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Recent Tasting Notes
MY 100th TASTING NOTE! Cue the balloons and confetti.
For my 100th post, I chose a tea that I have never had before. I’ve kind of been avoiding Lapsang Souchong teas due to their smell. Not that the smell is offensive, I’ve just never been in the mood to drink them. The tea’s liquor is much lighter than I expected (even lighter than most black teas). I think I was expecting a tarry, murky, dark color to match the smell. Surprise #1. The tea smells like a campfire. Well, maybe not like a campfire per se…but it smells like your clothes after you have been close to a campfire. The 1st taste (the second it touches your tongue) is that of a smooth black tea. Then an overwhelming flavor of smoke and ash (and I mean that in the best of ways) takes over. The after taste is that of residual smoke and a very light sweetness. Odd and interesting. Surprise #2.
I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I’ll be open to try other LS in the future now that I’ve gotten the initial experience out of the way. I really do like the lingering taste. It’s not like cigar smoke that can hang on for a day or two. It’s like the aftertaste of a nice meal that involved eating smoked ham or something similar.
Now that the world of LS has been opened, it might be time to delve into pu-erh…maybe. Slowly.
Here’s to experiencing 100 more teas.
Have a new office hot water dispenser…it only hits 118 deg. F. Not hot enough for a good black tea (and the office microwave takes like 3 minutes to get the water any reasonbly hotter; I can’t be expected to wait another 3 minutes for tea, can I?). So, I tried going green with it. This is a green oolong that I purposefully oversteeped in deference to the cool water. Very good! Still brews pale and clear, but the flavor is intensely concentrated. Not so much of a floral overtone, but strong green vegetable, like asparagus or spinach. No it doesn’t taste like spinach…but the flavor is intense, concentrated like that.
I have some green tea that a friend brought back from mainland China…no idea what it is as the label is in Chinese…when it steeps, in unfurls to an actual twig with tips and one or two full leaves…this reminds me of that tea.
I got this as my sample from Teas. etc. when I ordered the assam that was the Select some time ago, and am only just now getting around to trying it. The leaves of this white tea are pretty crispy-crunchy and actually surprisingly green, which is a slight change from the silver needle and the Downy Sprout that I’ve gotten more accustomed to. There are still little white fuzzies, but they aren’t nearly so thick or prevalent here.
It still produces a very good cup of white tea. Not my favorite, but good. Once steeped, the tea feels exceptionally thick and heavy in the mouth. I’m not surprised that this white has a more ‘green’ and vegetal flavor than the other whites I have given the appearance of the leaves; I think it’s from this greenishness that the most notable quality of the tea stems. As I’ve been sipping I’ve been thinking, ‘salty’…but it’s not salty in a way that would compel me to describe the tea overall as salty…it just contains a note that seems to lean in that direction, which surprised me, as anything of the sort is notably absent in my other whites. Curious, I went and looked up their description of the tea, and it seems they’re characterizing this quality as ‘sweet cream butter’, which I think is probably reasonable…butter isn’t necessarily salty, but it does have some traces of that same aspect, and that must be what I’ve found here. The almost viscous heaviness of the tea seems to texturally underline that sweet-cream-butter description.
It’s pretty heavy for a cup of white tea. I don’t know that I would find myself craving this more than the flavor-saturated sweetness of the Downy Sprout I have. I’m glad that I have more sample left though. I think I’ll need to try it again to see whether or not it’ll grow on me or wear me out.
I selected this blend as my free sample from Teas Etc. and was very happy with the result. It’s a white tea, so the subtle flavor was to be expected, but the rose petals added a nice flowery bite, and the coconut added a sweetness to the flavor that made for a great mix of aromas and flavors that unfolds with each sip. A definite winner, with a great story that just adds to the experience.
I was in the mood for something fresh and citrus-y this morning, and this fits the bill nicely. The base is a lovely tea without the harsh qualities often used in flavored blends, and the peels give it just the perfect amount of sweet-tart sensation and aroma. Very nice blend.
This is my afternoon tea today. I have to say each time I try this it seems to taste better to me. Today it tasted better than I remember and I have bumped up the rating even higher.
The appearance of the dry leaf of this tea is nice with black and gold tips mixed in. After steeping 2 minutes, the flavor is smooth with no noticeable astringency. It is sweet and malty with fruit notes, offering a kind of caramel flavor about it. Yes I am seeing why this won an award. It is yummy! It’s gray outside but this tea is brightening things up inside.
Based on an ad I saw here on this forum and the fact that one of my all-time favorite assams was called Assam Special Reserve from teasource.com (which is no longer available apparently) I opted to order this up. This is actually my third time to use this tea, the first two I must not have been careful in my prep as I rushed off to work as I wasn’t that impressed. So to give it a more fair tasting this time, I measured up the qty of both leaf and water, then steeped carefully for 2 minutes at boiling. I added sweetener but kept the tea black (no dairy.)
The leaf in my purchased bag was mostly black leaf not as tippy as the picture suggests. Initial impressions of the flavor this time around is with moderate boldness, not sure how well it would work diluting with dairy. Flavor has an initial slight astringency that fades as a moderate maltiness appears and then grows stronger as it lingers on in the aftertaste. This was a bit of a surprise for me. I now have a much more favorable opinion of this tea this time. This is very good. I look forward to my next cup.
Enjoying a wonderful cup of this Pu’erh this morning. It’s not organic (I typically consume only organic foods and drinks), but, I haven’t found an organic Pu’erh that comes in the birds nest shape yet and I really like that special aspect of this tea (even if it has nothing to do with the flavor or quality….it still impacts the experience).
I read a few other tasting notes here and think that folks might be using too much of the tea. I use a Sorapot (newest coolest tea product I’ve purchased thanks to Steepster’s recommendation) and throw one nest in there unbroken. The first steeping is always my favorite as the color of the liquor is the beautiful rose pink (don’t over steep!). I then continue to steep another two or three mugs using the same nest (which is now broken up after the first steep) but only leave the water in the pot for about 30 seconds each time. These final steepings produce a much darker tea but it’s the perfect coffee substitute!
The tea has a nice rounded mouthfeel but it is definitely not too complex versus some of the other “rare” or “vintage” Pu’erhs I’ve tasted. If you’re looking for a first Pu’erh experience, this might be a good starting place. Just pay close attention to your steeping time of course.
I bought this tea at my health food store. The tea is in fine rolled pellets hence gunpowder. Its a very mild tea and I didn’t taste any smokiness which by the way I enjoy in tea. This tea was just bland to me. I have had Adagios gunpowder which I enjoyed because of the slight smoky flavor. The tea is organic but I really just did not enjoy this tea.
This Assam is more refined and easy going than its grizzly brethren while retaining a prototypical potency that comes through in a quite intelligent way.
While I do enjoy a healthy dose of barbarism in an Assam, sometimes a good game of chess is a better workout than splitting wood or powerlifting. I would know.
Aw man, last years harvest was soooooo much better. . . though this is still pretty good. What was once a galaxy of rich and complex flavors has been reduced to a veritable white dwarf, a shadow of its former glory.
The nebulous bouquet that was once prevalent throughout the entire cup is retained in merely the aftertaste of this new batch.
Every night, I used to drink this tea like it was the elixir of life, but, then they changed the ingredients and now it’s way too flowery and sweet to enjoy. And it used to knock me out at night but now it’s just a mild relaxer. I guess some will like it but I miss the old recipe from Teas Etc. Now what am I supposed to do with the 2 lbs. I ordered last fall?
Delivering mild elements of unripe stone fruit and honey, Teas Etc has taken what may have been a shallow and relatively uninspiring oolong and deftly rounded out its flavor profile with just the right amount of ginseng (and apparently licorice root powder)
I don’t often drink flavored teas but when I do I drink Ginseng Oolong.
Stay thirsty, my friends.
PS: Bust up the pebbles after they’ve steeped for a while for a MUCH headdier cup.
Great tea. But I disliked the first steep. Too bitter. I only steeped it for 2 minutes with boiling water. I then took a few sips, was unsatisfied, then poured it out. I then steep the tea a second time for 4 minutes with boiling water. I was much better but didn’t seem to have as much maltyness to it. Next time I’ll steep it for 5 minutes for the second steep. I think that would be fantastic.