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Recent Tasting Notes
Thank you so much MzPriss! This one sounded amazing: bergamot, cream, lavender on a base of assam. Cornflowers make the blend look gorgeous. And the scent makes me want to drink it… now. Maybe I didn’t steep it well enough, but the flavor isn’t as strong as I’d wish it was. Everything is kind of mild here… just hints of the bergamot, cream, lavender and even the tea which should be stronger because it’s an assam. At least none of the ingredients of the blend overpower the others. The second cup accidentally steeped for six minutes but it was a bit tastier anyway. I love the name. I had a Violent Femmes song in my head yesterday for some reason.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // few minutes after boiling // 3 min
Steep #2 // just boiled // 6 min
This sample comes from MzPriss after seeing my Milk Oolong off. Thank you!
This tea is wonderful BUT, I can’t think of it has a milk oolong. This tea is lacking the creamy/buttery notes that to me make a milk oolong a milk oolong. I will think of this as a golden lily oolong and nothing more. This was a light tea with very nice fruity floral notes. This team almost seemed like it had added fruity flavoring it was so juicy. It was a very crisp clean taste with no bitterness. I didn’t get to do as many infusions as I would have liked to with my first cup. I hope to revisit this tea this weekend and have more to say about the flavor. When I get a chance to order the Gong Fu Black this will definitely be in my order. Thank you for sharing this one with me MzPriss!
(From the Unflavored Traveling Tea Box)
Tea of the morning. This was a luck draw from the UTTB. I steeped it knowing nothing about the tea, but it turns out that it is an excellent breakfast tea. This lovely is hearty and bold with great chocolate notes and a roasty toasty thing going on that I like. A lot. At the end of the sip there is a strong fruit note that finishes with just a touch of dryness at the back of the throat. Very cool. Very nice.
I don’t really see anything special about this tea. I’ve tried it several different ways, using water from 200F to boiling, steeping anywhere from 1-5 minutes without getting a cup I thought was really spectacular. It’s a straightforward breakfast-y tea. A little astringent, some fruitiness, some really light cocoa notes and a winey quality about it. There’s a sweetness to the aftertaste that builds slowly. I can tell that these hints of flavor are there, but it always falls flat to me. I know there are plenty of people who like it more than I do…Maybe someone else will be willing to swap or just take it off my hands?
Flavors: Astringent, Cocoa, Fruity, Muscatel
I received this in a wonderful swap package from MzPriss! Thank you!
This has been on my wish list for a bit. I have seen it being traded in the swap thread a few times and this really peaked my curiosity. This is amazing tonight. Sweet malty, cocoa. There is none of the “meaty” taste I sometimes get. It is smooth with absolutely no astringency. The perfect dessert to end a stressful day! This tea hit me so that I went and immediately looked at shipping and the cost to get an endless supply, but for now I will just have to keep it on the wish list. Thanks again MzPriss!
Thanks to Lee for sharing this one, which reminds me Red Zinger, one of Celestial Seasonings originals from back in the 70’s. If you ever watched That 70’s Show, that was basically my life, lol.
This tea is bright & puckery, & for me a little rough on the tummy, but would be wonderfully refreshing over ice in the heat of summer, without a doubt. Probably not something I’ll ever stock, but for those who like tart & tangy, this one is for you!
Ok, let the evening tea drinking begin! I’m not gonna make a serious effort to catch up to you in the sipdown department VariaTEA – but if it happens then it happens. All my planned teas for tonight are sipdowns except one so cheers to that! If nothing else that helps push me farther from 200 for when my tea orders do show up.
I got this sample from someone in the 12 Days of Christmas exchange as an extra goodie, but I can’t for the life of me remember who! Damnit! Sorry…
I decided to christen one of my new bubble tea cups with this guy though, and I don’t regret the choice. There’s nothing abundantly “special” about this blend but it’s still a good, solid Moroccan Mint regardless of that. Pleasant enough “one shot” cup!
Now bring on the other teas!
I try to evaluate teas on their own merits and I can say that I always enjoy this one. While it is not as strong as most of my morning selections, I appreciate its character – smooth, mellow, sweet, a little fruity. It’s always good for a resteep but I do use a little less water in the second brew to enhance the flavor of the cup.
Generous sample came from CharlotteZero – thank you
It is nice cup of tea filled with chocolate notes. Perfect for breakfast. There is some slight sour bread notes I pick up. Like at the end of the sip. I still prefer Teavivre Bailin and Joseph Wesley
Flavors: Baked Bread, Chocolate
I thought I had already done a note on this tea. This is my morning tea today and I’m oh so glad. This tea is scrumptious!!! It is dark and slightly cocoa-y and keemun-y tasting. Very rich and I would imagine if you put a little honey in it – it would taste like dessert. I usually have a couple of drops of cream in my breakfast tea. Am not sure this needs it and will try the next cup nekkid. There is no bitterness here – just smooth rich goodness. This tea is earthy and grounding. I can see why this is Zhi’s best selling tea. There will always be some of this in my tea cabinet. If my beloved Special Dark is like a big deep double bass – this is the low notes on a cello. Full of win. This tea is like Lou Rawls singing “Youll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCW1i5HQ0o0
This is Zhi’s top rated tea on Steepster and I have been meaning to try it for ages. I’m not much of a straight tea kind of gal, which is why I have been overlooking this one. A couple of weeks ago I was out an about in the neighborhood decided to drop in to Zhi to buy sample after talking about this tea with some other Steepster folk. After that I found myself around the corner at Springdale urban farm during market hours and they had a gal in town selling fresh French and Italian truffles! OMGOMGOMGOMG!!! Two scores in one day!
When the tea is brewed, it has this grassy note to it which is really hard to explain. It is fresh like wheat grass juice, but also dried like hay with an almost puehr based background. When I sip it, I get all those flavors (minus the earthiness of puehr, but with it’s depth) and a slight sharpness on the far back sides of my tongue. It isn’t an unpleasant sharpness at all. I’m eating a chocolate orange scone with it and it really brings out the orange in the aftertaste in a nice way.
I’m really enjoying this for a straight tea! Looking forward to future cups to see if we can become better friends!
Here’s another sample from Lee, Thanks!
This is also a pleasant afternoon tea, similar to the Peach oolong, somewhat, but with a different bass, & this one is a little more on the tart side, much improved with a pinch of sweet added. Tony adores plum oolongs, but the one he tends to have around is much too tart for my tastes. So as Plum oolongs go, this one is pretty nice, but not as nice as the Ginger Peach was. :)
I’ve always adored peach teas, if they are actually made with real peach, that is. I don’t drink them often now, because I’m rarely happy with them, but when you find a good one, it’s great hot or iced. In my opinion, the best peach teas require the following:
First, REAL peach. Granted, I understand that dried fruits don’t always add a lot of flavor, so you’re never going to get a super peachy tasting tea. I can complain, or I can practice acceptance. Please don’t add a bunch of phony flavoring to my peach tea. That sucks.
Second, the bass should be a Wuyi Oolong. Their roasty & natural stone fruit qualities enhance the peachiness. That’s that. (although secretly lately I’ve wondered if some of the Taiwanese tres 18 sun moon lake Black teas might be good with peach, due to their fruity qualities).
Third, include ginger, because ginger & peach is awesome.
Fourth, if you really want to bring the peachiness out, add a pinch of sweetness to your cup. You’ll be glad you did.
So this one, which is a sample sent to me from Lee, is nice! Real peach chunks, Shui Xian oolong, ginger! I drank the first cup straight, & it was tasty. I drank the resteep with a pinch of sweet, & it’s dessert. Thanks Lee!
Well sigh. I was really looking forward to this tea. It does have a great story. But alas, the tea is barely above average. I think of it as an “almost” tea. It is almost Keemun. It is almost rich and full bodied. It is just not quite all there, even with the aroma. It is reminiscent of Keemun. I would recommend this tea to someone who likes aspects of a Keemun with less intensity. There is a caramel note. Overall this tea is ok, but it just doesn’t have much “presence”. I forsee this going to the boyfriend box (and i bought a 3.4 oz tin) or if someone wants to try it, I would be happy to send a sample in the US.
Always happy to try Earl Grey varieties that I’ve not yet sampled.
The sharp, tangy bergamot is nicely softened here by sweet, creamy vanilla. I love the touch of lavender. Everything comes together in a really nice way.
The black tea has a nice richness to it. It is bold without being overly astringent. Not bitter but I wouldn’t advise oversteeping. 2 1/2 minutes in my Breville one touch makes it perfect.
The bergamot is strong, but I like the way the sweet vanilla softens the edges of the bergamot. There is almost a caramel-y note to this too. The lavender is soft here, not at all overdone, so there’s no soapy taste.
I have been nursing a cup of this all morning. It’s about done and I’ll be resteeping soon. There is a nice creamy coconut base to this with some spices on top. I have had it for a while and the coconut hasn’t gone bad yet, which is nice. It is a little more like coconut with spice rather than a chai, but either way it is hitting the spot right now.