Featured & New Tasting Notes
First of all, a huge thank you to Crimson Lotus Tea for this sheng sample! Sorry it has taken me so long to write a note on it, I recall drinking the first half of my sample a while ago but trying to log it and the page not working on Steepster :( but luckily today it is working!
I didn’t have much left in my second half of the sample, but there was just enough for a gongfu session. After a short rinse of about 4s, I steeped for maybe 6 seconds in the gaiwan and poured into my pitcher then cup. The leaves smell nicely vegetal and slightly smoky. I used freshly boiled water left a few seconds to cool.
The first steeping is oh so mellow and smooth and sweet. It went down like nothing! A sweet aftertaste lingers, fruity, a mild apricot flavor for now. The second steep also smells lovely mmm, can’t even describe it it just smells good. The flavor is also delicious, even a bit sweeter I think, like a light marshmallow note with dewy leaves and a fruity aftertaste. It becomes a bit smoky as it cools, but nothing overwhelming, just tasty sheng-like tobacco notes. This is so good. It’s so easy to drink! I also haven’t had sheng in ages, so it is a very welcome change. I will continue to steep this throughout the evening, funnily enough, I chose a sheng hoping the caffeine would invigorate me to start cleaning. This tea, however, is providing more of the mellow flavors and feeling that cause me to relax, which is also not a bad thing haha. Maybe the caffeine will hit later :D
Overall, a delicious sheng, easy to drink and no strange notes about it, just clean, sweet tea with fruity notes. Creamy and light mouthfeel too, very light and fluffy. I recall enjoying the first half of my sample as well, so this is a winner in my books! Thanks again to Crimson Lotus Tea for the lovely sample!
Another tea from DT! There are a few blends from them that I really like, and because they’re right down the street and easily available to me, and also don’t have many of the same problems associated with small businesses, I’m always particularly excited when I like a tea from them. Also, I flat-out refuse to become one of “those people” who looks down my nose at an entire company, although i do of course understand how tastes can evolve. I feel similarly about perfume. I am a huge, huge fragrance lover (as in I love them a lot, not as in I am huge, although I guess to some I am haha), and started my journey by falling in love with a lot of department store offerings, and then discovered a whole other world of niche fragrances and it just blew my mind: that there could be smaller perfume houses with a budget dedicated entirely to sourcing high quality ingredients to make such beautiful scent profiles that I could not find anywhere else, but I never gave up on the department stores, because I’m just never one to turn down an opportunity to fall in love with something. I just love the feeling of loving wonderful things. LOL I must sound so annoying, sorry I’ll stop.
This tea is so wonderfully thick and creamy all on its own. That said, a spot of cream just takes this tea to the next level and amplifies the creamy flavours tenfold. I was also perusing facebook earlier and saw omgsrsly talking about vanilla sugar, and realized that I have some of that as well. I am so, so going to throw in some vanilla sugar next time I brew this up. The people who liken the scent of this to bubblegum are probably right, although I imagine that’s the “pear”. You can’t really smell the cranberry in this, although if you inhale deeply enough you might pick up on some tartness. The taste feels similar: the pear up front followed by a hefty dose of cream and a very subtle tang of what could be cranberry but will inevitably keep this tea from ever being cloying or “kid-like”. I really hope dt always keeps this in stock. I also think it’ll do really well in a travel mug, and I intend to do just that when I pick up some more later on. Great, great tea. I also woke up with a scratchy throat this morning and this tea felt heavenly against it.
yay for interesting teas! thanks for sending me this one omgsrsly i am quite enjoying this this afternoon. we tired the dog out at the dog park and then proceeded to make orange cupcakes with marshmallow cream frosting, dry rub ribs and later there will be awesome potatoes and salad in the house too!
this tea is just different. I can’t place the aroma, though there’s a familiarity to it. there’s a slight almost mint, but not mint taste to this one..the taste kind of reminds me of what outside smells like on the west coast…those early mornings on the island when the tide’s going out, it’s rained over night, and you’re walking through the trees on the trails… inhale….breath deeply…that’s what this tastes like. so good.
Yep. Agreed with all the other notes here, this is a standard Assam, albeit a nice one.
Smooth, fruity, and a hint of malty yum. There’s also a lingering dry pucker in the back of my mouth at times. I don’t often find this type of astringency in tea!
Not every sip mind you, and the other ones are rather wet and a tad sour.
On a more personal note… I’ve had some rather strange dreams the last few days. I don’t often remember them and yet these ones have yet to fade. Not sure what to think about that!
My parents found this new tea place just outside of Duncan, BC. And of course it’s really infusing (whoa autocorrect! That should be ‘confusing’…) here on Steepster because there’s already a “Teafarm” and “The Tea Farm”…
But this tea. I made it in my dads pretty green beehive tea pot, which I think is 24oz, and used 1 tbsp tea and water off the boil.
It’s pretty nice. A good basic yunnan black. Tending towards bitterness, and not super complex, but a nice tea to sit here sipping while nomming leftovers for lunch and baking pumpkin pie for dinner tonight. Hints of spices, but nothing super unique.
Haha. And mom just asked what I thought about this tea becuase she bought two darjeelings as well but thought they were too light. So I teased her because her idea is " boiling water or perish!!!" for her teas, but these two darjeelings should probably be steeped more like greens. But she has a bi lo chun that she steeps with boiling water, so…. ;) We are two very different types of tea people!
I have to admit, the only reason I bought this tea was because it has ‘mushroom’ in the title and it intrigued me since I’m very allergic to mushrooms. Though the tea itself has little to nothing to do with mushrooms, it still felt kind of cool to get to say I was ‘having them’. #TeaOnTheEdge #ButNot2Edgy
I only bought a sample amount; two blooms. When I opened up the package I was pretty taken aback because the smell was very pungent and defined. It certainly smelled strongly of apricots but also something sort of akin to sweet and sour sauce? I wasn’t expecting that level of smell at all, though it was intriguing to say the least.
I made three 12 oz. infusions of this one over the course of a work day, making sure to take note of the differences. I certainly freaked out a few coworkers at my new job; they saw this unfurled tea bloom from a distance/in passing in my mug in the breakroom and assumed something fungal was growing in my mug and that’s because the bloom certainly wasn’t the most attractive one I’ve come across – there’s no “flower” tied into it just an arrangement of white tea leaves tethered together. Which is fine: I wasn’t drinking this tea for the aesthetics however I’ll admit I did expect the “mushroom” to tie in with the overall shape of the bloom but it certainly didn’t look like any mushroom I’ve seen.
The first infusion was a mix of sharp, lively, tangy notes of apricot and peach. Again, the intensity of the ‘tang’ reminded me a little of sweet and sour sauce. Actually, in particular I couldn’t help but think of a very particular flavour from highschool cooking class I’ve only experienced once: we made vegetarian meatballs with a “sweet and sour sauce” that used apricot jam and ketchup in the sauce and this was quite similar to my memory of that sauce. There was also a very slightly malty taste to the finish of this infusion.
The second infusion was about 50/50 malt and apricot/peach with less of the piercing tang. It was probably the smoothest infusion overall and I’d say my favourite. Finally, the third infusion was more malt than anything else with light notes of apricot and a bit of a peppery finish. I swear there were also very light cocoa notes on the top of the sip as well.
Overall, I thought this was surprisingly delightful – more so than I actually expected it would be if I’m being completely honest/transparent. What started off as a bit of a ‘gag’ purchase actually resulted in a wonderful tea session and intriguing learning experience. Also, credit where credit is due: What-Cha has done a marvelous job describing the overall flavour of this tea on their page for it. While I was taken back by the intensity of the apricot notes there’s no doubt in my mind that their flavour description was super accurate. I absolutely recommend trying this tea!
Nicole sneaked some Shang Tea samples in with my TeaLeaves order… I’ll pay her back soon enough though :)
To me, which is probably going to be different from others, the taste of this tea is like a strong white tea had a child with some Oriental Beauty and this is the child. The taste is brisk and reminds you of what you are drinking with a slap across your taste buds, but that slap is packed with flavor so it is welcomed.
The best part about this tea, for me at least, is watching the color come to life as you steep this tea. I steeped my sample size three times and then half steeped another to see if the dark liquid still came about. Almost a solid brown color unlike Shang Tea’s website, however preparations could be different as I used 190’ish. Yes, this is good; however, I am not a fan of Oriental beauty (which this is not) so the notes of ‘spice’ that come through the brisk flavor of this tea don’t appeal so much to me. The word rich does describe this tea :)
Yep, its a tea bag. The however is there is 2.25g/bag. For reference Twinings has 2g. Stash generally has 1.7g and the last Republic of Tea I tried was a piddly 1.33g. This makes a nice milk chocolaty mug. I can’t single out the other ingredients except the chilis. I love hot and spicy but this really isn’t. After you sip chocolate the end sip has a warm glow. Definitely not melt your face. Just a little warmth. I left the bag in the mug and it never became bitter or overly strong. Is it the best tea ever? Of course not, but I did enjoy it. If you like a little heat. this is a good everyday bagged tea.
This tea is disgusting and undrinkable. It tastes very artificially sweetened and fake, and this is coming from a girl who’s just fine sweetening her tea all on her own. It’s so sad, because it’s such, such a far cry from the delectable smell of the dry leaf, which smells like a fresh apple candle that you’d set out in your living room to make your place not smell like people really live in it. Actually, I do have the candle for this tea as well, but it’s because I spent an obscene amount of money there the other day and got it for free. I’ll enjoy the candle a lot more than the tea, that’s for sure.
Loved the jays game yesterday, although their loss was devastating. and then mr. keychange and I had such a hard time getting home. It was such a long and drawn out adventure that unfolded slowly and terribly, complete with greyhound being predictably unreliable and uber drivers refusing to take our guide dogs. We were supposed to get home around 8:00 but ended up spending over a hundred dollars on an uber ride and got home after 11:00. It is what it is, but man I do not know how any blind person lives in Toronto and doesn’t want to kill themselves/other people on a regular basis.
This tea sucks. I can’t wait until I get my 52 teas order in the mail.
Feeling gross today. Happens every time I eat well cooked eggs for breakfast, and maybe even with sunny side up if I don’t have much besides that. Today, they were scrambled. Delish, but holy queasy :/
I’m the only one I’ve ever known with this issue. Anyone else out there?
So I didn’t really care about which tea I had. Figured anything would be good, I guess I was in that kinda mood. So when I made this, I didn’t expect it to be fab. Last time, I found it somewhat weak. But today? It was great! All semi sweet yet slightly tart and creamy strawberries with a lovely green base. Wonders never cease.
You know you have too much tea when you find a Sun Moon Lake sample at the bottom of the stack boxes. I can understand losing a lesser tea but few teas hit all my buttons like Taiwan Sun Moon Lake black tea. Dry it smells of cocoa, honey, kind sweet potato, with a Darjeeling like muscatel. The whole mix has a baked quality to the scent. Mmmmm.
Tasting is similar to the scent. It is an easy sip that builds to what I am going to call a presence. It isn’t a hefty bite. Its more refined than the raw bite of some teas.
The second cup had me mentally thinking cinnamon candy. It is so sweet and feels syrupy on the lips. The cinnamon image is welcome but weird, in that there is not so much a cinnamon taste, and certainly no cinnamon burn, but the image remained after several sips. I love when a tea does that kind of magic trick. Even in the second cup I still catch grape notes under the cinnamon, honey, sweet potato.
Complex and delicious.
mmm a small bit of this from variaTEA was a nice opportunity to revisit this one. I still prefer it as a latte, but it’s a nice cup of tea on this dreary sort of morning. …er afternoon haha. So glad that it’s a long weekend AND my other half has at least 2 of the 3 days off! woot woot! Maybe we’ll get a bike ride in this weekend.
Ah… What a wonderfully scented tea. My sense of smell kicked in early this morning so I went through my teas, inhaling to find the one I wanted this morning. This one won. I swear, there is a hot pancake inside the pouch, drenched in butter and maple syrup. An excellent tea.
Flavors: Butter, Maple Syrup, Sweet
It has been a long time since I have written a tasting note, but that is mostly because I was on vacation in Scotland! What a beautiful place it is, the rugged highlands, epic oceans, sandy beaches, cliffs, hills, munroes..everything was great! And the weather was gorgeous to boot! I can’t wait to go back someday, it was a good 10 days there but I will definitely return to see the eastern parts (Aberdeen, Edinburgh, we saved the whole eastern coast with its castles for another trip) and I would love to go back to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides again, they were stunning! Great time, wish I was still there!
Anyways, so while on holiday I did drink a fair amount of tea, every morning in fact, although it was mostly basic bagged black teas by Twinings or Tetley, but I took those with milk and sugar so they were quite good with the delicious Scottish breakfasts. A few places had peppermint, and I had that one or two mornings to help with digesting the heavy food near the end of the trip. I also had loose tea once, in Glasgow, at a little cafe near the University I got an EG to go and it looked like it was loose tossed in a tea bag, it was also pretty good. So overall a lot of tea drinking, also, every B&B and hotel we stayed at provided a kettle, tea, sugar and milk in the room! I wish they did that here in Canada!!
Overall, a tasty week of teas and a great holiday. Now I am back to my stash, and will hopefully log some notes as the weather here is turning cooler so I should be drinking more chai, puerh and spicy pumpkin and apple things haha.
Totally agreed with Kittenna on this, no cherry but lots of cakiness! Noms. and yeah the sparkles dazzle. I did add a touch of sugar to see if any fruit notes would emerge but instead was rewarded with cake! I was really looking forward to cherry, as I loooooove cherries. But cake works too.
Thank you Keychange for sharing!
So there has been talk circulating around the idea of a smoky vanilla tea. So I tried my hand at making my own this morning using Tippy’s Lumberjack and Townsend Tea’s Mt. Hood Vanilla I think my ratio was 3 parts vanilla tea to 1 part smoky tea. I would have liked to have seen more vanilla flavor and less LS smokiness, but I think the blend was really quite good. It will have to do for now, I am keeping my eyes peeled for the real thing soon.
Don’t let me down, Steepster!
Flavors: Smoke, Vanilla
This is a high quality cake made with material from ancient trees in Lincang. The beautiful whole leaves are “picked” off the cake very easily. Gold colored liquor with a pleasant aroma. The taste is smooth and sweet and full in the mouth; balanced with pleasant bitterness in later infusions making the cup more complex. Decent longevity – I’ve taken if for 8 rounds. This is a very solid production for which the price has risen steadily over the past two years. At this point, it might have risen a bit too high.
Around 2 months ago I reviewed this tea and gave it top marks, essentially it had everything I look for in a black breakfast tea. Though I have continued to drink this I thought I would review it again to make sure the top mark rating is just.
Taking 1.5 teaspoons of blend and steeping with boiling water for around 3 minutes.
The resulting liquid is thick and malty with some sourness and a hint of smoke in the after taste. Despite being full on in terms of flavour this is not astringent and does not require milk nor sugar to drink it. The sourness adds a charm to the blend and works well with the malt notes. There is also a touch of sweetness to it which becomes noticeable after a few mouthfuls.
I still do really like this tea, it’s perfect for me in the morning. I don’t like using milk or sweetener when I can help it and this blend means I don’t have to, but it doesn’t compromise on flavour and I’m not pulling grimaces between sips because it tastes too rough (which sometimes happens with other breakfast teas). Either way I will need to get some more of this when I run out because it would truly be missed.
In short, this blend is still a winner.
Rosali Tea is just launching a monthly subscription service. I received this and a milk oolong for review. When I opened the box and saw hibiscus on the label, I went eeuuuwww, hibiscus. When I opened the bag to sniff, I expected a tart blast. Instead I got this incredible vanilla orange scent. I poured out a spoon of leaf and immediately saw rooibos. That is often another red flag as it can be throat scratchy rough. I could not smell it until after I steeped. Even then it is light and its sweetness fills in around the orange and vanilla. I see hibiscus. I do not taste hibiscus. I added a little sweetener for science. Holy Wow! This is unquestionably the best blend I have ever tried with either hibiscus or rooibos. So very good.
Ok so I bet you never thought that this tea would go amazingly unbelievably swimmingly well with a tuna sandwich, but it’s one of the best ways to enjoy it. I don’t even know why. Something about washing the sharp tang of tuna with dill and lemon down with a warm blast of cinnamon is just so cozy and perfect. I made this in my curve mug, used 2 tsp of leaf for 12 oz. of water and drank it straight. Cinnamon teas seem to do exceptionally well in travel mugs, or at least they do for me. Definitely a winter staple.
In other news, it’s been a bad week for sleep. I have slept poorly for the last few nights, and that is almost always a recipe for the quick unravelling of my stability in pretty much every imaginable way. Hopefully that rights itself soon, and if not, the upcoming long weekend should at least help me recover somewhat.
This was my tea of the morning today. This is one of my all time favorite teas. Not so much because of the flavor (which is good and enjoyable, but not honestly, outstanding) but because it makes me remember good times with friends. My friends Robyn and Jocelyn keep me supplied with this tea, and I always think of them when I have it, and that makes me smile. Sometimes that’s what makes a tea superb.