698 Tasting Notes

74

Booze! This smells and tastes of booze. The beau and I got one as iced tea of the day then went right back in to pick some up to add gin to on occasion. How can this be so boozy? Aside from that, it was quite refreshing. Not too tart, not at all sweet. A lovely mix – almost like a kick-butt lemonade.

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75
drank Jasmine Bloom by Adagio Teas
698 tasting notes

This was very nice! I can no longer recall if I received this is in my box of teas from LiberTeas or if a friend game it to me for my birthday, but the beau and I finally did this up today. Unfortunately, our electric kettle which heats the water to your desired temp chose to die today, so we had to wing it in terms of temp. The bloom opened really beautifully, I had a grand time trying to photograph it through the teapot. The tea itself is really unassuming, lovely flavour with no bitterness at all. I found it really refreshing hot and also after it had cooled off a bit. We intend to do another steep of it later on – blooming teas really have a lot to offer!

This wasn’t the most attractive bloom I’ve ever seen (there were 2 or 3 smallish white flowers – I presume jasmine flowers?), but all blooming teas are a treat to behold, and I am very impressed with the way the flavour held up (as I find that can be a bit of a disappointment on occasion). Loved it!

LiberTEAS

You may have gotten it in the box of teas from me… I did have a box of these that I was sharing with people in my sampler boxes for a while.

lanestew

do you think this would make a good iced tea?

Uniquity

I don’t happen to enjoy iced tea but I would imagine that if you do it would be refreshing. Mild though, but that might not be a problem.

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84
drank Pineapple Oolong by DAVIDsTEA
698 tasting notes

Bought some of this today after trying an iced sample – I was really impressed with the sample, it was distinctly pineapple (of the dried variety) but the oolong was very present at well. Excellent balance!

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70

I got a sample of this back n March and am finally giving it a go. I am steeping it up in my perfect tea mug for around 3/4 minutes-ish. I love citrus teas BUT find they are usually not done well, so I am eternally on the search for a good one. I am not a fan of green teas in general but find they do work well for citrus, so I hope I don’t regret this decision.

The dry aroma is very sharp, like the zest of a clementine, tangerine or other sweet orange-like fruit. The steeped liquor is much more muted, with more of a green tea aroma than anything else. by that, i mean sweet hay or grass. Fields after the rain, that sort of thing. : )

In terms of taste, the citrus is not very forward. It is nicely disguised in the background of the green tea and is actually really pleasant. I would like a bit more citrus, but this really works. Especially to the idea of a tangerine tea, since there is the sweetness from the green. Definitely suitable but not a re-buy.

PS – The beau is now the fiancee. After eight years, we’re now “official.” I’m so excited! Now to plan and pay for (what we hope to be) a small intimate country wedding. We shall see..

Indigobloom

oh wow congratulations!!! so happy for you :)

DaisyChubb

ahhh congrats so much!

TeaBrat

congratulations!

Mercuryhime

Oh yay! Congrats!

Ninavampi

Congrats!!! :)

tigress_al

Congrats!

Kittenna

Ooooh congratulations! Everyone’s getting engaged/married it seems! My sister just got engaged a couple weeks ago, so I have wedding fever too :P

Azzrian

Congratulations!!!

Dylan Oxford

Awesome! Congrats!

Alphakitty

Congrats!

Helena

Congratulations!!! :D I wish you every happiness with your tea and your fiancee

Uniquity

Thanks everyone! We’re very excited!

Missy

Congratulations!

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81

This is the second of the samples I received from Peony Tea S while they were testing shipping to Canada – Thank you! I have never had a yellow tea before, so this is a very new experience for me. The dry aroma put me in mind of delicate teas such as whites and greens, but the “leaves” were quite unusual. They were covered in a downy fuzz and looked almost like really thin pussy willows. They unfurled a bit during the inital steep and have more of a leaf shape now but they are clearly still buds.

Since I am at work I steeped this western style in my perfect tea mug. I gave it approximately 3 minutes to steep, which yields a lightly peachy coloured liquor. The aroma is reminiscent of sweet hay but it is a very light aroma, I had to hover over the cup to pick it up. First sips are mild but very tasty. It is very fresh tasting, and has a cumulative effect, with the flavour seeming more bold with every sip. There is no bitterness (which I like, even if I may have been a bit light on leaf) but a very light sweetness that is unassuming but refreshing.

This does remind me in some ways of greens (but lighter) and whites (but stronger) but not quite the same as either. There is a light, natural sweetness here, it reminds me a bit of fruit but without any bold flavour assocaitons. Maybe like the rind of watermelon, but not bitter? This is a weird thing for me, but I think this would be excellent iced. I don’t enjoy iced tea typically but this is so refreshing, it would be excellent on a hot summer day.

I didn’t really anticipate enjoying this one as much as I do, but it is lovely to have a new flavour in my tea cupboard, especially one that surprises as well as this. I really look forward to trying this at home with my gaiwan. Thanks again, Peony Tea!

Uniquity

Second steep was rich in flavour, I gave it a bit more time and was rewarded with stronger taste. Really really good! : )

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63
drank Japanese Treasure by Pippins
698 tasting notes

This is another one that my Auntei got me a year or so ago. This seems to be a genmaicha, though it has a lightly floral aroma. I am not much of a green tea fan so it has sat untouched, but today I decided to give it a go. The slight fruity flavour carried over into the tea, but mostly I got a shockingly sweet green tea. It wasn’t that bad, for a green – I think genmaicha are my preferred greens, though I still would rather have most anything else. The beau enjoys green tea more than I do, so I might get him to drink it. It’s good to have diverse tea tastes in the house! : )

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76

I still have a bunch of this left and brought it to work to finish up. I still get an unpleasant coconut note in here, which I would prefer to be more of a vanilla or cream note. The earl aspect if well balanced, not too dry and dusty but definitely not my favourite. The black tea base is a bit harsh, this could do with a small splash of milk or a bit of honey. I am fairly fussy about my earls, bergamot is a tricky flavour to do well.

Nonetheless, I am very grateful to my aunty for thinking of me and giving me this tea. As I’m sure you all know, it can be very hard to buy tea for a tea lover – we can be a bit fussy! : )

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74

I received this sample today as part of Peony Tea’s shipping test. They graciously sent along this one, a puerh and a yellow tea but this is the only one I am familiar with so I thought I would try it out first. The shipping took just under two weeks from Singapore to Canada (which is impressive!) and everything arrived safe and sound. They also included a wooden measuring sppon which I am actually quite enjoying. It feels more like tea ceremony than my typical metal spoon. : )

The dry aroma of this tea was that of a very green oolong, it reminded me of some Tai Guan Yin I have had in the past. Sweet smelling, with a hint of hay or grass. Some sort of plant life. I am at work so I steeped this up western style in my perfect tea mug, resulting in a lightly yellow liquor with a green tinge. Steeped, the aroma reminds me of boiled corn. Mmm – surprisingly appealing, considering my usual tastes (I’m more of a dark oolong or black tea person).

First sips are surprisingly sweet, light with a lingering taste and aroma that I still find reminiscent of peaches and cream corn. There is no bitterness at all, but the flavour stays with you, light though it is. It has a cumulative strength of flavour and makes me want to keep sipping. Very nice! : ) I’m impressed it doesn’t end up tasting too “green” as that can be a real turn-off for me, but this works.

DaisyChubb

That’s exciting! I wonder if mine arrived today too? Sounds like a unique oolong, yum!

Bonnie

Corn and peach yum!

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78

This is a sample graciously sent to me from Teavivre – I am very inexperienced with green teas so I figured I would go for this one to broaden my horizons. It tends to be universally well reviewed, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong, right? The dry smell is quite appealing, actually. i get a great deal of sweetness and almost honey notes. the beau proclaims it is earthy and vegetal, but I don’t get either of those smells. Honestly, I hide from vegetal and earthy – I’m glad this seems to have neither.

Out of fear, I steeped this approximately 1 minute 45 seconds in 80 degree water – we are each having a smallish cup of this so I used one heaping “perfect” teaspoon of leaves for the pot. The liquor is a warm yellow, darker than I would have guessed for the temp/time combo but as I said, I rarely brew greens. The beau likes them though, so he is the “authority” in our house.

First impressions are quite nice. The flavour closely matches the aroma and is quite nice. I get sweetness, and I am reminded of oolongs. I am not getting anything in terms of vegetal but I’m really liking it. This is the sort of green tea that I can appreciate – I think it is a little under-steeped in terms of temp, time or leaf but it’s still a good infusion. Will give a second shot tomorrow morning. Thanks again, Teavivre!

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81

This is another from my second batch of samples from Teavivre (many thanks!) I was feeling a little Western Gong Fu-ish today, so steeped some up while watching the beau play Uncharted 2 with my brother – I LOVE that we can play games with my family even though we live a couple hundred KMs apart. It is a lovely way to spend the weekend, especially now that we have a headset and can talk the whole time – the internet is a wonderful thing!

Anyway, I’m using my gaiwan and wee double walled teacups, so these are small steeps (maybe 2 oz liquid for each of us per steep?) I am not terribly familiar with oolongs, but I have tried a couple Tie Guan Yin in the past and generally know what I think of them. I tried the regular TGY from Teavivre in my first batch of samples and enjoyed it so thought the honey soaked one could only be better (I love honey! IF I sweeten a tea, it is my preferred sweetener.)

First steep – 80 degrees, 30 seconds. The liquor is not as clear as a typical oolong, though it is a warm yellow shade, almost like sunset with a hint of ochre. The brew smells quite vegetal (a bit more than I might prefer) but there is a hint of sweetness in the aroma which I prefer. The leaves have barely unfurled at all! The taste is very different from the smell – I get sweetness from the honey and typical oolong taste underneath. VERY pleasant, if a bit mild.

Second steep – 85 degrees, 35 seconds. The leaves have opened a bit more, but not nearly at full leaf yet. This steep is not as powerfully sweet from the honey (I assume most of it will dissolve in the first couple steeps) but neither is it a very powerful TGY. Another nice steep, but a bit muted. The beau says this steep tastes more of oolong.

Third Steep – 85 degrees, 45 seconds. Leaves are almost entirely opened now and I imagine most of the honey to have dissolved. This is a bit more vegetal than the first two and the sweetness is more in the aftertaste, like a taste memory. This steep really shows the quality of the TGY underneath the honey and I like it! The beau says this is definitely the best steep and I would tend to agree with him.

Fourth Steep – 85 degrees, 1 minute. This will be my last, as it is getting warm in our apartment as the sun comes out and I hate feeling too hot! The aroma has lost all sweetness and has a bitter/vegetal smell, but the taste is not as powerful as the aroma would have me believe. There is still a bit of honey sweetness underneath the sip and lingering in the aftertaste.

While this could easily go a couple more rounds, I need a timeout for some cold water. This was a lovely experience, I think I might even prefer this to the ‘regular’ TGY. If nothing else, it is a nice change from the usual. The third steep in particular was really nice and balanced the honey and oolong the best. Thanks again Teavivre for a lovely treat!

Bonnie

It looks like you had a better time with this tea than most people. Not the rating but the honey part. Maybe Teavivre is making adjustments. Mine came gooped up with honey and it was pretty hard and strong. Not to my liking. This is a good comment on why having samples and feedback can help a company improve product!

TeaVivre

For this tea, usually I will use 100ºC to brew it. If I use Gaiwan style, I’d like to rinse the tea first for about 5s, then 15s for the second time, and add an additional 5 to 10s to the following steeping times. I guess this is something related in brewing temperature.

Uniquity

I find I am pretty sensitive to bitterness/astringency so I tend to steep teas a little differently than other people. Perhaps the temp/time combo allowed the honey to pair the tea without one dominating the other. I’m just really glad I got to try it, it was a really good tea time! : )

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Bio

Well, this needed refreshing. I have been drinking loose leaf for many years, and have fairly well nailed down my tastes. I love Chinese blacks and some other unflavoured teas. I occasionally drink flavoured teas, or herbals, but the bulk of my tea is unflavoured with no additives. I stock regularly from Teavivre with the occasional Verdant purchase and the odd re-stock at Davids. I love mint, am learning about the wide world of puerh, and prefer ripe to raw, so far. I don’t like green or green oolongs very much, white is okay and roasted oolongs are pretty good. Coconut and chamomile are awful, and I wish they weren’t in so many blends!

At home, I live with my husband and cat in a house built by my grandfather, which we love. We share many interests – books, tea, video games, board games, tv/movies. On top of that, I love crosswords and recently took up knitting again, so I’m having a hard time balancing all my passions at the moment. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who, as is my entire immediate family. I love spreading the Who love!

We also spend a lot of time with family, when we can. I’ve got a gaggle of younger brothers, and we like to spend time with them. The wonders of the internet allow us to spend time together even though some of them live a few hours away.

As for ratings, I try to only log teas once or twice because I drink a lot of the same ones repeatedly. My rating is based on my perception of the tea at first tasting and is adjusted if anything notable occurs in subsequent cups. I may also factor in the price and customer service but try to note that when I can.

81 – 100: These are great teas, I love them, regularly stock them or savour them as unique treats.
71 – 80: These are solid. I drink them, I like them, I may or may not keep them on hand regularly. This is still good stuff.
61 – 70: Just okay. I can drink it, but it doesn’t stand out to me. Might be lower quality, not to my taste, or outside my comfort zone.
41 – 60: Not likely to keep drinking…hoping hubby will enjoy!
0 – 40: No thank you, please. Take it away and don’t make me finish the cup.

Location

Canada

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