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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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!
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.
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!
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)
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!
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
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).
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.
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…
I passed by the store today, but I only had a few minutes. The sales associate was really knowledgeable! I intended to stay for 2 min, but ended up there atleast ten… making me late *sighs
Anyhow, he let me try a sample of the Grade A dragonwell, and oh boy it was GOOD!! there are very few green teas that will make me swoon, but I will sing this tea’s praises any day.
I think it was the pan-fried part that was so tasty. Roasted teas usually appeal to me. Too bad it was so darn expensive, sheesh!
This nutty, roasty, mild, incredibly smooth brew(among the many others they have) could cause me serious financial woes. I hope there is no such thing as tea rehab, or else I could be in trouble.
oh and the best part, the normal scratchy sensation I get from so many green teas? well I felt the mildest suggestion of it after a few sips, but it was maybe 5% of the scratchiness I get in many jasmine/greens. One day I’ll retire and open up a tea shop somewhere in the city… or maybe just befriend a tea shop owner. Yes, that is the better idea I think!
EDIT: After thinking about it, I really shouldn’t even think about buying a tea like this without a proper gaiwan, but then I have no room in my place to keep one. Perhaps when I move I can have a corner dedicated to tea and a gaiwan (before I meet that tea shop owner, of course)