1635 Tasting Notes
I don’t usually drink actual tea this late in the evening but I really wanted to. I decided to go shu puerh because the fermentation actually results in less caffeine in the resulting tea. I haven’t spent a lot of time drinking puerhs of any kind, and I have gotten most of my exposure through the reserve club. That’s the point, of course! I haven’t come across a puerh that I love, but I often do enjoy them and I am glad to get a chance to try them all.
I am having a similar experience with this tea. It’s earthy, it’s piney. Funny, I didn’t expect this puerh to be so similar in feeling to some of the shengs I’ve had recently. The first steep of this tea is at once light in flavor but with a slight bite. In the second steep the bite has increased, moving almost to bitterness. I’m also getting a lot of conifer notes… juniper berries, cedar wood, pine needles. Also a bit of rocky minerals as well. After a few steepings I’m definitely starting to get some tingly mouth going on here. I have to say this is probably my least favorite of the puerhs I’ved tried through the reserve club so far. Maybe it’s the “camphor” notes. But I’m still glad I got to try it.
Sipdown, 180. I thought I would splitting this into two tastings, but then I actually had just the right amount of leaf according to Den’s instructions. So this is steeped with the leaf:water ratio that they recommend, and I don’t know if I did that with the other sample I had (this one comes to me thanks to Ellen!).
I think I prefer this on at a slightly lighter ratio, as this is fairly strong and vegetal. Slightly buttery but not too floral or fruity. It was still a tasty cup of tea, but I think I prefer this a tad “weaker” than Den’s instructions produce.
182, just kidding, 181. Found a tea in my cupboard that shouldn’t have been there!
Headache, exhaustion, dry eyes, and I have to go to a seminar on morphometrics in a half an hour. Ugh. Decided to sipdown this one in the hopes that it will give me a boost.
Wow, this is suuuuper sweet today. Like liquid honey, or more like liquid honey-soaked sweet potatoes. Steeping it at a slightly hotter temp than I did last time really made a difference. Very nice. Wherever yssah sourced this one from, it is a very good tea.
Sipdown, 183. I never know what to do with all the tea dust at a bottom of a sample. It can be hard to separate from the good leaf. I often try to shake the dry leaf in my infuser, so that it sifts out a bit, and this time I actually rinsed the leaf with cold water, but it clearly wasn’t that effective. Or maybe it was and my cup of tea would be like matcha if I hadn’t done it.
I started off planning to steep this for 2 minutes and after 30 seconds I knew the infuser had to come out. The leaf is so small and broken that the liquor is already a yellowy-amber color. It smells green but also pretty earthy, perhaps a bit like fall leaves. The flavor is nutty and a bit brothy, even. I don’t get the chestnut notes that I identified in my first tasting of this; it actually seems more… walnutty? Maybe? It’s pretty tasty, and a nice post-lunch tea to clear the palate and reset for the afternoon.
My morning has been super busy, and I drank this one without too much thought to it. I will write a better tasting note the next time I have it, but suffice to say that it was sweet, smooth and delicious. Can’t wait to be able to give it more of my attention.
One more sipdown today, 184. :)
I’ve had this one for a while and its gone from unimpressive in my mind to quite tasty. Sometimes is fun to see how tastebuds change! Some teas get better, others get worse, and then there are those that don’t change. Now I appreciate a nice formosa oolong so much more than I used to, and also I appreciate slightly more subtle flavoring. Not that this one is super subtle, but it was subtle in comparsion to what I was drinking exclusively a year ago. It’s funny because I read my first tasting note of this and say (now), well that sounds delicious to me! But at the time it was not the flavor profile I was after. Glad I got to try this one and glad I had enough that I came around to it eventually.
So a few weeks ago I found a pouch of this randomly in a box without any other tea around it. Like I had found it and stuck it in their at the last minute while moving, or it had accidentally fallen in. Regardless, I was surprised and delighted. This is one of my favorite teas ever! I resisted the impulse to hoard it (there is one cup left) and decided to make a cup this afternoon.
Well this is delightful, and everything I expected it to be. Lovely passionfruit flavor, lovely oolong flavor. If you love green oolongs, and flavored oolongs, do yourself a favor and order a sample pack from Naivetea; you won’t regret it.
Sipdown, 185. Last of my rose black samples! I suppose I should also have a cup of Harney’s Rose Scented but it is currently hiding in a box… I had to box up all of my teas because there might be a surprise lab inspection (my current “office” is technically in a lab) and tea apparently counts as a food or something. Note that this is the kind of lab where it doesn’t matter at all if you eat or drink, and people do regularly, but officially you are not supposed to. Anyway, I left some samples and my new teas out of the boxes, tucked away in my desk. Can’t be totally deprived!
Mm, I think this tea is sweeter than the last one. The last time I had this I was disappointed in the base, but today I am very much enjoying it as a whole. Yeah, the base isn’t super present, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a tasty cup of tea. Bumping the rating because it is pretty deliciously like rose candy.
Sipdown, 186. I’ve been saving the rest of this sample until my new rose black got here so I could compare my myriad rose black teas. I feel like at this point I have possibly sampled as many versions of rose black as I have of Earl Grey, and that is certainly saying something (ok, I just checked, and it is not even close, haha).
Unlike the rose tea I just had (In Nature Teas), THIS is a very rosey tea. This is loukoumi (aka Turkish Delight) rosey, rosewater rosey. I love it, of course. I also love that the black tea doesn’t just shrink into the background, but is robust and pleasant at the same time. The only reason I wouldn’t restock this one over others is that it is next to impossible to get in the states, but otherwise it is very nice.
I think its a rose tea kind of morning. I have been interested in this tea for a while, mainly because of the claim thtat the base tea is a high quality Chinese black from a region that I haven’t tried (Zhejiang). I’m assuming it is a Jinqu Hongmei because that seems to be the main black tea produced by this predominantly green tea region (found that out on Teavivre’s site, actually!) This company is British, so shipping was an issue, and they don’t offer samples or sample sizes (they also didn’t include any samples in the shipment). But when they offered a coupon and this tea was already on sale on top of that, I went ahead and bit the bullet.
The tea leaves are long, black, and wiry, which definitely looks promising. There are a surprising amount of rose buds in this blend; I kept thinking that I was going to scoop up some leaves with no rose bud in the scoop, but I kept getting roses. I happened to look at the little pamphlet that came with the tea (I almost didn’t because at least one side of it is filled with “health benefit” information") so I did see that they call for black teas to be brewed at 85°C. I don’t think I’ve ever brewed a black below 195°F/90°C, so that’s what I used this time.
The steeped tea smells rosy and chocolatey. Mmmm. Yeah, this black tea has serious chocolate notes to it. The flavor is quite nice, although I can tell you right now that next time I am trying it a nearly if not actually a full boil. It’s a tad thin, but I think its the cool temp more than anything else. It’s slightly sweet, with cocoa and cereal notes to it. The rose is fairly light and seems to blend in with the whole taste of the sip. It’s noticeable if you look for it, but I also can be convinced that I’m not actually drinking a rose-scented tea. Normally I would want more rose, but somehow this one works so well I am pleased anyway. Quite tasty, and I am excited to play around with the 50g I have of this.