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Recent Tasting Notes
I’ve fallen into a routine with my tea drinking. Every morning, while I’m blearily puttering around the kitchen, I fill up a 12 oz timolino with a cream earl grey and a 16 oz carry mug with genmaicha, and stash them both in my purse. I have no idea what company the genmaicha is from—I got a ridiculous amount from a Japanese restaurant eons ago and the packaging is long gone—but it’s exactly to my tastes, ie. dominant toasty popcorn/rice notes and no grassiness to speak of. I find it soothing in the afternoons, especially when I hit my 2:30 slump.
I’m almost positive this tea is from Handmade Teas but I can’t seem to find which one it might be. I put it in an airtight tin and never labeled it.. oops… anyways… It’s gone! I used up my two teaspoons and made a pot. It’s delicious. It has a rich malty-ness with dark chocolate undertones and a touch of sweet potato. There is a hint of caramel and a light fruitiness to it.
Well, someone added this into the system, so I’m going to use it.
It’s a mystery oolong, and it’s great. I’m super sick right now so I’m barely drinking any tea at all, but for some reason the idea of this seemed really soothing. It’s a nice green oolong, with just a little bit of roastiness. I can barely swallow it down because I’m so pathetic, but it’s lasted me 2 hours and it’s still great cold.
I typed in “matcha unknown” into the search box to see if it would get any hits—and what do you know, this is already there!
So anyway, I was walking by Minamoto Kitchoan (a Japanese confectionary shop) and saw that they were offering samples and matcha green tea. The tea was being prepared with a whisk in-store, and I think this is really the first time I’ve tried matcha with the traditional preparation. And it’s really good. It was served in a small cup, very dark green and frothy, and was deliciously creamy and smooth. Umami and sweet, rich…and somehow very different from the flavor of other teas or foods that have had matcha added to them. This was a whole other level, and I would love to get all the utensils and learn to prepare matcha at home now. But maybe that’s a project for another time :)
No idea what this is, as it’s all in Chinese characters except “Yunnan Tuocha Thé”. I’d expected a bunch of mini tuocha’s (which is what I’ve only come across so far) but instead it’s one mondo tuocha, and hard as a rock. Fellow lovely Steepsterites suggested cutting off a chunk with a dull knife, so this is what I did. Well, more like sawed it off, as it was ridiculously dry and hard.
I knew just before I took the first sip that I should have rinsed it first, because it was FISHY. Oh my goodness, like drinking straight fish sauce fishy. FISHY. I can still smell it hours later. Once it mellowed a bit though and cooled down, this was a really elegant, full-bodied, rich puer that I savoured. Nothing WOW about it, but really nice way to spend my afternoon, nursing this one and re-steeping it.
Someone had this tea on Steepster so might as well use it.
My mom bought me some cheap Jasmine tea from the Asian market so I figured I’d use this tea for all my cold brews :) Good tea, but it does get bitter quickly from when I had it a couple weeks back hot.
But now it has been deemed my cold brew tea!
Got this tea as part of a teapot + 4 tea collection that I received for Christmas. The teapot is nice – a cast iron look-alike pot, though I don’t think I’ll use it overly often (I just don’t drink that much of one tea at a time. Ever.) Anyhow, brewed this tea up in a travel mug for today. Nice raspberry flavour, and when it cooled, the coconut was a bit more apparent, translating both as a creaminess and a coconutty flavour. Similar to DavidsTea’s Fantasy Island, but better because it was fruitier and less drying. Overall not too shabby. I am definitely curious as to the blender of these teas though.
So, I got some loose leaf tea as a Christmas present from a student before Christmas. I reviewed it the first time I drank it, but since they are from China and bought it when they were there, I could not read the label.
So, I put a pic up on the Facebooks and got a few answers. It’s a Tie Guan Yin, but the brand is unknown.
But, it’s damn good. Like, one of the better I have had. It came in a small wooden box, with several wrpped, vacuum sealed bags inside.
Brewing two bags, (about 3 tablespoons total) in 32 ounces of water at 200 degrees in my Bodum Assam teapot, I get a nice dark golden, almost wet straw colored brew.
The smell is amazing. Rich, robust, with hints of roasted nuts, wet straw, and toffee.
The taste is equally impressive. Full of flavor, but still so well balanced and smooth.
It’s rare you can find a tea so full of flavor, so big and in your face, so bold and beautiful, but still so well balanced and drinkable. No bitter tea face here!
Flavors: Roasted nuts, Straw, Sweet, Toffee, Wet Earth
Boyfriend has several coworkers and managers from the UK at his job, and one of them gave him these Earl Grey teabags from England. I wish I knew the brand—- they’re square and unmarked white filterbags, like the Celestial Seasonings teabags.
Holy God, is it amazing tea though. The base is nice and robust, with hints of cocoa and Assam-like astringency. The bergamot tastes both citrusy and spicy.
Oh yeah, this is the genuine article. He’s had the loose version of it, too, and says that it’s even better.
Long story short:
I play and teach music for a living, and often my students give me gifts around the holidays. I have one student in particular who is from China, and his family knows I love tea. Last year they gave me a great green tea.
This year they gave me a black tea. I didn’t ask them about it, and the label and container has only Chinese Characters on it. They did tell me it was a black tea, so I know that much for certain. I’ll find out more about it later, but I wanted to get some words down first.
This tea came in small freeze dried bags, each one containing just under 2 tablespoons of loose leaves. I used two of these bags, so probably 3-4 tablespoons in total, in my 32 ounce Bodum Assam teapot.
I followed the loose brewing guidelines for black tea, rinsing the leaves before adding water that had just reached nearly a full boil and letting the steep for 2:30.
The result was a liqueur with a dark golden, see through color More of an Oolong than a black. It smells and tastes like a Tung Ting, with my limited knowledge of tea.
The aroma is what gave it away. It has that bite, that sweetness that is familiar in teas harvested from higher elevations. I’ve had a couple of Tung Tings from Red Blossom Tea Company, and this was very similar. Sweet, full bodied, hints of sugar and caramel.
I hope to find out more about this tea, I really like it!
I’m making Kombucha for the first time!
My jug isn’t nearly as big as it should be so we’ll see how things work out. I cut the recipe by two thirds so I’m a little worried that the the ratio may be off in some way. (do you need a minimum amount of anything to get the party started? I don’t know…)
Bah. I guess I have to wait and see. This is the not so fun part. I’ll have to rely on other teas to keep me entertained!
This morning’s pick is a golden monkey tea from the local tea store in our mall. I might have to ask next time I go in there which company’s tea this is, so I can better log it. I get a bit of a caramel note that fades into just a nicely balanced, smooth tea. It’s a really nice way to start the day.
My friend (who obviously has exquisite taste and is generous at gifting quality stuff) picked this tea out for me when she found the new store in the first place, and when I first went back, I immediately bought more.
Sipdown! I presumably had some of this previously, but am unsure of where I logged it, since I have no idea which company this is from – it’s just a sample I received from Azzrian a couple years back. Anyhow, it’s pretty old, and probably has lost flavour, but it’s not too bad. It tastes more like a green, unripened peach than a juicy, fresh one, but that’s actually reasonably tasty – the base is somewhat astringent, but not unbearably so. Maybe a tea I would have been interested in trying fresh, but since I haven’t a clue where it’s from… farewell, mystery tea!
My DM was given this tea as a free sample when he bought part of my bday present a few weeks ago – some 1970s Menghai Sheng (aka my favorite sheng). The owner of the store solely wrote “Green” on the package and told him that it was a green tea. To him, someone who knows only a small amount of tea, he thought that she meant it was a regular, ol’ green tea. Nope. Definitely a raw pu-erh… which some people just call a green pu-erh. Smelling the dry leaves indicated that it was younger than the 1970s, however, it seemed to have some age to it. The throat was a mix between a potent 2014 sheng, the 1970s Menghai, and a ZSXZ. I immediately knew that I was in for a treat with this one. The taste was strong yet smooth. It had everything that I enjoy about raw pu’erh – strength, hay, camphor, bark, a bit of roasting campfire, and a pleasant bite. My DM tried a sip from the sixth infusion and complained about it being bitter. I laughed pretty hard at that one. It’s so amazing and unfortunate that people’s palettes are so different. The tea had no hint of bitterness for me. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up some more… and hopefully Lorna will know what tea it was that she gave us!! XD I’m looking forward to a few more infusions with it today.