So I said I wasn’t a fruity tea fan…well, that’s generally true, except in some cases. This is pretty exceptional. The bouquet of the dry leaf is delicious, and after the steeping begins…oh man. All sorts of tropical lovelies that blend into something I can only call Papayapplango. The green tea, surprisingly enough, really comes through, even though it’s got the fruit as a potential obstacle. A nasty fight could ensue, and with my rather iffy experience with fruity teas, I was honestly expecting one. But…they work together almost seamlessly. And the fruit tastes full and juicy and sweet. Not the most natural-tasting of fruit, but it tastes good all the same. To keep it from going overboard on the sweet side, the soft, vegetal green balances it out. Wish I’d had enough time this morning to re-steep this sachet before I left. One of the better fruity teas I’ve tried.
98 Tasting Notes
Tried this before at my school’s cafe, which just started carrying Mighty Leaf. I wasn’t in the mood for anything caffeinated, so I went for this one. Anyway, this time around I couldn’t determine the water temperature (no thermometer), but it was probably around 180 F (I’m getting better at estimating). Steeped around 4 min. Possibly too long. This one is a little sharp for my tastes, and a bit jumbled. I’m not the biggest fan of fruity teas anyway, but even so, this isn’t one of my favorites. I can’t really taste the tea here. It’s fighting to stay ahead of the fruit and I think the fruit won. Ehh. Smells nice though.
Bye, Sencha Uji. You’re delicious and grassy and slightly sweet (more evident in the second and third steepings), and you’re everything I could want in a green. I’ve got some Dark Green Needle coming in the mail, but don’t for a second think that that means I’m replacing you. You’ll always have a special place in my heart, and you’re welcome in my home anytime. I’ll see you soon.
So happy. So. Happy. Just got home from Costa Rica last night…it was an incredible experience. Now that I’m back, I can have REAL TEA…and I kicked the celebration off with two cups of Nutcracker Sweet. Drank it black (we don’t have any soymilk right now). Perfect. Every time.
It’s good to be home.
So after my previous bad experience with this bugger, I had to figure out how to make it palatable when it was given to me when I asked for black tea. Solution: steep it for 30 seconds. The best it can do is be bland and inoffensive liquid that resembles tea…which is all I’m looking for while I’m traveling. Three more nights and I can get my Yunnan Golden Buds from Verdant!
First breakfast in Costa Rica! I got pretty excited when I saw tea, no matter what the kind. This would probably have been a passable black tea if I had read the instructions and had steeped it for 1-2 minutes, instead of 5 like I normally do for black teas. It was so unbelievably bitter that I couldn’t finish it, but ah well. Gallo pinto more than made up for it! Oh, and one of my side goals for this trip is to manage to drink tea every day. So far it’s gone well!
Thanks so much for this, Rebecca! Steeped some of this up this morning to try to banish my cold (which is leaving pretty quickly anyway). I added a little bit of unsweetened soymilk and a small dab of honey. Oh man, this is great…it’s definitely unusual with the bright notes of the lemongrass. I like how the pepper feels smoky along the back of my throat. It’s just what I need right now. Also, this resteeps really well (adding 1 minute for each additional steep), especially for a chai. I can still feel and taste the delightful spiciness. I’m on the third steep now and will try for one more, which I think it’ll be able to do. This is just…lovely.
My first time trying this. I thought I nearly forgot to include it in the tea I brought home with me for break—perish the thought!
This had a less earthy smell dry, but all of that changed once I rinsed the leaves. Mmm. It’s like walking along a forest path.
I didn’t take notes for individual steepings—I’m a little less fastidious about documenting my tea consumption at home, maybe because it might make my parents think I’m odd as fish. Like they don’t already. But I digress. Onto the tea.
This is unbelievably smooth. I think my words were “this is niiiice…”
Foresty, very very creamy, and sweet in an earthy way. It also develops into a crispness at the end that is really refreshing. In later steepings I got something slightly spicy like cinnamon bark. Pu’erh is a pretty fascinating universe, and I’m excited to explore this more! It’s delicious.
I really want to have some more today, but I’ve just come down with a light cold, so it would be a shame to have such a beautiful tea when I can’t taste the difference between oatmeal and tabouli. This’ll be one for later. Much later, actually, because in two days I’m headed to Costa Rica for the rest of January. Tally ho!
Just had some of this whisked up with some cocoa…bliss.
Finally having some more of this. It smells so much like burned popcorn that it often puts me off, but as I’ve been ripping through the green tea lately (especially as I try to avoid a cold), I wanted to come around to this again. I love Popped Rooibos, and it’s been compared to this sometimes (what with the toasted rice and all). Anyway…
Oh holy yum. It’s toasty and has that tasty sencha flavor that I now like. Almost a bit sweet from the rice, but more toasted than anything. Carries that popcorny taste. I don’t really like popcorn because I don’t like how it makes my mouth feel (dry, salty, kernel hulls stuck in my mouth), but I like this. Mmm.
Backlogging from yesterday.
Bye, Hulu Green; I’ve truly enjoyed your company. You showed me how nice greens could be, first with the help of a little honey, then all by yourself. Under your tutelage I began to appreciate the vegetal, slightly grassy taste of a good green—the taste of spring. It was with fondness and a little melancholy that I poured out your last leaves into my basket, inhaling that sweet springy aroma for the last time in a while. (But absolutely not the last…more greens are on the way soon.) Thanks for the education. 2012 will be brimming with more discoveries.
Oh, holy yum. Made this in my new pretty tea set (with built-in ball filter!) that my aunt gave me. I’m on probably the 8th gongfu steeping, and it’s fabulous. Every time.
Backlogging from yesterday.
Man, this is good. It’s got that grassy but sweetish green tea aroma and taste that I’m finally starting to like. Brought some of this up to the Twin Cities yesterday on a trip with the girls. This is going on the shopping list, as the quantity I have is a 1-oz sample.
Had some of this this morning with my mum. She started feeling a cold coming on last night and we had to cancel our New Year’s Eve travel plans…bummer. I’ve been plying her with tea whenever she’s awake, especially green and rooibos. I love this one, and it didn’t disappoint this morning—clean, grassy, sweet, tangy, and fruity. She said this was mild and that she would like one with more flavor—when I asked her what she meant she said she wanted something darker. (Her taste buds are probably a little muddled, because I think this has lots of flavor!) I made her some Popped Rooibos to try too. She’s sleeping but I’ll ask her later what she thought…
Back from school. Done with finals. At home.
I recently got a beautiful white bowl from an artist friend at school that has a lovely speckled eggshell glaze. I knew it would be perfect for matcha! (The bowl I had been using for matcha before was bright orange. It made the matcha look scary and horrible. Don’t do it.) I was super excited to try it out.
Used about 1 tsp, ~160 F water, and my chasen whisk. It was a little tricky to whisk it without splashing tea over the side of the bowl…maybe I filled it too high. I had a little trouble getting the foamy consistency, but this is only my second or so time. It’ll come with practice.
Anyway, onto the tea. This is my first time drinking matcha without any soymilk, agave, etc. I took a sip…delicious! I really like this. I’m glad, because it’s one of those things I’ve been trying to get myself to like. Very vegetal, slightly sweet, thick, comforting, warm. When I got to the bottom there was some sediment…I guess that’s unavoidable, especially if you take your time drinking it. I just added a little more water and whisked it again.
Backlogging from several days ago.
1 T leaves to about 5 oz water
1st steeping (5 second rinse): Strong vegetal aroma with a little floral sweetness. As I walk over to dump off the rinse water into the container I use to water my plants (they love it!), I can smell the deep, green, grassy aroma of cooked veggies…maybe asparagus. On a slightly related note, I’ve always preferred the bottoms of asparagus to the tops—they don’t get mushy and have much better flavor. Which made me an oddball of sorts. Go figure.
2nd steeping (about 5 sec): Lilac! Fresh spring greens, cut grass, spinach from the garden, lilac. Mmmm. Upon sipping, it’s slightly vegetal but mostly smooth and creamy.
This is also backlogging…from a couple of weeks ago.
My first Big Red Robe, and a free sample that Garret so kindly included in the box with my new yixing teapot. (It’s beautiful, by the way! I haven’t decided what to dedicate it to yet, but I’m thinking an oolong of some sort.) This is a perfect tea morning…
Anyway, I’m figuring out gongfu style, so I decided to try that too. Steeped 1.5 tsp in a little 4 oz ceramic cup that I just got from an artist friend, rinsed the leaves for about 10 sec, poured out the water, holding the leaves back with a fork (because I’m classy). I started the 1st steeping below with 30 sec, about 205 degree water, and added about 10 sec each steep.
1st steeping: I’m getting a mineral-y quality here…very smooth, with a hint of metallic texture.
2nd steeping: Mmm. Wow. This is sweet and smooth, and I taste something that I can only describe as caramel. This is delicious…can’t wait for the next steeping.
I’m not ready to rate it yet, but I’ll try it again to familiarize myself with it better so I can accurately rate it. Very nice!
I got an ounce of this when I placed my first Verdant order. I finally got around to trying it yesterday, and I had it with about 3 parts water to 1 part soymilk. It cooled off super quickly because of the soymilk, but I put it in my lovely travel mug and it still stayed fairly warm. I sipped it during breakfast with a dear friend from the summer yesterday—she had just gotten back into town, I was just about to leave. It was great to catch up. The chai tasted very nice, but I think I had drowned it out some with the soymilk, and I would have liked it to be hotter.
I had saved the leaves from my fantastic, amazing day spent with Autumn Laoshan Black the other day; I had gotten 15 delicious infusions from them and I finally had to go to bed! I figured it was a shame to compost them just because of that when they had so much more to give.
How does this connect? I put the not-yet-spent pure leaves together with the chai-spiced ones from yesterday and brewed it all gongfu style. I now can taste all the smooth, spicy intricacy of this delicious chai, coupled with the beautiful base of the Laoshan leaves (which are perfect for this kind of thing, by the way). It’s so complete on its own that I don’t think I’ll drink this with milk…
In just four short hours I’ll be DONE with my last paper and last bit of work for the whole semester! It’ll require some solid effort to finish this off, though, and something to reward me as I’m writing…and this is where the Laoshan Northern Black comes in.
I decided to steep this gongfu style, because I’m getting better at that now. After the ~5 sec rinse, I steeped it about 5 sec (with 2 teaspoons to 5 oz water).
Oh man. Oatmeal raisin toast. It’s been too long since I last had some of this! It’s so creamy and smooth. I almost feel like I put some creamer in here, but…I…didn’t. I am consistently amazed at the stunning smoothness of the black teas I’ve gotten from Verdant.
I think I’ll be able to finish this paper in no time. Bring it on.
UPDATE: I’m on the fourth steeping now, and I’m getting this fantastic sweet, light but full cocoa-y note that’s filling my mouth. Also, I have to mention that when I’ve been steeping this, it’s been hard to come out of my hanging-my-face-over-the-cup reverie because the steeping aroma smells so much like cocoa, particularly like this fantastic cocoa mousse my dad always makes to serve with angelfood cake. Mmmm.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I’ve been drinking this allllll day. I’m on the eleventh steeping now, and it’s still soft, sweet, a little dark and raisiny, and perfect.
THE UPDATES, WILL THEY EVER CEASE? I made it to fifteen infusions. Then I had to go to bed. These leaves have lasted longer than I have.
So I mentioned at some point that I “diluted” this with an equal amount of pure rooibos to make its flavor less…like bourbon. It tasted great, but gosh, I had to eat something afterward to absorb the fumey feeling. So I did that and it’s PERFECT. Plus it’ll last longer.
Anyway…I just brewed a cup of half my new version of this and half Azteca Fire. I think the vanilla flavors really accentuate the cocoa well…mmmmm. Now I just need to finish this paper.
No notes yet.
Interesting note—the scent of the dry leaf (and brewed liquor, to some extent) is similar to Yunnan Golden Buds by Verdant Tea. Interesting, especially since Nepal isn’t even close to Yunnan Province…
First sip—thick and honey-sweet. I actually said “wow” when I sipped this…
I’m getting a slightly green note and maybe a floral one at the very end of the sip. This is very delicious! It’s not particularly complex, but there’s enough complexity in my life right now with finals.
I’ll keep drinking this all day and see how it evolves. Very tasty.
Update: Got at least six quality infusions out of this, adding about 10 seconds every time. It’s very smooth and nice…like I said before, not too complex, but solidly delicious!
This arrived in the mail yesterday. I had had an unimpressive day of tea up until that point—I steeped some peach white too long, making the taste of peach gummi rings stick in my mouth; I then tried a 2010 shu pu’erh that I haven’t figured out exactly what works best for it yet. It wasn’t bad, just unremarkable, which I’m sure is because I’m still figuring it out. So I had some of my new Yunnan White Jasmine.
It smelled heavenly right away—sweet, floral, not overly so. The first steeping was fresh and pleasantly jasminey. I may not have been in a mood for jasmine white tea yesterday—I’m not sure, but I think I was looking for something roastier and darker. I enjoyed that steeping, though, and I decided to come back to the same leaves the next day with a fresh mind.
“Fresh mind” is putting it generously. I just finished a dialogue final paper for one of my classes, and I got to bed late (for me) last night and finished it this morning before handing it in. I’m kind of dragging this morning, a little spaced out, and generally tired-feeling, so a nice hot cup of tea (without caffeine!) is very welcome at this point.
So it’s the first steeping of the day, but it’s the second steep. Sweet goodness, the second steep. I feel like I’m strolling—maybe hovering a little bit—through a garden in early June, a garden full of cascading white blooms, with my mouth hanging open. This is sweet, smooth, creamy bliss. I’m sitting here half-awake with my hands wrapped around my mug and my chin stuck down into it, absorbing as much of this delicious warmth as I can.
If you’re just not in a jasmine mood the day you try this…do what I did and save the leaves for the next day. It’s more than worth it.
What is this that’s suddenly on my tongue? I’m not making it up—it’s sweet and slightly caramely. This might be the powdered sugar sensation that Geoffrey mentioned, although I’m sure no two people will get the exact same experience out of this…(for the paper I just finished I’ve been talking about Kant, so this connects in a surprisingly analogous way.) This tea is full of surprises.
If that was just the second steep…gosh, what will the next ones be like?
Got some of this for the first time since last year—I have been acquiring more and more true tea and didn’t have as much caffeine-free stuff on hand. Upon opening the bag, I am awash in the heady aroma of bourbon and rooibos. Mmm, it’s kind of like cookies with too much vanilla (we always add a little extra in my house). I brewed it for about 6 minutes, breathing in the fumes. Since it smells so bourbony I’m going to call it fumes, not aroma…it certainly feels that way.
First sips. In the first second or two, not much happens, but then BOOM—creamy, rich vanilla. It stays in your mouth for ages…in a grandfabulous way. The rooibos lends a toasty note. This vanilla tastes so authentic—like a mixture of pure vanilla bean and the best Mexican vanilla extract my family uses. I didn’t like this one as much when I got it the first time…for some reason. But my goodness, this will stick around from now on.