RL is still busy like a busy thing, and I’m only now coming up for air. I’ve been gulping down my staples the last couple of days, and this one is definitely in that category.
265 Tasting Notes
Still insanely busy. I seem to be staying up all night tonight, so going with the really good stuff.
Just found this, unopened, in the cupboard. From the use-by date – and also by the fact that when I checked I discovered that it’s been discontinued and replaced by a similar tea – it’s been there for at least a little while. I’m guessing I bought this sometime in the past six months. I was looking for a light, fruity tea to go with this hot summery day, so uncovering it today seemed like fate. Or perhaps just serendipity. Anyway, I tried it, and it brewed okay. The flavour doesn’t seem as though it’s faded much despite the months lurking in the back of my tea cupboard.
I’m in two minds about this tea. On the one hand, the flavour leans in the direction of a fruit salad of a tea, with a bit of the sort of flavour I generally associate with overpoweringly fruity mixed teas that brew bright red. But on the other hand, this tea is pale yellow rather than bright red, and leaves behind a definite taste of strawberries on the tongue, which I really like. There are bits of dried fruit mixed into the tea leaves, so the fruit flavour seems to be (at least partly) the real deal.
I’m feeling a trifle off-colour tonight and I was craving a minty tea. This is quite a decent mint tea. You can’t really detect much of the floral elements in the flavour, but they do serve to keep the mint from becoming too much. Nice and gentle, so it delivers what I want from it tonight.
Had an insanely busy day yesterday and realised at 2.00 this morning when I was still working that I’d somehow not had a single cup of tea all day! So I made some of this, one of my favourite comfort teas.
I love the aroma of the leaves and of the brewed tea, and the taste is just right, a really nice balance between the peach and the flavour of the tea. This tea always has a place in my tea cupboard.
I was in the mood for a good, unflavoured tea this evening. I don’t have a lot of this left, and I can’t really justify the cost on a regular basis, but it called to me…
There’s not really much to say about this tea that I haven’t said before. I love a good Taiwan oolong more than any other type of tea, and this is one of the very best I’ve tried. It’s not quite as silky as teas.com.au’s Gin Shan Creme oolong, but it has a really distinctive character of its own, with just enough astringency running through it, and draws your attention with every sip. It’s not just a tea that should be savoured; it demands that you savour it.
Some teas speak to you immediately, for good or ill, while others take their time revealing themselves as you drink. This one talked to me loud and clear with the very first sip, and I knew that we were going to be friends.
This isn’t one of the more delicate jasmine teas I’ve tried but the jasmine manages not to overwhelm the tea, just the same. The jasmine is quite strong in the aftertaste, and there’s a hint of astringency lurking alongside it, too.
There’s something very warm and comforting about this tea that really goes well with being safe and dry on a cool, wet night.
Revisiting old faithful. Hello, old friend.
Oh, blah. Too long since I made this and I got the temperature too high. The first half of the pot is okay, but the second half is astringent to the point of bitterness. Damn. It was so nice to get my kyusu out again for this too. I’ll try this one again tomorrow and see if I can get it right next time.
I keep seeing this tea in the cupboard and thinking that I should have it again soon, and tonight I finally got around to it. This is one of my favourite teas and it’s been too long since I last had it.
This is what a fruit-flavoured tea should taste like. The pineapple taste is distinctly present, but it doesn’t overwhelm the flavour of the tea, either. It would be hard to find a more perfectly balanced tea than this one.
This is a little lighter than other Dragonwells I’ve tried. If I have to choose a favourite green tea, this one would probably be it. It’s delicate, but requires less exacting treatment to get right than, say, some Japanese green teas. (Gyokuro, I’m looking at you.) Usually, I love the flavour of this. I’ve seen some of my Steepster friends describe Dragonwell as salty to the taste, and while I can sort of see where that reaction is coming from, it’s really not what I think of first, in relation to this dragonwell in particular. I find the flavour of this one subtle and complex, and while it’s not sweet as a Japanese green can be when you get it just exactly right, it’s not bitter, either, apart from a teensy bit of astringency lurking around the edges.
Sadly, the flavour is dulled today. I’m getting towards the end of the packet and it looks like the leaves are starting to lose some of their flavour. It’s still good – but it can be so much better. I think I feel an order from the Tea Centre coming on…
Whoa, all these new features to play with! So many teas to add to my cupboard! And right when I don’t have loads of time to devote to all this! I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. In the meantime, have a tea review…
This tea is a really rare beast: a rooibos tea that I can drink happily. I didn’t mind the underlying taste of the rooibos, and that’s pretty much a first. It’s green rooibos, which I hadn’t had before, and perhaps that makes the difference. I liked the fruit flavour a lot. It was almost all in the aroma, but since it was present in the brewed tea and not just the dry leaves I breathed in that scent with every sip and the two blended really nicely in my mouth.
Another find to add to my growing collection of night time teas. Whee!
In an effort to stay away from a) green teas, b) flavoured teas and most especially c) fruit-flavoured green teas, I ended up drinking this one tonight – and hallelujah, I’ve finally ended up with a tea that I really wanted to keep drinking.
The last Ti Kuan Yin I had was looked greener and tasted grassier than this, but that’s really not a criticism, just an observation. These leaves produce a golden liquor with that distinctive strong smoky taste, which leaves the barest hint of astringency on the tongue. As Ti Kuan Yins go, this is a good one.
I should probably stop buying fruit-flavoured green teas. They almost always disappoint me. The descriptions always make me think they should taste so good, and then I do taste them and… sigh
The leaves were very encouraging. They have pretty red bits all through them, and there was a strong aroma of apples as soon as I opened the packet. The aroma dissipated a lot in the brewed tea, so by the time I came to drink it there was only a faint aroma left. Then I tasted it and discovered the main problem with this tea: I can’t taste the fruit in it at all. The flavour is not quite that of unadulterated green tea, but that something else is so indistinct that the only reason I know it’s meant to be apples is because that’s what it says on the packet.
If they’d managed to translate a little of that fabulous apple aroma from the dry leaves into the taste of the brew, this might just have been a fabulous tea. As it is, meh.
Last week someone mentioned wanting to start a blueberry blitz, and since I’ve never had a blueberry tea before I thought that now might be a good time to try one. The manufacturers claim that this tea is exceptionally high in antioxidants since it is 37% actual blueberries, so that’s another good reason to try it today, since RL has been knocking me around a bit over the past few days and I’m still feeling a bit fragile.
The spearmint dominates the aroma of the dry leaves, which is fine, except that I was hoping for more immediate evidence of the presence of all those blueberries. The tea brews up into a medium brown liquor, and after ten minutes’ steeping – the required time to properly rehydrate the blueberries – the smell of the spearmint was a lot less obvious. The spearmint dominates the flavour initially, too, which is mostly okay since I like the taste of spearmint. Actually, it reminded me a little of Adagio’s Foxtrot at this point. As I continued to drink and the tea cooled a bit more I started to get a hint of blueberry in the taste, and by the time I got to the bottom of the cup there was a definite berry aftertaste going on.
Since this tea is marketed primarily for its health benefits, I was prepared for it to be average at best, but it’s actually a little better than that. I think it’s going to be a pretty good evening tea at least until I get through the rest of the jar.
The summer weather is starting to hit, and with the 32C (ETA: 90F) day came the stormy afternoon so typical of this part of the country in the summer, and so I’ve been on the edge of a migraine since, which is typical of me when trying to endure this sort of weather pattern. Because of being headachy, I wanted a reliable, unflavoured tea heavy on the anti-oxidants to give my system a boost and (hopefully) knock the headache on the head. I really should have gone for pai mu tan, but instead I decided on this one.
This is one of my oolong staples that I always have on hand in the tea cupboard. It’s a Chinese oolong, so it’s not heavy on the floral notes and silkiness in the way that my favourite Taiwan oolongs are, but I like this one for different reasons. It’s usually smooth and subtly complex – one of those teas that you spend time just savouring and trying to work out what’s going on just underneath the surface of the flavour.
It wasn’t as good as usual this time. It was still smooth, but those complexities in the flavour that I enjoy so much weren’t really there. This could have been my fault – with the second steeping, which is usually my favourite, I wasn’t paying close attention to what I was doing because of the headache-fog, and I let the water cool for a lot longer than I intended to before adding it to the leaves. It could also just be that I’ve had these leaves in the cupboard for a few months now and they’re past their best.
The issue with the tea getting old before I can finish it is related to the only real gripe I have with Ten Ren: their standard package sizes are on the large side. This tea comes in a 100g (4oz) bottle only, which is really a bit more than what I can get through quickly. I still haven’t tried their Alishan Oolong, though I’ve been eyeing it for ages, because it only comes in a 300g tin! $80.00 is a lot to pay for 300g of tea that I don’t have a hope in hell of getting through while it’s still fresh. If they sold it in 50g packets I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
I like the name of this tea. It’s accurate, as well as being a different way of describing a flowering type tea. It’s always fun to watch those unfurl as they steep. This one is just the tea, without any added pretty ‘flower’ colours. It’s a bit like a giant jasmine dragon pearl.
As far as taste goes, it’s not bad. Not the best jasmine tea I’ve had, but certainly not the worst, either. I can see I’ll be coming back to play with more of these balls in the future.
Somehow I didn’t drink any tea at all yesterday, so I was really looking forward to this cup of tea. I really wanted to like it, and so it was a shame that this tea didn’t quite get there.
As a fairly standard green tea – the base is bancha – it’s okay. As a flavoured tea, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. There’s a very slight apple aroma to the tea that you really have be looking for to notice, and very little apple in the taste. I like my fruit teas to be more… fruity.
So, yeah, this tea is drinkable, but if I’m in the mood for a green tea or a fruit tea or a green fruit tea there are plenty of others out there that I vastly prefer.
I spent the morning editing a loooooong document and just as I stopped for a break my latest order from Lupicia turned up at the door, so I decided to take that as a hint and went to make some tea.
The flavour of this oolong is elusive. Generally, I prefer the fruit flavour of a fruit tea to be more definite, but for some reason the delicacy of this one is really working for me. The plum is mostly in the aroma, but it lurks around the edges of the taste, too, and it somehow puts me in mind of the texture of a plum – and yeah, I have no clue how it’s doing that. The tea itself is smooth and feels a little viscous in the mouth, and now it’s cooling the taste of the Taiwan oolong is really coming through.
Time for another cup, before I start on the next fifty pages of this document.
All of you people posting about peach teas reminded me that I haven’t had any of this since I got back from my trip. I’ve now fixed that state of affairs.
This is still really good, still one of my favourite flavoured teas. There’s something about the combination of peach and oolong that works really well together, more so than many other fruit flavoured teas I’ve tried, and something about this peach oolong in particular that especially works for me. This really does taste like peach rather than peach flavouring, and the balance of the flavour and the tea is just right.
I got a bit overenthusiastic and used a little too much leaf this time, and used boiling water instead of water at just slightly below boiling point, so I ended up with a slightly stronger flavour and just a little more astringency than I prefer. Will make sure to go back to my usual method with this tea next time.
I’ve seen Stockholm Blend as a black tea before but not this white version, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
This tea produces a golden yellow brew, much lighter than the usual medium brown of pai mu tan. You can smell the different elements of the tea in the aroma of the dry leaves and also in the aroma of the brewed tea, with the floral notes gently predominating. The flavour is something different again, though. It’s not overly sweet – the Mellow Cream Oolong I had the other day is sweeter – and yet the flavour reminds me of honey more than anything else. It’s smooth in a way that reminds me of honey, too, and incredibly easy to just keep drinking.
This is a warm and cosy sort of tea, the perfect tea to be drinking on this cold, wet spring weekend. It’s also one of the best flavoured white teas I’ve had.
I needed something from the sweeter end of the tea spectrum to replace the aftertaste of the awful Sakura Vert I just had, and this was the first tea that came to mind. It’s doing the job excellently, but it’s a lot more than just a mouth wash.
I love the aroma of this tea, sort of creamy toffee. The flavour is less pronounced, but it makes a really effective blend with the oolong. Every time I drink it, it feels like a tiny indulgence, a little like the feeling you get when you indulge in a really rich, sweet dessert. And yeah, it goes really well with those sorts of desserts, too. After drinking this tea, I’m sort of wanting one of those desserts right now, even though it’s the middle of the afternoon. Oops.
‘Disappointing’ doesn’t begin to describe this tea. I’ve rarely tried a tea that I’ve disliked quite so much as this one. It’s salty and bitter and I’m struggling to find any redeeming features. thinks Nope, there are no redeeming features. It’s just… yuck.
It’s possible that part of the bitterness comes from following the directions and steeping the leaves in boiling water. With most teas, I’d be willing to give it a second chance and try steeping it at a lower temperature next time, but I’m really not feeling inclined to go anywhere near this tea again.
I think this must be my most negative tea review ever – and it totally deserves it! I’m just about to go and pour the rest down the sink.
I’m so incredibly tired right now – jetlag has turned all my sleeping patterns inside out and upside down – but I’ve been trying to properly test-drive and review this tea for almost two days now, so here goes.
This is an excellent oolong, which is pretty much a given just from the name. There is such a lot to this tea that it’s really hard to do it justice in a description. I’m not completely sure of everything that’s going on in the taste, but it’s definitely complex. It’s got the sort of silky/full/floral sort of taste that you’d expect, and yet it’s not quite like any other Taiwan oolong I’ve tried, either. It’s not quite as milky/buttery as some others I’ve had, plus there’s also a thread of astringency in it that really keeps things interesting, and helps to make this tea both sharp and smooth at the same time. Be careful, though. This tea is very, very sensitive to steeping time. Steep it even 20-30 seconds too long and that edge of astringency will turn into a full-on bitterness that will ruin your cup of tea. I know this because I did it yesterday with the second steeping of my first attempt with this tea.
Each steeping has a very definite character of its own. The second is probably the best – assuming that you don’t accidentally sabotage it – but I’m just finishing the fourth right now, and it still has plenty of body even though the floral notes have faded a bit at this point.