174 Tasting Notes

98

This is one of the best green teas I have ever had. It easily ranks up there in my top 5 favorite teas of all time. I have had the spring and autumn harvests, two autumn harvests (2011, 2012) now. I have to say that while Autumn made me like Laoshan greens, the spring made me appreciate them, Summer harvest made me love them.

It’s very rich and creamy for a green tea with a hint of salt. The vegetal notes are green beany, soy bean, edamame, not at all bitter and absolutely no astringency. It is naturally sweet and crisp and creamy and I know it sounds contradictory but it’s there…I tasted it and it was good!

I could drink this everyday, but I don’t want to lose my appreciation for it and take it for granted. I can typically get five really good steeps out of it. First steep is typically around 165* for about 30 seconds. After that about 175* for 30 seconds. Then I just up the steeping by a little bit, 45 seconds, then a minute, then a minute and 30 seconds. After that the flavor starts to get dull with a bite of bitterness to it. I need to try this gaiwan style!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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83

I received this as a sample with my order. Now I don’t drink a lot of cherry green teas, I don’t find myself craving them a lot but I do enjoy them a lot…if they are done right. So often I will try a cherry flavored tea and it will taste like cough syrup. Other times there’s a lot of hibiscus added to help bring in extra tartness. This has neither of those bad qualities.

This is a very nice smooth cherry rose sencha tea. I had one a few years ago that I really liked and could never find who did made it. I think it was a local store blend that you could only buy to drink in house. You couldn’t buy any to take with you. But this tea tastes a lot like that one. It’s silky smooth sencha that’s not totally buried, but the grassiness is subdued. The rose is nice and floral soft. The rose doesn’t overpower as I find it does in so many other blends. The cherry isn’t really tart at all, kind of tastes like those jarred cherries that you use to top sundaes, I have no idea what they’re called, but they are nice and sweet. This is a really nice tea, plus it can be steeped at least 3 decent times. I’ve gotten it up to five already with plenty of flavor left!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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80
drank Sun and Cloud Mist by 52teas
174 tasting notes

This was one of the teas I received in the grab bags 52teas was selling a few months ago. So, when I opened the package I saw this one first. Green tea with a cute kitty on the front? Sold! I’ve been drinking this for a while now, just a little slow to logging it!

Anyways, upon opening the bag I am hit by lemon, reminds me of Pledge, with a marshmallow note underneath. The wet leaf is a sweeter lemon, like a lemon pastry of some sort. The taste is sweet lemon with vegetal green tea, and marshmallow, mostly in the tail-end and aftertaste.

It definitely reminds me of some sort of lemon pastry, it’s good! The green tea is surprisingly not buried underneath the lemon, it has a butter-like taste to it that only helps to amplify the pastry taste. Butter croissant with lemon icing maybe? Either way, it’s yummy, and the adorable kitty on the front, well it’s fun to stare at while sipping the tea!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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80

Another one from Rachel, thank you for sharing this with me!

I forgot what was in this tea, just by looking at it, I thought it was an herbal tea. I saw some pieces of green tea in there, but the needles far outweigh the green tea. As soon as I opened the bag I smelled a pine forest. Needles crushing underfoot, pine cones scattered across the ground, I could smell the pine sap dripping down the trees. It was beautifully crisp and quiet, like an early morning sunrise before the world wakes up.

What a lovely tea. The bancha gives a nice soft buttery taste. The pine needles aren’t strong in taste at all, they are light and crisp. I feel like there is a little hint of jasmine in here, more feeling than taste. Thank you Rachel for sharing this with me, it is lovely!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 45 sec
CupofTree

beautiful review. must try this tea.

Whispering Pines Tea Company

Thanks for noting the hint of jasmine – you helped me finish the blend :)

Invader Zim

I’m glad my review helped you!

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80

Ooh, this is nice! I love anything mint, so this was bound to be good. I can taste the mint, the cinnamon, and the oolong. No one flavor overpowers the others. The oolong type is not specified. Looking at it it is a roasted oolong, smelling it and tasting it makes me thinks it is Big Red Robe. It has a definite mineral/river stone quality to it.

It reminds me of being out in the woods, but not in the way that a puerh would, it’s not earthy, just fresh and crisp. Is there a pine note in here or am I just imagining it? I don’t know, I don’t see anything mentioning pine notes, but I can taste it, might be the mint playing with me. Either way this is a nice tea.

Thank you Rachel for sharing this with me!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 45 sec
TheTeaFairy

That one sounds really nice, I like the natural feel you got from it…Never ordered from them, but I’ve been checking them out and will place my first order soon. Like the idea of all natural flavoured blends, they really sound unique and interesting!

Invader Zim

These past two teas I have received from Rachel have felt very natural compared to some others I have had. They not only taste like natural flavors, but they taste like nature. They are very nice and soothing. Definitely check them out!

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80

This was a wonderful sample from Rachel!

This is a very nicely done blend. It’s lightly vegetal with notes of chestnut and wafts of jasmine. The jasmine is not strong at all, it’s delicate and very well done. This tea really does resemble its name, a light rain in a field with wild flowers with a creek flowing through it. Beautiful tea, thank you for sharing this one with me Rachel!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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92

This is for the 2012 harvest. I noticed there isn’t a separate tea log for the new harvest, so I’m just adding it here.

I brewed this in my 12oz mug. It brews several times, I start with short steeps (about 20-30seconds) working up to 2 minutes. I can usually get about 5 steepings this way with plenty of flavor.

This tea is creamy, beany, smooth as usual. Like soy milk. It’s good. This harvest, this year, seems to have more smokey notes to it with a hint of a salt note. I get a nice oatmeal note mostly in the aroma, but definitely some smoke and a hint of a roasty note. This is not a bad thing, I typically don’t like smoke, but it fits this tea, this harvest. It’s more bold, more robust, but not in the way that a black tea is, it is in its own way. This tea, no matter the harvest, is always a pleasant companion.


Story
I’m always a little hesitant about telling stories, I feel as if I’m letting something so terribly personal out to the world, as if I am somehow judged for my memories. This story is a new one, one that I am always even more hesitant to tell people. Whenever I tell people this story I know they judge me. I feel as if I am put on a higher pedestal because of it and I am unable to live up to it.

Today is Veteran’s Day, I want to honor the veterans who are serving, those who have served and those who have paid the ultimate price. I have comrades in each of those categories. Some are family, some are friends, most were coworkers. Yes, I am a veteran. I had served 5 years active duty, I was a helicopter mechanic, and yes I did go overseas to the Middle East.

But in my eyes I did my job. I did nothing more, I did not sacrifice anything more than my own personal comforts and some frame of mind. I feel, if anything, that my eyes were opened to the world, my mind broadened. I learned to live with less, a more simplistic lifestyle, for the better, that I didn’t need all these materialistic things to keep me happy. I learned what I really needed to keep me alive and healthy and happy. Food, shelter, companionship, family. I also meet my husband in the military.

I was in a war zone, but I never fought. I just repaired the damage. And in many ways I am thankful for that. I know many that have, and not a single one comes back the same. Never. I never wanted to be a destroyer, I wanted to help, not hurt. Even if all I did was repair helicopters, those helicopters were used for anti-piracy, cargo and mail loading, and as air ambulance. There was an incident were those that I worked with died in one of our helicopters. Four people I worked with gone in a flash. Investigators never did find out what was the cause. That was 6 years ago, almost 7. It was within my first six months of actual service.

Twice a year, once in January when they died, and on today, I think of them. I think of those I worked next to, served with, served after me and before me and no matter how hard I try I cry every time I hear taps. It’s amazing how such a simple piece of music can carry such emotion and memories. So, to those who have served, to those who are serving, to the families, and to those who have sacrificed everything, Thank you.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Wow. Thank you for your behind-the-scenes role, and for sharing that story.

Michelle

You told a beautiful story. Thank you for everything you do and did. Just because you were never in combat doesn’t mean that your role wasn’t integral. Please don’t ever feel hesitant to share your stories. We are all here to listen.

Ninavampi

Thanks for sharing!

ashmanra

Thank you for sharing your story. Blessings!

ssajami

Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing it! Here in Israel everyone serves in the army (as did I for 2 years), and so every one knows someone hurt or killed in the service. Even if not in the front lines, every job counts and helps others do what they do. Our veterans day is in May, but I too will have a cup of this amazing tea today in remembrance and honor of fellow veterans overseas.

Invader Zim

Thank you all, I’m glad you appreciate it :)

Bonnie

You should always tell this story and often. Thank you! You served, and it does not matter that you were not in direct harms way! Those helicopters couldn’t afford to malfunction! You did a fine job and are appreciated!
You carry something inside you that will always be there, the remembrence of those who died and this story. Memory Eternal!

Ysaurella

thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

TheTeaFairy

I understand what you meant by« letting something personal out to the world» . I am in life a very private person, who never shares anything on the web…but somehow, Steepster makes me feel «safe» in some strange way with no fear of being judgedll…Maybe it’s the fact that we all share the same passion and that so far, I found only good people here?
Your review is truly inspiring and very humble…I think you described the true essence of what serving is all about…Thank you, I’m glad I got the privilege to read it…

Invader Zim

I too feel very safe here on Steepster. It really is a good community. I’ve been apart of other forums and this one is by far the friendliest and non-judgmental. Definitely good people here, you guys prove it!

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86
drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
174 tasting notes

I love coconut and am always on the lookout for a nice coconut green tea. Key word being green. I’ve had a few coconut oolongs and pouchongs which are all fine and dandy, and some red rooibos which aren’t for me, but I wanted a green tea. Now Teavana came out with a green coconut cream tea that’s exclusive to their website, you can’t get it in the store. I bought some thinking I was going to like it, I didn’t. It was sencha with coconut and white chocolate pieces…I don’t like white chocolate and I certainly don’t like it in my tea and it was too much and too creamy for me.

So, I go to Zen Tea and find this gorgeous little yixing teapot that grabs my heart and I don’t find too many teas that grab my attention. Then I see this coconut green tea, again coconut with sencha and figure why not. I thought of grabbing just a sample but did 50g instead. Glad I got 50g instead of a sample! The yixing pot is too cute at 3.72 oz which will be dedicated to dancongs.

And this tea is so simple and delicious! It’s a nice sencha base with dried coconut pieces and apparently some flavoring which I can only imagine to be more coconut. Upon opening the bag I smell the sweet grassy sencha and the sweet coconut. This coconut is different from oolong or pouchong in that it is much lighter. It reminds me of sweetened shredded coconut used for baking, the kind that I will sit down and eat straight out of the bag…I like coconut :) But the greatest thing about this tea is that it was green tea and coconut and that’s it, no extra anything! No pineapple, no lemongrass, no rhubarb, no mango, nothing! It’s great I love it! The sencha is the perfect base for the coconut and the neither the coconut nor the sencha overpowered the other, well balanced. If you like coconut and green tea go try some!

Pics of new yixing! You can see my cup of the coconut green tea on the table.

http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s410/feralanima/Yixingteapot005.jpg

http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s410/feralanima/Yixingteapot002.jpg

http://i1050.photobucket.com/albums/s410/feralanima/Yixingteapot003.jpg

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Babble

Cute yixing! Did you get any special cups to drink out of?

Invader Zim

I did order the small flower pattern porcelain cup from Verdant the first day they started selling teawares. That should be shipped out the middle of this month. But aside from that I don’t have cups smaller than 5 oz yet. I’m working on it, my teaware collection is starting to grow!

JC

since it’s going to be a dedicated yixing you could get yixing cups!

Invader Zim

I could, but I really like the look of painted porcelain cups a lot. I don’t know if I really need to get a lot of cups though, it’s not like I have a lot of company, and what company I do get doesn’t really drink tea, and those that do just like their bigger cups. Essentially, it’s just going to be for me, we’ll see though, I have time to decide!

Bonnie

Sooo cute! I have a couple Yixing cups and I had to season them which was easy since the instructions are on Verdant and Youtube etc. If you don’t season them, the taste is ick! Clay! At least, I can smell the clay.

JC

I get what you mean Zim. I’m a tea enthusiast but must people I know just give me a grin and a fake British accent when I tell them I love tea. LOL. But to each its own. I will get a Yixing cup but for all general Ripe Puerh.

Bonnie, this happened to be. Though is not the case for all Yixing, some ‘High Quality’ Yixing wears almost no scent whatsoever… but I can’t really afford those lol. But the taste part is true 100%. The pot takes 60% off the taste if you don’t season it. This was my mistake with my first pot. If you get a Yixing that has a heavy scent do one or two ‘washings’ which is just letting it sit on hot water and dry and then season like you would normally do.

Invader Zim

Bonnie: The Verdant site has such a great video for seasoning yixing. I’ll definitely be looking at that while trying to do mine. Perhaps this weekend I’ll do it. Give myself a whole day to play around with it.

JC: I’m pretty certain my family and friends will just look at me weird at the small size of gongfu style brewing. Do you have a larger cup for your ripe puerhs or do you use a gaiwan and pour into the smaller yixing cups?

Bonnie

Yep, that’s what I did. Now they’re fine. I just use them with my Yixing thermos for pu and my purple clay gaiwan for pu.

JC

I have several porcelain cups. a set of 6 1oz cups, two 4oz cups and normal cups for when I’m just in the mood for drinking tea and relaxing. For the ripe puerh I use the small ones when tasting the large ones when just drinking, but I saw a 4oz yixing cup that I’m interested in. It sounds great to have a cup that will season just as your yixing.

Invader Zim

I might get a gaiwan and some 4oz yixing cups once I know what teas I’d like to dedicate them to. I wonder how people who have so many yixing items can remember which ones are dedicated to which teas?!

Invader Zim

Curious, where did you acquire your porcelain and yixing cups JC?

ashmanra

Adorable pot! I love the teaware at Zen Tea. I have several things from them on my Christmas list!

Ysaurella

the pot and the mugs are really cute

JC

Several places. Some I’ve loved some not so much. I have the really small cups from a set that Silk Road teas used to sell (not so good, descent). I have the two larger Porcelain cups from Phoenix collection with I use most of the time. They are small enough to help me pace myself but large enough to keep the liquid warm while I write notes. And I have a ‘aroma set’ from Yunnan sourcing. These are all Chinese style saucer-cups. My normal cups I’ve bough from etsy directly from different artists. When I get home today I’ll send you a link with a picture of them so you have an idea. :)

Invader Zim

Thank you ashmanra and Ysaurella! I like another 2 or 3 of their yixing teapots, but I’m starting with this one to see how I like it.

JC: I’ve seen the ones from Yunnan sourcing and the Phoenix collection, they didn’t wow me. I prefer the ones from JK tea,at least the porcelain cups and the unlined yixing cups, even if they are a little more expensive . I’ll have to check out Etsy and your pictures when you send them. Thank you for helping!

JC

I know what you mean. I prefer simpler tea ware because I feel like for (at least tasting new teas). Colorful cups don’t let you enjoy the color of the tea itself. I know Phoenix collection has several painted porcelain cups but I haven’t seen them yet. Yunnan Sourcing has some beautiful saucer-cups that are painted or have calligraphy. But I’m not sure if you are looking for a cup meaning a tall one or a more traditional flatter/saucer-like one. If you are looking for taller then yes go for JK tea. Or search for artists, I have some cups and they are beautiful and basically unique since they are hand made and this doesn’t make them expensive at all. I have a few and all of them are under $20. My only recommendation is… get a glass pitcher! Nothing beats being able to see your tea in its natural state. :)

Invader Zim

I definitely plan on getting a glass pitcher, especially if I’m going to get small cups. As for cups I was looking for the smaller ones, not the taller ones. I like the ones with small designs on them, not calligraphy or paisley style. I’m a little unfamiliar with etsy, never bought anything from there, what artists would you suggest?

JC

Delete about a minute ago

Hey Zim! Well etsy I recommend more for taller cups. I haven’t really found Chinese styled there. If you post a link of a cup that resembles what you like I can help you look.

For now http://www.redblossomtea.com/teaware/accessories.html (go the the tea accessory tab); http://www.yunnansourcing.com/store/category.php?id_category=19009153 ; http://purepuer.com/puer_tea/do/category/all_teaware (a bit pricey but some cups are at good price); http://esgreen.com/products-page/tea-cup-mug/ ; Hope this helps. I’d recommend looking at purepuerh, yunnan sourcing and esgreen.

Invader Zim

The ones from esgreen are beautiful and just what I’m looking for! I’m not sure which I like more! Thank you for the help!
http://esgreen.com/products-page/tea-cup-mug/hand-painted-blue-and-white-porcelain-tea-cups-seasonal-flowers/#!prettyPhoto2611/0/

http://esgreen.com/products-page/tea-cup-mug/hand-painted-blue-and-white-porcelain-cupsx4-the-lotus-pool-by-moonlight/#!prettyPhoto2702/5/

I was looking through etsy earlier and found that if you type in sake cups that you will find some nice small cups you could use for tea.

JC

I’m glad it was helpful. And great find with etsy. I’m looking in there myself. I’ve seen some beautiful cups. Esgreen has a blue/green celadon cup set and a ‘translucent’ porcelain cup set that I just go there, put the pictures and stare. (I must have you) I think. lol If I find anything else I’ll let you know.

Invader Zim

Lol I’ve been staring at the porcelain-ware from esgreen too. I’m might ask for some for the holidays, but I’m undecided as to which ones I want!

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77

I got this in the mail today with other teas I ordered, some new and some replenishing favorites. I opened all my tea packets and sniffed each in turn trying to figure out which one I wanted to drink this evening. I ended up picking this one out of the bunch.

It smells like winter. There is no other way to really explain it other than winter. Maybe it’s the juniper berries? But it’s been cold out and rained a little and I think there was some sleet in the mix too, but it was cold and this called out to me.

Western-style this brews a rich, dark almost murky reddish brown color. I can smell mostly the juniper berries, but there’s also the underlying musky earthy richness of the puerh. This tastes good, the flavors blend seamlessly. The coriander brings out the natural sweet cinnamon of the puerh. The tulsi and juniper add to the earthy muskiness. The chrysanthemum brings out the hint of floral and add depth to the earthiness of the tea. I can still taste sweet caramel and raisin from the puerh through all the added notes.

It sounds like a lot but it all does well together, they play nice together. No one note overrides the others. Even though I brewed this western style I’m still getting a lot of steepings out of this. Granted it’s not 10 or more, but I’m at 7 and the flavor is starting to fade and get weaker, so, I’ll probably stop after this one. But it still holds up well western-style.

I have noticed that in the 6-7 steepings that the coriander starts to stand out more and it reminds me of Old Bay spice for seafood. I found that odd and interesting. Even with that weird anomaly, I like this tea. If there are teas that just seems like they’re great for winter, this is definitely one of them.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

Gosh, I misread that as Old Spice for seafood and couldn’t work out why lobsters needed that sort of thing… O.o

Invader Zim

Lol, I do that a lot myself. When I was writing this I even asked my husband to make sure that Old Bay was the spice and Old Spice was the men’s cologne!

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91

Today is a puerh day. After I finished Xingyang 2007 I decided to sample another puerh I have yet to try and this one came down from the shelf. I opened the package and was greeted by a smell so very faint. Kind of like an old book. Call me crazy, but I love the smell of books, new and old alike.

I’m sitting here trying to write what I can smell of dry leaf, wet leaf, infusion, and then my mom calls. Being a mother she worries, and she’s worrying even more now with this storm hitting. Apparently, since my parents are closer to the coast, they are getting hit with 70 mph winds and a lot of rain. The highways are closed. Everything is closed. The creeks and yards are flooding. And the storm hasn’t even hit full force yet. She was asking me how it was here…rain and a little wind. Nothing bad here yet, just a small storm for us for now.

But she was making sure we had our provisions set up…you know, candles, working flashlights, water, early showering, a tub full of water for the toilet for when the electricity goes out, food, toilet paper…storm provisions. She was saying how the cats were freaking out and I thought how young the cats are and that they never experienced a storm like this before. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we had a storm this bad. It’s been years.

When I was little I remember having bad storms, like watching the barn across the street have the roof and two sides removed by the wind. I remember sitting in the living room with the electricity out watching the storm shake the windows so bad I thought the house was going to come down around my head, but be so fascinated by the storm, that I couldn’t move away from the window. Such force created that it can only inspire fear and awe.

This is such a wonderful tea for memories. It’s so light and wonderful it just begs for memories and imagination. It has notes of linen and stone, with a soft silky texture that glides over the tongue leaving a tingling sensation in its wake. It hints at something old, something that remains just out of grasp, forever out of reach. For today and the coming days, this tea is the perfect companion.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Ysaurella

we are following the news of Sandy from the other side of the Atlantic and we think a lot of you all, our dear American friends.Take care

Invader Zim

Thank you.

TheTeaFairy

Beautiful review … keep safe!
And I agree, nothing like the smell of a book!

Azzrian

Smart to fill up the bathtub!!! Keep safe!

Fjellrev

Hope everything is fine over there!

Dixie_Amazon

Moms will always worry. Hope you and yours weather storm safely.

Invader Zim

Thank you everyone. Everything is ok here, mostly just rain, my parents are fine too. We almost lost power, it flickered a few times, but being further inland I think the mountains protected us from the worst, nothing like the coasts you see on tv.

Dixie_Amazon

So glad you are ok!

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Profile

Bio

I’m an avid tea drinker, it’s what I drink all day and why I’m here. I don’t sweeten my teas except for the occasional iced tea or cold-brewed tea. I typically brew my teas with a brew basket in a 12 oz cup. If I brew another way I will always note it.

Dislikes: black teas, milk flavored oolongs, hibiscus, red rooibos, licorice, dessert teas, mate, guayusa.

Loves: straight teas, especially Chinese green teas, sencha, jasmine, dan congs, mint, coconut.

My ratings are based mostly on the smiley faces. If a tea is of good quality but not to my taste preference I try not to rate it because I think that is unfair.

I drink a lot of the same teas and will not record every time I drink them. I log them the first time I try them and then again if I did something different and/or got different results.

I also try to keep my cupboard updated to what I actually have for those that wish to swap, although some of them are merely samples.

100 – http://steepster.com/teas/verdant-tea/32720-hand-rolled-top-grade-jasmine

Location

Pennsylvania

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