New Tasting Notes
When I feel like having something new, I just fetch a pouch from my Terri Box.
She generously sent me what she had left of this precious tea. Delicious little tiny golden snails, so pretty to look at.
Of course, I was curious to compare them to Whispering Pines’s “wee snaily yums” Golden Snail Yunnan Black, already a favourite.
They do look identical, but are completely different in taste. Though I much prefer WP version, this is still yummy, no doubt.
What surprised me the most was to find some smoke in there. Don’t know if my taste buds are playing tricks on me but it’s very noticeable. In a Keemun kind of way.
It’s sweet, but it’s missing that silky barley sugar feel I get from WP.
It’s fuller bodied and maltier, not as delicate and complex. I’m missing the floral and spicy notes I find in WP.
To me, it feels like a good robust black tea, which is something I would seek early in the morning. Just not what I was expecting from what is supposed to be a more mellow and smooth kind of tea.
Maybe I over leafed? Luckily, I still have plenty to try it again.
So yes, compared to WP’s Bi Luo Chun, it looses the battle.
But as a nice breakfast tea, it’s a winner, loved it!
Thank you so much Terri Harlady for giving the chance to try so many teas from Yunnan Sourcing :-)
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
Dry Leaf: very woody scent and smells like shu Puerh. It does have the multi-colored leaves like Formosa though,,,,creams, dark browns, forest greens, moss greens, very pretty.
Method: 1 tsp tea for 12 oz water—190F for two minutes
Wet Leaf: Chopped leaves with stems. Sweet brine scent like stewed peaches with spices.
Liquor: Deep golden color,,scent of spiced peaches
Flavor: A touch of honey sweet but not as sweet as it smells. Woody notes. This is an ok, one-note tea as a hot tea and that note is woody.
But as an iced tea, it is very light and the woodiness mellows into a very subtle note and sweetness comes thru as it’s chilled with a larger honey note.
Refreshing and not too bold or strong-flavored which I like in an iced tea.
From the Steepster Select Box, July 2014
Flavors: Honey, Peach, Wood
One of the first oolongs I’ve had in a while after starting to drink more Pu Erh and green teas. I thought this tea was nice but it became stronger than I expected almost like an english breakfast tea. It had a nice aroma and smooth taste.
Flavors: Bark, Dark Wood, Earth
This tea has the cutest little teeny leaves… They’re not broken, they’re just overall super tiny and thin. It’s like they’re miniature! Cute. Unfortunately, this came out a little bitter for me, I think because I overleafed so I wouldn’t have half a cup’s worth left over. So that’s my bad! I’m drinking it anyway, because I do love the flavor underneath that bitterness. This tea is all about dark toasted rye bread with a touch of honey and raisin. So so good, thanks Nicole! Definitely a contender for my order!
Brenden threw in a sample of this with my recent WP order. This morning, trying to get out the door and realizing I needed more tea at work, but having no time to deal with pulling out anything and no space for anything but sample sizes, I grabbed this and hoped for the best.
It’s really good.
I love jasmine teas. I love green teas. This is a beautiful jasmine blend. It’s not too too jasmine, but it’s still definitely jasmine. Beautifully jasmine. Deliciously jasmine. Dance on my tongue jasmine.
It kept me company all morning. On the website, there are directions for 3 infusions, but I got 4 for sure. I thought about doing a fifth, except I them knocked the brew basket off my desk and decided I didn’t want to use the leaves that were now all over my cubicle carpeting again. (Other than tea, this has been my day.)
Free sample from Green Terrace – thank you.
4g 100ml gaiwan 200F
Rinse/ 10/10/15/15/20/30 sec etc
Taiwanese teas are perfect for gongfu method. Lots of steeps, some flavors show up and disappear in next steep.
This tea is flavorful and malty. Apricots, plums, cherries and nuts detected. Some steeps I combined in one cup. I enjoyed sipping this tea while my kids had swim meet.
Thank you so much Green Terrace for letting me try this tea. It was fun.
Thank you Scheherazade for this sample from our recent swap.
The raw blend smells strongly of vanilla and maple sauce, at first I thought cocoa but then the maple grew and lingered in my nostrils. It’s beautiful.
Flavour is sweet and thickly like maple with buttery notes and a lingering after taste. I was once gifted some maple shaped sugar treats by someone that were soft and crumbled as you sucked them…this reminds me so much of those sweets. It’s not so much cupcake like as it treacle/maple sponge cake like but I suppose the fact that it is rather cake like at all is a triumph. Not as thick as you would think being a black tea either which is a plus considering it’s so super sweet.
A lovely tea, too mild for my husband (though he agrees with me about the after taste and treacle sponge cake) but I quite like this blend. It tastes much nicer than I was expecting.
Flavors: Maple, Sugar, Vanilla
I absolutely love strawberry and strawberry teas. The addition of this tea was a nice surprise; I’m not sure I’d tried a pu-erh tea before this one. Lots of good strawberry aroma, light lingering strawberry flavor. I added sweet cream creamer, so my tea tasted like strawberries and cream. Good strength.
Flavors: Fruity, Strawberry, Vanilla
So, I kind of forgot to take out the bag and cold steeped this for like 3 days so I was worried it’d be too strong. Also the flavor I guess had settled to the bottom and looked a bit cloudy but it was normal after I shook it up a little. Flavor wise it was ok, tasted like a mild almond milk. Not the most flavorful SBT… not one I’m going to rebuy I think.
Before I review this tea, permit me a caveat to everybody on the Golden Tips subscription plan (which I love, so that’s not the warning!): Golden Tips has something like five different company profiles at Steepster. I was unable to locate this tea until I did a Google search, which brought up this page. I was doing a Google search because I was unable to locate the page using the search function at Steepster (and I tried several different terms…), so I was preparing to download a photo and tea info, etc. This must be how so many duplicate pages for teas came to be at Steepster.
Now for my first Golden Tips tea experience: Darjeeling Okayti Splendour First Flush, this one picked on March 28, 2014, and identified as Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1 Splendour. But is it a black tea? That is the question before us.
To be honest, this has got to be the greenest darjeeling I’ve ever seen. Granted, most of the darjeeling which I’ve imbibed has been from blends, so not first flush, and not single estate. The dried tea in this first flush, single estate darjeeling from Okayti contains mainly green leaves. I am not imagining this: most of the leaves are various shades of green. There are also some silver tips and a few black leaves scattered about, but judging from appearance alone, I would call this a green, not a black tea—and that’s coming from someone who has consumed large volumes of both.
The liquor brews up greenish gold and becomes more gold and less green after a couple of minutes, but the flavor is very light and—here’s another surprise—it reminds me somewhat of green oolong!
I’m not really sure what to make of all this. The cup was quite tasty, but barely intersected with my concept of darjeeling—almost like a second cousin! Now I am all the more excited to sip my way through my first subscription plan box, hopefully before the next one arrives—which is right around the corner, since this one shipped on July 4th, and today is already the 22nd!
Since my generous sample packet still contains another 7 grams, I’ll withhold attaching a number to this tea until I’ve tried a few more of these darjeelings to give me some perspective on this unique experience.
Taking a short break from TTB teas to settle my stomach a bit. So I figured I’d work on some sipdowns in the process! :P
This tea is quite different from what I would consider the “typical” Yunnan tea at this point. I wonder if it’s because this is apparently grown on a mountain? And it’s wilted/fermented longer according to Yunnan Sourcing’s website. Very interesting! This tea has an interesting herbaceous flavor that definitely reminds me of dill. It has some of the malt and breadiness that I would associate with other Yunnan teas as well. There’s also something there that I can’t quite place, maybe a floral? If so, it’s definitely a heady floral like rose or something similar.
This tea is quite tasty and I may consider getting some when I (finally) make a YS order!
Flavors: Dill, Rose
Another satisfying tetsubin of haute sencha, this one the Superior Uji brought to my doorstep by Zen Tea.
This tea was the perfect accompaniment to today’s first meal of the day (3 pm—I got up at noon…): roasted escarole and endive with scallions frittatta made with provolone cheese, fresh organic half & half, and eggs produced by nonoppressed chickens.
I wonder whether eggs are good or evil at this point in time? The received medical wisdom appears to oscillate back and forth. Not that it matters: I’ll eat them no matter what anybody says!
Let there be eggs. And sencha, of course.
I like this one more than the Green Terrace Tea Milk Oolong sample I had but less than the Mandala Tea one. It had more milky, buttery flavor in the first steeping. By the 2nd steeping I was starting to get more vegetal flavor. I liked the first cup, it was creamy, mellow and not over powering. Glad I got to sample it since last box was my last box of a 3 month subscription.
Yay free tea!! A friend gave me the rest of his sample. He doesn’t like coconut… I’m not sure why he bought it, maybe just to see if DT could change his mind :)
In any case, there are moments where I get some serious coconut macaroon mojo in my sip! I’m impressed, they managed to get the essence down pretty well.
But then, for the most part this is your average coconut black tea. Only sweeter.
The other odd thing is that I find my cuppa pretty smooth, with the occasional twinge of itchy throat.
Anyhow, this gets an overall ho hum from me. Not bad, but not great. Then again, I judge any tea with coconut in it pretty harshly so I’ll stick to the higher end of the rating I’m thinking about here. Fleeting moments of spot on taste gets you only mediocre points!
I really liked the flavors and aroma of this tea after having tried artificially flavored teas I found this to be a refreshing change with a nice balanced sweetness and good flavors. Very aromatic and reminiscent of childhood summertime beverages. Great to share with a friend!
Flavors: Berry, Cherry, Citrus, Lemon, Pleasantly Sour, Sweet
This is a very nice sheng. At $17/ for a 250g cake, it is fairly priced for wild arbor YiWu leaf. Quite young for a sheng but amazingly smooth and sweet.
The cake has light compression making it very easy to pick off the dark dry leaf. A fairly high number of stem pieces found. The tea soup is a very light gold color and appears very clear in the cup. Sweet fruit aroma from the wet leaf. The taste is smooth with only the slightest bite of astringency. There is definitely the sweetness of raisins and stone fruit. Smooth mouth feel and a nice Qi. In later steeps there are the beginning notes of tobacco.
Frankly, if I had tasted this one blind, I would assume that it was at least five years old (not two). I’ll drink this cake now and I picked up another one for aging because I am really curious to try it in 5-7 years. I’m a big fan!!
I’ve been getting into Chinese black teas lately. They’re nice when I want something less bitter. Especially when I forget my cup and oversteep it; I can still drink it rather than throwing it away. This tea was fairly pleasant, slightly cocoa-ey and mild. More like something I’d drink in the afternoon than the morning.
I tried it with sugar as well, and found that I had to go very easy on it. The tea’s already sweet, so too much sugar and it becomes nauseating. No more than a half teaspoon.
It doesn’t really hold up well for a second steep. At least in my opinion anyway; the second steep was very light and bland. I could steep the Black Dragon Pearls three times and the Yunnan Jig twice, so the fact that this is only good for one was a bit disappointing. It’s a decent tea, but I’ll stick to other varieties with more staying power, especially if I’m paying $8 a bag for them.
Holy wow! I received a sample of this tea and decided to give it a try after having some problems trying to brew the WP arbor mist version.
I followed the package instructions by using boiling water, 10 second rinse followed by 5 second steeps in my ingenuitea.
I’m still getting used to the flavor, but the sheng feeling is great! My tongue got a little bit tingly there for a bit!
I definitely have to try brewing the arbor mist the same way.
Sipdown! I like this tea, and am sad to see it go. However, I’m plotting a trip to Victoria so I should be able to restock a bit by the end of summer! YAY!
I keep on thinking about it as “Janet’s Special Orange” because my brain is so foggy.
It’s nice. Orange, creamy, vanilla. Yum. So good with a bit of cream. I still need to try it as a latte!
Flavors: Cream, Orange, Vanilla
The dry mix smells like candy and an herbal that I’ve tasted at Teavana a long time ago but I can’t remember its name. There are large currants, apple pieces, dark pink pieces of the hibiscus.
The water turns bubble gum pink as soon as you pour. Then it gets a bit darker pink but not super dark. The liquid is very pretty and smells like cherry hard candy.
I took one sip hot and it is sweet cherry candy then I pour onto ice. Wouldn’t drink this one hot though it’s a fine flavor that way—just not my kind of hot tea.
Quite tasty and love the pink color.
As an iced tea,,, it is orange, light cherry candy, and it does have a fruit punch flavor to it. It’s sort of like really really watered-down Hawaiian Punch.
From the Steepster Select Box, July 2014
Flavors: Cherry, Orange
Pass the Stash TTB 2.0
Blegh, I’m feeling slightly nauseous after that Choconut Oolong… And I don’t think it’s because it’s a particularly bad tea. I really think I’m getting less tolerant of flavored teas, and I certainly don’t drink them often anymore. I’ve pretty much settled in to drinking a bunch of straight blacks with a few flavored varieties, so now that I have this box with a lot of flavored things, my stomach is getting unhappy with me. I may have to keep this a day longer than I had planned, just because I don’t really want to drink four or five more flavored teas today, and I don’t think my stomach can handle it. I was planning on sending it out tomorrow, but it may have to be Thursday now.
ANYWAY! I confess, I thought this was a white tea (I mean come on, with a name like White Monkey…). It’s apparently considered a green tea. The shape of the leaves remind me of the “wild” style black leaves – medium size and very twisty and tangly. They smell mostly of hay and alfalfa with a grassy edge. The package recommended 180 degrees, but I did 175 (partially because that’s my standard for greens and partially because my kettle has 175 and 185 buttons and I was lazy).
The aroma is sweetly vegetal and very light, with hay and grass notes. Tasting this, I find it similar to the Drum Mountain I tried earlier today. I could see it being the result of a cross between green and white teas – it has the vegetal taste of a green (albeit a lighter version) along with the distinctive hay note from a white tea. Very lovely! There’s also a touch of grassiness (green) and just a tiny hint of floral (white). And I can taste a little bit of a light grain note, especially if I slurp obnoxiously. ;)
Quite lovely, one of the best (or the best) I’ve tasted from Adagio.
Flavors: Floral, Grain, Grass, Hay, Spinach, Vegetal
Sipdown of this tea. I have soo many teas that I have tried this weekend that I didn’t log lol, and I take time to log this sipdown. Oh well, I will get around to writing notes eventually. I had an amazing weekend and now the bf is back this week, so probably not much logging this week. Ah well I am still drinking tea! This is a work sipdown, and I enjoyed this tea, but I tired of it as I went through the bag. Nice to try, but not a restock. See previous notes!