2469 Tasting Notes
Just sipping on this tea while I tried to break inertia and get a new blog post down today:
I got this puerh from Aroma Tea maybe 2 years ago? It isn’t on their website but they have a 2010 version that looks kind of similar. I was sold a piece of the cake that has long, pressed white tea leaves. It will be interesting to see how this ages. Right now it reminds me of a yao bo, with some hay like qualities and a nice sweetness that is reminiscent of peaches. When steeped for longer periods it also has a nutty quality which is very nice. So far, 3 steeps and counting. Now I really need to go do something productive today.
Ugh… I definitely overdid it on the caffeine yesterday because I couldn’t fall asleep until 2 am and then had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. I had to start the morning off with a coffee and now I’m drinking this brew, which I haven’t had for a long time.
Mark T. Wendell has some very solid teas, especially black teas. I’m surprised they aren’t more popular on Steepster. I was thinking about ordering some of their assam recently, but there’s so many places for me to buy tea in San Francisco it seems a bit ridiculous to have it shipped all the way from Massachusetts unless I’m ordering a bunch of stuff.
Anyway, this is a blend of black teas with formosa oolong, and that gives it a lighter and more fruity taste. This is a good afternoon tea, or a lighter morning tea. I find it very flavorful. This morning I am getting lovely malty notes. I shouldn’t be neglecting this so much, it’s really a delightful cuppa. I’d get this again if I place another order with MTW.
hmm, I doubt I really need any more caffeine today but I just have so much tea & I want to be drinking more of my pu’erhs right now. It’s been a VERY warm day here in the city by the bay… now that the weather has cooled down and I’ve had dinner it seems like a nice shu is in order.
After a quick rinse I brewed this up in the yixing teapot. I haven’t had this in quite some time. It has a fragrance of coffee and fresh earth. It isn’t as sweet as some shus I’ve had, but I don’t think it’s quite as fermented either. I did 2 steeps at around 30 seconds and am getting a very mellow tea that’s got elements of dark mushroom and chocolates. I am perfectly happy letting Mandala pick most of my puerhs for me so I don’t have to guess anymore about which ones are good. Yes I am lazy but all it takes is a few bad ones and money wasted…. this is nice. :)
This was my big indulgence for the day, I was being spendthrifty, which is not good for someone who’s unemployed but somehow it needed to be done and it was difficult to resist! As I am looking at the website for Market Hall Foods, I see that their price for a tin of this is about 1/3 cheaper than at Chantal Guillon so I don’t think I will be looking at CG for my future tea purchases. Even Dean and Deluca is cheaper. sigh
Generally I have found the MF teas that I’ve tried to be not worth their hefty price tags. I really wanted to try the Plein Lune, which was out of stock. I ended up getting this based on the smell of the dry leaf, and I don’t have a good vanilla tea at the moment.
I don’t know how long this cup steeped for because I forgot to set the timer. I was definitely not disappointed in this one. It has a smooth, almost velvety texture and the flavor is definitely vanilla as well as caramel. This is a really nice tea for the afternoon, or for an after dinner tea. I can drink it plain but it was also nice with a splash of soymilk. Doesn’t need sugar at all in my opinion. It doesn’t seem as “fakey” as a lot of vanilla teas I’ve tried. It’s elegant, even the name is elegant to me. It’s nice that I’ve found something from M.F. that I’m really fond of… but still not sure it was worth the price I paid for it. I will savor this one as an elegant treat. It will go very nicely with cookies, I think. I’m a happy camper! I need another cup of this now…
I had lunch with a friend in Hayes Valley today and couldn’t resist stopping into the shop Chantal Guillon, which has a large selection of macarons, and more importantly: Mariage Freres teas. I ended up getting this to go and I have to say it was a disappointment. I didn’t get the flavors that others picked up but I feel my cup was underleafed, perhaps. I had one teabag for approximately a 12 oz. cup of hot water. To me it just seemed very light, with faint cocoa and nutty notes. I wish I could try making this myself without having to buy a whole tin of it. Not giving it a rating for now.
Sample sipdown of the day from Upton….
I’ve had this tea for a few months now so it’s good that I’m finishing off the package. This is very flavorful with tangy and smoke notes in the finish. A bit like a baby lapsang but a little rough around the edges for me. If I had more of this, I would probably try steeping it for less time but I followed the instructions on the bag. It’s a good thing there are so many teas in the world so we can all find the ones we really love :)
Tea of the morning here in a pyramid sachet. It’s difficult to believe I am the first person to log this particular blend.
When it comes to ceylons, I am a bit fussy. I’m not a big fan of this (Sorry Steven Smith). The flavor seems kind of muddy and brisk and if I am drinking a plain ceylon, I like them to be more flavorful and fruity. I believe this might be the base for their Lord Bergamot, which I do like. It just doesn’t do a whole lot for me when it’s plain. Perhaps I will try this as an iced tea before I give up on it. I’ve had it a couple of times prior and it’s just a solid “meh” for me.
I thought I would try this iced since I have a whole box of it. I actually like this better than most other decaf black teas I’ve tried, which is surprising given the price. I steeped this up with a bit of dried lemon peel, but then decided to add some fresh lemon juice along with the ice. It’s pretty good this way.
I filled out an online job application for a job I really want but am not remotely qualified for. I guess I might as well apply but I don’t think there’s a good chance that anyone reads these things once they’ve been uploaded to a database somewhere. sigh
I ordered a few FF darjeeling samples from Happy Earth Tea this year. I don’t know what my problem is but I haven’t felt that motivated to drink them. I may have gotten burnt out since the huge darjeeling binge I went on in 2012… :)
I like my darjeelings to be brewed at temps well below boiling, I think this helps to keep them from getting too bitter for me. I think that was a good decision for this one. It seems nice and fruity, there is something wine like about it, and also it reminds me of pineapple. Doesn’t really need any additions, though it was really good with a tiny touch of coconut sugar, that helped to bring out more fruity quality. I am also getting peaches. This might be my favorite of the samples I’ve tried so far but I haven’t reviewed the others yet, hopefully soon. I might get some more samples from Happy Earth when the second flushes roll around. (note: I spoke to Happy Earth on Twitter and they said they weren’t able to get a lot of second flush due to lack of rain this year) I also like that these are organic and fair trade.
I only had a little bit of this left and I decided to finish it off. This is the 2013 tea so it obviously isn’t as good as it used to be (due to user error) but I am enjoying it this morning. It still has a flowery, buttery taste that is mild and lovely on this summery day. It’s a good thing Verdant doesn’t have more of this or I’d be tempted to order it again. ;-)