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78

Unidentified Dr. Tea from Gray Line Bus Tours

I’m guessing this little paper pot is rather old, because when I stick my nose in there to smell the dry leaf, I get practically nothing.

Got this in a strange swap, and I was expecting it to be the crap of crap. I was pleasantly surprised. There were some chocolate notes in there, as well as that tangy, leathery shou flavor.

The brew was smooth, with no astringency or bitterness. I might, however, have gotten a slight headache from it.

Flavors: Chocolate, Leather, Tangy, Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 15 sec

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70

Whispering Pines is recalibrating its Black Bear mix. The new mix isn’t in the system.

I got a preview sample from mtchyg, who is a fancy person IN THE KNOW.

Without a listing, I have no idea what is in this.

This is a very dark, strong mix. It’s butch as hell. It smells like tobacco and leather, and tastes like beef jerky and/or bacon. Some kind of meat, probably smoked. Did an animal die to make this?

I feel like I’m going to grow chest hair from this.

If you’ll excuse me, there are log cabins I need to construct, black bears to ride, and wild boars I have to tame.

Flavors: Char, Leather, Meat, Roasted, Smoked, Tobacco

Mookit

Sounds like Lapsang Souchong!

mtchyg

It is a Lapsang Souchong. A fairly delicate one but it is there. I’m guessing you brewed it at either a higher temp, longer time, or both than I did. My experience with it has been mildly smokey with a berry under note. Do you have enough for a second brew? Try it at 200 F for 2.5 minutes or so.

Also, I love this review. Mainly because these are the things I did after I drank it! (But seriously though, I was chopping wood while drinking it)

mtchyg

Also because, I AM a fancy person in the know.

Super Starling!

I’ll try the shorter steep time. I totally over-steep EVERYTHING. Mostly because I get distracted. :|

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98

It’s been beastly hot these last few days.
I had some concentrated hibiscus already brewed and decided to put it with some sparkling club soda, vanilla bean ice cream and a splash of lavender Torani for sweetner.
A float.
Spectacular!
Can’t wait to do it again.

Flavors: Creamy, Hibiscus, Vanilla

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A contender from the mystery group buy, all it says is “A piece of the 200g Iceland sheng ball from Aliexpress.” Hm. Mysterious. Smells like strong sheng, why not give it a whirl?

Wasn’t sure of the age, so let’s go light on the water temp, about intense oolong temp, fast bubbles coming up in the pot (too lazy to take exact temp today). Hm, starts of kind of not doing much, although quite a mouth drying feel to it for not much flavor for the first two steeps. Gaiwan smells very camphorated and unpleasantly medicinal. Hm.

And then things took a steep downturn. WTF, even more astringent and the tea smells kinda… smokey and…. tobacco-y. But not in the good way. The gaiwan smells EXACTLY like an ashtray. EW. As the tea cools, it tastes less like cigarette butts and more like gross medicine with a burnt tobacco aroma and gross smoker’s breath on the aftertaste. Dumped it out after this, couldn’t keep going, need to wash out mouth with bleach, ASDFLKJASDLKFJASL,

Flavors: Astringent, Leather, Medicinal, Smoke, Tobacco

Liquid Proust

Well thankfully your portion was like 70cents :)
Owl liked it https://www.instagram.com/p/BEhCERbxYCE/

nishnek

Lolol, well, it kinda tasted like something I would expect if an owl with smoke induced lung cancer regurgitated it, so maybe that’s the reason, XD.

nishnek

Also, that tea owl and his little leaf hat is too adorable, :3.

Liquid Proust

He’s actually made after Totoro :)

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Trying a vaguely worded sample thrown in with some other tea today, says “Liu Family Traditional Tieguanyin” on the very nondescript black bag. It’s greener than I was expecting since I thought traditional roast was a little heavier on TGY, but has a roasty smell.

Tea itself brews up fruity with a bit of a musty iron tinge and some after tastes of mineral rockiness that is so strong in yancha. Nice roast taste to finish, and decent number of steeps at four-five, although it does start to get a bit dry towards the end of the leaf life. Overall, I enjoyed this, although it didn’t stick out enough to make me put on my detective hat and hunt down the origins of this mysterious Liu family, haha.

Flavors: Fruity, Roasted, Tart, Wet Rocks

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I’m drinking a mix of equal parts DAVIDs TEA “Birthday cake” and “Alpine punch.” Very creamy and sweet. It tastes like black forest cake if it was made with white sponge cake instead of chocolate cake. I taste cherry, fruit, caramel, and all sorts of other delicious fruity flavours. I highly recommend this combo!

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Coconut, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Honey, Pineapple, Rooibos, Spices, Stewed Fruits, Sugar, Sweet, Toffee, White Chocolate, Yogurt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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I drank a fine vanilla rooibos (I’m not sure what company) this morning made from a really REALLY nice rooibos. I need to ask them the brand and buy some, it was different than what I’ve had before. Very sweet like marzipan/almonds and less woody. I found it had a similar natural sweetness to the level of sweetness in peanut brittle. The vanilla was subtle, it would have been nice if it was stronger. I’d still say it was a 9/10 considering the rooibos quality.

Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Honey, Marzipan, Nectar, Rooibos, Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML
Super Starling!

This sounds great. Report back!

Arby Robilliard

I’ll ask next time I walk by the shop. :)

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Made an iced tea using 1 tsp DAVIDs TEA Birthday cake (rooibos) and 1 tsp Masala chai rooibos from Special Teas Inc, It is very, very good. It tastes like a spiced cookie or birthday ice cream sandwich. I taste butter cookie, baked goods, caramel, rooibos, sugar, chai spices such as cardamom and ginger, and some sweet vanilla notes at the end.

Preparation
Iced 4 min, 15 sec 2 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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I drank some sort of fancy green tea from an artisian bakery named Crust yesterday. I’m not sure if they are original blends or if they buy their leaves from someone else, however it was very good. They have me about 5 tsp worth of leaves which then expanded to fill half my large cup (why so much?) but it did make a good tea despite the wastefulness of their brewing method. It was pretty good, maybe 6/10 because I’m not big on green teas but that was the only blend that sounded appealing to consume with a croissant. For those who enjoy grassy/leafy green teas, this might have been an 8.5/10.

Flavors: Grass, Green, Herbaceous, Sweet, Tannic, Tannin

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 45 sec 5 tsp 20 OZ / 600 ML

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Went out for sushi yesterday and had a genmaicha at the restaurant. Lightly toasted brown rice lent a slight sweetness to it. It went well with my unagi, tomago, and sweet potato rolls.

Flavors: Grain, Rice, Toasted, Toasted Rice

Liquid Proust

When I was in Tokyo they had powdered Genmaicha you dropped hit water on and then drank it…. It wasn’t all that appealing :)

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Monday – Green Tea / Day 2 of Lion’s Tea Challenge

80 mL water + 25 mL hot milk + 1/2 tsp matcha power (writing is in Japanese, I don’t know they brand)

Ick! I forgot I do not like matcha by itself. Maybe I have not had a good matcha, because I like matcha icecream and frappachinos. Anyway. This is bitter and gross. It tastes like green tea and kelp :P Maybe I’ll use the rest to make homemade blended ice drinks, I can’t see myself drinking this again.

Flavors: Bitter, Green, Seaweed

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 g 4 OZ / 125 ML

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I brewed cups of Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea (Teavana) and African Nectar Rooibos (Mighty Leaf) hot yesterday, but didn’t feel like steeping them again. I threw both teabags into a large cup of cold water and let it steep ~10 hours. The rooibos jasmine tea I’m now drinking is delicious. The rooibos makes it woody, sweet, and complex. The jasmine makes it a bit floral and distinctive. I will be making a jug of iced tea with this blend tonight.

Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Rooibos, Sweet Potatoes, Wood

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 20 OZ / 600 ML

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Sabertooth Ancient Tree Dian Hong Black Tea, 2015 Spring Feng Qing, from Bitterleaf Teas. An evening tea session. Updated tasting notes later…

Preparation
Boiling 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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2006 Ban Zhang from Bitterleaf Teas. Absolutely amazing!

Updated tasting notes soon…

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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A Hong Kong-Roasted Three Stamp Shuixian purchased from @jayinhkg.

An evening tea session originally planned for earlier in the afternoon. Rich malt and chocolate aromatics and flavor notes. So super smooth and creamy with zero bitterness. This is some seriously good high quality Shui Xian. With a similar flavor profile, consistency and color of dark roasted coffee beans this is an expresso of teas. I rarely pair food with tea but tonight I paired this incredible tea with a delicious orange scone and it was a perfect match.

7g of dark chocolate colored leaf, 100ml Purion, 190F for 60s, 30s, 20s, 30s and climbing from there.

This could easily have been a temptation for a back to back session.

The dry leaf:
https://instagram.com/p/BGaBilohUk2/

The session:
https://instagram.com/p/BGadjEuBUo7/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Dark Roast TGY, another incredible Taiwanese tea acquired from fellow Tea Chatter Ethan. Puffed brown rice, slight chamomile, light mineral, the perfect amount of roast. 5.5g of leaf, 120ml, 190F, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s and upwards to well over 2m to get all the roasted goodness out of this amazing leaf.

The session: https://instagram.com/p/BFZpoMmBUqk/

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Pesticide-free, high-quality Dongfang Meiren (Oriental Beauty) from Taiwan, via fellow Tea Chatter and awesome tea provider Ethan. Crisp white grape and apple, autumn spice, fig, white carnation bouquet, from golden yellow to deep orange to beautiful red, semi-sweet to brown sugar, mead meets Chardonnay, an exceptional tea.

5g, 120ml, varying temps, 10s start with 5-10s climbs for at least ten infusions up to one last 5m steep which was still pretty enjoyable. A good candidate for one last overnight infusion.

The leaf: https://instagram.com/p/BFXRRhVBUrI/

The session: https://instagram.com/p/BFXXl5phUoB/

The evolution of color: https://instagram.com/p/BFXcQofhUhU/

Preparation
5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Black Tie Guan Yin, direct from Taiwan via a tea acquaintance who I am very grateful to for allowing me to acquire/purchase this incredible tea. Belgian chocolate aromatic dry leaf, sweet dried fruit and yam aromatics wet leaf, honey, spice, raisin flavor notes, subtle smokey autumn leaf finish with a touch of orange…nothing but love in this cup.

5g, 120ml @ 212F. 10s start with 5s increments for multiple infusions leading upwards to 3m.

The session: https://instagram.com/p/BFVUZcgBUqt/

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
86 tasting notes

This is for Verdant Tea’s “Thirty Year” Tieguanyin. Probably not worth making a separate database entry for this because it likely won’t be available again. I bought some of this when I purchased their bamboo strainers, which I highly recommend, and I needed to add only a few dollars more to get free shipping. Thus I tossed this into my cart.

This tea is tough to judge because it has been heavily re-roasted recently. In fact it tasted like it was re-roasted right before I got it. Noticed some nearly char black pieces, the roasting is rather uneven. I mainly tasted the roast throughout with a slight sour note. The tea looked green once the roasting soaked off. I don’t think this is 30 year old Tieguanyin but with Verdant’s track record of misleading marketing lately I wasn’t expecting this tea to be as old as advertised.

On the plus side, it does steep quite a long time. I got 8 steeps before getting bored with the tea and it could have easily gone a few more. I don’t remember what parameters I used but I did use quite a lot of the tea.

Gooseberry Spoon

Will it go in the tin?

Cwyn

No, it is too recently roasted. Such a small amount left anyway.

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So over the last week I’ve been telling myself I need a thick-walled gaiwan for brewing high-temperature teas like shou. Basically the theory is that thick-walled gaiwans retain heat better on longer steeps, making later steeps more flavorful. Anyway, I don’t have the money to buy teaware at the moment so I decided to make my own.

May I introduce you to…the double-boiler gaiwan!
http://imgur.com/1TvdU9V

Yeah, so I happen to have two of the same gaiwan cups (the lid broke on my first one), and decided to try filling the lower one with boiling-ass water and steeping the top one with equally hot water. So does it work? Yes! Not only is the gaiwan sizzling hot to the touch, but the tea inside (2011 Hui Run from Yunnan Sourcing) is much richer and more intense in later infusions. Maybe I should switch my major to engineering…

Matu

Brilliant. I’d find every way to burn the hell outta my fingers doing that though haha

JWhisk

Ha yeah, I definitely singed my fingertips a little. The goal is no fingerprints by age 30

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I got back from my shift at the school letterpress covered with ink and bruises (fiddling around with stiff old iron machinery), and wanted something comforting. I’m now drinking some mysterious maocha from LiquidProust—used 3.5 grams in a 100ml gaiwan and it’s a very mild, sweet brew. Hints of apricot and a tiny bit of smoke, and a nice sweetness. I’m noticing I really love fruity flavors in my tea—especially raw and ripes. Gonna keep this going and see how it turns out.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
586 tasting notes

Backlog from April 21st:

Pineapple Kona Pop / Raspberry Pineapple Luau
from Teavana

I mixed these two together this morning for something different, but it didn’t really create anything spectacular. In fact, it’s pretty tasteless. I’m sure it’s partly due to my teas being older, but it’s really just not good. There is a vague fruitiness but it mostly tastes dusty and bland. The color is a deep berry red which I’m assuming is from the hibiscus which I can also taste. Not impressed.

Flavors: Dust, Fruity, Hibiscus

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown

I’m not sure if this sample that I received from Liquid Proust reads “2009” or “2007” Mengku. However, I wanted to have a cup of raw pu-erh for my post-Statistics final, so I grabbed the rest of this out of the cupboard.

Now, I like the astringency of a raw. The first two steeps offered none of that, rather, I had nice mineral, smoky, and wet moss flavors to it. However, after these two steeps, I started to taste the astringency that I prefer when drinking a Sheng. The smokiness of the tea disappeared rather quickly, but the mossy/mineral notes stayed with this tea…Until steep 6.

Somehow, unbeknownst to me, the smokiness returned. I like to remind you that I’m new to pu-erh tea (3-4 months now, but still moderately unfamiliar to understanding the flavor, etc.) Anyway, I think it went well with the bitterness of the tea. It gave it that sort of burnt leafy taste, which reminds me of old leaves burning in a large field in the country during the Fall months. It also reminds me of walking in the woods as the snow melts, and the leaves have that old wet smell to them. That is what I enjoy about a majority of Raw pu, and this one has no exception.

90/100

Side Note: I think I used too much leaf in general (10g for 150ml). That, and I used overly hot water because I was distracted and allowed it to boil…..Prior to, the bitterness was subtle and still sweet (the water was 170F during the first few steeps). Anyway, I still enjoyed this.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFUJ6NTg-6/?taken-by=s.gsanders1

R.F. Hill

PS. Finals are officially over with (thank God).

Liquid Proust

2007 Mengku from TB :) Errrone likes it

R.F. Hill

Awesome, I’m going to buy more then. Thank you again for the sample. Helped get me through the day :)

Liquid Proust

Have you bought from TB yet? It’s not the easiest to do right way, but this is from MX Tea which makes it simple’ish

R.F. Hill

I haven’t purchased anything from them, no.

Liquid Proust

Well…. Have fun :p. Ita an online Chinese mall basically

Liquid Proust

This cake is like $9 for 357g though

R.F. Hill

Whhhaaat. I’ll have to look it up immediately after work. I might give myself a little spending room this paycheck. :)

Liquid Proust

Taobao is 10x better for massive orders because of the shipping cost. Should wait for a group buy or a large buy yourself

R.F. Hill

Let me know if you’re ever interested in the future….

mrmopar

I would buy one if you guys get a group buy on.

Liquid Proust

I’ll do some shipping quotes on a few of these and some other things they have I want :)
I will keep you both post. My guess would be that I can get these to you at $10 a cake + $5 tb shipping and then $5 US shipping which makes it about $20 for 357; which I find good as it’s a greatly stored cake from 07. Let me do it in June :)

mrmopar

I can forward the amount for all and then just get paid back when they arrive if need too. You may have to link the shop as I may spy something else in there.

R.F. Hill

Message me in June. I’m in. :)

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Well, today I’ve finally had a moment to sit and drink tea; to contemplate my life. The last couple of weeks of college are nearly complete (4 classes left until I complete my Education major, and then can continue onward for another year, to become a certified middle-grades History/English teacher!), my wife’s car is on the verge of falling apart, we’re waiting for our caseworker to get a hold of us to set a date for the home study, and we’re eager to have our children out of the terrible foster system—and into a loving home—where Mom & Dad will give them the best that we can give them….

Okay, that was sentimental….

Anyway, I’m currently drinking my third cup of Liquid Proust’s ‘A Dark Kitchen Sink.’ As of late, I’ve been wanting to eat everything candy and/or ice cream. However, I need to resist the temptation, and just pluck from the cupboard, these types of tea that I purposely have for these stressed induced situations. Fortunately, this was in there—and what a treat! If I were to close my eyes at this moment, I could say that you’ve watered ice cream down (particularly a Turtle sundae) by a whole lot, and reduced it to a simple drink; to which I’d say,

“My, oh my, what a fine treat! Is this hot watered down ice cream?”

Then I’d hear, “No you dope, it’s simply the best damn dessert tea that you’ve ever had.”

Alright, there’s a huge nutty flavor which comes from the whole pecans within the tea. There is definitely a nice black tea flavor after the third steep that jumps out a little (from the description, I’m assuming that’s from the Golden Pu-erh needles); which gives it the sweet cocoa note. The honey gives it a nice caramel note, too. I mean, I could list the ingredients that I try, but when I go about reviewing a tea that way, I get sidetracked, and then my review turns to mush.

I will just say that this is GREAT, remarkable, extraordinary, amazing, astonishing, astounding, sensational, stunning, incredible, and unbelievable! Buy it. Try it! Drink it! It’s liquid ice cream! What could be better?

P.S. Today’s tea soundtrack comes from the Japanese instrumental rock band, MONO, “Hymn to the Immortal Wind.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbnhjsDI_ho

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEtV9Q8g-zd/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEtYZMog-5H/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

https://www.instagram.com/p/BEtbjtMA-xP/?taken-by=s.g_sanders1

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey, Pecan, Vanilla

Daylon R Thomas

It’s one of the best Pu-ERh blends I’ve had. Funny enough, I’m a social studies education major…

R.F. Hill

Any particular era of history that you enjoy the most?

Liquid Proust

Oh hey, I have a MCE bacholers certified to teach SS and LA :)

R.F. Hill

Well, I guess there are plenty of us out there in the world, wanting to teach! Such interesting subjects, too.:)

Kirkoneill1988

one of the many best reviews i’ve ever seen

Daylon R Thomas

Ancient Egypt. My degree was in anthropology, but I switched ‘cause I like teaching more. I probably will pursue a Master’s or a PhD eventually, but with my type 1 diabetes, I need good insurance to cover my pump supplies.

Daylon R Thomas

I also really like teaching philosophy and psychology…which I do as a tutor in a International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge class.

R.F. Hill

That is awesome! I’m a big Civil War buff & 19th century literature geek. I want to pursue a Master’s in Literature and/or Counseling.

R.F. Hill

Egypt is pretty cool stuff, though. I just taught my kids about mummys the other day.

gmathis

Can’t wait to hear good news about the kiddos! They are blessed that you much about them!

R.F. Hill

@gmathis, We are preparing the house for everything. We’ve already got the bedroom ready, finally have (as of yesterday) two reliable family-sized cars, and have bought them small gifts for when they arrive! We’re so excited; it’s quite emotional for the both of us. Unfortunately, the county is behind by 5-6 weeks on home studies, so that is frustrating. Thank you for the kind words :)

gmathis

That you care so much about them! (Glad you read between the typos.) Keep us posted!

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