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.
New Tasting Notes
what a fruity way to start the day! and jeez do i need it.
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 was good, though this latest batch is not the same. 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 filler 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 has a different, more complex, more realistic but just as intense rose smell. Its leaves are also a smidgeon bigger and plumper. It 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 , 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 I have diverging 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 seems to bring out the bergamot. I get the lavender only as a background soothing things. The bergamot is a great bergamot and the 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 with my tap water usually it´s violent rebellion not improving alchemy.
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?
This tasted better in the store.
Teavana had this sample outside their store. It was so sweet & cinnamony! I went right in and bought it. However every time i make it at home (in many different ways) it seems to taste very watery and no where near what i tasted at the store :(
I LOVE Forever Nuts!!! The aroma by itself is enough to make your mouth water, it smells like Christmas :) I bought this today and I will forever buy Forever Nuts. Although it’s not really nutty it has a very strong apple flavor, which is the main reason I love it. Definitely a new favorite of mine.
Yum! I must be on a caramel kick today, because I have just been craving that flavor and most of the teas I’ve had today have caramel aspects/full caramel flavor lol. This is my before bed cup, I am almost at the end of my sample :( I much prefer this cream caramel rooibos than the DavidsTea one, this one is much sweeter and a perfect way to end the day! See previous notes :)
I messed up terribly. Especially with money. Because of tea, most likely. Okay, for sure. So I need to ignore you for a long, long time. Badly.
If we’ve started talking a swap, we’ll still complete it. I’ll still be here for the tea boxes, those I for sure can’t ignore or leave. I missed a credit card payment. Twice. I barely have money as is because I don’t work, and I also just messed up school and at this point I don’t even know if I can keep going, which is an even bigger problem for money.
I’m working on applying to stuff, it’s kind of hard when you have an ear infection.
update if you were interested in buying tea Anyway, all the tea I had to swap, I put it here to sell: I figure it makes more sense than an auction first (thanks for the idea CJ). http://twominutesforbaking.net/2013/05/21/tea-for-sale/ I’ll be home all day so I can keep an eye on it and I’ll go now to look through the rest of my stuff so it’s all posted there.
Also if you ever wanted to buy stuff from my etsy shop I’d really appreciate it right now.
So after feeling like a total miserable fool I thought I needed something sweet, something I’ve loved, yet I’ve ignored in the midst of all this tea. I can’t believe how long it’s been since this one has seen the outside of the cabinet.
In that time though I have come to dislike rooibos a bit. Ok, a lot. While it smells good in the bag, brewed up it has the rooibos scent of taste bud death. I think it’s lost that mapley goodness. Though I do have some maple granules I could add to bring it back. I don’t have much of this left so that will do.
So that’s about it, I’ll miss you, but I need to get off the path of self-destruction.
With a splash of milk, this really does taste very much like black tea chai, smooth, warmly spiced, and rich. I love that the spices aren’t wimpy. The tea also looks beautiful with some milk; I’ve heard it said sometimes you can tell a tea blend is decent by how it looks brewed with milk—some stuff takes on a dirty dishwasher, washed out streaky grey appearance while better blended teas stay smooth and might turn opaque. This does the latter, turning a pretty opaque taupe with some shell-peach undertones.
I don’t smell or taste the rooibos at all—pretty impressive, on the level of H&S Vanilla Comoro at coming off like a decent version of its standard black counterpart. Until I find better (if I ever do) this will definitely be my late night go-to chai fix. Yummy.
My first Ti Kuan Yin! When just dry it smelled inviting. I have to say I am very satisfied with this tea. At first when the 5 minute steep was up I had to check and make sure I actually had leaves in it… The color was very light but I guess from reading reviews that is normal ☺. Phew glad it wasnt just me. The aroma was that of a green tea and a hint of mint. I added a tad bit of honey and just loved it. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tea with me Moraiwe.