Featured & New Tasting Notes
My WPT package came in today and the first thing I did was open and smell EVERYTHING. I probably looked like a crazy person, huffing tea. I have a keen sense of smell and I swear I caught a buzz haha. After a moment’s deliberation this is the one I chose to try first.
It is smooth, smooth, silky smooth. It opens with notes of sweet vanilla and evergreen trees. There’s the gentle touch of warm spices, like a lover’s fingers on the back of your hand. It’s light and soothing; perfectly balanced. The texture of the liquid is velvety. After the spice I notice a buttery, honeyed flavor coming from the base tea. (I think the comparison to chocolate-filled croissants is appropriate here.) It’s like flaky, buttery croissants kissed by chocolate malt! It’s not an overwhelming flavor—it melds with everything else very nicely—but it washes over your tongue with honey, malt and baked goodness. Seriously, soooo good. I rushed to make another cup as soon as the first was empty. For me, resteep value is a good indicator of quality chai. (If the second steep of any tea doesn’t compare to the first, it seems a waste.)
Aaaand it’s still as good as the first cup! I’m in HEAVEN! Melting butter, stronger chocolate notes, vanilla and honey, spice still there! I love this! It’s wonderfully balanced. It’s everything I want, everything I need in a chai. This is perfection.
Brenden you are seriously awesome.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cedar, Chocolate, Creamy, Honey, Pine, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
This tea was my companion in the garden this morning. The task at hand was to water the Northwest Quadrant & dig up the rest of the garlic. While doing so, I came across a burrow of baby bunnies, in a little hollowed out place under the straw. I admire their cuteness, but didn’t touch them, & gently layer the straw back over them & went on with my work.
I grew 6 kinds of garlic this year! My whole house reeks of freshly dug garlic, & that is awesome! There’s lots of hanging & braiding to do, & hopefully I’ll never have to buy garlic again!
Lovely tea, by the way. I’ve reviewed it plenty of times, so that’s all I’m saying.
I got my free samples this week and why not start sampling tonight!
Using the full sample in a 6oz gaiwan.
Talk about a full cup of yum.
This is everything I like about a high mountain oolong…and more.
The elements I’m really digging are usually the floral, spicy and minty aspects, and I get them all here. Nice florals that might be a little more perfumed then what I’m used to, but really, I can’t name the flowers cause it’s none of the ones I’m used to find in greener oolongs, which are orchids and lilacs.
The usual spiciness which translates into nutmeg for me is also there, and so is that fresh mouthfeel I get at the end of the sip.
What’s really different about this oolong is its fruitiness. It so full of fruits, it almost tastes tropical to me. The fact that it’s also creamy makes me think of Pina Colada. I also get grapes and apple notes.
There’s a certain bite to it also, a briskness. I wouldn’t say it’s bitter, but it’s a tad astringent. Nothing offensive though, makes the flavours pop even more.
I have many more steeps to come, and might finish it with a cold brew.
I am very impressed with this first sample.
Thank you so much Green Terrace Teas for this opportunity.
So, although I haven’t been on steepster much the past few weeks, I fortunately happened to have the time and focus to check on the day it was announced that A&D were having free shipping to Canada – yay! So I decided to try a couple thing I have been wanting; this being one of them.
I made a cup of this shortly after my package arrived, and was quite pleased with this tasty keemun. Earthy, floral and fruity, with perhaps the lightest hint of smoke. Delicious and flavourful!
Method: 1 tbsp, 8 oz, 200 degrees, 3 minutes, Forlife brew in mug strainer
Dry Leaf Aroma: malty and sweet
Flavor: Oh my. Something seems amiss because this is very bitter! This was the sample I was most looking forward to, but I had to add sugar to drink it. I know the temp was exact, and I also have a separate tea timer. I tried this at 2 min, 30 sec and it already had a tinge of bitterness, so I stopped it at 3 min, instead of the 4 I had originally intended. It’s good with sugar, but it lost the maltiness from the dry leaf aroma.
I appreciate the sample, but this one just wasn’t for me.
Update: it seems the brewing instructions on the website were more general, and not specific to this tea. GTT has offered to send me another sample, so I’ll try again. I’ve removed my numerical rating for now. :)
I don’t have time for a long review here, where I wax poetic about the glories of this tea.
Let’s just jump to the chase & say that everything you’ve heard about this tea is spot on. The initial aroma reminds me of a really high quality vanilla pipe tobacco (although I don’t know for sure if I’ve ever actually smelled one), & then you start drinking it, & it’s awesomely wonderful, vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate sauce drizzled over the top, the kind that hardens into a shell. What I love about it most is that the black tea underneath isn’t some woosie generic, it’s bold & thick chinese blacks. And yeah, it resteeps like a dream, & I’m taking all those resteeps for once. And the sweet aftertaste lingers…sigh…
I’ve said enough!
I’m liking Temple Stairs more and more…I find myself longing for it. Could it be addictive?
It fills me with positive energy in the morning. What a great warming feeling it provides.
I think it’s my most “elegant” shou pu’erh, not as bold and strong as some others, but still imposing its presence in a sophisticated way.
I love how the steeps evolve, and contrary to Special Dark, I prefer drinking this one Gongfu style. (Special Dark is my Big Mug guy!)
It’s got a light brothy mushroom flavour or “dampness” if the word mushroom in tea scares some of you.
There’s faint bittersweetness about it, hard to describe. Cooked turnips come to mind.
I love how creamy this is. I also detect notes of cocoa, but they aren’t prominent in this tea.
(Now, something I read put the thought of fresh cherries in my head early on this morning.
I think I have enough Temple Stairs energy stocked in me now to jog to the market and get me some!)
Have a great Wednesday dear Steepster friends!
This is mighty good.
I’m inaugurating a new bright yellow and blue Gaiwan, I love it!
I don’t drink Dancong as much as I should. I like them only Gongfu style. They are so full of nuances and surprises, I find it all gets lost in a large cup.
This one is super fruity. Roasted bittersweet citrus notes are the stars here, at least during the first 3 steeps.
Have you ever grilled Ruby Red grapefruits on the BBQ? You caramelize them slowly and brush them with honey. They get sweeter, but they remain bitter at the same time. This is what is tastes like.
The taste lingers and lingers…
Then it gets more roasty and woodsy, I get incense and sandalwood notes, that’s even more present in the scent than in the taste itself. It also becomes spicier and richer, but the finish is a nice floral. Told you it was full of surprises!
It also gets sweeter, my lips tastes like honey after each sips…(it’s not my lip gloss, not wearing any!)
I made up my mind, this is the dark oolong I’m choosing to season one of my yixing pots this week end…
It is totally worthy!
Darjeelings are not always my favorite. I’m extraordinarily picky about them. For the last two years, my absolute favorite has been from Giddapahar. While, this estate seems to be a tad greener with their processing, the flavor is just outstanding. The tea is very complex and has wonderful sweet almond notes with peach and blackberry notes. There is just so much going on and quite a variety of flavors, including wood, lemon, hay, earth, and jasmine notes. When I heard that Giddapahar was making a special limited handrolled 2nd flush, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity, especially because they only made 11 kilos worth of this tea. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I was so excited when it arrived, I tore open the package. Wow, the scent was so amazing! The taste profile is very similar to the first flush, except that there is a muscatel flavor and the green-ness is much more toned down. It’s also a much fuller body and the astringency is gone. I’m really enjoying this tea quite a bit. It has a wonderful juicy flavor. Almond, peach, jasmine, and hay notes are the most prominent. There is something else present but I can’t put my finger on it right now. Will definitely have to experiment more on this one. Since this is so limited, when it’s gone it’s gone.
In other news, I’m working on 2 new teas today, a caramel apple Gui Fei and a mimosa puerh (this may or may not be a chai). Normally, I come up with flavors then find a tea for them and modify them from there but these guys I’m working with teas that I really want to flavor and trying to develop flavors for them specifically. I have done this with our Champagne & Rose Cream but it’s not typically how I work.
I love everything evergreen in my tea, and this one fully delivers. I’d previously pegged down White Wolf, from Bellocq, as my quintessential, super-expensive, cedar-vanilla tea but this one is really good too.
Port has a nice balance of flavours: cedar, smooth vanilla bean, and accents of salt and of something “nippy” that is distinctly eucalyptus. It’s a nice level of eucalyptus, and not at all like the time that I put a little too much eucalyptus oil on my hot hand towel and inhaled deeply- when hot, that stuff burns with righteous intensity. I probably won a Darwinian award somewhere in that story.
This is a “darker” tea than my other cedar-vanilla option, which has a white tea base. However, it also isn’t as cold, and so set in the dead of winter, as my other one. I can drink this at the lake camp in the midst of a broiling summer too, or on a foggy autumnal day.
I haven’t had a lot of exposure to saffron and I’m going to have to carefully budget it out, but I love this tea and I want it to be a part of my life! Also, the dry blend reminds me ever so slightly of marzipan. It also resteeps well, although the cedar is more pronounced in the second steep.
Flavors: Cedar, Eucalyptus, Malt, Vanilla
I tossed the last of the Caramel Corn into my wine bottle to cold steep (will it be better cold?) and moved onto this.
I really think this should be cold steeped, but am drinking it hot tonight just to try it.
HHHhhhhmmmmm when I think cherry snowcone I think overly sweet, completely artificial, dyed red flavored ice. This isn’t it. This is barely cherry – and while it is BRIGHT FAKE RED, the flavor just doesn’t come through. Weak cherry, a little tart (but not over the top hibiscus), and not much else. This isn’t even that good of a cherry tisane, much less snowcone. Oh well, again – I only got a little and maybe tomorrow will toss the rest in to cold steep – this one should be better cold.
This tea is a super generous sample from Terri HarpLady – thank you .
OMG. This tea is something I experienced only in some sheng. Besides being sweet and fruity ( I pick plums mostly), some nuts, it’s rich with eucalyptus notes. What it did to me is I have cooling sensation in my stomach. This is nice feeling on a hot day. I feel very peaceful that even my kids don’t bug me. Prepared gongfu 4g 100 ml 205F
Wonderful tea, I think I want to buy it right now.
Thank you so much Terri for giving me a chance to try it.
I’m jumping on the MzPriss and TheTeaFairy bandwagon this morning with this tea. This is one of my free samples from TeaVivre that I hadn’t tried yet and I figured now’s as good a time as any! This is my first time trying a Fujian black tea. The leaves look very different than the other blacks I’ve been having lately – they’re very thin and extremely dark with a few scattered golden tips. The smell is quite unusual, it’s quite musty and earthy with dark bread and malt notes. I decided to be brave and steep it for 3 minutes! :P
Wow, the brewed aroma is very different from the dry! It smells like a completely different tea. Very sweet honey or caramel over baked bread with raisins, mmm… This would definitely be a breakfast tea for me, as the overall taste is quite bold and strong. It has a grain-like malty quality about it without quite tasting like bread. I seem to get a little tiny bit of smokey savoriness at the beginning of the sip. I was surprised to not taste the caramel or honey sweetness that a lot of others mentioned… Then I added a touch of sugar to the second half of my cup and a lovely dark honey or molasses flavor came out. I wouldn’t necessarily call it caramel because I don’t get any butter. This tea leaves an aftertaste on my tongue that reminds me of strong coffee!
Overall, quite good and a nice bold tea to take for breakfast. Would definitely stand up to some milk, although that’s not something I generally add to tea. Thanks again to Angel at TeaVivre!
Flavors: Coffee, Grain, Honey, Malt, Molasses
Sooo…I could reach for the cognac bottle early in the day, but I don’t do hard liquor much. If you guys want to know why, just read passed the line.
I really need something powerful. Wicked good. Must also smell heavenly. Please.
Golden Orchid, sorry to pick you at such an irreverent moment, but I need you.
This tea…please, really? I dare anyone not to like this. For real, if you don’t like this tea, I’ll take it personal.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this has vanilla. This is not just vanilla. Nope.
This is high end vanilla and fudge ice cream mixed together. It’s creamy velvety and gooey fudgy.
This is vanilla/chocolate perfected to the 10th power with soft notes of cherries and honey.
Can I be more clear? I don’t think so.
Have this and be happy. Life will be good again.
So this was my 5:00am ordeal:
Doggy needs walking, it’s early morning.
Leash unnecessary, obedient doggy.
Beautiful day, forest is calm.
On our way back, dog takes the lead.
See from afar, black and white critter.
Is it a cat? No time to think.
Dog is now running, I stand there frozen.
Eww, I can smell it, this was no kitty.
Sprayed by a skunk, doggy now crying.
That’s what people. This was his second time. You’d think they’d learn, but noooo, doesn’t work like that apparently.
Good thing I now keep a few litres of peroxide around. After spending nearly one hour washing him, the smell is now all over ME!
Beautiful fragrance, really. I call it “Skunky Fairy Funk”, a mysterious and pungent musty-earthy-woodsy scent that lingers and lasts for-everrrr…we guarantee it.
First off, this tea smells amazing! It totally smells like one of those strawberry wafers.
As for the flavor it’s rich and full. Now this one is cake-y! I taste a lot of strawberry and mild hints of espresso and chocolate. It’s not too overpowering. Just the perfect amount of every flavor.
Overall it really reminds me of those strawberry wafers that I used to eat all the time growing up. So this tea is definitely a win! :D
Flavors: Cake, Chocolate, Espresso, Strawberry
One of my requested free samples from Angel at Teavivre. I was very surprised when I saw this tea. Usually when a tea is called golden tips it means there are golden tips included. This one looks like it’s almost all golden tips! It smells malty and there is a strong apricot scent along with some honey.
First time, I did a 4 minute steep at about 190 degrees. The aroma is very malty with honey and a light stonefruit note along with some raisin. It tastes like yummy toasty bread with some honey over the top. Maybe a tiny bit of peach or apricot jam. Very tasty!
I saw that a lot of people had mentioned sweet potato so I tried a 3 minute steep. The flavor is definitely lighter, but it’s still primarily malt. I can see how it might be a little sweet potatoey. The honey is still there but I don’t really taste fruit anymore. Overall, I think I preferred the longer steep, especially with a touch of sugar. And it doesn’t seem to be astringent in the least.
Thanks again TeaVivre!
Edit: I forgot to mention that I also received a sample of this from TeaTiff! Thanks lady! :)
Flavors: Baked Bread, Honey, Malt, Raisins, Stonefruits
I’ve been looking forward to making cornmeal pancakes with fruit (started out thinking about ripe Texas peaches) and cottage cheese all week. One of my favorite breakfasts. I decided to use a different cornmeal pancake recipe this morning. And who better to go to for a good recipe than Mark Bittman? Apparently, in the case of cornmeal pancakes – almost anyone. I have no pancakes. I have a bowl of fried-ish polenta-ish cripsy globs with some AMAZING cherry compote I made from frozen organic cherries, some lemon zest, freshly ground cardamom and little maple syrup. I knew better than to attempt pancakes with no leavening. I started in my extremely well seasoned cast iron skillet that is basically non-stick because it’s been cooked in for well over 50 years as it belonged to my grandmother. I used a little oil to ensure success. My poor skillet has crunchy chunks of polenta-ish stuff clinging to it like I would be to George Clooney’s leg if he showed up. I decided to try in the non-stick skillet which I almost never use. I have chunks of crunchy polenta-ish stuff which was scooped into a bowl along with the yummy cherry stuff and some cottage cheese.
In need of comfort and reassurance and inspired by TheTeaFairy, I turned to this tea. Chocolaty, chocolaty goodness. It goes really well with my cherries (also inspired by TTF this morning), and I am getting less hostile toward Mark Bittman by the minute. A big chocolate bomb that is smooth and delicious with zero bitterness or astringency even when steeped around 5 minutes is something that makes my semi-broken heart happier.
Another one from MissB this is apparently all the joy and fun i get today since once again i am stuck at home with work while my other half gets to go out with friends. I’m so upset i could just sit and cry. I spent all of today working so that i could go out this afternoon and tomorrow and now, thanks to work, i’m now here while our friends have picked up my other half and left. Even if i get away from this testing with technology, it’ll take me 90 mins just to join them so there’s hardly a point at this rate.
This tea is quite nice, though i’m not sure where the blueberry taste it. There’s a lovely lemon taste here, but if i hadn’t read memily’s review i wouldn’t have even known there was supposed to be blueberry here. This is just coming across as a REALLY earthy puerh with lemon flavouring in the background. I really wish the lemon were stronger here, and i can see this being really offputting for anyone who doesn’t like puerh. Thanksfully, though i enjoy puerh and i’m still enjoying this cup, though i wish it was more lemoney…and uh i guess blueberry too since i can’t taste any of that lol
I so love this tea. It’s just comforting and delicious. Creamy and nutty.
I have a touch of a headache this morning. I guess since I spent several hours drinking last night, and all I have is a touch of a headache, it’s not too bad.
It’s our anniversary today. 12 years. It seems like just yesterday we were married, and yet, it feels like we’ve always been together. We’re trying to figure out what to do to celebrate.
This was generously included as a surprise sample in my Whispering Pines order. Thank you!
I can see why this tea gets a lot of love. Not only does this have that delightful cocoa note that I adore, but the texture is also thick with a milk-like quality.
Although I drank the first steep too quickly to discern any other qualities past “creamy”, I’ve had more time with this second steep. The cocoa and milk are still present, but there is also a distinctive fruity note, like sweet, tangy plums.
It’s a delicious cup, and I think I’ll appreciate its profile even more in the fall or winter. As it was, it turned out to be an awesome rainy evening tea.
Flavors: Cocoa, Cream, Malt, Plums, Stonefruits
Ok, you know by now I’m a notorious insomniac.
Been drinking this tea every night this week and it has helped a lot sending me into Morphée’s arms. (Morpheus in English?)
I’m not saying I sleep all night, but it induces a certain sense of euphoria, calmness.
This tea was meant for me… I am the restless type, always doing something. I exercised today and did too much. Overachiever, I do pretty much everything “too much”.
This whispers “STOP” to me. Forces me to pay attention and let it invade me with its soothing effect.
It’s a a tea that says “relax, everything is going to be ok”, and I just let go…
It’s jasmine but with such a twist…who knew pine tasted so good. Now I want to go outside and hug all my pine trees to say thank you! Have you ever hugged a tree? If not, I strongly suggest you do.
I lost count of how much I ordered recently…did I get enough? Hope I did, cause I now NEED this, powerful stuff, really…
If you read my profil, you’ll see that music is one of the most important thing in my life with tea and art. Listening tonight to the beautiful music of Black Dub…that voice, instant shivers. (MzPriss, hope you enjoy ;-))
“Hello old friend! Would you like to take a walk in my garden with me?”
And so I brewed a cup. It’s been awhile since I ran out of this tea.
We watered the Northern Quadrants, picked some dill & cukes,
ate some berries & sungold cherries, & harvested some zukes,
We gathered some greens, asparagus, onions & garlic. And then I weeded.
This lovely cup of tea was exactly what I needed.