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Recent Tasting Notes
Age of leaf: I wish I knew; unfortunately, as I bought this over three years ago, and as SpecialTeas is out of business, and I have no record of it’s production date, I can only guess: it must have aged a few years before they put it up for sale, so my guess is this must be 6 or 7 years old, at the very least.
Ceramic 4 cup teapot, no sweetener, 5 gram toucha, 2 cups of water.
……….1st: Just under boiling, 2.5’
……….2nd: Boiling. 5’
Aroma of tea liquor: Smelled just like the dry leaf: strong, and for now (I am wanting for better descriptors here) I will call it ‘fishy’—in a good way, not a bad way (although my wife smelled the dry leaf, and reacted as I thought she would: “Yuck!”).
Flavor of tea liquor: Again, I am wanting for better descriptors here (I hope to increase my arsenal of more precise Pu-erh flavor and aroma descriptors over time), so for now suffice it to say: earthy, fishy.
Appearance of wet leaf: Tiny little dark bits of tea.
Overall: Good. I vaguely remember trying this about two years ago (my first Pu-erh ever), and I think it may actually be smother now (however, I may just be perceiving what I expect). There was no sign of bitterness, and it was heavy on the mouth—enjoyably so.
For comparison purposes I also decided to steep another toucha today (brewed with the same parameters) that I bought through a seller on Taobao (again, little information on its age: the rice paper wrapper had a number appended with “-2008” on it, though) to compare with the SpecialTeas toucha. The Taobao toucha was a tinge bitter, and not as full, or heavy, on the tongue, as the SpecialTeas toucha on both the first and second steepings. This was a meaningful comparison, as it at least begins to give me an idea of what I am looking for in a Pu-erh. In this case, I prefer the SpecialTeas toucha: smooth, with a heavy mouth-feel.
This is my first real foray into Pu-erh tea. I recently bought a Yixing, and I am trying out a few Pu-erh teas I have on hand (I have a number of samples) in my ceramic before I decide which one to use to season my new Yixing with. So far, I am enjoying it. I hope to have the time and energy tomorrow to try at least one more.
Maybe this is what I am drinking? It’s labeled only “SpecialTeas Ti Quan Yin”, and I don’t even know who to thank for this sample! Pretty nice tea. That is all I have the energy to write. You know it’s been a rough day when your first cup of tea isn’t until 8 PM!
Another blend that I’ve been drinking but never got around to logging. This tea reminds me a bit of Davids Tea’s Toasted Walnut with its rich nutty flavours. It’s sweet with hints of creamy white chocolate and the green tea base is light and refreshing enough to keep it from being too cloying. By all the rights the camomile shouldn’t really belong in a blend like this, but somehow it works.
I’m glad I bought a big bag of this tea – I’ll be able to enjoy it for awhile yet. :)
Flavoured teas are all very well and good, but I was craving a nice, plain black tea today. This tea comes from the now-defunct Special Teas (another casualty of Teavana). It’s a very nice-looking tea – small twists of black and gold and it has the classic malty Assam scent with a hint of smokiness. The tea is robust but not bitter and at a steeping of 3.5 mins it’s fine without milk. It has wonderful fruity notes underneath that maltiness that give the tea a layered subtly you don’t normally get with Assams.
I stocked up on this tea but I’ll have to see about finding another source for when my stash runs out.
Another tea from Mercuryhime that I unfortunately can’t entirely recall, haha. I remember a bit of green beaniness, but not much else, as I don’t think I paid a great deal of attention while drinking it. Oh well. Again, I have enough for a second/third shot, which I will hopefully be more attentive to.
Many thanks to Mercuryhime for this sample! This is a very special tea indeed. I gave most of this cup and its subsequent infusions to my new husband. It’s so unique! He needed to try it.
He described it as, “It’s got that weird tongue thing again…like the tea is trying to get away from my tongue and escape.”
“Okay, you’re describing the mouthfeel. But what about the flavor?” I asked.
“It tastes like brown construction paper. I like it,” he replied. LOL! Who describes a tea as tasting like paper and then likes it? “I know,” he continued, “It tastes brassy! Yeah, like I’m licking a doorknob.”
I laughed at him and then he said, “I think people would really like to read my tasting notes. I’m the best at tasting notes. You’re jealous.” :) Aww, he’s so adorable! I love my hubby. Maybe he’ll join Steepster and track his own tea journey. You never know!
Looking back to the first time I tried this – I really didn’t like it – but I just had a cup and it was toned down quite a bit – for the better – I don’t know if it’s because it’s aged OR if it’s a better batch – it’s BETTER but still not awesome. Upping rating a tad because this is better than the last time I had it!
What wretched weather! Upper 30’s, sky like a wet gray blanket, threats of snow tomorrow, haven’t seen the sun since last Tuesday.
A copious tea day, but trying to lighten it up a bit this afternoon so I can sleep.
This is deliciously light, silky, and a little bit fruit-juicy. Is aging well; doesn’t seem to have lost any of its elegant punch after all the months I’ve had it.
It has been a generally crummy week and a particularly rotten evening. I am tired and out of sorts. Do you know where one goes to find more sorts?
So I grumpily grabbed this, and knowing it’s a bit on the elderly side, goosed it with a quarter-teaspoon of bulk cacao bits. Pepped up the taste a bit; made me think of Cadbury dried fruit-and-chocolate candy bars.
I got this in a swap from Jude. Just enough to make a 4-cup pot of it, perfect! Not so awesome that this tea seller has gone out of business?
This is a nice cup of tea, malty and sweet with a bit of caramel flavour to it. Very tasty. This tea gets a bit smokey as it cools though, not enough to turn me off, just enough to make it interesting.
I dug this tea out of the back of my cupboard while rearranging some stuff today. It’s kind of ridiculous how I’ll hoard teas if I know a blend is discontinued or the company no longer exists. But tea doesn’t keep forever so today I opened the bag and made a cuppa.
The flavour is slightly smooth and nutty mixed with fruity citrus notes and hints of spice. It isn’t so spicy that I’d call it a chai but there’s notes of cloves and ginger to give the blend some character.
Appearance: knobby oolong, small curl, bicolor
Aroma when Dry: creamy, notes of cucumber
After water is first poured: creamy, vanilla, cucumber, faint mint notes
At end of first steep: sweet, creamy, buttery, faint mint
At end of steep: light buttery yellow
Staple? Unsure, first tasting
Preferred time of day: afternoon, evening
At first: buttery, earthy, chewy
As it cools ? Notes get deeper, less creamy, more vegital
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Yes, velvety floral notes with hints of woodyness
Second steep (4min)
Tea liquor: light yellow
Aroma: fruity, floral
Taste: rich, woody, floral
As it cools: gets fruity, very brothy melon, cucumber, mint, and slight salt notes
Third steep (4 min)
Taste: rich, salty, floral,cucumber, mints, melon notes
lingers like restuarant tea
Fourth steep (5 min)
Taste: serviceable floral restuarant tea, still lingers