21 Tasting Notes
There’s a Capital Teas nearby now, so I’m giving them a try. My first cup was Cream Earl Grey. It was fine, but I was expecting more of a cream taste. It was more or less a hint of vanilla added to a somewhat subdued Earl Grey. If anything, the vanilla seemed to muddy the brightness of the Earl Grey’s bergamot to me. I I like my bergamot to sing. Added milk or cream and sweetener would probably bring out the creaminess of the vanilla, but I had my cup plain. So not bad, not great. I’ve not had cream earl grey from another brand yet, so I can’t compare.
Surprisingly yummy! Few ingredients compared to other chai, but I find this gives it a very clean and refreshing flavor. The spices are skewed heavily toward clove, so if you aren’t fond of cloves you many not like it as much. I find the cloves remind me of classic Celestial Seasoning’s Mandarine Orange only without the orange or a bit like Bigelow’s Constant Comment. Very satisfying for a box of tea bags! Would definitely purchase again.
Still enjoying Darjeeling de Triomphe. One of a couple of greener black teas that have me revisiting black tea. This lasts me through about three steepings. The aroma is muscatel, fruity and slightly floral. The taste is similar, but gets somewhat astringent and a tad bitter if you over steep. Still really enjoyable with a clean taste. The liquor is light for a black tea. (Not sure if I’ll be ordering more. Somewhat unhappy with some of Teavana’s customer service and communications right now.) I’m normally a green or oolong type of person and this Darjeeling makes me want to explore more of the Darjeelings out there.
I’m normally a fan of oolong, but find myself compelled to explore – especially Pu-erh. Oolongs can have such varied and complex flavors and from what I’ve tasted so far, so can Pu-erh.
I have several older cakes I’d purchased a couple of years ago. One tastes fishy and the other like mushrooms. I love the one that tastes like mushrooms! Is it dorky if it reminds me of sitting in a dewy forest under mushroom umbrellas! (Shhh …) In looking for more similar to that, I purchased some of this Pu-erh Tuo Cha by Rishi.
The Pu-erh Tuo Cha cakes are dark and fairly hard. If I score with a knife I can break one in half with my fingers. The brew is inky dark with a little red. The taste is smooth, deep and almost smokey with a few notes of mocha. Not bitter, but it gets strong quickly.
If I search with my taste buds I can find just a hint of that mushroom taste. Perhaps this batch has a lot more aging to do. I think this is fairly “fresh” as it was purchased in Rishi’s new boxes instead of their old tins. I rather miss the tins, but understand. The box is 3.21 oz (91g) and contained about 12 cakes.
I didn’t feel a need to rinse first, but I’ll try that next time. Good for multiple infusions. Steep times varied with second and third steeping. I want to explore more Pu-erh!
Teavana’s Silver Yin Zhen is a nice little white tea. Pearl teas are fun ’cause of the whole unfurling process — adds visual enjoyment and reminds me that I should relax like the little pearls in warm water.
The flavor here is fairly classic white tea. I’ll preface by saying that I tend to like white teas a little stronger and, in fact, enjoy a wee bit of bitter. I brewed for longer than the recommended time of 4 to 5 minutes, but at a slightly cooler temperature.
First steep: I let it go to about 6.5 minutes because it didn’t really look like the pearls had unfurled much, and I like the unfurling. 3 or 4 minutes would probably be nice for folks who like a lighter tea because there was some bitterness in that first brew. It was light in color with a pit-of-the-fruit type of flavor (not fruit flavor, but that slightly astringent, slightly woody flavor of the actual pit of a peach or cherry). I enjoy that. After tasting plain, I added a bit of sweetener and this brought out the light florals while minimizing the bitterness.
Second steep: About 5 minutes. Similar, without the bitterness, less astringent. A bit fruitier. I imagine it would have been stronger if I hadn’t steeped the first cup for so long. The leaves are nicely relaxed yet not limp — they’re dancing or doing yoga.
Third steep: Also nice, I let this one steep a looong time ‘cause I got distracted. It didn’t get bitter. Still a really nice cup of white tea. With sweetener, the floral notes are still present.
I’m not sure that there will be much flavor for a fourth steeping of these leaves. Folks who like a lighter tea who don’t steep as long can probably get a very nice fourth and even fifth cup out of Silver Yin Zhen Pearls. Instead of throwing away these leaves, I’ll make a flavorful blend by adding a fruity herbal or rooibos to what is left just to get a wee bit more out of the little dancers.
I purchased Silver Yin Zhen Pearls from Teavana during their after Christmas sale. I don’t know if I’d purchase again at full price. Love those pearls though!
After purchasing during the 75% off sale, I’m finally tasting this again. Generally, I’ve not been a big fan of black teas, but Darjeeling de Triomphe is one of a couple of greener black teas that have me rethinking tea colors. The leaves look really green and the brew is sparklingly light not unlike the color of champagne. One of my issues with black tea is that it stains my teeth so much. I drink a lot of tea! So that’s an issue for me. Darjeeling de Triomphe doesn’t taste like a run-of-the-mill black tea either. The aroma is muscatel, fruity and slightly floral. The taste is similar, but with a tad of bitterness if you over steep. “Muscatel” is an interesting flavor as far as I’m concerned. There is a fine line between an almost spicy musk and musty like socks. Second infusion was just as flavorful as the first. I want to try it iced.
This oolong is among my favorite teas. I love green oolongs! I had this one several years ago and was recently gifted with some more. It has a lovely “orchid” complex floral taste and aroma with a wee hint of fruitiness. The first steeping has somewhat of a green vegetal flavor. I don’t remember that from the last batch i had. This green vegetal taste is pretty much gone by the second steeping and this is where I most notice the rich, full mouth feel. It’s a tea devoid of bitterness. It reminds me of Rishi’s Jade Oolong, but the smooth mouthfeel is more pronounced in this Monkey Picked. I’ve read that Monkey Picked is the same as Tieguanyin. That may be, but i always thought Tieguanyin was more baked or lightly roasted and i taste no roasted flavor in this tea. The tea liquid is a delicate light jade green. Lovely for multiple infusions — which takes some of the edge off the hefty price. I could drink this all day (and some days I do).
Used up one last serving to make room in a tea tin. I forgot how nice this tea is. Even though this isn’t the freshest of teas, it’s still nicely fruity while still tasting like a quality white tea. I love the unfurling of the pearls. Sweet, light aroma propels me to higher places (or something like that). Might have to purchase again sometime.
Trying this one again and enjoying. I mixed it with some oolong and black tea. There is still an aroma that reminds me of bubble gum — fruity grapish bubble gum. Mixing it with the oolong and black tea brought some lovely tannins and florals to the fruit and gum flavors which pulled it out of the juice and candy realm for me. I could get used to this, but it’s still not my favorite.