253 Tasting Notes
I believe the last time I had enjoyed a Yunnan tea was from Adagio. The leaves were a mixture of beautifully light and deep browns, curled and soft, with tiny hairs. I recall golden tips and a smooth and soft flavor.
This tea is rather interesting. There is clearly a musty scent, which makes me worry about the quality of this tea.
There is a mixture of dark brown leaves and stems, which is not odd. What is odd is the size of the stems, most larger and longer than the leaves. I worry some more.
The liquor is dark and cloudy, with that musty scent from the leaves. I am actually not really looking forward to tasting this tea.
And, just as I had suspected, this is a very bitter tea. The musty scent had very much shown what the quality was to this tea, which is bitter and pretty much flavourless.
In a lovely tin, this sachet tea allows the scented tea to breathe. Despite still being a bagged tea, it does have more room, albeit a very limited amount.
The jasmine aroma is quite strong. It actually reminds me of Adagio’s Jasmine Silver Needle oolong tea. Only, this tea is not the beautiful long and slender leaves of the Silver Needle, but rolled into tiny pearls.
The liquor is equally as strong, with a deep copper tone. The leaves in the sachet unfurl and reveal quite small and light leaves.
The first initial sips are a full on jasmine and green tea bliss. The jasmine, despite the overpowering aroma, is not as overpowering in flavor. There is a subtle sweetness, but the jasmine provides a stable body with the green tea.
Color me lavender, as my reaction to this is similar to Adagio’s Jasmine Silver Needle. The jasmine scent can become overwhelming, but can work beautifully with a proper leaf.
Before diving completely into the wonderful world of loose leaf tea, this had become my favorite of the bagged teas. It has been a while since enjoying this tea. I have grown substantially, in both knowledge and practice, on my tea preparation and consumption. Hopefully, I still enjoy this as much as I had before.
There is still an overwhelming joy I get when opening the cover to reveal the subtle and delicious scents of ginger and pear. Because it is a bagged tea, the aroma is light. It is also as bright as I remembered.
Steeping brings out the spice to the ginger, a very soothing and reassuring aroma from a very soothing and reassuring light green color.
The flavor is still subtle, with a slight kick of the ginger. It is not as strong as I had remembered, but familiar brightness and a subtle sweetness come and go.
I wouldn’t say this is disappointing, as my views have not changed significantly. I have found other bagged teas that give much greater flavor and more dimension. Yet, this tea still plays on my soft heart.
It feels like I haven’t really enjoyed a good new oolong tea in a while. I’ve found interesting oolongs, as well as replenished familiar oolongs, but never stumbled upon an oolong that can surprise me.
This is definitely one of the nicer tins I’ve purchased, closer in shape and design to the first double covered tin that contained Chocolate tea. The tin is covered in writing I can’t understand, aside from the name of the tea, of course. As well, the red tin is also covered with familiar designs of landscapes and a golden dragon on the lid.
The leaves are very complex and detailed, as they are tightly rolled. They vary shades of deep green, with stems scattered about. The aroma is wonderfully flowery, with a handsome roasted body.
Steeping brings out the buttery roasted oolong scent, scaling back the floral, and making for an increasingly complex aroma. The brew is a handsome deep amber color and very clean.
The flavor is soft, mellow and a nice balance of floral and roasted tones. There are multiple dimensions with each sip, as you catch different characteristics, most faint behind the buttery and floral flavors.
The balance and complexities give quite an interesting and delicious oolong. The mellow floral flavors make this an appropriate afternoon tea, as the strong floral aroma can linger.
I remember receiving a chocolate tea from a friend, where the tin had to be opened twice. Those tins were a little difficult to open, but not as difficult as the tin that encased this tea. Both covers were hard to get off, as it wasn’t so much they were stuck, just the way the tins were made.
The tea itself isn’t much. Full curled brown to black leaves, with a lightly woody aroma.
Steeping gives it a better texture, very earthy and dark.
The liquor gives you that very familiar pu-erh rich earthy aroma, as well as that very handsome deep thick color. I have likened myself to smokey and strong teas, and pu-erhs are some of the best teas you can have.
The flavor is not as strong as you would like it to be. There is that earthy and smokey flavor, like a fresh forest, but it isn’t as rich as I can recall other pu-erhs to be. It is quite rich, don’t get me wrong, but not a brilliant richness as, say, Imperial Organic’s bagged pu-erh.
Nonetheless, you get a nice cup of pu-erh that is full bodied and rich.
Tea bag time!
As with all teabags, the aroma is very faint. There are hints of freshness, as the ingredients read natural fruit and vegetable pieces, but you mainly find the lemongrass dominating.
Steeping gives you a more fruitful aroma, with the lemongrass not too far behind. I think the apple pieces are dominating, which lends to it’s sweetness.
The brew is a deep and cloudy green, with a mixture of rouge tones, possibly from the orange peel and rose hips.
As I had suspected, it is quite a blend, with the rose hips and lemongrass seemingly fighting for dominance over the fruit. It is appropriately sweet, but there is a darkness to it, with the lemongrass brightening slightly.
Notice I haven’t mentioned cucumbers once, as it is nowhere to be found in aroma or flavor. It’s quite disappointing considering I bought it mainly because of the cucumber, but if I had read the ingredients beforehand, I would have suspected this would not be a cucumber flavored green tea, with just too many other flavors in the mix.
Nonetheless, it is an acceptable bagged green tea.
So, you’ve probably heard of the Champagne of Tea, but have you ever heard of an ice wine tea? Certainly not I, and certainly not before two days ago.
It was a happy surprise to find out that a long time specialty shop in Terrace actually sells loose leaf tea. What was quite amazing was the variety of teas they offer, and how relatively obscure the fact of them carrying loose leaf tea was.
In any case, the ice wine tea intrigued me. I haven’t really heard much about quality or experiences, but the fact that there was an ice wine tea was enough for me to purchase.
Upon opening the bag, you’re met with an overwhelmingly sweet and fresh pear and grape scent, not so much fruit but simply refreshing. It is actually very interesting, as the grape and pear make up most, if not all of the leaves’ aroma, as you cannot find one bit of tea scent. The leaves are a typical long and rolled black tea, with very dark tones.
I have taken heed to previous tasting notes and decided to steep a minute less my typical 3 minute black tea time. During the steeping, the black tea is brought right out with a very strong aroma. I have also taken heed to the bag’s recommendation of adding sugar, only adding half a teaspoon of rock sugar. Deeper inquiry to others’ past experiences make me think I should have added more sugar.
The brew appears very dark and very wine-ish. The color is deep and clear, the aroma strong yet fresh and subtly fruity. It’s a really soothing aroma, one I would imagine from an actual ice wine.
I also regret not having a wine glass handy at work for this tea.
My first initial sips allow me to understand the strong warnings of how strong the black tea can get, as I instantly taste the strong tea pushing through the other flavors. I am thankful for keeping my steeping at 2 minutes, as I could see this brew turning bitter.
The fruity notes are harmonized with the black tea, giving a wine characteristic of sorts. The grape is quite obvious, but there is also a hint of green apple, as I would imagine as there is also some sweet pear. There is a slight astringency, but due to the shortened steep, it is almost undetectable.
Overall, this is a refreshing and lovely blend. For these wet winter months, this is quite appropriate tea to enjoy casually. I wouldn’t mind sharing it iced with close friends… while watching Girls on HBO.
One of the first things that jump out at you when you first catch the scent of the leaves is lemongrass. It is quite dominant, and very refreshing. A slight creamy texture compliments the more subtle aromas, mainly fruit, in this extremely interesting blend.
I am indeed very intrigued, as steeping gives more of the lemongrass, more of the same of the creamy texture, and strangely subtler aromas that swirl around. The brew is a cloudy blonde color, and very bright.
There is a satisfying surprise in the flavor that you don’t really expect. It is not what you thought a lime gelato tea would taste, as the flavor has a light creaminess. There is a very lime flavor mixed with the sweet essence of other fruit, followed by the lemongrass. The sencha finishes with a subtle astringency that appropriately closes the blend.
It is quite a smooth flavor, pleasing to the last drop, and, I can imagine, a thousand times better iced.
On my second visit to the Prince George location of David’s Tea, I had requested suggestions of new teas for the season, which I have not yet tried.
Again, normally, I wouldn’t be interested in a rooibos blend, especially if it is mainly rooibos; but, it’s scent had enticed me. The leaves give off a ridiculously coconutty aroma, with hints of sweet spices.
Unfortunately, it is still predominately rooibos, as it is a rooibos blend, so upon steeping, the leaves are very red, and the cloudy liquor’s aroma is very rooibos. To be safe, I added half a teaspoon of rock sugar.
The flavor is surprising, as I had expected to taste rooibos. The spices and ginger are very present and very delicious, as is the coconut. There is a certain pale grounding to the flavor, which the rock sugar has sweetened to be less distracting.
I was extremely surprised, as I had not expected this to be as good as it is. The spices give it an appropriate kick, but the blend overall really works to take you to a very alpine place.
Oolong tea can already have a strong scent, which is usually woody. This oolong is combined with ginseng, which makes for an extremely strong dry leaf scent. The rolled leaves have a soft and powdery texture, which gives an interesting appearance with it’s dirty green color.
Steeping provides a less ginseng and more wooden oolong aroma, with a wonderfully deep and clear bamboo tone.
The flavor does have a familiar woody oolong, with a bit of sweet aftertaste that creeps up behind your tongue. It is quite strange, as it is almost a biting sweetness that, at times, can extend to the back of the roof of your mouth.
Aside from the sweet biting aftertaste, this is an oolong without any surprises.