My youngest works 3rd shift. He came in at 6:15 and woke us up. “Where’s the truck?”
“Your brother had a dead battery, he came and borrowed it so he could go to work”
I start to drift off. My oldest returns the truck at around 7:00. Of course he has to come in and announce the truck is back.
So knowing I have to be out the door by 8:30 to set up for the morning praise team, I give in and try to get up. Problem is I can’t wake up.
This is where bagged teas are a necessity. Thanks again gmathis for this one. It got me moving and out on time.
722 Tasting Notes
My youngest works 3rd shift. He came in at 6:15 and woke us up. “Where’s the truck?”
Been a while since I’ve logged this. With all the amazing loose leaf teas I get to review each day, you would think I would get tired of this one… but I am not. It is a simple bagged tea with a pleasant taste. It goes well with the breakfast. Today I got a waitress that brought me two bags because she gets it. Coffee and iced tea drinkers can get free refills all day but order hot tea and most of the waiters will only bring you more hot water. Yes, she got a nice tip.
What a name. This is another sample provided by Teavivre. I opened the very stuffed sample bag and removed one hefty scoop. The remaining leaf, seems to leave the bag looking almost as full as before I got in to it. I believe if I had poured it all out, I would have a hard time putting it back. The leaf is dark green slightly rolled but straight. It is kind of flattened. It looks like dried grass. It smells nice and sweet.
I brewed for almost two minutes in heavily steaming water. This produced the lightest of yellow green liquids. The aroma of artichoke fills the air.
The sip is sweet and slightly salty. It reminds me of mild dragonwell without the butteriness. It does seem milky. I am getting a bit of numbing on the lips. Mid sip it takes on mineral notes. The aftertaste is fresh, not grassy, with a very slight tartness. Tart may be the wrong word but I can’t quite put a label on it.
On the first cup I added the tea to the water. All the leaf clung to the surface. The second time I steeped, I added a bit more leaf and poured the water over the tea. Now the leaf dances in the water. That is what I was after. There was not an artichoke aroma, until I poured the brew. The leaf is fully open, and reveals small pale green leaves. The taste at first seemed to be pretty much the same as the first cup. As it cooled a bit it came alive and produced a much more flavorful drink.
The third cup was the best yet. The flavor turned sort of cucumber. Not quite like a white tea. In whites, I think of the cucumber as leaning towards watermelon. This did not have the melon notes. Maybe this would go another cup but I don’t have time to find out today.
Chinese green tea fans, this is another great one!
This one comes courtesy of Gmathis. She says this is her favorite Cheapster Steepster oolong at an incredible $0.31/oz! Did I read that right?!? That’s $5/lb. This looks like mulch. ha. There are all kinds of different sizes, shapes, and colors in this bag. I steeped about 4 minutes.
This is a prime candidate for a Finum basket. Some of this is very fine and is clinging to the mesh on my press. The way I brewed this it makes a light bodied cup. The taste is similar to Foojoy but lighter. The roasted notes of Foojoy are more toasted here. Actually, it is somewhere in the middle between Foojoy and a genmaicha. It doesn’t have that strong rice flavor but the toastiness is very similar.
After having the strawberry tea just before this one. I am thinking this would make a great base to add some fruit or mint and see what happens. A good bargain everyday tea.
This one came in the mail as a surprise from gmathis. Thanks! I have never seen this brand in the local stores. I feel like I am going back to my roots today. This is a tea bag. Dry it looks kind of flat. It smells lightly of strawberry. I boiled up a mug of water and poured over the tea, steeping for 3 minutes.
I wish I had a clear glass mug for reviews to get a better idea of the brew color. This is moderately dark with an orange tint. Smells a bit like strawberry Quik. When I removed the bag it had really swollen nicely. Salada is another company with bags that make me wonder if there is enough tea in it but always swells big and produces a good solid cup.
This is my first ever strawberry tea. Seriously. I thought, I really don’t drink fruit teas, then I realized I like a lot of them – gojiberry, pomegranate, dragon fruit, peach, apricot, lemon, lime, orange, and especially bergamot. So why not strawberry?
I took my first sip and was pleasantly entertained. Immediately you taste strawberry but it is done in moderation. Yes, it does taste a lot like Nestle’s Strawberry Quik and yet it leans to a more natural flavor. The tea base is standard bag tea black. It isn’t bad. It gets the job done with just a touch of bite and astringency, but that is the way I like it. The best part is I can taste the base right along with the strawberry. That is of major importance to me.
Oh wait, this is interesting. As the cup is cooling I am starting to catch roasted notes in the lingering aftertaste. I hope it isn’t my imagination. It reminds me of a mild Yamamotoyama oolong. Hot dog! That is one of my favorite bagged teas. So kudos for the extra touch.
Gmathis says this is a really cheap tea so it gets extra points. This is a nice tea with some nice surprises. I could drink this one often. I am glad I got to try it.
I steeped this again today. I was pretty sure I brewed this wrong yesterday. Today I followed the directions (doh!) The first cup at 1 minute was really good. Just like yesterday but I went 2 minutes yesterday. Cup two at 2 minutes was very similar to the first, just slightly lighter. Cup three at 4 minutes was also quite good. So, the secret with this tea for multiple steeps is to hold that first one short. Loving it.
1 scoop leaf + 12oz boiling water + 3 minutes = a cheapster Steepster mug of joy. Light bergamot and a solid black base. This is a good one.
This sample and the one from yesterday were provided by the fabulous Teavivre. The first cup was everything I love about Chinese greens. Buttery steamed veggies, sweet, not grassy. It has a wonderful aftertaste. The first cup is definitely a 90. I think I did something wrong as later cups were not as flavorful. No one else reported this so I am blaming me at this point and will try again tomorrow. I love the first cup. Thank you Angel and Teavivre.
Teavivre’s Jasmine makes me think grapes. The is the most amazing scented tea. I could just sniff this all day. The pearls are a little smaller than the premium. The brew is nearly clear. To me the difference between this and premium is this leaf has a mildly woodsy taste. I had 4 cups from one scoop. A trully beautiful tea.
The sip is first malt, then wheat, followed by honey. There are flashes of light cocoa notes. It is a bit fruity. Many report sweet potato notes. I get that, but it was not as strong as some other black Chinese teas I’ve tried. This kind of reminds me of Bailin Gongfu.
This is very, very smooth. You could slam this down with out thinking about it. I choose to sip slowly. There is no bitterness and no bite. You could probably brew this strong and work the tannins into a frenzy but prepared per the instructions this seems light on the stomach. What I am not noticing is smoke. I was fully expecting some but it is not present.
Cup two, continues where cup one left off. It is now a little sweeter and that sweetness really lingers in the aftertaste. Cup three is very similar.
This is a very nice tea. The only negative comment I could offer is that oddly, I find myself missing the smoke that frightened me a year ago. That is not the fault of the tea. Rather it is my understanding of what makes a Keemun that is to blame. If you don’t enjoy a smoky tea, then this is the Keemun for you. If you like a light smoky tea try the Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea.
Sip down. I knew I loved this one but I forgot how wonderfully aromatic it is. I don’t care if I am dangling participles or splitting my infinitives here. The point is this smells amazing and tastes just as good. Truly a wonderful cup that reminds me of why I am so obsessed with tea..
Pale yellow brew. This is a gentle quiet tea. As the cup cools it developed a buttery sweetness. A light bitterness underneath the flavor to cleanse the palate. The second cup was the most amazing. Copying from my blog – The smell of the wet leaf in the second cup was more like the fresh air at the lake. Nice and refreshing. The second cup is even lighter in flavor. This is new. I am getting a sticky lip feel at the front of the sip with this green tea. Normally, I associate that trait with sheng puerh. Interesting.
Ok, this is really messing with my head and fascinating me at the same time. Now that the second cup is cooling it tastes and feels like I am drinking a warm cup of milk. This isn’t a milky oolong. How is it doing that? The sip starts a bit sheng like, then to lightly bitter green, and on to milk late in the sip. A beautifully complex cup.
Vicony will send out samples to reviewers for those interested. http://www.viconyteas.com/
10 second steeps on this one! Malt, honey, sweet potatoes, and light smoke. This is an amazing tea. The first day I had this I could smell it the rest of the day. I had to brew it again right away. I had four 12oz mugs. It would have gone more. If you are interested I have a longer review on my blog.
Think Bailin Gongfu and you will know exactly what this tastes like – chocolate, malt, and wheat. This is so very, very good! Bohea and Bailin Gongfu appear to originate on different mountains but apparently they both produce excellence.
I don’t have any matcha, (I have never tasted any that I know of) and besides I really need to sleep tonight. So I took some white monkey and mixed it with homegrown tulsi. This is the second time I have mixed white with tulsi and it is a great combination.
While this was steeping I decided to strip the rest of the dried tulsi flowers off the stems. Afterwards I planned to put it in a sealed glass jar. As I started to pour, the bowl slipped out of my fingers and I dumped the whole bowl in the floor. Maybe I will get another picking of flowers this season and maybe I won’t :(
I have been trying lately not to duplicate my Steepster posts with what’s on my blog. This tea is so wonderful I am going to break my rule -
This is the third of the Vicony Teas Company samples I have received for review. This Yunnan Silver Needle White Tea is a sheng puerh. It is listed as Art. No: BYP12 on Vicony’s website. The leaf on this looks like a normal loose leaf silver needle white tea. Very white and very fresh. It has only the mildest scent.
I used my wooden spoon to measure out a healthy scoop of the leaf. I used 12oz of near boiling water and my press. The first steep was 2 minutes. The leaf danced in the press, hanging from the surface of the water. The brew is very clear with nothing floating in it. The color is a dull green. So far there is not a lot that even hints this is puerh other than the slightly darker brew color. There are no scents I normally associate with sheng or raw puerh. In fact it has little scent. Just a hint of fresh hay.
I lift the cup and sip. Ahhh, there it is. At first you catch notes of melon and cucumber but as subdued glimpses really. This gives way to the wonderful leather taste I usually reserve for shu puerh. Actually, I am not sure I have ever tasted it in a sheng puerh. As the cup cools the melon really comes alive and blends with the leather. The result is pure joy. Now it is developing a natural sweetness. I feel a nice coolness on my breath. This is really seriously good.
Cup two was also steeped for 2 minutes. It differs from the first in some respect. The leather is less pronounced but still obvious. This has become even sweeter and slightly more like white tea in taste. The melon / cucumber notes are more prevalent. The more the cup cools the more it takes on a grainy flavor – something like wheat.
Cup three continues with the grainy taste. The leather has disappeared.
On cup four the grainy taste has turned to pure malt. Each cup has grown darker. This one is golden in the press and caramel in the cup.
This white puerh is not the flavor blast that puerh fans often expect. On the other hand this is one of the most complex puerhs I have ever tried. It has zero bitterness. It is a lighter more delicate cup that white tea fans will greatly appreciate. After only one session with this I am hooked. This should be in your tea cupboard!
As others said about this type tea – the leaves are huge. I did a long review here: http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2012/08/vicony-teas-company-premium-taiping.html
Short review – My experience was different than others describe this. The orchid flavor tastes mineral and mushroom to me. It has a lingering aftertaste but I did not find it naturally sweet. It went great with a ham and turkey sandwich. I like it but not love it.
I grabbed this one out of the drawer this afternoon. The jasmine in this is really nice. This is a wonderful tea.
To echo Hesper June, this one is $8/4oz, so it is also an affordable jasmine.
Last night I had some really good white peony leaves that had already been steeped several times. I added some home grown tulsi. I loved this combination. The melon and fruity of the white tea melded perfectly with the highly floral and clove like tulsi. The result had no clove flavor instead it was fruity and floral, almost like a mild rose. it was dripping with honey type flavor. This was a really good idea!
Sip down. Saying goodbye to another beautiful tea.
Sip down. It would be enough if this just had a nice Ceylon base and a healthy dose of bergamot. This has more. It doesn’t say it on the label but this seems to have a touch of smoke. It really makes this an excellent Earl Grey.
See how white the leaf looks in the picture? Well, it really is that white. This leaf is gorgeous. It tastes just as good as it looks. Cucumber and melon, with a lingering sweet aftertaste. Superfine is not just the grade of leaf with this one.
For those interested Vicony asked me to mention they supply samples to reviewers. You will have to meet a few conditions and they do ask for a phone number. The few hoops were worth it to try this one.
This came from ashmanra. THANKS I can’t find this on pure puerh’s website. I thought I would grab a picture – apparently not. This is interesting. Beyond the horse and saddle leather it has a pepper / ginger bite to it. Underneath that is some interesting floral notes. Another thing I noticed is that several minutes after sipping this I could still taste it and feel its cooling affect on my breath. Very nice!
Ok, the Zenjala Creamy Earl Grey was a sophisticated cup. The vanilla was very mild and served to tame the uncivilized bergamot. Empire Tea Services calls their version luxurious. My take on this is it is more of a frat house version. The vanilla comes screaming out of the pouch, chased by the bergamot beast in a toga. The Ceylon base is like the bass player in the band, you may not notice him untless he stops, then you realize he was responsible for the groove. There are also hints of chocolate and something like burnt caramel or sugar. This is a party in a cup and I don’t think it is intended for meditative moments. Party on.