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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a tasty and complex tea. It was also hard to get right. I brewed it in a 220 ml gaiwan with 7g leaf. First I tried boiling water and 20 sec. It was way too weak and way to bitter. I lowered the water temperature to 190 degrees and gave it 3 min. I then steeped it again for 4 min and 7 min. This yielded a very tasty tea, still with a slight bitter taste, I think from the rice. The chocolate notes were much more subtle than I expected. I would have liked stronger chocolate notes. Overall it was very good. I went out and bought this tea because of the reviews of a couple other people on Steepster.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
I had this tea at breakfast this morning. I managed to get up early enough to have a cup in a real mug at home. :) That was nice.
Sadly, I’m not too thrilled with this tea. It’s just not a set of flavours that I’m liking together very much. It’s not really appley enough, and the base teas were very much in the background this morning.
Oh well. I think I have one serving left, so that’s fine. Maybe I’ll take it camping. Everything tastes better (“better”) when out camping!
This was a sample from Stephanie, also known as “Lover of Dancongs”. I’ve been trying to get some more experience with these teas, so I requested this one in our recent swap. The leaves are beautiful – they’re very long and straight, and tightly twisted. Very dark in color. I asked Stephanie for her Western-style brewing parameters and I ended up doing 190 degree for 5 minutes.
Brewed aroma is very strongly apricot. And it’s a rather tart-smelling apricot! Yum. There’s also the ubiquitous roastiness and a bit of floral. Whoa, the taste! Very strong due to the long steep, and the stonefruit flavor is very strong and lovely. There’s also a darker dried fruit flavor, maybe prune or raisin. It’s roasty and there’s a bit of autumn leaf, but it’s in the background which is unusual in my experience. My only issue with this tea is that the floral element is fairly strong, and it almost borders on being soapy near the end. And that kind of prevents me from wanting to drink this again. Curse you, floral! Not rating because of the bias, lul. :D
Flavors: Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Roasted
Morning Cold Brew!
I wasn’t so sure how this one would turn out; but I just thought that trying it Cold Brewed would be, at the very least, really interesting. To me, this is a blend that definitely does not scream "Yes; I would be good cold!’.
But actually, it really wasn’t half bad. I mean, I certainly prefer it hot but it had some really nice notes to it. For one, the Tulsi was really strong but it was nice and kinda playfully jumped back and forth over the line between sweet and savory. And the cinnamon? I think more palatable overall as cold tea. I’ve found that, in general, I like cinnamon stuff more when it’s cold than when it’s hot.
Really, it was just the base that wasn’t as good cold as it is hot. But it was still definitely drinkable!
From Marco Polo TTB. Thank you to Verdant for supplying samples!
I really admire that Verdant supplied some of this tea, because it’s not an unknown in the community and it is highly lauded as being great. I think they supplied it because they are kind :)
I pulled out a sample before sending the box on, and enjoyed it this morning. I love traveling tea boxes but I like not feeling the pressure to try everything before I send the box out. This one was strong and delicious. I can’t think what it tasted like. I know it wasn’t sweet potato, it wasn’t malty. No muscatel. Not honey. What does that leave? I liked it, whatever it was!
This is another quite old tea in my cupboard, and as a white tea it’s probably one that should be drank up sooner than later. Fortunately it has aged very well; this tea is still as creamy, sweet, and deliciously floral as it was when I first got it. I would probably restock this one as my straight jasmine tea (as opposed to a jasmine pearl) just because I love the white base so much.
In that mythical time when my cupboard has been pared down to a small number of essential teas (plus a few rotating samples), this will likely have a home. I have a few more servings of it that I will enjoy before it’s gone!
Flavors: Hay, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Marshmallow
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I’ve chosen this tea for my first tasting not on here. This tea is fantastic. I have enjoyed both western and gong fu with great results both times. The first time I drank it my girlfriend and I actually started laughing it tasted so good. This is always a good sign!
From this tea I have gotten throughout the steeping process the much lauded sandelwood notes as well as stone fruit, grapefruit, and floral notes with some slight minerality popping its head up. Delicious tea.
Lewis and Clarke TTB
This smells jasmine-y and juicy fruity. I steeped it up and then put it in the freezer to cool it down quickly. The result was cool and refreshing, juicy and jasmine, this tea is spring. It siting outside on cool spring day, birds chirping, fragrant jasmine wafting all around, butterflies fluttering by, and juicy ripe honeydew and cantaloupe in your lap.
I’ve written rapturous notes about this tea before. It was my first “OMG this is so freaking good I must have so much of it that I never ever run out” (or just OMG for short) tea. I’ve neglected it as of late because I have MANY of those OMG teas now: Special Dark, Golden Orchid, Cocoa Amore, Bailin Gongfu, Wild Monk, etc. And I have a staggering amount of this. I’m so glad.
I read Dexter’s note on this when I woke up far too early this morning and craved the thick honey sweet malty bready slightly spicy flavor that is this cup of love. Usually when I’m this groggy and half-awake, I do something simple: make water hot, dump tea, drink tea.
It’s been too long for this tea, so I got out my beautiful pink flowered pot and its matching cup. I pre-heated the pot and the cup and overleafed the pot and brewed up 16 ounces of pure golden delight: http://instagram.com/p/r1cWGsQx61/?modal=true
I’m sitting here sipping and mmmm-ing. Blissful! And this is playing in my head as I sip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EgB__YratE
Thank you Dexter for reminding me how much I love this.
Updated to note that I went through those 16 ounces of love so quickly and loved it so much I’m making another pot.
It’s been hot here for the last couple of weeks and I haven’t been drinking much hot tea. It was significantly cooler today, and I drank a BUNCH of hot teas.
I feel like I’ve been writing negative or just ok tasting notes all day. Wanted to end the day with something GOOD.
This is beyond good – this is a great tea. It’s beautiful to look at and it’s beautiful to drink. There are tons of tasting notes about it, so I’m not going to go into long boring details. It’s just a great sweet potato, grainy style black tea.
This makes me happy tonight. :))
I need to rethink my aversion to licorice root. It’s something that I avoid at all costs, and then something like this comes along and I don’t hate it.
The ginger is more predominant to my tastes, and there is a little fruity, some earthiness. Interesting blend for sure.
Thanks so much scribbles for sending some of this my way – would have missed this one if you hadn’t sent it to me. :))
I feel like I’ve been sleeping forever! I just keep falling asleep this weekend. I sit down with a book, and next thing you know, I’ve passed out. Does a mild cold really make someone so sleepy? I actually got up at a pretty good time this morning. I took the dogs out, did a bit of laundry, had breakfast, did a bit of garden work.
Then I lay down again for some reason and passed right out again. 4 hours later, I’m awake. I never need to sleep again! I figured I’d better have some tea before I fall asleep again.
This is one I’ve had for a while. Dancongs usually remind me of fall. All cozy and woodsy and crisp. This one is no different. It’s like leaf litter and honey. THere’s a cooling fresh sensation that lingers after the swallow. I may have under brewed this first steep. More to come.
Yum! I thought I had left this in the water too long, but I think I probably under leafed so it worked out. This steep is delicious. There’s the odd cooling menthol note. How does that get into tea? Sweet lychee and honey. Minimal autumn leaf pile flavor this time. I’m just slurping this down. tasty and comforting. It makes me wish for fall. I’m not ready for summer to be over yet, but autumn is truly one of the loveliest seasons.
i had this one in the wee small hours of this morning…or late last night if you want to look at it that way. Release weekend = Sil’s been up all night, though not as long as if we hadn’t had to roll back :( such a pain in the arse…and if i don’t get to ruin my weekend next weekend for this same shit, then all my other work this year gets replanned…. which would be the suck. glad i had this one with me
Lewis and Clarke TTB
Ok so I know I just said I’m staying away from greens for the time being, but I wanted to know what the Laoshan Green would taste like hot, and since this is made with the Laoshan Green I decided to give it try. This mostly savory, but there’s a hint of sweetness there, and I keep thinking for a second that I had sweetened this, and then remembering I didn’t. There’s the green beans, smooth an buttery in a way I didn’t notice in the cold brew, and also some roasty nutty, mise with the toasty notes. This is pretty good, and once I get out of my green tea funk I can see myself ordering this.
Flavors: Butter, Green Beans, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty, Vegetal
Lewis and Clarke TTB
We had some friends in town, and they wanted to go to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter today. So, that meant I had about 10 seconds to choose a tea to cold brew and drink grandpa style while at the parks. I was trying to take a break from greens, as I’m growing tired of them, but this was on top, ad seemed like a good candidate for what I needed.
This is sort of roasty, nutty, and on the dark end of the vegetal spectrum with notes of green beans and lima beans. There’s also a bit of water chestnut. Not bad, but if I had more time to pick, I would have chosen something on the lighter end of the vegetal spect I because I prefer them cold and the darker ones hot.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Nutty, Vegetal
I’m actually drinking this one hot, but I’m quite sure that it would be really good as a cold steep.
I’m getting mostly berry, some tart – but not as much as I was expecting, and only a hint of floral at the end. I’m not really into florals but this isn’t too much, so I’m ok with it.
I’m happy to have tried this, but I don’t think it’s something that I need to keep stocked.
I’m back….for at least a week before i leave again. This is very nearly my first cup of tea in a week, with the exception of the sample i had while at Adagio – vanilla oolong (which i almost bought surprisingly enough..) I had this early this morning on my walk to pick up a package from dexter and get some breakfast…still not used to having a house with food versus reataurants. Especially not since tonight i’ve got an overnight which will have the worlds worst food provided. blech. So glad to be back with my tea for at least a little while…even if i did over splurge on tea while in chicago lol
Lewis and Clarke TTB
When I saw this in the box, I squealed in excitement (which caused my bf to call me tea crazy). I’ve been wanting to try this for awhile. The dry leaf smells so much like cocoa powder, it’s insane. There’s also a touch of that roasted peanut smell.
I used ~5g for 8oz 200F for 5,20,30,45 seconds. The first cup tasted like honey, with a touch of caramel. Second cup is similar, but with a strong cocoa note hitting the back of your tongue at the end of the sip.
Third steep, a nice dark bread like note appears. It’s dark bread slathered in honey and a heavy dusting of cocoa powder. Sinfully delicious. The forth loses some of the honey and gets some grainy (barley?) notes at the front of the sip.
It’s not often that I finish my cup of tea while it’s still piping hot, but I just couldn’t wait for the cup to cool. I need to get this!