3013 Tasting Notes
Well, this tea and I have quiiiiite the history. The first time, I so epically steeped it incorrectly that it was undrinkable! I feel bad, because that note of mine should have moved to the back of the pile, so to speak, but it hasn’t due to silly Steepster still ranking a user’s aggregate of notes based on their first one.
Anyhow, I decided to go for a Western-style infusion today, with my standard 1.5tsp of leaf in 8oz. of water, and was rewarded with quite the delicious cup. Light, nutty and sweet, with a few more flavours that escape me, this is really quite tasty. I should have brought some of this one for my mom to try – it just occurred to me that I didn’t bring a single tea for her to try from the “straight oxidized oolongs” category, which I suspect she’d actually really enjoy (she dislikes all blacks, but enjoys pu’erh and green oolongs).
Anyways, like I said, really yummy. Oh – just catching some raisiny sweetness as I chugged down the last of that cup. Mmmmm!
ETA: Second infusion… not so great. I think this one really needs to be brewed gong-fu style to be thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps this weekend!
This is another sample I picked up just for the sake of trying all the teas. Did I expect to like it? Nope. Did I even read the ingredient list? Nope!
So anyways, laoshan green mixed with… things. I know there’s mint in here, but I’m pretty clueless as to everything else, to be honest. Dry, that’s pretty much how the tea smelled. Minty. Bleh, like I said, try all the teas! There have been surprises before.
When I took the infuser basket out, I have to admit that I caught aromas I was not expecting! Laoshan green, definitely, but… along with the mint there is something savoury. Almost smells like… gingerbread??? A spice of some sort, I’d have to guess.
And then the flavour…. See, this is why I pick up teas I don’t expect to like, because sometimes I get something amazing! First, there’s typical beany laoshan green, which is a treat on its own. Then there’s mint… but it tastes like mint mint to me, not peppermint. I like mint mint! (Does anyone else understand what I mean here?? My mom would!) Anyways, after the mint there’s this intense gingerbready flavour. I have no idea what it is! And then it fades into what’s coming off to me as almost a… coffee flavour? But a delicious coffee flavour, no burniness. I have no idea what it is I’m tasting in here, but I’m kicking myself for not trying this earlier, because it’s ridiculously delicious! I think the caramel notes of the laoshan green are playing in here somehow… ok, off to Verdant’s website I go!
Coriander! Cardamom! Well, I guess the cardamom is what’s coming off as ginger to me, and the coriander is probably involved in the general “savouriness” of this tea.
Darn… I am really disappointed that I only have a sample size of this one. Anyone have some they want to get rid of/trade? I would love to send my mom some of this one…! It is really a fantastic blend.
ETA: Nuts. Just checked to see if anyone else who reviewed this didn’t like it… but pretty much all the reviews are 89+, except for the one person who seems to have given theirs away to other people who posted! :(
ETA again: Second infusion also delicious, third infusion somewhat less so (but it did sit out overnight). I think I have enough for a couple more cups though… I will have to savour them!
So it figures, the last cup of this tea from my sample bag, and it’s pretty delicious. I’m drinking it cold, but I’m getting wonderful creamy coconut, chocolate, and a bit of fruitiness. There’s still astringency, but I’m willing to bet that it’s a consequence of the very broken leaf, which is more than likely my fault due to carelessness/carting this tea to/from school a couple times. I think this cup is better because I used a very fine Finum brew basket, which kept stray particles from getting into the cup and sitting for say, an hour before drinking it.
Anyways, big ratings bump here, as this is really fairly tasty. It would definitely go on the short list to pick up for a nice flavourful morning black tea that tastes great without additions!
Also, now I know that next time I have dusty black, if I use a Finum basket and a conservative infusion time, it might turn out ok! :D
ETA: Second infusion, 3 min at boiling, is coconutty and good. And thus this tea is now gone forever.
The roomie and I sipped down the last of this one from the 12 Days of Tea today. And to make it all the more awesome, I used my super cool new teapot from DavidsTea, and we drank out of my brand new tiny little double-walled glass teacups! So much fun! And she got me a teapot cosy for my birthday (which is tomorrow), so our tea stayed nice and warm while we drank miniscule cups of it.
Oh yes. And the tea itself was darn good. Definitely 100% an artificially flavoured tea, but a darn good one, all sugary sweet blueberry. Yummmm. We’ve had two infusions so far, perhaps will have a third (or I’ll let her just use the infuser in her Dr. Who mug or something).
Well, I think I’ve figured out what I’ve been doing incorrectly with this tea – using boiling water! Whoops. Sadly, I figured that out AFTER making said mistake today.
And my stomach is feeling all sorts of not good, so this tea (and the others I brought with me) are not sitting well. Nor is anything else, for that matter. Bleeehhhhhh.
It is decidedly NOT RIGHT that it is raining in the middle of January! So much for skating on my birthday this weekend.
Anyways, SIPDOWN WOOOOOOO! Used up the last of this sample from momo (thankyou!) because strangely, I’ve been craving it for a while. The first time I tried this, I remember not having a clue if it tasted true to the name or not. However, since then, I’ve actually drank a Fuzzy Navel! And I’ve gotta say that it’s pretty deliciously accurate! Citrusy-peachy on a quite nice green base. Yums. I’m drinking this cold right now (it has been sitting next to my bed for hours while I have been spending hours working on stats… and then it continued to sit there when I discovered a really awesome error that meant I had just wasted 3 hours of effort…). But anyways, the point of saying that I’m drinking it cold is that I think it’s a FABULOUS iced tea! Frank, perhaps this would be a good one to bring back for iced teas next year?? Although, with the green base please, not a black one.
So although I recently picked up 1 oz. of this, I left the majority of it with my mom over Christmas. Unfortunately, it seems I left myself with mostly flavouring (little tasty flowerbuds) and tea crumbs, and barely any actual tea. Very literally, my teaspoon pulled out what looked like dust from the bag (well, half dust and half flowerbuds and oolong balls) :( On the plus side, it does still seem to be pretty delicious, but a bit of the oolonginess is missing. It’s weird, because I don’t remember there being a bunch of dust and such at the bottom of my first bag of this (and now I’m a bit concerned that I took all the buds and left my mom with just oolong??)
Oh well! I guess I will just have to buy another half ounce for myself in my next order. Shucks…
Thanks to Zen Tea for a sample of this tasty-sounding tea!
Another tea I’m a bit apprehensive to try due to mixed reviews, but here goes nothing! The tea from the packet smells tasty enough… sure, the flavouring smells artificial, but sometimes that works. I’m not opposed to artificial flavouring if it tastes good! :D It does smell nutty to me, with vanilla undertones. So far so good!
After a couple sips, I have to say that the flavouring is working for me more than it did for most, I think. I’m tasting a lingering nuttiness and some delicious sweetness. I’m having trouble picking out the oolong, but it’s certainly a better choice than a black base, in my opinion. There is definitely an artificial taste going on here, but it’s not a huuuuge problem for me (ok, until I got a sip that was very artificial-tasting).
All in all, probably a pretty decent tea for tea newbs, but a touch too artificial for me. I do still like it enough that I’ll finish it, but I probably wouldn’t purchase more.
ETA: Second infusion had somewhat of a bitter note. Although I drank the infusion, I did discard the leaves.
So, I was pretty apprehensive about brewing this tea up as I’d seen (I thought) a few notes about people not being big fans, or about it being quite strong/bitter, etc., but this doesn’t seem to be a problem for me! I was cautious and used about 1.5 tsp in boiling water for 1 minute (the low end of the given parameters, which were 1-2 tsp for 1-2 minutes… I think…) The aroma was reminiscent of Laoshan Black with chocolatey notes, but it’s definitely not quite as intense, and the flavour fits perfectly with this, being chocolatey and malty but less so than Laoshan Black, but also with a bit of… hay-y flavour, aka that flavour that I attribute to bagged blacks. I’d be tempted to call it “Laoshan Black Light” or something to that effect, as that’s how it’s coming off to me.
I’m happy to have an ounce of this added to my collection – it will help tide me over until the 2 oz. of Laoshan Black that I ordered last night arrives! (Also, it’s neat to have tried another tea with a cool story behind it!)
ETA: Second infusion (2 min) still has chocolatey notes, and more of that “classic black” flavour. Still pretty decent. I’m wavering on going for a third infusion though… getting awfully sick of reinfusing things, haha (I’m sure it would hold up for one more though).