729 Tasting Notes
(This very generous sample was provided courtesy of Angel Chen at Teavivre. Thank you so much, Angel!)
It was actually kind of hard to put this tisane (7 tsp.-ish of it for 2 cups water) into the steeping basket of my Breville because it smelled and looked so tasty (kind of like trail mix) that I wanted to eat it rather than wait for it to be infused.
When this brews up, it is easily the bright red color of fruit punch. The scent of the steeped tea is heavy on the pineapple to me – it manages to smell both sweet and tart together. The first taste of it is very true to smell – I get the sweetness of pineapple at first and that leads into a very tart hibiscus that dominates the rest of the sip. It is so juicy! At first I thought it was too tart – but even thinking that, I managed to go through about half the mug unsweetened.
I did finally add a little bit of sweetener to it (much less than I normally add to that amount of tea) and the result was a perfectly balanced juicy beverage that, while good hot, will be absolutely amazing iced. The second of the two cups I made hot is currently cooling off to be tried iced to affirm this, and when it does I will likely bump this up a few more points.
So today was Thanksgiving, and my boyfriend and I handled the logistics of the meal for my mom’s family, which is like 20+ people. No small feat, and it was exhausting.
I had been planning to serve this iced for the meal, and in my perfect world everyone would have been clamoring for some and exclaiming over the nuances of cranberry and how well they complimented all the flavors of the dinner….
But I am a realist, and I know most of my family likes soda or beer or wine and so planned just to make enough for me, and my boyfriend, and my mom. It ended up being about a half gallon and we went through it all during dinner, which was perfect. The flavors worked GREAT – so much so that both my mom and boyfriend commented on it.
So, to summarize…this was a Thanksgiving WIN! I suppose I’ll have to make some more to enjoy with all the leftovers…which is fine by me!
Backlogging a cup of this from last night – paired nicely with some chips and hummus for a light dinner. This really is a wonderful green to go with a savory meal. Someone once used ‘brothy’ as a descriptor for a green tea, maybe even this one, but regardless of where I’ve heard it before, I think this tea qualifies.
I will definitely be ordering this one when my sample runs out – it’s a wonderful green!
Second of my samples generously provided to me by Teavivire – I am loving them so far!
I’ve had a bad experience with Yunnan’s in the past due to the fact that I found the one I tried (from Upton) to be quite smoky. I just don’t like the smoke, guys. In anything. Ever. It was suggested (by Tabby, I think) that maybe I need to just lower the temperature to reduce/avoid smokiness (despite Upton’s label saying to brew at boiling). I’d already passed the Upton tea on to someone else at that point, but when Angel at Teavivre offered this one I eagerly accepted.
Sure enough, the suggested brewing temperatures on this tea were about 20 degrees lower than my previous one. The leaves in the sample were beautiful – gnarled and golden and huge. The dry leaves were malty smelling – I picked up on a hint of sweetness, cocoa or caramel-ish but only very lightly so. I didn’t pick up on any smokiness in the scent, so I was very hopeful as I scooped about 3 heaping tsp. into my Breville.
Once steeped the liquor was that rich, mahogany dark brown I associate with black teas. No smoke in the steeped smell, either! Instead just an assam like maltiness. On the first sip the first thing I really picked up on was the full-bodied texture of the tea – it has a fabulously smooth mouthfeel. The malty scent carried over into the taste, where it blends with the taste of dark chocolate. I’m loving this without sweetener, but I could see it being strong enough to handle milk and sugar if that’s how you like your black teas.
What a wonderful morning tea – I am so glad to know that Yunnans are a tea that I can and do enjoy very much!
First off, thank you so much to Angel Chen from Teavivre who provided me with these very generous samples! I am excited to try each one of them!
The mailman brought this box of samples to my door about 30 minutes ago – on a rainy, damp night where I was just beginning to think about what tea I wanted for after dinner. I have been reading everyone’s reviews of these teas and anticipating them all so it was really hard picking a first to sample! Ultimately I went with this one because I’ve been wanting a green tea lately and I’m pretty well versed in Japanese greens, but Chinese greens I’m a lot less familiar with.
So, to start: after opening the packaging the first thing I saw were the bright green, flat leaves. The scent of them dry reminded me very strongly of sencha – spinachy and savory. I brewed about 3 heaping tsp. of leaf to 500 ml. water in my Breville, at the below parameters, and the resulting liquor was almost colorless it was such a light green.
I was initially worried I hadn’t steeped long enough because of the color, but as soon as I poured and inhaled the smell, I knew it was going to be amazing. Think of the smell of freshly steamed spinach or nori, and that is what emanated from my cup. The taste was spinachy too, just like a sencha, but unlike sencha there was a roasted note that was attached to the vegetal flavor throughout the sip.
Overall this tea seems quite versatile, and would go well with a savory meal or as I’m enjoying it now, with no additives as an after dinner winding down drink. It is a great example of a ‘pure’ green. I definitely am impressed, and will be putting it on my shopping list.
Backlogging a cup from a few days ago – I introduced it to my mom who loved it.
School has slowed down for the week (hooray!) if not the semester (boo!) so I think I will be enjoying the temporary respite with a lot of tea. I have two sets of samples coming in so I’ve got to make room!
So I really really really like coconut. And I really like the way that Frank uses coconut in his blends (i.e. coconut cheesecake honeybush). I also really like black teas – so I’m glad I got around to trying this, because I just KNEW it was going to be good.
I was not wrong; 2 heaping tsp. for 500 ml. at below parameters, and sweetened with sugar made a most awesome warm beverage for this super cold morning. I was able to drink some of it hot and some after it cooled off, and both times I got a very creamy coconut. With the cooled down version I got some pie crust in the flavor as well, which took it up to perfection as far as I’m concerned.
I am so glad that I got this – and I’m sooooooo glad it’s a permanent blend!
So this tea has taken over my tasting notes. :)
Served on this cold night with fresh chocolate chip cookies. Boyfriend thinks this tea is too sweet (and a little too spicy for him) so opted for his favorite, a spearmint tisane, instead. The psychologist in me did not miss the fact that our teas of choice fit our personalities rather well (me=high strung and intense, him=chill and mellow). Both drinks went well the cookies, though, so that’s all that matters!