1315 Tasting Notes

This tea isn’t yet on What-Cha’s website at the time I am writing this. I get the honor of sampling it before the rest of the world. Go Me!

Wha-Cha sources their Kenya teas directly from the farmers. This translates into hopefully a better wage for their hard work and a better fresher leaf for us.

The long leaf on this is very dark and lightly twisted. It looks more like a black tea but on closer examination it really does have a purplish cast. There are a few twigs. The aroma dry is grain and dry grass. The steeped leaf is olive green and brown. It maintains a purple tint and as I was examining it I noticed a blueberry tint to the small amount of liquid under the leaf. It has a heavy but awesome cooked spinach aroma.

The taste is completely different than the Yunnan purple varietal I tried the other day. It tasted like a mellow sheng. This Kenyan purple has a more traditional green tea flavor. As such I think it might appeal to a wider audience. It is a little grassy with a nice bite. It has a fruit note that is not overly sweet or tart and kind of grape like. I don’t really know plum taste – that is what Wha-Cha states in the description – but if my description fits the profile, then I agree with them :)

I wrote on my blog review that this reminds me of Mao Feng. If I had them side by side maybe it isn’t that close but going from memory that is the connection I make.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
gmathis

Plum flavor—cross between a peach and a sweet red grape, maybe?

What-Cha

Thanks once again for the lovely write-up, unfortunately the tea has been much delayed by at first a different tea being sent out by accident in place of the Steamed Purple and subsequent promised dates of resending have been missed by the producer. I’m continuing to chase the producer and hopefully it will arrive soon.

Cheri

This sounds really good. I may have to get some when it comes out. Wish listing!

What-Cha

I’m pleased to announce that it has finally arrived and can be found here: http://what-cha.com/green-tea/kenya-steamed-purple-varietal-green-tea/

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drank Organic Green Tea Powder by Teavivre
1315 tasting notes

So my intention was to give a food grade Japanese matcha a whirl when I ran out of green tea powder for my breakfast milk concoction. But then Teavivre had an anniversary sale and marked this down 40%. 40%! Well that was a no brainer. I have already grown accustomed to its unique taste. Yeah, its bitter on its own but works for what I am doing with it.

The problem is my present supply is starting to show tin at the bottom. Why did I wait so long to order? The 8 oz of restock has shown no sign of moving in days when checking tracking. I know it always takes two – three weeks to get here, but if I just knew it was still moving it would be easier to wait. Why do I keep checking? Aaarrrrrgggghhhh!

I may be forced to return to the world of Hershey’s syrup for a few days while I sit hitting refresh on USPS. :)

Just having some fun. Trust me, I’ll survive.

gmathis

Your breakfast smoothie posts have been so convincing I bought an experimental carton of almond milk and some vanilla syrup to attempt it in my own kitchen. I’m still not a matcha pro—has to start with some hot water to dissolve properly…is that correct?

Nxtdoor

Lol. Hitting refresh is something we are all too familiar with.

K S

I just use a little room temp water out of my filter pitcher, add my syrup, powder, and whisk away. Then I stir it some more once I add the cold milk. No pro here but I’m happy with the results – until I find some xanthan gum to thicken it, then I may start adding crushed ice again.

gmathis

My first trial run was a little bitter & clumpy, but I was really skimpy on the sweetener. On the other hand, it seems to be a good antidote for stress eating at work.

K S

I had to cut back on the powder until I became accustomed to the bitter. I think I was using about 1/4 tsp. I use a whole one most times now.

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I like this one. The dry leaf has a fine pipe tobacco leaf aroma. The cup smells sweet and fruity. The taste is bold but not harsh. A little tongue tingle but not bitter or particularly drying. Nice light maltiness in the fruity aftertaste. The Persimmon Tree says this tastes boldly of apple. To me it was more woodsy with fruity grape leaf notes. Sniffing the cooling wet leaf (I can’t help myself) really brings out that grape aroma. Not really sweet but sweet enough on its own that even I thought sweetener was a detraction. I have very little experience with Darjeeling in general but that does not stop me from saying I enjoyed this one.

gmathis

The darjeelings I like best are the ones that most resemble white grape juice.

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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
1315 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
1315 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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Bio

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.

My Rating System

90-100 Love it enough to keep around
80-90 Like a lot, would drink often
70-80 Above average
50-70 Average – take it or leave it
0-50 I don’t like it and don’t want to like it

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Indiana, USA

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