New Tasting Notes
Thanks again to Angel & Teavivre for this sample.
This is such a beautiful and delicate looking tea, with a flavor that is vegetal, mineral, even floral, and a little nutty as well. I shared steepings of it this afternoon with 2 of my college harp students who came over to work on a duet, and we all enjoy several rounds.
I hadn’t had mugicha for almost six years until this summer. When I studied abroad in Kyoto, my host mother brewed a large pot every evening (large tea bags from the grocery store) and then let it refrigerate over night in recycled bottles. My host siblings and I each took a bottle to school each day. Sometimes, instead of ryokucha, my host mother would brew a hot cup of mugicha after dinner. I only remember that it tasted like…barley – simply barley.
In comparison, Den’s mugicha is more roasted and even tastes coffee-like. At first these qualities deterred me from liking it, so I diluted the infusion by more than 50%. The roast used to be a tad heavy and bitter for me. Slowly, I started using the directions more strictly. The cool roasted grain taste was very refreshing during the hotter days and evenings. I just finished the last bag (now being late September). Heating up it up after cold-brewing produces a comforting cup akin to houjicha.
Glad I decided to buy this even though I didn’t have a sample beforehand. Another plus is that it’s affordable.
Thank you Angel & Teavivre for sharing samples of this year’s green teas. It is always a special treat to receive these teas, and they are always generous with the quantities. Since I had 2 of each tea, I shared the 2nd set with some friends from China that had not heard of this company. Needless to say, they were extremely impressed with the quality of the teas, and commented on how long it has been since they have had truly excellent Chinese green teas. I have bragged to them about Teavivre before, and now that they have sampled their teas, I’m sure they will be placing an order (if they haven’t already).
I thoroughly enjoyed my sample! So beautiful to behold, so tasty and fresh tasting. I don’t drink green teas as often as I used to, but this tea had me asking, “why not?”
I love aged white tea and tasting Old Whitey I got some light date and medicinal notes in the 8 and 9th steeps – this guy has potential! Other notes of amber, linen, rock sugar with a creamy texture.
Someone put Old Whitey in a time warp 5 years! AGE FASTER!
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/september-2016-white2tea-club-feat-2016-old-whitey-hoplite-oolong/
This was one of the teas that came in the monthly subscription envelope from Tea Taxi. It is a plain green so not one I was particularly excited about. That’s actually the reason I picked it. Seeing as I have a cold, I figured I could drink the teas I didn’t much care for since I wouldn’t really taste them but I would still get to stay hydrated.
I think that might be the case with this tea since I am not getting much flavor from it at all. At the start of the sip, I pick up the bitter/smoke gunpowder teas tend to have but that fades to nothing as I continue to drink. My guess is it is the cold that is making this so weak tasting but since I have not tried the tea before, it could be the tea as well. Oh well.
Diving Duck is a great daily drinker. As always, White2Tea produced a sheng with excellent quality. The tea itself was very clean and was very clear. I’m not a huge fan of the tasting notes personally, but the sweetness and the energy is great! This tea also has great aging potential, and I predict that over time it will start to taste like malt/honey. Can’t wait to see what this tea tastes like 5 years from now!!!
Flavors: Bitter, Broth, Chicken Soup, Mushrooms, Sweet, Tobacco
Another favorite grocery store brand of mine in the UK is Pukka. I grabbed this one on our latest trip while we were at Tesco because I needed a warm minty beverage while I froze in the damp of Ireland. I like Ireland, but it is cold and damp and you need lots of blankets and socks and hot beverages.
This is peppermint, spearmint and fieldmint. I feel like we don’t really use fieldmint in the US? But it wasn’t anything much out of the ordinary. This is a nice sweet minty tea. I drank a box and a half in 2 weeks and brought a box back with me too.
Guys, it has become fuzzy robe and fluffy blanket season and I am soooo hype!! As it is very well known (really, I never shut-up about it) I loathe the heat, each year it seems to affect me more and my threshold for tolerance drops. All the week the weather has been highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 50s, meaning my windows have not closed. I love the crisp air at night, and it the cooler day air means I can get away with wearing shorts and a sports-bra with a fuzzy robe over it, because stylish! Accuweather says we are going to have another mild winter, which is sad, but maybe I can just leave my windows open all year and never open the heat vent.
Since I am moving into the season of darker teas, I need to get these warmer weather evoking teas reviewed! So, today I am looking at Floating Leaves Tea 2016 Baozhong – Farmer’s Choice, part of the 2016 Baozhong Sampler. Harvested back in May in PingLin, Taiwan, and made from the oh so popular Qing Xin varietal. The aroma of these fluffy leaves (I never tire of looking at Baozhong, such vivid leaves) is sweet and green, a perfect balance of lilac and honeysuckle nectar with herbaceous notes of thyme and sage. It has a very gentle nuttiness adding to the sweetness and a touch of toasted nori seaweed at the finish.
I brewed this tea in my much neglected silver dragon gaiwan, it is a problem with having so much teaware. The aroma of the leaves, which are even more emerald vibrant, is wonderfully late spring in its notes. Lilacs and honeysuckle dance with thyme and sage, but there is a creeping note of lily that starts light and increases with each sniff giving a gentle spice quality. I have a serious weakness for spicy lilies, so much so that they are probably going to be the flowers I use in my wedding. The liquid has wonderfully sweet notes of honeysuckle nectar, peony blossoms, lilacs, and a gentle note of sage and lilies with a finish of sesame seeds.
When I smell and taste a Baozhong and get a balanced blend of green and floral, I know I can settle in for a long session. So many Baozhongs I have interacted with are in the mindset of live fast and die young, and they are almost always dominated by strong flowers and no real depth. This one, however, does have depth! Notes of lilac and honeysuckle blend with gentle thyme and the herb savory (which is more green and herbaceous than actually savory, but it is often used in savory dishes so here we are) The end brings in notes of honey covered sesame seeds and a touch of chestnut with a crisp touch of zucchini in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light and gentle, with an Oolong’s signature butteriness, just not as intense as say a Shan Lin Xi.
The second steep brings out more of the lily spicy, as well as a stronger honeysuckle quality, which I found very enjoyable. There are notes of thyme and savory, and even a gentle note of sweet snap pea adding to the crispness, these add a more summery quality to a tea that evokes springtime and blooming flowers. Towards the end there is a gentle note of basil which was awesome and blends surprisingly well with the finish of honeyed sesame seeds. The mouthfeel is similar to the first but more of it, and the aftertaste of zucchini and lilacs last even longer.
For the third steep I noticed an increase in the flowery notes as well as sweetness, at this point the green and herbaceous notes have faded to a wisp at the very end. Like walking in a late spring garden with blooming lilacs and succulent honeysuckles with a gentle bloom of spiced lilies. The aftertaste is a lingering lily sweetness with just a touch of nuttiness. This is one of the more green Baozhongs I have had and I loved it, combining the notes of fresh herbs and freshly blooming flowers is enchanting and evocative of a season which has now long passed.
Well kids, today is National Coffee Day (so I’ve read). My wife is normally the bigger coffee drinker out of the two of us, mainly because all that caffeine doesn’t work for me as well. Since she has been gone, I wasn’t really feeling like making a pot to myself and it’s been raining enough to cause a flood warning so I didn’t want to go out specifically for a coffee.
Next best thing? A tea with a coffee element! And lo and behold I have this here tea in my arsenal. I liked this tea well enough the last time I drank it. I like it even more this time. It is a lighter tea, both in the color it brews up and in the taste. But the taste is really well done. A nutty, slightly smokey (not Lapsang smoke but more an earthy smoky of a Sumatra coffee) and very smooth flavor is produced. I did three steeps (2 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 or 6 minutes) and each one was really consistent with the flavor.
Second time I’ve brewed this and it remains and unexpected but pleasant flavored tea.
From the Puerh Plus TTB #2
I really enjoyed this tea. The flavor is a good mix of straw and spice with hints of tropical fruit and just enough astringency. The texture is velvety in the first couple of steeps, but the growing astringency gave it more bite in later steeps.
The best feature may be the finish, which smoothly extended the taste for what seemed like several minutes. Not much cha qi, but some was noticeable.
Imagine my heartbreak when I opened my tin of this and it smelled stale ; . ;. I made a cup anyway, hoping it was still good.
Brewed up, I smell the yummy spiciness of cinnamon and allspice. I get a hint of marshmallow with every sip.
But it’s stale. Not going to adjust the rating as the staleness is my fault for hoarding this tea obsessively. But I am going to move the tin to sipdowns and hope that my sealed bag lasted longer.
Alas, a sipdown. This was a very good tea, and I will miss it. Perhaps if I am ever in Pittsburgh, I can meet up with PrestoGeorge himself, if there is such a figure. Perhaps he will wear a fine cape and whisk a dove out of his jacket that will flutter around the establishment, hopefully not pooping everywhere. (For sanitation reasons! THINK OF THE TEA!) I will shake his hand, and then he will disappear into a mirror. Turns out he was pretending to be a fake magician, but he had real magic all along.
Bought these as a replacement for Teavana’s Black Dragon Pearls.
It didn’t quite work for me at home, but it’s perfect for work. Usually, work teas are those I’m hoping to use up quickly.
Easy to measure, consistent chocolate and malt taste, and works well with inconsistent brewing.
This one I will reorder because it’s a solid black and very convenient.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt