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Recent Tasting Notes
I think I steeped it in too hot of temperature, wasn’t paying enough attention.
This is a mild, pleasant Darjeeling with a slight astringent bite during the first part of the sip, but this seems to dissipate by the time the sip is done.
Overall a pleasant drink but almost bitter, and frankly a bit dry for my preference. There’s a smudge of sweetness that’s enjoyable but Darjeeling may not be my favorite thing. Will have to do more experimenting.
Will rebrew later at a different temperature.
Well, I have to say this tea is delightfully, surprisingly delicious.
The tea leaves are pretty with bits of strawberries. Dry, the smell is appealing and natural (not artificial seeming). It definitely holds up to the smell – the tea is surprisingly dark when brewed (did at 2 1/2 minutes, it was recommended as 2-3).
Strong tea but not overpowering at all. What surprises me is how non-artificial and realistic this strawberry tea is. A delightful flavor that stands out, but still somehow manages to stand behind the tea and highlights itself at the same time as just complementing.
Why this is so surprising is because I’m NOT a fruit tea fan. I only tried this sample because of an opportunity when doing another order – glad I did. I finally have a fruit tea I want to keep on the tea keeper shelf. It’s like drinking a nice black morning tea and eating a piece of toast with strawberry jam.
I’m curious about trying this with milk as a form of latte – usually don’t drink milk with tea but may in the future with this one just to test.
Dry leaf smells great; vegetal and sweet.
The liquor is a light, vibrant green. Aroma of sweet baby asparagus and hay. Wow. This is really good. It’s like a sweeter version of sencha. But calling it sweet isn’t quite right, as it’s still savoury. It’s hard to describe. This tea starts on a sweet delicate note, and then quickly crescendos with a strong (but it’s not a “loud” kind of strong, it’s more of a depth?) sencha flavour, before rounding down with punctuated mellow notes of grass, baby jasmine and umami.
Also, I read online that a lot of people eat the leaves, so I tried that tentatively (As a small child I also tried eating a rabbit dropping after my father convinced me it was a raisin. It was not a raisin. Granted that is neither here nor there, but will hopefully serve as an amusement at my expense). Leaf report: I think there was some water left in with the leaves, so they’re a bit bitter. But I enjoyed the texture and if I had Ponzu on hand to add to them, I bet they’d be quite yum!
Flavors: Asparagus, Hay, Jasmine, Sweet, warm grass, Umami
Hm, I’m not an expert with Keemun at all, so I really can’t say much about this in comparison to others. I do know that to me this is a good, very basic, plain black tea, with no special frills or pleasantries. When first steeped it had almost no flavor, but after cooling slightly it improved. Still, it’s a flavorless black tea to me, smooth and decent, but not worth making again. It may not be Zen Tea’s fault, though, it could just be that all Keemuns are like this. I’m confused as I see descriptions of smoky, or chocolate, but I get absolutely none of that.
I haven’t done any reviews in a while—not because I haven’t been enjoying tea, but mainly due to the limited amount and limited variety I have been drinking. I pretty much have only one or two cups of either Assam, English Breakfast, or a Yunnan black tea per day, all of which I have already created tasting notes on. That, and as my taste buds are rather goofy sometimes so I don’t quite trust myself to write a thorough review! So that at least partially explains my absence from Steepster of late.
After a random bout of morning sickness today, I could only really keep down (at least as far as beverages are concerned) a cup of Assam with a little milk added, and this ginger rooibos. The ginger rooibos was a great tummy-soother! Warm, rich, with a slight sweetness, it was a very good choice for me today. Thanks TeaTiff for the sample!!!
This was a typical decent Mao Feng, nothing out of the ordinary to report.
This tea became even better after the first resteep – so in future I would probably abandon western style and favor an eastern approach to wake up the leaves. A gongfu session with this would be wonderful.
Flavors: Chestnut, Mineral
My first cup of this is the quick and dirty western way, because I’m pretty tuckered today. I’ve saved enough of the sample that I will be able to do the traditional brewing method as well.
The picture of this tea is an exact representation, there’s heaps of spices. I had a taste of the full strength version before pouring milk into it, and it was amazing (too strong sans milk thought). Now that i’ve added sugar and milk, it’s lovely. Now knowing what I do, I would have extended my steeping time (which is what Zen recommends, and I always find them to be so bang on about steeping times and methods that it’s almost unsettling. Does Kenneth have a camera in my house, to see exactly how I like my tea? I wouldn’t be surprised) by a couple of minutes. I cut it off at 4:30min as there is/was a decent amount of the ctc base tea in it, and I didn’t want it getting too astringent. I needn’t have worried.
Alright, despite how tired I am, my curiositea (oh bad tea puns! how I enjoy you…) got the better of me, and I’ve prepared a cup on the stove.
It was delicious this way too, but I think I need more practise at stovetop brewing. Okay, I know I do. I scalded the milk. Twice. Lesson learned, do not prepare stovetop tea while tired and distractible.
I’m planning on continuing my search for my perfect chai (and knowing me, I’ll end up with 3 of them), but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what I settle down with.
Omg you guys, I suck! I fully intended to catch up on my logging, but I fell off the map. And now it’s almost summer here in New Zealand, and thus a lack of hot tea drinking. Our winter was milder than usual as well, so I didn’t drink even a quarter of the normal amount.
There’s a huge storm going on outside, so I’ve pulled down my samples box and picked one at random.
Plain – Yum! Base doesn’t overshadow the flavour. This is great!
With milk and sugar – pretty damn good!
With just milk – I prefer it straight, definitely still good though. Takes milk well.
Plain, with sugar – Good! The sweet and slightly sour notes are bouncing off each other, it’s interesting. I’m also picking up on something that tastes faintly like saffron?
Overall, I was impressed! I always love when there’s a tea I equally enjoy several different ways.
Flavors: Blood orange, Citrus Zest, Saffron
At three and a half minutes, it already tastes a little astringent. That said, it’s also malty and full; with milk and sugar it would probably be lovely. On its own, though, not anything too special. The instructions do suggest adding milk and sugar, though, so it it up front at least.
Not bad by any rate, rather malty and full-flavoured, but definitely needing something to balance it out.
From the SanTEA Claus TTB
I think this is the last tea I need to review from this ttb. It’s taken me a while, but hey, I got it done. :)
I’m not a huge fan of white teas, but this one was a treat. The toffee flavor was light but present throughout the sip, and the tea itself had a clean – almost sweet – flavor. It was nice and refreshing while also feeling like a dessert tea.
More pearls to go with my dinner, which is this concoction of basmati rice, spinach, parmesano, random spices, light cream, and margarine. It’s like a cross between curry and risotto haha. Then I was bad and had Ferrero Rocher for dessert. For shame!
This was a good choice because it doesn’t have any sharp or loud notes which can interfere with food. Surprise surprise, I’m detecting a faint smoky note this time around.
These pearls are a lot more subtle than I was anticipating. Bready, malty notes are what I’m picking up on the most, and there is no bitterness or astringency whatsoever. It’s a pleasant cup to sip on, however, I wouldn’t buy them again only because I prefer Teavivre’s black pearls, and I know that this would never get touched if I had both in the house. And I do! Which explains why it took me this long to try this. These have been sitting in my cupboard unopened since January.
I also just tried them mixed with cacao husks. The cacao overpowered the pearls despite intentionally adding lots of pearls. Still need to work on the ratio to accommodate the subtlety of this tea.
I like this tea, but I’ve decided that it’s too finicky for work. This is fine as long as the leaf amount and steep times are reasonable, doesn’t do so well if you leave it for 7 minutes on your desk. This often happens and I have several teas that can handle that type of treatment soooo – I’ve enjoyed this while I’ve had it but not terribly up set that I’ve finished it.
This is a tea I’ve had for quite awhile and haven’t been drinking it. Took some today to work.
First off – this looks more like snails than pearls. Regardless of what it looks like this is GOOD. Holy chocolate!!!! About 2 tsp in a coffee mug – water 90 ish – for about 2 minutes seemed to be the sweet spot for me. WOW – this is great.
It’s not fancy, it’s not full of interesting nuances (at least not for me Western brewed at work) but it is darn tasty. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone who likes this style of black tea. More than just pleasantly surprised – down right shocked at how good this is.
Straight mate has a lighter flavour, like green tea. (Not that the two are in any way interchangeable, they just have a similar refined lightness.) Thankfully, it doesn’t oversteep as easily, meaning it survives travel mug abuse quite well.
Usually I prefer blends with mate in them, but I was in the mood for it straight today. It’s dry, light, refined. Pairs well both with savoury and sweet foods. I’m happy with this.
I finished the last of this off tonight. I really enjoy thins sencha. It has a nice, mellow fresh cut grass aroma that reminds me of spring. The flavor is nice, too. It has a nice sweet/vegetal/grassy flavor. The color is beautiful too! It will be missed. I will have to make a note to restock when my tea stash a little less than it is now!
Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Green, Sweet, Vegetal
I was given a new travel mug, and it’s pretty much a thermos. Hours later, and my tea is still piping hot to the point that I’d actually like it marginally cooler to drink. (Mind, if I were to leave the top open, it would probably cool down more. I’m just REALLY IMPRESSED, okay?)
The tea has a nice vanilla taste to it. Adding milk added a creaminess that matched the taste well; I think having the tea with something sweet and creamy (a milk custard bun comes to mind?) might have had the same effect.
I like this better than a lot of other vanilla teas that I’ve had, but it’s still not necessarily a favourite. Still, pretty good.
I received the SSTTB from Bear With Me today. As I’m starting to feel sick…sore throat and congestion building, I opted that I would try this as my first tea from the box, not because it appealed to me the most, but more for the medicinal aspect of the ginger.
I found this tea to be ok. Just..ok. Not amazing or anything. But, I think it could be something better if cold steeped and drunk cold on a hot day. The flavour that I picked out most was the ginger, with the lemongrass not to far behind it.
I would not say that it is a bad tea, but I would say that it is not great either.