353 Tasting Notes
Had this beautiful oolong using high mountain seasoned yixing clay pot.
This is my special occasion oolong and I just realized last night that I had totally forgotten to order some more on the last Butiki sale :-(
And then a miracle. I found an unopened 1/2 ounce pouch in the butiki drawer.
So I drank some with no special occasion other than having found it…and it gave me pure joy.
This is the epitome of what clean and fresh should be. A taste of the sky.
Sweet, creamy and buttery, pudding mouth. Floral notes very present of lilac and orchid, with a fresh minty finish.
The leaves are beautiful, so I decorated my pot with it to thank it for my session.
I don’t think I’ve ever had such a fruity oolong before. This is amazing.
I thought I would be able to identify cinnamon notes, but quite frankly, my taste buds don’t seem to pick up cinnamon much at all.
What I do get is lots of apple and peach. Oh, this is oven baked apple and peach cobbler with honey drizzle!It’s lightly roasted and nutty, smooth, sweet and creamy, no astringency present at all.
I also get a faint heartiness mixed with some minerals…not strong minerals like from a giant rock or something, very gentle…like pebble minerals :-)
I really like this…pure oolong awesomeness.
Thank you so much Garret for this generous sample…
I love that your samples are always large enough to brew gongfu style.
I’m finishing a cup of this beautiful tea. My night cap.
Can I reiterate how much I like it? You already know that. Well, I like it. A lot. There, now you know even more.
Just want to share that like most of you, I would like to get some sleep now.
But…my dog Dexter has decided to land on my legs. What’s the big deal, right? Well, he’s kind of heavy and he’s playing rag doll. It’s like there’s no bones in that body. There’s no way I can move him. So, I tried to contort myself from underneath him, and now I must make myself as small as can be so I can fit on whatever space is left on the mattress. I do have a queen size. He’s not only big…he’s tall.
I remember when he was a few months old, a friend told me «don’t ever let him jump in bed…Dobermans are velcro dogs. They stick to you like glue…»
Sigh…he was right.
So who decided that tea could taste so good, huh?
Really, who??? Cause now, I’m drinking Cocoa Amore in my little VD pot, and I see where some of the goodness comes from cause it gets stuck in my strainer and I have to fight myself not to lick it, lick it good!!
Do you see her? It’s Miss Vanilla Bean!!! Oh, she is such a temptress, so wicked.
She turns everything she touches into a severe addiction. Chocolate covered cherries. I’m already a chocolate and cherry addict.
What was I thinking?
And remember, this has no flavouring!!Only black tea blended with the best vanilla bean ever, and you get pure magic!
I love to drink sheng. I’m a fa-sheng-ista!
But sheng is not my favourite tea to review cause I always get taken by it, in the moment. It’s hard for me to analyze and think about anything…Just want to let the tea take me to wherever it wants to…
I love Mao Cha, what cakes are made of…
I won’t comment on each steep cause that’s not the way I review my tea. But because some have requested I write details on the way I brewed it (cause apparently it can be a little finicky) here are my parameters. I actually counted the seconds this time :-)
7g, 5oz gaiwan, water temp. 175F
Steep 1) 20 sec.
Steep 2) 30 sec.
Steep 3) 40 sec.
Steep 4) 60 sec.
Steep 5) 90 sec.
Steep 6) 90 sec.
Steep 7) 120 sec.
This type of tea is light in weight and takes a lot of room. The leaves are so long, they barely fit in the gaiwan. First, the dry scent. Smells like some kind of smoked lemonade. Yes, smokey and citrusy. Interesting. When I say smoke, let’s be clear: it’s very subtle.
Oh, the first few steeps are very sweet and “melony” juicy with a fresh mouthfeel. I find some echo of yesterday’s campfire wood if that makes senses. You know, that scent you get in the air the next morning when you camp? It renders a light smoked dampness in the mouth.
It’s creamy and a little salty and nutty. In some ways, it does remind me of high mountain oolong.
I must talk about the fragrance exuding from the wet leaves. It triggers memories of late August summer nights after a hot afternoon…when the warmth of the day collides with the coolness of the night. Yes, this tea smells like August, and it leaves an imprint of late summer nights as I drink it. I do realize it must sound plain weird to you,but it means a lot to me…that’s how cha qi kicks in for me. Memories.
The later steeps are not as sweet, a nice light astringency is building up. I say nice, cause to me, the right dose of astringency in sheng is a good thing. It’s bright and awakening.
What I identified as being melon earlier is now morphing into grapefruit. I also get more saltiness, a “brothy” feel, umami.
Cedar and camphor are present at the end of the sip.
I’ll be stopping here, cause I just want to enjoy the rest peacefully and stop taking notes.
This is a special one. It made me feel something…that’s what I seek when I drink sheng.
I’m not into flavoured tea much anymore…I still have a stash but got rid of lots of them recently. Still purging, only very few will make the cut.
Although I think it’s a pretty decent one, this one wont make it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very pleasing and I like it. I’ve been drinking tea for a looong time and with all the teas I have, I’m aiming torwards drinking only spectacular ones. Flavoured teas in general don’t come across as being spectacular to me. Needs to be more than “Ok” and “good” for me to keep a tea around. And that’s why you keep seeing those high ratings from me. I drink and review my very best most of the time.
I’m reviewing this one cause Lupicia offers a good product and it might be helpful to some.
This is a plum tea with lots of floral notes.
While hot, I don’t get much out of it, gets a lot better at a lukewarm temperature for me. I get nice buttery and floral notes, topped by a sweet ripe plum fruitiness. To me, plum is a floral fruit, so fragrant, a bit like a lychee is. Maybe that’s one of the reasons they both pair so well with green oolong.
I think this is above average for a flavoured tea.
And I may not have a whole lot left, but the rest is going to you Dexter my dear tea buddy and Steepster friend cause I know how much you like it :-)
Rainy and soooo cold today!
Perfect chai day…which brings a question: Is there such a thing as a perfect chai?
If there is, I never found it. Always a little too this or a little too that…
Cause what makes a perfect chai I ask you? One question, but probably a thousand answers, I know. For me, it’s all in one word: balance. Yes, the perfect balance. But what does that mean?
I think it means that I don’t have to say “oh, it’s good, but there’s too much of this and not enough of that”. It also means I won’t have to add anything to it, unless I feel like it.
So far, I have tried El Dorado three different ways:
1) brewed according to WP’s instructions…it’s just perfect.
2) cold brewed…again, just perfect.
3) brewed in hot almond milk with a tad of maple syrup…Ghawwww. PERFECT!
The “Snaily Yums” base is brilliant, it’s sweet and mellow. Paired with “magic” vanilla bean, it prevents for any bitterness to develop from the spices.
I personally don’t like my chai too pungent, but I do want a little kick in the tushie. This classic spice blend makes the cut. It’s gingery, clovy, cinnaNOMMY, cardaNOMMY in the perfect amount…I like that it’s peppery without the addition of any actual pepper. That’s probably form the ginger.
This is everything I want a chai to be and so much more…If the perfect chai exists, i have found it in El Dorado!
Sooo….Haven’t had much of an appetite lately…been skipping meals and what ends up happening sometimes is I get certain weird cravings late in the night. Like my smoked salmon at 1am the other night.
Another thing that you may or may not know about me is that I don’t eat junk food. I am a bit of a health freak. But….I have my weaknesses… And one of them hit hard last night. My last encounter with it was about six months ago and I did report it in a pu’erh review. I even found out then that there were fellow steepsterites suffering from the same addiction. Somehow, I feel like I need to confess whenever I succumb to it.
Forgive me Steepster for I have sinned…
Last night, 12:30am, I was just sitting pretty on the couch, doing a little bit of reading, a little bit of Steepstering. The tv was on in the background. Then it happened.
I saw someone eating mac & cheese!!!
Some of you might remember that I keep a small emergency supply of…KD mac & cheese. Yes. Guilty as charged. Now…I make a mean REAL healthy mac and cheese from scratch with tofu, avocados, red bell peppers, an yes, some cheese. But…KD has a sentimental value…I just need to eat it occasionally. And when I do…I eat the whole god damn thing!
So I got my but off the couch and I made some….I gulped it down as if there was no tomorrow.
And again, I had some pu’erh to avoid major bloating situation.
This was one of the first pu’erh I ever drank…I really like Butiki’s mini tuochas. I ordered a bunch of them a long time ago, love how handy they are and that you can keep them forever.
This mini tuocha is different from others I’ve had. You must steep it a very long time. Like 7-8 minutes after a quick rinse.
It gives a very interesting mouthfeel, it feels «chewy», you know that feeling you get in your mouth when eating raw mushrooms? Hard to explain.
It’s also sweet and smooth, rather on the light side for shou.
It’s very forest-like, damp soil, wet autumn leaves. It has a wintergreen fresh finish, just lovely.
And…it most certainly took care of my bloated tummy!
Thank you pupu for the rescue!
Drinking this “Laoshan style”… I used to drink only my Dragonwell this way, but a certain Tea Whiz of the Woods mentioned that method worked with pretty much all teas.
For those who are unfamiliar with the method, this is how I do it. I use a tall glass preferably, and poor low temp water on the leaves. When they sink at the bottom, I start to drink. When the glass gets 2/3 empty, I refill. If you are using good quality tea, it NEVER gets bitter.
I like using a crystal beer glass cause I don’t burn my fingers this way. Here’s a few pics:
Now the tea. It’s such a lovely pretty tea. (Aren’t WP teas all pretty? What’s up with that?)
The taste is so friendly, it’s smooth, not overly vegetal nor grassy. It’s got sweet tender buttery green beans notes.
It’s got that marine breeze saltiness I like so much, I’m eating macadamia nuts and it just goes so perfectly with that taste.
If you shy away from green teas because of their ususal grassiness, this tea is for you. Oh, and please don’t throw out the brewed leaves. They are so good and tender. Add them to green smoothies, stir fries or salads. They are delicious, not bitter at all!
Now, a long Story…skip if uninterested.
My dog Dexter has been a little nervous at night lately. We’ve had a possible beak in attempt a few nights ago…while I was in the house. The alarm company sent the police over, big commotion, could not determine what really happened.
My dog is a big baby, but he can be such a bad ass mofo (this word is a courtesy of MzPriss)
The police told me he does a better job than any alarm system will ever do. They say if a doberman lets you in…it won’t ever let you out.
So the next night, when I heard him growling at the same door from which the supposedly break in attempt happened, I got scared.
So I did what any bad fake blonde actress in a lame B horror movie would do. I did it people. I opened the door and got out on the deck. (Fake dumb blond reenactment) «Hello? Hello? Someone there?» Silence. Pitch dark, I don’t have city lights in my neck of the woods…but then I heard alien noises…hmmmm…was I about to have an encounter with the third kind? Flashlight time, pointed it towards the noise source. This is what I found:
Awwww…. Little baby raccoons feeding off my bird feeder!!! They froze and stayed there. I had time to go grab the camera, put it on night mode and get this amazing shot.
Now, was this dynamic duo responsible for the break in attempt? They would not tell me. But I’d like to think they were…and I’d say that’s a guilty look if I ever saw one!
Holy sweet mother of god. This is good.
I drank it for the first time 3 months ago thanks to a sample from Dexter. I knew I wanted to order it, but always got so mesmerized by Garret’s pu’erh and oolong selection, I’d always forget to add it to the cart.
MzPriss’s Dark Beauty cocktail helped me remember this time. I finally got my supply of it. Obviously, I did not order enough, but that’s another story. (Garret, you know what this means, don’t you?)
It truly feels like a leafhopper bitten tea, except that it’s not. It’s like a mix of mellow “bready” Yunnan an sweet fruity Oriental Beauty oolong.
It may be smooth and silky like honey in the mouth but it’s got lots character, it’s a little boozy and feisty, I like that. Fiona Apple’s lyrics comes to mind “slow like honey, heavy with mood”…I think it’s just the perfect way to describe it!I’m so upping my rating on this tea. It’s spectacular.