New Tasting Notes
So this is from the GCTTB, but the fifth round. So, I’ve had it for a while now and it’s a little old. There are so many times I’ve gone to drink it but then been enticed by newer things or fancier things, or just stuff that’s a little more convenient. I figured enough was enough, it was time to drink it.
I made this one as an iced tea today, nothing added. It was my first tea of the day, and I really thoroughly enjoyed it. I scribbled notes on my cup in sharpie as I drank it, because I got a lot of nuanced and layered flavour from this one and I knew I’d want to be able to note that properly. So my cup scribbles:
- Light roast, some peanut like notes in there along with that
- Honey top notes and finish but not body
- Body is more fresh cut grass
- Fruity undertones; nectarine, quince, fresh apple
Admittedly, I wish I’d gong fu brewed this BUT it was still really enjoyable for how I did end up steeping it!
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample! I drank this one on the way home from work today as a latte; when I smelled it I thought that the flavours really seemed like they’d be suited well for that style, and the sample size VariaTEA sent me was the perfect amount to brew it as such.
I definitely enjoyed this one, though there were a couple aspect that I was either neutral towards or that didn’t completely work for me. What did work for sure was the overall creaminess; both the milk, marshmallows and silky chocolate all contributed to create a really smooth, velvety mouthfeel and flavour that was very rich and indulgent. I also liked that the chocolate wasn’t terribly in your face; had it been much stronger I think it would have felt over bearing and could have hidden the cherry notes.
The cherry is sort of the area that was a little amiss to me; not bad – just not totally what I’d expected or wanted. It was very candy like, and I think something sweet but more natural would have worked better. As it stands, this was pretty artificial. Not the worst though; it could have gone the sour/tart or medicinal routes and that would have been even more calamitous.
So overall, a nice smooth medium bodied tea with flavours well suited for a latte.
I actually just listened to the whole, self titled, EP by this band on the way home. It was my first listen through but I was REALLY impressed. It’s very emotional music, but at the same time incredibly peaceful and calming. I felt very lost in it all – to the point where I nearly missed my bus stop because I was too focused on the music.
And let me just say, I’m SO thrilled that I love this because the entire band is from Regina, where I live, and not only that but I have a personal connection to one of the members, Tanner. He does the drums and some of the vocals. I know him from DAVIDsTEA because he actually works there with me! I knew my coworkers had gone on about how killer his band is, but I sort of always kind of thought “Oh, I’m sure they’re not bad but they’ve gotta just be kind of biased because we all know him so well, and love him” but no, they’re really good.
They have one more EP, so about to go listen to that right away…
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Flavors: Grapes, Red Wine
Today’s tasting is white peony by Teavivre. I started by taking out the glass pot for this one, as I want to bleed off the heat as quickly as possible since this is such a delicate tea. Heating up the pot first, but skipping a rinse with this one. I went right to the brew and went for about 30-40 seconds at 175. Then removing the basket from the glass teapot. I got scents of wheat, sugar, grass and possibly something else, hay maybe.
The tasting produced many of the same flavors and aromas and they are very subtle, which is the way with good white tea. The steeping produced a clear very pale yellow liquor with a very nice mouth feel to it, and it has just the hint of aftertaste. A second steeping produced many of the same flavors and aroma’s but slightly stronger which is again fairly normal for a white, the tea intensifies a bit on the second steeping which is usually the best.
I like this tea a lot, its a good relaxing tea which wont overpower you with strong flavors or aromas. I recommend this to any fans of white tea or peony, or silver needle if you are just looking for a nice relaxing tea to treat yourself.
Flavors: Grass, Sweet, Wheat
Here we have another sample I held on to for some time. Prior to today, I seemed to always be looking for the right time to try it. This most certainly should not have been the day. The frequent changes in weather patterns here finally caused me to crash last night. I had a stressful week and ended up skimping on sleep for a couple days, so by Friday I was feeling pretty terrible. Saturday then rolled around, the weather stayed warm, and while talking to a friend, I just went down for the count. Nausea, coughing, uncontrollable shaking, intense pain, muscle spasms, sweating, chills, and a splitting headache all hit at once. I’ve been barely functional at best today and have already decided to skip work tomorrow. I’ll warn you all in advance: it will be a green tea and pajamas kind of day. Back on track, a day of coughing up phlegm seemed like it might require a tea with deep honey notes, so I ended up at last finding a suitable reason to break out this sample. The circumstances were far from ideal, however, as I had difficulty maintaining focus while I sessioned this and had to rely on a nose and palate that were not functioning at optimal levels. All of this goes to say that readers should take this review with a couple more grains of salt than usual.
I gongfued this tea. After the rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 190 F water for 5 seconds. I followed this infusion with 11 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes. I did not even remotely follow Verdant’s gongfu guide for this tea. I can’t quite recall my rationale for why I chose the methodology I did, but I think it had something to do with a different leaf to water ratio. I will go ahead and admit that I did not find this approach to do this tea justice and will be assigning a numerical score with the deficiencies of the brewing method and my own personal unreliability at the time of the session in mind.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves gave off robust aromas of smoke, honey, and wood. After the rinse, the aromas of smoke, honey, and wood intensified and were joined by subtle impressions of vanilla bean and malt. The first infusion produced a similar bouquet that saw the aromas of vanilla bean and malt swell, as well as the emergence of baked bread. In the mouth, I picked up thin notes of wildflower honey, wood, smoke, malt, and vanilla bean before a nutty, bready finish. Subsequent infusions saw the tea grow smoother and thicker, offering more pronounced impressions of honey, vanilla bean, malt, and bread all around. At this point the nuttiness emerged more fully, taking on the character of roasted almonds. I also finally began to note the expected Wuyi minerality toward the finish. Later infusions saw the return of smoke and wood, as well as the increasing dominance of minerals. When I really forced myself to focus, I could still detect hints of honey, malt, and bread.
This was not a complex or long-lasting tea, but my impression of it may be warped due to conducting the review session while sick. I will say, however, that I appreciated it’s texture. I found it very soothing. I also liked the pronounced honey notes it offered during its brief peak. To be sure, I found this to be a nice tea, but I wish I would have held off on sampling it until I was better able to do it justice.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Vanilla, Wood
Holy fizz bomb batman! /O\
I swear it was almost bubbling on my tongue. Pretty cool.
The taste is very mild. Sweet and sugary, and a side of earthy floralness that kinda morphs into a ginseng ish note in later infusions. I’ve seen it before in Chrysanthemum teas before, but not all of the ones I’ve had. I love the fizz factor, but not the odd sweetness.
I kinda get the maltiness but my brain keeps comparing it to gingerale, and confuses my ‘buds. There is no honey, more… stevia? ha.
Not much variation between the infusions, so I agree with pmunney, this is a nice office tea… if I rest it beforehand. I’ll need to break off pieces from the cake and bring them into the office, as I don’t want to keep my cake in my desk drawer.
This is my go to Jasmine tea. Nothing too special about it. It tastes like Jasmine but nothing extravagant. It’s my cheap-and-want-to-chug-jasmine-tea-now kind of tea. I double steep my tea BUT I mix it. I put it all in a 20 oz insulated water bottle so I can sip it hot/warm within an hour or two. I always double steep my tea but mix it all together and that is what I did here.
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“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot!”- standard order while watching Star Trek. A new blend I picked up as my winter sample. The scent is fantastic. Mostly chocolate, and mild citrus. There is a nice sweet cocoa flavour, which goes well with the bergamot. Pairs well with shortbread.
Flavors: Bergamot, Chocolate, Citrus, Cocoa