1851 Tasting Notes
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.
Ahhhh, snow! We just had a brief snowfall here… perfect day to stay inside and huddle with blankets and tea.
So, I broke my don’t-buy-52teas rule and bought this tea. I have not have much success with them, and they are often just not to my taste. I have bought pumpkin teas from them in the past because I want them to work for me, but they never do. This one got through because dragonwell. I don’t like their black tea base, but this is dragonwell! And maybe it won’t cover up the flavorings so much.
The dry leaf, of course, smells AMAZING. They always do. Like pumpkin and spices and toffee. Brewed, I still get a good amount of pumpkin and spices from the scent, with perhaps a bit of buttery toffee, and the dragonwell base comes out.
It’s interesting. The dragonwell is an interesting choice of base because it is buttery, but it’s also green, so I feel like it lacks a bit of heft I might want from a pie tea. That said, the pumpkin is nice here, and I actually taste it as pumpkin, which is saying something. Pumpkin itself is often lost in pumpkin spice teas. I normally wouldn’t sweeten a green tea but… I think this one would really be awesome with an added hint of sweetness, which might bring out the green tea. Overall I am reasonably happy, although my mind isn’t blow or anything.
Sipdown, 137. I wanted to try this assam because a lot of people rave about it and it seems to be a pretty classic assam. So thanks to Sil for sending me some to try. I have always thought I didn’t really like assams, but then I started trying them here or there and was unsure. I have to say that if I don’t love this one I will probably give up on most assams, haha.
I’m not sure what to think of this one. I do think it’s funny how some people say things about certain teas like “this one never ever gets bitter!” Do we have different definitions of bitter? Because I do find this one to be bitter when steeped at these parameters. I’m not sure what other flavors I’m getting… a hint of malt, but I don’t find it super malty, some other flavor I can’t quite identify. After one small cup I also kind of felt a little ill, so I think straight strong assam and my stomach doesn’t really get along (even though it’s not on an empty stomach!). I had this reaction to the Antarctic Expedition Blend the other day as well. Super bold teas, maybe not for me.
Anyway, I added milk and a bit of maple to smooth it out. It works a bit better for me, but I’m not in love with it. I think the only assam I like are the Taiwanese varietals.
Sipdown, 138. Only one sipdown today but I did have three yesterday, so that will have to do. I had this one at “tea time” at my office today, and it was pleasant. I like having a non fussy oolong for the tea time get together, and this one fit the bill. Creamy and floral and just a bit vegetal.