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Recent Tasting Notes
So, I actually put in the correct amount of leaf this time: 3 teaspoons instead of 1.5/2 teaspoons. Right away, I can tell a difference. It brewed up a lot darker in two minutes than it did the last time. The smell is rich, damp earth. I had a big dinner today so I am hoping that this will help settle my stomach. It is close to bedtime so I think I will probably only steep this one time tonight. If it is as good as it was last time, I will probably save the leaves to have with breakfast.
It tastes…smooth. There isn’t anything overwhelmingly amazing about it so far. I mean, it doesn’t taste like dirt and fish so that is a good thing. It is smooth and you can tell it is earthy.
I mean, I like it. It is mellow. The first steep is very mellow and smooth. I can feel my stomach settling down from our overly-sweet dinner (all we had was homemade apple crisp and homemade ice cream; it was delicious and rich).
I’ll end up drinking the rest of my cup tonight and I will probably steep more tomorrow to see if it develops. Then I can see if I really like the tea or not.
Edit: I think it is growing on me. The more I drink my mug, the more of it I want. Good sign!
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for the very generous samples
Ahhh…smooth luxury. This tea has absolutely no bitterness or artificial taste, it’s just simple, light, silky satisfaction. First, let me say that I love that this tea came individually packaged. I’m sure the intent is to ensure freshness, but I must admit, tearing into the pretty white packaging made me feel like I was opening a wee gift made especially for me. Perhaps that sounds delusional, but it’s the little things that can make a girl like me feel special : ) And what a gift this tea proved to be! My first brew had a faint natural aroma and flavor, somewhat akin to straw, which I surprisingly enjoyed. The second steeping was my favorite: absolutely flawless, smooth deliciousness, with no bitter aftertaste. The sheer number of infusions I get with this tea with more of maturation in flavor, rather than a loss of taste is astonishing. This is only the first of several teas sent to me from the generous Angel and Teavivre, but if the rest of the samples are even half as impressive, I will be placing my order with them by next week.
I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. It’s time to sit back and relax with a nice cup of tea. Lots of people have given these dragon pearls high marks, so I thought it would be an easy winner.
I used 5 pearls instead of the recommended 3-4 because I prefer strong tea to weak tea. Last thing I want is to brew up a new tea and then find that it tastes like barely flavored water. I’m really glad I added that extra pearl! The first cup was pretty calm. Light cocoa notes playing in a sunny field of Yunnan. Anything lighter than this and it probably would be barely flavored water.
The second steep was for 2 minutes, and it has a much richer and more developed flavor. There’s an added component of spiciness to this cup too. This is a much better tasting cuppa than the first. Let’s go for a third steep for 3 minutes. The spiciness has dissipated, but the Yunnan flavor is still going strong.
This is truly an excellent tea. It’s not bitter or astringent, and it’s put me in a better mood. The world just doesn’t seem as dreary when you’ve got a nice cup of tea in your hand.
I can’t be all poetic about the flavor, because I had a cold when I tried this tea. But it’s a keeper. To me, it was just a good solid black tea. Kind of like the Chinese Folgers of the tea world. I’m keeping it to drink straight and also to mix with other teas to stretch them out or if they have too much flavoring.
All I can tell you about my impressions of this tea is that it smelled just like asparagus to me, and it tasted like sweet asparagus when I drank it. I imagine if I hadn’t sweetened it, it would have had an entirely different flavor profile (unsweetened asparagus) but I don’t really think I’ll be experimenting. This will go on the swap list.
Let me start by saying Lapsang Souchong was my first experience with loose tea and it quickly became my favorite. I felt like I was drinking the whiskey of tea, it seemed to me the most masculine tea you could possibly drink (my friends would disagree with me). Over the last few years though I’ve been trying every new tea I can get my hands on and I haven’t had a lapsang souchong in about three years, which is a total crime.
First off the leaves are great quality with nice golden tips and there is a wonderful smokey smell that isn’t overpowering. Upon first taste I remember why I drank this tea so much in high school. This particular Lapsang blends the perfect amount of smoke with the high quality black tea, which lends it a slight dark chocolate taste. I’ve had a lot of Lapsang Souchong and most are smoked so heavily you feel like a 6am fireplace at the end of the cup but this tea is different. The smoke plays upon your tongue for a little bit but it doesn’t coat your mouth in a nasty ashy taste. A really wonderful tea and the perfect way to end the day.
Also want to add that this came in my gigantic sampler bag from Teavivre, thanks again!
I need your help. I know that Lapsang Souchong is the name of this tea. I also know that a lot of people refer to it as Lapsang. I’m writing a poem about lapsang… is it okay if I refer only to it as Lapsang, or should the Souchong fit its way into the beginning somewhere? I want to be correct.
Tea! Drinking this for a poem. I was SO glad I still had a bit of the sample so generously provided by Teavivre left – I needed the inspiration!
It’s a sweet lapsang. The smoke is mostly in the smell, whereas the tea itself tastes like sweet pine tar, especially as it cools. Steeped in tasting cup – rinse, 15, 25, added a pinch more leaves and then 45, 1 min and 1 min 30. The last three steeps were combined into a travel mug because I didn’t have the time to sit. It produced a wonderfully multilayered brew.
This was the final tea of tea party today, but I am posting it first because it is the easiest! One of the teas was a blend from two different companies that I put together, the first drink wasn’t a tea at all, but a spiced cider!
This was very good, and my guest enjoyed the jasmine flavor even though initially she was afraid it would be too floral for her from the aroma. I taste the green base in this one more than I do in the Dragon Pearls, and it is a more assertive base.
I was in the mood for a green tea this evening and I picked a good one. The dried leaf has a nice aroma but my spider senses tell me it’s the 2011 harvest. I have a Liu An Gua Pian that was sent from Anhui that looks much fresher. That tea is definitely this years harvest. This is still a very vibrant tea with a nice full flavor. This tea is also making me perspire on my forehead. I can feel the purifying effects of this lovely tea upon my body and mind.
I normally wouldn’t get a straight black tea but this got such great reviews i thought I would step out of my comfort zone.
And….it’s not bad, but it’s not great. I wonder if I used too much leaf. The site said 7g but maybe that was too much? My steepings were short but I’m still getting some astrigency. Getting some smokey flavor which is turn off for me.
I think people who really love black tea will like this, but as more of a green tea fiend, this is just so-so.
I had a bad first experience with Lapsang Souchong. It smelled like bacon and tasted like watered down burned bacon grease. That being said, I am a little nervous over this tea because the smell of the dried leaf came back to me very quickly. I brewed this for two minutes and it smells smokey. More like grillhouse smoker type of smoke and less campfire this time.
It isn’t bad. It isn’t what I was expecting either. Yes, it does taste like smoke but it also has a mild and barely detectable sweetness. But I mostly taste smoke and I’m not the biggest fan of that taste. It makes me feel better about Lapsang Souchong now and I know that the tea itself isn’t bad.
If you like lapsang souchong, I believe that you would really love this one. I’m not rating this one because it isn’t a bad tea. I’m just not overly fond of it.
I guess because of having to read about silver needle so much lately, I really started wanting some again. And like I said last time I broke out the Teavivre samples I need to a) drink the latest ones I got already and b) finish these already.
I still can’t get over how flavorful this tea is even after a minute. It’s so sweet, with notes of hay and flowers. It feels bright and fresh.
I have been feeling pretty meh lately about white teas, so I definitely needed this one back in my life. I’ve been having flavored ones of course but there’s just something about the pure flavor of silver needle that trumps them all when you drink one.
Also I just learned of the end-all of Gangnam Style parodies. Mitt Romney style: http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6830834/mitt-romney-style-gangnam-style-parody I think the shark has been jumped now.. (note I think there’s at least one f-bomb in there so just in case, here’s a warning, but it’s HILARIOUS)
Ohhh yessss. This is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s taken quite a bit of will power for me to wait making this again until I received my glass teapot from Teavivre. Well, it’s here now (came only yesterday) and I can wait no longer.
I can’t get over how much this makes me think of chocolate croissants with all the yeast, dark cocoa and buttery flavors I find in this tea from its dry state to the wet leaves and all the way into my cup.
On a whim I’ve decided to sweeten the second steep with a Splenda tablet to see how it goes. The tablets are supposed to be equal to 1tsp of sugar, and that’s half a sachet. I think it’s over-sweetened now, so if I want to sweeten it at all in the future I’ll have to try it with a half tsp of actual sugar. Not that it needs it. Just sometimes I feel like I want a little treat and sweet tea can often do the trick, know what I mean?
I know I have been absent for quite a while. September normally is one of the best if not the best surfing month of the year. And this one was of the best ever. So everything gets postponed. Sidetracked. Except for Tea. I drink it religiously. I just did not write about it. I have to tell you all about my first experience with this Sheng. I never brought a Pu-er to work before because quite frankly they can be wild. Normally it is an Oolong or a green for my 9pm tea. My friends and I enjoyed this. It provided superior flavor and mouth texture and an incredible buzz. I went to my GFs house with this feeling of utter calm and hightened state of well being. Then she gave me the soup made with black chicken, spinach and goji berries and ginseng and some other herbs. Three spoonfuls of the soup and I was sicker than sick. Apparently this is a no-no to combine a young Pu-er with what my friends call a “hot” soup. Not temperature wise but energy wise. OMG it was awful. FF to today I brewed this in my gaiwan and I lost count of the steeps. It started out slightly bitter with a golden hue and morphed into a sweeter liquid later with a flavor that seemed to linger. I feel the same euphoria as before only now I am wiser. I can only imagine how good this will be with aging.
Thanks, Bonnie, for the sample
Dry smell: This tea smells very sweet and lightly like a malty milk chocolate.
Wet smell: This tea smells very similar to the black dragon pearls. It has a nice but deep malty chocolate smell. It has more of a cocoa scent when it is wet.
Taste: This tea is really good. It does remind me a lot of the black dragon pearls. It has a really deep cocoa flavor. There is a difference though, it has a kind of a sweet, starchy floral taste. It has a nice deep flavor.
It is a cold and rainy day today, so I decided to break out my flavored milk oolong that Teavivre generously sent me to try. Now, I do have to confess that I have had it at least one time before and I just forgot to log it. I also figured that it would be good to review this after I drank the regular milk oolong.
I tossed about 4 teaspoons into my french press this time. I normally brew about 3 teaspoons at a time, but I had a little extra fall when I was shaking out the packet. So I will actually try to steep this tea to death this time because of the slight extra I used. I don’t want to waste any.
So far, the first steep at 2 minutes is very smooth. It has a slight milky scent and is creamy on the tongue. Because it is flavored, the milky quality is upped to the point where I can almost smell warm milk. There is no mineral taste at all yet. It is all satin on the tongue.
Second Steep at about 2 and a half minutes. I noticed that the liquor was a bright golden and it smelled ready, so I stopped it there instead of going onto three minutes. The smell is divine! It smells even better than the first steep. The leaves were opening up more and I can see that the leaves are going to be huge. They still aren’t fully open yet. The taste is still creamy smooth. There is a hint of floral riding with the taste now and a slight caramel hint. It is present enough to make my tastebuds register it as a sweet taste. Not overly sweet, but sweet enough. So second steep, nice and sweet.
Third Steep is even more golden in color than the second steep! Wow. And it has only been for brewing for three minutes now. It is starting to smell wonderfully buttery and I am restraining burying my nose deep into my cup. It now tastes sweet. The sweetness was creeping up in the second steep, but this steep is starting to taste like I put a little agave syrup in it. Not sugar sweet, but agave sweet. It is two distinct sweet tastes. The milky taste is starting to turn and starting to taste creamy instead of milky. There is still no mineral taste like there is in the regular milk oolong. There is a slight taste of green in there because of the oolong base, but no minerals.
It is time for the Fourth Steep! I swear, this tea is like honey dripping out of my french press. Warm and creamy scent to the nose still. I steeped it about 3.5 minutes. The silky smooth taste has drifted from milky to creamy. It is not as sweet as the third steep, but you can tell that it is much sweeter than the first and second steeps. I feel almost like I am drinking a dessert tea. The flavor is not waning at all yet. I am starting to get a hint of butter on the right tip of my tongue. Just a hint. Other than that it is all golden smooth cream. I am still not tired of the flavor yet.
I’m going to pause for a moment before the fifth steep and think about how I have taken one thing of tea from breakfast until dinner and probably one more drink after dinner if the flavor is still strong enough on this steep. Brewed this one for a whole four minutes. It is still as golden as it ever was. It is beautiful. It smells like butter to me now. No more milk, no more cream. Just butter. Wow, just wow. It tastes like cream. Thick and sweet cream. Five steeps in and it still tastes like this. I’m blown away.
I took a shower and decided that I at least needed to go onto the sixth steep. So now I smell like lavender and the tea still smells like butter. This one sat for four and a half minutes. It is starting to develop a very light mineral smell. I think the green oolong might finally be showing its head through the flavor. The flavor is definitely a little lighter on this steep. There is a lot less of a creamy mouthfeel in this steep than was present in the last steep. The flavor is still present but has developed into butter that you can taste best on the back and sides of your tongue. It is still sweet though.
I am stopping at the sixth steep even though I think the flavor could carry you through at least one more steep. The flavor profile is weakening and I think the next steeps will be weaker and weaker. That being said, every steep I made was like steeping enough for two cups so I got at least 12 cups of tea out of this. That is a lot of tea!
I now know why people really like milk oolongs. They are light and sweet. I think I may have found a new favorite type of tea besides Earl Grey. I am delighted that Teavivre let me try and enjoy this tea.
Thanks for being patient with my tea review for today. Next time I do a big one like this, I’m putting it in a notebook first. I didn’t expect to go through six steepings of this wonderful tea!
This was a free sample included in one of my latest Teavivre orders.
I made three steeps in a row and tasted a sip of the first, then poured all three steeps into my new Chinese pot. But, OOPS! I didn’t look at the online instructions so I just used one heaping teaspoon of leaf for eight ounces of water. Now I see that they recommend much more than that. In spite of that foul up on my part, this is good tea!
I am feeling philosophical tonight and have a lot on my mind, so I lit the candle, turned on yoga radio on Pandora, and made tea. This is a great tea for such an evening. Now everyone else is abed and I more or less have the house to myself!
This oolong is rich and nutty. It doesn’t have quite as dark and roasted flavor as some oolongs, but is definitely not a green oolong. I really want to learn more about tea – the types of plants, their geographical origins and specialities. I feel inept describing this, but I can say it reminds me of a Monkey Picked TieGuanYin a bit, with the flavor leaning a bit more to walnut. There is a lovely lingering aftertaste that I find comforting.
The rice pattern Chinese pot I bought for $5 (for the whole set of pot and five cups) is handling beautifully, too. This is my inaugural use of it and I have never had a pot with the spout that goes up and then curls back downward, though I have heard they are supposed to drip less. This one pours nicely and the downward turn seems to slow the tea so you don’t splash without slowing to the point of impatience, which is how with one of my pots I end up tipping it too far to speed things up and end up spilling out of the lid. And indeed, I have not seen any dripping. So hooray for that! I needed to try it out tonight because someone is coming for tea tomorrow and I wanted to give it a test drive before using it then.
Now I’ll be honest: I wasn’t interested in this tea, but it came as part of the oolong sampler so I figured I’d at least give it a try. Then I read the reviews here and I’ve decided it will be the tea to christen the new tiny glass teapot from my second Teavivre order that just arrived this morning!
I’m using 3.5g (half the sample pack)—that’s the same as my 1.5tsp tea scoop—for 200ml of boiling water. Steeps are 1, 2, and 3 minutes.
1st steep: Dry it is blue-green pellets with yellow flecks and more resembles small powder-coated rocks than it does tea. It has a sugary wet scent paired with straw. The wet leaf looks more crumpled than anything else after this first steep and smells of toast and well-cooked vegetables (spinach and green beans) with the same sweetness as when dry. Poured out it’s a light golden color. On the first sip I notice an acidity then astringency. On the second sip a sweet taste is added. I can taste toast, seaweed, and a sweetness like sugar cane. Then something remarkable happens: the sweetness starts moving around. It starts by feeling like a vapor that fills my mouth and then it dives to coat my mouth under my tongue! Does any of this sound bad to you? I can’t believe my first prejudiced thoughts about this tea were so wrong!
2nd steep: The leaves look like they could still handle a good bit more; they’re not fully opened for the most part, and the ones that have opened more are still very wrinkly. I don’t notice the toast scent in the wet leaf this time, but I get plenty of sweet well-cooked/roasted vegetables. This cup is more honey coloured, and I also don’t think I’m getting the toast here either. The acidity and astringency is the same, but then the sweetness takes away from that and is actually thicker! After each sip the sweetness becomes thick and honestly juicy right on the tip of my tongue! I’m going to run to the kitchen now to make the third steep….
3rd steep: I may have just been able to detect the toast scent in the wet leaf this time. Now I’m noticing that the acidity and astringency are stronger, but then they’re cut by that delicious, juicy sweetness. All three keep returning, taking turns almost for the attention, but the sugar cane flavor (and the thick feel it gives) wins out, lasting long after each sip.
I’m so glad I got to try this, and also that I can steep all of the oolongs in my new glass teapot where there is more than enough room for them to open out. I think I can safely say that this is my favorite oolong so far, not just because of how it dashed my prejudices for the better, but also because the flavor and sensation of drinking this tea are just so good. If you’re not sure about this one, then trust me: forget about not knowing if you’ll like ginseng… just try this tea!
Forgot to log this from this weekend. Thank you to Michelle for this sample, it was on my shopping list so yay! Been awhile since I’ve had Lapsang Souchong but tis the season, happy first day of October! I only had a few sips of the first three infusions, as I poured this as an offering during a healing rite Saturday night. Between the peat moss incense and this the house was filled with lovely smokey smells.
After the ritual I indulged in a few mugs of this and it was perfect, still smokey but in a lighter, cooler, sweeter way, which is how I like it. Actually I’m not surprised this is a Wuyi. Will be coming back to this soon and will log the first infusions as I burnt my tongue on this in the kitchen trying to sneak a taste.
This is like an instant-calm potion. I take a sip and I can just feel myself relax. It is tea like this that makes me wish I either had a fantastic thermos bottle to bring hot water down with me or an electric kettle that I can keep in my room.
I will be surprised if I drink another tea today. I might bring this one through lots of steepings from now until bedtime.
This smells so buttery – really like buttered popcorn.
This has a nice balance of floral orchid notes to the butteriness. I got to this when it was cold so I might have missed out on some of the flavors.
I think I steeped this for closer to three minutes rather than two. It had a strong vegetal taste verging on bitter. Still not bad. Not my favorite oolong, but not bad either. I think I like this one better than Teavivre’s plain milk oolong.