tea-adventure

Recent Tasting Notes

80
drank Monkey Chief by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

Originally I bought this (type of) tea from a local shop. I wasn’t too impressed with it back then. Some time ago I saw the tin sitting in the back of my cupboard and decided to revisite. Since then I drank nearly the whole tin. On second try I do like this tea. After that I discovered a sample of this tea in my little green tea adventure from Tea-adventure. As I’m considering restocking and I. That case generally prefer Tea-adventure due to the favorable shipping conditions I decided to try this sample today.

Normally I go for a 3-minute soak. Today however I decided to stick to Tea-A’s recommendation. The result is a color wise full bodied tea (really yellow green) and taste wise soft, rounded taste with a sweetish tone reminiscent of white teas without the hay-ish overtures. Maybe a bit of green asparagus and butter?

Anyway, on second thought a really good tea and one I just might be reordering.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 9 OZ / 275 ML

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85

I’m nearly through my stash of Golden Yunnan Black.

IMO this represents the ‘real’ black tea. Black tea like black tea should taste. The commentary by tea-adventure may be that this tea is exceptional and different, but – although the taste is indeed very good (and maybe exceptional, my taste buds aren’t that refined) – it’s also everything I’d expect from a black tea and in that respect not so different.

A good quality tea that taste wise is a happy middle of the road tea, without ‘typical’ taste qualities that one may of may not like.

A real stasher! I’ll be restocking soon…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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I’m so happy!! A few minutes ago the postman deliverd my first order from tea-adventure :-).

The first impression is favourable. The teas are packaged in aluminium foil coated bags with ziplocks, the kind where you have to cut off the top part before being able to open the ziplock and these bags were placed in a cardboard box. What I especially like about this is that (a) de bags can be used for storage due to the ziplock and (b) the tea leaves can’t get crushed in transit b/c of the box.

I’m having my first cup of yellow tea ever. It is very reminiscent of Dragon Well, although – perhaps – with a somewhat different aftertaste. I’m not really sure what it is. A bit ‘peppery’? A very very slight smokey-ness? Is it the chessnut note? I’ll first have to taste both this tea and the Dragon Well to try and pinpoint the difference so I won’t be rating this tea at this point.

Anyways a very good start of the weekend :-)

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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87
drank Lao Tieguanyin by tea-adventure
331 tasting notes

This is from a sample very kindly sent by Barbara – she had said it reminded her a bit of our beloved Thé-o-dor Milky Oolong. I had misplaced the sample (I really have too many teas still to try!) but just found it so here goes.

This is rolled green oolong, bit smaller than that Milky Oolong, but not quite as tightly rolled as Ten Ren´s Sun Moon Lake. Infusing the tea, I was sure I had made a mistake in ammount or temperature, the water hardly changed color, a very clear very pale liquor – but the tea is resulting is indeed tea! Body, flavour, some sweetness, some astringency. Barbara mentioned a taste like raw chestnuts which seems spot on to me, that sort of taste quality.

I got to experiment with more steeps and as well, with a more generous ammount. This is further confirmation that after all I am a oolong person, as long as it is a really good green oolong.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec
Barbara

Glad you liked it! I found this one re-steeps very well…

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88
drank Black Guanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I had this one (actually I’ve hardly drunk any tea lately).

Again I experienced that first moment of “what the heck?”. The fruitiness has something of a cherry flavor to it. It’s also faintly reminiscent of the Quatre fruits rouge of Damman Freres. I love it (after the first few swallows that is…:-)).

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88
drank Black Guanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

This tea really grows on you. Reading back my first entry I saw that I wasn’t overly enthusiastic back then. Now however, I just love this tea. After I finished the sample I bought a 50 grams package and I’m nearly through it already. This is a tea my partner also likes, despite not being a tea drinker, much less a black tea drinker…

I’m bumping the rating up.

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88
drank Black Guanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

I received a sample of this with my ‘little black tea adventure’.

I divided the sample in two and prepared two cups on two separate days. The information provided by tea-adventure is rather accurate. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic after my first cup and thought the tea to be a bit curious, with overly fruity tones or an excessive ‘fruity freshness’. When having my second cup I knew a bit better what to expect and that seems to have had a positive impact on the tasting experience. Rather like when you put a sandwich in you mouth, convinced that it has peanut butter on it, while actually it has jam on it…

While tasting the different samples I’ve discovered that my profile remains true. I prefer flavored black teas to unflavored black teas. Nevertheless I’ve tasted a few I’m considering to buy and this is one of them. Once I was used to the flavor I found I actually appreciate it quite a lot. A great black tea for the summer in my opinion…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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76

The last week I’ve been tasting plain (or straight) black teas. So far this is one of my favorites, although I must confess not having tried Keemun, Golden Yunnan and Bailin Gong Fu yet… (which are supposed to be very good as well)

This is a very smooth and sweet tea. It has an earthy character with malty undertones. The sweetness precludes it from tasting too earthy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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98

The ‘little oolong tea adventure’ contains a number of oolong teas, amongst which the Golden Water Turtle, the White Cockscomb and the Big Red Robe. It may be my not so advanced palette and the fact that I haven’t been tasting these side by side, but to me they are rather similar. In all these teas the roasted mineral impression is the dominant feature. I really love it…, but won’t be reviewing the others as I can’t really pinpoint the exact differences…

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98

Today I finally received my “little” black and oolong adventures from Tea-Adventure. The “little adventures” are sampling packages with samples of all the teas of the specific category (so a little black adventure contains samples of all the black teas Tea-Adventure sells). I’m sooo happy. The only downside is that now I have such a great many samples that it’s neigh to impossible to choose :-)

With a previous order I had a sample of this tea and I really really liked it. So therefore this tea is the first on my to-try-list of today.

The taste is sweet, toasty and with a very definite mineral impression. I can’t say I recognize anything fruity floral. According to the description of Verdant Tea (I reckon it’s the same tea based on the name) there should be notes of caramel, hazelnut, elderberry, custard, honeydew and/or orchid. I can’t say I can discern those either. Sometimes I wonder if you can and should compare certain teas with the flavors of known foods. This tea definitely is something totally different from anything else I know and I love it!

It’s going on my to order list.

In the second steep the sweetness increases and becomes nearly caramelized like. I believe a detect a very slight hint of maltiness as well. Overall the mineral impression remains the most dominant feature. All in all, the second steep is just as worthwhile as the first, and I don’t say that often…

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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93

This is an excellent white tea puer cake. It shares the caracteristics of both. Beautiful big, hairy buds, you don’t need a knife to take a few, it is a very loose cake, so the buds remain integer. It allows many brews, improving gradually to a delicious sweet clear brew.

My brewing of today: 6 g. for a 15cl glass teapot, 80 C water. Rinse, and discard the second brew; don’t overbrew (even at the tenth brew don’t pass 40" otherwise a slightly grassy taste emerges). I have never succeeded in exhausting the leaves, nor to count how many brews I did.

I have the cake since one year, and either I have learned how to brew it optimally, or it is improving with age; maybe both. I might have to buy another, and forget it for a few years.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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85
drank Lao Tieguanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

I ordered this tea shortly after my last post regarding the sample I received earlier. Last week my order finally arrived. Since then I’ve been rather committed to this tea. I’ve been drinking it at least a few times a day.

On second, third and forth taste I have to say that this tea is much sweeter and less woody than I originally though. Other than that I’m still not able to describe it accurately, unfortunately…

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85
drank Lao Tieguanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

I received a sample of this tea with my regular order (policy of the company, which is very nice).

The company website and description has me a bit baffled. It says the taste is/should be sweet and floral. Perhaps I brewed it wrong, though I don’t really think so as the tea turned out to taste pretty good, just not sweet and floral, but rather very much like raw chestnuts. It also smells of chestnuts, olive oil and/or some kind of vegetable I can’t put my finger on. Furthermore it has a distinctly woody quality.

Perhaps the website refers to the aged Tieguanyin, while I received the non-aged or less-aged version? (The website links through to a page about the farm, where a number of varieties are mentioned, while the website itself shows pictures of a yellow/amber coloured brew and a burnt orange coloured brew).

Anyway, it has a comforting warm but at the same time strangly crisp energizing character.

I’m sorry I can’t describe it more accurately, but it just isn’t like any tea I’ve tasted before. Maybe the taste is typical for oolongs, but this is just my second – the first being a Chinese “milky oolong” of undisclosed origin.

A very interesting tea in a positive way. Probably something I’ll be ordering in the near furtur (maybe even today… :-)).

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
cteresa

I really liked this, thank you! I think I am definetely a oolong (green oolong) persona after all.

Also from a swap, I tried Ten Ren´s Sun Moon Lake, a high mountain oolong from Tai Wan which was excellent.

Barbara

Good to hear! I really like the oolongs myself as well. Currently I’m moving a bit toward the darker oolongs, which are really good as well (Red Robe and such).

cteresa

I am pretty interested in blacks blacks right now as well – but glad I got over thinking I did not care much for oolongs.

Barbara

Those are not my favorite although I’ve tasted some pretty nice ones lately. Amongst which a black Tieguanyin from tea-adventure. I’ve ordered a batch. I’ll send you some sometime (shipping is some three weeks).

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85
drank Lao Tieguanyin by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

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78

I received a free sample of this with my order from Tea-adventure. This one was included as “extra” sample in addition to the two free samples of your choice you get with every order anyway. Thanks so much!

If I’d had a choice, I wouldn’t have chosen a Jasmine tea sample and I would have missed out on something worthwhile. I’m not really a big fan of Jasmine or other flowers as sole means of perfuming/flavouring tea. That doesn’t mean I can’t stomach jasmine, but in my experience flower scented teas are prone to boardering on ‘soapy’. In general I prefer fruits and spices with or even to flowers.

Anyway, as I received a sample, I felt compelled to try it. Afterall, one never knows… and as they say good deeds reap rewards. I actually really liked this jasmine tea. The white needle base has an inherent sweetness that balances the jasmine very nicely. I find this tea much more tasty than the classic green tea based jasmine.

All in all a pleasant surprise. I may just order this tea sometime in the future, maybe for the summer.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Ysaurella

I only have the idea to drink a cup of Jasmin tea when I have lunch in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant…I am weird, it’s such a delicate flavour

Barbara

I understand what you mean. For me the two always seemed intertwined as well. After all it’s the main tea served at chinese restaurants, at leat here in the Netherlands. But that jasmine tea is definately of a much lower quality.

cteresa

The cheap chinese jasmine tea is really cheap (I have bought big tins for 2 euros something) but still amazing value for money all things considered because it still is pretty drinkable. But great jasmine tea, ah that is something else altogether – my favorite right now is from a small traditional shop that I do not know from where they order.

But there is a very good and expensive authentic chinese restaurant around (macau and all that) and they serve really wonderful tea with dim-sum. Jasmine as well – but not sure if dim-sum really is the time for great tea, you keep having strong tasting things (so far, have avoided the jelly fish, though the chicken legs surprisingly have potential, pity about the bones) and getting the pot refilled

cteresa

chicken feet I mean! (and it´s not as bad as it sounds. The jelly fish will not comment on)

Barbara

As a student I used to work for a chinese boss. His family had a restaurant around the corner from where I worked and somethimes his family would arrange for dinner to be bought in to him. He loved his chicken feet. I thought they didn’t really look very appetizing (esp. the claws) so I’ve never tried.

cteresa

They are not a favorite of mine, but they are surprisingly better than you think it would be. I love dim-sum.

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drank Emei Snow Buds by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

I received a free sample of this with my order. As I couldn’t find any instructions on brewing temp & time, I just stuck to my average green tea temp & time (80 C/ 3 min).

De dry leaf smells very ‘green’ with a note of seaweed. The smell is very similar, though mellower when brewed.

At first it has a very fresh, somewhat ‘peppery’, brisk taste with some astringency. The sides of my tongue tintle a little. After a few mouthfulls the taste mellows and a sweeter note presents itself. It’s as if some component of the tea coats the inside of your mouth and thus changes your perception of the taste. In the aftertaste I think I detect something mineral like, although I’m not entirely sure. It’s something I haven’t tasted in other teas before.

This is an interesting tea, though not really to my taste. Perhaps I’d review it differently during a hot summer day, when I prefer more ‘fresh’ tastes. If you like straight green teas, this tea definitely is worth trying, despite my not being overly enthousiastic. After all tastes differ and my palette may just not be mature enough to adequately appreciate this tea.

EDIT: I decided to remove my rating because I just can’t honestly rate a tea that is evidently of good quality but just isn’t to my taste.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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93
drank White Needle by tea-adventure
59 tasting notes

So here I am, waiting for my first cup of White Needle tea to brew. I bought this tea in the hope that it would make a suitable alternative to the Theodor J.E. Yin Zhen b/c of it’s price. With a view to comparison I brewed both teas simultaniously.

Here’s a picture with Theodor on the left and Tea-adventure on the right before brewing: [IMG]http://i46.tinypic.com/2qxz0og.jpg[/IMG]
The buds of Theodor are slimmer than those of Tea-adventure. I don’t know which size is better. The ‘fatter’ buds look nicer/neater though.

Here’s a picture of both teas after brewing and before lifting the strainers out: [IMG]http://i49.tinypic.com/4lhkqu.jpg[/IMG]
Theodor’s tea looks a little ‘messier’ with more small(er) particles and a few brownish buds. The left tea is Theodor and the right tea is Tea-adventure.

Let me start by stating that both teas taste great. The colour of the liquid of Theodor is a tad more saturated than that of Tea-adventure. The same goes for the smell and taste. Theodore’s buds smell more ‘hay-ish’ and have a tast that’s a bit bolder.

So which one is better? I honestly don’t know. I do know that I prefer the lighter and slightly more fresh or less ‘hay-ish’ smell of Tea-adventure’s white, but as regarding the taste, it will probably be dependant upon my mood. My boyfriend prefers the more bold taste of Theodor’s tea and is of the opinion that he doesn’t really smell either tea (which may be due to the chocolate he ate right before tasting).

Is this a good alternative to Theodor’s? YES, definately. There isn’t a great difference in smell and taste, while the price is a lot friendlier.

I’ll be resteeping to see if that ferrets out any further differences… :-)

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Barbara

Ok I totally forgot about my 2nd steep. I was having a look at – or better drooling over – Theodor’s Histoire Tibetaine and The du Loup and totally lost track of time… I’m not sure how long it steeped. It may be anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. Theodor’s tea becomes too ‘heavy’ to my taste with such long steeping times, something I’ve commented on before in my taste note regarding that tea. The Tea-adventure tea becomes a bit bolder without becoming too heavy…

cteresa

It seems interesting! I love silver needles – and a tip try bai mu dan (white peony) tea as well. Silver needle is supposedly better, but bai mu dan is more floral, and it can be so excellent as well while being a bit cheaper (or I have the palate of a peasant, which is also possible)

cteresa

And forgot to ask, Histoire Tibetane, do let me know what you think! Description makes it sound a lot like Mariage´s Thé au Tibet (light bergamot with vanilla and jasmine and flowers) so either it might really *be tibetan (vanilla??). Thé au Tibet had an old name before they changed to Thé au Tibet.

Barbara

I’ll do that. I have some of your sample so I’ll drink them side by side some time this weekend. From memory I’d say they are similar in the basis, but both vere in a different direction, the MF being some spicey and the TD being sweeter.

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