Tea Dynasty

Recent Tasting Notes

Ugghhh I’m so tired… I pushed too hard at the gym and work was stupid. I’m gonna pass out in bed after finishing this pot of tea. Good tea can make anything better! And sleep. Sleep is good.

This tea is alright. It’s sweet and fruity but also kind of… creamy? And unmistakably a green. It turned out a little bitter but that may have been due to steeping errors. It’s kind of weird when something is sweet and bitter at the same time. This tea seems somehow thick, kind of the consistency of whole milk? I think I like it alright, but not enough to buy more right away.
There’s only a bit left in my bag so I think I’ll cold-steep it later cause I’d like to try this iced. I hope that won’t make it bitter… I’m kind of new to the whole cold-steeping thing.

Okay, goodnight!!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 15 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

I know there are strawberries in this tea because I can see them in the loose leaf, but after brew, I can barely taste them. It is a lovely white peony, but there is very little strawberry in the flavour. I think I definitely prefer the David’s Tea version.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

me to!! but this one was so much cheaper… do you get the plasticky taste in there to?

Tina S.

Not really . . . but I had it after a chai so maybe my taste was a bit off?

Indigobloom

Hmm who knows. Too bad DT is remaking their version. le sad :(

Tina S.

Hey, maybe it’ll be better?

Indigobloom

knowing their penchant for saving money… one can hope but I doubt it!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Yunnan Black Tea by Tea Dynasty
485 tasting notes

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Keemum by Tea Dynasty
1309 tasting notes

Disclaimer: I cannot recall the exact name of this tea. If you know what it is, please correct it! they only have one Keemum variety so it should be a no-brainer for someone with a decent memory. Sorry to fail on all you Steepsterites!
Anyhow, on to the tea. The guy in the shop gave me a sample… using a gaiwan!! apparently the store plans to sell them for a reasonable price in the near future! so exciting :)
and the flavour?
It was interesting! I quite enjoyed it, but I’m not sure about how to rate it. My brain has yet to decide precisely how much I like this one. The floral/smoky note was mild but pleasant, and the black tea was also mild, but the liquid itself was a touch thick in the first few steeps. By the third round, the smokiness was gone, replaced by a mild spicy note that hid in the background all the way to the finish. There was a slight floral aspect as well, more pronounced once the smokiness faded.
I don’t think I would buy any, moreso because there is a minimum purchase of 50g and there are so many other teas I’d like to try before lapping myself in tastings.
Also, this is my first Keemum, and so I really have no idea how it compares. In time I will!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

ah yes, the second sample I tried. Really good!! Buttery and vegetal, it really stood apart from the first tea. Oh and not too heavy either, yet still lighter than the Ben Shan. I can’t recall much more than that though. If only I’d remembered to write it down! does the leave it to beaver fist swing

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87
drank Ben Shan by Tea Dynasty
1309 tasting notes

I HAVE A GAIWAN!!!!
Yipeeeeee! I’ve wanted one of these for SO long, and when I discovered that TD was down to their last few sets, and weren’t likely to be getting more anytime soon… well I could not resist. My tea ban is on “tea” not tea*ware* so I haven’t broken the rules yet. Right?!??
And the price was pretty darn good to. $26 is good, isn’t it? (I need to double check, maybe it was 36? my receipt is downstairs)
Aaaaaanyhow, about the tea. I sampled three kinds today so forgive me if I mix them up. I’m pretty sure I did get these out of order!
I can tell you that I tried a Ben Shan, a Buddhas Palm, and a… err, was it White Needle?? Frank, if you end up reading this, please help!!
Oh yes, let me introduce Frank! He is the lovely tea guru who was so kind to brew the tea and share with me :)
Now, if am not mistaken, this was the last one I tried. It was quite light with a hint of fruitiness, and very sweet. More sweet than the other two I tried.
My least fave of the three but still very good! Incredibly smooth, esp compared to anything I’ve tried before this.
I am rather new to actually enjoying green oolongs so I was pleasantly surprised by how different they can be. Before my ‘bud flip, I was a serious dark oolong girl who typically shunned the green side. and now? I cannot get enough! go figure.
If you are ever in Toronto, be sure to stop by the shop. It’s halfway between Wellesley and Bloor on Yonge St.

TeaBrat

Yay! Every tea lover needs a Gaiwan!

Dinosara

A gaiwan on my list, but I think I’m going to wait until China. But it feels so long! :)

Indigobloom

hehe I agree Amy! I cannot wait to try it… which sadly won’t be for a few weeks.

TeaBrat

Well you can steep any tea in a gaiwan actually…

Indigobloom

Dinosara- ooooh yah you will have so many options in China! mine isn’t the prettiest, but it IS a Gawian :P
Amy, hmm you’re right! but since I consume most of my caffeinated teas at work, and am not home often during the day… well that leaves me a little short on time so it will have to wait til my next free weekend day, which is Feb 5th! but that is only cuz on the 4th, I have a tea tasting to attend lol

ScottTeaMan

dO YOU HAVE A PIC OR A LINK TO A link to the pic of your Gaiwan??

Indigobloom

Scott- not yet, but I will post one when I get ahold of a decent camera! :)

TeaBrat

Ashmanra, those gaiwans are beautiful…

ashmanra

And the company is fabulous. They are so helpful and accommodating. We have ordered a lot of tea ware from them and love it, and I just got some tea from them as well. When you call you will be speaking to the owner or his wife!

Indigobloom

they are so purty!! not like mine, all clunky and unrefined. but probably better that way considering my clumsy ways haha.
One day I’ll have a Gaiwan to display proudly!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

89

I finally made it into Tea Dynasty on New Year’s Eve. It was really lovely. I’m glad Toronto has it, but wish it was in a part of the city I frequented these days! I’ve been wanting to try black dragon pearls for some time now, and was happy to see them there. Unfortunately they are rather pricey. I decided to use three of the pearls (they are much larger than any green jasmine pearls I’ve seen) in my 100 ml gaiwan.

I took my habit to an all-new level of out-of-control this Christmas in asking for a Zojirushi, so I was excited to break it in today with this tea. It’s so great for quick re-steepings!

As for the tea: nice and chocolatey. Very mellow and earthy, with sweetness increasing over the course of the four infusions. I could see this one becoming a favourite if not for the price.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

79

I suspect he oversteeped this. It was bitter, but overly so, and in that tannic, cloying way that makes my mouth dry.
The bitterness overshadowed the smokiness that I believe was poking out but can’t be sure really. The slight sweetness managed to get me through most of the cup but eventually it became too much for me and I tossed the last of it in the bin.
I’m not writing this one off, but now don’t want to invest in a take home batch… hmmm, always a gamble.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

So apparently my sudden change in tea preference extends to white tea as well. My once favoured tea is now strawberry flavoured water to me :(
I’ll leave the rating as is. Maybe one day I’ll figure this out…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

So I experimented with this somewhat. Brewing this at 84 degrees, it seems, is not the best way to go!
It’s still pretty darn good, but there is a certain plasticky taste that comes out at this temperature. Definitely better at a higher temp. I need to experiment some more…
(It doesn’t help that the cavity my dentist filled last month is throbbing with every sip! I need to ask him about that.)
Oh, and the lapsang I made yesterday is lending some smoky notes here as well. It’s certainly interesting! and resilient to, even after a good scrubbing I can still taste it.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90

This is indeed a very tasty tea! no surprise there… I knew the same tea combination from Davids was amazing so I expected more or less the same. One day, I’ll do a side by side comparison to see which I like better.
Sadly, the Davids tea may win that battle. Apparently places that do blends like this usually use flavoured oils to enhance the tea, and this shop, being more “pure” has decided not to indulge in such unpure practices.
Also, the white peony from Tea Dynasty is a little rounder, and not as delicate in flavour… which is part (just a small part!) of what I love about the Davids version.
Does anyone know why some white teas have that delicateness, and others don’t?? I’m curious!
That said, the TD version uses freshly dried strawberries that really punch through on the first steep. They come out nice and tart, while DTs is only sweet and far from tart, compared.
By the second steep of the TD tea however, the strawberry is mostly gone… leaving the barest suggestion of strawberry, and mostly in the aftertaste.
On another note, I just love that the shop owner will make whatever blend I want! this wasn’t on the menu so I asked him to do it up for me and he did! one of many things that sets this place apart from the other shops :)

Kashyap

white teas are often harvested only in the spring from buds and new growth, this leaves the plant little time from a period of relative dormancy, to spring flush, and so the plant has little time to translate flavors from the soil and surroundings to the new growth…the tea is also only plucked, steamed, lightly oxidized and dried, this doesnt allow for a period of chemical transition in the leaf that can also add additional flavors

Indigobloom

interesting! so the “rounder” whites have been more oxidized then?

Kashyap

bai mu dan/pai mudan, white peony, white eyebrow all are slightly oxidized (like black teas and oolongs) you can see it in the ‘browning’ in the leaves….white bud teas are rare and lack the oxidation

Indigobloom

hmmm. I will have to look out for this browning.
So what makes the white peony at David’s and Tea Emporium taste fresher than that of Tea Dynasty’s? is it the region where it is grown?

Kashyap

could be they source the tea more directly or have higher turn over of that product, could be they are sourcing from a more organic dealer, or they are choosing a less oxidized, more ‘green’ version from the many sources they are cupping from…i was surprised how different rooibos could be when I requested simple, plain, non-flavored sourced from the same region…the flavors ranged from ‘fruity’ to almost ‘fennel’ strange and wonderful how the plants can offer such a flavor profile difference from subtle changes in climate, soil, processing…

Indigobloom

I agree, it’s fascinating how different one tea can be, even between batches from the same retailer.
My mission of trying every tea out there is proving impossible. There are just too many!

Kashyap

journey of a lifetime..enjoy each sip and each footstep

Indigobloom

indeed! that very much fits the way of a tea drinker Kashyap :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

This was… tasty. Milky, but not all that sweet except for the finish. There was also a distinct fruity note but of what variety I can’t be sure. A bit “green” and vegetal as well. Solid, but not my fave oolong from this shop.
Sorry for the rushed reviewss… I am dead tired!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

88
drank Milk Oolong by Tea Dynasty
247 tasting notes

Logging yet another lovely milk oolong on my quest to try them all. :) Thank you, Indigobloom, for this delicious swap!

Dry, the tea smells slightly milky. It reminds me of the caramel with the cream center. It’s a pleasant aroma. 195F(90C)/4 min. Mmmm… now the aroma is a bit more pronounced. When I smell it, my mind clicks on that this is a milk oolong. The taste is really pleasant. It’s interesting the variety of milk oolongs that are out there. Some are fruity, some are floral, some are nutty, and some are a combination of multiple flavors. This milk oolong is a nutty one. The oolong is very pronounced, which is nice as it’s my favorite type of tea. It’s very slightly bitter due to my unintended oversteep. It’s smooth and definitely creamy. Definitely an enjoyable stop on my milk oolong tasting tour.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Indigobloom

this is my second fave MO, next to the ATR version… unless you count the osmanthus, then I think it’s tied!!

QuiltGuppy

Another outstanding one was thepuritea’s milk oolong, but sadly, they’re sold out. This was really good!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

67
drank Jasmine Oolong by Tea Dynasty
1309 tasting notes

Well. I am NOT a fan of Jasmine. I’ve always known this, but decided to give it a go with some quality tea just to be sure. and it was confirmed. Jasmine and I do not get along.
The base was good, I enjoyed the nutty oolong and even parts of the floral but couldn’t get past the biting itchiness. As the cup cooled, I actually grew accustomed to it and started to hate it less and less… but then, well I became nauseous in a way only pu’erhs have ever done.
It makes me wonder if I have an allergy to jasmine.
As for the rating, I am of two minds. Anyone who enjoys this type of tea would find it lovely, surely… but this is my review! so I’ll leave it at how I feel about the brew. Any tea that makes me feel ill should never get a rating above 60! but the base was so good… ok so 67 then!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82

A very light and floral oolong which had a subtle aroma to it. A little too light for my tastes but still a nice cup of tea. I was brewing it in a gaiwan using short infusions. I think more leaves may have been required to get the most out of this particular tea, that or a smaller vessel.

Preparation
0 min, 45 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

This Fo Shou is a mild oolong that sits lightly on the palatte with a nice citric finish. Being a white tea fan I enjoyed its softness and it became richer with multiple infusions. Next time I will use more tea leaves, however, to bring out the flavour.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95

this blew me away!!!! wow. amazing. love it!!
Another one on my “to purchase” list :)
It’s naturally sweet with smoky and floral notes… sortof like a smoky milk oolong without the milk essence, just the sweetness that comes with it. Sugar or honey could never achieve that subtle pure taste! and it’s complex all on it’s own! I love that part :)
mmmmm soooo good! Well, outta time. I’ll write more next time!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

This is the one I walked away with a cup of over lunch hour. Not bad… but I imagine this would make for a better base to go with other ingredients.
The shop offers a “make your own tea” option so I’m thinking about trying this with strawberry and attempting to replicate my DT experience only with Silver Needle instead of White Peony.
One day I will go in there and just chat with the sales guy for a few hours… he doesn’t mind letting customers sample and he seems to enjoy educating us as well so I am in heaven there! :)
The tea itself was a pretty standard “white” for me, albeit a quality one. I do wonder how it would have presented using a gaiwan though. and I think I need to try their version of White Peony before jumping to any conclusions.
Overall, I still prefer the White Peony from Tea Emporium… I mean, if I had to pick just one straight up white to go with. It’s less fuzzy tasting and more aromatic.
(though we chatted awhile. I think it may have been oversteeped. that’s twice in one day! arg)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93
drank Barley Tea by Tea Dynasty
1309 tasting notes

wowsa, was this ever smooth!! I got a tad of the normal tea/wearing sensation, but nothing like the crude abrasiveness I experienced with the T&T variety awhile back. YUMMM!!!
The barley flavour was just strong enough that I craved more, and the roasted flavour was not overdone either. This is rich in calcium, and tasty… AND great iced. The aroma is intoxicating to.
This is love… well, as much love as I could have for an iced tea. There is something about holding a hot beverage that will always have a special place in my heart. err, stomach. err hands! yes, that’s it… :P

QuiltGuppy

I love barley tea! I cold brew it pretty much daily for my kids. They love it, too.

Indigobloom

oh, good! I included a few bags for you to try in the sampler package… I’m excited to hear about what you think of it!!

QuiltGuppy

I can’t wait! Maybe it’ll be here in time for Christmas… ;) I’m guessing my package to you hasn’t arrived either. I know that barley has protein. I wonder if any of it passes to the steeped tea?

Indigobloom

this link I found on livestrong says there is, but there are so many variables, I’m not sure what they are…
http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/nutrition-calories/food/shirakiku/roasted-barley-tea/
ha, merry Christmas!!! and yes, your package arrived, I just opened it!! thankyou QG, so generous!! it pays to look in the front room… (where we keep our mail, I just got home) lol

QuiltGuppy

Woo-hoo! :) Glad it got there.
I’m going with it and saying that there’s protein, then. Yet another reason for the kiddos to drink it.

QuiltGuppy

I forgot what I put in that package… whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it. :D

aisling of tea

Yet another tea I must try on your recommendation. You are dangerous to my wallet! ;) But especially since I can’t have milk, finding calcium-rich foods is a must.

Indigobloom

QG: There are some really good ones in there! I don’t know which one to play with first lol
LKK: I love it, just beware, this one is an acquired taste, being roasted and all- my best friend is Japanese so I’ve been drinking it since I was in elementary school… but it is an addiction to be sure!

Indigobloom

oh and a magazine I read says barley is one of nature’s super-foods… eating away at bad cholesterol. Yay! :)

Indigobloom

oh and we’re SO agreed on the calcium… I shouldn’t have much milk myself as I don’t do well with it(but indulge anyhow, moderately). apparently this tea has something like ten times the amount of calcium that milk does! :P

aisling of tea

Well, I look forward to trying it and I hope it’s a tasty option for me! .

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80

This tea is very light both in aroma and taste (as far as the color goes, it’s actually somewhat dark, I’ve seen much lighter greens). This tea is kind of smoky and really mellow. It reminds me of smoked almonds or kippered herring (the smoke profile of course, it’s not fishy at all).

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Dry leaves are of mixed green and light brown color. Steeped liquor turned out to be a slightly darked than usual for oolong color. Smell is reminiscent of Tie Guan Yin, very orchid like. Taste wise it’s a mix of tie guan yin, da hung pao and green tea, very pleasant mix.

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

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

It’s very milky actually, it is slightly more bitter than your usual milk oolong, but possibly just as creamy.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

80
drank Yunnan Black Tea by Tea Dynasty
1309 tasting notes

Ugh, so apparently this is a Pu’erh blend as well?!? are ALL Yunnan’s like that? I thought it was a region, not a type of tea :(
Well it’s better than the one I had yesterday, possibly because I added milk, and when that wasn’t enough, some cream. and about triple the amount of agave I normally add, and I can still barely taste it- agave is potent stuff! apparently yunnan doesn’t take to sweeteners very nicely.
I had planned to share this with a friend, but it looks like I need to find another one to do that with because I don’t see anyone except pu’erh fans loving it…
That said, are there any steepsterites interested in a swap on this one? heck, forget the swap, I’ll just send it to you!

Now, about the flavours… it’s earthy, but not as much as other pu’erhs so perhaps that’s why it isn’t listed as such. The other notes remind me of a plain black tea, with a mild malty flavour. Call it an orange pekoe/pu’erh blend.
It smells earthy to, which I think is half of what turns me off. The other half emerges at that point where you’re about to swallow, that’s when I taste the earthy oddness. I wouldn’t say it’s unpleasant… more like my taste buds don’t know what to make of it.
Anyone ever tried a Bentonite cleanse? like that only a whole lot less intense.
Oh my goodness, I just realized that’s what it reminds me of!! ok now it’s not so bad. There is something comforting in recognizing it. Still, I’m offloading it to any takers…

aisling of tea

I’d be happy to take it off your hands!

Indigobloom

Sweet! you are in TO? I can meet up or send it to you…

aisling of tea

Sending it might be best, I don’t know when we’ll be downtown next!

ashmanra

I like yunnans, but they tend to give me tummy rumbles so I just don’t drink them! When I smell that peppery scent I know there is going to be growling bear noises. Oddly, pu-erhs don’t do that to me, even though they are usually made from yunnan tea.

Indigobloom

huh, now I know! I had no idea that yunnans were the base for pu’erhs. They taste very similar to me, which is strange cuz I thought the earthy taste was a product of the fermentation. hmmm
They make me feel ill as well, you aren’t alone there!

Angrboda

It is a region of China, it’s just a region that has a very distinctive flavour profile. :) But yes, from what I understand it’s also the birthplace of the pu-erh type.
To me, though, the Yunnan blacks and the pu-erhs aren’t that similar in flavour.

Indigobloom

double huh :)
I think maybe because I dislike it so much, I notice more of a similarity… they both taste very earthy to me, only the pu’erh is thicker and stronger in flavour

Angrboda

Isn’t that odd? :D But it totally illustrates why flavours can’t be discussed, only clarified, agreed or disagreed on. :)

ashmanra

I have to shorten my steep time on yunnans. When I sniff the leaves, peppery=rolling tummy noises. Don’t know why but I assumed it was because they believe most yunnan tea is assamica varietal, and Indian teas do the same to me so I guessed it was something about that varietal. On the other hand, if I eat a fatty meal and feel miserable, a cup or two of pu-erh usually perks me up. I prefer the ones that smell like a horse barn to the fishy ones, but I suspect my ou-erhs from Southern Season may not be as strong as some others. It doesn’t taste like the smell (thank goodness) and has a nice sweetness. It seems to do away with that yucky bloaty feeling.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.