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Recent Tasting Notes
First of all, thanks to Teavivre for the free sample of this tea! It was another first for me, as while I have had jasmine teas, none of them had been pearls. Also, my previous jasmine teas have been from one of three sources: Stash, Yamamotoyama, or at Chinese restaurants. Needless, to say, this was a bit different.
The first infusion was very interesting, with a very pleasing jasmine aroma. It was "softer " than other jasmines I’ve had, and was much better than the Yamamotoyama jasmine that I have. The taste was also much better than the Yamamotoyama, with less astringency and bitterness. This is probably due to using a higher quality tea, as the Yamamotoyama appears to use cheap left-overs. It is also interesting to note that after the infusion, the leaves still loosely resembled pearls, which was interesting.
The second infusion was generally a bit weaker, but with a few exceptions. First, the tea tasted more flowery and sweeter. Also, an aftertaste on the tip of the tongue and the roof the the mouth became apparent. Thus aftertaste was a touch metallic and/or mineral, but still a bit flowery, and was generally very interesting, as my other jasmine teas do not exhibit such a characteristic.
I over steeped the third infusion, and there was a touch of astringency, and it wasn’t as sweet as the previous infusion. The aftertaste also strengthened and became a touch bitter. The forth infusion was rather plain, and even the scent seemed lacking by this point. The sweetness had also all but disappeared, leaving very little in the way of taste.
All in all, it’s the best jasmine tea I’ve had in a while, and was very pleasant. It also lasted a bit longer than my Yamamotoyama jasmine, which was a pleasant surprise. Anyway, I’m actually considering purchasing some of this in the future, after my other jasmine stock runs out.
I finally realized how amazing this tea is, after accidentally letting it steep for 15 minutes. Even after all that time, the tea wasn’t astringent, it wasn’t bitter, and the taste still actually held a bit of sweetness! There is no way in Hell I’ll ever go back to bording old tea bags!
Regardless, this tea is also interesting because of how balanced the flavor is. The primary flavor is caramel, but it’s not as sickeningly sweet as caramel is when you eat it alone. The sweetness from the caramel does not overshadow the other flavors, and acts as I nice contrast. I am certainly going to buy more of this when my sample runs out.
I really felt like having strong tea today, so I let this steep extra long for maximum flavor (and caffeine). The only real change that I noticed is that the first cup isn’t as sweet as previously, but it is still exceptional. The caramel flavors are still present, but they are overwhelmed by the other flavors.
The second infusion was even better than usual, as the caramel flavor became much more prominent, and the tea had exactly the right amount of natural sweetness.
To be completely honest, I brewed my third cup, and forgot about it for several hours. Needless to say, it was rather cold when rediscovered. I didn’t want to waste it, so I cheated and put it in the microwave for 25 seconds to warm it back up. T?he result is tea that isn’t as sweet, and isn’t as flavorful as I expected, but it was still decent tea.
If I make another cup, I’ll tell you if the above was because of the microwave or if the tea was just starting to wear out.
Once again, thanks to Teavivre for this tea! I only used half of a packet the first time I had this tea, so this was finishing that off. Luckily, It’s been less than a week, so the tea has lost none of it’s flavor!
The first infusion was stronger than before, as I let it steep for a full five minutes. This resulted in a very dark color, but did not negatively impact the aroma or taste of the tea. The aroma was a intense, and the flavor was sweet with a hint of caramel. Clearly this tea is a cut above normal black teas, especially because I don’t need to sweeten it just to make it drinkable.
Something rather interesting happened as I reached tht end of the first cup. The tea had been a bit broken up, and there was quite a bit of tea dust at the bottom of the cup, which usually results in a very bitter taste. When I got to the bottom, the taste was initially a touch bitter, but with an aftertaste that was a bit like semi-sweet chocolate. Never had anything like that before.
After four infusions, this is what I’ve observed: The color of the tea has gone from a rather dark brwo, to an almost caramel color. The taste of the tea has become much sweeter, and the flavor is much more balanced. The sweetness mixes with the other mellower flavors very nicely, and creates a very pleasing cup of tea. Honestly, I’m rather glad that I have three more packets of this stuff.
Most of my experiences with black tea has been cheap bagged stuff from Stash, Lipton, or Twinings. This has resulted in a certain dislike of black teas as a category. This tea changed that.
After brewing the first infusion (and accidentally over-steeping it), I was left with a very interesting tea. The tea itself was a very dark red color, as is typical of black teas, and it had a very strong aroma that managed to smell pleasing to me despite my bias towards Oolongs and greens. MY first sip of the tea was actually amazing: Never had I ever had a black tea that was so smooth and well balanced that it didn’t require sugar to make it tolerable.
An added bonus of this tea is that it lasts a long time. I’m on my third infusion right now, and the tea is still rather dark. I expect to get around 8 infusions before it gives out. Also, the flavors of the tea mellow nicely, and this third infusion is even better than the first two infusions. I’ll edit this post later to include the late infusions.
Changed the rating to bring it into conformance with my new rating standard.
Wow! OK… I wasn’t really prepared to like this quite as much as I do. I thought… roselle = fancy name for hibiscus. But… even though roselle is a species of hibiscus, it doesn’t brew up tasting quite the same as the hibiscus I have known and disliked. This … actually tastes pretty darned good. Better than that, even.
Yes, roselle has a tartness to it that is very similar to hibiscus. In fact, someone “blind tasting” this tisane would likely note that tartness as a hibiscus flavor. But… it doesn’t have that same syrupy thickness that hibiscus usually has. And with that syrupy thickness, the tartness sort of clings to your palate and that’s what I don’t like. But with the roselle, it is much lighter and cleaner feeling. Very refreshing.
The blueberries are delicious in this… but what I really like is the black currant, which gives this kind of a wine-like taste … and makes me think that this would be AMAZING brewed with some mulling spices for a mulled wine-less.
Yes… it’s late. I’m creating weird names for brewed tisanes. I need to go to bed now.
Ugh, such a stressful day at work…so glad that it’s over…
Anyway, back to the tea, I needed something without too much caffeine, and I have quite a bit of this still sitting around, so why not? I filled up my tea ball a bit more than half way, and let it steep for 45 seconds in 175 degree water. The tea had a wonderful calming flowery aroma, which was just what I needed to unwind. The taste was reminiscent of smooth and delicate flowers, also great for unwinding, and the aftertaste lingered pleasantly on the roof of my mouth for about 40 seconds.
Also, the music I was listening to was a little piece by David Popper I heard on the radio while driving home. It’s called Gnomentanz, or Dance of the Gnomes in English.
To be completely honest, the 4 minute steep was completely accidental. I stared this tea while I made lunch, and forgot about it after I started to eat. Luckily, the results are in way unpleasant. To be completely honest, the only difference is that the flavors are more intense than usual. See my previous notes for more information, and I promise I’ll update this note if the tea deviates during later steepings.
Just to comment on this tea, the aftertaste lingers on the hard and soft palate of the mouth for a god thirty seconds. I don’t remember this lasting for so long last time I made this tea, but it rather pleasant, so I might brew the tea for this long again.
First of all, I have to thank Teavivre for sending me this sample. Secondly, this is my first white tea, so I was really excited to try this out.
After opening up the packages for this tea (it came in a Teavivre bag, with smaller sealed packages inside), I found a very interesting looking tea. All of the buds and some of the leaves of this tea still had some fuzz on them, which was rather quaint in my opinion. It also had a very pleasant aroma of spring wildflowers, if that makes sense.
The aroma of the first infusion was very delicate, with subtle flowery notes dominating vegetative undertones. The color of the tea was very light, so much so that it looks like the third of forth infusion of my sencha. The taste is much like the aroma: delicate. There are faint flowery tastes present, but they are very interesting. There is a faint aftertaste on your tongue and the roof of your mouth after you swallow, but it is kind of hard to describe. It actually reminds me a bit of the Wuyi yancha aftertaste…
Regardless, the tea very quickly loses its flavor, and only lasted three infusions, but that might be because I over-steeped the first infusion. Anothe thing to note is that i didi make a forth infusion, because the third had still been rather flavorful, but the forth was completely lacking in flavor, so I threw it out. Still, it was a rather excellent tea, one which I intend to keep on hand.
Changed rating to bring it in line with my new system of ratings :D
While I’m waiting for this to cool I am playing with my foil manicure stuff. So much fun! Here is how it is on my right hand right now: http://i.imgur.com/ff47d.jpg
After a failed flavored tea (having this happen a lot lately), I decided I wanted something subtle and well, natural.
This is getting up there in age, sadly. I do have the organic one to try still. I should do that next.
I think I am afraid of Dragonwell because it’s hard to know if you are doing it right till you can taste it. I feel like it’s way too easy to end up with something that tastes like nothing. Not this time!
I just love that nutty, slightly creamy/buttery flavor. And it’s full of it. Some notes of minerals and some sweetness and you are totally set.
I think having the temperature variable kettle has immensely helped me with teas like this.
Does anyone know, would something subtle like a Dragonwell do okay in a travel mug that keeps things hot for 5+ hours or will it likely ruin it? I feel an attachment coming on and I’ll need this in the morning again.
I have been craving Dragonwell so much lately. I’m going to blame a work test (100% aw yissss) so I came home last night and made myself a pot. And of course when I wanted to write the note, Steepster was misbehaving with the kettle so I completely forgot until now (blame a nap followed by the creation of these https://www.etsy.com/listing/112616805/candy-corn-white-chocolate-bark-set-of-2)
I only steeped it for a minute and I really wish I had for longer :( but that is okay, it was still tasty. I hadn’t had this in so long that when I’m describing it as chestnut in writing I realized I really didn’t remember what that actually tasted like. Still came through even with the lighter steep. There are definitely mineral notes too.
I need to get through this one and then also try the Dragonwell I bought for cheap at the international supermarket. I have a feeling this one will win out though, just in color alone it’s superior. And given I’ve had this for months now, that’s saying something I think.
I wasn’t a fan of this the first time I made it. I don’t know what it was, but it was just like it smelled delicious, but it was bland tasting.
Well, I tried again after I wanted some actual green tea, and the results were much better this time around. I absolutely love how the liquor smells, sweet and grassy. Reminds me of summer. The flavor is pretty much the same. It’s not the least bit astringent, and I like it. I’ve never had a Dragon Well before this, and while it’s probably not something I’d drink often, I definitely see myself using up this fantastic sample.
Thanks again to Angel for sending me this sample. So out of the packaging I notice a smell of a field. Hay, alfalfa, grass like you are in the country. Not a bad thing considering that I am surrounded by farmland at my house. The leaves look like blades of grass too. Now I must admit that Chinese greens have not been my thing in the past. I tried one before and didn’t think it was too good. So with that I just a bit pensive trying it. I also shared it with a co-worker because I knew if I let it sit in the french press….ho boy welcome to bitterness city. It brewed up a pale liquor. My co-worker said it smelled like chicken broth. MMM I got that too maybe a little nutty, however I thought noodles. Insert Kung Fu Panda!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY12ELBQhQ4&feature=related I do believe I had the noodle dream! Personally I like teas that have more body to them. So drinking a chinese green or a white tea I feel like there is something missing. Very good though.
There is only one middle eastern restaurant in town, and the food is decent, but they use waaaay to much raw garlic in their tzatziki. Coming back from lunch today I knew I needed a tea that would have a strong enough flavor to cut through the garlic, but also not clash too badly with it. Ginger might have worked, but I don’t have any gingery teas here. Then I thought of puerh, but again all of my puerhs are at home… until I remembered I had a few of these little tuochas stuck in a drawer.
Shu puerh, especially ones like this, are not my favorite. I mean, I don’t dislike the earthy, woody flavor, but it’s not really my favorite either. I talked about changing tastebuds yesterday, but my tastebuds have not changed favorably toward this tea. It’s still very earthy, sawdusty, woody, barn-y, and I still can’t taste any rose in it. Is it killing the garlic taste in my mouth? Kinda. But I still don’t know when I am going to get around to drinking the last two tuochas that I have. They’re just not really my kind of tea.
I don’t know why, but I still get nervous about pu-erhs. I’ve actually never had a bad experience with one—actually just the opposite with one, which I love—but all the same I worry that I will really dislike them based on stories I’ve read. Angel Chen offered to send me the plain ripened pu-erh in a sample but I opted for this rose one instead because I love rose-flavored things and even if this isn’t very rose flavored it was less intimidating. I also don’t have any kind of gong-fu setup, which I feel like I would prefer for most pu-erhs.
Anyway, I’m trying this one today! The little tuocha is cute witha small rose bud set in the bottom of it, and it smells earthy and a tiny bit fishy. I gave it a quick rinse and then steeped to the specified instructions on the package. The tuocha almost completely fell apart in that time, though there is a little lump in the center of my strainer still. The liquor is exceedingly dark brown, and it smells really earthy like a carpet of dried pine needles in the woods.
The flavor I’m getting while still very hot is that oaky, woody, a little sawdusty flavor I tasted in one of the other pu-erhs I’ve tried before. I read K S’s tasting note for this one that says leather, and when I think about it, yeah, it is a bit leathery. Really it’s a flavor/aroma that is deeply ingrained in my olfactory memory, the smell of wood stalls and fresh shavings and leather equiptment that comes from spending most of your childhood in horse stables. That’s not to say that this pu-erh actually smells or tastes like a stable, but rather a few individual components… luckily they’re pretty innocuous ones. There’s also a light sweetness that plays on the tongue toward the end of the sip. No rose here. It’s an interesting flavor, and not one I would want all the time, but very drinkable without any of those off-putting flavors and aromas that can sometimes show up in pu-erhs.
This was unusual but AWESOME…here’s why…
I’ve never had an oolong that was soaked in Honey and vacuumed packed (not sure if that is the proper packaging term in this specific case but there was NO air in the package whatsoever). When I opened it the hand rolled oolong leaves were sticky with the honey it was soaked in…much like the texture of a Granola Bar or Rice Krispy Treat.
Because of the leaves being soaked in honey it contributed to a bit of a texture in the tea after it was infused.
The oolong itself was awesome and the honey stickiness turned into flavor was a great addition. It was velvety smooth and florally-sweet-honey-esque. It was unlike anything I have ever tried before!
Really unique offering! So glad I had the chance to try it!!!
Bit of a backlog here… I tried this out for the first time on Saturday. My husband was good enough to drop it off to me at work. :) Again I was impressed with the way Teavivre packages their tea. Sure it isn’t eco friendly, but as LiberTEAS pointed out is sure is tea friendly! I’m sure I’ve had a Keemun before, but I don’t recall what I thought of them. But I’ll tell you I loved this. The smokey flavor that seemed to turn sweet as I finished my cup, was just awesome. Also I really liked that as my cup cooled the tea didn’t get bitter at all.
Yesterday I mixed in a little of Teavivre’s Yun Nan Dian Hong and wow! This was one of my better ideas when mixing teas. I think I might try it again today. :) I can see Teavivre is going to be very bad for my wallet!