2197 Tasting Notes
I love Tie Guan Yin. Sometimes I crave the greener types and decide they are my favorite, and then I start craving a nice roasty one. Charcoal baked in the title promises this to be roasty, but I was pretty taken aback at the instructions. Six minutes for a oolong? I was chicken and gave it five.
This was served as the first tea of tea party today. We had cream cheese cucumber sandwiches first, followed by fudge pie with homemade vanilla ice cream. The tea was good with the sandwiches but OH MY GOSH it was awesome with the sweets. We make our own vanilla and it seemed really strong in the ice cream today, and when I sipped the tea the floral taste exploded. This is definitely a baked oolong, but it isn’t quite as dark and smokey as some I have had. The sweets really brought a lot of personality out in this. I know how I will be serving it henceforth.
Fragrant is right on for this tea’s description. Fine tobacconist’s shop springs to mind first. I tried it gong fu and Western and got a whole afternoon’s worth of tea out of one sample packet.
Gong fu – the first steep was mild and pleasant. It had the flavors you expect in a Yunnan Dian Hong – sweet potato, a little walnut. Maybe light molasses. Second steep went a couple of seconds too long. WOW. Dark and rich, slightly astringent but good. Third steep – more careful with time but the leaves are now saturated and it steeps up very quickly. There is that definite aged sheng taste and feel.
Next I tried Western with the same leaves. Yes, got a whole pot that was rich in flavor from those same leaves. This is milder and sweeter. I had the gong fu tea by itself and the Western with a meal. It was great with food. At this price point, this is a fun tea to get to experiment with and try something new and different.
This is one of the samples of the new harvest that Teavivre sent me this week. I have had a Tai Ping before but I can’t find my review of it.
I have had a lot of tea lately, but it has been at breakfast or iced at a meal or with lots of company. I looked forward to having a quiet tea time with my best friend, steeping and resteeping and really having a chance to experience our tea.
I love the unique shape of these leaves and the pleasure of steeping them in a glass so you can see them dance and then soften and bend. The long, flat leaves stand straight up at first, and then begin to sag as the leaves saturate. It is really nice to watch in a tall, thin glass. Let yourself go and really lift and turn the glass and enjoy the movement, letting your hands join in the dance of the leaves.
The liquor is pale yellow to medium yellow (second steep). The overall taste is smooth and sweet. The second steep was stronger but never astringent. We kept all steeps at three minutes or less. You can go to five if you like it stronger. I think it would be a great introduction to green tea for people who have been turned off but bitter or sour grocery store, and the beauty of steeping it adds so much.
Then hubby and I had it again for supper tonight, made differently. Instead of drinking three individual steeps I placed the leaves in my large Kamjove that I bought from Teavivre. I made three consecutive steeps and let them combine in the pitcher before pouring any. It made a lovely, smooth green tea with buttery notes to drink along with our Asian takeout.
If I were introducing a tea “scaredy-cat” to green tea, I think this would be a great choice, even over Dragonwell. For those who love the bite of astringency with or after a meal, I am not sure if this would be your best choice unless you give it a full five minutes, which the label says can be done, by the way.
Thank you, Teavivre, for the samples. This is a really good one!
As promised, we tried it iced today, and sweetened. Youngest really thought it was the worst hot, and said it was okay cold. Just okay. Hubby tried it and said, “It isn’t terrible. It’s pretty good.”
I thought it tasted okay, not the worst by a long shot but if you don’t like anise, this isn’t a good tea for you. Once it is cold and sweetened it reminds me of those blends that have licorice root in them for sweetness. I like those, so this is okay to me, and certainly not “The Worst.” I will definitely drink it all cold this summer.
Another of my Mother’s Day teas. I can’t explain it, but I definitely felt like a renegade drinking it. I have always said that I badly want to be a “runs with scissors” but I am undeniably a diehard “plays well with others.”
I had this at breakfast and I felt…like a bad seed. Like a biker chick. Like someone with some sass. Don’t know how it works, but it works. So it might be a good tea for you if you need a little help in the mornings to get up and going, and have a “can do” attitude to boot.
I think my daughter bought this for me because she was intrigued by the name. The verdict: eldest and youngest daughters say it is The Worst! LOL Son-in-law and I say it isn’t bad. Smells interesting. Tastes okay, and I am really, really eager to try it iced because I think it just might be fantastic. I will let you know.
I agree with their description. This is a polarizing tea. You might hate it. If you don’t like anise or black licorice you won’t like it. But otherwise, you just might crave it.
A long while back I discovered through a Facebook feed that the son of a family that we once went to church with had opened a tea shop – you know, the “your friend of this other friend liked this other friend’s post.” I told my eldest daughter about it because they were in youth group together. She and youngest surprised me with teas from his shop for Mother’s Day!
This one was everyone’s favorite. The cardamom is so good… I love the light, lemony flavor of cardamom. The coconut adds a creamy sweetness. And it resteeps super well. That is a huge bonus!i can’t wait to share this was my bestie, who loves white tea and coconut, and is about to fall in love with cardamom, whether she knows it or not.
I have been drinking tons of this tea lately. When I pulled up the page I had to click add to cupboard. Strange, because I think I am on my second pouch of this and have another waiting in the wings.
My first note says it tasted like milk chocolate, but drinking it cold today I am tasting rich, roast grain and walnut, walnut, WALNUT.
An old acquaintance came by a couple of months ago to get a keyboard I was giving away. We hadn’t seen each other in about fourteen years. I gave her tea and we chatted a while, and then I start seeing boxes of tea in her Facebook page! Ha ha! Yay! A new recruit! She and her husband are such nice people. When you meet anyone who knows, that is the first thing they say…“Such great people!”
So after that day, she sends me a message that she was out of town and saw a spice company and got something for me. (I had also given her some Penzey’s cinnamon to take home to try.) She was letting me know that she was mailing the package.
I was expecting a small jar of spices or something, and pretty excited to try it, but lo and behold when it arrives it is a big box with a set of four Japanese style teacups and a parcel of this tea! Wow! Just wow! It was such a blessing and I could hardly believe it!
I am pretty sure this is the same tea that Tealux sells as the descriptions are identical. I looked at the Spice Merchants website and many of their teas have to be from Harney and Sons…same names and identical descriptions.
We have already finished half the package of tea! This is so mild that even my friend who isn’t fond of bergamot could hardly taste any, but liked it. She really got vanilla and fruity as her main impressions. Youngest seemed to like it a lot, too. I do smell the bergamot but don’t find it overpowering or sour here. I didn’t see the short steep time and probably gave it four minutes, but it didn’t hurt anything.
I may need to plan a little day trip to Wilmington to check this place out!
I love this tea. I don’t have it often enough. A long time ago a friend came over – the one who introduced me to Harney and Sons, albeit it was the sachets at B&N rather than their loose leaf – and I gave her some of this. She had a strange reaction, saying she wasn’t sure if she liked it but she absolutely had to have it. She has had me order it for her several times and I have given it to her as a gift in the past. She knows now that it is a tea “true love.” Both of us have tried ginseng oolong from other companies and not liked it nearly as well as this one from Teavivre.
Today she came over for one last visit before she moves. She said she is out of this but won’t let herself buy ANY tea until she is settled in the new house. She asked if we could have this old favorite for our tea time today. Of course, of course. The sweet, rich flavor lasts through multiple steeps, so it’s a great choice for a long chat.
You see, she isn’t just moving away. She has had health problems for a long time, and was finally diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis. She will be fine for a while, then have long periods of being unable to walk, or of having no energy, and now short term memory problems have started.
So we are not sure if we will see each other again, but have promised to email and send letters, and if she feels like receiving visitors I will hopefully get to drive up to her new home and take a walk with her and drink tea. It isn’t far, but when an episode hits she may not feel like having a visit for months at a time.
There are lots of happy tea moments; this one was a little bittersweet.