1357 Tasting Notes

90
drank Super Fruit Sencha by Fusion Teas
1357 tasting notes

Yesterday it was 70. Last night we had 1 1/2 inches of rain. Woke up to 35 degree weather. Only supposed to get in the 50’s today. I promised to help with solar observing at an awareness event for the proposed Indiana Space Complex and Museum. I needed tea. Filled the thermos with this fruity delight. This one of my favorite go to comfort teas. It never lets me down. The event was well attended, fun, and not as cold as I feared. There were RC planes and jets circling above us and a BBQ trailer nearby. This tea went great with pulled pork.

Ysaurella

the picture of the blend is lovely and looks delicious !

ashmanra

It may be headed my way! We are supposed to have a cool down tomorrow night to the forties, but it could hit just north of us and we may not get quite so chilly.

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79

After my adventure with the golden flowers you might think I would be leery of another puerh. Nope. Not gonna happen. Wouldn’t be prudent. Steeped this one for about 30s. It made a light amber cup with a burgundy tint. Took one sip and wow has this got a bright metallic taste. So I added some Splenda – the great equalizer – to calm it down. This is still quite bright and young tasting. As the cup cools I realize what I thought was metallic is actually the beginnings of earthy notes. I like this. Nice sticky lip feel. In my attempt to learn about puerh I have stumbled across information that leads me to conclude this will make an excellent cup once it has more time to age.

I steeped a total of 5 mugs in my western style. Each cup bacome a little darker and a little sweeter than the last. Conclusion – I like me some young raw puerh.

Bonnie

You sound like someone I could drink pu with! I put splenda in salty pu’s to bring out the caramel flavor sometimes. I make latte’s with later steepings and let it go for 3 minutes then add my extra’s.

K S

Nothing would please me more than to sit down with you at Happy Lucky’s and share a pot or three :)

Cody

Ya beat me! I’m still mulling over my thoughts on this one. Have all the notes, but haven’t had time to pull them all together into a succinct review yet. That “metallic” taste seemed really more sour to me, a bit too unpalatable on some steeps.

Bonnie

Sometimes that metallic thing isn’t a taste but is kind of a metallic teeth squeegie feeling that you used to get with old fillings (does anyone know what I mean by this?) when the Dentist was putting the metal into your mouth. Blech!

K S

I often read that raw is supposed to be astringent. I have never found that in sheng. My brain interprets it as metallic bordering on bitter.

I get the dentist comparison. I think it is almost like putting your tongue on a battery. Can’t quite describe it better. Note really acid like tomato but something…

Cody don’t be afraid to add something to sweeten it. If it were food you wouldn’t think twice about adding things to improve your experience.

Cody

Ahhh I see. It still did taste sour to me though, but I understand that metallic-like experience you’re hinting at, and looking back I can remember that experience, but just not being able to put my finger on what it was at that moment. Pu’er is still really weird for me to describe, but I’m getting better as I taste more types.

As for sweetening things, I actually don’t really like adding lots of seasonings or sugar and such to the things I eat/drink. I tend to keep things very minimal or not at all. When I was younger I used to add flavorings to everything, but as I’ve gotten older, I think I’ve gotten quite sensitive to really salty, fatty, or sweet things. I may look into adding a touch of sugar the next time I get a really sour or bitter brew, though. I’ve added sugar and milk recently with potent black teas, but I guess I never considered it with others.

Bonnie

It’s the saltier shu’s that I add a little sugar to (in later steepings) because you get a caramel flavor most of the time when you do that. It’s quite nice.

Cody

I have a few shu samples that I have yet to try. Maybe I’ll keep some sugar on hand when I taste them and look out for this caramel flavor. I do like caramel! :)

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84

I am not going to do a normal review. See Cody’s comments on this one as he did a much better job at putting it in to words. However, I will say my conclusions are a bit different. This reminded me of back in the day when I bought a quality bottle of burgundy wine. By wine standards it was still a cheap wine but compared to my normal fare it was a giant step up. I opened the bottle. Poured in to the crystal wine glass. Swirled the liquid around the glass. Smelled. Took a sip and realized, I much preferred a cheap sweet white wines or the cheap concord grape wines made locally. I was not sophisticated enough for such a hoity-toity glass. Same here. I found this puerh to be too musky, musty, earthy. I love horse leather. Musty, not so much.

If you look close this leaf has a few yellow dots on it. This is a fungus growing on the leaf. It is known as golden flowers and is apparently considered desirable in some collector circles. Is it the source of the strong musty smell and taste? I don’t know. I appreciate the opportunity to taste 10 year old leaf and learn about golden flowers but just not a fan.

Score based on trusting Cody’s review.

Scharp

The “Golden Flowers” are famously found on Fu Zhuan dark tea. I bet it did lend at least a small hand in the flavor, as I’ve read it is an acquired taste.

Cody

Ahhhh so that’s what “golden flowers” are…that actually seems to explain a lot. I’m glad I didn’t know it was a fungus before I tasted it, as that would most definitely have changed my perception of the tea while drinking it!

gmathis

Having done the Food Poisoning Diet a couple summers ago, fungus-y tea is something I can pass on without feeling like I’m missing much.

ashmanra

Wow, I have never even heard of it! There is so much to learn about tea!

Rachel Sincere

I am so not sophisticated enough to even want to sample this one.

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92

This sample was provided by Nuvola. I opened the package to find the sample wrapped in enough bubble wrap to survive being stepped on by an elephant. Excellent. Next, I opened the sample wrapper and poured out the leaf to examine. It is beautiful. Rolled nuggets the size of raisins. The coloring reminded me of granite. It is kind of grayish green with some darker areas and some light green flecks.

The scent of the dry leaf is floral oolong. I also catch some light smoky notes that do not show up later in the cup. This steeps up very light yellow in color and very clear. The wet leaf aroma is vegetal. The liquor is lightly floral.

The sip starts out promising the good things to come in later steeps. It is floral of course, but not overly so. At first there is a tingle all across the tongue. This quickly passes. Then I notice the cooling sensation on my breath. As the cup cools it becomes quite buttery.

It simply amazes me to realize there is nothing added to the leaf. The intoxicating flavors come not just from the leaf but also the rugged growing conditions and the processing. I had golden monkey last night. It is also a natural tea, but it is day and night different from this one. How can such vastly different sets of flavors come from the same plant? Simply mind boggling.

The second cup I passed to a coworker. I am trying to convert him. He is a Lipton drinker and apparently isn’t ready for this one. Makes me sad, but the good news, I don’t have to share the rest with him.

The third cup is a little darker than the first, though still yellow and very clear. I notice the leaf has unfurled but is not completely relaxed. It is mostly two whole leaves and a bud. This cup has some mild green notes. There is also a spice flavor present that I can’t put my finger on. At first I thought cinnamon but now I am thinking nutmeg. It is light and I am not good at spices. The aftertaste is really long lingering.

Fourth cup smells wonderful as it steeped (between 30-40 sec). when pouring, it isn’t necessary to use a strainer.

Fifth cup still going strong (40 sec). The taste has not diminished but this is where I am stopping.

This tea when converted to dollars is about $10.50 for 50g plus shipping. I generally use 2.5g per session so this would make 20 sessions of tea. It easily went 5 steeps. That takes it down into the $0.10/cup range. Depending on shipping this is pretty affordable. It is also an excellent oolong.

Mercuryhime

Take it slow with the lipton drinking. Maybe some Twinings English Breakfast. :)

K S

I gave him some English Breakfast and some Earl Grey. He loves peach tea. Oolong not so much.

Mercuryhime

peachy oolong?

K S

No it was Peach & Apricot green from Empire Tea Services. It is pretty awesome.

ashmanra

LOL! K S, I just packed up some peach oolong to send to you! I did it yesterday but didn’t make it to the post office, will DEFINITELY try to get it there tomorrow!

SimpliciTEA

I loved the in-depth review. : )

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drank Golden Monkey by Harney & Sons
1357 tasting notes

Sip down. What a wonderful tea. Even using microwaved water this comes out perfect. Ashmanra says this is bolder than the Teavivre version. I can’t really tell the difference but I never tried them back to back. This one is leaving me with cool breath like peppermint. If you haven’t tried golden monkey – you should.

fleurdelily

this is the second Golden Monkey review I’ve come across today, so it must be good, thank you for the recommendation, I think I should track some down :)

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1357 tasting notes

Bagged teas like this keep me centered. Good enough to really enjoy, but not so good as too loose appreciation for great tea. The waitress at Steak ’N Shake was busy today so I only had one cup. Rather than wait I just wanted out of there.

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96

I know nothing about the jasmine flower. It sure seems like there must be two distinct types used in tea, or two different application methods. All I know is all tea bag versions, and most loose versions, I’ve tried have the same icky smell and flavor about them. For years people told me how good jasmine tea tasted. I was convinced they had no taste buds. Then came TeaVivre changing my mind.

All the TeaVivre (and honorable mention to Utopia) jasmines have such a wonderful scent. The flavor always makes me think grapes. They are light and sweet. I am totally amazed how much I like them.

I have to admit, at first, this one made me uncomfortable. White tea, especially silver needle, is so delicately flavored on its own that it seemed wrong to cover it up. Tasting it caused me to forget my concern. The lightness is maintained. It crosses the lips as gentle grapes surrounded by flowers, then caresses the throat with creamy delight. The aftertaste lingers with sweet nectar that slowly fades revealing the silver needle base. Yep, this is good stuff.

LiberTEAS

I think that some companies use a jasmine oil or essence to flavor the teas… and that’s probably the nasty icky jasmine you tried previously. The best method, and the one employed for this tea, I think, is by layering the jasmine blossoms with the tea and allowing the tea to absorb the natural essence of the flower.

K S

I actually found a blossom in my leaf today. Whatever they do different – keep it up.

ashmanra

I found blossoms in my Silver Jasmine Green from Teavivre today!

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85

Another sip down! After hearing everyone else’s thoughts on this tea, I am a little nervous to attempt it again. I hope I can duplicate my previous experience. I didn’t measure the leaf but there was at least two spoonful. This is a lot more leaf than I used previously. I heated 12oz of water to good and steaming (not boiling) and steeped in my press for three minutes. I added one packet of Splenda in my mug. When hot, I thought the leaf smelled very lightly of apple. After cooling the leaf smells of spinach.

By using more leaf this time, I am getting results similar to what others reported. This is green tea. In fact it is a bit bitter. I got the water too hot and let it set and cool before pouring out of the kettle. Apparently it should have sat longer. When the cup cools to near room temperature, I can almost make out the faintest notes of apple. Almost.

Ok, my verdict on this tea is less is more. Use less leaf and cool water temp. Don’t over steep. Even then, the apple flavor is not going to pop. It only hints of apple. I greatly enjoyed this the first couple times I tried it. This time, not so much.

Some teas are real forgiving. You can throw any amount of leaf, temp, and time at them and get a nice cup. Others, apparently like this one, you’ve got to watch what you are doing closely. If it doesn’t work, try again with different parameters.

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88
drank Mind Boost Mint by sTEAp Shoppe
1357 tasting notes

Sip down. I don’t know if it is the nature of the tea or if it is due to handling during shipping but what is left of the sample would be better suited for a Finum basket than my press. It has a lot of fine particles. This was my favorite of the four samples I received. The consensus seemed the fruit blends could generally benefit from being amped up a bit. This one, to me, is perfect the way it is blended. Peppermint, ginko, green tea – its just really good. I am happy to report it did not give me a headache today, so I do not have a ginko allergy. Yeah! My previous pain was probably work stress induced. Good job on this one sTEAp Shoppe!

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91

Sip down, in an attempt to get control of all my samples. I thought appropriate mood music would be Boston – Walk On, Organized, Walk On (Some More). Emphasis on the organized – got to get this under control! I was not a big Boston fan until I saw them live back in the day. It was in a little stadium that held maybe 8,000 people max. The crowd was so in to the group, they kept coming back for encores. Finally, they came out and said people we literally know only one more song. It was not even their song but they rocked it. Sammy Hagar opened for them. Get on your bad motor scooter and ride! What a great concert. Back then it cost like $7 a ticket. Been a while huh?

Bonnie

Good throwback….walk on!

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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

Location

Indiana, USA

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