Featured & New Tasting Notes
Tea #2 from my swap with Nicole/Tea-Historic. Thank you Nicole!
I’m not sure what to make of this tea. Not being a huge fan of vanilla, I went in with an open mind. The vanilla turned out to be rather mild, and a nice pairing with the malty black Assam base.
I didn’t expect the hint of smokiness though, it was a pleasant surprise as it wasn’t mentioned in the tea description. Perhaps the infuser at my boyfriend’s was tainted somehow? I’d brewed lemon oolong in the same cup last night, so that doesn’t really make sense.
The smoke note came out more as my tea cooled, and after I added milk. An interesting contrast to the vanilla.
Also, being a ctc, I feel rather caffeinated at the moment :P
I’ll have to see how it brews up in the office, under less than optimal conditions.
Here is another oolong that I have rested for awhile. I did my first session with this tea last night. I stayed up late with the intention of cleaning my kitchen, but did not quite get around to it. Instead, I ended up watching television, listening to music, and drinking tea. Compared to some of the other milk oolongs I have tried within the last year, this one was much subtler and came off as being more natural. It was very smooth and savory, though it simultaneously lacked the over-the-top milky, buttery qualities I have recently come to associate with Jin Xuan.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this infusion with 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves gave off subtly milky, creamy, buttery aromas. After the rinse, the aromas of milk, butter, and cream intensified and were joined by subtle scents of sticky rice, custard, and fresh flowers. The first infusion produced a similar, though oddly more subdued, integrated bouquet. In the mouth, I detected very thin notes of cream, butter, custard, and steamed milk balanced by notes of grass and a slight nectar-like quality. Subsequent infusions were much more fulfilling, offering more pronounced floral aromas resembling a mixture of lilies, honeysuckle, and gardenia, as well as traces of grass, leaf lettuce, apricot, pear, and pineapple. The same qualities came through in the mouth. I noticed that the tea liquor was initially savory-it was packed with cream, butter, steamed milk, custard, and sticky rice notes underscored by a very subtle hint of vanilla-before introducing impressions of fruit, grass, leaf lettuce, and minerals on the finish. Later infusions offered hints of cream, butter, custard, grass, and lettuce on the nose. In the mouth, I detected thin notes of cream, butter, custard, grass, leaf lettuce, and spinach balanced by a somewhat heavier mineral presence and ghostly floral, fruity impressions.
Compared to many of the Jin Xuan oolongs I have tried within the last 12 months, this one was not nearly as fruity, sweet, or heavy. It presented a delicate, restrained layering of aromas and flavors, and to me, did not come across as artificial in any way. I could definitely appreciate this tea, but I found myself wishing at numerous points that the sweeter, fruitier, more floral qualities would provide more balance to the tea’s smooth, savory and grassy, vegetal polarities. Giving a numerical score to this one has proven very difficult. A score of 72/100 feels like it is at least in the ballpark, if perhaps a bit harsh. I’ll go with that for now simply because this tea was decent enough, but in my opinion was lacking something that would have made it more memorable and enjoyable.
Flavors: Apricot, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Milk, Mineral, Pear, Pineapple, Rice, Spinach, Vanilla
So, that’s what I get for forming an opinion before trying this: I expected a strong, deep, earthy texture and tone. Instead, This one steeped to the color of stained cherry wood and reminds me of dark grainy bread and molasses. Its bite increases a little as it cools, so I’m thinking it would play nicely with milk. Yummy as it is, though.
Review for the tea-infused milk chocolate bar
A couple weeks back I found a DAVIDs that had a whole bunch of their holiday stuff left and on sale, including their chocolates. For $2 I decided to give this a try and it was AWESOME!! I think my favorite DAVIDsTEA infused chocolate: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/02/17/cardamom-french-toast-tea-infused-milk-chocolate-bar-from-davids-tea/
Thank you for the sample Nicole/Tea-Historic!!
This is a wallop of a tea. Caffeine = yes! what a high. It managed to kick my headache for atleast an hour after finishing my cuppa. It’s back now, unfortunately. (next stop is more caffeine and an aspirin). I saw the reviews indicating how strong it was, so I underleafed at just under a teaspoon. I’m glad I did, as it came out perfectly balanced. My nerves are strung up, so I agree with others here, this is not for anyone who is caffeine sensitive, or consumption in large quantities. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that small mug of coffee shortly beforehand!
Lost track of time but I’d guess I let it go for about four minutes. Really good on it’s own, no sugar or milk added, so a dynamic tea in that regard.
A bit coppery, with a good hit of fruitiness underneath and a pleasant drying sensation. Very smooth, considering the intensity.
With a dollop of cream, it does well too.
aaaand now that I’ve tried it with regular kettle boiled water, I’m saving the rest of the sample to try at work with the water tap. For comparison.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a H&S tea. I’m sure that is adding to my giddiness :P
So somehow, I’ve really managed to hurt my back. It’s particularly bad in my shoulders and neck, and yet for some reason I’m still at work. I’m not sure why, or what I’m trying to prove. I think at this point the best thing would be to give up and go home, because it’s horrible to be in pain and at work. I think I feel like I shouldn’t because I can still do my job, which today just involves sitting at a desk and typing (at least it’s not an event day!) I don’t know. I’m odd about stuff, clearly.
I’ve rewarded myself with tea. This is one of my last 52Teas from the “old” iteration of the company. I’m still looking for something to equal raspberry cream, but I don’t think this is going to be it. It smells promising, though!
I used 1 tsp of leaf for my cup, and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 175 degrees. To taste, it’s pretty good. It’s very obviously raspberry, and it’s even a little tart/sour in the way of actual raspberries. There’s a sweetness too, but it’s not overdone or too candy-like. I can taste hints of white chocolate in the background, but that aspect isn’t quite as prominent as I’d have liked it to be. Still, it’s pretty good. I’ll easily be able to polish this one off!
Thanks to Hapatite once again for sending me this tea. I drank the last of it a little overleafed because there wasn’t quite enough for two cups left, so it was stronger than expected, but the flavour profile was basically the same. The flavours of this were nice; herbaceous lemony soothingness with a kick of pepper at the end of the sip which built throughout the cup. My issue though is that it sort of coated my throat uncomfortably, and by the end of the cup it was quite scratchy and uncomfortable to swallow. I drank this while having a Lush bubble bath and reading, and until it started to get uncomfortable it was a good choice for my relaxing afternoon. I liked it well enough and I’m grateful to have been able to try it, but I wouldn’t buy any more.
My aunt brought me back three Kusmi teas from Paris, and she said this is her favourite one. I was pretty skeptical, because my one prior encounter with Kusmi wasn’t that awesome and “detox” is in the name, but I should’ve had a little more faith.
I’m currently addicted to this tea. I haven’t even tried the other two gift teas; I just keep making pots and pots. It’s the tropical pineapple tea I never knew I wanted.
The choice of bases (unknown green tea (37%), mate (17%), rooibos), creates an incredibly earthy backdrop. The mint accentuates the pineapple flavouring and the mate in a lovely way- I’ve always been a big fan of sweet, fresh mate blends though.
This also contains sunflower petals, nettle leaves, guarana seed, and rosehip seeds; I’m less familiar with most of those ingredients but they seem to have worked out well here.
I’m only worried that it’s possible to drink too much nettle tea (no clue how much is actually in here)!
Flavors: Earth, Floral, Grass, Mint, Nutty, Pineapple, Spices, Wood
I’ve been neglecting my raw puerh teas for awhile, and I believe I’ve noticed a pattern, which is that during the cooler winter months I tend to gravitate towards Shu, and during allergy season (spring, summer, and fall for me) I tend to reach for the Sheng. If I’ve mentioned this before, that is because I tend to have these kinds of revelations over and over again (and each time they seem new to me, LOL).
A few years ago Tea Explorer and I shared an epic tea exchange, and I’m still working on the box of teas he sent my way! This is one of them, and today it is a sipdown! Only 11 more varieties to go!
It is a known thing, at least to me, that raw puerh is beneficial during allergy season. It improves my state of being in multiple ways, and especially once the pollen is in the air, which is apparently already is in St. Louis. We’ve had a few days of sunshine and that’s pretty much all it takes. I wouldn’t say that Sheng works as well as Nettle Leaf tea, but on it’s own, it definitely makes a difference in the quality of my breathing, thinking, and overall day. I’ll probably brew a qt of Nettles too.
Flavorwise, this tea is a little tart, kind of a savory berry taste with a touch of smoke, thick & lively on the tongue, and a good head buzz!
It was not a good night for sleep. I had two major interruptions, both of which made it difficult to get back to sleep, after the sleep had been interrupted. So I am running on truncated sleep, and am dragging like hell this morning.
I brewed this as my first cup of the day.
The dry leaf smells wonderful, exactly like I would hope that something called Black Cherries in Sweet Cream would.
It brews up differently, though. The scents become a pale imitation, and the flavor is not as strong as I’d like. I’m going to try for a longer steep time next, and see what that does.
A happy sipdown #86/393! Sorry, MissB, but this is just not for me.
I was doing pretty well with focusing on my sipdowns, but I got really busy about a week ago and haven’t been able to get much progress made since. Finally, though, I have two days off work in a row for the first time in a month, so expect many sipdowns to come in the next couple of days!
This one I’m pretty stoked about. I’ve had it for a long while now – it was one of my oldest teas – and I’ve never been a fan. It smells a little like sour milk, and tastes like out of date pineapple juice watered down a lot. There’s a sort of sweet artificial back note that most likely comes from the little candy hearts, but there’s nothing particularly complex about it. Each time I drank this I would avoid it for months, until I forgot that I didn’t like it and had another cup. It has been in my focus box for seriously a year, and I’m really pleased with myself for finally getting through it. Pineapple is on my list of tea-dislikes for a reason, and the reason is this tea.
Happy Valentine’s Day Steepster!
Anyone have any big/special plans? Personally, I work this evening at DT so nothing related to the holiday for me
not that I’m seeing anyone right now anyway but I did do something for me today! I shaved my hair, which had regrown to about inches long since I last shaved everything completely off, into a mohawk! It’s been since highschool since I last rocked a mohawk, and let me just say that having one now feels good. Plus, for my first time shaving a mohawk all by myself I think I fucking nailed it.
Also, Wasabi posed with me!
Apart from that, I’m just enjoying drinking good tea and listening to some killed music while I have the apartment all to myself. Oh – also I put together little Valentine’s cards for my DAVIDsTEA coworkers with a personalized tea sample for each of them depending on their tastes. That’s why I’m drinking this tea; I measured out a cup for my friend Kandyce who likes flavoured tea, specifically things that are either fruity or just kind of weird. I think this ticks off both criteria?
And then as I was measuring her tea, I of course had to make myself a cup too. I was surprised by this; 52Teas does flavoured genmaicha well but usually the additional flavour is pretty subtle. In the case of this tea, I thought the mango was REALLY strong/bold and prominent. That’s not to say I didn’t like it; in fact I found it to be super realistic, natural, and both ripe and juicy tasting. It was very good, but covered a lot of the roastiness from the genmaicha. The latter was there though; it was like you were hit with a wave of intense, rich mango and then as that faded/the initial impact wore off there was smooth, subtle roastyness and sweet coconut notes. Ultimately I would have liked a touch more roastyness/“sticky rice” flavour but it’s hard to criticize too much because even if that aspect wasn’t completely nailed
in my opinion it did still taste amazing.
I listened to a lot of Parov Stelar while drinking this; I’ve been on a HUGE electro swing/nu jazz kick lately and Parov Stelar is like the best of the best. This was the song I got most into though while I was drinking this. The volume was on max, and there was some serious dancing taking place.
Flavors: Coconut, Mango, Pine, Roasted, Toasted Rice, Tropical, Vegetal
This is officially one of my favorite black teas. It’s like I do not need an Earl Grey again. I got some from Phoenix Herb Co. which is an awesome spice and herb seller, and they had this as an option. Got two ounces, and a part of me thinks I should have bought more of this than the Lapsang.
So I show it off to my hot beverage enthusiast teaching mentor, and I add to many leaves. I’d hope this tea would help his sickness as it did with mine, but the black tea gave off a really strong coffee note. Who knew that a Bai Lin could do that? The citrus florals were still phenomenal, but the black tea was a complex shift of too strong. I added significantly more water for my mentor hoping it would be better for him.
I admit this was a fail, but I also feel like I fail him. He’s been very patient with me and letting me take over class, but I’ve been having a hard time with classroom management as of lately. My posture has been closed off and it’s been a little difficult getting the kids attention. The real struggle is managing them with warm up games which my mentor can do with professional ease, whereas it gets awkward for me. There are a few students in my class that would prefer to read a book or do their assignments, and unfortunately, I was one of those students in middle school. I gotta fight that unconscious urge, and I gotta get used to doing new things like those new games. Anyway, I am so glad that my mentor does those games for mental and physical warm ups for his class, and I hope he enjoyed the rest of the tea that I brewed for him. If it doesn’t over-steep.
Another sample from greenteafairy! She sent me both the black and rooibos versions of Dammann Freres Pecan Pie. Of the two, this one is my favorite! The rooibos isn’t overly medicinal and the tea has a nice smooth, creamy mouth feel. The flavor is definitely nutty (more almond than pecan) and has a honeyed aftertaste that just hints at the syrupy sweetness of a pecan pie. While this isn’t pecan pie in a cup, it is a very nice caffeine-free nutty dessert tea. I would totally drink it again!
Flavors: Almond, Honey, Nutty, Smooth, Sweet
Work pressures are building and I’ve been super stressed out lately. This weekend has been bad. Pretty much an ongoing panic attack. (in addition to my cough. Bah)
Basically, I am in an impossible situation with this project, two of the stakeholders that I report to have competing priorities/ideals. I literally do not have time to get all of what is needed done in the time they pay me for. It isn’t like I can get it done faster, as much of it is delivering seminars etc.
Tea has been a source of comfort, and I knew this one would provide. Without any sweetener it is quite sweet already, and really does give me a nice boost. That cola flavour just fills me with happiness. Especially that moment just after a swallow, but before what I generally consider “aftertaste” sets in
With maple whipped cream, because I made some yesterday for my coffee and why not.
They’re going more construction on the building again today – it’s a holiday. Spraying noxious chemicals outside my kitchen door, and drilling into the supports under my living room floor. I have a very tiny apartment, so there is no where else to go.
At least I have tea. And I think I shall make some of these. https://www.budgetbytes.com/2017/02/homemade-chocolate-crescent-rolls/
I made this one this morning in my totally awesome new Stelton mug, courtesy of min amazing girlfriend! I am currently sipping away at my desk.
This has always been, and I believe will always be, one of my all-time favourite teas. The mixing of the flavours with the green tea base is just perfection!
P.S. I found a place to score these in Canada, and already placed an order, so now I can sip down what’s remaining of my old tins of both Bangkok and Tokyo. What an awesome day!
I am revisiting the teas that I had packed up and sent Sil’s way at the tea festival. Actually, the box that I had collected them all in is sitting in my line of traffic at home, so I thought I’d sample them before I put them away, if the putting away happens.
This is one delicious tea blend. I think I may have added the slightest bit too much leaf to my steeping cup which has resulted in a teeny bit of astringency that normally I don’t detect with the almond, pastry, light raisin fruitiness. Boom—solved that problem by having 85% chocolate alongside. Delicious.
I brought the entire pouch of this tea with me to work a while back, leaving it in my locker and hoping to polish it off there, but yesterday was finally the first time actually brewing a cup there. I used a tea bag and just left it in my mug while I was sipping on it, and it didn’t go bitter at all. Whatever temperature the hot water which our Keurig dispenses seems to stay kind to tea. The flavours and freshness have been holding up well considering that I’ve had this for ten months now. Still malty and slightly honey-ish, and no dusty or stale notes to be had.
Speaking of work, I did my very first full makeover on a customer yesterday and it seemed to be a success despite it being a terrifying experience for myself. She claimed she liked it! And co-workers said it looked sultry but I hope they weren’t all just being nice. Nothing is scarier than applying eyeliner on someone else haha.
So the last time I had this it was as a latte and it was amazing. Today I decided to try it plain and though the smell of sticky toffee pudding took over the whole apartment the taste was lacking. It’s like toffe syrup sweetened black tea. Not bad but the milk definitely brought out more sticky toffee pudding flavor so I’ll stick to having this as a latte.