Featured & New Tasting Notes
2016 Sheng Olympics
I couldn’t tell you why I took some of this to work with me… but I did. With that being said, I used a kamjove and water that was probably 90c from what I have been able to asses while brewing at work. My session, which lasted six hour , consisted of 10 second steeps. The amount of steeps that I ended up with was over 14 and I stopped counting after 10. I’ll be honest to say that I feel like there might be a possible write up in the future for me as I take a lot of pee brakes because of how much tea I drink at work.
This was one of the most looked forward teas for me because it has some time to sit and do it’s thing. What was really weird about this was the background taste of honey for the first six steeps. Unsure if any other raw puerh has ever had me taste a thick sweetness hidden inside it, but it was there. This tea for me is in the medium area for thickness and darkness. The taste is comprised of very smooth notes that stay on the lower area of the mouth and the roof of the mouth. There’s some roasted vegetable notes with a small hint of stone fruits because the sweetness mixed in there appears that way for me. Since I was at work, I am unsure if this provided any real feeling or not because I stay quite busy and never notice anything besides the ‘I have to pee’ feeling.
I will say that I was very pleased with this. I do have some more to try at home with better conditions and I think comparing it to the 2009 and 2015 will be quite interesting :)
Urgh. This is annoying me so much not being able to do tasting notes, I think i’m just going to review my cold.
This cold is an interesting one: initial steeps were very hot, ending in me sleeping only four hours last night which wasnt great. The body is medium sore, with the headfeel definitely strong enough to be in the ache category but not as strong as, say, a migraine. My nose is also blocked so im frequently having to bump this with sudafed.
The most amazing thing is the mouthy feeels & huiguan, I just cant taste anything! for three days! Oh how fun that has made drinking tea. They are on to a winner with that one.
medium to strong astringency
I steeped this in a 100ml gaiwan with boiling water
2016 Sheng Olympics sheng sampler from Liquid Proust. This is without doubt one of the best shengs I have ever drank. It had very little bitterness and a sweet taste from the start. I would have to use the word apricot to describe the sweetness, apricots and stonefruits definitely. I gave this ten steeps and may go back to two more if I reheat my Anta Pottery Clay Boiler again. I don’t know how much this one cost and I’ve never ordered from Tea Urchin but I definitely want one. I think I want to buy one and store it it my pumidor for the long term. However, since I also want to go in on the group order from Yanqqinghao with Emmet I may have to wait on this.
I steeped this tea ten times in a 100ml gaiwan with 6.3g 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, and 1 min. The tea was not played out at ten steeps, I’m sure I could get a few more from it and may go back to it after I finish this review.
Flavors: Apricot, Stonefruits, Sweet
Ugh oh gods no there’s licorice root in this too? Bear With Me, you are a trouble maker. ;)
Huh. Actually, this mostly just tastes like rooibos. I didn’t steep it long, and I added honey, so maybe that… no, there’s the sweet licorice root grody aftertaste. Haha.
But it’s no completely terrible and I am SO COLD today, I will sit here cuddling my mug.
I’m kind of a cardamom freak. I’ve always wanted to try this tea so I ordered some from Amazon when I needed a few other things. This is by far the largest tin of tea I’ve ever had at 17.6 ounces! The tin is HUGE. I recall having an 8 oz. tin of Florence by Harney and Sons that seemed to last forever. I guess I’ll have this stuff for years. Let me know if anyone would like a sample ;)
Now on to the tea tasting notes. I steeped it this morning in my Adagio tea maker for 3 minutes. I didn’t see an cardamom pods or powder in here. I think this is cardamom flavored tea. I’m not sure if the flavoring comes from oil or what. Compared to the cardamom french toast I had from David’s Tea this is much milder. Less cardamom-y. Since I have so much of it I might throw in some cardamom pods or desiccated cardamom into the tin to bump up the flavor a bit.
As for the tea itself, it’s a dark, somewhat standard ceylon. I found it had quite a bit of heft compared to some other ceylons I’ve tried. It has that citrusy, sort of copper-y flavor that’s fairly unique to ceylons. I had a mug of this in the morning with soymilk added. I haven’t tried it with sugar yet, but I imagine that would be good with this particular flavor combo.
Overall I like this stuff but I wish I liked it a bit more, since I definitely have way too much of it. I guess it won’t go stale anytime soon, that’s the good thing about black tea.
A non-tea drinker asked to come to tea yesterday! I have found that people who don’t already drink tea seem to very open to puerh, and many get addicted to it. I can name three people who had puerh at my house and now have a large puerh collection, even though they didn’t drink tea before they came. And I serve other teas, but puerh gets the fans!
Anyway, after showing my guest some loose leaf puerh, flavored puerh, coin puerh, and beengs, I chose this one to serve. She really liked it and said it was her favorite of all the tea we drank. (We started with Teavivre Dian Hong – Golden Tip, then had their Anxi Tie Guan Yin) I made a lot of it in resteeps, then cold steeped the leaves overnight and had the cold puerh with my lunch today. Hubby came home from work and we had grilled cheese sandwiches and creamy broccoli soup with a little grated cheese on top.
I would say this is already better tasting than when I got it 14 months ago. I liked it then, but I think I like it even more now. It has not unseated my beloved and now out of stock Mengku Palace Ripened Golden Buds, though.
This has quite an earthy aroma, but she wasn’t frightened away by it. The taste is earthy, too – more farm-fresh soil than barn and horse.
On another note – I DESPERATELY WANT THOSE CHICKEN TEA PETS FOR SALE AT THE TEAHOUSE SHOP!!! I can not believe it. I have too much stuff, too much tea stuff, too many doodads, and don’t need any more kitsch, but they are so adorable! I never thought I would ever buy a tea pet. Yes, I will probably break down and buy them very soon.
Somehow my review for this didn’t post and I just noticed while updating my cupboard…
Anyways, this is clearly one exceptionally stored tea. Being that I am not a fan of OB, that is some strong words. This taste like a light version of the 90’s red mark sheng from W2T; not even a slight exaggeration. This is just a beautiful tea all around that provides some nice notes that I am unable to describe to anyone who hasn’t drank a 20’year sheng (which I can say this is like the 98 mark as well).
I don’t suggest many teas because I know how important money and spending is, but out of all the aged oolong I’ve had (beside the 89’ from Tea Urchin)…. I highly suggest buying some of this. You won’t find such a beautifully stored and aged OB that brews at such ease with such the flavor profile that this has.
I’d love to be proved wrong as I always love me some new tea :)
Jin Jun Mei… Need I say more?
OK, I will. Dry leaf scent is malt and brownies. The steeped leaf aroma is honey and molasses. The brew is a deep reddish brown. It tastes of honey and malt with hints of sweet potato. I notice a crisp briskness running through the sip but it stays out of the limelight. I also thought it neat that the more I sipped, the more I caught a citrus type fruitiness. This is a pretty solid example of the type.
This is a sample for review i got from Tea Yuan.
Dry leaves are so pretty, long and full. wet leaves smell of this intoxicating aroma of roasted nuts and cannabis
6g /100ml shiboridashi (gaiwan) 205F
rinse/short steeps 5/7/10 sec
This tea is complex. a lot of flavors come to mind. sweet and mineral, chocolaty and nutty, some floral at the background, thick mouthfeel. responded good to pushing with longer steeps without bitterness or unpleasant soapiness. lasted thru many steeps.
I enjoyed this tea a lot, thank you Tea Yuan for the opportunity to try it
Hi Steepster friends!
I haven’t been here much lately as I am not trying a lot of new things lately, most of the tea I’ve been drinking is stuff I am trying to sip down or old favorites I’ve already written tasting notes for.
I’m not a big David’s tea fan but I do love cardamom so I got some of this the last time I was in the store. I have enjoyed this as a breakfast tea most of the time with soymilk added. It definitely has a strong cardamom flavor, so if you don’t like cardamom I would skip this. I’m not sure I’m getting french toast but there is something buttery and pastry like in the flavor.
The only bad thing about this in my opinion is the very sweet after taste. I definitely don’t mind it as much as some of the other tasters did. I wonder if they could have just made this without the added sweetener, after all it’s easy enough to add your own.
Overall, this is better than I thought it would be but I probably won’t repurchase it.
2016 Sheng Olympics
After checking on the shipments and seeing they have been scanned, with many already in different states, I decided that I could finally begin. First up was something I knew was going to be light because it had to be able to pair with dinner and continue throughout the night. I had one tight beenghole for this session.
At first I didn’t know if it was going to work out because it wasn’t breaking up, but then I decided that I needed to give it a little help so I did.
The first few steeps had a nice roasted vegetable tone to it like a bang dong. After brewing it out I realized that it wasn’t as light as a bang dong because the beeghold decided to let me in a bit and taste what it was hiding. A little bit of astringency came out but then faded as I continued on. The lightness of this tea was consistent and that is how I like my sheng. There might not have been much texture to the liquid itself, but it has a proper vegetable taste throughout the session.
This is a great raw tea to drink, but the Midas Touch puts it to shame. That being said, damn you Midas Touch for selling out; but also thank you to those who have offered to sell me one, I’m still thinking about it. I’m curious how this one will compare with the other Baiying cake that was in the 2016 Sheng Olympics.
All of this is to say that I don’t have any negative remarks for this tea besides the beenghole being deceptive on its notes from not opening to fully opening. That issue is something that others won’t experience because I am rather confident that I broke all the material up well and for those who got some dust… it had to happen, but I am pretty sure it’ll be good dust :)
Shockingly, this is amazing. The staffer told me she too was surprised with it, so I grabbed some to check. No sweetener needed, it’s rich, it actually tastes like a crumbly apple strudel. I’d say this is one of the first apple read teas I’ve really enjoyed.
Flavors: Apple, Cake, Coconut, Creamy, Sweet
I’m not sure if age affects astringency or not, but holy pucker, this was bitter. So I played around with the parameters a bit but I finally got it right. I don’t remember this tea being bitter (but that was forever ago)!
3/4tsp makes a difference instead of a full tsp.
Now, this Assam is smooth, with notes of stone fruit, citrus, and chocolate. Yum
I steeped briefly using cooler water to work with the green and black blend.
To my taste, this tea is too perfumey. Not that I dislike floral teas, but this one is redolent of perfume shops in that sort of busy flavour kind of way. Perhaps it didn’t help that I added a big teaspoon of honey. Perhaps that complicates the flavour further.
I like the smell of the tea in my cup very much though.This reminds me very of Fauchon teas I had a million years ago. Perhaps the base blend is the same or perhaps there is something very French in the way they build their flavoured teas. To be fair though, I have been loving black teas with deep rich dark bases lately. Perhaps this is tampering with my perspective too.
Maybe the second steep will be more of a pleasure
Thankfully, I have enough to try again with less honey if any at all.
Much appreciated, Sil. There’s a lot to enjoy here, but I don’t need to place an order for this immediately. Or ever.
The second steep is lovely. The perfume has calmed down, but the flavour notes are still present in the background. I didn’t add anything to the tea. Much more pleasant this way. Perhaps I need to underleaf next time to make this more to my taste.
Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Vanilla
This, I think, is my final pick from the EU TTB. I knew I wanted to try it, and as I’ve not that much experience with matcha I set it aside for a later date. It turns out today is that later date. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, it’s no secret that I’ve not been feeling great recently. I’m tired a lot of the time, and I never feel like I have enough energy to do all the things I need to do in a day. My doctor will only recommend vitamins and early nights, both of which I have already. I’ve lost interest in a lot of things, probably because I’m so tired, and I know something’s likely wrong by I don’t know WHAT. I’ve also had what’s becoming a permenant headache for the last week or so, but I’ve been drinking less tea so I’m sort of thinking that might partly be the reason. I do get headaches if I don’t have caffeine. That’s reason one – if I increase my tea intake so it’s near where it used to be, my headaches should clear up a bit. If they don’t, then it’s back to the doctors for me.
Reason two, specific to this tea, is that people tell me matcha has energy-giving properties, and I could seriously use some energy right now. Teapigs have a matcha challenge which I’m going to take – at least one shot of matcha every day for two weeks. I figure it can’t hurt to try, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Today is day one, and I’m starting with a matcha latte. I used 1/2 tsp of matcha whisked into boiling water, topped up with heated, frothed milk. I’m using an aerolatte whisk for now rather than the traditional kit, but if it turns out that matcha is my thing then it’s something I might look into. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m actually really enjoying it. The vanilla flavouring is pretty strong, so it doesn’t taste too much like milky green tea. It’s sweet, creamy, and mostly reminiscent of vanilla milkshake. The powder combined well, with no clumping, which is always a bonus in my book. I’d definitely drink this one again!
Here’s Hoping Traveling Teabox – Round #5 – Tea #1
The teabox is back and signups are available for round six in the forums! Please join up if you’re in the US!
This is the first one I chose with barely a dive into the teas. It’s also the first of the NEW 52Teas blends I get to try! From a glance at the tasting notes, I like this one more than most (probably because of the Lapsang.) I’m not sure if the name is accurate, but this is a mighty tasty cup. It tastes like some sort of dessert (probably the nutmeg or caramel) but with some smokiness along with it. Sweet and cinnamon and thirst quenching. The second cup seems a little weaker though and most of the smoke is gone. Maybe those who don’t like the smoke can try the second steep and like it better?
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 minute steep
Found a tin on clearance on at Marshalls, so score! When I made a Harney & Sons order three years ago, I regretted not picking this up, and was quite surprised I didn’t since I love chocolate mint.
This is a middle-of-the-road chocolate mint black. Nothing special but not bad. This is probably because, in my opinion, Harney’s chocolate note in itself is middle-of-the-road. It’s not waxy or artificial but yet it’s not prominent and rich enough. The peppermint is fresh, and there a whisper of sweetness in the background but ultimately, there isn’t enough oomph. The base is so light, I can barely taste it when I add milk.
For the record, Della Terra made my favourite chocolate mint black teas, while Zen carries my favourite rooibos blend, with Zen’s possibly being my all-time favourite chocolate mint blend regardless of the base.
I’ve been avoiding steepster for awhile. I’m back.
YS is the company I buy the majority of my teas from, and this one is among my favorites.
Today I’m attempting to compare the Spring and Fall versions of this tea, both from 2015. So far all I can really say is that I enjoy them both, but the Spring rendition is probably preferred over the Fall. Why?
It has a sweeter taste and a creamier mouth.
Also, the Fall version is a little heavier in the kind of grassy hay-like flavor.
Having said that, I will happily drink either one of them on any day of the week!
The leaves of this Mi Lan werent full, it was quite broken, although I had the bottom of the bag, and its over a year old now.
Its really perky! One cup and boing, i can feel it. I am comparing it with my benchmark Mi Lan which is the JingTeaShop one. This one has a bit more of a baked flavour – this is however very subtle, not smoky, and i think i can taste the years age on it – it has that slightly softer taste than fresh. Standard orchid floral aroma, less astringency than others. Probably the age again.
I get some butter, cream & honey. Its very pleasant – a bit like honey on toast. Also a lot of oil was released, with a drying mouth. Not super-fruity, more like some of the oolongs from the #OolongTimeAgo group buy.
Quite a mellow tasting cup but with a perky head – I can feel the caffeine. Recommended if you want something soft tasting but with a bit of punch to wake you up.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Honey, Orchid, Toast
Drank this tea today and I drank a lot of it. I used it to do a sis by side comparison of my electric kettle, and my Anta Pottery Clay Boiler. The goal was to see if I could tell a difference in the tea itself. The verdict is out. Without a doubt the clay boiler produced a smoother and even slightly sweeter cup of tea. I did six steeps with each kettle, so it was not just one or two steeps. I ended up doing eight steeps with the clay boiler. As to the tea itself. This is a very nice ripe. While it had a fair amount of fermentation flavor that flavor was not too potent and certainly was not fishy. I found some notes of chocolate in there and a fruity taste in latter steeps. This tea is quite the bargain price for what quality of tea you are getting in my opinion. I steeped the tea in two identical gaiwans each with exactly 8.2g of leaf so there was no one tea that got more or less leaf. This test was about as scientific as I could muster.
I steeped 8.2g leaf each in two identical 100ml gaiwans with boiling water. I can’t be sure that the holding temperature of the clay boiler was not a little cooler than the electric kettle. I gave each tea a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped each for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, and 20 sec. I kept going with the clay boiler for two more steeps at 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet