This is a lovely earthy tea that is bold but smooth. There are no sharp edges to this tea: no super bright brass, no overly wine-like flavors. But that isn’t to say that this tea lacks texture or flavor, as there is a nice yunnan-type fullness, a rich slightly musky & malty taste that I happen to enjoy, & a pleasant sweetness.
1056 Tasting Notes
Sil Sample Sipdown
This is a nice fruity evening tea, lightly tart but not tart enough to make me pucker. Drew & I added enough stevia to bring out the berry flavors, & it is tasty! Thanks Sil!
This is the first tea I am sampling from the amazing box of black, oolong, puerh, etc that I got in my swap with Nofar.
I love Dian Hong teas. They are so rich & buttery, & this one is right on the mark. It bears a very strong resemblance to our beloved Golden Fleece, with nice thick leaves in shades of gold, olive, & caramel. The flavor is rich, from the rinse water all the way through the final steeping. Gentle, sweet, thick. What does Amber taste like? Sunlight? For awhile I get a sense of Bee Pollen. I love teas like this. The flavor of mushrooms sauteed in Mirin. The flavor of honeysuckle in a later steeping. And I keep steeping. This is what I needed.
This is a tasty sample from Sil. A lovely dark chocolate covered almond flavor, with a little boldness to the bass.
This is the 2013 version of Mrs. Li’s.
I did not follow the instructions. I can’t drink green tea that way right now, as was evidenced yesterday when I drank the Jingshan green in the method of leaving the leaves in the cup & continuing to add more water. I ended up with an all day gut ache. Today I’m being gentle on myself, & going back to just barely steeping the green leaves in my ‘test tube’ steeper (which I love, BTW). I used 2.5 Grams of tea & kept the steepings short.
A very pale gold-green liquor that is mildly astringent, very clean, lightly buttery & hinting at cashews. I drank 4 rounds, & that’s enough for now. Just not really into green teas right now, which is a bummer because I noticed the June reserve club will be all greens.
I want to start off by saying that Garret is awesome! I’ve never met him in real life, of course, but I can tell that he is an awesome guy. He always throws a little something extra (really, more than a little!) in the box, with a personalized note (not just “thanks for buying more tea”), AND his teas are tasty! I loiter on his site often, building up shopping carts, & then making myself close them because I already have a ridiculous amount of tea here. There is a very special tea set on his site that I’ve been fawning over for quite some time (& struggling right now to not go put it in my cart…aughghghg….it’s just so… lovely….I…want…)
So last friday in my tea buying frenzy (you know that saying, “No one can eat just one?” Of course, they are referring to potato chips, but it translates for me to not being able to place just one order for tea…Yeah, I can hold off for months, but like a binge drinker, which I was long ago, once the wall falls & I place that one order, lookout!), I ordered a lovely selection of black teas from Mandala, because face it, black tea is my true love & will forever be.
I enjoy Keemun. It’s a really nice grounding kind of tea for me, with an earthiness that leans slightly towards a shu, & a real ‘even’ kind of flavor. Some Keemuns lean towards smokiness. This one isn’t particularly smokey, at least not today. Some teas slap you in the face with bright edges, bold bass notes, astringency, or whatever. This isn’t one of those teas. Don’t get me wrong, I love my bold Assams, my rich Yunnans, but some mornings I want a quiet Keemun. It’s mildly sweet & soothing, it isn’t outgoing, its…damn…it’s gone!
This is a fairly tasty tea, even for a rooibos blend. I’ve had a achy gut all day (since I drank a certain green tea), & although I was hungry, most food was unappealing, & I also wanted one more cup of tea. So I made a big pile of Paleo (almond flour) pancakes, which I enjoyed with Maple syrup & this cup of tea. A nice end to my day, & I bet I’ll sleep like a rock too!
If Sil (or any other black tea lover) were sitting here with me, we’d be giddy with joy! I received a ridiculous amount of tea today, the results of one crazy evening of falling off the wagon & ordering from several venders. I got boxes from Mandala, Smith, thepuritea, & to top it all off, I got my swap from Nofar (Tel Aviv, Israel). There’s 35 samples from a bunch of companies I’ve never even heard of, & they are all unflavored, mostly black teas. I’ve been smiling all afternoon.
So I’ve decided that the next 100 or so posts should be all new teas that I’ve never tried, since I have SO MANY to sample now. Here’s the first one.
I’ve shared recently that I do have a think for Black tea pearls. I don’t know what it is about them, I guess in part it’s the novelty, but also the first ones I ever had were SO delicious. So part of my ordering frenzy included Dragon Pearls from 3 places: Adagio, Mandala, & thepuritea. I’d like to also get a few more, just because it would be fun to compare them to one another.
These are quite tasty! The aroma is fruity, but like roasted stone fruits, the flavor is a mix of Malt, chocolate, & molasses, & there is also an unexpected smokiness. Going back for the resteep now. :D
My 1000th Posting on Steepster!
I really felt that I had to pick something especially good to celebrate, but I’ve got about 300+ teas here now, & I love so many of them. I thought about going with one of the new ones, but then I decided I should go with a tea that could represent the end of the first 1000. Still, there are so many that I love LoVe LOVE. In the end, I selected this one because:
a – It’s awesome
b – It’s the first one that popped into my mind
c – It’s a sipdown! At least for that package. I just got another 4oz in the mail to split with Sil, so finishing off the last hoarded cup from the previous bag was a good reason as any, right?
This really is a wonderful Assam, very bold, nicely malty, with a deep fruitiness & sweet caramel essence.
I just realized this is my 999th tasting note! What? Really?
How did THAT happen?
Of course, many of my notes are repeats of teas I’ve already reviewed, because once I find something I love, I want to drink it over & over again, & tell everyone how great it is.
But it feels a little crazy that my next tasting note (after this one) will be #1000. I feel like I should do something special, & in all honesty, if I’d realized this was #999 before I poured the water, I probably would have picked a different tea. Too late.
So…I will openly admit that this is not my favorite green tea. It starts out tasting rather wine like, with a bright fruitiness that quickly morphs into a lime citrus taste & oral sensation. There is also a floral element that is just a little too perfumey for my tastes. The mouthfeel is very bright & almost metalic on the tip of my tongue, again, that citrus-like sensation, & astringent to my throat. I can never make it through all the steepings of this one, as it is the type of green tea that tends to irritate my stomach as well. On the other hand, it seems to have some nice Chaqi. I wonder if they ever process this leaf as Sheng?
Time to drink a big glass of cold water!
I’m having a nice quiet morning. Drew left for his class at the college, Leif is still sleeping. No students until noon today, so I made myself a nice brekkie & have been savoring multiple steepings of my beloved Laoshan Black. I love this tea! This is one of the only black teas that I actually bother to re-steep. This is also one of the only teas that I always order 4 oz of at a time. I know I’ll love it, I know I’ll drink it. I’m currently still drinking the Fall picking, but I also just got a bag of the Spring version, so that I can do a comparison. But not today.
I love the thick mouth filling roasty chocolaty-ness of this. There for awhile I was drinking it everyday, but now I’m trying to cycle through ALL of my teas each month (I never quite make it, but I do at least get through all the black teas).
I’ve been sitting around drinking various caffeine free teas this evening, because I want to sleep well. Of course, I probably won’t have any trouble falling asleep, since I worked out in the garden almost the entire day. I really got a lot done, & Leif was there with me through most of it. We had a good time, & my garden is looking pretty good!
I followed dinner with a cup of Adagio’s Rooibos Lemon Cloud, which is kind of tasty in a creamy lemony sort of way, but also tastes more like a lemon sucker than the real thing.
Then it was More Cowbell!, which I’ve decided I don’t really care for. It sounded good:chocolate, vanilla, caramel, rooibos, honeybush. I think it was better if I use aLOT more tea. I didn’t, so it’s just blah.
I’d really like to end my day with one cup of something really good, but all the teas I love the most, all the teas that are supremely satisfying, are teas that pack a punch.
This is really hitting the spot! Just a good honest bold & malty cup of wonderful. Just what I needed!
Thanks for this sample Sil
Hmmm…this is a pleasant cup. I’m not getting any bergamot, just some caramel & vanilla flavors & a decent base. There is enough for me to try again, & hopefully pay more attention, as today I’m rather distracted with gardening projects!
Thanks for this sample, Cavocorax!
Leif & I also drank a small pot of this after breakfast. I think he really enjoyed it, & was the first to point out that there was a noticeable hint of Melon flavor to this. He was right! There is was, a flavor that seemed a little odd, & he nailed it!
Anyway, not my favorite Chai, although there’s nothing bad about it. I don’t hate it, I’m just not a big fan of lemon flavors in my tea, including ice tea, although I like lemon in my water. Go figure!
I do think I’ll try it as iced tea also, & I’m glad for the opportunity to try it.
Sil Sample Sipdown Thanks!
I needed something a little bolder before heading out into the garden.
This tea is actually pretty intense! It has a very wine-like character to it, very bright, but also a nice bass note as well. Very tart & tangy, quite bold, but a little more astringent than I usually go for. Definitely packs a punch of caffeine, & Leif & I headed to the garden to work on the terracing project that I’ve been contemplating for a few years & avoiding, lol. Hopefully I’ll have some photos up on my FB later this evening.
Leif & I had breakfast together, & this was his selection for our shared pot of tea. Lightly sweetened with stevia, this is a tasty blend of coconut, assam, apples, & vanilla. Leif added enough tea to reach a nice level of boldness, & the other flavors were enhanced by the stevia. It was a nice start.
That’s pretty much it.
Thanks Cavocorax, this is delicious!
One of the best things about Verdant’s TOMC Classic is that we get to sample the newest teas. I’m really grateful that they started making a note of telling us what they are sending, because I had the habit of ordering teas as they become available, only to end up getting more of the tea I just ordered. Sometimes that can be a good thing, but in the case of green teas, a little goes a long way (for me, at least). I have to be careful drinking green teas, as I tend to get a stomach ache if I drink too much. These very short steepings help, but I rarely make it to the 6th round. Not all greens have this effect on me, but they tend to, & of course, I can never drink them on an empty stomach ever.
This is a lovely spring green that brews into a pale cup, very mild in flavor, but somehow bright & lively on the tongue. I totally get the oats & soymilk essence, and the ‘green-ness’ of the flavor is like peas or some other spring veggie, always so familiar & yet hard for me to place.
This is lovely Jasmine white. Some jasmines have a soapy flavor, probably because they are artificial, but this one is very nice, not too heavy on the jasmine, with a sweet & clean flavor. I shared it with a student, & she loved it so much that I gave her the last bit of it, enough for another cup, to enjoy at home.
This is a very tasty & bold tea that I really enjoy!
It’s chocolatey enough that, for a minute, I almost thought I had accidentally refilled the tin with The Chocolate ‘O’, LOL. Seriously, I was freaking about it a little. I’ve never drank them side by side, & I’m pretty sure I ordered more of the Choc ‘O’ with my last Tea Spot order, but I can’t find it in my collection (which is back up to 247, I think, with a swap still coming from Nofar & uh….a few other places…LOL).
SO…I poured some of it out into a dish to compare it to the picture on the front of the tin, & also compared it to the Choc ‘O’ pic on their website. I’m happy to say, “I did not screw up!” Whew! Bolder Breakfast has Mallow flowers in it, choc O doesn’t.
Also, I know that the Choc O is EVEN chocolaty-er, whereas Bolder Br is an earthier blend, but obviously it’s chocolatey enough that I was momentarily confused. :)
I received the next round of samples from TeaVivre. Thank you Angel for this generous parcel of teas! Admittedly, I’m not as into green tea as I used to be, & most of the samples are of that genre, but I do enjoy a good cup of green here & there, so I’m looking forward to sampling all of these. I’m enjoying this while watching Cardinals baseball.
This is a very mild cup. The peach flavor is lightly sweet & very subtle, a natural peach essence, not some phony flavoring agent. The green tea is a very gentle one, not grassy or particularly vegetal, but more of a creamy cooked cereal flavor, almost more like a white tea, actually. I’m not really picking up much of a jasmine flavor. Kind of reminds me of when I used to cook steel cut oats in the crockpot over night & serve them topped with peaches that had been sauteed in a buttery skillet. There’s a little astringency, but not enough to take away from the pleasantness of this cup. I already know which of my students I will enjoy sharing this with.
First cup of the day!
I’m on my re-steep. I’ve reviewed this many many times now, & I still love having the flavor of German chocolate cake for breakfast! :)
Yay! Sil you are awesome!
I just got home from Tony’s. Gotta get ready for a wedding reception this evening, & there was a surprise present from Sil, Yay!
This is not my first cup of the day.
Before I drank this I had some of the 2nd flush Assam from Zen Tea that Cavocorax sent to me, but I didn’t log it because I didn’t see a page for it. Is it the Assam Mangalam Cavo?
I also had a cup of Ahmad’s English Breakfast, because Tony has some there & I figure I should drink a cup once in awhile until it’s gone.
I also drank a cup of Bilbo Brew while I was watching the St. Louis Cardinals kick the San Fran Giants’ butts! YEAH!
Then I came home to find Sil’s parcel & immediately made a cup of the Brahmin, which I wanted to try. It’s quite bold! Very full & flavorful, a little sharp around the edges, somewhat astringent, but good. I feel that it also packs a pretty good punch, as my energy field is quite lit up now. Time to load up & go play some music for the masses!