661 Tasting Notes
I tried to go with a shorter steep time as boychik recommended but I kind of lost track… I was at work at the time and got distracted. Oops. This was pretty bold as a result, but not bitter. There was a tiny bit of sharpness at the end but that’s it. It smells great. I’ll have to try it again and vary some steeping parameters. At this point, I prefer Shang’s Bai Lin Kung Fu but I would not hesitate to toss this in my cart with my next Teavivre order.
This smells like it should pack quite a bite, but it is surprisingly smooth despite that. I’d say it’s medium smooth. A deep mahogany brew that is Assam-like but not that malty. I find myself wanting to try this alongside a Nilgiri. Thanks, boychik, for sharing!
This is so phenomenal. Stunningly smooth, rich, thick, yeasty… I get the feel of having cream in my tea without actually putting cream in my tea. Which is good, since I’ve been dabbling a little too much cream in my tea of late. :) After ifjuly mentioned it on my last review it makes sense that I love this so much – if tan yang and pan yang are really the same things, because I lust for Harney’s Panyang Golden Tips but can’t justify the price.
Okay, so I fell off the wagon on buying tea. But my Mom wanted some of their Pudina Darjeeling Chai and when I got there to check the prices, the Darjeelings were ON SALE! It was practically a moral imperative to order something.
And I’m very glad I did. This is a super good Autumnal Darj. Beautiful dry and steeped, delicious scent. Very, very low astringency, subtly sweet and musky. That said, I did err on the side of Darjeeling common sense and didn’t steep very long just in case. :)
I do however, have 250 grams of it since that was the smallest amount as this is on clearance. So… I can and will share. Or, until the supply is gone, it is 60% off at Norbu and you can get your own 250 grams. :)
I know… I said I wasn’t going to try any swaps lest I be tempted to buy something else. But boychik sent such an awesome swap package, I couldn’t help myself!
I have been wanting to try some of Fauchon’s teas. They all smell so awesome I have high hopes! :)
This one is the super perfumey kind of bergamot. The base wasn’t a standout, but it wasn’t bad either. Mainly this was bergamot. So if you aren’t a perfumey bergamot fan, this is not one to get. But if you are… get some! :)
1.5 tsp per 10 oz.
I think a rating of 100 says it all and nothing has changed for me – this is still just a heavenly, lightly floral, stunningly smooth tea. I did use less leaf than normal this time and shortened up the steep time just a tad to see what would happen. It is still a marvelous tea but the shorter steep time makes the floral not quite as in your face. I like it both ways!
I mainly just wanted to add that it is a very good swap for jasmine tea with Chinese food. :)
This works fine. You can pop out the bottom strainer to clean it if needed and get any stuck leaves loose, which was touted to me as a selling point. I think the filter in my Ingenuitea popped out as well, but I never knew that until it fell off of the counter and the handle shattered off! The filter popped out at that time as well, but went right back in. Wasn’t a problem for me that it didn’t come out, I don’t really worry much about tea stains and leaves never got stuck along the sides or under the filter. The Timolino does get leaves caught at the sides of the strainer from time to time, which doesn’t please me terribly but I can live with it. :) You can also put this whole thing in the microwave, unlike the metal mesh strainer in the Ingenuitea, but I use a kettle for my water, not the microwave, so again, not a big selling point for me over any other gravity infuser. I do think I prefer the metal mesh from the Ingenuitea – it just seemed sturdier. :)
So, I went to a local tea place where I bought my Ingenuitea hoping to replace it. All she had were these Timolinos. I figured it would cost about the same as the Ingenuitea and holy cow was I wrong. I should have just walked away – I could have replaced from Adagio online and cost less even with shipping. This is also about half the price on Amazon that I paid for it locally. But I hate to have someone ring something up and then change my mind, so I paid for taking the path of least resistance and not looking at the tag before putting it on the counter. Ah, well. Supporting the local economy counts for something. And I didn’t have to go back to filter basket in the cup for my tea until a replacement arrived. So hooray for local instant gratification. :)
UPDATE: Lowering rating because this leaks if you leave liquid in it for more than a couple of hours. I normally don’t, but I had just a little bit that wouldn’t fit in the cup a couple of times in the past weeks and each time, when I went back to pick it up, empty it, etc., it had leaked all over the counter. If you are just worried about drips, the coaster with the little lip on it that comes with the Timolino takes care of them but don’t let more than a couple of tablespoons sit in this for long or things will get… wet. I now have some paperwork that looks like authentically aged parchment…
Man, this is some good tea. The blend on this is just fantastic. And with the addition of some cream – madly good.
This is a dangerous sipdown. I have sworn off buying any more for a loooong time – I don’t have a problem with having a large stash of tea, but I don’t need to spend any more money on tea. This one will make it hard to stick to that vow since I can just pick up a tin locally. Such a problem to have. :)
I have never had a tea that changed so radically with a change in water. My mom was up last night and she always says she can taste my water when I steep tea for her. So I did this for us with bottled water, refrigerator cold level, heated to boiling. Allowed to cool about 45 seconds then steeped 8 balls in 16 ounces of water for about 5 minutes.
The very first, immediate flavor I got was a faceful of brown sugar. Sweet, dense, sticky brown sugar. Not even caramel but brown sugar. Then the next flavor that hit me in the face was the alcohol malt. Both Mom & I sat and snuffled into our cups, trying to identify the smell we both were finding strongly but couldn’t name. All of a sudden it hit me – it was like inhaling in a warm summer room where malt alcohol has been spilled for years. Wood infused with malt.
Then I took it into work today to share with Tea Coworker. Hot water from filtered system, put into microwave and heated to just below boiling. 12 balls for 24 ounces. Steeped about 5 minutes. Didn’t get any brown sugar and the malt wasn’t as strong, but it was still more present than my first steeping with tap water and at a slightly lower temperature. We both still liked it a lot and Tea Coworker said it was a pretty amazing tea. But I want to try again here at home to reproduce the second set of parameters – that was truly the most amazing result.
Edit: just realized that I never wrote a note for the first steeping. Oops. The first steeping was malty, cocoa-y and very good. It was done at 190F with tap water and for about 3.5 minutes. Nothing super awesome, but good enough. Glad I tried again though with different water, temp and time – it revealed something beyond good enough. :)