Featured & New Tasting Notes
It’s been a bit of a rough week fighting off migraines while attempting to navigate through the more pressing life things. Ugh. Massive construction in the neighbourhood hasn’t helped. Thankfully, so far, things are quiet and still today.That said, there have been pockets of loveliness. This tea is one of them.
Beautiful depth of flavour here. The toasted rice comes through with the nuttiness of dense whole grains, such as wheat berries for example. The chocolate notes are more of the baked goods type, along the lines of toasted chocolate nut bread: chocolate and bready, but not particularly sweet. Nice work, Liquid Proust!
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Grain, Nuts, Toasted Rice
Oh this is a fine cup of tea. Thanks to Verdant for their great Laoshan tea and thanks to LP for great blending. It’s like having a cup of chocolate in the morning. I wasn’t getting too much from the rice but my taste buds are not too awake in the morning. Next time I try this, I’ll make it an afternoon tea.
An awesome little sample/gift from Taiwan Sourcing and just the right choice for a late night tea session after a 24 hour sheng marathon.
Aromatics of chocolate and dried fruit, prominent fig. Notes of plump brandy soaked raisins and dark honey drenched figs with some subtle honeysuckle. Some fresh baked bread in later notes followed by wet autumn leaves. Two steeps in and you’re already floating on air from scent, taste and the seriously good feels that swarm you almost instantly. I thoroughly loved the Alishan High Mountain GABA Oolong – Winter 2015 I had previously but I’m truly in love with this GABA black. Simply wow!
7g, 120ml, boiling temperature with 10s, 5s, 10s, 15s…lost count due to a serious tea high and the fact that this leaf kept on giving.
The dry leaf:
The not so final leaf:
I ended up waking up very early this morning so I had time to brew a teapop and between the cherry, vanilla, and grenadine, I thought this would be awesome. Turns out I was wrong. It’s not bad but it is not great. I’m find the flavors, though present, are really flat. I get notes of vanilla sweetness and a cherry/grenadine mix (think maraschino cherries) is probably the most prominent flavor and yet these flavors should be bright and sweet and dessert-like but they just aren’t. It is almost as if there is flavor deterioration but since this is stored properly and purchased fairly recently that should not be the case. I will continue to explore though and hopefully find a way to coax out the flavors.
A sample from Roswell Strange, who helpfully fixed me up with some flavoured matcha. Why is it so hard to come by in the UK? The first thing I have to say about this one, though, is “oh man” – it’s SO good. I wasn’t really expecting it to taste exactly like a mixed berry pie, especially since dry the scent was mostly cinnamon and vegetal green tea. It does, though! I can definitely taste strawberry, with flashes of blueberry, raspberry, and a touch of black cherry. If you imagined those berries warm, in a thick, rich red-berry sauce, encased in buttery, cinnamon dusted pastry, then you’d have this tea. It’s that flavour accurate, and that good.
I made my cup as a latte, whisking 1/4 tsp of matcha into about an inch of boiling water, topped off with hot milk. At first, I only got the berry flavour – and I’ve no complaint about that because it’s incredibly flavour accurate. As I sipped, however, I did begin to notice the cinnamon, and then the buttery “pie crust” element came to the fore. It kind of creeps up on you, until you’re not drinking berry matcha anymore, but rich berry pie matcha. Best effect ever!
There probably aren’t words to describe exactly how much I’m enjoying this one. It’s my favourite of the Red Leaf matchas I’ve tried so far, and I’ve liked a fair few so that’s a definite compliment. For the record, my sample is of the distinctive flavouring level.
Thanks again to Roswell Strange for introducing me to this wonder :)
The ever kind and benevolent Glen sent me a sample of this with my Kunlu order to haunt my dreams!
It’s amazing. I raved to a tea friend about it after the first steep… then the second…
“omg… you NEED the 2008 jingmai. Am just super hyper and happy I can taste things again. And I brewed up the sample Glen sent with jar… and holy shit
its aged and floral and fruity and minty
and yes… its all fig and honey in a snow storm”
In later steeps I notice the apricot and some kind of stone fruit element more. It kind of reminds me of an oolong in some ways how it brews up, but still has the feel of sheng.
And then I went on chat and pretty much tried to convince everyone I knew to buy up what is on stock so I won’t be tempted to ask what a dragon’s egg tong looks like… I mean they are still in Yunnan… so the danger is real!
I followed up by telling another person on IG " omg yes. I think the biggest shocker though is the 2008 jingmai sample! It is just blowing me away with fig honey and apricot goodness. While still having some of the more abrasive qualities I love in sheng! Like the super cooling aftertaste. If this is how maocha ages… I need to get a hold of more of it o.o only ever had aged cakes before this."
At which point I think Glen saw how much I was raving about this and made a review thread for it.
This shit is good… don’t buy it before I get paid! I mean buy it all up! I’m so confused right now. But this tea is really really good. Like maybe rivaling my love for slumbering dragon good… it doesn’t have the stamina of dragon… but damn those first handful of steeps are magic.
Flavors: Fig, Honey, Mint, Stonefruits
This VIT is “coming soon” to 52Teas. It was created for one of our VIPs who – while chatting with her about what kind of tea she wanted me to create – she told me an amusing story about how she loves grapefruit so much that she would often eat scoops of her grapefruit sugar scrub. Hey, it’s an all natural product and the ingredients are all edible.
Now, I didn’t go and grab a jar of the scrub to eat it to get an idea for the flavor. Instead, I cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkled it with the ginger honey crystals that I keep on hand at all times for when I catch a cold. YUM! I love the combination of grapefruit and ginger so I decided that we had to make this tea!
I used a Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong as the base – which was requested by our VIP – and added dried grapefruit sections, ginger root, crystallized (sugared) ginger and natural flavors.
This is really yummy. The grapefruit is bright and tangy but not too tart. The ginger cuts through some of that bitter, tarty flavor of the grapefruit and gives it a pleasant peppery taste. It’s tangy, sweet and zesty. The Oolong – which is usually more of a fruity tasting Oolong – adds a nice nutty flavor to the cup that was a little unexpected but certainly tasty.
Wet leaf smells like old wood and earth.
Brews dark brown quickly.
Tastes rich and sweet. Hard to describe taste – maybe some dry cocoa, wood and sweet dates. Lingering mouthwatering taste in mouth. Very nice.
Thank you for sharing this mrmopar!
(Not sure if this is the correct year/tea but am putting review here anyway).
this tea was recommended me by James fr Teadb. its not a first try, ive had it before. yesterday it was quite powerful, i dont remember experiencing such strong qi from this tea. it was very nice, sweet, menthol cool, with quick powerful huigan. But… i think it had so much effect on me that i acted like 3yrs old and hurt my friend’s feelings. Im sorry. it must be a weather too. i have to blame it on something. it wasnt me, its them
Hard for me to identify the scent of the steeped tea: roasted and somewhat fruity and enchanting. I am quite enjoying this slightest hint of tangy plum on a creamy backdrop. There’s also something slightly peppery going on here. The brandy comes through too, gently, gently, in the distance. Lovely cup.
Thank you for sharing this sample with me, tigress_al.
Flavors: Brandy, Plums
This is just glorious, both the scent and the flavour. Caramel with some cream backup and just a lovely base. The chestnut for me is totally missing in action, but it doesn’t matter.
Thank you, Daylon R. Thomas. I am really enjoying this.
Flavors: Caramel, Cream, Roasted
So I had a total moment in the kitchen at work this morning. I was trying to add milk to my cup of this, and being a bit cautious because it’s a fairly full bottle and I didn’t want to overdo it. So I’m tipping it just a bit, as you do, and nothing’s coming out. I’m usually half asleep until about 11, so I checked I’d taken the lid off (and I had, so points for me), and tipped it a bit further. Still nothing. It was frozen, guys. Like, solid. So then I had to check that I’d put it in the fridge and not the freezer, and I had, so at least it’s not my own sleepiness that robbed me of milk this morning. It’s defrosting slowly, although I’m not madly keen on the thought of adding frozen chunks of milk to my next cup. I might just give it a miss until tomorrow, and see what it’s like then.
On a positive note, my cupboard is now really near 200 (and will hopefully be under 200 again before I go on holiday on the 24th.) Keeping it that way might be a problem, though. It’s around this point that I usually get a hankering to order all the tea, and true to form I’m currently trying to convince myself that I don’t need to place 4 orders and push it right back up to about 250 again. But I want to. In my head, I know I should hold off ordering until I’ve got a much more manageable cupboard, which for me means around 50-75. But think of the tea I’ll be missing in the meantime. It doesn’t help that a Whittard just opened again in Norwich, and they have some new blends that are really calling to me – Cucumber Mint and Petit Macaron in the cutest pastel caddies…
This note wasn’t really about Wedding Imperial, in the end. I feel like I’ve said all that I have to say about it for the moment, and all I can really add at this point is that I definitely prefer it with milk. If I’d known I’d be drinking it black, I probably would have underleafed and reduced the brew time, because it’s quite potent. Rich chocolate and caramel, with nothing to temper it, before 10 in the morning? Hardly the best idea. But you can’t tip MF down the sink, so I went with what I had. We’ll reunite once my milk defrosts.
A late night tea session. Aromatics of wildflower honey, sweet nectar and an almost whole grain cereal nature like Kashi. Flavor notes similar to the aromatics with the cereal being less in flavor than aromatic. Buttery liquor in both color and mouthfeel. One over steep produced a delicious grapefruit meets bergamot flavor that very much complimented the other characteristics. I’ve yet to be disappointed in any thing these leaf-hopping insects help create.
7g leaf, 150ml gaiwan, 190F, 15s, 5s, 10s and up with one distracted oversteep but still pleasant midway through.
Note: This was a Summer 2015 tea.
Oh happy day! I found my teeny remaining pouch of this. Now that I’ve been drinking mostly green, white, and oolongs, this one tastes even better if that’s possible. Toasty rice marshmallow scent rises from my cup and each sip is a glorious embrace of marshmallow, roasted rice nuttiness, and smooth green goodness.
Flavors: Green, Marshmallow, Toasted Rice
I’m torn – my original package of this tea was truly awful (I believe I still have it for some reason), but now I have the reblend, and I am SO MUCH more pleased with the flavour. Which rating do I use?! I gave the original a 17, but I would rate this reblend about an 80.
A world of difference; the reblend tastes the way I expected the original would taste. Chocolatey, creamy, a hint of smoke… perfect. Just needs the graham cracker! I made the same mistake with this genmaicza as with the mango one, so need to try it at a proper strength, but I imagine it will only be tastier (it was actually pretty tasty even underleafed).
A sample from Miss B I’m almost through the box of samples she sent me now – there was so much in it I thought I’d never find the bottom! I didn’t read any reviews or the description before I brewed this one up, and surprisingly I came out pretty close to the mark with my initial thoughts. In the tsp I used, I could see coconut shreds, slivers of almond, and a coffee bean amongst the black tea base. I gave it approximately 3.5 minutes in boiling water, and added a splash of milk.
To taste, I’m getting coffee and chocolate in the initial sip – very reminiscent of a mocha, although not as intense. There’s a nuttiness in the mid-sip, and a rich smoothness that could just about be caramel. The base is fairly robust and deliciously malty, so even though the coffee flavour is fairly prominent, you never forget that you’re actually drinking tea. When it comes to coffee-flavoured tea, that’s the way I like it.
I’m enjoying this one. It’s definitely different, and it’s making for a good wake-up cup. I’ve tried maybe one or two coffee-flavoured teas before, but this is definitely my favourite so far. It’s not too overpowering, it’s still decidedly tea, and the nutty-chocolate flavours work really well. I’d buy more of this one.
Am I breaking some sort of code of ethics by using this grade in a protein smoothie? Overall, I prefer consuming matcha cold, so I haven’t tried this hot yet. I got this for free a few months ago, hence the splurgy behaviour.
200ml Silk original soy milk
50g Syntha-6 banana flavoured protein powder
2g Ceremonial Matcha
95g frozen banana
60g frozen blueberries
In comparison to Grand Cru, I can tell, even in a smoothie, that this is more vegetal, while Grand Cru is brighter. Both are grassy but this has more of a wheatgrass-like bite. I think I actually prefer the Grand Cru, whose batches are consistently brighter (emerald) green in colour. It’s crisper in flavour and not as vegetal.
I believe each one of these are different…
Anyways, this smelled good even before the brew which made me happy. The result came in as a nice semi sweet brew over and over. Not as delicate as CLT or even W2T Smooch (which surprised me), but it’s a solid material that has depth that comes through in the later steeps. These seems to be good as young as they are with those sweet notes and vibrancy of the raw pu’erh in there.
Delving into the box Sil sent to me awhile back, finally!
This tea was a pure pleasure to drink! Very smooth, very light, initially I thought of Genmaicha, but the roasty flavor was more like nuts, especially peanuts, instead of toasted rice, and it also features a buttery quality.
Thanks Tea Sister!! This one is a win!
I can’t believe this wasn’t in my cupboard. I bought a one pound bag because it did wonders for my dog’s feet. (Because it is so light, the one pound bag looks HUGE.) He has grass pollen allergies and had licked his feet raw last year. I read that chamomile could soothe it and bought the giant bag. I made the tea, let it cool, and soaked each doggie foot in a tall glass for about 30-60 seconds before bedtime one night. By the next morning, all the redness and weeping was gone. I pour it over him after his bath just for skin health and itching, too.
Well, now I need to drink it, and I am enjoying it immensely. I am making it, resteeping, and pouring it into swing top bottles that I refrigerate. It is so good and so cold when stored in glass, quite refreshing. I don’t get apple like lots of people do, but rather hay and minty light citrus.
But I am drinking it for a special reason. I have been on proton pump inhibitors for sixteen years. Yes, the drug that is supposed to be used for two weeks maximum. I had tried and couldn’t get off of it, although I got myself down to 20mg a day which is half of what they started me on.
Lest anyone think I was being a wimp, I can tell you that even with Prilosec I had heartburn and chest pain from esophagus spasms, nighttime reflux, bending over reflux, and would lose my voice from the acid washing up. And this all started back when I was really skinny, not due to being overweight.
I read a study recently that suggested that since acid is natural and needful, perhaps there is often a different problem. The most common is thought to be possibly an inflamed esophagus which can be due to allergy instead of acid. I decided to try again and this time, treat my esophagus with lots of natural anti-inflammatories. Thus the chamomile tea! And I am pleased to say that while I have had some rebound reflux, I can live with it and it isn’t constant. Also, Pepcid Complete knocks it out, and in five days I have only had two of those.
I am also drinking lemongrass tea made from the lemongrass I grow, and I drink it cold, too. I am replenishing my good bacteria with homemade yogurt and homemade water kefir.
The great thing is that I really love the cold chamomile tea and I love that it is making me healthier and helping me to get off of a drug that can be very bad for you in the long run.