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Recent Tasting Notes
Pretty good Dan Cong
Traveling Tea Box C #20
I totally forgot I had sampled this already from a swap from moraiwe months back. Same as I remember stronger aroma then the taste. It was nice running into this one again. A minty tea with great spices. Nice and relaxing.
I didn’t like this at first but now it seems to be growing on me. Second steep the baked note really comes out
Mmmm coconut I really like this one.
A step above your average English Breakfast, but those of you who are used to the rich cardamom and cacao notes you get from many Yunnan black teas will be a bit disappointed, as I was.
Rishi teas are generally topnotch, but I wish there were more variety in terms of the retail boxes available at grocery stores (this was the only unscented black tea available).
This is one of our cabinet staples. It was the first tieguanyin I ever tasted, and so far, remains my favorite tieguanyin. It’s slightly sweet and very lightly floral. When infused for long enough, the sweetness drops away and the tea becomes more robust and slightly nutty. For me, it causes an ever so slight drying sensation in my mouth, which, oddly, just adds to the experience. We used to make this “dorm room” style, tossing the leaves into a cup, adding hot water, and drinking as soon as it was cool enough to handle. We would then top off our cups with more water for hours, until we got every bit of flavor out of our tea (we had to get the most of our $12 for 2 oz box of tea! What an investment!). Today, I started out brewing the tea according to the instructions on the box, western style with an infuser basket, though I did decrease the amount from 1 tbs for 8 oz of water to only .5 tbs. While that was nice and all, I switched over to “dorm room” style after a few steepings, because there is just something so comforting about recreating my silly late night tea experiences with my friends. Also, I can personally guarantee that this tea pairs well with cheap, greasy Chinese takeout.
As a side note, I am amazed by the quality of this tea, considering it comes from a large, nationwide distributor, and sold in grocery stores. I mean, Whole Foods, but grocery stores! Some of the leaves are nearly as long as the palm of my hand! I think this is a great introductory tea for getting people more into loose leaf. It’s entirely inoffensive, easy to obtain, incredibly forgiving in terms of steeping time and water temperature, and delicious!
I tried this the other day while fighting a head cold and it cleaned my sinuses right out! It was more savory than I expected, and it almost reminded me of some soups I’ve had.
The dry leaves were very fragrant and the brewed tea was a beautiful gold color. The tea smelled better dry than brewed. Again, a little like soup! The taste made up for it, though.
Not something I would want every day, but when I want something a little spicy (or when I get sick again) I would get it again.
Tasty, although I don’t agree with calling it a chai. Yeah, I know that chai means “tea” but I think that most of us have come to accept chai to mean the warmly spiced (and sometimes spicy!) tea blends. This blend only has cinnamon, licorice root and vanilla that I’d categorize as a “spice” and a herb (mint). Not enough spices to call it a chai!
It’s still tasty though!
The pu-erh is earthy and mellow, and it sits off in the background. The mint and vanilla are in the foreground, giving this a taste that is reminiscent of the creamy center of a peppermint patty. YUM! The licorice root is subtle but it adds a pleasant snap to the cup.
Not too minty, not too earthy, I like the balance of this tea and it’s really quite a treat.
Tenth tea sampled from TTB-C
There’s ginger in this? And I didn’t even notice?? far out.
Ginger does have its time and place, but when it’s out of place it’s about the worse flavor ever to me.
I am going to leave this tea unrated because I think that it is a good tea for what it’s supposed to be, but it’s not my thing.
I will say, though, that it is the best tea from the teabox so far. I would drink it again if someone offered, but I’d never brew it for myself. The mint, anise, and cinnamon stand out the most. It has a definite spicy bite to it that tickles and burns ever so slightly on the way down and this is why I don’t like it. Same reason I don’t like Winter Fire from Butiki, but the mint in this one makes it more tolerable.
Great smell, spicy taste that’s very heavy on cinnamon. Very astringent if steeped too long.
Yum for the morning
this is a really neat blend. I’ve never tasted something quite like it! … I could really taste the cinnamon, but it wasn’t overpowering, with lots of bite like some cinnamon teas.. I definitely appreciate it! thanks JustJames for the chance to try this!
Hey, big surprise! I am drinking an Oolong! Really though I do my best to have variety and not do all Oolong all the time, it is hard since I do have a lot of it. It would be sad if my blog became a one note tea horse, yes that is a bit of tea history humor for you. You have to forgive me since I am currently reading a book on tea history and culture so I am distracted by my Armchair Historian tendencies.
Jade Oolong (Four Seasons Spring) by Rishi Tea comes from the glorious land of Taiwan. I, however, did not travel to Taiwan to procure this tea, instead I found it on the wall of tea at Whole Foods who thankfully have a decent selection of teas when I need a fix. I do love getting packages in the mail, but being able to smell the fresh teas before buying is a wonderful experience. The aroma of this beautifully spring green Oolong is unsurprisingly quite green! Not very vegetal, more the aroma of fresh vegetation on a spring day mixed with new blooming flowers and a touch of freshly mown hay (or woodruff for the herbal types.) This might be the mildest Oolong I have yet sniffed!
Brewing the tea brings out a stronger aroma and lots of interesting notes. At first we notice the floral notes that are mild but very fresh, like lilacs, following that there is that delightful chestnut aroma that I love in Green Oolongs. As it steeps a little more the tea takes on an herbaceous tone mixing thyme with the floral notes and a hint of moss. The brewed liquid reminds me of lilac with a slight whisper of allspice.
The taste of this Oolong is exceptionally mild, an excellent palate cleansing tea. The tea has a vegetal taste, reminiscent of green beans and fresh grass. It finishes a tingly pine needle note and a mellow sweet aftertaste. This tea is very refreshing and cleansing, and pleasantly light if you are in the mood for that. Usually I prefer a stronger taste from my Oolong, but I will certainly keep this around for after a heavy meal to remove said heaviness.
Random Teabag Sipdown!
When I first saw this in my Rishi teabag sampler pack I was curious about the combination, it wasn’t one I had tried before, but I didn’t particularly care for this one. I love ginger, but I felt that there was just a bit to much of it. I had trouble tasting the pu-erh base through all of the ginger. I will say that this was great to drink to calm my upset stomach from all of the eating out I’ve done this week. I can’t wait to go home and start cooking again.
Finished the tin off! I think my new goal is to try and finish the tea in my tins first. Anyways, this is nice. Mellow lemon flavor with a nice black base. It’s nice but I don’t think I’ll miss it.
This tea is the first organic I brought. In a word – it tasted like a flower. It tasted very refreshing without being bitter. My favorite of my collection.
SIPDOWN! thank you terriharplady for this sample. I’m kicking off the morning with this one, and will likyl be coming back to it throughout the day to ground my tastebuds. I have a number of teas i want to try from the canadian teabox so that I can get it out the door asap.
First impressions: earthy, there’s a sweetness in the background, mushroomy almost.. more to come.
Edit: Still really enjoying this over the morning and afternoon…the earthiness is sliding in to the background and the sweeter notes are coming to the front.
We made our first visit to the semi-new local Whole Foods store on Saturday. It was an interesting place with more “wholesome” food choices than your average major chain. However, if you are looking for many varieties of the good stuff, i.e., chips, cookies, and other wonderful junk food (like I ALWAYS am), Whole Foods will disappoint you.
What I liked most about Whole Foods was that they had a modest selection of loose leaf teas that I hadn’t tried yet. For this trip, I decided to purchase Rishi’s Pu-erh Classic.
My only exposure to Rishi teas up to that point was with Rishi’s Earl Grey, which is my absolute favorite Earl Grey. I was therefore quite excited to try their pu-erh selection.
When I opened the sealed freshness bag, a rich and familiar leathery aroma was released from inside. Side note: Rishi nicely provides a piece of strong tape to reseal the bag after opening.
Following Rishi’s instructions, I steeped the brown earth-colored leaves for five minutes at 212 degrees. The brewed liquor was a deep chocolate brown. There was no obvious aroma emanating from the brew.
My first sip produced an earthy, leathery, and wood-like flavor in my taste buds. The taste was smooth and defined but not strong. I did not detect any bitterness or unpleasant lingering artifacts. I also did not experience the presence of cocoa in this tea. The flavor remained at this level throughout two cups.
This is a nice pu-erh tea with good flavor. The less than robust strength of taste in my first try was my fault. I steeped my usual one TEASPOON of leaves per eight-ounce cup of water and I just noticed that Rishi’s instructions called for one TABLESPOON of leaves per eight-ounce cup of water. (I must have still been asleep at the tea maker.) I have no doubt that the flavor I experienced times three will be more than sufficient for me next time. If I remember (and that’s a HUGE if), I’ll update this tasting note after I boost the amount of leaves in my next brewing of Rishi’s Pu-erh Classic tea.