Featured & New Tasting Notes
VariaTEA was awesome, and along with our joint matcha order, she sent a ton of matcha samples my way. :)
This one I did my standard way, mixed with cold milk and allowed to sit in the fridge a few hours. I’m not really getting anything distinctly toffee-like, but it does make a nice creamy milky drink at least. Nothing special for me here, but always grateful to be able to try matcha flavours without buying them myself.
I’ve been searching up wellies for a significant portion of the afternoon (you know, because it’s not as though I have exams to study for), and I think I’ve finally narrowed it down a couple styles. What do you guys have for wellies?
My first impressions of this tea were of texture, even when thinking about flavour. I found it to be smooth and soft,with fruit and biscuit above malt and smoke, with a dense texture provided by tannins and a sharper aftertaste. It is pleasant and easily drinkable with a slight astringency on the tongue. There is a hint of cocoa but not really chocolate, a hint of apple blossom, leather, malt and biscuit with smoke in the aftertaste. The flavours all blend smoothly into each other. The tea smells of smoke,biscuit, leather, dried currants, apple and malt and the colour was a rich mahogany. I think I was expecting this tea to be a little more robust than it tasted but it is definitely well crafted. Thanks Dexter3657 for the opportunity to Try my first Andrews and Dunham tea!
probably my last cup of tea for the day with travelling and such unless i get off the plane and MUST HAVE TEA…which is always a possibility. HOping i’ve got the right balance of tea that i’m bringing to be able to get through most of it before we come home. heh esp since i know i’ll be buying tea while there. I actually have one more cup of this that i’m bringing with me for a rainy day when i need some comfort.
Final Count: 140 (1 swap and a few purchases incoming – 10 to go…)
I had a real breakthrough with this tea last night, it was probably the high point in my illustrious tea drinking ‘career’ thus far.
I took some LB to the movies in a Contigo mug, which incidentally had DT Chocolate Rocket in it previously which totally contaminated the lid with its overly perfumey extremely flavourful liquor.
So I took the lid off to drink it that way. And if I can go off on a tangent for a second here (yes I can, because this is my review!), I think I finally understand why all the travel mugs at DT have screw off lids, vs the sealed type like the Contigo…. Because scent is so much a part of the tea drinking experience. Smelling really helps you taste. (And never put stinky hand cream on and then drink a fancy tea…lesson learned) I’d always been concerned about spillage, which the Contigo type of mugs avoid altogether, but it does remove one of the senses you kind of need when trying to taste the fine nuances of something.
Anyway! I was sitting in the theatre drinking my laoshan black tea in a lidless mug, not even spilling a drop, and I was like “OMG, does this taste like roasty and delicious chocolate?!” Another sip, deep inhale… “I think it does!!”
The crowning moment of glory for me.
AND, I had just finished a crappy movie theatre froyo with skor bits in it, so not worth the $5.00 I paid…and even compared to that I could taste some sort of pure and delicious cocoa note in my tea!
Such a difference between that and the chemically flavored variety.
The tea was the best thing I consumed during that movie.
And the fact that the incredibly flavored Chocolate Rocket was ruining it for me says a lot about where I am today.
From the queue
This came out of the EU TTB round 2. Cream, vanilla and roasted hazelnuts. What, I ask you, could possibly go wrong? I lurve vanilla, I’ve quite fallen for nutty blends recently, and I can imagine what the cream must add to this. I can’t actually in anyway at all imagine this not being awesome. Therefore I looked shifty and filched it. I can’t remember if I’ve had any of this before. I haven’t really been buying very much of the European blends, tending to look more towards the East and the UK.
This smells awesome! All roasty nutty! Also a lot of sweet sweet vanilla that makes the whole thing remind me of hot white chocolate. (I’ve got some powder for that from Whittards of Chelsea. It’s luxuriously awesome made up with warm milk) I can’t really detect any notes of actual tea, though, which is the only thing about the aroma which I can find fault with. I can’t smell any cream either, but I expect that more in the flavour than the aroma in general. It always surprise me when I can actually smell cream in cream-flavoured teas. In this particular one I’m also expecting it to be more a question of texture than of taste really, so I’m not too bothered about not being able to find it here.
Oh my giddy aunt, this stuff is fab! First a lot of hazelnuts, then the sweetness of the vanilla and a smidge of cream onthe swallow. I think the base tea must have some cocoa notes in it, because while it is definitely primarily a nut-flavoured tea, it all reminds me largely of chocolate. I think I’ll sum it up in one word.
As it cools a bit the flavours meld more, enhancing the nutella-y impression, and if you drink it with a sleepy cat in your lap there really isn’t much left to improve here.
I greatly enjoyed this one.
I am feeling so incredibly lucky today to be one of the first to taste and review this SUPER FRESH amazing tea! Thanks so much Angel and TeaVivre!
I’ve only had a couple fresh spring teas in the past, but they are always some of my absolute favorites. I’ve tried a shincha and a fresh spring twist green tea. This one is no exception…As soon as I opened the packet I knew I was in for a treat. The dry leaf smell…SO INTOXICATING! Check out the dry leaf http://twitpic.com/e1e8le is that not gorgeous? Stubby baby BRIGHT green dragon well.
Anyway, steeped up this tastes amazingly sweet and crisp and fresh and so very alive. I really need to seek out more fresh spring teas in the future since they excite me so very much. Very glad and honored to have tasted this one!
I received this yesterday from Angel and Teavivre. I quickly pushed it to the top of my must sample today list. This is a very rare and extremely early first flush dragon well, picked before March 26, 2014 . It makes me a little nervous tasting such a rare tea.
The leaf is much smaller than I expected. My guess is this is due to the very young age of the bud and leaf. Very flat. Pretty color. It has a faint aroma that is distinctly dragon well.
I steeped in 185 F water for 4 minutes per the label instructions. I would have only gone two minutes without the label. The liquor is extremely clear and almost colorless with only the slightest green tint. The wet leaf aroma is steamed spinach and cream corn. I really liked the scent.
Sipping I get brisk, almost bitter but in the good green tea way. It is very crisp. The aftertaste fades very quickly but (and this is my first such experience) it leaves behind a warm inner glow. I am not talking about the tea. I mean me. It filled me with a warm glowing feeling. Unique and beautiful.
Also thank you to Angel for including the beautiful silk scarf. My wife saw it in the box and said, “Oh pretty!” She grabbed it, put it around her neck, and it is still there today. Your kindness and generosity do not go unnoticed.
Been a while since I had this Oolong but I thought I would start using it up by making some iced tea. Admittedly I made it a tad too strong as I found out this morning but after adding some calorie free sweetener it now tastes like strawberry syrup rain. Very hard to detect the Oolong with the sweetener in it, you would think it was just one of those strawberry flavoured syrup drinks that a lot of cafe’s sell as ‘iced tea’.
Story time –
First time I got a peach iced tea from Costa Coffee I saw them use two squirts of syrup over ice and add tap water, then you have sickly sugar water..oops sorry I mean ‘iced tea’. :/ I remember going into one before and asking what selection of teas they carried and they said “Summat foreign named, like a green tea but not one” and that had me intrigued, I asked to see this magical tea and she brought over a glass jar that said ‘Long Jing’ on the side. Then again she said “Yeah it’s green inside the bag but it aint a green tea, though it’s like one”, at that point I said “Well actually it is a green tea, Long Jing stands for Dragon Well and it’s a Chinese green”. Then straight away “Ooohh and how do you know that then hey? Know everything do ya?” and she starts calling the staff to tell them in a mocking sort of way. So I left after saying “I’m an amateur tea taster with my own blog and over 500 teas at home, if you bothered to look it up yourself you would see that I’m correct. Selling people a green tea and saying it’s not is just ridiculous”. Possibly one of the best storm off’s I have ever done. My parents were standing by my side think blank expressions on their face like ‘wtf just happened?’.
From the queue
Don’t expect a lot from this post. We were out last night for a family occasion (a wedding anniversary. Copper = 12½ years. Yes, this is a thing in this country.) and although we left early-ish, it was still nearly 1 before we got to sleep. So I’m quite tired this morning after that. In Denmark, for these things, we sit at the table for a very long time and there’s a relatively long wait between courses, so that everybody who wishes to do some sort of entertainment, speeches, songs (we sing home-made songs about the center(s) of attention. Very, very traditional) what have you, can do so. So we were at the table for some five hours or so I should think. After that, they had a band for dancing, but since none of us are dancers and such and we were tired, we decided to leave then, having reached the point of too-many-people-too-much-noise.
So a cup of something fortifying is called for and the choice falls to this LS of which I bought a large tin. Without having ever tasted it before. With LS, I trust the type itself enough that this is not necessary.
This one is quite nice but seems a little rougher than my favourite from AC Perchs. It’s got a good amount of smoke and feels a little scratchy and dry on the swallow. It doesn’t mean that it has lost the sweet fruity note, it’s just not as pronounced. As it cools, the smoke really begins to take over. I don’t think this is quite as rough as those really tarry ones, but it’s getting there.
Very nice and just what I need.
Gosh! Seems I’ve actually already done this earlier. It must have snuck back inside the yet-to-try box somehow and I never realised it until now when I wondered why the slider had pre-set itself on 91. How did it know??? O.o Looking at the two posts, I seem to have had rather different experiences with it. I blame the second post having been made the day after a long night. Not the best of times, really. I’ll let the old rating stand.
This is just gorgeous. The leaves almost look waxy in the package. Man, it smells awesome and tastes even better!
Malty, caramely, sweet, smooth, bready perfection. I lurve teas like this. I went with the single prolonged steep and it is a deep reddish brown in color, hefty and luscious. I will definitely be resteeping to see how that turns out but I could see myself zooming through this package and wanting, nay, needing, more very soon.
I am tempted to rate this but since my allergies are going crazy I am going to hold off.
Oh, and let me just say – this was freaky fast shipping. I’d be tempted to say they were an offshoot of Jimmy Johns. :)
Update: Second steep is good, but not as good as the first. Probably my choice of lengthy steeping time impacted the taste of the second steep. It’s a tiny bit bitter and not as smooth. Also a little dustier.
Tieguanyin’s remind me more of spring than green teas do. With their golden liquor & light florals, they are like springtime in a cup. This one is no exception, but it also has a sweet buttery quality & a rich corn-like aroma.
5G + 4oz Gaiwan X 3rounds of 3 sec, 3 rounds of 6 sec, 3 rounds of 12 sec
I love how each of us can have our own tea esthetics, & my current setup for tieguantin includes 3 of these cups & the matching Gaiwan.
I steep the tea in rounds of 3 sets, pouring a little of each steep into one of the 3 cups, & the remainder into a pitcher. Then I drink from each cup (they are tiny, like 1 nice sip each), so that I can taste how the tea changes without having to drink an entire cup. Once I’ve enjoyed all three, I go sit somewhere with the pitcher & sip their combined remainders. Then I come back for the next round. I didn’t used to do it this way, but I really enjoy this process.
So this tea is recommended for 18 steeps. I have to admit, I got bored after 6, lol
Another fantastic surprise gift from boychik. Thank you!
This tea is unbelievable. It makes me wonder aloud “why does anyone make dessert tea with anything but pu erh?!” To be honest, I’ve been drifting away from flavored teas—hoping it’s just a phase as I focus my attention on pu erh mostly, and because this tends to happen when it starts to warm up—but maaaan this is just the thing to snap me right back. As soon as I opened the bag I was hit with the best rich deep caramel aroma I’ve ever smelled in a tea, and then while rinsing, steeping, and putting my nose to the finished cup it just kept delivering. The body is somewhat full but not rough, and the flavor has this ever-so-slight raspiness that keeps that deep, heady caramel aroma from turning too cloying or gummy—it’s a grounded, toasty caramel, not those individually wrapped light colored candies with cream in the center, not that milky. I reckon this is so people who like it nice and toasty can revel in it (deep deep deep!), and those who want that milky sweetness can add cream and/or sugar to taste. I love how it’s so decadent yet it still definitely tastes like TEA, full of that dark, mysterious, murky wonder.
I feel teased because I’m too broke for even something so reasonably priced right now (or anything for that matter), but let me tell you, as soon as I have a chance to I’m ordering this one. It has the potential to ruin me for any other dessert tea, gadzooks. boychik really knows how to find stuff that hits it out of the park! If you love deep dark rich breakfast blends with sweet treat hints (which I loved about Butiki’s Irish Cream Cheesecake, wish there were more morning blends like that that can wake you up but also make you feel a little indulgent) as well as the sweet rich shu pu erhs and maybe even the roasty coffee-chocolatey Wuyi oolongs, I have a feeling you’d be smitten. It is a little like Herbal Infusions’ Moose Tracks meets Butiki’s Irish Cream Cheesecake meets Mandala’s Big Red Robe Fancy Grade. And something about the end of the sip, how it’s thinner and clean, kind of reminds me a little of Lupicia’s dessert flavored Orzo tisanes.
my second tea from whispering pines! and i had no idea that breaking into it tonight would come along with another celebration as i sipped…..
i hate waiting for grades; classes are done- I WANT MY MARKS! …..please. but profs get busy, sadly it isn’t a immediate thing. i was just starting into this chocolatey assam-esque tea when the message came that the final grade for the class that had me working my butt off all semester had been posted.
i could see the grades, but the student numbers had been scrambled! i was supposed to write for a code…… was i getting extra marks for this? gimmethecodegimmethecodegimmethecode.
there was a lone 87.3. highest in the class by 6%. mine. Mine. MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there were two others that were close, just a hair under 1% off. my team was 3……. this was us, i was sure. that 87.3 was MINE. i took a real beating this semester….it’s a long story. short story? that number was MINE.
-check email…. wasn’t there yet. sip tea.
-the code was in…..
second time with this prof…. highest mark in the class. he isn’t easy. he poked fun at me this semester about having no life! but he sent me a beautiful letter of congratulations….
this is an excellent celebratory tea. not malty to me, which suits me fine. a dark chocolate assam. lovely and rich…. i used some turbinado sugar and a bit of cream. i don’t miss dessert! very nice.
just waiting for one more grade =0)
Thank you Dustin for sharing this with me. This has a great banana flavor. In fact, it is actually satisfying my craving for 52 Teas Banana Pudding Black Tea. However, it is even better because it has what tastes like a rich chocolate drizzle, just enough that it is noticeable without overpowering the banana flavor. So good!
Thanks, Anna, for starting this craze. Thanks also, ifjuly, for supplying me with more. And thanks, nay lynn, for shipping me even moooore!
if you can’t tell, I love this tea.
This time i had it with a bit of sugar and no milk. It was still heavily melon flavoured, although I have to say i think I prefer it with just the slightest dash of milk. There’s something a bit…earthy? lingering in the back-sip and I find a touch of cream smoothes that right out. That being said, I feel as though this will be a tea I drink all summer. I’ve only ever had two melon flavoured teas, but so far this is the most flavourful.
I feel like i’ve been drinking this tea forever. I need to learn to open my larger quantity of teas sooner so that i have more time to drink them up. lol Not that i HAD to finish this one, but it’s part of my “drink older teas” goal. Aiming to get through all teas up to and including December by the end of June. Downside? Black friday sales hahahahaha. I quite like this tea, though some times it feels like this one has a personality. Some days it’s not as delicious as i remember it being…and other days it makes me fall in love with it all over again. Still a great staple to have in my cupboard and a fantastic offering from Teavivre! I recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of black teas :)
I am beginning to think i need to consider getting legal advice regarding a tea power of attorney….TPOA…. why? so that when i buy a ridiculous amount of an incredible tea (such as maybe .5 oz which equals 3 of my big tea cups) stacy can laugh at me, up the amount, charge me the extra and simply scrawl across the bottom of the invoice ‘because i knew better’.
dammit. 2 cups left.
lemon. madeleines. lemon curd, but with virtually no acidity. very smooth, naturally sweet. perfectly balanced.
as previously stated- dammit!
I’d like to thank Angel & Teavivre for this sample, which I got with my order awhile back.
My instincts were screaming, “Yixing!”, but for some reason I decided to follow the actual brewing instructions written on the sample package, which I usually tend to ignore. The suggested brewing parameters: 10G (the entire packet) + 8oz water X 1 – 2 minutes.
This is way more sheng than I ever use! But what the heck, I have 2 of these, so I can gongfu the other one.
I went with one minute, & although it was pretty intense, it was very drinkable! To be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever done a sheng this way, & I’ll definitely drink the other sample with short steeps in my yixing, it was interesting to try, & frankly, I was curious to see how it would be. It was potent! I went through several resteeps, adding a minute to each, & even though that was hours ago, I’m still as high as a kite, if you know what I mean!
Beautiful & fluffy to look at, in pale shades of cream & sage. I went with the test tube steeper, which is my preferred method for greens these days, & short steepings. A delecate tea with essence of cucumber & lavendar. Probably my least favorite green from Verdant, but a good palate cleanser after drinking my beloved black teas all morning, & a nice segue to something else.
Rained all day and cold—frost advisory tonight despite the 80F sunglasses n’ crawfish weekend—had this as a remedy when R got home for afternoon tea with Orange Chocolate Chippers (here: http://atlantishome.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/07/orange-chocolate-chippers.html the fresh crumb is what makes them; it’s a little like a drop biscuit or scone at first, pale and piled somewhat high in jumbles, not like a flat chip cookie, plus the orange oil works well with a nice not-too-sweet chocolate without being tart or fruit juice kid-like…the only thing I’d change in the future is maybe cutting back on the number of chocolate chips—seems extravagant to me though husband thinks not, ha). Not a heady vanilla tea at all, just mellow, lets your baked goods shine as it stands back gracefully in the wings. Not exciting and I doubt I’d want it solo very often, but good when you kind of want something black, mild, sweet, and blandly comforting to go with early dessert. Doesn’t have that alcohol burn some vanilla teas do, which is a bonus.
OMG. This is freaking AMAZING. I don’t think I’d ever had this before but I added it to my wishlist after reading some reviews, and then I snapped it up when Shadowfall sold some of her stash. YES!
It’s very mellow black that’s almost creamy, and tastes like honey and malt, and I feel like I should just keep sipping it instead of typing up my note because it’s cooling as I write!
But no worries folks, this is a re-steeper!
I may, and I’m not sure yet, but I MAY like this more than the PTA! :O
OMG this is even better than I remember it being. Once again, kudos Stacy and JustJames…major WIN on this blend! So perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it. I absolutely adore it hot, but I am quite excited to try it iced this summer. Coconut banana tropical iced tea? Heck yes!
It was such a lovely weekend; such a shame I had to get up and get ready for work this morning. The winds were really howling in the middle of the night, and I woke to a fairly chilled room and only wanted to burrow further under the covers and make the world go away. But alas, that was not to be. Such is the story of my life.
So I chose this tea to have in place of breakfast, because we’re sort of out of inspiring breakfast options. So a strongly flavoured black that happens to also taste like banana medicine fit the bill perfectly. I’m a little worried that this tea doesn’t keep nearly as well, although admittedly it’s still only in its original foil packet, but I found the flavours a touch muted this morning. I maintain that a three minute steep is the way to go to extract all the flavour possible while keeping the sometimes finicky base at bay.
A great first cup, that’s for sure.