1523 Tasting Notes
Another sample from the oolong sample set! I may or may not be trying some more teas from Teavivre this week in advance of the sale. I am definitely getting one those pu-erh cakes before they are gone entirely… it’s my favorite pu-erh! I used an entire sample pouch, two heaping teaspoons. The bright green tightly rolled bundles have the scent of creamed vegetables.
Steep #1 // five minutes after boiling // rinse // 1 min
I was going for boiling on this one, but I was a little late. The flavor here is similar to the Ali Shan I had yesterday from Teavivre. Super milky and creamy. The smoothest oolong ever. It lingers like butter long after taking a sip. There are subtle qualities here that remind me of some of those green teas that have that creamed vegetable flavor, but only hints of that! Another savory oolong, but then there is a sweetness that lingers at the end of the sip. The smoothness with this tea is unbelievable.
Steep#2// just boiled // 1 1/2 to 2 min
As I was sipping the first cup, I was thinking how perfectly brewed it was, or maybe it was just a perfect oolong. Sadly, this cup steeped closer to two minutes and was a little on the tangy side. I really don’t like when a good oolong gets tangy/oversteeped! I think even maybe a minute steep would have been better for this cup, almost because the leaves are already unraveled. I don’t think two teaspoons is too many leaves because the first cup was absolutely delicious.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
I didn’t really think to shorten the steep time more by this steep, sadly. Another cup of slightly too astringent. I can’t really taste anything past that but dream of the deliciousness of the first steep. That is too bad. By the first steep, this one might have been my favorite of the Teavivre oolongs that I’ve tried lately (other than the Iron Goddess anyway) but it is a very sensitive oolong. Hopefully I remember that for the next steep session. It’s odd it went from the smoothest oolong to the most sensitive about steep times. I have certainly been oolong spoiled lately though!
Note to self: a minute steep for each steep, first steep was perfect
A free sample with my last order! I love that all of Teavivre’s oolongs are distinctly different. The bright green leaves here have a floral yet milky scent. I used the entire sample pouch for my mug which turned out to be two heaping teaspoons:
Steep #1 // just boiled // rinse // 1 min steep
The fragrance of the mug is the same as the dry leaves – milky with hints of floral and the flavor is the same! If you want another milk oolong option than the two that are actually called milk oolongs over at Teavivre, this is the one. It almost has a buttermilk quality..so creamy it almost translates to the texture. The floral isn’t incredibly noticeable in the flavor. Hints of vegetables, but I can’t tell what type. It has almost a savory quality – salty, brothy, soupy. Much less sweet than some of Teavivre’s other oolongs.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 1 1/2 min
This cup is very different than the first, but I do love when these oolongs change flavors. This cup doesn’t have the milky/creamy quality and even loses some of the savory qualities. Now it’s more fresh, crisp, fruity and floral. Just all the flavors I think about when I think of a great oolong. Very flavorful and perfectly steeped. I think I have steeping these oolongs perfectly now!
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min steep
This cup is very smooth and it seems to have something unique about it, though I couldn’t say what. FULL of that delicious oolong flavor though! Also, there was a twig sticking out of the infuser, I pulled it out and it was actually a tiny branch with a few leaves attached! Now how in the heck did it go from being tiny oolong bundles to that?!? I was a gushing tea nerd for a couple minutes. It’s so amazing all of these oolongs can be so different!
Additional notes: I needed some Earl on this dreary day, so why not go for the best stuff? Burst of bergamot aftertaste right here. I’m not noticing the tomato soup flavor that I did last time, though that was from MissB’s sample and not this sample. Maybe a different harvest? This is the loveliest of Earls. I’d love to buy some of JusTea’s teas but the shipping is a little rough. I’m envisioning a massive Steepsterer combined order for the Christmas sale….
Thank you again, Marzipan for organizing the 52Teas grab bags! This is one Mandy and I both wanted to try that we tacked on to the order. Flavored genmaichas do seem a bit odd, but I love genmaicha so why not? I made sure to get a big peach piece into the infuser! Even with these lighter steep parameters, whoa was this a strong genmaicha! Tons of toasty genmaicha flavor along with plenty of fresh sweet peach. The dry leaves smell a bit like cream, but the flavor isn’t terribly like cream but I would imagine it added some sweetness. This one turned out exactly like I thought it would, but stronger flavor (though I could have used more creaminess)!
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 1 1/2 – 2 min
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min
Thanks again for the samples Just Organic! This one seems like it could be a holiday tea. Cinnamon and orange on a nice black tea base: this base seems like it has more bite than other Just Organic teas. There is plenty of cinnamon here, it seems more of the spicy/savory than the sweet, if that makes sense? I didn’t taste too much orange, but oddly enough I was tasting strawberry. There was no possible contamination with other teas, so maybe that is what the black tea base tasted like? The second steep was just as flavorful. A nice one!
Steep #1 // 3/4 mug full // 14 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // 3/4 mug full // just boiled // 4 min
Additional notes: Having this one again while using the same parameters as other dragon pearls: five pearls, boiling, rinse, 2 min steep, 4 min steep. These particular pearls from the sale from Puritea’s closing sale seem less red than before and certainly less red than the picture. The color of the cup is certainly red, even if the pearls themselves aren’t. This is a lighter pearl, but the flavor is so unique and fantastic! I mentioned honey with hints of chocolate before, but the fragrance from the cup before taking a sip is pure maple syrup, just that particular flavor! I didn’t notice that before! I happen to love maple syrup so that is fine with me. These go higher on the list because of how unique they are. The second steep has a deeper flavor while still maintaining those maple syrup qualities.
I love the idea of a orange pu-erh. I think pu-erh would be a nice base for a TON of different flavors. I’m a little hesitant on having an orange filled with pu-erh around, it seems like it would me messy, but I most certainly wanted to try the sample!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // rinse //15 min after boiling (accidentally) // 3 min steep
I love the look of these pu-erh leaves, chocolate brown twisty leaves. I scooped two teaspoons out from my sample, leaving a decent amount left for next time. There was a big piece of orange peel in this, but somehow to me it seems more like pine trees to me than orange. I’ve never had a pu-erh smell like pine trees to me before, and the taste is there as well. Hints of orange in the background, even with this huge piece of orange, it isn’t much. The three minute steep time seems like a long time, but Teavivre actually suggests more than five minutes, and I had waited for the water to cool to long after boiling anyway.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
Another delicious pine cup… if you’re in the market for teas that taste like pine trees, go for this. I mean that in the best way possible. It’s very unique.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 10 min
Another intriguing cup that hasn’t lost the flavor yet. Very sweet, not bitter or astringent of course, since this is a pu-erh and the good ones don’t get bitter. There is a flavor here that is intriguing but I couldn’t tell why… it seems like all of the pu-erh teas over at Teavivre are all very unique. I’ve loved all of the ripened that I’ve tried so far.
I bought an oolong sampler variety with my order, of course all of them sound amazing. I wanted a roasted oolong today which I thought this was, but looking at the bright jade green bundles, I don’t think so. The fragrance of the leaves convinced me I wanted this one anyway: very sweet, very milky and buttery. I used 2 1/2 teaspoons of leaves, as that was an entire sample pouch (Teavivre suggests 2-3 teaspoons). The flavor suggests I did not overleaf this one in my 12 ounce mug. I REALLY feel like I have found the perfect way to steep these types of oolongs, as the Iron Goddess is really nice this way as well, but I know all oolongs have different steeping parameters with perfect results. I simply just want to try all of my oolongs this way as I definitely haven’t been rinsing, using boiling water, using two (or more) teaspoons or steeping for such a short time:
Steep #1 // just boiled // rinse // 1 min steep
The flavor is a wispy mystery: I can’t quite pin down what I’m tasting. It is a standard delicious oolong! Definitely not astringent, so this is the way to go with this oolong. At first, the top of the mug is vegetal but very buttery and milky, just not as milky as an actual milk oolong. I think I’m getting hints of peach or pineapple… I’m not sure which. This is a very sweet oolong though.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min
A two minute steep time was a little too much for this one, not anything to ruin the cup, just some tanginess that shouldn’t have been there. I think 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 minutes would have been better. The color of the cup is neon yellow, a nutty flavor, I still can’t tell if the fruit flavor is pineapple or peach but there is still a strong butter flavor, but much less sweet and milky this time.
Steep #3 // just boiled // 2 min
Another juicy fresh cup! No astringency here at all this time around, just a bright cup of oolong. I like this one, but the explosion of flowers that is Teavivre’s Iron Goddess TiGuanYin is my favorite by far!
Thank you again for the samples, Just Organic Tea! I feel terrible they have taken me so long to get to. I’m disappointed with myself! To me, I would use a ton more leaves for each serving than Just Organic sent over, so I tried filling the mugs less than usual. I love these dark twisty leaves. I waited too long to steep – the temp should have been at 195 degrees. I’m not sure if this is the base for some of their other teas, but the flavor is like them – hints of pumpkin and tomato soup. The flavor is too light for me though! I would use two teaspoons of these leaves normally. The leaves have an intense natural sweetness, so I’m glad I didn’t steep this with the sugar JO provided. A very smooth tea!
Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling (accidentally) // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // half a mug // 4 min
I had to have a Butiki tea in honor of Stacy’s birthday yesterday! Happy birthday, Stacy! I hope it was a good one. Keep doing the awesome you do! I have some samples to try yet, and this is one of them. Sadly, an assam means more tomato soup for me. I really wish I would have tried these before my tastebuds changed! All assam means all tomato, all the time. There is something special here that makes it unlike other assams though but its hard to tell what that is: a flavor I haven’t noticed in any other teas. Sadly, none of those flavor notes that others have noticed for this tea are making themselves known to my tastebuds, but I feel like they once would have. It’s too bad as this one has all my favorite flavors. Otherwise, there is a little baked bread and a bite to it. I think all of these assams taste like iron to me now. Odd. It’s going to be my mission this week to try a few not-new-to-me assams and see if they are the same. I wouldn’t think this would be a good base for Butiki’s new chocolate blend, but I guess I should try that one before saying that. I should have sipped one of my favorite Butiki teas on the 25th!
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // just boiled // 3 1/2 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min