423 Tasting Notes
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. :)
This is amazing. The dry leaf smells so strongly of malt it seriously smells like something I’d get in trouble for having at work! Steeped it is just as malty. It’s deep, cocoa-y, smooth, buttery and yet not heavy. I had a little square of a Valrhona Guanaja Grue 70% dark chocolate bar with cocoa nibs as I finished the cup and that really brought out the more cocoa-y notes here.
Much like high quality dark chocolate, it doesn’t take much of this tea to satisfy a need. I don’t feel like I’d need to drink a full pot of this or like I’d need to drink it all day long. So while I absolutely adore this, it will last for a little bit at least. :)
I overleafed this by a bit. But this is simply a fantastic tea, heavy on the leaf or not. And I will certainly be resteeping.
Dry, this smells like straw. Not hay, but straw, if you are farm enough to know the difference. :) The year that Grandpa planted a field with wheat my brother and I got a straw fort after the harvest. This tea smelled just like that fort.
Steeped, it’s wheaty, sweetish, honeyish, mildly malty and just fantastic. I just got a sample of this one. I wish now I’d gotten a full package. I need to try this back to back with Harney’s Golden Monkey. I suspect this one will come out on top.
The shipping was amazingly fast considering it was overseas. I was a bit disappointed that although the website said free shipping with orders over $30 when I went to Paypal it charged me shipping. But it wasn’t enough to put me off of completing my order. :) Truthfully, it was extremely reasonable shipping for international. Less than some domestic shipping I’ve paid.
And now I’m unsubscribing from the Misc. Sales thread and not trying any more teas from any swaps! Not for awhile. I have been spending like a drunken sailor only on a tea binge. I can’t keep doing this every couple of months! My husband started linking our bank accounts to some financial tracking software and while he never says anything about my tea spending, he can now see just how much I’m buying. Eeek!
I don’t know how to cross out stuff, or I would cross out the shipping part. Angel at Teavivre very helpfully offered to check on the shipping issue and it turns out that although Paypal had me choose shipping with a cost, I was not actually charged any shipping. Add to the excellent tea, excellent customer service, as many others on Steepster have noted. :)
Okay. Again with this one tonight after dinner. I would say definitely spearmint but surprisingly decent despite that. I upped the temp but kept the steep time the same. The tea itself is still pretty light, but still good. The mint is stronger but the tea isn’t bitter yet or dry.
I’ll try the final bit I have left as recommended. :)
This is interesting. Definitely a Darjeeling, definitely mint. Possibly spearmint… which is not usually anything I like. But this is not a bad after dinner cup. It’s very light and you can definitely taste mint but not in an herbal way, there is tea here, too. I would not pick this out as a 2nd flush, but that could either be to hesitant steeping or due to the fact that my palate just can’t pick out the differences unless I have them side by side. I wasn’t really confident in the boiling for a 5 minute steep instructions so I went with less than boiling for about 3 minutes. Luckily, ifjuly sent along enough of this that I can try another cup or two and play with it a bit!
When I went to Shang today to pick up some samples to send along I asked Nick which of their 3 jasmines he would recommend. He said this had the strongest jasmine of the 3 and wow, this is indeed a strong jasmine! I’m not entirely sure I’d had this one before he kindly steeped a sample for me. I may have had the regular jasmine instead.
Be careful on the steeping. The longer you go the stronger the jasmine gets! I let it go a little long, even at 160, and it is pretty powerful. It still went very well with dinner but steeped this strong it overshadows the tea too much.
If you lurve jasmine, this is a tea for you. If you are lukewarm on jasmine, this is probably going to be way too jasminey for you. As for me, this is the jasmine I’ve been hankering for for months now!
This is another mucho nummy tea from ifjuly
It’s one of the only teas I’ve had that I’d describe as savory. It even smells savory, like a soup broth of some kind. Maybe there is a little smoke lending to that impression, but if there is, it isn’t a harsh smoke or something that sets off my smoke alarm. It’s thick and hefty and serious. Yes, this is a serious tea. And of course I like it a lot – I have expensive tastes. I wish I had the funding for all of my expensive tastes. :)