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Recent Tasting Notes
Oh goodness, this is lovely … I think that Da Yu Ling is quickly becoming another favorite Oolong of mine, perhaps right on the same level as Ali Shan which is (or was) #1. I am so swooning over this tea.
It is amazing to me how a tea can taste so delicate and yet so rich. At once, I taste notes of flower, air, fruit, honey, and vegetation. I taste each of these notes individually. In subsequent infusions, the flavors become less individual … they seem to come together in a very harmonious way to create a very luxurious, enchanting flavor.
I am so in love with this.
I was searching for a good green tea to start my day and my eye lit on this sample from Nuvola. I have had three cups of it, had another today, and I would say I still have enough to make another two or three cups.
The liquor is a deep emerald green and it goes down smoothly. This is a very drinkable matcha! Thank you, Nuvola!
This is a sample sent for review by Nuvola Tea. Thank you!
This is the fourth Ruby #18 I have tried, yet it always catches me off guard. It is called black tea because of the level of oxidation but when you steep it it is so light and golden.
If you need a tea for work or busy times, this one is a good bet because I don’t think it is possible to ruin it. Boiling water? No problem. Something a little less than boiling? That is okay, too. Forget you were steeping it? It probably doesn’t matter. This one doesn’t get bitter or astringent unless you leave it for a really long time, longer than I have managed to forget it. I have yet to ruin a cup.
And it resteeps, really well, in fact. This is a black tea made from a hybrid tea varietal and made in Taiwan where oolong teas prevail’ so you can treat this a lot like a oolong.
Everyone needs to try a Sun Moon Lake (Ruby 18) sometime.
Thank you, Nuvola Tea!
Full Review Will be on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 17th but here are my snippits:
Taiwan Muzha Ti Kuan Yin from Nuvola Tea is a complex, multiple layered taste exploration. It captures flavors of sweet, savory, salty, roasty, creamy, and more. There is an undeniable aroma that really captures the senses and makes you sit a moment, cup close to your nose, just breathing in its notes.
Nuvola Tea has some of the finest teas I have come across in my tea discovery. This is no exception. Hints of nuttiness capture my attentions first, followed by a creamy full mouthful and flavor that is captivating as well. While sweet berry notes dance about on my tongue the roasted backdrop comes into focus, but then the berry re-emerges once again. Its like a ferris wheel of flavors here! Flavor notes go up, then down, then round and round playfully dancing and playing on my palette.
Thank you Nuvola for this tea sample!
Someone from The Food Network flew over my neighborhood this morning and dusted everything with powered sugar. It’s lovely. The grass is sticking through where the lawn mower didn’t stike, and the squirrel that lives under the juniper bushes ran out to gather some more food from his stash before the sub zero wind and snow arrives this afternoon.
I’ve done my squirrel-like gathering already. Even though I moved here from California, I’ve lived in the mountains and know that when the weather is changing, you must have enough food and movies, then stay home. (I have enough tea already) Who would want to be out in 14 degrees with the wind blowing at 40 miles per hour!
After breakfast, I thought that a floral Oolong would be a fresh contrast while watching the frosty snow outside.
I prefer talking about the experience without being overly technical. I used a tasting set so that I could enjoy the aroma of the leaves.
The aroma of the leaves was heady…an intoxicating orchid, powdery floral and hint of salty sea air. Later, the floral was lighter and towards the last steepings had a menthol, spearmint quality that I sometimes find in tea from Taiwan.
The taste of the pale yellow-green liquor was a balance of light savory and sweet as though I had eaten a piece of honeydew melon followed by fresh sauteed green beans.
I notice sometimes (and I did on the second steep) that some Oolongs have a rubber taste that’s not bad, but is peculiar. This round had a feeling in the mouth like slowly solidifying butter. The finish was a bit bitter then stopped short, morphed and became salty and sweet.
A third steep with menthol coolness, still floral but less powdery.
The taste of sweet baby white corn-on-the-cob, salty, fresh. Peppery bite on the end with no bitter aftertaste.
The forth and best steeping was the most subtle. Spearmint-like menthol and a gentle floral flavor which was lingering and buttery. Very smooth. It was the lingering, all consuming hug of flavor done in such a seductive way that I loved about this last steep.
Lovely way to spend time on a Winter morning. The snow is already melted and The Food Network plane needs to return and do another fly over for another dusting of snow sugar.
Later today, I’m going to try making pancakes with some orange tea and cardamom spice…stay tuned.
This is a free sample sent for review by Nuvola Tea. Thank you so much, Nuvola! This is fantastic! I had it three ways today.
I confess I am a matcha newbie. Two years ago I don’t think I would have tried it. Now that my eldest daughter is drinking tea solely for health reasons I stay on the hunt for the best tasting, most antioxidant rich teas I can find so we can share them.
I opened this pouch this morning for a back to school boost, as my youngest daughter and I are hitting the books again homeschooling. Oh, this smells so sweet and delicious! There is a strong, fresh green aroma, like sweet, sweet veggies. MMM!
I sift about 1/2 tsp. into my bowl and whisk with 176F water. The taste is much like the aroma, only at the end of the sip there is a quick bitterness because I used too much matcha, but also, not a bad taste so much as the palate cleansing type of taste that is often tasted in green teas. I am easily able to finish this.
I make a second cup with a little less matcha powder since I am not really measuring my water. This time I add two pinches of sugar. This probably amounts to less than 1/8 tsp. of sugar. I whisk it up and drink. VOILA! No bitterness at all! Also, I taste no sugar or sugary sweetness, only natural sweetness from the matcha! This cup goes down fast fast so I decide to experiment some more!
I put about 1/8 tsp. sugar in a bowl, maybe less. I warm some milk and whisk. Ahhhhh! Warm milk is so soothing and always takes on a dark and dreamy flavor to me, almost earthy. Now it is combined with the fresh green taste of the matcha, and the sugar is completely hidden flavor wise so next time I may leave it out entirely.
Excellent tea, Nuvola! I have really enjoyed trying your matcha in all these ways today!
Thank you to Nuvola Tea for this sample
I shared this sample with experienced tea drinkers in a side by side comparison with a very high quality matcha. At the end of the tasting a few people arrived not knowing which tea was which and made comments also. (This was all done in a tea shop)
The Nuvola Tea had a distinct fishy scent and flavor, as well as a very bitter taste. The aftertaste was grassy which I didn’t mind.
The late arriving tasters commented that the tea was bad.
I felt that something must have gone wrong with this batch of tea for the comments to all be so unfortunate so I’ll leave this unrated.
I am so behind on my Nuvola reviews. I feel pretty bad about that, so I think I’m going to finish them today. Curse my tea ADD.
I admit, I’m a little afraid of this one. I’ve had a few orchid scented and flavored things before and I’ve hated them. However, the tea leaves I have here don’t smell like that at all. They smell like a nutty oolong, with a hint of spring grass. They’re dark green, and they look like they were rolled very gently and loosely.
The tea brews up to a pleasant pale green, and suddenly, the strong aroma of flowers is very evident. It reminds me of fresh gardenias. There’s also a bitter scent that puts me off a little bit, but if I know anything about oolong, I know I shouldn’t be scared away by that. And I’m right! The flavor is surprisingly delicious. Vegetal and floral at the same time with sweet creamy notes. The orchid is much more subtle than I expected, which is nice. It’s like a little decoration on an already good oolong. Very satisfying!
I saved my leaves yesterday because I suspected that this one was a good resteeper. I was right! The second pot is still going strong and makes me wonder if this might even go three steeps western style.
The brew is light/medium orange and the flavor is roasted walnut with some sweet notes. Very nice!
Thank you, Nuvola Tea, for letting me try this!
This tea intrigues me most out of the new samples sent by Nuvola Tea for review.
I have never heard of a black oolong. I read their description that it is black tea made from oolong tea but I am still a bit in the dark. Is it black tea produced from a varietal that is normally used for oolong? Were the leaves first subjected to the processing for oolong tea, then for black tea?
I decided to go middle of the road with this one, using 194F water and giving it a little less than four minutes to steep.
The aroma is very fruity, the tea a medium orange color. The taste is a bit befuddling, but good. It mixes the flavor of a light black tea having fruity notes with the flavor of a dark roasted oolong. The sides of the tongue really sense that roasted oolong aspect. There is a nice sweet aftertaste.
I decided to see how it goes with food – snack, actually, and specifically pumpkin roll. I am pleased to say it went well, and now I notice that there is a smoky bottom to this tea, the roasted aspect becoming more obvious when pitted against the sweetness of my dessert. Nice pairing! Thank you, Nuvola Tea, for the opportunity to taste this!
Ahhhh! Freedom! Home! Alarm clock off until January 2! (Unscheduled, un-demanded time is a precious commodity. I have asked for a whole bag of it for Christmas. There are currently no bags under my tree :(
So to celebrate, I made me some contemplatin’ tea. Great big rolled leaf nuggets, dark gold honey-color brew, heavy in the mouth, with a distinct Juicy Fruit taste. Somewhere along the line I made a sensory association with ti kwan yin and JF, and I can’t break it. I’m seeing lots of “nutties” in previous reviews; so far, I don’t get “nuttin’”, but I’m just at Steep #1 of what should be several.
Breathe deep. It’s Christmas. We should rest. (Thanks to K S for these lovely few tea-sponsored moments of just doing nothing.)
Thank you to Nuvola Tea for this sample!
Nuovla Tea always impresses me!
After the new year this is one of the companies I plan to make a good order with!
Here are some snippets from my upcoming review (scheduled at this time for December 24th on http://sororiteasisters.com/ )
Premium Taiwan Oolong Black from Nuvola Tea has a sinful aroma! It smells sweet, deep, intoxicating. There is a malty aroma cutting through the sweet aroma, then nutty, woodsy, so many wonderful sensations – and this is just the initial smell!
I love the complexity of this tea! On one hand its sweet and makes me feel like Willy Wonka in a candy shop but as soon as I find myself relishing in the sweet goodness this fresh breeze rolls in offering a light refreshing note of rock mineral and hay as if I am strolling through the woods on a sunny day.
This is a rare and wonderful delight and I highly recommend trying some tea from Nuvola! I know so far I have sampled about 5 of their teas and I have yet to find one that is less than stellar!
My second infusion of these leaves … the leaves unfurled completely with this infusion, and the leaves are quite a bit larger than I expected based upon previous experiences with Bi Luo Chun.
The flavor is lighter this time around, that is to say, it’s not quite as vegetal as the first cup… this has a smoother taste, and more delicate of a profile. Still deliciously nutty/grain-like in flavor, maybe more so, since the vegetative tones have waned somewhat. Still really wonderful.
This looks a bit different from what I was expecting from a Bi Luo Chun … I think I’m used to smaller leaves? These leaves are a little longer, deep, forest-y, emerald green and wiry. They brew a pretty light yellow-green liquid that smells very vegetal, almost kelp-y. Like a cross between seaweed and steamed vegetables … and just a touch of freshly cut grass. It’s a very green aroma!
The flavor is also quite green, although the vegetative flavor is not as aggressive as the aroma might suggest. It is crisp and very pure tasting, with a flavor that is a little like very lightly buttered veggies. There is also a citrus-y tone that emerges toward the end of the cup … it isn’t really a strong, obvious citrus note, but more like a refreshing, sunny taste that tastes of citrus. It has a warmth to it too, slightly nutty taste. It’s a very invigorating drink!
A really rewarding cuppa … I’m very glad I had this opportunity to try it!
I am fascinated by the texture of really good oolongs—so heavy and silky that you feel like you’ve used lip balm after a few good sips.
This is one of those. The flavor reminds me of butterscotch when I roll it around in my mouth.
Perfect light supper substitute…we ate from the Hobbit menu at Denny’s for lunch and OD’d on pumpkin pancakes, Shire sausage, and seedcake french toast. It’s a wonder Hobbits could even waddle, with seven meals like that a day :)
P.S. Thanks to K S for the sample!
This is a free sample from Nuvola Tea. Thanks!!! The dry leaf has a great green oolong aroma, similar to Tie Guan Yin. I didn’t really time the steep, but I think it was about 1.5 minutes. The flavor is very similar to Tie Guan Yin too: green, buttery, floral, and amazing!
There is something odd about this tea though. Most of the flavor is in the sip. The aftertaste is faint and light and just a little bit salty. I usually find that green oolongs have a heavy, vegetal, floral aftertaste. But this one doesn’t. This tea’s aftertaste is still flavorful, just light and delicate and not what I’m used to. I’m betting the second steep will be even more amazing!
Second steep was for 3 minutes. I timed it this time. ;) The leaves are fully open now, and the flavor is maybe a little more developed. But overall, it’s very similar to the first cup. Yummy! I think I’ll stop the infusions here though. I’m practically sloshing with tea. That’s what I get for brewing oolongs Western style. :P
I haven’t tried a new green tea in a while and I was ready to do so to mix things up a little. Another big thanks to Nuvola Teas for this sample! I’m taking this one for a spin in the morning, although I prefer the heartier black teas at this time of day to pounce on my partially awakened senses.
When I opened the sample packet, the aroma of the long dark green leaves was grassy and slightly earthy. I brewed the leaves at 175 degrees for three minutes.
The brewed liquid was mostly odorless. The color was a light greenish gold.
I found the flavor to be very mild but not unpleasant. There was a sweet undertone to a generally grassy green tea flavor. The taste was light, airy, and quite smooth.
I had no trouble drinking four cups of this offering. My personal preference is for the stronger-flavored black teas but that does not make this selection any less palatable.
If you enjoy smooth, sweet, and mild-flavored green teas, you will certainly like this one. So far, Nuvola seems to have a great handle on both black and green teas!
My tea hobby is starting to make me feel like I am traveling all over the world without leaving my house. Today, we journey to Taiwan for a first taste of Nuvola Tea’s Taiwan Oolong Black Tea.
I didn’t even know that you could combine oolong with black tea. I truly learn something new every day!
When I opened the little sample packet, graciously provided by Nuvola Tea, a rich, earthy, and sweet aroma escaped from within. The unbrewed leaves were dark green, long, and thick.
I wasn’t sure what time and temperature to use for steeping, so I opted for my milder black tea settings of 205 degrees for three minutes. The color of the brewed liquor was a light amber. The aroma was sweet and airy.
At first sip, the taste was sweet, malty, and very smooth. With additional gulps, I became aware of the oolong in a stronger sense than I had experienced with other oolong teas. This might have been the influence of the black tea.
This tea is so smooth that I had to force myself to slow down to keep from chugging it. The more I drank, the more I found myself really enjoying this blend.
The flavor is gentle but not weak. It has a sweetness that is almost like honey. There is also just a stitch of earthiness and malt in the taste. The aftertaste is sweet and extremely pleasant. There is not a hint of bitterness anywhere.
This is simply a wonderful tea. I’m not sure yet if it will provide an explosive enough caffeine jolt to earn a spot in my morning tea rotation, but the flavor is so good that I may make an exception. I will definitely be adding it to my shopping list shortly.
I have one more Nuvola Tea sample to try. I am anxious to see if it is in the same class as this Taiwan Oolong Black Tea. So far, I am very impressed with Taiwan tea and Nuvola!
Thank you Nuvola Tea for this free sample!
The dried leaves each had a mixture of yellow, light and dark green. They smelled sweet, and perhaps vegetal. The brewed leaves were very vegetal, sweet, and only minutely floral. They were very aromatic.
I brewed the tea 20 seconds for the first two.
The liquor had a light green complexion and smelled vegetal. The flavor was sweet, and quite full-bodied for a green tea. Each sip finished with floral notes. Towards my last sip, I noticed a buttery scent, much like the one I noticed from the other sample Nuvola Tea sent me.
This cup was again very floral, yet bold. It reminded me of a Gyokuro, and shared several qualities with one. The vegetal notes showed with every sip, as did the sweetness.
This brew was more vegetal. A bit of sweetness finished each sip, but the floral notes were absent.
I really enjoyed this brew. The sweetness was maximized here, and the floral notes were again present. The boldness of the first three brews had toned down quite a bit. I also noticed a new quality: fruitiness.
This steeping was light and floral. It wasn’t as sweet as the last cup, and the boldness remained the same. The buttery notes showed up in this brew.
Sweet, vegetal, and floral. This cup was a toned down version of the fourth steeping.
I found this tea to be quite bold for a green tea, and was also surprised that the scent and flavor differed as much as it did. I liked the sweetness and floral scent along with the vegetal undertones. Thank you Nuvola Tea!
Thank you Nuvola Tea for this free sample! I didn’t expect this tea to be delivered this soon, so it was a wonderful surprise to find in the mail this morning.
The leaves of this black tea were very long. The dried leaves had a texture that reminded me of charcoal. The brewed leaves were a reddish-brown, and smelled wonderful. They carried the aromas of malt, chocolate, and a slight spicy note- very different than other black tea leaves.
The brewed tea was coppery-brown in complexion and smelled the same as the leaves. It tasted very mild, malty, and floral with a sweet, minty aftertaste. My second sip yielded a sweet and buttery taste.
This brew smelled more savory, and tasted more floral. The malt had toned down quite a bit, and was soon overcome by a mild fruity aftertaste. The spiciness from the first brew was absent. I liked this brew more than the first.
The color of this brew looked more like that of an Oolong. It was floral, sweet, and buttery. This was a very nice tea.
This is a mild, savory, and slightly floral black tea good for any time of the day. Thank you again, Nuvola, for the sample!
Thanks to Nuvola for this sample! It’s quite tasty! I prefer my oolongs greener and less roasted, but still good! It’s a comfy tea to help your relax at work. I also detected a bit of fruitiness. Like jam and toast. :) It’s like relaxing out in the autumn woods with a comforting hot cup of tea. It provided a nice gentle boost of energy as well, and resteeped very nicely! Good stuff!
I wish I had some of this tea right now because I am exhausted! Baking pies and making creme anglais and washing puppies…ah! Too much after a full day of work! I still have to make chocolate syrup and ginger syrup, but I’ll have to do that in the morning. I can’t do anymore. Still waiting for a pie to finish baking. :( Then off to sleep. sleeeeeep. Then more cooking. It will be worth it! My whole apartment smells fantastic, by the way. :)
Dry Smell: There is some sort of floral smell that I have never smelled before, especially in an Oolong tea. It’s very intriguing.
Wet Smell: Smells no other Oolong I have ever tried.
So this is a very interesting Oolong. Everything about it is very different from any other Oolong I have ever tried. It has the normal taste of TKY under a taste I have never gotten from anything else. There is a sort of sweetness to it and it is very light and smooth. I love it, it’s just so unique and different.
Dry Smell: Raisins.
Wet: Roasted something. Not sure what, maybe roasted nuts?
So I have made 4 16oz cups so far and this is still going strong. It has the usual Ti Kuan Yin taste with that of Wuyi. I look forward to find out how many steeps I can get out of this before it starts to fall off.