Nothing But Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

70

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!

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75

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.
https://twitter.com/kittylovestea/status/330628269210742784/photo/1

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Lol! Cute!

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73

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
KittyLovesTea

Side note: Having difficulty editing the post so having to comment on it instead. As this tea cools the coffee flavours are getting stronger and more baked like, resembling a coffee sponge cake. Almost a complete transformation from it’s boiling hot form.

whatshesaid

Sounds yummy!

Sil

Yum!

Beeblebear

Warm coffee flavoured ice cream cake with wafers sounds like possibly the most wonderful thing in the world :)

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87

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 :)

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more
Sil

mmmm man that sounds good!

Fuzzy_Peachkin

Ditto, Sil! That sounds amazing! You have quite a way with words!

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75

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.

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more

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85

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Dinosara

Mmm rose and marzipan, one of my favorite combos!

Terri HarpLady

It does sound delicious!

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78

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).

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78

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. :)

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Fuzzy_Peachkin

OOh this sounds lovely!

Sil

i second that! it does :)

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75

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.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
canadianadia

I hope you’re feeling better soon. I’m happy to hear that your friend’s tumour is benign – sending prayers for her continuing improvements in health.

Fjellrev

Aww, I hope you’ll feel better soon too.

Ysaurella

get well soon Kitty

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89

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.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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76

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.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

Living in a military town, we have lots of vets and a good museum so we can learn about the wars with firsthand information. When I was in junior high school, we had a few refugee families come to our area and I got to tutor the Vietnamese girls! They spoke French very well, and English almost as well as French. My son has been dating a Vietnamese girl for three years, and I hope to someday get some Vietnamese tea for her to try, though so far all I have been able to get the two of them to drink is puerh (!!!) and almond matcha lattes!

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83

Project Ceylon

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

alaudacorax

I always write from notes – male – can’t multi-task – can’t concentrate on the tea and write proper sentences at the same time. And, yes, writing from notes does play hell with my tenses – I always struggle to keep them straight.

Angrboda

I often write while I’m having the cup. It just means I have to be careful to start with the middle, and then fill in any intro-y bits afterwards. Otherwise I forget about the tea and it starts cooling. :)

Thomas Smith

I like the map you have going. I put a regions map together once, going back and forth with a guy through emails from the Ceylon Tea Board but I always wound up with a few gaps in conflict with where the boundaries ought to be.

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=208473301948425979578.0004a7ff0b463233b3a64&msa=0&ll=6.915521,80.69458&spn=3.266012,3.532104

Kashyap

great map Thomas! Angriboda I also have a small booklet from the Colombo Tea Trader’s association kindly provided by Empire Tea Services owner Lalith (a former manager of several tea estates in Sri Lanka and now a guide, importer, and wholesale tea vendor)…let me know if you would like me to mail this to you and also check this out if you are on FB https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.436697746411386.1073741831.435275026553658&type=1
or look up Tea Around Town on FB

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79
drank Jade Butterfly by Nothing But Tea
1979 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Jade Butterfly by Nothing But Tea
1979 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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70
drank Guangxi Guihua by Nothing But Tea
1979 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
Iced

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70
drank Guangxi Guihua by Nothing But Tea
1979 tasting notes

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.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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85

Project Ceylon!

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.

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=211803378882467968316.0004d6ff92c6d663176b9&msa=0

Kashyap

used to blend a green Blackwood Estate Ceylon with shou pu erh to make a dynamic iced tea…let me know if you ever need help finding estate information from Ceylon as I an associated with a gentleman who used to run a few estates over there

Angrboda

I’ll bear it in mind. Not all of them come with their elevation information, so I had to investigate a bit. I’m just waiting for the day when I won’t be able to work it out. That day will surely come. Most are fairly easy to work out with a bit of googling, though. I can’t recall having seen quite this much attention to elevation for any other region. I’m sure it exists for the others, but it seems like it’s treated like less important information. That’s kind of interesting!
Did you know that some of the larger estates actually show up with a label on Google maps? I’ve discovered this! It’s super practical with the reference map, but I’m not about to hunt all of them down. :)

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75

Project Ceylon!

Next up, again chosen according to product number. I suspect this is really the easiest way to do it. No dithering about what to do next. Anyway, this one is high grown, and from more or less right in the middle of the highlands.

I can tell a huge difference already in the dry leaf when compared to the mid-elevation Kenilworth from yesterday. This one is sharper and brighter, quite grassy but also with a brief smidge of something leather-y and wood-y underneath. This is well hidden, though. It smells like a summer-y tea.

I’m not actually getting much aroma from the brewed cup, though, but what I am getting is giving me an impression of a smoothed out version of the dry leaf aroma.

That sharpish grassy note rather concerned me, because it’s the very thing that makes me not very fond of Darjeeling, but luckily, the tea doesn’t actually turn out to be all that Darjeeling-y. There is a Darj-esque grassy note, yes, but it doesn’t have the same sort of sour quality that I seem to find in Darjeelings. It’s more tolerable here, because it doesn’t give me that long, sour aftertaste. It has quite a floral top note as well, but not overwhelmingly so.

Underneath all that, we’re back with the wood-y, leather-y sorts of flavours. They’re light and sort of spring-y (boing!) feeling compared to the heavy darkness of yesterday’s Kenilworth. This feels more like a ladies’ tea. If we recycle the business man’s study from yesterday, this would be the sort of tea the wives would be drinking while thinking up ways to back-stab each other so as to further their own social standing.

I haven’t had this one before, it seems, so I can’t tell you whether I agree with myself on it. I find it pleasant, but if given the choice I would prefer the mid-elevation Kenilworth.

Reference map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=211803378882467968316.0004d6ff92c6d663176b9

Veronica

I am loving these reviews. Great idea, and great writing!!!

CharlotteZero

I love the map!

Angrboda

Thank you, both.

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50

February 12th.

I brewed with a well-heaped teaspoon steeped for two and a half minutes, boiling water.

It made a clear, medium intensity (I could see to the bottom of the mug), slightly orange, brown infusion with a hint of yellow-green round the surface circumference.

It doesn’t have much aroma. It’s slightly doughy. It also smells ‘wet’. I’m really struggling to explain that: I don’t know if I’m thinking of washing clothes, or of a bath or shower running – it’s making me think of something hot and wet that I just can’t pin down.

In the mouth there’s a satisfying richness – lots of old-fashioned, basic tea flavour. Actually, the basic tea may be just edging towards being a little harsh – as if it’s been steeped too long and got a little stale. I’m really not getting any other flavour notes – even tiny hints.

I made a second infusion, same way.

Strangely, the colour seemed just a little stronger (though I did go a little over the two and a half minutes – say two and three-quarters – another blasted cold-caller – may their socks rot!)

The aroma is just the same as from the first infusion.

In the mouth it no longer has that hint of harshness. This basic tea flavour is a little less and there’s a touch of rather metallic grassiness. There is also a tiny hint reminiscent of the smell of a live fish. I don’t mean the smell you get at the fishmonger or from a piece of fish in your kitchen – not really a ‘fishy’ smell – I mean something quite different. Anyone who’s ever handled a live koi or similar will know what I mean. I suppose I mean the smell of their slime but that’s really not as horrid as it sounds. Having said that, it’s not in any way an enhancement when you find it in the flavour of a tea.

And having said all that, this is really not a dislikable tea. On the other hand, I don’t particularly like it, either – just a so-so cup of tea with nothing standout about it either way.

February 13th.

I’ve made a brew with a well-heaped teaspoon steeped for two and a half minutes in water that had been left to cool for three minutes after the boil.

The colour and clarity is pretty much the same as with yesterday’s brew.

There is still not much of an aroma. This time, though, I’m getting hints of biscuit and vanilla – it reminds me a little of those ‘custard cream’ biscuits.

There’s not a lot of flavour. There is a hint of rather metallic grassiness and not a lot of basic tea; but what basic tea it has is just a little harsh, as if it’s been steeped too long and gone a little stale (as with yesterday’s first infusion). I’m not detecting any other flavour notes.

I made a second infusion, water three minutes off the boil; but I missed the steep time and it was steeped for three and a quarter minutes.

I didn’t look any weaker; but there was definitely less flavour and aroma than with the first infusion. It was rather bland, really.

I’m not sure what to think of all this. The website writes of it so glowingly that I’m wondering if I’m getting the brewing wrong. I only had a small sample, though, so I’m not in a position to experiment.

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74

Thanks to a friend I remembered that I had some unusual handmade white teas on my shelf from Nothing But Tea. In their white tea Jade range they have various shapes (ring, lilly, spiral, bamboo) and then they also have butterfly. It’s not your typical butterfly shape (nothing like you would draw if asked) but they are cute to look at.

Pale green and slightly furry to touch with a slight floral scent, these little butterflies are a wonderful little novelty. To think that these have each been hand tied for my enjoyment is rather thrilling.

10 Butterflies are needed per cup with multiple re steeping encouraged. I will be using my small Gongfu for this which equals a nice cups worth of tea. Also just to note the leaflet states this tea is to be steeped at 70°C for 3 minutes.

Once steeped the tea is a very pale yellow colour with a gentle sweet floral scent.

The flavour is also very subtle with the same sweet floralness as the smell. So far it’s reminding me a little of Silver Needle tea. Slightly nutty and dry but the sweet floweriness almost like Peony but not as strong is the strongest feature. It’s very fresh tasting and easy to drink.

Lets try another steep of 7 minutes. The tea has fully expanded now during the steeping process and most have untied themselves from their pretty form to be long and thin.

Very much the same as the first steep put perhaps a little sweeter. The colour is very similar to the first steep but the scent is more floral.

It was a nice novelty of trying this white tea for not only it’s subtle sweet taste but also it’s aesthetics. Being hand tied and created makes it seem even more special which in turn made me special for drinking it. It may be something I try myself in the very near future.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C

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100

This will be my fourth cup of flavoured Pu Erh today. The snow has stopped falling but a few inches have settled, for how long is anybodies guess. The snow is beautiful to look at but it’s cold and dangerous. Last year it snowed on my birthday but it doesn’t look like there is much chance of that happening this year, it’s arrived too early. (My birthday is 6th February).

The tea whilst raw is dark brown with small red strawberry pieces and it smells absolutely amazing! It’s real strawberry and it smells so sweet and juicy, very natural like and thankfully not the leaf. I’m licking my lips due to the smell alone which for the record is quite potent.

Once the tea has steeped it’s dark brown in colour and smells just as strong, fresh and naturally delicious as it’s raw form.

Wowzers this tastes as lovely as the smell! The first few sips reveal sweet strawberry which is then followed by a rich and smooth Pu Erh after taste. The strawberry is slightly more dominant but with it being so sweet and fresh I put that as being a positive thing. Besides I can taste the Pu Erh fairly well despite being overtaken. This is another blend that reminds me of sweets.

Earlier I drank Mother of Pearl- Della Terra and noted that was mostly strawberry flavoured (and Pu Erh based) and I think any fan of that tea would love this. This tea is stronger than MOP and sweeter without having to add anything extra.

I think this tea alone would be worth placing another order from NBT for but considering I also love their Orange Pu Erh and Orange Black I’m thinking I should do so sooner rather than later.

In a few words this tea is … Tantalizingly strawberry tastic!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

mmmmm sounds tasty!

Steven

I can almost smell it from here.
I MUST try this!

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64

“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone
Maybe that is why I love tea?

Following my next cup with another flavoured Pu Erh after catching the Pu Erh bug today. Well it is hard for any tea to follow after a delicious cup of Pu Erh after all. The snow is still falling and after walking (carefully) through it a moment ago to post jewellery to my wonderful customers at my local Post Office I am cold and in desperate need of being warmed up. The exotic part of this sounds nice right about now (shivers).

While raw this tea is a mixture of brown, yellow and blue in colour with a refreshing woody and orange scent. Not quite as exotic as I had imagined.

Once steeped the tea is dark brown in colour with the usual woody and earthy Pu Erh scent. I can’t pick up the fruit by smell alone which is a shame.

There is a hint of orange in the flavour but the Pu Erh is much stronger than the fruitiness meaning the balance is not quite right. It says their are raspberry pieces in this tea but I can’t taste anything remotely berry like, just the waxy orange and thick woody Pu Erh.

I have Nothing But Teas Orange Pu Erh and it’s nothing like this tea, this is a much weaker version and not as tasty. It’s a shame that it’s disappointing but it’s still good enough to drink and finish my sample pouch. Still I feel the word exotic is a little misleading..I was sort of thinking pineapple or melon…not just orange and raspberry that I cannot taste.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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87

I’m loving the sound of flavoured Pu Erh at the moment so I dove into my Nothing But Tea Pu Erh sampler box and pulled out this orange Pu Erh. That sounds delicious! I have had a different brand of tangerine Pu Erh before and that was very tasty and I imagine this would be similar.

As I snipped my way into the packaging I was greeted with a super strong orange fragrance that was natural with sweet and waxy highlights. It smells like fresh orange, as though one had been cut in half and I have taken a huge sniff. Luckily I love orange and this is certainly not for the faint hearted. :)

Appearance wise this looks like normal loose leaf Pu Erh, small and thinly rolled dark brown leaves in various squiggly shapes. Other than the smell I would not be able to tell any different.

Brewed in my gongfu with boiling water for 2 minutes to give me a lovely large glass full. I’m hoping it’s potent enough for a second cheeky steep (I used two tea spoons of leaves).

The tea soup is browny red in colour (standard ripe Pu Erh coloured) but it carries the same strong orange fragrance but with a more noticeable Pu Erh astringency and earthiness. Yummy.

The flavour is not as strong as the smell but the orange is strong enough to be as expected. It does taste very natural and the mixture of sweet and sour citrus is very pleasing, it matches this ripe Pu Erh perfectly. It tastes like an orange tree: earthy, fruity, natural, sweet, sour, woody, fresh.

It’s a very nice tea and the balance is perfect. I bet this would be a great summer drink.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
TeaBrat

Ha – I am doing flavored pu-erh today too. :)

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