Swan Sisters Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
My crazy tea twin VariaTEA signed me up for three months of Amoda boxes for Christmas, the first of which came last week. It looks like I’m going to be the first to review 3/4 of them since I had to add them to the Steepster database. I wonder, who else gets Amoda boxes? I’m interested in seeing other people’s thoughts on the offerings. I’ve already had one of the other teas in the box, but the note for that one is buried somewhere in my queue. This one I’m drinking currently since I don’t start work today until late this afternoon.
Honestly, I wasn’t excited to see this one in the box. It’s got a lot of things in it that I’m not really a fan of like ginger and green tea. I’m also usually pretty fickle towards overly floral teas too, though jasmine is one floral aspect that I handle better than others so long as it doesn’t taste chemical/artificial. The only way I could have been less excited about this tea is if they’d added raisins to the blend. But I’m still going to try it, and in as opened minded a way as humanely possible.
Visually, the leaf is actually very beautiful: This uses jasmine scented pearls for the base and then there’s lots of visible ginger and light orange pieces of orange peel that contrast the pearls and add colour. The dry smell is really heavy on the ginger in the blend; I can hardly smell anything else, but if I concentrate I can sort of smell the jasmine. Measuring out my cup I noticed pretty quickly I was going to have to really shake up the sample bag; everything but the pearls was sinking to the bottom!
My first few sips were hesitant. Initially all I could taste was ginger. It was pretty spicy too; and it was lingering long after I had finished the tip. But the more I drink my cup, and the larger I make my sips, the more I’m noticing the jasmine in the blend. And, it’s honestly a very tasty jasmine flavour; I don’t think it gets anywhere close to tasting artificial or like I’ve just sprayed perfume right onto my tongue. Instead it’s supple and sweet! Which is good, because this tea needed something to contrast the ginger, that’s for sure. As for the pearls; they’re sort of just contributing an underlying vegetal flavour; it’s easier to pick them apart in the finish of the sip, when the ginger flavour is at its weakest and is easing up. I don’t taste the orange in the blend; I think it’s just competing with too many other dominant flavours.
I don’t think I’d personally drink this again because I just can’t do this much ginger in one cup of tea; but surprisingly there were more layers to this one than I had imagined there being and it was decidedly drinkable overall. I think people who actually like ginger will love this one; there’s a very interesting juxtaposition between the spicy ginger and sweet jasmine; it works more than I thought it would initially!
Flavors: Ginger, Jasmine, Peas, Vegetal
I believe I got this in my November Amoda box when I wasn’t yet fully immersed into the sea of loose leaf tea. I had it then, but I don’t think I was particularly excited or impressed. But I made it just now again and I can’t believe how sweetly it smells, just like sweet pea. The flavor is also amazing, there’s this lovely sweetness at the beginning of every sip that I can’t put my finger on. It’s like some ripe fruit, but not a citrus – a particularly tasty avocado perhaps?
All I seem to know for sure is that I can’t get enough of it!
This is the second tea from my November Amoda Box that I sampled. I liked this Lu’an Guapian. Sweet and brothy! A very well-rounded mouthfeel. Not as vegetal as you might expect from a green tea.
Nutty tones bring a pleasant sweetness to the cup. Creamy. I didn’t get a lot of toasty notes as mentioned in Amoda’s description, however, the nutty notes do have a “fresh roasted nut” sort of taste to them.
A really enjoyable cuppa.
Yesterday’s drinking of this tea was performed at a tea shop, where I reinfused the same leaves five times in a two cup pot (gong fu style…or an attempt at such with the amount of leaves I was given). Right before leaving the shop, I took a three cup to-go cup and dumped the leaves into it, filling it with hot water and letting it steep. When I got home, I put the cup into the refrigerator, and this morning I have a nice cup of chilled tea that is quite tasty. Cheers!
The flavor is incredibly floral, even from the very beginning. In some ways, it is reminiscent of a very floral Ti Kwan Yin. For a roasted oolong, the roast flavor is not too heavy. Smooth drinking and infinitely sippable. 30 second infusions. Very resteepable.
Dry leaves are fragrant with the smell of cocoa and have a fresh, roasted aroma to them. Very dark colour to the leaves. First steeping produces a cup that smells a bit like hojicha, but has a very light and smooth flavour, with a light brown liquor. Second cup is darker, almost nearer to the colour of a black tea. Also has quite an earthy taste to it. Deep, rich, and still very mellow with some chocolate notes to it. Second steeping of the leaves gave me a cup that carries much more of the roasted flavour. Almost too much. Definitely not using so many leaves next time. the normal teaspoon of leaves is too much for the small cast iron pot.