Featured & New Tasting Notes
This must be the “mystery moon light white tea cake” sample I received from Christina. :)
So far, it seems pretty good. I’m steeping at 204F, which is what my fancy kettle thing holds at. It’s a little more green tasting than sweet deliciousness at this first steep, but I probably didn’t steep it quite long enough at 15 seconds.
The second steep is indeed stronger and sweeter. I think I still prefer the one I got locally, but it’s always fun to try other versions of a tea you like!
Thanks so much, Christina. :)
I’m not sure this is the correct tea to be logging on, but I’m too lazy to add a new one. This is what I am drinking:
It is FABULOUS – it’s as good as any of the big brand name bilouchun and it’s really inexpensive. It you like any of the golden snail teas out there but not the price, I suggest you take a look at this one. It is just SO GOOD!!!!!
I got this a little bit ago, so I’ve been letting it sit in storage to get ready for brewing. I opened the jar and poured it out into my cha he. The leaves carried a wonderful aroma! This was a very fragrant shou. I could easily identify a dry hard chocolate tone with some slight fermentation. I was also picking up some cherry and red wood scents. I loved how intense theses aromas were. I warmed my gaiwan and emptied the cha he. The aromas began to morph. I was now picking up a warm petrichor and liquid dark chocolate. The cherries became more pronounced and resembled more like dark chocolate cherry cordials. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. I decided to go heavy with the leaf, for I like intense shou sessions. The steeped leaves lost their chocolate tone and was replaced by an aromatic ferment and wet wood. The lingering sweetness was of some fruit. The taste was something special! The liquor was a beautiful red coffee color. This drink was thick and syrupy! The taste began as completely filling and some intense drying sensations. The body was nice and full with a lot of flavor. I picked up some heavy wood, molasses, and fermented tastes. The chocolate was still present but lingered in the back to help curb the Bulang bitterness. The drink moved into more mineral tones in later steeping and a pleasant sour taste followed throughout. This brew has a lot of mouth action, with it beginning with a full and lubricating feeling and then the Bulang brings a sharp bite to alert the taste buds. I noticed a bunch a tongue prickling after each sip. I was able to pull at least ten steeping sessions out my gaiwan. The final sessions still brought a relatively dark liquor; however, the drink became more muddled with soil and wet clay tones. The qi is almost unnoticeable at first. The feeling begins in the chest and doesn’t blossom until after the session. I cleaned up my table, and then I was stuck with a heavy heart and nice head buzz. The force emits from the chest center and flows throughout the body. I really like this qi, and this is a nice brew for a morning starter. All and all, I enjoyed my session and this would make a nice daily drinker. This a great representation of young Bulang Shou, and it would be well to introduce to newbies and guests. This is an easy drinker and it lasts for quite some time.
Flavors: Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Drying, Earth, Fruity, Molasses, Wet Wood
This is a very tasty but bittersweet puerh tea. There were strong bitter notes in the first two steeps. There were some notes of chocolate in there but more like dark chocolate than milk chocolate. It did develop some fruity notes in the last couple of steeps too. This was a tea I really enjoyed. I stopped at eight steeps but I might go back for two more. At only $4 for 50g this is cheap. I bought 250g . Didn’t seem like the thing to do to buy only 50g when it was so inexpensive. I’ve had good luck in general with loose ripes from Yunnan Sourcing so I wasn’t too worried in ordering a large quantity. I wish I didn’t have time for this review and gongfu session. Normally I would be working Saturdays but not any more. My company went bankrupt and they let us go the other day. So I find myself with time on my hands. At least I have plenty of tea to drink. Planning to stop at a local tea shop called the Clipper Ship Tea Company later on today. If anyone lives on Long Island they are an excellent source of quality tea.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.3g 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, and 30 sec. Judging by the strength of the brew I’m sure I could have gotten four or five more steeps out of the leaves.
Flavors: Bitter, Dark Chocolate, Earth, Fruity, Sweet
A nice aged ripe!
The dry cake gives a slight clove and dry earth scent, but I didn’t get much else from it. I placed a generous amount in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. I picked up some interesting tones from the warmed leaf such as: sage, parchment, drought earth, and a desert scent (born and raised in Arizona). I really liked the tones I was picking up, so I knew that it would be interesting. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The herb tones came out from the steeped leaves swiftly. I was picking up Thyme, Tarragon, and old Basil. Afterwards, I was getting more earth tones like mud and copper. The background presented some sweetness like dried cherries. The drink was intense! This was a very unusual experience, and I loved it. The sip was super dry, and I mean like Sagrantino wine bone dry. Then, I got past the mouth drying and I picked up heavy minerals with copper, iron, and nickel. I took a few more sips and then I revisited the same desert but with rain pouring down. A uniquely heavily sour tone followed the entire session. I actually checked my water and vessel just to be sure it was the tea. This brew is sour, and I mean like sour patch kid sour! I was actually puckering during each sip. This tea gives a ton of mouth action and tongue prickling. The best part is once you get past these tongue wrestling obstacles you reach a delicious sweet aftertaste, as if you’ve reached the inside of the sour patch kid. The sour tones mellowed to a more green apple sour in later steeping. Also, the sweet tone becomes intense like Stevia. This was an awesome session. I love teas that create an experience. I love the ones that become imprinted on your tongue and mind. This puerh was certainty one of them. Although, I did not experience any qi, which is alright; because, I seldom do with Shou.
Flavors: Dried Fruit, Drying, Earth, Green Apple, Mineral, petrichor, Pleasantly Sour, Sage, Sour, Sweet, Thyme
Oh my word.
This tea. Just glorious.I am rather cautious about coffee-flavoured teas. Is it coffee? Is it tea? Identity crisis?
This tea, however, tastes like the best quality coffee ice cream with a drizzle of dulce de leche with a nice Kenyan black tea backup. Oh.
I am so incredibly partial to well done caramel teas.
Nothing else I can tell you really other than I am ordering a hundred grams of this today. And the sooner the better.
Flavors: Caramel, Coffee
I know I know, I keep drinking this tea. It’s because it travels so well. There are only two downsides to this tea:
-since getting back into tea again, it’s the only tea I’ve discovered that I actually really like in my travel mug.
-and it’s also a really heavy tea. So like evolvingness said, this could become quite the expensive habit. But one I’m ok with having.
I do need to find other really good travel-mug teas though, because I don’t want to get sick of this one.
In other news, it’s been a long, exhausting, and stressful week at work. I have a really exciting weekend planned with my sisters coming up though, so definitely lots to look forward to. I do wish I could be more candid on here, but alas it’s not even remotely private…
This tea is quite good. Despite the name bittermelon, there is little bitterness to this tea. It has a nice sweetness with a slightly medicinal flavor. There is not much roast flavor. I brewed the bittermelon with the TGY for this tea. I don’t really know how to describe the taste of the bittermelon in truth. It is good, it is more sweet than bitter but not a tangerine sweetness. This is a fairly long lasting tea. I brewed it eight times in a small gaiwan. It was not truly finished. Had I wanted to go past eight steeps I could have continued. I don’t in truth know how many steeps this would have gone but eight in itself is a lot for an oolong.
I steeped this eight times in a 120ml gaiwan with 9.3g leaf and bittermelon. 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. This tea seems to have something of a relaxing qi to it, judging from how I now feel. This is good tea at an excellent price. 200g was only $19.
Flavors: Roasted, Sweet
Finished this off last night while working on some homework due today in my feature writing class. It was less umami than in previous infusions.
On a related note, I no longer have any genmaicha in the house. What are your favourites? I bought this from Yunomi, and although they have great stuff I don’t know if I want to make an order just for this. Any recommendations? I think my favourite genmaicha so far is Sloane’s Grand Genmaicha because it’s got a very brothy taste to it.
hooho boy this is crazy good. All Scott’s Jingu-area teas I’ve tried this year are really pretty dynamic and different, going again to show us how much variety there can be in a relatively small area. This one reminds me a lot of a Mengku/Bingdao area profile. That is, it is very pure, sweet and thick, with an icy-cool bite. It is also extremely subtle, but I’d say there are notes of musky wildflowers and honeysuckles, with a vegetal sweetness that seems closest to sweet bell-peppers. The bitterness is solid and gives it this tea a good structure while not being overpowering, and it brews very even across many infusions. I’d almost say this tea seems underpriced…
Flavors: Bell Pepper, Floral, Honeysuckle
I had this at an earlier time, and it wasn’t as “wowing” as others made it out to be. So, I decided to let it rest for a little and revisit before doing a review, and I am so glad that I did…
The dry leaf has very little scent to it. I opened my jar and could only catch whiffs of slight fermentation and some dust; however, there was a light sweetness in the background. I placed a generous amount of these strands in my warmed gaiwan and gave it a shake. Then, the scent came forth! The strands gave off a sweet hot coco mix scent. I took in the dry cacao powder aroma. I could note a lingering milkiness behind this decadent scent. I washed the leaves once and prepared for brewing. The chocolate aroma became muddled in the steeped leaves. The outstanding tone were fruit and a mild bitterness. The chocolate tone wrapped around these fruit scents like little jam filled desserts. The taste was fantastic! The sip begins with straight dates. The flavor moves into some more raisin tones with wet tobacco. Then, there is a prominent fig note. I noted a light pleasant bitter tone in the aftertaste. The next drink brings on a sweeter atmosphere with brown sugar and light honey. I began to experience a nice head feeling with a warm stomach; The qi has commenced. This brew has a lot of complex tones. The chocolate began to show its face at the second steeping by appearing dry and slightly unsweetened. The next steeping brings on its true face by being presented as rich, dark, and heavy with some earth tones. This brew has a lot of mouth feeling and it fills the palette. The body is thick and smooth and goes down easy. The qi continues to build and is an ever rising focused feeling. I experienced plenty of mouth action and hair prickling. This is something I could drink all night. I love brews that hit you with a full body of flavors steep after steep. The brew morphs to heavy chocolate tones with some drying in the background; moreover, there is a smooth creamy texture that lubricates the mouth. This is a well developed brew, and I am glad that I awaited its recovery. However, the brew dies down dramatically at about the eight or ninth steeping. The brew grows watery, pungent, and consists of solely fermented tones. Personally, I have little appreciation for these tones, but I do know people that enjoy this. All and all, I enjoyed this session, and I will be squirreling away some. I am sad to hear that this was discontinued. I can now understand the uproar from the tea community upon hearing of this tea’s demise. Thankfully, it can live on from the other tea hoarders and I ;)
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cacao, Chocolate, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Dates, Drying, Earth, Fig, Milk, Raisins, Smooth
Earlier today I spent two hours in a dentist chair enduring the replacement of four fillings and a new crown. The numbness encompassing the right side of my head has worn off, and the 600mg of Motrin might as well have been a handful of Skittles. Two hours in that chair I sat, listening to the drill, feeling my head rattle, smelling the smoke, and straining to keep my jaw open for way more time than the human jaw is meant to stay open. Not unlike Patrick “The Hooligan” Holohan after an epic beatdown, my mind was set on one thing and one thing only:
Now that I can finally drink without dribbling the contents of my cup down my chin, I have chosen to enjoy an inaugural steep of White2Tea’s 2005 Naka. I know that because of the issues going on with my mouth that I’ll have to drink this tea again to get a true sense of it, but because I’m still feeling that post dental appointment crappiness, I suspect this tea will hit the spot once I get going.
Tobacco is the predominant aroma I’m getting from the wet leaf. It’s incredibly smooth and not what I consider to be bitter, but I am getting a fair amount of mouth puckering astringency. Lots of pipe tobacco in the flavor too. I bet a pipe smoker would love this tea.
By the third steep I am starting to feel funny. Like my head is floating above my body like a balloon. I’m over ten steeps now I think (once again I suck at keeping track of that). I feel pretty warm and mellow at this point. Like I’m wrapped in a fleece blanket. All I need are those little hotdogs, like maybe 25 or 30 of them. No no no no no. Not hotdogs. I’m going to have stop this review right now and head out to the Dank Burrito for some pork belly tacos. Later!
My August Uncommon teas arrived!
I had to start with this tea because when I first found out about August Uncommon this was the one tea I was just drooling over, it felt like an injustice to start with anything else. I made a small pot worth of tea to split with my mom: I was incredibly excited to share a yellow tea with her because I’d never made one for her yet.
Personally; I think this is arguably the best yellow tea I’ve had to date. I really need to try it Gong Fu to be sure as that’s the way I’ve primarily drank my yellow tea from Camellia Sinensis (which is my current favourite), but this just had such a more lively and robust flavour profile.
When August Uncommon describes the tea and “nutty” they’re not kidding! Breaking down the flavour profile, this is a predominantly nutty tea with both peanut and roasted hazelnut type notes. There’s a strong, comforting toasty flavour like eating roasted nuts at Christmas (not chestnuts though; that’d be too perfect) while unwrapping presents. Other notes present are straw/hay and a light buttery note as well. The overall mouthfeel is very rich, and the liquor smooth with minimal astringency. I could probably drink this tea for days and feel happy and at peace.
…And on the flip side.
My mom, who I was hoping would appreciate the uniqueness and rarity of the tea, couldn’t even finish a teacups worth. To her, the nuttyness was overpowering and the straw/hay taste harsh and unpleasant. She described it as drinking “barnyard juices”. What’s wrong with her!? It hurts my heart to see such a wonderful tea go unappreciated. However, I guess that just means more for me, right?
Flavors: Butter, Hay, Hazelnut, Nutty, Peanut, Roast nuts, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Straw, Umami
If you ever feel like you are losing faith in people, talk to some tea people.
My youngest daughter is in a concurrent enrollment program at our local community college. We have homeschooled our kids for twenty-five years now! She will complete her senior year of high school with her freshman year of college.
She got an email from a fellow student, a man from Kenya who had been out sick, asking for information about assignments and class discussion. She replied with the information he needed and he sent her the sweetest thank you message. Then at class today, he gave her a box of this tea and an umbrella, because he saw her walking in the rain without one.
Naturally we made some as soon as we got home! Teabags scare me, because….Lipton. Lipton eats my stomach up and makes me miserable.
Surprise! I steeped this for two minutes as a caution and it was too weak. I steeped it for four like the package recommended and got a good, lightly malt cup of tea with no bitterness and no gripping stomach pains after! I am drinking it straight with no problem whatsoever, no urge to add milk or sugar to make it go down.
It has the high citrus note of some Ceylons and a very light malty flavor. It is very tasty with my lunch of frozen pizza, which I have doctored up with garlic salt and curry powder. Nice! The best part of all is the kindness that came with the tea!
Sipdown! I’m going to miss this one. I just chugged down the remaining jug of cold brew after a late night interval session on the treadmill. First time I’ve been on it in nearly two months since I’ve been away from the rural home, and the gym at my mom’s apartment in the city is currently shut down for renovations, so it feels good to get back into it.
So now it’s melon-packed cold brew and banana with Greek yogurt time, accompanied by a side of Mogwai: Ratts of the Capital awesomeness. Now I’m thinking of that time I missed out on seeing them when they were in Vancouver a couple years ago. Sigh.
Sipdown! Wow, this is one of my oldest teas. I think I got this batch over 2.5 years ago? It miraculously didn’t lose too much of its flavour, and I kept it in its original pouch too, which makes it impressive.
Sipping on this reminds me of the second semester of grad school in Victoria. I’d take it with me to all of my seminars because the mint seemed to keep me alert, while the smooth chocolate and vanilla just plain old made me happy. I’d stash extra leaf into the lid of my Timolino for when I’d go to the library or the lab, or get work done in the grad lounge over the weekend. I’d be all alone in the department’s kitchen brewing away another batch of this, and another. I somehow never got tired of it.
Della Terra’s Shamrocks & Shenanigans and S’mores in particular made numerous colleagues look at me sideways. Such strange teas, Fjellrev, why can’t you be normal and drink normal tea? Shamrock sprinkles? Chocolate chips and chunks of graham crackers? You’re so weird! But I know all of us Steepsterites wouldn’t have it any other way.
I still appreciate this tea, but after going through over 200g of it, I’ve had my fill. Despite not caring too much for rooibos, I’d say that Zen’s Chocolate Mint rooibos is my favourite chocolate mint tea, and this is/was my second favourite.
I have been so busy lately. Besides my morning cold matcha/milk latte this is as close to tea as I have had time to grab. So easy to twist off the cap and chug.
The real reason I stopped to post – I spent a few minutes playing Kerbal Space Program and had all my kerbalnauts assigned, so I had to hire a new recruit. The game auto creates the names of available applicants. One possibility was a pilot named Harney. Yep, he is now my new favorite character. Sorry Jebediah.
This is totally on me. I should have known not to buy a tea with the word “smoky” in the name. The sweet potato got me though, and I ordered it. To be fair it’s not very smoky but I still taste it and it just isn’t my thing. The rest of this is going in Stephanie’s box. Someone else will be able to appreciate this more.
I am out of these, finally. A sipdown!
I have enjoyed these white tea blooms but it has taken me a long time to finish them off. Normally I am a green tea fan, but I would like to drink more of my white tea supply since they are so high in antioxidants. The trouble is I have so much tea it’s getting hard to sip anything down. I guess there could be worse problems to have ;)
TBH I kinda wish there was actually raspberry leaf in this tea.
Today I made it in a travel mug and I’ve brought it to work. It tastes a bit more like dirt, probably because of the echinacea root. And it’s sourer. More sour. Whatever. Probably due to the increased heat preservation of the travel mug VS a regular mug.
I still kinda like it. And I really hope I don’t get sick.