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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve had this tea in my cupboard for awhile. It’s a wonderful comfort tea and a good blend of gunpowder with peppermint and spearmint. A mid-eastern restaurant nearby brews up what they call a mint tea. I just love it and order it whenever I go in the restaurant. This tea is the closest thing to that. The peppermint is punchy and the green tea is a strong .
I’ve been drinking green tea all morning and afternoon but evening time is now for Oolong. Like changing from beer to spirits in a way. This one did not disappoint yet again, very rich and full bodied Oolong with spice, wood and mild leather notes. Paired beautifully with a few ginger nut biscuits (I love ginger nuts). The strength of the ginger is matched with the wood and spice elements of the Oolong and they meld into one. :)
Note to self – need more ginger nuts.
This was my tea of choice at work today. This is by far the oldest pu’erh I’ve had. The aged pu’erh I was drinking yesterday was really mellow and smooth. I was expecting this one to be more of the same. NOT.
This is really BOLD, EARTHY (not fishy), and a hint of something that seems minty to me. I don’t do mint, but that’s what it reminds me of. The hotter this is the more minty it is, as it cools it becomes more like a “traditional” pu’erh but it’s big and bold and in your face. There is nothing offensive here, but this isn’t my favorite. I like the one I was drinking yesterday much better.
I was drinking this at work yesterday. This is really good – unusual, for me anyway.
I’m not even sure how to describe it. WOW smooth is where I want to start. Mellow, gentle, barely pu’erh. It’s just a touch earthy – and I don’t know what the rest of the flavor is, but I like it. It’s not really a black, it’s barely pu’erh, but it still has lots of flavor – just different from anything else I’ve tried.
If I ever get my cupboard under control, I would consider getting more of this so that I can play with it some more.
From the queue
Prior to my recent swap with Courtney I was asked for requests as one does. I was attracted to Butiki’s Irish Cream Cheesecake, and while reminding myself what Courtney had thought of that one, I noticed a mention of her finding it quite similar to this one. Therefore, I said I would like to try a sample of either this or that, but one of them would be fine if she didn’t have enough to share. Luckily for me, she had enough to share of both of them, so now I get to see for myself if I find them very similar too.
I started with this one because it’s morning, it’s the first tea of the day and it’s a breakfast blend. That’s fairly straight-forward, isn’t it?
It smells quite strong and also a bit creamy. Mostly though I’m finding it to have a very strong strawberry-y note. Peculiar. Was the pot perhaps not rinsed out properly from the Queen of Berries last night? I thought I was pretty thourough with that. Or is it the cream that does it, maybe? I think I can also detect something quite malty underneath the cream and the mysterious strawberry, which adds to the impression of it being quite strong. Husband didn’t think it smelled like strawberry at all, so perhaps that’s just me.
It is indeed a good strong blend, this one. It’s also quite smooth and fairly malty with a good buildup of aftertaste. A sort of oaky note there, I think, and quick flash of something a little more harsh. Like it’s a generally well-behaved blend, but showing teeth now and then to remind you that it’ll only be nice to you so long as you are nice to it.
I’ve had a cream flavoured black once which tasted pretty much just like a generic black with some cream poured into it, which, when you are not accustomed to adding anything to your tea at all EVER, wasn’t particularly pleasant. I was a little curious about how the cream note would behave in this one, but not sufficiently scared away by previous experiences to not give it a go.
I think the cream flavouring adds to the smoothness of this blend, but it’s really quite subtle. It’s there more in texture than in flavour and then I get a little swish of cream on the aftertaste. This is infinitely preferable to my previous experience. It is, in fact, very very nice.
I’m glad I asked Courtney if she could spare a sample of this for me. And once again, I find myself sort of wishing I hadn’t shared it with Husband as that means less of it for me.
I almost was going to pair a piece of chocolate with this tea, but decided that would take away from the chocolate-y goodness of this tea. I haven’t enjoyed this one in a while, but it’s still my favorite chocolate tea by far. It just has that rich, almost chewy chocolate flavor. I wonder if it’s the barley. Anyhoo, it’s delicious! I was thinking about taking advantage of the 20% off sale and restocking, but I’ve been kinda bad lately, so I’ll hold off for now. ;)
I don’t usually mind smokey teas, and I’ve liked other Lapsang Souchong – but not this one. It’s REALLY smokey and it seems piney to me. Not a lot piney, but a little bit. I tried rinsing it a couple of time before steeping and that really helps cut back on the smoke. It also is less smokey and piney as it cools. The other thing I didn’t like was the charcoal (?) smudge that was left around the rim of your cup. Too smokey when I have charcoal bits in my cup.
I’m polishing off my 1 ounce envelope of Tealux Tenkaichi Sencha Supreme today, and happily I got all the parameters right for this little pot. A flavorful, only slightly astringent and lightly vegetal batch of pale fluorescent green sencha was my first TOD (tea of the day). Yum. This sencha is excellent for right after lunch, and I’ll definitely be ordering it again…
I believe that this is my very first experience of Bi Luo Chun, this being Dong Ting from Tealux. The leaves have a distinctive appearance: light and fluffy but curled and covered with white fuzz. Because the tea is so voluminous, I used two heaping teaspoons for this pot—the equivalent of three.
The liquor is pale gold veering peach, and the taste is subtle and faint. According to the Tealux description, the flavor is akin to a flaky pastry. That might be a fair assessment, but it is not at all buttery, so I am not sure. I guess that I associate butter with pastry.
Anyway, this is not a hard-hitting, vegetal green tea but a mild one closer to white tea. I need to imbibe another pot or so before I’ll feel qualified to attach a number to my tasting note. I’ll be brewing a second pot later today, once my caffeine deadline has elapsed.
For today’s pot of Tealux Lu Shan Yun Wu, I increased the leafage as I felt that last time the flavor was quite faint.
The liquor is still pale yellow, but a bit darker, and the flavor is smooth and ever-so-slightly sweet. This is a fairly neutral-tasting green tea, which might appeal to people who don’t like the more vegetal greens. A good mealtime choice.
second infusion: the liquor this time is bright yellow! As in: do you take a vitamin B complex? That kind of hue. The flavor is good, too.
Got to use my Teavana App for steeping herbal teas this time. It was a nice lively salsa to dance to while this tea was steeping – a good 6 minutes of dancing.
This tea is pretty much the same tea as David’s Forever Nuts. I can’t taste much difference. It’s got that beetroot coloring with an apple/almond flavor to it. Early in the day to be having non-caffeine one but I’ve had my dose of caffeine for the morning. I’ll have to try this along side of Forever Nuts to see if there’s a difference. I don’t think there is.
Today is an at home day so I started my morning with a cup of this lovely Strawberry Oolong from Tealux. Yes, I’ve reviewed it before. I reduced my rating just a bit (was 100) only because I’ve had a few oolongs since then and even though this one is great, the strawberry notes were not strong enough. Cooled down , I can taste the strawberry notes more but I don’t like cold tea. I like using my Teavana App as a timer for the tea. It’s so cool the music it plays while the tea is steeping. This morning I was doing some qi-gong while my tea was steeping. I could wake up like this every morning. So Tealux when are you getting an App? I am so in love with Tealux teas. It will take me forever to try them all.
Dexter3657 sent me some of this one in that awesome package a while back! thank you! I added quite a bit of leaves to the mug… after three minutes it actually wasn’t an explosion of hibiscus, therefore this herbal is great just for that. A standard fruity blend. Very punchy and there was a flavor to it that reminded me of syrup, so it actually IS probably punchy. Quite good!
I was drinking this at work today. It’s light and fragrant but does have some earthy pu’erh on the top of the mouth and the back of the nose – this comes out more as it cools.
This is just ok for me, I like pu’erh to be big and bold – this is too mild.
Any white tea fans that are interested in pu’erh should give this a try – it would be a good stepping stone.
The first infusion of my pot of Tealux Tenkaichi Sencha Supreme was a bit bitter initially. The tea leaves are very broken up, and there were lots of small green tea particles in the bottom of the glass, so my metal mesh coffee filter was not capturing them. I forecast a truly splendid second infusion later today…
second infusion: as predicted, this round was better, as many of the smaller particles were removed in the first infusion.
third infusion: the first glass from this third infusion pot was good but then I then my second glass get cold and nuked it and it was not as good. Note to self (and to whom it may concern): do not reheat sencha.
Chamomile the night before a big exam is a must other wise I keep myself up trying to go through everything I needed to know in my head!
I had to add this one to Steepster. It seems as if I did it correctly. I don’t get a lot of strawberry flavor out of this. At least this cup tastes like most other chamomile teas. Next time I will look when I scoop and aim for the strawberry pieces!
Another pot of gyokuro following lunch, this one Tealux Gyokuro Premier. This is not exactly a steep-off with the Teavana Gyokuro Imperial, but I am consuming this pot within the hour. Of course, I drank the Teavana on an empty stomach, and now I’ve eaten, so that may be a relevant factor. Is it affecting my evaluation?
The liquor is viridescent and slightly cloudy, and the brew is just a tad astringent. It’s not quite as smooth and buttery as the Teavana, so I stick with my original evaluation a notch or two below Gyokuro Imperial.
This is a good gyokuro, no question there!
second infusion: I tried this round with cooler water (70C) and it was still a tad astringent, but very enjoyable. Astringency is obviously part of this tea’s personality!
We all know that I don’t normally drink straight green tea. If asked I would say that I like Chinese green better than Japanese green – but that’s more of an impression than actual comparisons. In truth I don’t think I’ve tried enough of either to REALLY know.
TheTeaFairy sent me a sample of this one. She sent me quite a few outside my comfort zone, and as always will at least give it a try.
This is not like any other Japanese green that I’ve tried. This is really neutral – nothing jumping out as offensive or over powering, on the other hand it’s not weak or watery. I have no idea what this is other than a pleasant light cup of tea. I went through 3 three cups pretty much before I knew what had happened. I don’t think I would keep this in my cupboard, but wouldn’t turn down a cup or two of it in the future.
Thanks TheTeaFairy for expanding my experiences, and perhaps chip away at my preconceived notions….
My after-lunch green today was the final pot of Tealux Fukamushi Sencha Kakegawa. The liquor was the characteristic viridescent green, and a bit richer and and darker than usual because I accidentally oversteeped. I looked at the clock thinking that I had set the timer and only one minute remained to wait. Then I went back to eating and noticed that one minute was taking a long time to elapse. Whoops—it was 1pm!
The brew was still good, albeit slightly bitter, and I have been happy with this sencha, though it is somewhat temperamental. I’ll probably be adding another envelope of this single-origin deep-steamed sencha to my shopping cart the next time I place an order chez Tealux. This is easily the most visually stunning sencha I’ve ever tried. Of course it also tastes good!
second infusion: for years I had no idea that green tea was multiply infusable. When I went to Japan I learned the truth, that one serving of leaves can last several pots! It’s hard to fathom the volume of good tea I have tossed out with only once-infused leaves! Well, what’s done is done, and at least I have now corrected the errors of my former ways. This second infusion of Fukamushi Sencha Kakegawa was totally delicious and just as viridescently beautiful as the first. The slight astringency of this tea is starting to grow on me…
third infusion: still going strong. Dare I try a fourth pot???
“Don’t let the Ginseng part keep you away from this if you’re not a fan, (coughDexter) this has nothing to do with regular ginseng oolong. If it wasn’t for its name, I wouldn’t even know it’s supposed to be there.”
That’s part of what TheTeaFairy wrote in her note about this tea yesterday. Hmmm I’m not sure we are drinking the same tea. In fairness, I’m not really sure what “ginseng” smells or tastes like – but there is something in here that is just screaming “spicy floral” – I’m assuming that’s the ginseng. I’ve had quite a few aged oolongs now and none of them had ‘that" smell/taste to them.
Sorry TheTeaFairy this just does not work for me. I screwed up my nose when the water first hit the leaves, screwed it up again when I removed the leaves, left it sitting on my desk for about 15 minutes and at that point thought “ok this is getting better as it cools” drank about half the cup and now a few minutes later it’s back with a vengeance. There is a brief moment at some temperature that this mellows but it’s short lived.
As always, thanks for the opportunity….
WOOHOO 1300 Tasting notes! – I feel like you guys should get achievements for still being here after all that rambling… :P
And another sipdown this weekend (232)- I’m definitely slowing down as a lot of my 1-cup samples have already been tasted. There’s 8 days left in the month so if I did 4 sipdowns a day I coudl easily make 200 teas for April, but I won’t. I just won’t. It’d reqcuire a carefully regimented schedule of what to drink and that’ll take all the fun out of everything! But I have ZERO orders incoming, and I even managed to go to DAVIDs today for tea filters without buying any tea.
I know, right? :O
This was a lovely sample sent over from MissB who got it from KittyLovesTea. That’s quite a journey for this sample! Over the Atlantic and back again and now it’s fairly close to where it was originally mailed from. I’m enjoying it, which is surprising, because rose tea makes me think gross perfume… It tastes like a nice sencha, with tart cranberries and a bit of floral rose to mix it up. It makes me think of spring!
I might not have gone out of my way to buy this, but I’m happy to have had it. I could see drinking this in the spring when I have the odd craving for it, but I wouldn’t want more than .5 oz!
Enjoying this tea as I settle in to study before my exam tomorrow. The creaminess will never get old. The black base is great, and of course the cream accentuates it wonderfully.
This morning was quite eventful. I have a psychology presentation and paper due the day I return from Jamaica, which meant I had to get my research done beforehand. The abundant time spent on planes will be perfect for preparing the actual paper and presentation. I decided to examine social influence in religion. And what better way to examine than to attend a meeting/service/mass? So that is what I did this morning. I may be a scientist, but that doesn’t stop me from having a curiosity about religion, and overall it was a fascinating experience.