New Tasting Notes
I was surprised by the quality and taste of this tea, keeping in mind it costs less than 6€/100g. I find it very similar to more expensive Lapsang Souchongs (e.g. the Fortnum&Mason Lapsang Souchong which is about twice the price). It says to only steep for two minutes, but with Lapsang Souchongs, I like leaving the leaves in the water for a whole lot longer – often I don’t even take them out of the kettle at all. Even then it won’t turn bitter or tangy, a quality that I haven’t had with Lapsang Souchongs in a similar price range. I am quite impressed by this one
Flavors: Campfire, Smoke, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood
Drinking this this morning because I couldn’t sleep. This is a nice aged ripe with just a vestige of fermentation flavor left. Barely noticeable in the first two steeps. There was also an aged flavor for the first four to six steeps, after that it was a nice sweet tea. This one one worth trying. I definitely recommend a sample.
Steeped this fourteen times in a 160ml Solid Silver teapot with 14.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave the tea a 10 minute rest. I gave it a 10 second rinse.I steeped the tea for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, 2 min, 2.5 min, and 3 min. I could have gotten a couple more steeps out of the leaves but I had had enough tea at fourteen steeps.
I have a sizable stash of WP teas and finally got around to trying Foxtails. YUM. The leaves are tight, long and light gold, and I could smell the cocoa malt aromas off them. I love when light colored black teas deliver big flavor. Although I didn’t pick up the sites described mushroom notes, there was a savory element but mostly a toasty baked goods choco flavor dominant. I used 5 grams for a 100 ml pot and for a black, this was a decently long running tea with many steeps. Very smooth, comforting.
I received this tea as part of the White2Tea club box.
I’m not sure why, but I usually end up drinking this tea in the evening. I find it relaxes me somehow. As I begin writing I’m on the 2nd steep of this 60ml session and I can feel some warmth coming into my chest and up into my cheeks. The taste seems more mellow than the first couple times I brewed it when it arrived. The wet leaf still has a light smokiness and tobacco scent. I can feel the sides of my mouth and jaw being stimulated. Onto the 3rd steep the taste is still fairly light in bitterness and is a bit difficult to describe. It feels as though this tea has some age on it but retains some of its brash youthfulness. I can imagine this tea would have been a teeth clencher in its early days. It’s too bad there was such a limited supply, as the only ways to obtain this tea from white2tea would have been to spend a handsome sum and receive one for free during the 2015 Black Friday event, or to go through the club. I would be very curious to taste this tea in another 15 years with good storage. Unfortunately at the rate I’m drinking it I will be lucky to have any left after 5 years let alone 15. My mind is starting to wander and I can’t help but think that this loosely organized stream of thoughts will soon fall apart so I’ll have to cut this rambling short. This tea is very special to me. From the moment I opened it the smell of the wrapper and tea were intoxicating and the liquor it produces is so relaxing and comforting. As others have pointed out it’s a bit difficult to put a finger on what the flavour notes might be, but I can say that this is a tea with an inoffensive taste that lets the drinker wander off without demanding attention.
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Six – Tea #7
Here is an odd one I get to try from Davids. It’s also a teabox sipdown. I thought it was an interesting mix of ingredients but I swear I could only taste splenda. Yuck. Maybe hints of odd fruit here and there. I think the yerba mate at least helped my brain though… I was able to get some focused power reading done yesterday.
Here’s Hoping Teabox – Round Six – Tea #6
I like this one. I can see the idea was like a smoky cinnamon roll? This one is smoky but not TOO smoky. With cinnamon that really makes an appearance on the second steep. The base is smoky enough for me, but I wish the tea itself had a darker flavor. I like the idea of a smoky cinnamon roll tea. It reminds me of my much loved cinnamon bread pu-erh that I only have a little of. OR that lovely Butiki Cinnamon bread tea.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug// 14 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
Additional notes: Had to drink a Sherlock tea today as I was planning on watching the last episode of this season (or was it forever?) today. This season was cray cray. I just loved how the seasons were each set up, very well done overall, even the adrift Abominable Bride episode tried to solve Moriarty’s return while still leaving a question. It’s been a fun ride all these years. I NEVER usually sit in front of TV and flip through channels randomly (I usually know what I’ll be watching) but I think it was very much fate when I found the very first airing of the very first episode all those years ago. I know Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson have bigger careers now, but I wish they would keep the show going for a few more years. It’s something special. I remember hearing that Cumberbatch never wanted to be on lunchboxes, so I hope he doesn’t let those lunchbox projects stop Sherlock. (Though isn’t Sherlock probably on a lunchbox by now? Should be!)
This tea is better than I remembered, it’s a little syrupy now, unlike Mrs. Hudson’s badass middle episode of the season this year. I’ll raise the rating from a 68. Next time this will be a sipdown, but I’m hoping Sherlock the show isn’t a “sipdown”!!
Some friends got me this for my birthday last spring, and then I didn’t see them until November, and this is the first time I’m having the tea.
It IS tasty, but whoa nelly, that is SWEET. I only usually put sugar/honey/maple into some herbal teas, or lapsang souchong.
This is more of an occasional tea, I think. But it is nice, and they also gave me one of those super cute cupcake tea infusers. :)
So the one I ordered at the end of last year was a 1973 Wenshan Baozhong and that is what’s written on the tea I received. However, since it’s no longer on the site and I can’t verify one way or the other I will leave my review here.
Dry leaves smell of petrichor, clay, old leaves and a hit of coffee.
Wet leaves smell of old wet winter leaves, clay, with a note of prunes.
This is the darkest rinse I’ve ever seen!
1/5s: Very, very smooth. Sweet with old leaves and clay. Reminiscent of shou puer, but very, very clean.
2/5s: Sweet, smooth, tastes of wet winter leaves. (Think of the smell of a pile of leaves you find buried under snow). No bitterness or astringency to speak of.
3/10s: Sames previous. Picking up a bit more of that petrichor/mineral note. Not at all overwhelming. Perhaps the tiniest bit of astringency in the finish.
4/12s: I’m actually enjoying this petrichor/mineral note. It’s that smell of newly fallen rain on hot stone, with wet leaves. It’s sweet and smooth. Wasn’t sure in the previous steep, but this tea does indeed have a bit of gentle cha qi.
5/18s: Speeding up time between steeps definitely kicks up the qi. Sweet, smooth.
7/30s: The sweetness is blossoming more. Not as much wet old leaf taste in this steep. Just sweet smoothness and petrichor.
8-14/?s: These I just let sit and pour and sip and sip and sip. Same taste profile as steep 7 for the most part.
I just moved the leaves to my larger oolong pot (250mL) it just struck me that the smell I’m describing as petrichor is the aroma of a genuine yixing teapot after its seasoning boil. The smell of wet stone earth. :) I’ll drink to that!
15/???s: I let this steep through my meeting and man is this good! Tastes like a really clean shou puer with that oddly pleasant petrichor/mineral note a bit more subdued.
16/???s: This has to be what the original creators of shou puer were hoping to create. Really, really good!
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Clay, Sweet, Wet Rocks
Another of my favorites from Umami ! I drink this one as a pick me up when I need an instant inner smile. It has an ethereal brightness and floral air. The citrus from the yuzu is like sunshine. Not sure if I’m supposed to, but I smell some jasmine in this blend – a light wafting. The citrus gives it a tropical feel. I always drink this one plain – it needs no adjustments.
It’s kind of dreary here in RVA, and tonight I’m painting and listening to some of my favorite Canadian ladies (I live in the US now but I’m from Canada) Sarah Harmer, Jann Arden, Sarah Slean, Chantal Kreviazuk , Be Good Tanyas, Alanis Morisette, K.D. Lang, Sarah McLaughlan, Feist :) Getting my old Lilith Fair vibes on – yes, I went to Lilith Fair, and yes, I’ve always been an earth mama.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Jasmine, Tropical
Well, not many ratings on this one. I think I can guess why… It’s definitely not what I was expecting. It smells quite similar to cocoa canela, but doesn’t taste at all similar. I’m thinking this weird taste is probably the fennel or fenugreek… It’s weird, no doubt. I’m not sure I even like this at all. For some reason it kind of resembles licorice, which I’m absolutely not a fan of. Ick.
Flavors: Fennel, Licorice
This is one of the teas I keep in my permanent collection. The first time I drank it was 6 years ago at place called Feathernesters , a local pop & pop’s ( lovely gay couple) French chic decor / high tea business. I bought the tea from them monthly. Eventually they retired and closed the shop – but their tea was so popular and they didn’t want to leave their customers in the lurch – so they gave a local small tea business that had popped up two doors down (Umami) their secret recipe so their customers would have somewhere to continue buying the tea. To this day I buy it from Umami, and it is the best cinnamon spice tea I have ever tasted. It contains no flavorings, just all -natural ingredients. It has a bite and has a nice heat kick that tickles the tongue and the back of the throat. I demand high spiciness out of my cinnamon teas – and this one really does deliver. No bitterness whatsoever. The directions say to steep it at 195 for 2-3 mins, but I like to steep it 5 for extra flavor, plus the boiling water extracts more flavor in my opinion. I give this tea as a gift to family and friends and they get hooked on it just like I do!! A lot of people talk about Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice being good – this one blows that right out of the water!!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Earth, Honey, Spicy
Wow, definitely fell in love with this one!! I also feel like it’s better than Bubbies was – for me at least. Maybe it’s the added ingredients. Anyway I really love this tea, and I can drink it any time of day. I love the spice and fruity notes to it. I think it’s the cinnamon I love as well. It smells lovely and tastes just as amazing. Usually I don’t like nutty things, but am LOVING this.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Nutty
Interesting blend of peppermint AND spearmint. I’m not usually a mint fan at all, but lately I’ve been enjoying it in some teas. I had a cup of this tea to go and it wasn’t bad. But it seemed sort of plain mint to me. I enjoyed my cup, and it didn’t last long, but I definitely liked Cinnamint Mate better.
I officially hate this tea. I don’t think I’ve hated a tea this much before… Surprising, right? At first I didn’t mind the smell, and I tried it in store, but it had an interesting taste… I was unsure. SO I bought 15g to try at home, had a hot cup, thought it was tolerable, but meh. Then I took someones suggestion to try it as an iced latte with honey in it – and NOPE. I found myself JUST able to finish it, and after that I felt like gagging when I smelled it. It was horrible… Maybe I’m just not the biggest fan of pu’erh tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Cocoa
I have been dead on my feet today. So far, the usual up-and-down Appalachian winter weather has exacerbated my sinus issues. I have a feeling that it isn’t helping my thyroiditis either. My whole body just feels stressed. After an extremely boring day at the office (I loathe my new job), I was having trouble unwinding, so I decided to spend my evening with this oolong. I have no clue which harvest it came from-Floating Leaves sent it my way I suppose because it contrasted the greener oolongs that comprised the bulk of that particular order and to get rid of it. It even came with a note basically stating that they only had a little of it left and were sending it out as samples.
Not surprisingly, I opted to prepare this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted mild aromas of honey, stone fruits, and roasted grain. After the rinse, a woody aroma began to emerge. The first infusion produced a bouquet that was slightly fruitier and more honeyed. I picked up a subtle osmanthus scent as well. In the mouth, I detected mild notes of wood, roasted grain, honey, and osmanthus balanced by subtle cream and butter flavors and a hint of largely indistinct fruity character. Subsequent infusions were more robust, offering clearer aromas and flavors of papaya, peach, nectarine, and apricot. There was also a hint of prune in the mix, as well as an interesting note of rose. Later infusions were creamier, more buttery, and grainier overall. The woody aromas and flavors remained, as did traces of prune, osmanthus, rose, roasted grain, honey, and apricot that were more notable on the finish, imparting a lingering perfumey quality that was quite pleasant.
I’m a big fan of Gui Fei, but not quite as sold on Dong Fang Mei Ren. This tea managed to combine the heavier oxidation of the latter with the bug-bitten qualities of the former. Overall, I think it managed to capture the best aspects of both. I would recommend this tea to anyone looking for a unique oolong.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Cream, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Grain, Honey, Osmanthus, Peach, Rose, Wood
When I brewed this up I had a mild panic attack that there was still soap in the mug because it looked rather soapy. However, it ended up being just the little bits of broken leaf and stuff. I’m at the bottom of my bag and that’s being reflected in the taste. All base, some roast, a bit of rice and that’s about it.