705 Tasting Notes
Had some of this one again today with the beau while enjoying a work day off together. It is beautifully sunny out though still chilly. We’ve got the fire going, video games, books, tea and time to ourselves. Woohoo! On a side note, I feel like I SHOULD put something about the tea at the start on the off chance this is selected as a blurb but that’s not how I roll so I’ll keep on talking about myself at the start for now.
I guess this tea has been around a time or two but when the beau went to Davids this Spring to pick up some Blue Lagoon to try out he was tempted by this as well. Now that I’ve had it a couple times I can say it is too too sweet for my tastes but that is a personal issue. It is actually a good tea, with a nice black base that doesn’t get bitter but also isn’t totally swamped by the flavouring. The flavour itself comes off as peachy to me, maybe because I’ve never eaten a pomegranate and can’t be sure what it tastes like. It would be good iced if I were the sort to drink iced tea. I could probably serve it to my little cousins as iced tea and they would be over the moon because it’s one of those teas that seems more like juice than tea. Not my thing anymore, but still well done unlike others that taste of chemicals or sugar rather than sweetness. This is definitely a result of the candied fruit in here. I used to love candied pineapple but ate too much and now they all taste too sweet to me.
I got an e-mail from Davids that Eastier tins are 3 for 30 in store and we are going to the city tomorrow for record store day and to visit some friends. I see a trip to Davids included in there to scope out some tea to add to the collection. We’re so glad we moved to the country but since I only order online once or twice a year, I miss being able to go to Davids or Winners and find some new tea when the mood strikes me. It’s not often, but seeing all the new acquisitions on Steepster makes me a little jealous! :)
Flavors: Grapes, Peach, Stonefruits
Made this up as well as hot chocolate and apple cider for the brothers. It is a beautiful sunny day here but chilly so a hot beverage is nice. I forgot about it though and steeped it for ten minutes or more. After that, the aroma is a mix of blueberry pie filling and bubblebath. So sweet blueberry but also a bit artificial. Not unpleasant and totally expected. I love Davids blueberry jam but hate the stevia so was excited about this one. I am a bit leery of too much sweet from tbe pineapple though and willing to add some more lemon something to bring it to my liking. The beau and I love blueberry tea but it is hard to do right.
Steeped, it kinda tastes like blueberry baby food. I like it at first, then its too sweet and then I like the aftertaste. I think if I limit the pineapple per cup OR decrease them time OR add extra lemon myrtle or something this could be a good tea for me! I can see how this would be a good iced tea as my cup us cooling and if the beau gets on an iced kick I could have a bit of this but I ammore interested in it hot as that is how I drink my tea.
For now it is good but I need to alter my parameters to make it even better!
Trying this today, another shu. This is one of the first pu I tried a while ago and I remember liking it a lot, thinking of earth, leather and a bit of smoke. This aroma is subtler than the Master Han ones and really pleasant.
Did a ten second rinse then a steep at 15 seconds with boiling water. No combining today! There is no bitterness but there is some depth. Not sweet like the 04 shu and not quite the damp earth and woodiness I remember. It’s a bit more bland than my last couple shu but also bolder, if that makes sense. I get something that reminds me of mushrooms here too.
#2: 20 seconds. Dark colour, warm aroma that reminds me of hay but deeper than green tea. This steep has more sweet notes and reminds me of hay bales in taste as well. Very nice and familiar.
#3: 30 seconds. Dark dark dark! Stronger aroma, flavour is a bit muted. I don’t know why my steeps seem to lose strength so quickly. Maybe I’m being under-generous on my leaf. I’m always worried about bitterness so I tend to under-do it on occasion.
Cutting it off here, as usual, as the brothers want the puter back. Interestingly, of the three I’ve had this week I prefer the Master Han 04 the best. It didn’t impress me initially but I find it more interesting to me than this and the Master Han 02. I’ll have to try the 04 again soon and see if that impression holds up.
Yesterday I was hanging out with Master Han’s 2004 loose shu which I enjoyed but wasn;t wowed by. Today I’m trying out the 2002 to see if I can notice differences. Might help educate me a bit about my tastes and the different flavours and aromas.
I am using the small gaiwan again with boiling water, a ten second rinse and then combined the first two steeps (both 15 seconds) in my small koi cup. The aroma reminds me of mushrooms and damp earth – it poured a sea here so I am used to the wet earth! This isn’t as offensive as the initial aroma of the ‘04 I had yesterday. Taste-wise, this is not as sweet, it has some juiciness but isn’t as bright. This is more earthy and almost has a light coffee edge, without any defined bitterness.
Steeps 3 and 4 were combined in one cup again, each given 30 seconds to steep. I prefer the convenience of combining two steeps but I think I am losing flavour this way. I might try doing two steeps at a time but separate cups so I can just drink them in order. Anyway, this has a little more depth than the first round but the flavours are muddied. I think it’s because of the combo. Darn laziness. I think I’ll call the tasting note quits for now and just enjoy the rest.
At first, I preferred the sweetness of the ‘04 puerh but this one seems to have more depth and body. I can’t quite appreciate the nuances yet, but I did enjoy the tea. I definitely need to try this with each steep done individually. Tentative rating but I prefer the 04 to this for now. I have 2 ounces of this though (accidentally bought it twice) so I can try it many more times.
Two of my brothers are here this week for March Break and one has been throwing up all day so I am doing whatever I can to keep myself safe from the awful germs. I thought maybe some tea would be wise and I had the time to do gong-fu so I decided to open this one. I am not a pu-erh afficianado but I pick it up sometimes so I can try them out. I tend to prefer shu and didn’t want to pick at part of a cake so here I am.
The dry leaf smells nice, very much like black tea with some sweet grassiness in the aroma. I am steeping a heaping teaspoon in my small gaiwan with boiling water. Steep times listed below.
I did a ten second rinse and then ten seconds for the first steep which smells…less appetizing. This is more like wet animals and dung than the nice earthy barn flavour I have come to appreciate. Fortunately the taste is much more pleasant. It is actually surprisingly mild. I am having trouble describing it. There is some sweetness, and something earthy. No wet animals or dung. Yay!
Steep 2 at 15 seconds is much darker, aroma is much like the first, only less unpleasant. More like earth than animals. I don’t know if I am becoming accustomed to it or if the character of the tea has changed. The flavour is lighter than the aroma again, and sweeter than expected. There is some depth and richness but I have a hard time describing it. This is harder than it looks!
Steep 3 at approximately 20 seconds yields another dark cup that smells more like earth after a hard rain. I am liking this the best so far but unfortunately I had a chip between steeps and that is muting my taste buds. This is still sweet and strong, no bitterness or astringency. I do seem to be losing a bit of the flavour so I am upping the time for the next round.
Steep 4 at 30 seconds has kicked back up a bit, earthiness, fresh and sweet. I’m going to stop posting about this one now because not much is changing worth reporting and my (non-pukey) brother wants the puter back.
In general, I didn’t get any bitterness or astringency which I appreciated. The aroma could be overwhelming but the flavour was often a bit lighter in a pleasant way. I am enjoying it, but don’t find it remarkable. That could be my lack of experience or my personal preference but my rating is not to suggest it is a poor quality tea, it just doesn’t knock my socks off. I will try again at some point with even more leaf and less steep time when I have the opportunity to enjoy many many steeps.
Enjoying this one with my grandmother and husband today along with some fresh homemade donuts. The perfect accompaniment! I also got news this morning that I didn’t get the library job I applied for but they DID offer me a better one so this is an exciting day. Tomorrow my brothers arrive for a March Break visit and all is well in the world. Loving the Dragon Pearls and all the good news!
I’ve gone through at least an ounce of this one without ever posting a tasting note, apparently. I sometimes confuse it with the yu lu yan cha simply because I bought them at the same time but now I should be able to remember the differences!
This one has large golden leaves that are fuzzy and remind me of thread, and very few (if any) broken leavesor crumbs. Steeped three minutes, I’ve got a rich amber liquor that smells faintly of cocoa. The taste is rich and dark without being bitter at all. It isn’t as sweet as other yunnans but has that depth and cocoa that I love. A lovely tea that I am glad to have another 2 ounces of!
Trying this one again while listening to Canada Reads 2014 on CBC1. The only one I have read so far is Cockroach, but maybe they’ll sell me on the other four – I hope so! I meant to read Annabel but forgot about it. Whoops! I’ve also got an interview tomorrow with the local library in the area I just moved to, so I am hoping I can get back into the book world after four years in an office. It’s only part time but it would be a start!
This is a tea that I really didn’t like on first encounter but saw a couple positive notes about it lately and wanted to try again under different circumstances. I only steeped it three minutes because last time, it turned my tummy and I blame the stevia and white chocolate oil for that. The theory is that less time will reduce those issues for me. So far, so good.
It’s very unpalatable to me in look, complete with cloudy yellow liquor and disgusting green oil scum on the top and clinging to the sides of my mug, but the taste is less aggressive. The mint continues to come out too sharp and gives me a toothpaste sense (one of the few mint teas to ever do that for me) but I will be able to finish it. There is some creaminess, but I don’t get the peppercorns. In general I love mint and enjoy white chocolate but as I said last time, chocolate in tea can be iffy for me. Less time seems to help with that.
I’m not going to raise the rating very much, because though it didn’t turn my stomache again, it still didn’t wow me. I find the oil slick and stevia particularly unpleasant in this (and other blends) so once this is gone I will be glad to cross it off the list.
Wow. This is the first time I have had to use Steepster to look up the ingredients in a tea since the big change about a month ago and I was really disappointed. While most of the issues others have mentioned haven’t bothered me yet, I had an unreasonably hard time finding the vendor’s information about this blend amidst all the Steepster promotional info, snippets and tasting information contributed by users. Arguably I could have gone straight to their site but since I use Steepster as my tea journal, I didn’t think it would be unreasonable to look here for ingredients and brewing guidelines from the company.
Part of the beauty of the Steepster database is that the companies provide their info, and the users expand upon it in their reviews. Especially for older teas that are discontinued, re-blended or otherwise unavailable on a company website, it is great to have the info here in the archives. I appreciate that the Steepster overlords need to find a way to profit from the site, but it seems to be at the hands of the tea companies and reviewers right now which is frustrating. It would be funny if this paragraph were chosen as a snippet for this tea though…
Anyway, personal complaints aside I am excited to try this one. I had accidentally stored it with my herbals when sorting tea in our new house and had to confirm that it is in fact a black blend. I have been drinking nothing but black tea for the last month and was proud of my selection of an herbal – until I proved myself wrong. Ah well. It smells amazing, mostly of ginger and orange to me without being too pungent. It is rich with full leaf, herbs and light ‘dust’ from the black tea. I took a deep scoop out of the bag and ended up with a lot of herbs and little tea. It seems to be a 2:1 ratio of additions to tea in my ounce of this so I am plunging ahead. Hopefully I got a good balance of all the parts, that can be tricky with Verdant blends.
Steeped at 95 degrees for four minutes (kinda forgot a bit) this smells lightly of ginger with a bakey aspect, reminding me of Christmas gingerbread. First sips echo that taste strongly. Ginger, but sweetened by the vanilla and citrus so it doesn’t burn like fresh ginger. Hot, I am loving the blending of the ingredients. My favourite spice teas echo gingerbread and this is the closest I have had one come in a long time. It reminds of 52Teas Gingerbread Chai which I loved.
The black base is very light here, and completely without bitterness. I can’t say I notice the vanilla here but I do get citrus in the aftertaste. If this holds up well while it cools as well as it does hot then it will be a re-stock as soon as it’s available again. I rarely do this but I think this would be interesting with a bit of rock sugar. I might try that some day. As yummy as it is, there is something a little flat about it that I would like to fill out. Steeping it a bit less time, with a bit more citrus in the scoop would probably do a lot for that!
For now, this is a yummy blend that I will have to play with a bit. Glad to have an ounce to enjoy. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming!
This tea is doing double duty – first tea in the new house and first review with the new system! I am using my phone but so far so good. The site is still super clunky on my phone but the font is actually legible now! I can’t use the slider bars though and I am at constant risk of losing my note. Hmmm.
Anyway, I served this tea for the beau and our first guest in the house and everyone liked it. It is very affordable, rich in taste with a natural honeyed sweetness and some cocoa notes. It resteeps well and is never bitter. Lovely!!