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Recent Tasting Notes
Tonight I am drinking a flowering green tea from the Clipper Ship Tea Co. It is nice, sweet and vegetal, not bitter. It also doesn’t have that sour taste I was tasting in everything I drank for days due to my taste buds (I think anyway). I broke in a new glass teapot from China for the purpose of this tea, although I didn’t buy it for flowering teas specifically. This tea was called Awakening Spirit on the package. I only bought one flower of this type so this was a one shot deal.
I brewed this once in a 200ml teapot with one flower tea and 175 degree water for about 5 min.
1 more steeping left of my no-name assam (I’m sure it had a name but I lost it) then I can replace it with a new assam. This one is rather flat only a little malt note in the front if I add condensed milk. I prefer a really strongly malty assam so next time I’ll be looking for the malt. This one does the trick of clearing the fog and waking me up. Steepster ate a lot of my notes lately, lets see if this rather inane one “sticks”
Received some samples from an awesome tea friend! All were lovely shous :)
Golden Memory – smooth and lovely. I would drink again.
Trinity Blend – oh boy. I wanted to love it… cool name. But the fermentation flavor was out of control LOL. I even did extra rinses and couldn’t get past it.
7572 – This is perfect for an after dinner sip. Very mild, no excessive earthiness, just pleasant and yum.
Hey, my first Random Steepings note!
I received two samples from a friend and know little about their origin. Both are ripe pu’erhs and both were delicious. I am leaving a note more for myself.
2000 Langhe Menghai Ripe – Total yums. No fermentation flavors. Very smooth and wow… SWEET.
2000 Lancang Ripe – Very similar. If all shous turn out like this, I will be a happy girl. The sweetness is so pronounced and lovely. This tastes like a sugar cave. There’s a whisper of earthiness under all the brown sugar. Lovely.
I’m hanging out with my pups and Chairman Meow, enjoying my tea happy!
P.S. Before I hit save, I did google to see if “sugar cave” was some sort of pervy term. Because doesn’t it seem like it would be?
Bunny tea pet loves this shou!
Mixed Saffron Chamomile by Taja Tea with Classic Sleepytime by Celestial Seasonings.
It made two relatively unexciting chamomile-based teas taste really good. The spearmint from the Sleepytime is especially prevalent, and the saffron adds a certain richness that wouldn’t otherwise be noticeable. It’s kind of like a chamomile bouquet of gentle goodness that makes me feel much better about life.
Mmmmmmm, perfect bedtime mix!
This is quite possibly my first “Random Steepings” entry. Tada! The beau and I had Chinese food “in town” tonight and I was curious about the tea. The waitress said there was a loose leaf oolong and we asked for a pot of that. It came loose but was brewing up really dark so we investigated. Turned out, this is definitely shu puerh. She had no more info about it but we told her a bit about puerh and how she might like to brew it if she wants to try it again. It was actually really nice and held up to Western steeping really well. This encouraged me to try more of our pu Western style. Yay!
Also excuse the (many?) Typos. I’m on my phone and Steepster won’t let me see what I am typing so I am just hoping it turns out legible…now it’s letting me. Grr. That was pretty bad. I think I got most of them.
Time for my very last Design a Tea custom sample. This one is Mango Amaretto Rooibos. Visually, just red rooibos with a few flower petals. Dry scent is kind of vaguely tart-sweet fruity with heavy marzipan notes.
Hmm, this one is actually pretty good. It doesn’t actually taste like marzipan, it’s actually spot-on for those amazing amaretti cookies (you know the ones I mean, they’re Italian, small and dome-shaped, and a pale pink-tan in color). So hooray for accurate amaretto flavor! The mango is there as a sort of fruity note, but it pokes its tart little head out near the end and gives the sip a nice fresh finish. Yum! :)
Flavors: Almond, Cookie, Fruity, Mango, Sweet, Tart
Next Design a Tea sample is Blueberry Chestnut with a black base. The black leaves are very small, and there are pieces of some kind of dried fruit-like thing along with decorative flower petals. Dry scent is very sweet and nutty, I don’t get much blueberry but it still smells really good! Once I poured the water over the leaves, I got a nice whiff of blueberry aroma. Steeped for 3 minutes at 200 degrees.
Brewed aroma is still very sweet and rich with lots of nutty scent. I do get a bit of blueberry jam, but it’s in the background. Hmm… I get a lot of the black base (malty, generic) with some nuttiness mixed in. The blueberry mostly shows up at the end of the sip. Tried it with a bit of sugar added, and while it definitely helped to bring out the blueberry flavor, I think I’m just not a fan of white sugar in my tea anymore. It adds a weird aftertaste that reminds me of artificial sweeteners… Maybe next time I’ll try brown sugar. Overall, a decent tea, and I imagine it would be good with milk. Rating would be mid-70s.
Flavors: Astringent, Blueberry, Chestnut, Jam, Malt, Nutty, Sweet
Time for another Design a Tea sample! This time, I’m trying Apricot Caramel with a green tea base. The green tea leaves are smallish and steamed flat. For some unknown reason, there are rosehips mixed in (and flower petals). I must say, I am getting pretty annoyed with the unnecessary added ingredients (that I didn’t ask for) in these blends. I do not enjoy rose hips, I find them tart and not much else, similar to hibiscus. So please don’t put them in my sample when I didn’t ask for them… Grumble. Anyway… Dry scent is tart apricot with something else I can’t place. I steeped for 3 minutes at 175.
Brewed aroma is apricot with a strange powdered sugary scent. Meh the green tea base is pretty much just grassy and kind of tastes like leaves (imagine that, lol). There’s not enough flavoring here for me, and I mostly just taste the base. Tried adding sugar, and while it did help it taste more like caramel, it muted the apricot. It’s now only present as a sort of apricot jam aftertaste. Meh! Rating would be in the high 60s.
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Grass, Jam
Next sample up from Design a Tea is Vanilla Nutmeg Black! This one was kind of a safe bet for me, as I love vanilla black teas in general and nutmeg is amazing. Visually, this one looks similar to Butiki’s Nutmeg Cream but with smaller leaf pieces (they’re small but not quite fannings like the last one…). It also smells pretty similar – strong nutmeg with lovely vanilla/cream undertones. I’m steeping this one for 4 minutes at 200 degrees.
Once brewed, the vanilla/cream and nutmeg scents are more equal. It smells like some kind of amazing nutmeg vanilla custard pie! Okay, now I need to make one of those… Happily, this cup did not come out bitter at all. The beginning of the sip is mostly nutmeg, and then the vanilla shows up near the middle and continues to the end, which reminds me of creamy vanilla pudding. I actually dared to add some vanilla almond milk to this, which just pushed it over the top. I think I prefer soy milk, but I bought a carton of almond this time to compare. Overall, I’m pleased with this blend! Rating would be in the low 80s. :)
Flavors: Creamy, Custard, Nutmeg, Vanilla
I ordered 5 samples for $5 from Design a Tea, and I feel like it would be silly to add them all into the database, as they’re custom and I will probably only drink them once. So I’m going to log them all under “Random Steepings” and just list the rating at the bottom of the note instead.
First up is “Maple Cider Oolong”. The oolong itself is an oxidized variety. I must say, I’m pretty disappointed by the leaf quality here, my sample is almost all tiny pieces and fannings. These samples come prepackaged in a tea bag, but I cut mine open and used my infuser instead. Well, I definitely regret it now… For some unknown reason, they decided to add chamomile to this blend, and if I had known that, I would have left it in the bag. Chamomile pollen likes to stick in my infuser, even though it’s super fine, and it’s a giant pain in the ass to clean it out. Not off to a good start here, Design a Tea…
Anyway, dry it smells nice enough, sweet and apple-y with maple undertones. I let mine steep for 3 minutes at 200 degrees (the instructions said 3-4 minutes but I didn’t want to go longer with such tiny leaf pieces). Brewed aroma has a lot of chamomile… Now I’m grumpy. I can smell apple and sweet maple too, but the chamomile is strongest.
Even though I only steeped for 3 minutes, it’s a little bit bitter. I do taste some chamomile, but at least it’s not as strong as the smell… The cider flavor is nice, but I don’t really taste maple. I even tried adding a little sugar to see if that would bring it out, but it didn’t seem to help.
Overall, the cider flavor is good in this one, but I don’t taste maple and I’m somewhat upset by the chamomile… Rating would be somewhere in the 65-70 range probably.
Flavors: Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Flowers, Roasted
This was in my surprise birthday package from The Cookie Lady. She told me she couldn’t remember what it was. And now that I’ve tasted it I think it’s a jasmine tea!
Least that’s what it tastes like to me. Not bad at all!
The leaves are rolled up into little pearls, which I really love! They’re so unique and pretty! Thank you for the generous sample, The Cookie Lady! You’re fantastic! (:
So, this is my last tea from my swap with Rie T sadly
The tag on this last tea(which is genmaicha with matcha) it says:
“From my relative. This is very typical genmaicha for home use, with added matcha powder in this version.”
So it’s even more legit! :P
This one isn’t as strong as the other genmaicha teas I’ve had tonight. But it’s not bad. Still has that extra sweetness from the matcha that I really like. Glad I got to try this.
Thank you, Rie T.!
Got a Genmaicha from Mandy in a surprise package she sent to me a month or so ago. It’s from Enjoying Tea.
Actually was in the mood for genmaicha this morning too. Steeped it for like three minutes, and it’s still not very strong for some reason…
Not the best genmaicha that I’ve tried yet….
So my quest for the perfect genmaicha continues!
So here’s quick reviews about two unnamed oolongs that Albertocanfly sent me. Oh how I love mysterious oolongs. :P This is the kind of tea I’m used to drinking-haha!
Also, steeped both of them grandpa style. Just like I used to all the time before I realized steeping times existed.
So the first one is pretty roasty. Not overly so, but enough to be the main flavor of it.
Second was pretty green-y. Pretty grassy. Definitely not my kind of oolong. xD
Not my favorite oolong but I definitely enjoyed trying them! It’s been a while since I drank oolong. But it’s nice to go back to my first love in the tea world :P
Flavors: Grass, Roasted
In addition to the indian white, I also got a Chinese black, a Kukicha, and a matcha covered Genmaicha. The Chinese black, labeled only as such, is smoky, woodsy, and floral. I expect it might be a Keemun. Nevertheless, it reminds me of spring in the Olympic mountains. Wild flowers abundant, evergreens standing crisply in the chilly air, perhaps near a campfire. Lovely tea so long as I am careful not to steep it. The Kukicha tastes like a warm chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate, and it can take some steeping abuse. A wonderful tea, as well.
Today we checked out a little hole in the wall Chinese restaurant for dinner, and it was pretty excellent. Good pho, Shanghai noodles, ginger beef and these spectacular fried jumbo shrimp. Mmmm. The accompanying tea was just jasmine bagged tea, I think the stuff that comes in the yellow box with the red and white writing, but it was a pretty great accompaniment to a good meal.
We went for Korean barbecue and all you can eat sushi for lunch yesterday. It was fantastic – I’m always impressed when an all you can eat place does sushi well. Chopped scallop, shrimp tempura and tamago maki, red snapper, salmon, and tuna nigiri, goma ae, tempura, wakame salad, fried smelts, corn croquet, and lots of grilled meat and veg. A nice genmaicha was the perfect accompaniment.
I had restaurant iced tea with dinner tonight, which means very sweet, lemony tea mix type iced tea. I always find this kind of iced tea both refreshing and too sugary. I can’t make up my mind.
I do always like going down to the US and ordering iced tea that’s actually cold tea, which you just don’t get here in Canada.
Tonight we went to Segovia for our anniversary dinner and as always it was amazing. I’ve travelled a lot, and I feel very privileged to have one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at right in my back yard. They do traditional and innovative tapas, and we tried four main dishes and then four desserts.
With dessert I had Darjeeling 2nd Flush Organic “Selimbong” black tea. I’m fairly certain this is from Cornelia bean, but not 100% sure.
This was really nice. I don’t have a lot of experiences with Darjeelings, but it’s an area I definitely want to explore more. I steeped this for maybe two minutes.
The liquor was bright orange and clear. There’s a fruity top note that I couldn’t quite identify and I wonder if it’s the characteristic muscatel flavour? A hint of smoke on the finish, a touch of bitterness that complimented the cup nicely.
The body was quite light and smooth, quit similar to a lot of greens.
Very tasty. I think I will need to pick some of this up.