2182 Tasting Notes
Yay, another sample from Sil! I am happy to try all of these TTC teas since Taiwanese black teas are a little hit or miss for me. They can’t be too fruity, which is weird to me, but there it is. I didn’t quite know how to steep this one so I dumped about half my sample in the cup (long, squiggly leaves always making things interesting) and tried out these parameters first… will likely try others with the next half.
This tea certainly smells very fruity. Apricot, perhaps, with a hint of whatever that note is that I dislike in Taiwanese black teas (hard to describe). A bit honeyed as well. I would say this cup is a little under brewed. I think I would go hotter and also possibly longer. The flavor in the main part of the sip is thin, but there is a lot in the aftertaste. This does remind me of Butiki’s Taiwanese Wild Mountain Black but it’s been so long since I’ve had that one that it’s hard to remember exactly. I am happy to say that the note that I tend to dislike has smoothed itself out in the flavor, and the honey and pastry notes make themselves a bit more known. As it cools the cup gains a smooth, almost creamy texture that is quite pleasant.
Overall this is definitely an enjoyable tea, although it edges toward the side of Taiwanese blacks that I’m not in love with, or at least I would never really crave. But obviously a very nice example of the type if you are into those sorts of things.
I drank the first half of this sample quite a while ago but was distracted while doing it so I didn’t write a tasting note, vowing that I would do better with the second half of my sample from Sil. Then yesterday it came up in my chronology so I drank it, but was again distracted. Augh!
See, it’s quite a tasty tea so I wanted to do it justice. But I was distracted so I can pretty much just tell you that it was tasty. It hit the notes that I look for in a Bailin Gongfu tea. Honey, grains, molasses, check. I would very happily drink this one again. I also happen to have 100g of Teavivre’s Bailin Gongfu so I’m pretty much set on it for now, but this is also quite good. Thanks for the sample, Sil!
Finishing up this sample this morning. This tea is popular for a reason; it has nice dark chocolatey flavor with a smooth robust tea base. Still can’t really taste that there is puerh in here. Not much else to say about this one this morning. Thanks again for the sample, Sil!
Another tea bag sample from the cafe. I am not the hugest fan of lavender in my tea so I wasn’t expecting to be really into this one, but it turns out it i’s pretty pleasant. Same somewhat generic sencha base as á l’Opera, but it’s relatively smooth, not too grassy, and inoffensive. I didn’t realize that there was berry flavor in this when I brewed it up but after looking at Steepster, apparently so. It is fruity, but it’s fairly subtle. The lavender isn’t too strong, either, but is defintely present. I would have liked more rose but I suppose it is contributing to a general floral sense.
I accidentally left my kettle set from the last tea and brewed this at 195°F instead of 180°F like I usually would for a green tea, but it seems to have suffered no ill effects.
Jumping around a bit this morning on the chronology because I didn’t want to start the day with a green tea (one more MF sample to drink). But now we come to some of Sil’s swap package, including this tea. Oddly, I got a comment last night from Hugo Tea Company on my previous note (written quite a while ago).
To forstall any bitterness while hot I brewed this one cooler this time, and it seems to have taken care of it. Now the tea is just nicely chocolatey, malty, slightly honeyed, and with nice lightly-toasted grain notes. I was definitely glad to drink this one this morning. A nice example of the kind of Chinese black tea that I tend to enjoy.
When I bought my tin of Full Moon Party at the cafe in Pittsburgh, the owner came out a few minutes later (while we were eating our crepe) and gave me a few sample tea bags of some other MF teas they carried. How nice! I’ve had this tea before, a long time ago, but it’s always nice to revisit.
I wasn’t sure how much I would like this one because I have been iffy on flavored greens of late, and it smelled like it would be not quite up my alley. But I actually quite enjoyed the cup anyway. I had rated it pretty low (for me), and I think I had adjusted it at some point when I went on a lark about lowering my ratings across the board, but I’ve come to terms that most teas I will rate in the 70–99 range. Anyway, this was fruity with a touch of vanilla and an ok sencha base (they’re not my favorite). The berries are a bit candyish for me, and I think it’s kind of brought out by the vanilla. Not my fave, but I wouldn’t refuse a cup if offered.
I thought that I would forever be a Mariage Frères doubter, but this tea proved me wrong. SUPER almondy today (like drinking marzipan), sweet and smooth with a nice amount of spices. Sadly this is one of those limited edition MF teas that only comes in an expensive tin, but I will enjoy what I have of it. Who knows, one day I may find another MF tea that I love.
A brief note, since I’m busy today, but I don’t want to forget about writing these tasting notes. I thought I remembered wanting to change my steeping parameters on this one last time I had it and sure enough, I wanted to try it with more leaf. So this time it was 3tsp of leaf for 12oz water instead of my usual 2tsp.
I was a little worried it might come out too strong for me, but it was fine. Strong, yes. If you don’t LOVE bergamot, don’t brew it at this level, because it was powerful. But regardless it was never bitter or astringent, and the base remained smooth and solid. I think perhaps there was a bit more shortbread/cookie flavor in this cup, but it wasn’t super noticable. This remains a solid EG, although not as mind blowing as I wanted it to be.
This tea is well named because drinking a cup of it always makes me happy.
As I have lamented before, this tea always sells out on the Vente-Privee sales before I get to them. Last time I managed to snag a sample tin so I at least have a little. Guess I need to go to Paris to buy some more! :D I like this better than other “red fruits” blends I’ve tried, and I think it’s the addition of the citrus, which really brightens the blend. So happy!
Also I am really surprised that I am the only reviewer of this one. I thought there were others? I got my original sample from Toi toi but I guess it’s just a rare blend.
I had to skip a few teas in my cupboard chronology that were herbals and/or at home, so that brings us to this sample from OMGsrsly. I looked at my past note and bumped by tea amount to 1.5tsp for 12oz fo water today.
I definitely like this ratio better (who would have thought I would like it stronger?). There’s no bitterness to this so I could possibly even go to my normal ratio (2tsp per 12oz); maybe I’ll try it next time. But in any case this is a pretty tasty cup of tea. I think it’s the (unknown) base tea that makes this tea so unique. It tastes like bergamot and vanilla, but it also has some interesting other elements. I think the bergamot and vanilla are a little more subtle in this cup than the last one… the extra leaf is bringing the base out. It’s not a highly flavored tea. The base has a maltiness, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a good blend, and definitely a nice change up from a typical EGC.