404 Tasting Notes

67

This came from Dexter3657 . I want to mention how much care she puts into her swap box, you should see how well everything is separated and labeled, thank you for that.

I always say I’m not the tisane type. I know it’s not always the case, but I have this negative association in mind that tisane automatically = camomile.

I.hate.camomile.more.than.red.rooibos.

This blend worried me from the get go. Don’t have a list of ingredients but I could really smell camomile. But I am adventurous and always willing to try, so….I’m hoping mint and liquorice will tame the bad, bad, camomile.

Well it does…for the most part. But the licorice is so strong and upfront it makes the blend overly sweet in my opinion. I’m not crazy about hibiscus either but when it,s well balanced, I can handle it. There might be a little hibiscus in this blend, but I think in this case, more could have been suitable and would have cut the licorice sweetness to perfection. I can barely taste the mint, would’t have known it was there.

This is not for me, but it could have been, as I like licorice and love mint! Just not blended right for me.

Thanks Dexter , the choice was thoughtful :-)

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98

So, nothing against it, but I’m not much of a Valentine’s day type of gal. I much prefer unexpected love days throughout the year :-)

But since today is supposed to be about love (and not about picking up some cheap flowers last minute at a grocery store cause you feel you have too), I chose to do things I really love.

Drinking this tea was one of them. Top 3 favourite tea of all time for me. Discovered Da Yu Ling last year, I keep two from different companies, equally good. Learned that it is grown at the highest plantation in the world, 8500 feet altitude!

This green oolong is similar to some of my favourites Tie Guan Yin, but brings it to the next level.

I’m using the yixing pot I dedicate to fragrant green oolongs. The brew is a beautiful bright yellow colour.

The aroma is breathtaking. I picture a vast garden with luxuriant vegetation all around as I sip on it. Think orchids and lilac scent, mixed up in a twirl of honey and fruity notes. Not sure what’s the specific fruit I get, but it feels like apricot to me.

It’s very sweet, and yet, the finish is minty fresh. Not in your face mint, more of a sweet faint spearmint. The most fabulous phenomena about this tea is how long the taste lingers in the mouth. Long after I’m done drinking it, I can still feel its imprint.

This type of thick buttery mouthfeel always reminds me a silk ribbon dancing in my mouth!

It’s pure liquid gold, but I rarely see people reviewing any Da yu ling at all.

Is there other Steepsterites out there that are as taken by it as I am??

I’ll end this note with a little love story…

It might have been the side effects of the snowstorm, but my cat Happy today was such a little bugger. Dexter (my dog) and I were trying to chill, me having tea and reading a book, him all curled up next to me. Happy likes Dexter’s ears. He’s obsessed with them . He keeps toying with them while Dexter tries to nap. Eventually, Dexter wakes up and gives me the helpless puppy look while Happy takes over his whole head. So what does a 100 pound dog do to an anoying kitty you ask? Well, have a look here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/12529529795/lightbox/

No worries, although it looks like it, Dexter is not having a “Happy meal”, lol!

Here’s how it usually ends:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/12530016644/

As the song goes «…so “happy” to-ge-therrr…»

cryptickoi

aww…cute critters…

TheTeaFairy

Yours is pretty cute too, Cryptickoi :-)

cryptickoi

thanks..that’s Sprout,he’s a quite the character…

gmathis

Your animal buddies are adorable!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! Love Sprout as a name!

Thanks Gmathis, I think so too :-)

Dexter

AAAAWWWWwwwwwwwwweeeeeeeeee – how cute is that….

yyz

So cute!

caile That is so cute!!
TheTeaFairy

OMG!!! cryptickoi, what’s up with that??? Awwww, don’t I love poeple and their fury friends:-) A French Bulldog? They look so in love!!

cryptickoi

Gus is a Boston Terrier…

cryptickoi

here’s Sprout and Mr.Krinkle(named after the Primus song)…http://www.flickr.com/photos/117587293@N05/12531782284/

cryptickoi

they’re comedy…

TheTeaFairy

Your family bunch is so awesome cryptickoi! (Lol, Mr.Krinkle )

cryptickoi

yours are very cute…how many do you have?

TheTeaFairy

Four cats, one dog…all rescues, except for the doberman. They all seem to knock at my door winter time, how can I say no??

cryptickoi

very nice…food gets scarce in winter I guess..saying no is difficult for me as well…

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70

The idea of this tea is appealing to me. And the composition is very clever. Mint and licorice. I’m a fan of both. Dexter3657 is definitely not, so she was happy to send me the rest of it in its original pouch, lol.

So I get the concept, locorice for the anise flavours found in Absinthe, mint for its fresh and green colour. There’s a whole science surrounding the original mystic powers of Absinthe (also referred to as “The Green Fairy”). It was even banned at one point in history. But we don’t live in the 1800’s anymore, so I wont digress.

So yes, the idea is fun. The problem: white tea.

I think white tea might have been chosen in order to stay true to the concept and keep the liquor on the greenish side? Other base would have made it too dark I’m assuming. And I don’t think green tea would have worked taste wise.

The thing is, if white tea is being used, it can only go two ways:
a) completely mute its delicate taste with stronger flavours.
b) try to keep the added flavours to a minimum in order to preserve it.

B is the answer for this blend. All the components are there to make it a very interesting, but it falls flat. If you choose Absinthe as a star, go BIG, this is not the time to play subtle. I can barely taste the licorice in there. But its not bad tasting, it’s just a refreshing generic white flavoured tea.

But I’m glad I got to try it, there’s absolutely nothing I hate in this, I just find it a little boring and my expectations were high due to its name. Thank you so much for the opportunity Dexter3657 :-)

Ze_Teamaker

It’s funny when you think about how Absinthe was banned. Especially since it was no more hallucinogenic than alcohol. I still want to try some one of these days.

TheTeaFairy

Ze_Teamaker, I know! It was referred to as the elixir of creativity, many artists were “using” in Europe. But in reality, they were just a bunch of drunks, lol.
But I’ve always loved the mysterious vibe surrounding it, and would really love to try it someday. Apparently, the Absinthe concentration is close to none in the bottles found on the market today.

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drank L'Automne by Fauchon
404 tasting notes

Super Sil sent this beautiful red tea my way.

Sigh, I really wanted to love it…I though, hey maybe the French people do it best, here’s my chance to actually like a red rooibos!

First, the smell gave me the utmost favourable anticipation. This smells like freshly squeezed orange peel, pure citrus essential oil. I’m thinking the tannin and medicine taste will be tamed by this wonderful aroma. The fact that it’s supposed to be cream and orange will work for sure.

Bla, bla, bla, keep trying to convince yourself, foolish fairy. Really, who was I kidding? I have a red rooibos detector, I just can’t stand it. I can appreciate the complexity of this blend, for me, it would have worked its magic if the base had been green rooibos instead.

Kamyria, you know what I mean, right?

We were just wondering earlier today how little green rooibos blends there are out there…too bad, I can totally dig green rooibos, but sorry, can’t handle the red stuff.

Sil, I am grateful I got the opportunity to try it. I thank you, just the smell of it made me happy :-)

(Not gonna rate, wouln’t be fair)

Sil

haha sorry it didn’t work out for you. Make some potpourri out of what’s left? haha it DOES smell AMAAAZING

TheTeaFairy

Don’t be sorry, I kept smelling the pouch thinking, can I bathe in this?? lol!

Sil

I love the aroma of this one…

Dexter

(MissB taught me that if you steep low temp approx 85C for short times 3-4 minutes – you don’t get as much of the woody/medicinal rooibos tastes – not promising you’ll love it or there won’t be any, but it cuts that flavr way back…)

TheTeaFairy

Thanks for the tip Dexter, will sure give it a shot with what I have left :-)

ashmanra

Ooo, I will try those parameters and see if I like rooibos a little better. I have a nice new one that was given to me and I haven’t tried it yet.

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68

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80

Yesterday was such a lazy day that I feel just a tad guilty this morning… It’s VERY tempting to do the same today…hmmm, will have to debate on that.

This morning I woke up early and went to the grocery store to pick up some dragon fruits (pitaya). A friend mentioned them in a conversation and I’ve had a huge craving since then.

It’s the most spectacular fruit I know, the fushia skin aroud the snowy white flesh and black dots is just fascinating, isn’t it?

http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/volff/volff0908/volff090800372/5309191-pitaya—dragon-fruit.jpg

Anyways, I wanted malty and fruity black morning tea to go along. I chose this assam cause I have only one serving left and I know more is on the way, so no need to be all sad about it!

This is a golden tip second flush with a long bud. This tea is one if my favourite assam. It’s very good quality and thanks to Zen Tea, very affordable! It’s on sale right now at 30% that’s why I took the opportunity to replenish.

Because it is second flush, it’s very creamy and malty, with fruity and chocolaty notes.

There’s an earthy/tobacco undertone that makes this tea feel organic.

It’s on the strong side, full bodied but no bitterness, just a little astringent. Very smooth considering it produces such a strong cup. Like pretty much all western brewed assams, the second steep is of no interest to me, I steep the first cup long enough that I extract all the good stuff I need from it, the second steep being just a pale version of the first, I choose not to have it. I do cold steep the used leaves occasionally though. Makes a decent ice tea the next morning.

This tea made my permanent stash a long time ago, and it’s not going anywhere!!

(See previous note)

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

mmm dragonfruit! So good!! It is making me crave my favorite exotic fruit (soursop) since they usually show up at the same time.

TheTeaFairy

Oh, they look very fleshy and refreshing! Just looked them up, unfortunately, we don’t seem to have those around here, but I’ll keep my eyes open the next time I go to the fruit department!

pyarkaaloo

pitayas are gorgeous! they have to be one of nature’s most astounding fruits..such a work of art. i never actually tasted one tho, although i bought it…twice! lol

maybe the third time’s the charm ;) also really want to try guanabana!

TheTeaFairy

Ok, stop you guys, I’m gonna have to go back to the store and buy all exotic fruits I can lay eyes on!!!
Pyarkaallo, how could you have bought them twice and not having tasted them yet? Do they have a life of their own and escape you fridge at night???

Sami Kelsh

Oh man, that is a gorgeous fruit. Never had one myself though, is it awesome?

I’ve just found a greengrocer in the city that stocks cherimoya, though, and I’m over the moon. One of my favourites! Now, if only I could find durian…

TheTeaFairy

Yeah, pitayas are so good and refreshing, like a cross between watermelon and kiwi but a lot less sweet. The flesh is very “crunchy”.
I tell you, this thread is really making me hungry for exotic fruits!!!

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100

Reading my book and sipping on this for the last two hours.

I made it the way I really like it when I have all the time in the world for it. I fill the gaiwan with leaves, really, I fill it almost to the top. This tea is light in weight, so for me, that’s the best way to extract all the goodness I know is in there. It might seems like a lot of tea to waist, but it’s no waist when you can brew it for several hours. And the steeps remain rich and flavourful. A good night companion…

This is another one from Butiki I’m hoping will never disappear!

(See previous notes)

Fjellrev

Interesting method!

TheTeaFairy

Yes, I find I’m not achieving the results I,m seeking with short steeps if I use less. I know this tea is good no matter what, but this method elevates it to the tenth power for me!

Terri HarpLady

I still haven’t tried that with this tea…yet!

TheTeaFairy

I have no doubt time will come, Terri!

TeaBrat

Reading anything good?

TheTeaFairy

Well Teabrat, I just finished Rebecca from Daphne Du Maurier and I’m now contemplating either Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth’s sequel World Without End or Camilla Läckberg ‘s Ice Princess. Hard to choose sometimes isn’t it?

Butiki Teas

Interesting! I will have to try that. I usually fill the gaiwan about half way full.

TheTeaFairy

Stacy, I know, that’s what I do too with regular teas (meaning other than pu’erh and oolongs, those I weigh instead) but I wanted a bolder flavour and that’s what works best for me, very short steeps, lots of leaves. (Which I’ll be running out of real soon!!)
I would’t recommend it to someone not like a strong brew, but I know you do!

Butiki Teas

Are doing a 10 second steep on that? I’d like to try it how you recommend. :)

TheTeaFairy

OMG i would never dream of recommending ANYTHING to you on this tea, madam!!!

But 10seconds is probably what I do, I never really count, I “estimate” to give people and idea. So yes, I would estimate 10sec for the first 3 steeps and increase by 10 also for the subsequents. And as I often do, I read while brewing, so I forget it and it becomes almost syrupy…But call me crazy, I still like it!!!

I haven’t tried this with your Wild mountain yet, but i will.

Butiki Teas

Well, I would love to try your method. I will give it a try tonight. For this tea and the TWMB, I normally just do a 1/2 gaiwan filled steep for 30ish seconds. I like the first steep to come out a bit strong. It will be interesting to try it this way. :)

Butiki Teas

Whoa, the 10 second steep with a full gaiwan is delicious! Excellent recommendation. Very malty but still sweet.

TheTeaFairy

Phew! thanks for letting me know, lol, i was a little nervous that you might think I’m just a fool!!! So happy you liked it this way. Is it possible to ever mess up this tea i ask you???

Butiki Teas

It was absolutely delicious! Very different than what I normally do but I love how different it is. It reminded me of coffee a little bit in flavor though only what I would imagine coffee would taste like since I’ve only tasted like maybe twice in my life.

TheTeaFairy

Yay! You’re right Stacy, it does bring more of coffee almost mocha feel to it!

Terri HarpLady

Guess I’ll have to give this a try…

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96
drank Special Dark by Mandala Tea
404 tasting notes

OMG is this ever good!

The lovely Sil sent me this pu’erh. I won’t give you an elaborated review of it, cause really, two main notes are the superstars here: chocolate and raisin (oh, chocolate covered raisins???) It’s so obvious, I find it almost hard to believe there’s no added flavouring to it.
I also get some buckwheat feel in the background.

I did a strong brew, cause the smell told me it could handle it. Yes, don’t laugh, the tea does talk to me sometimes, haha! (yeah, I do see a shrink for that, thanks for asking!)

So it’s a little astringent, and I like that, it acts as a flavour booster.

I know not many people appreciate astringency in a tea, I feel a little like an outsider :-(

Hello? anyone else out there who’s a fan?

Anyways, this feels round in the mouth, super rich and decadent. And I have some on the way, so it will be in my cup again really soon!

Sil, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try this beautiful tea…

Sil

i’m so glad you loved this! I like this brewed both western and gaiwan!

TheTeaFairy

I used my yixing pot, but yes, I can imagine it working basket brew as well. It’s the kind of tea that’s very forgiving I think. Will give you a good cup no matter what :-)

Kamyria

I like well balanced astringency in a tea too… and yes, I do feel like an outsider sometimes as well. lol

TheTeaFairy

Aw! Kamyria, so happy to have found a partner in this :-) That,s why I really like Darjeeling teas also.
But the key resides in what you said: balanced. I don’t like a squeaky mouth, lol!

Sami Kelsh

I like a good dry tea sometimes, but it really depends on the type of tea. I didn’t think that was unusual.

TheTeaFairy

This one is actually very smooth, it’s my over steep that made it a little astringent.
From the notes I read, it just seems that not many people appreciate that.

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Profile

Bio

I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)

I love taking tea pics, here’s my Instagram:

http://instagram.com/theteafairy

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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