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Recent Tasting Notes
My Camellia Sinensis package arrived! With a sweet handwritten note and a gift sample of Black Indian tea! :) We are so spoiled in Montreal with Davids Teas everywhere and Camellia Sinensis… Camellia’s teas are slightly more expensive but they are also better quality, and I’m rarely disappointed. Their teas are the only ones I can drink without milk and sugar.
So all five teas I ordered were blind-buys (well, expect for creme of Earl Grey), that’s how much I trust them haha!
And… I’m not disappointed! This tea is such a treat! I tried it both straight and with milk and sugar and it’s equally delicious. It’s heavier with milk but it makes me feel like I’m drinking a hot chocolatea, or teacolate? I wonder if they put flavours in this, but if they don’t it REALLY tastes like chocolate! Also, I don’t really get the pu’erh, though I’m not exactly sure what pu’erh is supposed to taste like…
I can’t wait to get my Chocolate Rocket from Davids to compare. I hope it’s really chocolatey. So! Another Davids package to come (probably on Monday) and I shall be ready for winter (as if…)
Sarsita (Sarsonator) has been kind enough to share her fungus with us. Which admittedly, doesn’t SOUND like a good thing, but in this case it so IS. Along with Sarsy and the Lovely Tea Fairy, The Teaplets had a Sunday morning fungus party. This is our third round of fungus – we started with the 2010 and the 2011 and today was the 2013. Sarsy and I like this one best, while LTF prefers 2010.
This was delicious with a really sweet, earthy-mushroomy taste that I enjoyed quite a lot. The body feel was all relaxation with a slight head buzz. A most enjoyable way to start Sunday – great friends and great tea.
Roswell Strange sent me a bit of this in trade and I have to say that it is pretty amazing. There’s a bit of a bite to the end of the sip that I can’t quite track down the reason for but the tropical feeling of coconut and pineapple are very delicious together. I added milk and sugar because I do that for black tea and it’s become a sweet dessert.
Well this was disappointing. I have been impressed with Camellia Sinensis so far but this is a huge miss for me, at least as a hot brew. It tastes incredibly artificial and almost has a clayesque flavor that is really putting me off. Every now and then I get a hint of fruit but nothing distinctive and it really isn’t strong enough to redeem the cup. The last of this sample is getting cold brewed or iced but I doubt this is one I will be sad to see go. Still, thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to try this because it is one I certainly might have picked up in an order. Now I know better.
From the Lewis and Clark TTB.
Brewed gongfu-style with gaiwan. Steeping times: 20 sec, 15, 20, 30, 45, 60.
The leaf consists of twisty forest green leaves, whose color brightens when they are first infused. Even though they were picked from the bush long ago, they appear as if their life is retained. At first the aroma is generally sweet and buttery. But as the leaf cools, the notes change: kettlecorn and sweet potatoes with marshmallows (like the Thanksgiving dish), and then squash and zucchini. Each infusion produces a pale green liquor – almost neon – that is medium-bodied, creamy, vegetal and sweet.
This is an unusual-tasting tea. It is similar to a FF Darjeeling (possibly as a result of the hard wither each receives), but with more of a tart tang and fruit-like element to it. A FF Darjeeling on steroids, perhaps.
First infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz water, 90 deg., 2:00 min.
Second infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 4:00 min.
Third infusion – 3 g. per 8 oz. water, 90 deg., 10:00+ min.
This is one of my favourite oolong teas. I first tried it at high tea at the “Chateau Frontenac” in Quebec city and fell in love with it. It is creamy and buttery with a hint of coconut and a slightly sweet taste. I brew it Gong Fu style and each steep is delightful.
2. 25 seconds
3. 25 seconds
4. 25 seconds
5. then double the time for each additional steep
95 degrees celsius
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Creamy, Vanilla
This is a black wulong tea and it is smoky, creamy with a taste of dark chocolate and a creamy taste which is more like a caramel cream taste which appears as it is steeped multiple times in the Gong Fu Cha style.
Gong Fu Cha:
95 degree C water in Gong Fu
Then double each steep
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Dark Chocolate, Smoke
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/
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!
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 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