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T&C TTB Tea # 13 Backlog May 25
This one made my whole house smell like chocolate! Amazing.
It was a roasty, toasted cocoa taste, with a slight bitter note that I don’t recall from laoshan black. I’d like to try the two side by side to do a real comparison, because as it stands I’m not sure there’s enough of a difference that I’d need both….but I’m sticking with LB!
(3 min @ 96 degrees)
Friends, it’s finally happened. I got my hands on a sample of Laoshan Black! It came from Miss B ‘s tea sale of awesomeness. Thanks so much Miss B! I was beyond excited when I pulled this out of the package. Anyway, THIS TEA. Amazing! I’ve had other teas that had cocoa notes to them, but this actually tasted like chocolate with a toasty taste mixed in. It almost reminded me of a chocolate croissant, but not quite. This had zero astringency and just a tiny suggestion of tannin. Ugh, just so damn good. I got 5 steeps out of it too! This description is kind of falling flat. I can’t do this tea justice. Verdant, please stock the regular LB before I drive over there and buy the expensive one like a fool. K thx bye
Flavors: Baked Bread, Dark Chocolate, Toasted
I’ve moved into my new place, which is really quite nice and cozy, but I haven’t been able to enjoy much tea due to a nasty cold for the last few days. Yesterday morning I brewed a small cup of the Xiao Zhong and took a deep whiff. Usually the smoky aroma would have knocked me backwards, but this time I only caught the faintest curling hint of it, which shows how much my sense of smell was impaired. The tea was…good? Probably? Anyway, it seemed wasteful to drink up any more of my limited supply while not being able to appreciate it.
On the bright side, I’m feeling much better now, and I ordered some of the new spring teas from Verdant, so I’ll be looking forward to that in the next week or so.
So I don’t drink Sheng often enough.
And when I do, I keep telling myself, jeez, why don’t you, silly?
Maybe cause it requires more commitment than some other teas? Like, I can’t have this while cleaning up the house or doing chores. No, that would be disrespectful. If I have it, it has to be at a moment when I know I can dedicate time to it.
I think Terri said it propels her into a cosmic state of mind. I agree, this is legal drugs.
This being so “young” feels almost like a white tea, it has that White Peony apricot-y peachy taste, with very sweet honey notes.
3rd and 4th steep bring something very floral with soft woody notes. The wet leaves smell spectacular, wet wood and eucalyptus.
I find zero astringency in this, very smooth and soothing.
Then, something unexpected happens…it morphs into a fuller bodied tea, stronger bark notes and assertive spicy sweet taste. It reminds me of Ginseng Oolong. I also get some roasted almond. The colour of the brew intensifies as well.
I’m just starting to play with it, my afternoon will be peaceful I can already tell.
Doctor prescribed new anxiety pills yesterday…I think I should just keep drinking this instead :-)
This is a well reviewed tea and I have nothing new to say about it. It is very good and worthy of the attention it has gotten. Rich and smooth.
I’m sitting here trying to relax by sipping Laoshan Black while I wait for 2:00 pm. I have to go to the vet and pick up Buffy. Poor little fuzz ball has a broken leg. Last night my son was trying to get his cat over its loathing of the newest member of the house. The cat was having no part of it. Of course Buffy loved the idea. So when my son stood up to carry his cat to safety, it jump from his arms and landed paw first on Buffy’s back leg. Her crying in pain was almost unbearable. It was ten minutes to five. We called the vet and they told us “Sorry we are closing. Bring her by at 8:30 in the morning.” If there were a better vet in town I would not go back. We bandaged her best we could and put her in her cage. I think Buffy slept more than we did last night. Jerks. What if that were a member of your family? On the other side of the argument – when we got there this morning there were 3 other injured dogs waiting in line… but still Buffy is just a tiny ball of fur… and she is ours.
I received this tea from QueenOfTart’s stash sale. Thank you!
I tried this back in January before I had done much straight black tea tasting. I liked it, but it didn’t scream drink me now. I have been on a Chinese black tea kick for the last week for my evening cup. This is my cup tonight, well and last night. It is wonderful. This is a bit more roasty than the blacks I have been drinking. The first few infusions were ccoa, sweet, creamy with a hint of roast. As I infuse this more the roast is coming out a bit more and the sweet cocoa becomes part of the first part of the sip instead of the end. This tea just keeps giving as well. There is a really nice earthy-ness to this one as well. All around I really like this one.
Who needs chocolate cake when you can have some of this?
I’m not a dessert person, but I do love my chocolate!
To die for!!! This is all chocolate and crispy toasty rice.
I’ve been having cravings all day today. Now I am sated and satisfied…munching on dark chocolate and drinking this tea feels like I have everything I need tonight.
Sorry, I’ve got nothing else to describe here, that’s all I have!
let’s talk about how the preorder on this one changed and NOW it’s going to be like August before i get my LB back. I.am.not.happy. Terri was awesome enough to send me an ounce, which i have since devoured and have maybe a cup left. i’m not thinking of stealing Cavo’s ounce…and even then i’m not entirely sure that will get me through. July 14 = 10 business days from that before i get my beloved tea….it’s like verdant is taunting me..oh hai…for your after birthday present, we will make you wait at least 10 more days for you tea. neener neener.
(From the UTTB.)
Just got around to trying this one. It’s definitely better the more it cools…I’m getting hay-like notes, sweet cream, honeysuckle, and rice pudding. It’s naturally sweet with a slightly nutty flavor. If I had to describe it as a color, it’s the inside of almonds. A very light tan. The color of foam on top of a latte, maybe. Verdant recommends starting with a 30sec infusion and increasing in increments of 10-15sec. I did a first infusion of 55 seconds and a second infusion of 1min 15. In my experience, longer steeps work better for white teas because they bring out stronger flavors (as long as the water isn’t too hot). Water temp was somewhere between 170F and 190F, if I had to guess.
When the tea is hot it’s mostly hay with a touch of buttery green. I wait about 10-15 minutes after brewing to drink. It settles into that creamy, nutty, flowery loveliness that white teas can have! Very nice.
Thanks for putting this in the box MzPriss!
Flavors: Cream, Hay, Honeysuckle, Nuts, Rice, Sweet, Vanilla
WHOA. I feel like I must’ve tried this one at some point…but I sure don’t remember this taste.
I did NOT expect it to be so fruity! It is REALLY fruity and REALLY malty. Very enjoyable and complex. Lots going on here to keep my interest.
I am pretty sure this sample was from Terri…if so, thank you Terri! :)
BOOM BOOM! I’m gonna shoot you right down. Right off your feet. Take you home with me. PUT YOU IN MY HOUSE! Haw Haw Haw. Sorry. I can’t stop John Lee Hooker-ing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSnQ0bdHW0s) over this tea. Boy howdee this is good. There are many teas out there that I like a lot. But I have a pantheon of tea. Mandala’s Special Dark, my necessary shu pu-er, Verdant’s Golden Fleece – the best golden tip black, Whispering Pines Golden Orchid, my favorite black blend, and now – this. It is a genuine pleasure just to stick your nose in the bag and inhale (a quality it shares with Golden Fleece). Deep, rich luscious chocolate. Dark, creamy chocolate.
More on my blog:
Hooray for new tea! This is the first one I tried out of the BOMC box this month, and it could not have come on a better day. I finally finished this insane project at work that had me working extra hours all last week, and the one week the bf was home too :( and it finally went out today!! Thank goodness! So tea to celebrate! And destroy this headache from my contacts lol.
Of the three teas this month, this one and the Gardens of Anxi smelled VERY good. The herbal, we will see haha it’s very minty smelling. This one is bready and Zhu Rong and citrus. It reminds me of that lovely Jolly Earl I just finished up and was sad about using up haha.
I steeped this for between 2 and 3 mins with 200 degree water. The steeped cup smells soo lemony and chocolatey at the same time..mmm! As for the flavor..yes, this does NOT disappoint! It is SO YUM RIGHT NOW. A bright tea, cheering me up with all the citusy flavor, and the Zhu Rong makes for a cozy chocolatey hug of a flavor. Like, this is seriously good. As the cup cools it goes away from EG tasting into a lemony cream taste, I am getting notes of lemon cream pie, it actually is reminiscent of my other lemon black tea, but this one is much brighter and has a way better base tea!
Overall, I am really enjoying this tonight. It has a similar pick me up feeling to the Earl of Anxi, must be all the citrus and orange peel in it. Loving this and can’t wait to try it both iced and possibly as a hot toddy :)
Oh, and Happy Belated Father’s Day!!
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Lemon
This tasting note is number 500 for me. Hooray! So excited to have reached this landmark. I had to pick a special tea to review, so Hand Picked Spring Tieguanyin from 2013 it is. The scent of the tea is very floral, green and a little bit sweet. I’m really looking forward to some of the flavors that I might find in this tea.
First Infusion: Oh, this is such a nice tea. I am always afraid of the floral hit of some oolongs, but this one is floral + such a light sweetness. I can definitely see the comparison of this to cotton candy as the sweetness is light and fluffy. Swirling around the sweetness and flowers is a bit of leafy, mineral, earthy note. I think this keeps it from getting too much like perfume, thankfully! The finish is very lightly buttered, asking you to come back for more.
Second Infusion: the floral scent is a bit stronger with this cup. It’s actually on the verge of being a little bit like stinky flowers.. jasmine often becomes stinky for me if it’s too strong. It’s interesting how much this cup changed from the first. It seems a lot heavier to me. Not a bad thing, but definitely noticeable. A sharp floral note dominates the sip, bit it ends with a nice cantaloupe flavor.
I’d like to keep steeping this one, but it’s time for dinner and I want to brew a few other teas before the night ends. This was a very delicious oolong with plenty of variety for those who want floral, fruit and sweetness over the course of different infusions. Yum!
Is it weird that I think of lemongrass as a savory thing? The lemongrass in this tea is making me think of soup. (Probably doesn’t help that I just ate a turkey sandwich.) I… i don’t think I like my tea to taste like soup.
Last time I had lemongrass in a tea was adagio’s thai chai, where it was part of a very un-soup-like blend of things including coconut, and that just straight up tasted like soap to me. I think maybe lemongrass tea and I just don’t really get along… >.<
(I really hope it doesn’t make my timolino taste like soup/soap forever. That would be super sad. It’s new.)
missB sent this my way and i’m so glad she did. While this is a great chai, i’m not sure it tops the laoshan village chai from verdant that i love…well unless they keep the winter formulation which i DO NOT LIKE as much. this is a tasty chai, but works better with the addition of a little honey and milk. i do like the difference here though with the zhu rong versus the LB. overall, i’ll probably buy another ounce just to play with it even more as i’d like to try and brew this “proper” :)
This tea is the embodiment of springtime to me. The tea liquor is pale yellow-gold. So pale as to be almost clear. It starts with a vibrant green, floral flavor, then gains the sweetness and softness of honeysuckle flowers. The finish is buttery, smooth, and marshmallow sweet. It leaves a very soft pillowy feeling behind. Absolutely lovely. It has been a while since I’ve had this tea, and it’s much sweeter and softer than I remembered.
2tsp / 10oz water
15 second rinse
1st steep – 40sec
2nd steep – 1min 10
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Honeysuckle, Marshmallow, Orchid
This was a sad sipdown.
Chocolate, malt, honey with a hint of smokiness and perhaps citrus.
I still find it similar to verdant’s laoshan black, but this is more crisp and earthy and less toasty.
Very delicious, although I would have to say that the laoshan black is my favorite of the two.
Queued post, written May 7th 2014
I’m cold to the bone and quite tired which probably doesn’t help with the whole body temperature thing either. But it’s May, dammit, and I refuse to turn the radiator further up. I was up late because I was watching the first semi-final for the Eurovision Song Contest. Denmark is hosting this year (and there’s somewhat of a scandal behind the scenes because the whole thing has turned out to be a LOT more expensive than various people holding the purse strings had initially been told, so suddenly there was a slew of extra bills. I expect that’s why Denmark has such a rubbish song this year. They want to be certain they don’t have to pay for it again next year) Also, regarding the countries that qualified for the final on Saturday… WTF, Europe??? O.O And can someone please explain to me, using small words and diagrams, why exactly Armenia’s ultra-boring song is the bookmakers’ favourite?
KS had this tea yesterday and it made me think I should have a sample of it too. The name rung a bell, so I had a rummage through the box of untried things and lo and behold! Courtney had shared a sample with me. How lucky am I?! I need a bit of luck after all the wrong songs qualified and only half of the good songs did.
When Husband and I were in Norwich for our honeymoon, we had caramel flavoured hot chocolate (which didn’t taste very nice) and it smelled quite like this tea. Very cocoa-y and very caramel-y, but both notes are so strong that they keep trying to out-do each other. The whole thing becomes quite toffee-y. The cocoa note also has a tinge of wood-notes to it, which makes me think wood notes and cocoa notes are ‘related’. Same way that the same note in a Keemum can be floral or almost smoky.
The flavour has a wood note as well and it’s the first thing I notice. After that, the tea becomes quite sweet and sort of in between caramel and honey. KS told me, when I asked about whether he thought it was a strong tasting tea, that he thought it tasted like a sort of mix between Dian Hong and Fujian. I find that’s a very accurate description, actually. The honey-y notes from Dian Hong and the cocoa-y notes from Fujian.
I thought this tea was very enjoyable indeed. I would probably have enjoyed it even more, had I not been distracted by curious activity going on under the road bridge on the other side of our garden fence. A guy had parked there and proceeded to unpack a drum kit. He spent a good hour arranging drum kit and some mats around it and just generally going back and forth between his drumkit and the car. It was highly mysterious and I could see it all from my window. Turns out, I think it was some sort of activity the local school was doing, because a group of ten children showed up accompanied by another adult who took photos and sat there as audience while Drum-Guy drummed at them for maybe ten minutes or so. Then they spent some 20 minutes playing on the playground on the other side of the bridge and cleared off, after which Drum-Guy spent another hour packing everything back into his car. Two hours arranging, packing and unpacking for ten minutes drumming! I hope the children got something out of it. But anyway, all this unusual activity meant that the tea got somewhat cold before I could finish it.
No problem, though, because it tasted eminently resteepable and I also have enough leaf for one more go.
I got this lovely sample from Dexter thank you very much.
The dry leaves are very green and smell very herbal.
I’ve prepared this tea western style and brewed it at 185° for 5 minutes and I get now a very lovely Oolong, mellow and tasty.
I taste mainly peachy notes and floral notes and a touch of honey.
This is delicious.
This is a tea I can really wind down with. It has qualities both from the spa and from Grandma’s house on Thanksgiving.
With a big cup of this in my hand I’m too relaxed to stomach watching Nineteen Eighty-Four right now. Is there a “peaceful” apocalyptic/dystopian film that I can watch for this assignment instead?
Edit: I drastically upped the rating on this tea because I realized that I need it like water and tend to drink pots and pots of it when I do convince myself out of hoarding.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cinnamon, Coriander, Orange Zest, Raisins, Vanilla
Received in a swap with BrewTEAlly Sweet forever ago!
Oh my goodness, this tea was unexpectedly delicious. I’ve never had a yabao and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I used pre-boil water and steeped for just under 2 1/2 minutes. The tea liquor is very, very pale—almost clear. The aroma is like spice and wood. A sharp smell, but very woodsy. I’m sipping right now…it’s cedar and wood on the front end with a spicy undertone. It’s fresh and clean, like air in the forest, or on a mountainside. There’s a hint of fruitiness that’s like peach or honeydew. At the end of each sip it develops a very sweet, marshmallow flavor. It coats your mouth with syrupy sweetness and it’s SO refreshing. It really packs a wallop for such a pale, modest-looking tea. It looks like it will be going strong for a while, too…if what everyone says is correct! I’m excited. I’ll definitely be sipping on this one for the rest of the day. It’s great. (:
Flavors: Cedar, Honeydew, Marshmallow, Peach, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Wood