59 Tasting Notes
This was definitely interesting. Not really what I was expecting. I’ve been trying a TON of different black teas lately, and this was definitely an outlier. BUT…it was pretty good, I guess. I followed the Steepster Select steeping instructions, and I feel like it might have been a bit too strong; for the second sample, I’ll probably lower the steep time to 2:30 or 2:45. I definitely got hints of the advertised “cinnamon, clove and mint,” which is I guess why it tastes so different.
I don’t know. It certainly wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t fantastic. Definitely my least favorite of January’s Select teas.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves
Honestly, I’m kind of running out of things to say – I just really like black tea, and there was nothing particularly disagreeable about this one. I really appreciate the sample from Tea at Sea, all of my interaction with them has been incredible.
I’m pretty new to white tea in general, so I don’t really know exactly what to look for. That being said, I really enjoyed trying this one. It had a very mild sweetness to it that was pretty nice, matched by a bit of astringency as well.
I got this from the January Steepster Select package, and it was definitely one of my favorites. I haven’t had a ton of experience with oolongs, but this one reminded me lot of a Taiwanese Pouchong I got from a tea room in Colorado – one of my favorite teas I’ve ever tried.
It has what I assume to be the characteristic flavor of a lighter oolong – very smooth and almost buttery. It takes extremely well to multiple steepings, so it can last you a while.
Alright, so this is my first time making pu-erh, and it was mostly a disaster, though I think I was able to salvage the experience a bit.
I don’t have anything similar to a gaiwan, and at this point, I don’t know what I would do with one if I did. So, I was forced to steep the tea “western style.” My plan was to use two pieces/cakes for a bit over 8 oz of tea (which was probably my first mistake). So I put two pieces in one teapot, poured boiling water into it to let it steep, and then transferred the liquid over to a separate teapot for serving. I read something that said you should first “rinse the leaves,” so I did that. After that:
First steep: was terrible. I basically used two pieces (~11 g) of tea with a little over 8 oz of water, and steeped for two minutes. It tasted HORRIBLE. It was extremely bitter, and essentially tasted like mud. I’ve had pu-erh before (prepared by someone who knew what they were doing), so I knew that I had done something wrong.
Second steep: Using the same leaves, I poured in more water (maybe ~12 oz?) and steeped it for only one minute. This was noticeably better, but still a little more harsh than I remember it being.
Third steep: I used MORE water (~13-14 oz) and steeped it for 45 seconds. This was when it started getting pretty good, much more similar to the smooth earthy-leathery taste I remember from previous times trying pu-erh.
Fourth steep: Same as the third. I started noticing it get a bit weaker, and I was getting a bit tired of the whole process, so I stopped here.
So. That was my experience. By the third and fourth steeps, it tasted excellent, so I’m sure that this specific tea is excellent. Either way, I’ve yet to try a tea from Teavivre that wasn’t spectacular. I got this as a free sample from another order, so I feel bad for screwing it up, I kind of only had one chance. Oh well.
If any of you can see what I’m doing wrong, please let me know. I’d love to hear some pu-erh tips.