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Recent Tasting Notes
Quite possibly the best jasmine pearls I have ever tasted. The jasmine flavour is present but not too overwhelming like some. The second steep on this magnificent tea is my favourite. This is the type of tea I love to share with friends
Flavors: Herbaceous, Jasmine
Brewed in a Gong Fu for a total of 8 steeps. The tea is floral, buttery with a taste of pine nuts. It is slightly grassy and it is refreshing. I found the butter and cream taste came out more at the end then at the beginning.
This is how I brewed it:
90 degree Celsius water
first THREE steeps 25 seconds
and each steep after the first three is doubled in time
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Grass, Nuts
We are starting with the 2010 fungus and moving to newer years later. I think I like this more when I drink it on it’s own, not intending to compare it to the others that I purchased. It’s lightly sweet and less astringent that I remember, though I do feel it has a slightly dry finish.
It gives a nice woozy feeling, which I always enjoy!
It’s time, tea friends. Time for the 3rd and final tasting of what me and my TeaFFs affectionately call – Fungus Tea!
I made all years using the same method, which can be found on the 2013 note.
Firstly, this smells incredible. Like grapes and fruit leather, specifically fruit rollups. And not just ANY fruit rollup. CHERRY fruit rollups, which always happened to be my personal fave growing up.
And now, the taste… I’m going in!
Not quite cherry fruit rollup, sadly. This oddly has no sweetness and an astringent finish, which neither of the first two teas had. The 2013 was especially sweet, IMO. Neither the 2011 nor 2013 had one trace of bitterness, but there is some bitterness here. I can only speculate that these were from different makers and different types of original material?
In any event, you must drink it hot! As it cools it becomes significantly less pleasant, and more bitter. The nicer aspects are the aromas and the leather flavors. This also leaves a dry finish on the tongue, which I did not notice on the first two teas.
To sum up:
Buy the 2013. But for goodness sakes, people. LEAVE SOME FOR ME! :p
Buy the 2011. It’s an interesting contrast to the 2013 version.
Pass on the 2010, or just order a small sample at first.
I lucked out because I ordered a huge chunk of the 2013 since it was cheaper, and it ended up being my fave.
Well I still like it, but this is nothing like the 2013 I got from CS.
This is a little smoky and less sweet, though it IS still somewhat sweet. It also has more of an aged flavor. A bit less complex. I like it, but I’m super glad that I ordered a much larger block of the 2013!!!!
I admit that it’s hard to rate this on it’s own merits without comparing it to yesterday’s tea because… DAMN.
Here’s yesterday’s tea! http://steepster.com/Sarsonator/posts/262092
And a pic from today’s session! http://instagram.com/p/sgEEP4PkUy/
No notes yet. Add one?
So as a staples employee, working tonight was like working on Christmas, as in it aways crazy busy. When I finally got home, I decided to make a cup of tea and before even deciding what to make, I set it to boil because I knew I felt like having black tea. Anyways, as the kettle heated, I noticed a package on the table from my awesome tea twin and inside was this tea. Immediately, I made my decision and oh what a right decision it turned out to be.
The scent of this brewed cup is sort of buttery but the taste is coconutty pineapple deliciousness. It’s creamy and sweet from the coconut with an amazing pineapple tang to curb the sweetness from becoming cloying. It is really hitting the spot as many Camellia Sinensis teas tend to do so thank you Roswell Strange for this awesome midnight treat!
I haven’t been logging teas much, and I’ve been missing Steepster. How is everyone? I hope all is well!
This tea really works wonders on my mood. Things have been a little wonky lately, but this gave me a nice reset and I’m feeling happy again!
Have I ever mentioned how much I love tea???? Hooray for tea!!!!!
I know I love A LOT of teas. And I love them with all my heart, but this fucking tea… It’s incredible.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to brew this and I admit to being far too lazy to walk from the kitchen to the living room to grab a device connected to the interwebz to look it up.
Method: 5 g, 4 oz, 200 degrees, 30-60-60 (no rinse), Novak teapot (glazed)
Aroma: Smells like fucking genmaicha. I curse when I get excited.
Flavor: The first thing is that this is fucking SWEET. All on it’s own, with zero additives. I didn’t want to rinse and get rid of all the fungy goodness, so the bag said 4-5 min western style and I made up my own semi-gongfu times. NBD.
This tasted kind of like a black tea at times, but a little like a green tea. I’m having a hard time finding words other than: Good. Yum. Fuckin. MOFO. Nom.
I also bought 2010 and 2011 versions from CS, but I started with the 2013, which was purchased in larger quantity since it was cheaper. For realz, yo. Y’all gotta try this.
I’ll be trying the other years over the next day or 2. Can’t! Wait!!!!
If your a pineapple and coconut fan do yourself a favor and get yourself some of this tea quick! The bag is full of shredded coconut, pieces of dried pineapple and black tea, in fact, there seems to be more of the first two ingredients in my bag than the last! A brewed cup screams of mouthwatering pineapple and creamy coconut and is simply delicious with a splash of milk. Hope the rest of my Camillia Sinensis tea haul live up to the high standard that this tea has set!
I wanted a more interesting way to finish this blend off and I got it! I made it up as a tea soda and drank it today in place of my standard cold brew (truth is time just got away from me and I didn’t strain my cold brew in time – and now it’s too late for something caffeinated).
I actually think this tea soda may have been the best version of this one that I’ve tried; at first it was mostly just sweet licoricey anise which, while it does work very well as a soda flavour, was ultimately a little flat and one dimensional. But after the soda started to go just a little bit flat I began noticing very fresh ripe pear notes at the tail end of the sip and lingering into the aftertaste and a bit of a floral top note that could compete with the strong anise.
Overall, a very, very memorable and pleasant way to finish this one off! In the future I may reorder it though currently I certainly have enough licoricey teas on hand to keep me more than satisfied.
…Another boring one.
I seriously need to figure out a better way to finish off the rest of the leaf for this one because if I end up sipping it down as a cold brew I just know I’m going to be finishing it off on a flat note and that’s not what I want.
Suggestions for ways to switch things up welcome.
I’ve decided not to keep hoarding this blend anymore; for whatever reason it doesn’t quite seem like the right time of year for this blend – and I do have quite a bit of other white tea currently as well.
This cold brew actually came out a touch bitter/drying which is odd as that’s not a problem I tend to have with the majority of cold brews – I suppose most of the measured out leaf was broken up or little fannings from the bottom of the tin but I didn’t think that would affect the brew as much as it did. In addition to adding some dryness, I thought the hay notes were a bit stronger than normal as well.
As always, very strong anise notes. This is not a blend for people who dislike licorice/anise – the flavour isn’t really pointed out in the description but it’s there! I still wish the pear wasn’t as drowned out as it is – but it’s present too. Very sweet and supple; like a Bartlett pear more than anything else.
I’ve got the next two days off, so definitely looking forward to writing some tasting notes and trying some of the numerous blends/samples I received this week! There’s lots of goodies to go though (some I’ve already had and will be posting notes for)…
This was a cold Brew! Since it’s one I’ve cold brewed previously I didn’t record any notes for this particular blend since it was pretty spot on to other times I’ve cold brewed it. Definitely check out my other notes on this one if you’re interested in the details, though. Basically it’s sweet licorice/anise with undercurrents of pear.
Today’s word of the day is… Prescience.
Prescience is the “knowledge or awareness of things before the exist or happen”. I wonder if that’s like a fancy way of saying psychic? That’s definitely the context I’m imagining it being used in.
So I have a whole bunch of this one, and for the most part I’ve just enjoyed it the same way since getting it so I figured it would be worthwhile to do something different with it, although I didn’t really do anything drastically different – but still. So here we go: Peking Opera Cold Brew?
This is pretty anise heavy as a hot cup so I don’t know why any part of me thought that a cold version would be any different. I guess I expected the soak to bring out the pear? And it did, but of course it brought out the anise too. Duh. So yeah, this was really anise saturated with pear undertones. Still maintained a “freshness” to it, but the balance between those two main flavours was really thrown off. Not bad, though. Part of me somewhat feels that Butiki’s Pear Jasmin Candies will taste relatively like this, and if that’s the case then if I enjoy them I wont feel nearly as crushed by the fact they wont be available again.
So what next for this one? Well, I recently bought a bunch of Golden Pear liqueur so I think maybe I’ll mix some of that into a hot cup of this one. That might “right” the balance of flavours a little more and what’s better than tea and alcohol? The two best drinks rolled into one…
Wow, this was really, really creamy and anise heavy tonight. It almost totally buried all the pear and base flavour although ultimately both were still partly present. I enjoyed the cup but was overall hoping for something that was a little more balanced out.
And now my whole living room smells very strongly of anise.
I think I’ve asked before, but is anyone else watching The 100? A tumblr user made a VERY cool gif based on a suggestion I made, and now I have all the feels. I just want there to be like four more seasons released all at once tomorrow so I have something to mass stream; I hate watching TV shows as they actually air. My heart can’t take it.
Cool thing about this fandom, though, is that pretty well EVERYONE agrees on the ships in it. Like, it’s pretty much a universal constant that the fans agree Bellamy and Clarke are perfect for each other; they compliment one another and bring about the best in each other but are two solid, unique characters who can function on their own too. I mean, there are other totally cute pairing in the series (Octavia and Lincoln, Finn and Raven, etc). but there are really no ship wars.
Last tea of the night.
Made this one when I got home from work simply because I was craving a good, White tea. I’m so tired now though – I’m almost literally fighting to stay awake to write this note. So since I’ve done a more detailed description of this before I’ll just use jot notes and keep things short/simple:
- Strong Aroma of Anise/Licorice
- Very “dewy” in flavour (“fresh”)
- Bold anise/licorice notes softened by ripe pear juices
- Milder Cream/Hay notes
- I slightly oversteeped so there’s a very faint bitter edge
First to review this one as well.
It’s the last one from my most recent order, and I think out of the three blends I got this is probably the most interesting/unusual blend. Dry, it smells like very strong, sweet Star Anise/Licorice with this subtle fresh pear fragrance. The word “Dewy” also comes to mind when I smell it. You know, like wet flowers? Well, kinda anyway. It’s not abundantly floral but that’s the image I get.
Steeped up, this is definitely very full of character and flavour. The strong Star Anise/Licorice is well balanced by a supple pear flavour and accented by mild notes of sweet hay, honey, and some really light cinnamon. It’s also just the faintest bit floral. Really, there’s a lot going on here and it seems like just a really weird flavour combination in general, but especially so over top a white base.
But for a tea that is supposed to be pear “and spice” (I looked up Helichrysum and it’s the flower of the Curry Plant? It’s supposed to smell and taste somewhat like what you’d imagine an Indian Restaurant to smell/taste like) I really felt like there actually wasn’t a whole lot of spice going on. I mean, Star Anise yeah – lots. But that’s more sweet, you know?
That said; I quite like it! Though, I think it’s going to take several more cups of it to really, truly wrap my mind around everything going with this one. Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with a few people and we can compare flavour notes…
Flavors: Anise, Licorice, Pear
This is one of three iced tea blends Camellia Sinensis has recently released for summer. A blend of black tea, green tea, guava, rose, bergamot, vanilla and cornflower it is quite delicious on a hot hot summer’s day (which we are still getting in the bucket loads here in Southern California at the end of August). I cold brewed this overnight in the fridge as per the directions on the bag and was pleasantly surprised with the results. The scent is mildly fruity and the taste is delightfully tropical with a hint of guava. Yum!
I prepared this tea Gaiwan style and it was sweet with smoky notes. It is claimed to be cultivated without pesticides which is a good thing. It gets sweeter with multiple steeps and the smoky notes hand on throughout. A great green tea from Vietnam!
Flavors: Herbaceous, Smoke, Sweet, Vegetal
Hmm, something is wrong here. This tastes exactly like my last cold brew, but the smell. Oh, the smell is so bad. I don’t understand why, either! I did literally nothing different with leaf or water amount, and it got an almost identical brew time as the last batch. But for whatever reason this smells like pee this morning.
And I don’t know if I can do it guys; it tastes good – very lemony, a little bit of papaya underneath that, but this smell is really distracting and it’s making my tummy do somersaults. Uhhh…
Anyway, the last little bit is gonna be given to my friend Robyn; I just don’t love this one so I might as well share it with someone else who’ll learn from it and hopefully enjoy it more!
Wow, it feels nice not having a queue! Just gotta log stuff I had today, which wasn’t a lot…
I cold brewed this; the hot brew was really disappointing (but not really bad – just not what I had anticipated) and when I tried it I immediately knew this would be better suited for an iced or cold brewed tea, so that’s the next step I’m taking having this one.
Immediately I’m noticing an improvement, though I’m not sure whether that’s because I’m prepared for the very strong lemon flavour or if it’s because this one is actually better cold brewed. Maybe both. Actually, most definitely probably both.
But yeah; this is still very lemony with other citrus notes to it. It treads a very thin line between tart and sweet, and it’s very natural tasting. Seriously, there’s nothing artificial about this. I almost wonder if it would be enhanced by some sugar or agave; I think that would maybe make it more lemonade like. In addition to the strong lemon/citrus flavour there’s a rawness to it, and only the word “leafy” is coming to mind but I know that’s not the word I want to use. More so, it’s like…
I don’t know. It’s like a dried green leaf, but chalkier and not a leaf. Or chalky. God dammit; I can’t think of the words I want here. Ugh. Fucking lexical gap.
Positive things: I actually noticed the papaya this time. It was really subtle and if I hadn’t been looking I probably would have missed it, but buried under the taste of natural/raw lemons and leaves and stuff was some very mellow papaya adding a touch of sweetness and actually making this seem a little more tropical, like the name suggests it should be.
And VariaTEA I know I sent you some of this so get on it so I can finally compare notes with someone! I need to see whether I’m craving with the raw lemon/leaf thing! Maybe you can capture the idea I have but am so desperately struggling to convey.
Stupid Steepster Server…
Anyway; first review for this blend. Again, no pressure right? Right.
I actually put off placing my Camellia Sinensis order for about two months because this blend was out of stock, and I really really wanted to try it. The day they restocked this, I made my order. It was a very satisfactory feeling. That said, I had a hot cup of this the day my order arrived, and I was definitely quite disappointed by it.
Dry, it smells very very damn lemony. Lemon fucking everything, really. And not in a tart way or a sweet way – but sorta in a “Vitamin C” citrus health pill/acidic chalky lemon crap type way. That’s really a terrible description, but I’m writing this note based on the notes I wrote myself like a week ago, and it’s 2AM and I’m really tired. The words are not coming easily to me.
Steeped, this is still pretty well pure lemon with no noticeable papaya. None. Literally none. Which is crushing, because that’s the aspect of this blend that attracted me to it in the first place. But hey, at least the lemon tastes pretty ok. Like I said, it’s not sweet and it’s not “puckering tart” or anything – it’s just really strong and fairly natural. It reminds me so much, in a hard to describe way, of citrus health drinks or that instant powdered lemonade stuff that comes in little premeasured packs for water bottles. But with the instant lemonade it’s not that taste it reminds me of, it’s the smell of the stuff.
So next up will be a cold brewed version of this. I honestly don’t have the ‘highest of hopes’ but I think, if nothing else, the strong lemon flavour of this blend will be better suited to a cold cup than a hot one. I just want some damn papaya! Just give me a LITTLE. Just a pinch.
Flavors: Lemon, Lemongrass