New Tasting Notes
This is a lovely smooth, peachy green tea with a nice hint of sweet vanilla in the aftertaste. I found it to be delicious hot and even better iced. This one is definitely going on my list next time I order from Lupicia!
Flavors: Peach, Smooth, Sweet, Vanilla
This is one sweet tea. I get a variety of notes. There is an apricoty feeling to this sheng. Notes of stonefruits too. I broke in my new 50ml gaiwan for this tea so I was able to put it through a lot of steeps. After fourteen steeps I am feeling the effects of this tea. Normally with my larger gaiwans I would stop at eight steeps because I have to watch my caffeine levels. It’s very nice to have such a small gaiwan finally. My other gaiwans were at least 100ml and that is just too big to give a tea 14 steeps in one session. This is a tea I would definitely consider buying more of. I only wish it were a 357g cake instead of a 200g cake. This is one of the best shengs I have ever had.
I steeped this 14 times in a 50ml gaiwan with 3.7g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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, 2 min, 2.5 min and 3 min.
Flavors: Apricot, Stonefruits, Sweet
I’m a sucker for jasmine tea, and for white tea, so put them together and I had to buy this right after I tried the sample. Absolutely delicious! The jasmine was strong but not totally overpowering. The white tea is smooth and flavorful enough not to be lost in the background. My collection of jasmine teas is now complete!
My favorite thing about a great white tea is not having to add any sweetener to it! :) I only steeped this for maybe a minute, so it’s flavor is light and smooth. This was a sample, and I already have a stash of silver needle white tea, but I may have to consider switching tea shops.
This is a really good oolong (and I’m not a huge fan of oolong). By third steep, I was in love! It went from strong and even a bit bitter, to very floral and happiness and sunshine by the third and final steep (one minute, three minutes, five minutes). Next time I’ll try even shorter steeps to see just what the flavor does.
I like the mint in this tea, but like others, I wasn’t able to get all of the powder to dissolve like I was hoping it would. It was kind of like drinking the last bit of the ramen broth—all the powder that you just chug at the end. The taste was good, though. I’ll have to experiment and see if I can get the powder to dissolve better. :)
Oh dear, what have I just sipped? I had this last night and it was not at all to my tastes. It brewed up amazingly dark, and left a good deal of “grit” in my tea cup. It did have a chocolate-y scent but the taste was all malty barley with a horrid bitterness towards the end of the sip. There was a light flavour of baker’s chocolate, but that bitterness ruined any joy I might have gotten from this tea. Not a fan what so ever. So, I’m glad this was a..
Flavors: Bitter, Cacao, Malt, Roasted Barley
I ordered a sample, because I was curious to see how this ingredients work together and wanted to try something different than masala chai. I have to say I wasn’t really impressed, since the cinnamon and cloves were so overpowering I couldn’t taste any hints of vanilla. I think that the rooibos is too mild for so much clove and cinnamon, even though the spices are the main ingredients of chai.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Spicy
This tea has some serious knock-you-in-the-face cinnamon flavor. It’s quite sweet as well; the ingredients include “natural sweet cinnamon” and “natural sweet cloves.” Now, neither cinnamon nor cloves are particularly “naturally” sweet in my opinion, so I don’t really know what that means. My guess is that some kind of sweetener must be added. Anyway, it’s a lovely tea for a cold day. As I review this it’s late August and the temp outside is close to the 90’s, but my office is pretty much a meat locker so this is hitting the spot.
A sample from Roswell Strange. I was really curious to try this one, as gingerbread teas are typically among my favourites. This one smells good to start with – just like a freshly baked gingerbread man. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 5 minutes in boiling water. I added a splash of milk.
The flavour is spot-on wonderful! It’s sweet, but not overbearingly so, with a pleasant edge of ginger and a touch of almond. It’s definitely “gingerbread” more than “ginger” – it has that wonderful cake-like quality that’s so difficult to capture in a liquid (and equally hard to describe!) The ginger is sticky and sweet rather than strong and sharply spicy. I’m really enjoying this one — I only wish I had more!
I’m hoping I have more luck with this Bluebird choice, and I have a feeling I might be lucky. The dry leaf smells strongly of cherry and almond – almost to the point of being a bit sickly, if I’m honest. The dry leaf is the prettiest thing, though; red and blue cornflowers, chunks of cherry, burgundy and cream hibiscus, cubes of dried apple, almond slivers, the odd currant, and the green and cream white tea leaves. The scent actually reminds me a little of Christmas cake – but I’m thinking that might be the almonds more than anything. I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 2.5 minutes in water cooled to 175 degrees. The resulting liquor is a pale, pale pink and smells just perfectly of fresh cherry bakewell!
To taste, this is as good as I’d hoped. I was a touch concerned that it was going to be overpoweringly sweet based on the dry scent, but it turns out that’s not the case at all. This one really is like liquid cherry bakewell – there’s the sweet, slightly tart, jammy cherry in the initial sip, followed by quite a strong almond flavour, just like frangipane. There’s even a lingering sweetness at the end that reminds me of water icing. I’m so pleased with this one; it’s just as I hoped it would be.
I’m slowly working through the last of my Butiki teas, and it seemed like high time this one got an outing. The scent upon opening the bag is overwhelmingly lemony, with a background sweetness that totally puts me in mind of cupcakes, pastries, and macarons. It’s high-end bakery tea! As ever with Butiki, the dry leaf is absolutely gorgeous. The silver needles are very long – some up to 4cm – and a beautiful creamy pale green. They’re perfectly soft and downy, and the little pink and white puffs scattered throughout (I’m guessing these are the Amaranth and Calendula), only adds to this effect. There are a few almond slivers, too. I followed the recommended parameters and gave 2 tsp of leaf 3 minutes in water cooled to 180 degrees. The resulting liquor is a medium yellow-gold.
The flavour, as expected, is divine. It’s lemony, but in a primarily candy-like way with just a touch of sharpness. I’m thinking candied lemon peel at this point. Underlying the lemon is an intense creaminess, very reminiscent of sweetened pastry cream. The final flavour is a light almond nuttiness, very reminiscent of macarons. The white base is perfect for the delicate cream and macaron-shell notes, mildly sweet and a touch buttery without being overpowering. I’m totally and utterly happy with this one – it’s an amazing flavoured tea. It also means that I miss Butiki more than ever, but such is life.
I tried this one hot a couple of evenings ago, and I wasn’t all that impressed because it mostly tasted of rooibos with just the slightest hint of floral pear. I figured I’d use the rest of my sample for a cold-brew, in the hope that that might bring out the pear flavour a little more. I was totally wrong, and, if anything, I like the cold-brew less than I did the hot. And that’s saying something. The reason I dislike this one so much is primarily because of one thing – STEVIA. It’s so strong and artificially sweet, and it’s sticking in the back of my throat so that I can taste it even though I’ve stopped drinking. There’s also no pear. Just rooibos. Wood-shaving rooibos, and stevia. Urgh shudders. Down the sink this one goes!