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Recent Tasting Notes
I think I died and I am in heaven! This tea is outstanding!!!!!! This is a tea I will keep in my tea vault to be drank on very special days (or nights). I did compare it to eating some fresh fruit (plum was what I tasted).
Spent the entire day drinking steep after steep of my last! teaspoon! of! Golden! Monkey! Leaves!!!!!! Stellar, as usual. I think I would have been a major grump today if I didn’t have the monkey by my side.
I’m STILL on lockdown, but this tea is on my list of favorites. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
My tea word of the week must be penultimate – now I am drinking the next to the last serving of this (very, very beloved!) tea. I am going to miss this milky, chewy, gentle but flavorful, always right no matter what kind of mood you are in tea. I was kind of silly and soaked the leaves for 10 minutes for a 5th steep, I love it so much :) It was weak, but I still enjoyed its essence.
I’m still suffering from braindeadness but must review newly tried tea! Sadly, no Magnetic Poetry this time. I just consider myself lucky that I’m not drooling on my keyboard – anything more than that is pretty much a bonus.
I think I maybe have had one yellow tea before. (Very definitive, yes?) Considering that my brain isn’t working well enough to remember what I had for breakfast, there’s no way I can remember my impressions of the previous yellow I’ve had (or honestly, if I even have actually had one or just wanted to try one for long enough that now think I did). Regardless, it means I really have no idea what to expect from this tea other than something that is not quite a white but not quite a green.
The leaves look like dried Silver Needle. It’s simulatenously sad (because I do love the furry SN-type leaves) and nifty because they don’t look unhappy – just dehydrated. The smell (post-brewing) is like a sweet Chinese green. And oh, look at that! It tastes like a sweet Chinese green, too! A velvety, smooth, sweet Chinese green. There’s a little mineral-y taste that is similar (but much milder) to the salty taste I get from most Chinese greens but this also has a lovely little treat at the end of the sip – a bit of honey and maybe plum? Apricot? Something stonefruit-y. It’s sweet, but more fruit – or perhaps nectar – sweet than a more grass or vegetal sweet. There’s also a bit of an unexpected astringency that hits the middle of my tongue and makes my mouth water fairly pleasantly.
Considering that I couldn’t find the info sheet sophistre included in the teas she sent me (which means it wasn’t stapled to my head and I couldn’t manage to make the effort to look through the stuff on the kitchen table to find it) I think this turned out pretty nicely for guesstimating parameters. I don’t know how expensive it is, but assuming it’s not priced like titanium, I could see wanting to keep some of this around for the times that I crave something like a Chinese green (which always ends up being better in idea than in practice unless I have some sweeter, smoother greens on hand – this would fit nicely).
I really enjoyed it. I got the buttery green taste that the description hints at. I thought it had a unique flavor that is a little different from other Bai Mu Tan’s, so keep that in mind for what you’re looking to drink.
It struck me as very high quality, with a few of the complex flavors I’d expect from Silver Needles, but yet richer and deeper. It’s not as fruity as other white teas I’ve had — and that can be a good or bad thing, depending on your taste.
Also came with a bit of a punch of caffeine.
It was a pretty good representation of 1st Flush Darjeeling, hitting all the right notes. Rather astringent, but that’s exactly what comes with the territory.
Although it’s a “black tea”, there are some good hints that this is “oolong-ish” — which I think is nice trait in this first flush darjeeling. It has a bright color, light flavor, but a little bit drying aftertaste.
YUM! It’s a great pairing. I wouldn’t usually want to mix Silver Needles with anything, but this works.
It has this dry and clean taste, and I mean that in a very good way. The earthiness of the flowers really compliments with brightness of the tea. There is some depth in the tea, but it not overly complicated or picky. I usually shy away from floral teas, but this one keeps my attention more than others.
This is a weekend teas. When I have errands or work to do at home, I’ll brew up a big pot and drink it all.
The loose material this tisane is made up of is very colorful. Lots of rosehips, some chamomile and valerian root are the most prominent visuals here. The aroma however, is most heavily of chamomile with some light rose scent and a bit of fresh sweetness.
The liquor brews to a medium caramel with some dusting seeping through the infuser making the brew itself a bit cloudy at first. The aroma is light consisting primarily or chamomile. The rose scent is considerably lessened and the sweetness I noted in the dry aroma is also notably subdued.
The flavors are more astringent than I expected. There’s no drying of the tongue by a heavy chamomile presence linkers through an unusually long tailing finish. The softness of the rosehips is present, but none of the flavor.
This blend seems primarily of chamomile even if it’s only one of a number of ingredients. I would recommend this blend to fans of chamomile tea, mint tea and rose petal teas.
There is sweetness element to this, that seems to linger on the tongue for 5 to 10 seconds. This second steep is still quite pleasant and very smooth. It has not gotten bitter or astringent.
It’s 3:15pm and I’m just finishing up my “morning tea” – yes, it’s been one of those days! I picked a good one to have for a crazy day full of unreliable steeping times, and tea left to get lukewarm to cold. I’m drinking my third now ice cold steep right now and it’s still milky and tasty. Thank you monkey!!! I know I can turn to you once the semester really comes in full force and things are even crazier!
It’s very dry. I can taste a little bergamot but it’s mostly the rosy. It’s a very girlie tea – not enough Earl.
This tea, take 12. Okay, it’s more like take 3 but whatever. This time, I’m following JacquelineM’s suggestion of lower temp water. She recommended 195° but my Zojirushi was set on 208 and I was lazy so I did 208° → cup → pause → teapot. That leaves me a bit iffy on temperature but whatever it was totally worked because now the astringency that previously camped out on my tongue and did it’s best to turn into bitterness is now just a crisp dryness throughout the sip.
It’s still froufrou but better blended – I can almost actually pick up some bergamot! There’s a better balance of flavors and it seems a bit stronger. Well, stronger isn’t quite the right word because it is a soft tea, but it doesn’t seem like a weak third steep anymore.
I still can’t fully get behind this because I feel like it is still a bit heavy handed on the floral tastes but this is worlds more enjoyable than my previous additive-less cup so I’m giving the rating a nice bump.
Not all Golden Monkeys are created equal.
As much as I dog on Teavana’s — the price alone begs for minor mocking, even if you’re not snooty enough to sniff at the association to the store (really I think the eyeroll factor with Teavana, for me, comes from their desperate desire to portray tea as a magic bullet cure for zapping cake-fat off of our tushes or as an ambitious panacea for the unrealistic curing of any number of other ills) — I enjoyed it. (Woo! There’s a run-on sentence for you!) I said in my tasting note for it that I wouldn’t buy it again, and I haven’t, but I considered it more than once. It was the single bake-y-est tea I’ve ever had, and once I figured out that short steep times were its friend, I found it utterly craving-worthy, if only for the aroma alone. I preferred it to almost every other Golden Monkey that I’ve had since then, by a slim margin.
This tea is another outstanding Golden Monkey, but for different reasons. It has some of that bake-y quality to it — I find it very alluring; my palate interprets this in the same way that it does bread — but pairs it together with a profile that is irresistibly Yunnan. I have been plunging my nose into my cup in search of the proper analogy for the sweetness there, and coming up short. Sweet potato is not adequate, this time, nor is raisin. Perhaps if the two got together and produced delicious, delicious love-children? Who were actually made of bread?
The tea has a very thick feeling both in the mouth and after you swallow. I’ve found in the past that Golden Monkey is easy to screw up; steep it just 30 seconds too long, and something about it takes a turn for the strangely sour or the unbearably bitter. I think the lesser amount of malt in this (vs. the Teavana stuff I’ve been comparing it to) makes it a far more forgiving cup with a delectable, umami-savory quality.
Steep two was every bit as good, and the goodness sticks around long after the cup is cold. Steep 3 is incoming, and then I really ought to stop brewing black tea for the day, lest the top of my skull pop completely off. Whoo!
Definitely going to have to pick up some of this for my very own. Thanks Auggy!
Edit: What remains in my cup (there isn’t more than a hair of tea) smells, cooled down to utterly cold, distinctly of brown sugar and nothing else.
Bring on the carcinogens!
I love smoky tea. I really do. I love its moodiness and atmosphere.
When Auggy — through whose generosity I’m able to have this tea today — mentioned that she thought she might’ve zealously overpacked the tea in an effort to keep everything from smelling like Bohea, I was surprised; the only Bohea I have in my cabinet is certainly a very mildly smoky tea. I would debate its ability to contaminate other leaves too badly. Since I’d only just had my Bohea yesterday, I thought this would be a good place to start, since I’d be fresh for comparing the two.
I unwrapped the foil packet enclosing the plastic baggie and was hit with a wave of that familiar lapsang scent. The smell is quite strong! Not daunting for me, because…well, I love lapsang — as long as it avoids becoming acrid and tarry.
This one assuredly does. Freshly steeped, you can tell that the tea will be more mild than the scent of the dry leaves might suggest, but the tea doesn’t get ‘watery’ underneath the smoke, which is lovely. It brewed to a pretty golden-amber color. There is no astringency, but the tea feels rich and a little bit sweet when it sits on your tongue. After you swallow, the richness comes forward with the definite taste of wood — I assume that this is the oak mentioned in the description, as it’s more shadowy and less sap-like than some of the distinctly pine-like lapsangs I’ve tasted previously. It reminds me very much of visits to various reenactment villages along the New England coast on summer vacations with my family — Williamsburg particularly. There is something of the antique Colonial kitchen to the taste and the smell that makes me crave cured ham and apple cider.
Unrelated note, I think my ratings need overhauling again. Alas!
Also: I think I may have missed several HUNDRED tasting notes since my stepsis and mom came up to visit me a week ago. I will try to go through them, but am bound to miss a few. Apologies in advance!
Hmm….the pellets look like rabbit pellets. The blend contains licorice. But the licorice is not noticeable AT ALL. This is a mild oolong. Others have said it is woodsy. And it is. There is a vegetative aroma this tea. Smooth. Not bitter.BUT-not sure if I like this one personally. The woodsy flavor is sooo subtle….I just like my teas w/more flavors… So, I am thinking it is MEH…
I was fortunate enough to get a sample of this delightful tea from the magnificent RABS (thank you so much!). It was labelled an “8” out of a possible “8” in the Geek package and I’ve been holding off on trying the two remaining 8 teas for a very rainy day—or for one of those dark nights of the soul.
Today I decided to indulge myself and opened the delightful package. I love this tea. It’s not a simple rose tea nor is it a simple Earl Grey. It manages to surpass Earl Greyness by an abundant bergamot taste and the rose makes for a delightful adjunct—both visually and, more importantly, in terms of taste.
I highly recommend this and must order a full package. Great job, Teas, Etc. I’ve never had another tea like this so far and, in a world where copy-cat teas seem to be the rule, I really like this original.
Smoky but not too smoky. Subtle sweetness and a great way to start the day.
I had a sample of this and it was fantastic. One of the best black teas I’ve had in a while. Highly recommend trying it.
Tried a very short steep, with extra tea, and the result was much improved.
Not a fan of Jasmine Green Tea, but this was a very pleasant surprise. More floral then I expected, and very drinkable. I did notice the increased bitterness as it cooled, but it was never too bad.
Shorter steep. Sweeter flavor. Raised rating.
Yeah, I know this is a Steepsterite favorite, but I just don’t love it. Actually, I’m not sure how much I even really like it.
It is a pretty darn frou-frou cup of tea. I’m not against frou-frou or anything (hello, pink monkey) but it really seems like that is all this is. Predominately jasmine with a hint of rose, this isn’t very Earl Grey-y. In some ways it reminds me of Mariage Freres 1854 (another mild and jasmine-y EG) but in other ways… not so much. It doesn’t seem as full flavored as 1854; I think 1854 had a woodsier taste to it that gave it more depth, and depth is something I’m just not finding in this tea.
There is an astringency that has camped out on the tip of my tongue and refuses to leave. It is pretty much requiring that the next time I have this tea, there will be additives (which I have had it with before but was unable to give it my full attention). Though I am a little concerned about that though since this tea really doesn’t seem strong enough to hold up to creamer. I might end up with jasmine flavored hot milk.
As it cools, there are hints of Earl Grey, but it blends into the astringency at the end of the sip making this just taste a bit bitter. The EG does hint at a more solid tasting tea but it doesn’t save it from overall tasting like a weak third steep.
Eventually I suppose I’ll give this one another try to see if milk and possibly sugar saves this but I’m thinking that this one is just not a match for me.