Life In TeacupEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you so much to RABS for sending me this. Yesterday in the Geek Contest Game I ruled another “2” and there was no corresponding package left—I had already had my “2”. Today I ruled a “2” again and decided I could give myself another rule of the die. After all, 3 a day are permitted. My next roll of the die yielded a “3”.
This beautiful package contained two tea samples and I’ve only had one at this point. I just finished my first infusion of this oolong. When I opened the package from “RABS” I got very excited at the word “charcoal.” For me “charcoal” is one of those magical words like unicorn and rainbow and cat and miracle and antidisestablishmentarianism. It’s a word that make my heart leap up, as Wordsworth would put it.
And this tea is worthy of leaping hearts! I have had only one infusion and hope that there are more. Before I started to write this review, I went to the web site of Life in Teacup to place a full-blown order. That in itself should tell you, reader, how much I was enjoying this tea. (Note: They are on holiday until August 1st).
The “charcoal” does not produce a deeply smoky tea, but it does produce what I would call a very “savory” tea which intensifies and focuses fruit and flower and nut aromas. This tea offers an intoxicating dance of flavor. The “charcoal” must refer to the way of toasting the leaf or preparing the leaf. There isn’t much real smokiness in evidence. The play of flavors is very delightful. It’s as if I were sitting at the New York City Ballet watching a quick succession of soloists sequeing their dances precisely: first there is a floral: lavender or lilac in sensation followed by a nice earthy nut which gives way to a pluot (plum/apricot) or a peapear (peach/pear) duet or fruits.
This is one of those teas, similar to Dawn by “The Simple Leaf” that seems to have an outrageously wonderful assemblage of natural flavors which mix and mingle on the palate with the precision of trained performers. It’s wonderful! And I am off to do another infusion.
Rabs, I cannot tell you how spectacularly you have delighted me and thrilled my palate. The Geek Day prize has been a smashing hit. It’s sensual impact is incredible: the visual presentation, the aromas, the tastes of the teas, the heart and soul and spirit that went into the selection; along with the playfulness and the randomness. What you have done is true “performance art”.
Resteeps 2 and 3: Strong, fresh, vigorous. Delightful as the first time. I already know what to anticipate so a bit of the “WOW” factor is down, but I would not change my rating at all. I am going to steep number 4 for 4 minutes.
After spending some frustrating hours engaged in work, I looked forward with the keenest of anticipation to playing a round of Tea Geek, thanks to the ever-generous RABS.
Today I rolled a “5” on the die and opened the package with keen anticipation.
And what did I get? My favorite tea ever. If I were held hostage and asked to limit myself to one kind of tea and only one for the rest of my life, I wouldn’t need to think. Lapsang Souchong would be my unhesitating choice. I am addicted to the smoky, tar-like aroma and taste of a Lapsang Souchong. Once you get the addiction and try several different kinds, the variations can be startlingly diverse. That’s a real plus as far as I am concerned. For me, two different Lapsang Souchongs can be as varied and different as a lemon rooibos might be to a Keemun Hao Ya A to another drinker.
Life in Teacup will get an order from me. This Lapsang Souchong is incredible! The aroma is intense and smoky which bodes well. Drinking the tea evokes all the pleasurable smoky, warm, bonfire taste but this has more of a tar taste than any other LS I have tried. And I love the tar with a passion! It’s like cedarwood smoked bacon served with tar and it’s simply delicious.
I really must thank Rabs for introducing me to one of the best Lapsang Souchongs I have ever loved. There are quite a few decent but taste-alike LS teas out there. I love them, but not all of them have a totally distinctive taste. Or, as I like to quote from Randy Jackson, my taste and discernment mentor, Life in Teacup has made it their own.
Utterly delicious, smoky, mysterioso and glamoroso, this tea quickly won a place of pride in my personal Pantheon. Thank you, RABS!
Many, many, many thanks to Rabs for sending this one to me!!!!
First of all, could you believe I haven’t used my teeny tiny oolong pot from Samovar until TODAY?! It took me all this time to realize that it had that twirly piece of metal near the spout to catch the leaves (I kept on thinking “shoot! I can’t use it! I forgot my strainer!”). Anyhoo – long story short – not only do I love it for oolongs but I realized I think unfurling, floating, steeping tea leaves are BEAUTIFUL (it’s only those frightful blooming alien flowers that I find so disturbing).
Doubleanyhoo – I used about a half teaspoon of leaves in my wee pot, 175 degree water, and was all over the map with my steeping times. I did the first two at a minute – then I went up to three minutes for the next two, and now my fifth and sixth steeps are at 5 minutes. Despite my abuse, this tea is delicious. It started out very green, and morphed into a milky, meadowy, buttery delight. Still. At number six!
I can see why people are comparing it to Four Seasons – and I do think it’s similar – but I also think Four Seasons has a little more of that cinnamony nutmegy thing going on, which I didn’t get at all in this one. This one is much more a “fresh buttered greens” to me, where the Four Seasons is more of a “light buttery pastry” to me. Both are pretty darn phenomenal :) and I like them both very, very much!
I’ll edit this post later when I drink steeps 7+ this afternoon!
I also have to reiterate how much I LOVE this little oolong pot!!!!! It makes experiencing the multiple steeps so pleasurable since you are drinking four ounces of tea at a time. Why do I wait so long to try things!?!?!?
And your opinion – do you think a dragon ball is too big for this lil pot? Maybe a 30/45 second steep would work? Any opinions appreciated!
EDIT – I stopped at Lucky 13!!! I think the best steeps were from 3 to, like, 9 or 10!! Very buttery milky green heaven. Even my 13th steep had flavor and appeal. What a great tea day!
The first two times I drank this, I did not like it at all. Nothing particular that I could put my finger on, just an overall “not for me” feeling. I am new to pu-erh an. The rest of the sample sat in my cupboard for about 6 months, until recently I decided to give it one more chance.
The firs two infusions were, again, not to my taste (yes, I rinsed the leaves twice). I either put too much leaf, or else I am doing something else wrong with this tea. It was way to strong, too astringent. (both were 15 sec infusions)
HOWEVER, I somehow pushed through to the third infusion and bam! the tea became something else altogether. It’s fresh and energizing. I can’t stop drinking. I am on my seventh or eight infusion and it just gets better. I’m not good with the flavor descriptions, but this tea is good!
Now I’m still wondering what it is that i did wrong with the first 2 infusions. Anyone?
But I am sure going to be ordering some more of this. And I am going to increase my previous rating.
This is terrific! A great Green! I was very surprised with this one. The leaves are very unique once infused. There are some ‘usual’ looking ones mixed in with more slender spikey looking ones and it makes for a FUN infusion to watch.
It first smelled like a healthy snack cracker (vegetable based) I once tried and liked.
Then it had a little bit more of a buttery smell. A little sweet, too.
The taste is a buttery vegetal taste but different for the other buttery-veggie taste I have enjoyed recently. It ends sweet and makes you crave the next sip!
I really like this one!
I’ve tried this one before and thought I would revisit it. Roasted Green Tea and Veggies from my previous experience still apply but I’m enjoying it much more than a 73 as I rated it before so I’m increasing rating. This is dandy! Especially while eating my lunch – today I have Vegan Thai Lime Rice. Great pairing!
This smells like roasted veggies. The wet green leaves are a very vibrant green and that also shows in the very vibrant yellow/green coloring of the infused tea as well.
My first sip revealed a roasted green tea, indeed! It’s the type of taste that sticks with you for a while – it’s fairly strong – and true GREEN – but an ok tasting green tea, regardless!
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!