1641 Tasting Notes
I first tried this tea when Steepster was behaving badly. I am actually glad I couldn’t post a review. My first experience was not the best. I did a western style per directions (176 F, 3 minute steep, and 3 g of leaf). There was almost no taste.
Next I brewed it in a 90 ml gaiwan. I used 3 g and 190 F and long 3 minute steep. It was better. It reminded me of potato with some White peony notes and a pine note late in the sip. Later steeps developed a TGY like aftertaste.
Today, I prepared it western mug style with the last 3+ g of leaf, 190 F water and an 8 minute steep. It was the best cup yet. Slight potato when hot but as it cooled that faded. The cup was more white peony like but as with the gaiwan I really thought it closer to camellia flowers which are more wood like in flavor. It had some light fruit notes and maintained what to me is a light green oolong aftertaste.
Definitely requires long steeps to develop the flavor. My least favorite from What-Cha but the neat part of the experience is getting to try a purple varietal white tea – from Kenya.
Last week we ran all week long with almost no time for tea. This week we begged each other to please stay home. I still haven’t had tea. So busy. This morning we sat out on our under construction porch for a few minutes before the workers arrived. It was like 55 degrees – awesome. My son who lives next door popped over carrying a cup. It was earl grey. I could smell its awesomeness from 10 feet away. I had to have tea. So I brewed a cup drank half of it and hours later I got to finish the cup. It was great as always but we are too busy. Hoping tomorrow is much slower.
Feeling a bit exhausted. Things are a little too hectic at the moment. So I could whine, or curl up in a ball and hide, or I could just have a cup of tea (maybe six). I choose the tea. I finished off the sample. I am not sure if I have more of it somewhere or not. If so I’ll stumble on it later and be surprised. I have always really liked this one. The leaf is beautiful. The wet leaf scent is so vegetal and inviting. The best part though, is just sitting quietly with the cup and enjoying it. Excellent refresher.
Out of the bag this smells really chocolaty. Once brewed the leaf scent is rooibos while the mug has a chocolate aroma. The taste starts rooibos, without the harshness so common to this type drink, then mid sip it changes to a nice chocolate. At first I thought it tasted a bit thin and ended with a mineral taste. Then I added sweetener and the flavors got bigger. Now the rooibos and chocolate seem to swirl around each other and in between there is a neat minty like thing going on. I am not generally big on rooibos but I liked this one.
This morning it was just me, this powder, some vanilla syrup, milk, and rain. Much rain. The tea was tasty.
I think I am about to give up trying to use xantham gum in my morning smoothie. I have tried everything I can think of and don’t like the results. It is to slick feeling and causes the tea powder to clump. Kind of an expensive lesson. Anyone had success with it?
The rain is kind of comforting today although it means construction can’t move ahead. The dog is OK with that as he is tired of barking at them anyway.
Hello, hello, hello…. Is anybody in there?
Broken Steepster is not much fun.
I had this one yesterday. This is a really nice young sheng. The first cup is almost subdued. Sure it is slightly bright like raw sheng tends to be but not in an overpowering way. It is slightly mineral and slightly mushroom, yet neither are strong or offensive. Crisp, I think fits this nicely. The aftertaste really hangs on and seems floral to me. The second cup has a bolder but similar flavor. I detect some hints of leather. The third is the brightest, with an almost puckering bitterness. Cup four returns to a much milder cup with apricot notes. The aftertaste lingers and changes from cup to cup. It starts floral then seems more like a tieguanyin. By cup four it has a combination of both. These have all been about 8 oz cups. I have no idea how far it will go but it shows no signs of letting up. Very nice. Thank you Teavivre for this lovely sample.
I almost feel sorry for Good Life Tea reviewing this tea when Steepster is being so wonky. Yeah, I first typed about 4 things other than wonky but changed them for conscience sake. Hopefully someone actually sees this.
This is very smooth. The vanilla and bergamot are very balanced but light. The black base is present but not assertive. It comes out most clearly in the aftertaste. There is no bitterness. A slight dryness with light cheek tingle. What made this one a stand out and different for me was once I added sweetener to it, after first tasting without it. Sweetener brightens the flavor without increasing the intensity (does that make sense?). The real bonus was a fruity/floral/spice note that joined the party. At first I thought cinnamon, then after another sip it was Orange Creamsicle. I highly recommend adding the sweetener with this one.
The rain was really coming down this morning – after we left the house for breakfast with friends. Stayed gray all day with occasional thunder. Fixed this one and it was a great choice. This is way better than I remember… and I gave it a 93 the first time. I let it steep longer today and the cinnamon note was really obvious. The honey was more intense as well. This is a really excellent tea.
Last time I had this was 5 days ago. At that time I was going to organize my tea. Yeah, I’m still going to organize… maybe. I did get two packages of tea mailed out. I still have a couple to go. With the construction going on I am not getting much else done. This was the only tea I had time to drink today. At least it good.
I had this one a couple days ago when Steepster was down. Adding it now. Edited from my blog post:
I used my press and water heated to the recommended 95 C (203 F) and steeped it for 2 1/2 minutes. The guidelines say 2-3 minutes. The result is a nicely orange liquor that sparkles as I pour it.
Cooled to drinking temperature – which is probably cooler than most of you like it but I don’t care for extremely hot tea. My first sip is… really nice. This is extremely smooth. Honestly I was expecting a lot of throat grabbing bite. Nope. None. No bitterness. If it is astringent, I am immune. I am also not noticing any problem with stomach burn on an empty stomach.
What I am getting is a really smooth malty sip with a fruitiness mid sip. This dissolves into as close as this gets to bite, which is really more of a woodsy taste. What-Cha calls it an earthy finish.
Second cup: While the cup was hotter than I normally like it, I took a sip and thought it was kind of mushroom and pond water. However, as the cup cooled the smooth malt returned at the front of the sip, then finished with earthy woodsy taste blended with the mushroom. The really hot cup was not my style but I quite enjoyed this second cup, once it cooled. It remains very smooth.I am once again impressed by the offerings of What-Cha. This is a very delicious black tea.