I love this tea! Ever since it has arrived, it’s the only tea I drink. First Flush Darjeelings tend to be on the caffeinated side and this one is no exception. I feel a bit more alert after drinking this tea. It tastes so very fresh, since it was harvested earlier this month. Today I went pretty heavy on the leaves. I like this a bit on the heavy side with more astringency. The first thing I’m noticing today is maltiness followed by sweet almond and juicy peach notes. Those notes give way to strong jasmine notes. The jasmine is so strong that it almost tastes like a scented tea though the jasmine notes do not last long before hay and woody notes appear. There is a fantastic lingering sweetness. With the heavier leafing, I’m not tasting the lemon notes or the blackberry notes that I had previously tasted. Still, I enjoy this very heavily leafed. This year we added two additional 2013 first flush Darjeelings. This was my favorite of all the Darjeelings I tasted and that was quite a few. We also added another Darjeeling but I wanted something that would be less sweet than this and that’s why we also went with the Thurbo Estate. Both are phenomenal teas.
15 Tasting Notes
This is day 3 of my raw food cleanse. From time to time, I like to follow a raw diet to cleanse my body. This time around, I haven’t really been overly hungry (yet) but today is a real low. I’m feeling very exhausted, weak, and am unable to focus. This will pass since I’ve felt this before in the detox phase but I was hoping to get the ‘community’ page of our website done tonight and that is not looking real promising right now. During my raw diet, I allow one cheat of one tea a day. Today I opted for the Hattialli Golden Lion Assam. This is a real special second flush. It reminds me very much of a Yunnan. I love the maltiness of this tea and the oaky and peppery notes. Right now I’m also getting an almost burned chocolate note as well as some apricot and floral notes. I’m very glad I chose this as my reward tea. Hopefully, it will help me focus a bit.
I’m a big fan of aged oolongs and this tea in particular is a really special tea. 22 years ago seems like such a long time. I looked through some of my old photo books to see what I was like 22 years ago and I couldn’t find anything from 1991. There are an explosion of photos from 1993, when I started high school, but I can’t find anything from after I was a baby up until 1993.
This tea was stored for 22 years, every few years the tea is roasted. It is because of this process that aged oolongs are rare. They don’t command a price worth storing the tea that long and re-roasting it occasionally. I’ve heard some speculation that aging oolongs in Taiwan could die out.
This tea makes me happy. It is so delicious and buttery. I definitely recommend gongfu brewing but even western style, it is still very rich and creamy. Roasted chestnuts and tree bark are the first notes that hit my tongue followed instantly by creamy butter notes that linger long after the sip. I’m almost getting a very very light minty end note. There are also some pleasant mineral notes. After about 2 decades, mineral notes start to appear in aged oolongs. This is a tea that I end up drinking so fast because I am enjoying it so much. Yum, what a nice treat!
Just finished making a large batch of Grapefruit Dragon. Working with that tea can be challenging. The scent is so overpowering that I can literally taste the grapefruit and it tingles my tongue. So, I decided I needed a smooth and mellow tea. This is one of my reward teas. The honey is just so delicious and creamy. Yums! This is reminding me that I need to work on a honeysuckle blend.
Just added this to our website. I always like to drink the teas while I write the descriptions for our website, even though I have already written full tasting notes. It gets me in the mood to write about the tea.
I love this oolong. Our Anxi Tie Guan Yin and this one are my 2 favorite oolongs. I definitely recommend this to any oolong fanatics. This is a winter harvest and the leaves were plucked just a couple months ago, so it is very fresh. The leaves are very sturdy. Here is a picture after the 3rd infusion: http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i446/butikiteas/3rdinfusionleavesdayuling_zpsb70e1a64.jpg. That’s from my mini glass pot that I use for gongfu sessions. I love being able to see the leaves brew. This is just such an interesting tea. Here’s a short breakdown of the infusions I’ve done so far:
1st infusion: Very floral, notes of orchids and lilac mingle with bosc pear followed by light spearmint notes. Buttery. Light spinach notes.
2nd infusion: very very vegetal.
3rd infusion: vegetal but fading.
4th infusion: The floral notes are back and even stronger now! The spearmint notes are also pretty strong and lingers long after the sip. Nice sweetness and deliciously buttery. This was one of my favorite infusions this session.
5th infusion: Floral, vegetal with strong spearmint notes. Delicious!
This tea has a few more infusions left, but I need a break at the moment.
I strongly recommend giving this one a try but also recommend taking some time to spend with it.
This week has been pretty crazy. Orders were much higher than usual this week while we were trying to prepare some teas to be added to a new local store. Also, we finally received our industrial label printer. This thing is absolutely huge. Didn’t look that big in the demo video but it is very large. Pretty soon we will start integrating in nicer packaging labels that are waterproof, tear proof, and scratch proof. No more red smudges on our labels. Yay! Now I’m taking a brief moment to relax with some awesome tea before finishing up the description for our new Da Yu Ling Oolong, so we can have that up on website today.
I love this tea! This is my reward or special treat tea. The honey aroma is so intoxicating but while drinking its a bit lighter on the honey but still very naturally sweet. There is a also a buttery pastry flavor, I’m thinking croissant-like. This tea is just very warming and comforting to me. It makes me feel warm. I’m definitely tasting caramel and raisins but as the tea cools I’m getting some floral notes too. Sometimes I will overleaf this tea when I’m looking for more of the pastry notes and want to tone down the sweetness. With a little more leaf it can almost taste like a different tea.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make a very large purchase of this tea so I do expect that we will run out before we can purchase again in July/August when this tea is harvested again.
UPDATE: We have a very small amount left of this tea and will not be able to acquire more until after the July/August harvest. If anyone wants me to hold a half ounce for them, I would be happy to hold it for up to a week. We expect to run out by the end of this weekend.
I’m loving this tea. I feel like the Organic Huangshan Mao Feng and the eggnog flavor work really well together. They work with each other and neither really overshadows the other. Originally, I had designed this blend to have rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla and was going to add a lot to it but after trying just the base and our flavoring mixture it seemed perfect and I didn’t want to change anything. This tea might not look so fancy but to me it’s perfect. From sip to sip, I get slightly different tastes. The vegetal notes are still present but the buttery quality of the tea really adds to eggnog. The eggnog is sweet and tastes of heavy cream with an eggy quality. Some sips, I almost get a cake batter flavor. When I add a little brown crystal sugar, the tea is really creamy, rich, and very much like eggnog. Some vanilla notes become a little more pronounced and so do the egg notes and it really is so delicious that I must get every drop out of the cup. One guilty admission, I added safflower because I thought the red safflower with the green tea leaves was a little more Christmas-y.
Mmmm, having a cup right now. Recently, I have been on this kick looking for probiotics and fermented foods. I have a few food intolerances (sorbitol & fructose and maybe a few others too that I haven’t been tested for yet) and have been reading about adding good bacteria to help get rid of those intolerances. I plan on doing a fast at some point as well. I took this puerh course that talked about all the positive bacteria in puerh and showed us what it looked like and the breakdown of the bacteria. A study done in China had claimed that these bacteria could survive the hot water and stomach acid. Whether this is true or not, I’ll take any good bacteria I can get.
The smell of this tea is a strong sweet chestnut. There is also something almost sour in the aroma of the tea. When I sip it the first thing I notice is roasted chestnuts. I’m also getting some sour dough, tabaco, and toasted rice notes. The taste remains long after the sip and becomes drying though in a different way than most teas that are astringent and almost sticks to your mouth. This tea is different than any other tea I have tried but its so delicious. It reminds me a little bit of coffee, though I am certainly no expert on coffee, but it is much gentler.
I was very excited when I first tasted this puerh. I had never seen a Japanese puerh before. After a bit of research, I found out that this is a relatively new type of tea. There are other Japanese fermented teas but I have not been able to find anything that is made in a similar way.
Today was not a very good day. I’m very physically and mentally exhausted and the weather has been so cold and dreary. My arthritis has been acting up and I think driving today seeing the damage in my neighborhood has dragged my mood down a bit. Tonight I went to a viewing of an old best friend. It was very tough. Even though I hadn’t seen him in 10 years, I feel like a chapter of my life has closed and I feel like I had missed out by not reconnecting.
I just needed something to cheer me up and help wake me up so I can catch up on some work. This is definitely my cheer me up guayusa. The smell and the taste of the lemon, creaminess, and earthiness make me smile and the caffeine is helping me make it through this long day and get some work in. Think its time for another cup of Helena’s guayusa.
Mmmm, the gorgeous emerald green leaves smell so sweet , vegetal, and nutty. Whenever I smell the leaves my eyes widen and I get so excited that it’s hard to wait for the tea to finish brewing. This first flush tea has been withered and roasted then rolled and dried. As I sip this tea, the first thing I notice is how weighty the body is yet it is also very smooth. The sweet juiciness is instantly apparent as well as a refreshing creaminess. I’m getting buttery white corn, sweet pea notes with some light Brazil nut and fresh cut grass notes. This is a tea I can drink all day long. I love how this tea lingers and leaves a sweetness.
This is a tea that I was very excited to work on. I love love love fresh maple syrup but when I was young I never liked it. I would always use fresh fruit or butter (before being vegan) or ice cream or whipped cream but I could not stand maple syrup. It wasn’t until my 20s that I was coerced into giving maple syrup another chance. Before that I had only ever tried Aunt Jemimas or some other artificial syrup that doesn’t even contain maple syrup. Now I buy my syrup from a farmers markets or Whole Foods. I’m still making up for lost maple syrup time.
I decided on using the Nilgiri Frost Oolong as a base for a number of reasons. The tea had some similar characteristics to the flavor of maple and pecan and I knew the notes of the tea would mesh well with the flavoring. Also, it had a nice weighty body. A thin body would not seem right for a maple blend. The leaves are long and strong enough to carry some heavier chunks of pecans. I love to use high quality bases that work with the flavorings and not just simply cover them.
The base tea is a Nilgiri Frost Oolong grown at a high altitude that exposes the tea leaves to a light frost during some of the winter nights. This tea is grown in limited quantities because of the special conditions that must exist. It is a sweet tasting tea that has citrus, pecan, peach, and oak notes.
The leaves of Maple Pecan Oolong are long, thin, and wiry, ranging from chocolate to charcoal in color. Large chunks of pecans are present. The leaves produce an intoxicatingly sweet aroma. Without sugar, the tea is naturally lightly sweet with a light maple and pecan flavor. Citrus and oaky notes are also presenet. Reducing the tea to 1 teaspoon for 8oz of water will reduce some of the citrus and oaky notes. With some sugar the maple and pecan notes are intensified and the citrus and oaky notes are lighter but produce an almost crust like flavor. It tastes just like a pecan maple pie. The maple lasts long after the sip and I can taste it on my lips.
I love this tea! It has officially replaced Royal Golden Safari as my morning black tea. Every morning I either have a guayusa or a strong black tea since I am not a morning person at all. I must admit when I normally make this tea, I load in the leaves and let it sit forever. I love my black teas crazy strong. Today I’m sticking to the parameters that we set on our website. I’m not quite used to drinking this tea this way.
As the name suggest, this is an Assam that comes from Taiwan. In the 1920’s, under Japanese rule, Assamica tea bushes were brought to the Sun Moon Lake area of Taiwan. At the time, the Japanese wanted to compete with the British in the black tea market. Since then this Assam has been refined by the Taiwan Research and Extension Station.
The long chocolatey colored leaves smell so amazing. I’m picking up notes of cherries, peaches, and dry earth. The body is rich and velvety and has a lovely malty-ness. I’m getting notes of cherries and apricots almost immediately then some cacao notes. When it settles I’m picking up raisins, clove, and cinnamon. There is some pleasant and balanced astringency to this tea. I would recommend this tea to any fans of black tea and especially to any fans of Assams that have not tried a Taiwanese Assam. This tea will definitely be a staple for a long time, very delicious, very interesting.
I have a guilty little confession about this tea. I love it! I love it so much that I really acquired it more for myself rather than because it filled a hole in our tea selection. This is my reward tea. Whenever I am feeling down or when I accomplish something big, I allow myself to indulge in a few cups of this wonderful tea.
The dried leaf aroma is strong with honey and plums and the leaves are thin, long, and wiry with a rich charcoal and mahogany color. The steeped leaves are more mahogany in color and range from a medium to dark brown. The wet leaves smell woody and sweet with a honey scent and now a peach aroma as well. As I open the leaves, I can see some little ridges from where the leafhoppers were allowed to nibble. This nibbling causes the plant to initiate its healing process making the leaves taste sweet like honey. The liquor is a dark amber color and produces an aroma of honey and wet wood. When I take my first sip, peach and honey notes first hit my tongue and mingle and linger. Then citrus notes and lychee notes become prominent and linger. A smooth and creamy mouth feel make this cup very enjoyable for me. I used 2 teaspoons of tea this time; however, I think I enjoy this a little more with just 1 ½ teaspoons of tea for 8oz of water. Either way, this is a delicious cup of tea.
After going out for Indian food one night I decided to develop a rooibos that was similar to mango lassi. As I vegan, I don’t drink anything with dairy in it but I wanted to make a tea that I could enjoy that reminded me of one of my old favorite beverages.
The dry leaves of this rooibos are small and thin and are varying degrees of red and brown. Calendula and mango chunks are mixed in. The aroma is a wonderful spicy and fragrant creamy mango. The wet leaves of this rooibos are walnut colored, thin, and small. Chunks of mango and calendula are also present. The wet leaves have a spicy cardamom aroma that gives way to a creamy sweet mango scent. Mango Lassi produces a brilliant red liquor with great clarity and immediately smells of cardamom and mango followed by a sweet cream. Sipping this tea without sugar produces notes of citrus and mango with prominent cardamom notes that linger and become lightly creamy. With a little brown crystal sugar added, this rooibos becomes an intensely creamy with mango and cardamom notes. Each note compliments each other well.
After a long morning of hard work, I decided to relax and enjoy a dessert tea. Raspberry Truffle is definitely a cold weather tea. Unlike my favorite flavored teas of the summer that are light and flavored so that the tea is not as noticeable, this tea base definitely has a presence. The raspberry truffle flavor doesn’t mask the taste of tea but complements it.
The leaves of the Organic Kundaly base are medium sized chunks and thin twisted dark chocolate colored leaves that mingle with the mini chocolate chips and dark pink raspberries. The leaves have a sweet raspberry and woodsy cocoa aroma that is intoxicating. The wet leaves are a bit more uniform and mahogany in color. Pink pieces of fruit and melted chocolate are noticeable. The aroma is a sweet raspberry that finishes almost woodsy. Slight citrus notes can be detected. The liquor has good clarity and is reddish amber in color and has an aroma of cinnamon, raspberry, and cocoa. I started off drinking this tea without any sugar. Raspberry Truffle has a lightly woodsy flavor that develops into dark unsweetened cocoa and a slightly sweet but tart raspberry. The raspberry lingers and mingles with the cocoa flavor. After a few sips I decided to add a little bit of brown crystal sugar. The sugar intensified that flavor. As I sipped the tea I noticed that it now started out with a light creamy chocolate flavor that developed into a sweet raspberry that lingers. Notes of wood and citrus can be detected.