New Tasting Notes
Hmm…this is better than I remember, but still not as perfect as I had hoped. I just brewed this hot and poured over ice as I didn’t have time for a cold brew. There’s a strong, juicy mango flavour, frozen peach notes, and just an overall tropical feel. Definitely very refreshing for a hot day.
Flavors: Fruity, Mango, Peach, Tropical
This was the first tea I tried from my Hackberry order. I opened the envelope and smelled it and it was all over after that. It smelled so deliciously plummy that I had to try it right away – and my husband did too. We both ended up resteeping the leaves, which is unusual for me – I usually don’t resteep at all. The leaf appeared to be of good quality: long and unbroken. No fannings here! There are some bits of red, those could be hibiscus but I did not really taste the hibiscus in the blend. The overriding flavors are definitely plum and currant. Anything else in the blend just enhances and supports those. It would be easy to say that this is the best plum tea I have ever had.
I was really intrigued by this one since I haven’t seen many teas with this flavor profile and I am a sucker for anything salty/sweet. The leaf is really interesting. It has corn, popped corn, and corn nuts! I wasn’t sure about it when I popped it open and smelled it because it had a really strong smell, and the first couple of drinks had me still unsure. But as the cup progressed it reallly grew on me, and toward the end I was totally hooked. This is really good! I can taste the hint of salt at the end of the sip, and the caramel flavor is really smooth, buttery and rich.
Where I live, red velvet is a chocolate cake with a bottle of red food coloring added and cream cheese frosting. When I saw the name of this tea I expected something chocolate flavored. If I had read the description on the website I would have known better, so that’s my fault. The goal of this tea is to taste like a raspberry trifle with whipped cream, and it really does! There are raspberries in the dry leaf, and the big thing on top in the photo is a candied lemon peel. I believe the green that is visible is the lemon myrtle. The main flavor is raspberry cream, but I definitely get the lemon too in the top of my mouth.
Harvest: Spring 2014
So I felt like tasting the 2014 version of Shan Valley’s First Flush Green Tea after trying the 2013 version and brewed it exactly the same as I did the 2013version. This time I only had a small (relative to the large six ounce packet last time) one ounce sample. I liked the packaging on this one more than the paper-foil packet the 2013 was in, even though my issue with the 2013 packaging was purely aesthetic, although I am a little concerned about the packaging on this one because of the clear back. But then I don’t store my teas in a place that gets much sunlight, so it isn’t that big of an issue.
Dry Leaves: The leaves look pretty similar to the 2013 version, still very dark for a green tea and have a stiff bark-like texture; the difference is these leaves look a little flatter and have longer stems. Other than that they are pretty similar to the 2013 harvest, maybe with a tangier smoke scent, but still has a pleasant fermented fruity aroma as well. It almost reminds me of a barbecue sauce, but it is smokier then most barbeque sauces I make.
Brewing Time: One Minute
Flavor: Spinach, Fruity, Metallic and Honey
Tasting Notes: Immediately I could tell I liked this harvest more than the 2013 even though it is more astringent. The 2013 harvest reminded me a lot of a Sheng Puerh crossed with a Purple tea, this time not so much, even though it still feels quite different than most greens I’ve had. There was a sharp metallic taste this time that made the astringency much more noticeable.
Not bad for a first infusion I am not really fond of metallic tastes in tea, most teas I’ve had with metallic notes generally have a rust/blood element, but this was a little different. I almost wanted to describe it as either wet stone or minerally, but it doesn’t fit either category comfortably.
Brewing Time: One and a half Minutes
Aroma: Fruity and Smokey
Flavor: Spinach, Stone Fruit, Metallic and Honey
Tasting Notes: Still very astringent, but it is becoming much more vibrant and nuanced then the last infusion and even the 2013 harvest. There was a nice creamy mouthfeel this time. It still had that sharp metallic taste from last time, but this time it was not as biting.
This was the best of the three infusions, it had a near perfect mouthfeel and a nice balance between the strong spinach notes that lingered and the minor honey notes that disappeared almost immediately. I liked the aroma quite a lot, it doesn’t have as pungent fruity aroma as the next infusion, but it still has a very nice smoke in it that become quite weak in the next infusion.
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Aroma: Fruity and Smokey
Flavor: Green Beans, Metallic and Honey
Tasting Notes: While not as astringent as the last two infusions it feels much harsher this time because the green bean and honey flavors do not last as long. While the metallic notes are not as strong as the green bean it has become very sharp by now. Probably my least favorite infusion.
Overall not a bad tea, I was a little disappointed initially because I came in expecting a sheng like tea, but it still was not bad. It is much more vibrant and complex than the 2013 harvest and overall is a much better tea than the 2013 harvest, but there is something about the 2013 harvest that left me breathless which is missing from this tea. Perhaps this is a tea that is technically better than its predecessor, but lacks the soul of the previous. Regardless this tea is definitely worth trying, at $3 for an ounce (or $10 for 6 ounces! at the time of writing this) it is hard for me to not recommend this tea. Although this tea might not be the right tea for the normal green tea drinker, it won’t break the bank.
I am finally getting around to posting notes about the wonderful teas from Dammonn Freres from the group order that Marzipan coordinated. Thank you, Marzipan! When my husband offers me tea in the morning I get to say, “Something French.” :). It has been a lot of fun.
I looked up the Charlotte-style dessert this tea is based on, wow, I am looking forward to making some gorgeous summer desserts! I have liked all the DF teas so far— they are all so comforting. Steeping time is key (the low recommended end) to avoid the base overwhelming the rest of the flavors. I don’t sweeten my teas, but I took a sip after a bite of cake and found the fruit flavors really popped. There is a stewed fruit quality, like jam without the sugar, and that awesome biscuit taste, reminds me of ladyfingers. A solid choice for a fruity black.
Flavors: Pastries, Stewed Fruits
One of the teas I got to celebrate Spring. It smells so nice, like orange zest and roses. When brewed, the Laoshan base comes out. The flavour is a sorta light bergamot with some floral and chocolate notes. If you have a tea holiday, this would go well with scones.
Flavors: Bergamot, Chocolate, Floral, Orange, Rose
I made this again, this time a cold steep, and this is sadly still not a tea for me.
The cold steep is still quite bitter, as a steepsterite mentioned to me, there is a lot of pith in here somehow. And very strangely maybe there is a touch of cinnamon here? a hint of a spice, lurking in the cold infusion? I sweetened this a lot, iced tea seems to call for it, and it does improve the tea a bit, but still a frustrating tea for me.
No notes yet. Add one?
Bah I haven’t written a note on this one yet but have drank it quite a few times..and today is not the day to write a detailed review since I’m at work lol..but let’s just say this is a great EGC with a bit more bergamot in it than Acquired Taste’s other cream offering I have tried. I think the first time I had this was steeped in a pot at my great aunts, with not much attention paid to the time it steeped for as we were visiting, etc, and it was still excellent! A great one for a large pot or just a cup, however today in my travel mug it is a bit perfumey from the bergamot. Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite earl greys and it can stand up to being brewed a lot of ways it seems! Tasty and warming on this cloudy, cooler morning. Finally got some rain last night :) I am still waiting for the t-storms this summer! Not really any good ones yet. Anyways, back to work now, I will write a more detailed note later!
Should have realized this was an oolong that brewed closer to black tea qualities when I looked at the leaves. Not a big deal I’m just not as big of a fan of black as I am green. BUT! This is good! Definitely taste the cacao and caramel. The honeysuckle …hmm kinda, maybe?
My daughter seems to like it too.