Featured & New Tasting Notes
Smells amazing, tastes alright. Mate saves my bacon again. Must steep conservatively to avoid stirring the hibiscus dragon of despair.
It’s been a while since I had a mate or guayusa around the house. This long hiatus has made me realize that it’s essential for basic functions after sleep deprivation.
This was a Christmas gift from a friend who claimed to have chosen it based on the merit of smell alone (she doesn’t like or know a lot about tea). I’m glad I can show her how much I appreciate it by having it with me whenever we meet up in the morning.
Flavors: Earth, Hibiscus, Lemon, Raspberry
Backlog 18 January 2017
Honey was the dominant flavor in this tea. I noted on a scrap piece of paper at work that it reminded me of eating the honey spoons you’d find at the World Market or a tea shop.
Although it took me a little while to finish the tea hot (I mainly drink water at work, so it takes me a while to get to every beverage at my desk), it was a great tea at room temperature, too.
Flavors: Honey, Sweet
The other tea I drank yesterday – I only had time for two. This one I remember less clearly. Black, I definitely got a tangy plum compote note, with little astringency, which I was pleased about because I generally really like Butiki’s plum flavouring and I was hoping it would be the strongest note. The cashew cake was a little present, but only towards the back of the sip if I really concentrated. I added half a sugar, which brought out the plum flavouring more, and it probably the way I’d like to drink it best. In the name of trying everything, though, I added milk (admittedly too much), which muted the tea and plum notes and brought the cashew to the fore. I really like cashews for eating, they’re probably my favourite nut, but in tea it just doesn’t come across as a strong enough flavour to lead a blend. The cakiness is noticeable with milk, which I didn’t get before, but there’s just not enough of the plum flavour to cut through it and make it interesting. I might try it next time with less milk, because I did mess up the amount I added, but I really enjoyed it black and with just a little sugar, so I’m probably more likely to drink it that way instead. It was a very tasty tea, though.
Am I back?
I might be back.
Anyways, IDK what this tea is. Vanilla? Something else? No clue. But it’s pretty darn tasty with a spoonful of maple whipped cream.
Thank you, Bear with Me! I’ve had this FOREVER, but I swear I’m going to finish trying All The Teas™.
Hoálatha supposedly sent me more of this in our last swap.
I might go to the store and pick some of this up. I really think it’d be a great tea for work. Especially when it gets cold in the office, I’d like to be drinking something so tasty as this. I rated it 75/100 the last time, but I might bump it up. I think what I must’ve done when steeping this last was brewing it for 3-5 minutes. However, I forgot about it today and unintentionally brewed it close to ten minutes; which resulted in creating a hot spice mead like beverage, rather than a tea.
Thank you to Teavivre for the free sample!
Loose leaf is beautiful to look at and smells of delicious toasty oolong tea. I love toasty oolongs, so I was very excited to try this. And, I find myself drawn to visually appealing teas |(even if the flavour is lacking).
Brewed western style with 475 mL hot water for 4 minutes. Liquid was light tan-yellow. Liquid smelled very strongly of seaweed, a bit fishy and salty.
Luckily the brew tasted nothing of fish, was not salty, but was VERY seaweedy. Very buttery, savoury/umami, quite sweet in a toasted oolong way. The sweetness + toasty flavours are actually very nice with how buttery this is. However, I’m put off by just how seaweedy the brew is, but I will try it gong fu method and use cooler water with multiple steeps.
Flavors: Butter, Marine, Seaweed, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Toasty, Umami
Drinking this this morning because I couldn’t sleep. This is a nice aged ripe with just a vestige of fermentation flavor left. Barely noticeable in the first two steeps. There was also an aged flavor for the first four to six steeps, after that it was a nice sweet tea. This one one worth trying. I definitely recommend a sample.
Steeped this fourteen times in a 160ml Solid Silver teapot with 14.1g leaf and boiling water. I gave the tea a 10 minute rest. I gave it a 10 second rinse.I steeped the tea 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. I could have gotten a couple more steeps out of the leaves but I had had enough tea at fourteen steeps.
For those that have been around a while… today we finally got around to submitting my job role for evaluation with HR. As in, after the like year? 2? of going back and forth on what my role should really entail while i do a little of everything…we’re finally getting close to the finish line. What does it really mean? Nothing yet…but the possibility of getting to hire underlings for me and a bump in grade…paving the way for more corporate ladder climbing if i’m so inclined…or yeah..and theoretically a raise. lol
so i had this tea…to celebrate. yay
You couldn’t possibly dislike this blend (unless you didn’t like coconut). It has all the makings of the perfect dessert tea.
The black base is so smooth and rich. I find it malty, creamy, hints of nuts and butter. It resteeps very well also.
The coconut is super creamy and nutty, no soapy gross flavours at all. I think it might be toasted, because the nutty flavour in this blend must be coming from the coconut or black tea.
Strong sweet maple flavour, not artificial at all, but the perfect strength. As a Canadian, I can certify this maple flavour is delicious and realistic. It also goes very well with all the tasty spices (cinnamon?, very light on the cardamom, I actually would have liked more cardamom, but I think my teaspoon of looseleaf had no cardamom pod in it). The nutty flavour tastes like toasted almonds and toasted walnuts. Maybe I’m imagining the nuts because I associate maple flavoured things with maple walnut icecream, but either way, this blend has it all.
Flavors: Almond, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coconut, Cream, Creamy, Honey, Milk, Nuts, Nutty, Pastries, Spices, Sweet, Tannin, Toasty, Vanilla, Walnut
This tea is incredibly fluffy due to the blackberry leaves and sage.
Dry, and steeping, it smells intensely sweet due to the blackberry. Upon drinking, the sage is very present.
I quite like the tea, but then, I like sage tea. It would be really good with honey as well.
Damn, the chocolate notes and fig are coming nicely. This is a sad goodbye, and one in which I’m dangerously high on caffeine. I am having such a huge euphoria right now. I need to keep in mind to use less leaves if I ever drink this again ‘cause hot damn it’s smooth.
This is why it is so highly rated. I was happy with it before, but now I deeply enjoy it. The chocolate notes are super rich even into the later steeps. Sorry, tea snob vocab. IT IS A SMOOTH TEA THAT IS CREAMY AND ROASTY. I am so lucky to have another tea that is very close to this one ’cause damn I would be desperate if I did not have some. Talk about getting a quick fix. #caffeineaddictproblems.
Here’s another of the spring 2016 teas I have been working on finishing. I do not have a ton of experience with four season oolongs, but I know they are generally viewed as being basic teas suitable for daily drinking. I found that to be the case with this one.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 11 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I noted that the dry tea leaves emitted mild aromas of sweetgrass and fresh flowers. After the rinse, I detected strong aromas of hyacinth, lilac, honeysuckle, lily, cream, and sweetgrass. The first infusion saw aromas of magnolia and butter emerge. In the mouth, I detected a strong note of sweetgrass balanced by lily, magnolia, lilac, honeysuckle, and hyacinth. There were also subtle notes of cream and butter. Subsequent infusions grew creamier and more buttery, with less sweetgrass and more floral character. Subtle notes of pineapple and honeydew also made themselves known. Later infusions were dominated by cream, butter, and sweetgrass aromas and flavors, though traces of minerals and distant floral impressions were evident on the finish.
This was about as basic and satisfying as a Taiwanese oolong can possibly be. Though it didn’t display the depth or complexity of many high mountain oolongs, the aromas and flavors on display here worked together perfectly. I think this particular tea would make a great introduction to Taiwanese oolongs or a near perfect oolong for everyday consumption.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Pineapple
Noms. I made a small order the other day from tea-historic as i like to try and support the folks within the community who are trying things out. Plus, given our swapping history, i was fairly sure that i’d enjoy at least some of the selections from her store, as she wouldn’t be selling them if she didn’t like them :)
This one is tasty! I have often dropped cacao shells in to my LB, but i can’t say that i’ve tried it with an assam. As expected, this one works. It’s very much a delicious chocolatey tea that isn’t overly sweet. I supposed you could add a little sugar to it (or milk and sugar!) to really turn it in to a decadent beverage but i won’t need all that. Even cold, this is yummy!
A rather nice tea with some balanced roast to the undertone of floral notes. Not sure that I found any fruit notes that Verdant says are there, but I tend to differ on tasting notes when it comes to most companies anyways. Overall I liked this tea and I brewed it for two days. 50g for $12 seems to be just right.
Today is my early start busy day at work, and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to go in. I was doing full, busy weeks not so long ago, but lately they’ve cut my hours right back with no explanation and this week they only have me in today. It’s the least work I’ve been doing since I started 6 months ago and I’m finding it hard having no money when I’ve been used to being able to buy things and pay what I owe for a while now. How do adults do life??
Anyway, I needed a caffeine kick to get me going this morning, so this is what I went for. I don’t particularly enjoy it for the flavour but the energy boost is a big help. Flavour-wise this is mostly guayusa, and it’s not because it’s old, it’s been like this since I bought it. Even with a little added sugar the flavours aren’t willing to come through stronger. Weirdly, I got one really nice, clear sip at the beginning of my drink which was all juicy blackberry lime goodness. I’ve been drinking this like a madwoman, sipping different amounts at different speeds, trying to get different amounts of air into each mouthful, but I can’t seem to find those flavours anywhere any more! Ah well… there is a hint of blackberry in with the almost savoury leafy, earthy guayusa, hidden somewhere in the background, and every now and then I get a little hint of lime at the end of the sip. I should try this one cold-brewed, because the flavour combination sounds so delicious I wish I could appreciate it more.
I received 3.5g of this tea in one of the random boxes I’ve received from Liquid Proust a while back. I decided to drink it today as it seemed like a tea which should be consumed while at least moderately fresh.
The aroma from the leaves was slightly citrus, with a sweet floral/hay backbone. It expressed some typical white tea flavors, including that sweet hay/straw note common to the type of tea. The texture was velvety and soft, with some cream and milk notes to the flavor adding to the mouthfeel. It also often had a slight peppery finish, which was enough to make this tea decently interesting. It’s not something I’m likely to buy more of, but one which I am glad to have tried!
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Milk, Pepper, Sweet
Nope. Nope nope nope. This tea was already at a disadvantage trying to please me today because I’ve been out all afternoon in the freezing cold, dreaming of coming home and making a lovely cup of Heaven’s Trash from resteeping my last ever leaves, only to find when I got home that my mam had thrown them out. If I’m honest, I took it a little to heart, partially because I was cold and grumpy and partially because I’d specifically explained to her why I wanted to keep the leaves (she has a tendency to throw things out and rearrange everything completely unnecessarily – I also came home to find that she’d inexplicably changed the bookmark in my book). So, I settled for this instead, and was already unimpressed just because it isn’t Heaven’s Trash. I’m not much of a green tea person, and first flush Darjeelings are often too reminiscent of green tea for my liking, but I tried to remain optimistic because it’s described as smooth with no astringency. Granted, I am more sensitive to astringency than a lot of people, but this is not astringency-free. The packaging says to steep it in boiling water, but I hope I remember to ignore that next time because I feel like a lot of the astringency could be avoided with a lower temperature. I would usually add milk to a black tea to get rid of astringency but this just seems so green to me that it would feel wrong. It has the usual citrus and floral notes that you’d expect from a Darjeeling, but also some fresh, light leafy vegetable notes which I’d associate with Japanese greens. For me, the redeeming feature of this tea is that after adding a small amount of sugar the tea becomes very juicy and has such a pronounced, unmistakable peach note that I’d almost think it had peach flavouring added to it. This calms down a bit when it cools, so I prefer this when it’s on the hotter side. Despite me not being able to get past the astringency and ‘greenness’, I can still tell that this is a high quality first flush, and even though I haven’t given it the best review it’s still probably one of the best first flushes I’ve tried, they’re just not really to my taste. I’m looking forward to trying it again at a lower temperature.
Reading the ingredients, this sounded much better than it tasted. Very strong artificial cherry flavour and the black base was too strong for me. Lots of delicious oxidised tea flavours and some malty notes that I loved. That being said, I wouldn’t say the cream came through. I didn’t get any of the mallow root, unfortunately.
Will try this cold brewed next, because I think that will bring out the vanilla/cream and subdue the black base a bit.
Flavors: Artificial, Cherry, Fruity, Sweet, Tannic, Tannin, Tea
I’m nearing the end of my tin. There is about a third left. Maybe less. So not enough for me to justify buying another, but close enough that I’m concerned!! ack. I love this tea. And I don’t wanna be without it or something similar in my cupboard. The tea festival, where I bought this, is coming up in two weeks. sighs. looks like I won’t be replacing it there…
Yes I hate licorice in blends, esp the health/feel better types. But straight up? yeah that gets me. No idea why. I’d love to find a green tea version one day.
And yes, since this is a chai cousin in my eyes, I do add milk Sil :D
Counted over fourteen steeps this was an excellent tea. There was a lot of fermentation taste at first. This taste was a little unpleasant but not fishy. It was think and rich in the first six or eight infusions and I think you could say there were notes of bittersweet dark chocolate in there. This chocolate taste disappeared along with the fermentation taste and the bitterness around steep eight. Well really the fermentation was only strong through steep four or five. Another note replaced this bittersweet note, a sweet note you would call it. Not really fruity or dates flavor, more of a neutral sweet note. Still this was one good tea. It is definitely worth buying a sample of. I have not yet decided if it was worth buying the whole brick yet. When I have drank it four or five times I will decide this. But it was one of the very best young ripe teas I have tried. Now as to cha qi, Scott says it has some, but I didn’t really feel it. Maybe I will feel it before I finish my cup who knows.
I steeped this tea fourteen times in a 160ml silver teapot with 14.3g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. 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 minutes. Again I definitely recommend a sample of this but I have not yet decided if it was worth buying the whole brick. If I drink it again and it is still this good I will judge it to have been worth it.
Flavors: Dark Bittersweet, Earth, Sweet
I started drinking this and thought to myself: Dangit, another one of the $90 cakes that I really like.
Then I looked at YS’s website and saw this is $37/400g… WHAT? You want to talk about a steal, wait for YS production sale and buy a full cake. This stuff is getting viscous and it leaves a trail of sweetness which is different than its toddler aged raw puerh taste going in.
Daily drinking material for sure!!!
Another review with pretty close notes to what I get: Butter, Fruity, Malt, and White Raisins. It also had the usual dry basil smell and taste that I associate with Darjeelings. I got two solid cups, and one third lighter cup western starting out at two minutes fifteen seconds, 6 oz of water, one medium teaspoon. I loved that this was a lighter black. Thanks Evol!