Life In Teacup
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Recent Tasting Notes
This just SMELLS Malty!
The color is a light to light-medium brown.
The taste is near a roasted peanut type taste. Not really nutty or peanut butter tasting but very hard to thing of anything else that it would be near taste-wise…but certainly roasted…NOT Smokey…roasted. It might come to me more clear at a later date. This is pretty good tho!
Okay…so…first things first…70+ points just for the concept and photo of the snowflakes on the lake…(see pic in description)…neat, neat, neat!!!! :)
A while ago I used to not like Jasmine Teas. I think it was because I had OLD Jasmine or Over Infused Jasmine because once I started really trying to taste them for what they were…JASMINE…FLOWERS…I started to appreciate them more. OR maybe, I was just getting more serious about being a tea reviewer than to totally discount it!? Not sure…but…regardless…on to the review of THIS tea, shall we!?
Yes…Intense JASMINE scent. Very much so – Before, During, and After Infusion. While the green tea leaves were infusing all I could think of was seaweed or water plant life going with the flow of the water. It was a very cool experience to watch it. It lives up to it’s description because the petals do rise to the middle and top of the liquid that is steeping. It really does give it the affect of snowflakes on a lake. It’s lovely and a brilliant idea for a tea.
The taste is VERY Jasmine…VERY FLORAL…with a pleasant aftertaste…it’s NOT bitter at all. I really like that!!!! It almost has a sweeter or juicy ending…NICE.
I read a previous review making special note on the 2nd infusion…I am going to put it to the test…stay tuned. A VERY quick thumbs up for this tea! What an experience!
Life in Teacup…I must say I am VERY pleased with your customer service!!! I’ve VERY excited to try your tea! This is the first one I will be tasting! I see it’s a well rated cup here on Steepster and now I will be a part of it as well! YAY!!!! This is screaming 2nd (or more) infusion(s)!!! Here’s my first go-around with this roasty-toasty dude…
It’s a gentle smoke scent paired with a little bit of woodsy and almost a natural puckery sweet…maybe apple-scent!? LOVELY…and VERY unique!
Oh my…I have to laugh…but for GOOD reason…I see that more than one reviewer on Steepster also added WOW regarding this tea…and I thought it was funny…but there I go saying now…WOW…and I’ll say it again…WOW…I can’t say as I have ever tasted anything quite like this…VERY NICE…Unique is rarely bad in my book.
It’s acting like it’s a sweet type taste and ‘fakes you out’ and ‘changes it up’ into a woodsy type taste…then you can taste the smoke. The smoke is VERY pleasant and makes you all warm and fuzzy inside!!! I am picking up on a Apple/Lemon type flavor as an aftertaste, almost…
I agree with the other posts about this being a different kind of a smoke! It’s not your Souchong type…it’s much different…and very relaxing!!!
This Oolong was a very nice surprise in so many ways!!!!
This is the first time I have tried an oolong that has been roasted traditionally over charcoal but I have to admit I am hooked.
The taste is a delight. This oolong rolls over your tongue and leaves behind the tastes of pear and hazelnut. The aftertaste is lingering and is both drying and sweet. And it leaves you craving for more. My first cup disappeared too quickly to really analyze the flavors as I couldn’t drink it quickly enough. The second went the same way. I was finally able to slow down and savor the flavor on my third mug.
Backlogging from last night.
I originally tried drinking this “Chinese style” with the leaves in the tea cup. After battling floating leaves through most of one cup and hardly being able to taste anything except the leaves that kept creeping into my mouth I decided that the Chinese must be either crazy or very skilled & dumped the leaves into my green tetsubin, adding a bit more since the pot is obviously larger than my cup.
Ah, much better. The pale pale gold liquor was vegetal, nutty, and (with a tiny bit of sugar) had a buttery, almost silken, mouth-feel. You know how it feels to drape a heavy silk brocade over your arm and hand and then you turn your arm this way and that to feel how it drapes and swishes, pretending that you are wearing a formal kimono with long, flowing sleeves? Yeah, it was kinda like that.
This tea’s note is gonna have to jump the line in front of my Shakespeare one. Oh, what a joyous tea-drinking day! The Shakespeare tea (to be named later) was a revelation. This tea (I’m not even done with the first infustion) had me doing this (the PG tips intro for those who haven’t seen it — I’d be the monkey): http://www.pgtips.co.uk/
I’ll probaby do some editing on this note later to add info on the further steeping times and give it a rating. I was planning on having a lazy tea/book day and then I got a call to do an interview for a temporary summer library gig to help me get more hours/$. So I didn’t really do anything special with this tea. I plopped the whole packet into my large teapot (I know — sorry fellow oolong lovers, but I needed an oolong STAT and propriety flew out the window), but I did take 20 seconds to rinse the tea.
The smell was like a whammy to my scent memory (both the dry and infused tea). There’s something in my childhood it evokes. I think that I’ve narrowed it down to the church potlucks my family used to go to. They were held in a basement (sorta creepy but cool at the same time), and there was always a section of hot vegetable dishes. That’s this smell mixed with something else. I keep thinking that the something else has to do with early elementary school. I think that it may be the smell of the little boxes I used to keep my pencils, scissors and crayons in (like a cigar-box, but for school supplies). Weird, but true. If I hadn’t had oolong before, then it’d probably scare me off. But sweet baby jeebus on a pogostick: sip one and I was floored. This is oolong joy in my mouth! It’s got depth, a sweetness, a floralness, just yummy oolonginess! TG
ETA: getting ready for the 10th large cup infusion. This is ridiculous (but in a good way). I’ve been drinking this tea since around noon and it’s almost 10 hours later and it’s still pretty dang good. The flavor has definitely mellowed, but I love the sweetness that remains. ::sigh:: I love you tea!
Yes, I was right: very light and lovely! I can see why Gingko compared it to a green style Tie Guan Yin — it’s got that same flowery sweetness to it. This one seems a bit earthier, but definitely in the same family. It only lasted through a few steeps, but it was really great while it lasted!
Happy May Day/Beltane to all! This has been a beyond marvelous day for me: I tried this tea with my new gaiwan and am loving it, and most importantly Doulton’s Shakespeare box came!!!!! I’m just so overwhelmed with tea joy at the moment. But I do need to review this tea before I move onto the amazing box-o-Shakespeare (and it truly is amazing).
Speaking of amazing: this tea is beyond amazing. I’m so glad that I purchased my new kettle and first gaiwan just for this tea. It’s worth it. I’m on infusion #8 and it’s still going strong. I wait until there’s only about 1/4 of liquid left in the cup and then add more water, stir with the lid, and then commence sipping.
Steep 1-3 were all consistent and good. I didn’t feel “FLOWERS!” like other notes I’ve seen, but more like “Spring Meadow” right before the flowers get boisterous. Each subsequent infusion started to do the wonderful “oolong morph” that I highly prize, and on steep #7 it turned into the best sweet floral oolong that I’ve ever had. I’ve mentioned how some oolongs will feel like their sweet yumminess infuses into my tongue? Not only is this tea doing that, but I can feel it all the way to my stomach and that’s a new and unique sensation that I’m loving. So far this is my favorite oolong hands down. I thought that I’d never give a 100 to any tea, but here it is. I will lose my mind if I ever run out of this tea. TG
ETA: It finally started to fade on steep #10.
After 4 hours of sleep last night the thought of trying this tea got me out of bed. It’s my first Life in Teacup tea experience, and lordy-loo was it awesome! I selected this as one of my free samples with my first order.
I opened the cute little packet and was somewhat disappointed with the aroma: it wasn’t as intense as Adagio’s LS. I steeped, and then as I was pouring it into my cup I had the most fun whiff of an aroma: Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! I smell bacon! BACON!!!!! Other people have mentioned smelling bacon with other LSes, but I had never had that experience. I actually was a bit worried to try the tea. But when I smelled the cup I found the usual smokey-yuminess that to me is a LS. No more bacon.
The taste? Nom. Nom! Nom! NOM!!! This is the best LS I’ve had as of yet (I’ve only had 3 others so far). It’s got everything I’m looking for and more: smoky: check. sweet undercurrent: check. not hurting my throat: check. There is a tiny bit of roughness at the back of my throat, but it’s a fine amount. It’s just the best blend of smoky/sweet I’ve ever had. As it started to cool I actually gulped this tea. I had to slow myself down, and that’s never happened with any tea I’ve had. I also sprang from my chair when the timer went off for my second steep (just as great as the first! – only added one minute). You must understand. I am not a morning person. I shuffle around like a zombie impatiently waiting for my soul to reenter my body. Leaping up from a chair is almost unthinkable. And yet, I did. For this tea. TG
To continue my “comparing Lapsangs to cat noises” rating system:
this is the purr of a lion. Just had another LS (Narien’s) that has taken this title and knocked my rating of this one a little down the scale. This tea is now like the black panther I saw at the Audubon Zoo that meowed at me when I spoke baby talk to it. This large cat capable of ripping my throat out meowed just like a house cat. It blew my mind.
Puerh Sample set 1: Tea #2
The leaf is lighter, less dense than I anticipated with an ever so slightly fecal aroma, but not as dark as shu.
3g/3oz just below boiling water, 15 sec rinse and 20 sec 1st steep.
The rinse is light yellow in liquor and light and sweet in aroma. The flavor is that of the liquor w/ no peppery notes that are typical of Yunnan teas- a personal yay for me. :)
I put the tasting notes on my blog and there are more photos:
Let me say first that I do love this tea very much. I will describe all the great features of this tea first, and then tell a little about my mixed feelings about this tea.
Mount Meng is one of the most famous tea mountain in China with probably the longest culture history. In ancient time, people believed “brewing Meng Ding (top of Mt. Meng) tea with water from the center of Yangzi River” is the highest level of tea enjoyment. The harvest standard of Snow Bud on top of Mt. Meng is, when there are only 5% of the tea bushes start budding. It takes about 80,000 tea leaf buds to make roughly 500g of the final tea product. A skillful tea harvest worker may well spend half a day to get just enough tea leaf buds to make 100g final tea product.
Dry tea leaves – they should actually be called tea buds!
I’ve just realized that I had been anal about NOT using a scale. Although I use a scale to weigh tea all the time for other people, I never knew the exact amount of tea I used in each cup! So today I thought I would just use a scale, at least once :-D It turned out I used 2.5g leaves. It’s about just right amount for me. So I think up to 3g tea in a mug will be ok. More than 3g will make the mug too crowded with tea leaves.
I used the middle-throw method (中投法）as described in the post about Long Jing.
I am obsessive about the view of tea leaves in water!
The taste: light vegetal, with sweet aftertaste. It feels clean and moist in mouth, and the tea radiates some cool feeling even in hot water.
This is first yellow tea we’ve ever carried. Yellow tea was developed from green tea technique. After the tea is heated (in this case, pan-fried) to have the enzymes killed), the tea is allowed further oxidation with optimal temperature and humidity. Therefore, oxidation in yellow tea is different from oxidation in black tea or oolong. In yellow tea, the oxidation is not catalyzed by the tea’s own enzymes, but triggered by outside environment factors such as temperature and humidity.
Here comes my mixed feelings.
Oxidation of this tea is very light. If we compare this tea and another Meng Ding Snow Bud I had last year, the differences are big, although both teas are great. The other tea has larger buds, and deeper oxidation, and therefore more typical sweet taste of a yellow tea.
Currently in China, Green Tea still dominates. A direct outcome is, many other teas are green-tea-ized. The most popular Tie Guan Yin is made to be very green. And many yellow tea products is made very green.
Recently I discussed with a friend who has dealt with yellow tea for many years. In his opinion, it’s not possible to make Meng Ding Snow Bud into typical yellow tea with deeper oxidation, because the buds are so young and tender. On the other hand, the other Meng Ding Snow Bud I had last year (which I loved very much), in his opinion, is more typical yellow tea, but should be called Meng Ding Yellow Bud (Huang Ya) instead of Snow Bud, because the buds are larger than the standards of Snow Bud. So here is the trade-off, you may choose the precious Snow Bud, but it can’t have the typical oxidation level of a yellow tea. On the other hand, the bonus is, if we forget about the yellow tea, and compare this tea with a green tea, the price of this tea is much more friendly than a first-harvest green tea with comparable youth and tenderness.
I hesitate to call this tea yellow tea, because, as you can see, from leaves to liquor, it’s all green! I hesitate to call it green tea either, because it does intend to be a yellow tea, and it does have some nice sweet aftertaste of yellow tea. I guess it’s not my own dilemma and it’s shared by many tea people.
Sweet and fresh, like a Darjeeing without the haute aire and sharp looks. What this tea trades in wit it makes up for in humor as the finish rolls softly downward and really lingers outdoing the relatively thin taste of the body.A great tea for when you don’t know exactly what you want. One of those teas that won’t let you forget how good it is but doesn’t require you to really think about it all that much. I could buy a pound of this.