2859 Tasting Notes
I’ve reviewed this tea before & it is delicious. As a chai, I especially like that it leans a little heavy to the ginger side, rather than to the cinnamon end of things. My sister, MsWhatsit, reviewed a chai yesterday, commenting on how cinnamon tends to take over the show in most chai formulas, & I’m in agreement with her.
This was steeped in a 2 part process. First I filled my mug about 2/3 full of hot water with a double portion of tea. Then I heated enough coconut milk (from the can, not the carton) to finish filling the cup, dropped the tea in there to resteep, & strained in back into the cup, adding a little stevia. It’s a VERY creamy chai latte!
It’s bubble bath time!
I’m not usually awake this early. I worked at my desk last night until 1:00am, answering emails & cleaning out my email boxes, a task that was long overdue (& still not complete). Then I did a few pages of Cryptograms to try to shut my brain down from thinking. Somehow it didn’t work, & I tossed & turned all night, having conversations in my head, to do lists, & other BS. I finally gave up & got out of bed at 5:45, a rising time that is unheard of in my life! I was hungry, & irritable from brain activity. So I got up & made breakfast: Fried apples with cinnamon & fried pork with cabbage. Both of my sons also got up & breakfast was served in shallow bowls, it a yin/yang sort of presentation. It was good.
Now I’m having tea. I love the way this tea foams on top every time I brew it. I’ve reviewed it before, & it’s definitely on my top 10 list of teas right now. I find myself rotating through several different black teas, & today it is this one. Richly Malty, deeply satisfying with a dark chocolate undertone & a peppery quality, this is a savoring tea, perfect for the morning. I feel like I’m getting away with something!
I got this sample from Verdant a while back, just finally getting around to trying it. I had students all afternoon, so this was brewed gongfu style, as recommended on the site, initially for 2 – 4 secs per steeping, adding a little time as I went along.
The dry smell of the leaves was salty. Once the tea was wet a sweet floral & almost melon-like scent arose. It steeped to an appealing honey apricot color. With each steep, I took a sip or 2, then dumped the rest into a mason jar, which eventually ended up in the frig as chilled tea (no ice).
The early steepings gave a hint of apricot sweetness & an earthiness that brought to mind a mossy forest in the Fall. There is a slight bitter edge, & in subsequent steepings the taste of cloves, or some similar spice, emerged. Several steepings later I got the puckery mouth-feel & aftertaste of having eaten a grapefruit.
I added 1 drop of stevia to the last cup & then I found the honeydew melon taste.
Not my favorite tea from Verdant, but an interesting change of pace!
I drank my first cup of this tasty blend this morning. I do enjoy a good Genmaicha, & this one is superb! The toasty roasty rices remind me of those really thin rice crackers that I’ve always loved. Top that with a bowl of carmelized green beans, & you have this tea. Mildly sweet, very soothing & satisfying. I think this would be awesome for breakfast with a bowl of fresh fruit, sitting in the early morning sunlight, breathing in the start of the day.
This is a tea sent to me for FREE as part of a FREE tea giveaway offered by Pekko Teas. I’d like to thank them for this generous offer, & for their delicious tea.
I served this tasty tea on Monday to one of my students, & yesterday to 3 out of 4 of my children & a friend, and they all enjoyed it. Today I’m savoring a cup alone.
I closed my eyes & took a whiff of this high quality ceylon tea, & I pictured an orange, laying on a bed of rose petals. There is a very mild citrus aroma, a hint of rose, & a clean & bright tea-scent underlying it all.
I steeped a cup. The color is beautiful, an orange amber liquor. This is not a deep chocolate grogg (which, I admit, I tend to favor), but more of a sophisticated lady, where teas are concerned. The flavor is bright, with a hint of orange, and a little clove to make your tongue tingle. It’s quite nice!
I’ve had students since 3:00, which is when I started steeping this lovely green tea in my Gaiwan. I followed the instructions (3 sec for the first 3 steepings, 6 for the rest):
First off, the dry smell is like green beans (which for wierdos like me means it’s appealing…lol)
The first steeping of this was luscious! It was like creamed baby spinach, with butter melted on top. It really had the mouth feel of melted butter. I don’t mean that in an oily way, but it made the taste buds that would have tasted butter sing.
I combined the next 2 steepings in my small glass teapot (that looks like a miniature koolaid pitcher from the old commercials) & they were like spring peas & butter on a bed of oatmeal. Not as buttery of a mouth feel as the first one, but it’s still there. The color is a beautiful bright yellow green.
With steepings 4 & 5, it’s more of a green bean flavor, a hint of bitterness at the very back of my tongue, & a creaminess.
Steepings 6 & 7: Bitterness fading, a little astringent, but still has a bright green flavor!
This tea has a brightness to it, like a smile on a sunny day! At the end of steeping, I added a few drops each of toasted sesame oil & fish sauce to the leaves, & it was a tasty, mildly bitter but flavorful appetizer before dinner!
My first tea shipment from 52-teas has arrived! It includes:
Brandied Apricot Upside Down Cake Honeybush
Coconut Cream Pie (Black)
Gooey Butter Cake (black)
I’m not a big drinker of flavored teas. I’m also not an eater of desserts. So why did I buy these? LOL, I don’t know! It was the brandied apricot upside down cake that caught my eye, I’ll admit. The photo (of the actual dessert) looked so awesome, plus I have a history with brandied apricots.
When I was 15 I had a great babysitting job every Saturday night, & they
always stocked lots of food & encouraged me to eat & enjoy. After a few weeks I noticed this crock on the counter full of wonderful smelling juicy apricots, which I later realized were brandied apricots. I ate a few every week, they were so damn good, sometimes I ate more than a few!
This tea does not taste like those amazing apricots, but it’s a nice diversion. The dry smell is tart & tobacco-like. It brews into a pretty reddish brown. Unsweetened it is so-so. Add a little stevia & it’s pleasant: kind of like yellow cake with apricot preserves spread over the top. I’m sure it would be decadent with heavy cream & real sugar, but those aren’t on my menu. I might try it next time with vanilla almond milk, or coconut milk, but for now, it’s enough. I’m not a big fan of honeybush, but this will be a nice late afternoon tea, for when I want more tea but need to lay off the caffeine.
I really want to like this tea. The title is cool, the ingredients sound good. I know all of the ingredients are top quality. I followed all the instructions. It smells wonderful, & is visually appealing.
The first steep, which I shared with my son Drew, was nice, with flavors & aromas of Tieguanyin, jasmine, & orange peel, but after I drank it my tummy felt funky. Drew enjoyed it.
The 2nd steeping (a few hours later), which was mostly served to my daughter Arianna & her friend, also gave me a quasi-nausea, even though I only took a few sips. They both loved it, saying things like, “This tea is so mysterious! I taste the jasmine, but I don’t know what these other flavors are.”
The 3rd steeping is when the Frankincense really comes out. I have ‘real’ frankincense resin here, which I burn on occasion (I also burn sweet grass & sage on other occasions), & I love the smell, but the taste isn’t really doing it for me. Also, I think my body is saying “no”, because after a sip, I could feel that Quasi sensation again. Ari & her friend really loved it! They totally grooved on the incense smell & taste.
I will put this away for a few weeks, & then try again… If it doesn’t work for me, I can use it as ‘tea currency’ on a trade.
First, thank you SO MUCH to David @ Verdant for sending me this sample!!
I wasn’t on Steepster when this tea emerged, never got to try it, & have always (I say “always”, but I’ve only been on steepster for 29 days, so my “always” is relative to that) wished I could have had the honor. During this last month, I’ve ordered from Verdant ‘several’ times (obsessive compulsive & their tea is awesome), & on the most recent order David sent me this sample, with a hand-written label that said “Original Harvest Golden Fleece Sample – Just for fun!”
Today is a special day for me. I often joke around about 12 step programs & mysterious substances of my youth. Let’s just say that I was very wild & out of control, at one time, & I suppose you could say I was a connoisseur of sorts, at least in the realm of psychotropic & hallucinogenic substances. I’m not going to say it wasn’t fun, because I had a lot of awesome revelatory experiences, some amazing highs, but there were also lows, which I won’t go into here. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “The higher you rise, the farther you fall”.
Today I’m celebrating 29 years clean & serene!
No alcohol, no hallucinogens (believe me, I did enough of those to be able to slip in between realities at will for the rest of my life), no cigarettes, etc, & when you add in food allergies (no dairy, no sugar, no grains (no pastry…sigh…), etc it starts sounding like “No Fun”.
You could say my only vice, my ‘drug of choice’ is tea.
I was contemplating what tea to drink today, & when this sample arrived, I got tears in my eyes, LOL, & gave thanks to the Divine Universe, & to David.
I read the instructions on the website. To brew in the Gaiwan or the basket???? I couldn’t decide…So I asked the leaves, & then I went with a hybrid (I’m sure someone is laughing at this point).
Dry, I smell a mix of Tobacco & chocolate. The beautiful blond leaves brew into a deep golden honey cup! The flavor is rich & smooth, I think of dark chocolate, but it’s deeper, more earthy. I see an old growth forest, & there is a hint of spice. The 1st 3 steepings were done in my favorite cup with the finnum: 1 min, 2 min, & 3 minutes. There was a sweet undercurrent, which I identified in the 3rd cup as sweet potato. Also, my tongue & throat developed a satisfied sensation as if I’d eaten some really wonderful dark exotic 92% chocolate. The chocolate that isn’t really sweet. All of these steepings were full, dark, & rich!
At this point I switched to the gaiwan, so that I could keep steeping these leaves in a smaller amount of water. Now I’m getting a hint of banana bread pudding! I’ve gone through several steepings of this tea, & it is still flavorful, still caramel honey colored. Still tasty.
“Onward through the fog”
Thank you Bonnie for this sample!
I’m not a fan of bergamot. I enjoy the smell, but the taste tends to be acidic to me, which I don’t really care for. Tony, on the other hand, adores it, so I served this tea to him this morning.
While I was heating the water, I smelled the dry tea: It smells pretty heavenly, I’ll admit. Strongly reminiscent of Lemon Bars. They sell those at all the local coffee shops here, & if you haven’t had them, it’s basically lemon curd on a graham cracker crust, with powdered sugar sprinkled liberally over the top. I can’t eat such things, but one time I did bum a little tiny bite, just so I would get the experience, & let it melt in my mouth for as long as possible. Sheer heavenly decadence.
I also took a few sips of the tea before I delivered it to Tony. It was kind of interesting, a nice twist on the Earl. The bergamot is there, but not unpleasantly so, the vanilla-lemon curd taste is more up front. I handed him his tea & went on to savor my cup of Imperial Breakfast Summer Blend (I can’t wait to see what the winter version will be).
Tony’s comment regarding the tea: “It was ok, but it smelled too much like a pastry.”