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Recent Tasting Notes
Well after waiting for an eternity last night, my new game finally finished installing and I got to play with dinosaurs in ARK: Survival Evolved. Really though a lot of the game involved me dying in various embarrassing ways, since this game is hard survival and has a bit of a learning curve. Also there are dinosaurs, some of them are real jerks…especial packs of Compys and Dilophosaurus, and the occasional jerk Utahraptor that ‘clever girl’ed me. I am pleased that I managed to never starve to death or die from falling, though as in life my sense of direction is abysmal and I do get lost a lot. One time I got so lost trying to find my way back to my little base camp that I just gave up and wandered to a Spinosaurus to be eaten and re-spawned. Fun times!
Time once again to delve into my never ending backlog of tea notes with Tealyra’s Feng Shui Wellness, an herbal blend of Apple Pieces, Goji Berries, Dragonfruit, Nettle Leaves, Blackberry Leaves, Lemongrass, Orange Peel, Eucalyptus Leaves, Carrot Flakes, Natural Flavoring, Cornflower, and Marigold Flowers. Of all the various blends on Tealyra, I picked this one out because it had eucalyptus, I was having lung problems at the time and that stuff works wonders for me, but I wanted something sweet too, so this looked promising. The aroma of the unsteeped blend mixes cooling and sharp notes of eucalyptus with lemon, pepper, sweet apple, tropical dragonfruit, and the oh so wonderfully honey sweet note of goji berries. It is really quite sweet smelling while also being refreshing.
Giving this tea a steeping, the aroma is now very strong in the eucalyptus and lemon, along with strong herbaceous notes from the nettle, it smells green and fresh. Underneath the herbaceous notes are sweet tropical fruit and honey. The liquid smells a bit tart, it smells like there is hibiscus in here, but there was none in the ingredients…bit they also did not list the red peppercorn so I dunno. The pink coloring and tart notes make me raise an eyebrow, but there is also a good amount of tropical fruit and cooling eucalyptus with a strong citrus note.
The first thing I notice is the mild cooling effect from the eucalyptus, talk about a breath of fresh air, literally, it really does make my lungs happy. This tea is actually really tasty, strong notes of citrus and herbaceous green notes dance with goji berries and sweet yet tart dragon fruit and apple. There is definitely hibiscus in this blend, I taste it with its tart metallic tone, but it is mild so I don’t mind too much. I found this tea was also pretty good cold steeped, and is just best when it is slightly cool rather than hot.
Mmm, I forgot how much I loved this one. Almost a sip down for me, I have just enough left for a bowl brew. I’ll have to add this to my re-purchase list though. This is one of my favorite Jin Xuans. Not the creamy floral type ( à la Green Terrace) I love so much, but the delicious fruity style. Lots of tropical fruit notes swimming in a custard. So so good. Not my everyday preference but I certainly like it enough to keep on hand for times I crave this style.
Flavors: Butter, Custard, Fruit Punch, Mango, Pineapple, Tropical
Dry leaf aroma: Malty sweet with a hint of pipe tobacco.
Dry leaf appearance: https://www.instagram.com/p/_Jx6hglcJs/
Wet leaf aroma: Alfalfa.
Wet leaf appearance: https://www.instagram.com/p/_JyrcDFcLL/
Preparation: Brewed western style in a ceramic infuser mug.
First/only steeping: 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Pleasant malty molasses aroma with a beautiful sable liquor. While hot, the undertones are pure malt and molasses. This Assam definitely stays true to its bouquet! As the cup cools, a sugary astringent aftertaste develops.
This was a delightful Assam to start my day and I hope to be able to keep this one in stock, which is saying something for someone who has so much tea!
You may also read this review and see images on my blog, My Tea Life, at:
Flavors: Malt, Molasses, Sugar
“Gui Hua” is the enchanting aromatic tree that blooms multiple times in China, lovely apricot-peach floral fragrance from the tiny yellow flower is what is blended with this high quality oolong tea. Prepared in the traditional method of scenting tea, the Osmanthus (“Gui Hua” in Chinese) flowers are layered between fresh Camelia Sinensis leaves to absorb the complementary flavor. Sweet, “green”, and peachy, our Gui Hua Osmanthus Oolong is a traditional tea treat you won’t soon forget.
I love Tealyra’s (used to be Tealux) Gui Hua, it is pure, floral and sweet.
Flavors: Apricot, Osmanthus, Peach
I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad Tai Ping Hou Kui but does this tea live up to the Supreme added onto the name? I think not but still a good brew.
First I have to critique Tealyra’s instructions. Use 1 tsp of tea. Really???!! Like how do I get those massive straight leaves in a spoon? They need to revise this and change to weight measurement. Then to steep 2 – 3 min. I think that’s far to long for this tea. I brewed 1 min and even at that time some faint bitterness comes through.
I brewed this in my test tube gaiwan (Love that gaiwan!). 1 min and just eyeballed the amount. It’s fruity- something I always love about this type of tea. A bit vegetal, light sweetness, and a bit of bitterness creeping through. Unless, I need to revise my steeping method, I would say this is not a tea that is “Supreme”. It’s still a nice cup though.
Flavors: Fruity, Sweet, Vegetal
Sipdown. This is a good, reliable oolong that I wasn’t expecting to like nearly as much as I do. It’s more earthy and chocolatey than I normally look for in an oolong (or any tea, actually!) but as with my favorite greens it goes with almost any food and has a complex flavor that’s always interesting. It reminds me of a mixture of Yunnan and Da Hong Pao. Mom loves this one too and I would gladly get it again.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Floral, Honeysuckle, Roasted nuts, Wood
Had a cup of this earlier. I’ve never been a huge fan of dark oolongs, but either my tastes have changed or this is different from what I’ve had before. It’s very earthy and woody, with a roasty quality that reminds me of good black coffee. This cup was a little watery, so I may adjust next time, but I will be reaching for this a lot as the weather gets colder.
I just read a post in the disscusions that Tealux had changed their name to Tealyra. This package is labeled Tealyra, so I’m guessing this is the right tea to review this under, but I’m not 100%.
This is super bright green in the bag and turns into a really deep green color when mixed in water. There is a little bit of a bitter tang at the start of the sip, but it gets less as I continue to sip. It is really smooth, but doesn’t seem to have much of the matcha taste. It is a little grassy, a little floral, but just by a hint. This isn’t really doing it for me. There isn’t enough flavor happening for m taste.
Upon opening the packet I am met with a large leaf and floral blend, which was not quite as I imagined it somehow. I was expecting pieces of butterscotch in the blend to create the flavour, instead we have ‘natural flavours’ in their place to create a synthetic version. With that in mind I give it a sniff, and while it’s sweet (and again floral) it just is not butterscotch like. It does smell creamy and well it’s still a pleasant scent but not quite right.
This will be interesting! I put two teaspoons of leaf (as it’s large leaf) into my steeping mug with 90C water for roughly 3-4 minutes.
The resulting tea liquid is golden brown in colour and bares a sweet scent that actually does resemble butterscotch rather well. Less floral than it’s raw blend form but not as creamy or thick as actual butterscotch.
In terms of flavour this is very pleasant, a dark, toffee and treacle mix (without a lot of sweetness) with some creamy, floral undertones that linger in the after taste. It’s not bitter but I think the flavours would be enhanced a bit better with some sugar or honey, just to make it more butterscotch like. Even without anything extra it still does have a butterscotch essence and though it may not be perfect it’s still very well created.
As it cools it becomes creamier and a little thicker in the after taste, particularly the floral tones. At this point I can taste the white tea a little better and it’s also becoming increasingly dry.
For more information please view the SororiTEA Sisters post.
I had this gong-fu to help me wind down for the night. I ended up spilling the first gaiwan contents (and hot water) in my lap, so I had to remeasure out some more. This is a very neutral Shou. The brew isn’t anything to brag about, but it isn’t a poor quality brew either. The flavor is slightly musty with some decayed sour wood. The aroma is almost like cinnamon. This brew does lack a lot of flavor. The liquor is a deep thick crimson soup, but it tastes rather diminished. This helped wind me down (on the second attempt), and it gave me energy to search for another brew. I’m glad I got to try; because, I can now check another pu-erh off my list.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Decayed wood, Musty, Sour
Sipdown! Although I probably shouldn’t count it as I picked up more… a lot more in Tealux/Tealyra’s Halloween sale. But It’s not here yet so I’m marking it down.
This tea is honestly so damn good. Brown sugary sweet with notes of sweet potato, strawberry, apricot and malt. It really shines gongfu, but western brewed it does just fine too. If you haven’t tried this one yet, I definitely recommend picking up a bit to try. It’s one of the best teas I’ve had.
Flavors: Apricot, Brown Sugar, Malt, Strawberry, Sweet Potatoes
From the EU TTB
I’ve been wanting to try this tea for a while now, but I’ve not placed an order with Tealux in a while so it’s not happened. Thanks to the EU TTB, I now finally have the chance! The leaf here is rolled, and does have a dark black/purple appearance. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium golden brown, the scent rather charcoal-like.
To taste, I can immediately tell this one’s not for me. It’s very roasty, with that underlying metallic tang that I honestly can’t stand in oolongs. It reminds me of some of my early experiences with oolong, which almost put me off for good. I had hoped I’d get some of the cinnamon/plum notes this one reputedly has, but sadly not.
Still – another one crossed off the “to try” list.
White Comparison 8/17/15 Tea #3
Time to be honest: The first time I purchased yellow tea was 100% because it is not common.
This tea has an aroma that fills up the air and it’s kind of that funky ‘left around in the house wet green tea’ smell. The best part of this tea is that mouth feel that lingers for about 7-8 seconds and then fades after the last sip taken. Teas that give me a feeling, whether it be mental or physical, always makes me happy. The taste is like 25% dragonwell, 40% unique, 15% wild earth, and 20% random perception.; if that makes sense…
I’ve had two yellow teas of the same shape/color and they tasted like green tea left in a sock of mine from 1999 only to be brought out and steeped. This tea is not like that which brings me a lot of relief.
White Comparison 8/17/15 Tea #1
Tealyra, Tealux, TEA WHA???
These two companies be confusing me like Teabox and Golden Tips
Anyways: Ladies and Gentlemen, here is a fabulous pai mu tan!!!
While the color looks distant of being fresh, I assure you that the flavor with this on is there.
Hold on, why is this fabulous though… make it short for us please as we just worked all day.
Simply put: This tea gives you the integrity of that white tea taste but also includes a sweet finish; this is something I have not come across in a pai mu before and makes me quite happy. A white tea with a sweet finish that doesn’t have jasmine? This is a winner :)
I think that I might like medium roast oolongs. This one reminded me a lot of the Rou Gui Oolong-the smell had the roasted nuts character with a weird floral, vegetal background. The same is said after my first 15 second rinse, or brew, about six ounces of water at 190. It was vegetal to me, but very nutty and has a buttery yet dry sweetness like toffee. Light but so flavorful and lingering.
Steep two after about 30, then upped 45 seconds wasn’t as sweet as the first one, but had the same vegetal nut type character to me. It was a little bit saltier, but still buttery.
Number three, after a minute and seven seconds, it’s primarily floral. Still has the roasted nut character, but fainter. Much fainter yet very pleasant.
Number four..trying to gage how long I should steep it. Maybe two minutes. Quick sip after a minute and a half, and a light floral sweetness. Another sip after two minutes, and it taste like a roasted Tie Guan Yin. At two minutes and a whopping thirty seconds, it taste like water that was soaked with coconut skin without the meat-the the hairy shavings of the shell itself.
So, it’s official. I like medium roasted oolongs. I still love green oolongs, it’s just that in terms of flavor, it’s a random gamble as to whether they will have the full profile or just taste like flower water. When they do have the full profile, they are my utmost favorite. But as for the medium roasts, the ones that I had, they always have something to offer in terms of taste.They are my preference now, equal to a good green Tie Guan Yin, my #1. Thank you Liquid Proust for aiding me on my journey. Oolongs are now the type that I drink the most and would drink the most. There are still a few greens and blacks that will never get old on me, but oolongs are now teas that I can drink almost anytime.
Back to the tea itself, this one is really what I needed this morning. Very warm, comforting, and smoothly energizing. I wonder what a Shui Xian taste like now…
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Floral, Nuts, Roasted, Sweet, Toffee, Vegetal
Wow…this is by far one of my favorites that you’ve granted me, Liquid Proust. Rocks, leaves, cedar, and Fall are what I smell in the dry leaf. There was something familiar about this one, like one of the ones you made…I shall not tell.With the few near-five grams I had, there was a need to make it Gongfu. I brewed five ounces of water heated to 195 degrees approximate, and steeped only fifteen seconds. It was creamy feeling and roasted, with the notes presented in the previous review. Cedar was distinguishable as a flavor, crisp and fragrant, but warm, and somehow sweet with an iron bite which showed up more in the second 25 second steep. The mouthfeel was almost buttery, and very similar to a Tie Guan Yin, but closer to a jin xuan.
It was consistent in the third steep at 50 seconds, but was closer to roasted nuts. I can see why people describe this tea as having a “cinnamon” note. It doesn’t really taste like cinnamon itself, but it has a weird, spicy metallic character that is very similar.
On the Tour of Oolongs, this is by far one of my favorites. I can now say that it’s an Oolong that I definitely prefer, especially compared to a Bai Hoa and the Li Shan’s I’ve had. I like the woodiness of the Wu Yi’s I’ve had, but the problem is, well, they taste like wood which is something I don’t always want to have. The Li Shan’s are usually hit or miss: they either have a sweet, almost fruity character and buttery mouth feel with some sort of floral aspect that I LOVE, or they taste like flavorless water with a salty or buttery texture.
This tea fits all of my preferences. It’s crisp and deceives me into thinking that it’s lighter, but it is more complex and sophisticated than presented. There’s full range of flavor and it is sweet enough to be perfect on its own. This tea could really be brewed Gongfu or Western, but I personally think that it is sweeter and more nuanced Gongfu while Western would be more robust and maybe earthier. Officially one of the best teas I’ve had because of its sophistication in the guise of nutty simplicity. I’m not sure who I’d recommend this to. I really think that this one would apply to a pretty broad audience.
Flavors: Cedar, Cinnamon, Metallic, Nuts, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet