401 Tasting Notes
Kamyria’s review yesterday about the forest inspired me to go have a long walk today and write this review.
By now, you probably know that the forest is my backyard. I’ve written many times here on Steepster about my little adventures and how lucky and privileged I feel when I look outside my window or go for a walk, it never gets old.
This lifestyle is Nature’s gift to me, and that gift keeps on giving as long as I care for it in return. It’s pretty simple and yet, I wish more people could fully grasp that concept. The tea I’m reviewing today also keeps on giving…
I tell you, my snow shoes really get a run for their money this winter. I made my own trail and I try to go as often as possible. There’s a spot that we always stop at. It’s on top of a small hill and a huge rock stands there, under the trees. it is shaped as a loveseat, I call it my rocky chair.
I take a break as I watch my dog Dexter chase squirrels, his favourite sport. They like to tease him and sometimes, I think they’re playing with him, knowing full well he’ll never catch one of them!
The day is magnificent, sunshine coming at me from all directions, immaculate snow everywhere you look at, pine trees with heavy arms from all the snow weighing on them…
When I got back inside, I was freezing and seeking warmth, I love that feeling. My head still felt clear and peaceful from all the beauty I had just laid eyes on, and of course, the right tea amplified that feeling and made it linger a while longer.
I was waiting for a special moment to choose this sheng pu’erh, sent to me by the generous and wonderful Dexter3657. She read on a post that I wanted to experience more with shengs, and offered to send me this one. She wrote that this tea is the highest rated on Steepster, so I read nothing about it, not wanting to be influenced by other reviews.
I used 7g, 5oz yixing pot. The piece of cake is tight and compressed. Quick rinse. Already the aroma brings me somewhere, but I don’t want to go there yet, I want to take my time with it.
I pour the very light coloured liquor, close my eyes and smell, have my first sip.
Sweet sugarcane is what I notice first. Then, a feast for the senses. The smell that comes out of the pot can’t be ignored. I can describe it easily, cause it’s leading me there. If you’ve done camping in your life (most of us did), you have to think about the next morning, when you get out of the tent.
The smokey scent from the firecamp is still in the air, but it’s just a shadow of what is was the day before. It mixes with fresh morning dew, humid grass and moss. Earthy and smokey tones, fresh menthol. Take all these “ingredients”, gather them in a cake, and later, when you hit it with hot water, the memory trap is released and you experience that moment again.
I choose not to describe more. As it happens when I drink something really special, I give in to the tea, not wanting to think anymore but just be in the moment and feel the pure energy. Cha qi. The best thing that can happen. I’ve had these moments before, but not often enough. I plan on having a lot more in the future…
Thank you so much Dexter3657 for wanting me to discover how special your beloved Mandala truly is. You were right :-)
(Cough, Implacinganorderscrewthehiatus, cough, cough)
Oh my, this is decadent and dripping with luxury. TGY, why do you have to be so tempting and appealing to me?
Why do you have to be such a tease and so cruel by being so delicious and knowing full well that you are a sipdown and that I have no longer access to your splendour?
Oh, I do know what you are, and I can tell you what you are not: modest! No you’re not. You’re such a Diva, wanting to show me all your nuances and complexity at once…
Giving me sweet vanilla bean, enchanting orchid flowers, a rich buttery mouthfeel, wrapping it all in an almost minty fresh breath in the background, you possess all the attributes to exude such confidence, you are absolutely fabulous and luxuriant.
Wish I had a better vocabulary to describe you…
I must admit that despite your obnoxiousness, you are good to me this morning in your last attempt to seduce me, you are giving me many re-steeps by being so potent. I will cherish every moment I have left with you on this quiet Sunday, and tell you this:
Until we meet again! Cause we will TGY, yes we will.
First review with the new Steepster format. I love changes, it’s so exciting and it takes you out of your comfort zone…it’s gonna take a little time and practice to adjust, but great fun to discover the new features :-)
Dexter3657 knew I love to try as many French teas as i can, so she sent me a bunch. I picked this one tonight to make it up for another French tea I bought that did not rise for the occasion. But I won’t mention how bad it was cause it’s not the tea’s fault but the vendor’s.
This pear tea on the other hand is pretty tasty. It’s a true pear taste, almost floral as Stephanie was mentioning in her own review. I like that it’s not too sweet as I prefer my tea this way. The base is slightly astringent, which I also like, makes the fruit pop out even more.
You just know you’re having a good quality flavoured tea with this one, I could see myself getting used to it easily. Thank you so much Dexter for sharing this with the world before you even had the chance to try it yourself :-)
«Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…»
Rebecca, one of my favourite book by Daphne Du Maurier. I hardly ever read the same book twice, as I feel there are so many books to read, so little time…
But some are so well written, I just feel I have to revisit them, it’s like I miss them if I don’t, hard to explain. Anyways, this is one of those…like a good friend to me.
Perfect companion is this tea. I know I’ve reviewed it recently, but I can’t say enough about it. The aroma brings the most exquisite jasmine breeze, and it tastes fantastic. I can’t help thinking about the beautiful flowers, hugging the tea leaves at one point during the harvest process, infusing them with their aromatic scent. Still my favourite jasmine tea!
I’m drinking this cold brewed with my lunch, (a tomato sandwich with no bacon, sadly), along with a cup of mysterious black tea. I say mysterious, cause it’s a sample from Sil. I remember it’s a golden tip of some kind.
The thing is, after I emptied the content of the tiny pouch, my little wizard of a cat ran off with the pouch! I looked for a good 10 minutes, while the wizard just sat there, staring at me, knowing exactly where it was, but not saying a thing. What a little bugger, if he wasn’t so darn cute, I swear…
So I’m not gonna review it for now, since I don’t know what it is, but it was a delicious cup of black tea nonetheless and I have to thank Sil for it :-)
(Or I’ll have to browse through my cupboard later to se if I can “find” it by process of elimination which should take me at least a couple of days, lol)
Now on to this tea…I used what I had left for a cold brew cause I remembered how refreshing it was. Not that refreshment is needed really on this harsh winter season, but I drink ice tea all year around.
It’s a chinese green, not too vegetal and it mixes so well with the light taste of rose and the cherry. I just wished the cherry was more present. Just like most sakura types, the flower tastes is more present than the cherry. I don’t mind cause I love rose in tea, but I ADORE cherries!
All in all, a good and decent tea from Zen Tea to keep around.
Im choosing this tea today for the obvious: WINTER!!!
I love winter, always had. I love that it’s crisp and white, I’ve always felt that winter was nature’s auto cleansing system… Like a reset button among the seasons, it erases everything in the waiting of the grand rebirth that spring will bring along…eventually!
But, as much as I like it, I’ll admit that it’s taking its toll on me right now. I’ve been shovelling 3 days in a row just to clean the access to my doors, and guess what? When it’s finally said and done…It snows again!!! Yay, more shovelling for my aching arms today!!
Lovely Sil made sure to include French teas in the box she sent me. I never miss an opportunity to try French teas, they get me closer to a fantasy I was probably born with of having tea in Paris someday…
This is a white tea, which is very “à propos”. It says lemon and cream, and it delivers just that. A sweet and creamy citrus aroma that tastes more like grapefruit than lemon to me. Actually, this tea reminds me a lot of Grapefruit Dragon from Butiki but a lot sweeter. The white base is of excellent quality which is to be expected.
It will make an incredible ice tea, that’s why I’ve cold brewed what I had left.
This is lovely, perfect afternoon tea to warm me up after a good shovelling workout. And it feeds my dream of having tea at Angelina’s one day…
It was also my first Fauchon tea ever, and I’ve got only Sil to thank for that :-)
Yesterday was a special day, I received my swap box from the wonderful Dexter3657 . In fact, we received each other’s box on same day! Last night, as i felt physically and emotionally drained, I needed comfort in a cup to bring to bed with me…Chai being an old friend, I thought it was the obvious choice out of the MANY teas I got in my swap box.
I say old friend cause about 4 years ago, I started getting more into loose leaf tea beside the traditional earl grey and jasmine tea I had been drinking all my life.
I discovered Davidstea and chai became a revelation to me, something exotic I had no clue even existed. I went on a chai spree and bought all the chais DT had to offer. That’s all I drank for 6 months!
Then I discovered Steepster, and realized there was other tea retailers in the world, started experimenting with straight tea, and finding my perfect black and oolong tea became my quest. I have pretty much succeeded at that, but haven’t had a decent cup of chai in the last 3 years!
When Dexter and I initiated our swap, I lurked at her chai stash and thought it would be a great opportunity to renew my vows with it!
She very generously sent many to choose from, I picked this one cause the note said it was her favourite out of that bunch. I was so excited to try something of better quality than what I had in the past.
I was very happy with my choice, cause I need to take things slow and this is not an overwhelming chai blend. It’s surprisingly smooth, yet that little kick is there. I could not find the list of ingredients on their website and i’m a little rusted, but I think I could detect mainly clove, cinnamon, cardamom, and I get a little tingle on the tongue so that’s probably ginger. This is an excellent chai to begin with, nothing scary about it.
But what i enjoyed the most, was the comfort it provided that I needed so badly!
I welcome you back into my life Chai, it’s been a long time :-)
Thank you so much Dexter3657 for this special blend, can’t wait to try the others you have sent!
It was there…and then it was gone.
I gulped this in a non womenly fashion, I’ll admit to that. I try to maintain a certain elegance when I drink my tea, but not for this one.
In fact, Im pretty sure my slurping sounds could be heard overseas…(will have to ask my friend Ysaurella about that)
This morning when I woke up, I felt I needed a kick in the tooshie, so I thought it was the right time to try this generous sample from Sil.
Never heard of this merchant, but this is more than I anticipated, shopping list material. It’s just a perfect assam, not too complicated, very fruity and malty with notes of sweet honey. A bit astringent, just the way I like it (please note that I go heavy on the leaves, I like a strong cuppa)
Once again, thank you Sil, I really dig this one :-)
WARNING :I have un-followed someone by mistake and don’t know who!!! Damn you iPad!! If you’ve noticed you are missing a follower, please give me a sign :-)
This note is a major backlog. On Christmas morning, I had just enough of it left for a good cup. It was a sample from dear Steepster friend Ysaurella.
You know when a blend is created without any pretension and that its sole purpose is to offer you a special moment?
This is what Noël is all about.
Solid base, subtle spice blend, well balanced, not too much of it, just enough of that … I love cinnamon, but it’s not a shy ingredient… unless it’s on a bun, I do not like when it takes over everything else. In this case, it’s there to support all the other components. Lovely scent of orange and vanilla that you can really taste, so good!
It’s such a perfect tea to drink during the Holidays, i could have drank it during the whole season! If I had more…but it came to an end after one cup sadly :-(
I should probably mention that it’s good for all year around. Ysaurella’s first note about this tea was beautiful and very touching…I think she should always drink it in July instead, and create good happy summer memories with it :-)
Thank you so much for another delicious French tea, my dear Ysaurella :-)