Norbu Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

98

Day 6 Amanda ‘SoggyEnderman’ Wilson Tea Advent Calendar
I feel like I am drinking melted snow from a cedar forest. This tea is heavenly! There are peachy notes as an after thought. I am in love this tea.

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79

There were several specific years of this tea in the database. Since I couldn’t identify what year this was, what harvest this was, I just created a generic one. Why not.

This is today’s advent calendar tea.

Ya Bao is one of my favorite styles of tea. I love it.

I decided to have this one grandpa style. This tea is good flavor-wise grandpa style, but trickier to drink because the buds float. A wider mouth cup so one can gently blow the tea out of the way before drinking is highly recommended.

This version of ya bao is not as strong or sweet as many others I have had, but it’s still quite nice. The lighter flavors are really good for grandpa style.

Yum!!

http://instagram.com/p/wRhhbvAyTB/
http://instagram.com/p/wRiXSyAyZx/

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Tea with lunch, this one comes from Sil, as part of our BBBBox.
It’s potent & malty, with a woody taste.

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77

Big thanks to TeaBrat for this sample.

This stuff smells like heaven. There’s this wonderful sweet citrus scent to the brewed leaves, or maybe it’s the smell of spiced apples. It’s accompanied by notes of cinnamon stick and pine. This stuff smells like the potpourri smell you catch walking into some quaint little craft shop. It’s nostalgic.

Being made from Ya Bao, the infusion is rather pale, just a hint of yellow. It’s also slightly cloudy, which isn’t uncommon for fermented teas. The flavor is really unique. It has a bit of a smokey and peppery finish, but the main presence in the sip is like a cinnamon-apple peel kind of taste. It’s got a creamy body to it.

The second infusion of this got a little more strong in flavor. It’s got the tangy Sheng Puer vibe now, reminding me less of loose un-aged Ya Bao and more of Sheng. There’s a fizzy quality to this tea. It’s really nifty. In later infusions the smokier qualities emerge more. There’s a lemony tartness to it that I didn’t really think about at first, but after reading other reviews and tasting some more, it’s undeniable.

Flavors: Apple Skins, Bark, Cinnamon, Lemon, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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I overleafed this cup so my first few sips were rather astringent. However, now that it has cooled a little, the astringency has subsided leaving behind a malty yet fruity tea. It’s really quite nice. Thank you Sil for the share. It will be interesting to see how this compares to the other Norbu teas you have me samples of. 169.

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78

this is a nice darjeeling! Thanks nicole. :) I don’t really love darjeelings. But there are a few in this world that i can get behind. This is one of them. This is a smooth darjeeling, with just a little sweetness going on here that i’m enjoying. Passing the little cup’s worth that’s left to Cavo since she might enjoy this one. :)

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Nicole sent this one for me to try and i’m glad for it, since I am a fan of trying Norbu teas. Their min quantities are 100g, so it’s hard to get a sense of what i’d like before buying. Thankfully i do have steepster friends willing to split orders or, in the case of nicole (and others!) send samples to me.

This is a very light, refreshing tea. The mint in this isn’t overpowering and blends nicely with the darjeeling. There are under notes of a nature – reminding me more of a black tea, than a darjeeling (yes i know darjeelings are black..but they’re quasi black imo). i like this quite a bit. Thanks Nicole!

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I’m drinking the 2004. It is very good, it’s like cognac and honey. Very naturally sweet and rich.
The tea is very tightly compressed and you don’t need too much tea because it really puffs and opens up to be tons of tea leaves. There are ya bao pieces in the mix along with all sorts of colors and types of wild leaves.
The liquor is cloudy pretty much throughout the whole session in my gaiwan. I rinsed the tea a couple of times but it remained cloudy even after many steepings. You definitely need to use your strainer with this tea.
After many steepings, the leaves could have kept going and going but the tea started to taste twiggy to me so I ended the session.

Flavors: Honey

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML
TeaBrat

I should revisit this one, I have it somewhere!

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This has become one of my favorite morning tea. The dry leaves are long thin wires and have a wonderful chocolote aroma. This tea stands up to long steeping times very well; I use about 3 grams of leaf to 10 oz of water for three minutes on the first steeping, four minutes for the second. This makes a very bold, malty flavor, but with very little astringency and almost no bitterness. Highly reccomended to anyone who likes black tea, but dislikes overly bitter tea.

Flavors: Astringent, Malt

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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83

Interestingly, the leaves have an earthy smell to them that reminds me of ripe Puer tea. After the first infusion, the leaves smell a lot like grapes or wine. The first infusion has a soft, velvety mouthfeel, with a creamy kind of mild sweetness that fades into an earthy taste and hints of cinnamon.

The second infusion is mellower and has more of a classic black tea taste, earthy, woody, dark. The third is more of the same and a touch more tanniny. The first infusion of this tea was really the most complex so far. If it produces any more that are really interesting I’ll update the review, but for now I am going to finish it here so I can relax and enjoy the tea.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Creamy, Earth, Grapes, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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91

The first time I drank this tea, it seemed closed-in and lacking in flavor until about the fifth steep. It was okay, but I wasn’t impressed. Looking back, I discovered that I had steeped it at 200 degrees. This time, I used 175 and it seemed like an entirely different tea. I’m really enjoying it.

First steep (15 s; all steeps 3 gms in 3 oz): Tastes like a green tea with unusually good body; grassy/straw flavors. During subsequent steeps (20, 30 s): the grass flavor disappeared and was replaced by wood, with hints of straw and smoke. The flavor deepened and became full and complex.

By the 4th steep (60 s) it was weakening and losing much of its complexity. Back to a light straw flavor. 5th steep (2 min): Rich and smooth. Light but still complex. If 5 steeps seems too little for a pu-erh bear in mind that this 2.8 gram sample has now produced 15 oz of tea, and there is still some gas in the tank.

This tea was an interesting insight (accidental) into how much the water temperature can affect a tea. Also a strong confirmation on the advice I was given to steep young sheng as though it were a green tea.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 82 ML
Cheri

Sounds yummy!

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I drank this tea yesterday while I was at work. I really enjoyed it! It reminded me of a Kenyan Silver Needles I got from Butiki Teas, with some interesting sheng notes mixed in. Very unique! I finished it up, and before I was going to write my tasting note for it I decided to go stretch the canvas print I had just made…AND I TOTALLY STAPLED MY THUMB! :-O

It was pretty painful. If you want to see, check it out here (not for the squeamish!) http://twitpic.com/ebiscg

Anyway, I never got back to my desk to write this note. My manager took me to the MEC and a doctor pulled out the staple and gave me a tetanus shot and some pain killers. Last night was rough, it was pretty painful and I had trouble sleeping. It seems slightly better today and I am back at work! I could use a nap though…and/or some tea!

Cheri

Ugh. That looks awful. I’m glad it was taken care of by a doctor right away.

Stephanie

I was totally wrapping that stupid motorcycle print, Cheri! And anyone else who was on chat yesterday and remembers me talking about it…

boychik

OMG, I’m so sorry. Bad stapler. i hope you are feeling better. can you ask someone else to do it next time?

Blodeuyn

Aww I am sorry to hear that (Omg that picture!!!). Hope you feel better today!

Cameron B.

LOL the motorcycle! Clearly it is cursed.

I would have stayed home a day. :D

K S

Ouch! I do love living in an age when almost everyone has a camera on them at all times now – and keep their calm enough to take pictures of stuff like this. Hope it heals soon.

TeaBrat

yuck! hope you feel better soon!

mrmopar

I know that hurt! OUCH!

Stephanie

Thanks guys… I’m definitely keeping away from that staple gun for a while!

Terri HarpLady

Just looking at that pic made me grit my teeth!

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it is my second day of steeping this fabulous tea.
Gongfu method
5g 100 ml gaiwan 200F
rinse/pause/ 5/5/7/10/15/15/20sec etc
Quite unusual for me. Dry leaves are so pretty silvery green and uniform in size.
Sweet, somewhat floral with pine notes. Later steeps introduce anise maybe, but its faint and I’m not sure its anise, but its there. pretty thick, yellow. there is some bitterness but its slight and welcoming to make things interesting.
i’m so glad be able to try such unusual and great tasting tea.
Many thanks to the an amazingly generous Steepsterite.

Flavors: Pine

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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86

oh dexter… you always spoil me. this is a lovely tea from Norbu and one i greatly enjoyed, though for the life of me, i can’t recall well enough to write a proper note. It was one of the teas that i had yesterday before running off to do my overnight and it was a great start to the evening. But man, it feels like i drank this a billion years ago. I’d be inclined to pick some of this one up again as it really was great.

Terri HarpLady

Is it purple? YS has one by the same name that is purple, & I loves it

Sil

um… i don’t remember? lol

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A very interesting puerh. The 2011 Norbu Spring White Buds Raw Bing Cha is made of material from Yong De of Lincang Prefecture near China’s border with Myanmar which was harvested in the Spring of 2007. Light compression which flakes off very easily. A little sweetness and a very nice cooling effect. Intense yet delicate evergreen scent. It does taste earthy but still light and smooth, a little naturally sweet, somewhat fruity yet slightly astringent, and there is a bit of malt with a nice lingering aftertaste. Later infusions definitely become more woody overall producing a hint of smoke with a few notes of cedar. A lighter puerh which is definitely worth exploring if only for the purpose of appreciating the many different forms that Pu-Erh can take.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Not enough sleep last night. Must be the cat’s fault.
Running a little late this morning, about to leave, when that inner voice asks…
Do you have tea in your purse for work? Shrug, Dunno
Reach out and grab a random tin of black tea off the shelf and walk out the door.
An hour and a half later, letting a client vent about something that has nothing to do with us, I’m reaching into my purse for that tin of tea.
Some tea gets dumped into my infuser basket. Hang up with client.
Take basket to kitchen, add hot water, return to my desk. Answer 3 questions.
Crap forgot about my tea. Remove leaves. Take a sip….
AND THE WORLD STOPS
It’s like the stars aligned, the atmospheric pressure is perfect, the clouds part, and the sun shines through. I have the perfect cup of tea. Exactly what I’m in the mood for at the exact time that I need it the most.
I actually said out loud – What the hell am I drinking?
Co-workers look at you weird when you say things like that…. don’t care, I spent a few minutes basking in the moment, then went back to work.

This is easily in my top 5 favorite black teas. Amazing.

MissLena

Haha darn cats! Mine ruined my sleep last night too lol..but this sounds like an amazing cup of tea. Love those star-aligning moments with tea haha, especially at work, because no one understands how tea can make you soo happy.

boychik

Priceless!

boychik

Blame it on a cat! I know why you couldn’t sleep. Spreadsheet! That’s why I refuse to make one.

Dexter

I LOVE my new spread sheet!!! I’ll never look up a tea in my Steepster cupboard again. Looking for a fruit tisane to cold steep – it’ll show you just them. Looking for something to sip down – not problem. I can find anything in seconds. Really wish I had done this a year ago, then I would have that much more history (favorites, things to rebuy, what I thought of…) of all the teas I’ve tried. This was the best investment of my time.
The cat gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in my house…. ;))

boychik

I see. You are like my hubby. Whatever happens I’m responsible one. Kids got sick, bad grades, bad groceries, etc.
poor kitty

TheTeaFairy

Lol. Love this review : -) you deserve your best teas all the time. And yay for awesome spreadsheet!

MzPriss

LOVE this note. Now I need to get some

Helene

What a great way to express how you felt while drinking this tea. I see that you are in Canada also. Where do you order your teas? Do you pay high shipping fees. Waiting to hear from you, I’m in Ottawa and used to work in Portage-la-Prairie for 4 yrs.

Dexter

Hi Helene – I order tea from all over the world. Online shopping makes it possible to get almost anything from almost anywhere. There are tons of amazing tea vendors out there. Shipping can be very expensive or it can be free, depends on where you order from and how much you order.
What types of teas are you interested in? China blacks? Japanese green? Taiwan oolongs? Fun flavors? If you let me know what you are interested in, I might be able to recommend a vendor for you or point you to a forum thread on the subject. :))

Helene

I finally updates my cupboard. At the moment I have teas from TeaVivre. I received one box of tea samples from Tea Sparrow. Was expensive and I did not order another one. Then I order a box of tea samples from Amoda and did not renew. I find these monthly boxes get expensive. I like white, green, my family likes flavour teas. I am starting to drink black. Not a big fan because I love coffee. Do you know of any monthly box companies in Canada that are worth buying? Maybe you like the price of Amoda or Tea Sparrow. I think it’s expensive but I might be wrong. I will receive samples from TeaVivre soon. I like the quality of their teas. I want to explore more companies that does not charge us to much for shipping in Canada. Waiting to hear from you. Thanks in advance.

Dexter

I think all subscription boxes are expensive, and then you end up with tea that isn’t your style. I would much prefer to order samples and try tea on my own – but that’s just me.
Teavivre is awesome, glad you found them. I would also check out Tealux:
http://www.tealux.ca/
Really nice straight teas – nice quality, reasonably priced, flat shipping $7.50 under 60.00 or free over 60.00. I find their flavored tea hit or miss, but the straight ones are really good.
Capital Tea Ltd.
http://www.capitaltea.com/shop/home.php?cat=6
Free shipping over 49.00 and they sell all their teas in 20g sample sizes. Great way to try a bunch for a little cost.
Camellia Sinensis:
http://camellia-sinensis.com/en/tea-store
Their tea is more expensive – more high end, but amazing. Free shipping over 50.00
Those three are Canadian Companies, that I really like.
I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – favorite source of pu’erh – but nice oolong and teaware. Mandala:
https://shopmandalatea.com/
Shipping is 9.00 flat to Canada – they are out of Minnesota – my favorite tea store.
That should get you started – if you would like more info, please follow me and shoot me a PM.

Helene

Dexter: I will have a look at the different sites and will probably place an order soon. This whole tea experience is addictive. I prefer to pay a bit more for more high end tea. At the moment I have the budget because I saved. I am following you. If I have more questions I will send you a PM. Thanks for the help and great info. I think my saved money might dissolved soon in a cup of tea :)

Dexter

The best advice I can give you is SMALL Samples – try lots of different teas, by swapping or buying samples. As you explores your tastes will change, you’ll find tea you like better, don’t buy large quantities until you know for sure what you LOVE and what you don’t. :))

OMGsrsly

I’ll echo Dexter here. Small samples! Or you’ll end up with 250+ teas way faster than you think possible, kinda like we have. :)

Helene

When you say buy small samples you mean the smaller pack of a tea. Per example a White Tea on Mandala is $8 for 1 ounce. Is that what you call a sample? If so that it not cheap if I want to try a lot of samples.

Dexter

White tea is expensive and Mandala is high end. Tealux has 1oz/25g white teas from $4.50. The only straight white at Davids is 14.50/50g – smallest amount you can buy online….

yyz

Usually is anywhete from 10-25g as the smallest size. Sometimes you can get < 10. Some companies sell these as intro packets is Mandalas is listed under sale items and right now it is only for shou but it is $9 Canadian including shipping for Canadians https://shopmandalatea.com/sale-items/ripe-puerh-sampler-pack.html, Verdant has a 5 for 5 deal that is 11 for us. Sometimes you have to search for sizes ie at Capital tea Ltd. The default size is 100g but when you click on this a menu comes up with available sizes. Prices from under 2 and up for the sample depending on the company and the tea.

Helene

I guess I have expensive taste because I like White Tea. At least I know now how to order tea online. Now I’ll have to chose a company and start from there.

yyz

Helene Tao Tea leaf had 5g samples some under 2$ for white tea.
http://www.taotealeaf.com/white/

Helene

I might order some, great price on white teas. Hopefully they are good.

yyz

I’ve only had some of his blacks but they so far have been really good!

Helene

5g will not last long :)

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This came from Nicole. For some reason, I didn’t realize that this is a Darjeeling… Don’t ask me how, the fact that it says “Autumn Flush” probably should have been enough. I guess the fact that it’s called “Imperial Gold” just made me think Yunnan instinctively. And the leaves don’t look terribly different from a less-tippy Yunnan…

Anyway, long story short, I think I underleafed this severely after looking at Nicole’s note… The flavor is extremely light, too. But the flavor that’s there is nice! I don’t think I’ve ever had a Darjeeling before, so I don’t really know what the typical flavor profile is. This kind of tastes like a very light toast with some autumn leaves and a little bit of sweet floral.

Luckily, I have enough left to do another cup with double the leaf sometime. :P

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

sipdown! I am falling behind, BUT i managed to travel for work and NOT buy more tea even though i did find some lol. I had the last of this today in an effort to have a cup that could kick me into action. it didn’t work all that well. I did really enjoy this in the morning though, as it was a little cooler than normal :)

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85

another one from this morning – splash of maple syrup to round off the deliciousness of this cup. This one is slightly smokier than the verdant smoke tea that i have, but both are delicious to me. :)

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85

i think i like this one a little more than the verdant version, but i need to do a taste test since my ratings certainly don’t reflect that. but i had this one again today and it was just a bit more smokey and seemed a bit more tasty than the verdant version from the other day. maybe i can squeeze in a comparison this weekend….

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85

mmmm while this claims to be a lightly smoked tea, there is something in this cup such that, while i agree, it’s also a smoke that lingers, so it feels, after drinking it for a while that it’s more smokey than it is. i hope that made sense. lol I am digging this one, even without my usual maple syrup addition, as i wanted to try this without additions first. I can see this being a possible hit with my tea sister terri :)

this is sweet and smokey and slightly malty. I am really enjoying taking the time to drink my norbu teas today :)

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