Nothing But Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
These rings are so cute :) And they smell floral and gentle like a spring breeze.
Once steeped this tea is yellow in colour with the same gentle floral and grassy scent as it’s raw form.
This tea is sweet, grassy, floral, vegetal and fresh. Flavour key words would be sweet pea, jasmine, grass, cabbage and peony.
It’s a nice novelty tea and the rings have fully opened up to show it’s long, needle pointed leaves.
A nice green tea with unique charm. :)
More Darjeeling please :)
This tea is bright green and dark green in colour with a sweet and floral jasmine scent. The leaves are mostly finely chopped for the most part. I can see a little bit of twig but very little and no marks or discolouration on the leaves.
Once steeped this tea is dusky yellow in colour with a sweet yet soft jasmine aroma. Not as strong as say Jasmine Pearls but strong enough to be fresh.
Flavour is gentle and sweet with minor astringency. It’s sweet but also slightly musky and perfumey so it still has that true Darjeeling feel about it. Not as sweet as some Jasmine teas can be but it’s sweet enough for me.
Overall it’s a nice Darjeeling green and a nice jasmine green so as a Jasmine Darjeeling it’s pretty darn tasty! Two happiness meters for the price of one can be filled thanks to this beauty :)
SIPDOWN! mwahahahahaha i feel like the count today! in any case exciting eventual and productive work and tea day today. Made some baby steps forward with someone who i find challenging to work with (she likely finds me the same way so no issues there haha); got some things off my plate, drank a bunch of tea and i’m one day closer to vacation! woot woot!
I have relaly enjoyed drinking this one so thank you bunches angrboda!
figured i might as well try this one again tonight after having the zen tea version last night. Ill stick to this version thanks! could be the same supplier for all i know but this version seems so much creamier and raspberrier for me. I’m really enjoying this as an end to the evening. I didn’t get as much tea drinking in, but what i’ve had tonight has been delicious!
Other from angrboda that I’m enjoying. Now if only my dashboard would behave! Th initial smell of this one had me a bit worried because behind the delicious aroma was a hint of something artificial. Turns out that my worries were unfounded because brewed, this is simply a delicious raspberry vanilla tea. Makes me think of raspberry creamsicles a little :) the icecream mixing with the raspberry…mmmmm
Thank you Kittylovestea for this sample.
8g / 400ml glaspot
3m @ 80C
This tea does not look like a white. the tealeaves are dark. Almost like they dried in the sun for to long.
The tea itself is powerfully fruity. I think ripe peaches? Kind of pleasant, i think it would be good as an iced tea.
Interesting to try something as odd as this :)
Thank you kittylovestea for this one! I totally didn’t steep this one for long enough tonight…it’s been a VERY long day and i’m semi out of it. Long story short i’m glad i have more of this to try again. I can tell this will be one that i enjoy quite a bunch from the small cup i had tonight. Just need to steep it for longer to bring out the flavours even more!
One of the more interesting shaped teas that I have experienced. It looks like some sort of grassy shell, I like the different shades of yellow, brown and silver.
The scent is very gentle and hard to detect other than a slight hint of flowers. A gentle sweet pea, jasmine medley.
Brewing this in my Gongfu for the suggested three steeps.
Steep One – 80°C – 4 minutes – The tea is pale yellow in colour and has a gentle peony type floral fragrance. For the first steep it’s quite strong which is probably a result of the long steeping time. It has some astringency but only slight at this point. It’s quite light and refreshing.
Steep Two – 90°C – 4 minutes – Yellow in colour with the same peony flower scent. The tea itself has fully blossomed now and looks like some strange tropical underwater plant. Flavour is thicker and more flowery with sweet honeyed tones. Still refreshing and peony like.
Steep Three – 100°C – 4 minutes – Paler slightly in colour but still yellow. Deeper in scent. Still no bitterness and now very light and hard to detect much apart from an extremely subtle floralness.
Overall – It’s a pleasant enough blooming tea that goes well with summer/hot weather. It’s floral, delicate and refreshing and a great introductory piece for people that are new to blooming teas. As always it’s a great show off drink, friends and family would love this.
PS. Thank you to Lala for the lipgloss.
Coffee is not my drink of choice and it’s been over a year since I had a cup of it but I still like to try coffee blended tea infusions as part of my ‘something different’ tea campaign. “What do we want? Unique tea. When do we want it? NOW!!!”
While I’m not a fan of coffee I do love a nice slice of coffee cake every now and then. :)
In raw form this tea has a wafer (as in ice cream wafer) like bitter smell that is more cakey than coffee like. Very interesting and unusual but I’m kinda liking it. It’s hard to see what the ingredients are exactly but the most I can work out is black tea and a few coffee beans with what may be nuts and or fruit?
Once steeped this tea is golden brown in colour and has a strong and spongy coffee aroma.
Hmmm… a little bitter and sweet at the same time and a definite wafer like flavour. It smells more like coffee than it tastes but could perhaps be mistaken for a weak flavoured coffee. Also a little dry on the tongue which I remember is a coffee symptom I always got. Also it does have a nutty maybe popcorn like taste.
Overall it’s a strange blend and I have certainly not tasted anything like it before. I’m enjoying my pot of it but it would not be something that I would purchase again. Imagine a warm coffee flavoured ice cream cake with wafers and that is what it tastes like… to me anyway.
I bought a puzzle book on holiday for the car ride home from my holiday, there is nothing like a pot of tea and a crossword puzzle :) Plus the little troll on the end of my pen is catching the attention of my cats so it may be play time.
Since I’m going on holiday tomorrow I still need to do a multitude of checks and make sure my house is spotless for my kitties to play nicely in. I will only be gone three nights and my Aunty Ann is coming in to make sure the cats have food and water etc but leaving them always makes me panic. I know they will be fine and I also know I’m going to miss them so much.
When I return on Monday 29th April I will be doing a tea swap with Sil and this sample is one she wanted to try. So if I have one cup to quickly review I can then put it aside for her. :)
In raw form this tea is a lovely mixture of brown colours with quite large caramel pieces, it does look chocolatey. It also smells like chocolate mixed with butterscotch and caramel. Very sweet and very delicious, one of the best smelling dessert teas I have encountered.
It’s a long 10 minute steep but I have a feeling it’s going to be worth the wait. Once it is steeped this tea is brown in colour with a sweet and delicious chocolate treacle aroma.
This tea is sweet, dark, chocolatey, treacle like and full on flavour but the body is light (meaning it won’t make me feel heavy or bloated). You can taste the honeybush but more of it’s sweetness above anything else and I think the balance of flavours is perfect.
It tastes like a hot chocolate drink rather than a tea based drink. :) Also reminds a little of Oh Canada – Davids Tea due to it’s dark syrup like flavour.
Sil you are in for a treat :)
My last pot of tea before bed time. I’m going through a phase of waking up multiple times a night at the slightest sound and finding it hard to get back sleep. I bought this tea to help, usually anything lavender like knocks me out.
In raw form this blend is quite finely chopped and has a minty lavender scent. Mint and lavender is a little bit of an odd combination in my opinion but at the same time it seems to work.
Once steeped this tea is dark red in colour (reminds me of a dark rose wine) and has a minty somewhat herby aroma.
Mint with a lavender chaser and echoes of lemongrass with a herbal finish. No Rooibos flavour is present but it does carry a slight sweetness that you would associate with it. The strength is at the right level and all in all it’s quite mellow considering the amount of ingredients. It’s also clean and refreshing with no ickyness to speak of. My husband said it tastes like cough medicine and would be best suited as a winter night time drink.
Half way down my cup and it still tastes unusual and different but more and more in a positive way. Whether it’s psychological or not I have yawned whilst sipping this and I thought I was not that tired pre cup but know I should have been.
Overall it’s growing on me and is a sample I am happy to have bought when I really shouldn’t have. I would consider stocking this again but perhaps my husband is right…it seems like more of a winter/cold night tea.
Finally got around to a new review today. My husband just got home and needs warming up and I have been waiting to try this for a while so it was a good excuse to pull it out the cupboard. :)
In appearance I can see a good amount of both rose petals and almond slices amongst the black leaves. It really does have a very real marzipan scent, it’s amazing! Sweet, nutty, floral and a little fruity. I say fruity as it reminds both me and my husband of cherries (which is a little odd but nice).
Once steeped the tea soup is brown in colour with a sweet rose aroma with an undertone of rich earth.
The first few sips reveal a fresh and sweet rose flavour that is also a little creamy and nutty. There is also a strong earthy malt black tea taste that adds a little sourness when mixed with the sweet floral tones. Reminds me of Keemun (not sure if it is) mixed with rose petals that always has a sweet and sour affair very similar to this blend but this one is sweeter.
It does have a marzipan taste but in a thick way…sort of like more towards marzipan and thick rich fruit cake which tones it down. It’s nice and very similar to quite a few Keemun and rose blends I have had before but I think the sweetness in this is delicious and it really stands out. It still has a cherry thing about it too.
I have been finishing a few NBT samples today but have not logged anything due to a very bad hangover. I had too many glasses of wine last night during my Sons of Anarchy marathon. My bad…
I don’t think there is anything better for a hangover cure than tea. Back to wire wrapping some gemstone specimens :) Will blog a few new teas later when I feel up to it.
(Check my previous entry for my review).
My first pot of the day :) I feel a little better this morning, a tad groggy but the headache has subsided somewhat.
In raw form this tea has a sweet tangerine smell that reminds me of hard boiled sweets. In appearance you can see the Mao Feng and pieces of tangerine rind with large sunflower petals.
Once steeped this tea is orange in colour and bears a cinnamon and orange scent. The first few sips reveal a thick tangerine taste with floral highlights and spicy cinnamon undertones. It’s not as sweet as it’s raw scent but there is still a touch of it there, some may have to add extra sweetener. The tangerine tastes natural and there are no harsh flavours, everything flows rather well together. There is something creamy about it…vanilla but not noticeable in flavour just an aura of smooth creaminess.
Overall it’s very nice and a little different, a tangerine tea that is creamy, spicy and has depth despite it’s white tea base. A nice morning drink that would make a delicious iced tea. I would buy this again. :)
Since I awoke this morning I have had a thumping headache and a gurgley stomach and they have not stopped all day. I’m not one to take pills but it was so bad at work that I took a paracetamol with the hope of clearing my mind and to stop the throbbing thump thump thump.
Well it’s still bad but I think it’s manageable enough at this moment in time to write a quick review. Also I have some good news, some of you may remember me mentioning that my best friend had a brain scan and was told there was a tumour. Well it’s took a couple of months but her results came back today and the tumour is benign and for the time being there is no need to operate. It is however pressings down on a particular point and is causing her to have epileptic fits so she now has a bracelet being made. As far as good news goes that was one of the best scenario’s possible so I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and support. :)
In raw form this tea is very pretty and has a lot of colour and life amongst the leaves. I see more green tea than black but the instructions state to brew it at boiling so I will try that for my first cup. It bears a very strong bergamot and lemon (must be the cardamom) aroma. Very zingy and energizing.
The steeping times state 6 minutes but that seems a little excessive so I will try 5 minutes and see how strong that is first.
Once steeped the tea is Baltic Amber in colour with a fairy strong bergamot and spicy citrus aroma. The caramom and ginger are more noticeable now.
I can taste the: cardamom, ginger and bergamot in the first few sips. The citrus is the most noticeable flavour but it turns spicy quickly whilst remaining at a balance. In other words it’s not too citrusy or too spicy and both are roughly the same strength but the citrus only just beats it.. a sort of 60% citrus and 40% spicy mix.
As far as an Earl Grey goes I’m finding it hard to compare this to any other blend that I have tried. A spicy Earl Grey alone is something I am having a hard time to place. Plus the cardamom is very strong so it’s a bit like a cardamom Ear Grey which again is something I don’t recall trying before.
The more I drink the warmer I become and the spicier this blend becomes too. Overall it’s a nice twist on the lemon and ginger herbal classic. I can’t differentiate between the black or the green teas knowing they are blended together but if I tasted this blindly I would have said green purely because of it’s strong herbal qualities and orange colour.
I would happily try this again but it wouldn’t be something I would regularly buy.
My first try of this Thailand Oolong and lots more where it came from as I bought 100g bag of it. I’ve been drinking blends all day and I’m a little flavoured out and in need of something natural but warm. It’s freezing outside, more snow is due over this weekend. :( Coldest weather for March in over 50 years in the UK. It’s almost April and we have still not seen any sun.
The Oolong balls are large and a mixture if light and dark greens. Rather nice quality thankfully. :) Plus they have an earthen floral dark scent.
Steeping times are as instructed for my first steep
The tea forms a yellow colour with strong vegetal broccoli tones. Also a hint of flowers.
The first sips reveal a delicate, sweet, floral, broccoli tasting Oolong. Fresh and rich with just the right amount of buttery vegetable essence to make this delicious. There’s not an awful lot of dryness either which I’m really digging.
There is also a slight perfumey taste that has some sweetness with it but also a very green taste, more than broccoli… cabbage? peas? broad beans?
Overall it’s a very nice Oolong, quality and taste are good and it reminds me of something that I tried from Tea from Taiwan before. I got 100g but now I know I will have no problem in finishing this off in due time.
I am pretty sure I have tried Vietnamese tea before as I have vague memories of staying up late last year to watch Full Metal Jacket and drinking a pot of it. I searched my tasting notes but I have over 470 and I can’t find it amongst them or even remember where it would be from. I suppose that is something most people don’t know about me, I am very interested in the Vietnam war. I’m not saying that I agree with war at all but I am just drawn in to it like a moth to light.
My point from the above text is that even though I have tried Vietnamese tea I have no vivid recollection of flavours or smells so I will be going into this tasting session blind. I enjoy doing blind sessions sometimes because it’s the now knowing that makes it interesting.
In raw form this tea has a very earthy, musky, leather like aroma. Very potent and thick. The leaves are black/brown in appearance and have been chopped into small pieces with a few small stalk pieces amongst them. There are also dots of green and yellow leaves amongst the dark contrast. Everything I would expect so far from an Orange Pekoe (OP).
Once steeped this tea is burnt orange in colour with a malted, earthy, wooden and subtly sweet.
The tea tastes sweet, slightly citrus, earthy, woodsy and rich. The fist few sips start with a sweet velvety slight smokiness which progresses into a light wood that gets deeper and darker until you are left with a rich earthy after taste. It’s not particularly strong but it offers enough flavour to be pleasing.
It reminds me of a Keemun but with earthier tones or perhaps even a mil Yunnan. I don’t think it will be a regular purchase but I can certainly enjoy it whilst it’s on my shelf.
Back on track. Nearly. I’m actually writing this based on notes I made yesterday. Writing backlogs like this usually ends up in a big past tense/present tense messy muddle, but I’ll try and control myself. Pick a tense already and stick to it! Bear with me if I can’t.
This one was initially quite confusing to me. Usually the word ‘silver’ gets attached to white teas, so I had to check several times before my brain would accept that it really was a black one we had here. No clue where they get the silver from. It didn’t even taste silver. If anything it tasted more yellow. Bright sun-yellow.
But synesthesia aside, this tea took us into the mid-elevation part of the scale, grown at 600-1200 meters above the surface of the sea. It’s also the one grown furthest to the North of all my Ceylons so far. I wonder if that makes a difference?
The dry leaves didn’t have much in the way of aroma on their own. I had to try and breathe on them a bit before anything would come out, and then it was a sweet note of honey and a little bit floral as well. Nectar is really the first word that pops into my head with that combination.
After steeping there was much more aroma and the honey note was very strong, but I didn’t get so much of that floralness that I caught on the dry. Instead I got the impression that there might be a note of grain hiding under all this bee stuff.
At this point I can’t say I was particularly surprised to find a load of honey in the flavour. Actually, if I hadn’t known better I would have thought that this had actually been flavoured with honey. That’s how strong it was and how close to actual real honey I thought it was.
Here, we also got the floral notes and the grainy notes back again. At first I thought that it might have been two sides of the same coin, but I definitely thought I noticed both in the flavour, so I decided it was more likely that they were both there independently. Which sounds ridiculous, I know. Like the flavour is made up of random coincidences and various flavour molecules meeting up randomly. Anyway, there was definitely a bit of something floral under the honey and a smidge of grain under that as well.
Primarily, though, it was just very strongly honey. I had an Assam once which would do this when brewed Just So. It was highly enjoyable, but totally unreliable. It seemed like a complete stroke of luck when it went honey-y and I never could figure out what it was that made the difference, because I thought I made it in the exact same way every time. This Ceylon came out even more strongly honey than I remember that Assam doing and two steeps of it, both heavily honeyed, implies that it does so with much more consistency.
I found this one greatly enjoyable, although at this point in Project Ceylon I will have to say that Ceylon blacks generally don’t really seem to resteep well. That’s a shame, I think, now that Husband and I, in the Age of Frugality, have become so good at always steeping a tea twice before tossing the leaves. There is a great deal of guilt involved when not doing it with these… (I’ve been spoiled by Chinese blacks, haven’t I?)
I’ve never had this one before either, so I can’t tell if I agree with myself or not.
Reference map: http://goo.gl/maps/76sz4
Sipdown, 166. Started drinking this one earlier this afternoon and decided to go ahead and finish the rest of my sample of it.
I’m a little less taken with this one than I was the last time I had it, but it’s still quite nice. Not quite getting so much sweetness, but the floral notes are lovely (especially in the aftertaste) and it’s still very impressive to me as a white tea! Definitely a fun one to try out.
Yet another from my swap with KittyLovesTea. Thanks!
I don’t know why I’ve been in a plain oolong/green tea mood lately, but that’s apparently what I’m in. This is actually a white tea, but it fits the pattern. It’s kind of a novelty, tied into little bow-shaped “butterflies”. They call for 10 butterflies per mug (whatever size a “mug” is) in the directions, but I ended up with close to 20 in my 12oz cup, which seemed about right. They definitely did not unfurl all the way in this first steep.
The steeped tea smells softly floral and a bit vegetal. Wow, the flavor is so light and sweet! I am really digging this tea. It has a chestnut note, yum, a soft floral note, which I love, and a light natural sweetness to round it out. I am usually kind of bored with white teas, but this one is lovely. It gets sweeter and nuttier as it cools. The second steep (upon which all the bows untied themselves) is I think slightly more floral, less sweet and less nutty, but still delicious with a great aftertaste as well. I was prepared to be unimpressed by this tea but it was just the opposite! Really quite delightful.
Sipdown, 195. Cold brewed this one for approximately 8 hours.
This turned out pretty well; intensely floral, and sometimes maybe too much floral, but overall tasty. No astringency in the cold steep, as expected, although I would perhaps steep this one for less time on another cold brew so that it was a little less overpowering.
This sample comes to me from KittyLovesTea, thanks! This isn’t a tea I am familiar with and I had forgotten what it was, so I was surprised to see little flower buds and petals in with the dry leaf. Also, I’m happy to see it is a pouchong, which makes me more excited than if it was a green base.
I looked at KittyLovesTea’s note in the nick of time; she says she would brew it for two minutes instead of three, and I set up my timer for three but was able to pull it after only a bit more than two. It smells green and vegetal and a bit floral, but osmanthus has a certain kind of floral aroma that doesn’t really seem floral to me. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it always seems more like something in the tea than an actual flower.
This tea is a conundrum. When you first take a sip its all sweet and floral and lovely, and then slowly, lurkingly, a light bitterness grows on your tongue, wiping out all the good flavors that were there to begin with, even with a 2 minute steep. It’s built in a way that seems to be a feature of the tea, not a flaw, so I am guessing there is someone out there that likes this combo. I may try cold-brewing the rest of my sample to see what the result is then.
Another which is technically mid-elevation, but just touching on the edge of high-grown. If high-grown is anything above 1200 meters, then we’ve got this one hovering in a grey area at 1000-1300 meters.
I had a very difficult time placing this one on the map, but with the help from Google I have become reasonably convinced that I’ve managed to find the correct area. According to the information I was able to find, Blackwood is actually the name of a section of Idulgashinna tea gardens, so I actually had to look for a completely different name. The difference here is in… umm… the name. I couldn’t find anything about whether we were talking about a large estate dedicating different sections to specific goals, or if it was something along the lines of several smaller gardens joining forces or what.
The dry leaf smells wood-y and a bit spicy, but otherwise it doesn’t really seem to have anything that stands out about it. There is a bit of sweetness in it, but not so much as to really warrant a comment.
This is interesting because after steeping it’s quite berry-y and sweet, but with a strong body of leather-y almost-smoke. This is very unexpected! I’m beginning to think I generally just have a somewhat skewed impression of the high-grown teas, because so far I’ve only had one that really came across that way. I thought I’d get something more floral and light, and certainly not something that tries to have me believe that it’s smoky. It definitely feels more mid-elevation than high.
There is quite a lot of berry in the flavour as well. So much that I could have been persuaded that I was actually dealing with a flavoured tea. It’s sort of a mixture between blackberries and raspberries with maybe a bit of blackcurrants as well. A great big fruity note which pulls out into a creamy feeling tail. How lovely!
Underneath that, and towards the end of the sip I get the leather-y base with a slight astringency to it, but not very much. There isn’t any of that smoke that the aroma almost promised me, unfortunately, because I should have liked to have seen how that would play with the berries. Ever since Auggy shared a citrus-flavoured lapsang souchong blend with me, I’ve been wishing for a red berry-flavoured lapsang souchong blend. Or just generally more flavoured LS blends, but especially the red berries. I should get me some good Four Red Fruits and try it myself. Anyway, I would have liked to have seen how these berries and the smoky note had played together but if I’m to be completely honest, I think I like this particular tea better for it not being there. I feel like I’ve missed an opportunity, but at the same time I’m not sure this would have been the proper place for it.
I haven’t had this one before, so I couldn’t tell you whether I agree with myself or not. I do, however, find this one greatly enjoyable.