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Recent Tasting Notes
So this is a SIPDOWN! I’ve been sipping teas down like crazy recently, and replenishing my little tins with new ones, the ones that have been sitting in a tote waiting for their turn…
Also, the weekend that was supposed to be off, the weekend I thought would be my New Teas and a Bazillion Tasting Notes weekend – and the weekend that JUST passed, was spent mostly at work instead. Oh well, that only means there will be more money next paycheck FOR TEAS, right?
I am now taking a break from spring cleaning of my clothes wardrobe & totes (daunting task!) and making a list of teas that I want to send in a swap…
And yes, the tea is really good. It resteeps nicely up to 3 times western-style. It seems to taste more flowery than vegetal this time around. And I absolutely love the leaves of this oolong, they are always almost neon green. Even more so after they are steeped.
I got a sample of this with the samples I bought for their out-of-business sale. I don’t know what trying them was going to do! Ah well. This has to be one of the best ceylons out there. It’s more like a lighter Laoshan Black! Very similar flavor profiles. A bit malty, chocolatey, sweet potatoey… not a tough black tea. Very tasty… but again, because it is like Laoshan Black and a Ceylon… it’s still not really a favorite black tea. The second cup was boring, even though the first cup was steeped at a lower temp. Not enough flavor! hmm. I’m happy Vikings is back! Adagio Rollo and Floki blends need to happen!
Thanks to Kat_Maria for a sample of this in our swap! I can’t figure out dan cong oolongs. I know they’re supposed to have some kind of fruity taste, but all I can taste is a robustness that reminds me of English Breakfast teas and some pepperiness. Well, even if my taste buds are broken, I really enjoyed this tea. I think it would be nice for mornings when I don’t want a black tea, but still want something strong.
Apparently, I have never reviewed this tea before. It’s good I caught that fact since I only have a single-serving of it left now.
Right this moment I am squeezing (metaphorically!) a third steeping out of it. It has a divine vegetal-floral aroma and tastes like some milk-textured vegetable drink. I detect a lot of oolongy sweetness that I have learned to love. But yeah, it makes me feel like a goat eating a bouquet of flowers and broccoli-asparagus-celery medley. I never would have thought I would dig such a combination but I do.
It is my first Ti Kuan Yin Oolong (at least first that I am aware of) but it is difficult for me to predict if I am going to like this kind or if it is going to be one of my favorites simply because there are SO MANY TYPES of it. The one I got from thepuriTea seems to be on a very, very green, non-roasted side. I have some other TKYs waiting for me in the queue: the sample of Yezi’s Master Grade and Life in a Teacup’s Roasted one… Perhaps more than that (I’ve kinda lost track…). I am looking forward to trying them and figuring out the convergent points that make a TKY what it is.
It’s sad when you discover a tea you really like and then the company discontinues it, or in this case the company goes out of business!
I haven’t had this in a while because I’ve been hoarding it a bit. The sweetness of the golden yunnan mixes so well with the natural jasmine. I really don’t like jasmine teas that are overly perfume-y and drying. This hits the sweet spot for me. A nice, gentle way to wake up!
This is a sipdown. Goodbye, Assam.
It’s a good morning tea but not overtly exciting. Something you can drink while you try to figure out your plans for the day.
The only other Assam I’ve had is Butiki’s Caramel Vanilla Assam which was heaven. If I ever crave Assam, that’s what I am going to get… I am not sure if I would ever crave it straight, though.
This is another bilochun style black it has loosely curled black nuggets with prominent golden tips. It smells of smokey cocoa. Taste wise it is closer to Teavivre’s black dragon pearls than my other bilochun style black tea from Zen Teahttp://steepster.com/yyz/posts/225415. With Teavivres tea having a slightlier creamy texture and taste. I actually prefer this one though.
I steeped this tea 4 times ( 60, 80,110,300s). I found it a little less resilient than zen’s Phoenix Pearls.
The scent is smokey, with cocoa, honey and light nutty notes. It brews to a coppery maple colour.
It tastes of light smoke with a cocoa mole sauce note with later steeps referencing a hint f the flavour of Chile. The cocoa smoke lies over citrusy malt tones and a touch of honey. Later steeps release a light nutty tone as well. Overall a nice savoury, cocoa noted tea.
This is one amazing tea! The cutest little nuggets of Yunnan tea you’ll ever find. A beautiful golden brown tea soup. Sweet malty sips of deliciousness. Gorgeous dark full leaves after the steep. Amazing staying power – I enjoyed four steeps this morning.
I am reminded of just how much I’ll miss thepuritea and how “smart” I was to stock up during their final clearance sale!
It seems like the Wuyi oolongs do not excite me very much. This is definitely better than an average wuyi though. The initial note I get is roasted rice, but then some flowery sweetness kicks in. Okay for a nice afternoon but ultimately nothing to write home about.
Sweet, cute pearls! I love how they look :) The infusion I got is less ruby-red than what I’m used to with Chinese blacks, it looks more like a darjeeling. The smell makes me think of milk chocolate and molasses. It is very smooth and silky sipping experience. The flavor is extremely mild and there’s next to no bitterness. It is really odd because, while I am used to a greater complexity of the flavor in Chinese black teas, this tea has a lot of depth, or body, to it nevertheless.
ThepuriTea, why did you leave us when we are just getting into your teas???
This is the first time I drink this and I absolutely love it. I generally prefer green oolongs, but this is fantastic! Smells just pleasant and uneventful kind of grassy but the flavor… At first I taste sweetness of ripe fruit, then the buttery milkness kicks in in order to be replaced by flowery-perfumey notes that abruptly end with a mild vegetal aftertaste. I don’t remember when I’ve had a tea this complex, even though I have had a ton of marvellous teas in the past few weeks.
I feel so bad about not having included at least 2 servings of this in the Traveling Tea Box… It was on my list but ultimately it did not make the cut. It’s plain wonderful and I can only hope that Dan Congs from other places will be able to replace this one for me.
Flavors: Butter, Flowers
As I went to research information on this tea for review purposes, I discovered to my dismay that thepuriTea actually closed, as of December 31, 2013. However, I already had in my possession a sample of these intriguing tea pearls, and it was decided that the review should continue – thank you, Terri HarpLady for the sample. (When have defunct tea companies ever stopped me, before?)
Instructions for steeping this pearl tea involve six pearls, eight ounces of just-boiled water, and three minutes of steeping time. Just before dropping them in my mug and dousing them with water, I inhale the aroma of the dried tea…not too strong with just a touch of maltiness, somewhat like an Assam. Into the cup goes the tea and water, and my timer is set for three minutes.
Contemplating the myriad varieties of tea, which are formed into pearls, I have often wondered how many of those are just gimmicks (due to their form). I have tried jasmine green tea in pearl-form and loose-form, yet one was only better than the other based on the quality of the tea and not the manner in which it was packed. I could make a comparison to loose versus compressed pu’erh, but the reasons for one over the other, there, are far different than for most green and black teas.
My three minutes are done and so is my tea. Decanting it from the brewing vessel into a pre-heated mug, the smell now is more reminiscent of molasses with the undertone of malt. Perhaps due to the three-minute steep time, the scent is quite light. Then I take a sip of the tea. Initially, the flavor seems small, but it explodes across the palate with a sweetness that is unexpected. The molasses and malt flavors are combined with cocoa undertones in a deliciously complex combination of tastes. I drink my way through the cup, slowly, enjoying the nuances and ways, in which this tea shows off the various facets of its flavor.
Adventurously (and for the sake of my curiosity), I decide to resteep the leaves, while I am sipping the first cup. This time, they are left in my two-cup brewing vessel with just-boiled water for an indeterminate, long time (twenty-plus minutes). The result is much darker, due to the extra time, but surprisingly low in astringency. Cocoa notes have become more dominant, but the flavor is still reminiscent of that first, tasty cup.
I am very glad that I got to try this tea, before it became unavailable. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate thepuriTea’s Red Dragon Pearl Tea an 86/100.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cocoa, Malt, Molasses
I got this sample from thepuriTea before they went out of business. I’m bummed they went out of business because I liked a lot of their offerings…
The dry leaf doesn’t smell much like lychee in the sample tin I got, but after brewing it, you can definitely taste the lychee there. It’s subtle, but a bit juicy and fresh. I agree with moraiwe that there’s something floral about this. It’s really very elegant and doesn’t taste fake in any way like a lot of flavored green teas. I’ll have to look around for another lychee green tea because I really liked this. It might be good as a cold brew as well.
Oh man, I really liked this one! It has a DEEP, deep flavor that makes you worry at first it’s going to get bitter, but it doesn’t (might’ve helped that I listened to the Steepster advice about steeping only 4 minutes); instead you get strong cocoa, wood, a little tobacco, and lots of delicious raisin. I love that instead of sweet potato you do get pumpkin. Brandy too, to go with the raisins, yes! I even detect the brown sugar from the copy; for once I seem to get everything described and in spades. This isn’t a tea I could drink all willy-nilly as it’s so intense and there’s a lot going on, but wow what an experience. Something about it, maybe the smoothness and depth of the malt, reminds me a little of Dragon Pearls. Resteeps well too. Seems to be a thing with me, loving Bi Luo-style curls (Bi Luo Chun is possibly my favorite general green tea style). I’m guessing out of my ass here but it seems like somehow twisting and curling the leaves contributes sweet richness. I love the way it looks too. Very bummed I can never restock this one now as thepuriTea is gone. :(
Another sample tea from the now defunct puriTea (boo).
I’m not really super excited by most white teas and this is no exception. I’m sure it’s fine but I can’t seem to find the “sweet spot” that brings forth the promised flavors. I get a bit of nuttiness and something that reminds me of clover but it needs something, it’s far too mild & benign for my tastes. I think I will try cold brewing the rest of this.