423 Tasting Notes
I got a big “Phatty” sample of this pu’erh from Dexter3657. Used the whole thing in a little gongfu glass pot so I could watch the particles break apart.
This is pu-pu-nom-nom goodness. It’s everything I love from a shou pu’erh! A little earthy, a little sweet, with a minty fresh finish.
The truth is, mini gungfu shots are just not doing it for me tonight, cause I want mooore of it right now!!!
Sorry for the “pu-rists”, but I dumped everything into a large infuser and steeped in a 16oz mug. Let me tell you, I am now unapologetically gulping it down as if there was no tomorrow. A satisfied fairy, that’s what a I am…sorry Mandala for such an incomplete review but sometimes, you need to keep things simple and just let the tea shine for you :-)
Thank you so much Dexter for sharing this with me!
I have only a few more samples left from the wonderful bunch Sil sent me back in Decenber…it seems that I saved the best for last.
This has an amazing aroma…it really came as a burst as soon as I removed the lid of the gaiwan. And guess what? It tastes even better!
It’s floral but not in a bouquet kind of way, just a delicate linger…also fruity, fig like.
Some caramel as well and a subtle nuttiness that wraps and ties everything together.
It feels round in the mouth, thick and voluptuous. I think it’s one of the finest Wuyi I have had for sure.
I stopped reading just to make sure I would fully focus all my attention to it. It’s that good. I had 4 delious steeps and will now cold brew the leaves for tomorrow…
Thanks Sil, this was lovely :-)
Dog and tea story…(skip if not interested)
My dog Dexter is a snob. I always say he’s an “AristoDog”, basically he acts like he’s Royalty. He doesn’t like to get messy, spring time, he tries to avoid stepping in mud, and if he does (which inevitably is bound to happen), he licks himself till he’s got no more saliva.
And Dexter likes his comfort. Yes, he’s allowed on the couch. He has special cushions that he grabs and carefuly places at stategic spots so he can morph into a sophisticated potato couch. This is a typical illustration of his concept for comfort:
There’s one thing missing though: his “doux-doux” (French prononced “doo-doo” in English). “Doux” means soft. In my family, we’ve been calling our favourite special throws/blankets a “doux-doux” ever since we were little children. I still love special blankets, have several all over the house and ready to be used when sitting in front of a fire, or just to lounge on the couch, a book in one hand, a cup of tea in the other. Dexter has his own doux-doux, the same one since he was just a puppy. He carries it with him pretty much everywhere. When I wash it, he looks for it everywhere.
Today was a lounge doux-doux day for the both of us… I grabbed mine, he grabbed his, and we had a cup of this wonderful tea. I say “we” cause while I was sipping, he kept trying to get into my cup, literally…totally unlike him!
But there’s something about this intoxicating aroma that tantalized his canine nostrils it seems…well I don’t blame him, this stuff is irresistible!
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This is surprisingly tasty. I say surprisingly, cause I did not expect it to be so tasty. “Ombrelle de papier” evokes something fragile, shy, and innocent.
This tea is bold and fruity, despite its white base. I brewed all at once the big sample Dexter3657 sent me. She wrote that it had a hint of rhubarb so it fitted my likings. Well she was right, it does (I love rhubarb!!) But pineapple and rhubarb, who would have thought? I started having it hot, but as it was cooling down, I got the impression this would be better cold. So I put my mason jar mug in the fridge and got busy…
We’ve had a tremendous amount of snow here in the last two days. Winter is not ending, it’s still very cold on top of things.
I’ve had a lot to deal with for many months now, health and emotional issues. Still not over. All those circumstances have made me tired and lazy. I haven’t worked out in a long time, putting it off until I feel better or waiting for more clement weather. Excuses, really. I know I’m tougher than that. Weather issues? Really Fairy??? How bout having access to a full gym…downstair in the basement! What’s your excuse now? Pain, fatigue? Some people train with serious injuries, some have serious handicaps and still train… So there. No more excuses.
I used to find relief and pleasure in exercise not so long ago. In a few weeks, I know I’ll
be back on my bike, ready to ride, but I have to get back in shape first. So today was the day. Treadmill, spin session, and Pilates recliner.
Lol, all with moderation of course, I do have to be able to walk tomorrow! It feels so good right now, I got the fix of endorphins I’ve been craving so much, and mostly, I feel proud of myself, something I haven’t felt in way too long. Yay for me :-)
Time try this iced tea! So good, juicy and quenching, my training tea of the day!
Thank you Dexter :-)
You know when you place an order, there’s a point when and you realize your cart is really getting full and you need to slow down…but there are so many good ones that you just can’t leave behind, right? Then you think sample size. Yes! Yes! That’s the answer, give yourself the illusion you’ve got your act together, you’re NOT out of control, not at all. You suddenly feel much better about adding 10 more teas, seems like the reasonable thing to do. (Not!!)
That’s how I came to order this tea. I should have been less reasonable and order a larger quantity…That’s the other thing about large orders. Somehow, the full size pouches are the ones I wish I had ordered in sample sizes, and the sample pouches end up being the ones I should have ordered in full sizes. Ugh???
Not a secret, I love pretty much all types of oolong, and the aged ones fascinate me.
Don’t let the Ginseng part keep you away from this if you’re not a fan, (coughDexter) this has nothing to do with regular ginseng oolong. If it wasn’t for its name, I wouldn’t even know it’s supposed to be there.
This is not smoky at all, but roasty and caramel like. If you’d smell the infusion without knowing it’s tea, you would think it’s a dessert, very creme brûlée, custard like. There’s that faint mineral taste in the background I have come to appreciate. The ending has a cooling effect in the mouth, fresh, but not in a minty kind of way, just like when you inhale and it’s cold outside. That might be the ginseng part. But it has non of the eucalyptus notes traditional Ginseng oolongs have.
I had to basket brew cause there wasn’t enough for me to use the gaiwan. It will be interresting to try short infusions when I get more of it.
And yes, I will definitely buy a larger quantity next time.
This afternoon, I needed a tea that wouldn’t require much work and that would cheer me up a little.
This is a sample from Dexter3657 and she wrote «…seems like something you would like.»
We shall see…
First, the dry leaf smells divine and like most french blends, it’s so pretty to look at. Only knowing it’s a fruity black, I tried to identify the flavours from the scent. It’s very strawberry like, with something tropical, I would say papaya or passion fruit. Turns out none of those are in this blend, lol! It’s a peach and apricot tea and it does taste like it once brewed.
It’s so fruity, but in a clean and natural kind of way. The aroma of this infusion is like walking through a peach field, surrounded by beautiful blooming peach trees… that’s what I imagine peach blossoms must smell like.
It’s a lot more peachy than apricot-y. There’s suppose to be fig somewhere but I can,t detect it at all. The base is also very decent.
It’s so mellow, I let it infused 6 minutes and no trace of astringency or bitterness whatsoever.
Dexter was right, it was something I really liked, and I’m using what’s left for a cold brew,
Thanks Dex :-)
Thank you Angel from Teavivre for sending so many samples, you truly are an angel!
I like things that are unusual. I could not wait to get my hands on this tea, and I see I’m the first one to log it, so I’ll try to do a good job at it…
It came in one of those little sample pouches Teavivre uses. I’m having the full sample, I really want to get lots of flavour. There are several large pieces of orange peel mixed with the pu’erh leaf, it’s really pretty to look at.
It is recommended to brew 6 to 8 minutes! That scares me a little but I go for it.
The liquor is coffee dark. Surprisingly, that much leaf and such a long seep time did not produce an overly strong infusion, it is just perfect!The flavouring process is quite unique, this is some info collected from Teavivre’s website :
«Meet this creative pu-erh tea: it is made of ripened pu-erh tea leaves with Chenpi. Dig out the pulp in the orange, then fill in the empty space with aged ripened pu-erh tea leaves. After drying and shaping, the Chenpi tea was made in the appearance of tangerine, with unique taste».
Honestly, I’m not tasting much of the orange, it’s there but very distant. It does have a unique taste though, very unusual. It’s not “fishy” at all, very smooth and chocolaty. There’s a molasses feel to it. It’s bready, in a rye bread kind of way.
I think this would please a lot of coffee lovers, it is such a rich flavourful cup it could easily become a favourite of the morning.
As it cools down, I can now taste a lot more of the orange, a light and fresh astringency is emerging, nothing unpleasant, on the contrary.
The leaves have a lot more to give and I will sip on this tea for the rest of the evening…
I’m so grateful I got to try this very special tea, thanks again Angel!
This morning, I’ve been sipping on Special Dark. It’s my second review of it.
You know a tea is good when at the end of your cup, just to make sure you’re not leaving one tiny drop behind, you make a slurping sound that could totally compete with your vacuum cleaner.
I was in the mood for a decadent cocoa mouthfeel and that’s what I got. I like to steep it longer than suggested, not that there’s anything wrong with the predetermined parameters, but just because I can achieve a more bittersweet dark chocolate taste that way.
I still get raisiny notes as well, dried fruits.
I broke 3, yes, 3 Yixing clay pots in a short while. (Expensive habit).
Now that I have replaced them all, I’m very carefully preparing for the seasoning. One will be dedicated to oolong, one for Sheng and one for Shou. This being my favourite shou pu’erh of the moment, it’s been elected to serve as my seasoning tea. It brakes my heart to sacrifice it, but it’s an investment that will pay back I’m sure :-)
(Have to remember to order more than one once next time!)
I’m not from the south, but I am a such a peach lover. In Quebec, we get our luscious peaches from Ontario in the summer, I buy them in gigantic quantities and I can eat enourmous quantities without ever been sick of them, so yummy!
Peach teas however are not always a hit. I’ve tried several but not many have made “the list”.
This one is definitely qualified. You want peach when you drink peach tea, right? Well this is “the one”. Holly molly it’s so juicy peach sweet, I just can’t get enough of it!
So natural, and the base is superb, Teajo’s uses whole leaf black tea and it’s one of the best base I’ve tried in flavoured tea.
In the summer, I ice and infuse it with real peaches, a stick of rosemary and maple syrup. If that doesn’t make you wish it was summer, nothing will. Sooo goood!!! But why wait for summer? Think I’m gonna make some now!
I love music. All kind of music. I can start the day with The Black Keys and end it with Nina Simone. But my universe on Sunday morning usually gravitates torwards classical music. This morning, I chose Erik Satie. I love the odd atmosphere found in his pieces, Gnossienne no. 1, one of my favourite piano number ever. This slow movement version is the best in my opinion:
This tea has put a spell on me, I’ve been enamoured with it since I’ve tasted it for the first time. Sadly, I’m almost done with the year 2009 pouch I’ve ordered. But Garret also sent a generous sample of year 2013 to try so it will be interesting to compare the two.
I know I’ve reviewed it only 9 days ago, but it’s so special, I feel compelled to review it again.
This morning, what’s in my cup still reminds me of spring maple water and it’s even more appropriate with the bright sunny day we’re having so far. This beautiful tea helps me believe that spring might be on its way after all…As I look through the window, even the birds and the squirrels look happier today!
First sip and my mouth is invaded with sweetness and roundness that feel almost like pudding! But I’m immediately getting a faint woodsy earthiness, which reminds me I’m actually drinking pu’erh. Floral notes emerged today, more than I’ve tasted before, reminiscent of a light fragrant rose water. It’s very subtle though, I would never qualify this tea as being “floral”.
I like how this is complex but yet so accessible. I think any tea lover would enjoy this cup, whether they are white and pu’erh tea lovers or not.
Thank you Mandala for such a wonderful experience, it delivers time after time. I will have no choice but to restock on this :-)