Featured & New Tasting Notes
I got a sample teabag of this with an order. Used my regular teabag cup, but the teabag has only 2g of tea, less than a usual teabag so admittedly I may have steeped in too much water. The tea has a slightly marine seaweed odor on the first steep, not unpleasant. I get slight flavor of black tea, but otherwise the color of the brew looked normal with almost no taste. Maybe the sample is old, I don’t know.
I did buy an order of black tea bags of another type from Yunomi, along with some loose leaf too. Will compare to see how those are. But otherwise, I prefer a tannin bite when I drink black tea, that savory sharpness.
Flavors: Char, Marine, Wood
This kind of a non-tea post. I’ve said before I love this stuff. Last night I was mostly sipping memories. The end of this box is over a year old and it shows. I think. It took two bags. I normally just use one. I could barely taste the orange. Now I say I think this is showing its age because it may be me. I am using Flonase along with an inhaled steroid. I’ve noticed lately I am having problems pulling out and and separating tastes. Yesterday, I also had an herbal tea that to me was mint and ginger – except there isn’t any of either in the mix. I am barely functioning with the meds, hate to think I may have to stop blogging because I am not sure what I’m tasting. Hopefully, my senses straighten up on their own soon.
Funny non-tea related story – Tuesday night I was at praise band practice when it began to lightening with torrential rain and wind. It made some of them real nervous to where practice became almost impossible. After it slacked off and without the singers realizing it, they wanted to sing “I’ll Praise You In The Storm”. Then one asked for “Til The Storm Passes By”. I kept quiet until one of our singers blasted into “Wade In The Water”. I lost it and rolled on the floor laughing. I had to explain it to them as they were totally unconscious of what they were doing.
Anyway, Sugar Cookie – I still have a sealed unopened box. I intend to break into it soon.
I am enjoying this twisted green tea this morning. It is very delicate, vegetal , and light. Perfect for a spring morning. There’s a bit of green bean in there and a faint chestnut. As I take a sip it’s followed by a light sweetness too. I really like it but it’s not my favourite type of green tea. I prefer ones that have a bit more greenness, umami, deeper & sweeter chestnut. However, I would soon get bored with all my greens if they were all alike. This one is definitely different.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Vegetal
So the cold I thought I’d got rid of came back for a second swipe, and this time it’s a fair bit worse than it was originally. Yesterday I had a conference at work between 11.30 and 4.45 (with only a 10 minute tea break and no lunch), so I drank virtually nothing all day and unsurprisingly felt like crap when I got home. After a shower, which made me feel at least 1/4 human again, I made up a cup of this one. On its own it restored another 50% – the rest won’t come back until I finally shake this off.
I don’t usually drink my “better” teas when I’m sick because often there’s just no point. I found that I could taste this, though, maybe because the chocolate and fruit notes are so strong, or because it’s so thickly malty. Either way, it was A-MA-ZING. I’ve gone into the specific taste of this one a couple of times before (once very recently) so I won’t do it again here. The point of this note is purely to say “I drank this one and it rocked” and the fact that I felt better as a result is just a happy bonus.
Finally writing about this despite being over 2/3 done with my pouch. I’ll say right away that while it’s good, it’s not super amazeballs ZOMG best EVAR like WOWZA. It’s indeed majorly chocolatey and nutty, but hazelnut rather than chestnut, which is unsurprising seeing that this actually has hazelnuts in the dry leaf. The cocoa husks, I’d say, play an important part in enhancing the chocolate notes in here.
I prefer this black rather than with milk, which seems to drown out the gourmand, desserty vibe this tea has, and oddly makes the chocolate note waxier and more artificial? Highly strange. You’d think it would just make it like milk chocolate, but no.
For a fraction of the price, I’d rather have Bayswater’s nutty/chocolatey teas: Divine Temptation, Creme Brûlée, and Chocolate Macchiato. Would I ever pass up a cup of this? Of course not, it’s delicious. Would I have problems finishing this? No way, it’s definitely enjoyable. But I won’t be crying in my sauerkraut once it’s gone either.
Haven’t had this one forever.
Today was a day of medical tests and sitting around waiting from ridiculous o’clock onwards. I still feel like I have sand and grit in my eyes from lack of sleep (and probably fluorescent lighting making things worse). The moral of the story is that hospitals are to be avoided, if at all possible.
I treated myself to that rare espresso latte after lunch, so when I got home, it was all about low or no-caffeine. This was the choice. In my memory, this tea is ever so much better than what landed in my cup today. I didn’t add anything to it, perhaps that’s the problem.
I won’t change my rating though, because I am holding firm to being an optimist and I suspect this tea can still be glorious with the right moment and the right touch. And yay, so lovely that the sun is still shining so brilliantly so late in the day.
Well, today I’ve finally had a moment to sit and drink tea; to contemplate my life. The last couple of weeks of college are nearly complete (4 classes left until I complete my Education major, and then can continue onward for another year, to become a certified middle-grades History/English teacher!), my wife’s car is on the verge of falling apart, we’re waiting for our caseworker to get a hold of us to set a date for the home study, and we’re eager to have our children out of the terrible foster system—and into a loving home—where Mom & Dad will give them the best that we can give them….
Okay, that was sentimental….
Anyway, I’m currently drinking my third cup of Liquid Proust’s ‘A Dark Kitchen Sink.’ As of late, I’ve been wanting to eat everything candy and/or ice cream. However, I need to resist the temptation, and just pluck from the cupboard, these types of tea that I purposely have for these stressed induced situations. Fortunately, this was in there—and what a treat! If I were to close my eyes at this moment, I could say that you’ve watered ice cream down (particularly a Turtle sundae) by a whole lot, and reduced it to a simple drink; to which I’d say,
“My, oh my, what a fine treat! Is this hot watered down ice cream?”
Then I’d hear, “No you dope, it’s simply the best damn dessert tea that you’ve ever had.”
Alright, there’s a huge nutty flavor which comes from the whole pecans within the tea. There is definitely a nice black tea flavor after the third steep that jumps out a little (from the description, I’m assuming that’s from the Golden Pu-erh needles); which gives it the sweet cocoa note. The honey gives it a nice caramel note, too. I mean, I could list the ingredients that I try, but when I go about reviewing a tea that way, I get sidetracked, and then my review turns to mush.
I will just say that this is GREAT, remarkable, extraordinary, amazing, astonishing, astounding, sensational, stunning, incredible, and unbelievable! Buy it. Try it! Drink it! It’s liquid ice cream! What could be better?
P.S. Today’s tea soundtrack comes from the Japanese instrumental rock band, MONO, “Hymn to the Immortal Wind.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbnhjsDI_ho
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Cocoa, Honey, Pecan, Vanilla
farewell my delicious friend. While i haven’t had time to really write about the things i’m drinking, i am making a conscious effort to make note when something leaves my cupboard or it’s a brand new tea that i’m trying. I think this officially means i have no verdant teas in my cupboard beyond a couple puerhs. eep!
The Trails of LBZ, Case 4 of 6
(Liquid Proust search for his favorite laser beam zensheng)
I was told this one is a blend and not pure LBZ, but that’s fine :)
First brew was ‘eh’, but I was drinking this for kick/effect. A little smokey in taste which I didn’t expect, but it seems that the tea lost that taste as it opened up. A little more of the storage taste came out with some more depth.
At about the eighth steep I knew this was going to be a more milder tea than the others that I had tried. Some feels to it, little in the head and more around the upper body. Quite enjoyable, but nothing compared to the first LBZ I drank during my trials which about rendered me unable to walk and thinking didn’t occur for awhile.
Most noticeable in regards to taste of aged and storage though.
From Dark Matter 2016
Brewed in a gaiwan. Just under boiling water.
This smelled amazing like tobacco and dark chocolate. And unfurls into whole crinkled leaves. But I let the first steep go too long (30 sec?) and ended up with just char and tobacco. This might date me but getting through that first steep made me keep thinking about that “kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray” ad (or was it a poster?). Later steeps continued with the tobacco, did no one else get this? I’ve never smoked as I’m super repelled by the taste and smell but I grew up around smokers and this taste very much reminds me of cigarettes. At some later steep this flavor fades to the background and becomes pleasant. It also starts becoming floral and has an inorganic earth finish. So a bit of a rough start for me but worth it for the later steeps. Not sure how many I got, I started to let it go 10-15 min infusions at the end while cooking dinner.
Next time I’m definitely using less tea or being stricter about keeping my initial steeping times short. Maybe even rinsing this?
Flavors: Floral, Tobacco, Wet Rocks
This is super melon tasting and sweet! This green rooibos tea tastes just like those green melon asian candies. It also makes a great iced tea.
However, the melon is strong and overpowers the green rooibos base. The good thing is this rooibos isn’t watery, but this tea is pretty much like drinking melon juice. I like it, but I can see if not appealing for some people.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/golden-honeydew-rooibos-lupicia-tea-review/
This is a queued tasting note.
So, I woke up Sunday morning to get ready for work and I had the biggest craving for lychee. I can’t even express how amazing it felt to not only have one lychee tea in my cupboard but two to pick from! Options, motherfuckers!
So this was my commute tea on Sunday: it was brilliant! The bright, juicy lychee top note satisfied that lychee craving in every possible way and the black base tea underneath is phenomenal as well. It’s natural, sweet and smooth honey, malt and cocoa notes are both a stunning contrast to the juicy, floral lychee but also a wonderful compliment. You’re matching not only the intense rich flavour of the lychee but the intense rich flavour of the black tea. Mmmm!
This tea is not bad, also by no means incredible. I did like it in the end even if it started badly. It started out with notes of tobacco and leather. This slowly transformed into something nicer over a period of many steeps. By the twelfth steep I was getting a sweet note that slightly reminded me of prunes. A little bit of sour sweetness if it could be described as such. I think this is a tea that is really just changing. It had a very dark color to the tea liquid. It was aging. It seemed in the middle of the aging process. I don’t have room for this in my pumidor so it will have to be dry stored in the New York humidity. We have hot humid summers and dryer the rest of the year. We will see if this tea improves. It’s not exactly bad tea, there is just a lot of room for improvement.
I steeped this tea twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.4g 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, and 2 min. I am neither going to recommend this tea nor am I going to not recommend this tea. Some people will like it, some will not. The notes of leather and tobacco did turn into something more pleasant. My best description for this new note is a slightly sour sweet taste of prunes. By this I do not mean the tea had a noticeable sour note, just a slight taste.
Flavors: Leather, Tobacco
Additional notes: Sad sipdown of the last sample of this treasure in my tea collection. It was so good while Teavivre sold it. I love the light honey notes on the already sweet, mildly roasted oolong. I’ll be enjoying it on this gloomy day while packaging up teas to go to the post office on Wednesday. :D I have teas for sale on page 13 of the ‘official sale’ thread if anyone wants to check that out for any last minute orders.
My weekend was excellent, even though my sleep schedule is totally off now! I enjoyed fighting games and worked on painting, who can ask for more? Sadly though, my happiness is at an end, sort of. The basement has a hellish flooding problem, so there is going to be a lot of noise and a lot of mess this week, with the warning ‘anyone with lung problems shouldn’t be here.’ Bah. So I am going to spend a lot of time outside, meaning no painting, though I am going to hopefully spend a lot of time at the zoo.
Today I am looking at Tealyra’s Da Hong Pao Superfine, specifically it is a Ban Yan Da Hong Pao (because if it was Zheng Yan it would cost a small fortune) see the term Ban Yan comes from Ban Yan Cha, or semi-rock tea (as contrasted with Yan Cha) meaning it is grown outside of the Wuyi National Scenic Area. It is still a Wuyi ‘Yancha’ in style and spirit, but being grown outside of this rather fancy region means us mere mortals can afford it. Good for people who want to drink Da Hong Pao everyday and not as a special treat. So how do these long twisty leaves smell? Like a Da Hong Pao, strong notes of char and tobacco with undertones of cocoa and lots of loam. It smells like the remnants of a campfire on an autumn’s day, a campfire where someone was smoking a pipe and eating s’mores and the air still holds both of those memories.
Time to use ye’ol Yancha pot, and the aroma of the tea leaves is still fairly char heavy, giving the tea a sharpness. There are also notes of loam and black walnuts with a finish of wet limestone. Not terribly nuanced but certainly very strong. The liquid for the first steep has mellowed out a bit on the char, smelling like wet coals and molasses with an accompaniment of walnut shells and a very faint creamy candy note, not unlike molasses candies…something which I am craving suddenly.
The first steep is surprisingly mellow, it starts with a loamy mineral note, like wet limestone and damp autumn leaves after a rain and then bursts into molasses and scotch. The finish is loamy and gently sweet but does not linger long. It was a good first steep but very mild for a yancha, which is usually balls to the walls from the first sip.
For the aroma of the second steep, there are notes of sweet molasses and chocolate with wet limestone and a nice burst of wet coals at the finish. It is stronger than the first steep, but sadly has lost the walnut shell notes. The taste reminds me of strong dark chocolate, just a touch sweet and nicely bitter with a coal and mineral finish. Often when these rock teas have a strong coal and dark chocolate flavor it reminds me of the burnt edge of a s’more you let catch on fire. Tasty but burnt chocolate!
The third steep’s aroma is faint by comparison, just notes of wet leaves and wet coal with a ghost of molasses. The aroma made promises of faintness that the taste fulfilled, this tea has given up the ghost. All that is left is the ghost of burnt chocolate and mineral, like rainwater more than wet limestone. If you want a tea that lingers for a while I say look elsewhere, but if you want a nice char heavy DHP for a fairly cheap price then this one works and fulfills that craving if you are running low on the higher end stuff.
Sipdown! I’ve had a reasonably bad cold since Thursday evening, so I’ve mostly been drinking comforting teas that I’m familiar with. There’s no point trying something new when I can’t taste it, after all. I’ve enjoyed this one, both with and without milk. It’s super smooth, with prominent chai spices and delicious creamy vanilla caramel. I’ll miss this one.
1 tsp, 2.5 minutes, boiling water. No additions.
This tea is quite good. There was very little bitterness. There was a bit of a green, vegetal taste early on but that did not last. What it had was a honey like sweetness without the actual intensity of real honey but the flavor. This was one good tea. In the end I only gave it eight steeps because I am really watching my caffeine but I thinnk it would have gone a few more. The tea liquid was a very light color even in the early steeps but had a lot of flavor.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 7.2g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 5 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. It had gotten quite light colored in the eighth steep but still had a lot of flavor. I think there were a couple of steeps left.
Flavors: Honey, Sweet, Vegetal
Thought i’d start the day out with a puerh since otherwise i won’t make time for it. This gives me a chance to take a few moments to wake up, and settle my mind before another day of tearing apart the house. These came to me from christina and were on my wishlist to try, so thank you for that!
initial steepings of this are quite nice. Smooth, a little reminiscent of “special dark” but not quite…some sweetness here as well, richness to the taste. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.
Bought a cake of this with my first W2T order. It’s a solid daily drinker. Tasty and simple. I prefer it with boiling water and 3g in my 60mL gaiwan, as it makes the texture a little nicer and is still almost completely without bitterness. Liquor is a nice and vibrant yellow color.
I get little hints of stonefruit in the first 1-2 steeps sometimes, but mostly this tea is sweet hay/grass flavors. At times I also notice some soft floral notes. It has a nice creamy/viscous texture as well. Finish has a bit of a nice tang to it at times as well.
I’ve been using this tea as a baseline to play around with different waters. I got a Brita filter pitcher because the filter on my fridge is old, hasn’t been changed in forever, and is no longer produced (though it dispenses water I find to be quite tasty for tea). Water from the sinks in my house have a distinct, almost bitter flavor to them, which the brita filter cuts slightly, but doesn’t get rid of. They’ve been pretty bad for making tea. Spring water from the grocery store (in a gallon bottle) was a bit better, but I still tasted the water too much. Interestingly, other than my fridge water, the best I’ve had so far is water from the hose spigot outside the house run through the Brita. I’ve still got some other sources to try out, and I’m thinking Little Walk will continue to be my faithful and reliable companion.
Flavors: Floral, Grass, Hay, Tangy
Oversteeped at two minutes. Slightly astringent Gyokuro with a vanilla accent and bare fruitiness that disappears in the tea. I almost thought I was drinking a matcha.
Steep 2 at 90 sec, and I thought I was drinking the 7 Oolong Blend. There was a weird floral that popped up like osmanthus, though I know that’s the jackfruit seed and the vanilla. Liquid hot sprite. I’m just rambling anyway. A morning of high blood sugars and a breakfast of almonds, coffee, creamer, and tea encourages cogent delirium. However, the weather is heavenly in Michigan. I’ll have a few cups outside before I workout today. I might even decide to dress up and show off.
Another overdue review from Puerh TTB #4
I wish I hadn’t waited so long. This is just the type of tea I enjoy: lots of different flavors vying for attention. First steep (10s) was very rich for a first steep. Powerful apricot flavor with a hint of earthiness underneath the fruit. Very good mouth-feel, depth, and finish. I probably should have waited for the second steep, as the finish from steep 1 was still very strong in my mouth. But I didn’t. Second steep had a strong nose with hints of wood. The wood is more obvious in the flavor, along with a lot of smoke. Builds in the mouth to a huge finish. This is not for the timid! I’m also feeling the cha qi in my chest and shoulders, though not so much mentally, which is how it usually affects me. As the cup cools, the apricot comes forward and the smoke and wood recede a bit, though are still present. The cha qi has now reached my head and I’ll need to take a break after drinking 4 ounces. Powerful tea in multiple ways. After about 10 minutes, the finish was barely noticeable, and the qi had faded enough for another cup.3rd steep: Tremendous. Apricot dominates, with wood underneath, and a hint of bitterness at the finish. The flavors are less separated than before. Still tons of cha qi. The tea still fills the mouth, but feels a bit more acidic in the mouth. In the 4th steep, the wood is dominant, and the smoke tastes a bit like ashes underneath the wood and fruit. This is more noticeable in the finish but is subtle enough so that it isn’t unpleasant. Strange rhythm: the odd steeps have been dominated by fruit but the evens were more woody. No idea why.
Around the 8th steep, it became very sweet. Taste is more like corn than apricot with some wood underneath. Less powerful, but no less pleasant or interesting.
Thanks very much to Essence of Tea, who donated the samples for the tea box.