1452 Tasting Notes
Another sample from Just Organic Tea! Thanks again! I tried to separate the spicy teas from the non-spicy as soon as I got the samples, but this one seems like it was still affected as others have mentioned. It isn’t bad though! It’s a lovely white blend. Somewhat creamy, fresh, but very light if I can ignore the spices and what tastes like Just Organic’s pumpkiny black tea base. Maybe not enough leaves for the cup I steeped. Since the flavor has been tainted I will talk about the dry leaves. This type of white tea is always so interesting. They always look like many different types of leaves with different colors, but they also look like leaves that were picked from the ground in autumn… just dried leaves, but some of them look fresh green.
Off topic: Since I’ve not much else to say about this one, I’ll mention how I’ve been organizing. I’ve been trying to get to many of the teas I haven’t tried yet before MzPriss’ teabox shows up in a bit. Figuring out what to add to the box, figuring out which teas I’d like to sell. I have an e-mail draft that I add teas to and who they are from. I remove the teas from the list once I write a tasting note. There is a list of sipdowns in that e-mail too. I also have an e-mail draft of all my teas listed by type (ie: green) and then listed alphabetically by company. Just a behind the scenes on how I organize and end up writing tasting notes for new-to-me teas so often. I’m sure everyone is sick of them. I guess the only break was the company-less Butiki teabox. :D
Thank you so much Teavivre! My order and contest winnings have arrived. I was very excited to win a pu-erh cake from that awesome contest, and I figured I might as well order with all my reward points I’ve accumulated so that the pu-erh cake didn’t have to travel through the mail so lonely. haha. (I ordered this one, the Keemun #1 which won in my taste test of all four keemuns and the review that won Teavvire’s contest and a bunch of samples, mostly oolong!)
I wanted to try this one right away. My previous sample of this one was almost two years old, so the harvest was bound to be different. It is. I tried to steep using similar parameters. It still has the distinctly bailin gongfu flavor, but it’s lighter than it once was. The flavor before was deep dark chocolate. This is still chocolate, but not dark chocolate! Still no astringency. I will probably find I love it more every time I steep this one, just like the previous harvest. I think this is the tea I’ve written the most tasting notes for.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps // 20 min after boiling // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Thanks again Dexter! Sadly, this one has NOT ME written all over it. Rooibos and hibiscus? Hoo boy. But I’m always happy to try any tea! But hoo boy. It’s pretty much tart hibiscus and woodsy medicinal rooibos that somehow also tastes like ginger! Another one of my least favorites. And licorice? I think it might be here to try to tame the texture of the rooibos.
Thanks again, Simple Loose Leaf! I wanted to try this one with the same parameters I used yesterday on a Darjeeling. I think I’ll stick with it for most of my Darjeelings to try them out… unless a tea company knows what they’re talking about when it comes to parameters, like Butiki. The leaves of this Darj are similar to the Zen Darj I tried yesterday. This one tastes similar but it does have more of a lemon note somehow, rather than the stone fruits. I do love the stone fruits in my Darjeeling, but this one isn’t bad. It also has some nuttiness, especially on the stronger second steep. I think Darjeelings are still going over my head when it comes to picking out flavors though. I’m still an amateur!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 tsp // 20 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // 10 min after boiling // 5 min // half a mug
A word of warning: Darjeeling isn’t usually my favorite. I had to try Zen’s offering of Darjeeling though. I waited 20 minutes after I boiled the water to pour over 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaves, because I definitely know I don’t like my Darjeeling boiled. Steeped for close to three minutes. The flavor is okay (again, Darjeeling isn’t my thing!), not something I’d steep up all the time. It’s a bit tangy but also a bit sweet creamy somehow, hints of stone fruit but I like my Darj to have a TON of stone fruit. Not much muscatel. Oddly enough, if I drink a Darjeeling, I’d like it to have that explosion of Darjeeling flavor. This one certainly has more of that flavor than some that I’ve tried though.
The second steep was interesting and different, stronger in flavor, more stone fruits. I would have never guessed to steep it this way: half a mug, 15 minutes after boiling, for quite a few minutes (at least over five.)
A sample from my order a while back. The ingredients sound AMAZING especially as there is no hibiscus or rosehips! I let two teaspoons of this sucker soak for 22 minutes! There isn’t hibiscus so there should be no oversteeping. The scent of the dry leaf is a fruit punch but the taste is pure sugar — it almost seems like it has splenda in it… maybe coating some of the fruit pieces? It’s very sweet sugary syrup. The cup is an off-white color, not red since there is no hibiscus. I wouldn’t necessarily call it strawberry though. It seems mostly apple and pineapple this cup around, but there is definitely plenty other ingredients in the blend. I’d keep this in stock this as a herbal!
Thank you MissB for a sample of this one a while back! There seems to be quite a bit of thought to this one, as I can’t think of better ingredients for a DRAGON inspired tea… the only other thing I could think of is a Dragon Egg pu-erh for a base tea. But this is so inspired: dragonwell green for the base, a bit of lapsang souchong, cayenne pepper and cinnamon! The flavors are minimal, but if they weren’t, the base would be drowned out. I know there is definitely cayenne. My nose tingled while smelling the dry blend. But definitely not cayenne in the level of 52Teas Mayan Chocolate Chai. The cinnamon fits well but the dragonwell can’t really be boiled to get the full cinnamon kick. I don’t really notice a ton of smokiness, maybe a little to give the dragonwell depth. I love the combo in this blend but it just seems to need MORE of that combination.. maybe using more that one teaspoon would help. I can imagine a straight lapsang with cayenne and cinnamon, but I can also imagine I’d be the only one buying it. haha.
Thank you Dexter for this one a while back! I could tell by the dry leaf scent this one isn’t for me… it smells something like ginger, but I don’t see any ginger listed in the ingredients. It’s a smell that reminds me of allergies or something, dill or pollen. The green base is fine, from what I can taste, but it does seem like whatever that scent is takes over the green tea. Not really much mandarin either. Just not my thing! :D
Thank you Stephen Hockman for swapping! I’d say I’m a fan of the book, the first one anyway (so many books to read I haven’t read the others yet) and haven’t seen the show. Direwolf reminds me of Jon Snow, who is maybe my third or fourth favorite character in the first book, if only he’d just grow up a little bit. :D
This is a nice enough tea though – I see orange peel, lavender and lemongrass in the dry blend. The taste is a punch of fresh lavender so much so it kind of overpowers the blend. It’s nice lavender though. I’m not sure if there is actually bergamot in this one, can’t really taste it. The black tea is mild. I like it, enough to enjoy the couple of teaspoons I have anyway. For an EG it falls short, but if you forget it’s supposed to be an EG, it’s pretty nice. The second steep was just as good.
Thanks so much Dinosara! The dry blend smells like a coffee cake —or some sort of spicy cake. The flavor is the same! This one is so good. I love the ripened pu-erh in this blend. Plenty of orange peels, but somehow the orange flavor isn’t there as much you’d think. This is almost like a chai with a pu-erh base but somehow the flavor is much sweeter. Maybe because pu-erh has less of a bite than black tea. I used two teaspoons with increasing temps on each steep. Even by the third cup the pu-erh in the basket barely looks unraveled so I went with a fourth… a hint of a bit less flavor but still tasty. This is your spicy cake pu-erh and it is glorious. If anyone doesn’t like theirs, I’d buy it.
Steep times: 2-3 min, 4 min, 8 min, 10 min