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Recent Tasting Notes
Started my day with a couple pleasing steeps of this. It was sweet and earthy, and very forgiving on steep times – I did about 4 minutes the first time around and longer than that the next time, and neither cup was overly strong or bitter. I also like the subtle notes that are wrapped up in the earthiness; today I got a very subtle spice tone as well as some cherry jam-like flavors.
This is one that I hesitated trying until now… because, well, it’s Pu-Erh, and that’s my typical response to Pu-Erh. Hesitation. Apprehension. FEAR! Mostly because I am still “acquiring” my taste for it.
This one is actually quite good (for a Pu-Erh). The earthy aroma and flavor are not as strong as in many of the Pu-Erh teas that I’ve tried, and it has a very pleasant body and sweetness to it.
I’m off to write a review for this one.
My last bit of this sample pack too, and again a little more than my usual amount of leaf. This is a really nice example of the oolong style, hewing pretty much straight down the middle of the green/black tea divide. There’s a bit of green vegetal flavoring, and some black roastiness, along with the typical rich mouthfeel of a good oolong.
The Final Sipdown: Day 16
Decupboarding Total: 31
And it’s another sample gone! I really like this tea – it’s got the sweetness and smoothness of a yunnan but there’s a little bright Darjeeling-like kick to the end of it that shows up sometimes. It’s a nice tea to drink straight, which can be a challenge for non-Chinese blacks (at least for me). If I had a larger container of this it would be very easy for me to drink though it is missing just a little something that would push it into the ‘must run out and get more of this!’ category. Still, a good tea that is definitely worth a try!
The Final Sipdown: Day 15
Decupboarding Total: 30
I’m definitely going to have to pick some of this up when I made my Arbor Tea Earl Grey order. It’s nice and smooth and sweet and very forgiving – I meant to steep for about 35s but kind of forgot about it…. A minute and a half later and it was darker than normal, but still smooth and tasty. I think I can say I’m definitely a fan of the green pu-erhs. So good.
I cooled off the water a bit from last time and found that helped eliminate the burnt notes I had encountered. Instead I got a full-bodied, rather raisiny tea with just a touch of astringency and no bitterness. I was reading a little yesterday about the differences found in first flush vs. second flush teas, so now I’m interested to try two side-by-side to see if I can taste the same things. The descriptions made me think that I’d probably enjoy second flush more, as it’s said to exhibit more of the muscatel flavors that I enjoy in Darjeelings – we’ll just have to see about that!
Had two infusions of this yesterday afternoon, but no time to log it until now. It’s probably just the fall season getting to me, but I swear they tasted roastier and more “fall-like” than previous tastings have. I am still getting some vegetal, spice, and fruit notes, but coated in a warm and slightly smoky cloak. This is definitely a tea that rewards deeper investigation!
I had several steeps of this today and really enjoyed it. It gave me just enough of a caffeine hit to be noticeable, without getting wired, and the taste stayed interesting the whole time, evolving over the course of the steepings. It always maintained a pleasant level of natural sweetness underlying the earthiness, and was not as heavy as some pu-erhs I’ve had that can leave a bitter taste behind.
I had one of these after lunch today (much thanks to my girlfriend), and was blown away. This was my first tea-chocolate, and it was delightful. All of the tastes were fairly well-rounded, nothing overwhelming or obnoxious. Quite subtle, but very delicious. I feel like it gave me a slight caffeine buzz, but this could just be placebo (or just the warm feeling from eating chocolate!)
OK, I’m glad I saved this one for last. I love the way the bergamot comes through the rich chocolate flavor. This is SO GOOD.
The citrus-y bergamot flavor is perfectly paired with the sweet chocolate flavor. It is sweet and creamy and decadent.
I so enjoyed this collection of truffles! They are absolutely awesome!
Appearance wise, this one is the prettiest in the collection of truffles… It is so pretty in fact I almost couldn’t bear to bite into it… ALMOST!
The grapefruit zest lends a wonderful citrus note to this delicious truffle, and it enhances the jasmine tea notes just enough so that they can be tasted above the strong flavor of the dark chocolate ganache.
I think that this one is my favorite truffle of the five that I’ve tried so far. (hahaha – I’ve probably said that with each one of these!)
You really have to see it in person to admire it, but this tea is just beautiful to look at. There are beautiful reddish-orange flower petals mixed with the silvery and white tea needles work well together. The smell of the dry leaf is more candy like than pomegranate, but either way, it smelled sweet, and reminded me of lollipops.
For a more in depth review and a Time Lapse Steep Video check out my blog! http://wp.me/pQxcK-8f
Finally rating this one today. If I needed to buy pu-erh for some reason or another, I’d probably pick up this one (or Samovar’s Blood Orange pu-erh, but since that’s flavored I kind of think that would be cheating). I don’t think I’m going to run out and get some of this RIGHT NOW but I do like it and won’t have a problem drinking up the remainder of the sample (which will probably be soon given all the decupboarding required by The Final Sipdown). It’s got the ‘normal’ pu-erh taste (dirt) but it’s not so thick or overpowering so I like that. It makes it an easy drinker for me.
The Final Sipdown: Day 7
Decupboarding Total: 14
Per the husband’s request we are having this one again, which works out nicely since it can then be my second tea decupboarded today. However, if he likes it without additives as much as he liked it with additives, I’m thinking this one won’t stay gone from my pantry long as I will be buying a big tin of it.
Honestly, this one is such a nice relief from the Upton samples I’ve been trying to get through. This has a nice smooth and full tea taste with some light but pleasant astringency to the end of the sip. The scent and flavor is lightly but noticeably Earl Grey. And the EG bit is very nice – not perfume-ish, not frou-frou. If I can call a tea ‘manly’ without making it sound like it’s a nasty b.o. type thing, this EG is manly. Masculine, maybe? Strong. Not as in strong tasting but the strength that confident men seem have – noticeably masculine without being a muscle-bound bully. Perhaps because the astringency makes it nicely bracing even with the flavoring, making it not a girlie or soft tea.
Sigh. I need to just face facts. This is an Earl Grey that a man like Jean Luc Picard would drink. Which is pretty much exactly what we were looking for. So win!
The very last review of the Tea Infused Truffles form Arbor Teas is the one I was most worried about. As, I haven’t been exposed to very much Lapsang Souchong in my tea lifetime and the times I have it was a strange tea. First off, the smell of the truffle itself embodied the tea and chocolate, smelling like a bitter, high percentage of dark chocolate,but also smelling like pipe tobacco and campfire at the same time. The taste is interesting. Upon first taste,the dark chocolate plays nicely with the smoky and toasty flavors from the Lapsang Souchong tea.
to read a more in depth review of this truffle, check my blog! http://wp.me/pQxcK-92
I love this truffle. Surprisingly, the Masala Chai Truffle was the lightest of the 6 truffles! This truffle is white on white, and is exquisitely creamy and delicious. The chai flavor is light,which balances very nicely with the lightness of the white chocolate. There is a light spiciness from the chai in the truffle, with subtle flavors of cinnamon,anise,clove and the other traditional flavors associated with chai.
to read more- check out my blog post on this truffle! http://wp.me/pQxcK-8T
The Final Sipdown: Day 5
Decupboarding Total: 7
Another tea down! This one is another one that falls under the it’s-good-so-I-didn’t-want-to-drink-the-last-bit category. Nicely (but not overly) smooth, smoky (strong enough for the smoky lover but not so strong that it would scare off the not-yet-a-smoky-lover crowd) and slightly sweet, this is a good tea to fill my smoky needs.
Or it would be if I still had it in my pantry. But I don’t. Booyah.
I’m not a fan of black tea, so I usually stick to the greens and whites. Oolongs are on the edge for me… often too close to black tea to appeal to me. But when I like an oolong, oh do I love it. And I love Arbor Teas Ti Kuan Yin Oolong. One of my favorites.
This tea is nice and subtle. Even if you let it steep a long time, the color remains relatively light, and the flavor maintains a delicate quality. It has a subtle earthy quality that I find pleasant and relaxing. Everything about this tea helps me slow down and relax to savor it.
Went through a bunch of steepings on this, my last sample tuo cha. After a quick rinse with boiling water, the first infusion was strong enough to put hair on my chest – following ones were mellower and by infusion four and five, it was really sweet, woody, and earthy. A very enjoyable pu erh.
This is very sweet and rich. The chai flavor is not tremendously spicy, although I can taste notes of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. The ginger and black pepper of the Masala Chai blend are not as strong, but there is a faint “peppery” aftertaste beyond the sweetness of the white chocolate.
It’s really pleasant, and tastes quite a bit like a white chocolate chai latte might taste from one of those coffee houses. While this one isn’t my favorite of the package, the yum factor here is still very high!