Mm, I haven’t had one of my Dammann teas in a while. This tea is so wonderful… floral and almondy. The blend is just about perfect for me. I really want to try more of Dammann’s teas, but for whatever reason ordering internationally is more of a hurdle. I’ve even encountered similar shipping rates on US tea companies shipping within the country (I know, right?… usually I wouldn’t bother, but a lot of times I’ll have a groupon or something and not have a choice), but it’s like there’s a mental block. Of course I’m on a tea buying moratorium right now so it’s not an issue. It will probably just come down to when I actually run out of this tea and am forced to order because I can’t stand it! :)
1218 Tasting Notes
This morning has been extremely sub-optimal. I’ve been sneezing with an incredibly runny nose all morning, which I hope does not mean I’m getting sick (sometimes I just have yucky, sneezy mornings but they don’t turn into anything), but it does mean my head feels clogged up and awful. I forgot my lunch at home so we had to turn around and go back, and Siri set my timer for this tea for 10 minutes instead of 3 like I told her. On the plus side I got a big box of tea last night from brandy3392! This is one I requested in our swap and she was kind enough to send me a nice big sample of it.
The dry leaf smells very tropical, like some mango/passion blends I’ve had even though this doesn’t have any passion fruit in it. I’ve had jackfruit before but not in a very long time so I don’t remember much about it. The black tea base really comes out in the scent after steeping; it’s strong but it smells really good to me, which is odd because I often dislike the scent of stong plain black tea. Wish I knew what the base tea for this was! The tropical fruit scents hang out in the background.
The tea base is strong but malty and smooth. I am actually getting the tiniest hint of bitterness as it cools, but it’s not too bad. I get a distinct mango note in the flavor but the other fruits seem to blend together. That’s fine, it’s like any tropical blended drink really. I finally realized what the black tea base reminds me of, and that’s the base of Upton’s Rose Congou. This tea seems a little darkly floral to me too, but I don’t know if that’s because I’m associating the base with the Rose Congou. Overall a very nice tea and a good way to start the morning. Thanks again, brandy3392!
I’ve never actually had a tea from this tea company despite the fact that I walked past their storefront fairly often when I lived in Chicago. Oh, the days before tea-obsession. I have looked at their offerings since then and this one always interested me because I love love hazelnut. Almost as much as almond, heh. A while ago I had a LivingSocial deal to the TeaGschwendner in NYC, but it closed before I got a chance to use it! Lame! I got a chance to swap with Infusin_Susan for this tea, so I’m excited to try it now!
The dry leaf smells kind of like Florence (by Harney) even though this one doesn’t have any chocolate in it. Must be that roasted oolong. I followed TeaGschwendner’s steeping directions even though I normally wouldn’t use boiling water for an oolong. Steeped, the scent is very roasty-toasty and nutty, but the hazelnut really takes a back seat to that strongly roasted oolong smell. The flavor of this one is interesting… the main part of the sip doesn’t really stand out to me, but then the creamy hazelnut comes out and leaves a nice aftertaste. I can’t help wondering how this would taste brewed at a lower temp for a slightly longer time; fortunately I have plenty to experiment with. Thanks again for the swap, Infusin_Susan!
The first time I had this, I really liked it. This cup, however, just seems weak, even after cooling. I used the same amount of leaf as I always do, so I don’t know what happened. What’s there is fairly vegetal with hints of florals, but none of the butteriness from before. Unfortunately I don’t have enough leaf for another cup (what’s left is destined to be “blended” in a cold brew) so I’m sad that this had to be my last experience with this sample since my first one was so good. Oh well.
This is not my first Wen Shan Bao Zhong, but it’s close to it. I had a pot of Harney’s at their tea room in Soho once, and I wanted to buy a couple of ounces of it, but alas they do not sell it by the ounce, only in a tin! Being told “no, we can’t sell you this tea in bulk even though we have it loose in bulk right here” discombobulated me so much that I didn’t even think to look at the tin, which is only 1.5oz anyway.
So my point is that I liked that one, but I haven’t tried any other since then. The dry leaf on this one smells lovely, with a nice floral oolongy aroma. Steeped, a much more buttery aroma shows up. The flavor is very pleasant; floral, vegetal, a bit buttery. There’s an ever so faint whisp of sweetness that shows up at the end of the sip. Really, a lovely cup.
Oh, Monday. I really didn’t want to see your face this morning. Hopefully a new black tea will perk me up a bit. All the Kusmi bergamot blends have been on my list of things I wanted to try for quite a while now, but I still haven’t gotten around to going to the Kusmi store in NYC to buy a sample pack. I was very excited when I saw this surprise sample in my recent swap with Infusin_Susan! Thanks!! This one is interesting because I’ve tried what are basically several of the components of this tea—Kusmi’s Caramel and their Red Fruits—and I love my bergamot/red fruits blend tea from Argentina.
From the steeped tea I get primarily the scent of a red fruits black tea and perhaps a hint of vanilla. There’s a brightness that might be the bergamot poking through, but it’s not a major player in the aroma. In the sip the flavors come one after another… I feel like I get the bergamot first in the sip, bright and citrusy, then a rich red fruits blend, then a vanilla/caramel flavor that blooms at the end of the sip. They all mix together at the end and leave me with quite a nice flavor. I taste more of the fruits than the vanilla/caramel in this, but the latter do round out the flavor and make it fuller and richer. This tea doesn’t knock my socks off but I do really enjoy it, and it confirms the quality of Kusmi’s blends.
This tea comes to me thanks to Infusin_Susan! I wanted to try one of the new teas I got in our swap, and I chose this one because I wouldn’t have to fuss about with water temperature at home. The steeping directions on the sample packet were some of the most detailed I’ve seen. They also only call for 3/4 tsp of tea per 6oz cup, which is a bit low. I think that this is a strong tea and they know it. The bergamot just about knocks you out when you sniff the dry tea. Double bergamot and not kidding about it!
Steeped, the tea is still more bergamotty than most teas at this point, but it has decreased a lot. It’s joined by the smell of a hearty Ceylon base. This tea is for bergamot lovers only, but it is a good one. The bergamot is at no time bitter or astringent; it never gets that weird citrus-pith bitterness that comes out with some strong bergamots. This is a citrusy, lovely bergamot with a nice ceylon base that gives it a cakey feeling. The more I drink it the more I really like it. I have these bergamot candies I bought in Paris, and the after taste of this tea is like eating one of those candies. I’m interested to try this back-to-back with some of my other favorite Earls. Thanks again, Infusin_Susan, for the swap!
I said I wasn’t going to buy any tea (outside of groupons) before I went to China, but I allowed myself to buy a hot cup of tea from the tea shop near where I get my hair cut. It doesn’t count if I don’t add anything to my stash, right? I don’t actually go there all that often, mostly because they seem to be mostly just wholesale blends and these days I dry to buy from places that blend their own tea. One thing I did discover is that they seem to carry Teas Etc.’s Fig Formosa tea, and since the smallest size Teas Etc. sells on their website is 3oz, I will be able to try it from You, Me and Tea in smaller quantity, which is great.
Anyway, I decided to get this milk oolong to go. The dry leaf smelled like your typical milky oolong, creamy and milky and sweet. I had no control over anything to do with the steeping parameters of this cup. The woman making it put some cold water in the cup before adding water from the presumably near-boiling water in her water heater, and it seemed like the timer was going for about 3 minutes.
When I first smelled the steeped tea it totally shocked me. It smelled like straight up vegetable broth, very savory, definitely not what I was expecting. Early on when the tea was still very hot I couldn’t detect any creamy aromas or flavors at all, but as it cooled they came out. In the end the tea was very much like buttered veggies and was decidedly the most un-floral green oolong I’ve ever tasted. It reminded me more of the Bi Luo Chun Green tea I had from Teavivre than any oolong I’ve had. It tasted pretty decent once I got used to it but it just took me a while to get past my initial expectations. I have no idea how much this experience had to do with the steeping parameters, so I’m not going to rate the tea, but I’m also not going to buy anymore, heh.
Mm, I needed a nice decaf tea tonight to relax, so I busted out a sachet of Vanilla Comoro. I actually sweetened it a bit with some vanilla-infused sugar as well, so it’s extra vanilla-y, heh. Very yum.
This is another tea I’m revisiting after a long period of time in which I have tried a lot of different green oolongs. I think I appreciate it better now. It’s vegetal, it’s floral, it’s a little buttery, it’s a little nutty, it’s got that honeyish note that ties it all together. It’s also a hint astringent, but not in a bad way… it’s just on that end of the spectrum rather than the creamy mouthfeel side of it. All in all a very nice tea and I’m definitely enjoying it a lot.
Drinking this tea almost back-to-back with Talbott’s Chocolate Almond Allure really makes me appreciate how much caramel is in that tea. Anyway, this is a tasting note for this tea, not for that one! I really enjoy this tea and it’s super delicious caramel flavor. It’s kind of one of those teas that I like a lot but I don’t know if I would need to keep it around all the time. Of course, I really don’t think I’m ever going to get down to some hypothetical pared-down cupboard of only essentials, and if I was in the Kusmi store in NYC I might pick up some more of this anyway. It really is a lovely tea.
I was running low on this one, but I now have a good supply in my cupboard thanks to my swap with Wonks. Thanks! This really is one of my all-time favorite teas.
An aside: why are there never any tea groupons or groupon-style deals anymore? I used to come across them very frequently, but it’s been totally dead for a while now. I was thinking of it because I discovered this tea company via a Groupon. Not that I need to be buying tea groupons now, but still. I miss them. I’m a deal addict and I haven’t bought a groupon in ages because there hasn’t been anything interesting.
I’m pretty sure this is my first ever dong ding… I’ve tried a lot of higher altitude varietals, but not one of these before. I just got done teaching the first class of the semester, then gossiping with faculty about other people in our field, so I’ve been talking a lot and my throat’s a bit sore. :D A nice oolong should help, I think.
It certainly smells nice… buttery and creamy and floral and a hint vegetal. And I’m really enjoying the flavors as well! Nicely floral, creamy mouthfeel, a bit of buttery vegetables. I’m thinking I need to try dong dings more often! I really like combo of the dark florals with the buttery, creamy notes. Now I feel like I should try more dong dings before I go to China, but alas I am on a tea buying moratorium.
I was going to go with a post-lunch green oolong—one of my untried ones from thepuriTea perhaps—but I felt like the lingering flavor in my mouth and scent on my fingers of the blood orange I had with lunch might skew my tasting. I wanted to go for something a bit more robust and fruity, so as I was going through my samples this one jumped out at me. Also I was making a “standard panel” tea board on Pinterest so that I can remember what teas I really want to always have in my cupboard and I wanted to try this one again, though I’m pretty sure this is a keeper anyway. I realize I could probably just look at my tea ratings list and go for the highest-rated teas, and it’s not like I’m going to easily forget my favorite teas, but I really wanted a separate list and there’s not really something that would serve that function here on Steepster.
Anyway, I love lychees and I love this tea. I want to go buy a big bag of lychees, and maybe I’ll stop at the asian grocery this weekend and do it. The base of this tea is just a perfect compliment as well. Yum.
Can we have a real winter please? I like the snow, and I’m getting tired of the endless cold rain we’ve been having instead. Oh well, at least I have delicious tea to perk me up since this dreary morning didn’t help at all.
This is a sample I never want to end! It definitely goes on my list of standard panel, must have teas. I’ve written so much about this tea already that I don’t really have anything left to say except that I love this floral Earl Grey and it’s definitely my favorite of it’s type.
I am so freaking tired! I don’t know what came over me this afternoon. I was just chugging along fine, and then out of nowhere, bam!, utter exhaustion. I really want to go climb into bed right now, but that is not really an option. Oolong seems to have done nothing for me, so I thought I would give this roasted maté a go.
Man, I used to really love this. Way back in the day before I was really a tea drinker, I loved drinking this. Now it’s not really my style anymore. It’s kinda sad, actually! Adding to the fact that it’s pretty old and I feel like it’s lost some of the almondy chocolatey flavor I remember and now it kind of tastes like toasted cardboard (with the almondy chocolatey flavors lurking underneath). Man this is totally not working because I am too apathetic to drink this cup. Oh well, hope I’m not getting sick.
I got my sample of this tea back when I first started drinking green oolongs, which was apparently 6 months ago, and I haven’t gone back to it since. So many to try! But I thought it would be nice to go back to this one and see what I think of it now. I liked it back when I first had it.
The steeped tea smells very floral, and it’s kind of a mash-up between some of the “orchid” florals and jasmine ones. The flavor is nice and floral and reminds me a lot of jasmine teas. There’s not a lot else going on with this tea—even fairly cool I don’t get a lot of nuances in the flavor—but it’s certainly tasty and very drinkable.
I had been so into using samples lately that I forgot that I had ordered this tea but never tried it. This was one a blend from Sanctuary that I hadn’t seen before other places (although a quick search yields this one also being sold by Praise Tea), and I like cranberries and roses, so I thought I would take the risk. By risk I mean I have tried some of the other flavored blends they offer from other vendors, and I haven’t been crazy about them.
The dry leaf on this one smells like fake fruit flavored candy and cough drops, which is pretty typical for low- to mid-quality flavored teas, especially greens. I suppose it also smells like cranberries, but in a weird way. I went with a 2 minute steep since they recommended 1-2min, and I’m glad I did. Maybe I should go with 1 min. The steeped tea also has that weird cranberry smell that is really familiar but I can’t place it. It doesn’t smell like cranberry sauce or cranberry juice, but maybe a little like dried cranberries? I don’t know, it has a kind of fake feeling to it. Maybe it’s the cranberry combined with the rose that’s making it odd? The rose doesn’t really stick out individually, but if I think about it I can parse it out of the flavor. The end of the sip has a pleasant, light sweetness followed by a tartness that lingers in my mouth and is very reminiscent of having eaten a dried cranberry.
I dunno, maybe it’s just that as much as I like cranberries, cranberry tea is not my thing (I haven’t had one before), or maybe it’s the cran/rose combo, but as much as I do have a sense of eating dried cranberries, I also have a slight medicinal aftertaste as well. And I think part of it is that a lot of fake fruit flavoring just ends up tasting like fake cherry flavoring to me, which I am not a fan of. Yeah, somehow this does come out tasting like cherry candy. Bleh. It might just be a thing with me because others have tried the Praise Tea version and enjoyed it; I think I am getting super picky about my flavorings, especially the fruit ones. I guess that’s a good thing, but it does mean I am amassing a collection of 2oz pouches of teas I don’t want to drink. :P
The first time I tried this tea I thought the dry leaf smelled like molasses covered grains. This time when I stuck my nose in, I got the impression of chocolate extract or a chocolate liqueur… basically the distilled essence of chocolate. I love that the leaf on this tea is so long and twisted and way more whole leaf than you usually see in a flavored tea.
Mmm, this blend is sooo delicious. The blend of the chocolate and the base tea is just fantastic. The chocolate flavor is intense but in no way does it steamroll over the tea base; no, it just brings out the chocolatey notes in it, and caramel and honey notes definitely come out to support the chocolate flavor. It reminds me of eating a chocolate caramel, kind of. Or the scent of being in a city with a chocolate factory. It’s different enough from a hot cocoa or chocolate bar that it doesn’t seem like watery cocoa. This is probably my favorite straight chocolate tea so far, and it’s definitely going on my must have list!
This is a sample I hadn’t even opened yet… I still have a number from thepuriTea to try. I thought it would be nice to go back to a TGY after a myriad of other green oolongs recently. The dry leaf on this one smells very green leafy, like grass and alfalfa hay, without much other dimension to it. Fortunately once steeped the aroma really develops; it’s very floral, magnolia-ish.
I was pleasantly surprised by this one; honestly I wasn’t expecting much based on other reviews and my experiences so far with their oolongs, so I guess it worked out. It’s definitely floral, but I do get some nice buttery, honey-y notes in it. Granted, they’re pretty light, but they’re there. They definitely come out more as it cools way down. Not my fave TGY, but an enjoyable cup of tea all the same.
I got this tea a while ago in my envelope-o’-tea from TeaEqualsBliss. Thanks! When I looked this one up I was surprised to see that Golden Lily is also known as Jin Xuan, which in turn is also known sometimes as “milk” oolong. I have tried two Jin Xuans from Tea from Taiwan, so I’m really interested in how this one turns out!
The dry leaf smells like a fairly straightforward floral green oolong. Steeped, the aroma is pretty different than anything else I’ve come across… there’s some high top note I can’t quite place. It’s almost fruity, but not quite. The tea also has a fresh “green” scent to it, and some low, almost hiding nutty notes. I didn’t quite know what to make of this tea at first, but I think I like it! It’s not quite what I was expecting, I guess. It’s a bit floral, a bit buttery, a bit nutty, a bit vegetal. I get some honey-ish notes as well. They all come together in a way that kind of reminds me of Gardens of Anxi from Verdant Teas. I think I might drop the steep time to 2 minutes next time to see how it fares because there’s a hint of overcooked tea leaf in here. Otherwise it’s pretty tasty! It’s also pretty different from the two Jin Xuans I tried from Tea from Taiwan, and I like this one better. Thanks so much TeaEqualsBliss, I’m glad I got to try this one!
I wanted to try and expunge some old samples this morning, but most of my samples are really contain more than one cup (so there won’t be any expunging today I don’t think). This one is like the sample that never ends! I think I still have more than one cup left after using tea for this one.
Well, it’s still a pretty tasty tea. Chocolate and coconut; now I’m wondering how this compares to Harney’s new(ish) Soho Blend, which is also chocolate and coconut. Also, as my mind is wandering while drinking this tea I am thinking about how it would taste with a pinch of almond tea in it… kind of like almond joy in a cup! That should be a way to enliven my next cup. I enjoy this tea but it’s not something I reach for; I certainly don’t crave it, hence it’s taking forever for me to get through the sample!
Man, I think I still didn’t get enough leaf with this tea. This cup is tasty but very light. I steeped it for 3 minutes because after 2 it just seemed way too light, and it’s clearly a tea that is pretty forgiving as far as steep times go because it has no hint of bitterness or overcooking. Maybe I’ll have to break down and actually weigh this one to make sure I’m getting enough leaf in.
Here’s my celebratory Year of the Dragon tea! I have to remember not to over-tea myself on this one, which is hard not to do because it lasts for so many steeps. And it’s so delicious it’s hard to stop drinking it!