1817 Tasting Notes
This was a free sample included in one of my latest Teavivre orders.
I made three steeps in a row and tasted a sip of the first, then poured all three steeps into my new Chinese pot. But, OOPS! I didn’t look at the online instructions so I just used one heaping teaspoon of leaf for eight ounces of water. Now I see that they recommend much more than that. In spite of that foul up on my part, this is good tea!
I am feeling philosophical tonight and have a lot on my mind, so I lit the candle, turned on yoga radio on Pandora, and made tea. This is a great tea for such an evening. Now everyone else is abed and I more or less have the house to myself!
This oolong is rich and nutty. It doesn’t have quite as dark and roasted flavor as some oolongs, but is definitely not a green oolong. I really want to learn more about tea – the types of plants, their geographical origins and specialities. I feel inept describing this, but I can say it reminds me of a Monkey Picked TieGuanYin a bit, with the flavor leaning a bit more to walnut. There is a lovely lingering aftertaste that I find comforting.
The rice pattern Chinese pot I bought for $5 (for the whole set of pot and five cups) is handling beautifully, too. This is my inaugural use of it and I have never had a pot with the spout that goes up and then curls back downward, though I have heard they are supposed to drip less. This one pours nicely and the downward turn seems to slow the tea so you don’t splash without slowing to the point of impatience, which is how with one of my pots I end up tipping it too far to speed things up and end up spilling out of the lid. And indeed, I have not seen any dripping. So hooray for that! I needed to try it out tonight because someone is coming for tea tomorrow and I wanted to give it a test drive before using it then.
This is a sample provided for review by Zen Tea. Thank you for the generous samples!
The name of this tea is CURLED Dragon Silver Tip, so why was I surprised when I poured out some leaves and they were curled? LOL! I don’t think I have ever seen a green tea curled this way, only oolongs. This is really pretty, so into my little glass pot it goes! The little dragons are green and white and the dry leaf smells very nice – floral with a bare hint of mineral. I want to watch this pretty tea steep. All steeps were two minutes. I think next time I make this I will try a three minute steep and see what happens! My samples were large enough to play with the parameters a bit.
First steep: the leaves are only partially unfurled and the liquor is pale. The aroma is sweet and floral, with a hint of buttered sweet vegetables. The taste matches the aroma – buttery, floral, fairly light, not sour or bitter, the taste of sweet, tender vegetables. Very nice!
Second steep: the leaves are fully expanded now. This is a very nice green tea that you could enjoy every day. There is no sour taste and it is sweet, smooth, and mild. The more you drink this, the more flavor lingers on the tongue. There is a tiny bit of pleasant drying, not much.
Third steep: pale peachy gold, very pale. Aroma now faint, flavor lighter but present. The third steep is really a stretch for me but you could probably do three rapid steeps in succession and combine them in one pot as I sometimes do and let all the flavor levels of the steeps blend and balance each other. Or just use two steepings!
Thank you, Zen Tea! This is a lovely green, both in appearance and flavor!
This is a sample I received from LiberTeas. Many thanks! It has taken me too long to get to it, but I am glad I have it for tonight. I am trying to psych myself up to finish one more stripe on the Doctor Who scarf I am knitting for youngest while watching Upstairs Downstairs. This is a lovely tea quite worthy of being sipped during Masterpiece Theater.
(Funny side note: about a year ago my eldest daughter told us with great excitement that she had been watching really old Sesame Street reruns and had only just put together the whole Allistair Cookie and Monsterpiece Theater bit. LOL!)
This is a nice Sencha base, not at all masked by the flavors, but very nicely balanced. The cherry is definitely the foremost of the flavors but the rose follows up and adds a gentle seriousness to the cup.
Thank you for sharing, Liberteas!
Edited to add: I made it! Whew! Tomorrow I should hit the 3/4 point.
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.
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!