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Recent Tasting Notes
Purple puerh had me instantly intrigued as soon as I heard about it, however the tea making conditions in Europe left a lot to be desired, so I brought this back with me and am currently sipping it, cooled, on a blisteringly hot day in the Kootenays (BC, Canada).
It tastes very different cold than hot, although still pleasant. I get earthiness, almost a damp mossy earthiness, with a honeyed sweetness and then…. camomile? Huh? I’m positive it’s chamomile, as I only get this odd feeling in my throat when I drink chamomile tea (like all the cillia in my throat are at attention). Interesting.
Aha! Rarity was the one who gave this to me during our Edinburgh “meet for tea and swap tea” first ever, face-to-face visit. Yes! Thank you so much for your time and gracious sharing … I have so much tea here that I would’ve only had the opportunity to try because of you. Merci!
Flavors: Honey, Wet Earth, Wet Moss
My husband is Irish and I’ve been to the UK six times, sometimes for a few months together. Eventually you get to a point where on a rainy day you could use a cuppa. This nails the concept of a cuppa. It’s not fancy. It’s not frilly. But its smooth and well-balanced. My husband just made a cup and yelled “Good normal cup of English tea” to me from his office.
We had a soup and game night with Superanna and her husband and ChelseaR and my son. My daughter, Superanna, gave me this as another gift from her Toronto trip and we all shared it. It was loved across the board!
The puerh flavor is definitely light. If you drink it really hot you taste puerh and mint, but let it cool a little and the vanilla and cinnamon spring forth. A little longer and the licorice root comes out and rounds the whole cup with sweetness. It is fantastic. I am drinking a third steep right now and it is so flavorful. I actually forgot it and left it who knows how long, but it isn’t bitter at all. I intended to share it with a friend who is coming over but I will need to make a new pot because this one will be gone by the time she gets here.
They say it is delicious iced, and I bet it is! I need to try that soon, but it is really cold outside right now and I need pot after pot of hot tea.
The fire is going, Pandora Meditation Radio playing, the diffuser is blowing Citrus Passion, the candles are lit, and with this tea in hand it is cozy and blissful.
The 3 minute infusion really brings out some the complex flavour in this tea. I still detect the chamomile subtle sweetness. There is also a sweet grassy tone. Abstractly, I would describe the overal flavour as brassy and shiny. It has both a thin (on the tip of the tongue) and thick mouthfeel (still provides an umami savoury sensation).
The dry leaf smells incredible.
The brewed tea is leathery but sweet- reminiscent of chamomile-like sweetness. There’s a bit of the characteristic pu’er note but it is very well balanced with the overall flavour. The flavour is not at all bold. I would definitely try experimenting with different infusion times.
Good thick mouth-feel. I’m surprised by this considering how mild the flavour is.
Thank you scribbles for including some of this in the package you recently sent me.
I’m always looking for a good coconut oolong.
Was drinking this last night and thought – wow great coconut, too bad the floral from the greenish oolong is coming through.
Drinking the rest of the sample tonight and I’m not sure what I did different, but this is really good, just a wee hint of floral way in the back.
I love the coconut in this one. If you like floral coconut oolong, I would recommend this. If I could always get this to turn out as it did tonight, this would be WAY up on my best coconut oolong list. If this had a darker oolong base it would be my favorite coconut. I’ve put it on my wish list. Will see if I can find another sample to make a final decisions on it.
Thanks scribbles this was a fun one….
More snow (sigh).
I decided to brew up a trusted favourite. I think I must always keep a coconut oolong in my cupboard. I haven’t tried one that I dislike, although I do prefer some over others. This is one of those that I like a little more.
Infusion is bright yellow. Upfront taste is toasty coconut. As the cup cools, butter and a touch of salt lingers.
The second infusion doesn’t offer much, but the toasted coconut still makes its presence known.
I received a sample of this from the wonderful miss scribbles – thank you so much.
On the package is quotes she wrote “For those who enjoy dark, astringent black tea” and then added “I guess I like astringent teas……..”
Hmmm I would have to say that I don’t like astringent teas, but as always if someone is generous enough to send me some, I’m willing to try it.
I drank this for the better part of the day at work. I’m beginning to rethink “astringent” – either A> this isn’t astringent or B> I don’t fully understand what astringent is.
I didn’t find this astringent at all (but then I also didn’t find the Ceylon I was drinking yesterday astringent?). So, are my tastes off, or do not understand. At this point anything is possible.
All in all I really liked this – was a really nice tea to have a work today.
I tried this tea one last time to see if maybe I brewed it wrong the first time.
Nope. Still pretty awful tasting.
A friend of mine who tried it said it tasted quite smooth to her, but I ended up giving this one (nearly the whole bag!) away to someone else. Miffed that I spent nearly $9 on this stuff.
Second infusion this time, and instead of adding honey, I tried adding lemon juice to perk up the fruit taste.
It didn’t make much of an improvement. Still tastes like white tea with a weird dusty, musty tone underneath. I think this might be the dried mango asserting itself, as mustiness is something I’ve tasted in fresh mangoes in the past.
I’ll still drink it, but I’m disappointed because the scent of the brewed tea is lovely.
Another purchase from the Toronto Tea Festival, this time from a specialty tea store on Queen East, where all the gentrification is.
Packaging/Instructions: The tea came in a resealable (zip seal) bag. The back label said the tea should be steeped at 170-190°F for 2-5 minutes, with 1 heaping tsp for every 6 oz of water. The bag cost $8.95 for 35g.
Prep: The kettle sat for a few minutes so the water wasn’t boiling. Because the leaves were so big, I used a few heaping spoonfuls in the infuser. About 24 oz of water for what I would guess to be 5 tsp of dry leaf.
Leaf: The leaves are broken into much smaller fragments/pieces than I think is typical for a white tea. Very few leaves are whole, and there are a lot of stems in the mix. On top of that, the tea claims to be mixed with mango, pear, and apple, but I see very few pieces of dried fruit. The blend smells sweet with heavy overtones of pear and even some melon scent, but also quite musty/dusty. It’s definitely a more complex scent than plain old white tea.
1st infusion: The liquor is a nice medium gold, and it smells lovely – the mango smell is strongest. However, it doesn’t taste nearly so pleasant. I really wanted to like this, and I hope that I overleafed it, but right now, this tea tastes very dusty and there’s even a hint of candlewax I’m tasting. I added a small spoonful of honey to heighten the fruit notes, but I don’t think it’s helping any.
I think I’m going to try again in the future and use less leaf to see if that helps.
Every time I drink this tea I think of butterscotch ripple ice cream. I don’t add any sugar to this, it doesn’t really need it – it’s quite sweet on it’s own.
I thought at one time this would become part of my permanent stash. Funny how tastes change and evolve. I won’t have any trouble finishing what I have left, but it is no longer necessary to always have on hand.
Re-steep is not great.
Tea #2 from the TTBA!
Not bad not bad. A nice blend of flavour and tea. Though I can totally see where Sil got the idea to ice this and add honey. Yup, I think this would be fab that way.
But… Hot? I’m really sad to say that I like the David’s tea version of blueberry black better. Because it’s organic? a denser base? heavier flavouring? Has sweetener? (stevia)
I don’t know. Probably all of the above. Shame. I prefer to support the local single stores when I can :(
Edit: When it’s cooled? yeah, not good at all. Dusty.
I figured out how to drink this one today. Cold steep overnight and add a splash of honey. Not sugar or other sweetners – honey. Because man that honey + blueberry = HELLZ YA! Seriously? it’s nearly enough for me to just bump the everlovingjeebusrating out of this one haha. but i won’t because i don’t like it hot brewed as much and it’s a little too picky for me. But the rest of this? brewed like this for sure!
smells like a divine dessert as it steeps, however if you are a puerh lover (which i am), then you want the flavour to work WITH the puerh and not banish it, which this one did. now, it could be my fault: my standard M/O with puerh is to overleaf and to oversteep… i like it strong! possibly i compounded the over strong flavour because of that. i’ll try another steep and reserve numerical rating until then (i have had A LOT of those in the last 3 days!!!)
if you want a straight up dessert tea, with pudding in your cup regardless of the base then you will enjoy this. seriously, you don’t even need dessert with this one. however, if like me you prefer a flavour that respectfully nods its head to the puerh, you will not like this tea.
atypical flavour breakdown: my wife woke up, stumbled into the kitchen and mutter/snarled (you know when you’re half asleep and everything sounds angry?) ‘what smells like vanilla?’ the smell woke her up in our bedroom 30 feet away. with the door closed.
definitely caramel. reminds me of the kraft caramels from halloween when i was a kid. very sweet. no salt flavour. also no puerh. strong flavour, strong colour… fully opaque (ahem… as opposed to verdant’s 2010 xingyang… you did NOT just hear me make that comparison though!)
i should note that what i do and do not appreciate is not necessarily on par with the goal of the tea blender. a strong dessert tea may be precisely what they were trying to accomplish, in which case ‘mazel tov! mission accomplished!’ …. i just overempathize with puerh. lol.
ARGH!!! i have my guerilla tea buddy SCRIBBLES to thank for this dessert experience. it came in my surprise package this week. THANK YOU!!!
UPDATE: got nothing at all from the resteep. so, i’ll go back to previous statement: if you’re looking for a dessert tea, but it’s not a puerh by my definition. i will continue to abstain from a numerical definition….
Thanks again to Sil for this sample.
This is an interesting tea, an earthy woody Shu puerh with the addition of caramel. The flavor is rustic & kind of wild, but as it cools it becomes very smooth & sweeter. An interesting tea to sample, a sweet & savory dessert.
Excuse me, my tea & I are headed to the bubble bath. :)
Thank you Sil! This smells awesome! I could just sit around huffing this stuff, & never drink it, & be happy. It smells wonderful! Flavorwise, it’s ok plain, with an earthy mildly sweet flavor. The addition of caramel really adds to the natural caramel-like essence of Shu. With stevia, which really brings out the caramel flavors, it’s even more delicious!
Thank you Sil for this wonderful interpretation of Eleven Pipers Piping! Scottish pipers indeed! I enjoyed this blend Christmas morning as we Skyped with the in-laws in Indiana.
My three year old son Rowan gave me a Merida doll from the Disney movie Brave, she’s beautiful! And the husband gave me a small Lord of the Rings Lego set with Gandalf arriving with his cart full of fireworks to Hobbiton and a Thorin Oakenshield action figure amongst other things. He got action figures of his own but was very excited about the tiny creamer I found him.
Anywho this tea is awesome. I love a sweet, mild Lapsang and this fits the bill even if it’s not a true Lapsang, I love the smoke. It is like sipping on scotch in the morning ;) The citrus is subtle but gives it a bright feeling. Very nice!
Thanks for sharing a tea from your local shop Sil. Set the tone for an enjoyable Christmas Day!