1382 Tasting Notes

I’m tempted just to copy my blog review over here but I will resist. What-Cha is a new UK company. They have free international shipping on orders over $35, and a flat $6 for lesser orders. That seems to include my friends in Canada!

This tea leaf smells awesome. It is sweet and sour like other Chinese greens with the addition of kind of a bread like aroma and a wonderful breath of smoke (not heavy LS or even Keemun).

The taste is so different I had to contact What-Cha and ask if this is indeed a green or if it is a sheng. Alistair wrote back as quickly as time zones would allow and confirmed it is prepared as a green tea. The interesting thing is the large purple leaves of this particular varietal have been cultivated (my word – maybe not the correct one) for producing pu’erh. So I am sort of on the right track.

What I am tasting is sheng like without any of that bright metallic taste. It is mild and vegetal, earthy, along with a stone fruit note (I am thinking apricot). The smoke briefly appears at the back of the sip and just fits. In later cups I notice it developing spicy and floral notes.

More sheng comparisons to this green tea – My lungs feel cool and fresh like I can breath to my toes. I noticed a peaceful sense of well being while sipping. I also found it produced a quiet stomach rumble leading me to believe this tea is soothing to my system. Your mileage may vary.

I found this tea to be captivatingly different. I am 30 ounces into steeping the same leaf and it appears it is going to go more.

What-Cha

Thanks for the great review Kevin, it certainly was great fun sourcing the tea and equally pleasing to read it met your with your approval.

Cwyn

Not surprised this is tasty. Yunnan Sourcing also makes a Wild Purple loose leaf from the same tea used to press cakes. Theirs, however, is quite roasted. Still it is one of the best teas I’ve had outside of traditional puerh cakes.

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81

Had to make a run to town this morning for some tests – my wife this time. Stopped at Starbucks afterwards. After making my own green tea powder concoction, theirs is way too sweet, but refreshing anyway. I need to find some xanthan gum so mine will thicken like theirs.

Anyway, checking the mail when we got home, there was a new box of samples from Teavivre. Yesterday I got a really big box from another company, and the day before another smaller one. My wife said those words… Don’t you think you have enough tea yet? Not sure if i should have told her about the Anniversary box that is on its way from Teavivre. That one is different. It is mostly more green tea powder that I’m using everyday… and… some stuff to reach free shipping.

Stephanie

I’m so lucky my husband has never questioned the amount of tea in our house…even though it is creeping out of the drawers and onto the counter in the kitchen…

K S

She isn’t upset. She is amused. Besides, her hobbies are a lot more expensive so she understands she can’t really complain. It was just the look and the tone today that made me feel a moment of remorse… and then I tore into the box! Yeah! More Tea!

Stephanie

Hehe, yay more tea indeed! ;)

Cheri

My husband says the same thing, but he doesn’t really complain. Mostly he thinks it’s funny. And then I hand him my cup or mug and tell him to taste it. He likes a lot of it, which is good.

gmathis

Take her to JoAnn’s, hand her the checkbook, and hush. Fair’s fair. :)

gmathis

P.S. Hope you’re feeling better!

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With the medicine in me today, I am feeling pretty good. I think I’ll go to band practice tonight and see how it goes.

Prepared this one again today to see how my taste buds and smeller are reacting to the medicine. I did not add sweetener, which as many of you know is almost unheard of from me. I have learned to use less leaf with this so as not to get overpowering floral. I used 2..5 g with 5 oz water and 195 F water for 1 minute. The jasmine is well behaved. There is just a hint of bite and a slight cheek tingle. It also seems slightly salty. That may be the medicine, but otherwise I think I can taste again.

On the sad side I noticed a crack in my favorite teapot. Apparently I must have bumped the spout of my crystal teapot on the sink. The crack runs down the top edge of the spout. I’ll keep an eye on it but will continue to use it unless it gets worse. I never cared for teapots until I got this one. This one is borosilicate (sp?) glass. It was less than $20. I wonder if the more expensive ones are just as fragile?

ashmanra

Sorry about your pot! (I have typed the word “pot” quite a number of times lately for various reasons and it always says POOT when I look at my screen. LOL!) I have a tiny borosilicate glass pot and it has held up well. I have some of the Bodum iced tea pots for loose leaf that were on special at TJMaxx and they have also done well. I have a cheap regular glass pot that I just don’t use because the glass infuser shattered right away and I can tell the pot would break very easily. It was a gift. If I were purchasing, I would stick with borosilicate. I don’t know if spending more gets you a higher quality of glass or not.

K S

My Bodum press is borosilicate glass. In fact I have two. They have been extremely rugged and lasted several years. A friend shattered his same exact press just by accidentally tapping it wrong on the sink. So my crystal teapot may have been sturdy enough had I not hit it exactly as I did. Not being familiar with different versions it will leave me wondering if it was me being clumsy or the poot (just for you).

ashmanra

LOL! Just for me! :)

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I started today with my usual green tea powder frap and then a breathing treatment. I sound like Darth Vader when they broke him at the end of Episode IV. I guess that is better than the gasping martians of yesterday but not great. Called the clinic to find out what happened to one of my prescriptions – turns out someone forgot to hit send. Drove to town. Wife went in to pick it up for me. Now I am steeping this up thinking it is probably a good idea to mix puerh with antibiotics. We’ll see.

20 second steep. This one is another very nice tea. The wet leaf scent is kind of strong but there is nothing off in the cup. Kind of dusty with a light bite and plenty of old leather and loam or a woodsy taste. There is also a fruity or floral note way in the back. It becomes very smooth if you add just a bit of sweetener.

I am not good at describing the subtle differences between various similar puerhs. I do know what I like when I taste it, and this, I like.

Stephanie

I know what you mean, it is hard to describe puerh tastes. Especially shu I think. Hope you feel better soon, btw.

Cheri

Oh you sound like you feel awful. I hope it clears up soon. I had a bronchitis that needed multiple rounds of antibiotics earlier this year. (At least it didn’t turn in to pneumonia.)

The tea sounds good. Enjoy it!

Cwyn

Ripes tend to taste more alike to me, in fact I am usually looking for another taste to stick out from the sameness.

boychik

Feel better!

K S

Cheri/boychik, I actually feel fine, just don’t have any air – seems kind of important :)

Cwyn,to me there are a few broad taste categories in ripe – different types of leather, mushroom/woodsy/earth, etc. Describing what makes each taste different from the others is much harder to define.

boychik

I like your sense of humor. Btw I wanted to mention that some sheng with camphore/eucalyptus / menthol notes really helps me. I have allergies.

K S

Sheng is the direction I was headed today but, well, shiny objects, you know. At the last moment I though shu might help more with the damage done to the stomach by antibiotics. So far it seems to have help greatly. Guess I need two pots going.

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drank Strawberry Black by Simple Loose Leaf
1382 tasting notes

Tea of the afternoon. This tastes like strawberry, not candy or Kool-Aid. At the same time it isn’t overpowering. Very nice.

gmathis

Mmmm! I’m still troll-hoarding the last couple boxes of my bagged strawberry favorite.

K S

This is very close to your fav minus the bag. I’ll send you a sample when I get to feeling like leaving the house.

gmathis

Thanks!

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I stayed home this morning. I play guitar with the praise team and I never miss. I’ve even played with a broken arm. I’m tough and playing is something I have to do. Until I nearly suffer the fate of H.G. Wells martians as the tiniest of microbes plot their attack. But O’ happy day, I’m not a martian and I have an immune system and a walk in clinic. And now I have steroids, anibiotics, and albuterol. My head will probably not explode and I will get over this. My taste buds and sense of smell are dulled but they mostly work. My biggest issue is this allergy/bug/whatever has made my O2 levels uncomfortably low. I’ve dealt with hypoxia my whole life (told you I’m tough) but I find as I get older I have to stay on top of it more. Golden years my butt.

I grabbed this one because it is warm and comforting. The grassy malt of the dry leaf has me feeling better already. Mug method with about 3.5 g of leaf. It is sweet and smooth with wonderful malt and light cocoa/ caramel notes. There is just a slight bite to it that I appreciate. Excellent choice for an early cup.

Clint

Feel better soon!

looseTman

+1. Better living through chemistry!

CHAroma

Get well soon!

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93
drank Candy Cane Lane by Celestial Seasonings
1382 tasting notes

My second tea this evening trying to stay hydrated. New box in fact – well newly opened from last winter. As I tore into it I thought, O good Christmas in July… and then I realized it is August O.O Where’d the year go? Very minty. Had a very small handful of M&M’s with it. Interesting combo.

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90

Haven’t had much in the way of tea the last couple days. Allergies. I had to go to the walk in clinic today. Shot in the butt and a sack full of drugs later and my wife heated up water so I could have this one. It made me feel a little better.

Cwyn

Just read an article about puerh and allergies.

K S

Please share

Cwyn

I can’t seem to find the article I was reading, I kind of got to it by bouncing around links in tea blogs, but here is a list of components in puerh, quercetin. http://belighttea.com/chemical-constituents-of-pu-erh-tea/

Another article in the flip side, I found enlightening is about side effects from drinking too much overly green tea. Raw puerh needs to be aged, or ripe can balance out the effects of too much green. A high roasted oolong or other black tea does the same thing. I’m not making statements, just sharing results from a lot of reading.
http://themandarinstea.blogspot.com/2013/02/asyou-may-know-i-started-this-blog-as.html

K S

Thanks. My experience with puerh has been completely positive in regards to any side affects.

Cwyn

It is quercetin that is the antihistamine compound. I read elsewhere something in papaya will strengthen quercetin’s effect.

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Not sure why this tea intrigues me so, but it does. I think it is because I won’t let a tea with potential beat me or maybe just because the leaf is pretty to look at. For flavored teas I tend to like The Persimmon Tree as they generally don’t go in overdrive with the flavors. This one, however, prepared per their general white tea guidelines is strongly alcoholic in flavor – too much for me. The next time I heated the water up and shortened the steep time and it was much better. Today I used about 3 g of leaf and a cooler mug of 175 F water for a 1 minute steep. The color is much lighter than the deep honey from before. Now it is white grape. The aroma is pleasantly butterscotch. The taste is more like a butterscotch chai with some spicy notes from the cinnamon and peppercorns. This is a really nice cup. I knew this was worth the effort.
-—————
EDIT – My wife, who generally doesn’t like my teas, took one sip and went Mmmmmmm. So yeah, cooler water and shorter steep time on this one.

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drank Earl Grey by Starbucks
1382 tasting notes

I think I normally review this as TAZO. O well. We were out and about, wife needed coffee and I needed Earl Grey. I asked for this iced. I forgot what they were about to do to my tea so I had to add 1 Splenda. You people that hate bergamot – never order EG at Starbucks. Based on my experience (every time because I always forget) I would hate bergamot too. First off they steep it for 5 minutes. That is just too long. I always forget to tell them 3 minutes – tops. Just like their coffee it smells strong enough to melt your face. Plus all the ice is melted. If they can fix a frappuccino why can’t they fix iced tea? I should have asked for a glass of ice. I didn’t so this is my own fault. It is very bitter – face puckeringly so – and the bergamot that should be wonderfully refreshing is overwhelming my senses. I’m typing my complaining out so maybe, just maybe, I’ll remember next time and explain too them how to prepare it correctly.

Cheri

Sounds just awful.

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Having a passion for tea and living in rural America is a tough combination. The nearest tea vendor is 65 miles away. Joining Steepster has completely changed the direction of my tea journey.

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