is no astringency at all.
Steep #3 // 28 min after boiling // 2 min
Maybe it was because the leaves sat overnight, but this cup didn’t have too much flavor. It’s interesting that this tea didn’t acquire a strawberry-like flavor, since these types of teas sometimes do. I will definitely try again with Teavivre’s parameters next time. They sent me plenty to sample. I guess I should just consider 17 ounces is double what my mug holds, so just halve all the parameters? I don’t know. This tea is very unique (haven’t had something like this before and I’ve tried a few other dragonwell teas before). Very nice.