New Tasting Notes
There are a LOT of roses in this tea. I was a bit horrified when I looked at the dry leaves but thankfully, it wasn’t the perfumed mess I expected it to be. There is definitely rose flavor, as well as jasmine. There’s supposedly bergamot oil because it’s Earl Grey but I couldn’t really taste it under the rose and jasmine.
It’s drinkable but not my favorite. The flavors mix together a bit weirdly and I’m not completely sure it works for my palate.
Flavors: Jasmine, Rose
Unique would be the correct term; however that sometimes equates to a bad connotation such as this time.
I tend to only write positive reviews, but I will adjust this one to provide some help from my experience. Floral notes work best for that vegetable like tea taste and the lighter teas. There’s a reason why jasmine works well with green tea but not so well with black tea; just a balancing act of flavors.
When it comes to this blend, there’s a strong upfront roast profile to the tea with a smokey finish while having the osmanthus flavor throughout. While I can say the flavoring is balanced and does what it should, the base of this really throws off the experience. When it comes to floral, a dry mouth feel coming from the smokiness makes it hard to enjoy while a stronger dancong could be acceptable for such a thing.
What would I change? Well, I think a base tea that already agrees with the taste being mixed in would be best. It would be cool to see a dayuling and osmanthus or a dancong osmanthus as both have a nice thickness that ends in a wet way rather than dry.
There’s just something odd about drinking this that made me want to stop, but I went through four steeps to ensure the smokiness stays as well as the roast. The osmanthus lasted as well so that’s good, there’s a good technique being used just needs a more agreeable base.
The essence of this tea was so unique that I had to try it. I can imagine some monks up in the Himalayas concocting this tea. It’s slightly flowery. A hint of sweetness. Woodsy, black base is pretty much covered up by all the flavors mixing in the cup. Gorgeous amber color. Whoa weird! Banana!!! It went from sweet and flowery to banana and slightly bitter. This is a weird tea! Holy smokes.
One of the few remaining teabags from the book of tea. This definitely is subtle and takes a bit of paying attention to register cherry but it actually does taste like that. However, as I have said time and time again, the base just kills it for me. It is quite strong next to such a mellow flavor that I find I just want MOAR!!! I shouldn’t have to focus to taste the flavor of a flavored tea. I think it is fair to say I am just not a huge fan of Lupicia black teas and this is no exception. Still, it was fun to try.
What a fragrance! The dry smell is so sweet. Almost like root beer. You really cannot let this one steep too long or it becomes bitter fast. Oddly enough the first flavor to hit your mouth is not vanilla. It hits more in the aftertaste. Also I found it better if brewed at a slightly cooler temp. Not the best vanilla tea I’ve had but not terrible. Not something I would drink again.
From the Here’s hoping TTB
Today was awesome! Ben and I went to the zoo and I had a blast taking pictures of all the creatures and spending far too much time in the bird enclosures. Seriously my favorite aspect of the KC Zoo (other than their conservation work) is the Australian and African bird enclosure, it is a giant bird cage where many birds just go about their business mostly ignoring people. Except the ibises in the Australia exhibit and the splendid starlings in Africa, conveniently they are two of my favorites. I just love the zoo and I am so glad I was able to go!
Since it is starting to feel like summer I wanted to cover a tea that is practically just summer incarnate, Tea Ave’s Rose Oolong. This tea is an Alishan Jin Xuan that has been scented with rose, and with a few rose petals tossed in, and let me say, I love roses in tea…the idea of blended roses with an already creamy sweet base sounds wonderful. The aroma smells exactly like I had hoped, it smells like Rose Milk (or Falooda, though not quite as starchy) Rose Milk was one of my favorite summer drinks for years. In fact it is one of my favorite aspects of both Indian and Persian desserts, the use of rose is wonderfully decadent. The aroma of rose is certainly strong and sweet, but it brings in milky sweet notes from the Jin Xuan, giving it a dessert quality and it smells delicious.
Steeping the tea was pretty awesome, the tea area was filled with blooming roses and it was heady, which I liked! Full on rose garden in bloom coming out of my gaiwan. After steeping the leaves had a blend of rose and milky sweet custard with a slight nutty undertone and hint of crushed vegetation. The liquid smelled like rose custard, super sweet and creamy with intense rose and even a pinch of sugar cane, it is pretty intense!
I was proud of myself, I shared some of this tea with Ben instead of quaffing it all myself, it took great self control. First thing you notice is the rose, it is at the foretaste and the mid, and of course the after, it is all rose all the time. The rest of the taste dances from creamy sweet custard to a bit of nuttiness to a slight crushed vegetation at the finish. It is fairly light at the first steep, but lightness cannot stop the rose.
Conveniently, the rose is still strong for the second steep, but it does not get stronger, it stays the same level of rose bush. The sweet creamy taste however, that does get stronger, really taking on a custard quality with undertone of sesame seeds. I almost want to munch on pistachios while drinking this tea to really bring out the Persian ice cream quality. The aftertaste is rose and it lingers for a while.
Onward to the next steep, this one has a slightly stronger rose in both taste and aroma, and a slightly diminished creamy sweetness. For this steep the notes of crushed vegetation and lily are stronger alongside the intense rose, there is no doubt this is a Jin Xuan, and it blends wonderfully with the rose, in fact other than the occasional blending with red teas, this might be the best rose combination I have found. I also tried it cold steeped, it was enjoyable, but I preferred it warm, which is odd considering how much the taste reminds me of ice cream!
This is a very good rooibos with what is a sweet and sour taste. It’s a pleasant sour as opposed to a negative sour. This is very good. A couple of the ingredients are slightly off as everything was not exactly in the catalog. We need to improve the Steepster catalog of ingredients for herbal teas which often have weird ingredients.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 5 minutes.
Quoting haveteawilltravel here, because I can’t get any closer than this:
The flavor begins dry and with a drought earth flavor. This taste progresses to an old leather and top soil. The flavors keep a consistent smooth dry bite with some wet clay and rainwater flavors arising later on.
First shou for me! Thanks LP!
Flavors: Clay, Drying, Leather, Wet Earth
Got home from work and my Universal Yums box had arrived! My husband got me a subscription as a surprise a few months ago. It’s basically my favorite thing ever. I love snacking and traveling and trying new foods. The box is snack foods from a different country every month. It’s usually a 2 or 3 bags of snack size chips or whatnot salty snack, and then a variety of sweets and baked goods that are traditional or popular in the country. It’s curated for the Western palate so everything is different and fun but not extreme. So for example in my Philippines box I got a bag of Sweet Corn Poofs. Like Cheetos, but Sweet Corn instead of cheese. They smelled just like corn on the cob with butter. The first one made me kind of grossed out but they were addictive and ultimately delicious. I have fond memories. My first box was France, the best box so far was Philippines, and this month is Greece, with Oregano potato chips and hazelnut chocolates and rose candies. This tea was a bonus item in the box and obviously I had to get right on it.
I couldn’t find any brewing instructions on the packaging or online so I guesstimated at 203F for 3 minutes in 8oz. That seemed okay.
It reminds me of Valerian tea in the smell and a bit in the taste, it could just be a sort of musty herbal quality. It’s kind of savory? If you put some oregano and noodles in it I would totally buy it as a soup (okay maybe a disappointing vegetable soup), but after all it does have saffron and sage and those are both great in soup. It’s certainly not sweet or floral. It’s very rustic. It leaves a brothy aftertaste. I’m not getting any of the Lemon Verbena.
An afternoon tea session with notes of apricot, mango, honeysuckle, jackfruit and slight vegetation. Semi sweet in flavor and aromatics. Creamy mouthfeel. This was a very enjoyable selection.
6.5g of leaf/jackfruit blend, 120ml, 200F for the first and second at 10s and 30s, with 212F for the rest of the infusions climbing 10-20s each time. Six steeps and still going, more tea later this evening…
Picked this up the other day at Clipper Ship Tea Company. It is fairly tasty as decaf goes. Perhaps not as good as regular tea but this shouldn’t effect my insomnia. It’s got a sweet note from the pomegranate and raspberry. I added sugar so it’s hard to tell how sweet it is but it’s not bitter at all. It has a barely perceptible sour note to my taste buds but not enough to be a factor. I don’t drink caffeinated tea this late so it is a compromise choice for me. I think it is good quality as decaf goes.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
Silly me taking around a year to try this. Yikes. This is a basic peach-flavoured Bai Mu Dan. I’m going to give it some more rope seeing that it is on the older side already, and give it the benefit of the doubt that the peach flavour would have been stronger when it was much fresher.
Right now, it’s incredibly subtle. At least it isn’t an artificial peach juice crystal flavour, like how I find many peach-flavoured DAVIDsTEA blends to taste like. I’m contemplating cold brewing it next time but white tea can be rather whiny when it comes to that method. But it wouldn’t hurt!
Espresso yourself. Love the name. Love the fact that it’s organic, and with simple ingredients. The coffee beans are a nice touch. It brews up dark and dense, and not as overpowering as Coffee Pu’erh. I drink it mostly as a latte.
Flavors: Coffee, Tea, Vanilla
This is a nice “middle of the road” tea in that the black used for the base is nothing particularly special. However, the peach flavoring is not too light and not too heavy. It’s fake enough to know that there’s no way you could get this flavor from a tea naturally, but not so fake that you feel as though you’re drinking flavoring.
Like any tea, it can be a bit bitter and dry tasting if you let it steep too long, which I happened to do this time. It’s still one of my favorites though.
Flavors: Bitter, Peach, Tea
I had to give up my morning cappuccino because of my sensitive stomach. Sad face. But now I found this beautiful concoction that brews strong and thick and mixes well with milk, and my day is saved. It’s a bit off putting at first, all these strong flavours that I’m not normally drawn to, but in the end, it’s almost perfect.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Cocoa, Coffee, Vanilla
Woke up with a massive killer migraine. In mulling over all potential causes, the final possibility was not having drunk enough tea. Ah, maybe that’s it.
I bought this tea at the tea festival here at the end of January. The first several times I had this, I really quite enjoyed it: classic genmaicha. Today, however, I dipped further into the bag, so my dry leaf was far more powder tea and far less roasted rice. Then, despite aiming for a very brief steep, my steeper clicky thing got stuck and didn’t drain properly or quickly enough, resulting in a far longer than optimal steep. So, today, the tea is too strong and a bit bitter. Not the tea’s fault.
My migraine seems to be slowly subsiding. I hope. If so, despite the bitterness, it’s a win.
I will refrain from rating.
Later in the day reflection…
I think I had used far too much leaf when I made this tea today, owing to the fact that it was mostly tea powder and few rice grains. That and the prolonged steeping time resulted in a poor-ish first cup. However, steeping two and three were lovely.
First, I must apologize to Paul of W2T, Hobbes, anyone with the misfortune to read this, Paul Simon, and Art Garfunkel.
Hello darkness my old friend
I’ve come to drink of you again
Within my gaiwan I am peeping
Your liquor darkens as you’re steeping
And the flavors, that my palate can’t explain
still remain within the leaves of White Whale
Attention on the cup alone
Enjoy the tea, put down the phone
Within the shadow cast be my desk lamp
admire the color wrought by storage damp
Then my brain’s focused
as the brew shows me the light
my mind’s set right
drinking the leaf of White Whale
And in the morning light I saw
it go for twelve steeps, maybe more
I was tea drunk, so I failed counting
Too tea drunk for detailed tasting
Quite tea drunk, Two Dog
you’ve outdone yourself again
so much praise penned
about the leaves of White Whale
“Fools,” said Hobbes, “you do not know -
it’s so [email protected] good your mind will blow!
Read my words that I might teach you
Buy these bricks, I do beseech you!”
And this fellow’s words, I weighed and I believed
and ordered these, my tasty leaves of White Whale
All the laggards grew dismayed
a higher price must now be paid
But Paul gave us all a fair warning
and the new cost befits its performing
And the heart says
“The path to true joy
is covered in fine puer leaf
Begin with leaves of White Whale
Note: I do not personally know any of the people mentioned in the above, and Hobbes never endorsed buying tea without sampling first.
Wow. This tea is just wow. There’s just so much going on here I wish I wasn’t in such a rush to finish it off so I can get to work. Opens with very strong sweet potato notes followed by dark chocolate and caramel (actually very similar to some salted caramel truffles I made last week). Next there’s cantaloupe and white grapes and a faint hint of multi-grain bread and oats. This is quite possibly one of the first teas I’d be interested in re-steeping — perhaps next time if I’m in less of a rush.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cantaloupe, Caramel, Dark Chocolate, Grain, Oats, Salt, Sweet Potatoes, White Grapes