2098 Tasting Notes
Today is a day where I might not have had tea at all, given that I have a meeting this morning and I am teaching all afternoon. But this tea was teasing me all evening yesterday; its scent could not be contained in its little paper bag, and I could smell the raspberries from a mile away. So I knew I had to brew this one right away when I got in to make sure I had time to drink it before my meeting.
Side note, I think they may have sent me more than 100g of this tea. It almost didn’t fit in the empty Fauchon tin that I put it in, and usually those tins have a little headspace with 100g of tea in them.
Good thing I really enjoy this tea. I would say that the raspberry is the strongest flavor here, no surprise given the scent, but I definitely get a “dark” citrusy blood orange note, and of course the richness of the rose. I feel like the blood orange makes its appearance at the beginning of the sip, then its taken over by raspberry and rose, and then it pops back out in the aftertaste. There is also a somewhat cookie-ish note in the aftertaste; it’s something I sometimes associate with rose and black tea, in the way they interact, that makes me think of baked goods. It’s definitely here. The base tea is their usual, which is my fave, and is reliably smooth and nicely balanced.
This tea is dark and rich, and the flavors are thick and entwining. It reminds me of 7 Parfums, but with only 3 parfums. :) If you don’t like rose, don’t even think about this tea. If you do, I would definitely recommend this one.
Flavors: Blood orange, Cookie, Raspberry, Rose
Yay, my DF order came in today! And even though I don’t usually have tea after work, I broke into this one immediately. This tea was one of the geneses of this order, since it’s a limited edition spring tea. Yes, most of their limited teas are available for a long time, but you never really know.
When I opened up the tin, I was immediately struck by the scent of the rose. It’s not a dark, lush, rich rose (unlike the rose in Amore, which I can smell through the bag is intense!). It is a bright, springy rose, which makes sense since this is suppose to be some special roses that are harvested early in May.
The flavor on this one is light and delicate. As with the aroma, this is not thick, dark rose; this is gentle, delicate rose. The oolong underneath is also delicate; I might guess a high mountain oolong, but I don’t know for sure. All together, it reads as a bright spring day, which is funny since it is now officially fall. I brewed it on the cool side for oolongs but I think I will try it at boiling as well because it seems like it will stand up to it. It is very good, although I don’t know that it stands out as amazing to me. Which is fine because it is only available in a tin at a steep price. I am curious about their Tieguanyin Rose too, although that one is even more expensive just in bulk (no tin)! Maybe someday!
Flavors: Green, Rose
I should probably drink more teas if I want my stash to ever decrease! I’m just not as excited about teas anymore; probably because I have spent a lot of time lately focusing on sipdowns and thus drinking teas I don’t really love. Good thing I have some new DF teas coming in; those should be a pick me up!
This is of course one of the blends club blends from last month. When I had my little rant about the redundancy of Verdant’s blends the other week I didn’t realize that this has sarsaparilla in it as well. WHY MUST ALL OOLONGS CONTAIN SARSAPARILLA? I say this as someone who loves root beer/sarsaparilla/birch beer. But it’s too much. They all taste the same.
I am nevertheless rating this one slightly higher than the others because I think the orange adds a needed brightness and the vanilla a needed smoothness that really help this blend. That said, I feel like the flavors are a bit weak in this one. I added a bit more to my steeping basket because the first scoop seemed to be mostly “stuff” and little actual tea, and I was wondering if it would be too much for my 12oz cup at 3 minutes, but not so. Definitely not oversteeped, and definitely wishing for more vanilla and orange. And less sarsaparilla/birch. Ah well, into the cold brew basket it goes.
Thanks once again to Cameron B. for this sample! I’m not huge on Keemuns mostly because of the kind of smoky note that they can have with them; I am very sensative to smoky notes. However, I requested this one because I wanted to try it out anyway, and it’s been a while since I’ve had a keemun.
This definitely has no smoky notes that I can detect. So yay! It is incredibly fruity, way fruitier than I was expecting. Plums for sure, and raisins. Definitely some underlying grains and malt, and a little honey. Chocolate? No, not really. Just a very fruity black tea. I’m not the biggest fan of those fruity notes in my black teas, but it is still a tasty cup. Very smooth, no bitterness or astringency. If you enjoy the fruitiness of some Taiwanese black teas I definitely recommend trying this one.
Flavors: Honey, Malt, Plums, Raisins
And the Whispering Pines black-tea-a-thon continues on. I love Fujian black teas, so I am excited to try this one (even though I feel like “Fujian Black” is kind of a generic term?). Thanks again to Cameron B. for sending these samples on!
First off, the brewed tea smells pitch-perfect for a delicious Fujian. Like cacao nibs and roasted, molasses-covered grains. The flavor is quite good. Deifnitely chocolatey in a roasted, unprocessed cacao nib way, with lots of toasty grain flavors and malt. It has a thick, bready texture that is quite nice as well.
Overall quite tasty! I definitely enjoyed my cup this morning.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cacao, Grain, Toast
I drank this tea two days ago but am just now getting around to noting that I had it thanks to Steepster’s craziness.
Thanks to Cameron B. for a sample of this tea! I will definitely have to write a better note the next time I have it. For now I will just say that to me this tasted a lot like a Taiwanese black tea. But as far as I can tell this is a mainland tea? It has those fruity notes with a touch of honey. Of course there is that odd fruity character that is present in Taiwanese blacks that isn’t my favorite note, but this was a pretty tasty cup of tea anyway.
Another WP sample from Cameron B.! Get used to seeing that line, because I have a bunch to go through. :)
This is quite delicious. A very nice golden yunnan tea. Nice and sweet potato-y, and with a hint of molasses as well, like a sweet potato with brown sugar. Mmmmm. A little bit of cocoa flirting around the edges, and overall the texture is thick and creamy. Thanks for the sample of this one Cameron, it was very enjoyable!
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Molasses, Sweet Potatoes
I haven’t had this tea in a long time and so I actually did look it up to see about my prior steeping parameters, so I found out that this is a somewhat tempermental white tea and that I should steep it at a low temp. I also reduced my leaf amount a bit this time.
Well, it turned out pretty delicious, and I have to bump my score up some notches. Way passion fruity with floral notes that don’t scream rose, but do add a nice rich floral flavor that I appreciate. At a lower temp it is a bit more complex, although I have to admit the white tea here does little for the overall flavor. I can just imagine this with a creamy yunnan white and how amazing it would be then! I will have to remember to add this to my regular rotation, although I doubt I will order more after it’s done.
ETA: ugh I had to try to submit this note like five times!
So, now that I have worked down on some blends club blends and I am actually at 100 teas in my cupboard (not counting the samples from Cameron), I feel like I can finally start trying those WP samples that Cameron B. so generously sent me. You might have heard that WP is kind of a big deal around on Steepster lately, so eventually I decided I should probably give them a try. The only WP tea I’ve had before now is North Winds, which I understand is the base for this tea (?).
I followed the steeping parameters exactly for this one; it was convenient because they happen to be my default black tea steeping parameters. It left me kind of… what’s the big deal? This tea has just a
little crapton of hype about it, so I guess I was expecting nothing short of heaven on earth. For most of my cup, it tasted pretty much exactly like North Winds, which is to say bittersweet-chocolatey, not unlike some Fengqing pearls I’ve tried in the past. I had no vanilla or related flavors (creaminess, etc) until I got down to the very bottom of the cup and it was pretty much stone cold. Then the last couple of sips were vanilla bombs, no doubt thanks to the little vanilla seeds swimming at the bottom. It was a tasty cup, but it was not liquefied fudge or a chocolate sundae or any of the other superlatives people use for it. I have another small serving of it, so I will happily try it again, and I could even imagine getting another sample of it sometime just to give it another shot. I could always order some North Winds at the lower price and cut some of the roughly 1 kilos worth of Madagascar vanilla beans I have in my cupboard into it (a perk of doing fieldwork in Madagascar). :)
I will say that I feel like my tastes in teas are diverging from a lot of the Steepster crowd these days, so I guess you can take my note with a grain of salt. Thanks again to Cameron for the sample! This is why I wanted a sample first. :)
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla