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Recent Tasting Notes
I visited Zhi Tea this weekend and picked up a couple of teas to try. I love the store, I just wish it was slightly closer to me.
I cold brewed this tea overnight and brought it to class with me this morning. I thought I had added too much tea, but this still tasted great with no astringency. My suspicion is that this holds up very well to being oversteeped. The flavor is very light and delicate, with just the hint of floral rose. It is not an overwhelming rose flavor, and that’s due to the fact that this tea is not actual flavored, but instead gets any rose flavor from the roses mixed in with the tea leaves. Another bonus to that is that this is quite a beautiful tea to steep up, with the roses floating around. I’m really happy with this one!
Flavors: Floral, Rose
Dry leaf: Coconut Cream Pie with spices
Liquor Color: Cocoa Cola brown
Leaves: Dry – black broken leaves with stringy dried ginger, whole cardamom pods, cinnamon bark chips, and large strips of toasted coconut. Wet – all the spices have taken on the same color as the liquor. Still quite fragrant.
Notes: Ahhh, Coconut Chai. This has become one of my daily drinkers. It has one of my favorite two flavors ever, coconut and chai. The coconut is rich and toasty, and complements the spices well. As the for the chai parts in this blend, it’s a mellower chai and the cinnamon is the forefront. The ginger and the cardamom are there, just in the background. I love the shit out of cardamom, but some blends I have had lately use a heavy hand with that spice that adds a sickly rose-spice essence to the blend that I do not like. Fortunately for this tea, it was not the case. The combination of these flavors is a match made in heaven for me. The malty black base is also divine. It grounds the spices and the coconut and brings a fullness to the blend that makes it great for a cold morning, or even in a hot afternoon.
Today I brewed this tea in my western-style teapot and took it with me in my oldest thermos. No sugar, no milk. But I bet this would be great with some coconut milk :D
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Coconut, Ginger, Malt
The green part of this tea is nice and smooth. Mellow with a touch of hay on the end. The jasmine is present in the scent, but just barely there in the taste. I don’t get that soapy taste that I have found in some jasmine teas, but I’m not getting much jasmine either. I like my jasmine bold, not shy. Kind of a bummer cause if they upped the jasmine it would be excellent.
This was another in Veronica’s Christmas card! The scent of this was completely misleading to me. There wasn’t much of one and then a nice, moderately malty taste hits. There were some sour notes as well but not in a bad way. This can take a long steep. I forgot about it and it sat for quite awhile. :) It was tasty and I’m glad I have enough for a few more cups!
From the Here’s Hoping TTB, Round 4
Happy Thanksgiving! I was supposed to make pumpkin pie but didn’t prep enough so I’m making due with apple pie and some green bean casserole.
This tea smells deliciously sweet and creamy. Almost too creamy. I never really got into lavender scents until recently, and this certainly appeals to that sweeter type of lavender. It ends up just smelling delicious instead of bathroom-perfume-herbaly.
The tea is actually kind of brisk, which is a nice contrast to the how thick it smells. It’s a little astringent in that good way, and makes for a very nice morning cup.
I am really enjoying this as a decaf option! I can taste the bergamot, but I swear I’m tasting lavender as well. It tastes like a toned down version of their Violet Femme which is a super strong lavender EG that is also quite delicious. A little cream and sugar is making this a very nice evening dessert like cup.
No notes yet. Add one?
Flavors: Coconut, Floral, Pineapple
Wow, I don’t usually favor oolongs, but this is nice! I read a review that someone posted about it the other day and went into Zhi for a sample today during the East Austin Studio Tour which is this really cool event where artist open up their homes and studios to show and sell their crafts. Zhi is right in the middle of a lot of the action, so it made for an easy detour. The gal that works there said the tea was like honey without the sweetness, but I’m not quite picking up on that. I do get a faint floral taste in a very rich and smooth feeling sip. On the aftertaste I get a hint of spice… maybe cinnamon? It is strong, but subtle enough that I can’t put my finger on it clearly. The tea smells slightly roasted with a hint of a grassy bite that never really ends up biting. This is pretty good for an oolong! Could this be my gateway oolong?
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!
Tea of the morning. Today this tea is full of dark chocolate and baked bread notes. It’s making my mouth very, very happy. While the tea was steeping I smelled a strong hay note, but I’m not detecting it anywhere in my cup. That’s ok though. I’m satisfied sitting here with this tea and enjoying it just the way it is because the way it is is amazingly delicious.
(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