Featured & New Tasting Notes
This lightly fermented shou is a prime example of needing to be aired out, age, and storage. Go look at all the other reviews here and it’s all over the place. I drank this, looked at the reviews and it sounds like a different tea compared to reviews a year ago.
My Green Miracle goat got pretty well aired out, sat for months in the open, then I threw it in my shou pumidor. I got no dry, funk, tart, nor mutated fermented stank that people mention here. Notes I found were primarily mineral wet stones, with some rounds of dirt earth, caramel, clean, and fresh taste. Bit of a green essence to it with some crisp cold breaths.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2015-green-miracle-shou-puer-yunnan-sourcing/
This is an outstanding tea. The vendor, Tealife Hong Kong, is one of our own in the Steepster community, who is making some unique Hong Kong teas available to us. I purchased 4 oolongs. Today I sampled the first, the Hong Kong-Roasted High Fire Three Stamp Shuixian. I am a big fan of roasty oolongs, so I was excited to try this. On the website, the picture of the brewed tea looked like shu, and it was described as having an uber roast. All of this made me very interested…
The website description of this tea is spot on. The first steep was like thick chocolate soup, with a touch of astringency that was perfectly balanced. It tasted of raisins and cinnamon. Velvety smooth. The roast is all about bringing out new and interesting flavors rather than creating a roasty flavor. You can tell this tea was roasted by a craftsman, it is a deep dark brew. Very complex flavor profile, it already tastes almost like an aged oolong in some respects. This is going to be an excellent tea to store for aging. The tea energy was popping – I am so wired right now after only two steeps that I had to put it down and wait until I calm down a bit. I’m posting this in the meantime so I don’t know how this will steep out, but the description says I should get maybe 4 good steeps. This is a big tea…
Liquid Proust, I bet you will enjoy this one…
I will be purchasing more to age. I’m in love…
This tastes strongly of orange and has a natural sweetness. It’s good but the underlying notes of the oolong are weak compared to the orange. This produces a very light colored cup of tea.
Brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.
Sweet Dreams is part of AstroloTea’s Transformative Loose Tea range, which combines ingredients with specific properties to create teas designed to have an effect on either mind or body. Sweet Dreams, true to its name, is supposed to be a relaxing blend, with the intention of promoting sleep or rest. Like many blends of this kind, it contains a selection of herbal ingredients known for their calming properties, including rose petals, hops, jasmine, lemon balm, and lavender.
Read my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/09/26/musicandteamonday-sweet-dreams-herbal-astrolotea/
I had to drink this one again straight away after because it is a bit of an interesting tea. Thinner bodied than the offerings from Greenland (quite watery from my first brew) but with a lurvly aroma, but very hidden away. I think I did 3g for 2:45 12oz water or something. But that aroma & huigan really piqued my interest.
So after the first brew I dashed the leaf & immediately overloaded the infuser & gave it a mini-competition brew, pushing it to see what it was that caught my attention.. so maybe 5g 3:00+..
The aroma is lovely! I didnt think Muscatel in the classic sense, but something more akin to a grapeflower, if that would ever be possible. its heady & yummy.. The taste was more astringent & almost bitter compared to the other Nepali teas, im guessing partly down to this wonderful floral aroma, which is pretty kick-ass if you ask me. Tastes very natural.
There is more of a kaleidoscope effect with the sensations, rather than everything being mushed together. I love that.
Wonderful grapeflower (well my madeup interpretation of a grape-flower mix) Huigan.. More complexity & liveliness in the mouth due to this. Thinner bodied but fruitier on the tastebuds. Slightly sour(?) lip numbing, its very plant-like in a good way. There is a sweetness but its overtaken by the other sourer characteristics.
This one needs a bit of attention in the brew, it can be a bit fussy, one for Darjeeling lovers. It might benefit from a little sweetener (or at least not pushed so hard), i’m unsure on this as ive just drank my whole sample & am now very tea’d up indian style.
That aroma & huigan though. YUM
Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Grapes, Plants, Sweet
Sample from the Canadian Traveling Tea Box
I didn’t realize that I had tried this one already until I had already brewed it up! I really enjoy this tea. It is slightly cocoa notes with some sweetness (probably the honeybush), and some earthiness from the pu’erh. I would likely have this tea on the list if I ordered from this shop.
So, I broke some rules at work yesterday. But, it didn’t really hurt anyone so it doesn’t count, right?
Basically – I go in to work every Saturday to work in my department because I get Tuesday’s off for classes. Normally, my department works 7:30-4:00 weekdays and then gets weekends off. I’m literally the ONLY exception to this rule, so when I come in on Saturdays I’m literally the only person in the back warehouse/production area when there’s usually 35+ of us. It’s very lonely/boring having no one to talk to for eight hours, and in the case of yesterday it was actually ten hours since I was putting in some overtime. So the rules I broke were that one I brought something other than water into the back to drink on shift (tea, obviously). And two, I was listening to music on my iPod when we’re not allowed to have them with us on shift. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, no?
Starting with the tea – I’m actually floored at how much this really did taste like peanut butter and jelly, especially since it doesn’t have peanuts in it. I can’t remember who’s review I saw – but someone said this was better cold brewed so that’s what I made it as and I have to say that any hesitation I had about the flavours not delivering was quashed. The first flavour to really hit me with each sip was the raspberry. And, I think it’s important to note that there really is a strong flavour difference between raspberry jam/jelly and fresh from the garden raspberries. It’s something about how the sweetness hits you, and the acidity/tang. This was 100% raspberry jam and not just a more generic raspberry flavour.
It transitioned really nicely with the peanut butter notes which made up more of the mid sip and the super, super nutty finish and aftertaste. This was the element I was most skeptical about because peanuts are a hard flavour to emulate; but I totally got it. I really, 100% felt like I could have been nomming on a PB&J while I was working – even though that would be FAR from advisable givent he amount of dirty/unwashed donations I handle in a day on shift. Yuck.
Now, here comes the criticism…
Does this tea nail the flavour? In my opinion, absolutely. Is it a flavour that translates well to a beverage? I’m not nearly so convinced about that. I mean, it wasn’t bad in any way but it was really, really weird and I don’t know that it’s something I’d want to drink on a really common/casual basis. I’m probably just so used to eating PB&J in that one specific format: on bread. I’ll have to see if I can break out of that preconceived notion a bit the more I drink this.
This is a ‘new to me’ band that I’m liking a lot so far – and I had my iPod filled with their music to just sort of get used to it/learn it and figure out what I do and don’t like. Stumbled upon this song which I barely knew/had only heard once while drinking this tea and was like “Damn, fucking nailed it!”. I’m sure if you take a listen it’s very obvious why these two go together. Like, in your face obvious – but obvious pairings can be good pairings.
I will say, I saw the music video for it for the first time while looking for a link to post in this tasting note though – and while the video is fitting for the song in it’s own way, it IS a weird ass fucking video though…
This tea is fairly sweet with notes of cream and grass. It is a nice white tea. I recently purchased Tea Honey from the Savannah Bee Company. This honey is nice because it does not overwhelm the flavors of the tea. Overall I like this tea.
I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 185 degree water for 3 min.
Very subtle tea that doesn’t require much attention. Easy to sip away at, but nothing special. Doesn’t attack your stomach lining. Not as sweet as a fresh Bulang, but I tend to like younger teas to older ones though because I’m odd.
This one can brew for a while, but I suggest sipping it along with something else because I don’t find this to overtake any notes… maybe it’s just me, but I like to sip side by side.
This was the only kettle in my local shop when I moved flat, my older two-setting cuisinart went to my studio.
4 temp settings (no increments) & a keep warm function (of which I never use) & 1.5L capacity for £40. Not too bad I guess.
Only thing, i get it home, turn it on, nice quick boil…
BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!!!!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!!!!!!! (cue car alarms going off outside)
Loudest goddamn beep ever in the world. My flatmate can hear from my bedroom, in his bedroom at the end of the hall (1500 sqft flat with georgian walls & doors closed).. So I google it, and theres another customer who agrees so much he made a youtube video of how to fix it.
So after I buy the tool needed (its a anti-tamper set) I set about ripping out the beeper. Its an easy job & now the kettle is much better.
I like it but increments would have given it a better rating.
My first cup of this was plain, straight up and unsweetened. I know, I know, this is not the way this tea was designed to be drunk. Still, it was nice and spicy with ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon notes although both chocolate and marshmallow tastes were missing. I did indeed see the chocolate chips in the dry leaf, but the taste didn’t translate steeped.
Now I have begun to tamper with the tea a bit. My daily coconut oil quota is not always that easy to include in food. I tend to favour Mediterranean flavours and coconut taste doesn’t tend to work well in combination.
Enter chai tea. Coconut works beautifully here. Somehow the oil slick of the dollop gets gobbled up or, at least, is not even slightly apparent in the sipping, especially compared with other teas that I’ve added the oil to. Here, the coconut sweetness of the oil makes the spice flavours pop and the lovely brisk black tea base nicely holds it all up. The chocolate and marshmallow are still not coming through for me.
Recently, I’ve discovered a gluten-free bakery in town, so I am enjoying this tea with a breakfast cookie filled to the brim with nuts and seeds. A lovely combination.
Nice blend, truly. I imagine it would be beautiful with milk and honey.
52teas does a stellar job with chai teas. This one is no exception.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger
Yesterday I declared the ‘no more buying tea’ act for myself… my electric bill was $190 for one month : (
Anyways, someone sent me some dahongpao from December’s monthly tea that W2T put out. This was somehow absolutely amazing. The medium roast fell off around the fourth steep and I promise you that what I’m saying is true, a little sweet fruit started to brew up. It was almost as if strawberry/kiwi had dried up and got swept away with the warm liquid. Quite an enjoyable cup.
I don’t really believe in the health benefits claimed by “wellness” teas. I didn’t buy this to become slim and slender – I bought it because I used to like the one sold by Teaopia.
This blend is exactly as I remember it – so good.
I’m not even really sure how to describe it. A little fruity, a little medicinal, but really light and refreshing. It’s a pretty strange tea but for some reason I really like it. I wouldn’t drink it everyday, but it’s a really nice change from the heavier/darker teas that I normally drink. This one is a winner for me.
Dear GOD this is an incredible tea. One of my goddamn favorites from the batch of 2016 stuff, that’s for damn sure.
This is a wild tea. It’s definitely in the same bitterness family as a lot of purple puerh. But, while purple stuff was one of my first loves, a lot of the times it’s just big and fun and dumb. Like: fat satisfying bitter warmth, but not much evolve.
This stuff on the other hand: this is the magic stuff. This is the real goddamn deal. This huge central bitterness that just emanates weird life, radiating this ever-changing tentacles of sweet and vegetal and other stuff.
It’s interesting – it’s a very different bitter than the Lao Man E’s I’ve been drinking. The Lao Man E’s tend to have this more rubber/quinine note, quite distinctive, that rides over and above the more conventional puerh vegetal flavors. This stuff, on the other hand: the bitter is the center. Everything is connected to the bitter. Everything binds into and comes from the bitter.
Also: this is brain-zap tea. I was intending to actually, you know, get some work done, and instead ended up basically collapsed, draped over the side of my couch, blasting the new Frank Ocean album, joyously zonked. This is MASSIVE tea. This is tea to put into your skull and blast some thick, textured tunes to.
I kept texting my wife while I was drinking it. “Oh shiiiiit.” “Oh this is legit.” “Holy crap… THIS TEA.”
Also, weirdly, underneath, elegant. Something about the texture and overall… cleanness… reminds me of the ultra-delicate W2T Last Thoughts.
Anyway: thank you Crimson Lotus people. This is the real stuff. You have brought a new kind of joy into my life.
The White2Tea 2016:
I purchased samples of all the 2016 new line up this year, and I started at the bottom (cheapest) and worked my way up. I did this to taste the profile improvements and variances. I brewed in the same pot with same leaf water ratio. Also, this helps to hone in my palette to identify what’s a good deal and what’s not. At the conclusion of my tasting I will be placing my cake order.
I am still trying to figure this one out…
When a company states phrases like “the most out there” and “mystic” I have several thoughts in my mind. Is it taste? Qi? Aroma? Sensation? Processing? Terrior? Is it odd for this region of tea to do things like this one does? So. Many. Questions. So, I gear up with tasting tools in hand and begin! I was suuuper analytical and towards the end I’ll reveal my conclusion of the mystic diving brew.
I inspect the leaves and notice their small hairs, long slender shape, slight compression and they give off an intensely sweet aroma of berries, lemon, and thyme. A very fresh and sweet mix. I warmed up my pot and place the subject inside. The fruitiness expands to bosc pears, red apples, fruit punch, and the mild dryness of cranberries. I notice all my scents are “red”. I washed the leaves and prepared the lab to commence brewing. The leaves once steeped emit a shadowed scent of dark fruits, tobacco, and some faint peppermint or menthol. The taste is full and lasting. I notice some dark wood at the front which comes across as sweet and harsh. A wisp of smoke follows through with some heavy fruitiness. The tea is thick and the aftertaste is sweet and long lasting huigan (could I use the word sweet some more…). I pick up on some berry tastes later on and watch the tea flavors begin to fade after each steep. The huigan changes into a powerful menthol/mint cooling sensation the chills my throat and jaw line. The frigidness was refreshing. The qi is a nice feeling. It is a very slight and happy feeling the grows in power throughout the session. The remaining liquor gives a sugary aroma and fills up the lab. The testing has been concluded and the machinery and tasting tools lay scattered about, used and dripping. However, I still have questions in my mind. Am I tasting a wild old arbor material, for I picked up some viscosity and smoke? Was the unique characteristic the steeped leaves cooling aroma? Or was the mystery in the menthol powerful aftertaste? Was this all just a marketing ploy that I fell into? What makes this tea so “out there”? Honestly, I don’t have an answer. The tea was decent; however, I note nothing that is outstandingly unique about this brew. I am going to spend some more time and take it back to the lab. Once I find something out, you’ll be the first to know.
Flavors: Cranberry, Dark Wood, Fruit Punch, Menthol, Pear, Peppermint, Red Apple, Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Tobacco
After breaking this tea up I had some broken leaf and dust to brew up so I went online to see what others thought… nothing.
Well, just went with it. 100ml to 7g of leaf and 90c
First of all, the cake is really loose which I like : )
What appeals to me is the lack of aroma and clean brew. The taste, smell, and feel is just… clean dry storage. Much different than your Taiwan stored pu’erh for sure. This is one that I put in the fridge after to brew the next day; pretty ugly looking dust in a bag :p
Very steady taste. Minor progression of taste. Reliable resteep. Low maintenance.
I decided to cold-brew this rather than brew it hot and strong then dilute it down. The short, black, gnarly leaves here are interspersed with the occasional bit of green (strawberry leaves) and red (dried strawberry pieces). The dry leaf smelled of strawberries, chocolate and vanilla – in fact, it reminded me an awful lot of chocolate-covered strawberries!
I ended up with a nice, almost peach-coloured brew after everything was said and done.
The iced tea tasted exactly like it smelled – like chocolate-covered strawberries. It wasn’t bad, but I honestly think this was a waste served cold. I bet this tea would be much better hot, where the contents would probably taste like an amazing strawberry-laced hot chocolate.
Spur of the moment review! Hongcha is evocative of autumn for me. I decided to celebrate the equinox with this one! Merry Mabon to those who celebrate the Wheel of the Year! (sorry, S.G. Sanders, I backed down from shou because it’s sooooo warm today)
I gongfu’d 3g in my new 60ml gaiwan. The dry leaf’s presentation against a white background is just beautiful:
I last wrote a review six months ago (the numerical rating is from the first review). What particularly sticks out this session is that I identify different flavors. Sweet potatoes and orange zest particularly stick out, and then the almonds and cashews when I really concentrate. Not so much malt and no brownies this time – could be the difference in harvest year.
So smoooooooth. The mouth becomes dry after I swallow, but quickly fills again with saliva. Very nutty aftertaste. Returning notes of almonds.
I can’t help but keep sticking my nose into the gaiwan and savoring the wet leaf aroma. It simply won’t let up! Cocoa and caramel, grains and raisins.
There’s no place like hongcha, there’s no place like hongcha, there’s no place like hongcha.
A tea from the Puerh TTB labeled “2016 Xigui Caicheng.” I think Xigui is the factory, not 100% sure though. The leaf for this one was very green. Smelled of straw and grass when dry. After a rinse, I got a slight briney note on the nose as well. Bitterness is the main thing I noticed with this one for the first 5 or so steeps – a rather unpleasant and astringent bitterness. Also detected nutty and straw notes – more like I had oversteeped a green tea. That harsh astringency did start to fade around steep number 6, after which I got around 6 more steepings with a basic sweet hay characteristic and slightly thick texture. Wouldn’t consider this tea a winner, though part of that could be that I brutalized it a little bit with boiling water. I’m guessing it would be more tasty with a few years’ age on it to cut that bitterness.