Featured & New Tasting Notes

70

Grabbed this while in Montreal six months ago and promptly mailed it back to myself to enjoy at home – which is now. ;)

Interesting tea, quite a bit more subtle than I was expecting. As the instruction say on their website, this is meant to be enjoyed Moroccan style, which means heavily sweetened. While I can see this reasoning, it’s just not how I like my tea. And so…

Very grassy green tea, with only the breath of mint in there (you know what I mean – where you inhale and can feel the coolness of the mint, but not taste it). There’s something making this creamy as well as very smooth – I think the creaminess is the actual green tea, whereas the smoothness is from the absinthe. Which, just now, I only realized was an herb.

Doubt I’d drink this again, yet can see how a green tea lover might really appreciate it.

Flavors: Creamy, Grass, Mint, Smooth

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Liquid Proust

Is there a absinthe taste or it is more of a marketing word?

MissB

I don’t know what absinthe actually tastes like, but this is a spice company that also blends their own tea. So the ingredients are only green tea, absinthe, and moroccan mint. Sometime who has had the absinthe drink would have to taste it to tell me… I really haven’t a clue.

Kaylee

Allow me to volunteer for that task!

MissB

Sure! Send me a note and I can send it your way.

Liquid Proust

Shoot, me too! I have a few alcohol inspired teas to swap with.

MissB

There’s enough for two Liquid Proust, and I’m happy to share. I don’t want any tea back though.. Unless maybe it’s something being amazing. I just have too much tea.

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I need more of this tea-STAT. I went thru this one really fast. This tastes just like raspberry jam when brewed hot and when I threw the leaves in a pitcher to cold brew, this tasted just like a cake with raspberry filling. So good. Highly recommend this one.

http://sororiteasisters.com/2015/05/20/vickys-sponge-cake-bluebird-tea/

Flavors: Cake, Raspberry

Marzipan

Karsten had this one today and said, “Meh” (direct quote), so I’ll put the rest of mine into your next box.

Nichole

Well Thanks!! I was going to order more :)

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drank Organic Matcha by One Organic
1520 tasting notes

This is from the recent Red Leaf Tea side by side blind taste test. If you were included but haven’t completed your survey yet stop reading now.

I grabbed this culinary grade one today for my morning breakfast glass. I looked at the number on the sample and had it in my head I didn’t like this one hot. Went to my notes and learned I rated it kind of low but not the worst.

It actually smells kind of appealing today. I used a heaping tsp – closer to 2 tsp – of powder, 2 packets of Splenda, and 12oz of 2% milk. I start with 2oz and spoon stir until mixed and foamy. This part was pretty easy. Then I stir in the rest of the milk.

The taste was just kind of meh. It wasn’t bad, just meh. I was left wanting more when the glass was empty. Not more to drink, just more. I thought it was a bit gritty as well. Since I don’t have a proper whisk or frother, it is most likely my fault, however most of the others have mixed fine this way.

Bottom line, you could do worse, but you can do a lot better than meh.

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I got the lost of my moonlight teas in the mail today, so I’m starting the quest to find my favorite. Or at least favorite of the ones that I have. I’m starting with two cakes that I got from different Aliexpress dealers.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/GRANDNESS-2012-YR-Chinese-Yunnan-JISHUNHAO-Moonlight-white-Pu-Er-Puer-Pu-Erh-RAW-tea/896777300.html
I’m calling this Grandness for simplicity sake…..

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/White-moonlight-puer-raw-tea-100g-yunnan-pu-er-sheng-cha-organic-chinese-puerh-brick-qizi/1883686482.html
And I’m calling this Teatime….

https://instagram.com/p/26pBIAOE-7/?taken-by=dex3657

The grandness leaves look larger and have a more distinct black/white quality to them. Both though do look like what I would expect from a moonlight cake. The Teatime cake isn’t as compressed and breaks apart easier.

I’m going to try to keep the parameters as similar as possible. For theses ones, I’m using 7g in my glass teapots – 80C water – rinse – 30 second first infusion.

https://instagram.com/p/26pQA5OE_S/?taken-by=dex3657

Interesting – both leaves don’t seem whole once they are steeped – broken mush is how I want to describe them. They looked so good in the cake but not once steeped. I don’t think I mutilated them that bad when I was breaking the cakes.
The teatime is significantly darker than the grandness.

Grandness is a little sharper, almost bitter – but does have the sweetness that I associate with moonlight. I’m not getting any earthy/musty pu’erh at all.
Teatime is smoother, gentler, sweeter and I’m not getting any pu’erh at all from it either.
At this point I’m calling both of these WHITE rather than PU’ERH….

2nd Steep – I upped the water temp to 85C and kept the time at 30 sec.

Same result the teatime one is still darker than the grandness.
Upping the water temp might have been a mistake, I don’t think it improved either of them. Both have some bitterness now and the sweetness isn’t as obvious. Putting it back down for next steep.

3rd steep
80C 45sec

80C is for sure a better water temp
These are both mellower at that temp.
I’m not getting much of a difference between them. Teatime might be just a hint deeper more flavor but not enough to notice unless drinking them side by side like this.

4th Steep
80C 1 minute

Both are getting more grassy, less sweet – disappointed should be getting more honey notes.

I’m quitting on both of these. I’m sure you could get a couple more decent steeps out of them, but they just aren’t changing enough, aren’t interesting enough to continue. Both are ok but neither is special. I’m forcing myself to choose a “winner” and that would be teatime, but it’s not going to win this contest. Interesting experiment, but I have more to try so I’m moving on.
https://instagram.com/p/262hvYOE3N/?taken-by=dex3657

Sil

interesting!

Christina

What will you do with the remaining cakes once you find your winner?

Dexter

Christina – I actually believe that I’ve found the winner but need to go through this process to justify the cost. What will I do wit these? Drink a bit, share a bit, age a bit, toss a bit?

Sil

heh poor ex..too many teas!

Ubacat

I think my favourite was the very first one I tried GoShopStreet on Ebay.

Dexter

Ubacat – I have the loose moonlight from Streetshop, it’s due for review tomorrow. :)

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82

Holy jeepers I still have some of this left!! It slipped my mind to label the tiny tin and got tucked away to the side. It still makes for a pleasant cup. I’ll be sad when its all gone!
Hey maybe I’ll try this one iced… at least on the final steep (cold brew!)

boychik

I liked it with touch of salt. it was like real potato pancakes with applesause

Indigobloom

Hmmm so you add salt to the cup after brewing? I must try this!! Thanks for the tip! :D

boychik

very little

Fjellrev

I’ll have to try that, boychik!

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I thought I’d written a review on this one, but apparently not, although I’m sure I’ve written something of the 2013 version. I’ve enjoyed it several different ways over the time it has been in my cupboard. The aroma is sweet honey to me, but the cup can be a tad bitter.
Some of my parameters:
1 T to standard cup (10 – 12 oz) for 3 minutes – that works for a lot of my favorite Yunnans, but for this one, it’s a little strong. Resteep at 5 minutes.
2 tsp to standard cup for 3 & 5 min works much better.
5G + 4oz X 15/30/45/60sec/2/3/4/5/min is the better way to go IMO
Given the choice, I think I prefer YS Black Gold Bi Luo, however, my taste buds are off due to allergies, so that could be temporary :)
sipdown – 314

Sil

have you picked up any of the 2015 versions yet?

Sil

(of any YS teas…)

Terri HarpLady

Nope…tea buying hiatus…however, I do have some money in my playpal account, & was thinking of it…I’m really trying to be good! I keep reminding myself that I still have over 300 teas in my collection!

Sil

yeah…i’m trying really hard not to buy but i want a couple teas from YS, i want to place my “treat” order from bellocq and i am out of things from teavivre (staples) but i’m trying to hold off until at least july. then i can justify it as a birthday order and hopefully be in a better cupboard position then. ie.under 90

Terri HarpLady

Yeah, I’d like to pick up some Teavivre keemun…and…and….and… :)

boychik

Terri, which Keemun you’d like to pick ?

Sil

with you on the keemun terri…as well as the dragon pearls heh

Terri HarpLady

Boychik, I like all of their Keemuns, but I still haven’t tried the superfine keemun mao feng.

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90
drank Golden Honey Dew by Lupicia
357 tasting notes

Thank you Marzipan for this one. You were right. I loved this one! Sweet honeydew with a bit of honey on the side. I wasn’t such a fan of this hot but I LOVED this one iced. So good.

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/05/20/tea-of-the-day-golden-honey-dew-from-lupicia-teas/

Flavors: Honey, Honeydew, Melon

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Thank you for the sample WymmTea

I had a lot of trouble with this one. The first few steeps were dominated by a sour note that just didn’t agree with me. I noticed others noted a sour cherry note so I guess that must be it? I finally found a later steep when it had sweetened up I could actually enjoy, but all in all I would say that this is not a sheng for me!

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drank Starter Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
1520 tasting notes

This is from the recent Red Leaf Tea side by side blind taste test. If you were included but haven’t completed your survey yet stop reading now.

Last weekend we rented a cabin on the lake in a nearby state park. It was our 34th anniversary. I grabbed one of my numbered matcha samples from the test that I really liked – Kiss Me Organics. First thing each morning I mixed a heavy tsp of it with 12oz of cold milk and a double shot of Splenda Sat on the porch swing and watched as the misty rain washed across the lake. Beautiful and relaxing. The cold frap was more delicious than one from Starbucks because even with two packets of Splenda, it was not sickening sweet like SB. I thought it could not be any better. While the setting and circumstances had a lot to do with it, I really did like that culinary grade matcha.

This morning, back at home, I grabbed Starter Matcha from Red Leaf and mixed a new glass with the same amounts. The results were even more delicious, in my opinion, though the scenery in my den was not as exciting. Seriously, this makes a dark green tea with a nice grassy flavor and long smooth aftertaste. The best part is, this is one third the price of the previous matcha and even cheaper than the Tradition brand matcha I have been using on a daily basis by about a fourth (1.31/oz my old matcha compared to $0.94/oz Red Leaf).

I know my daily matcha in the past has been a slight bit of a compromise, although I wouldn’t drink it everyday if I did not like it. With this Starter Matcha, I am getting way more wonderful flavor and it will save me money. I actually rated this second highest in the blind test – before I knew what a great deal it is.

I put a pound of this and a pound of the Deluxe Matcha (my highest rated in the test) in the cart. Placed my gift certificate order. Went to Amazon to order some unrelated stuff, came back to my email to make sure the Amazon confirmation had been sent, and discovered the Red Leaf order had already been processed and shipped! Don’t know if they are always this on top of it but that was fast. That was a late afternoon. Two days later the package arrived. I now have enough matcha in cold storage to last a year. I’m a happy den camper.

Veronica

Happy anniversary! Thirty-four years… that’s awesome.

ashmanra

Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. K S! May you enjoy many more love-filled, blessing-filled years!

mrmopar

way to go! You are are good man (or she is a good woman, probably both). Blessing to you both my friend!

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88

today is a holiday in canada for a lot of folks…which means for us, cleaning the house, trying to get outside and using it as a day for the two of us to catch up on things we haven’t had time to work on. It also means being able to drink a few more teas. Today i needed something delicious to kick off my day so i opted for this one. I really need to see if anyone’s written about 2015 harvest since i’ll be running out of this one soon and need to decide on 2014 or the 2015. I think the rest of the day is going to be a little bit of more new teas and finishing up a couple for some sipdowns :)

JC

Let me know if you find out! I got a 2014 Spring and I like it a lot so far, but I haven’t compared it to the others I have. I should do that soon. Or just order the 2015 and do a side-by-side comparison of several versions. :D

Sil

2013>2014 but i really like 2014 as well…

JC

I didn’t have YS 2013 version, but I trust your judgement for Zheng Shan

Ubacat

I ordered the 2015 in April. It should be here soon!

Terri HarpLady

I love this tea, & am still enjoying the 2014 version

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88

Was super excited when my first month’s teas arrived on Saturday from Handmade Tea. I ripped open the pkg and was a little puzzled by the tea. Roasted Chocolate Pineapple Tea Mate. Yeah. . I wasn’t so sure. But the packaging was fantastic! A wax sealed envelope. So fun!

Brewed up the tea and was insanely impressed. This tasted just like a robust coffee with dark chocolate notes. I never picked up any of the pineapple but that may be just because I need to shake up the bag. Super impressed with this. So is the boyfriend. I am going to have to hide this one if I want to keep any of it for myself.

http://www.cuppageek.com/index.php/2015/05/18/tea-of-the-day-roasted-chocolate-pineapple/

Flavors: Coffee

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92
drank Ruby Pie by Butiki Teas
243 tasting notes

Sweet sipdown. This one was one of the true dessert teas I enjoyed over the past few years. The graham cracker note made it really stand out for me. I added a dash of milk and it came out like a strawberry pie. Probably good this was it though because I think the strawberry note was starting to get a teensy bit artificial as it aged.

This was the very last Butiki tea I had left, so this sipdown may be a little bittersweet when all is said and done. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!

tea-sipper

Oh no! No more Butiki!

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74
drank Lime Marshmallow by Butiki Teas
2368 tasting notes

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the smell of this tea. It is just so rich and vibrant. The taste is refreshing and sweet but the smell is what truly gets me each time.

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Drinking a big 16oz to-go cup of this at work today.

I’ve gotten really attached to this flavor and am going to miss it when I run out!

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83

Sheng/Shou TTB
This is a very nice young sheng. Small amounts of astringency and flavorful notes of sweetness and grape skins. This will get much better with age, but it a pleasant drinker right now.

Flavors: Grapes

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86

More Streetshop88! On my last order, I asked my wife to choose a tea based on how she felt about looking at it. Sort of an ESP kind of thing. This is the one she chose. I ordered a cake knowing nothing about it. It turned out to be a pretty good tea. It is very light in flavor, but quite smooth. The cake is really nice, it has a pretty wrapper which uses very thick high quality paper. I like that. The leaf quality is very good, big leaves. The soup is medium brown, no fermentation flavor. There is not much complexity, but it feels nice and my wife likes it. If you’re looking for a light safe non earthy ripe pu erh to try, I think this is a good one. Anyone know what company this is from the picture?

AllanK

I just got this in the mail today. Glad it’s good as I bought a whole cake.

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100

Good morning :)

First cup of the day. Yum, as usual.

I have a huge amount of this stuff. I don’t understand my need to hoard it!

Stephanie

goooood morning :)

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77

Just a short tasting note here. I honestly didn’t know what this was and thought it was a black tea so I used boiling water with it. It still came out fine though, just reminds me of genmaicha. I don’t think I am picking up the black soybean flavor… it is nutty and rice-y though. Not a bad morning cuppa, I don’t think I need to get any more though.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

sounds….different heh

The DJBooth

Soybean Rice and Matcha? HMMMMMM.

Mikumofu

I like this one but it’s definitely an unusual mix :)

Stephanie

Very interesting

Ost

ahh still really wanna try this one sometime! Seems so interesting!

Kirkoneill1988

hi! id like to try this tea :D care to swap?

TeaBrat

@Kirkoneill1988 – I wish I could but I literally had the one teabag that came in the Lupicia holiday gift set.

Kirkoneill1988

that’s ok :)

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Overall the tea is fairly smooth and easy to drink. Smoke detected in the aroma of the dry leaf but this barely appeared in the tea soup. Orange liquor with a woody base, hints of nutty notes and a light sweetness. Not much (if any) bitterness found and no astringency. Good mouthfeel with a nice tingling on the tongue. The flavor held up nicely through 6-7 steeps. My experience with this tea was rather pleasant and enjoyable for sipping through the day yesterday.
—-Some recent tea notes for samples obtained from finepuer mentioned dry, flavorless tea and I can say that for this one, I opened the three sample boxes I had and dumped the chunks into a small yixing crock to sit for two weeks before trying. When I opened the boxes and plastic bags, there was really no aroma but after storing in the yixing for two weeks, there was a sweet, floral aroma with a little smoke and the results of brewing the leaves were very pleasant.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
tea123

It’s good to see someone else reviewing the same tea.
I’m surprised you say the smoke barely appeared; I found the tea was overwhelmed by the smoke. I shall re-try a third time.

mrmopar

That’s why I have the storage in the pumi before I get into them. I think being in bags all zipped up doesn’t do much for the tea.

DigniTea

Yes, I definitely agree.

DigniTea

tea123 – there was light smoke which served as a complement to the other more dominant flavor attributes. I say this as a person who is not fond of smoke in my tea but can appreciate it in a light complementary way.

JC

Nice notes! and mrmopar is right, tea123 whenever you order tea, but specially if it is shipping for more than a week, let it air in a place with some humidity to it. I feel like most people are going to be put off by W2T’s tuo because of lack of airing it before tasting it.

tea123

DigniTea and JC – I will re-try this tea again after airing it out.

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85

I’ve had this one a few times now without writing a note. I picked this as my morning tea since i have a bit of time this morning before work gets a little crazy. I also desperately need to get through more of my puerh since my cupboard is back over 100. sigh I’m a fan of this one…if i had any sort of set up for storing puerh, i’d likely pick up a cake/box of this one. It’s very smooth and has creamy mushroom and brown sugar notes in it. I’ve only done a couple steepings but there’s no fermentation flavours here to throw things off and it’s just an overall good time. yum.

OMGsrsly

Interesting.

I wish I could work from home today so I could drink all the teas. Sadly, I can’t do the science from home.

Sil

i’m trying to get through as many things that i haven’t tried today heh

OMGsrsly

Monday’s a holiday which I was really excited about (time to stay home and sew and drink tea!) but I’ll have to work as all my experiments have a 5-day spread. Thursday, Friday and Monday, or Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

Sil

yeah i’m on a release this weekend..so saturday overnight for me..but then i have sun and mon :)

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87

Thank you so much for the samples Wymmtea

This is a particularly awesome sheng! SO creamy and sweet and floral but still complex and interesting. Definitely just my style and up my alley. This is one I would drink again and definitely purchase if I could afford a cake :)

scribbles

They sent me this too. Can’t wait to try it!

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drank Organic Matcha by Terra Verve
1520 tasting notes

This is from the recent Red Leaf Tea side by side blind taste test. If you were included but haven’t completed your survey yet stop reading now.

Looking back at my notes, I didn’t rate this as well as I thought I did. Hmmm. Anyway, I am now exploring these in a frappuccino style. Matcha, cold milk, and Splenda. This one is very dark (before milk), has a solid flavor and sweetness, along with a lingering aftertaste. I think my initial reaction lowered the score because of some bitterness, although I noted that I liked what the bitterness added. Cold, I don’t notice any negative in the taste. The problem with this one is the price tag. That is a lot of money for kitchen grade powder. Solid flavor – high price tag.

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24

Backlog

For some reason I totally keep forgetting to write this tasting note…probably because It was a massive disappointment. xD
I was expecting it at the very least to just be a normal jasmine tea. But no.
It hardly tasted like jasmine. They went superrr light on the jasmine and it was mainly just grass flavor. Which is why I don’t drink green teas since I don’t like grass flavors. xD
So yeah, this one was awful. Jasmine Butterfly WAYYYYY better! One of the best Jasmine teas of all time in my book. At least so far! So like a year and a half in officially :P
Anywho, Liquid Proust sent me such a generous sample of this one which was so sweet-and thank you soo much for that! Really was very nice of you. But this one wasn’t my cup of tea…soo yeah. :/ Donut worry though! I will try my best to find a good home for it when I can!

Flavors: Grass, Jasmine, Vegetal

Liquid Proust

Hopefully you were able to tell that the tea was fresh too which says something about the quality. I was disappointed by it myself.

Ost

No wonder you sent me so much, Liquid Proust! XD

Kirkoneill1988

I’m sure you will find a better jasmine tea ;)

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!
I just got home from playing a Mother’s Day gig, & I’m finally sampling this tea, sent to me from Sil.

My taste buds have been off for awhile, thanks to horrible allergies this year, so I’m not gonna give a great description here, but what I can say is this cup of tea makes me think of a light spring rain. It has a delicate fresh quality to it.

MzPriss

I love The Bear. How is more pajama time treating you these days Terri?

MzPriss

And Happy Mother’s Day Terri

Terri HarpLady

Life is Much much better! I’ve still been super busy with gigs & gardening, but at least those are things I WANT to do! :)
Hugs!

MzPriss

Well I’m going to join you in the pajama and gardening brigade in the not too distant future. I’m glad for you. Hugs back!

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