3013 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Teavivre for this generous free sample, and apologies for such a slow review!
I used about 2 tsp of tea in 2.5 cups of water for this tea, as I did with the DT version. This version definitely brewed up more quickly and strongly than the other, and even though it had less than half the time to brew, the flavour is quite similar. The biggest difference I’m noticing between them is in terms of sweetness; this tea is noticeably sweeter, and the sweetness emerges prior to swallowing, so is not just in the aftertaste. Other than that, both have a sweet, slightly seaweedy aroma, and the flavour of crispy fried seaweed, which is kind of toasty/seaweedy/delicious. Very interesting! After a bit of thought, the flavour could be described as quite “buttery”, which is how the fried seaweed comes off because of all the oil present. It’s tough to say which tea I’d prefer; I imagine that Teavivre’s has greater longevity, so if I was to purchase this again, that would probably be my choice, although I doubt I’ll pick this one up again of my own accord.
So tonight I decided that it was high time to sample my ginseng oolong sample from Teavivre, and alongside it, the sample of ginseng oolong that I recently picked up at DavidsTea! I brewed each according to the given instructions to see how they fared compared to each other.
I used approximately the same water:leaf ratio for this tea as for the Teavivre version (about 2 tsp for 2.5 cups), and noticed that the colour/aroma definitely took quite a bit longer to develop in the DT version, which is likely why it required 5 minutes instead of two.
The aroma of this cup is sweet and just sliiightly seaweedy. It’s interested, both my roommate and I noticed that the tea smells and tastes much like a fried seaweed snack we tried and loved last year. Basically, salted and fried up crispy seaweed. I’m wondering now if there was ginseng in it, or if it’s just a coincidence that the two are similarly scented/flavoured. It’s actually quite an interesting, tasty flavour, kind of toasty and delicious, and then an intense sweetness emerges, which must be the ginseng, along with a mild oolong flavour. I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of the sweet aftertaste, as it reminds me of licorice and artificial sweeteners, but I don’t find it quite as bad as either of those, so can tolerate it. So overall, this is actually a pretty yummy cup. Perhaps not the first tea I’d go for given a choice, but it’s certainly worth trying!
Hrm. I could have sworn that I reviewed on here the cup of this that I got as a free tea from DT on… February 29? Or perhaps I wasn’t yet a Steepster at that point.
Anyhow, I first tried this in last year’s advent calendar, and thought I liked it, then had a bad experience with it from the store (it made me gag a bit, so I went back and had them add sweetener, and I still was gagging, and ended up pouring it out). I picked up a small bag of it to try out myself to see what the deal really was.
The aroma is fruity… but it’s a sort of fruitiness that doesn’t really agree with me. Like another tea reminded me of Mango Diablo (which I dislike), this one does too. I’m starting to wonder if I dislike DT’s dried mango… (is there mango in Long Life Oolong too??)
The flavour is kind of sweet-ish, and with a strange taste, which must be the green rooibos. It’s not as medicinal as the red can be, but still, I’m not really enjoying it here. Yeaaaah, this is not my cup of tea, at all, and as it’s unlikely to be an infusion problem, I’m going to have to attempt to get rid of the remainder of this one (a cup’s worth) through other means. Blecchh.
Yummy!!!! So chocolatey and minty, but not gross whole-leaf peppermint like I dislike, more of a candycane sort of peppermint, which I find completely tolerable in conjunction with chocolate! I thought I would finish off the tin of this from the advent calendar last night, but alas, there was more than just 1.5 tsp in the tin, it was more like 2.5. So I left the rest for my roommate.
Anyhow, I’m drinking this one cold as well as it has sat since last night. It tastes pretty much exactly like liquid peppermint patties, which I actually really like. And aside from the lack of actual… chewable matter in my mouth, this is quite satisfying as a dessert tea! Definitely one to pick up if you love chocolate mint.
Finished off the remainder of this packet today (sipdown!!); about 1.5 tsp in 8 oz. of water. A pretty tasty cup of dragon well, for sure – a fair bit of vegetal flavour, though not as much sweetness as had it been fresher, I suspect (this is like, 4-year-old tea, though it appears I only opened the packet for the first time about 4 months ago). Unluckily for me, I just accidentally choked on a big mouthful of it, and spit it all over my bed, marking the second time THIS WEEK that I’ve had to change my bed sheet due to a tea spill, and at least the third or fourth time in a couple months (although this is the first time it was due to choking). I have really got to work on this… not only am I wasting tea, I’m making messes! Thankfully I usually have spilled straight teas that are light in colour/flavour…
Wow. I made the most AMAZING cup of this last night! The aroma was absolutely amazing, 100% a strawberry crisp (rhubarb? not so sure). Oh man oh man! Hadn’t drank this one in a while.
Anyways, I ended up leaving the majority of the cup sitting overnight, and am drinking it now, and it’s just divine. Liquid strawberry crisp in a cup. Delicious light cinnamon aroma and flavour. You could convince me that there are oats in here too, although I think Frank is the only one who puts actual oats in his blends. Mmmmmmm. I can’t believe I ever didn’t care for this one! Clearly I was just doing it wrong. It’s absolutely amazing. Definitely a tea I’d repurchase (I wonder if it’s still available online?) Biiig rating bump.
This tea seriously looked exactly like water when it was steeped. Just the barest hint of colour. There’s a wonderful sweet aroma emanating from the cup. Flavourwise, the tea is so light I can hardly taste it. It’s almost a.. corn nut? corn silk? sort of flavour with a bit of tea aftertaste.
I think I’m going to try the second infusion for closer to 10 minutes. This tea’s just a bit too light for me, personally, although the flavour hints at deliciousness.
ETA: Second infusion (82C for 10:15) has more flavour, and tastes kind of like sweet peas! Like, the flowers, not edible pea pods. Interesting! I think this tea simply needs a longer infusion time for me. Delicious, and so smooth.
Delicious! Reminds me of Ginger Ale Bai Mu Dan quite a lot initially, even though it should taste quite different (I would think). There’s a light cinnamon undertone, a delicate bai mu dan flavour underneath, and citrusy notes at the forefront. This tea is marvellous. I love it!
Second infusion (4 min/82C) is definitely more lemony (like, a lemon verbena/lemongrass sort of lemony), and retains the bai mu dan flavour as well. I can’t really pick up the cinnamon this time.
Thanks so much for the sample, Momo! I’m surprised that even though this tea is nearly a year old, it’s still quite delicious!
Final tea of last evening was a sample from Stacy at Butiki! I drank a bit and fell asleep before posting a tasting note, so here it is.
There wasn’t a great deal of aroma to the cup. Unfortunately, I was getting quite a lot of astringency, which kind of tarnished my opinion of this cup. There were some interesting flavours, and I was getting a lovely “tea” aftertaste (which speaks to the quality of this tea), however, the mouth-drying sensation and bitterness weren’t making me all that happy. I think there was a bit of a light wild blueberry flavour, but unfortunately after having had 52teas’ Blueberry Zabaglione, I found it difficult to pick out (bad timing on my behalf). I tried to drink a bit of the rest in the morning, and it was possibly the most bitter cup of tea I had ever tasted :( I couldn’t pick out any of the potentially nice flavours from the night before.
I feel it’s unfair to rate this tea… I know I enjoy the straight Purple Tea, so something must have happened to cause all this bitterness. The tea was quite broken up in the sample bag, but I used a Finum filter so would be surprised if particles got through… ah well. Perhaps I’ll try it again someday.