198 Tasting Notes
This came to me via Nicole_Martin at an NYC meetup almost a year ago. It’s a nice, basic jasmine green. The jasmine is quite strong, which is fine by me, but the green base comes through reasonably clearly as well. I love watching pearl teas unfurl, and this one was no exception. I’m happy with most any quality (read: not artificial and soapy) jasmine green, so naturally I enjoyed this cup quite a bit.
I was in London visiting my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago, and naturally I had to check out the Mariage Frères shop in Selfridges. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and they have what I’m pretty sure is their full lineup available, with samples of everything available for sniffing (but none for tasting, alas). After smelling ALL the teas, I decided to go for Lune Rouge (which I haven’t gotten around to trying yet; it smelled amazing though—roses and ginger and honey with a green base) and my boyfriend picked this, which we had with breakfast a couple of times.
It’s an unusual choice for a breakfast tea. It’s not very strong, and it’s quite rich and sweet. I’m surprised to learn the primary flavor is meant to be chocolate, because to me this blend was all caramel (or possibly toffee). These dessert flavors aren’t honestly my favorites, and this isn’t a tea I would’ve picked out myself (and especially not for drinking at breakfast). Still, it’s nice for what it is, and I’m glad to have had the chance to try it. And my boyfriend liked it—and will, I hope, continue to think of my American self while working his way through the rest of the bag.
Another tea from my ancient Verdant sampler. I can tell this is a good tea, but light TGY is emphatically not my thing. Those honeysuckle notes send me running every time, and this is no exception. I pretty much knew this would be the case going into it, but I couldn’t resist trying just in case. At least my curiosity is satisfied now, right?
This is one of the teas from the Verdant sampler pack I ordered last summer (I think?). Although I tried Laoshan Black ASAP to see what all the fuss was about, I’ve been avoiding the rest of the set ever since. It’s not because I wasn’t eager to try the remaining teas, but because I’ve given up on gongfu-style steeping—I just don’t enjoy it—yet sometimes like I’m wasting good tea with my lazy Western-style ways. Anyway, today I decided to get over it and jump back in with a (single, large) cup of Autumn Harvest Laoshan Green. And I’m very glad I did. It’s rich and creamy, redolent with flavors of spinach, green beans, asparagus, and even edamame. This is definitely one I’d consider picking up more of at some point.
This is a pleasant tisane, if not an outstanding one. It’s light and very sweet, even without any sugar added, and I’m getting vanilla frosting more than cake itself. I do wish it had more in the way of pastry notes, but as it is it’s still an enjoyable caffeine-free option (if not a standout like Butiki’s Peppermint Patty).
This is a tea Nicole_Martin shared with me at a Steepster meet-up almost a year ago. The NYC meet-ups seem to have died off, but they were nice while they lasted! Anyway, I’ve had it a few times between then and now but have never gotten around to logging it. It’s a little bit sweet and generically fruity—I do get berries, in an indistinct sort of way, but I certainly couldn’t pick out anything that especially struck me a passion fruit, which is too bad since passion fruit is a favorite of mine. The fruit flavors don’t have that artificial candy taste to them; I’ll give it that. The base tea is definitely the dominant flavor here, which seems unusual with these sorts of fruity teas. I’m a bit surprised to see that it’s an Assam; I’d assumed Ceylon before checking the reviews. It’s brisk, and it almost strikes me as vaguely smoky (although I think that may just be me misinterpreting the interplay between the base and fruit flavors). I’ve tried it both hot and iced (cold-steeped), and I like it much better iced. All in all, a pleasant tea but not one I’d buy, since there are plenty of similar teas I like better.
This is a pleasant chai, if not an outstanding one. The tulsi adds a nice touch; it’s present but not too strong. I do wish the rest of the flavors were more pronounced, but I always tend to go for stronger flavors so this could well be just right for someone who prefers a milder chai. I can hardly notice the tea base at all, but still, this makes for a pleasant cup. I do think I prefer Organic India’s rooibos chai, though—if I can’t taste the black tea and don’t get the caffeine kick, what’s the point?
This is a sample I got from Rie last year. I wasn’t expecting much, as in the time since that swap I’ve realized I really don’t care for green oolongs. But I’m pleased to report that this is probably the nicest green oolong I’ve tasted yet. The unlovely flavors I’ve come to know as orchid and honeysuckle are present, but they’re so much more delicate here than in other green oolongs I’ve had. This still isn’t something I’d keep in stock (and it’s a good thing, since I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on any more even if I wanted to), but I’m surprised to find that I’m genuinely enjoying my cup.
This is a sample I received from Rie a very long time ago but just got around to trying this weekend. It’s quite smoky; that’s the dominant note I get out of it. There is some background fruitiness, to be sure, but as I’ve never tasted longan (or anything longan-flavored) before I can’t say if that note is accurate. It doesn’t strike me as too drastically different from a standard bergamot-infused Earl with a smoky base, to be honest—in fact it reminds me an awful lot of Lupicia’s standard Earl Grey (though I admit it’s been a few months since I’ve had that one, so my memories may be leading me astray). That’s a favorite of mine, so of course I’m enjoying this quite a bit as well. I suppose I was expecting some sort of in-your-face exotic fruit flavor, and I’m a little bit disappointed not to be getting that, but I really can’t complain.