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Recent Tasting Notes
This was a little sample that came to me in a set of itsallabouttheleaf.com review teas, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what company provided it. Do any of you recognize a company whose samples are vacuum-packed in pretty little pink pouches?
Well, whoever provided this gets a salute from me. It’s a medium honey-succulent tea that doesn’t have the mouth-drying astringency of some fancy-schmancy oolongs. Quite pleasant. Looking forward to sleuthing out its origin.
This anonymous family favorite is launching my first excursion into cooking with tea. We found a lookalike recipe for P.F. Chang’s oolong marinated sea bass online and it’s soaking in the fridge right now. Well, cod instead of sea bass…availability and frugality caused that substitution. (The beauty is the fact we haven’t tasted the original yet, so we won’t know if it’s way off the mark!)
This tea was brought back from China by a colleague of my husband. All I know about it is that it is very expensive and high quality Green Tips. So very smooth, with a nutty and pleasing aroma and taste. Wish I knew more about it…so lovely!
So I got this tea in a little baggie from one of my coworkers a while ago and while I have almost no idea what’s in it (besides some sort of chocolate flavour, almond slivers, and whatever those little round red balls are (peppercorns?)). It’s got more ingredients than that, but I’m not going to go tasting each one to figure out what it is. I’m just going to steep this in my Breville. Made a wild guess at steeping parameters.
This really smells very chocolatey along with some other dessert-y flavours that I can’t identify very well. Caramel perhaps. Something else, definitely. The taste doesn’t really live up to the smell at all, even with a bit more sweetener than I normally use, still not sweet. The initial aftertaste is quite nice, though it fades very quickly. I think this is going to be a quick drink after the second cup cools down as I can’t see myself sitting here and savouring it. I have about a cup’s worth left, I think, so this is not a sipdown of…whatever this is.
I wanted to log this because I drank it and I think that’s important, but I really have no clue what this is.
Well, for a bank-busting $3.60 at Fox Farm Whole Foods, I have just embarked on an enjoyable experiment. Based on my consistently positive experience with calendula as a blend-in in many varieties of teas, I wanted to try it on its own. I will likely be trying it for years to come: one packed-tight little bulk bag, loosened, filled two quart jars with nearly a pint of dry leaf left over!
First impression is good. Looks like chamomile in the cup, and tastes similar, but sweeter. Sunshiny and a little coppery without being citrusy, if that makes sense.
Furthermore, according to many magnanimous health claims, this will fix tummy troubles, girl problems, skin wounds, and my dog’s fleas (if I had a dog). According to one recap:
Calendula is so gentle, it is often given to children for upset stomach. It’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties make it particularly useful for treating heartburn. As a skin wash, calendula stimulates the grows of skin cells to fight wrinkles, keeps complexion smooth, moist, and helps fight acne breakouts. (More info at http://www.calendulatea.net/).
This could be the beginning of an interesting relationship.
Big surprise, after taking care of my sick boyfriend all weekend, I get sick. Fortunately, it hasn’t hit me anywhere near as hard as him. I’ve just been staying home all day, sipping tea and doing homework (and by that I mean playing Civilization.)
I started with a resteep of this one. Not much different to say. Probably a little sweeter, and less of the other flavors.
Another mysterious Japanese tea from my friend. I’m 90% sure it’s a bagged genmaicha. The bags have that distinctive sort of roasty smell, and it tastes like a genmaicha. So that’s what I’m calling it.
No information on the tea whatsoever, but it’s good. I just left the bag in my 8oz Pavina and it didn’t get bitter at all, which is wonderful and surprising.
I received this in a swap on r/teaexchange. I don’t know anything about it besides that it is a high mountain oolong.
I didn’t get much time for tea yesterday, as my boyfriend is sick, and I had to go take care of him at his apartment. It’ll probably be about the same today, so I’m getting this one in before I go over.
This is a really nice golden color. I’m still not really good at picking out scents and flavors in unflavored teas, but I’m working on it. I would say there is a vegetal smell, with a hint of something roasted. With the first sip of this, it is definitely sweet. Sweet, smooth, and creamy, though a little weak. Perhaps resteepings can fix that. There is a vegetal flavor in the aftertaste.I wish I had someone nearby who could be my tea mentor. We could taste different teas, and they could show me what all these different flavors are. Right now, I feel like I still don’t know what I’m talking about. Though, I guess the only way to fix that is to drink even more tea!
steeped about 10 mostly whole cacao beans in porcelain competition tasting set.
nice sweet tea with cacao aroma as expected.
the reason why I am reviewing it here, is because it appears to balance out the side effects of drinking too much caffeinated tea
I drank many cups of dan cong, until my hands were sweaty. just now, I drank a few cups of this, and I feel a pleasant, strengthening warmth along the sides of lower torso. a ‘refueling’ grounding effect. defininitely warming.
This one came from Fleurdelily and in a fairly large amount too. I actually had some trouble working out what it was, because the wrappings are all in Chinese and I think it came from Ebay or similar. I had to ask Fleurdelily for some more details and I also had a thread up on the boards asking people to help me read Chinese. Fleurdelily had originally bought it as being a Lapsang Souchong, and with the help from the nice people who could read some Chinese for me, it was determined that more likely than not what we’ve got here is some kind of unsmoked Lapsang Souchong. It’s definitely Fujian, though, because I got that much from the wrapper.
Mostly though, I’ve been thinking about it as ‘Fujian X’ which what I’ve called it here.
I’ve actually had it loads of times by now, and I’ve nearly used up all the little portion pouches, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m any closer to actually being able to write down a proper analysis of it. You see, we’ve mostly had it under circumstances where I just wasn’t paying that much attention to it. It’s that kind of tea really. I tried to when I started writing this post, but then it ended up turning into tea and homemade biscuits on the sofa with some Top Gear on the telly. (We’ve actually today, after having lived here for about one and a half years now, finally managed to have a proper look at which channels we’ve got and arrange them in an easy to find fashion! We’re not really big television-watchers, us. More dvd and blu-ray people. But maybe it’ll help now that we know what our options are. After all, we ARE paying for it.)
So yeah, that shot yet another attempt at proper tasting out of the water.
The overall impression I keep getting from this, though, is ‘Default Fujian’. It has all the qualities that I love about Fujian blacks. Kinda malty, but not too much, and a bit of fruityness to it, along with a grainy and cocoa-y note. I can’t seem to focus on giving it any real attention, but I have been enjoying it immensely.
It’s just the right sort of tea for having while settling in with something. Perhaps it doesn’t really need anything more than that.
It’s me with a new profile picture. My mom and I spent the day enjoying lunch at the Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage in Sylvania and shopping. It was lovely.
My mom had me choose the tea today because she says I’m the tea expert :) I chose this because my mom loves fruit teas. It is wonderfully fruity and sweet on its own. I’m learning to enjoy fruit teas more. If you’re ever in the Toledo area, the Dragonfly is the place to go!!
Have you ever had a busy few days, filled with festivities and fun… but when it was over, felt so tapped out that the concept of sleep sounded like the most wonderful thing in the world?
Well that’s me today! Hermit mode. Serves me right for booking almost a week straight of holiday celebrations.
Anyhow, I went for Chinese food yesterday… to sop up some of the alcohol that was consumed over New Years. They served Pu-erh tea, I have no idea what brand. But it was nice to sip on and kept me warm! Smooth and comforting. Though it didn’t go very well with my soup, which came after I had a few cups of tea!
Happy New year everyone!!!
I’m off to bed then. Nap time :)
While this tea appears to be rather dubious, I can assure you that it’s actally the realy deal. My parents tell me that they got it at Wegmans, a fantastic grocery store chain, and that it was in the Organic Food section. Also, I’ve tried this tea when I was at my grandmother’s house (where I couldn’t post a reveiw), but it tastes like the descriptions of Gyokuro, so I’m going to say it’s legit and move on.
Now that that is out of the way, I prepared the first infusion with about 140 degree water, and let it steep for a minute. The result is a very pale green tea, which proably has a pleasant aroma but my current head cold prevents me from experiencing it. The initial flavor of the tea is amazingly sweet, much more so than any other tea I have. The flavor doesn’t really change in the middle, but the aftertaste develops into a pleasant sweet grass that gradually fades into an interesting metalic/minal feeling. Teh really interesting thing is that as this development is taking place, it feels like it is climbing the roof of my mouth, something that is certainly unique…I can’t wait for the next cup.
I prepared the second cup a bit differently, using nearly-boiling water and only letting the leaves steep for about 15 seconds. The result is very nice, with a bit of astringency mixed in with the sweetness from before. Actually, that is the only difference: Every part of the flavor has developed some mild astringency. It’s nice, since it adds a new dimension to the flavor and keeps me interested in the tea.
It is so damp and cold that I have been making tea just to clutch, not necessarily to drink. This is a good unknown cheapie from the bulk bin at Fox Farm Foods; a mild and sweet green tea that’s a little woody.
My second cup of tea today;) Trying to convince myself to start cleaning, because we (My Dad and StepMom) are hosting Christmas Day Dinner and I foolishly volunteered to clean, so I am deliberately having plenty of caffeine. Anyways….(In case it doesn’t say…I’m the one who added this tea. The shop in question is Tranquilitea, in Plymouth Michigan. It is my favorite shop and all the staff that I’ve met are terrific, and their prices are reasonable. Sorry but I cannot supply the link to the shop website, but it is easily googled.
1st Smell: Light and flowery.
1st taste: Coconut. LOL I am not sure why I am getting the impression of coconuts, as that is not among the ingredients. But that is ok, I like coconuts. It also tastes flowery. Not in a overly heavy flower taste, but like the smell, light, unassuming. Definitely going to get this again.
Thank you mrmopar for this puerh sample tuo cha!
This morning, I popped this mini into my purple clay gaiwan, that’s only used for puerh. It was a new tuo cha and I enjoy drinking these when I’ve got a busy day ahead.
As always, I did a rinse, then because the tuo cha was pretty hard I did another quick rinse. I poked the lump of hard leaves a bit after pouring on more boiling water and waited a little more than 30 seconds. (I like to help the steeping along in the beginning)
The wet leaves smelled more like an old book store or library than most. Leather, a little musty and a bit of dirt. Good smells though.
When I sipped my first taste of the dark red brown brew, the liquor was dense like a paint stain, but light and smooth with some faint sweetness.
I expected a cedar flavor which wasn’t present in the tea. No woodsy or earthy flavor, just a mellow…even light American coffee smoothness. Unexpected but nice.
I filled my cup again and again, still holding the same flavor each time without change. A good little tuo cha…thanks mrmopar!
I went to Steepster to begin writing a review about this tea.
When I pulled up the review from the previous evening, something bad had happened.
My review had a comment from someone I didn’t know. He said I was a liar here on Steepster, and that I had an agenda which was to promote only certain tea companies.
It also said that I hide behind my glasses, that I don’t tell the truth about anything. It even misquoted my blog story about the Children’s Shelter Christmas, and said that I beat my children. He said he would like to press charges against me. (The kids were beaten by their parents, not by me!) There was much more!
I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
Several Steepster people saw what was happening, as the attack suddenly went live… and came to my defense, Bless them.
At first I was shocked. Then, I realized that the person had to have planned this for some time. They knew things about me.
A troll or someone with an agenda was out to slam me. But Why?
I chose not to engage with any anger.
So sad for them really. What sadness to carry that kind of poison inside towards others.
You who have known me for the past year have seen me go from Celestial Seasonings Tea, to Davids Tea’s and Kally, Butiki,
Steap Shoppe, Teavivre, Whispering Pines and Verdant to name some of the more common ones. (I’ve left out lots of puer from different sources).
Like you, I drink the tea I like. That’s it.
Some of you love Davids Tea or 52 tea’s or Harney & Son’s. You love what you love. I applaud you for that freedom to choose and I enjoy your reviews. Sometimes, I get to try those favorites of yours in a tea swap!
The comments of the troll disappeared off my reviews. POOF, GONE!
So, I removed my comments also. Why confuse people I thought.
I think this issue isn’t done with. It will probably return.
Other people are going to get slammed or insulted by these trolls now and then so here is what you need to know.
They are not who we are.
We are a kind community and one that is free.
We write our own reviews based on our own opinions and I for one am not for sale, and I can’t be intimidated. I am not afraid of drinking tea and writing honestly what I think. I choose the companies that I buy my tea from.
mrmopar, Indigobloom (who saw what happened) and JC who saw too,
and all the most kind people I’ve ever encountered…and I’m not going to run for the hills in fear.
(Stepping off my soapbox now..) Kumbaya! (Well I do have a sense of humor too!)
Well I got myself bout caught up on all my household duties(I’m a housewife) so I decided to take some time to play Nintendo, Yep! NES Now how do I relate TEA to that, Easy NES Is Japanese(I think) and I know that Legend of Zelda is a Japanese Game so I decided to play the game to the first Dungeon and “Reward” myself with some Japanese tea if I make it :) I made it! and very easily also :) Now this Tea, I it Japanese but I’m not sure who sent me this one I do remember that it was a small amount in a tore up bag so I put it into a small tin for safe keeping.
This tea was very strong with just a short steeping it almost taste like a weak matcha tea but it was pleasant yet very grassy vegetal and really strong green tea taste, I Enjoyed it.
Please look at my screenshots on my blog and share it :)
A gift from a friend, thank you!
Thank you to all the Veterans who are serving and have served this Country. Thank you to the families who struggle through hardship.
This may be the day that the United States honors Veterans and the day of Honor may be different in other Countries, but the message is the same. Sacrifice and Valor. We show our respect to you all.
My Father, Bill was still in his Navy Uniform when he met my mother at a Canteen for Servicemen in San Francisco.
The War was over and 6 weeks after meeting at the First Baptist Church Canteen on Mission Street, they were married! There wasn’t a day for the rest of their lives that they weren’t crazy about each other.
Dad had been a Radio Operator 1st Class. Morse Code…sometimes decoding dits and dots… 24 hours straight during a battle at places like Iwo Jima. (My father had respect for the Marines!)
My dad blinked and twitched for the rest of his life and was buried with his Navy Honors.
My Grandfather Will was 17 when he enlisted in the Spanish American War in the late 1800’s. He was injured by Gas inhalation in the Philippines. There were no benefits for that kind of injury when he got home from war.
Because he was a good carpenter for the Army, he worked on the grounds of the Vet’s home in Yountville, CA. He was allowed to live in a shack there for the rest of his life. This is where my father was raised and the Cemetary there is where my grandfather is buried.
He used to make the Vet’s caskets. Odd.
During the Vietnam era, I was with my husband at Fort Hood, Texas. We didn’t get to have base housing, and things were pretty dangerous for an interracial couple in 1969. I needed an escort to go to the PX. I was attacked and couldn’t do a thing about it.
The first year of my marriage the military told me not to go to basic training with my husband at Fort Bragg because of the KKK.
So, I went to my parents home and later had our first child like so many military wives, by myself.
My years of living on very little money and other problems wasn’t something that happened at that time to me alone. My story was easy compared to most who were truly suffering.
Military families have always had hard times. Often they must move away from family and friends. They face loneliness, injury, stress and lack of funds.
And the ultimate sacrifice, the loss of a loved one.
Thank you to our Military, Veterans and their Families!
In 1953 I was ‘5’! Amazing that I was able to drink this tea today!
I rinsed the leaves twice and steeped the tea 30 seconds each steeping in a Gaiwan.
The liquor was light champagne yellow, clear and bright.
The wet leaves had the aroma of wet bamboo, roast meat becoming lighter and sweeter with each steeping.
1. The flavor was very SAVORY! I was surprised at how much flavor there was on this first steeping. I’ve never said that a Pu-erh tastes like bamboo, slightly dry and salty sweet, but this one was. There was a little bit of green bean flavor to it, something unexpected.
2. Now the saltiness was lighter and my tongue tingled. There was some dryness in the front of my mouth with the mix of light green bean and bamboo taste. As the tea cooled it became creamier.
3. The savory quality was softened and the bamboo, sweet grass had smoothed into a ribbon of buttery creaminess that increased as the tea cooled. I could feel the tea coat my lips. The aftertaste became sugar snap pea, fresh off the plant.
I was surprised! How could this 59 year old Pu-erh give off so much flavor?!
I just can’t give anything but the best rating to a tea that has given so much to me. Where has it been? What journey has it been on all these years? And to wind up with me…well, I’m amazed and humbled!
Thank you to my friend! What an honor!
Another unknown blender, I think this was from a small teashop which has since changed management and tea providers! I had been sort of hoarding this, because it is good and I can not find it anymore, but in the spirit of trying to purge the tea collection a bit here goes. Keep in mind this tea is already at least a couple years old, maybe more.
And it´s lovely. Pretty simple, rooibos (feels like a smooth nice one), bits of chopped black chocolate and maybe dried ginger. Some unidentifiable blossoms (ginger?). A very strong taste of ginger, a nice deep chocolate and the melted chocolate adding some texture. A total winner. I am coming to terms with the unlikelihood I will find this again, better enjoy it and wave it goodbye.
From some unknown big blender, seen this mix on several different local teashops, with slightly different spellings.
On the great purge, trying to drink samples and finish teas. This is one of those I still got plenty and wow, it´s not bad enough to throw away and just not good enough for me to have much pleasure in still having so much of it. 50 grams really is the best amount for me to buy tea.
The tea itself is OK. The base is difficult to judge, the chocolate a not particularly strong note, the chillies and pink peppercorns bring it some heat and overpower both the tea and chocolate notes. And not listed anywhere but I would swear there is a coriander (the seeds. Not the fresh plant!) note in the tea. Inspecting the dry tea, some of the “pepper” might indeed be coriander.
In all, a pretty underwhelming flavoured tea.
I, too, got a GREAT card from the wonderful and talented card maker otherwise known as gmathis! Mine had the most wonderful olde fashioned black boot on it – I know it belongs to a very elegant and stylish witch – with an adorable green Halloween background full of her tiny monster friends.
I am drinking the oooooooooOOOOooooo-long she included in the card right now, and it’s delightful! A bit roasty and the end of the sip has that greenfloral wonderment that is so typical of oolongs.
Why, why, why don’t I drink more oolongs, this stubborn mule of a tea drinker asks herself?!?!? I am so glad that I have leaves enough for another pot of this. It’s delicious and such a nice change of pace.
THANK YOU GMATHIS!!!!