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Recent Tasting Notes
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: the first white tea I have ever had that wasn’t an earl grey.
The leaves caught me off guard; they’re large and flat, a lot like carrot leaves or something. They smell grassy and kind of sweet. The liquor is a light yellow and smells grassy. That got me worried for a bit; I’m not a big fan of grassy flavors, especially when they’re in white teas which I don’t associate with being grassy. Then I took a sip…
The first taste that hits is a vegetal sweetness, a little dark but mild. Then the grassiness, which overrides the vegetal sweetness. “Dammit,” I think for a second, “It’s a grassy white tea.” And then there is an overtone of another flavor – this one is a floral sweetness that fades into focus out of the grassiness. And that’s when I go, “Wha what?”
This tea may have to take a little while to grow on me, solely because of the grass factor. But it is certainly an interesting and unexpectedly complex white tea. Worth a go.
…Why is it I only write a few sentences about some teas, and write freaking novels about others?
My first darjeeling! I’ll write more in detail later, but I wanted to get some quick notes down to remember the taste experience. Deep, warm, woody (not woodsy, not smoky) comforting flavor with a tasteful floral note. A slight astringency that I wouldn’t even call “astringent”; more just good. I am suitably impressed!
Edit a few hours later:
Soooo… I realized in retrospect that I may have goofed this tea. I poured it out of its (neat little!) sample bag into a tea tin that had JUST previously been home to some masala chai. I had rinsed the inside of the tea tin out, but unless this tea smells a LOT like chai, I didn’t rinse the aroma out.
Since the chai aroma still lingered, I don’t know how much that would have affected the taste. I didn’t really taste chai; I just tasted a combination of a dark, comforting base (which could possibly have been influenced by the chai) and floral notes. One thing I will say for it is that if it wasn’t labeled as a black tea, I would not have guessed it as such; the leaves look like “green tea” leaves (well, they’re green at least, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything), the liquor is a much lighter color than many classic black teas, and the taste is more plant-y than… well, at least the other black teas I’ve tried. Not that that’s a bad thing. Just unexpected! (…Tea newbie here, mind. Tea newbie.)
Very similar to Monkey Picked Oolong from Teavana. I just recently made the switch to arbor teas b/c it’s based in my home state and they organic fair trade tea so I thought I’d support them! Light floral aroma and taste, but not too much. I only bought a sample, and I will definitely plan on getting more.
Hmm, I thought I’ve logged this one before. Guess not. Well, this isn’t the first time that I’ve had this tea. I like it more this time than before. Sometimes teas need time to grow on me. It’s smooth, slightly malty, and fruity. A very good every day black when you don’t want something too bold.
After reading the reviews for this tea, I was very excited about it. I love spicy chai and it sounded like this would be excellent. I made some last night, then tried it again this morning just to be sure. As much as I wanted to love this chai, I simply don’t.
I used about 2 tbsp in my 3-cup teapot the first time and steeped it for five minutes as directed. It was so weak that my husband and I actually ended up dumping most of it.
This morning I used the other half of the packet (it was a little more than 2 tbsp) and steeped it for more than twice the time. It’s slightly stronger, but I really feel like I had to push it to get it this strong. It’s still pretty weak. I can taste the spices, and the promise of them, but they’re still feeble.
This is the end of the sample, and I don’t know if maybe I got a bad or older mix, but for me this just doesn’t live up to the hype. I’m disappointed. Of the four teas I got from Arbor, the only winner was my husband’s Mini Tree Pu-erh – the one I won’t touch!
Mmm… tasty! I ordered a sample of this on a lark, and I’m glad I did. It’s a delightful and sweet cup to enjoy on a lazy weekend afternoon.
Dry, the fruity smells overwhelm the white leaves, but when steeped the fruit takes backseat to the tea leaves. I made up a pot of this in my 3-cup teapot, and added two tablespoons each of tea and Sugar in the Raw.
I’ve had pomegranate before, and this doesn’t remind me of it at all. My husband says it tastes more like peach to him, and I have to agree. It might not be a white pomegranate but a white peach still sounds good to me!
The only other Ear Grey I have to compare this to right now is my Teavana Earl Grey Black, so I opened them up and sniffed them side by side. Of the two, this is less sweet and more sharp. I can’t detect the slight licorice flavor of the Teavana in it, and while it smells a little more… I can only think of the word astringent, it doesn’t shout bergamot at me either. Huh. I don’t know what I was expecting, but so far this isn’t broadcasting any kind of “Wow!” factor.
Today felt like a mug morning, so I loaded a tea ball 1/2 way and steeped it for five minutes. I’m trying to get better about not over-steeping things, so I set my most annoying timer. When its shrieks brought me back into the room, I was surprised at how dark this one came out. Even after I put in a generous pour of milk, and a tablespoon or so of Sugar in the Raw, it is only the color of hot chocolate.
I did sample it before I put in the milk and sugar, and I found that its sharp dry smell had been blunted rather decisively. This tastes a lot milder than I had anticipated, and while it’s a nice and even EG I guess I’m just craving something… different. I love everything this company stands for – organic, free-trade, bio-degradable packaging – and I wanted to love their tea as well, but it’s just not grabbing my senses and sending them whirling. It’s a nice standard cup, but probably won’t be a staple.
I don’t know what it is, but ever since summer break started for me, I feel like there is less time in the day than before, and I don’t even have homework to do! I can rarely brew tea and actually sit down with it. I am up and down doing house chores or tending the dogs and cats or running errands. I think chores are inventing themselves now that I have time for them.
I brewed a cup of this yummy kukicha, determined to force a proper break on myself. My husband watched Top Gear during his lunch break and I left the television on after he left and I went to the grocery store. When I came back, I brewed this tea and sat down on the couch, planning to change the channel at first. But I was curious about what was already on. It was Dr. Who!
I commented somewhere recently (somewhere on Shmiracles log I think) that I am not a Dr. Who fan as it seems so many steepsterites are. There was some strange show on the TV a few years ago and after watching it for 5 or 10 minutes, I asked my husband what it was and he said that it was Dr. Who. He also said that he wasn’t a big fan of the series (I think he refers to the older/original shows that his mother liked to watch). I don’t know exactly what episode was playing, but I think it might have been part of the 1996 movie. Whatever it was seemed creepy weird in an x-files sort of way (and I am not a fan of that type of sci fi). Since my husband didn’t have a a gloating recommendation for it, I never considered watching any more and wrote it off as an “other people” show.
Thanks to leaving the TV on after my husbands guy-tv lunch break, I discovered that I might actually enjoy Dr. Who. I added the 2005+ series to my Netflix cue and had time to watch half of the first episode before my break had to be cut short for more chores. Stupid chores! and stupid OCD that wont let me leave them be!
But lovely tea. I will always remember Kukicha now as my Dr. Who tea (^^) and now I wonder if I should watch some of the older shows too…
brewed in my small glass gong fu, so pretty. half of the leaves slowly float to the bottom. expanding slightly and turning fresh. the tea is a bright greenish yellow. i even brewed a second steep and it was only slightly less green tasting than the first. very very nice. i have another cups worth and i might even just go and brew it right now. thank you very much for this tasty cup Shelley_Lorraine!
So i was thinking I’d make a black tea and I pulled this out of my unopened samples box, not paying too much attention and kind of in a hurry. After a few minutes, when I was going to take the leaves out of the cup, I thought, “hey, thats a funny colored black tea!” It’s not exactly green though either, more like amber. I thought maybe I didnt use enough leaves or something. Oh well. Then I took a sip and it was definitely not black tea flavor. haha. Still, very good. Once I overcame the state of confusion, I decided that I like it quite a lot. It’s a very unique flavor of Green Tea.
This was what I was looking for from Arbor Teas!!! I ended up getting a sample from Silver Tips Tea of their Assam Organic tea and was trying to find a similar one from a company that sells organic Moroccan Mint AND organic Assam. Unfortunately, Arbor Teas regular Assam tastes nothing like Silver Tips but this English Breakfast one is a close contender! I love how deep and robust it is WITHOUT a hint of astringency…unlike Arbor teas Assam, Nillgeri, and Irish Breakfast(this one is a runner up to English Breakfast). Two thumbs way, way up!
This is a very solid example pu-erh and its comparatively easy on the palate. Earthy, full bodied mineral “cave floor” mineral/mushrooms without any gnarly leather notes. Brings a nice Qi to boot and is friendly enough for daily drinking. A good introduction to the world of ripe pu-erh; mellow enough, yet brings a full bodied genuine pu-erh experience.
I’m trying to drink this one more often to finish the bag. I went and got 2oz of it originally, when I thought it would be one of my faves. It really isn’t bad, but i’ve been too spoiled with options since I bought this one and it’s hard not to be picky.
I didn’t think much of it before, but this dragonwell has a lot of twigs in the mix, maybe that is what is taking from its potentially more vegetal flavor? It’s very mildly smoky, I think.
3.5g/12oz water 1.5min@170deg
I tried different brewing parameters this time. Trying to get it just right! I used 3 grams for 16oz of water and steeped for 1.5min at 175. It was a pretty decent cup. I haven’t been careful about introducing the water slowly at the edge before pouring directly on the leaves. I wonder how much difference that even makes. I’ll have to try it next time.
Dragonwell was one of my favorites in the beginning of my tea adventures, but lately I’ve been craving more savory vegetal greens. I have this dragonwell along with arbor teas less premium variety. I can detect the differences, but neither is particularly ‘better’ to me. I also have one from Adagio that I don’t like so much (it is vaguely reminiscent of cat pee, not kidding). I still like my dragonwells and will keep trying new ones from different sources, but it’s not my favorite green at the moment.