Featured & New Tasting Notes
Farewell to the oldest tea in my cupboard! I used the last of this up for today’s work cold brew, since it burns through leaf pretty quickly and I just couldn’t see myself drinking another 10+ cups of this hot. It’s not a bad tea, especially for a green, as I’ve proved to myself many times by actually drinking it and being pleasantly surprised. Somehow, though, I was just never really feeling this one.
It’s pretty good as a cold brew. I was expecting it to be bitter, and it’s really not, although it is on the savoury side compared to most of the teas/cold brews I’ve been drinking recently. The yuzu is more prominent cold than it is hot, and it’s nice to have that citrussy, pithy flavour front and centre. The green tea base is mostly smooth, although there’s a bit of a dryness in the aftertaste that I want to call astringency, but hesitatingly because it’s really not that bad.
I’ll be happy to sip on this one for the rest of the day. It’s refreshing, and a change of pace from the other teas I’ve got with me at work right now. I’d not repurchase this one, though. It’s just not a favourite.
I love this sheng, it is a puer texture junkie’s dream. The tea is super oily thick! The notes are fruity, char, browned butter, peppery, amber, and hay. It gets more savory with each steeping. I got 16 infusions. The dryness is minimal and it is complex, yet easy to drink.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2008-bana-tea-company-limited-edition-sheng-tea-review/
Another tea from the awesome Sil!
Tbh I drank this absentmindedly so I didn’t notice any particular flavors but I didn’t notice it was warm and comforting and just a happy, homey flavor…like baked goods in fall. I will try to pay more attention next time but this did go down quite easy and isn’t that what counts?
Thank you Sil!!
My significant other and myself have a merry little argument about which is worse, excessive heat or excessive cold. He maintains that winter is the worst, and that he hates to be cold more than anything. But his level of whining when its hot gives lie to that.
I maintain that summer is the worst, especially around here. The sky is painful, and there is nothing you can do, when you are outside, to make things cooler for yourself. Its all suffering all the time. In the winter there are sweaters, and scarves, and tea. Warming up is easier than cooling down.
This is my round about way of saying its going to be 105 today, and so I’m drinking this fruity cup of tea, and then resigning myself to a fate of no tea for most of the rest of the day.
Slowly settling back into life here after a brief time away overindulging in music and food, both glorious. Both were good for my soul. The food choices were likely not particularly good for my health, but damn, my spirit sang.
And now, reality again. And tea. Thankfully, tea is a constant, either here or there.
Reached into my box from Daylon for another mystery sample.
A lovely lilt of floral as the water hits the leaves. Jasmine, smells like jasmine. The leaves initially appear to be a bit broken, but as they begin to unfurl, they are small and relatively slender, still attached to their stems and stalks.
The taste is honeyed jasmine and green and a bit of earth and a bit of astringency at the tail end of the sip. Lovely, and not all that different from restaurant jasmine green.
As the tea cools a bit, the body of the tea becomes heavier, a bit more grounded, as opposed to the initial heady floral notes.
I will update as I move through this cup onto the following steeps.
The second steep is creamy, but floral flavour is fading.
The third steep—the leaves are done.
Thank you, Daylon R. Thomas, for the sample.
Flavors: Astringent, Green, Honey, Jasmine
Yep – I reblended it.
Believe it or not, it was one that was requested by one of our start-up Kickstarter contributors. I was actually kind of surprised as this didn’t seem to be an overall favorite here on Steepster and it really wasn’t one of my personal faves either.
But OK. I aim to please and as I said in the start-up Kickstarter – “YOU choose the reblend” and that’s what this backer did so I reblended it for her. I hope she enjoys it!
As I sit here and sip on this blend – I can honestly say that I’m enjoying this more than I enjoyed the original blend. I didn’t really recall the flavor of the original blend so I had to re-read my review of that tea – http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/05/05/pineapple-bacon-flavored-rooibos-blend-from-52teas/ – and back then I seemed to get a pineapple bubblegum with bacon mid-notes. Well, I’m not getting a lot of bubblegum this time. The pineapple is prominent, it’s sweet but not overly sugar-y sweet. The bacon hits at about mid-sip with a somewhat salty, savory note. After the first few sips, I did add just a pinch of salt to enhance the salty. There was a certain saltiness to the cup prior to the salt addition but I found that the wee bit of salt improved upon that. A nice balance between salty/savory and sweet/tangy.
It’s tasty, it’s interesting, but it’s still not my favorite – they can’t all be my favorite, can they? If you liked the first batch of this – I think you’ll like this. Or get some for curiosity’s sake because not everyone out there is making bacon flavored teas. Or just get some because you don’t want me to have an overstock of pineapple bacon tea. :)
I bought two of these cakes and someone bought one from me during the large group buy.
The leaf looked very nice in the picture so I went with the gamble due to the price and how I felt with the wrapping ect…
Wasn’t expecting much, but when I unwrapped the cake it looked beautiful with the loose compression allowing the silver hairs to be seen and the different hues bounced off of each other in a way that says ‘break me off good’. The leaf smells like a sweet bulang but once it’s brewed that smell vanishes and you get more of a sharp young sheng; that I’m about to make your tongue curl up.
The steeps are mild and while the sharp notes fade quickly, the mouth is left with a tingly feeling for a good 30 seconds which is quite nice. Not as dry of a finish as many teas have, but still a slight dryness as you continue. Easily going through 12 steeps on this which is crazy because I wouldn’t think such a cheap cake would last this long and still be pleasant.
This ended up around $17 total when shipped and fees added. Right next to the 2007 Mengku, this is such a fantastic value. I can see myself picking up more of these along with the 07 Mengku (again).
My small YS order arrived yesterday and this tea was in it. I bought the easy purple clay gaiwan set for me to use at work and thought this tea would go well with it. I will go on record and say that for the best part of my tea drinking exploration I have disliked Pu Erh. I kept trying it over the years and found it either too bitter or too soft. There were a few exceptions but for the most part everything I had I disliked and I felt that perhaps Pu Erh was just not for me. That was until this year I decided to perhaps explore even further. I believe I was getting tea from the wrong places, and the cheap grade Pu Erh is not worth it. Some came without certificates and some deals were too good to be true, it’s no wonder I disliked them, you get what you pay for. Now I will only buy Pu Erh from dealers that I trust.
That leads me to this tea, purchased from a trusted place and a nice quality. The golden tips are beautiful! Full of downy hairs and shine, with a musty smell that is sensual and peppery. I’ve come a long way to even willingly drink Shu let alone describe it as sensual.
I’m not keeping time of steeping times and this is a relaxed review, something I do for personal enjoyment. Sometimes there is no fun in having to start a timer.
In flavour this is soft, smooth and very easy to drink. While it’s subtle in flavour the creaminess makes it very enjoyable. Earth mixed with raw sugarcane and an aftertaste of dry, light musty wood. No impure flavours or scents.
A few steeps in and it remains consistent in flavour and strength.
I’m writing this when I’m supposed to be doing my white2tea club blog. I should really get back to that. Until then I will be drinking and thoroughly enjoying this tea.
Finished this off as a teapop. It was seriously about time it get finished since this has almost lost all of its awesome flavor. Leaving behind the base and not much else. Mixed with the carbonated water, its like slightly medicinal cucumber water. Why cucumber? I have no idea but its there. Oh well, it is time to say good bye.
Now I can continue to spend my time debating over which planner I want to buy.
I don’t usually go for flavored or blended teas, but I picked up one of the samplers from Liquid Proust’s website to give his teas a go. I’ve never had Sunmoon Lake Black tea, the base of this blend, before. I used boiling water and ~7g in my 120mL gaiwan. It’s possible this would do better western style. Not that I didn’t enjoy it gongfu.
I don’t think I’ve ever really reviewed a flavored blend before, so it seems weird saying that it tasted like its component parts, but that’s mostly what I got from this one. The first steep was lightly malty with a thick and full caramel flavor and cocoa/caramel aftertaste. If I let the tea cool down a bit, I could taste the pecans as well – this held true throughout the session. A few steeps in, the sweet caramel and cocoa flavors began to fade, but at the same time, the flavors from the tea base picked up, making for an interesting session. I started to get some dark fruit notes, kind of reminding me of cherries or maybe plums from the tea, still accompanied by whispers of the sugary sweet notes and nuttiness.
After trying this tea, I’m excited to get to the rest of LP’s blends. The flavors meshed quite well in this one and produced a very good tea. His passion is quite apparent in the care with which he selects ingredients, especially the base teas. I think the problem with a lot of flavored blends is that they just use shit tea – certainly not the case here. This one’s a winner.
Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Cocoa, Malt, Nutty, Pecan, Sweet
The last of the Tree House blends. I think this one waited until last because I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the flavour. The other two blends – Tea Rex and Rocket Fuel – are reasonably clear in terms of flavour profile. This one has all the ingredients – orange, cherry, coconut, chocolate, apricot…
To taste, it actually turns out to be all of those things and none. The overall flavour is a kind of fruity nothingness – anything distinctive gets lots in the cacophony of flavours, but I suppose with a name like “Monster Brew” that’s maybe to be expected! Cherry was the strongest flavour, but only by a fine margin, and only if I really concentrated on what I was drinking. It’s not the kind of tea that you’d sip and instantly say “cherry!” I didn’t really get much chocolate, except in the background, and the orange was almost totally MIA. There was some creaminess from the coconut, a woodsiness that wasn’t unpleasant from the rooibos, and a “juicy” kind of flavour that put me in mind of the blended fruit juice drinks I had as a child.
It wasn’t a bad cup by any means, but the two blends I’d tried before were definitely better defined. It’s a pleasant-tasting caffeine-free option, though, and the generically fruity taste is nice if nothing else. I’m going to try this cold brewed next, because I think (as with the others) that it might come alive a little more that way.
Many thanks to Angel for passing down these wonderful samples. I drank this down before having a chance to write about it but it was a super green floral with a healthy helping of buttery undertones. I detected a bit of grassiness alongside the floral notes but nothing too overwhelming. While I enjoyed drinking it, oolongs aren’t really something I’ve been waiting to reach for as of late so I’ll reserve rating this.
I’ve had this one a while, but I guess I’ve just been waiting for the right day. It’s warm and sunny this afternoon, and it’s my first day back at work, so a little bit of tropical fruit didn’t seem entirely uncalled for. I brewed this one western style – 1 tsp of leaf for 1 minute in boiling water. I wanted to be conservative with the steep time for my first cup, because frankly I just don’t know what to expect.
The initial sip is a little odd. I get tropical fruit – sort of a pineapple/mango like flavour, sweet and juicy. I also get mushroom, which just has to be the raw pu’erh, and a touch of earthiness in the aftertaste. I’m thinking a lower brew time might be better, although I’d have to try that to be sure. I don’t find it unpleasant as it is, though, and that’s the biggest surprise. It’s odd, yes, but also…delicious? It reminds me of Hawaiian pizza, if I’m honest, and that’s something I never thought I’d say about a tea…
I remember having bi luo chun for the first time. I had a very fresh quality tea and I just loved it. After that any bi luo chun I bought just didn’t seem to meet those same expectations. Was it because it just becomes common to the taste buds? Or maybe I was buying lower quality bi luo chun? I can’t say but it’s not like any of those bi luo chuns were bad. They were all good. Just not amazing. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve had a bi luo chun I can rave about. Well I can now.
This tea came vacuum sealed and when I opened it the fresh fragrance of the tea was heavenly! I just knew this was going to be a great cup. Brewed up it’s sweet, chestnutty, grean bean with an aroma I can’t quite pin down. It reminds me a bit of osmanthus.
Was this tea just amazing because it was vacuum sealed? I think that might play a part in it too but it was amazing! I’m so glad I got my Taiwan Tea Crafts order just on the last day before the Canadian postal workers were locked out. Can you imagine this amazing tea sitting in some hot warehouse for weeks on end in the summer???? I still didn’t get my small order from Grand Tea and they have amazing tea too. Hope that one survives the strike in good shape.
Flavors: Chestnut, Green Beans, Osmanthus, Sweet
The smoke within this tea actually eliminates the malted notes that should occur and leaves the ‘harsh’ sweet notes of a thin molasses. It’s harder to plain than to taste, how the malt is generally the ending taste throughout the mouth ends up with a smoky ending which ends up coating the mouth so the malted notes are like a burnt sugar that isn’t sweet… whatever that is.
Sometimes, when aliens are trying to build a hyperspace expressway, or your inevitable incarceration is looming, or the army besieging your castle has been there so long you’ve eaten all the food stores, dogs, cats, rats, and perhaps subjects named “Pat” that were available, the only remaining retort to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that have beset you is to gluttonously indulge in such hyperbolic excess that your successors will declare, “He was a right bastard, but he sure went out with a bang!”
But let us further suppose that, due to long and steady decline of your fortune, you need to find a way to do this in a far more fiscally responsible manner than you would prefer. This is where this tea comes in. I put so many leaves in my pot that deities looked down from on high and wondered who’d beset the land with a plague of tea. But it was glorious, I tell you, glorious.
Early steeps took a while to get going, but soon there were notes of canthol* and memphor*, and long lasting aftertastes. Soon, however, having completely overloaded all available receptors, I could only note the excellent scent of mauve coming from the mass of wet leaves and note that I tasted a hint of a month from next Thursday.
And all this at a low price! If you eschew sipping, scoff at quaffing, and consider chugging to be an unnecessarily effete manner of intake, I humbly suggest this tea might be for you.
Bring on your trials and tribulations, I’m caffeineted enough for anything.
- - I realized I have no idea what differentiates camphor from menthol, really, so this might have been either, or neither, or both.
I made sure to pick up a sample of this tea with my first W2T order, because I had heard a lot of good things about it in the online tea community.
If ever there was a dessert tea, this is it. Crazy sweet flavor, but not overpowering. I thought at first that the flavor was a bit light, but then decided it wasn’t light, but was pretty subtle. The texture was anything but light – thick and oily to begin with, after which it came across as more of a milky/creamy taste/texture. I think I got a little bit of floral flavor from a few steeps, but mostly the sweetness was from your more sugary/sweet type of stuff – particularly honey (mostly in the early steeps), vanilla and burnt sugar. In the later steeps, i also got a kind of honey-nectar type of flavor that was pretty good. This was around the same time it started to acquire a slight mouth-drying effect as well.
I was able to get about 10 good infusions out of this one, which is actually a little less than I expected (maybe I’m just greedy). I did enjoy this for its milky sweetness, but I think I prefer the Little Walk cake (I think they make an alright comparison, as they’re both predominantly sweet shengs). So, this was good, but not one I need to order a cake of.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Creamy, Floral, Honey, Milk, Nectar, Sweet, Thick, Vanilla
Made a big pitcher of this one that I’ve been drinking throughout the week;
It’s very floral. Like, very, very floral but still quite pleasant because it’s a sweet sort of floral with berry notes and a subtle grassy undertone. Honestly, I really expected that at this point I’d probably be sick of this tea. I mean, I was already in the minority for liking it in the first place – but it’s still a favourite of mine and a consistent, solid choice.
Flavors: Berries, Floral, Grass, Sweet, Vegetal
A sample from Miss B! (Yes, I’m still working my way through the box.)
I’ve found the older 52 Teas to be a bit hit and miss, but it turns out I needn’t have worried about this one. The first thing I love about it is the HUGE chocolate and peanut butter chips that are plentifully scattered throughout the blend. They melt really easily, which is another plus, and although they leave a bit of an oily scrim it doesn’t seem to affect the mouthfeel too much.
The flavour is pretty spot on, too. Chocolate is the more prominent flavour, but there’s a definite peanut butter vibe in the mid-sip, and the two flavours work together really well. The black tea base is maybe a little on the thin side for my tastes, but I can’t really complain too much. It’s nicely malty, and it helps the flavouring along rather than getting in the way, so it’s a win-win.
Glad to have tried this one, and glad to have the rest of the pouch to finish off. Thanks again to Miss B, without whom I’d probably never have tried this one!
The Taiwanese love a good tea competition dont they.
So glad I tried this one blind as I do often wonder if my taste gets swayed by slapping a gold star on a tin of tea, but apparently it doesnt, as I gave this one an award without knowing what it was.
I found it dark-green fresh (a bit like cooked spinach) & with a fruitiness thats a bit like cherry, or something. Anyway, it totally works, coming together to form a really refreshing drink. Even the smell coming across the room is a good one, you just can tell.
Nice pungency coming from the steeped leaf in the gaiwan, again, dark leaf, nuts & cherries. some straight sugar taste as well.
Really clear soup, not bags of flavour but there is just something about it thats right.
It isnt fruity like a really fruity tea, its still a green oolong, but there is just enough sweetness & the flavour is good. Refreshing and makes you feel good to drink it…
I defo think this is worth it, and am now very interested to try their other award winners, as in my limited experience when there are a selection of competition grade oolong about, the gold one does do something special compared to the 2nd & 3rd prize, and I would be interested to see if that trend continues in Dragon Tea House, even if Im presuming its likely to be a very subtle difference if the teas are from the same company or competition/area.
Edit* Just checked and the other award winners are dong ding, not Shan Lin Xi.. oh well :) its a 2016 from Nantou, I’m going to have a google to see who won the 1st prize & try some of that one :)
Flavors: Cherry, Nuts, Spinach, Sugar
bumping the rating up on this one a little as i think it’s one of my favourites from bellocq. I can’t be bothered remembering prices at the moment, but i think? it’s worth the price if memory serves. Had this earlier in the week as it’s been insane at work these days and i needed a great kick off to the morning. I think work might start slowing down by like december? ugh.
This is a fairly inexpensive tea from Yunnan Sourcing. It is a good and tasty tea. It has nearly cleared. There is really almost no fermentation flavor to this tea, I think I detected a little in the first couple of steeps. It has little bitterness to it. It’s got a nice sweet note going for it. I’d not say chocolaty but perhaps woody in nature, but not in an unpleasant way. Very hard to accurately describe the sweet note on this one. I only gave this one eight steeps because I have plans this afternoon and need to get going, but I’m sure it would have gone twelve or fifteen steeps. It’s still quite dark in color.
I steeped this tea eight times in a 150ml ru kiln gaiwan with 12.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. This is a very nice aged tea for the price. A lot of companies would sell this for a lot more but Yunnan Sourcing had it at a reasonable price.
Flavors: Earth, Sweet