1943 Tasting Notes
I had this tonight with hubby. My bad – I oversteeped the first pot, mainly because I accidentally overleafed and therefore should have cut the time. Subsequent steeps were much more in line with my drinking preferences.
First, the tea is beautiful. The rose petals are the most gorgeous shade of deep rose pink. This would be a lovely “me time” tea or date tea. The appearance of the tea is an important part of the presentation when you are drinking gong fu style!
Once I had my steep times right, this was really lovely. The rose is very, very light. If someone else had prepared the tea and I didn’t know what it was, I don’t know if I would have detected rose. Instead, I felt that the rose petals added a nice sweetness to the tea, and it reminded me a little of candy rather than sugar or honey. We made at least five steeps and possibly six and the leaves really were not fully played out.
In getting my order ready, I have decided I will probably cave and buy one of the teapots. Have you seen them? They look almost identical to the Curve ForLife teapots and are so reasonably priced that even hubby said, “Why not get two?” when I asked him which color to get. He likes Storm, a light grey, and I love their signature blue color.
I will review the pot if I do get one, but I wanted to point out to anyone considering them some advantages of this pot. It has the silicone gasket that helps seal in the aroma and flavor and helps keep the lid from tumbling off when you pour the very last of the tea. The infuser has a nice handle and lip so you don’t burn yourself as easily when you remove it. The infuser has a flat bottom, so it will sit upright on the counter or a plate if you need to set it down while filling it or when you remove it from the pot.
These facts are not true, alas, of the Beehouse teapots i bought several of years ago when I started drinking tea. The round bottom of the Beehouse baskets is inconvenient and the lids pop off sometimes when you are pouring. There is no lip or handle to the infuser so you burn yourself pretty much every time you make tea. Daughter is smart and uses a spoon to lift the basket out but I am too impatient to stop and get a spoon!
I think that Sky pot is going to be mine soon!
I got to try this tea thanks to the generosity of Equusfell. We traded our remaining teaspoon of a couple of our free samples. I wanted to try as many as possible before placing my first order so that I can choose my very favorites.
This TKY falls in the middle of the roastiness scale when compared to others I have had – not too dark or heavy but not green. It does have a mellow flavor and is not a heavy body, but the roasted flavor adds a deeper layer to the tea.
What I liked most about this tea was the longlasting lingering sweetness and fresh aftertaste. It was like having the memory of a sweet kiss with you. When you have a really good mint, you probably find yourself inhaling with your mouth forming an “o” shape to continue to enjoy the coolness of the mint. I did that with this tea, enjoying the honey + roasty sweetness each time I inhaled. I do love a good oolong.
Of all the Tea Ave offerings I have tried, I think I would put this right under my favorite, Magnolia Oolong. The aroma cup carried a very similar sweet floral scent that stayed through many steepings of the tea, even though I only filled it at the first steep.
I am very sure this is what I had at P. F. Chang’s tonight. There was one tea bag that looked pretty large to me in a little tetsubin that was so cute my daughter wanted to slip it in her purse. (Not the sort of thing any of us would actually do, by the way.)
It was pretty golden yellow for a white tea, but tasted really good with our food and had a fresh, lively tangerine flavor. I would buy this if I saw it in the grocery and knew it wasn’t artificial. I will have to look into their flavorings.
I liked this tea before, and I am liking it even more today. My daughter and I drank a liter of puerh from just one teaspoon of leaves and even the final steep has nice color and plenty of flavor. I didn’t scimp on early steeps, but made one or two of them extra bold with long steep times, because I enjoy strong puerh when it is smooth and has no bitterness.
I get the most flavor from puerh when I am patient and let it cool a bit before drinking. This is extra creamy today, especially the later steeps.
I don’t usually see puerh graded as first, second, third, etc. it is usually just named. So my first impression when I recieved the samples was that first grade was the good one and seventh would be passable. Instead, first grade is the layered and nuanced one good for quiet times, and seventh grade is the highly enjoyable daily drinker with lots of virtue of its own, my favorite at this moment being the creamy, weighty feel with its lightly cedar oiliness.
I think this would be an excellent choice for my husband’s new tea center that we are putting together for him at work.
Yesterday was a little bit tough, last night more so, this morning…well, I was feeling pretty stressed. There is plenty that needs to be done, but instead I distracted myself with electronics until my brain said, “Enough! Do something you REALLY want to do!”
I had just read Tea Ave’s new blog post and that left me longing for my last little teaspoon of magnolia oolong, by candlelight, with soft music.
My experience with this tea was very different tonight, and it remains my favorite of all I have tasted so far from Tea Ave. I have two samples on the way from a Steepster friend so I can taste them before finalizing my order. But this one HAS to be on the list!
The aroma cup has brought me more enjoyment that I would have believed possible. I am using it with oolongs and puerhs. Tonight it was like an aromatherapy spa treatment, for the cup smelled heavenly, and didn’t stop smelling heavenly. This is the most floral I have experienced this tea so far, perhaps I steeped it differently but I am not timing anything tonight.
There is the scent of burnt sugar, and flowers, and rich cream or unseated butter. After three steeps I am still picking up the cup and inhaling deeply and I am drinking in the aroma of white flowers. As it cools and softens, I smell the soft scent of baby powder with its sharpness, side by side with middle tones of exotic flowers, deep and mysterious. The oolong has weight and thickness now.
I held up the little white cup in this dark room as I refilled it, and the candle was right behind it. The flame shone through the cup and the soft yellow tea, and illuminated the steam dancing sinuously upward. Beautiful. I wondered if this is why the Chinese revere dragons – the breath of the dragon rising from the magnificent cup of peace…
If I could, I would scent my sheets with this aroma and float off into sweet dreams. I would dot it behind my ear and on my neck, to bless those I embrace. I am seriously infatuated with this tea.
Thank you, Tea Ave.
This may seem like a odd thing to say, but I find the leaves of this tea very attractive, the size and shape are very much like a Da Hong Pao that I enjoy. The first grade has smaller leaves and I expect they are sweeter when tested side by side, but I love the rich, organic look of a large twisted leaf.
The tea is very good and hubby and I both enjoyed it. It resteeps well, and was sweet and without bitterness. it is more woodsy with only a bare hint of the chocolate aroma (milk chocolate specifically) that I found in the first grade. Very good shu.
I was going to review this Saturday with the reactions of the birthday crowd, but unfortunately they had colds and could say nothing more than that they thought it was a good one! No other nuance could be detected through the haze of Cool Menthol salve under their noses.
Hubby and I had it again tonight. When the water hit the dry leaves, and even as I doled them out, I thought it had the horsey aroma pretty strong, that didn’t come through in the steep. The most surprising thing to me was that I smelled melted milk chocolate in the aroma cup, which I am using frequently with puerh now, and when I sipped. I checked my hands for any residue from the single square of Bissinger’s salted Dulce de Leche I had eaten, but there was nothing. It was definitely coming from the tea, light but there.
I am not really timing this in my Kamjove, just watching the color. It is gorgeous color, too. The clear, sparkling fresh orange red of sweet iced tea in summer. Smooth and sweet, not drying, perhaps even one of the “wetter” teas I have drunk lately.
Hubby doesn’t go into detail. He says his palate isn’t refined enough yet. He will tell me when something isn’t a favorite. With this tea, he asked me several times what I thought of it, and told me several times that he thought it was really good. That is the highest compliment he pays.
Thank you, Wymm Tea, for sending these samples! I am looking forward to the rest!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Chocolate
I got tea for my birthday Saturday. Lots and lots of tea. One of them was this one!
I had this for breakfast, steeped it at full temp and for the maximum recommended time and was surprised at how light the color was. I didn’t worry because the aroma told me it was plenty strong enough.
This won’t kick your backside like a morning Assam, but I never go for that anyway. You don’t need it when you know you have to get outside and feed the chickens before they wake the whole neighborhood moo-ing for their breakfast. I don’t consider myself a morning person, but I have never wanted strong morning tea.
Though it isn’t a cup to slap you awake, it is one to pique your interest so that you find yourself fully awake to delve into the mysteries of the cup. It is nice and complex without being super strong. I noted a fruity, muscatel scent and flavor like Winey Keemun from Grace Rare Tea, but the classic keemun light smoke was on the end of the sip, too. This is nice for morning or afternoon.
You will get a hint of all those flavors listed in the main description, incredible as that sounds.
Adding this here to make sure the review is seen by anyone interested. This is also listed under the heading Aroma Cup Set.
We have listed tea ware in the past and I think this deserves a review!
I had fondled a set like this at a store about two hours from my home, and thought about getting it. Then Teaave sent one for reviewers to use with their teas. Their price is almost identical to the one I looked at, and it appears to be the very same set.
Using the aroma cup makes such a difference in your tea tasting experience. A lot of people drink tea at my house, and they are often tea newbies who are wanting to learn more, to experience something new and special. This set really makes it a “Wow” experience. People love watching the ceremony of pouring, capping, then flipping the cups, rolling the tall scent cup in their hands and wafting in some air, and then passing it around and sharing what nuances and notes they find.
I started out using it with the oolongs they sent to me, and then started using it for…puerh! Yes, it is fabulous with many types and tea and SO MUCH FUN. We tea lovers don’t just drink tea, we experience it as fully as possible – color, taste, aroma. This set adds a whole new dimension to the enjoyment and the friendly sharing and ceremony.
The tray is such a nice touch, and I love that they had their name put on the bottom instead of the top. It seems more tasteful to me. I actually used the tray yesterday to hold some small serving utensils when we were tasting cheese. I plan to add their Al Fresco Tray to my tea ware collection soon.
I served this to a tea newbie guest last night. I like sharing tea samples because I want to increase the exposure of products for the tea companies who share with us, and I don’t try to influence anyone, nor will I claim to like something I don’t.
We used the aroma cup set and my friend said she thought the tea was delicate and tasty, and she could detect the floral notes but couldn’t specify exactly what flowers it reminded her of. Neither of us are familiar with ginger lily, but I would love to find one someday and see how the scent compares with the scent of the tea.
I would love for her to try their Dong Ding someday, because she seems to be a roasted oolong kind of gal! She did like this one, though.