1090 Tasting Notes
Another sample from Teavivre! thanks so much, Teavivre! I REALLY wanted to try most of the Keemun teas from Teavivre, since one of them will definitely be ordered in the future. I love the Premium Keemun Hao Ya black. This one seems to be one point lower in the Steepster rating at the moment, though it is supposed to be better quality. Teavivre’s instructions for this one are two teaspoons at 194 degrees with a rinse and 1,2,3 minute steep times. The dry leaves are mostly black with tinges of gold.
Steep #1 // 20 mins after boiling // 2 min after rinse
The wait was accidentally a bit longer than I would have liked. But looking at my tasting notes for the other Keemun, it seems I get a perfect cup after waiting 18 minutes and steeping for two minutes, so I’m glad it ended up being closer in time to compare! Before I take the first sip, the fragrance is much like sweet potatoes with marshmallow on top, not really smoke. I must note that this is NOT like Teavivre’s lighter sweet potato tasting teas (Tan Yang & Yun Nan Dian Hong Golden Tip), it just has that particular fragrance. The flavor itself is brisk enough without being astringent. I wouldn’t say there is any smokiness in the flavor or fragrance with this one. The Premium has a hint of smoke. The flavor in this one is like melted chocolate chips. Not necessarily dark chocolate like the Premium Hao Ya.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
This one has a slight hint of flavor that says it would have been better with waiting for the water to cool a while. Teavivre has definitely perfected their steeping instructions… I will always follow their instructions as close as I can because when I do, the tea tastes better. It’s still a tasty cup though. I really like this tea, but I think my favorite is the Premium Hao Ya, because that one has a hint of smoke and dark chocolate, rather than the semi-sweet chocolate chips that this tea has. Either way, both teas are pure chocolate… and both are fantastic.
Teavivre just happened to offer me some more samples. They are the best! I can never say no to more Teavivre samples (hey, they offered!) thank you so much, Teavivre! Teavivre’s instructions say 17 ounce of water which seems odd with a tablespoon of leaves which also seems odd at 203 degrees with a rinse and 1,2,3,4 minute steep times. I went with two teaspoons.
Steep#1 // 15-20 min after boiling // 2 min after rinse
I probably waited too long for the water to cool… not on purpose. The color of the tea looks like it does in Teavivre’s picture of the cup of tea… however the flavor doesn’t seem strong enough to be a favorite tea of mine. The flavor is so light! Also a bit tangy and a bit drying, which is why it might not be a favorite for me. BUT I’m probably not steeping it the correct way, since I didn’t follow any of the instructions… 17 ounces is confusing when I have 8-9 ounce mug… that probably threw everything else. This cup is tough for me to figure out since the flavor is so light.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
This cup has a deeper flavor… but not my much. It has a texture like those little fuzzies I thought were only on white teas… but this is the second black tea I’ve had this week like that. I wonder if I just haven’t noticed it before? I’m sad this tea didn’t taste like the chocolatey plum, apricot, cherry stone fruits that I’ve seen mentioned because those are my absolute favorite types of teas. This is like a lighter chocolate… very subtle flavors. This one isn’t my favorite from Teavivre… but pass me the perfectly steeped cup and it would probably be much better than this one.
Additional notes: Having another cup of this old favorite. Definitely my favorite green and VERY high up there for any type of tea. .. even after the 100s (1,000s?) of teas I’ve tried since I first tried this one. I can’t believe how nice this still is! It’s GREEN and it’s OLD. There is hope for some of my old teas yet! :D
Another sample from MissB! Thank you so much! Ima tell you right now that is wins the most adorable tea ever. The tiny gingerbread sprinkles! They look like the tiniest gingerbread cookies. Actual color. Actual texture. So it’s like cookies with eggnog! I tried to save most of the gingerbread men sprinkles for the last teaspoon so I could admire them longer. :D There is also a peppercorn in the blend. The flavor isn’t EXACTLY eggnog (like that amazing Red Leaf Eggnog matcha I had the other day), but it’s pretty good anyway. A nice black tea base that goes well with the flavors that are supposed to be here. There is a slight spicy flavor that would be like eggnog spice. Not really SPIKED though. A little sweet, probably because of the gingerbread men sprinkles that I was sad to see melt. Pretty tasty! The second cup was very nice as well, with a couple extra minutes on the original steep. This one almost tastes on the verge of being a chai. One of my favorites from Herbal Infusions that I’ve tried and not just because of the sprinkles!
I got a sample of this with the samples I bought for their out-of-business sale. I don’t know what trying them was going to do! Ah well. This has to be one of the best ceylons out there. It’s more like a lighter Laoshan Black! Very similar flavor profiles. A bit malty, chocolatey, sweet potatoey… not a tough black tea. Very tasty… but again, because it is like Laoshan Black and a Ceylon… it’s still not really a favorite black tea. The second cup was boring, even though the first cup was steeped at a lower temp. Not enough flavor! hmm. I’m happy Vikings is back! Adagio Rollo and Floki blends need to happen!
Additional notes: I’m sipping another cup, this time from MissB! thank you so much! I still have little from my sample from JusTea. I’m not sure if it’s because this is a different batch or I oversteeped, but this cup tastes like tomato soup! Not really any bergamot. Sad because this is one of my favorite EGs. I think I oversteeped. I really needed my bergamot today… so sick of winter! It’s supposed to be really cold for another week. :/ sigh.
This was taken out of the Here’s Hoping teabox a while back. At first, I thought these leaves were old since they have a brown tinge to the mostly white color, but looking at Verdant’s picture, that is what the picture looks like. The scent of the just opened package wasn’t that appealing though.
Steep #1 // a few minutes after boiling // 4 min steep after rinse
The flavor is a bit odd. It DOES taste like linen like the Verdant description mentions…but the odd flavors… not snickerdoodle for me! Not the best of flavors. I thought I had something like this before and it tasted much better. Maybe I used too many leaves or oversteeped? If anything, it has the flavor profile of a raw pu-erh which are one of my least favorite types of tea.
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 min
I really don’t love the flavor of this, but I’m pretty sure I had a yabao blend from Verdant before that was fine. Maybe it is old. I’ll try the yabao snickerdoodle sample that BrewTEAlly Sweet sent over soon and I’ll be able to tell. This just has a cottony, tangy taste I don’t like. Could be overleafing though..
Thank you Janelle for a sample of this! Sometimes Della Terra’s apple teas are hit or miss. This one is a HIT. I think they got rid of the apple flavor or whatever I really didn’t like. I’m glad they didn’t get rid of any that I DO like, since they are some of my favorite apple teas! This is a buttery sencha with a nice apple & cinnamon taste. For some reason it was tasting like strawberry to me though, especially as it cooled. I like this one, but there are a couple other companies who have a better version of this blend.
Here’s one Nicole sent a while back! thank you so much! I think I’ve tried a couple teas from Kusmi to know I’m not really a fan of their black tea base flavor. Just not to my tastes! This one should be my favorite though, since it has a subtle bergamot and subtle raspberry. I could have used more flavor though… it would have distracted from the base. But I like the flavor that is there. Everything is so mild in this cup, even at just boiled and steeped for four minutes. I can’t love every tea I guess! But this is the best of the few Kusmi I’ve tried.
Additional notes: Sipdown! Had one more of cup of this one, before sending to someone else. I hope they like it more than I did! It’s a very odd blend… not terrible… but different. But those darn marshmallows don’t melt!! They should have called it ‘unmeltable marshmallow’ not ‘toasted marshmallow’. :D