733 Tasting Notes

100
drank Eros by Tealeaves
733 tasting notes

In keeping with the theme of the day of not waiting for special moments for special tea, I’m revisiting this one. Still yummylicious orange and vanilla but now that I know more about what I’m doing, I can pick out more of the tea base. It is pretty light but balances well with the flavors. I underleaf and understeep this and I don’t approach an unpleasant bitterness or dryness. Now the choice is, since I can see the bottom of the tin, do I put this one with my Tealeaves order in 2 weeks or do I wait until October when I will probably go to tea at the Grand Floridian where I first tried it? I think they sell it there. But, it’s taking a chance that they are still serving it… Hm…

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93

In light of recent discussions I’ve seen here about paring down to the teas you love but yet still not avoiding drinking the teas you love just for special occasions, I had some of my finite supply of this beauty today. Two steepings of a happy place. This truly is The Stuff.

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I was honored to have a very limited pu-erh shared with me on Monday. I was at Shang Tea and Shang shared a pu-erh with me from one of his friend’s farms. It is called Meng Hai County Pu-erh because of the county it comes from. It is a shu from 2006. Fermented 6 weeks. It was the only pu-erh served in the Olympics Tea House in 2008.

I liked it quite a bit in the store. I told Shang it was pretty much the first pu I’d had that I could honestly say I really did like. I came home with some.

Making it here at home and I could not duplicate the flavor. Not even close. It was much more like what I expect of pu – earthy and musty but not in a way I enjoy. I could drink it but it would never be my choice. So I emailed to find out how it was prepared at the shop that day. Found out that by that point in the day, the pot had been mixed with Golden Needle King! That would explain why I thought it was drinkable. I lumme some Shang Golden Needle.

I didn’t make an entry for this tea as they only have a very limited amount in the store and it is outrageously expensive. If you are in town and interested, stop by the shop and inquire. :) I’d be interested to hear what a real pu-head thinks of this.

yssah

That’s not right. Were you able to return it?

Nicole

It was gifted to me so I’m not worried about returning it. I’ll keep experimenting. I keep hoping to find pu that I like and now I have enough of what is supposed to be very high quality that I can afford to try different temps, times, etc. without thinking that it is just a bad tea. :) It may be something that a fan of pu would love I just haven’t an experienced enough palate to discern the good stuff that might be there. But I’m trying to learn!

boychik

I believe it will happen. You just need to drink more of it. Rinse it twice . Also I’ve noticed some people don’t drink it in summer. Wait when the weather cools

yssah

ah, that’s good! you could also try mixing it like they did and probably in time, you will develop a taste for it too. hmm now that i think about it, it is actually a good idea: benefits of pu and the deliciousness of white :)

yssah

try some sheng too!

Sil

if you ever want a puerh sampler i can send you some Nicole.

yssah

That must be some really good needle to not be overpowered by a shu

Nicole

Bear in mind that this was toward the end of the business day so they had probably steeped it over and over for hours. I likely got the 6th or 7th steeped pot. :) But it is really good needle…

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drank Anji Black by Harney & Sons
733 tasting notes

Ooo… this is bizarre. I had this at work today with filtered water, Western style. Having at home tonight, gong fu style, bottled water.

Here are my notes from work: Oh, hello, honey & bread! Moderate body but big flavor. So close to Taiwanese Wild Mountain black but from China. Dry leaves have a yeasty, fermented fruit and wine-y single origin chocolate type of scent. Steeped liquor is mainly a bready scent. Flavors of honey, yeast and fruit. There must be more of this obtained before they are out again. Western, 4 minutes, 205F, 2 tsp/10 oz.

And tonight at home: Similar scents, but sweeter. The liquor actually has a sweet aftertaste that is making me think of what licorice root does to my tastebuds. It creates a weird sweetness that lingers on my lips and in my mouth. It’s nothing I enjoy. I actually rinsed out my mouth three times to make sure I didn’t have anything sweet lingering from food earlier. I’m only going to get through 10/30/45 seconds. I’m giving up and not wasting the rest. I’ll steep again Western style and see if it is my water or the steeping method. If it’s like this Western style at home, then I don’t need more of it which is both disappointing and a relief. I won’t spend that much on work tea. I don’t drink cheap tea at work but nothing this expensive either.

Bizarre.

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85
drank Jin Jun Mei (2015) by Verdant Tea
733 tasting notes

Scent of dry leaf is very sweet and brown sugary. After steeping, taking the lid off the gaiwan and inhaling I get an overlay of smoke on top of an underlying sweet rock smell. Tasting at 30 seconds and this has a mild bit of smoke but not unpleasant, somewhat woody and sweet but at the same time highly mineral/rocky and a little dry and dusty. At 60 seconds, while inhaling the aroma from the gaiwan is sweeter and more malty, the flavor is more dusty and the campfire smoke is more pronounced along with a barnyard note.

A pleasant and good quality jin jun mei but not one I personally need to keep on hand. Luckily I still have a good stash of my ultimate jin jun mei so I have time to find a replacement. :)

Dexter

Is your ultimate JinJunMei not available anymore?

Nicole

Sadly, yes. The Last Dodo & I grabbed a bunch at MinRiver Tea’s going out of business last gasp. Someone else has to carry the same source (of which I have no idea what it is), but I haven’t found one comparable yet.

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Hm. This is more a roasted oolong taste to me than a black tea. Very mineral but thin feeling. Reminds me of a cross between a lightly roasted oolong and a Darjeeling. It’s fairly dry. Per pkg directions, 30 sec, 40 sec starting at around 205F.

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I have tried this twice now, once gong fu and once Western. I preferred it Western I think.
This is either a much lighter Yunnan than I am accustomed to or I underleafed. I did steep for 5 minutes when I did it Western and it was still tasty, as I would expect.

I still have some to experiment with, thanks for a very generous sample from TeaTotaler! It is quite a nice, balanced cup.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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Holeee cats – the chili pepper & ginger in this just about knock you out to smell the dry leaf. Without sugar, the pepper is the foremost taste. Definitely a bite. Unfortunately, it kind of consumes the tea which is one of the main reasons I was anxious to get this blend. With sugar and cream it becomes an excellently scented, but moderately spiced chai and the pepper is moderated by the cream. Need to try again with some different parameters before rating.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Single Origin Teas

haha, guess coming from Texas I have different ideas about spice! ;)

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89
drank Black Pearl by The Mountain Tea co
733 tasting notes

Trying this one in the new bat gaiwan tonight (thanks to Amanda ‘Soggy Enderman’ Wilson for the lead on where to get one!). I still like this, but sadly, I think my tastes or my tastebuds have changed because I don’t like it as much as I used to. I’m getting far more mineral notes tonight along with some tobacco and some bitterness in the later steeps. Maybe not actually bitter but very metallic. It was never a quenching tea, always more on the dry side but I’m not even getting any malt tonight. Oh, well. I have a whole lot of it and this is from an admittedly old batch, though I store in relatively tightly sealed, opaque tins. I haven’t opened the new package from this year yet. Maybe that will be different.

I know it’s possible that medications can change what you taste. I’m on a new one and possibly the problem it’s supposed to cure could also be impacting – minor GERD with a minor hiatal hernia. So I’ve been cutting back on my tea intake since I’m supposed to watch my caffeine levels (in addition to not eating anything I normally eat…). Oh, and lose weight. I don’t know how I’m supposed to do that when a major part of my dessert substitutes are liquid caffeine. :)

http://tinyurl.com/p7pu6nt

boychik

you have to drink shou. it helps with reflux and other stomach problems and losing weight. Come to the dark side of shou ;)

Nicole

But I just can’t find any I want to drink. You sent me all those samples and I tried most of them but none of them said “Drink me!” But I am probably not preparing correctly either. I shall have to try again. :)

Liquid Proust

I’ll keep fighting this battle… but oolong is the best kind of tea period. However, that is not to say that shou is not good :)
A nice ripe can really comfort oneself but a beautiful oolong can take you to another dimension.

The notes on this say apple and floral… did you find that at all? I figure this kind of oolong would be straight up roast.

Nicole

I have never really gotten apple or floral from this tea. I’d say it’s closer to black than oolong, truthfully. They say it is a heavily oxidized oolong then call it a dark tea. I don’t get the roasted notes that I get from dark oolongs and I don’t get florals like I do from the greener oolongs.

boychik

Nicole, its acquired taste. you cannot love it from the first sight. I will definitely send you some to try not once.
This oolong was just roast to me but i really liked it. Thank you for sharing it with me, now i want moar

Liquid Proust

I might add that with shou that for me: I was able to ease myself into the taste by washing them and then steeping by color…

Basically, when it gets to a dark amber I release the liquid. This typically happens within 7s to 10s. However, there are some STRONG puerhs and I honestly just flash brew them at 2s. I converted four people last Saturday while we were meeting up for tea. They all said puerh tasted like old hay and wet dark earth. So I brewed some ripe as 7s and mixed the first four steeps together to weaken the strength a bit and they all have requested to come to my introduction to puerh event :)

Nicole

Yeah, old hay, mold, mud and fish. That’s what most puerhs taste like to me. I’ll have to try flash steeping. I just lose track so easily that I’m better off with teas I can not pay attention to. :) I’ll have to convert to more mindful sipping.

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drank Congou Black by Silk Road Teas
733 tasting notes

Very nice. Mild, smooth, apple-y in initial steep. Second steep was a little sour but not in a bad way. The smell is very much a Fujian black though there isn’t any of the mild smoke I have gotten lately with teas from that region. Glad to have this on hand. It isn’t one I have to keep around but it will be enjoyed as an every day tea while it lasts!

Teatotaler

This must be apple day for me. I think I’ going to have to place an order for this tea!

Nicole

PM me an address. I have plenty – I’d be happy to send some your way to try it before you buy since they don’t have small amounts.

Teatotaler

Thanks, Nicole! :)

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Tea afficianado & founder of the Midwest Tea Festival. I wish I could make a living creating and serving tea parties, but alas, bills prevent that possibility. :) So I make do by catering tea parties for friends and co-workers and drinking tons of tea with my cats on my lap. :)

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