New Tasting Notes
Picked up a little of this yesterday to give it a try. Dry, it smells rich and chocolately – so far so good. But I found that once it brewed up it was underwhelming. Next time I’ll try a longer steep, but at my usual 2 min it was just a vaguely sweet, vaguely creamy, vaguely flavoured mild black. No real flavours stuck out to me. Just all-around meh.
This was a really nice early morning pick me up for a day at work that I didn’t feel like doing.
Both the dry leaves and the brew smell sweet and floral, with an undercurrent of vegetables.
The brew is thick and creamy, with spinach and floral flavors. It opens up nice and strong, but it’s got quite a bit of astringency in the later steeps. Lasted a good 20 steeps or so too; I lost count after 10.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Spinach, Thick
Ugh! Technical difficulties!! I was feeling a bit off today and decided I wanted to spend my day playing some Ark, but it seems my electronics have other plans. I turn on my Xbone and my screen didn’t turn on, so I fiddle with the cables and connections and nope, the screen (which is old and has been on its last legs for a while) finally has died. This is so sad, the new Ark update is supposed to come out on the first but I doubt I will have a new screen by then, what a bummer.
But, of course, where there is sadness there is always tea to brush away whatever has put me in a foul mood. Today’s tea is from Bitterleaf Teas, their Giant White 2015 Jing Gu Moonlight White Tea, ah Moonlight, one of my favorite types of tea. I have given it the nickname Drow tea, since it is dark leaves with beautiful silver trichomes, much like a Drow…because I am such a dork, but I don’t care, Drow are awesome and so is this tea. After I get done oohing and aahing over the beautiful fluffy leaves I give them a good sniff, and the first thing I notice is the iconic aroma of tomato leaves. I am not sure why Moonlight almost always smells like tomato leaves to me, along with rich honey, freshly cut hay, woodruff, sage, and a bit of distant grapes. It is mellow and sweet, a bit more herbaceous than usual, which I really enjoy.
Into my dedicated to Moonlight teapot the leaves go for a steep. Well hello complex wet leaves! Notes of sugar cane, marshmallow, peaches, lettuce, and dried tomato dance out of the pot with the steam. The leaves smell crisp and sweet, managing to be refreshing while also retaining a dessert like sweetness. The liquid is very light, like a just ripe peach (not cut, just sitting there, taunting you with its sweetness, but it is too pretty to eat yet…this has happened to me too many times) wildflowers, honey, and a touch of butterhead lettuce adding a touch of crispness at the finish.
This tea starts pretty light, with gentle notes of hay and delicate lettuce at the start and a powerful burst of perfectly ripe peach at the middle. The finish is delicate sugar cane and distant note of hazelnuts. It is very sweet and wonderfully light, a good start that had me craving more.
Steep two’s aroma has the wildflowers and honey along with gentle lettuce and peaches, but now it also has a meringue sweetness that really has me wondering what a peach meringue pie would taste like. It starts with a thick sweetness, like warm honey drizzled apricots and peaches with a side of juicy sugarcane. In the middle of the steep it gets a distinct woodruff and sage quality that blends amazingly with the fruity quality and makes the transition into lettuce and celery pretty seamless. The aftertaste is a long lingering sweet and light sugar cane, delicious stuff.
Now what sets this Moonlight apart from many others I have tried? Well it is sweet, it still has that crisp lettuce quality of a fresh Moonlight, oh yeah…it lasts forever! I am not sure I have run into one that lasts as many steeps, and usually this style of tea can get quite a few steeps in before it fades away. As the steeps carry on the notes of peach and apricot increase and the crisp lettuce notes start to take a backseat until they eventually fade, though the herbaceous notes stick around for a bit longer. As the tea starts to fade all that is left is wonderful honey and distant wildflowers.
Seriously… I haven’t reviewed this? :/ I’ve drank this probably a solid 5 times, at least. I love the cacao shell bits – really differentiates it from other English Toffee teas I’ve had. And the pu’erh is as un-fishy as I’ve tasted. Basically, it’s a perfect tea for those times you want a sweet treat without the calories, as it’s quite a rich-tasting tea.
This tea is really good, I might use the word phenomenal. It started out as a complex mixture of bitter, sweet, and astringent. There was no smoke. It was too young to have developed any storage tastes. I gave this tea sixteen steeps in a 150ml gaiwan. Over the course of sixteen steeps it gradually changed into a sweet tea with notes of apricots and stonefruits. I should note that the bitterness was never very strong. It was clearly present once the leaves had opened up but it was not what I would call an abiding bitterness. This is an expensive cake, the most expensive in Yunnan Sourcing’s 2016 lineup. With many vendors I would have to question if it was real Bing Dao material. But I trust Scott to be selling the real thing. Apparently the trees that this was picked from were between 100 and 300 years old making this gushu puerh, even if just barely. I also trust this claim because I think that Scott wouldn’t lie. With Yunnan Sourcing I have always gotten what I paid for. Now the big question, is this as good as the 2014 Yunnan Sourcing Autumn Bing Dao which was substantially cheaper. I’m on the fence about this. That tea was a phenomenal tea too. I think I will have to go back and drink that one again before I can decide which I like better. As to the tea quality, these were lasting leaves. I gave them sixteen steeps and I could go back for more. With longer steeps I would estimate I’d get between four and eight more steeps. But I don’t have the patience to start infusing these leaves for ten minutes at a time. In conclusion, this was one of the best young raws I have drunk. It had a nice punch to it in the beginning but not too much bitterness. It changed quite dramatically over the sixteen steeps I gave it becoming as sweet as I think any raw puerh gets. This one is definitely worth a sample of. I risked a whole cake without a sample because the 2014 Autumn Bing Dao from Yunnan Sourcing was so damn good.
Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Stonefruits, Sweet
Not bad, actually. I had fairly low expectations as it’s a flavoured green, but it was pleasantly creamy from the coconut, and fruity from pineapple/mango. Basically tastes like a fruity, hibiscus-less herbal. I drank it warm/cooled, and I think it would be great iced. Chamomile is not noticeable, which is ideal.
Just received my LP tea order. I went for a darker mix (FT Dianhong, Dark Kitchen Sink, Jin Xuan and Coffee, Rummy Pu, Laoshan Chocolate Genmaicha, Swanns Way) because.. well.. I love dark tea. I sense that Andrew picked up on that and so he added this tea into my order. While I absolutely love the process (I love anything and everything birch), the CTC tea kind of makes me nervous.
So, I picked this one first. I followed directions and used 4g (1g over but just barely) and brewed it for 45 seconds. I set the temp for 200F just because I wasn’t sure and again, I didn’t want to get the tannic astringency and bitterness I normally associate with CTC black tea.
I have to say that this is WAY smoother than I thought. It has a fairly classic black tea flavor but I detect no tannic bitterness. As an added bonus, there is a faint birch flavor at the end of the swallow on the back of the tongue. Having had birch beer/pop and birch flavored candy, I am pretty familiar with the flavor. I’ll be interested to see if I push the steep time and temperature if I can coax out more birch flavor or if that just makes the tea go into bitter territory.
Second steep of 1.5 minutes yields less birch but still a good smooth black tea. Color me surprised. My rating for this is absolutely taking into consideration the fact that it is a CTC tea. I suspect if I had this experience with a whole leaf tea I might be a little more underwhelmed but this certainly outdid my expectations.
I’m new to loose tea. This week I bought Maraca Mango from David’s Tea and I am primarily using this as iced tea. I like that I can taste the fruit flavors in this tea clearly but not overwhelmingly. I still get the black tea taste as well. I have tried a cup of this tea hot and it was good that way as well but I like it better as an iced tea. I am making this tea using the David’s Teas Bright Sky Crystal Travel Mug. I put 2 teaspoons of tea in the basket, fill with hot water, and stick the container in the fridge. I find that refrigerating overnight (11 hrs) gives the best result. I do a second batch during the day (secret compartment in mug lid holds another serving of loose tea!) which I only refrigerate for 4 hours and it isn’t nearly as good. I love the way this tea smells.
Flavors: Mango, Passion Fruits, Pineapple
YUM! This tea tastes so much of sweet potato (which I noticed especially on the second and third steepings) that I’m wondering if I should sweeten it with brown sugar and marshmallows, lol. It goes excellently with milk and sugar, in any case. :)
(So . . . apparently I like sweet potato notes in my tea? That seems to be the gist of this.)
The weather is lovely, and so anything fruity can be appreciated. Time to sip a bit of “Quatre fruits rouges”… the steeped tea smells nicely of red fruits, in a shy sort of way which already lets you know that this aromatised black tea is a job well done. It might well be that the fragrances are softer now as I got the tin 2 years ago, but I like it this way. The discrete presence of the fruit in the taste is also to my liking. I didn´t realise at first, but I left a bit in the mug, which I drank later (cold) and it had turned a bit bitter, not overly though. Overall a positive experience… and I should finish this and other Kusmi tins I bought about the same time.
Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry
Just got home from being away for a bit and this is my first tea back at home. I had been so careful about my away-travel tea selection, but, you know, spoiled. It is good to be back home to choices, choices, and more choices.It was a bit hot and humid when I fell asleep last night, but then I was uncovered and chilled when I woke up this morning. This is the tea I reached for. Delicious, warming, and lovely, especially when strains of autumn are slowly peeking through early summer mornings.
Peach and more than ‘just peach’
If you ever had Peanut Butter Cup from last years fall collection, you’d know exactly how this tea tastes. When I say exactly, I actually mean it. To me, this did not taste granola-y at all. They really should’ve just called it Nutty Crunch. .Mind you, I did like it because it reminded me of PBC, but it’s not a tea I would buy again
Flavors: Nutty, Peanut, Sweet
Before I bought this tea, I had this feeling in my head that it would taste like their Mate tea Jumpy Momkey. Boy was I right. I feel like they just took away some of the ingredients from Jumpy Monkey and decided to come out with a new rebranded tea. Not trying to talk down about this tea because actually.. I did like it. I feel like it shouldn’t have been called Mocha Latte because there’s no “latte” taste to it. Maybe I should’ve made it as a latte to get the full experience? Next time I have it I guess.
Flavors: Coffee, Mocha
This tea was awful. I has such high hopes for it. I was a little worried about it due to the whole Peaches N Cream tea tasting like paint thinner. And boy was I right. You could taste the carrot cake a it but it’s over powered with spice and ginger. Was not happy at all with it.
Flavors: Ginger, Licorice, Spices
This was from a sample kindly sent to me by another steepster to aid in my quest to find black teas that I wouldn’t need to add sweetener to.
This one was not at all astringent but the level of tannin still sent me to the sugar bowl. Still, the tea was delicious and got me going this morning!
Flavors: Malt, Tannin