Nature's Tea Leaf
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Recent Tasting Notes
I went to visit my friend who likes puerh tonight. I took the last of this sample that GMathis sent me because I thought my friend would really enjoy it. She loves Chocolate Strawberry Puerh from Lupicia, so I thought this might be right up her alley.
We made about 24 ounces with the remaining portion of this. I still enjoy it. I can taste the puerh, and it is a good, clean, dark and earthy base. It isn’t fishy or overly horsey, though I don’t mind horsey. The cherry is bright, fresh, and refreshing. It does not taste like cherry cough syrup to me, which I cannot abide in beverages.
My friend liked it a lot, so I told her to be sure to save our leaves for a resteep tomorrow as this will definitely give her some more great cups of tea.
I started out my friend tasting unflavored puerh because I think it is great by itself, and I wanted her to have a good idea of what it is like. I had made two steeps of this already today, and once we had a few steeps of unflavored puerh I resteeped this again.
We drank two steeps of this one in addition to the others we had, and she really liked it. She was very enthusiastic about it, and I am not terribly surprised because she is very adventurous food wise and tries a lot of neat and unusual recipes. So yay! Another person who will drink puerh with me!
This was a surprise in the mail from the talented GMathis! First of all, it came in this amazing card!
Second, I really do like puerh. This is a funny thing because I dislike coffee, yet when I have a guest who says they really don’t like tea but love coffee, I serve them puerh and they love it! I was told puerh was an acquired taste, and while the smell of the first fishy Tuocha I bought scared me, I liked the taste from the get-go. Then when I found better quality puerh, I was eager to get to know more.
I like unflavored puerh just fine, but most of the flavored ones I have tried have been good.
This one is more exciting because I have loved everything I have tried from Nature’s Tea Leaf.
I steeped this in boiling water for about two minutes. I don’t mind my puerhs being inky black so that was a short steep for me! But the smell….ah, the smell. Even in the card, it smelled so good and juicy. Last night, I kept it beside me and sniffed and sniffed.
I am not a fan of weird cherry flavor. I don’t care for Cherry Coke. I don’t like rooibos because it tastes like cherry cough syrup to me. I love good cherry flavor and lay in a stash of cherry lollipops at Valentine’s.
This tastes like my Black Cherry Matcha! Well, the cherry part does anyway! And the puerh is a beautiful grounding for it and they have blended it just right. I could have sworn I even got a little natural chocolate-y flavor in the base. There is no fishiness at all – this is an nice earthy puerh. Good golly, this is tasty! I made 16 ounces and swilled it down in no time! This has great balance. If you are afraid of puerh, you should try this first!
This is great puerh and is the first real rival for position with Lupicia’s Chocolate Strawberry Puerh. I will be serving this tonight for Writers’s Group. (We really should name ourselves. Maybe it should have something to do with tea!)
I have been trying to whittle down my stash but every time I try a NTL tea I think, “Well, this has to go on the list for my first order.” Same for this one – it is definitely on the list and is probably also going to be the birthday gift for my puerh loving friend.
Landscape outside is steel-stone gray and gloomy. From now until April I will be starved for COLOR. This little floral pu-erh blend has it! Looks just like potpourri with pinky-tip sized rose blooms; more blooms than tea in this little sample.
This is a floral tea done properly. Plenty of rose and lavender, but it’s sweet and natural, not chemically-perfumey. Can’t really taste the pu-erh independently: my conclusion is that it’s providing the balance this needs to keep from getting too cloying.
My thanks to Azzrian for a little promise of spring on a cold and bleakish January morning.
Well, whaddya know…a sipdown. Haven’t had one of those in a while…
This one has been a nice, gentle introduction to the wild world of pu-erh, which I still don’t know that I understand. You experts with your sheng and shu baffle and impress me :)
At any rate, this is gently dark, accurately cherry; smells like pie. Pie is always good.
Second steep. Cherry dissipates pretty quickly, but it still leaves the nice pu-erh base. Not too muddy tasting.
And of course, it tastes better because…
a) it’s warm enough to taste it outside while watching laundry on the line fluttering gently in the sunshine
b) it’s sipped in the company of Tazo, our free-range, no-strings-attached, no-obligation yard cat. (Solid black. Citrus green eyes. Tazo just fit. No special emotional attachments to the brand.)
c) it’s accompanied by fresh brownies and a fistful of malted milk eggs.
Amazing what happens when you read the directions. Two teaspoons. I had been way underleafing. Done properly (well, I never know if I’m doing pu-erh properly…) it tastes like a good slab of cherry pie.
Based on the NTL varieties I have tried, the one thing I’ve observed they consistently do well is create real-tasting fruit flavors. Not a bit of artificiality about this one.
Contentment. Warm, full, mildly sleepy, schlepping around in sweats in the early afternoon.
This tea is as cozy as your favorite fleece blanket. The earthy pu-erh is a perfect base for the cherry flavor. Gives it a wonderful black cherry personality. Not artificial tasting at all. Another Nature’s Tea Leaf winner!
Close to a sipdown on this one, but it has been a great occasional change-of-pace tea with apple-accurate flavor. Real peel, not Jolly Rancher. Because it requires a short-ish steep time, probably better for elevenses or afternoon instead of early morning, but it has a lovely refreshing personality.
Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you’ve been tied with a bungee to the back of an emotional roller coaster car and drug up and down the tracks?
Then you know what a blessing a full, deep night’s sleep can be. So for a change, a full-strength, industrial grade morning cuppa wasn’t necessary. Instead, opted for something with a little “refresh” in its personality. This is; a little astringent (makes me keep licking my lips) and the apple-peel bitterness that makes this tea distinct.
Anybody try this sweetened? I keep forgetting.
Turned off the alarm clock, sweet spouse let me sleep in, so I didn’t need open-yer-eyes-you-lazy-clod tea this morning for a change. This is pleasant, not too tart, but not artificially sweet. Tastes real.
If spring ever gets here, I would like to try this iced before my sample gets all sampled up.
Revisited; actually watched the timer this time; improved results.
It’s always a pleasure to drink a fruit-flavored tea that accurately replicates its namesake. This does—not Jolly Rancher Green Apple candy, authentic green apple. Mouth tastes and feels like I’ve been crunching on a Granny Smith.
Somewhere in the back recesses of my cupboard I think I’ve got a leeeetle bit of Adagio caramel left. I’m thinking a little mix-and-match magic might be fun later today…
I oversteeped this, so I’m going to do it right before I make a final conclusion.
This morning at 4-5 minutes instead of 2-3 minutes, it tastes like Granny Smith apple peel, rather than apple itself. (I don’t do peel.) A little bitter. There’s potential here, though. Do-overs needed and pleasantly anticipated.
Bitter brew may suit me…yesterday was one of those days when everything that came out of my mouth was gall and wormwood. Just a taste of my own medicine :)
With so many teas at my fingertips I seem to have focused on this one for the last few mornings. It is a light, mildly vegetal green that also manages a hint of fruitiness. Not sure what my water temp is but the hot tap from the water cooler seems to be the perfect temp for this one. Everyday I look at the selection in front of me and every day I choose this. Yum!
Tazo the cat said I needed a cup of this today. (Yes, he’s still outdoors.) And then promptly tried to keep me from drinking it by head-butting my hands until I petted him according to his specifications. Both hands, full attention.
If you like cream in your tea, or sweet and pastry flavorings, this is one to try. Best with a very light touch on temp and time to keep the milk from tasting like hot milk, if that makes sense.
The sweet condensed-milk flavor in this is so strong, it rates a “weird,” but a good weird. Bet you haven’t tried anything like it! (And if you like dairy, creamy, caramelly, desserty teas, you need to try it.)
I half-and-halved it with some basic unflavored Ceylon and that cut the strength to just about perfect.
This is interesting stuff! Good interesting, not the “interesting” you use as a polite adjective you use to avoid hurting somebody’s feelings. The dry leaves smell pleasantly of Carnation Evaporated Milk.
And that’s the flavor that comes through pretty strongly—more milk/sugar with a little tea in it instead of tea with a little milk/sugar in it. And enough caffeine to get you out the door to do what has to be done. (It’s looking like a has-to-be-done day.)
Denise from Nature’s Tea Leaf mentioned that this one is a good blender-inner. Looking forward to trying that soon.
After a crazy morning getting my reviewer sample information to our packaging folks I thought I’d make myself a nice big cup of Organic Silver Needle. I don’t have this one often but when I do I am never disappointed. The smooth mellow flavor that has just a hint of fruity sweetness makes me go back for sip after sip. As an NTL employee I will refrain from rating.
Someone left a window open in my office last night so I have had a chill all morning. I grabbed my trusty bamboo spoon and tea maker and went into the tea room (not unlike the chocolate room in Willy Wonka minus the oompa loompas). I decided on the Gunpowder Green since I haven’t had it yet. Let it steep about 90 seconds. The brewed tea was bronze in color and the flavor was just what I needed. Warm, mellow with the teensiest hint of smoke. A very nice mouth feel with no astringency. Definitely a warmer upper.
Big ol’ nuggety leaves. Lovely antique gold angel-hair color, steeped. (Stereotypical angels, that is; I firmly believe angels are really huge muscle-bound Navy Seal types; scary looking dudes. Check the Christmas story—first phrases out of the angel’s mouth is, “Don’t be afraid!”)
Enough preaching. Truth is, this was a sweet and pleasant oolong, but it didn’t wow me like the other Nature’s Tea Leaf samples I’ve tried. (Their Fujian Congou is superlative.) I didn’t get “audacious” as put forth in the tea description. I’ll have to play around with it a bit in the event I was too chintzy with the leaf. (When I don’t get a good result the first time around, that’s generally my problem.)
Chasing nine-year-olds up and down multiple flights of stairs on a church campus nearly two blocks long can wear on a body…so my body pflumped down in a chair with a cup of gentle, modestly grainy, faintly sweet Silver Needle and reveled in the quietness. I’m still not a white tea devotee, but this has enough personality I don’t feel like I’m drinking plain kettle water.
I bet I’m the only VBS teacher you know who was reprimanded for cheating during rec time. Object of the game was to throw foam balls, soft Frisbees, and other safe projectiles into the other team’s side; “cleanest” side when Miss Sammye yells “Freeze!” wins the game. We were playing kids vs. teachers, and I decided to strategize. Rather than run around fetching debris, I suggested that we play smart—simply gather the goods when they came our way, fail to throw it back, then dump it over the opposing line at the last minute. Brilliance. My timing was a little off, though—I unloaded on the “eeze” of freeze. (I am unrepentant. It was a blast.)