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Recent Tasting Notes
Backlogging tea party day: Yesterday was tea party day and this was our first regular tea. It was also the very last of this tea. I had received this in a swap with Paul M. Tracy a long while back and had hoarded it because it was so amazing. The company went out of business so I hoarded even harder. The lesson here is….don’t. Don’t save it, just drink it. This has lost some of its beauty to that robber called time.
It was a good tea yesterday, but when it was fresh and young it was an amazing one.
Ah, Black Ruby! How do I love thee? Yet alas! I cannot have thee! Thy distributor is no more.
I have hoarded the remains of the sample from Paul M. Tracy but I knew I really should go ahead and drink it. This was the final tea of tea time today, following two teas that had strawberry flavor. This is an amazing tea and is a bit hard to describe. I told my guest that it was unflavored and she looked a little puzzled, as it really had all the charms of the teas we had already tried.
This particular Taiwan Ruby tea is a little darker than the one I buy at A Southern Season and it has more body. The raisin notes are darker and richer. Both teas are excellent, both resteep fantastically, and both are worthy of “Fine Tea” status. They are rather different from each other, though, even though they are supposed to be the same tea from the same cultivar from the same island…and I have purchased more than one batch from SS so it isn’t due to year of harvest, but perhaps terroir in general, and perhaps different processing at a different tea plantation.
I must say, today was a banner tea day!
I received this from Rachel! Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to try this!
First, I figured that I should try a sample today! As usual, I love surprises, so I usually don’t check other reviews before trying a tea. This tea smelled slightly fruity when it was dry. I thought the little green leaves were crushed mint leaves; although, it didn’t smell like mint. Again, as I usually do with black teas I am trying, I steeped it up and took a sip of it straight. I was expecting either mint or bitterness. NOT… AT… ALL… !! I was sooo surprised when I took that sip that it was sweet!!! I didn’t know why it was sweet. It tasted like sweet & low or equal or splenda… ick!
The steeped tea smells like burnt sugar or caramel… I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this, but I am glad I got to try stevia. This is my first time trying it. There is a fruitiness to it that I can’t seem to pinpoint… perhaps berries? Decent tea if you like sweet!
Om nom nom nom! I really am very much enjoying this blend! I wish I could remember who recommended it to me, because they ought to get a proper thanking.
A short post, as it’s before dinner tea. In dry form it smells rather like Kusmi’s smoky Earl Grey, but with spices in it. After steeping it’s still the smoky EG, but not as spicy. More sort of slightly sugary sweet, and then a little spice underneath.
Taste wise, it’s still the smoky EG with spices. It’s not very heavy on the bergamot, which I approve of, and it’s got a heatlhy amount of smoke in it, which I also approve of. And then the spices just adds a little touch of the unexpected. A little exotic pinch. A bit of hey-where-did-that-come-from? It leaves a very slight burn on the tongue, as if I’ve just had something with a pinch of chili in it.
Quite nice. I’m glad I was recommended this one. It scores pretty high and would be a competitor to aforementioned Smoky EG from Kusmi. Wether I prefer one over the other, though, or they are more or less interchangable, I haven’t yet decided.
My Shui Tea order arrived today. It’s my first experience with that company so it’s rather exciting. The closest I’ve come to them before is having their Moscow After Hours recommended to me. (Yes, I also bought some of that. It was my primary reason for placing an order, as a matter of fact. This one was the bonus) So I was adding them to my cupboard, on two different tabs because Steepster is a slow-poke, and when I came back later to see if they had been added, Steepster had opened a post window on this one. Well, that decides which one to try out first, then, doesn’t it?
There was one small detail, by the way, when I opened the envelope and checked the contents. I really rather liked the personal touch of the handwritten in blue pen “I hope you will enjoy this. Cheers, Jim.” on the packing slip. (Jim being the founder of the company) I’m aware that he probably does that routinely to all his customers, but it does rather make a person feel like a Very Special Customer.
Secondly, on a more amusing note, the two pouches I had bought came wrapped in a piece of silk paper, which had taken on some of the aroma of the two pouches. Apparently that is super-interesting smell if you’re a cat. I had to take it away from them as I didn’t really fancy sweeping up microscopic shreds of paper from all over the lounge…
The dry leaves smells very fruity. I can detect both kiwi and pear in it, but I can’t for the life of my decide which one I think it smells most like. Kiwi, I think. No, pear. No wait, kiwi. After steeping it’s the exact same problem. Kiwi, but pear, but kiwi, but pear. A pear-y kiwi. Or possibly a kiwi-y pear. It’s like whole new fruit really. The tangy, stabby, sharp notes of the kiwi and the rounded, juicy, soft flavour of the pears. (I’m thinking those big yellow pears here, the ones that you have to eat quickly or you’ll have torrents of juice running down your arms. Impossible to eat in a civilised manner)
Oh my word, this is rather nice! I’ve had a similar flavoured white before, although that one was kiwi and strawberry, and I remember being concerned about the fruit flavouring overwhelming the delicate white tea. I can’t actually remember what I thought of that one at the time, only that I needn’t have worried. Neither is there any need for worry with this one.
In the flavour I’m finding primarily pear and then the kiwi tangyness on tops and edges, framing the flavour. Underneath all that there is still the unadulterated nuttyness of the white leaves. And you know something, Steepsterites? These flavours and this tea, they suit each other so wonderfully.
I’m glad I bought some of this, only if it’s only a sample. A large sample, but still a sample. I can see myself coming back for more of this.
Just had some Sweet Revenge courtesy of and thanks to Jimmy of Shui Tea cold brewed. Vist my blog for a full review…
Wow if this is normal then by gosh I can finally say I am. Trust me if you knew me, you would know that I am not usually referred to as a normal person. Of course, I don’t consider this as a negative at all. Even now not so normal things are afoot. I am drinking this tea before bed and for some reason as I am typing this my inner monologue has a British accent. I blame Dr. Who for that. Been pretty much watching Dr. Who on Netflix off and on all throughout the day. Now to the point, sorry about the rambling.
Amazingly good. I will be keeping this in my permanent stash. It is rich, bold, brisk, malty, a bit astringent. This is a tea with an attitude I can relate with. This tea is just trying to act normal but is anything but. Delicious and highly recommended.
First I want to thank Jimmy of Shui Tea for sending this sample along with my order it had peaked my curiousity when I read the description. The addition of stevia scared me and intrigued me the most based on my personal preferences of course.
As it turns out this is not really my cuppa. Of course I have only had this hot so far and it was recommended I try this cold and I promise I will. It was just to sweet for me and the sweetness tasted a little strange to me. I can’t really put my finger on it. It was however plummy as stated but still so far not my thing. The black teas are hardly noticeable, I did wish that would have stuck out a bit more. Once I try it cold I will reevaluate my review but until then I will keep things as they are.
Still very thankful for the opportunity to try it. :-)
I purchased based on a recommendation and I am so glad I did. It is wonderful steep after steep. Each bringing on new characters not present in the previous steep. I have to say the 3rd was my favorite. I got a wonderful well rounded roasted flavor balanced well with an earthy backdrop. The best part for me is how many different flavor profiles I got from one tea. Delicious!
Another tea from Paul M Tracy!
My first sip was WOW! Chili peppers! I wondered why I got that first when Paul said he picked that up last. I tried again, this time letting the tisane sit on my tongue for a second. There it is! I got the cherries (which come out nice and strong in the aroma), the carrot, a little tiny floral taste, then BOOM! The bomb went off! When I swallow this is really when I get the full impact of the chili pepper. It warms your throat and the heat lingers first at the back of the throat, then on the tongue, but not in a “GAH! GET ME A GLASS OF MILK!” kind of way. I think this would be awesome to drink when you have a stuffy head and want to open it up and soothe your throat, too, but perhaps the chilis would burn a sore throat. I agree, the cherry aroma and flavor are nice and don’t have that sickening medicine profile that some cherry-flavored things have. Thank you for another new tea to taste, Paul!
Is it terribly wrong that I dreamt about tea last night? Specifically, I dreamt about THIS tea! I was sipping the cup and a flavor of raisins exploded with each sip. Fast forward to this morning – based on the description this is the very same tea I buy called Ruby #18, a tea I love! I was interested in how it might differ coming from a different distributor.
It differs greatly! I LOVE this! The aroma is magnificent – buy it for that alone if you wish. It smells dark and richly of…raisins or dried fruits, or deep dark fig jam. But the flavor is complex and interesting. I would not add anything to this. The description mentions cinnamon and mint. I don’t get cinnamon or mint, but perhaps the mint they refer to is a high lingering note and mouth tingle that I attribute more to a slight astringency or lingering light smoke. Magnificent! I feel very wise and somber drinking this. I think I may call my children “Grasshopper” today.
The fragrance on this out of the package is nutty and fruity (similar to pineapple, but not quite as sweet) and the tea is in very tight nuggets. It brews to a champagne color that darkens to honey over multiple steeps.
I steeped this tea a number of times, but didn’t make it to the suggested 8. At first, the tea smelled and tasted like nuts and honey. Subsequent steeps transitioned to more of a toasted cereal. What was surprising was the lingering sweet note. It wasn’t really an aftertaste, it was closer to an impression left on your taste buds.
Thanks to Jim @ Shui Tea who suggested this to a family member as a gift for me. It’s a keeper, Jim!
A flavored tea. The flavor comes more from the flavoring (lemon myrtle) than the tea. No complaints from my humans, though! Don’t believe me? Read for yourself: http://is.gd/eGO4l (Would this little teapot ever steer you wrong?)
Thanks to Paul M Tracy for sending me a bit of this tea to try!
I had originally set my timer for 5 minutes but when it hit 4 minutes, I saw how dark red it had become and I feared that I would have an overly hibiscus-y tea, so I stopped the infusion at 4 minutes. I am glad I did. I taste a very fruity tisane now, but if it had steeped longer, I think I would have tasted more of the hibiscus and as it is, I am only getting faint hibiscus notes.
The aroma is primarily eucalyptus which I happen to like but I can see it coming off as medicinal to some.
I am getting a very pleasant backdrop of apple and carrot which provides a very smooth, lightly sweet, even “surface” for the bright citrus notes of this tea. Every once in a while, the flavor of the eucalyptus will reveal itself. I am getting very little from the hibiscus – just an occasional note of tart. The beetroot gives a nice sweetness.
I actually like this quite a bit. Much better than I thought I would!
A good tea but a bit tough on my humans’ sensitive noses. Details: http://is.gd/eEXJY
Some call this tea “Black Ruby,” others call it “Ruby Black.” Doesn’t matter. This tea by any name would taste as good. At least, that’s what my humans say: http://is.gd/eCXMY
Another tea with flavorings added. Tea leaves are so flavorful by themselves. My humans’ take on this: http://is.gd/eB0uc
Ho Ho Ho-my-gosh! I bet this is what the kitchens at the North Pole smell like!
When you first open the bag, there’s a really complex fragrance that’s a mix of butter, sugar, lemon and underlying spice. I imagined just a touch of cherry as well. These blend together to be reminiscent of sugar cookies and ginger snaps.
Once brewed, the fragrance takes on a totally different profile. There’s still a subtle sugar-savory play, but the vegetative and malty fragrance of the tea itself actually comes through. Nice!
The flavor is an initial combination of butter and spices. This fades quickly so you can pick up the malt and mossy taste of the tea. There’s a final warmth left behind by the spice. As the cup cools, the initial baked goods aroma returns.
This is the last of three limited holiday edition teas that I recently purchased from Shui Tea. I’m glad I decided on a larger bag of this one! (I wish I had also bought a larger bag of Cinnamerry Christmas- aka apple pie a la mode. Maybe Santa will remember?)
This is one of Shui Tea’s best sellers so I had to try it.
The fragrance is very mellow, woody and vanillin. The appearance is “earthy” but there was a bit of color which surprised me.
The taste was a bit unusual. As expected from the name, there were notes of caramel and vanilla. However, I got a strong impression of toasted bread and it was also slightly peppery. All of the flavors are very subtle which made me think at first that this wasn’t very flavorful. However, the lingering caramel aftertaste which seems to become progressively more pronounced was pleasant.
If you like mate, I can see how this would be a great variation. The roasting gives it a smooth flavor and the touch of caramel adds a hint of sweetness.
I opened the pouch, stuck my nose in and took a big whiff. Oh, mistake…singed my nose hairs. The cinnamon in this is bordering on atomic! OK, let the bag sit open a bit and try again. Ahhhh, sweet apples, berries and spicy cinnamon!
This tisane brewed to a really festive cranberry color. The fragrance mellowed out and became fruity with a hint of cinnamon. While drinking, the taste kept shifting between tart, sweet and spicy. This really keeps your attention!
What I liked best was the lingering apple-cinnamon taste. The apple in this was exceptionally good. It seemed really fresh and had a very clean apple flavor. There was a creaminess to this too so it was like hot apple pie a la mode.
Maybe Shui Tea can come up with a second name for this and keep it year round?!
When I first opened the bag, I was surprised by the size and quantity of the dried orange peel and chocolate nuggets. The fragrance of both the orange and chocolate was really strong.
Once prepared, everything mellowed and blended really well. You could taste the underlying rooibos and the orange was prominent. The chocolate became more noticeable as the cup cooled. I actually liked this best right before it reached room temperature.
As an added benefit, the pot was left sitting in the kitchen for a few hours prior to being washed and now most of the house smells like orange and chocolate!
I’m a mint fan, but I prefer spearmint over peppermint or wintergreen. That gave this tea an advantage.
When you open the package, you’re hit with a fragrance of clean and slightly sweet mint- like opening a new pack of Wrigley’s. The chamomile has the same large, fluffy buds I’ve come to expect from Shui Tea.
Prepared, I was surprised by the taste and how much the mint took a back seat to the chamomile. Also, I’d say this is more a herbal tea with green tea as one component as opposed to a flavored green tea. This is actually a rather interesting combination. It’s calming from the homey herbals, but the mint perks it up making this great for a relaxing afternoon.
Also, the ingredients list includes licorice. I can tell it’s there but more by feel than taste. I would maybe amp that up just a tad so you get more of a sweet, cooling finish.