New Tasting Notes
This tea is relatively nice but by no means spectacular. There was a fair amount of bitterness, but not an abiding bitterness. A certain sweetness did emerge in latter steeps. I only gave this eight steeps because I didn’t want any more caffeine today but it was by no means done. I would not describe this as overly apricoty but it was nice enough to drink. I didn’t really notice much in the way of qi but I think I am feeling something. It was quite a bargain price wise, I think it goes for $18 a cake. For that price I was not expecting much but it was at least enjoyable.
I steeped this tea eight times with 7.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. The tea was not at all weak at eight steeps. It would have gone another six or seven steeps by my best estimate. This one may have potential for aging if what I have heard is true, that bitter teas age better. I have no room for it in my pumidor however, so it will have to age in the New Your climate.
Flavors: Bitter, Sweet
Very boring. Better than Lipton’s appalling attempt on an EG, but nothing to write home about. I like my EG to have a mild, smooth black base, and this one is astringent, which I find takes away from the bergamot oil. EG should be confectionlike and delightful, and this blend tastes like an English breakfast with a twist of something faintly citrus-y. A similar affect could be produced using a plain black Tetley teabag and a lemon wedge.
I’m officially a snob, I suppose.
Flavors: Artificial, Astringent, Citrus
Let this one steep too long and it wound up being rather bitter. When steeped properly, this is an aromatic and very satisfyingly gourmand blend. Cinnamon and vanilla are the strongest notes, with a whisper of hazelnut lingering in the aftertaste.
Having a very boring day at work (end of semester for undergrad = no customers = dragfest for teaqueen). Been watching some professional development videos on YouTube, but there’s only so much lecturing about networking I can take before my eyes start glazing over.
I daresay this won’t be my last brew of the day considering how little else there is to do!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Dirt, Hazelnut, Vanilla
Another sipdown. This is nice but not quite a favorite for me. As with last night’s Butiki tea, I find myself wanting a little more something. The sip starts with an almost coffee-like chocolate, which is so dark it verges on bitter. While it’s not as bad as in some teas, bitter is just not my thing. I do like the aftertaste, which is almost like a medium-bodied oolong—there’s some caramel and burnt sugar taste to it, as well as something like stone fruit. I wish those notes were just a bit stronger.
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Flavors: Berries, Coconut, Fruity, Pineapple, Pleasantly Sour, Strawberry, Tart
Pu-erh.sk recently restocked on this brick. There must have been some difference between the two batches. Last time I said it had completely cleared. This time I noticed just a little fermentation flavor. Last time I noticed some wet storage taste. This time I didn’t find any. Regardless of these things this was an excellent tea. It was bittersweet in the start. The bitterness did not last long. There were some chocolate notes in this tea. And I think I would say it developed a bit of a fruity taste in later steeps although this was just barely perceptible. Overall this was one well aged shou. I gave it twelve steeps but think it would have gone a few more, possibly sixteen or so.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 12.5g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Bittersweet, Earth
I admit I’m not a tea connoisseur but I have to admit that this tea is great for what it is. I tend to drink my teas without any milk or sugar but this is just perfect when I want something fruity and something a little sweet. AND it still tastes great after two pours. Plus this is my fiancé’s favorite!
I gave this blend a go this morning and, again, could not make it through the cup. I’m getting a bit of spice and a bit of sweetness on top of a lot of smoke. Not to sound like a repeat of yesterday’s tealog entry, but it’s like BBQ sauce or liquid (lightly peppered) bacon. I added a bit of milk to see if that would tone down the smokiness. It did, but it still tasted odd. I can’t wrap my head around it (smoky tea). I’m happy to have stepped out of my comfort zone, but I think it’s safe to say that smoked black tea is not my thing.
If anyone (in the US) is interested in sampling this, please let me know. Happy to pass it along to someone that enjoys smoky teas. :)
Flavors: Orange, Smoke, Spicy
So I began drinking this for breakfast while at my cousins and I was 100% confused…
This tasted like a lot of the early 00’s teas I’ve had so I was curious what the heck I was actually drinking. Insanely dark for a 5 year old raw pu’erh and a lot of age in the taste. Well, I did what I normally don’t do when I sip away at a pu’erh; I read about it. Turns out it was meant to taste like this! Whew, I’m not crazy then.
This still has some smokey/camphor to it, but it brews out around the sixth steep. The longevity of the brew is quite well depending on what you are eating or drinking with it because it can dry your mouth out in roughly 10 steeps… but I was going hard on my drinking as I am just chillin’ here :)
Mmmm…. fruity. The tea has a scent of peaches, with some mangoes, and perhaps berries. It is a nice aroma. There really isn’t a dominate fruit flavour. Actually, it does taste like fruit punch. But more mild. Good with the scones.
Thanks for the sample, Oolong Inc.
Flavors: Berries, Berry, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Mango, Peach
This note is for the Spring 2016 tea.
Another tea from Verdant. I was up early (for me anyways) and got to savour two steeps of this tea at home before work. Another lovely, gorgeous tea. Here are my findings:
Steep 1: 8oz 175F water, 30sec: vegetal, slightly floral, and more prominent a nutty taste that kind of tastes salty and buttery. SOOO goooooood.
Steep 2: 8oz 175F water, 45sec: less nutty, still vegetal, a bit buttery and slightly floral. Super good too.
I did do a third steep in my travel mug for work, but I only rinsed it after work last night so the taste is muddled with the tea from yesterday. So I will not comment on that steep other than saying is vegetal, lol.
One of the most delicious teas I’ve ever had. I’ve been trying to follow Verdant tea’s western steeping recommendations and I wonder how big of a difference it’s making as well? Usually I do a 12oz mug with about 1-1.5tsp of tea and steep green tea for 1.5-3min and its the same for subsequent steeps. I’m going to try Verdant’s methods on other greens I have and see how it makes a difference.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Nuts, Nutty, Salt, Vegetal
A sample from Miss B! Clearly I’m in a peachy mood at the moment, because yesterday’s sample pick was Tetley’s Bellini which is also peach-flavoured. Maybe because it’s warmer outside now and I’m thinking of summer? Anyway, I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in boiling water, no additions. This is another blend that I think would be good iced, but it’s also pretty good hot so I’ve no complaints about today’s preparation method.
Peach is the main flavour, and it’s a wonderfully sweet, fuzzy, yet natural-tasting peach. Like peach juice, really. There’s a mild undertone of ginger lurking around in the background, but it doesn’t really deliver much of a kick. If anything, it just serves to emphasise how sweet the peach is. The one thing I did notice is that this tea doesn’t have much of an aftertaste – it seems to become very flat-tasting quite suddenly at the end of the sip, which I don’t think I’ve ever really encountered before.
On the whole, though, I enjoyed this one. It’s nice to find a peach tea that isn’t hopelessly artificial, and the ginger here is a welcome addition and not at all overpowering. A great cup on a hot day!
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Flavors: Grapefruit, Malt
The first time I steeped this tea it had a bit of a fishy flavor so I threw out that steeping and tried again. Fortunately the second and third steepings tasted much better. So I recommend rinsing this before steeping it (I know some people do this as a matter of routine but it just seems wasteful to me to throw out perfectly good tea so I always try it without rinsing first to see whether it needs it).
If you make sure to rinse it first, I’d say it’s a good tea, although not my absolute favorite Dark Matter selection. I didn’t take notes for a full review yet but I have enough leaves left for a bit more tea (I brew Western style) so I guess I can do that later. I’m on the third steeping now but it’s not very representative because I accidentally steeped it for like ten minutes lol.
At first sniff I knew I had a special tea on my hands. Picked only a month ago, this tea smells incredibly fresh- like nothing I’ve had before. I did multiple steepings of this tea, each one being super vegetal: as if I was eating greens! Tasty, very tasty; it’s truly delicious and something to savour.
Flavors: Vegetables, Vegetal
Sipdown! This one has been sitting in my cupboard for ages. It was my least favourite of the three Teatoxy blends I tried, one of which I really enjoyed. I adore it for its novelty value – blue tea is a talking point, if nothing else, but I wasn’t over keen on the flavour (I think it was the pandan, but there was something thick and brothy with an edge of intense sweetness that drowned out everything else for me.) I also didn’t feel I gained much from this in terms of the promised energy boost, but maybe that was a little much to expect anyway. I’d not repurchase this one – matcha, guayusa and mate are my go-to energy boost teas, and they generally taste better to boot.
This was a sample with my last Bluebird order. I think I’ve only tried it once before, and that was also a sample if I remember correctly. While I like the idea of herbal bedtime blends, floral teas aren’t usually my favourite so I just tend not to buy them often (or at all).
I’m pleased to be able to give this one a second chance, though. While brewing, it smells strongly of lavender. It’s a very calming, reassuring scent, at least to me, but it’s too perfume-like for me to want to drink regularly. Fortunately, the lavender doesn’t really translate into the flavour. To taste, this is mostly chamomile (with all the thick, sweet hay-like honey notes that implies), with a hint of rose water. The lavender lurks around the edges as a sweet, floral background note but it’s not massively prominent. As the cup cools, I can begin to taste a touch of lemon – the sharper citrus helps to brighten things up, and is a refreshing counterpoint to the otherwise heavily sweet and floral flavours.
I liked this one more than I was expecting to, which seems to be the same experience I had last time too. It’s not something I’d drink regularly, but it would make a really good stress-busting blend, and it puts me in mind of summer which is instantly cheering on a dull-ish day. As ever with Bluebird blends, it’s also a very pretty tea. The pink rose petals, lilac lavender, yellow chamomile and green lemon verbena are very much reminiscent of a wildflower field in summer, and that added just a little extra touch of wonderfulness as I watched this one brew. A pleasant reacquaintance!