Featured & New Tasting Notes
Another one of my faaaaavorites (#39). Why was this only rated 90? It deserves higher, in my estimation, so I bumped it up. I love the flavor combos here, even if they are a bit hard to pull apart. They work for me. Even though I don’t find any of these flavors (fruits, honey) particularly Christmasy, I do associate this yarn with the holidays since it was at that time that I first had it.
Thank you so much for this sample, Tea Ave!
I have never tried an Osmanthus Oolong before, and honestly, I was a little nervous that this would be a really flowery tea (flowery teas can be hit or miss with me…). However, upon opening the sample packet, I was hit with this sweet honey stone fruit fragrance. Jammy and sweet!
The liquor is a really gorgeous golden yellow. I followed the instructions on the pouch for gaiwan brewing, using 8grams. If I were to do this again, I think I’d use less leaf. This tea is so flavourful that I really think I could personally use less leaf and still get a perfectly lovely session out of it (just a note to myself for next time).
The steeped tea itself is really wonderful… creamy, buttery mouth feel with honey, fruity loveliness. It may only be 16F outside, but I have spring in my cup. :)
The second steep yielded a darker, deeper liquor with a more vegetal base (spinach and kale, like)… this steep was almost roasty.
I truly love the finish of this, too… it’s so sweet and lingers for quite some time.
I love finding out that I like something I would’ve thought I wouldn’t… Osmanthus, you’re pretty great. :)
Wow, I’ve been working on this batch of cold brew for two days now. I added something like four teaspoons of leaf to 2 litres of water and it is actually really strong, to the point that it’s syrupy. It’s extremely tart, as well. I drank like a litre of it yesterday, then filled the jug up again and it barely even changed colour, it’s that concentrated. It’s better this morning. I’m tasting more of the citrus and not just tart hibiscus with a hint of fruitiness. Note to self: maybe only try two teaspoons next time.
OK – I’m just having a morning of surprises – this one too is not at all what I was expecting.
I’ve had flowering cones before and none of them were anything like these.
First sip – wow caramel – second sip – fruity. If I didn’t know better I would almost think this was a flavored tea. Not malty at all, zero sweet potato (there is sweet but no starchiness). It’s not at all like any straight black tea I’ve had – it’s missing the “blackness”. Almost a little salty – I really want to say salted caramel with a hint of apricot (stone fruit anyway). These are really good – strange, but I like it.
Thank you so much Sil for another interesting experience. :)
I liked this tea before, and I am liking it even more today. My daughter and I drank a liter of puerh from just one teaspoon of leaves and even the final steep has nice color and plenty of flavor. I didn’t scimp on early steeps, but made one or two of them extra bold with long steep times, because I enjoy strong puerh when it is smooth and has no bitterness.
I get the most flavor from puerh when I am patient and let it cool a bit before drinking. This is extra creamy today, especially the later steeps.
I don’t usually see puerh graded as first, second, third, etc. it is usually just named. So my first impression when I recieved the samples was that first grade was the good one and seventh would be passable. Instead, first grade is the layered and nuanced one good for quiet times, and seventh grade is the highly enjoyable daily drinker with lots of virtue of its own, my favorite at this moment being the creamy, weighty feel with its lightly cedar oiliness.
I think this would be an excellent choice for my husband’s new tea center that we are putting together for him at work.
As some of you might know, jin jun mei’s fall in to 2 categories for me – yes and no. lol They’re very hit and miss for me, but i continue to try various ones to see if there is a perfect one for me. This one, from Anlina falls on the “yes” side. this was a nice cup of tea yesterday – smooth and slightly smoky with a little sweetness on the side, sort of like sweet potatoes. All in all, a nice cup! thanks so much Anlina!
Dear God. My eleven year old niece is staying with me this weekend while her mother is out of town house hunting. I need caffeine this morning! Being single and childless, I am used to having everything stay the same. I mean, when I clean the kitchen, it stays pretty much clean unless I dirty it. Today there is a winter coat in the middle of the kitchen floor. One child sized boot is under the table, and the other is god knows where. I asked her and she got this blank look on her face and said “I don’t know.” She lost her phone twice in two hours. When she does have her phone, she’s on it texting her friends. She uses a different glass for each can of pop she’s had (she was supposed to have ONE) and leaves the glasses in the living room. As a treat I bought her PEEPS. (shudder. I hate those things) and she ate the entire package last night. She told me she gets up really early, so I showed her where the frozen French toast strips were and told her to help herself to breakfast in the morning. I got up at 7:30. She was dead asleep. I made tea (did I mention how badly I needed caffeine?) and took it and my laptop back to my room to let her sleep. At 8:30 she came to my room to tell me she was starving. I now have a far better understanding of my sister’s weariness. NO wonder she looks so frazzled all the time. I love my niece, but I am clearly not cut out for children.
WHY DON’T THEY COME WITH AN OFF SWITCH????!!!
Tea helps. A little.
5g 140ml 95C flash rinsed twice
30 sec – that was a little too long – was a little in your face aggressive, but I don’t mind bold pu’erh so did another 30 sec steep and dumped them together. Yummy. It has a little fermentation taste to it but nice and smooth. It’s rich, it’s a little malty, but it’s all shou.
Backed down the steeps a little did 20 and 25 sec – this is getting a little chocolaty, a little woody, there is some fresh forest mustiness to it.
30 and 45 – this is just getting better and better.
I don’t think it’s as good as the other StreetShop88 shou that I have
but it’s really tasty. That one is more of a cross between black tea and pu’erh. This one is all shou – and I don’t mind that at all. I would be very happy to have a cake of this in my house for those nights that you just want a big bold shou with no nasty….
Thank you so much Sil for sharing this – really happy you got some and shared it. :)
Edit: OMG steeps 9 and 10 – I’m in LOVE…..
Desperate need for comfort tea today. I’ve tried for two days to review my last Simple Loose Leaf sample, and I have a stack of What-Cha and Whymm to get to, but at the moment it is just not going to happen.
I haven’t posted much lately. Really haven’t felt well for a couple weeks. The medicine the pulmonologist put me on 6 weeks ago worked fine for a month. Got it refilled and it was like a switch flipped. I’m back to not being able to do much of anything without becoming out of breath and I’ve never smoked a day in my life. Even making tea is work at the moment.
Checked with the pharmacy, his records show the refill is from the same supplier. He exchanged the old ones for some out of a different bottle but it appears the problem is me. Guess I will be making the trip back to the doctor for a different medicine.
On top of that, I got my welcome to Medicare packet in the mail. Kind of a reality jolt. It won’t kick in until July. It takes two and a half years once you admit to yourself you are disabled to get Medicare. My doctor tried to convince me so a year sooner – stupid man pride. The last year I worked, I would sit in my car for 5 minutes after everyone else left while I waited for my blue fingers to turn pink so I could drive home. Here’s your sign.
You have to be unable to work for six months to be considered disabled by the government, then two more years before Medicare kicks in. It’s stupid. The intention is to prevent abuse I guess but really it is much easier on the abuser to go without during the waiting period. The politicians and the press have turned it into a political football. Having been on both sides of the issue, I do understand. Anyway I am feeling a little old and battered today.
Sorry for the over sharing. Just hoping it might encourage someone who is struggling to hold on. Tomorrow is a new day.
While I wait for better days ahead with some new drugs, I am enjoying this my favorite peasant tea.
Oh. My. Goodness.
This is amazing.
It’s everything I love about ripe puerh….
Mineral notes (which always come out as baked-good…almost baking powder/cream of tartar notes to me)…. raisin like, sweet and so deep…
Yes. This is a definite ‘add to cupboard when you can!’ type tea….
Thank you SO MUCH Dexter for sending this to me to try… It’s even better than I had hoped! :)
Sample from Tao Tea Leaf this morning. It’s an enjoyable tea, I would say sweet and smooth really describes it. It’s definitely a bit on the lighter side when it comes to body and has a good cocoa flavor. Amazing no bitterness or astringency at all. I steeped this for 3 minutes and it’s still a bit on the light side, overall I think I prefer black teas with a bit more heft. This was tasty but probably won’t be a repurchase for me.
This may be the only oolong, at least with Stacy’s steeping parameters, where I enjoy the first steep the most. Usually it takes somewhere between the 2nd-4th.
I’m getting quite a bit of melon and floral butter in this cup- it’s as good of a send off as I could’ve hoped for!
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Melon
I thought it was almost time to go home like an hour ago, so it’s been decided that I need a cup of this, liquid joy, to distract me while I wait out the rest of my day..
It’s so good and I will miss it.
(I’m not convinced that guayasa really wakes me up but maybe I’m just immune to everything. I mean, lbr, I drank a full cup of coffee and then napped on the couch like 5 minutes after on the weekend…)
Oh this is goooooooood. I will need to taste it again in the future and pay more attention but right now I’m just loving that it tastes and smells like chocolate covered raisins. This is the most raisiny tea I’ve ever had.
Flavors: Chocolate, Raisins
Sipdown! And I am so grateful for that. I cold brewed the last of it, and while it was better (not as 90s lotiony as before), it still has these odd twangs here and there which make it hard to believe that this is a tea. To add fuel to the fire, I used the last of the cold brew to help down some castor oil since I’ll never have to drink this again anyway. DO NOT WANT.
HGTTB Pretty sure that tiesta teas just don’t work for me. If there isn’t coconut in this, then something has gone off like coconut sometimes does. This isn’t very chocolatey to me…it comes across largely as a creamy coconut tea…there’s a hint of chocolate but i’ve had other chocolate teas that i vastly prefer. good to try out though!
Now here’s a company with some serious style. Their preview samples are quite lavish. I didn’t sign up for one, but KiwiDelight was generous enough to send me her second set. It includes three tea samples, a cup & tray set, and a tote bag. I am completely enamored of this cup & tray set. The aroma cup and sipping cup are clean white porcelain. The tray is sturdy and perfectly sized for the two cups (or just the sipping cup and my little glass gong fu teapot). The letter that came with the set identifies the tray as being made of oak. However, the website offers what looks like the same set for sale and says that the tray is made of bamboo. Strange. Either way, I like it.
I inaugurated this lovely set with the Oriental Beauty. This is the first time I’ve used an aroma cup and it really makes a notable difference. It amplifies the fragrance of the tea, but also seems to reveal scents that don’t come through just from smelling the brew directly. I may have accidentally spilled tea on my laptop while trying to use the aroma cup. My laptop may now be damaged and it may cost $174 minimum to repair… this is suddenly a very expensive hobby, folks. The keyboard was all messed up when I first turned the computer on after drying it, but now it seems to be working fine so I am torn about whether to send it in for repairs if there’s no obvious debilitating damage. TBD.
The tea itself is a solid Oriental Beauty. The flavor is all honey and whole wheat toast. It’s very nice, but doesn’t really change over the course of about ten steeps. I have enough of the sample left for another cup. I think I’ll try it Western-style next time.
Thanks to KiwiDelight for sending me this set and Tea Ave for sending it to her!
Flavors: Honey, Toast
Just saw Ashmanra’s review of this – and as someone who’s gone out of their way to review teaware in the past I can’t believe I didn’t think to review this! So thank you, for the reminder to do so!
Gonna keep my review simple and to the point; I definitely like this set. It was my first experience with an aroma cup – and I’ve definitely liked it. With the help of some Youtube tutorials I’ve found it very easy to pick up. And, it really adds another layer to experiencing and review teas, and since I’ve definitely been branching out this year away from more Westernized ways of brewing it was a nice way to sort of ease even farther away from that preparation style.
I also think the size of both cups are really nice; with the amount of tea I usually brew up at a time they hold the perfect amount! The tray is nice too; usually I keep coasters or potholders on the table that I prepare/drink my tea at but it’s much more aesthetically pleasing to look at the tray instead. And finally, I appreciate how tasteful the branding on the set is; nothing splashy or in your face!
PS. Happy birthday Marzipan! Couldn’t have picked a better birthday twin! Hope you’re drinking some really good tea today to celebrate.
Ah really nice. Lovely, authentic melon smell and flavour that started off more watermelon honeydew but transitioned to cantaloupe, with a slight earthy, warm white tea base. Very enjoyable. Thank you Janelle for the sample. :)
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Earth, Hay, Honeydew, Melon
I’m not really sure how to describe this tea. I don’t think it tastes at all like chocolate, not even a little, although it leaves a little bit of a chocolate sensation in the mouth. It’s kind of earthy, with an odd taste that reminds me of Jerusalem artichokes (aka sun chokes). It also reminds me a bit of sunflower greens. It’s not bad, just very different & kind of wild tasting. Nothing wrong with that! Thanks again to my steep-sister Sil for the opportunity to sample!
Today is a Red Queen Cupcake kind of day. I told myself to indulge in a Butiki tea or two today because I’ve been letting them all sit in a pretty box in my cupboard waiting… waiting for what? For them to get old? Nuts to that.
This has lost a bit of its flavour, but at least I can still taste the chocolate and coffee notes. The strawberry note has suffered the most.
I just hope this won’t make me nauseated because I haven’t had anything for breakfast yet and it’s 2pm. Whoops, and now potential tenants have walked in to view the place. Farewell for now!