1693 Tasting Notes
I had two nice surprises today. I found this rice pattern tea set at an estate sale for $5. I almost didn’t get it because I really don’t NEED it, but who could possibly leave it there when it is only $5?
Then I got home and discovered that my samples from Zen Tea had arrived! These are very nice size samples, too, leaving plenty of room for experimentation.
I love roasted oolongs and I especially love monkey-picked tieguanyins. I was glad to see steeping instructions on the front of the packet so I didn’t have to stop and check the instructions online.
The dry leaves are large and very dark, and you can readily tell by smell that this is a dark roasted oolong. After steeping the liquor is a beautiful golden color, very pretty in my double walled glass cups.
The flavor is nice and follows through on its roasted aroma like a memory of the processing it went through. This reminds me a little of a Da Hong Pao. There are hints of spice and baked apricots – you know the ones near the edge of the cobbler where things start to get crispy. The more I drink, the more the flavor is lingering. As it cools, it just keeps getting better. Yum!
The description says this is a good tea for digestion, and I am grateful because I am trying to get off of omeprazole and need all the help I can get!
This resteeps well and seems to be a very good quality oolong tea. Thank you, Zen Tea, for the opportunity to try it!
Oh, and all you folks who are getting into matcha, keep an eye on Zen Tea’s site. They have a great sifter like you see in videos but I have NEVER been able to find, but they are sold out right now. I want one!
Edited to add: One of the waitresses read the canister to me tonight. I had to ask her to repeat the name of this tea several times because i couldn’t understand her at first and it was noisy in there. I was right! It was indeed oolong tea, specifically Da Hong Pao! This is the most unusual one I have tried, smelling richly of chocolate and less nutty than some, but oh so smooth.
We went to the Asian buffet to get take out last night, and the young man at the cash register heard me on the phone with youngest asking her to make a pot of Silver Jasmine Green to go with it. He asked about the tea I liked, and pulled a pretty red canister with decorations out from under the counter. It was quite large.
In the past when we were dining in, I had asked if they had tea and they responded, “Black”. He told me that this was the tea the waitresses drank. I asked where they got it and he said they got it from China, and that most of his waitresses came from Fujian. I asked what kind it was and he wasn’t sure. He said he only knew that it was high in caffeine. I asked how they made it, and he said they put it in a cup and watch the leaves, maybe ten minutes, he didn’t know. Then he said they just wait for the leaves to enlarge and then they drink it.
Well, ten minutes sure didn’t sound right to me! I am guessing that he doesn’t drink tea or they would have been sharing this with him. He did mention that his brother drinks tea so that reinforces my belief that he doesn’t. I sure am glad he cared to talk to me about tea, though!
He got out a take out soup container and asked if I would like to try it. LOL! OF COURSE I WANT TO TRY IT! IT IS TEA! AND I HAVE NEVER HAD THIS ONE!!! He sent a generous sample home with me.
Since tea for supper was already being made I saved it for today. As I told the cashier when he opened the canister and held it out to me, these leaves smell super chocolatey. The leaves are huge, I mean HUGE, and so very dark. I would say they are black and deep army green.
I steeped a bit in my 4 ounce gaiwan for about thirty seconds. The chocolate aroma persists, similar to the aroma of Chun Mei from Teavivre, but it doesn’t taste the same as Chun Mei.
This has great strength and body, lots of flavor, and really isn’t grassy, sour, or astringent. I wonder if this may even be some type of oolong? I have made two steeps and they were both great. Now I just need to find out what it is!
All of my Teavivre orders have come very quickly until these last two. They took weeks to get here! Teavivre shipped them quickly, but even USPS held on to them for a long time once they hit the US. Next time, I may upgrade my shipping if I want it here faster.
This is a tea worth waiting for – sweet, grape-y to me, though daughter says it smells like honeysuckle to her. A delicious jasmine with a nice green base that isn’t hidden by the floral taste. The jasmine is natural and not perfume-y.
This is the third matcha I drank with my daughter today. For this one I simply swirled the powder in a water bottle with less than an ounce of water. Once it was thoroughly dissolved, I added cold water to about the 12 ounce mark. Delicious and flavorful, this is refreshing and tasty with no sugar at all.
More lattes, this time with daughter! This is sweet and candy-ish even with only a teaspoon of sugar added to the eight ounces milk and 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder. With the robust flavor level, I get excellent caramel taste even with so little matcha. Delicious! Definitely a keeper.
Oh my, these notes might be short because I am all tea’ed out. My oldest daughter came to visit today and she was eager to try this matcha. She liked her latte made with it so much she asked for a second one after she finished the first. Then we made it whisked in hot water and tried it with and without sugar. We liked it best without.
I was glad she loved it so much, because I was afraid she was going to love the caramel and then she and her dad would have to duke it out over who gets to keep it. LOL! Thank goodness, they each have a SEPARATE favorite!
I ate way too much from the snackie plate at writers’ group tonight and my tummy was not pleased. I had one guest and her daughter still here and asked if she would like to try some puerh. She likes a lot of different foods – more than I do – and experiments a lot when cooking, so she was game!
We only made two steeps of this, but that was enough to make my overstuffed belly start going again. My guest liked it a lot, said it tasted like leather (good for her!) and noticed the oil in this one. I love that about this puerh – the “cedar beams polished for a hundred years” coating that forms on your lips and in your mouth.
In spite of all this caffeine in all this tea, I am being lulled to sleep by all the L-theanine.
This was the iced tea I served this evening. It was light and refreshing, but I felt like Mr. Hibiscus was showing himself a little more than usual. This was made hot, the leaves were resteeped and added to the pitcher and 1/4 cup German rock sugar was added to it and stirred in well while it was hot. It chilled in the refrigerator and like most flavored iced teas, tastes better after the second day to me. Nice.
Tonight was writers’ group night at my house, but we had a smaller crowd than usual. Do you know what that means? More freedom and time to make more tea and drink oneself into a sloshy stupor.
This was the first thing I made since I knew hubby would be wanting his when he got home from the gym. This time there was at least as much froth as there was liquid! One person who drank it said it tasted like pistachio pudding or ice cream. She couldn’t believe how sweet it tasted when she had seen me sprinkle in such a small amount of sugar.
Hubby downed his mug quickly, as usual, and came in the living room sadly pointing into his empty mug. He really loves this!
This is a free sample that I won in a Facebook giveaway by Teaves Tea Company. I have held off trying it until my tastebuds were more cooperative because I wanted to give it a fair and thorough tasting.
The aroma of the dry leaves is not simple peach. The very generously sized package says this is oolong tea, osmanthus flowers, jasmine flowers, and natural flavors. I pulled a white chunk out of the dry mix and popped it in my mouth. Mmmmm, pretty sure that was a dried peach bit and it was delicious. But there is something else here, something extra that I can’t put my finger on because I am not as brilliant with flavors as so many of you are. At first I thought it was a hint of vanilla, then I thought chocolate, then BRANDY! I don’t know if I have ever had brandy – I don’t drink because I tried it when I was young and it REALLY wasn’t a good idea for me, LOL! But this is what I imagine a rich brandy would smell like, and I can imagine pulling someone from dangerous frigid waters and pouring this very thing down their throat for immediate comfort and warmth.
Because the sample is so large, I want to try it hot even though they say it is typically enjoyed iced. The first steep is dark for a oolong. I am drinking it from my double walled tiny glass cups and the color is just beautiful. It is a peachy orange amber, so clear and shining. The peach flavor is the dominant one, of course, and I would say this tastes like a hot, bubbling peach cobbler, freshly baked, rather than like a peach just picked off the tree. The jasmine is light and comes across as a sweetness, but it isn’t strong enough to be off-putting to people who don’t like jasmine.
The second steep is fabulous! The color is a little lighter, I would call it a golden peach amber now. And the taste is a little lighter on peach now and the osmanthus is stepping forward and making this taste lemony – a fresh lemon taste, not a tart, puckery lemon taste. It reminds me of the hard candies that come in a little round tin at our local German grocery. A hint of dryness makes me think this would be fantastic for pairing with food.
This was really great! Thank you, Teaves, for the opportunity to try your tea! I plan to try it iced as well, because there is more than enough here to try lots of different ways!