Single Origin Teas
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Recent Tasting Notes
From the Unflavored TTB.
Brewed Western style. The dry leaf aroma has grassy, honeydew, and cantaloupe notes, while hay appears and is most prominent in the wet leaf aroma. The pale green-yellow liquor has a light body, and is delicate and airy, smooth, and clean, tasting of sweet grass. I am inexperienced with rarely drink white tea, so no rating for this one. Nonetheless, I still think it’s good – much sweeter than white teas I’ve tried before, has a “head in the clouds effect”. It was a pleasure to finally have a tea from Malawi, and a white tea from Africa. Thank you, Single Origin Teas!
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Grass, Hay, Honeydew
From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box.
Brewed Western style. The dry leaf aroma smells of maple syrup and caramel, and the wet leaf aroma of chocolate. I intended to use only 8oz of water but overestimated by 100% (I had just woken up….). I thought that the taste would be watered down, and to put in another teaspoon of leaf. But this tea is flexible. The liquor – orange, medium-bodied, and clear – is still flavorful with malt and bitter dark chocolate. It also has a spicy aftertaste, a little like ginger snap cookies. Delicious morning cup!
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #28
This tea was a little tough for my tastebuds to figure out. It had a lighter green tea flavor, a bit on the tangy side. Slightly vegetal. I should have kept enough to try another cup, I doubt I steeped this one correctly. The flavor was too light for me to have much to say.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // 30 min after boiling // 2 1/2 min
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #21
I’ve recently learned that if you leave out already steeped leaves overnight, the flavor is drastically different… I never let leaves sit longer than 24 hours. Usually I have black teas/pu-erh all day and then have one cup of white/green/herbal/oolong at night and then leave the second steep until the next night. I thought the flavor difference was just because they were steeped twice. I have to do a better job on not leaving leaves overnight then…
The leaves here are HUGE and rainbowed! Rainbow colors for tea leaves anyway! I’m not sure the difference between a Bai Mu Dan and Pai Mu Tan other than this one is from Malawi and Bai Mu Dan is not. This one is very light flavored. But usually with this type of tea, the second cup is ever better. Maybe I should be rinsing the leaves a little. Otherwise I’m getting hints of fruit, but you can’t really tell what that is yet. A little creaminess. As suspected, there is a ton of extra flavor… creamy sweet candy citrus. It kind of reminds me of the White Rhino I had from Butiki… unless its something else I’m remembering. Sigh. So many teas. Actually, I think it’s just this type of tea that I’m being reminded of… these might be my favorite white teas: creamy citrus. I’m taking a little bit more of this one from the tea box, but there is a ton left! I’ll definitely try a third steep the next go around. Also, I don’t believe cooling boiling water for 2-3 minutes leaves you with 180 degree water like the description for this one says…
Steep #1 // 30 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 3 min
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #17
I’d agree with everything Veronica said about this one! Malty, with mild spice notes, and very raisin like! The cup is a mid-level strength… so I wish it were more malty and raisiny. Just read her much better tasting note. :D Sorry for the lame tasting notes lately, I’m NOT doing this tea box justice!
Just so everyone is aware, though this tea is good, I’ve tried a few other teas from Single Origin that I liked even more. Keep the Kaporet Kenya in mind as well as the Ginseng Oolong: super-brain-poweriest of all the Ginseng Oolongs. Maybe if I were sipping some now, my tasting notes would be better.
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #5
I’m sad to inform all future participants of this teabox, that the Jun Chiyabari is sadly already past it’s prime… too much traveling, I suppose. I just wanted to try a little bit to see if it was still the same flavor I remember when Single Origin mailed samples to me, and luckily was the first tea I sampled as soon as the package arrived. The flavor is still muted here, just only but not as much as the sample they sent me when I tried it again months later. This tea is the most sensitive to age that I’ve ever tried. It is the most amazing tea in the world, but it needs to me enjoyed FRESH. It’s like that flower that only blooms one day a year or something. So so sad. I really suggest everyone try a little bit of this tea as fresh as possible. The second cup at boiling was too bitter to drink. I don’t recommend boiling this one!
Steep #1 // 15 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep #2 // half mug // just boiled // 3 min
Backlog! From SEVERAL days ago, so all I have is the stuff I jotted down while sipping.
Bitter nut shell.
I remember that it did taste more like an oolong than a black tea. The weight of the liquid, the lightness of body and the almost sparkling texture…it was very bright. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I’ll try this again soon, and I’ll make sure to be more precise in my description! Thanks for sending this my way hapatite!
Flavors: Chestnut, Citrus, Lime, Maple, Rum, Wood
MzPriss’ Unflavored Tea Box – Tea #2
Oh if only this tea had the flavor notes for me like they did in Kimquat’s tasting note. I’m gonna just copy & paste them right here: “Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Fruity, Jam, Malt, Sweet” That sounds like my favorite tea ever!! I was hoping some would be left when I got the tea box! Sadly, if only the tea had a deeper, darker flavor, it would been a better fit for me. The cup is actually the color of honeybush, so this is as light of a black tea that you can get. I even used two teaspoons. It’s probably the lightest black tea I’ve ever tried, except for some of those golden yunnans but these leaves aren’t gold, they are very dark. So disappointing. It was a sweet cup though, just not enough flavor for my tastebuds to distinguish. The second steep I filled half the mug at boiling and it had a similar flavor. I’m not sure if Kimquat and I were even drinking the same tea, but I sure wish I was!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 17 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 min?
I went to the orthopedist this morning for my shoulder and the first thing out of his mouth was, “well we could do surgery” EEEEEKKK luckily he followed it up by saying he’d prefer to do PT and cortisone shots along with NSAIDs for now. Me too!
But now I hurt from his poking prodding and manipulating. Normally I’d go for a standard comfort tea but my shame at seeing the number of samples sitting in my cupboard unreviewed overtook me and luckily this was a nice choice for something light.
Now onto the tea—Fruity! Peachy and light. Very green tasting. My first Darjeeling in a very long time. I’ve forgotten what they tasted like so I don’t know what to compare it to.
The site said to use boiling water that had cooled for 3-5 minutes. I want to know what temp! I guessed 195 and well it tasted good so that’s something?
ETA held up to a second steep nicely. I had no idea if I should try or not but figured worse case I wasted 6oz of water. Steeped for about 3-3.5 minutes. Lighter flavor but more fruity than grassy this time.
Flavors: Grass, Peach
An elegant, buttery sweet milk, liliac and lilies and snap pea vegetal oolong! I personally prefer a more oxidized or roasted oolong, but this green oolong was pretty good. I love the thick flavor and the high volume of steeps I got with gongfu short infusions (9!). Four Seasons oolong was pretty sweet – I think this would be a great dessert tea for the tea drinker that prefers unflavored teas.
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/four-seasons-oolong-single-origin-teas-oolong-owl-tea-review/
I got this one the other day and am just getting around to trying it.
I accidentally left it steeping too long so I’m not going to rate it right now. It might have been 5 minutes or longer. There’s been a lot of talk about the “barnyard” flavor of this tea. I’m not really picking this up. If anything it seems to be earthy in some ways like a good shu pu-erh is. It’s also kind of chocolate-y and also… savory. It almost seems to me like there is salt in here. So anyway I definitely plan to revisit this soon and rate it, but I’m glad it isn’t as scary ass I thought it would be. In fact, I kind of like it. :)
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Salty
T&C TTB Tea # 22 Backlog May 30
I had to laugh at this one. I liked how it looked in the bag, all brown and goldeny, so I wanted to try it. But when I read the reviews on Steepster, they all talked about a “barnlike aroma”
And I live in a place with lots of farms and stuff, but I grew up strictly in the city. I don’t DO barns. I don’t do cow poop. I love horses but my husband is deathly allergic so I don’t even get to go near horses. Basically, if it smells like a barn, you won’t find me anywhere nearby.
I thought I’d pull up muh britches and try this one anyway, just fth of it.
So….it tastes like a barn smells.
People in other reviews are all like “It has a pleasant barnlike taste! That’s a good thing!”
And i’m like – NO. JUST NO.
So I can’t help but wonder if I would have clued in to the “delightful barnyard aroma” of this tea if I hadn’t read the other reviews first.
I tried really hard to disassociate myself from that, and it was a pretty flavorful cup of tea, I will admit. I added milk to make it more of a breakfast tea. It was a hearty, dark, rich liquor.
But ultimately, I’m not interested in drinking anything that reminds me of the smell of a barn. Seriously, I’d rather drink something that tastes like dirty slush from the side of a high traffic road during a Maritime winter. At least that would be ALL CITY, BABY.
T&C TTB Tea # 20 Backlog May 29
I may have slightly oversteeped this one as I got a hint of bitterness, but I really enjoyed this cup.
I kept the sample because I have a goal to experiment more with straight teas like Keemuns and Darjeelings.
I liked the flavours in this one, though I can’t pinpoint them. I have no idea what muscatel is or what it’s supposed to taste like, but people throw that word around a lot for Darjeelings.
I have some left so next time I will decrease the steep time to avoid the bitterness I got the first round.
T&C TTB Tea # 19 Backlog May 28
My Netflix account is down so I can’t continue my SOA binge, so here I am being productive and entering all my TTB notes. Before the next TTB comes my way.
I already logged this one out of order because I was so impressed with it.
I had enough for about 3 cups in the little baggie I got out of the TTB, and I enjoyed every one of them. Flavorful, not flat. Yummy with milk. Not super bold but a great breakfast tea for me, stood up well to milk. Resteep was light and probably not worth it though.
I would buy this for sure!
In this day of political correctness, we aren’t supposed to have prejudice, but I have to confess that I have prejudice against certain teas, including Nilgiri. I’ve never had one that I thought was better than ordinary. Until this one.
This tea was really nice. The first Nilgiri that I’ve really enjoyed. It reminds me a bit of a Yunnan: earthy, with a hint of chocolate. The second steep was slightly bitter, but a third was smooth and enjoyable. Not great, but certainly rising above ordinary.
From the Unflavored TTB.
One of the disadvantages of a TTB is that there is a tension between using a lot of tea and leaving more for future participants. I’m also trying to taste a lot of different teas, so I don’t want to spend half the day with a single tea. So for this tea, I did a weird compromise between a western style and gong-fu: steeping 2 grams of tea in 6 oz of water for several 2-minute steeps. It let me get a sense of the tea without using a lot of tea or feeling like I wanted to do 10 re-steeps. It seemed to work out reasonably well.
1st steep (2 min): Soft nose is straw with grassy/spicy undertones. As it cooled, the spice became more prominent. The taste has a good mouth-feel, with a blend of straw and grass and a hint of spice. 2nd (2 min): Smell is now grass and toast. Much richer flavors. Less grass, more spice. By the third steep (5 min):, the taste is really deep and rich. Not much grass at all.
The dry leaves smell of rum and sugared nuts (think of those roasted nut stands in Asia).
The smell of the brewed tea is of roasted nuts and smokiness with a hit of sweetness at the end. The liquor is a light amber. The sip starts buttery and sweet and finishes with a woodsy smoke reminiscent of tobacco. The finish is brought back to an earthy sweetness.
I enjoy this tea and its complexity. It is great as an oolong because black tea would be too astringent. This oolong borders on being almost too astringent, but it pulls itself back from the edge with the sweetness and smokiness. From the leaf I thought it would be much sweeter, but it is actually quite well balanced. I could see this becoming more indulgent with sugar and cream, but I like it just the way it is.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Sugar, Chestnut, Earth, Rum, Tobacco
I got a whiff of molasses as I poured, but couldn’t find it in the cup. I’m not a big fan of Assam, but keep searching, hoping to find that special tea that lets me love Assam. This one is close, but not quite there.
I tried this as the first tea of the morning on the first full day of the unflavored TTB. Sort of a high end English Breakfast? It is powerful enough, but not overwhelming. Very smooth, malty with hints of fruit, and on the tannic side; almost at the point where I want to add sugar (which I normally would with breakfast tea, but not with fine teas – I’m still trying to decide which side of the line this one falls). The finish is excellent: long and complex, and I think the molasses may make a subtle re-appearance. In the end, I couldn’t quite love it, but I liked it a lot. We’ll just remain friends.
From the Unflavored TTB
The box just arrived and I’m anxious to try some tea, but it’s 4 PM. Pai Mu Tan isn’t supposed to have too much caffeine, so I’ll take my chances.
The nose is really rich. My first thought was melon, but it then tasted more fruity I thought of honeysuckle, but I think pear comes closest. The taste is sweet; a bit simpler than the nose, but continues the flavors, with an additional dusty character. The finish is good, but doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the nose. There were no disagreeable elements; the flavors worked well together in a nice, smooth cup.
Overall, this is a very fine tea. To my mind, the aroma is the best part of the tea, but the taste and finish are also very good. I lingered over my first cup and while the aroma remained excellent, the taste seemed to fade a bit as the tea cooled. Still good, but no longer excellent.
Resisting the temptation to rush to another tea, and mindful of the impact of too much caffeine on the odds of my getting a decent night’s sleep, I tried a re-steep (also 3 minutes). The aroma is similar to before, but weaker. The taste and finish in the re-steep initially seemed much simpler than before: basic white tea; good, but not in the same league as the first steep. However, as the tea cooled (and I took bigger sips) it opened up into a very good tea.
Good morning Steepster!
This is such a delicious Ceylon, normally I’m not a fan of Ceylons, I can find them too bitter and wine-y. This has such a delicious flavor profile of cherry and a bit of menthol. It’s also “hefty” and has great body which is not something I normally associate with a Ceylon.
SOT says: One of the classics, this is what an Uva Ceylon can and should taste like!
I agree, it puts most of the other Ceylons I’ve had to shame. Evidently I’ve been drinking crap Ceylons but this is one I will gladly restock once it runs out. I’m also excited to be getting a couple of other things from them (hopefully this week).
There’s one other Ceylon that I liked equally as much and that was the Sam Bodhi by Palais de Thes. I just haven’t bothered restocking it that one because there weren’t too many other things from Palais de Thes that really “wowed” me & you have to spend $75 to get free shipping.
I’m still sick, although I am feeling like I’m a bit on the mend. I hope I survive the day, as I have writing class tonight that goes until 9 pm.
I got this tea as a sample, and its an alright dragonwell. Its not amazing, but I have had better, and I have had much much worse.
I get the usual dragonwell taste, but other complexity is kinda lacking. Though looking at the price tag, it is price accordingly. This is a ’middle (maybe leaning closer to upper) range dragonwell.