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Recent Tasting Notes
Another from TeaNTees!
I didn’t even realize that The Persimmon Tree Tea Company offered a black lychee tea, but I was certainly excited to learn that they do and be able to try it. The last black lychee tea I fell in love with, The Tea of Kings, was from RiverTea so I can’t buy it anymore. I need a solid replacement.
My initial thoughts about this cold brew are that the flavor level of the lychee and black base are pretty equal, which is how I feel it should be. The black base is brisk, clean and full bodied with malty notes and slightly more floral notes. It reminds me vaguely of a high grown Ceylon? The lychee is juicy and realistic and doesn’t taste overly floral or chemical which is a trap that flavour often falls into with lower quality lychee teas. I taste the pear notes a little too, but they’re fairly flat and certainly not the focal point of the blend.
I don’t think this is my new lychee black to keep on hand, but it’s definitely one of the better ones I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Thank you TeaNTees!
[Backlog] – I really enjoy a rooibos tea blend, but I especially love one that has chamomile, too. Many of the chamomile blends that I’ve tried in the past have been mixed with strange herbs or things that I don’t like. I’m so pleased to see that this one has rooibos, chamomile, lemongrass, coconut, lavender and banana. That’s it! Nothing weird or funky here.
This blend is so delicious! I love the strong chamomile flavor, the banana (you can actually taste it!) and the sweet rooibos. I feel like I should mention that the chamomile is very bright and bold so if you’re not a fan, this blend likely isn’t for you. The chamomile, banana and rooibos blend so well together – sweet, soft and very comforting. I don’t taste a whole lot of coconut, but if I really look for it, I can find it in the background.
One thing this blend could do without is the rather soapy lavender. It’s not strong enough that I can’t finish the cup, but I think this blend would be better without it. Actually.. now that I’m thinking about it, that soapy note could be from a combination of the coconut and lavender. The rooibos is surprisingly a bit mild. It seems to hug the other flavors with its woody sweetness and doesn’t take over.
If you’re looking for a soothing and tasty blend, I highly recommend this one. It’s caffeine free so it can be had any time during the day or night!
When I think of “Gold” in relation to “Assam”, I’m usually thinking of “Golden Lion” varieties where the leaves really are golden-brown in colour, frequently accompanied by what I think of as “lots of golden dust”, a little like the grey/white dust that white tea sometimes exudes. This Assam clearly isn’t one of those – the leaves here are mostly a black/brown colour, with the odd golden-tipped leaf.
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/09/21/assam-gold-black-tea-persimmon-tree/
I wish I knew who gifted me this…
This was the tea that I cold brewed for the iced tea event that I attended last month. Not only is this tea balanced wonderfully, its cold steeped liquid is the second best cold tea I have ever had. The tea on its own is naturally sweet with a scent that is light enough to not be annoying, but fruity enough that the smell comes before the taste. This is the kind of tea that I will showcase during summer because its semi-juicy and sweet taste is perfect for when its hot outside.
First, my apologies to K S, who graciously shared a bit ages ago, and I have been remiss in expressing my thanks…because this is tasty! It also holds up well to mistreatment (the baggie got wedged behind a couple of tins and I didn’t know it was there).
I don’t do Darjeeling often, so when I do, I’m pleasantly surprised. This particular variety is one of the “grapiest” Darjeelings I’ve tried; after half a cup, my mouth feels like I’ve had fruit juice. It has a …mmm, not delicate, maybe elegant or refined personality and would, no doubt, taste better from Grandma’s teacups than my battered Tervis tumbler that has suddenly started to behave like a dribble glass.
Thanks for including this one in the sale, TheLastDodo! Coconut and banana sounds like an awesome dessert tea to me. It is! I’m definitely tasting hints of banana and coconut. Actual banana. At the top of the sip though, the chamomile has more of a plastic flavor to me than anything that should taste like chamomile which is too bad. Or maybe it’s the lavender or a combination of the two that tastes like plastic. But the rest of the flavors are enjoyable anyway. I could do without the lemongrass in this blend, but I can’t taste much of it anyway. Mostly it’s just sweet banana and the rooibos isn’t overpowering. A good blend!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons // few minutes after boiling // couple minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // few minutes
Another reviewer said that this is the much better version of that not so great teabag tea you grew up drinking, and that is spot on. This is a very smooth black tea. It’s sweet, malty, not overly tanniny, and generally a pleasant way to start a morning if you’re just looking for a caffeine boost from plain black tea that isn’t trying to be anything other than that.
I’ve had this tea for a while, and I think something was off with my set up, because every tea I tried had a weird soapy flavor that it no longer has. A friend stopped for the night at my place last night in the midst of his move to Boston and I offered tea. I took a chance on this instead of Yunnan White Jasmine (though I knew that would be a winner) because I wanted to show my guests an awesome unflavored tea, and I was hoping this would do.
Long story short, it was by far the best steeping I’ve gotten out of this tea, enough that I now feel comfortable giving it a relatively high rating.
For my future reference, I filled my travel gaiwan about a third full with leaves, heated water to 195 degrees and just kept brewing from the same kettle as it cooled. I started with a 5 seconds steep that was more of a rinse, and the flavor was barely there, just a hint of sweet florals. I had to coax my friend’s moving buddy to have a second cup, but after the second steep he kept holding out his cup for more! I also used the aroma cup set and it greatly enhanced the experience!
I increased my steeps by 5 seconds each time for a total of five steeps, the last of which was severly degraded, both in flavor and scent.
The second steep was much more nectar sweet and full of high florals and very strongly floral in the nose.
The third steep was even sweeter smelling, but the flavor was a little greener, with a little more body and a switch to a more stately rock sugar sweetness.
The fourth steep was when you could tell it was going down hill. The aroma cup was still full of sweet spring air, but the flavor was much flatter and a tad greener.
The last steep was a weaker version of the fourth steep in flavor and smell.
Overall, this is the best tea I’ve gotten for the amount I paid (50% off sale!) and I’m glad to have it in my cupboard!
Flavors: Floral, Sugar
Backlog from this crazy week…
I’m not going to rate this just yet, because I’m not confident yet in my home brewing setup, even though I have already had this twice.
Brewed gong fu style in my new lotus themed ru kiln travel set (which I absolutely adore, by the way). I used about two heaping teaspoons (around 3 g, maybe, my scale is for big things!), and I measure the gaiwan at 120 ml (4 oz) full up to the brim, but the cup only has 60 ml, and all but the first two steeps usually fit in it. The rinse tasted like minerally water, I think I steeped a total of 4 times starting with 10 seconds and going up 5 seconds each steep. The set keeps the tea really hot, so I had to wait a while to get any flavors out, but even then they were light. It was like very faintly floral hot water with unfiltered honey in it. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for plain sweet teas, but this one and the milk oolong I had last week just struck me a purely sweet, with not much else going on. I think I may actually be getting tired of unflavored oolongs, because that is like 90% of what I’ve been drinking lately.
Western style in my new tiny 6 oz yellow teacup that I got a goodwill (and there were two, so one for home and one for the office!). Two 3 minute steeps, the first of which was more honey and the second of which had a slightly stronger floral and less sweet flavor than when I brewed this tea gong fu.
I still think I’m doing something wrong with this tea. It may just be that I’m not in the mood?
First Sip Thought: “Camping night.”
Smell: Picture yourself outside on a chilly night surrounding a campfire with friends. Breathe in the air and you’ll get something similar to this tea’s scent. Much like a campfire, the smokiness aroma really hits you. It’s quite intense. I would recommend steeping this tea for the first time in an open area since the aroma may be overpowering compared to other teas you’re used to.
Taste: What makes this tea so unique is that the tea leaves have actually been smoked over pine needles. This is what gives it the very bold, but soothing, earthy flavour. The scent alone kept me away from trying this tea for a while probably because it was too heavy for my liking. I’m happy to say the tea itself is actually not bad. After steeping, you are left with a caramel brown type liquid. I have noticed that if you steep it a bit less, the woodsy flavour is more enjoyable as it is not has strong. A pine smoke flavour is quite predominant and I even get a hint of a bacon taste. I do not hate Lapsang Souchong but I think it would take some time before I can actually enjoy it as a beverage alone. What I do love is using Lapsang Souchong for baking or cooking! I think it has become one of my most favourite teas to use in the kitchen as I believe it is something easy to work with. I also imagine that is tea would be ideal for cheese pairing. Hello smoked cheddar…mmmmm. I had heard so much about this tea for a while that I just had to give it a try. I do not regret that I did. While this tea might not be for everyone I think it’s one that needs to be tried (at least once) by all.
First Sip Thought: “Less fennel more dandelion root, please.”
Smell: To put it simple, this tisane smells just what is is—seeds. The fennel seeds are quite strong in this aroma until you steep the tisane. Once steeped, the liquid is gold and the coriander seed scent begins to shine with a nice earthy aroma.
Taste: This tisane is a soothing and healing blend with citrusy notes. There is a mild spice kick during some sips but nothing too strong to be able to compare it to a chai. When I first requested this tisane I didn’t read the full list of ingredients until it came to my door. I saw organic dandelion root and got excited to order right away. I’m not a huge fan of fennel seeds and so I probably would have rated this tisane higher if it was without. I prepared this tea with no additives at first but tried it with some of The Persimmon Tree’s rock sugar the second time around and enjoyed it much better then as I felt the rock sugar helped control the overdose of fennel seeds I thought I was getting. However, the most prominent flavour in this blend for me was the coriander seed (the leaf of this seed’s plant is known as cilantro). All of the ingredients are organic and include health promoting properties especially when it comes to aiding in digestion to heal stomach pains. I would highly suggest this tisane as the perfect drink for after a large meal (ie. Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner) as it stays true to its name.
Brewed a cup of Green Caramel this morning. The dry leaf scent is sweet caramel and you can see the pieces of caramel mixed it. Brewed up, I was disappointed with the taste.. I felt that the rooibos taste came through much more than the caramel or green tea taste and threw off the balance.. This rates as a “meh..” on the taste-o-meter™.
Another vanilla infused tea, another note about how too much vanilla can overpower the tea flavor.
I’m glad they chose a green tea as a base, since I couldn’t really taste the green tea. It seems that a more robust base would hold up to a strong flavor like this. I also really couldn’t taste any of the anise flavor that was supposed to be in there. Don’t get me wrong – I like the tea. I love vanilla. I just kinda wanted something more complex from this cup.
This tea smells very interesting – nothing like I would have assumed honeysuckle puerh would smell like. The dry leaf scent is kinda like molasses. The tea brews up very dark and tastes syrupy, fighting between wet forest notes of shou with the bright floral notes. The resulting taste is thick and a little sweet. I think it would be a good first step for someone who wants to know about puerh without really diving into it.
Flavors: Forest Floor, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Sweet, Wet Earth
Yum, these tea leaves smell just like a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. It definitely makes a good cup of dessert tea. It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. I taste more mint than chocolate. It also leaves a bit of an Andies mint aftertaste. I like it!
Just looking at this tea brightened my day. My son and I spent over an hour dropping balls of tea into a cup, then pouring hot water over the top to make them bloom. My favorite part of the afternoon was watching him and the myriad of reactions he had as the tea blossomed. If he could talk he would probably tell you his favorite part of the afternoon was drinking the tea, he’s a bit of an addict, especially if the tea is sweet.
You can read the full review on my blog:
Sample from whatshesaid. Thank you!
I brewed 3/4 of a teaspoon in 4 oz of water (a splash of cold water, the rest boiling) for 3 min. This tastes really odd to me. It smells quite a bit like coconut, but it tastes more like hay with a metallic almost coconut flavor. I don’t think I’m much of a fan, although the aftertaste is better than the flavor itself. I love coconut, but unfortunately I have yet to find a coconut tea I really like. It may be like peach for me, I love the real thing so much that I’m really picky about artificial versions.
Another good, solid chai. The spices are fresh and easy to distinguish, and the Assam black tea still comes through. Both the tea and the spices are a little stronger than the ones in the Tealated Chai I drank yesterday, but it’s good. This chai compares very well to that one. So, all of a sudden I’m finding pretty great chais! And once again, no artificial or natural flavorings.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Tea