2204 Tasting Notes
A few years ago, my daughter, Superanna, bought some teas I had been wanting for me for my birthday. I was surprised and asked how she knew I wanted them and she said that she had checked my Steepster wishlist.
This year, no longer content to stalk me via wish list, she contacted Mary Bao at Teavivre and asked her to put together a recommended gift list based on my reviews and likes, and Mary came through in a big way! WOW!
This is one of the teas I received. I had tried a sample of it once and it is even better than I remembered. I made it Sunday morning while my future daughter-in-law, ChelseaR, and I were having a chat as I ate breakfast. I showed her the adorable little spirals before steeping. So cute, but meaningless unless the tea is good.
One would usually be distracted by the conversation and not notice one’s tea as much, but this one stopped me in my tracks.
Oh my, that first sip! Golden raisin flavor, bright, molasses, honey, sunshine, thick – I stammered and had to restrain myself from growling sweet nothings into my cup that may have been perceived as naughty and strange by my company. This had layers of flavor to dive into and explore.
Thank you, Superanna, for all the tea, and thank you, Mary Bao, for going above and beyond in customer service. Thank you, Teavivre, for furnishing these tea heads on here with high quality, affordable tea.
After browsing Red Leaf Tea and reading lots of revIews, I took a chance that this was my best bet for a good unflavored matcha that would compare favorably with KaiMatcha Premium, which is very hard to find “in stock.”
I am happy to say that this has turned out to be a very good choice. I compared it side by side with KaiMatcha and the color was nearly the same, perhaps this being a tiny bit less vibrant but almost unnoticeable. I am assuming this is harvested in summer since that is when the Tanabata Festival takes place.
I whisked it in 160F water and got a good froth with my little whisk. I sifted, so there are no lumps or clumps, and it sifts pretty easily. As I drink the large bowl of matcha, I give it a swirl near the finish to keep the tea well mixed. Enjoying this immensely.
This is a good value, in my opinion.
I love having a bowl of matcha with just one – just ONE – Lindt truffle. This is my special treat that I try to fit in every day, though I sometimes miss!
Miraculously, this is my first tea of the day. I had a quick, light breakfast checking the news constantly to see if daughter’s school was cancelled. I can not remember school ever being cancelled here for tornado watches, but it was today. And the day flew away from me texting neighbor’s who are new to southern storms what to do, and texting kids and friends to see if they were okay. Several times, youngest and I paused, listened, and started to head for our “safe spot” but it turned out to be a hard downburst each time. There were tornadoes all around us, but I have not heard of any severe damage in our area.
What a delight to try this tea tonight. After tasting it, I am thrilled that there is at least one more sample pack. I am also broken-hearted that there is only one more sample pack.
I am surprised this is puerh. The company description is a little confusing. It is listed under both puerh and black tea, the package says it has both, but the online description only mentions puerh. Technically, puerh is made from Yunnan leaves and Dian Hong is Yunnan leaf so….I don’t know.
What I do know is that this tea smelled like burnt brown sugar, a whole pot of it. And a tiny hint of sweet potato. The package said to use 200 ml of water and I used my little gong fu pot. I steeped until I saw nice color, not for five minutes like the package said.
This was delicious and memorable and when I get my stash low enough, I plan to splurge and get some more of this because I really loved it.
My daughter picked this up in Toronto last year during the tea festival. We served it for tea party with an Italian Cream Cake that youngest made. It went very well with the cake. It is fairly strong but not bitter and not too astringent, has the heft to taste like tea even when you are eating something incredibly sweet and rich like that cake. Malty, bready, breakfasty. And a hint of
I would love to have more of the maple flavor tea they got there. So good….
This is a sipdown years in the making. I love Christmas, but I rarely love ANY Christmas tea. I have had only one or two that I loved. This one is good enough but not a repurchase for me unless someone else in the house wants it. To be fair, most people love it but I don’t dig the standard Christmas tea blend.
The black base is good, the clove dominates to me but when there is clove it generally stands out to me. The cinnamon comes next and then the orange, which is pretty light, I thought.
We are working hard on getting older teas out, and I am finally down to about 125 in the cupboard. As I have gone in the delete some of these, I am also discovering that there are some teas I haven’t added to my cupboard . That doesn’t include samples and swaps, so I have a long way to go…
Steepster has GOT to be eating my tasting notes, because I can’t believe that I haven’t written one on this tea before. I have had gallons of it.
This is my puerh of the evening, hoping to combat the kind of horrible reflux that awakened me in the wee hours this morning.
This tea comes as small coin shapes that are scored across the middle so they easily break in half, somewhat like a tuocha in volume and diameter. I have had my “tube” for over a year. It was a Christmas surprise from hubby, purchased at Tin Roof Teas in Raleigh, NC..
This is an earthy puerh, not too strong and not fishy. I made two steps with a half coin, and the color is a medium orange “normal” black tea color, not the inky black you sometimes get with shu puerh.
This has been especially delightful tonight, as it is getting a wonderful oily body as it cools a little in the pot. I would call it creaminess, but when that thick mouthfeel appears in a puerh with mineral taste added in, I always think of oil, the way Murphy’s Oil Soap smells to me.
Good stuff! I will probably get another three steps or so out of this tomorrow.
This is a tea bag that was included with my Christmas card from K S. Thank you, K S!
I have looked up and added the ingredients to the description for a special reason.
First, when I tasted this tea it reminded me very strongly of Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, but wasn’t exactly the same. I had expected it to taste like Constant Comment. Since I couldn’t quite put a finger on what was different, I googled the ingredients. They were not listed on the pouch the bag came in.
In googling it, I found an article about how natural flavor in the ingredient list can mean something we don’t really consider to be natural. They specified this tea as an example and said the company was not forthcoming when they pressed for details about the flavors and how they are made and where they come from, and the article then listed a whole lot of companies that use “natural flavors”, with most of the biggies being in that list, including Teavana. There were only a few companies that use only all natural ingredients.
I do not refute that there is some stuff going in our foods that shouldn’t be there, and I do not take issue with this person’s concerns. We NEED to be informed about our food supply! Read the article. It is worth a read.
What I disagree with was their belief that something was “up”, shall we say, for this tea to be so sweet without sugar. Thanks to Harney and Sons HCS and Penzey’s Cinnamon Blend, I can tell you that when you put the right cinnamons together, you get a super sweet tasting final product.
I did not leave the bag in my cup. I used boiling and gave it close to four minutes steep. While the cinnamon was on top, the ginger was right there blasting away. It added a ton of sweetness in my opinion. Ginger is usually hot to me, and I avoid things that contain a lot of ginger because I don’t like the heat. I can take it and even enjoy it in small amounts. But something about the synergy of this cinnamon with all those herbs and the blast of ginger made me really, really enjoy this cuppa.
I don’t do bagged tea, but if I had to take tea bags with me somewhere, this would probably be one of them.
This is a sipdown and that beautiful tin is now empty. What am I going to do with all the beautiful tins? I can’t keep them all! I have given away tons of them, and recycled some, and redecorated some.
This is a really decadent French tea, as only the French can do. This is sweet and flavorful, even without sugar, and I really don’t know how they capture that flavor I call “pastry crust” but when I went back and drank some of this cold, the front of the sip was like biting into a piece of pie. Given the opportunity, I will restock this one.
I can’t believe I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard, mostly because this is the special large sachet that is specially made for PF Changs and I called their wholesale division and offered to buy a case if they would sell it to me even though they don’t list it as available to the public. They sold me the case and I divided it among friends and family.
The instructions say to pour boiling water over and leave the bag in, encouraging customers to go ahead and fill their cups when you get it to the table, and then you resteep. Whatever they did at the restaurant worked, but those parameters did not do well at home.
Today I gave it three minutes in 180F water. It was beautiful. So very citrus-y. I agree that the white tea looks quite dark for a white tea. I only did two steeps because it just didn’t seem like it could handle more.
I noticed that the sachet was big and crunchy, so I cut it open to pour in the compost and the leaves were a very nice size! It was pretty much whole leaf tea in a sachet, with good sized bits of something – probably peel – but I didn’t have time to investigate much.
I am really enjoying this. Had three pots total today of just this one.