Featured & New Tasting Notes

93

Cold Brew Sipdown (138)!

Wow, I guess I was in a watermelon mood yesterday? I didn’t even realize until literally just now writing this note that I had two different watermelon blends yesterday. I should have gone for the trifecta and drank some Watermelon Xylophone as well.

This is a sadder sipdown for me; I really enjoyed the balance of mellow but sweet watermelon notes and then the softer vegetal/grassy notes of the oolong in addition to light floral notes. This was always so beautiful and nuanced; and I thoroughly enjoyed it every time I drank it – be that hot or cold. Sadly, it’s all sold out now so this probably truly is goodbye.

After finishing off a few LP blends recently, I’m excited to welcome some new(er) ones back into my cupboard come Black Friday though. Personally, as a Canadian, the best Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal a company can offer is free shipping ‘cause typically speaking I like to use BF/CM to sample new things which means smaller orders: free shipping makes that so much more justifiable, especially when shipping to Canada is usually hella expensive. And LP’s BF deal is just that; free shipping for Canadians.

Definitely feeling the love, and I can tell you right now that while I’m not totally decided on what I want to order I will be ordering something.

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90

Dark leaf, dark reddish orange soup, sweet raisin, sweet feel & some other natural/woodsy Yiwu notes. Not bitter, fairly refined & elegant taste. Sweet fruit aroma. The woody note shares a similarity with Wuyi Oolong, its a really easy drinking one.

Later steeps 5+ there was a gorgeous complex stonefruity/natural/menthol/woodsy flavour. It had a kaleidoscope huigan effect which stayed kept me on my toes – these steeps were really good.

By steep 10 or so, i was in the 1:20 range, the flavour huigan started subsiding but there was still something natural there, the soup was still pretty dark.

I hit this with 90c into my thermos so, 85c or so, & did 1/5/10/15/20/25/30/40/60/1:20 etc

Flavors: Fruity, Menthol, Stonefruits, Sweet, Wood

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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85

This is a very nice tasting black tea. There is very little malt flavor to this one. The roasting seems to bring out a sweet note in this tea. The Yunnan Sourcing write up mentions eucalyptus and sugarcane. I’m not really getting the eucalyptus but sugarcane is a possible interpretation as is ripe cherries. This is a flavorful and complex tea. Most importantly the roasting is not overdone.

I brewed this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and boiling water for 3 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

My only tea today so i made it a good one. Woke up early after a late night and walked 10 km to get to the don valley meeting point to then spend another 3 hours walking and raking leaves in the valley to prep the trails for winter. It was exhausting but TOTALLY worth it. Made myself a travel mug full of this one to enjoy through the day. delicious chocolatey goodness. So glad i still have a bunch of this.

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100

Mmmm this tea was so good, vanilla and slight chocolate notes that feel like a warm hug in my mouth!
Sipdown today, but I think they are having a cyber Monday sale…

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I’m so behind on backlogs. I was saving something for note 666, but after the divisive reaction to the U.S. election, I deemed a themed tea inappropriate. There is so much that I could deconstruct and rant, but I am focused on the tea.

I’ve had this a few times at a great Coffee and Gelato Shop called Iorio’s to settle stomach and headaches. It does the job, but my main criticism is how much Turmuric the tea has. It’s practically an herbal Emegen-C packet. Not bad, but not great. Solid enough for me to keep buying. I do enjoy the ginger taste on its own, however. I overall prefer this for its medicinal properties over a pleasantly acceptable taste.

twinofmunin

i do enjoy this one for its non-caffeinatedness and medicinal properties… bedtime sipper on sore days, or the like.

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92

Finishing this off today. It was my second favorite of around 8 spring black teas I got from YS. First being the classic Laoshan.

Malty, caramelly, sweet potato, and a hint of chocolate are what I’m getting.

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86

This is a nice malty black with undertones of dark chocolate. It is quite enjoyable even though it only got steeped western style today.

I brewed 3 tsp leaf in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with boiling water for 3 minutes.

Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I’ve played with 4 different orchestras over the last month (4 different programs as well). This weekend marks the 5th orchestra. We’re playing The Nutcracker.

Here’s my favorite link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk5Uturacx8&t=482s
I love this rendition, because everyone is so animated, they all play so well, and the Conductor is so awesome and uninhibited. :)
Note: the above link is NOT the orchestra I’m playing with!

Anyway, I’m taking break from practicing to enjoy multiple steepings of this tea.

Sweet stone fruits, honey, hops, bee pollen, and a little eucalyptus. It’s very sweet. The energy of it reminds me of a Sheng, and the mouthfeel is smooth, thick, & tangy like grapes. The aroma is rich & fruity, and lingers in my sinuses like a primo incense.

Very satisfying! Something about this tea reminds me of those alcohol drenched fruitcakes my mom used to make during the HoliDaze (back in the 60’s). They were loaded with dried fruits, soaked in Brandy, and then allowed to ‘cure’ for a few weeks.

gmathis

This is your busy season, isn’t it?

tea-sipper

Yum, this is one of my favorite teas. :D

Terri HarpLady

@Gg, it is definitely one of my busy seasons, and the action will be practically non-stop until xmas day! Which is good for my bank account :)

Terri HarpLady

and fun, of course!

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70
I wanted to have the power of Naka before work today, but it didn’t happen with this Naka. I now realize that White2Tea has changed my perception of “good” Naka versus “okay” Naka.

Sure you’re looking at your computer screen and/or phone saying, “But S.G., you’re feeling entitled to only have the best Naka; therefore be happy that you even had the chance to try this Naka.”

I am happy to have had this Naka, but it’s just not for me (not today at least).

Notes on the flavor profile: Thick mouthfeel. Sweet and “creamy,” as in the thickness of the liquid makes it creamy…? There were subtle notes of caramel, wood, and earthy undertones.

This wasn’t my favorite ripe or Naka, but it was worth a try.

Flavors: Earth, Thick, Wood

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75
drank Jingmai Beauty by Farmerleaf
277 tasting notes

This tea’s a little difficult for me to review – I have very little experience with Oriental Beauty oolongs, which this tea is supposed to be similar to. The dry leaf smells malty with just a hint of raisin to it. After a rinse I smell mostly malt with a bit of cocoa. The leaf looks very interesting – rolled up kind of like a Taiwanese Oolong.

The first steep is mostly some malty sweetness with just a touch of pleasant bitterness. Doesn’t really tell you a whole lot about where the tea is going after, but a pleasant enough cup.

After that, the tea moves into the flavor profile which it has for most of the session, dominated by a sweet milk chocolate note. It’s sweeter than a dark chocolate and there’s really not a lot of bitterness to it. It also has a bit of a milky texture – somewhere between skim and whole milk. I know it’s super pretentious sounding to say that a tea has the texture of 1% milk, but that’s pretty much what I’m saying here. This goes steadily for around six steeps. Other flavors try to poke their heads through at times, but are unable to assert themselves for more than a single steep – some floral or honey notes, just a little bit of dark fruitiness, like raisins or dark grapes. I almost feel like I might be imagining them trying to pick out different flavors.

It finishes off with two or three more steeps that are pretty light and a little bit drying. More malt than chocolate in the sweetness by this point.

I would put this one more in the category of a black tea than an oolong. If it is technically an oolong, it’s oxidized almost to the point of being a black tea anyways. The flavors were pretty enjoyable, but I was underwhelmed by how quickly it vanished from my mouth. With a lot of quality teas, I enjoy how long the flavor lingers – this one is pretty blunt, you taste it while it’s in your mouth, then it’s gone. Might linger a few seconds but that’s it. I don’t know why this is the case – I think it’s decent leaf, but perhaps because it’s a summer harvest? Not sure.

This one was good, and could be nice for fans of chocolatey black teas who want to taste one specifically from Jingmai, but I don’t know that I’d recommend it to somebody wanting something like a typical Oriental Beauty style oolong.

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Milk, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Rasseru

I get the 1% milk thing. It’s something about the oil in some tea. Others call this ‘rounded’ but I really get milk texture. Clear in my brain

Rasseru

My favourite obs have been a bit spicy & honey, not malty, but woody like a 2nd flush Darjeeling can get

Matu

Hmm, I should try some more of them. I remember the one I tried having pretty fruity plummy notes to it.

Rasseru

Oh which was that? I’d love to try a plummy one

Matu

Mine was from Mountain Tea – where are your favorite(s) from?

Rasseru

Mine was mountain tea as well, the red caddy award winner :) I get honey notes from it

Matu

Mine was just the basic one (not the cake one either) – I’ll have to get some others to try. I didn’t love the one I tried. Seemed like an ultra fruity black tea. Generally not a huge fan of black teas.

Rasseru

nor am i, & I find that OB is one I drink less than other teas now (i used to love it so much)

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78

dexter sent this one my way which is nice ‘cause i’ve never heard of this company. this is a lighter yunnan. There’s nothing here to knock my socks off but it’s still a pleasant, middle of the road tea for me. No caramel notes for me, but i’ve got more to play with to see if i can find the best way to brew it :) regardless i good cup of tea! thanks dex!

Terri HarpLady

Good morning!

Sil

i miss you!

Terri HarpLady

I miss you too! I miss having time to write tea reviews! I’m practicing my @$$ off for back to back orchestra gigs! This week it’s the Nutcracker. Also, there is the Post-Election-Pre-Apocolypse to contend with ;)

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81
drank Yunnan Pearl by Red Blossom Tea Company
7959 tasting notes

i’m back from vacation. While it was a great vacation…i got to drink NO tea because a) the water had a dirt like quality that i wasn’t loving and b, the kettle at the place we were staying at was just…NO.

so i’m happy to be back drinking tea… sadly i got carried away with catching up at work while drinking this one so i don’t have a lot to say yet. the colder it gets, the more chocolate notes poke through, but i for sure need to have this one again. Glad dexter was able to send enough for me to have a couple cups :)

Evol Ving Ness

Welcome back, Sil! I am not going to ask where you were because I have been away from steepster and out of the loop. I will read up and maybe all the mysteries will reveal themselves. And if not, then I will ask.

Evol Ving Ness

And also, no tea! oh, horrors.

gmathis

No tea = no vacation :)

Sil

gmathis = true!

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74

So last week I had a doctors appointment. It was fairly routine, and, at the time, we had some good solutions for the small problem I was currently having. They took some various samples, however, to run the basic levels of tests, and they got in touch yesterday.
One of the tests has come back bad. Its now a question of just how bad. It could be something that is handled easily, in a few treatments, and then I’m on my way again. It could also be something that could have some very serious, long term health problems.
Its not cancer, I’ll throw that out there right now. My life is not in danger, as far as I know. But if its progressed pretty far, then it might have changed what will happen to me for the rest of my life in a fairly significant way.
I feel a little blank, and a little upset, and a little worried. I’m not quite sure what happens now.
I’m not really sure why I’m telling you all this. Because you are friends, I guess, and my immediate circle of people are not going to get told until I have a more conclusive answer to “how much will this affect my life”.
So I drank this today because I wanted something soft and gentle, and this fit the bill.
I don’t know if that means I’ll be here a lot more, or a little less. I know I shall be needing tea at this time.

Sil

hugs

gmathis

Praying for healing, easy treatment, and great peace for you.

Roswell Strange

I’m not a person of faith, but I’ll ask my family who does believe in prayer to keep you in theirs. I hope that on the scale of bad to worst, this is only a minor bump in the road for you.

Evol Ving Ness

Dear Rosehips, may this all pass smoothly and easily. As one who has had rather serious health concerns over the recent years with a heavy toll on my lifestyle, I can tell you that doctors and tests are not always right and often, prognosis changes several times before the real state of things emerges. And hugs to you. Not an easy thing when our body begins to betray us.

Mookit

Sending you lots of love and strength, and wishing you well <3

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40

I’ve been drinking a lot of teas at work that I’d usually not drink at home. Fortunately, my Dad bought me tea sachets last Christmas, so I was able to stuff some up with a variety of random tea.

Now, I must first say that Angel Falls Coffee Shop carries quality cups of coffee (the only coffee I occasionally drink locally when the need suits me). However, the last time I ventured into the shop, I noticed they had a small wall dedicated to loose leaf tea. For the price of the teas ($2.50/2 oz), my friend and I grabbed a handful of the teas, and brought them to the house.

And lo and behold, I opened them for the first time two weeks ago to stuff in bags for work….

Now, I must admit that I’m not surprised that I don’t like this tea. As I previously mentioned, this place is good with coffee, but their tea is apparently horrid. I don’t know what is in the tea, but I assure you that the base is as bitter as anything, and it makes for an awful cup of tea. I must admit that when I drink this at work, I have to add some rock sugar to the cup for it to be palatable. Fortunately, my torture had ended tonight….

Overall, this is the first of a few more, so there could be a chance that I like the other 4….Only time will tell.

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Malt

AllanK

I have a local coffee shop as well that carries tea too. Their coffee is fantastic, their tea not so much.

S.G. Sanders

What surprises me is that there is another local coffee shop that I only venture into for their teas (they have few teas, but the pu-erh they carry is swell). Obviously, in this case, both shops specialize in one, but not the other.

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72
drank Kashmiri Chai by TeaTaxi
1538 tasting notes

What a disappointing Kashmiri Chai. Sure, I wasn’t expecting it to be nearly as good as my beloved Remedy’s, but come on, give me something at least semi-complex. Alas, this is mostly cinnamon hearts candy. The almonds pop through a bit once the tea has cooled substantially, but even then, not enough to make their presence even worthwhile. The other spices are hardly there too. Maybe a whisper of clove but no cardamom. I wish.

I’m down to 39! But technically not because I just bought some tea at Winners and will need to enter it into the system when I find the time. Must work on university-related stuff too. And still need to watch the most recent TWD episode. Bah!

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drank 2015 Little Walk by White 2 Tea
91 tasting notes

Has anyone else had this lately? I acquired 20 grams of this in a swap (thanks curlygc!), and this is tasting a lot different than when I last had it even 3-4 months ago. I am using more leaf and finally got a gaiwan, which I’m using for this session.

It tastes much more medicinal, bitter, mentholy, and green versus the light hay taste. Can sheng change that much in a few months? I’m very much a beginner when it comes to drinking pu-erh.

Rasseru

Yeah it can, the difference in humidity can make a change, also people rest tea for a week or so after travel.

I don’t know much about how this directly affects flavours, apart from my dry room reduces storage funk taste, but also I think it flattens some sheng after about 6 months. I’m getting a pumidor sometime

Rasseru

Your gaiwan skills might be having an effect too

JakeB

Thanks for the info! My skills could definitely affect the taste—I don’t follow exact parameters. A pumidor sounds awesome!:)

mrmopar

A pumidor will help quite a bit.

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80

This is an excellent malty black tea. It does seem to have some caramel notes to it. Those are really the only two notes I get but I just brewed this western style.

I steeped this one time in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with three tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 minutes.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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75

f I had to choose between dark oolong or green oolong, for me it would be green every time. I find them characterful and unique, with more variation in flavour than I’ve typically found (at least so far…) among their roasted counterparts. And that’s coming from a habitual black tea drinker.

Himalayan Shangri-la is a Nepalese Oolong from 2015. It’s a first flush, or spring, oolong comprising highly graded leaves taken from a single estate.

The leaf here is pretty impressive – they’re long and twisty, with a high predominance of downy buds, and vary from a dark khaki to the palest green-silver. The scent is lightly vegetal and just a touch floral, in the way of orchids.

http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/11/15/himalayan-shangri-la-from-teabox/

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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I gongfu steeped this and got this Dian Hong to produce some excellent sweet apricot, malt, molasses, and mineral flavors. The flavor is full force (though I did ratio on the high side), and got a nice silky texture. A little bit of astringency at the final 9th steep, but no bitterness.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/04-dian-hong-congfu-joseph-wesley-black-tea-tea-review/

Preparation
1 g 0 OZ / 13 ML

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75

I wanted to try this one, as it seems like many almond teas that other tea companies sell, but there was a mention of hibiscus in the description. So either it meant they were mistaking the beetroot for hibiscus or this was a different blend. There is hibiscus in this one, so it is different! Otherwise, it does taste very similar to that almond blend so many others sell, but there is a tanginess from the hibiscus. I can’t say I like this one more, as I’m not a fan of hibiscus. Variation on a theme, if you will. But otherwise, I love the apple and almond flavor that is just perfect for a no-caff option.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons // just boiled // 4-5 minute steep

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88

This tea started out as a very complex mix of notes of spice, vegetal notes, camphor, and even medicinal notes. It did not in my opinion have a strong start. But by about the fifth steep it began to become a sweet and smooth raw puerh. By the twelfth steep it was very sweet and very smooth. Not quite the apricots of a new sheng but still sweet. It was overall very good. This would not be a good tea to steep western style however because the good notes took a while to emerge. This is definitely an example about how gongfu brewing can improve a tea dramatically.

I steeped this tea twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 9.1g leaf and 190 degree 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, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 min. I could have kept going with this tea but I decided I had had enough caffeine for today.

Flavors: Camphor, Medicinal, Spicy, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 9 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Well, I grabbed a sample of this one today on my way home from work ‘cause it was on my Project Tea Wall list, and I can’t remember who but someone here on Steepster had recommended it so I figured I’d check this one off sooner rather than later.

However, it looks like I actually HAVE tried this one before! Oops; guess I messed up putting it on the list. To be fair, it was three years ago though so that kind of explains why I didn’t remember trying it – a revisit certainly isn’t a bad thing at this point. Especially since it looks like I’m getting a bit of a cold. Gross. Anything to combat that.

Looks like overall I didn’t much like this one back three years ago; gotta say that this time around I’m not a huge fan either though just reading old tasting notes I do think I’m enjoying it more now than I did then. It’s a weird mix of soothing mint, herby type flavours, orange, and… mango? I’m 100% getting mango notes which is strange ‘cause reading my old tasting notes from this one I didn’t mention mango at all. Another difference is that I’m really not tasting the catnip which I think was a bit part of why I disliked this the first time around.

Yeah; I just double checked and this is DEFINITELY a different formula from the blend I tried three years ago. So I guess a revisit was especially called for. It looks like when this one was reformulated the catnip and stevia were removed, and mango flavouring was added. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen DAVIDsTEA take the stevia out of a blend… Huh.

Still not my jam overall; but an improvement from the old formula. And to be fair I think a lot of people drinking this are probably gonna be doing so as a cold fighter/sick tea and on that front I will say that after finishing my mug I do feel a lot less stuffed up than when I started it. Probably largely thanks to the mint.

Friendly reminder that I’m not currently numerically rating DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m seasonally employed there and it would be a conflict of interest.

Mookit

Wait… Catnip?

Roswell Strange

Yeah; it was one of the original ingredients. I’ve actually had it in a few different teas now – it tastes kind of minty and kind of grassy? Also a little bit sour, in an unpleasant way. My understanding is that it was in the original blend ‘cause it helps fight off colds and is good for digestion – but I think it also does the same thing for menstrual cramps that raspberry leaf does, and I’ve heard that is also stimulates appetite.

Mookit

Huh, silly me thought it was literally only useful to cats. I’ll have to investigate catnip tea blends!

Kristal

I think I was the one who mentioned it lol. I am a fan of mint and grassy tasting teas so this one is for me. Sorry you didn’t care for it. I’m glad they removed stevia, though!

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90

Finishing this off. Sad to see it go, but excited to see what other awesome creations Andrew comes up with. This one has really “hit the spot” every time that I’ve had it.

I steeped this longer to get more of the coffee in there. Thankfully the Jin Xuan didn’t become bitter with the longer steeps. Nice roasty, greens flavor in this one.

Flavors: Green, Roasted, Spinach

Rasseru

I loved this one. The slightly salty taste really balances nicely

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