New Tasting Notes
Refreshing….i like a bit
Apparently it was just too early this morning when I was making this up – I forgot it was a rooibos and not a black. It actually took me the better part of an hour and a half to wonder why the caffeine wasn’t kicking in! Well, at least it was tasty!
A very lovely friend of mine in Holland sent this over, as she read me waxing lyrical about the Red Velvet Cake tea from DavidsTea. She’d had the Strawberry Cupcake one, which she has also sent me, and really liked it. I will try that one soon.
The smell of this tea is lovely. Really sweet and fruity. Unfortunately the taste doesn’t live up to it. It’s not horrible, not by a long shot, but the nose makes promises that the tastebuds can’t keep.
I did only steep it for 2 minutes, the recommendation being 2-3, so next time I’ll leave it longer and maybe the taste will be on a par with the smell. But on first taste, this is unfortunately underwhelming.
A very tannic tea, but no bitterness. The bergamot and saffron go a long way in smoothing it out. A pleasant and strong breakfast tea, but it does leave a slight dry aftertaste.
This tea tastes a million times better with a bit of milk and sugar, but I don’t have any here at work and it’s still an enjoyable morning cup. The slight spiciness, especially the ginger, is a nice way to wake your brain up. But the lemongrass and coconut give it a lightness to the flavor. Chai normally makes me think of fall and winter, but I don’t mind drinking this one on a nice spring day.
One thing that I find frustrating is how much loose tea you have to use to get an acceptable flavor. It also doesn’t have the best re-steep value. For these reasons, even though I enjoy it, I don’t know if I’d buy this blend again.
what a fruity way to start the day! and jeez do i need it.
(start work rant) my boss is on vacation and my office counter part is out sick. so i am all alone and deadlines are quickly approaching. i CANNOT POSSIBLY get everything done that i need to.
i have moments of motivation followed by a feeling of defeat. and i can’t seem to stay focused.
being so busy also means i don’t have time to really write tea notes as i would like to. but i am tasting all the swap samples! it’s something to look forward to while i am feeling downtrodden. (end work rant!)
i like the scent of the brewed tea a lot and the cup was very easy to drink. i have the leaves saved at home for a second steep! and i’m looking forward to it.
thank you Shelley_Lorraine! thank you.
Oh, this is a classy classy rose congou. I was comparing it with my random generic rose tea from this old tea (coffee actually) shop and this is so different.
Not that the generic tea is bad, it´s actually pretty good (and the 100 grams I bought before this one were excellent, though this latest batch is not as good as the one before. They deny being a different tea, maybe it was due to freshness or being crushed or just differences with the blender. The problem with “generic” teas), and large enough leaf. But this is quite different – less roses, and a different rose smell. The generic tea is more full of rose petals (pretty but adding very little to flavour) and is richer in aromatic oils (oil can became bitter and just cloying). The generic tea is more one-note rosy. This tea is a different, more varied rose smell, its leaves are a smidgeon bigger and plumper. It smells just as intense, though different in the package and brews much more subtle and much smoother. A very classy tea, if that description makes sense to anybody but me.
Notes – it is of course a rose tea. I usually find rose teas sort of fruity to my nose, maybe in this case it reminds me a tiny bit of grapes.
I just got a very nice surprise with this tea – expectations are funny things! Ysaurella had kindly sent me a sample, and just last night she had reviewed it, and led me to expect more lavender. She in fact compares it to another lavender tea I also had, Gryphon´s Earl Grey Lavender (a very kind sample as well, this time from LaFleurBleue). And for once Ysaurella and me diverge opinions – I prefer Mademoiselle and find it less lavender-ish.
I confess I might have mistreated this when brewing, and did not pay too much attention to how long it steeped. I think it might have steeped too long or too hot, it has a small hint of astringency but one which I confess seems to bring out the bergamot. I get the lavender only as a background and a great bergamot and a base tea just right. Love it, it might be the one lavender earl grey for me.
PS – maybe it is water alchemy? I notice bergamot teas seem to react so differently to different tap waters! Though in my house often it´s violently to my Lisbon tap water (which is IMO extremely nice by standards of large cities south of Scandinavia and not Switzerland)
I was contacted by Whittard of Chelsea and was asked if they could send me some teas to try and review. I usually say no to these types of requests, but I was absolutely delighted to accept some teas from this venerable tea merchant! On Saturday I got a “Knock! Knock! Knock! Delivery from the UK!” at my door — it was the tea! Thrilling! I tore open the package to find three beautiful full-sized loose teas.
I’m one of the few Darjeeling fans here on Steepster. I adore the muscatel flavor — so I was happy to see this tea in the package, and chose it as the first tea to try. I decided to take it with a little sugar “like the Germans.”
It’s delightful. Divine muscatel and a delicate but rich tea flavor. It’s a lighter tea — so perfect for the steamy day — but very flavorful. I drank it at work and had to pause for a moment to let the flavor wash over me. The wineyspicy muscatel, distinctive and delicious, was just so good. The sugar made it round and sweet without any of the astringency I usually find in a Darjeeling, but I took my second steep sans additions and there it was — a little piquant pucker. Love.
I was able to enjoy three steeps, the last one drank cool, which makes me think this would be a great fancy iced tea for a party (the color is a gorgeous amber – I could just picture it in a clear glass pitcher).
What a perfect introduction to Whittard of Chelsea — I am so, so pleased to meet you!
Assamic tea, similar in flavour to Twinings’ Everyday. However, this is a bit lighter, so a good blend to drink in the morning or afternoon.
Yunnan tea . . . somewhere, someplace, I had a magical cup of Yunnan which has lingered at the periphery of my consciousness. Rather frustratingly, I could never recall the time and place, or which estate the tea was sourced from. Or maybe I dreamt it . . . who knows . . . .
The Tea Centre in Sydney CBD offer three varieties of Yunnan black tea – an OP, a FOP and a finest FOP with varying degrees of tips. I had purchased the the FOP rather than the more expensive finest FOP but wasn’t overly impressed with it. This was a few months ago and within that time I don’t think I have had more than two or three cups.
I was rather intrigued by a two-cup sample at Adore Tea. Initially, I was under the impression that this was a green tea because of the colour and I had to check on their website. It is a very light, almost greenish grey and despite the item description, they are loosely rolled with no particular smell. The name “golden monkey” derives from its alleged resemblance to monkey claws but I can’t actually see this, nor can I detect the supposed flavours of nuts and chocolate.
The infused tea is a medium-strength flavour and full-bodied mouthfeel and deep-red colour. There is an element of smokiness with very little tannin and I can immediately see that this is where Russian Caravan derives its unique flavour; all the leading brands of Russian Caravan seem to be predominantly Yunnan tea blended with various other black teas. This is a nice, smooth blend with a vague whiff of the embers of a campfire in winter.
I will probably have to try this a few more times to see if I like it but I can imagine this as the perfect accompaniment on a clear, glacial autumn night.
I did this gong fu style this time, but I think I liked my western cup better. The shorter infusions brought out more tart and mineral flavors and less savoriness.
1st infusion (after rinse) 5s:
I detect a slight floral aroma and flavor that was lost to the western-brewed cup (this, to me, is the only discernible benefit of short infusions for this tea). It is also vegetal, but not very creamy.
2nd infusion 10s:
stronger vegetal and floral flavor than 1st infusion, still not creamy.
3rd infusion 15s:
the floral characteristics are almost non existent. Still vegetal. Some mineral. This infusion tastes similar to the western-brewed cup of Dong Ding from thepuriTea that I logged the other day.
4th infusion 25s:
vegetal, more mineral, slightly tart
5th infusion 35s:
tart and mineral, mild vegetal.
I ran out of time to go past 5 infusions, but I feel like the savory and creamy aspects that I liked about this tea are lost in the gongfu brewing. The first two infusions were the best, imo. I wonder how it might fair for more steepings. Some other time maybe.
Hot/cold-brewed some of this up for today. Pretty good! Naturally fairly sweet, with gingery tones. Not one I’d restock, but pretty delicious regardless.
To be honest, I’d picked this tea out on a silly whim. Today’s tea line-up: puer, oolong, black, and green, in that order. I just had to brew a white to complete my 5 Tea Types Bingo of sorts. Thus, this. This tea is anything but silly, though. While I’m certainly happy to have completed my childish little tea bingo (LOL;; endless lameness), I’m even more grateful to be reminded about white tea.
Having this at the end of such a tea-filled day makes it easier to experience how pure and sweet a Silver Needle is, and how soothing a simple scented jasmine can be. This aroma alone is clearing straight through these foggy senses; the liquor just takes that rejuvenating aroma further, providing a deep reset. It feels like this tea is everywhere, without being overwhelming, without being lacking. No vivid grassiness from a green, no skillful complexity from an oolong. Just… jasmine white, sweet, soothing, refreshing. Maybe a bit heady from the pure florals, but then the jasmine lingers for hours like a soft blanket…
I thought I was sleepy and relaxed, earlier; I see now that I was just happy-wired and sense-tired at the same time. Unbelievable how just two cups of Jasmine Silver Needle is enough to remedy that, and to foster peaceful rest.
I think I preferred this one brewed hot and cooled. I cold-brewed it, and it tastes a little strange, but it could also be because I’m at the bottom of my bag of it. Anyhow, it’s still not nearly as gross as Raspberry Nectar, which I unfortunately still have a small amount of, but it’s not a tea I’d bother picking up again. There are far more deliciously fruity summer tea flavours to pick from.
Another cold-brew. Still some bitterness, but it had quite a bit of delicious flavour too. I think I have about a cup’s worth of this left now – the rest will soon be on its way to Sil!
Unexpected sipdown! 786.
Ended up taking the last of this to my boyfriend’s place yesterday and brewing it up. Hopefully I’ll manage to cold-brew the combination of this cup and my previous and get a bit more flavour out of it. Such a delicious tea.
This still doesn’t have as much flavour as I would like, but what it does have is fairly tasty. Woody and sweet. I oversteeped a little though, so hopefully I remember next time that overleafing is preferable to oversteeping!
This tea has an unusually rich flavor that leaves an interesting texture in the mouth, just like very dark chocolate. The scent of the dry leaves isn’t anything special, but opening a pot of freshly steeped tea smells just like a tin of cocoa. It’s definitely one of my favorites.
Should have steeped this a bit less time, but… sooooo tasty. I really want to try this as a cold-brew/iced tea. Good thing I have tons left!
Still a great basic sencha, though a little too quick to become bitter when cooling. I love how rich and marine it gets when overleafed a bit and steeped – kind of semi-gongfu style. It’s deceptive, how full this can still taste despite this particular package being so old, and despite being served over dinner. It’s starting to taste a bit like bancha, actually…
I’ve been too busy to log all my tea, but this was a sipdown. A fantastic tea too! As soon as I get my coupon from Verdant I’m placing an order for 1oz! :O
I’m getting apple butter from this one. Wow. I didn’t have that before, but I brewed this western style. Gawd, this is so good.
It’s 9pm and I have an 8am class tomorrow. Done with midterms and I wanna sleeeeep.
Chamomile tonight! Oh dang. Haven’t had this in a while.
Not the biggest fan of chamomile, but it is a good sleepy time tea so chamomile it is!
This tasty caramel rooibos comes to me from Shmiracles! yay \^.^/ I brewed it up this afternoon. The caramel is just enough to add a touch of sweet to the rooibos. I think rooibos and I got off to a bad start. The first few rooibos blends I had were not for me at all! Although I’ve discovered that rooibos can be good in the right blend, I still have to be in the right mood for it. . .unless its DavidsTea Birthday Cake blend! I like that one more than this, but hey, can’t be having birthday cakes everyday now can I?