1995 Tasting Notes
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
Sipdown of this one yesterday. I enjoyed this one pretty well but in the end the Dragonwell was a little too savory-buttery for me. Sometimes it was almost broth-like. It probably would have been decent cold brewed but the amount of fluffy flowers in this would have made judging leaf amounts very difficult.
Cold brew sipdown! I was supposed to sip this down on last Thursday before I went out of town but I ended up with an extra scoop of leaf. So I threw that in with a bit of Bali to amp the lychee and it turned out well. I prefer it with more lychee and less banana blossom, although the banana blossom is still there to give it a unique flavor. This was a fun one to try out but it’s nice to sip it down!
The Blends club package came while I was away over the weekend, but I don’t think I will count them just yet to my cupboard since I am at 101! And that will hit 100 later today. Plus I didn’t count my swap from Cameron B., so if I just don’t count any new teas I can be make believe that I hit 100, LOL.
Anyway, the blends club. It’s getting pretty repetative. The teas this month feel like things I have seen before. Jingshan green with lavender? Check. Let’s add some coriander, yes? And this one, an oolong with sarsaparilla… where have I had that before? Oh yes, Sarsaparilla Tieguanyin and Wuyi Whiskey Trail. And why not throw in some tulsi? All of the flavor profiles are really similar. I got sucked back into the blends club when they reblended some of my favorite lost blends, but I am reconsidering again. It wouldn’t be too bad if I wanted floral, herbal, tonic-ish blends all the time, but I don’t. I’m going to give it to the end of the year because I want to see what they do with the holiday blends, but probably not much more beyond that.
So this one specifically. Well, it’s kind of herbal, and tonic-y. It’s also a little bitter and I’m not totally sure why. Overall it’s not bad, but it’s kind of boring. To me, anyway; I just don’t crave those types of flavors in my tea. Oh well, if anyone is interested it will be posted in the sales thread and for trade (as soon as I can get to that thread, since the boards are hardcore broken).