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Recent Tasting Notes
I believe this is the last sample I got from the puriTea that I have yet to try. I love the fact that the samples come in mini tins instead of plastic bags because I will reuse the tins or they can at least be recycled.
Red robes are one of my favorite teas for the winter time. This is a nice example of a wuyi roasted oolong. I am getting flavors of charcoal, cocoa, raisins and toasted barley. It’s comforting and somehow warming. Not the best RR I have ever had but still really enjoyable with a stone fruit after taste. This would be a great tea to cozy up with on a rainy day with a good book.
Chilly sunshine streaming, cat napping, husband puttering, turkey breast cooking, me sipping. Thank You, Lord, for a slow morning not driven by a checklist.
My mug was a little too big for three pearls, so this cuppa came out lighter than ideal, but it is still pleasant—-noticing the stewed apple flavor mentioned in the vendor description, which is perfect for the day and occasion.
Be sure to close your eyes sometime today and count the blessings you can’t see or touch.
I picked up this tea sample tin from the puriTea, I don’t have a lot of Chinese greens at the moment and I’ve been craving them somewhat.
The aroma of this tea is floral and nutty, and reminds me of a green oolong. The tea liquor brews up to be a nice golden yellow.
I’m enjoying this as an after lunch tea and it’s yummy! Nuttiness is my initial impression going in but as the tea lingers on your palate a bit it becomes very vegetal, assertive and a bit bitter. Steeping suggestions call for 1 -3 minutes and mine was closer to 3. I think I will try 1 minute next time, it’s a bit too strong for me right now and I’m finding the after taste a bit harsh. Rating may be subject to change. :)
This is one of the sample mini tins I got with my puriTea black reserve sampler.
I don’t drink a lot of black teas without additions but the ones I do drink plain usually come from China. This is a lovely cuppa. I am getting the honey aroma and flavor that other people have mentioned. The tea is extremely smooth and devoid of astringency. The peppery notes are certainly present with a slight note of tobacco in the finish. I also tried adding soymilk to it, and that transformed it into a golden caramel-y type of drink. Definitely versatile and good both ways. I would get some more of this!
Tea of the late morning here and part of thepuriTea’s fancy black tea sampler. I like darjeelings since they are one black tea I prefer to drink plain. To me they really seem more like oolongs than black teas. The puriTEa has some odd steeping recommendations: 5-7 minutes for a darjeeling? that really seems like overkill.
Anyway this is the 2nd flush tea from Sungma. I’ve had one of these before from Harney and Sons. Compared to the HS version this seems slightly less flavorful but very smooth. I am not getting a big floral element but more of a fruity and mineral one. I like the fact that this cuppa doesn’t have much astringency to it.
Not the best 2nd flush darjeeling I’ve had but certainly tasty. It’s raining today and I think I’ll have some more of this later this afternoon. Great day to drink tea and think of a warmer climate. :)
Thanks to terri for sending some of this my way, I also got some in thepuriTea reserve black tea sampler I just got. Couldn’t resist the free shipping deal they have going on.
I wasn’t sure how many pearls to use exactly so I ended up with 5 in a mug of tea. This may have been not enough leaf because the tea seems a bit watered down to me. I am getting the lovely malty aroma and flavor and yes, there is a bit of apple like fruitiness present, which is really cool. So far I like it but I need more tea vs. less water I think. Not going to do a rating for now. Has anyone tried to gong fu this? I might need to!
Pleasantly pleased with this one
Home from the rehearsal.
6pearls + mug of hot water X 3 min (resteep 5 min)
All I can say is Thank you, I needed that.
I never would have thought to combine jasmine with a Yunnan tea. I do like the idea, but this one’s a first for me. I received this in a swap and as my message box and my own memory are failing me at the moment, I cannot remember who sent this to me. I apologize, but thank you nonetheless!
Sipping… this one is very interesting. The first thing that I taste is the jasmine. It’s definitely nice and sweet — I like that it’s not stinky as it sometimes can be. It’s awfully strong, though. It stays present throughout the entire sip, but lets the Yunnan peek through every once and a while.. but just barely. The Yunnan is rather weak and tries to tone down the floral notes, but only manages to be present on the tongue for a matter of seconds. The jasmine takes over in the end and contributes a honey-like sweetness for a memorable finish.
This is a nice and unique combination of jasmine and Yunnan. I wish that the jasmine could be toned down a bit so that the Yunnan could shine through. Yunnan is such a nice tea on its own that it’s hard to see why you’d want to add anything else that could potentially mask its natural flavors. This would be a nice choice for anyone who loves jasmine, but might want a different take on the tea base.
One of the problems with being self-employed is that it’s easy to just goof off an entire morning, with little to nothing accomplished, & I’m sorry to say that is the case today. I’ve spent the entire morning mainly sitting here (and by ‘here’ I mean the dining room table, where my laptop usually lives), just drinking tea, reading posts of FB & steepster, reading emails, & eating breakfast. I’ve also been doing laundry in the background, almost done with that.
A part of me wants to feel guilty (that would be Ms Theresa). In her opinion, I should have been practicing for one of my upcoming performances, or paying bills, or working on my novel. She’s probably right, but I’ve been exhausted for the last few days, & little terri & I agree that we needed this goof off morning. We had a good breakfast, some tasty teas, accomplished a few sipdowns, & all of my laundry will be clean. So there, Ms Theresa!
AND this is another sipdown! 197!
As far as Darjeelings go, this is a pleasant cup. Not bold or deep, but lightly malty & sweet in a fruity kind of way.
I served this one to my student, D.
It’s a decent afternoon tea, but I wish I’d made something strong & smokey.
On this All Hallows Eve I wanted something buttery, vegetal and creamy and this did not disappoint
I’ve already reviewed this one several times. It’s a lovely yunnan type, twisted into snail coils, sweet & rich. I polished it off this morning, making a 16 oz dragon pot, steeped at 4 minutes, & then resteeped at 6.
I’ve been inundated with music to practice, life in general, & although I’m sure I must be insane, I will begin my nanowrimo project tomorrow at midnight, or maybe friday. We’ll see.
I steeped this twice, once yesterday and once this morning. :) I didn’t have much time to enjoy it yesterday, and I committed the horrific taboo of sweetening it on the first steep before I realized what I was doing… X-P I kicked myself pretty hard, because I let auto-pilot take over.
First steep: 1 minute 45 seconds; Color: a yellowish amber; Aroma: sweet, creamy, slightly vegetal
I shouldn’t have sweetened it. The sugar is throwing off the… well, everything. The mouthfeel, the flavor, the aroma, everything. :(
Second steep: 2 minutes; Color: a darker amber, more orange; Aroma: very grassy, vegetal, with a hint of cream
Let me just say that this is a VERY green oolong. The picture on this page does not quite look like my leaves did. Of course, now they’re all unfurled, and they have more than quadrupled in volume… which has only further revealed how very very green they are. The vegetal taste is pretty overpowering this time. I don’t really detect any cream.
Not gonna rate this one, because I messed up the tasting.
Another one Terri Harplady included in the teabox for me in my special baggie of teas. thank you! :D Dragon pearls again so soon? Why yes. I’m not sure why these are called red pearls… maybe only because in China black tea is called red tea? I used four pearls for these steeps.
First steep // 3 min // 20 min after boiling (deciding which tea)
This one is SPECIAL. It doesn’t even seem like a black tea because there is just a honey honey honey flavor! The texture is even like honey! I’ve never had a tea like this before. I couldn’t guess it was a black tea, honestly. Maybe it is just because of the lower temperature? Definitely no astringency.
Second steep // 4 min // right after boiling
The amazing honey is still here, but now there is a deeper flavor — a bit like chocolate with honey notes, a bit more astringency that is just noticeable (but the first cup was just SWEET.) Still not quite like a distinct black tea. So so good. I’m very amazed that even black (or red) dragon pearls seem to be so unique!
Third steep // 3 min // right after boiling
This cup was much like the second but there was a hint of oakiness that detracted from the honey chocolate! So the light honey flavor from the first cup definitely wasn’t just from the lower temperature, as the other two cups would have had a stronger flavor right after boiling. This has to be the sweetest black tea I’ve tried.
I love these. I have eight more pearls – so two more steeping sessions to savor later!
Sipping on this one right now. I didn’t have any kind of instructions on how to brew, so I went with my standard for less oxidized oolongs. Pre-boil water, 5 second rinse, 45 second first steep. (Then a 1 minute steep, which I’m currently drinking.)
Hmmm. The smell of the wet leaves was very toasty and milky. It doesn’t carry over into taste so much, though. It’s sweet, nutty, vegetal, and slightly creamy. Kind of peachy-fruity. I’m getting more sweetness before I swallow and a lot more fruitiness in the aftertaste. The longer I wait between sips the more it leans toward a dry, white wine kind of fruitiness. That was unexpected. It’s not very “milky”, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing to me. I feel like I’m getting a hint of astringency—not very strong and certainly not unpleasant. Maybe I’ll use slightly cooler water next steep. Overall it makes a decent cup. Tastes better when it’s hotter! I might be getting some of this when it’s back in stock. (: I expect that I’ll be able to get at least 2-3 more infusions from the leaves. The third one will have to wait until I get back from a gallery opening! Grrr! I was so looking forward to it, but I’m out of time. Thanks QueenOfTarts for the lovely swap sample!
Sipdown, 148. I’ve had this tea before but I’m glad Sil sent me a sample because I haven’t had it in a long time. Plus I can get a reminder of kind of a base-level dancong before trying some of the reserve dancongs that came in the last Verdant reserve club shipment.
At one point I’m pretty sure thepuriTea’s description for this tea said that it was actually scented with osmanthus, or at least a previous incarnation of it was. Anyway, it was either mistaken or the tea has changed, because now it is definitely just a dancong oolong. Ah! I found it using the internet wayback machine! In November of 2010 their description included the line “Our Dan Cong has been naturally infused with natural osmanthus flowers.” But that has been removed.
The tea smells roasty, a bit woody, fruity, and a bit of crisp mineral-ness. Flavor-wise, the fruitiness really comes to the forefront. Very much a note of sweet stone fruits, but combined with a woody/barky background profile. There’s also a bit of bitterness/astringency to this one, and I’m thinking maybe I should have gone with a lower temp. I do think this is less floral than when I originally tried it, although it is hard to say from two years ago. This is one of those teas that is fine, but not really up my alley. That woodiness is just too much and really takes away from my enjoyment of the other flavors. Interested to see how the other dancongs I have will compare, but this one is (still) not for me.
Some of us have been talking about comparing all the ‘pearl’ teas to one another. This one is nice, bold enough, but with sweet fruity nuance. I steep 6 pearls in 12oz for 3 minutes, resteep for 5. The first steeping is sweet & malty, the second holds just a little bitterness but is still very drinkable. I think maybe last time I drank them I said I was gonna try a single steeping of 4 minutes, & I forgot to do that. Maybe next time…
Vendor description says: Try it with breakfast, brunch, grilled duck or dark chocolate. Something about grilled duck makes me chuckle, especially since we have two little white neighbor ducks across the street.
After two good strong steeps of these cute little yarn balls, I’m at a loss to pin the flavor down. The inner chocolate addict notices the cocoa first; maybe some of the baked apple vibe when I frown and really concentrate. A very good “think about” tea for a deliciously foggy Sunday morning. Thinking of you, Terriharplady, with a smile as I drink it. Thanks.
Sipdown! Can’t let Terri catch up! haha
This was one of the teas my lovely tea sister sent me, that i have apparently been drinking but not recording. Oopsy.
Those who know me, know that most oolongs i can live without. I really only dislike most green ones, but even the roasty dark ones sometimes have that distinctive taste that i’m not a fan of. This one borders being delicious and being a dark oolong that i’m less a fan of. There’s a touch of astringency but not enough to be a bad thing. There’s a sweetness to this as well, though i can feel a bit of floral hanging out in the back. Overall though, it’s been a decent cuppa to drink!
Holy cow, this is unflavored? Even with my cold I am still getting SO MUCH caramelly goodness from this tea! Could it be that I’ve never had a milk oolong before? How did that happen???
Thank you so much BrewTEAlly Sweet for this sample! This is definitely something I want to explore in more detail!