208 Tasting Notes
First sample from my swap with Dustin! I’d only tried one 52teas blend prior to this one—Blueberry Cream Cheese Danish with the black base—and didn’t care for it at all, mostly because I thought the base tea was just gross. I’m pleased to say I like this one quite a bit better.
I love genmaicha in general and find it relatively hard to mess up, so that’s a point in this tea’s favor going in. Dry and while steeping, the aroma’s all genmaicha—I love that combination of toasty rice and faintly seaweedy sencha, so we’re off to a good start. The initial flavor’s all genmaicha too, but the cherry comes through in the aftertaste. It’s candy cherry—it makes me think of cherry popsicles, actually—but it’s done well; not cough-syrupy at all. The cherry’s on the faint side, and I find I have to really focus on each sip to detect it. I used 1 tsp./8 oz. of water here, so I think I’ll try going a little heavier with the rest of my sample to see if that makes a difference to the strength. It’s by no means bad as is, though. I’m not getting cheesecake (or creaminess), but I think there’s enough going on here as it is.
Cherry and genmaicha doesn’t strike me as a natural combination, but it works pretty well. I still think I prefer straight genmaicha, but I’m glad to have had the chance to try this blend and certainly wouldn’t object to trying it again.
This is my kind of oolong—a little bit roasty, fragrant, sweet, and lightly floral. I don’t get plum initially, but it comes in very nicely in the aftertaste. Just the thing for yet another snowy day. Thanks very much for sharing this with me, CharlotteZero! I wasn’t familiar with Silk Road Teas prior to this swap, but this lovely tea has prompted me to check out their site and I see they have lots of other exciting offerings. Definitely one to keep in mind for a future order.
After three or four hot steeps last weekend, I thought I might as well try cold-brewing the leaves on the chance there was anything left in them. And I’m glad I did. It’s pure rose petal—the way a fresh rose petal actually smells, light and fresh and not at all like the heavy dried-flower perfume rose-flavored teas often turn into. The base is hardly detectable, and I can’t say I mind. If only this is how it tasted all along and not just after a bunch of steeps; it’s much more my sort of thing this way.
I’m working from home today because of the blizzard here in NYC, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to try out a few new teas. Although most of my tea drinking happens at work, I don’t like to try anything for the first time there since I’m not able to be too careful with my parameters.
Anyway, this tea has been sitting forlornly in my box of untried teas for longer than I care to think about… actually, I’m pretty sure I picked it up during Stacy’s birthday sale. This has the usual first flush herbal/grassy thing going on, but it’s not as strong—or as off-putting—here as they are in many Darjeelings I’ve tried.
I’m getting the hint of lemon mentioned in the description, and, I think, also the almond. There is that trademark Darjeeling fruitiness, but it’s nothing I’d especially associate with either peaches (well, perhaps under-ripe, slightly sour ones—and I mean this in the most complimentary way possible) or blackberries, I don’t think. There’s a bit of astringency, which is a plus for me as far as Darjeelings go.
Even though I’m usually not the biggest fan of first flushes, I’m really enjoying this! It’s definitely a tea I’ll consider restocking next time I place a Butiki order.
Another green oolong. Still not my favorite, but I am enjoying the osmanthus flavoring. It’s floral in more of a rose petal way as opposed to the base oolong, which has that green honeysuckle semi-vegetal thing going on. I far prefer the former type of floral to the latter, and I’m finding that the combination of the two makes this far more palatable for me than your usual (straight) green oolong. I’m not sure it’s something I’d feel the need to purchase, but I wouldn’t be averse to drinking it again. I don’t think I’ve ever had osmanthus anything before, and I’m glad to have had the chance to try a new flavor. Thanks to Nicole_Martin for the sample.
This is by far the best experience I’ve had with any white tea, ever. I suppose it’s not surprising, since I love jasmine and it’s done perfectly here. The jasmine is soft and natural and totally lacking in those jarring soapy notes lesser jasmines sometimes have. It’s certainly the dominant flavor, though; happily for me, the silver needle really just serves as a sweet, mellow backdrop. There’s something very relaxing about good jasmine teas, and this one’s no exception.
There’s a purer jasmine flavor here than I get with my usual jasmine greens; there are no vegetal notes to complicate, distract from, or clash with the pure, delightful floral. Depending on the tea and my mood, I sometimes enjoy the interplay between sweet jasmine and savory grass and sometimes don’t. I think this tea will be a wonderful option for those times when I’m in the mood for something more one-note (in the best way possible).
This is a very old sample I received from Rie, who I don’t think is on Steepster anymore. But I’m very grateful for the chance to have sampled it! I’ll definitely be picking up some more of this whenever I (finally) get around to ordering from Teavivre.
I like this one quite a bit. It’s very fruity. I’m mostly getting dried apricot, which really comes out in the aftertaste. There’s just a hint of something floral lurking in the background, and exactly enough astringency to keep things interesting. It’s complex, full bodied, and an all-around enjoyable tea.
To be honest, I have a hard time picking out the differences among Darjeelings—I can tell a first flush from a second, but beyond that I’m lost. I don’t get the whole muscatel thing either; neither this nor any other Darjeeling I’ve tried strikes me as particularly wine-like (although I admit I’m not much of a wine drinker) and I only occasionally get grape notes. I do tend to like second flushes quite a bit, though, and this one’s no exception. Thanks to Nicole_Martin for the sample!
This reminds me of Butiki’s Cider Guayusa, minus the guayusa. The flavoring’s spot-on for cider. There’s mostly apple with a hint of cinnamon, and not much sweetness. As far as apple tisanes go I think I prefer the ones that mimic more of a sour fresh apple flavor, but for what it is this is a very pleasant tisane and one I certainly wouldn’t mind drinking again.
Unsurprisingly, this reminds me of my beloved genamicha. I love the toasted rice in that tea, and I’m enjoying those flavors here as well. I could swear I’m tasting the faintest hint of seaweed, too, but maybe it’s just my brain taking the connection a little too far. I’m also getting some soy sauce, but there’s a sweet finish. This is quite roasty, but aside from that—and, perhaps, from the depth of texture—I wouldn’t say it’s particularly reminiscent of coffee. It’s a very smooth tea as well, and not very earthy at all by puerh standards. It does leave my mouth feeling kind of dry, which is strange and not entirely welcome, but for a tea this unique and flavourful I can deal with it. Definitely one of my favorites from Butiki.