In Pursuit of Tea
Popular Teas from In Pursuit of TeaSee All 27 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
The dry leaf smells floral and sweet. There is also something spicy that reminds me vaguely of clove and cinnamon. Once water has been added, I detect that starchy scent that some Yunnans have. The spice is still very present, but I have a feeling that it will lighten up a little as the cup cools.
Sipping… wow, there are some really strong leather and tobacco notes here. It’s very savory, but also has mild notes of sweet potato and milk. This is a decent cup of tea with different layers, but I think it’s a bit too sharp for me. I’m not crazy about the leather/tobacco and pepper combination. Creamier sweet potato and honey flavors would really turn this tea around, but they’re so faint that the tea remains peppery and brisk.
I’m happy to have tried this tea, but I am not all that impressed with this particular Yunnan.
A coworker gave me a 4 ounce bag of Keemun Mao Fang to try. When I first opened the bag I was pleasantly surprised by the aroma and leaf quality. The smell was slightly sweet and the leaves were intact (no broken leaves to speak of).
The only potential downside is that the tea is very light. While the first infusion is fine, the second infusion is very light which is a shame for a tea this expensive.
Samples Only TTB
I’m not much one for straight black teas usually, but the leaves were just so pretty that I decided to try this out. On top of being a black tea, the notes of tobacco mentioned scared me. I don’t smoke, so the idea made me think it would be like taking a sip of your soda, just to find out some jerk used it as an ash tray (true story, I was 10).
Thankfully it’s not like that at all. It’s hard for me to discribe the taste, hard pressed I would say sort of earthy, but also kind of sweet. I found this to be less intense than some straight blacks I’ve tried. I added a touch of sweetener and this is pretty darn good.
Resteeped, I like this even more. The sweet notes come out more, and the almost smokeishness is more subtle.
Very glad I got to try this because its something I would have never bought on my own, but I surprising quite liked it.
Samples Only TTB
After the first Steepster Select tea I was very eager to try this one.
The description worried me… a rich tobacco tang that turns to cocao and honey sweetness.
Well… I was right to worry. It really does remind of tobacco… but whoever had the idea that this tasted anything like sweetness… I don’t even. BITTER is a better word.
It tastes like tobacco and bitter. I’m good.
Flavors: Bitter, Tobacco
mj1851 sent me a sample , and as I was standing in front of my tea selection, totally uninspired, I reached for this one, thinking that anything with the name “Royal” something had to be good. It is a very mellow tea, with pleasant malt notes and natural sweetness that I quite enjoyed. I’d have to have another cup to dig a bit deeper into the flavour, but I was glad I made this choice :)
I received this as a sample from a Tea Expo, not from Upton or In Pursuit of Tea….it was just a benign little silver packet with “HIMCOOP Kuwapani Tea Plantation” on a label. it is the SFTGFOP version of their Orthodox black tea. No steep or temperature info…so today I was in the mood for something “else”, and I steeped this for 3 minutes western style at 212 degrees. I take milk and sugar in all my tea, and before I added anything I sniffed the tea. It was like a plank of oak came up and hit me in the face. BAM! Ok, this should be interesting. Not a note that the teas I’ve tried usually have, but let’s do this! The tea is a bit weak with the steep parameters I used to truly stand up against the milk and sugar, but I can tell you I’m still getting the woodsy oak, a bit of cocoa, some astringency and a touch of maltiness. Considering my steep was a crapshoot, this could be a really nice tea. I like the idea of buying tea from Nepal, so I may look into their teas a bit more and get some good steeping info if I ever get another sample!
Flavors: Cocoa, Malt, Wood
This is from the Steepster Select December 2013 box.
This is yummy! A green oolong, sweet, nutty, floral and quite a bit of buttery-ness in the first few steeps. This is really hitting the spot on this spring afternoon. This maybe a mood tea for me though. I believe when I tried this one back in December it didn’t stand out. Right now I just added it to my wish list. I would tread lightly if I were to try to purchase this again.
This is from the December 2013 Steepster Select Box.
As I am trying my best to clean up all my samples I am finding I have a lot of teas in my cupboard that I don’t have logged in my Steepster cupboard. I remember trying this one in December and not being a huge fan of it, but not knowing what to write about it. I am drinking this from the gaiwan tonight. I am still not a huge fan. I see the tobacco, earthy taste. I also get a bit of fruity tart at the end of the sweet. No hint of sweetness for me. This is good, but I am not crazy about it.
The aroma of this tea is similar to one of my favorite pipe tobaccos. The connection to Virginia No. 1 was instantaneous. The tobacco carries over into the flavor of the tea, but is balanced by a nice chocolate undertone. The flavors layered together are pleasant and balanced. This is a bold tea with wake you up flavors. It also my be the first tea that I would enjoy while smoking a pipe.
Steepster has encouraged me to drink a wider variety of teas and this led to the lesson I learned last night: Green tea has waaaaay more caffeine in it than I thought it did! I was up until 2am and then had to be up by 7am this morning, which led to me wanting a tea to kick me in the teeth this morning. Since I didn’t have a good plain black breakfast tea (how is is this possible?!? must rectify), I went with my go-to non-flavored black tea. It is a delicate black tea and oh so smooth. I managed to enjoy it despite my early morning fog of sleepiness and grumpiness. This tea is perfect if you want a good quality, stand alone black tea. Lovely flavor!
So I actually made this last night after my disappointment with the Caramel Vanilla Assam. Wanted something new and different and I remembered I had pulled this from my Dec Steepster box to try.
Opening the package I get a peppery, oddly minty smell. Which I wasn’t expecting at all. I had to give it another sniff just to be sure.
Since there was 2tsp/2.5 tsp, I just used the whole package with 12oz of water.
Steeped this at first had a….dusky smell to it is the best description I can come up with for it. Maybe hay? Chocolate? Something cooked, but not exactly smoked/burnt/roasted. Hard to describe exactly. I could probly just keep smelling the brew to figure it out. Lol.
First sip is sweet, but not in a sugary sort of way. I get the peppery taste that people mention. And definitely what I’m guessing is the tobacco. (Not having any sort of contact with tobacco/stuff of the sort I couldn’t say that this is what I’m tasting.)
At first I thought that ‘well, this isn’t bad’, but the more I’m sipping at it, the more ill drinking this tea is making me feel. So the cup ended up being poured out not even half drunk. Which is disappointing, but so it goes.
I probly should have but I didn’t even try a second steep since the first made me feel so rotten. Bleh.
I wanted an oolong and also realized I’ve only tried one tea from my Steepster freebies. Then I realized that contains TWO oolongs! So I went with this one. thank you Steepster! Instructions say 200 degrees for three minutes.
Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling // 3 min
Whew the dry leaves are super strong smelling – very vegetable! Must mean the packaging is very nice. The flavor seems the same as the fragrance: it’s actually more like a milk oolong than I would have thought. But it’s also like something vegetal – so it’s like creamy vegetables. The floral flavor makes itself known very prominently as well. There is an odd flavor I haven’t tasted in another oolong… not sure what it is but this cup doesn’t taste oversteeped at all. But this is a very unique oolong.
Steep #2 // a few minutes after boiling // 3 min
Another good cup – very similar to the first but with a stronger flavor. There is just something here in the flavor I don’t particularly love, that inches some oolongs along as favorites instead of this one.
Steepster select box that my friend insisted on sharing with me, though I had signed her up for it. I have to say, i’m a little disappointed. The price seems a little on the high side of things for what is only 10 cups of tea. Ignoring the re-steepability, that’s still 2.5 per cup with other boxes like verdant’s reserve club that gave you much more tea each month. I like the number of teas…but for 25$ i’d expect teas that knocked my socks off. This was a nice tea, but i’ve had other yunnans that were nicer or at least just as nice. Cocoa-y and malty and smooth….and a lovely cup to drink, but for that price? just didn’t live up to my expectation. I think i’d be less inclined to pick it up now when/if it becomes available simply because i expect it will cost even more to ship outside the US.
Got to eat at True Food Kitchen today,,,so yum!!! We ordered this tea to go with dessert and it had all the great qualities of Bai Mu Dan,,,sweet honey and creamy notes.
They served honey with the tea at the restaurant but it certainly does not need it as there is natural sweetness to White Peony.
Was a great Saturday and a lovely ending to lunch!!
Flavors: Cream, Honey
Got this from my December Select box!
Yeah I’ve had these teas for a while, I just keep forgetting about my Select package because I keep that (and a couple other teas in cute packaging) on my desk, while the rest of my teas are on my bookshelf!
A nice grassy, green, oolong-y smell out of the packaging.
It does have a faint colour as it steeps. Definitely different compared to the roasted oolong in the same Select package.
Dude. I freakin love how like really nice, quality teas open up SO BIG. These unraveled leaves are GORGEOUS.
It does taste really nice though. A nice smooth oolong, but it has a bit of a grassy bite to it.
Another tea from my December Steepster Select box.
A really good Oolong. Sweet, creamy and floral. The creaminess falls somewhere between butter and sweet cream. It’s a very smooth and yummy Oolong!
Subsequent infusions allowed the floral notes to develop. I also began to notice nutty flavors in the subsequent infusions. There were also indistinct fruit notes that I was picking up … they were distant throughout my experience with this tea: close enough for me to taste the fruit and wonder what it was that I was tasting but never so close that it became obvious to me. A mystery … but who doesn’t love a good mystery?
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/01/07/nantou-four-seasons-oolong-tea-pursuit-tea/