Thanks Indigobloom for this tea!
I love Pu-Ehr in the morning! Rich and delicious,this cup starts my day right.
The steep time here was 4 min. and produced a mild sweet bakery earthy aroma. I had rinsed earlier for 20 seconds.
The flavor was mild. Peppery on the tongue and barely earthy, with sweet salt and nice drinkability.
Whenever I find salt I am tempted to sweeten my tea to experience the contrast and see what flavors develop. When I did this, the earthiness rose up from hiding. Good! I do love this sweet savory tea!
I wasn’t going to do this but as an experiment I added milk and pow! Salty caramel heaven! I was surprised at how delish!
I’ve learned that a rinse is a good thing if you are weary of pu-erh’s, and try sweet or with milk or cream to see what your preference is!
604 Tasting Notes
Thanks Indigobloom for this tea!
Thanks again to Indigobloom for this sample!
I Googled this Lapacho when I read that this is an Andes inner bark herbal tea with medicinal properties. Hum. I wish I could ask my Aunt Lois if she ever used this herb. She lived in the jungles for many years and is a nurse in Ecuador and Peru. I’m sure that in the 1940’s-1990’s there were many things that she learned that are now forgotten in her Washington nursing home at age 92. She’s the one who told me to drink Mate de Coca (coca leaf tea) for my heart when I went to 15,000 ft. altitude in the Andes years ago. Anyway, Google said there are no known health benefits to date from Lapacho but there have been some ill effects to pregnant animals so pregnant women should be careful drinking the tea. This does not concern me at my age but others be advised.
All that being said…phew…I simmered this herbal blend on the stove for 15 minutes and poured myself a nice orange scented mug full. The flavor was sweet orange and had another very strong warm taste that I could not put my finger on. Almost a baked vanilla cookie while still warm from the oven taste. The tea has a fresh flavor and unique and is creamy. No bitterness or tannin.
There are those who are looking for the edge of the forest…looking to the fields and bushes, for the ancient herbs and cups of many cultures. This is one of those little gems.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
I do enjoy a good Silver Needle Tea! I also am a believer in the curative properties of White Tea in particular having had a cure on my palms of a skin condition that I suffered with for 20 years and that White Tea applications cleared away completely never to return now many years later. (I don’t buy it when other people tell me these things, I know…but this is true for me!) I prefer the BEST ORGANIC I can afford! When this arrived in my package of samples, I was anxious to try it.
Opening the pretty white individual packet, the silver needles were long and covered with white down. Lovely! With a steep time of 1-2 minutes there was no waiting time. I am so impatient! The wet needles were fragrant with a green-bean vegetal scent, not scented enough to fill the room. I expected a floral smell which was not there. Curious.
The flavor was quite mild, unlike any white tea or silver needle I’ve tasted before. So mild in fact that I would not be able to say this is silver needle in a blind tasting. It was a bit salty and juicy, more like linen than needle, not floral or vegital at all. It was a bit hazelnutty.
I broke down and sweetened it…maybe that would change the picture.
Oh Golly! (like that word) The sweetness with the salt grabs the guts of the tea and yanks the hidden not-to-sweet flavor of salted butterscotch! This was mega better good!
Now I had the roll going…sweet….slurping…salty butterscotch silver needle white tea! My taste buds are having a party because this is one of those flavors that all you need is some friends to stop by. You want to share a tea like this one. This just can’t be a Silver Needle!
This is a keeper!
I received this sample from Indigobloom…thank you!
My fibromyalgia pain has been kicking my butt the last week with aches but nothing I can’t handle. When I’m irritated during the night with this problem, a lovely Pu-erh sounds so good in the morning…well…I just can’t explain how good it is and settling on the stomach.
The bright gold and orange Teaopia bag was like sunshine today…PU-ERH for BONNIE…PICK ME! And I did!
My only Teaopia experience was last September after the great Alaska Cruise with my granddaughter Schey and her best friend. We spent a few days in upstate Washington at a condo and I drove to Metropolis Mall in Vancouver, B.C. which had a friendly Teaopia Store. (We went to the Mall for the free parking and because you catch the transit train there to central Vancouver!) So, Teaopia was my first intro to loose tea! Thank you!
For this brewing I did a 10 second rinse. My steep time was 5 minutes. I love a dark Pu-erh! This turned a velvet dark chocolate bar color without any harsh earthy aroma. My first sip was clean, mildly savory and salty like short ribs. I likeed how mellow the flavor was and the way you can sip straight up without adding anything to enhance or hide the naturally good flavor. The mouthfeel was rich and lightly juicy.
I know that many people (ME TOO) add milk and/or sweetening to morning tea so I went all the way. I made a latte and it was SUPURB! This did not become a ohhh caramel but more of a sweet, creamy/salty Payday Candy Bar!
This is a delicious loose Pu-erh…not expected at first…a brilliant tasty tea!
UPDATE I got some white vinegar and some balsamic vinegar and heated it up, then I took my used Pu-erh above in a stainless steeper and steeped in the vinegar for about 10 minutes off heat. After it cooled, I added salt and Urfa (also known as Isot) Pepper which is smokey and mild…almost sweet, flakes and a little EVOO. Here I go for my first evah Pu-erh vinegarette. Tastes good! (Most of the brew I put in a jar in the frig, the rest I made this vinegarette for arugula & cheese salad).
Thanks again Indigobloom for this sample!
At Church today, Mr. Finger and his family (the choir director…love the name) celebrated a clean bill of health from the Doctor after treatment for Bladder Cancer. The Orthodox tradition is to bake 5 big round loaves of sweet, spiced bread then prayers of thanks-giving are said and the Priest Blesses the bread and it is cut up for all the people to eat. This began a day of eating more than I usually do, smoked chicken, salad, greek yoghert and honey (wait there’s more). I do not feel guilty either.
I stopped on the way home at the neighborhood French Bakery (little bigger than a walk-in closet) and bought 2 chocolate and 1 hazelnut macaron. (and an apricot croissant).
I was now prepared for TV and TEA!
My evening choice of tea…after finishing the macaron’s was this Winter Blend. The evening had cooled off to the 40’s and this tea seemed appropriate. Being an herbal blend I was confident to let it steep 5 minutes for optimum flavor. Noticing the scent of hibiscus, I did not hesitate to add sweetening right off so that the first sip was sweet and full bodied. The ripe berry, spice, almond and vanilla is such a peculiar blend! Who would think to or dare to put such components together? But it worked! Instead of being a mash of confused flavors there was an intriguing “what was that?” delightful series of discoveries. There was warmth without overdone spiciness.
Sweet, little Winter Blend! And ok, I did eat too much!
Another lovely tea sample from IndigoBloom-let! Thank you Dearie!
A Scot’s got to have her Whisky don’t you think? Sooner or later, Bonnie of Stewart, Cameron, Johnstone is needin her DT Whisky White and thanks to I-Bloom up in the land of my Fathers (after leavin Scotland) in Canada, here I go.
Being somewhat of a know-it-all old person, I did not read the steeping time ahead. What for?!
Steep 1 = 4minutes YA HEARD ME RIGHT!
A bit honey gold and very flavorful. I can’t say I don’t appreciate the full flavor. It’s like a honey, ertzy banana, rye bread. If you put in a little sweetening it is more banana.
I looked at the directions online…OOPS…30-80 seconds recommended as a steep time!
Second steep = 45 seconds. SHOULD BE BETTER!
But, it smells like CLOROX! ADDED 30 more seconds! BAD SMELL IS GONE!
There is a lighter color and flavor. The banana flavor is not as strong which is ok depending on if you like that sort of thing or not. The rye bread taste is also faint but still there and the honey is very light. It is just a gentler version of the over-steeped first batch. You could do this tasting side by side and see which you prefer.
What did I do next…
I could not resist the classic Whisky and Lapsang Souchong pairing.
Whisky drinkers drink this classic smoked tea till they are passed out drunk!
Having a small cup of both tea’s (one sweet and one salty and smoky) proved to
be a delicious way to enjoy this Whisky White. It knocked out the banana flavor!
See what you think?!
I’m back I mixed a little LS and Whisky White together and the Bagpipes began to play!
(If you think I’m kidding about the two, Google “Whisky and Lapsang Souchong” Winston Churchill drank this combination).
Thank you Butiki Tea and Stacy for this sample!
Tonight I grilled a Ahi Tuna steak for a favorite sandwich. After grilling 1-2 minutes per side on a hot dry pan, rest the tuna a few minutes then cut into chunks. Dress with Soy sauce mixed with a little WASABI (um love it). Make a salad of chopped greens, cut up avacado, a little chopped green onion, fresh corn if you have it, a little jalapeno pepper if you want…tomato if you are not allergic like me…and mix with the tuna…then spritz with lime juice and put a glob of the mix on a hotdog type bun. This is really good! Should be enough to make a few sandwiches.
OK. What goes with this?
To follow my fab sandwich for dinner, I had this Coconut Cream Pie caffeine free Rooibos and watched a French Movie on Netflix in HD on my 60in big TV (this is the good life of a retired old lady!). Oh, and a piece of salted dark chocolate.
I think this tea is almost a vanilla coconut cream flavor. I am so thankful that Butiki knows how to create flavors that are pure without going sour in the mouth. It is a pet peeve of mine that some companies use flavoring that is like swigging out of a bottle of flavoring with the alcohol in it. YUK! This is GOOD flavor not the bad stuff! The aftertaste lingers pleasantly long afterwards with that mostly vanilla note. I was tempted to get creative and run for my Lapsang Souchong to add a little…but this is not about mixing tea this time around. Butiki deserves it’s own time spotlighting this tea!
Thank you lovely Indigobloom for this sample and many others!
I was humbled today with a big mailing of samples from Indigobloom! I’m like the old woman tucked away who sees family now and then, goes to the grocers and Church but otherwise is invisable in her little home. My friends are the fleeting words on Steepster which I enjoy so much. The kindness of so many samples today was more than I would have expected from anyone!
My daughter told me about a Netflix documentary called Being Elmo…all about the Puppeteer who does the muppet Elmo and how he began as a poor young man in Baltimore, MD. I wanted to pick a delicious tea from my new bunch of samples appropriate for Elmo watching. Hum, got it! Chocolate cake! That’s what Elmo would drink!
I set the steep time for 5.5 minutes. The liquor smelled like cake alright, chocolate and vanilla wafting through the air. The liquor was the color of cream soda…light brown colored and the first sip also reminded me of cream soda with cocoa flavor. The taste was not very sweet on it’s own so I added splenda which improved the dessert quality. One more thing was not quite right. The rich flavor of cake was lacking. The tea seemed thin, so I added cream and again this helped elevate the tea to being more cake-like.
The aftertaste was different…not bitter, but I think the cocoa nibs are giving a woody, dry straw taste on the finish that is a bit odd. Some people might notice this at first and think of a bakery taste and then later it strikes you as an odd aftertaste.
My take is that I think this is enjoyable Chocolate Cake Tea. My grandsons would love this for sure especially with some chocolate ice cream! It was very fun to drink while watching my Being Elmo documentary!
Thanks again Indigobloom!
Thank you Teavivre for this sample!
This sample came vacume packaged in a purple and gold wrapping and then inside vacume packed again. These little darlings were not moving in transit!
I had volunteered some time removing cobwebs from garage doors this fine Spring Saturday in my community condo complex…and not feeling particularly up to fussing with complex brewing techniques…decided on Western Style (side saddle being that I’m a Colorado lady) steeping of this fine tea. This Oolong is soaked in honey. Interesting.
A 2 minute steep and the removal of the leaves smells wonderfully sweet with a bit of floral vegital glamor. The color is medium deep honey gold and somewhat cloudy…maybe from the honey.
On tasting I am surprised that there is not a heavy honey flavor. There is sweetness which is quite light, but not honey. I taste the light lilac and vegital flavor that my nose picked up from the first introduction. This tea is a bit salty with a tingle of pepper.
Adding some sweetening improves the flavor, bringing to the forefront the beautiful floral lilac expression. I am disappointed in the lack of honey flavor. As an Oolong, this is something I have had before, and it is a nice Oolong but not remarkable.
Also, 3-4 teaspoons tea for 8oz of water is a lot. I used 2TB for 16oz pot good grief! For this tea not to taste great is a shame.
The second steeping (I’m being fair here) is light and clear!
Whatever the honey coating was doing globbed onto the leaves so tightly before and clouding the tea is gone. Now the liquor sunny yellow-gold and shimmering. My second brew is much more illusively scented…as if a breeze lifted the scent of one lilac on a strand past my nose. There is absolutely no honey at all. None. Nada. But, the flavor is pleasant. This second steeping is where you want to be with a nice Oolong (still this is an average-plus one though).
My overall rating will have to be somewhere I don’t want to go, but I must be honest. I get no honey flavor in this tea. I think you have to sacrifice too much product for a good cup. The first 8oz is cloudy and not that good but the second steeping is much better and I expect the 3rd and 4th will be fine also. I have had such good experiences with my Teavivre tea’s that this one is just not spectacular like I’m used to. I may be expecting too much. I do appreciate the experience.
Thank you Butiki for this sample!
Yesterday I drank so much caffinated tea that I was up and down during the night (don’t act like it never happened to you!) . So there’s no way I wanted to repeat that mistake and took down my decaf bin for an evening selection.
Have you noticed how vanilla tea initially tastes ok and then the flavor goes sour? I hate that! Reminds me of fake flavoring with alcohol.Blech!
This vanilla is good! No bad aftertaste and the flavor is mellow not overly bold.
While this is not a mindblowing brew, it is tasty and created well.
First review. Bought this at Whole Foods today…had been curious about what this would taste like in the Spring and Summer as a cool beverage like a green tea milkshake. I read the package suggestion for making an 8oz. cold lemon Sweet Matcha drink and went with that since I had no whole milk on hand (and I’m watching the calories too). All I can say is….eh. Not that sweet or flavorful. You can’t mess up a recipe that’s 1TB powder, 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice and 8oz water! Whisk! And a big…eh! No green flavor, just bland. To be fair I’ll try this again with milk and see what I think. Right now I have to rate this the way the green stuff fell.
I still like this tea a great deal and especially enjoy playing with adding it to other tea’s and cooking with it. Here is tonights discovery:
No more stinky veggies!
You will never, ever, ever, ever, ever guess what I did with my Lapsang Souchong tonight. Well, I don’t like the smell of my broccoli steaming in the steamer basket (and I had 2 bunches from Whole Foods on the stove) so I put 2 pinches of …you got it…Lapsang Souchong in the water and….OH WOW! The smell was wonderful, and the flavor super fantastic. Not too smoky but just right! My house didn’t smell like old socks either! Um…Um…good! Playing with my food, playing with tea!
ok, another thing I did with this tea was put some in a steeping basket then in the water where I was boiling some cheese tortellini. This was also a big winner. I added a little olive oil and dash of Greek seasoning after draining the pasta…so good! Smoky in a mild yummy delicious way!
Second Tasting Note.
After my exciting Gyokuro tasting at Happy Luckys Tea House a few days ago, using the Shinoba Cha method of extracting flavor from the leaves by letting ice melt over them slowly (AWESOME FLAVOR CONCENTRATION!)…I thought…hey self, I have this Gyocuro Genmaicha Green Tea…so what would happen if I tried this ice method with it?
So I Did!
Here’s a video of the method: http://youtu.be/4UEZcq1qVtw
All afternoon….little drizzles of extracted flavor…concentrated drop by drop as the ice was melting. Pretty good flavor! Nutty, salty and savory. Not as extreme as the higher quality straight Gyokuro without the toasted rice that I had previously, but pretty good with a lingering aftertaste. That aftertaste is wonderful and lasts for hours.
If you have never tried this method and have a nice Gyokuro or Sencha around, you might give this method a try since it is cool for warmer weather and so easy to do.
Andy at Happy Luckys told me that he heard about a place in Japan that puts out pure blocks of ice with a groove in each running end to end. A cup is set at each end to catch drips of melting water. Then a different type of Gyokuro is placed in the groove of each ice block so that guests can go from one to another tasting each Gyokuro varietal as the melting progresses. Sounds heavenly!
Thank you to Teavivre for this tea sample which I requested!
I noticed that there were no tasting notes for this loose Pu-erh on Steepster. So, when Angel contacted me about sending a second round of samples, I requested this one and I received a nice amount for several large pots of tea.
Where has this Pu-erh been? Why has noone reviewed it before? In my opinion, it is one of the best…if not THE BEST loose leaf pu-erhs I’ve had to date!
The instructions for brewing recommend 1-2 minute steep…but I went longer to 4 minutes which was delightfully dark. The broth (not liquor at this point) was not dirty but um yum…lightly salty with the flavor of slowly sauteed, buttery crimini mushrooms. Splendid! Marvelous! Delicious!
I can sip this and not need to snack on anything all day if I want to. It is just that good and savory!
Hiding underneath the broth is a natural sweetness trickling along in the big juicy flavor until POW! you get a sparkling WAM! of pepper on your tongue. (More sparkle than bite!).
Being an experimenter with flavor, I sweetened the pu-erh just a little which was a real enhancement to the savory quality of the tea.
This is fine loose Pu-erh!
Then, my power went out! I put on my Kindle Fire music and listened to this by Tchiakovsky (it lets you skip past the youtube ad):
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
The Fort Collins Power Company was going to shut off power in the area for 3 hours this morning so I got up early enough to have a hearty pot of tea to stave off withdrawl symptoms! Not being familiar with Keemun, and reading about the smokey character (which I like), I chose this from my new package of Teavivre samples.
The dry tea is very dark and fine, which proved to brew a very dark liquor, fragrant with medium smokiness and malt.
This is not a tea party tea! It has Huevos like a shot of taquilla! The smoke is not like a Lapsang Souchong…but assertive somewhere in the middle range of smoke and quite astringent. The astringency creates lots of juice and tannin bites your tongue. No malt. This tea had too many rough edges to start my day by drinking it straight up. After all, my hair is messed up and I’m on the couch with a tea tray watching the news with a BIG MUG of tea American Style! I DO NOT want an intellectual interlude with my cuppa at this hour of the morning! My brain cells are still asleep! So, I added some cream and sugar and it knocked those rough edges right off the Keemun…oh yeh!
If you like a more tobacco, acidic and less yammy morning brew, this may be for you. If you do not like malt, again you may prefer this tea. I prefer the other black tea’s from Teavivre which are so wonderful! Try for yourself and see which is for you!
Thanks to Teavivre for another stunning package of Samples!
I’ve had a fun day! First I was off to post some samples to TeaFairy, and then to Happy Lucky’s Tea House to purchase a small wooden gongfu tray that can handle my little water spills. (It only cost $24.95!) Andy always serves me free tea too! I ended up purchasing a little Yixing Gai Wan with a handle and strainer (turns out I’m not much good at pouring and straining from my other gai wan…clumsy me). Now I’m ready to rock and roll!
With all the caffeine during the morning and afternoon, I was in the mood for a gentle evening without caffeine. I finished some brown rice California rolls…(WASABI !) and decided on one of the new Teavivre tea’s I had requested (yes you can ask for items you are interested in trying!).
The steep time listed is 8-9 minutes. Nice and long…and fragrant! It was hard to wait those last few minutes as the room filled with bold berry scent. The liquor was very dark purple blue. Had I gone too far and steeped this too long? I hate bitter infusions!
Taking a tentative sip, whew! there wasn’t any bitterness.
This fruity tea was full bodied and juicy like Knudsons Real Fruit Juice. The juice that’s 100% non- reconstituted, not mixed with anything else and coats your whole mouth. There was one element I could not identify so I looked at the wet mash in the basket. Blueberries, currents, grape and woody stuff that’s redish. What’s this red stuff? I read the packet…Roselle and Googled it. OK. This is a variety of Hibiscus…a more fibrous, woody variety with very small flowers that is grown in China. Evidently, you can steep it longer without it being as tangy as the Western Hibiscus I’m used to or Australian Hibiscus. Whatever the case, this Roselle addition mellows the flavors so that the tea becomes a blended fruit tea but not a distinctly blueberry tea.
I drank 24 oz. pot of tea hot this evening and then put a bit on ice to see what the flavor would be like. Very good. I’ll do an iced version for the next tasting since I received a generous portion from Teavivre.
Of all the caffeine free tea’s, every berry type satisfies me. The fruit used in this blend is big and bold. No tiny blueberries but large round fruit mixed with plenty of currents and grapes. I finally found a tea that I rummaged through after steeping. You can see the rehydrated fruit all plumped and I couldn’t resist popping the berries in my mouth.
Tomorrow night my tea shop is having a free tea ‘Happy Hour’ Near East Dance Performance to raise awareness to stop human trafficking. This shop supports this and other causes with 10% of store profits. I like that. One nice thing about small towns.
Thanks to Verdant for this sample!
I’m beginning to invision the Alchemist at Verdant like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, fitted with a pointed hat and waving a rather long wand (or spoon in this case) while thunderous rounds of Mussorgskys Night on Bald Mountain play in the background. (Naturally there has to be thundering and lightening outside the windows too!) Right?
I’ve enjoyed 4 or 5 Verdant blends thus far and what strikes me is the amount of subtilty and restraint that other alchemists (blenders) can’t do. Most go too far. Do they assume that WE the public demand gaudy, overly flavored in-your-face tea as though we’re so used to tea as a Mcdonalds Menu Item, that we can’t taste the difference! Well hey buddy no! There are tea companies out there (Verdant being one I know of and there are others I’m sure) that has respect for restraint and finesse! WE DO have some tea sense! Thank you! Preach on!
Ok I like this blend…good bye.
I’m used to big malty or yammy tea in the morning. Assam, Laoshan Black. A great Pu-erh!
When I read that this was more mellow with good caffeine and low acid, I could see that this would be a great tea for those with tummy issues. But, would the taste still be rich enough?
The liquor at 3.5 minute steeping is a nice medium dark brown with a great brown sugar molasses scent. I fully expected the tea to taste like the smell wafting up. Instead,it was much more mellow. This was nice and juicy, fresh and sparkling from the puerh rich underbelly. Where you would expect acid there is a hint of malt…a bit of spice that is not distincty cinnamon.
This is my morning cuppa. La Dolce Vita! Add creme it whispered! So I did this, being Continental and all that (remembering Rome) coaching out of my cup the creamy caramel smooth flavor of my tea with the added discovery of a hint of saltiness and Scots shortbread. A bonnie tea!
I must confess that without sweetening, this is mighty fine. You could pair this with any breakfast because the blend is hearty.
Note that I moved this to 2012 from 2011Tieguanyin because I had all my notes under the wrong vintage! Oh yes! All the nice comments from Steepsters are therefore lost but not forgotten! Alas…old age strikes again!
If it were not for the awesome Verdant website (as I have said before) I would be LOST! The information on how best to brew each tea is invaluable to a rookie like me. I know how to cook, but I don’t know how to fix all these varieties of tea! Fortunately I have been acquireing several brewing pots…Gaiwan, Gongfu, PIAO, regular pots made of porcelain and glass and stainless infusers. AND an electric kettle which is essential since here at high altitude water takes longer to boil. AND (wait for it) a PUER KNIFE! Ok, it’s really pretty! Trays and cozys etc. Ya’ll know what I mean. It’s like I put on roller skates with jet packs and am fast tracking through the World of Tea’s over bumps and through bushes.
Now and then someone lends a hand so that I don’t fall and hurt myself. Thanks to you all for that!
I used my PIAO 1 pot for each steep and 1tsp leaves to 4oz water.
1.The instructions for steeping are to flush first to begin opening the tight green leaves.
Then, gently introduce the water to the leaves for a 1minute steep. OK. This done, the liquor became medium light gold with a tinge of green. A light lilac floral scent introduced the tea to my nose before my first sip. The flavor was creamy and salty sweet again with soft lilac and an aftertaste of buttered yukon potatoes. This is juicy tea. I noticed a mineral taste on the finish and hint of vanilla on subsiquent sips. The creaminess is outstanding and expansive with the juiciness of the tea…it goes on and on.
2. My steeping timer got away from me. I overdid it! Oh did the leaves chuckle at my ignorance! In fact I need to mention that you just can’t use a teaball for these leaves. No way would I use a regular tea basket either. My 1 teaspoon of dry tight leaves turned into at least 1/2 cup or more of large green wet leaves! AND they pointed their tea fingers at me and laughed! “ROOKIE!”
But the last laugh is mine. The tea was darker, but not bitter and I drank it all up! Still tasting buttery and good but not as great as it could have been.
3. Giving greater attention to the timing and fearing that I had stripped the tea of all deliciousness, I went with 1minute and 10 seconds. That and no more. What happened next was surprizing! The tea came back to life! Great color, wonderful flavor, sweetness and elegant floral bouquet! This time the tea is not as sweet as at first, a little nutty and less salty. The juice is there with cream and butter. I fell into my memory fantasy (you know what I mean if you have read my reviews before)…and had a tea/food moment. Grandma is in the kitchen making vanilla custard pie and the flavor of a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes with melting butter sits on a big oak table next to a window on a warm Spring evening. A gentle breeze has picked up the scent of lilacs growing in the yard and it is wafting in past lace curtains, mixing with the scent of the potatoes, butter and vanilla. That’s this tea. (I must be hungry)
I was thinking about how or when I would drink this tea. Most Oolongs I prefer by themselves. Naked! If you must, noodles and lemon with olive oil and salt would be ok I suppose, with some chicken, or a light spinach salad. But, no garlic or heavy herbs or strong cheese. This is just too delicate. Grilled mozzerella on toast…nice.
Thank you Butiki Teas for this sample!
Bonnie is getting brave, coming out of her shell and trying new tea’s. Gyokuro on ice, and two Oolongs all in one day. Who would have thunk it! You can teach old folks new things! (I also had a lovely black tea from Teavivre today also but I’ve logged it twice already). The luxury of tea and discovery of new flavors and brewing methods appeals to me. I am so greatful for today and all my days!
At first when I read the steep time of 4 minutes I was surprised because my earlier Oolong this morning was only a 1 minute steep. However, I leave all this to the tea companies and obey their instructions (at least for the first time I brew the tea!). Like all Oolongs, please don’t use a teaball. The leaves need room to expand. Even if you pour water over the leaves in a bowl it’s better and let them expand then strain into your cup or a pot.
1. Gold shimmering liquor! Then, a grape/lilac-orchid aroma. The flavor is not overly orchid and there is a little tannin along with big, bold creaminess. I don’t find the grape overdone. This is, after all, a grape oolong so there should be grape flavor. It is sweet with rock sugar and slightly mineral.
2. Second steeping I kept with the same 4 minute time. The liquor is still the color of spun gold.
The mouth-feel is juicy, mineral, floral but less creamy with more tannin on the tongue. My addition of sweetening kills the tannin and enhances the floral note and slight grape flavor. I recommend doing this. It is true that the more this tea cools, the more the grape flavor increases which is pleasant.
3. I’m having fun now! Still steeping 4 minutes. The liquor is a great color and fragrant.
Not expecting much flavor, I am very surprised at how juicy the tea has become, and that the tannin is gone. There is rock sugar, mineral flavor with a faint floral orchid taste. It is sweet enough to drink straight up and a bit salty, pecan nutty. Of course as the tea becomes cooler…more grape flavor pops up!
During the last tasting I was thinking about the grape flavor…and how I would like to purchase this tea to Pair with Hard, Salty Greek Goat Cheese like a Kesseri (which is good flamed) or Cypriot Halloumi Cheese (which can be fried)!
I finished my tasting this way…some cheese…some grape oolong tea…some cheese….
Clouds are gathering…black and bulging with rain…waiting for the right moment to let loose and expload with a clap of thunder boom and clap of lightening!
Steepster is acting like it took a vacation. I strolled over to Facebook and noticed that my local tea shop (Happy Lucky’s) offered a free pot of tea to anyone who could guess the mystery tea of the day by figuring out a clue. Hum…“What tea is smoked over a fire…blah blah blah?” Lightbulb…“Lapsang Souchong”, I answered in my head.
Time passed. By 1 PM noone had guessed correctly, and Steepster was still on vacation.
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I picked out some tea samples for the nice employees who are so kind to me at the shop and off I went for tea.
When I arrived, and they saw me they knew I would guess right the mystery tea so I earned my free pot. BUT, what a marvelously wonderful pot it turned out to be!
I’ve never had Gyokuro tea before so this was special indeed.
A cast iron pot was prepared with 2 teaspoons of Gyokuro tea (high quality). Then, ice cubes were laid on top and allowed to melt slowly…providing small tablespoon sized tastings over and over again of the most delicious rich liquor.
This was beyond tea! The flavor was salty and rich like venison or the finest roasted lamb without any gaminess. The amount of coating on the tongue was unreal…more than any tea I’ve ever had. Aftertaste…beyond belief…lingering on and on. Each cup remained as good as the last. I can’t say enough about how good this tea was. It hit every taste bud, broke all the rules and stopped just short of what your pleasure center can tolerate.
Amazing tea! Amazing brewing method for this tea! I am going to repeat this method and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! What a treat! Thank you to Happy Lucky’s!
Shinobi cha video…how to prepare: http://youtu.be/4UEZcq1qVtw
Thank you to Invader Zim for the huge sample of friendship tea!
I cower before green tea! If it were not for the instructions and videos on the Verdant website (THANK YOU!) I would not try brewing green tea at all. I am intimidated by the shape-shifting nature of some of them (or so I am led to believe). Reading through recent Verdant lessons about pouring this tea back and forth between two pitchers, straining the tea and keeping the steep time short, I thought my PIAO glass pot would work fine doing the same thing which it did! Pour, release, pour back through, release and drink it.
Sounds vulger my way, but then I’m alone at home. If I were to entertain, I think the flourish of 2 glass pitchers swishing tea back and forth would look tres’ smart!
My steepings here are 4 oz. pot each time. 2tsp. tea. PIAO teapot.
The liquor is blush yellow-green. The vegital flavor is fleeting…a tease and gone. Poof! Up front there is a mineral rock sugar sweetness I’ve read about but never tasted altogether in one tea-bite. Here it is. The elusive oneness…the tea without tannin, not bitter, or sour, no acid-rotten vegital ruination that we all dread…and the sigh of relief ah….! Juicy!
I have to do another steeping…off I go…
Second steep is a bit darker and there is some tannin. I noticed that the wet leaves don’t smell as vegital as I expected. They are beautiful dark green unbroken leaves, long spears like broad grass. The tea is juicy…very juicy…but not as sweet as the first steeping. I might like this steeped a shorter time. Usually you add a little time but here maybe not. Something went wrong. I did it. Steeped 20 seconds too long.
I reduced the steep time which is much better. The mineral has returned and the tannin is gone. No vegital flavor anymore. The perfume of the liquor is floral reminding me of the Springtime blooming trees here in the Rockies, not flowers. Rock sugar which has that subtle aire of Cane Molasses is creeping up from the bottom of my little cup. When you live in the countryside in the Caribbean, you know that Cane Sugar and Molasses are the beginnings of RUM. People went out to the fields and made all three right on the spot, stills and iron pots in the cane fields. (Maybe not now…but when I lived in Puerto Rico they did 25 years ago). Add a little sweetening to this tea and the full sweet buttery rum appears….along with a steel drum and some good looking guys on the beach at Isla Verde! Uh…I got carried away!
So, I like this green tea! You won me over! I know how to brew this tea, drink it which is wonderful! Makes me giddy! This is not a dinner tea I think. This is a tea to enjoy talking with friends or with a light bit of rice or toast. A before dinner appetite stimulant.
Second Review. I’m beginning to feel better today but still sticking to drinking black tea. I remembered how good this tea was first round and wanted to revisit that memory.
There is such a warm, light, floral nose to this golden tea liquor. Not malty but slightly yammy. When you take a sip your mouth fills with sweet juice and that yam taste at the back of the palate. The tip of the tongue tickles of tannin…just to let you know that your tongue has been coated with tea. Since I was drinking this cup for my morning tea, I added sweetening and that changed the yam. It became a lighter version with a bit of sweet, dried apricot fruitiness. When I added cream, the flavor of airy puff pastry arrived with a ta- da! Um, what a superb cuppa from a black tea so full of wonders!
This would be good with a mild breakfast ham and egg crepe but not too salty with a mild cheese, or just some plain buttered rolls.
First Review. What a pretty tea! I must comment that of all the tea that comes into my kitchen tea cupboard, so far Butiki has probably the loveliest looking tea! This tea has very large golden flowers! If you have a glass pot or gaiwan, it is worth it to watch this brew and give the leaves some steeping room.
I steeped 3.5 min. and noticed there wasn’t a huge burst of fragrance. No big Pear smell announcing a gaudy artificial shout to drink a cup of tea. This is one of those tea’s you have to settle down and think about.
My first sip proved a bit flat. Like a Pear that had not fully ripened. A Bosc Pear with a hint of cinnamon from the skin.
Not fooling around with tasting a whole cup of flat tea, I added sweetening which immediately elevated the taste to ripeness and more delicious Bosc Pear.
I think that the addition of star anise is so subtle in this tea that instead of a licorice taste (which some may find here) the anise is exactly that spicy, dry and just short of bitter skin taste that you get from a Bosc Pear! (One reason I love to eat these pears is the spiciness and they are exceptional with smoked blue cheese! )
The floral note in the tea is faintly reminiscent of wildflower honey.
This is a smooth white tea, nice fruit and spice without being too bold. I would think that this is a good tea for afternoon sipping on a sunny day.
First Review. I’m a bit under the weather today. Being careful of what I eat and drink with a nausea migraine, I thought this caffeine free Blood-Orange Smoothie might be a refreshing departure from my usual puerh’s and malty black tea choices. Thank’s again to a gift of tea from my son Aaron.
Even dry this smells good. All my life, until moving to Colorado, I’ve been around oranges, lemons, tangerines and all sorts of citrus growing in neighborhood yards. I love the bright and sunny orange in this tea which is so fragrant and scrumptious!
I let the steep go 6 minutes. The flavor is like those orange-slice jell candies with a vanilla smoothness that reminds you of orangesicle ice cream. Intense! I can’t imagine drinking this without sweetening and cream. It would not do justice to the intention of the blend which makes a splendid smoothie. I don’t like to sound like everyone else chattering “It tastes like orangesicle ice cream” but if it does it does..OK!
As far as the other ingredients: There is an aftertaste of uh…apple slice. Look for that. Odd but true. My take on the rose and hibiscus is that while you can’t taste them on their own, they are the hidden slight sourness in the blood orange…the ‘tang’. Clever addition.
This would be a nice tea to pair with a cheese danish…um…or bagel and cream cheese.