1520 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: This one worked much better this time, maybe even just because I used a teaspoon and a half rather than one teaspoon before. So spicy and such unique spices in this blend. The black tea tasted like raisins! Hits the chai craving, for sure. I haven’t sipped enough chai yet this autumn.
I was thinking of having a Yezi tea this morning.. or should I say I was thinking specifically of the flavor of a Chinese black (or red) tea? No, I knew Yezi wouldn’t fail me. I’ve been holding onto this one from the Butiki traveling teabox so I thought I’d try this one. The Yezi black teas I’ve tried seem to be variations on a theme when it comes to flavor… especially if you happen to be able to steep them with exactly the same parameters. Yezi suggests a teaspoon for each three ounces of water, so I steeped the entire sample: three not-entirely-full teaspoons. The black and golden leaves have exactly the flavor I was looking for: not quite chocolate, not quite sweet potato (it’s a nice middle ground that only Yunnan seems to have), with something in the flavor that reminds me of wine. There is something about teas like this one that it seems like I’m actually chewing food – very rich and satisfying. Three amazing steeps with this one. Perfect every time. It’s hard to tell which Yezi red/black tea is the best, but I’d sure love to try them all to find out.
Steep #1 // 3 tsps for 12 ounce mug // 10 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Steep #2 // 5 min after boiling // 3 1/2 min
Steep #3 // just boiled // 4 min
Additional notes: I wanted genmaicha and couldn’t decide which one, so I just went with this one as I was thinking of Firefly today and how I should rewatch it soon. The chocolate in this isn’t ideal… I can only IMAGINE how delicious a genmaicha with cocoa shells would be. Cocoa shells, tea shops… cocoa shells!!!
Thank you CHAroma! Another one I’ve wanted to try! White tea and stone fruits! The white tea looks like a bai mu dan this time around. One teaspoon went in the infuser so I could revisit the other teaspoon later. The fruit flavor is definitely present. It would be lovely if every stone fruit imaginable was here, but to me I’m tasting apricot and plum… it’s reminding me of the Sugar Plum blend a little bit! The white tea has plenty of flavor too: lemony, bright, a little creamy, fresh and a little syrupy sweet. I’d just love it if I could actually see a few more fruit pieces in the blend. The second steep is even tastier… though the actual fruit may have disappeared a little bit, maybe because of the longer steep time or because the white tea is so full of flavor itself. Very nice blend and very glad I was able to try it!
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 55 second steep
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 min steep
This one is from Kimquat’s sale – thank you! I realized I have samples of three Laoshan greens and three hand picked oolongs from Verdant (all different harvest times) so I thought I’d try all of them around the same parameters on different days. This DOES seem different from the autumn Laoshan I’ve tried before. It seems to have much fuller flavor. One of the most flavorful green teas I’ve tried. It’s very nutty, buttery, sweet, creamed corn. So so much flavor. I love the nuttiness. I’m surprised the summer harvest has more flavor than the autumn. It works… the flavors really combine nicely. I really like it – a favorite green for me. The second steep has just as much flavor. SHHH… (I think I like this better than Laoshan Black.)
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 32 min after boiling // 55 sec steep
Steep #2 // 28 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Thank you TeaTiff for the swap a while back! I tried this one a couple days ago. I always seem to have Earl Grey on gloomy days… maybe that’s why it’s called Earl GREY. I used just boiling water and that seems like it might have ruined the bergamot just a little bit. I should have waited a few minutes. Otherwise a nice bright, fresh, crisp, strong bergamot on the perfect base for an Earl. I’ll try it again steeped differently!
Steep #1 // just boiled // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
I’ve had this one for almost a year now but haven’t written any tasting notes. From the Amoda box! I love the flavor of honeybush but it must be the most impossible flavor to describe. There are plenty of big pieces in the blend that aren’t honeybush. Big pieces of apple, even with some of the skin. The cider of the name is accurate, as the brewed color looks like cider! There are hints of apple in the taste and somehow I expect more cinnamon flavor than is here. I’d say the dominant flavor is honeybush. Now how did that happen? But it’s tasty anyway. I can’t wait to see the new Butiki blends…
Steep #1 // 1tsp // just boiled // few minutes steep
Steep #2 // few min after boiling // few min steep
Additional notes: I got to stock up on a little more of this favorite from Momo’s sale. Thank you! This has to be one of my favorite flavored oolongs. The orange blends with a sweet caramel to make it like a creamsicle ice cream or like the orange icing on those cinnamon rolls. So so good. I steeped a little differently this time with a hotter temp (1 1/2 tsp for 2-3 minutes maybe 15-20 min after boiling?) and it didn’t ruin it at all. So delicious.
Thank you CHAroma for sending a sample of this a while back! A few days ago I was planning on this tea for Halloween. Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I was sipping on 52Teas Candy Corn today too. (No actual bag of candy corn is in my possession this year! HOW?) Even though the black tea leaves here look on the smaller size, the brewed mug is very light. The pumpkin sprinkles are adorable. I love the squash/carrot gives the blend SOME sort of vegetation (though they seemed to be lacking in my infuser) but why don’t pumpkin teas actually have pumpkin? It seems like even one pumpkin would be enough ingredients for a LOT of tea. The flavor here only had hints of squash. I wouldn’t say this is a typical chai… it isn’t very spicy (mostly cinnamon). But it’s a nice one. Reminds me of Della Terra’s Pumpkin Pie.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // just boiled // 4 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
Thank you Teasenz for the samples! This is a pu-erh sampler containing four different types of pu-erh mini tuochas, so I’ll be reviewing each of the four types. They are only distinct to me because the color of the writing on each tuocha wrapper is different, so that is how I will tell them apart.
+ RED wrapper: This is such a tightly compacted tuocha! I went for a longer rinse than usual because even after the rinse, it still wasn’t unraveled very much. The tuocha reminds me of a chocolate truffle, but it has a fragrance of hay. This is certainly a ripe pu-erh but rather than be one of those dark muddy coffee brews, the color of the cup is copper. The flavor is lighter than I’m used to as well, actually sweet and fruity without many hints that this is pu-erh in flavor. The second steep is much darker and deeper like I usually expect. Pu-erh can only be PU-ERH but it seems to have so many flavors wisping throughout: earth, pine, maple syrup. The third steep is still going strong. I’m shocked that such a tiny truffle of a tuocha can have so many long pu-erh leaves.
25 sec rinse // just boiled // 3 min steep // 3 min // 4 min
+ BROWN wrapper (disc shaped): Even though the steeped leaves looked the same size as the leaves in the last tuocha, the cup got dark very fast, so I shortened the first steep to two minutes. Maybe this tuocha had more leaves or was less compact. The flavor is delicious – very deep unsweetened dark chocolate. The last tuocha had many flavors, but this just has the one. None of the “typical” pu-erh flavors are found in this cup.. it kind of tastes more like coffee. This would be a good pu-erh for newbies. My first cup was sipped too quick! The third steep was a bit weaker than the other two, but the other two cups were delicious.
Just boiled // rinse // 2 min // 3 min // 4-5 min
+BLUE wrapper: This one seems to be rice scented! Love those! It was tough for me to tell at first that it was rice scented. I’d say it’s more in the dry leaf aroma and the mug scenting up the room rather than in the flavor. There were also quite a bit of things floating in the infuser. I’m not sure if they are what imparts the rice flavor (tiny little sticks and one leaf I’ve never seen in any tea) or there by accident. The actual pu-erh leaves are surprisingly big for such a small tuocha, steeped almost the length of the tuocha itself (bigger leaves mean higher quality!) The flavor is deep, dark, sweet. Very tasty. The second steep is even deeper and even better. No complaints here, but I’d like to know if the pieces are supposed to be in the tuocha or not. I’ve just started noticing these pu-erhs really help my appetite, which probably isn’t a good thing for me!
Just boiled // rinse // 2 min // 3 min // 4 min
+BROWN wrapper (rounder shaped) – Another surprisingly big-leafed tea for a mini tuocha. It seems like I’ve had this type of tuocha before – a solid tuocha with none of the qualities of pu-erh that might scare anyone away. Smooth and sweet flavor, the kind of mellow dark flavor that could only be pu-erh! The first two cups were very dark but the one I left accidentally steeping for ten minutes wasn’t that strong. But that’s another lovely thing about pu-erh – they never get bitter!
Just boiled // rinse // 2 min // 3 min // 10 min (accidentally)
+OVERALL: This is a delicious pu-erh collection! I enjoyed all four tuochas. All of them seem slightly different, with very big leaves for a tuocha. I could definitely buy this when I’m looking for tuochas to stock up on. Everything I’ve tried from Teasenz has been delicious!