Featured & New Tasting Notes
I ended up with a little of this from Dexter and a little from Roswell Strange.
I was really hesitant about this tea because of the mint. Generally, it’s not my favourite although peppermint is ‘better’ than spearmint (and wintergreen is best). But! Colour me SHOCKED.
This is really fascinatingly tasty! I don’t really get the grapefruit at all. Mostly it’s mint and vanilla and… chocolate? White chocolate? IDK. It reminds me of those soft (English?) mints you get at weddings crossed with Tic Tacs (since they’re vanilla and mint). The texture of this tea is soft, which is weird.
I did add a little honey to combat the rooibos. :)
Here’s to my third YQH sample. I will admit that receiving these as gifts make it so much easier to review because if I had paid for them I would feel more obligated to make myself enjoy the tea rather then go through 16 to 20 steeps and just spill my thoughts on here with no regret.
Knowing that this is a blend, I know that I won’t be getting 100% of what someone else got but I do know that I will still be tasting the majority of the same notes. Leaf was easy to separate after a quick rinse (I do this so it is all opened within 8 minutes of sitting). Since this isn’t in the middle range of color, I have to assign a number for a darkness: I would say this is around a 7 to 8 out of 10 concerning darkness of a raw pu’erh That to me normally means levels of depth within the liquid as well as a more syrupy lingering in my mouth. Most of the raw I’ve had from the 80s, 90s, and 00s follow this assumption I assigned. Unfortunately, this tea only has the longevity of around 27 seconds after a sip. However, after the fifth steep it stays rather consistent which is nice because at steep 10 you are not losing the flavor profile that steep 6 had.
I was really hoping for a stronger feel as well as a lingering taste or tingle in my mouth. It has the taste of a 00s tea for sure, but I’ve had better and I don’t really want to compare prices because I feel as if this tea would only improve over a decent 5+ years according to my taste preference; which leans towards young rather than old. As this was my Easter treat, it kind of let me down because it went down and its mark was gone before 30 seconds had passed. Wait about a minute of a decent sip and you notice a bit of flatness to it that you wouldn’t get from a tea that has tingle feel or syrup like layer left in your mouth.
This tea is quite good. It is what you expect from Yunnan Sourcing. It has a very deep, almost creamy malty character, not unpleasant at all. It has some notes of chocolate in there. It is absolutely delicious.
I brewed this one time with 4 pearls, about 12g in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 200 degree water for four minutes.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
There are those of us who are rock-solid convinced that a tea shouldn’t be left longer than a few months, then there are those of us who are equally rock-solid convinced that if you store a tea decently and love it well, it can go to infinity.
This one is pretty solid proof of the latter train of thought. Somewhere over the years, I moved it from a baggie to a tight jar; it had woogled down at the bottom of my Great Big Bin O’ Odds and Ends, and this morning, it was sweet, pleasantly vanilla scented, and absolutely drinkable.
Just because something’s been buried doesn’t mean life is over yet ;) ….Happy Easter, all!
This is really good. I’ve been flash steeping and it’s mild and sweet with just the tiniest bit of bitter when I steep too long.
Thanks for sharing, Dexter. :) You should try this one. It’s an herbal-honey sweetness, IMO. Not as sweet as a moonlight, but closer to that than a bitter young raw.
1st steep (10s): Strong, rich aroma is leathery. With some spice. Smells old. Deep orange color. Good flavor and texture: coats the tongue. 2nd (10 s): Really nice. A hint of bitterness underneath a slighty sweet leather/spice flavor. Rich. Hard to separate the finish from the effects of the cha qi, but both are very powerful. 3rd (20s): There is a slight hint of ashes, similar to what I’ve seen in a few other old shengs. Not strong enough to be unpleasant, but not as nice as the previous steeps. 4th (30s): Sweeter than before, less ash. Later steeps alternated sweetness with the ash flavor and were less enjoyable.
The first two steeps were outstanding, but I lowered my rating because I didn’t like the later steeps as much. Usually I find puerh peaks at the 3rd steep (bear in mine I only use 1 gram per ounce of water and steep 10, 10, 20…). This peaked at the second, and was much less enjoyable in the later steeps. A very good tea, but after the first steep, I was hoping for greatness.
Got this as a free sample with my order a while back. Just now getting around to trying it. It’s one of their lass expensive oolongs but it’s quite good. It’s got a note that people would call buttery even if it doesn’t quite seem that way to me. It’s not too grassy or vegetal but is nice and sweet. I would really be tempted to order more of this tea. It is quite good. I have enough of the sample left for one more gongfu session. I should also note there was very little bitterness to this tea.
I brewed this eight times in a 129ml gaiwan with 7g leaf and 190 degree water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec. So far I have to say I have not gotten anything that wasn’t good from Taiwan Sourcing.
Flavors: Butter, Sweet
Drank this for three hours while working on some computer maintenance :)
Solid smell of smoke when just examining the dry leaf. Brewed this one hardcore for two steeps and tossed, left alone for 8 minutes and came back to it. Liquid has a nice middle color to it telling me that it wasn’t going to be light nor would it aggravate me with a strong taste. I ended up tasting a mixture of storage on this tea which was really odd. The one thing I noticed most was how dark the leaf became after my 3 hour session. Almost a amber hue to the leaf as if it was either dark leaf in the beginning or the storage did this. Unsure of both accounts because the taste was a bit hard for me to determine. Does this mean I don’t know my stuff or I was correct that the storage taste is mixed which makes it hard? I don’t know :/
It was an enjoyable session, but I would have prefered the other Peacock raw I’ve had from EOT over this one.
This is kind of a unique tea. I find it hard to define. It is listed as a white tea. The dry leaf resembles jasmine pearls with a lot of silver buds and without the jasmine. The steeped leaf has a lot of leaf in addition to the buds. The liquor is bright golden yellow after a two minute steep. The aroma is nutmeg and floral. Tasting it has a strong bite of the good kind of bitter. In this regard it reminds me of Chinese green tea. There is a fair amount of the nutmeg and floral in the taste. These notes, though no where near as intense, remind me of a green high mountain oolong. Under everything runs an earthy woods flavor. This is the note that most seems like a white tea. The flavor is strong but has good depth.
drink drink drink. So nice to have a day off to do absolutely nothing. watch TV, drink tea, read books, ignore work phone….. my other half is at work today and tomorrow so i’m using today to do nothing and tomorrow i’ll run errands or whatever. :) Either way, glad i took monday off as well, so that i can have a 4 day weekend!
Drinking some 2006 Wild Anchient from Awazon while at work today. For whatever reason, this taste like wet grass mixed with semi baked dough. Never had a bread like taste to a sheng before so I’m unsure what this means. I don’t particularly like this mixture, though it may work for a darker tea. The leaf looks beautiful though and doesn’t have much of a scent to it. Nice and dry, easy to pry; makes steeping it simple. Just something about the taste isn’t going so well with me
Whiteantlers, the Red (Black) Tie Guan Yin you sent me is fantastic. The dry leaf reminded me of a Laoshan Black. The leaves themselves were black strings tipped by gold. This is exactly the type of Black Tea I prefer. 30 sec, then 55 sec, 1 min 15, 3 min, and 5 min. First, I get cocoa, malt, thickness, berries, jam, and a little bit of astringency. Second, more jam and cocoa. Third a leathery quality comes out with the berry jam. The same can be said of the fourth. The fifth just has light berry jam and cocoa in light water. This is good. Really good. Thank you so much!
I am working my way through several teas produced by Tea Urchin using 2015 material. Material from Pasha Mountain in Menghai is hard to come by so I am always on the look out. This Pasha cake is beautiful to look at – whole leaves were carefully pressed to form the beeng. Pleasant fresh smells comes from the material. The tea liquor is a clear yellow-gold color. I used 4 grams of leaf in a 60 ml shibo with flash steeps. Thick and smooth with only the lightest touch of bitterness. Vegetal with a definite buttery sweetness coming through. Coats the tongue and has a bit of a drying effect on the mouth. Qi hit me after the third infusion – a nice relaxing feeling took over and I decided to take a nap. I think this has possibilities but since I have grown accustomed to drinking sheng with at least 8 years of age on them, I’ll be drinking this one rarely as I wait for it to mature.
This is a pretty good raw puerh. It was only somewhat bitter at the start with notes of apricots and stonefruits throughout all twelve steeps I gave this. It had a slightly bitter aftertaste to it. I couldn’t really taste the bamboo one way or the other, I don’t know if this is good or bad mind you. It was extremely well compressed. It took several steeps for this to open up and brew correctly. I liked this puerh.
I brewed this twelve times in a 120ml gaiwan with 8.6g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse and a 10 minute rest. 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. It would have gone a few more steeps not sure how many. I didn’t get much qi off of this.
Flavors: Apricot, Bitter, Stonefruits, Sweet
A sad moment. I’m sipping down the last of my mist valley. Also, an embarrassing moment, since I discovered that I haven’t taken the time to write a review for Steepster.
This tea isn’t great, but is a very good, solid Darjeeling-style second flush tea from Nepal. It is resistant to oversteeping, so when I just dump some in a pot and then oversteep, it still comes out well. Classic Darjeeling taste with a bit of stone fruit.
This is a nice aged fruity sheng, has decent flavour in all the right places, and mellowed out some of the not-so-nice places.
it has a nice flavour, nothing too strong, its easy drinking, but not bland. The aged taste has not overtaken the fruit, just added some complexity and depth to the brew, no off or too sharp flavours, it can take a good strong steep and still be very enjoyable. It is mellow in some places, and has a fruit preserve taste. Interesting terre de ciel say ‘fruits in alcohol’ I think thats where I get it, preserved fruits with jam & also caramel.
Ive just oversteeped it and the sourness is there but its a nice sour – great if you like a nice tangy mouth and fruity huigan to your sheng (i do). Not too astringent or drying which is nice. It did slightly delve into a ‘varnished branches’ taste (no other way for me to describe it) but nothing too major.
I liked whatever was done with this one when aged. its not too thick, or too creamy, or too… (I see a theme here) anything really but has flavour and a nice one.
Thanks again Rui for the swap!
Flavors: Alcohol, Apricot, Caramel, Fruity, Jam, Wood
Took some 2006 Yougxin Guhua from Awazon to work today. Much better than the Bulang, possibly a personally preference… maybe not. This was easy to brew, but very tight so it took time to gt it to brew up fully at work. Not so smooth, but the taste is in that middle zone of light to medium that allows for easy sipping as well as some complexity to figure out while you drink it. Since I was at work I couldn’t really figure it all out, but I can tell when a tea is worth a second try and this one falls under that category.
The time has come. I get to see what everyone is freaking out about when it comes to August Uncommon. I’ve already tried three but have been too lazy to write any notes until now. Since cardamom and I are BFF’s—and because I got only a sample of this—first August Uncommon tasting note it is.
Hot, the cardamom and vanilla are ultra present whilst the base is mild. Initially, the first sip won me over and I immediately thought that I should order more before it’s gone. As this started to cool, however, the vanilla/cardamom and base are swapping places, and this becomes more vegetal.
The second cup I’m enjoying right now isn’t as creamily vanilla-esque as yesterday evening’s. I’d say I added less leaf than yesterday but tried to keep the rest of the steeping parameters the same. I’ll gladly finish the sample size but no more for me. I hands down prefer DAVIDsTEA’s Cardamom French Toast.
Second night this month when I haven’t slept a single minute and involuntarily witnessed the sun rise. Brain please shut up?
Liquid Proust Group Buy of Aged oolong. I"m not certain that this is the correct tea, since there haven’t been any reviews for 5 years and this was a good-sized group buy.
1st is slightly woody, but the floral flavors are stronger. Rich roasted flavor appears on second sip. Very interesting tea: the flavor changes as it moves through my mouth. All of the different flavors are pleasant, but they range from light to heavy. Heaviest in the finish, where the roasted flavors dominate. 2nd: It’s obvious that the lighter floral notes are at the front of the mouth while the roast appears at the rear. Astringent at the finish. 3rd steep: Roasted aroma, and the roasted flavors hit earlier in the taste but are not overwhelming. There is still a sweet, floral note, which is strong at the finish. Later steeps became gradually less interesting as the astringency grew and the complexity lessened. I got about a dozen good steeps out of it before getting distracted and doing a 15 minute steep.
I used an unusual approach to steeping: 3 grams of tea in 50 ml with about 5 steeps of 20 seconds each before gradually increasing the steep times up to about 1 minute.
Threw myself off with this tea… I linked Fujian with my past experiences and thought this would be dark and cocoa. This ended up being a medium brew with a fruit nectar taste and texture to it. Leaf ends up going from a dark brown/black to an olive leaf with veins that show up when the color starts to pop. Aftertaste is present, adds a little viscosity to the saliva. Back of the throat is feeling dry while the mouth is not. Kind of an odd after feeling that I am not enjoying, but I will have to retry it at another time to see if the back of my throat stays dry again because that’s pretty odd.
Yay Monk’s Blend!
When my mom went to BC for her little ‘mini vacation’ over my birthday week, I told her that as my present she had to stop into a tea shop or two an pick some goodies up for me. Of course, she wanted to know what I wanted. I told her I wanted Monk’s Blend and then an assortment of whatever else caught her eye!
I cold brewed my first sampling of this; since Granville Island sources from MTC I have had this incarnation of Monk’s Blend before but it is ‘sort of’ a new experience because, of course, every store stores their teas a little differently and that factors into the flavour a touch. For example, this tastes fresher than the MTC Monk’s Blend that the Vintage Tea Room (in my city) sells. That could be because this may have been purchased more recently or the bag was only recently opened up, but I’ll wager part of that is that from the images of Granville Island that I’ve seen they store their tea in tins while Vintage Tea Room stores theirs in clear, glass jars.
Anyway; it was smooth and tasty! Lovely to be reacquainted with an old friend.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Grenadine, Vanilla
Life has put me on the easy-to-steep, bagged-when-possible, oh-my-ears-and-whiskers-I’m-late track, so K S’s reviews, and kindly supplied samples, of these little crystals intrigued me. Heat water. Stir. Done. No wait.
The English Breakfast was so strong, I just started with a larger mug this time. Result: a light, lovely, surprisingly fresh cup. Nice balance between the sencha and the hint of mint. Neither overpowers.