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Recent Tasting Notes
I’m a sucker for Christmas and teas called White Christmas. Whatever. Fight me.
Mom aka ashmanra had been holding out on me for this one because I don’t really care for artificial almond flavored stuff or amaretto and this has almond flavor, both natural and artificial, but eventually she gave in and showed up with it one day near Christmas.
You may notice that the flavors on the rating for this tea are allll over the place. Yeah. You have to make it exactly right. If you do, it’s great. It’s warm and smooth and cozy and there’s vanilla and something a little nutty. It tastes like twinkly Christmas tree lights, the pretend fireplace on, my favorite ugly blanket, and Bing Crosby music. Until it gets cold or if you didn’t make it right.
So don’t touch it once it gets cold and make sure you make it right. Think of it like a mogwai. Totally worth it.
Flavors: Almond, Vanilla
Another sample from Ost, yay. :) I don’t think I have much of a palate for jasmine teas, in the sense that I tend to just go “yup, that sure is a jasmine tea alright”. I mean, I’ve had cheaper jasmine pearls that tasted soapy to me, and this tea definitely doesn’t do that, so that’s a point in its favour. The base green tea must be pretty smooth and sweet because I’m really getting no bitterness or astringency in this at all. Lovely jasmine aroma and flavour. Why do I keep forgetting that I like jasmine tea? I do. It reminds me of going for dim sum, which I haven’t done in a really long time. Mmmm. Still waiting for spring to really kick in up here, so at least I have a nice floral green to get me in the right frame of mind. :)
Opened up the teabag rapper for this today only to find that the teabag had a giant slit in the side! And not even the side I’d opened it from? Took advantage of that though and brewed this up in my divination cup, letting whatever cuttings/fannings floated out of the slit hang out in the teacup to be read afterwards.
Flavour wise; this is definitely kind of typical Ceylon flavour notes: it’s simple, has a medium body and smooth enough flavour with a lot of floral notes and then a bit of a malty finish. Nothing fancy at all, and would probably take milk super well. I do like that it’s caffeine free – it let me break up a day of tea drinking pretty easily without feeling like I was taking a pause for something herbal or a rooibos blend. Didn’t blow me away, though.
As for the reading, I wasn’t really able to pick out any shapes or patterns from the settled tea leaf, so instead I opted to read to teacup based on the largest concentrations/deposits of tea leaf. As far as the tea leaf around the rim goes, most had settled between the cat and the sunrise positions; the rim represents your immediate or near future and the interpretation for those two symbols are as follows:
The Cat: Your free spirit seeks an outlet; you may feel like behaving unpredictably. Follow your heart and be adventurous!
The Sunrise: A new beginning or sense of rebirth!
Then I looked at the leaf that had settled around the inner circle of the cup. The inner circle represents important events coming in future weeks or months. For me, most of the leaf had clustered around the Mercury symbol which means that the coming future shall be lively and social for me and showcase communications, conversations, and travel in some form. Hmm, things to keep in mind I suppose.
Anyway, thanks VariaTEA for the sample!
This is a tasty green tea. You get a nice combination of the grassy note of the green tea base, along with a sweet note from the caramel, along with a nutty sort of note from the sesame seeds. It is good. Got it at the Coffee and Tea Festival NYC for only $5 so it’s even better.
I rewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 175 degree water for 3 min.
This is another old sample of unknown origin. It’s a really solid blend, but I think my interest in smoky teas has wanted since I requested this sample. Fortunately the smoke isn’t too overpowering; there’s a lot of earth and malt and cocoa and maybe even a hint of sweetness. It reminds me a bit of a smokier Keemun. I’m enjoying this cup, but at this point it’s not a blend I’m likely to restock. Maybe someday my tastes will swing back to the (mildly) smoky, though, and if they do I may give it another go.
Just delicious, it’s easy for me to drink a whole pot of this tea in one sitting (and I’m overly sensitive to caffeine). I don’t like black tea much but this is one of my favorites, by far.
Flavors: Bergamot, Caramel, Smooth, Vanilla
This is my second session with this tea and I’m still not sure how to rate it.
The smell of the dried leaves is amazing. Brewed not as much, though still not bad. The flavor is also not bad, but also isn’t anything that makes me think, “ooohh, I want some more of that”.
I’ve never been a fan of greens. Its quite possible it may be the reason why I don’t love this.
Oooo! This one was a surprise, because for some reason the name made me think it was going to be an unflavoured black tea blend. Ost sent me a bunch of sachets to try, so I tossed one in a mug, poured on boiling water, came back 3min later and was like “whoa… definitly not unflavoured”. :) Then I sipped and sniffed for a while, trying to guess the flavour. I definitely got a citrus flavour, thought it was bergamot or lemon. And then I was pretty sure there was a creamy vanilla sweetness in there. But it didn’t taste like just a cream earl grey, there were some other berry/fruit notes in there as well. Now that I’ve read the description, I definitely get the “preserves” essence that they describe. The base tea is rich and sweet and complements the flavour very well. This is really yummy, I’m happy to have more sachets for later. :)
I’ve had this sample for a while, but decided to do a sipdown after work today. I wanted a break from Pu-erh, so I figured a White tea would be the way to go. I tried it out in the new Gaiwan, which I find suitable for drinking tea. I enjoy my Yixing, but I am trying to use that solely for Pu-erh (Ripe Pu-erh, mostly).
Anyway, I really like the Mutan White from H&S. It’s light, refreshing, and after a few steeps, has a smooth hay-esq flavor. It almost reminds me of a Green tea by the color of the brew after the fourth steep, but still remains true to that White tea flavor (light, hay-esq, smooth, etc.). The mouth-feel isn’t dry at all, and the tea really opens up within the mouth, as well as the throat. I could drink this daily, if I had more; this was just a sample. However, when I decide to go all out with the tea purchase (I depleted the “tea fund”), I might grab a little more than a sample.
PS. I’m still drinking this tea after 8 brews (and one rinse), so it definitely is a nice tea to have a long session with. My wife mentioned that it isn’t as “heavy” as other teas I tend to drink, so it’s nice as a “before or after dinner tea…Without getting that full feeling afterward.”
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this! Despite Paris’s reputation, I was a little bit put off by the aroma, which, after I opened the tin, reminded me a lot of perfume. The taste, however, is radically different, with all of the tea’s notes working together remarkably to create a very smooth, satisfying blend that fills your mouth with flavor. Silkier and more accessible than your standard hearty black tea. I’m not sure that I can pinpoint what specific fruits the tea reminds me of. It’s just a very colorful taste. I may stick to satchets rather than loose leaves; I love the packaging, and the convenience of satchets is a nice change of pace.
Flavors: Creamy, Fruity, Smooth