New Tasting Notes
I can’t believe I have gone so many days in between reviews. I know none of you were probably noticing, but my internal clock was really anxious to get back to writing. Today I have for you a review of the Tomotcha monthly subscription, and their gyokuro, which was the month’s tea that I received.
Awesome dragon teaware and full review at:
I love this rainy, cool weather; I can bring out and savor all the hot tea things again!
Tastes pretty fine with or without milk, and delivers on its name. Pecan nuttiness was most apparent at first, but the apple and honey/brandy notes really popped after it cooled down.
Flavors: Apple, Brandy, Cream, Honey, Pecan
It looks like this week I’m drinking purple teas. Yesterday I drank 3 different Purple Black teas, all from YS, and today I’ve been enjoying this on, including sharing some of the steeping with 2 of my Harp students, who both loved it!
I’ve reviewed it many times before, and still the predominant flavors and aromas that come to mind are plums & congee rice.
Got a 5g sample of this with my last order from DAVIDs. At the time I didn’t realize it was a mate, but that’s alright cause this is just a small sample.
I brewed this weakly (the nuts make this blend heavy): the entire 5g sample in 600 ml of water for 5ish min (one cup for me, one for my husband). The taste is lightly apricot-y with a bit of grass undertone. It’s ok, but not a taste I really go for. my husband says this blends reminds him of some of my cosmetics from Lush, haha.
Ultimately, this blend is ok but if I want a mate tea I prefer plain.
I recently sipped a sample of this and loved it so much I bought 100grams during the sale. I could tell upon opening that this was a different tea from the sample, even though they were both from 2015. The rose fragrance is very prominent in this one, where it wasn’t before in taste or scent. The black tea seems different too. The leaves are larger here unless I’m remembering wrong, but the taste is definitely different though. The flavor is weaker now, like a light milky chocolate, when before the flavor was deeper and more complex – it seemed like it had elements of Keemun, Zheng Shan Ziao Zhong and sweet potatoes, which is why I liked it. I didn’t even mind that the rose was mostly missing from the sample, since the base so good. Now the rose takes over the flavor of the tea. This one seems more like the Yun Nan Dian Hong Full Leaf blend, though I can’t be sure. I’m disappointed it has changed from the 2015 sample! Lowering the rating from a 95.
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 10 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 3-4 min
The first tea that I’m giving a 100 to. There is a specific reason for that. Yesterday, I had a really crappy day: car broke down, and I have to move back to school much later that I wanted to. So, I was stressed, this had lavender, and then, I recovered. Lavender and vanilla is what I needed. I actually steeped this cup five times and both the lavender and the vanilla were there with me although the liquor became light. I was able to sleep because this relaxed me despite it being a darker oolong. It had good chi (a distinclty purple one that I could easily imagine; lavender=sixth chakra), and helped with the headaches that came with my stress. Some of you might roll your eyes at this, but it really helped me in a time of need. For those of you deciding whether or not to get this, look at my prior review (the Show More tab under the reviews).
I think this tea has earned a spot in my collection. I’ve been sipping it every morning for a week or so. It’s really lovely and it blends well with other herbals in my collection. Thus far I’ve steeped it with Berry Poppins (another hibiscus and blackberry blend) and Guava Cadabra (just to add a bit of tropical-y, fruity goodness). Both winners. I’d even go so far as to say if this wasn’t a maté blend I’d drink it all day long. There’s something about the cranberry-esque tartness of the hibiscus combined with the slightly sweet blackberry that’s just wonderful.
Two bucks for something to wake me up on my way to classes? I think yes.
I needed a bag that can be easily oversteep, and last time I had this, it was spicy, sweet and chocolaty. I know that the company is under new management, and honestly, the older version was better because you could see the chocolate powder diffuse into the cup. The older version also had a stronger presence of rose. This time, it doesn’t have the same type of chocolate flavoring and not quite as good, though it’s still sweet and spicy on its own.
This is by no means the best chocolate tea I’ve had (it’s going to be hard to beat LP’s Dark Chocolate Oolong), but something cheap and forgivable in steeping that I need while traveling.
Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Peppermint, Spices, Sweet
This was my choice tea at Remedy yesterday. I wanted their Chocolate Mint but they were out! The smell of these sachets, though? A heavenly waft of bergamot. I’m so used to EGC that this plays tricks on my mind and makes me expect a creamy note in the taste.
Without any additives, this is smooth and packed with bergamot. Maybe not the strongest bergamot I’ve had, but it’s oh so prevalent. It’s a great option to have when you’re out and about and have a hankering for Earl Grey when then house Earl Greys at places like Second Cup are on the weaker, boring side.
With maple sugar and cream, it’s good but I think I prefer it before I added these gimmicks to them. The bergamot stands very well on its own, plus the base is smooth so no need to calm it down with milk/cream/sugar.
The first time I brewed this tea, I winged it with 1 tsp of leaf and 4 oz of water in my gaiwan at 175F for 1 minutes. The resultant brew was weak and somewhat vegetal. Even the second infusion with hotter water and a longer steep time turned out weak.
I got better results by following TeaVivre’s guidelines and steeping 2g of tea. I loved the aroma of the dry leaf, nutty and deeply vegetal. But the tea liquor didn’t have the same complexity and flavor that the aroma did. It tastes like a standard Chinese green tea. The flavor is faintly vegetal, mostly chestnut and a few buttery undertones. There’s no bitterness or astringency a characteristic shared by all of the TeaVivre green teas I’ve had so far which I think is a good thing. It’s much lighter in body than most green teas, almost like a white tea.
Not a bad tea, but not one I would return to.
Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Vegetal
I’ve had a fondness for genmaicha since WorldCon 2013, when I got fairly liquored up, then headed to the Japan party and had the most wonderful cold green tea with a toasted, nutty flavor. That tea is probably what kept me sober enough to be able to drive back to my hotel at a somewhat reasonable time. And it was freaking delicious.
This takes that toasted, nutty green tea and adds mango to it. I love mango, but there are definitely different types (I’m talking flavor more than variety here). There’s the ultra-ripe, sweet mango that’s like a dessert in itself. This mango is greener, not overly sweet, with almost a hint of tartness and mango skin (I wish I could find green mango more often. There are some things it works perfectly in, where the sweeter mangoes I find in the store just don’t quite cut it). It blends beautifully with the rice and green tea, adding the mango flavor without overly sweetening the green tea.
I think I need to get a larger pouch of this if it’s still available. This is another winner for me from 52Teas
Flavors: Green, Mango, Nutty, Tea, Toasted Rice
The dry leaf aroma sure smells like blackberries! Oddly enough, the brewed tea has no aroma whatsoever. Thank goodness that doesn’t translate into a flavorless tea! The sip is clean, hay-like white tea with a punch of vanilla and a subtle hint of blackberry. I’m definitely getting more cream than berry in the cup. This is good! It’s not big on flavor but all the expected notes are there. The berry comes out more as it cools. I will enjoy the rest of this one but I don’t think I’ll re-purchase it. I simply have too much tea!
So I brewed this up hot and now I am experiencing a weird combination of a very loose tasting tea that still has chocolatey banana flavors that you would typically have cold. Basically, as a regular tea, the taste and consistency just don’t mesh well. However, I could see this being good as a latte as the flavors are there but need a creamy boost. Better yet, this would probably be delicious as a cold latte.
Having a tea the same colours as the Irish flag sounded cool. So I got this tea. The scent is more on the strawberry side, with some coconut. There is a sweet, creamy berry flavour. Not sure what I was expecting, but the tea is more smooth in the second cup.
Goes well with lemon pastries.
Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Strawberry
Time for another 52teas oldie. I love a good Yunnan black tea so I couldn’t pass this up. The dry leaf aroma is cinnamon. The beginning of the sip is somewhat dark and woodsy like a high quality Yunnan. But unfortunately that fades rather quickly and I’m left with a slightly floral, marigold petal flavor. I don’t think I’ve ever had eggnog so I can’t identify similarities or differences.
Overall, this is much calmer and less flavorful than I was expecting. The cinnamon is quite light and doesn’t contribute much spiciness to the cup. There is a little bit of creaminess. There’s no bitterness and I don’t feel the need to add sweetener or milk. A small amount of astringency is apparent but nothing off-putting. That’s about it. Not a nuanced cuppa but nothing offensive going on either. It’s just rather boring.
I picked this up on the weekend along with this years Pumpkin Chai and Honeycrisp Apple (notes on those later if I remember), and decided to make it this morning as it is a slightly chilly more autumn feeling morning, and a cranberry muffin tea sounded about right lol. This will be a quick note as I’m at work, but the dandelion root and cinnamon are good in here, making it toasty and muffin like. Cranberry and hib are staying at bay, probably because I only steeped for 2 mins (finally, not an overwhelmingly hibiscus cup!!). This actually is reminding me of Verdant’s Campfire Blend a fair amount, probably the cinnamon and dandelion. Tasty and sweet this morning!
This particular Mao Feng is among one of the highest in quality I have had the pleasure to sample— it’s not something I say lightly, I am incredibly particular when it comes to this specific type of tea since it’s such a favorite. The flavor is mild, with a slightly nutty undertone that tastes almost of roasted chestnuts and a natural, honey-like sweetness. For something so lightly flavored there is a surprising amount of depth. If Mao Feng weren’t already a staple in my cupboard this would be the tea that convinced me I should always keep some on hand.
You can read the full review on my blog:
A gentle, earthy raw.
Initially, I get the slightest hint of smoke in the aroma which then matures into a generic green/vegtale after a few steeps in in. A strong mineral finish after each sip, overall the flavor is very soft with a hint of earth. No huigan. Even with a reboil at around the 9th steep and added agitation this tea still holds up, presenting its soft flavor experience. Slight chi felt moving upwards in the chest and shoulders after the session was over. Dark mixed with a few light tippy leaves in my 60ml gaiwan, not many whole leaves even though my sample came from a whole cake.
Good value for or a tea under 11 cents a gram, not engaging enough for me to want to pick up 400 grams of it though.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral