1628 Tasting Notes
I wanted a rich, dessertty tea this afternoon and it seems like it’s been a bit since I’ve brewed up a flavored one (that wasn’t a cold brew), so I decided to finally plunge into my recent Lupicia order. I ordered a bunch of teas on sale and this was one of them, and the biggest surprise in the box. There are no reviews for this tea (I actually had to add it to the database) and Lupicia provides no other information other than a calisson is a sweet from the south of France (side note: I really wish they provided ingredients lists on their website). Well I like French sweets, and I tried to look them up and found out they are made of candied fruit and almonds. I decided to take the risk and order it!
I opened the package and was immediately surrounded by the scent of melon. I also saw that melon pieces were on the ingredients list as well. I don’t think I expected melon but I guess I should have, looking at the wikipedia page for calisson again. Anyway, I really like Lupicia’s melon oolong, so it was promising. I also noticed that the leaf was a somewhat odd mixture of long, black tea leaves and CTC pieces. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blend like that!
I steeped it up with my flavored standard black tea parameters, although I admit I had slight misgivings about the CTC leaf. The cup is dark and smells deliciously like sweet sweet melons and also a little almondy in a cookie-ish way. It is honestly making my mouth water.
I am thinking I may want to steep this for less time or at a cooler temp because there is definitely a hint of bitterness that must be coming from the CTC leaf. However, there is so much sweet melon and candy flavor coming from this that it in some cases completely overwhelms the bitterness. This is one of those cases where I don’t mind that the flavor overwhelms the base! The main note is melon but then there is this distinct nutty, almondy flavor lurking under all.
This is a hard one for me because I do love the flavor combo but I don’t love the base tea. I think it is the same as Lupicia’s Cookie tea (which I have not had), which a lot of people prefer with milk and/or sugar. I can just imagine sitting back with a big sweet, milky pot of this tea and being in heaven really, so I guess there’s something to that. We’ll see how different steep parameters go, otherwise I will just take this one home and enjoy it with additions.
This isn’t one of my new Teavivre samples; I’ve had this for a while now. I wanted a morning oolong and I decided to go for this one.
It’s definitely a nice dong ding, and on the green side of things which I like. You can never tell with a dong ding whether its going to be slightly toasted or not, but this one is not. I mean, there are maybe hints of buttery toast to this, but it is predominantly green and lightly floral. Tasty and relaxing for this morning, for sure.
This is the fourth tea that I ordered from Butiki. Once again, a black tea varietal from China that I haven’t tried; count me in. I ordered a small amount of this to try and I am not disappointed.
I don’t know what I was expecting the dry leaf to look like, but not like it did. I guess I was expecting longish glossy black strands, but instead it is curly, golden and fuzzy. The tea steeped up fairly light for a black, more like a dark brownish maroon. It smells both a bit chocolatey and a bit fruity.
The flavor to me is a bit of cocoa, a fair amount of malt, some soft breadiness and definite nuttiness like a pecan or walnut. It’s lightly sweet, too, which gives it some honeyed notes as well. It’s not a robust black tea but I would say it is full-bodied in that the texture is rich and not thin. Quite tasty and definitely up my alley. I do like having all of these different Chinese black teas around for a little subtle variety. :)
The Teavivre party continues. Thanks once again to Angel and Teavivre for this sample! I am very interested to try this organic superfine tie guan yin verses the “Anxi” (non-organic) superfine tie guan yin I tried yesterday. Will the “organic” make a big difference?
First off, the leaf looks similar but doesn’t smell as floral or sweet. It still smelled really good while steeping, but once I removed the leaf it was more subdued. Yes, it still smells very floral and buttery, but not AS floral and buttery as the Anxi superfine. Same thing with the taste. I feel like if I had not just had the Anxi superfine yesterday, I would think this is a pretty amazing tie guan yin. It is smooth and buttery, with florals, light vegetal notes, and a hint of sweetness. But the Anxi superfine was mind blowing awesome, so this one is just not as tasty to me in comparsion.
Interesting result but not unexpected; I haven’t tried the Organic Bailin Gongfu from Teavivre but I love the non-organic Bailin Gongfu, and from reading the reviews of the organic version I think I would prefer the non-organic. Don’t know why that would be, but thankfully I am not hung up on organic designation for my teas.
New green teas! What a treat it is to have all of these teas fresh from the spring harvest. Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for sending this sample of the spring 2013 bi luo chun.
The dried leaf of this tea smelled potently like spring veggies like sugar snap peas and perhaps even a hint of asparagus. It’s beautifully squiggly, green, and fuzzy. It smells, well, like bi luo chun. Buttery and vegetal and a bit like miso soup. This one ended up brewed a bit light, but it is still very flavorful with fresh green vegetal notes like buttery beans and a hint of fruitiness, perhaps like fresh green grapes. The texture of the liquor is smooth and silky, adding to that buttery feeling. This harvest is quite nice and makes for a very satisfying cup of green tea.
Made this one cold-brewed for lunch because now I have only one more cup of it left and it’s ready to sipdown.
This was a tasty and refreshing cold brew. The coconut was very creamy and offsets a bit of the grassiness of the green tea. It wasn’t particularly lemony but it was nicely tropical feeling. I’ve been cold-steeping green and white teas for about 8 hours or so, and it seems to be working out for me, though they do border on too strong. I definitely enjoyed drinking this one with lunch today.
I am likely going to bounce off the walls this morning with all of these tan yangs, but I just had to try this one back to back with the others. The steeping parameters, including leaf:water ratio, is consistant across all of these cups.
The first difference I notice about this one is the scent. In comparison to the others, it is less molasses and grains and more fruity, with almost an apricot quality to it. Also perhaps a little yammy; it reminds me of other, non-tan yang black teas I’ve been drinking lately, like a Yunnan or keemun. That being said I still thought it smelled very tan yang-y yesterday, so this is only in comparison.
I would definitely say the flavor on this one is also fruitier. By the way I figured out that when I drank this yesterday my water quality was off; now it is as it should be, and the flavors on this are very present and not flat at all. I definitely get some malty grains, and a bit of caramel, but this is also more dried apricots than raisins. Very sweet on the aftertaste. Neither this nor the Harney have the nutty cocoa notes that my tan yang that I brought back from China has, but those are pretty subtle even in that one.
I would say I marginally prefer the Harney version to this (more molasses and caramel, raisins over apricots), but given the price difference, I am more likely to restock this one than the Harney. It is an exceptionally delicious tea for sure.
Well I dug out this one for a cup. I bought this tea in China after a tasting, brought it home, and immediately wished I had bought more. I have a serious problem with hoarding this one as it is definitely impossible for me to get more of this exact tea. I haven’t gone on a thorough tan yang search for a replacement, but I have started drinking more of them in trial.
The first thing that’s obviously different about this one vs. the Harney one I had this morning is the aroma: This one smells darker, chocolatier, with less honey notes. That carries over to the flavor as well. I am tasting more grains and less molasses, but the sweet raisiny aftertaste is similar. Perhaps more burnt-sugar caramel notes in this one as well. I think its a tad toastier overall. Honestly, although I am making them sound pretty different here overall they are close. The Harney version is definitely closer than TeaSprings Tan Yang Te Ji, though I still need to try their Jing Zhi. This one is a little fuller-bodied, and I do like the cocoa notes present, so I think I still prefer this one, but Harney’s is very very good. Now to try Teavivre’s again!
I figured now is as good a time as any to revisit this one in comparison to the Teavivre Tan Yang I just tried. I have enough of this pouch left for one more cup after this, so I will be able to revisit again before I’m out. I suppose I also need to dig out my Tan Yang from China, see how it compares, and see if either this one or the Teavivre one come close to replacing it.
I’ve also wanted to re-try this one because immediately after drinking it last time I started having some kind of weird, sweet aftertaste for a few days, and then I was unsure of whether the sweet notes in this tea were really real or not.
Turns out they were sorta real. This tea has a ton of molasses notes to it, and that strong raisin is back especially in the aftertaste. I do think it is less sweet than the last time I drank it, curse my wonky tastebuds. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious. It is really an excellent tan yang. And now I am even more antsy to try Teavivre’s again, because I am hoping that brewed properly with good water it is similar, because it’s less than half the price!
I have a few large one-ounce “samples” of fruity herbals that are pretty old by now, but I have no drive to drink them. I look at them and just taste the tartness of the hibiscus already. I guess I will save them for this summer and drink them iced and sweetened.
So I don’t have a lot of other herbals, but I do have this one. This herbal is HEAVY. It is basically composed of exclusively dried fruits, so my 2oz is really not that much tea. It also makes for difficult scooping, but I think I managed a decent blend.
Yum yum. I didn’t realize there was caramel flavoring in this at first, but I can really taste it. Fig and caramel is a glorious combination. This isn’t very rosy, no, but I’ve been having a time tasting rose in any herbal blend lately. I do think that there is a thick floral tone to this that comes from the rose. It is sweet and fruity without being tart. I think the almond also adds to the rich sweetness with the caramel. Yeah this is definitely a keeper for evenings, even if it is probably expensive for an herbal due to its weight.