Featured & New Tasting Notes
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY! Not that I celebrate it as such since you should celebrate love to your partner every day…but I understand the sentiment. Planned for today is to play Borderlands The Pre Sequal pretty much non stop on split screen, drink lots of tea and cook a diet friendly 3 course meal. Such a thing is possible I found.
This morning I started with English Rose black tea from Whittard of Chelsea, the most romantic tea I could think of this morning, and now I’ve gone for this Gianfranco’s Earl Grey which is still simply amazing. Full of flavour without being overly strong due to the Darjeeling base but keeping fresh and pleasant through storage. Almost out of this one one but I will definitely be re-stocking it.
Hope you all have a nice day!
I really love this tea blend! When I ordered this, I knew I would probably enjoy it; I was absolutely right, and have been drinking it a lot!
This has everything I love in a tea. Not fussy, good anytime of day, resteeps wonderfully for another cup, and most important – so delicious!
Beautiful dry leaf that brews a fulfilling, smooth and and perfectly balanced cup of tea, with notes of honeyed malt, cocoa, pastries and a hint of fruitiness.
This is my perfect anytime tea, and I actually wish I bought more than just one tin!
dexter is awesome and portioned out a little of this one from her stash for me to have again. I have the 2014 version but it’s got nothing on the 2013 version. Sadly i missed my chance to pick up more of the 2013 version :(
Alongside this one, i’m also drinking a tea of the same name from dexter’s tea pusher. Both have that deliciously chocolatey taste…i think i like dexter’s tea pusher just slightly but both are different enough that i could drink both all day….every day lol. so good. i just hope 2015 version from YS will be more like 2013. :(
thank you so much dexter!
Sipdown! 2/6 tins. 4 more to go. And might be getting more on Thursday if they are still in stock at the Lupicia store! :D
I seriously drink this tea so much. It never gets old. One of the best teas I’ve ever had. I can’t imagine not having this again. It’s the perfect tea for when I can’t drink caffeine! :D
Also the second tin of this went super fast. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a 50g bag THAT fast before. This is why I need more haha
Breaking out the 2007 Xiaguan flame to try it again. According to my tasting notes I got this 3 years ago (from mandala). I remember being so impressed that I went back and bought another cake. My plan for the second cake is to let it age for 20 years so I can drink the first cake in the meantime. :)
This seems to be aging ok in my closet. It seems slightly more mellow than I remember it, however it is still potent. Definitely a smoky aftertaste but sweet also. Xiaguans can be really bitter if you use boiling water and steep them for too long. I usually give mine very short steeps and use water around 200F. Doing that I get a sweetish/honey aftertaste for the most part.
I love the energy this cake gives me, and the aroma is like a smoky forest. Somehow it is meditative and energizing at the same time. This is one sheng that gets me kind of tea drunk. I think I need to get another one of these… ;)
Omg guys. If anyone has this and doesn’t like it PLEASE I WILL BUY IT OR SWAP OR ANYTHING. Ahem.
Basically, this tea is amazing, and it’s the closest I will ever probably taste to my beloved Banana Oolong from DavidsTea (although I am going to petition hard for the new 52teas to replicate this, if I remember). It’s a bit different, of course – I can distinctly taste the walnut in here – but the rest is much the same. Delicious oolong base (it works SO well with these flavours), natural banana flavour (no runts!), butterscotch to give the bananas a bit of a caramelized flavour, which is amazing. I am so glad I bought a second pouch of this… but 1 ounce is not enough of this tea. Not even close. Had I the opportunity, I would probably pick up at least 4 ounces of this (probably more). I miss you Butiki :(
Last of my ESGreen samples – I saved this one for last because this was the one I was most looking forward to trying.
This isn’t really doing it for me tonight. It’s a bit too finicky, some astringent, and not at all in my preferred flavor profile. If you get the steep just right it is fruity, but it also has some bitter cocoa notes, maybe even a hint of molasses. Just a little oversteeped and it turns really aggressive on the bitter notes, maybe a hint of smoke.
I’m sure this is a quality tea it’s just not for me.
All in all though I’ve been really happy with the samples I got from them. Really liked 3 of the 4 and would consider ordering from them again. LOL I have a BUNCH of loyalty points so I SHOULD order from them again.
Another sample from nannuoshan. The directions on this one warn not to steep for longer than 5 secs unless you can handle the intensity. This is probably what i’m least a fan of with this one :) I accidentally steeped this one for about 10 sec and it was too bitter for me. While i didn’t mind the taste of this one…it’s a little finicky for me as far as a puerh goes. that being said, if you DO steep this one with the short steeps, it’s a pretty smooth puerh and worth the time spent enjoying it. it’s refreshing, slightly sweet and enjoyable! thank you again gabriel!
Sweet baby Jesus…this might be the best Da Hong Pao I have ever had.
This lovely tea came as a gift from the wonderful boychik.
Looking at the beautifully crafted leaves, I had a feeling I was in for a treat.So I packed my little 70ml DHP yixing pot with a shitload of tea, cause that’s the way I like it :-)
Very short steeps are required for rock oolong, a few seconds is sufficient.
My first steep was whoa!! A burst a flavor!!
In a nutshell: juicy, toasty, nutty, sharp, mineral, sweet, with big notes of stone fruits and cocoa…yes, this tea has it all!!
It’s complex, it keeps changing, adding different layers and subtleties to each steep.
It’s simply stunning, in every possible ways.
It was such a privilege to get the chance to try it, and thanks to boychik’s generosity, I have plenty left for a few more sessions. Thank you :-)
On a side note, I want to mention that after sampling a few of their teas, I was impressed enough to place my first order with Joseph Wesley. Well I was even more impressed with the service that I received! I want to thank you Joseph for your impeccable customer service, you made all the difference… I already know I will be a returning customer.
Breaking this one out from a a swap with a tea-friend.
I got 10 grams of this in the Gaiwan and went to town with it.
The wet leaf gave an almost cinnamon aroma to it. Quite an alluring aroma for a puerh.
I started the steeps at about 3 seconds ,3 times for my big “western” cup.
This tea has a light orange color to it. Since it was stored in Kunming it hasn’t aged as much as a wetter stored one. This is very interesting, smoke is definitely present in this brew. It is a bit strong in the early steeps. I read some reviews on Yunnan Sourcings site and only 1 other person noted this. This tea has nice notes of cinnamon , nutmeg and camphor in its notes. It is a very engaging and active tea in the mouth. It lingers on a while after you finish the cup. The resteeps seem to be going well and the flavor profile has not diminished much at all. I will continue on with this tonight. This is campfire, nutmeg ,cinnamon and camphor fighting for their taste note.
Note to smoky notes, if you don’t like them I would not tell you to try this. If you don’t mind this may be an older sheng to relish as it progresses.
Flavors: Camphor, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Smoke
I will happily take this off anyone who doesn’t love theirs. For me, this is the right blend of a strong base, mixed with just the right amount of mint and cheesecake flavouring. This is NOT a travel mug tea. This is a sit at home and enjoy the aroma and the deliciousness of this tea while the outside world goes by. A little bit of sugar added to this, just makes everything pop while still allowing me to enjoy the deliciousness of the suncha base.
(Backlog from 2 days ago)
If you are Canadian like me, you know it’s no fun to shop for tea from our dear American neighbors at the moment. Our dollar is sinking and the exchange is terrible.
I have turned to Tao Tea Leaf recently, they are based in Ontario. My love has grown so much for this company. They offer exceptional quality and you can find many different superior oolongs.
This one is no exception. It’s exquisite and sophisticated.
Baozhong is very lightly oxidized. It tastes like a breathe of fresh air.
Very floral, think lilac.
It’s also as buttery and creamy as can be, with a sweet aftertaste.
I could drink this every day that’s how much I like it. And I might just do that :-)
Pics of the session:
I had some work booked for early this morning, so I made up a cup of tea that I knew would be delicious and reliable, and it was.
Then just after 9am, they started testing the fire alarm. Which has been going off every five minutes for the last two hours. So I’m a bit grumpy and I had to reschedule some of my day.
I’m feeling kind of thrown off, but with moving in a week, I’ve got a whole lot of stuff to do, and I can’t just write off a whole day because of a fire alarm.
Flavors: Malt, Sweet Potatoes
This is one of those messed up (yet always wonderful) purchases that I made in a Brussels-based Asian grocery store called Tinie’s (tiny’s). I wanted an instant ginger tea/drink but without all the extra crud, and found this. Only ingredient? Ginger. Yes! Tricky to discover though, I had to really scour the packaging (it’s all in Thai) and then the ONLY native part of the packaging in English, other htan “Ginger Extract 100%” and a blurb I’ll share on the tea page, was the URL gingen.com. Excellent!
Anyway, to the tea/drink. It’s spicy, it comes in those cute little individual packages, it’s solid, it’s dependable. Is it amazing? No… but it’s instant ginger granules, and I always want some of those on hand in cold weather.
Flavors: Ginger, Spicy
mmmmmm delicious! working from home today so i’m trying at least a couple of the samples dexter sent my way since i have time to enjoy them…sort of haha
there are malt notes in this tea and some underlying chocolate notes that are very faint i had a couple steeps of this one and it was thoroughly enjoyable. This would be one that i would consider picking up if i place an order through streetshop88 :)
Cheers to another sip down! I know my Butiki notes must be sounding on the negative side lately, but mostly because I purposely took some of my lesser favourites with me to polish off, leaving all my favourites behind. Those precious favourites.
This last cup, as usual, has the most flavour, almost akin to the apple cider flavouring I detected in the guayusa a couple years ago, but it’s still obscenely faint. Hmm, as I’m sitting here typing whilst my mug sits right in front of me, I can smell for the first time ever a faint butterscotch note, very similar to butterscotch Lifesavers.
But alas, I can’t taste that. Only the apple. Damn, if only it tasted like that. Butterscotch oolong. Sounds wonderful.
My favorite so far out of the samples I tried from Tea Ave. The oolong looks great with nice delicately large leaf. The flavor is rich, roasty nutty with a strong peach apricot aftertaste. Later infusions got kinda dry, but the after taste was still going.
I really want to get my hands on more of this tea to get a full gong fu experience – it was originally bagged (and whole leaf!) and I gong fu steeped it with the 3 grams I had.
Full review and preview of Tea Ave teas on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/tea-ave-oolong-preview/
Mmm fudgey, chocolate, vanilla and malt. A very tasty, smooth way to start my morning.
Thank you so much for sharing, Lindsay! I can see buying some of this someday, when the Canadian dollar is stronger, but I can definitely live without it for now, especially since I have Tippy’s Not So Vanilla.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Vanilla
Based on the aroma of the dry and brewed tea, I really wasn’t expecting to like this one much. It just doesn’t have a lot of aroma – kind of like artificial flavouring, and tea. Not really chocolate, not really spice (though perhaps I wouldn’t want to be smelling that anyhow). However, completely different story for the flavour. The first flavour is a distinct honey-sweetness (argh! I bet that’s from the base tea, and now I’m sorely regretting not tasting this sooner and nabbing more of either it or the plain base), followed by a wave of dark chocolate, finishing off with a growing chili heat that prevents me from having more than a couple sips at a time because WOW it’s potent.
So anyways, this is pretty good. Definitely the best chocolate/chili tea I’ve had, because 1) there is actually a good dose of heat, and 2) the base here was a perfect choice. The chocolate here is nothing overly special, but everything works very well together – it was a genius move to use whatever this base is (a leafhopper-bitten tea of some sort, I imagine), because the natural sweetness really melds the flavours. Kind of sad I didn’t get more, but it’s ok, because to be honest, I probably wouldn’t pick out a spicy tea all that often, since spicy kind of screams heartburn to me (hopefully that’s not the end result, but my brain associates the two).
Happy I got a half ounce of this, and looking forward to an embarrassingly large amount of Butiki headed my way… (1 box almost here, 1 box just mailed, 1 box probably being mailed today, a few teas being mailed to Sil, and a few more teas in VariaTea’s possession. Yikes.)
ETA: This tea is so freaking amazingly delicious. So much honey goodness. I’m glad I have some Sansia Black headed my way if it tastes anything like this tea.
Went on a bit of a tea/teaware shopping spree last night. Ohhhhh Mandala – I love Mandala Tea, and was spending the evening trying to put together an order – it’s tough when there are so many awesome choices.
Anyway I was drinking the amazing Noble Mark while I was shopping. I love this tea. I don’t drink it often enough and I don’t write enough tasting notes about it. I was using my little yixing shou pot and stopped counting at 9 steeps – but I’m quite sure I got to at least 15. It just keeps getting smoother and more mellow as you go. It starts really nice and doesn’t go through any icky stages. Maybe not as “complex” as some like – but you know what your going to get with this one. It’s always good – it can handle some “oops I let that steep too long”. One of my all time favorite teas.