1117 Tasting Notes
I hate those mornings when you wake up and are craving a tea you know you don’t have in your cupboard anymore lol. This morning, it was Laoshan Village Chai for me, which I haven’t had for ages! The chocolate notes of LB are what I needed, and I couldn’t find my sample of straight LB either (if I still have one even, I might have drank it!). So I got out the next closest – Verdant’s delicious Earl Grey, with LB!! The chocolate notes are present that I was craving, albeit quite muted due to the travel mug I brought this tea in to work haha. But it will do. See previous notes on this tasty tea!
Ahh I finally am getting to reviewing this tea, so sorry for the delay Teavivre!! A huge thanks for this free sample!
I was originally just going to make a big cozy mug of this as it’s freezing here on the first day of November and I have been trying to warm up enough to do something all day, but I looked at my little teapot from Crimson Lotus and thought man it’s been a while since I’ve used it! This is the teapot I didn’t season and just went for it when I first used it and it yielded excellent results, so I’m excited to try another shou in it today!
I used probably a little over half of my sample for this session, I was going to use it all but since the teapot is so small I thought I better use close to half to start, plus I will have enough for a Western cup another day! I did a quick 10s rinse with boiling water and poured this over my teapot, mmm there is a lovely musty, almost creamy rich smell about it. Man I always say this – I need to drink shou more often!
The first steep I did for 10s with boiling water as well, and the liquor is nicely dark already, not opaque but a nice rich reddish brown color. It smells sweet and woodsy. As for the flavor, mmmm this is a pleasant puerh, it is actually super sweet!! Like a drippy caramel flavor, toffee-like, melding with a rich mahogany wood with the barest hint of smoke to round it out and make it even cosier. It’s thick and rich and delicious. I’m not sure if some of the flavor of Lake Huron (the last tea I had in the teapot) is adding to the thick, rich flavor, but man is this ever good. I am also detecting a slight floral dryness in the aftertaste, hmm could be interesting to see how that develops!
Steep 2 – 20s with boiling water – also, I am following the parameters on Teavivre’s website haha, the liquor is about twice as dark and the sweet wood smell is growing in intensity. Mmm the woody flavor is growing too, still rich, becoming deeper, still with that mild smoke note. As it cools the sweetness disperses into a mild molasses hint and a great roasted cedar note comes through. The mouthfeel has changed from less creamy to deeper now too. Yum. Amazing how just letting it cool changes the flavor oh so much!
Overall, the first two steeps of this have been great, and I look forward to an afternoon of this, steeping it out and being warm. I’m excited to see how the flavor changes, since there has already been quite a change between the first two steepings. Hopefully I can get some cleaning done too now that I’m warmer, although I feel cozy and content, this tea is evoking a nice relaxed feeling rather than energetic so far haha. Once again, thanks to Teavivre, particularly Angel there, for giving me the opportunity to try this lovely shou!
This tea sadly appears to be losing a bit of flavor, it is a year or 2 old so it’s not surprising, but it is one of my favorite Earl Greys. There still is some marshmallow flavor which I am happy about, as I gave a friend a spoonful of dry tea to try just a couple weeks ago. Still warming and cozy and sweet as well. I am feeling mildly under the weather due to my sinuses being in crazy mode from swimming (I think there is still some water in them lol) and with pressure changes from the weather here. Ugh I hope it passes, that full sinus feeling is never good, and also makes my head kind of spin.
I’m having a cup of this as it is getting really cold outside here (although I’m not complaining, no snow yet :D which is rare) and I wanted something cozy and warming and also with a caffeine kick. This fits the bill in all aspects. I only steeped this for less than a minute today because it gets soooo strong haha, and added honey to the travel mug as well. The result is a strong, gingery, spiced chai that I am definitely feeling today! I am happy I made this, now hopefully the caffeine doesn’t take me out! I feel a migraine coming on from the crazy wind today so hopefully the caffeine helps ward that off haha.
In other news, I went swimming in a pool for literally the first time in years (last was like in junior high or high school haha). There is a pool super close to my house so I am going to try to get in the habit of swimming at least twice a week for the winter season, since I can’t go running outside when it’s so cold (read: will not go running outside when it’s cold lol). Last night was great and definitely a work out as well as being relaxing, so I hope I can keep it up, since my running has been nonexistant for a month, since I returned from Scotland lol. Hooray for trying to be active!
I’m finally trying this tea after having it for a while in my cupboard. It feels like a matcha morning today haha I guess I want some energy to maybe figure out my Halloween costume today lol.
I whisked a tsp of this in a bit of 175 degree water then topped it up in a mug with water of the same temperature. The dry smell was interesting, definitely matcha with some spices and a faint added creaminess.
The flavor is interesting. I haven’t had a flavored matcha since I used to drink RLTs flavored ones, so it’s been a while. This is definitely different than I’m used too. It is a mildly grassy matcha with added sweetness that kind of tastes like a whipped cream flavor, with mild spices that are not overly identifiable. I suppose if I think aboyt it, it kind of tastes like pumpkin pie, but still a bit iffy. It is pleasant enough to drink, but I prefer regular unflavored matcha haha.
Overall, for a matcha I imagine this is not doing a terrible job emulating a ‘pumpkin pie’ flavor, but it’s not my favorite. But I’m happy I tried it!
Looking at previous notes, I seem to make this tea on Sundays a lot and also once when the bf had to go into work at 6 am. Wouldn’t you know, today is Sunday and the bf had to go into work at 6! I swear there is a weird tea association that goes on when I look through my cupboard to pick teas to drink on certain days, so weird!
Anyways, I am enjoying a nice gongfu session with this sheng today. I have been craving sheng lately, must be the mild autumn weather we are having! I did 2 quick rinses with just under boiling water then about a 6s steep. Wonderful sharp, smoky green flavor that melds into honey and apricots. I forgot this is my most apricotty sheng, goes even better with this autumn day! I am listening to classical music and am hopefully going to get closer to finishing documenting our Scotland trip in my journal. Might brave the mall later for some new clothes, or start a new book. Looks to be a nice relaxing day! See previous notes on this delicious tea, I look forward to an afternoon of steeping this :)
On the weekend I did some cleaning of my tea cupboard and assessed the samples I have left that I need to get to and also put some teas in a give away pile and did give some to my mom yesterday too! I will try to give a few to my boyfriend’s brother then decide what to do with the rest. In turn this has helped reduce the number of teas in my cupboard and determine which ones I should sip down or at least open haha. I am also going to try to review a bunch of my new (read: unopened that I’ve had for a while) teas, as I really need to get back to some detailed reviews!
I found this opened sample in the top drawer and I would like to drink it down before it gets stale. So I made a cup in my travel mug for this fine Tuesday after the long weekend. The travel mug always mutes flavor, but this one is still creamy with some bergamot, not as much as in a regular mug, but still there. Also some caramel notes from the LB. Tasty and the caffeine should help me get through the morning! Not a detailed note but one day I will write a detailed one haha. See previous notes on this tea :)
First of all, a huge thank you to Crimson Lotus Tea for this sheng sample! Sorry it has taken me so long to write a note on it, I recall drinking the first half of my sample a while ago but trying to log it and the page not working on Steepster :( but luckily today it is working!
I didn’t have much left in my second half of the sample, but there was just enough for a gongfu session. After a short rinse of about 4s, I steeped for maybe 6 seconds in the gaiwan and poured into my pitcher then cup. The leaves smell nicely vegetal and slightly smoky. I used freshly boiled water left a few seconds to cool.
The first steeping is oh so mellow and smooth and sweet. It went down like nothing! A sweet aftertaste lingers, fruity, a mild apricot flavor for now. The second steep also smells lovely mmm, can’t even describe it it just smells good. The flavor is also delicious, even a bit sweeter I think, like a light marshmallow note with dewy leaves and a fruity aftertaste. It becomes a bit smoky as it cools, but nothing overwhelming, just tasty sheng-like tobacco notes. This is so good. It’s so easy to drink! I also haven’t had sheng in ages, so it is a very welcome change. I will continue to steep this throughout the evening, funnily enough, I chose a sheng hoping the caffeine would invigorate me to start cleaning. This tea, however, is providing more of the mellow flavors and feeling that cause me to relax, which is also not a bad thing haha. Maybe the caffeine will hit later :D
Overall, a delicious sheng, easy to drink and no strange notes about it, just clean, sweet tea with fruity notes. Creamy and light mouthfeel too, very light and fluffy. I recall enjoying the first half of my sample as well, so this is a winner in my books! Thanks again to Crimson Lotus Tea for the lovely sample!
It has been a long time since I have written a tasting note, but that is mostly because I was on vacation in Scotland! What a beautiful place it is, the rugged highlands, epic oceans, sandy beaches, cliffs, hills, munroes..everything was great! And the weather was gorgeous to boot! I can’t wait to go back someday, it was a good 10 days there but I will definitely return to see the eastern parts (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, we saved the whole eastern coast with its castles for another trip) and I would love to go back to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides again, they were stunning! Great time, wish I was still there!
Anyways, so while on holiday I did drink a fair amount of tea, every morning in fact, although it was mostly basic bagged black teas by Twinings or Tetley, but I took those with milk and sugar so they were quite good with the delicious Scottish breakfasts. A few places had peppermint, and I had that one or two mornings to help with digesting the heavy food near the end of the trip. I also had loose tea once, in Glasgow, at a little cafe near the University I got an EG to go and it looked like it was loose tossed in a tea bag, it was also pretty good. So overall a lot of tea drinking, also, every B&B and hotel we stayed at provided a kettle, tea, sugar and milk in the room! I wish they did that here in Canada!!
Overall, a tasty week of teas and a great holiday. Now I am back to my stash, and will hopefully log some notes as the weather here is turning cooler so I should be drinking more chai, puerh and spicy pumpkin and apple things haha.