Sipdown #1 (for the day).
This Tea was shared with me by Sil, so once again, thanks my friend!
Not bold or malty, but a mild cup that it somehow sweet & a little marine-like. What I’m getting is a slice of a good quality french bread slathered with lightly salted butter. Yup. There is also a hint of stone-fruit in the background.
Red Blossom Tea Company
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Sipdown #1 (for the day).
Another “thanks to sil” tasting note! Had a few too-stupid-to-brew-cuppa days there, which had me avoiding trying this, but today I was up to the challenge. (Totally sarcastic, both about the challenge and about being up to anything.) Anyway, I brewed this according to Red Blossom’s instructions – though I simply had to taste the rinse water, like the big child I am. (It was mildly pool-water tasting, I thought, so they were probably right to say discard it.) But then I was dutiful and did as I was supposed to.
I’m going to have to leave it rather vaguely as not as much to my taste as the Pure Aroma Teas Keemun Spruce, but a nice cup all the same. There was a bit less silky smoothness to the smokiness compared to the PAT one, which left it ever so slightly tasting of burnt wood, to me. Well, obviously, smoke comes from burnt wood but it doesn’t mean the tea tastes like the wood itself. Yes, this tasting note is FULL OF SMART. I could get slight sweet notes – a hint of cocoa/chocolate and maybe a hint of raisin, but they weren’t quite as strong as the burnt notes. Which weren’t strongly burnt, but still dominant.
Thanks again for the sample, sil. It’s great to have had the chance to try this Keemun!
A little ‘bitter-crusty’ like toast with a bit of smoke which I like! A natural berry note as well as cocoa type aroma and end sip on to the aftertaste. This is fairly strong and I like it! I should have started my day with this one!
mmm had a tasty tasty cup of this in the morning with a splash of milk and sweetner. It’s warming up, so i won’t be overly inclined to drink chai moving forward, so it’s nice to be able to drink it when the urge strikes. Still enjoying the blend of these spices!
I’m having one of those days where I don’t really want to do anything.
I don’t have any students until 3:00. My neck is still kinked, but not as badly, so I was able to ease back into my yoga, very gently. Since then, all I’ve done is drink tea & eat a little breakfast.
There are tons of things to do, so I feel like I should be doing something, but maybe a hot bubble bath…maybe I just need another day off? Another cup of tea?
I picked this Keemun next because Sil just posted the Keemun I sent her, LOL, so why not return the favor? :)
I enjoy Keemun. It’s a nice earthy grounding kind of tea, lightly sweet, with a hint of smoke. It’s not at all like Assam & Yunnans, which are without a doubt my favorites, but it’s got this balanced taste, which I also really enjoy. This cup I’m having today has a nice sweet fullness to it, & it’s just what I needed.
Another sipdown sample!
This was my tea first cup of the day.
I oversteeped it stupidely as I get distracted by a phone call.
I had to add a splash of milk to drink it because it took a taste too strong for me, a kind of earthy taste.
I didn’t get the typical mellowness I normally detect immediatly in keemuns.But may be due to the oversteep.
With milk it was really pleasant. I have enough to try a second cup thanks to the sample kindly sent by Sil
Since finals are over, I get time to actually use my gaiwan set that has sadly been neglected.
The dry tea is shaped into little balls (ditto), very cute. It’s also very relaxing to see the tea unrolling itself during the steeping.
First steep: the brew is a pale, transparent yellow and very aromatic. The jasmine is pretty prevalent, you get it from the smell, the brew, and it leaves you with a pleasant jasmine aftertaste.
It sort of cleanses the palate after you eat stuff, too.
Not astringent, not sure about the caffeine, but I always sleep better after it.
Second steep: the brew gets slightly darker, the smell is also more intense.
Okay, I got about 10 steeps out of this, but then it’s gaiwan sized, so that might not account for much. Stopping at 10 steeps not because it can’t stand another steep or two, but because I’m starting to crave some sweet stuff..
Tea of the morning here, this is just right at 2 minutes of steeping. It is going to be a warm week for San Francisco – I have a feeling I’ll be drinking a lot of iced tea this week…
This tea is smooth with delicious flavors of starchy yam and dark bread. I am raising the points just a wee bit. I really like this, it’s also very easy to drink plain. Probably will end up being a permanent part of my tea collection. See previous notes for more details.
I also wrote a new blog post on what I’ve been up to, if you’re interested you can read it here: http://sanfrantea.teatra.de/2013/04/28/art-nepali-tea-and-other-random-musings/
This is another sample from Sil. Thanks!
Opening the baggie, it smells kind of fruity.
I measured out a heaping tsp & steeped for 3 minutes (after drinking I read the instructions, lol…suppose to be 2 tsp (1 sec rinse) X 2min steep…oops!).
The resulting tea was delicious anyway. It reminds me of french bread, with butter spread over it. It’s very smooth, a little malty, sweet even. There is a bit of an ‘ocean’ taste to it, nothing overly objectionable, but noticeable.
The resteep was very mild.
I really love a lot of different teas! There’s an old song from when I was young, “Love the One Your With”, LOL. That’s my relationship with tea. That’s not to say that I absolutely love every tea I drink. There are teas that I don’t care for. This is NOT one of them! I enjoy enjoy Keemun, & I can easily understand why the British were so in love with it. Gently smokey, with a hint of brown sugar sweetness, & although I usually drink mine straight, occasionally I’ll spike it with stevia & french vanilla coconut milk creamer. Today I’m drinking it plain. It’s just what I needed.
One of the things I love about tea trades here on Steepster is getting to sample a ton of new teas from companies I’ve never ordered from. Another thing I love is getting to share awesome teas with people who’ve never tried them. The very best part of tea trades is getting to know the person you’re trading with a little bit!!
I got this tea sample from Sil, & I’m really grateful for our recent trade! So many teas to sample! Yeah! Thanks Sil!
Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one.
Now, this tea is coming off as kind of weird for me. It’s not particularly strong, although I followed the brewing instructions (not intentionally, I just happened to go with a 2-min infusion!). It’s also seeming to be a bit mariney?? The odds of it having been contaminated and ending up tasting like that are quite slim, so I have to assume that it’s an intentional note in the tea… Yeah, this is just weird. The aftertaste is honey-like and nice, but the initial flavour is verging on unpleasant.
I will admit that I did not rinse; I will try to remember to do that next time I give this a shot. I may have also underleafed, though I can’t see how that would have contributed to the weird flavour, just to the seeming weakness.
mmmm pulled this one out of the cupboard today since i’m not having my usual matcha smoothie. I wanted a good solid kick you in the face kind of bold tea to get me going. What i really like about this one are the almost smokey notes that are present throughout the sip. It’s nothing like a lapsang souchong but it adds a depth of character to the tea that I can really get behind this morning. mmmmmm
This tea review is inspired by Bonnie and her unique style!
I have some big decisions to make soon and my mind has been racing all of yesterday and today. I needed something to clear my head. A hike? Some tea? Why not both! I packed up my Jetboil camp stove, my most durable yixing pot, a cup, a tiny vase, and some Mi Lan Xiang Dan Cong from Red Blossom. I found a spot near the bank of the Cache La Poudre river and created a tea space with rocks and logs and a cloth I brought with me. In the vase, I placed the first signs of spring—some willow branches close to bud-burst. The first steeping was intense, probably brewed a little too long, but full of flavor! Sweet plumy flavors and floral aromas were balanced by a slight astringency. Subsequent infusions lead to less complexity, but a more harmonious flavor. The slight astringency was replaced by a smooth and full-bodied mouthfeel and the floral aromas mellowed into a more honey-like taste. At the same time, my mind slowed along with the tea. Disparate and racing thoughts disappeared and were replaced by a calmness. I was finally able to be solidly in the present for the first time in a long while.
No notes yet.
Post rain morning. Steep #2. Divine.
This is a sample kindly shared by Sil, thank you Sil !
I really appreciated this tea.
Even if I’m not a big plain tea drinker, I manage to recognize an high quality tea and it is really one.
It’s not an heavy malty black tea but a medium bodied one with wonderful notes of wood (that’s what I felt !)
There is absolutely no bitterness with this tea.
I love it.
This is another tea I ended up getting at the Bi Rite grocery store, it’s definitely nice they are buying from a local supplier.
I am up early this morning to get some yoga in, therefore I decided to try and supercharge the caffeine here. Directions say to steep this for 2 minutes but I went for 3 before I read the instructions. I don’t think I will rate this until I have tried it at their recommendation.
But anyway… at 3 minutes this tea got fairly dark and is very aromatic, like the smell of baking bread. Typical of a golden monkey, there are bready and yam/banana type flavors present. Very low on tannins. I decided to add a splash of soymilk to mine with the longer steep and it is very good that way.
I’m very happy with this purchase and would not hesitate to get more.
I’m only doing maybe one or two steepings of this tonight before bed. More to come in the morning.
My first impression is that this has a strong mineral aroma. It smells like wet slate. I do not expect it at all when I take the first sip and it is oh-so-smooth. It is devoid of any trace of fishy/pondy flavor that I associate with shou pu’erhs. Looking forward to many more steepings tomorrow…
Always love when I follow instructions included with a tea and then when I log in to Steepster I see additional instructions (namely to rinse the tea) have not done that.
Not bad, buttery taste.
More Red Blossom tea today… I am trying to motivate to get my yoga done. Decided to pour this over some ice but I think I prefer it hot or at least cold brewed, the flavor got way too diluted. Still good though!
I got this in one of the Steepster select boxes and haven’t written a tasting note on it before now. I have given up on buying a lot of green oolongs just due to their sorter shelf life, but I was really in the mood for this today.
I decided to gong fu this tea – so…
1st steep: 20 seconds. After steeping the leaves I am noticing the floral aromas coming forth. It does have a nice buttery/nutty quality about it but I am not getting much of the peach flavor.
2nd steep: The Lily aroma is getting quite strong now and is very pleasant. A couple of reviewers have mentioned this is a really weak jing xuan but I’m not sure I’ve ever had another one. It reminds me a bit of a milk oolong.
3rd steep: 10 seconds. The leaves are opening up a bit and I think I’m detecting a peaches and cream flavor. Although I am keeping my steeps short, I am detecting a slight vegetal bitterness in the finish.
This is an enjoyable oolong but not destined to be a favorite. I may try cold brewing the rest of this sample to see what happens!
Another sipdown! Woohoo!
I shot our winter play last night, and I’m sitting here watermarking the photos… it’s so boring. This is keeping me company :)
Thank you to Eric for this lovely tea gift!
Eric from Happy Lucky’s (like he has no other life than that) went to San Francisco after Christmas and brought back a tea gift to me! What a nice young man he is!
I’m going to review ERIC! (Hahahah)
Eric is a Scientist! He only works part time at Happy Lucky’s but his main job is as Science Instructor at Frontrange Jr. College, until he get’s his Ph.D.
Eric is SUCH a great fellow tea nerd! One of the most endearing things about him is how much he knows about tea and how off-hand he is about it. He knows so much about the science of tea and the history of how tea has been produced and spews out information as though the rest of us know what he knows. Uh, no we don’t Eric!
What he brought me as a gift, was one of his favorite tea’s, which made me feel special.
I prepared the tea in my Gaiwan, just the way Eric would have done.
A short 30 second steep created the scent of flowers and Chinese food. (Something you might smell in the Summer walking by an outside cafe)
The flavor was sweet roasty stonefruit, water on granite rocks and very clean.
I decided to lengthen the steeps which made the flavor more roasty and woody than before with persimmon, peach and apricot sweetened with honey.Cinnamon spice punctuated the finish.
Those were a lot of flavors packed together, but this was a smooth tea. The flavors blended together like an old fashioned stone-fruit pie (my stone-fruit pie) with only the best ingredients, packed full of fruit and dripping with natural juices and a little spice kick.
(This tea is supposed to have an orange flavor but I didn’t taste any orange. I smelled the aroma of orange wafting around the cup.)
Delightful tea made more special by the giver! No wonder this is a favorite of Eric’s!
grrrr steepster. Imma drop kick you.