Teas Etc

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Bai Hao Silver Needle by Teas Etc
1828 tasting notes

I have been enjoying different teas this holiday season, especially white tea and puerh tea. I am finishing this sample from LittleMewBrew today, armed with having read the entire section on white teas in Michael Harney’s Guide to Tea this morning. The first time I had white tea, and the first cheap green tea for that matter, all I tasted was hot water. I am really glad I kept trying different ones and studied the tea so I can enjoy more and more.

This has nice flavor, a tiny bit of nuttiness like lightly toasted walnuts, and a bit of hay.

Thank you, C, for the tea!

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drank Bai Hao Silver Needle by Teas Etc
1828 tasting notes

I am not even close to being ready for Christmas, two gatherings this week, lots of cooking, and still shopping to do! We were gone for twelve hours yesterday shopping out of town. My back hurts from being hunched over all day making the remaining 62 cards out of 102 that I made for my husband to give at work. I seriously needed to relax tonight! I thought this silver needle tea sent to me so generously by ThePurrfectCup was just the thing, so I asked youngest to brew up a pot for me! I am so glad I did.

Pandora radio is serenading me with Chinese flute, the lights are out, the tree and candles are lit. Now I could fall asleep! But first I plan to enjoy this WHOLE POT of tea!

This is so smooth and soothing. One year ago I could not have appreciated something so light but now I find it a delight. The tea is naturally sweet and there is no bitterness at all, no drying of the tongue. There is a light nutty flavor hiding in there, no grassy taste, and not really buttery. Just a soft, lovely cup (or three) of tea. And I even have some leaves left for another cup or two later this week!

Thank you, C! :). You should be getting some tea from me any day now!

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drank Fig Formosa by Teas Etc
2479 tasting notes

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drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
902 tasting notes

JacquelineM sent me a little tin of this to try…thank you so much!!

It’s almost too pretty to brew. This is full of rose petals! Has a lovely rose and earl grey scent, with just a hint of jasmine.

In the brewed cup, though, that hint of jasmine becomes a whole heap o’ jasmine. There’s still some rose, and bergamot at the end of the sip, but there’s a whole heck of a lot of jasmine going on. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. See, me and jasmine…sometimes we just can’t be in the same room, and other days we’re best friends. Kind of like tweenage girls.

As it cools, there’s less up-front jasmine and more rose; bergamot is still playing the final fiddle. I’m thinking this is an Earl that’s just not for me. I’ll try it out again at a lower steep and see what happens.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Chunmee by Teas Etc
19 tasting notes

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drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
1828 tasting notes

Finished this sample up today! Shared a pot with a friend and it is just as delicate, just as girly as ever – and that was a good thing! I already had a tea to kick me into gear this morning, but now it was afternoon and I was ready for a gentle tea to enjoy this beautiful weather. This was a great tea for that. I really taste the jasmine in this one, but it is so nicely balanced with the rose and neither are cloying or artificial.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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drank Rosy Earl Grey by Teas Etc
1828 tasting notes

Another sample from JacquelineM! When I opened the container and saw the rose petals and smelled the aroma, I wanted a huge bowl of it to display as a decoration and scent the house – drinkable potpourri! Many Earl Grey teas scare me a little when dry because they can smell overpowering and that makes me think of industrial strength cleaners. This one, steeped, is delicate and a light amber color. The rose flavor is in the forefront and I think there is jasmine sweetening this as well? The bergamot is not strong at all. Although it was good plain, I think I liked it best with a tiny sprinkle of sugar. Thank you, J! A lovely tea to look at and to sip!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Very smooth. Working with this a bit more.

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drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
158 tasting notes

I think I may have decided that I just can’t rate pu’erh. This is one of those situations in which my rating system just does not hold up to practical use, because pu’erh still freaks me out enough that I can’t give it the rating that it deserves, and yet I like it enough to crave it on occasion, so I know that it’s good.

Strange, yes. Nonsensical, yes. It’s still true.

This is only the second pu’erh I have ever had. The other one in my cabinet (which is nearly gone now, astonishingly) is Samovar’s Maiden’s Ecstasy. I’d call this one — the Tuo-Cha — the milder of the two by far, though I’m not certain as to why that is. I think it seems to lack the degree of depth that the ME has, but it still produces a pitch-black cup of earthy, woody tea.

It’s important to note that it gave me one cup of earthy, woody tea. I admit I’m not certain how long I was supposed to be steeping the nest, but one four-minute steep in my 16oz cup sapped almost all of the color out of the leaves, and a subsequent cup at a longer steep time was so limp and watery that I just poured it out. I suppose with my other little nest I’ll probably cut back on the steep time of the first cup to see if I can stretch the leaves more for another punchy infusion.

The nests are adorable, too. So very very cute.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Madison Bartholemew

if you like the punchy ones the tuo cha from California tea house has a honey punch… I thought that was pretty neat!

sophistre

I’m not sure if I do or not, since I’m so intimidated by this type of tea, as of yet! I think I missed the depth of the other one I tried, though, for sure. The honey note sounds fantastic, though. I will look into giving it a try! Thanks for the recommendation. :)

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drank Assam Reserve by Teas Etc
221 tasting notes

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drank Dragonwell by Teas Etc
596 tasting notes

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drank Green YinZhen by Teas Etc
190 tasting notes

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drank Mango Nut by Teas Etc
111 tasting notes

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drank Bi Lo Chun Reserve by Teas Etc
5 tasting notes

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drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
19 tasting notes

I drop one in a 5oz Giawan.1-2 infusion 30sec. 3-4 1min. Seems to work for me. I think this way it isn’t over powering.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Pu'erh Tuo-Cha by Teas Etc
28 tasting notes

Dirty plant.

This is my first pu’erh. I didn’t prepare it, but I think it went something like 3 little nests for about 18oz water. I don’t know if the bundles were broken up. Should you break them up before you steep? Either way, this both smelled and tasted like dirty plant to me. Wait. I mean: “I detected earthy vegetal notes”. When I stared into my cup, it was dark. Almost an inky type of dark. A dirty dark. Should it look like that? Hmm. Maybe there were too many nests used? I think the tin says 1 nest for 2-3 cups of water. Do they mean 8oz measuring cups or 6oz standard drinking cups? Either way, I’m guessing too many nests. People like pu’erh, and I doubt it’s because it tastes like a dirty plant. I’ll have to play with this on my own. Stay tuned.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
teaplz

Yeah, definitely use one nest per cup! Maybe even a 12 oz. cup. I’ve never drank pu-erh in cake form (only loose), but it is pretty potent and a little goes a long way. :( Here’s hoping you can fix it to suit your tastes!

Laura

Ahhh, thank you teaplz!! So it was a case of over-nestatizing! I’ll have to try this again and see how it turn out. :)

LENA

LOL…I love how “dirty plant” turned into “earthy, vegetal notes”. People need to lighten up sometimes and realize that you can love tea without being snooty about it. Great post!

teaplz

Agreed, Lena! That part made me smile as well. And over-nestatizing is an awesome phrase. I’m trying to figure out how I can incorporate that into everyday conversation.

Laura

@LENA: haha! When I first started logging my teas I was so intimidated thinking that tea drinkers were mostly proper hoity-toits, but then I started reading everyone’s posts and got so excited that I didn’t have to rack my brain for all the technical sensory attribute jargon. thank you all for keeping it real! :D

@teaplz: Erm, yes. I tend to make up words as I go. :) Over-nestatizing: may also describe a talented robin’s abilities to build a mansion-like home, or one of those mothers who goes crazy and accessorizes her home with many toys and gadgets for her baby, only to find that it likes the cardboard boxes they came in waay more (true story).

fcmonroe

I love this review. It made my afternoon.

S

You are the best. Loved this post, and the comments :)

takgoti

Hee, awesome.

Oh, also, I do think that the cake/nests are supposed to be broken up, but I’m not sure where I’m pulling that information from source-wise.

Cofftea

Carolyn gave me a piece of pu erh cake and told me not to break it further as it would cause bitterness. Not sure if nests are the same way. As for ammount she also suggests 1g of tea/1oz of water.

Laura

@fcmonroe&shanti: aw, thanks guys. i appreciate you putting up with my ramblings.
@takgoti: yeah, i think i remember reading something about that, too! in fact i think it was an article steepster tweeted about a long time ago…
@cofftea: hmm. interesting. perhaps nests and cake are handled differently? or perhaps theres a bit of consumer preference involved? i’ll have to try both and see what happens. oh, and i’m going home and weighing my nests first thing! hooray for my new digital scale! :)

takgoti

@cofftea Was that raw pu-erh?

Cofftea

takgoti, yeah it was. Not sure if that’d make a difference since Carolyn’s preparation instructions were the same for cooked and raw- the only difference she suggested was to increase the steeping time starting w/ the 2nd infusion of the raw vs waiting til the flavor got weak for the cooked. I don’t really notice a difference not increasing the time though.

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drank Cherry Blossom by Teas Etc
239 tasting notes

My first foray into Roobios. The smell of this tea made me smile when I opened the package. Dried sour cherries, no mistaking it. I prepared a cup using the paper tea bags included with my order (handy things, may have to get some more). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had hopes based on the dry leaf smell. I wasn’t disappointed! Cherries and whip cream flavor…yumm!
I don’t know if this is related to Roobios, but shortly after drinkng it, I had a significant headache. Bears some testing.

RubySlipperLady

Sorry about the headache, that hasn’t ever happened for me. Hope it wasn’t related to the tea.

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drank Strawberry Seduction by Teas Etc
59 tasting notes

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drank Orange U Slim by Teas Etc
59 tasting notes

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drank Golden Monkey by Teas Etc
59 tasting notes

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