1614 Tasting Notes
Sipdown, 139. Thanks to Sil for this sample. Another assam, haha. I tried this straight first, did a quick nope, and added milk and sugar. I have come to the realization that I was correct in my assessment that assams are, in general, not for me. Too “brisk”, too “robust”. Taiwanese assams often are the exception to that rule, but I am generally not much for teas from the Indian subcontinent in general. Ah well.
I was out near a Teavana and remembered that I wanted to get a to-go cup of this one to try it out. It sounded promising for a Teavana blend, and every once in a while they come out with a blend that I love.
This was pretty tasty but a little boring. It was mostly “pumpkin pie spice” with a hint of sweetness from the caramel (I got the tea unsweetened), but no real pumpkin to speak of. Also not so much oolong flavor, although perhaps that is not surprising given how far down on the ingredients list it is. This one wasn’t a winner for me but it was still a decent cup for the evening.
Sipdown, 140. I overleafed this one a tad, but it still turned out pretty well. If anything the bergamot was a bit overly strong (and if I’m saying that, you know it must be way strong), but it mellowed as it cooled. Not too sad because I ordered more of this through the crowd funding campaign. A nice, well balanced Earl.
Argh, Steepster ate my note! Well shoot. Thanks to Sil for this tea. Long story short: I found this to be a nice tea. The fruit flavoring was authentic, the caramel light but smooth, the green tea base inoffensive. I’m not in love, but I do enjoy the cup. I’m not much on flavored greens these days except in some circumstances, but I found this one to be very nice.
Sipdown, 141. Thanks to Yunomi.us for this free sample of a Japanese black tea.
As with my other sample from Yunomi, this sample was composed largely of tiny tea pieces and a lot of dust. I filtered out a lot of the dust before brewing. I also was cautious with my steeping parameters out of fear of it going bitter on me.
Steeped, it smells remarkably like the Taiwanese black tea I had recently. Very fruity, sweet, with a honeyed mead-like note. It smells pretty good considering I am not usually one for fruity black teas. However, I took a sip and you should have seen the horrific face I made. This is perhaps the most bitter tea I have ever had the displeasure of putting in my mouth. The extreme of bitter. It may be the most bitter thing I have ever tried. The bitterness is still lingering in the recesses of my mouth, coating my tongue. As it’s fading it kind of reminds me of grapefruit rind, but worse. I will not be taking another sip. I do think this may be more to do with the low quality of the sample rather than the tea itself, but I will never know.
Soooo yeah, this tea. I had it earlier today but I wasn’t really taken with it. This is a super earthy Yunnan, and I can see how puerh lovers would enjoy it. There was a light sweetness here, a bit of hay-ishness, and a decent helping of earth. I have enough for one more cup of this so I will try to write a more thorough review with that one. Thanks, Sil, for sending it along!
Finally getting around to trying one of the samples that I ordered from Yezi Tea! Of course whenever people start raving about a Chinese black tea on Steepster, I know I need to try it, especially when its a type that I’ve never tried before.
This one definitely smells tasty. It actually smells a bit like the Laoshan Black Genmaicha, like toasted rice/grains, chocolate, and a hint of molasses. When it was still pretty hot it was a tasty but not too exciting cup of black tea, but as it cools it definitely becomes sweeter and more chocolatey. This one definitely reminds me of LB with more toasted grains in the flavor. I think this is one of those Chinese black teas that does well with a fair lot of leaf when brewed western style, so I may reduce the amount of water for the remainder of my sample. Or maybe just steep it really long… I have a feeling it will just get rich and lovely. Definitely a very tasty tea!
Sipdown, 142. Yes, my number went up substantially after that Teavivre package. Well, nothing to do but keep sipping down. Thanks to Sil for a sample of this one.
So keep trying with puers but I haven’t been able to get into them. This makes up Mandala’s phatty cake that everyone raves about, so once again this is a tea that am trying as a semi-last ditch effort to try a type of tea I tend not to care for.
I will say, this is the sweetest shu I’ve ever tried, at least on the first couple of steeps. But otherwise all I get is wood. Sweet wood, haha. I’m afraid I still don’t get shu. Oh well.
Thanks so so much to Teavivre for continuing to be awesome, for providing me with this tea to sample, and for sending a completely surprise free (!!!) gaiwan with my last pack of samples. I am, of course, using it to try out this tea now!
I used one pack, gave it a quick rinse, and did a few steeps to start before the gaiwan got so hot I couldn’t hold it anymore. After the first couple of steeps the tea leaves exploded and were bursting out of the gaiwan. It smells initially like a nice, green TGY, that is buttery and floral and a bit sugary, but this tea caught me a little off guard. What I wasn’t expecting was the intense juicy, fruity flavor in the tea. Unlike other TGYs I’ve had, for sure!
This does have the expected elements: it’s very floral, it’s very buttery, it’s a bit sweet like spun sugar. But this kind of bright almost citrusy note to it is so cool. Really interesting tea, and I look forward to trying it with various brewing methods. Thanks again, Teavivre!
Funny that I just had a flavored dragonwell and I chose this dragonwell-style laoshan green for lunch. Totally unintentional.
This is so so good. Buttery, sweet, nutty, lovely. It somehow totally lacks the generic green tea vegetal-ness. That’s not to say that there aren’t notes of vegetables, but they are things like peppery arugula and sauteed fiddlehead ferns in butter. Yum.