159 Tasting Notes
This delightful brew comes courtesy of Ashmanra
My oh my does it smell lovely.
I was trying to decide which one of her delicious teas to try first and my exact words when I saw this one was “Oh! its so pretty!”
And it is, blue and pink floral petals mixed with the black tea leaves already promise something special is in store.
Then the smell! Oh! I want a perfume to smell like this! I would wear it everyday and I would smell so yummy.
Notes of floral but also a little candy-like, not a gaggy sweet candy but some sort of foreign confection that I probably could not even say the name of.
The odor of the tea itself turns more cookie-like upon brewing.
With maybe just small hints of almond, perhaps?
All this before I have even taken a sip!
The color is a lovely dark amber.
At first sip I taste the black tea, which is good.
Then floral, with a hint of almond cookie to finish off.
None of the flavors are overpowering, though they are there.
I appreciate the I can in one sip taste all the aspects of the tea, but none pushing out the others (how very polite!)
Well, what a lovely tea!
It makes me want to have a tea party:)
Thank you for allowing me to taste this fine tea, Ashmanra!
Backlogging from yesterday.
What a way to start the new year.
We arose to temps dipping to 10 below outside and our oil heater had quit during the night.
The house was freezing.
Hubby went out to fix it (yes, the problem was outside in lines or something)
He bundled up and went to grab the door knob and it shattered and fell apart in his hand!
No, we do not use glass door knobs and no my husband is not the Hulk.
So, we both looked at each other shocked and now there was a gaping round hole in our door allowing the evil cold in.
We shoved a rag in the door and went out and I huddled around an electric heater in the house.
After a bit, I decided that I would start some laundry because the dryer would help heat up the house.
SO, tossed laundry in the washing machine and then decided to shower and get ready for the day.
THEN, while in the shower, the washing machine water backs up into the tub.
The water keeps coming, so I have to shut off the shower water and huddle on a ledge with a towel around me, shivering and of course, shampoo in my hair (nothing ever happens just after you rinsed your hair, does it?)
Finally, the water went down and I was able to shower.
SO, my whole point that this was just our first hour of New Years Day!
I needed a good tea to counteract this craziness.
I opened up my tea sample drawer and grabbed this and dumped the rest of it that was left in my tea infuser (about a teaspoon and half).
I needed its wonderful strength yet, polite gentleman like qualities to give me courage for the rest of the day.
Whew! Thank you Amy Oh and Thank you Hu Kwa.
Read previous note for on this tea.
Oh, and Happy New Year…I guess.
This is a tea that Amy Oh sent me.
This is my first butterscotch tea, and my first time trying a tea from 52 teas.
Dry leaf, I get a slight sweet odor.
As soon as you add the water over the leaves, a sweet brown sugary odor emerges.
This tea brews up to a lovely amber color.
I get more of creamy floral notes than butterscotch smell.
Hmmm, taste…well, I am again not getting much butterscotch personally.
Sort of tastes like a mild black tea that is flavored with a bit of flower petals and brown sugar.
It is good, and I enjoy it.
A lovely afternoon tea.
Not sure I would purchase, but I am certainly enjoying drinking up this sample.
Thanks again, Amy Oh!
This is a long one, folks. So grab a big cuppa:)
Okay, I got this tea from Brenden at Whispering Pines Tea clear before Christmas with the rest of my order.
I had never tried Puerh tea and decided that with my next hundred tea notes I was educated enough in tea to start on something anew.
I was still secretly quite intimated, so I waited until a day when I knew I would be around most of the day to play with it.
So one day a bit before Christmas, I decided that I wanted to try it.
Set the kettle to boil, got out my little bodum infuser cup (8 oz), got the kettle up to a boil, performed a 15 second rinse and then infused the tea for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, per instruction on little tea packet.
The smell after this infusion was so strong.
I have cleaned a lot of barns in my day and this smelled exactly like that.
A deep manure and hay smell.
I tried not to let it deter me from tasting this, I had read enough of Puerh teas to know that it is common for these to scents to emerge, I just had no idea it was going to be so strong.
Then I grew brave enough to take a sip.
GAG! Oh my land! It seriously tasted like strong bitter manure (don’t ask…but yes, I do actually know how that tastes, growing up on a farm and then being a Vet Assistant for years,sometimes your mouth is just open at the very very wrong time)
I felt tears of disappointment prick my eyes.
NO! I must like this tea. I am supposed to be improving my taste in tea!
I gagged down the rest of the cup, determined not to waste.
I felt sick to my stomach, but still plowed forward and messed with the tea the rest of the day, shorter steepings and such, but every time I tasted it from that point on it just tasted so bitter and nasty, it was like that first tasting never left my tongue.
It did not help me when I read the previous tasting note on the tea is was from Bonnie my tea and life idol, giving this tea high ratings.
That was it. It certainly was not the tea, it was me.
By the time my Hubby came home, I was so irritated and angry and I hadn’t gotten half of what I had wanted to do that day done and he kept asking me why I was so upset.
So…I told him. He listened and gave sympathetic nods, then broke in and said “You don’t have to like this type of tea just because everyone else does” to which I responded like a 13 year old girl throwing a fit “Yes! Yes I do!” but I was seeing I was starting to lose him.
He spotted his new Diesel Power magazine he got in the mail and was browsing through it.
I started to walk away mumbling to myself when I heard the words “Make me some” I turned around “what?” and he said “yeah, make me some of this Poo-poo tea that ruined your day, I wanna taste it”
Okay… I was slightly shocked.
Starting with a new piece, I took a new look on preparing the tea.
I took a deep breath.
I was going to start with tiny, tiny steepings.
So, I did. I started with just a 15 second steeping. no rinse.
The water had barely even turned color.
It was so much better.
From there I would go up to like 25 seconds, then 30 and so forth.
This was so much more delightful of a experience.
And sharing it with someone too, we both held cups and talked about what we smelled and tasted.
It still has some barnyard notes to it, also deep woody notes.
But, I find it intriguing.not bitter at all.
I am not going to rate this tea yet, because I am still so new and still experimenting.
This was just a beginner at Puerh point of view.
For a expert review please read Bonnie’s review on this tea, it does it so much more justice.
But for me…
So, begins my journey with Puerh.
Merry Christmas, Steepster Friends!
Hubby and I enjoyed this tea today.
It just tastes so Christmas-y to me and was perfect for cozying up to the tree and opening gifts.
See previous tasting note for more on this tea.
Not physical, but that heart gripping breathless kind.
I try to keep Steepster as a happy place and normally do not want bring any one down with my petty problems, but this is also a place for tea and comfort.
And sometimes we need to speak of our problems while wiping away a tear with dear ones over a tea cup.
(skip down to the bold lettering for just the tea review)
I have a little sister.
She is my little sister, no matter that she came to us through adoption.
My parents have 2 daughters, not a natural born and adopted daughter.
She came to us when she was 4 and had already been through 11 foster homes in the two years she was in the system.
She is twenty now, and a college student and very smart and doing well in school.
Just yesterday, she sent us all a letter, saying that it does not benefit her to be a part of our family anymore.
She wishes that we had never adopted her.
She wants to make lots of money and be successful and she is ashamed that she came from a farm in Idaho, thus, she wishes she could tell people she never even had a home.
My parents were not rich, but my Father always worked hard and none of us kids ever went without.
My parents are honest people that instilled morals,and taught us to be kind to all people and animals. They were never cruel or antagonizing to us girls.
I weep. for them. for me. and for her.
I do not understand.
I needed comfort.
Enter this tea
I did not sleep well last night and my stomach was upset.
This tea had just arrived yesterday from a friend for Christmas (she told me to open it when it arrived and not to wait for Christmas:) she gave me the whole Chai gift set from H&S.
I prepared it with the exact instructions that were in the gift box, water and milk and the included sugar cubes.
Its warm, its softly spicy, its soothing.
Its not the best Chai I have ever had, but its tasty and it hits the spot this morning.
In fact, I think I go make some more.
Thank you for letting me speak of my recent heart struggles, dear friends.
(any advice on how to go forward from this is also appreciated:)
A sample from Twinings.
I am enjoying this tea.
Yes, its bagged,but its actually a nice Chai.
AND the creamy cookie-like almond flavor is really enjoyable.
I think if I can find this tea in my area that I will pick up a box to have on hand for quick tea times.
Well done, Twinings.
Thank you Amy Oh for giving me the chance to try this tea.
What a elegant Lapsang Souchong!
The dry leaves smell of fine quality black tea and smoke.
Then when the water flows over the leaves, emerges this deep smoke.
If this tea were a Man, it would be a Gentleman, with some royal blood, yet totally is rocking a 5 o’clock shadow. Ahem, Anywho!
I have found since I started drinking LS’s, that each one has a bit different level of smoke, even a style of smoke.
Some LS’s are almost rough, others have a honey note, while others are not heavily smoked.
This tea is smoky, but the fine quality black tea shines through as well.
In fact, the first note I taste is the rich black tea, then the lovely smoke hits your tongue.
This tea is a delight to drink.
I also enjoyed reading about its rich history in my Mark T. Wendell catalog.
Thanks again, Amy Oh!
I wanted something warming and comforting this Monday morning.
Sleet is hitting the window hard, mainly because of the 70 mph gusts of wind.
I reached for this tea.
Because as soon as I smell it, it smells like Christmas Eve in front of the fireplace.
A little smoke alongside a orangey clove aroma.
What hits the tongue first is a little clove than orange and a nice smoky black tea base.
This is one of those teas you curl your hands tight around the mug and just inhale.
It makes me happy clear down to my toes.
I know this is not a holiday blend, but it really speaks christmas-y things to me.
I have to wrap some presents and makes some holiday treats today, so this is a prefect tea to start out my day with.
Good Morning, Steepster Friends!
(Beware…I feel a wordy tasting note coming on)
Here I sit, on the morning of my 100th tasting note.
When I first started here (about 7 months ago) 100 tasting notes seemed so far away and I just figured that by then I would like know everything about tea.
Yeah…still far from it.
But, if you would have told me about 90 tasting notes ago that by 100 I would be having a small love affair with Lapsang Souchong, I would have laughed right in your face. (truthfully…I would not have, I just would have politely disagreed. Mother taught me that its rude to laugh at someone)
You see, long, long ago (about 10 years) I was deeply betrayed by a substance that called itself Lapsang Souchong.
It tasted like burning garbage.seriously.
So, I was hesitate about trying it again.
But, I have tried about 5 and while each and everyone is slightly different, none have tasted like burning garbage. Yeah!
So, that brings us to today and this tea.
I thought that a Lapsang Souchong would be a appropriate tea to drink on my 100th tasting note.
A couple weeks ago, I was messaged by Brendan from Whispering Pines Tea and he said to me “Hey, Girl, I see you like Lapsang Souchong, You should buy some of mine” okay…so it didn’t exactly go down like that, but this is my 100th tasting review and if I want to hear it in Ryan Gosling’s voice I can (you know, like these: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/03/hey-girl/ )
So, I was just going to buy some of Whispering Pines LS, yeah right.
I ended up getting a little of this and a little of that.
I told myself its a treat for my 100th tasting note, and I also told myself that it was because I was not getting tea for Christmas from anyone, so I should buy myself some.
Anyway, upon opening the nicely sealed sachet of this tea, I said “Yup! that be some smoky tea!”
I measured out a single serving in my little bodum brewing cup, and when I poured the water over it, I took a big long whiff.
We hear a lot that LS smells like campfire and such, but I swear I could pick out a specific wood.
I was transfered to a top of a mountain in front of a campfire that had just been built.
You know, where some of the ash and still fresh pine needles fly in your face and mouth?
Then I poked about the bodum as the tea was brewing (because I am impatient and if you poke at the tea it totally brews faster, right?) I swear I spotted some pieces of pine needles…maybe!?
Taste is just lovely.
No bitterness or fake smokiness at all.
In fact the tea is quite smooth and the smoke turns more delicate upon tasting, instead of rough or burnt.
Very, very tasty. I am glad I got 4 oz of this, because I think this will be popular in this household.
Well done, Whispering Pines Tea!
This was a perfect tea to bring on the next 100 tasting notes:)