454 Tasting Notes
I was very excited when I found this tin on the clearance table in Taste, a little foodie/kitchen shop in Decatur. I only paid $5 for 3.2 ounces! Also, the lady behind the counter turned out to be the new owner, and she asked me to come in and help her figure out what new teas to carry! I’m happy to help!
So, after a night of drinking and watching shuffleboard at Twain’s, I wanted something iced and fast. I was cautious since it’s new to me, so I only gave it 4 minutes to steep. I used two generous teaspoons versus 16 ounces of ice and water. The result was a little milder than I was expecting. It still had that lovely malty but fruity taste I’ve come to adore from yunnans, but it just didn’t pack a punch. There was also a hint of caramel and smokiness, which kinda makes this an ideal black tea for me, but I’m going to have to work on making it stronger. Maybe next time I’ll do five minutes and 2.5 teaspoons.
The second I opened my sample packet, I was hit with the strong scent of woodsmoke. I immediately thought of burning leaves in fall. (And I also thought of Brimstone, a Texan whiskey known for its powerful campfire taste.) It wasn’t exactly something summer-appropriate, but the curiosity got the better of me anyway. I’ve had one Lapsang Souchong before, from Adagio, but that was several years ago and I was less experienced then. It frightened me away and I ended up trading it.
Even though I gave the tea less than two minutes to steep, it still brewed up as dark reddish amber as a standard four minute black tea. I lightly sweetened it, and let it cool for a little while. I was a little hesitant, but I trusted Teavivre. Surprisingly, the smokiness seems to be more extreme in the scent. The actual tea is much more subtle and smooth. It reminds me of their other black teas with that sweet, bread-like taste.
I should not have been afraid to try this. But I may save it for the first chilly nights of fall, for the full effect.
Ahh, I had been missing a good Earl Grey. I got this as a birthday gift from Kaliskaa and had it for my commute and first shift. As I’ve been doing lately, I brewed it strong and put it over ice with a little sugar. It was almost overpoweringly strong before the ice had time to melt, but I had only used 2 sachets for about 14 ounces of water! This stuff doesn’t play around!
Once I got to work, I dropped a lemon slice into the cup and gave it a good stir. Over time, it became a beautiful lemonade-like drink with the bitter bite of Ceylon. It tasted so clean, and yet so dark. I will be doing this a lot this summer.
Finished up my sample from my first round of Teavivre samples. I was craving something light and iced but still wholesome, and this is perfect. I’m really starting to get a taste for iced white and oolong teas. Working with Teavivre’s instructions has really refined my preparation, and taught me that I was overdoing it with the heat and time before.
This is my first milk oolong. I’ve tried black milk teas before, but this is almost entirely different. While in black teas with milk flavoring, I felt like the milk was there to soften the bitterness of it… but with this oolong, there is no bitterness or harshness to hide. It’s only there to add a subtle creaminess.
Last night, I made it hot, and enjoyed it greatly. I decided to have it again as my take-to-work tea, over ice since it was already in the 90’s when I left. It was wonderful iced. The Teavivre oolongs I’ve tried before were on the floral side, but this one is fruity! The flavor reminds me of peaches! It’s like a light peaches and cream oolong! I absolutely love it. Best oolong I’ve ever tried; will order.
First of all, I’m honored to get to try this aged tea. When it was harvested, I was still at my first place away from home, working for Wolf Camera.
Now, onto the details. I gave it just over two minutes and it brewed up very dark. The scent reminds me of leather and the forest floor after a good rain. Now, I’m always a little afraid of puerh because I don’t like fishiness, but this puerh doesn’t taste like that at all. It tastes fresher and smoother than other puerhs I’ve tried, and completely not astringent. It makes me think of a really good yunnan, just… aged, for lack of a better word.
This was my commute tea yesterday. I deviated a little from the instructions this time and let it steep for an extra 30 seconds, which deepened the flavor. This time, I used eight pearls for about 10-12 ounces of water and was very pleased with how it turned out. The cocoa was enhanced and stronger. I’m still loving this tea, and will definitely order it next time I place an order with Teavivre.
My Teavivre samples arrived today! This will be my third round of tasting from this generous company, and as usual, I am like a kid on Christmas. This tea was the one I was most excited about. I read everyone else’s reviews on it and it got me quite excited for my turn. I am in love with Teavivre’s black teas, and when I smelled the pearls, I knew it was not going to disappoint.
As far as preparation goes, I used two pearls in about 10 ounces of water with a steel infuser. It unrolled rather quickly into long, whole, pointed leaves much like their yunnans. I let it go for the whole two minutes because I was a little worried by how pale amber the tea was. But the scent of it as it cooled reassured me that it would be flavorful.
Maybe next time I will use three pearls, but this is still a delicious cup. Malty cocoa is the strongest flavor, I agree. It reminds me a bit of their bailin gongfu, but a little more astringent. Also, there is just the barest hint of smokiness that makes it very satisfying. It is by no means your average black tea, and I can’t wait to get through this cup so I can make another. It’s great.
This is my first of Harney & Sons’ bottled tea line.
First of all, the flavor is light and it isn’t over-sweetened like most bottled teas I’ve tried. In fact, there are only 10 grams of sugar in the whole bottle. The taste immediately makes me think of pairing it with Thai food and how this would go well with panang curry, tom kha gai, or pad Thai.
There is enough lemongrass in this to be the dominant flavor, which is nice, but I was expecting a bit more coconut. The vanilla falls short, as well as the ginger. There is barely a hint of it, so sadly no ginger burn. The green tea might as well be water, because you can’t taste that at all, either. It’s like it’s just there for color. Anyway, it’s refreshing and different, but if you’re looking for a tea that tastes like tea, you might want to try something else.