New Tasting Notes
I served this today at tea party with iced pumpkin coffee cake. I always make three teas for tea party day and I usually drink all three. If there is a tea that someone else particularly loves, I will stick to another so they can have more of their favorite.
Today I was the one who had a favorite and I didn’t ask – after the first round of cups I kept pouring this one for me! It was even better than the first time I had it.
I think the first time I made it I used boiling water for four minutes. Today I used 200F instead. I don’t know if that is what made the difference but it is more in line with their instructions. This tea just sparkled today!
The coffee cake was spiced and pumpkin-y, but when I sipped the tea there were always lovely flavors breaking through – fruity at times, and sweet caramel. This cake could easily overcome some teas but didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for this one. We were one person low today, so I helped myself! Very nice.
When it comes to David’s Tea I’ve become a little jaded. This, however, I like as much as when I first had it years ago. I love how the cardamon, coconut, almond, apple, ginger, and rose come together and create so much marzipan goodness. It’s magical.
From the 2015 advent calendar.
Flavors: Almond, Cardamon, Coconut, Marzipan, Rose
When the green tea and spices decide to dissociate from each other and pretend they’re not living in the same cupiverse we all pay the price, especially my tongue.
I think this all initially stems from DT’s belief that lots of cinnamon is all it takes to make a good spice tea. Seriously.
They also discount the role green tea plays when it’s thrown in with strong ingredients like citrus and spices:
“Is there any flavour combo more comforting than orange and cinnamon?” Oh, don’t get me started.
Flavors: Celery, Cinnamon, Orange
The progress on the 250g I purchased on sale online last year is coming along nicely. I think I’m down to around 50g, and have been making cold brews every once in a while. I told myself to try to drink more of this up before the Swampwater comes in the mail (thanks again to Fay for letting me know about the free shipping promo!), which should be in a couple days.
It’s lost a bit of its flavour but I still enjoy it as long as I don’t brew it too strong since this has a tendency to brew up a little too sweet for my liking if I don’t watch the ratios. I need to remind myself to just make a bunch of tea whenever I get a chocolate craving because I have lost touch with that trick. I had a particularly awkward, messed up, slightly stressful day yesterday which led to buying a box of Halloween chocolate that was on sale and I ate quite a bit between yesterday evening and this afternoon. It really adds up, ugh. Now I feel horrible, physically and mentally. Stupid combination of hormones and emotional eating, which I at least normally defeat. But they won this time.
And DAVIDsTEA, Y U NO SEND PARCEL via Canada Post anymore? Purolator instead? My apartment buzzer doesn’t work meaning that unless I wait downstairs in the lobby until the delivery person comes, I have to spend half the bloody day bussing to a remote area in the city and back.
I’ve noticed that I have been reviewing more flavored teas and tea blends lately. That’s not a bad thing, but I started posting reviews in an effort to highlight the various unflavored teas that I had been drinking. So, with that in mind, I decided to get back to work on unflavored teas. Expect more straight tea reviews in the near future.
This green tea is what I hope will be the start of me getting back to doing more straight tea reviews. I have been drinking this off and on for the last week. It is a nice tea to unwind with in the afternoon. Since the name really does not tell us much about the tea itself, allow me to state that this is a San Bei Xiang from Ningde in Fujian Province, China.
I prepared this tea using a three step Western infusion. I started with a 2 minute steep in 8 ounces of 170 F water. I followed this infusion with 2 additional infusions at 2.5 minutes and 3 minutes respectively.
Prior to infusion, I noted that the dry tea leaves produced a mild, slightly smoky vegetal aroma. After infusion, the light yellow tea liquor produced a mild, pleasant aroma that reminded me of a combination of pine, grass, hay, straw, and corn husk with a slight floral undertone that reminded me a little of squash blossoms. In the mouth, I picked up notes of grass, hay, straw, pine, smoke, and corn husk. There was a very subtle sweetness on the finish that I couldn’t quite place. The second infusion produced a similarly colored liquor with a simultaneously fruitier and nuttier aroma. In the mouth, I noted more pronounced notes of grass, hay, straw, and corn husk joined by lemon, chestnut, sea salt, and a hint of minerals. The final infusion produced a light yellow liquor with a subtle aroma that put me in mind of a combination of minerals, lemon, sea salt, and corn husk. In the mouth, there were fleeting, indistinct notes of minerals, sea salt, lemon, grass, hay, straw, chestnut, and corn husk.
Prior to trying this tea, I was not familiar with San Bei Xiang. The information provided by the merchant seems to suggest that this is a straight-ahead tea, and I found that to be very accurate. This is not the kind of tea one would really want or need to dig into and analyze. It’s more of a pleasant daily drinker. In that respect, it succeeds quite easily. It is the sort of green tea that doesn’t excite me much, but if I were to be in the mood for something mild, pleasant, and soothing, I could see myself reaching for this one again.
Flavors: Chestnut, Corn Husk, Grass, Hay, Lemon, Mineral, Pine, Salt, Smoke, Squash Blossom, Straw
I sipped this sample down yesterday first thing in the morning. Not impressive at all. Despite cooling the temperature down substantially and using approximately 3g out of the 5g sample in a huge mug, steeping for not even two minutes, it turned out bitter and vegetal. Grassy too, but more so vegetal. Meh. Not my thing. But I’m thankful that I got this as a free sample, anyway.
Its been one of Those Days. You know the ones, nothing terrible is happening, but theres an avalanche of little things, the phone ringing, the little tasks piling up, the research to be done. They’re all small, and nothing is absolutely critical, meaning prioritizing is hard. And just when you’ve made a dent in the ol’ pile, the phone rings again.
Ah, yes. Those Days.
So I’ve been busy, and decided I’d have another cup of something. But the black tea samples I had did not immedietly appeal. Fortunatly I threw this in, a sample from my recently arrived Bluebird Tea order.
I can’t say I really get “lemonade” out of this, but I don’t actually think that’s a bad thing. Lemonade might be too tart for enjoyment, at least in a hot brewed tea. Theres a lemony sweetness, rounding out a very fresh and juicy rose, but nothing puckers the mouth.
I actually really enjoyed it! I wont rush out to order it, but it might be pondered when I put in my next Bluebird order….
Farewell to the very last DF tea in my cupboard. They’ll be back someday, though. I’ll be sure of it.
I weirded myself out by cold brewing the last of this, and unsurprisingly, it came out slightly bitter. The buttery caramel crept up at the end of each sip—after the initial bitterness would finish having a conniption—and while it tasted glorious, it seemed extremely out of place. Not doing that again. But granted, not sure if I’d get more if this when I eventually order on the simple basis that I’ve fallen out of love with oolong. It’s a sad story.
Yummmm! Love this fruity green. I think it’s a pretty good balance between the tea base and the fruit flavor. Just by looking at it, you’d think it would be more apple-y than green but I like the balance. No sugar needed here, it’s pretty sweet and you don’t get that grassy flavor that green tea has.
I am having a pretty darn good day so far. Drank this bulletproof style (added coconut oil). My GI system is definitely not used that lol, but my brain loved it. Even if it’s the placebo effect, I’ll take the upgraded brain function any day.
I don’t particularly like the combo of tea and coconut oil, but I don’t dislike it either. I think tea is best on its own.
That being said, this tea is good. It’s not in my “favorites” category, but it’s nice with primary notes of sweet potato and bread and a faint chocolate note.
Artist Lin oolong is a unique High Mountain oolong! This one has a really oily thick texture with notes of tulips, honey, pine nuts, and butter. It is bright and crisp, with a long aftertaste. I quite enjoyed this oolong, and if you are a texture floral freak you’ll love it.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/artist-lin-oolong-stone-leaf-teahouse-tea-review/
No notes yet. Add one?
More like midday in the kitchen.
Spending the afternoon in and out of studying (last final is in less than an hour! ahh!) and baking Spookyween sugar cookies. You can’t do baking without a tea companion; and this is what teachat voted on out of the things I couldn’t decide between.
I’m really enjoying this mug: mostly getting a lot of mellow but sweet hay/straw notes but this does have a really pleasant soft peach finish to it. Maybe more peach skins than the fruit, though? Smooth, easy drinking and soft enough for a midday tea to break up all the other things I’ve had so far today.
And, I think it was good mojo drinking a white tea because this last presentation is all about Chinese style white teas…
This tea is actually really good with some sugar, it’s smooth and sweet. This is probably the best straight tea I’ve had in a while. It’s too bad that it is so darn expensive! It’s $20 per 50g… Which is why I used my last frequent steeper reward on it. At least it’s a good tea – obviously good quality. I can taste some of the fruity notes, but I’m not sure which ones. The reason I got this is because of its fruitier notes which is odd for a straight oolong. I think I’m tasting the ripe plum notes to it. I like it. I steeped the same leaves twice already and it’s still just as yummy.
Flavors: Plums, Smooth
I’ve had a hard time gauging the Wu Liang region. I’ve enjoyed several of YS’s Wu Liang green teas, but found Scott’s 2013 and 2014 Wu Liangs sheng pu’ercha to be too candy sweet for me to enjoy these teas’ other attributes. This year, I gave the region another chance, and I was pleasantly rewarded with something special.
This is one of the most elegant and unique sheng pu’ercha I’ve had yet. The dried leaves are of the primordial middle-small leaf varietal from that region and they have a sweet grass and orchid-like sent which is greatly amplified and accompanied by sweet butter after the first rinse.
To get a better sense of the tea I drink the rinse. The tea soup is so clear and pure tasting, my eyes get wider in anticipation for the awesomeness that is about to unfold. My initial thoughts were “pleasant old tree green tea”, but that changed once the tea revealed a thick viscosity, luxurious mouthfeel, powerful qi, and complex notes of chardonnay white grape skins, sandalwood, tobacco, dandelion greens, wild orchids, and sweet butter.
There’s great mouth activity and vibrations that extends to the throat. It’s a very pure, concentrated, and vibrant tea that should gain complexity with time—-and I think the best value per dollar among all of Scott’s 2016 line.
Quite a unique tea. I’ve finished my sample bag a few months back, but realized I hadn’t shared my notes. The dried leaves are large, intact, and have a pleasant floral scent. After the rinse, the floral/grassy scent is stronger and accompanied by sweet hay and hint of dried tomatoes. The tea brews a very clear darker gold hue and has a clean, refreshing taste. This tea is dynamic in the mouth—flavors and tingly sensations dancing on all parts of the tongue. It’s medium bodied with a pleasurable mouthfeel and qi.
The first thing I noticed was it’s slightly mid-aged taste—more notes of sweet sandalwood, sweet hay, vine tomatoes, autumn flowers, brown sugar, and raw honey. I am not experienced enough to tell whether this more aged taste resulted from processing or terrior, but it does have a very interesting flavor profile I have yet to come across. I’ve let this tea sit for months after the first and second sessions. It’s much improved since then, which makes me wonder how it would taste at this juncture.
I’ve been going through my sample bowl, and to my very great surprise, there was an old tea bag of this sitting at the bottom. When have I ever had teabags of this? Did I get it as a freebe with some order? I’ve never seen a Harney & Sons teabag before, only sachets!
Well, I thought, I’d better log this, and then drink it right on down. The cupboard numbers will go up, and then down just as fast.
This teabag serves as a potent reminder. Drink tea when its fresh, and loose leaf is better when you can. (For me, anyway).
This is Paris, but its a shadow of its usual glory, a pale imitator.
Still, a nice spot of warmth on a grey afternoon.
So, in addition to sipdowns, I’m really keen to actually, you know, try the teas in my cupboard. I’ve got more than half of my stash that’s currently listed as no tasting notes, and I’ve not yet tried. This is so silly! I’ve got all this tea so I can drink and enjoy it, so I should get started on that.
So, this, which is me being brave and venturing into unflavored black teas again. I picked it up on a whim with my last Whispering Pines Order, as they’ve not steered me wrong with unlfaovred teas yet.
This is almost creamy. I don’t mean that there is a creamy or vanilla flavor to it, but the richness of the sip is the same as a “creamy” tea.
That said, the flavor is not too dense or heavy. There is admirable lightness, and so the slightly woody, slightly floral flavors of this blend have a chance to stand on their own.
Unlike some unflavored black tea, where I can see why people add milk or sugar, this one I think would work best as it. Additives would just weigh it down.
Yep, Whispering Pines has not steered me wrong yet.
Currently drinking this one and talking to people on Slack;
I’m looking for new people to follow here on Steepster right now ‘cause I feel like my dash has slowed down a lot since many of the people I follow have become inactive in the last year. So, if anyone can think of someone who posts relatively regularly who’s reviews you enjoy seeing on your own dash let me know ‘cause I’d love to follow some new people!
I’m enjoying this one so far – I kind expected it to be a little more full bodied but the medium bodied notes that I am getting are really pleasant/smooth. I actually need to hurry my ass up and finish it off ‘cause it’s starting to get cold now since I’ve been a little distracted with talking to everyone on top of texting my
Most prominent note here is malt which doesn’t surprise me ‘cause I find that a lot of Indian teas really have that strong malty feel and Nepal’s terroir is so similar to India’s that there’s certainly quite a bit of flavour overlap from similarly styled teas. In addition to that I’m getting some nice freshly baked bread notes and a sweeter mid sip/body flavour. I think this is the element of the tea that’s supposed to be fruitier but I’m honestly struggling a little to identify any specific fruit notes rather than just that bright, natural “fructose” type sweetness. The finish has a light sort of “cocoa” taste to it; like a light dusting on the tip of my tongue. Definitely no real presence in the aftertaste, which is disappointing: I like that “imprint” of flavour that creeps on long after you’ve finished the sip. It draws out the mug more because you get to savor the sips longer before taking another…
A little ironic because I’m finding this tea doesn’t really have that aftertaste/“shadow” following the sip. Good song though; it’s been a Wombats day for me. I think I’ve listened to my three favourite songs by them like a half dozen times a piece so far today?
“Kiss me with your fist it’s all right
Wrap your hands around my throat I won’t mind”
It’s almost like those lyrics are describing what I’m WANTING from this tea but not quite getting…
Thank you VariaTEA for the sample!
I was pretty sure I’d tried this one before, but looks like this is my first tasting. I must be mixing up the name with one of the many other French teas I’ve had the fortune of trying.
I cold brewed this one, but I kind of regret doing so because I really, really didn’t like it. I had an impossible time getting over the intensely buttery oolong that engulfed each sip paired with this really off putting sour note at the finish of the sip. Most of this got pitched, honestly. I think hot prep would have been better; I doubt it would have drawn out the same level of nasty from the base. But I guess I wont know until I put that theory to test; it may be a while though…
I need to forget this experience/distance myself from it first.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Sour
Commute to work tea on one of those mornings that’s just slow, still and drizzly…
Those are my favourite mornings to drink a good Lapsang Souchong; the trickle of intense smoke filling your lungs as you inhale the liquor deeply is both peaceful and commanding in its presence. Another way this feeling could be expressed is that it both lifts you out of your surrounding environment and grounds you at the same time. With this mug, I also enjoyed the hint of sweetness at the end of each sip that kind of caressed the bed of my tongue after the smoke had overrun it.
This was my song pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTOC_q0NLTk
It’s one of those songs I feel like you need to listen to a couple times to really appreciate it because the lyrics are beautiful but the tone and pacing are the sort that slips easily into the background of what you’re doing. It’s a nice “soundtrack to life” type of song. Good for the tea and the environment I was drinking it in.
Normally, I actually like to play something even slower paced and haunting when I drink Lapsang; think bands like Cigarettes After Sex. I find that music hits the right chord emotionally and the tone of the singer’s voice often embodies the smoke notes in the tea. But this does the exact same thing in a different way and is a nice change of pace.
Drank this one last night in a big Nordic mug with some almond milk!
I have to say, this one is really becoming a daily-drinker of sorts for me and that’s really high praise for me given that it’s a Ceylon, which is a type of tea I am NOT generally a big fan off. I just find this one is so smooth and personally I adore the combination of honey, malt, graham, and chocolate notes I get each time that I make it. On top of that, this tea manages to be full bodied with all of those flavour notes that are traditionally really, really rich but I don’t find it cloying at all either. Even during the odd time I take it with honey or some sort of milk.
I think the tone suits the profile of the tea really nicely overall; but my favourite part of this pairing is the emphasis on the smoothness of the tea/honey whiskey respectively. It’s kind of both intense but silky…