This is a backlog because I had a cup of this tea before the sun rose this morning. Early mornings for a very full day of birding called for a good cup that could sustain me, if only through the morning hours. I made this in my new Aladdin travel mug, and it worked really well; no leaks even when I laid it sideways on the seat of the car. The steeping basket, which folds up out of the liquid to prevent oversteeping, is too small for oolongs but will work fine for blacks and compact greens. For this tea I actually stuck a sachet of it in the basket because I didn’t want to have to deal with finding someplace to throw the sachet out, and keeping it in the basket was a good solution. It worked well, and I’ll definitely be using this frequently when traveling.
1210 Tasting Notes
Today I finished up what was left of this tea after sending most of it out in swaps and such. I used a good helping of milk and maple sugar, which made the tea pumpkin-y and pretty tasty. The maple sugar didn’t bring any really mapley flavor to the tea, but it did help bring out some of the other bakery-type flavors.
I decided to try this tea this afternoon, which I got in a swap with brandy3392. Thanks! I do love lemony oolongs, and this one seems like it will be lemony beyond lemony! When I opened the package the powerful scent of lemon immediately rushed out. As I was portioning it out I noticed that the tea seemed to be made up of more jasmine blossoms than actual tea! So I hope I put enough of the blend in my steeping basket.
I don’t usually steep my oolongs for 4 minutes, but this one called for between 4 and 7 minutes so I went with the low end. I honestly can’t imagine steeping any tea for 7 minutes. Steeped, the tea smells lemony and herby with a bit of oolong peeking through. This is a really lemony tea, in both a citrusy way and a lemon herb (must be the verbena) way. Something like this could easily seem tart or bitter or pithy, but it’s got a round, sweetish flavor instead. I think that must be the influence of the oolong, which is otherwise a bit difficult to detect. Occasionally I get a faint, elusive note of florals or the buttery base, and those notes come out more as it cools. The oolong that’s there is really tasty. I like this blend but I would like it better with more oolong in it, I think. It is not for the lemony faint of heart, for sure.
I was excited to get this one in my sample box because I recently tried a different dragon well and really enjoyed it. I am happy to say that this one has lived up to my expectations.
Thanks again to Teavivre for the extremely generous sample of this tea. There’s so much in the pouch! The leaf is bright and smooth, and it smells a bit grassy and a bit nutty and a touch buttery. Steeped, that lovely chestnutty aroma comes out, which reminds me so much of chestnut sweets from a chinese bakery. The liquor is a very pale yellow, only slightly darker than the white of the mug, yet it’s still a flavorful cup. Smooth, lightly grassy, but also nutty and sweet, this tea has a lot of dimensions to it. A really really tasty cup.
As I have no doubt mentioned before, I’m not much of a drinker of unflavored blacks. There are a couple that I have to admit are pretty tasty (Harney’s Golden Monkey, Teavivre’s own Yun Nan Golden Tips), but I still don’t seek out unflavored blacks often. But of course I accepted a sample of this one in my latest round from Teavivre… how could I not, with these reviews? I admit I was still skeptical that I would like it. The leaf is nice looking twisted strands with a scattering of golden tips, and it smells malty and dark and teaish.
This is another one that surprised me with the brewing parameters. 185°F for a black tea? If you say so. The tea came out a lovely dark amber color and again has that malty, sweet aroma. I have to say, alright Teavivre, you got me, this tea is delicious. It is smooth and tasty, with notes of cocoa, raisins, a tiny bit of caramel, a hint of honey, bready, malty… it isn’t actually sweet on the tongue, but it seems sweet, if that makes any sense. Also, this is very similar to the base of The Tea Spot’s Organic Chocolate “O” tea, even though they aren’t the same variety. A big thanks again to Teavivre for this sample; these opportunities really help me step outside my usual teas and experience things I wouldn’t have bought on my own.
Last night when I got home from work I was very pleased to see a big box of tea waiting for me from Teavivre! My next round of samples arrived, yippee! (Also pleased to see: a packaged with new boots in it!)
This one was high on my list of teas I wanted to try from Teavivre because I love oolongs, and I especially love milk oolong, and I was disappointed that it appeared on the site after my first sample batch came. But lucky for me Angel Chen and Teavivre are exceedingly generous and they sent me another box of samples, this time including this tea. Thanks so much!
The steep parameters were pretty different than any other oolong I’ve come across, mainly steeping in boiling water. But I used those parameters anyway, because that’s what was called for. One of the other grad students came into my office right after I steeped it and remarked that this tea smelled good, and I would agree. It smells floral and creamy and buttery and vegetal.
This jin xuan definitely has great flavor. It’s buttery, it’s creamy, it’s floral, and it’s slightly sweet at the end. Really delicious. I will say that I think my concept of a milk oolong was a little warped by having ATR’s first… that is a fantastic tea, and indeed very milky, but it is a tieguanyin varietal not a jin xuan, which gives it a pretty distinct taste that’s different than other jin xuan oolongs I tried. For a while I would try milk oolongs and nothing could quite live up to ATR’s, but that’s because they weren’t playing with the same rules. When I adjust my expectations to what jin xuan milk oolongs usually taste like, which this seems to be a great of, I think I’ll be a lot more pleased with the other ones I’ve tried.
I haven’t had this one in a really long time, and this time I decided to brew it with the parameters that Teavivre gave for their white tea that I had tried, which are pretty different than the parameters I used last time (175°F, 3min).
The brewed tea smells hay-ish like I’ve come to associate with white tea, with a light rosey aroma. The flavor is pretty nice; it’s got that hayish note, and the rose flavor is light and not perfumy at all, and the whole thing rounds out to be a bit sweet. I actually associate that kind of sweetness with hay; sweet alfalfa is actually sweet if you chew on it (no wonder the horses love it), and this has the same type of sweetness. About midway through I started eating a slice of dark chocolate birthday cake (for one of the faculty in our department), and wow that’s an awesome pairing. I’m not sure whether my fondness for this tea has increased because my palate has changed a bit since I last had it, or if the brewing parameters made a difference, but I’m definitely digging it more this time. Especially with cake. Mmm, cake.
So I am almost, almost done with my rosey teas, or at least the ones that acutally are rosey. I mean, I still have a few that sprinkle a few rose petals into the mix, but nary a rose flavor is to be found. Those don’t count.
Guys, I am almost out of this tea. Like, I think I have less than a cup of leaf left, which probably means it’s getting blended with other things in a cold steep. Sad! I have quite a list of “standard panel” teas that are no longer in my possession, and it will be a while before I can restock; this one will soon be joining their ranks. I love the flavor blend in this, and that it always seems to wake me up even though it’s a black/green blend.
This tea is just one of those teas that makes me smile as soon as the hot water hits the leaf and a wave of wonderful aroma comes out of the cup. It’s just so good! It’s also one of those blends where I don’t even know what all the different flavors are, but I like them. Yes, I get the florals, including the rose, but there’s also a fruitiness that I’m not quite able to identify. Sometimes I wish I knew, and other times I don’t really care because whatever it is, it tastes good.
What? Valentines day is over, you say? Oh, but the parade of rose teas continues. By tasting through all of them I’m getting a sense of how the “rosey” part of my cupboard should be stocked, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
When I think about it, this tea isn’t too far off from the Shalimar Oolong I have. It’s rose and passion, except it’s on black tea instead of oolong and the Shalimar also has mango in the mix. I’m happy to report that the weird metallic taste I was getting last time is gone, thank goodness. Just tasty juicy passion fruit with a nice rose, all on a tasty black base. I think this one is a little tarter than the Shalimar Oolong, and I’m honestly not sure which I prefer. The Shalimar is certainly more easily accessible, this one being brought back from London. All the same I would probably pick up another tin of this the next time I’m in London.
I wanted a rose tea that wasn’t fruity, so this called to me. I do really like this blend, all rosey and almondy. It could only be more perfect if it was more almondy, but I’m a bit of an almond fiend so nothing is ever too almondy for me. Still, it’s a blend I would venture into a Teavana store to buy, which is definitely saying something.
Yesterday I was thinking that I would just have enough rose teas to make it through today. Then I realized… that’s silly! I have way more rose teas than that, but it can be hard to remember all of them in my stash. This was one I had forgotten about, but sure enough here it is, all rosey and lemony and a bit herby. I kind of let it over cool before I got to it, so I’m not sure if the slight bitterness is coming from that or just that I should drop the steep time. I am getting a hint of smoke from the gunpowder green thsi time as well. Still a pretty decent tea. It reminds me a bit of the rose oolong from Tea Licious that I finished up the other day, but I prefer that one (no surprise, it’s an oolong).
1.5 tsp Raspberry Black by Monterey Bay Spice Company + 0.5 tsp China Rose from ESP Emporium
Originally I was going to have a cup of just China Rose this morning because I haven’t had a straight up rose black in a long time. But then I kinda needed to try some of this raspberry tea, so I decided to make a Raspberry Rose instead.
It’s a good blend! Rose blacks are often so strong that only a bit is needed to get a rosey flavor, and that’s true here. The tea smells and tastes of roses and sweet, juicy raspberries. This is really a great blend of flavors! Honestly I think rose goes well with lots of different fruits. Adding a bit of this rose congou, which has a nice, tasty base, to the MBSC fruit black gave it a little something more interesting (I have, in the past, found MBSC fruit blacks to be a bit underwhelming in the flavor of the base… not bad, but not interesting). Anyway, it’s a good combo that I might have to keep around.
There was no question that I’d be having a cup of this today. Probably my most floral tea, and rosey to boot. When still very hot this cup seemed almost too floral for me, which is again something I am not used to, but as it cools the florals seem to mellow a bit and the oolong comes out. All the same, I’m just not feeling this one as much as I thought I would. Maybe it’s a particular floral in there (the calendula?) that I’m not as much of a fan of. Even my second steep, which is far less floral, still just doesn’t make me as excited as I would expect to be, being a lover of most things floral and green oolong. Ah well, I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t order a whole tin of this back when I put this order in!
I think I used a bit more leaf this time than I did last time… the leaves are so long and twisted that it’s one of those really hard to portion teas, and then add in huge rose buds that take up almost the entire perfect teaspoon. In any case, this time it’s still floral but also a little hayish in a very pleasant way. I think the rose/jasmine mix is a little more balanced this time, with both contributing fairly equally. There is something about this tea that is soothing and relaxing. It’s definitely getting reordered in my groupon order from the Tea Spot.
Mmm, I love this tea. It’s definitely the best fig flavored tea I’ve tried, and I love how all the flavors are both a little independant and then at once meld to form one awesome flavor. I haven’t had this one in a while and I couldn’t remember whether the rose was very prominent or not, but it’s definitely in the “there if you look for it, but not overwhelming” category. This tea is for sure on my reorder when I run out list from Dammann.
I happened across a few of these bottled teas in one of our specialty grocery stores today and had to pick one up. There were two different oolong varieties and this one acutally had rose in it. Double score! This is actually a blend of oolong and black tea with rose hips, rose petals and ginseng. It’s totally unsweetened but still manages to seem a bit sweet… though it’s also really tart, and I wouldn’t have minded a tiny bit of added sweetener. Overally it’s a pretty fruity tasting blend, with a hint of floral rose. The oolong is also definitely present in the flavor; it’s vegetal and pleasant, and there’s a hint of more of a black tea flavor as well. Overall it is pretty refershing and I would probably buy it again, though I do think it’s a little overly tart for me to be really enthusiastic about it.
I got a sample of this tisane with my last order from Verdant, and I’ve kind of been putting it off, partly because it’s herbal and I don’t drink a lot of herbals, and partly because I was starting to feel like lavender might not be my favorite thing to drink (and the dry mix smells really lavendery). But I do like lavender in some cases, and of course this fits my rose challenge, so I decided to brew up a small pot at home today.
It steeped up a dark yellow color, which isn’t quite what I was expecting. It smells lavendery, yes, but it also has that herby, minty aroma from the two kinds of mint. This smells like it would be a great stomach soother. Though I was initially worried about the lavender in this blend, I shouldn’t have been. The lavender and the mints make for a herby, slightly-minty-slightly-lavendery base, with a few bright lemongrass notes. Despite a ton of rose petals in my cup, I don’t actually get any rose flavors from this one. Oh well, it still counts. I let the herbs keep steeping while I drank my first small cup of this, which brought out more lavender in the next cup. Still a pretty tasty blend, though I am a bit disappointed by the lack of rose.
This is another flavored oolong, although this one does have that formosa base. It’s not as roasty as some of them, though, making for a very mild background to the mango/tropical fruit flavors, and of course rose. This one isn’t super rosey, partly because it’s got a lot of other flavors going on that are really the stars of the show, but a little of it peeks through. Today the oolong base (apparently I brewed it hotter than I usually do) is a bit nuttier than I remember, which is pleasant. This is a blend I always enjoy and today is no different.
Rosey tea number two, and this one is a sipdown. I’ve had this sample for a while and this is the last of it, though I think it may have to be a reorder. A lot of flavored oolongs are made on a formosa base, which isn’t one I care for a lot on it’s own, so I love that this one is a nice green one. Don’t know what type, but it is pretty tasty. I also love the combo of rose, lemongrass and ginger. It’s not really a combo I would have thought up, but it is fantastic. Not to mention great for the stomach after a lunch of greasy pizza.
This morning I have an occasional shooting pain in my thigh that is really not pleasant at all. And since tea cures all ills, maybe my morning cup with help. A girl can hope, right?
Apparently I’m having rose-scented things lately for Valentines day. Actually if I went through my cupboard I bet I could drink only different teas with rose in them until then. There is the weekend, during which I don’t drink much tea, but I would still have today, Monday and Tuesday. I think I have just set a challenge for myself, and I accept.
This tea is a lot better than I remember. My first time I logged it as a 76 because I didn’t really like the black tea base they used. I’m not sure if my tastes have changed or brewing at a lower temperature helped, but I find it perfectly fine now. The bergamot is still pretty light (probably just above Harney’s Earl Grey Supreme on my bergameter (© K S) scale… read his review of that tea if you don’t get it), but definitely more present than last time and the rose is nicely, lightly floral. I hadn’t gone back to this one in a long time because I’m never very enthusiastic about going back to a tea I don’t care for much, but now at least I can go back to my sample without fear.
This time I dumped a fair amount of leaf into my steeping basket and hoped for the best. I think I can call it a success. It’s still very pale but the tea is pretty flavorful; nicely nutty and a hint sweet. I definitely enjoy this one when I’m looking for a nice, light green tea that’s not very grassy. That chestnut flavor is great and I could see this being a nice tea to have with a meal as well.
Geez, Steepster is slow for me this morning. I was really not sure if the page was ever going to load. Anyway, I decided to have this “seasonal” tea this morning to hopefully wake me up and energize me a bit. I bought a couple of ounces of this tea a while ago but I haven’t had any of it too recently. This is a pretty tasty chocolate tea, but it’s not nearly rosey enough for me. I mean, I pretty much don’t taste it at all. I’m thinking I might have to start throwing in some rose scented black to amp up the rose and bring it to a level I want. In the end I probably won’t rebuy this one again, but I don’t think I’ll have much problem finishing it up anyway.
I had one Dong Ding oolong and really liked it, so I asked for some samples of others and luckily Amy Oh sent me a sample of this one! I tend to love the teas from Naivetea, so I am definitely excited to try it.
This one smells way more toasty than the dong ding from thepuriTea. The roasted grains aroma reminds me of some of the darker oolongs I’ve tried. When I breath in deep I get a nice autumn leaves aroma. The flavor is not unexpected based on the aroma but not exactly what I was expecting based on thepuriTea’s. That one was basically unroasted, but perhaps it is unusual? In any case, I do enjoy it a lot. It’s a bit vegetal, nicely roasty, a tiny bit sweet.
Thanks so much for this sample, Amy, I’m glad I got to try it!