New Tasting Notes
Lovely little tea shop in the centre of Basel. Large selection of 350 – 400 kinds of teas (loose leaf and bagged) as well as tea accessories. Great if you know what you want. Would have wished for a bit more advice and counsel on days where I wasn’t sure what to get, though. Friendly staff.
Flavors: Alcohol, Anise, Apple Candy, Apricot, Artificial
Started off with a 5s wash.
Steep times were: 5s, 8s, 10s, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s
First steep has hints of black currant, nuttyness, and other fruity hints. It also has that traditional ‘oolong’ taste which I honestly don’t know how to explain. First steep is also overall mild. There is a tad bit of a slight tartness at the back of the tongue, which is really enjoyable.
Second steep, carries on from the first with a bit more sweetness and tartyness present. It’s a great combination.
Third Steep, same as second.
Fourth steep, a little bit of a floral taste now added to it.
Rest of the steeps kept the consistency from the fourth steep, but lowered in intensity.
A decent oolong in my opinion. For a really good tea session, requires quite a bit of leaves and potentially a bit longer steeping times.
Flavors: Black Currant, Floral, Fruity, Nutty, Roasted, Tart
Ordered this as I read so many good things. First, I always use 2 of the ROT bags. I find I can taste the paper of the teabag sometimes. At any rate, I steeped this, heavy coconut smell. Taste is like a mounds bar, this was actually very taaty, a perfect dessert tea. Would make a fantastic latte.
Hm, well, it’s an odd one. I like Pu-erh teas, not my all time favorites but I can appreciate the nuance and the savory, earthy taste they sometimes carry. This one is pretty good, and the cardamom certainly makes the pu-erh more palatable, but it’s quite disorienting in some ways.
Specifically, it smells like fish when it’s brewing. Fish with a subtle hint of cardamom…sounds like a pretty nice dish, but not necessarily what I imagine when I’m brewing tea. So once it’s finished brewing (I followed Numi’s suggestion of about 4 minutes) it doesn’t taste like fish at all to me.
It’s got the earthiness I’ve come to expect with pu-erhs, and a nice thick body to it. There is a lot of cardamom, and over all it just tastes…okay. I like it, but I don’t think it will sway chai fans, for example, into the world of pu-erh based off of scent alone. And pu-erh connoisseurs may not appreciate the presence of cardamom. It’s not bad, but I just almost don’t know who it’s for…Well, as a fan of cardamom and pu-erh I think it’s pretty good. If you are in that venn diagram, you may like it as well.
Flavors: Cardamon, Earth, Mushrooms
You just can’t go wrong with this tea, in my opinion. I just use one David’s Tea spoon, unless I’m making a latte where I bump it up to two. I’ve had it black, great. I’ve had it with a splash of milk (how I usually take it), wonderful. I’ve had it as a latte, superb. It is just an all around excellent tea.
It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and spicy but not even close to being overwhelming. Most teas that are inspired by desserts or ‘real’ food to me come off as either very fake or just not even close. Somehow, someway, Cardamom French Toast does taste like french toast. A bit of a bready note with some body, sweet syrupy flavor, and of course some spicy/sweet cardamom.
Granted this tea has a lot of ingredients, nobody would call it natural, but it really works to curb sweet cravings for me, something other teas generally only halfway achieve. This one tastes like a dessert, even with just a tablespoon of milk.
If it is ever in danger of being discontinued again, I’ll have to do a decent stock up. And then cry.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cardamon, Maple Syrup
Alright, this respiratory infection has got to go. At first I thought it was just a run-of-the mill sinus infection, the kind I get around this time every year, but no, it had to be something more. Now it’s day six and I’m done with feeling miserable. I decided to break out some sheng and hopefully move on with my life. Before I formally move on to introducing the denizens of Steepster world to my impressions of this tea, however, I am going to devote a little time to an issue that seems to weigh on a number of folks in such a way that it brings out the worst.
This seems to be the time of year when people get riled up over age statements concerning the age of a bunch of trees in a distant land. First off, I understand. Do I think this mao cha actually comes from 800 year old trees? No, I don’t. Seeing as how I am most certainly not an expert, have never seen the trees, and possess no actual scientific data backing up the age statement, I have no reason to believe the veracity of such a claim. I could be wrong, but I still remain skeptical. How much do I care about the claim itself? I’m not really sure yet. Clearly my doubts did not prevent me from buying this tea. To be honest, I don’t feel suckered and don’t regret purchasing it in the least. I saw it as a product on the market that I could purchase and review, and anyone remotely familiar with my proclivities should know how near and dear to my heart reviewing stuff lies. It’s kind of what I do. Second, we are all aware that our beloved tea world is filled with falsehoods, especially the nether regions occupied by pu’erh and similar teas. Teas are sometimes deliberately or unintentionally mislabeled, misnamed, misdated, and otherwise misrepresented. The degree to which piracy and other such tomfoolery runs rampant is truly impossible to accurately determine. We should all know this by now. Believe me when I say that if some of you get upset (and not unreasonably I may add) by what you see as potentially dishonest, or perhaps we should still give the benefit of the doubt and say intentionally naive, marketing on the part of one vendor who currently seems to be quite popular, you have probably either excused it or just not noticed it elsewhere. I could be wrong, but I would just about guarantee it because let’s not kid ourselves-it doesn’t only happen with tea. If I can now offer a point to all of this medicine-headed rambling, I would offer this one: ranting about it on a discussion board is probably neither going to change the business nor the buying habits and preferences of one’s online peers. At the end of the day, does it really matter how old the trees are? Can a tea not still be enjoyable even if it is misrepresented? Do we really need to continue piling on certain vendors who have a habit of making such claims? In situations like this one, I kind of can’t help thinking that all we can do is express our doubts, either try the tea or avoid it, and move on with our lives. Oh, and for the record, I do not think that deciding to buy a product whose marketing is more than a bit fishy boils down to some sort of moral deficiency on the part of individual buyers. So many of these discussions can turn unproductive when we seemingly boil them down to “why don’t all of these other people feel like me with regard to this issue? What’s wrong with them?” Maybe it really is not a matter of people who choose to purchase such products being morally lacking compared to you. Maybe they are just curious and/or see themselves as giving something controversial a fair shake and sharing their thoughts with the rest of the world to provide a balanced perspective. That, in and of itself, can be valuable too.
Enough of that. I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. I followed this up with infusions of 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves gave off muted, musty aromas of tulsi, straw, and citrus. After the rinse, I noted that the citrus aroma grew more powerful. I could not quite place it though. I also started to pick up on flowers and honey. The first infusion produced a nearly identical bouquet. In the mouth, I was able to detect mild notes of brine, straw, tulsi, lemon and honey with a slight minty note on the finish. Subsequent infusions introduced impressions of bitter orange peel, jasmine, and osmanthus while the menthol note on the finish turned into a distinct impression of wintergreen. They weren’t kidding about that. I kept waiting for the apricot to show up in a big way, but I only started to catch a subtle hint of it around the seventh or eighth infusion. I also started getting a sharp, chalky mineral presence on the finish. Later infusions were thin, but still had a little life to them. The dominant notes were of minerals, lemon, bitter orange peel, and tulsi balanced by cooling notes of wintergreen and apricot. Bizarrely enough, I thought I just barely detected a fleeting note of lemongrass at this point, but it may have been me.
Though I wish the floral aromas and flavors stuck around longer, this ended up being the type of sheng that appealed to me. On the rare occasions I decide to drink sheng, I often go looking for teas with some combination of spicy, herbal, and citrusy notes. This tea had all of that. The fleeting floral impressions and the pronounced honey tones just added more appeal for me. I’m sure the fact that it soothed my aching throat while greatly reminding me of a milder version of the honey menthol cough drops I have been wolfing down for the past 3 days only strengthened its appeal. All in all, this one got over with me, dubious claims and all.
Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Jasmine, Lemon, Lemongrass, Menthol, Mineral, Osmanthus, Straw, Tulsi
I might have effed up my first attempt at a London Fog but in the end, it all worked out alright: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/02/20/shades-of-earl-grey-let-it-snow-from-for-teas-sake/
Apparently I really enjoyed this tea because I wrote two Sororitea Sister reviews on it and didn’t even notice. Oops. http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/02/18/dirty-girl-scout-from-the-necessiteas/
Not too bad for a flavored tea, but I am kind of “over” most flavored teas. This must be the newer version, since I didn’t get any cool glitter effect.
There is some malt and astringency; that’s pretty much all there is of the base. Tastes like a cheap Indian base, which hey, I’m cool with.
Of course, the flavors mask the tea, since this is Davids. There’s maple, brown sugar, almond extract, vanilla, a little bit of creamy saltiness. It’s a nice dessert tea.
I am really now of the opinion that this is just not my tea. If I don’t watch it like a hawk it gets bitter on me and bitter tea makes me sad.
Still! I am determined to use what I have. I will simply have to watch like a hawk when I brew this, and when I sip it down I will be very pleased with myself.
The smell is amazing and you get this wonderful chocolaty orange smell that you think to yourself that you just scored the jackpot here but wait for it… the tea just doesn’t deliver.
I really wanted to like this one, I really did and I have had it multiple times now and the best way that I enjoy it is as a latte.
Flavors: Coffee, Mocha, Orange
More butterscotch than caramel, but still delicious!
I like the little pyramid sachets the tea comes in. I’m very impressed with Lupicia’s flavoured rooibos blends. I’m planning on purchasing a few varieties when I next go to the states and take advantage of the cheaper American shipping.
The rum/butterscotch make it very creamy, sweet, hints of vanilla. It goes really well with the sweet rooibos.
Flavors: Alcohol, Butterscotch, Custard, Rooibos, Rum, Sweet, Vanilla