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Recent Tasting Notes
Most chais have been huge misses for me because I often find them too overspiced with one spice or another. When I brewed this, the cocoa that was prominent in the bag was definitely being overpowered by the smell of the spices. That made me worried. However, with my first sip, my fear subsided because this is one chocolate-y tea – more a fudgey, baked-good type chocolate than a milky, smooth chocolate bar. Of course, there is also a nice spice to this cup to really round out the flavors. All in all a nice chai.
Tea number 3 in my Hanukkah present from the roomie and so far it is my least favorite. Luckily that is due to the others being so awesome and not this one being bad. In general I don’t usually grab greens or florals and this is both so I was a bit hesitant but it smelled really good so I was excited to try it nonetheless. This tea is light and floral and sweet – a nice tea for the afternoon although nothing particularly special.
Second tea from my Hanukkah present from my roommate and so far she is two for two! This tea smells like a candy and tastes like one too. I can’t quite put my finger on which candy but it is a delicious cherry hard candy. Luckily, it manages to avoid tasting like cough syrup so it is a delightfully sweet hard candy in a cup with some hints of floral to round out the flavors.
I got back last night from visiting my family late so my roommate has already gone to sleep. Today when we finally saw each other she presented me with my Hanukkah present – FOUR NEW CAMELLIA SINENSIS TEAS!!! They all smelled so fruity and delicious and I could not wait to test them out. So I brewed up this tea for the both of us to try. It is really good. It is not as delicate as most teas are but still a light, citrus-y and fruity tea. Delicious!!
This tea is from Dexter3657. Thanks! :)
This is so good. It actually survived in my travel mug during my winter walk really well. It still had nice flavour, and isn’t too strong with a 2 minute steep.
I have to try it in a ceramic mug instead of a stainless travel mug, but so far it’s on my list of “teas to buy”!
From the Great Canadian TTB.
I am not sure if this was meant to be. I could not, for the life of me, find this tea on steepster, I also had trouble finding it on the Camellia Sinensis website. So I added it. So this note might be in the wrong place. I am not sure what’s going on at the moment. Its supposed to blizzard today, it hasn’t started storming yet, but my boss called me and told me to just stay home today so I don’t get storm stayed anywhere. So now I am a bit out of sorts because I am ready to go but no where to go. I don’t like it when my schedule it all messed up. HA. I shouldn’t be complaining, its basically a paid day to stay home and drink tea all day :D
This tea smells strongly of vanilla. The brewed tea is a light black base, but the bergamot is moderately strong. There is definitely a strong caramel and vanilla flavour. As it cools, the caramel is getting quite bitter. But while hot, it was super delicious.
Had some of this last night and continuing with it this morning. Thanks MissB for the sample.
There isn’t much info about the tea, but it reminds me of Bluebird’s Raspberry Beret. For me there is quite a bit of rooibos coming though. It’s really fruity, and I’m thinking creamy raspberry. I think it’s nicely balanced, a little sweet a little tart. It’s nice. Thanks MissB.
Sipdown (of sorts?)! Dexter3657 sent me some of this to try and I was not a fan. Not wanting another cup but having enough tea to make at least one more, I got creative. The rest of this tea was infused into butter to make an amazing gluten-free Chai Banana Loaf. The flavors that I found too strong in the cup (i.e. cardamom) really shined in the loaf mixed with the banana and bready goodness. I hope you don’t feel I wasted the sample, because it really did add another dimension to an already great loaf recipe. Thank you so much Dexter3657 for the ingredients to make such a delicious treat.
Mmm this is quite tasty. More to come.
Thanks Dexter3657. I love that you sent me so many black teas I haven’t tried :)
I had my second cup of this today because a friend came over and said she wanted something not too sweet and something with roses. I do not have many floral teas as I find they can get quite perfume-y but I recommended this. Though it is not roses, it does have a similar floral taste to it. And the lychee has a nice sweetness but it is in no way cloying.
A plus – this tea steeps really nicely a second time around.
My roommate picked some of this up yesterday when we went to Camellia Sinensis. There were many matchas to pick from but the salesman recommended this as a casual matcha for everyday drinking. Though we drank the other teas she purchased yesterday, this one went into the fridge to have today as my roommate worried about the caffeine content.
Today when we were making breakfast, she put a cup of this in my hand. This is the first time I tried flavorless matcha and tbh I did not hate it. Looking into the cup, it had a vibrant dark green color and so I was definitely expecting the vegetal taste that I got. However, what I was not expecting was the creaminess that came along with it. All in all, this was not a bad cup of tea and I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
I’ve been buying chai from almost every company I’ve ordered from. I keep searching for that illusive “perfect” chai. I’m spending today drinking chai. I’m hoping to try all the ones I have and compare them to each other. I’m not going to rate them until the end, so that they end up in the correct order.
I’ve started with a pretty good one. I quite like this, I think the spices are well balanced but it’s a bit too spicy for me. Either needs less leaf or more black tea added. All in all I’m off to a good start. I think this will end up in the mid 80s
I got a sample of this from Dexter3657 and unfortunately I don’t think this one is for me. I can’t quite put my finger on why but one of the spices (I believe it was the cardamom) was too strong for me liking and so it was hard to get passed that. Thank you for the sample though, Dexter3657!
This was the other tea I was drinking at work today.
Strange little tea, looks like a rolled oolong (sticks included) but tastes like a black – unusual black, but black.
I’m sure I’m not the best person to describe this. I don’t think it’s malty or chocolatey, it’s not spicy, there is some fruitiness (can’t pick out what I think they are). I don’t think this is quite like anything I’ve had before. The first two steeps were really good, but then it just died on the third – I just dumped it. I really liked it, had fun with it at work today, will continue to enjoy the package I have, but it’s not my favorite black tea from Camellia Sinensis.
Wow – this is a much better choice today. I LOVE this. Different than other blacks I’ve been drinking. It’s bold and malty (tiniest hint of chocolate) but there are some fruity notes too – I’m getting citrus rather than cherry, but fruity none the less. The citrus notes adds a bit of astringency but more in a flavor way rather than in a bitter way. This astringency is really well balanced with the sweetness.
This has the potential of being added to my “must have list”. This really works for me, fantastic.
My second tasting and as I remembered the smells of this tea set your mind a spinning. I only had 3g left and used my smallest gaiwan with very little water. The aromas are equally represented in the flavors as well. Tons of flowers, hints of ground ginger and a bit of bitterness which oddly adds to the flavor profile. Subsequent steeps and a sweetness emerges along with that bracing bitter which is a kin to licking slate, all along with that sumptuous flower. There is also a great punch of energy that needs to be exploited with my day off today. May this single tree last many more centuries.
Steeped 8gm in 240ml yixing as recommended. Ist two steeps did not show me anything from the roasting. The gardenia, honeysuckle aromas and flavors are present, the grassiness is subdued. The liqour color is a golden yellow with a smidgen of brown. Steeps 3-5 had more structure with the artichoke vegetal notes coming in to play. Still not tasting the roast which I think is OK, maybe I’m not supposed to. I just wanted the roasting to concentrate those TGY traits I love so much a little more.
Another delicious black from dexter! operation get under 200 this weekend so i can make a teeny, tiny purchase is in effect! lol. I ended up drinking this one without really stopping to focus on it while doing this dishes this morning. What i can say is that this is somewhere between a fruity tea and a malty tea. It’s got a bit of both happening, though not overwhelmingly so. I really need to place an order with this company soonish…
This was another interesting tea from Dexter. I don’t quite know how to describe it. I would order this again to try it, and i’m sending on a bit to my tea sister terri so that she can try it. I like that it’s rolled like oolongs typically are. The taste isn’t super bold, but there’s enough going on here that i am enjoying the cups i’ve had (it resteeps nicely).
Thanks for sharing some interesting teas with me dexter!
Was in a rush to get out the door this morning so I tried this tea thinking it would be a straight forward red tea and I would like it and go to work. Wrong. I used my Teavana large perfecta tea maker with 1 tbs tea to 16 oz water. The dry leaf has a slight pekoe smell. I poured in the water and saw the most beautiful red fawn color. The aromas had some fruitiness and also a very faint hint of kimchi, thats right kimchi. I make kimchi at home and yes it can get a bit boisterous but it also has this gentle sweetness from the chile flakes in it that I recognized in its bouquet. The steeping took all of 15 seconds, with flavors of apricot, pâte sucrée and bit of malt. Smooth very smooth, nothing screamed at you. I consumed my two cups in a hurry and brewed another, this time 20 seconds to get that same color. Just as good, I ran out of hot water and time at that point so see you tomorrow Uva Amba.
My first Gong Fu tasting with all the pieces together. My husband graced me by joining and providing some interesting points. The tea has a nice matted hair appearance with leaves sticking out as if to escape the pod and a dry leaf aroma of prune. Used 7g in 240 yixing.
1st steep – wet leaf aroma of some sweet flower couldn’t tell which one. Flavors of a perfume and a slight aftertaste of slate. I guess this is the rock I see in other tastings.
2nd steep – added 5 sec. Leaf aroma is now definitely gardenia. The taste of the flower is also now present in the soup with the rock holding steady but the flavor is of wet rock not dry.
3rd steep – added 5 sec. Leaf aroma is now a bouquet of gardenia. What an impressive scent. It couldn’t come from an atomizer any stronger. The rock appears again after the florals have dissipated. I might mention that the floral notes do not stick around as long as I would like they are so intoxicating. The best steep.
4th-6th steep and the wet leaf aromas start to fade but gradually, but the florals in the soup drop off rather quickly. There also is now a sweetness in the aftertaste I wished was there in the 3rd steep. Rock flavor has softened too. A heavier mouth feel compared to earlier steeps is noted.
A nice tea. I can say that I enjoyed the aromas better than the tea itself, but this is my first time brewing this tea and I’ve read that it is difficult to get straight the first time. I think I should either brew in a smaller gaiwan or use more leaf 10g but that is a lot of tea for two. A lower temp, say 180F/82C, I think would be gentler to the leaf. One question in regard to Gong Fu preparation. When you are pouring into the yixing does it matter if its clockwise or counter clockwise. Tradition is everything when brewing these fantastic teas for me.
After years of waiting, CS finally (FINALLY) got more of this in stock.
I haven’t had sheng in a long time, now. I’ve been focused on the world of seriously aged shou, laoshan black, yunnan golden, wuji oolong and my always beloved lapsang. In other words, the teas I have unglazed clay pots to steep them in.
So, I had to make this naka in my wide, shallow gaiwan (which I found thanks to Bonnie and her blog post with Fr. Evan).
It had been so long since I’d had a sheng that it was almost like starting over with a tea I’d never experienced before.
For those of you who are serious about sheng, this is a 10 year aged packed into bamboo tubes and it is not exactly entry level sheng. All the usual complexities and textures and tingling sensations one hopes to have from a fine sheng.
A 25g order will get you a small puck about the size of an incense charcoal. Be warned, picking this apart is difficult — they pack it very tightly!
I wish this Pu Erh would also be a perfume… The liquor has an amazing arrange bright color and the smell out of the tea pot is strong masculine made of leather and camphor oil and slightly floral. No astringency in the liquor and an amazing journey through the 8+ steeps. It is going interesting to see its evolution through the year!
The scent of this steeping is really good at garnering compliments!