Featured & New Tasting Notes
Another of my older 52 Teas blends. I liked this one as soon as I tried it in the 12 Teas of Christmas sampler a few years back, and I had to take the opportunity to pick up a pouch of the reblend. Just to clarify, this is a “Frank” reblend, rather than the current “Anne” version.
I like this one mostly because it uses spearmint, which is woefully underrepresented in both green and herbal teas, and in the mint tea world generally. As someone who prefers spearmint to peppermint, that makes me sad. It’s even better here because it’s paired with marshmallow, which is another flavour I enjoy in tea. I never used to be much of a green tea fan, but this was one of the blends that originally helped to change my mind.
This reblend is pretty true to form. It’s quite strongly minty, with the sweet yet still refreshing and cooling spearmint front and centre. After the initial hit of mint comes the more delicate sweetness of the marshmallow root. It adds a deliciously desserty vibe, and contributes another layer of sweetness. Underlying both is the green tea, but it’s barely there and adds just a hint of grassy vegetal flavour. I love the name of this one. It’s very evocative, and it sort of does seem fitting in terms of the flavours. I can just imagine the coolness and the scent of the grass and the trees, with a hint of mist in the air…Very atmospheric!
I was prepared for this reblend to not quite meet my expectations, but in actual fact I’m not at all disappointed. It’s still a great blend, even after all this time. One of my favourite flavoured green teas!
Purple tea! Yep this is the tea that got me interested in sharing LP’s Yunnan Sourcing Order. Thank you!
It was a little odd pouring purple tea out of my gaiwan. For some reason I just thought the tea would be purple and not the brew. I expected this tea to be malty. It was not. It was very floral without the vegital notes that you normally get in green oolongs. The way I brewed this lent to it being slightly bitter as well. I enjoyed being able to get to try this unique tea, but I am not sure it was one for me.
Sipdown. You know how their Chestnut green tastes like salmon teriyaki to me? Well, this seems to have taken that route in recent times, as well. I’m starting to think that their caramel flavouring is doing that to me, and even more likely, when it’s starting to age. This did not taste like that when I first got it, so I suspect it was fresh while the Chestnut was already older when I got it.
I tried finishing this up over the past few days. Had a few cups, but after the last one, I decided to throw the remaining 12g of leaf into the garbage. Just not worth it!
The dry leaf smells just great, but of course steeping the leaves releases all the spice and the flavours pop. Plentiful cardamon and ginger and a bit of cinnamon. To my mind, this is the perfect chai balance, give or take some pepper, black or chili. When I first tasted the tea, I thought hmm, needs caramel. As the tea cools a bit, the flavours mellow with the tea base and it is just lovely as is. The black and honeybush base blend here work rather well with the spices.
That said, it will be a very happy day for me when 52teas does a caramel series. A long caramel series of teas.
Flavors: Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger
This was a free sample from Napali Tea Traders. Thank you! This is one of those just good black teas. Nothing fancy, nothing that stands out, but just solid. It is smooth, and slightly caramely/malty. Not really any astringency. Prior to getting into loose leaf tea it is what I wold have been referring to when I said I will have some tea.
So glad it’s almost Friday. This week hasn’t been nearly as stressful as last week, but working full-time is just really draining on my overall reserves of just about everything.
Anyway, had this tea again this morning as promised. With a generous amount of cream and sugar, a tea with what felt like ragged jagged edges was transformed into a smooth and flavourful cup. I also only steeped for three minutes, which helped.
So far, this tea still falls into the perfectly acceptable but not scrambling to restock category. And it’s just as well. At least it reminds me that my love for tea isn’t broken.
Started my morning off with a cup of this tasty brew! Very strong mango and papaya notes which contributed to a wonderful, overall tropical and fruity flavour to the earthy and vaguely sour guayusa. Yummy! I’ve been reading in class about infusing tea into juice and while this isn’t totally the same thing I think this would taste nice paired with orange juice.
After the last three weeks that I’ve had, I don’t care how messy the house is, I don’t care that the dishes need to be done, I don’t care what needs to be put away… I’m stopping and trying to do my second ever gong fu steeping. Three weeks ago, I had my first ever kidney stone, then a bladder infection because of it, then a head cold. Also in the time, my husband’s grandfather’s lady friend (Girlfriend I guess?) went into hospital for health concerns. While she was there, husband’s grandpa had a stroke and is in there too. She doesn’t know he’s there though as they don’t want to stress her out. Also, my own brother fell off a ladder at his house where he was doing roof repair and broke his femur really bad. They had to get an ambulance to the hospital where they were transfered to a different one a half hour away. Now thankfully he’s already moving as they did emergency surgery, but it was very scarey for a bit.
That’s all on top of the fact that my own gramma had hip surgery mid-october and my father-in-law had knee surgery just before that. Thankfully they are both doing so good.
So anyways, I need to stop and do something that I really love and drink some tea! My munchkin is exhausted after his first ever playgroup this morning so now is the perfect time.
Off I go.
I’ve done a few steeps already and so far my main flavour that I get is roastiness. and some nutty as well. Third steep in I’m getting just the faintest amount of sweetness in the back of my cheeks.
I definitely understand why one would want to use a small gaiwan for a single person doing this as I’m having a hard time finishing each steep as it seems to be a lot of tea for one person. Also, I’m not very good at timing each steep, which is something I need to watch as a few times I have over steeped a bit because the tea is almost too strong or too roasted for my liking. I’m having a moment right now where I’m suddenly realizing how much this is reminding me of Nepal Black from davidstea. It just has a few qualities that are similar, which will have to be one of the next gaiwan sessions I try.
I thought by now the leaves would be completely opened up but they aren’t I’m not sure sure if I’m not steeping long enough or what, but i’m on steep… 5-7 (can’t remember..) and they are still pretty tight.
Alright, I’m going to wrap this up for now. I’m mostly getting roasted with a hint of nuts. If I get anything else I will add to this note, otherwise that’s my general thoughts of this tea. and everything else that’s going on.
I am so glad that picked some of this up! Also, I am the first to review, which is always exciting. Once I got my package in the mail, I immediately took this and placed it in my storage to decompress from its long travel. Today I decided to open it up and give it a shot. The dry leaf is so light and flaky, but I can easily spot massive intact leaves. These decade old leaves give off an aged, slight menthol scent mixed well with some fruity tones. I placed a generous amount in my warmed jianshui and gave it a shake. The scent was very heavy and spiced. I was catching whiffs of leather, slight smoke, tobacco and decayed wood. I let these beauties sit for a bit, and then I prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves smelled relatively like the warmed ones, except the scents became deeper and spicier. The taste was unbelievable! This drink fills the mouth with a heavy liquid. The tongue is soothed, the taste buds are stimulated, and the throat is warmed. I loved it! The huigan was thick and lasting. The taste begins with calm leather, nectar, and a juicy sensation. The liquor itself smelled fantastic! I was reminded of Tahitian Vanilla Beans; the aroma was so creamy and rich. The creme flavor came about by the second steeping. The texture was smooth and silky and easily filled the senses. I was struck by tongue prickling and my hair on my head began to rise. The qi was a steady electricity coursing throughout my veins. A slight sour tone appeared in the background by the third steeping, and it grew consistently over time. The gorgeous cream note is replaced by a tantalizing leather and wood by the sixth steeping. The brew begins to show its age in later steeping with the dominating tones being leather, dark wood, tobacco, and a slight bitter. However, the liquor keeps its consistent vanilla aroma. The qi is quite powerful and all body encompassing. I was alert, happy, and giggly. The qi is centered at the head and creates a lot of pressure on the mind and temples. I absolutely loved this deep bronze colored drink. There were so many different scents encompassing this session. The leaves with their spice, the drink with its sweetness, and the taste with its power. I loved how intricate this tea is. I’m really glad that I have some of this. I’m going to let the rest store for a little more longer and compare notes. This is truly a King Tea!
Flavors: Cream, Dark Wood, Decayed wood, Leather, Nectar, Pleasantly Sour, Smoke, Tobacco, Vanilla
This tea has been sitting in storage for a while now awaiting the day when I was in the right mood to try it. I had no idea what to expect from the snow chrysanthemums either, so it was a leap into the dark.
The brick is highly compressed. The dry leaf has an earthy, cedar wood aroma. It looks great with the orange of the chrysanthemum flowers in it. Most attractive. The wet leaf is primarily earthy and the liquor brews up thick and dark. My first cup was more wtf than anything else. I got an immediate hit of Dr Pepper and tea tree oil with a cooling minty aftertaste. I steeled myself for the second cup and was glad I did. The flavour had moderated itself a bit. There’s still vanilla and tea tree there, but the underlying earthiness of the puerh is more present with a pleasing cedar flavour and chilli pepper notes. I think this tea may be an acquired taste or one for when the mood hits, but five cups in and I am quite pleased with it. Once you get that initial vanilla and tea tree hit out of the way, there is quite a bit of depth to the tea and plenty to enjoy. It’s still a bit ‘interesting’ though.
Flavors: Cedar, Spicy, Vanilla
I have this cake for about 2 years, trying only now. this cake is very clean,maybe due to hanging out in my house for so long. I havent noticed any fermentation flavor or maybe ive had so much shou that tiny bit goes unnoticable.
Its very good, rich, smooth and not overly complex but it did a good job. i tend to put extra leaf for shou, it lasts longer. i brew 15g in 140ml pot and now im thinking that 10-12g would be enough. 400g for $20 is a steal if you like gong ting shou.
Scott over at Yunnan Sourcing seems to have ‘ripened’ some skills this season! I really enjoyed this tea, and I love that it is wild arbor. It is very chocolatey. I found it to be deep and bold, very smooth, somewhat sweet, and quite durable. I bet if this was sold as a premium Dayi product, it would fetch at least double the price. Another winner, and one of the reasons I find that it is better to discover gems from small independent labels you can trust, than to simply buy factory teas (no knock to good factory teas, though!).
Received this as part of a straight tea package from LP. Thank you!
My package arrived today with part of a YS order and part mystery tea. I really like getting mystery tea in the mail. It makes me go outside of my comfort zone and try things I normally wouldn’t order for myself. I really need to just sign up for a tea subscription somewhere so that I am forced to not pick the same old same old. Maybe once my stash is under control. Does that ever happen?
This is a wonderful tea. Light, sweet, buttery…. oh yeah buttery. I didn’t have enough for a full on gong fu session so I have been having fun just playing with this tea. Add some water here, taste it, add more time, add more water. I havent’ done that much with tea, always thinking I will destory it. This is fun and delicious. I am excited. My husband and I have a date to finish reading The Martian together tonight. Such nerds. Go to bed early to read. Oh well it is the little things in life right? Books and tea. An end to a good day.
This is a happy vanilla-scented red rooibos dry leaf with pastel sprinkles.
I don’t drink this tea often, but when I crave it, there is nothing quite like it. From time to time, I order it in store well-leafed and well-steeped as a latte when I am in need of some cheering up.
When I am at home, I drink it black and unsweetened. It is sweet enough. The flavours are simple: vanilla icing sweet and creamy with a bit of rooibos substance as backup. The perfect cure for a sweet tooth or when the need arises for a bit of comfort.
Flavors: Cake, Cream, Vanilla
So when I was travelling through Italy the coffee, ie. the espresso, was super amazing. And I have no idea why. I like coffee but not as much as tea. It was pointed out to me that the location/experience can have lots to do with the perception of how good food or drink are.
So today is a super foggy day. One of those fogs where you are immediately wet when you go outside but it isn’t raining. So I decided I wanted to go for a walk around the lake. Those days are going to start getting few and far between with winter coming soon. Usually we are deep in winter by this time of year but for some reason we are experiencing a really nice fall. So I am going to enjoy it as much as I can. The walking path was almost deserted, which was nice. Leaves are still falling off of the trees and there are still ducks and geese hanging out. The air was crisp and fresh and I didn’t feel the cold until I got back inside.
I was cold and wet when I got home. So I brewed up something I have posted on.
I used 3/4 tsp of this assam, 3/4 tsp of lapsang souchong, 4 dried rose buds and a few slices of fresh ginger.
It was so delicious. Better than it has ever been. The assam gave depth, boldness and thickness to the tea. And it cut down a bit on the strong smokey, sometimes bitter, flavour of the lapsang. The lapsang had a great balance of smokeyness to it. The rose always mellows the flavours and blends them together, giving just the slightest floral flavour profile. I like using rose buds because it eliminates the chemical flavour of rose scented tea. The ginger added the right amount of spice. The ginger flavours made the smokey of the lapsang really pop. Like that first wood fire of the winter, that scent you get when you first start in the fire in the chimney. It could have been the brand of teas I used. But it may have just been the experience :)
Having this at work, more lazy western steeping. This is a little smoky, a little sour, and I can definitely taste more of that mushroom note. Glad I had a chance to try this; this is a decent young sheng with a flavour profile that’s different, but not too different. I’ll see if I can steep this 3-4 times today.
Used up the last of my leaf for the eggnog latte. This leaf is old but not quite as old as the other leaf I have been using and I definitely had 8 oz of tea for a 24 oz but but it is still too eggnoggy. So I guess my 1:1:1 ratio is not my sweet spot. There is a nice hint of vanilla mint in the mug but alas it is being slightly drowned out by the other flavors in the cup.
It’s my birthday, so I decided to celebrate with this. I would have preferred some sheng, but this is what was available, so it will have to do. I opened the package and gave these old leaves a whiff. I was picking up some real old tones. I picked up some slight roast, parchment, and just a little bit of dry sweetness. I warmed up my new teapot and cups (Novak :D) and poured these little curls in. The scent deepened into a deep earth and dry minerals. This scent was a lot like a basement in the summer. It’s a good but oddly strange scent. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The steeped leaves had an amazing scent! I really loved the spice, musk, mineral aroma. I picked up some amazing pine resin scent with a background of smoke. The aroma was so good! The flavor was something unique. The taste began drying with some pleasant sour tones. The sip then developed to an intense pine flavor. I got a nice head high and body buzz from the drink. In later steeping I picked up some maple syrup sweetness. I was able to pull only about four good steeping sessions. The session was decent, but it wasn’t all that amazing. I thought that for the price this should be at least somewhat fantastic. However, it was still a good experience, and I still have some to try out. I will hopefully find a better suited birthday tea…
Flavors: Earth, Maple, Musty, Paper, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Resin, Smoke, Sweet, Wood
We had this yesterday at a clean-out-my-freezer tea party. I had prepared tea treats all through October for 45 people for an Alice in Wonderland Halloween tea I was doing for this charity I am involved in. I was socking them away in the deep freeze so I didn’t have to do a lot all at the end. Then the party was cancelled due to the hometown team making it into the World Series. I scheduled a tea at work to use some of the leftovers that couldn’t freeze and that turned out to be the day of the celebration parade. Not that I wish we hadn’t made it, winning after 30 years certainly is nice, but I got really tired of sports messing with my tea!
Anyway, so I could free up some freezer space for the holiday season, we had a little tea yesterday with my mom’s friends. This was one of the teas I served.
One of the ladies was a friend of a friend and I had never met her before. She took a sip of this and said “Oh my goodness, this is amazing tea! I don’t even need sugar or milk!” Later I made a pot of Assam Signature Malt from Golden Tips and she didn’t add anything to it either. She was just stunned that she liked teas without additions or flavorings and she just kept raving about Jabberwocky. Makes me happy when that happens. :) Now, she did add cream to the Flowering Black Tea Cones from Yunnan Sourcing but to be fair, they had sat in their little glass pot for awhile before she tried them and I probably used a cone or two too many for the volume of water. But she said she still liked it a lot.
Then I got to whittle down my stash by giving the ladies a basket of assorted teas to shuffle through to take home. So that, along with excellent tea that was well enjoyed, tasty food and good company made for a good day. :)
But now I need to get more of this tea since I almost used it up!
This is a nice black from Clipper Ship Tea Company. It has a very slight malt note. There is also peppery note to it. It’s also kind of sweet. It also tastes just a little, a very small amount flat to me. Not enough to ruin the tea but enough to lower the score.
I steeped this once and a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 2 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 min.
Flavors: Malt, Pepper, Sweet
This must be the “mystery moon light white tea cake” sample I received from Christina. :)
So far, it seems pretty good. I’m steeping at 204F, which is what my fancy kettle thing holds at. It’s a little more green tasting than sweet deliciousness at this first steep, but I probably didn’t steep it quite long enough at 15 seconds.
The second steep is indeed stronger and sweeter. I think I still prefer the one I got locally, but it’s always fun to try other versions of a tea you like!
Thanks so much, Christina. :)