1692 Tasting Notes
This is the last of a free sample sent by Teavivre. Thank you, Mary, Angel, and Teavivre!
I chose this as the final tea of tea party. Normally a white tea would have been served first and we would progress to darker, stronger, or more flavored teas. But today I wanted hefty black tea to go with our food, and I used this as a “wind down” tea for relaxing and chatting after eating.
If any jasmine tea can compete with Teavivre’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls for the top spot in my heart, this would be it. The jasmine is sweet and not soapy, the tea has great body and color, and everything about it whispers, “quality.” I say it whispers because those two jasmine teas are the ultimate relaxation to me and neither would ever scream. You might even say it purrs.
Aaaahh! Very good, my guest loved it, I loved it. I am thinking this will probably be on my next Teavivre order, which I will be making very soon because I have to order for a couple of friends who came to tea and can’t live without Jasmine and Taiwanese Ginseng Oolong.
I chose this as the second tea to go with our fudge brownies and strawberries. This was the favorite tea of my guest, although she said that all three teas today were winners. The strawberry is a very true, straight strawberry natural flavor. The black tea base is quite good, reminding me of the French tea bases that are less astringent…many French teas have an astringency or bite that turns me off. This base was not at all astringent, but sweet and smooth while still being able to cut through the strawberry flavor so that you taste the tea as well. Excellent. Lupicia hasn’t disappointed us yet.
It’s tea party day! Hooray!
We reversed the way we usually serve tea today. Customarily we would serve the lightest tea first and progress to flavored or bolder ones. But today I really wanted to start with our warm, fudgy brownies topped with chilled sugared strawberries, and I was in the mood for a heartier tea to go with it, so we began with Hunan Golden Twist.
What can I say? It was better than ever and tasted delicious with our food. It is malty and bready, yet smooth with no astringency at all. There is a light smokey maple bacon taste, but that was less noticeable with food. So sad we can’t get this anymore!
I haven’t had this one in a few weeks, and last night’s trial of Mighty Leaf’s Jasmine tea in bags made me question whether this was really as good as I was remembering.
It is. Ordering my third pouch now.
I probably should not have purchased this tonight. I don’t need it, but I rationalized it well enough to throw it in the grocery cart. It isn’t really for me, said I to myself, it is for my friend! And I have to taste it first to see if it is any good.
A friend came over for tea and ended up leaving me a list of teas to order for her, including almost a hundred bucks worth from Harney and Sons. After her tea got here, she realized that she is about to go on a trip and had ordered all loose leaf. She was distressed at the thought of having to drink restaurant tea, so I decided to put together a little gift for her of some tiny decorated envelopes with tea sachets in. The problem is I have very few, as almost all of mine is loose leaf, too!
She had fallen in love with Teavivre’s Jasmine Dragon Pearls, so I bought this as hopefully a decent substitute. But phooey….it really isn’t nearly as good. And it certainly isn’t cheap! Comparing the two, you get a lot more bang for your buck with Teavivre.
The good things – it is organic, the bag is nice cloth that really lets the leaves breathe and is biodegradable, it resteeps well, it isn’t cloying, it isn’t soapy, it isn’t horrible. I can drink this, and probably would like it better if I hadn’t already had the other one.
The cons – it is very expensive compared to buying a superior(Teavivre’s) loose product, the green base got a little bitter even though I thought I kept the water temp low enough and the time carefully down to three minutes. The resteep is better than the first having less bitterness.
Now to decide if it makes the cut into my friend’s gift…
I had originally purchased this hoping my girls would love it for their breakfast/school tea. They liked it the first time they drank it, then decided they wanted to stick with what they were already drinking. This is getting old, so I wanted to use it up quickly, and that means a pitcher of iced tea! I lightly sweetened it so hubby would (hopefully) drink it.
I tried it today with a friend. We drank it as is, lightly sweetened and my friend liked it and said it as plenty sweet enough for her. Daughter said she couldn’t detect any sugar. Uh-oh, Dad likely will not enjoy it, then! I added home made cherry simple syrup just for kicks, and thought that was pretty good, too, so maybe that is how I will entice the hubster to drink it.
I have made two steeps of this so far this morning and it is so good. The store description really is accurate. Since I bought this, my palate has developed a lot and I am able to describe and understand this tea better.
I did a quick wash of the leaves today, which I don’t think I have done in the past. These leaves do not swell nearly as much as some oolongs I have tried, but they put out a lot of flavor. The first sniff brought a little sweet smoke, minerals, and the dark roasty sweetness of roasted fruit sugar, the aroma of a Maillard reaction, as someone else noted. Smoke, grilled peach, and caramelized sugar.
I am trying to whittle down my stash and decide which teas I just have to replace when they are gone. At first I thought Wenshan Baozhong would be the one staying on the shelf, but today’s tasting gives this one the upper hand, I think.
Sip down! If you can call a forty ounce pot a sip down, that is.
I have all the young folks at my house again for the weekend, so five people between the ages of 14 to 22. We did yoga together this morning and I made a huge pot of this and put my tetsubin on a warmer so we could all enjoy it all morning long. Then the young folks did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred while I cooked! I am glad I had the cooking as an excuse because it sounded like that workout would have shredded me.
Maybe it is because this is old, but I am not getting tons of floral notes from this. Holding it out to each of the kids to sniff, I got “vegetal”, “fresh cut grass mixed with woods”, and “fresh cut grass with honeysuckle.” What I taste is a little vegetal, lots of walnut. This was tasty!
I will be repurposing the tin to hold my remaining loose leaf Tower of London by removing the clear printed name label on the gold label and replacing it with a computer printed clear return address label so it blends nicely on the tea shelf. Yes, that is a bit OCD, but my house is pretty messy, really. :D
I made three steeps of this tonight, gong fu style, and mixed them. I still have enough of my sample to do this one more time. Hooray!
I went out with hubby for Chinese buffet tonight and this is my dessert. (Unless I cave and go to CookOut and get the 99 cent shake of the week which is cappuccino in which case THAT will be my dessert but we won’t talk about that right now. Then this will just be my after dinner tea.)
I did a quick wash of the leaves before steeping. They were nicely opening up when I made the first steep, but still not completely there. The liquor is a soft, golden yellow. There is a hint of astringency, not in a bad way. I am drinking this because a couple of days ago the memory of oolong suddenly it my mouth and I have been craving it ever since. For some reason, though, I have been having tea only with guests and have made flavored or plain black tea every time.
This is truly lemony, especially when you are not pairing it with food. It does pair well with food, but right now…Oof. Too much food in my tummy already!
I received this in a swap with Liberteas. Thank you!
This was served yesterday at tea party, but I was unable to get two of my teas logged because Steepster wouldn’t let me! I also noticed that some reviews and likes from way back seem to be gone! :( Ah well!
I try to provide variety at tea party, which used to be pretty difficult since almost everyone only drank black tea at first. Now everyone is getting more adventurous and I can serve oolongs and greens. Hallelujah!
I am not usually a fan of green apples except when baked in a pie, but it lent nice flavor to this blend. The front of the sip had a dark caramel flavor, and the green apple left a tingle at the end. Nice blend!
Thank you, Liberteas!