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Recent Tasting Notes
Golden Jade Oolong (Huang Guan Yin) is a surprise, I am on the third steep and it is still delivering an amazing honey flavor with a brightness I can’t pick a good word to describe. I love teas that do not require any adulteration and this one is good right out of the pot. One note it does lose the brightness once it cools, I often will use the last cup of a pot over ice in the afternoon, it loses something in translation to cold.
Flavors: Honey, Honeydew
Really enjoy the name of this tea in my Steepster Select samples. “Organic Buddhist Tea” has a great ring to it and after opening I was happy to find a very nice bouquet and a little tea dust like matcha. My first steep was a bit too much water and had a savory and vegetal flavor, good color and a slight astringent after taste. A very nice every day tea.
I liked this tea. A nice change from my typical choice in black tea, darjeeling. Its pleasant smoky assertiveness is modified by a rich chocolate scent and taste. I also appreciate the nice alertness it provides in the mornings.
Flavors: Chocolate, Smoked, Wheat
Brewed this Western style this morning, and was pleasantly awakened by the gorgeous aroma and flavor. Just as the other tasting notes mention, chocolate predominates the first steep with light tones of mineral and just a hint of smoke. Second and third steeps have less of the chocolate taste as the other flavors step forward, but the aroma still remains enticing.
Reminiscent of Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, but with more of a mineral edge. Thanks Steepster Select for including this in the September Box.
Flavors: Chocolate, Mineral, Smoke
When you first open the package, it is very peppermint and literally gets into your sinuses if you take a big whiff. It really does smell like toothpaste and other products with peppermint.
The dry leaf is very pretty with light pastel green and little pieces of the pinkie mauvy clover flower. Bits of light brown in there as well.
Definitely trying this after I have had lunch and another after-lunch tea because I’m afraid the peppermint is going to be strong and be all over my palate after that.
Liquor is golden clear color and smells very herbal with peppermint. I don’t want to drink it but I will taste it lol.
This is not my thing but it is good herbal. It has a natural sweetness to it and the peppermint sort of gets into your chest if you breathe in. So I could see drinking this when you don’t feel good and are congested.
It really tastes like fresh mint the more I drink it so it’s very good mint tea.
At first I didn’t want to finish but now I seem to be drinking more so it’s pretty good.
I feel a little warm drinking this. The peppermint is warming my body. I am Pitta dosha and I don’t think peppermint is good for Pitta lol. It is definitely removing toxins through heat so that’s cool.
From the Steepster Select Box; September, 2014
Flavors: Herbs, Peppermint, Sweet
More black tea! This one is from Blodeuyn. I’ve had a couple of Golden Monkey teas in the past, so we’ll see how this one compares to them. The leaves are thin and wiry, and about half golden in color. Dry scent is very grainy with hay and a little bit of honey. I steeped a teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Brewed, this tea smells like french fries! There’s also some bread and rich molasses, and maybe a touch of dark fruity aroma. Oh my goodness, it tastes just like french fries! That’s certainly a flavor I’ve never encountered before… There’s some thick breadiness backing it up, and perhaps the slightest touch of honey. Otherwise, all french fries! :D
Flavors: Baked Bread, Grain, Honey, Potato
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Flavors: Chestnut, Freshly Cut Grass, Pine
I received this in my Steepster Select…. I really needed a bedtime tea, and this one hits the spot. Mint is definitely the dominant flavor, but I really enjoy that. There is really not much to add here…it’s just pleasant and minty.
It’s pleasant enough that I ordered 1/2 pound. (Very economical at $7 per 1/4lb).
Origin: Zhejiang, China
Leaf Appearance: Small little twisted pieces that are light to dried grass green. Smells nutty and a little bit like a sweet vegetable , potato, a sweet walnut.
Method: 4 ounce gaiwan, 1 tsp tea, 185F, short quick infusions
Liquor: Light tint of color, light pearl spring green with scents of sweet veggies
Flavor: Nice nutty, sweet, just a hint of leek and potato.
Wet Leaf: Leaves unfurl to be tiny little pretty spring green color and very young young leaves. Very delicate. This is a very nice green tea and has some leaves that look like Anji Bai Cha they are that light green with the veining. Some very tiny and delicate young little tiny tiny buds too. Pretty tea.
From the Steepster Select Box; September, 2014
Flavors: Leeks, Potato, Walnut
This tea was in the Steepster Select box for September. I was quite pleased to see a Chinese black tea in the box, since I tend to love them. The leaves of this tea are medium in size and very dark chocolate brown in color. They smell sweet and malty with strong grain notes. I steeped about a teaspoon of leaf for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once steeped, the tea smells very grainy and malty with a lot of sweetness. Yum, this tea is so much crusty homemade whole wheat bread! There’s a fair amount of malt as well, and the loveliest caramelized brown sugar flavor that adds richness and depth. I can taste a touch of that savory dill note that I often find in Fujian teas, and it pairs (unexpectedly) nicely with the hint of cinnamon that’s also present here. Overall, this tea has deep flavor and an interesting and delicious mix of sweet and savory tones. Yum! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Cinnamon, Dill, Malt
Got this tea in the mail the other day as part of my Steepster Select box and it was a-mazing. The tea was rich and dark with the strong, malty taste of chocolate. It was exceptional and I can’t wait to try all of the other samples!
Origin: Zhejiang, China
Leaf Appearance: Small twisted leaf pieces with smoky and subtle chocolate scent. Color is chocolate brown
Method: Gaiwan-Temp 190F-immediate rinse then short quick infusions
Liquor: Chocolatey scent with smoke, golden orange color
Flavor: Smoke with a tiny hint of chocolate. The mineral as described on the package is definitely there as an undertone. It has a lot of bitter notes to it.
- I really have gotten to where I use the gaiwan as my preferred brewing method so this tea might definitely be a Western brew. It says on the package to brew at 212F in 12oz for 3 minutes so I will try the recommended method in a bit. So take this first review with a grain of salt.
OK,,later this afternoon, I brewed this Western style with the recommended 212F and 12oz water at 3 minutes. It still had a bitter note but it was a balancing bitter note to the chocolate note and mineral & smoky edges. More balanced as a Western brew. The bitter note tastes good and the tea has a depth and interesting flair with all its components in harmony.
Found on the Silk Road Teas sight that this varietal is Mei Zhan. The Mei Zhan varietal is made with a slow growing leaf, grown at high elevations. Prized for its strong, nuanced taste.
Mei Zhan (梅占) is a famous oolong from Anxi in Fujian province, China. It’s a classic oolong varietal with big leaves. This is why it’s sometimes also referred as Da Ye Mei Zhan (big leave Mei Zhan). The tea’s liquor is bright orange with a smooth and flowery aroma. (from Teapedia)
From the Steepster Select Box, September 2014
Flavors: Bitter, Dark Chocolate, Mineral, Smoke
This is the first tea I’m trying from my Steepster Select box! I’m feeling a bit overfull (of water mostly, I’ve had a lot of tea today) so I figured going with a peppermint-based herbal was a good idea. The dry leaf itself looks like a mixture of peppermint and lemongrass with some other grassy-looking herbal things in there. Dry scent is very powerful peppermint! I followed the instructions and steeped for 3 minutes in boiling water.
Once brewed, it pretty much smells like peppermint, but it’s not super powerful, which is nice. I must say, I’m actually surprised that this doesn’t just taste like peppermint! The peppermint is definitely the strongest player, but there’s also lemon, and I also get some other mild herbal-y flavors that I can’t really identify. HA! Overall, not bad, I could see this being nice as a late-night tea.
Flavors: Herbs, Lemon, Medicinal, Peppermint