2195 Tasting Notes
So when my roommate gave me a chunk of her pu’erh a few days ago, she also asked if I wanted to try the other tea she routinely drinks – lotus leaf tea. Apparently you buy a stack of lotus leaves from an asian grocery store, break them into large chunks, and steep them in boiling water to make a herbal tea?
Anyways! Trying it today.
The leaf chunks really had no scent. Maybe a touch like dry leaves, but nothing remarkable, I don’t think.
Upon touching the hot water, the leaves start to release this familiar vegetal smell. Not like that that I’ve gotten from green teas, but it’s familiar. Perhaps it’s just reminding me of broken tree leaves. Or a pile of damp leaves in the fall. Pleasant.
The tea also tastes that same sort of vegetal. Except now, I’m getting an association – with kelp. Dried kelp. Or something along those lines. A little bit salty, almost. Very interesting. Makes me think of seaweed broth or something.
Anyhow, interesting experience! Probably not something I’d choose to drink again myself, but I would drink it if offered.
I didn’t know what type of tea this was prior to brewing. Clearly need to up my tea identification abilities!
The dry leaf smells pleasantly gingery, and maybe a bit fruity. I can’t identify anything in particular though. Steeped, I’m getting a light citrusy ginger scent. Smells good!
Yum! This one is really quite good! The ginger is there, but neither artificial nor overpowering, just adding a bit of a zing, and the tea tastes lightly tropical. I feel like I’m getting a bit of pineapple flavour, not specifically papaya though. Wow… I’m really impressed by the union of the tropical and ginger flavours – usually one or the other is overdone. I can’t really taste the white tea in the blend though – that’s my only complaint. I think I might get a touch at the end of the sip, but it really just tastes like a herbal tea.
This is a very soothing tea; if it would be easy for me to acquire, I think it would be one I’d re-purchase and keep on hand! Although not until I drink down some of what I have…
Thank you LiberTEAS for this delicious sample!
ETA: Oh my. My bad – I steeped this one a second time for WAY too long, and I can taste it. The ginger is overwhelming and spicy (in that gingery way), but there’s still some fruitiness too. I suspect I could get a great second infusion out of it though, done properly. Remember that for next time, Jenna. headshake
Thank you Teavivre for this huge sample! We wanted a second green tea tonight, and this one fit the bill well. Looking forward to it! I used maybe 2 tsp for my 250ml infuser.
First infusion (1.5min/80C):
Aroma’s a bit sharper and greener than the Gyokuro Yamashiro from DavidsTea. The flavour is smooth, with a sweet-ish aftertaste. Definitely not as green tasting despite my impression of the aroma, and definitely no bitterness. Quite delicious, actually.
Second infusion (2.5min/82C):
Not really getting an aroma(?), but the flavour this time is nuttier, with a “green tea” aftertaste. Still smooth, but almost a bit of… smooth astringency? Smooth bitterness? There’s a stronger flavour there too, but it’s pleasant, not objectionable.
Wish I could describe more clearly what I mean by a green tea or oolong aftertaste. It’s good though.
Again, this is as far as I’ll likely get tonight. Sigh.
ETA: Third infusion, 3min at 82C. Definitely lighter in flavour, but still nutty and a bit vegetal, and oh! There’s the green tea aftertaste. Sure sign that I’ll brew this one to the third infusion again. Yum. Still absolutely no bitterness; a very smooth cup. This tea is really quite good; I’m very impressed by the lack of bitterness/astringency. I’ll need to try more dragonwells before concluding anything, but I can see this one being a purchase.
ETA again: Fourth steep (84C/4min) nothing remarkable. Some astringency. And it tastes a little weird. I attribute that to how long the leaves sat out. My stomach sure gets tested sometimes…
Roommate and I finished off the tiny last bit of her sample today.
First infusion (1.5min, 74C)
Tasty aroma like boiled veggies. Fresh peas was my thought? It’s very light tasting and vegetal. Similar to my favourite Treasuregreen Silver.
Second infusion (2.5min, 76C)
A bit sweeter and less vegetal, but still with that boiled veggie tasty. Yummy. The aroma is much lighter.
Haven’t gone to a third yet. Probably won’t tonight. It’s a good tea but I don’t think it’s worth the price.
ETA: Third infusion (the morning after) doesn’t have much flavour. I seem to recall it lost flavour quickly last time too. Perhaps I should have reduced the amount of water.
Another sample from LiberTEAS! Thank you!
Clearly I’m not so good at this work thing.
Anyhow, the smell of the dry tea is really just of chai spicing. Nothing particularly special, although it does smell good. I’m excited to see the white chocolate chips in the bag, though!
Steeped, I’m definitely still smelling spices, but one in particular is overwhelming the rest. I’m not exactly sure which it is though. I can definitely smell black pepper… perhaps it’s just the combination of that with the other spices that is throwing me a bit. Ok, mixed it up a tad and it now smells more like a standard chai (or what I’m used to, anyhow). Interesting – I think I can smell some citrus? Or something that smells citrusey. And definitely cloves as well, although it’s thankfully not overpowering.
Eek. I do not think this is a tea that’s meant to be consumed straight. It is too heavily spiced! Consequently it is bitter and… not all that great. Luckily, I have my travel TImolino here, so into it goes the chai, to be taken home and milked/sweetened. I do think this will be tasty once it has some milk and sugar, but right now it is too potent for me! Updates to come.
ETA: Tasty loaded with milk and sugar. I get the creamy notes this way (moreso than a regular chai). I’ll have to re-review later.
I’m pretty much dying at the heavenly scent emanating from my cup right now. The tea smells amazing, a very authentic coconut smell, both dry and steeped. It reminds me of fresh coconut.
The taste is very coconutty, almost a dry, nearly-toasted sort of flavour. I can taste just a hint of oolong at the end of the sip. I would like it to be more present.
This is definitely as coconutty, if not moreso, than I was hoping/expecting. I like it, but I think I’d have to be in the mood for it. If I ever make a Golden Moon Tea order, I suspect this will be on it. I really want to add a couple chunks of candied pineapple and a bit of sweetener to this to try and make a pina colada oolong tea. I think it would be delicious…
ETA: Er, I got a bit excited and forgot to send a huge thank you to LiberTEAS for this sample, which I had been dying to try ever since I heard about it!!
ETA again: Second infusion was good too, oolongy aftertaste, and less coconut, but still toasted. I sampled a leaf out of curiousity, and there was still toasty coconut flavour in it, so I suspect I could have gotten a nice third cup, but left work at that time to retrieve my car (which I had forgotten entirely at the shop all day!)
This really could have used some sugar today. In spite of there supposedly being rock sugar in the blend, it is one of the least sweet teas I’ve had. I drank it anyways though!
(Ack! Thought I had reviewed this one properly already, but apparently not. Basically it smells like strawberry baked goods, but the taste is lacking. Even with a 6 minute infusion, I didn’t taste the white tea.)
ETA: Second infusion, with half as much water, and I didn’t record the time/temp: smells delicious, and exactly like the crisp from the apple crisp my friend and I made for Easter. No joke; EXACTLY the same smell. Surprisingly, it tastes a heck of a lot better now too! It is completely cooled, but I’m actually getting appley/strawberry crisp flavours from it. It actually tastes like crisp in a mug! Damn, I wish I had recorded what I did. I steeped it for quite a while, probably over 5 minutes, and I think the temp was actually just under 94C? So I don’t know if it’s using half the water, or having left the tea ball sitting out overnight that is making this taste so much better. I don’t think it’s the cooling – the first time I had it, it had no flavour when it cooled, IIRC. Which was why I didn’t rate it.
Anyways, I’m excited that I got some flavour out of this one! No more sadness about having a 50g bag, and this will no longer be a tea I want to get rid of! There’s something to be said for persistence, I suppose :)
Finishing off a second infusion of this one (my friend had the first). It’s a bit too weak for me, although I can taste hints of mango in the aftertaste. I’m actually wondering if my taste buds are off a tad right now, because I seem to think every single tea I have brewed is weak and a little hot water-tasting. Oh well.
This time, I’m using the sample from LiberTEAS to see how it compares to that from Amanda.
To start, the tea looks different. There are flower(?) pieces, and petals that were definitely not in the other sample. It smells similarly good though, both in dry and steeped form. This version may smell a touch better, but I did enjoy the scent of the not-so-nice tasting cup either.
Tasting this, I’m fairly certain that Amanda got a dud batch!! No soapy flavour whatsoever, but instead a malty black tea with vanilla. Yum! I did taste this flavour in the other sample, but it was masked by that soapiness. A little weak, but I realize that I brewed it in a larger mug than usual and neglected to compensate for that in terms of dry tea. There’s a touch of astringency, so I think that increasing infusion time would lead to Bad Things. I will have to try this again a bit stronger, but this definitely bumps up the rating a fair bit. It’s too weak to hit the list of favourites yet though.
LiberTEAS – was the sample you gave me from the Christmas Sampler or a separately purchased pouch? Did anyone else notice a soapy flavour in their tea from the Christmas Sampler? I’m just curious. Seems a shame that some people may not have experienced the true flavours of this tea.
ETA: Second infusion good as well, also for 3 minutes. Quick note – the cup I left sitting at the office overnight, from the weird batch, actually tasted much better the next day, completely cooled. (Yes, I probably shouldn’t have drank it, but I was curious.) No soapiness, and I could tell it was the same tea, but it definitely was lacking something in comparison to the other batch I have. Oh well!
FYI everyone, I’m taking a brief Steepster hiatus as of now, because I have a ton of work to get done and I’m spending too much time on here (because I love it!) I’ll be logging teas (but after this morning, hopefully not trying new ones), but not responding to comments/messages, etc. Just so nobody thinks I’m ignoring them! I hope to be responsive again on the weekend.
Anyhow! Thought I’d finish up the last black tea from DavidsTea that was sitting in my cupboard untried. I like lychee as a flavour, and have eaten the fruit, although sometimes I find it a bit perfumey. One of my friends really adores some lychee flavoured alcoholic beverage of some sort, which I tried and thought was ok (except I dislike alcohol!)
The dry tea is strongly perfumed with lychee, although thankfully once steeped it’s a bit more muted.
I can’t really taste too much lychee… ok, there it is in the end of the sip. Not bad. The tea tastes rather weak though, in spite of using a generous 1.5 tsp for my mug. The black tea base is noticeable, but would be much better if stronger. I did go with the low end of steeping time to be cautious, due to all my recent black tea woes, but I think that was a mis-step this time. I’ll have to try it again with a longer infusion time.
So, not bad, but too weak for me. Even if brewed stronger, this one will not make the favourites list though.
ETA: Did not make a second cup. It was too perfumey, and I was getting jasmine aromas as well, and my stomach just didn’t want that. I think this will be going into the giveaway pile.