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Recent Tasting Notes
The small nuggets seem like a regular Jade Oolong. I opened the bag and it smelled very artificial, almost like cough syrup. I brewed western in my tea press. The leaves had a very nice expansion and all were mostly intact. They didn’t smell all that pleasant though. I could only describe it as cherry lipgloss on soggy cigarettes. The brew was a thick bright gold. the aroma was of red Gushers, which was kinda amusing. The flavor was very faint. It was mostly like drinking a regular Jade with a slight hint of neapolitan ice cream. I really am not one for flavored teas, but I tried it and its nothing special. It isn’t horrible either.
Flavors: Green, Rhubarb, Strawberry
this one came my way stephanie via terri. I was a little hesitant about drinking this one. Flowers and i don’t really get along….esp not rose. That being said, once this one is brewed, it’s much more tea than rose. Still though, not something i really need in my life, though i’m always happy to try out random teas haha :) thanks ladies!!
Don’t smell the wet leaves unless you like the smell of cigarettes. Yuck. Luckily the dry leaves smell good. Maybe I’m imagining it but I thought it smelled like a strawberry rollup. Light amber color. Flavor of strawberry, some floral accents and not a whole lot of oolong flavor. This is a hard flavor to mix into tea. My first steep was hot at 3 mins. Second steep cold still not getting much oolong flavor.
I tried a cup of this at my former roommate’s house and really enjoyed it! It literally tastes like a taffy-covered apple. At the beginning of the sip, I mostly notice a smooth, natural apple flavor that reminds me of a crisp, tart Granny Smith. In the aftertaste, there’s a wave of licorice sweetness. Another great option if you’re looking for a dessert tea with a white base!
Flavors: Apple, Licorice, Sweet
Cooking TTB #7
Wow I’m really powering through the TTB today but then it is the perfect weather day for sitting around the house with tea and a book. We don’t get much winter weather here in SoCal and it’s foggy, drizzly and about 12C outside today which is a nice change to the usual sunny skies. If you combine the weather with the fact that I’m about a quarter of the way through the fourth outlander novel, Drums of Autumn, and that this is the first free time I’ve had all week, it all combines to mean I’ll be creating a me sized dent on the couch today!!
This tea is delicious! It’s the perfect malty breakfast tea with a surprising and delicious touch of smokiness! Such an unassuming tea in its packet, I picked it it up on a whim because of the name and was very pleasently surprised by just how complex it actually was! Yum!
Thanks to Lala for the Apple Cider Spice experience! The leaf smells just like how its name suggests, although the spice aspect is fairly faint. You can tell that there is cinnamon in it but it melds into the acidic aroma of the cider. Once brewed, the cider really pops out. It smells like a Yankee candle in here. The spice is nearly absent in the flavour, as well, but I’m enjoying the cider note in this.
No bitterness or astringency to be had either. Thanks again, Lala!
Cooking TTB #13
Once again, I tried a tea without knowing what it was supposed to taste like and was left saying, “Seriously…what the heck?”
Now, if I was held at gunpoint and forced to give an answer to what this tea tastes like, I would have said a hot bath. I am well aware of the fact that I should not have tasted a hot bath before in order to even be able to compare a tea to a hot bath, but I’ll be damned if I could compare it to any other thing in this world. (For the record, I am now attributing said bath-like taste to the ginseng) It’s like when you eat something that tastes like horse (like pork chops—forgive me if you like pork chops)…only you’ve never eaten horse and what you really mean is that it tastes the way horses smell when they’re hanging out in a barn after racing….no? Am I the only person who totally associates smells with tastes? Those two senses sort of run on connected systems, so…I can’t be the only one.
Anyway, this tasted the way a hot bath smells when you don’t put any soap in and the water is all steamy. Yeah. So, this tea and I will probably never meet again, and that’s okay by me. But, I can appreciate its ability to give me a very strange sensory experience.
Cooking TTB #12
This was so cool because the flavor of this tea changed like three times just within one sip. It smells distinctly of strawberry and tastes quite fruit as it hits your tongue…but, then it goes straight oolong while it hangs out on your tongue..and then, oh joy!, the strawberry sweetness is there in a different way as you breathe in after you swallow. Lovely. I enjoyed this for sure. I’ll be keeping some more cup’s worth of this!
Cooking TTB #10
I didn’t expect this to be nearly as delicious as it was! I made it without reading anything about it and was pleasantly surprised at just how malty it was. I had it with some cookies after dinner, which was perfect. My coffee-drinking grandmother said it was so good that she’d even like a cup. So, because I am eagerly trying to get through as many samples as possible from the TTB before sending it on, I figured I’d give her my cup and get to try another tea! :) This makes me more curious to try other high-quality English Breakfast type teas since I’ve been generally avoiding them thinking they’d be pretty much all the same (shame on me). I’m also happy to have tried another new tea company!
This is my first time with mugicha, Japanese barley tea. I’ve read it’s a popular iced summer drink. I am drinking it hot and in the winter, so I suppose this’ll be different than the usual.
There’s a cereal this reminds me of… If you’ve been to the USA and have had Honey Smacks or Golden Crisp, I think those cereals are made from popped barley because the flavor and scent is just like this tisane.
The infusion here is a pale gold color, so I’ve definitely brewed this on the lighter side. I only used 3 oz of water, but I had a pretty small sample of it to try. It tastes malty, grain-like, roasted, slightly sweet. It’s very easy to drink. I really could see myself enjoying this more often. It reminds me of houjicha but with more maltiness and grain flavors.
A-OK by my book!
Flavors: Grain, Malt, Roasted Barley
Cooking TTB #14
This is such an interesting oolong! The leaves really do have a blueish cast and they are rolled into tight little pellets that look kind of like pebbles. The flavor is also unlike other oolongs that I’ve tried…no vegetal flavor or silky mouth feel. Instead it’s heavy on the ginseng with a lingering sweet licorice aftertaste. The re-steep was very similar. I’m glad I got to try this, but it’s not something I would reach for again.
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
When I saw this in the box, I wondered how similar it was to TeaVivre’s version and decided to try it so I could compare. Visually, it looks the same, just a plain green rolled oolong with small to medium pellets. Dry scent was very slightly strawberry, but I don’t expect anything to have much of a scent with the number of teas in this box.
The steeped tea smells like vegetal, slightly floral oolong and strawberry candy. Hm, this has very little strawberry flavor. I only get a small hint of fresh strawberry at the end of the sip. Most of it is just generic, slightly grassy green oolong. Luckily it’s not floral.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Grass, Strawberry, Sweet
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
Hooray, I got the box! And there are actually quite a few things I want to try, which is awesome. I’ve actually heard really good things about this tea, though for some reason it has barely any reviews, and a low rating? Weird. The leaves look nice enough, they’re black and quite thick and curly. There are a few blue flower buds mixed in as well. Dry scent is sweet blueberry jam.
Mm, the steeped tea smells very blueberry, and it’s actually quite convincing too. There’s that deep sweetness but also a little hint of tart that makes me picture fresh blueberries instead of jam. Hm, this is way too light on the blueberry for me. If I drink a blueberry-flavored tea, I want it to taste like blueberry. It mostly tastes like a somewhat woody base tea with a little bit of blueberry and a touch of floral. Meh!
Flavors: Blueberry, Floral, Jam, Wood
The ginseng and licorice don’t taste at all like ginseng and licorice, because they meld together to create something entirely new that is very pleasant. It has an aftertaste that leaves the mouth feeling smooth and cleansed.
I brewed this in my YiXing pot that I have seasoned with Blue Beauty Oolong. The cumulative taste has made it a wonderful choice for an YiXing pot.
Flavors: Licorice, Metallic, Stonefruits
I don’t believe this is something I requested in my swap with Inkling but I am so glad she included it because it’s great! When I read both “ginger” and “peach” in the description, I immediately thought this needed to be iced so I dumped the whole sample in my gravity steeper and started brewing. I actually wasn’t sure if this was for me but then I smelled the wet leaves and it was a noseful of peachy goodness.
When it came time for drinking the tea, I worried the base might take over but from the first sip, I am happy to announce that the mouth-watering peach smell translates perfectly into the taste. The base is incredibly smooth which allows the fuzzy peach-like flavor to shine all the while, a slight kick of ginger underlying the sip keeps things interesting. Once again Inkling has not only introduced me to a tasty tea but also a new company to explore. This is why I love swaps! Also, thank you Inkling for such a fantastic package :) 182.
From the Cooking TTB.
I’m glad I got a chance to try this, but this is not for me. On the first steep, the ginseng sweetness is a bit cloying, in the way that licorice often is, and masks the taste of the oolong. On the second steep of these leaves, the balance of flavours is better, but the oolong is very woody tasting. Probably my least favourite flavour profile for oolongs.
Ah well. I’m sure someone else will enjoy the rest of this sample more than me.
Flavors: Licorice, Sweet, Wood
Matronly, thin and disgusting.
Sounds more like a description of your mother in law than tea. However, this is not tea… its potpourri with some tea in it.
I do not like flavored teas, but felt obligated to try it as it was sent to me as part of my Steepster Select membership… which so far has yielded nothing I have enjoyed, but that’s a different story.
The reddish brown color of the cup is inviting, however the aromas of toffee, butterscotch and caramel remind me of walking by Garrett’s Popcorn in downtown Chicago around the holidays… which is not terrible at all, when that is where you smell it. The taste profile is better than the aroma, but not by much… sweet peppercorn and cardamom dominate, with hints of citrus (orange), which is supported by the coriander cinnamon notes and closes with a decent astringency, which may be its savior. The actual black tea flavors are all but completely washed away. Overall the mouth feel is thin and the finish, although lasting is a bit minty, soapy and disgusting… like the smell of one of those candle-potpourii-soap shops in a mall has been jellified and you brushed your teeth with it.
Now… with all of that being said, this is far less offensive than other flavored teas I have had, and I know that some people love it and I am not saying they are wrong for enjoying it (some people also like sangria over wine – cough)… this is just my opinion and an honest review of the product. Now if you will excuse me, I think my cats stole my yarn and I need to finish my knitting for the holidays. Here kitty kitty… haha
I can only second Teaman’s review. This isn’t quite what you expect of a Assam. The maltiness is there, but it’s smoother, with less bite, and for me more reminiscent of some Chinese blacks I’ve known and loved than the Assams I’ve tried. And I quite like it. Definitely one I’d order again.
This was the last of four Darjeeling 2nd Flushes sent me by a friend. We really loved a Giddapaphar Estate and Thurbo Estate, was less wild about the Oaks Estate. I’m afraid this belongs with the second group. It’s not bad—there’s nothing odd or off about it, but nothing that stands out either. In that regard its less distinguished than the Oaks Estate tea. It tastes to me like a generic second flush darjeeling. More medium-bodies and less oolong like than the spring flushes, pairs well with milk but still a good self-drinker, slightly astringent with that slightly fruity taste, but certainly not as honeyed as the Giddapaphar 2nd Flush. Drinkable and enjoyable.
We recently received a bunch of teas from a friend, including 5 different varieties of 2nd Flush Darjeelings, which are particular favorites of ours. This is the third we’ve tried and suffers in comparison. It’s not bad at all—nothing unpleasant, if rather strong, almost smokey for a darjeeling. It’s just we loved the Thurbo Estate and Giddapaphar Estate Darjeelings we tried and this didn’t impress us after two days in a row of teas we loved.