I know it’s been a few since I’ve checked in, but I’ll give her my best shot now with this tastey little tea I recieved from Autumn Hearth. Thank you so much.
After consulting the Verdent website I followed the western style instructions. Though it was a generous sample that AH sent I didn’t want to attempt my first gongfu out of fear that there wouldn’t be enough it I would ruin this tea.
I would love to tell you just how complex and vibrant the first cup was, yet I only got a mere sip before my wife confiscated the mug…she seemed quite pleased with it. The second steeping still proved to be delightful, though I can only assume a certain portion of the complexity had been deminished.
What was left was a roasty cup with almost floral notes. Not sure about the elderberry or apricot from the description, but there was a bitter sweet thing that maybe I can associate with citrus.
Though I did enjoy this tea it reminded me of a sample of Tie Kaun Yin I tried, but slightly more astringent. I personally was turned off by the dry feeling in my mouth, especially when the sip I got out of the first infusion was very buttery and smooth.
I hate to leave such a short and less than informative note on this one. Maybe if I woulda had the first infuse it may have been different, but I don’t want to sound like I’m belly-aching over it. It’s a good tea for sure.
tunes-everything from Gotye,The Heavy,Awolnation,Jonah Smith,Tom Waits,Panic!At The Disco,& Jack Whites new one.
55 Tasting Notes
I know it’s been a few since I’ve checked in, but I’ll give her my best shot now with this tastey little tea I recieved from Autumn Hearth. Thank you so much.
I must thank Azz for this fine little sample. I say little, but it appears from the website to be what they send in a sampler. It comes in one of those cute little tins that you can get about a full pot out of and she never even opened it. I can only assume she had drank it somewhere before.
I like this tea alot! There’s one definitive destinction as to why that is for me. It has the perfect balance and delivers the vegetive crispness, yet without crossing the threshold and becoming astringent or bitter. It has the nutty notes I love, yet is still somewhat buttery in the mouthfeel. It’s light and airy with a slight to moderate sweet note as well.
As it cools I find the vegetive notes begin to outweigh the roasty ones, which turns out not to be unpleasant to a roasty prefering drinker such as myself. I steeped this one four times. The latter two steepings the vegetive and roastiness was toned down and what was left was a buttery sweet gulper. I don’t like for my cup to cool, but sometimes you get distracted queing up the next song, which leads me to my musical pairing.
tunes-Im back on a Mumford&Sons kick=White Blank Page/Thistle and Weeds/Dust Bowl Dance/I Gave You All/Sigh No More/To Darkness-Kripa.
Alas I have yet to get the new album, but the portions you can play from the website lets me see I want it.
I have to admit that I was skeptical of this tea since it is A) a green tea, and B) it has jasmine in it. Turns out my skeptisisms were unwarrented.
I brewed me up a large cuppa this golden/green colored drink merely so I could cross it off of my ‘possible teas’ list. As you can see by my opening statement it turns out that is in fact a possible drinker. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but given that I haven’t liked many greens or any of the jasmines I’ve tried it’s still fairing well enough.
First thing that came to mind on the first sip was buttery, real buttery. After that I found myself questioning what was different about the green flavor. Partly it was the addition of the jasmine, though that was pretty tame, yet there was something else difficult to nail down. It’s a kind of malty green hay thing that, again, is difficult to nail down.
There were some sweet notes present as well, but I didn’t get any of the fruity or honey I read others may have found. I steeped this one a few times and found that the distinctly different notes that jumped out in the first cup had all mellowed and melted into a harmony of flavors.
Even though greens aren’t typically my thing I must still comment on the qaulity that Teavivre delivers. The pearls were beautiful and unfurled into delicate slender leaves. Even though it was AZZ that sent me this sample I must add Angel to my gratitude for the opportunity to experience this tea. Azz you were very gracious to send me so many samples to learn from, and Angel you have made it possible for many people to experience your teas and to taste and see what it is that you offer. Thank you both.
tunes-Gactic,albums-From The Corner To The Block/Carnivale Electicos.
I must thank JacquelineM for this sample. I’m not going to write a lengthy note on it because I ended up becoming disappointed. I did not start out as such, but let me explain.
I’ll start by letting you know that there is no tune to be paired with this note. We were watching Snow White and the Huntsman… the film proved to be the undoing of this tea. You see I found it to be delicious from the first sip. I have less to say about the Earl Gray part and much more of the de la Creme portion.
The Earl Gray was smokey but not as bold as I would have guessed, my assumption being that it would take something with kick to be coupled with the sweet vanilla notes that are so prevalent in this tea. The de la Creme part was so creamy and smooth that the only thing I can think to compare it to is actual cream, maybe with honey as well.
Now back to the movie…It starts out a captivating film with wonderful special effects, an intriguing character (evil queen), and an unpredictable twist on a classic tale. And here lies the problem with the drink. I was drinking happily away on this juice when I got pulled in by the movie long enough for my drink to cool just a bit. Before that happened I was sipping on it while it was still plenty hot yet once it cooled it became bitter. I’m talking hard to continue bitter. Tis a shame because it started out so good.
This tea came my to me by way of an amazing hook-up from Dinosara. Thanks!
The drink, coincidentally, has similarities to many of the teas I’ve been trying lately. As it stands, when I see the brew to be a pale yellow liquor, once ready, I start assuming it will have the clean, crisp, and light sweet notes I’m coming to expect.
This tea was no exception. There were light grassy notes but little astringecy. In fact, AWM thought that the tiny bit of bitterness I found was more a noticable-and that was also minimal.
The floral sweet notes are so welcoming to me. I’ve seen through several samples that adding sweetness can be a drinks downfall for me, yet when I find one that has enough sweet notes through natural means then that, for me, is a treat.
Though it doesn’t taste like it per se, I think of sweet corn when considering the sweet and grassy notes combined. And by that I mean the whole cob, husks and all. That’s why I “think of” rather than taste it.
There are floral notes that almost cross into fruity as well.
It’s a refreshing drink that I ended up steeping several time. In fact the most memorable (this is a backlog) was the next morning. Not wanting to be done with it I gave it another try with about half of the water and a little more time; the result was amazing! It seemed to me that all of the sweet notes had continued to break down, or dissolve if you will, and I got a sweet packed cup first thing in the morn.
Sadly that means it is in fact the last cup when this happens (I’ve seen it a few times now). I’m so thankful to the many samples I’ve recieved-I’m discovering many teas that, as it turns out, are becoming favs. I can’t see that I will have a definitive grasp on what exactly I do and don’t like for quite some time.
tunes-Collection of Irish Balads=picked it up from the library over the weekend…along with 25 or so other CDs.
Wasn’t able to write anything down at work, but ended up with over 20 steepings. Though this tea didn’t start out too complex with western style, nor did it gain complexity, it maintained all that it started with through the 20plus steepings which was very impressive. I will take Autumn’s advice with the remainder of the sample and try my first gongfu brew.
Autumn Hearth sent this to me amongst several wonderful selection that I am most greatful for.
The drink is so smooth and crisp. It actually has a lighter body than I expected, but that could be explained in that the leaves of dense cakes are harder to judge amounts with. That said, I may have added too much water. Whether improper brewing or mistaken expectation this is still a good tea.
Mostly what I get from this is a sweetness. Now I’m not just gonna leave it at that…it’s a…well…kind of a…
OK it has that camphor sort of tingley sweet, as well as an ever so slight honey addition. So a honey flavored lip balm I guess is what I’m saying. Somehow that didn’t come out as eloquently as I had imagined.
I’m really bogged down at this point. There’s an earthiness, though not as apparent as other pu’s I’ve had. On the flip side of that coin though, it lacks much of the bitterness that may help to make up any smokey, malty, or thick wood notes. There is a cedar note, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not overpowering nor is it very bitter.
I read another note or two that said that they had luck steeping it again the next morning so I will try this as well.
To me this is a good tea, though not great. Maybe I need to try brewing again, I was surprised to see three minutes for the brewing time rather than the thirty to forty five seconds I have steeped all other pu’s for.
Maybe my expectations were thrust up after reading David Ducklers beautiful telling of the story behind this tea. That, actually is probably part of it, though I fault Mr Duckler none for this. I surely invite the telling of the tale behind the tea, I should just avoid being caught away by it.
I thank David for making this tea available, and I thank Autumn Hearth even more for putting it into my hands.
tunes-I picked up some CDs from the library and the Orthodox Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu’s Live @ Stubbs was one of them. I’m enjoying it, especially seeing video footage of a man in complete Hasidic attire beatboxing! Wild to say the least.
Azz this sample is being drank with great appreciation towards you. I’m also glad that I did not make the mistake to totally dismiss this tea, for I had made a small amount of a Spring Tieguanyin and found it to be bitter, problem is it was earlier on and I very well may have messed it up. I don’t think I messed it up this time…
A jolly little drink to be sure. Flavors jumped out at me too fast to pen with the first few sips, so I will try to get what I can out of it.
I followed the well written and informative directions to a TEA (yukyuk). At first I noticed a creamy/buttery mouthfeel that was saturated with a floral sweetness. We had honeysuckle growing thickly on a fence so I feel informed enough to agree with the description as to this part. I tasted the orchid note as well.
As the drink cooled the green flavors started to surface, though with such a faint astringency that I, AWM (see comments on Bananas Foster), was able to overlook it. The grassiness was not super strong either.
I’m on the third steep now and surprised at how strong this is still going. It’s changed without deminishing. There’s some kind of mouthfeel that reminds me of chicken noodle soup, though clean and not oily at all. I guess it’s the overall presence being bold, yet light, that impressions me with soup broth/stock.
The quality of this tea is obvious. I would definitely suggest this to others.
THANK YOU AZZ FOR THIS WONDERFUL SAMPLE. Please forgive that slip. In a rush to get through some notes I spaced the most important part. Then after that I grabbed some teas without researching what I was drinking and made three in a row I had already done notes on. Better luck today.
I’m going to try to do several short notes to catch up on all the samples I’ve recieved from several of you generuos tea lovers out there.
Golden pale color. Smell fantasticly of coconuts. The drink first only hints of coconut, but rather plays with my palate with notes of vanilla and maybe nutmeg. The coconut slowly makes it’s presence known, but he brings a floral friend with him. The creamy smooth mouthfeel is probably the most prominent feature. This stuff is good. I could drink it all day, but I suspect I won’t get too many steepings in that the second has already lost some of the crisper notes. It’s still good, just not as grabbing as the first infusion.
tunes-Dave Mathews&Tim Reynolds=Typical Situation/Ants Marching/Warehouse/Jimi Thing
THANK YOU AUTUMN HEARTH FOR MAKING MY DAY! After opening the package I recieved today I wasted no time getting this one into my press. I will skip all of the formalities and jump to what I tasted. Wow is this tea complex and sweet and lovely. It was just busy with pleasantries. I’m actually backlogging so will do this justice in a tasting note later.
In no paticular order, because I’m going off of a memory that is always suspect, I found roasted, honey, the slight mineral tang so applauded, fruity, faint nuttiness, clean and light-yet pronounced and vibrant.
I’ve seemed to be in a slump as of late; less time to write notes than I desire, coupled with knowing that a few of the ones that I did write weren’t particularly my favs, left me feeling detached from the joy of exploration. Boy is that resolved!
I say it again, I love this tea. Sorry I have so little to expound upon, I just wanted to get this out for now. I look forward to giving a formal note the next time I treat myself to this drink. I foresee a bag in the cupboard.
tunes,a mishmash=Big Head Todd&the Monsters/Bittersweet,The Heavy/Sixteen,Rusted Root/Cruel Sun,The Temptation/Papa Was A Rolling Stone,Taj Mahal/John The Revelator,Kimbra/Plain Gold Ring,John Butler Trio/What You Want
I have been waiting with great anticipation for my Teavivre samples to arrive. Though they actually did several days ago, with my recent accident I’m still less than mobile and my poor wife must do the running for two; on top of her very demanding schedule. And how do I repay my wife for her sacrifice…I stay up and drink the first sample without her. Hey, hey,… before you start hating on the Davyboy, Angel sent more than one of this selection that she actually suggested to me in my first week here on Steepster. Not only is the sample pack more than I expected, but when she first returned my PM (many of you know I offer a standerd hello with all follow/return follows) she openly offered to let me try her tea. Me being new she made several suggestions to present me some variety, yet still within what I described as my preferences, and then even sent a PM to inform me that she saw by tracking the package that it had arrived and was ready for pick-up. How splendidly thorough is that!
The sample didn’t give me a strong indication of the dry leaf smell, though I won’t hold it against it. After getting the liquor to a bright yellow with a tinge of red I was better able to secure a sniff of the leaf; it’s floral, almost fruity. This same floral note is one of the first things I noticed at first sip. Floral and light with an initial buttery mouthfeel that regretfully subsided half way through the cup. There’s an ever so slight vegetive note with just enough presence to give it a juicy feel as well, yet not too green or grassy. The combination of the light airiness of the drink and the delicate sweet notes that hint at floral and fruity, yet without wholehearted commitment, culminate into a refreshing easy drinker.
I look forward to my next meeting with this tea to see if I can learn anything more from her the next time around. It’s a pleasing tea that I would suggest to a new oolong drinker without hesitation and yet would share with another more acquainted with oolongs as well. I thank you again Angel and know that you’ve gained a future customer.
tunes-Buddy Guy=Five Long Years/Rememberin’ Stevie(Ray Vaughn)/Feels Like Rain/Every Girl I See/Ain’t That Lovin’ You/Where The Blues Begins(w/Carlos Santana)/I’ve Got Dreams To Remember(w/John Mayer)/Baby Please Don’t Leave(groovy song).
Well AmazonV sent me this here tea to “rail against” (hey AmazonV,wink wink) and that’s what I’m gonna do. I just rolled my sleeves up so I can do some good ole’fashioned railing.
…OK she didn’t ACTUALLY direct me to rail against this tea, but rather, after reading my bio saw that I wasn’t prone to drinking flavored teas/blends and so offered me several of them for the opportunity to rail against IF I did in fact dislike one of the selections sent. I should add that I’m probably subconsciously working myself up to saying something less than positive about a tea, not to mention one gifted to me. That aside, on to railing…
Turns out I’m still not there. Though my expectations were not met, there’s still no harsh words to be exhibited for this tea. Lemme start by saying that upon opening the package I was met by a delightful smell…Cracker Jacksish; a mix of caramel,toffee, and molasses. there’s a whiff of something toasty, yet not peanuts or popcorn (I don’t believe anyway).
My mouth was watering during infusion and I was awaiting a strong malty black tea with a rich syrupy sweetness to offset it. I was dissappointed.
Instead, what I found was a faint malt flavor with just enough of the caramel sweetness to keep me from calling it weak. Concerned that I’ve done something wrong I resteeped it cutting the water in half, dropping the temp to just below boiling, and extending the time of infusion. This experiment left me with a gulpable tea that was sweet and had character, thou still didn’t blow me over. I must say,however, that it seems to take the changes well and gained no astringency whatsoever.
tunes-John Lee Hooker=Dark Room/Dimples/Think Twice Before You Go/House Rent Blues/Backstabbers/I’m Bad Like Jesse James.
Sidenote; I love the scene in The Blues Brothers where JLH performs Boom Boom Boom on the street and as it ends JLH mentions that he “wrote this song in the ’fifties”, to which a crowd member argues that he in fact wrote the song and the argument ensues. Good times.
Thank you JacquelineM for a kind and generous sample. This week has stunk and my great reward comes now late into the first half of my weekend, I can write some tasting notes! Admittedly, I did gain some enjoyment by skunking the family at Scrabble, though(a poor winner to be sure… hope this doesn’t come off as braggy).
Really don’t have much to say about Yunnans, this may even be my first. This tea surprised me with how dark it is. I thought for sure that I oversteeped it and poured just a nip out of my press at about three minutes…it was kinda weak. With that discovery I then proceeded to let it go to the end of the five minutes I intended to infuse, next sip was better.
The dry leaf had an earthy smell that was still present once steeped. The first drink struck me as both malty and kinda strong. There’s smokey notes coupled with a dry astringency that even becomes bitter at the back of the sip, though not altogether displeasurable (this from AWM=see previous comment from Ashmanra/Banana’s Foster).
I am so surprised that this tea incorporates three things I generally dislike (bordering dispise) and yet I’m still drinking it. There’s a certain balance in them that I can’t explain. I’m not saying that this tea has changed my opinion of astingency, I’m just saying it’s palatable. There’s even a lingering sweet note that is somewhat elusive as well.
All these things come together to make for a decent, bold cuppa. Sorry if I made no grand discoveries, I just didn’t find any. For another experienced drinker you may be head over heals for this tea and find it complex and all you’re looking for. It may even unlock the mysteries surrounding the meaning of life…
tunes-THE Bob Dylan(whose titles are often so looong)=Ballad Of Hollis Brown/Corrina Corrina/Jack-A-Roe/Wicked Messenger/Girl From The North Country/The Boxer/House Of The Rising Sun/In My Time Of Dyin’/& for some comic relief…Talkin John Birch Paranoid Blues.
I think I will have to do a list entirely of Dylan tunes made popular through covers after seeing several here.
I must thank Azz for this award winnig sample. It’s actually a little confusing though. I don’t know much about the varieties of black tea, nor the differences from keemun, assam, darjeeling, etc. That said, I am confused about the flavor I’m getting from this tea.
The dry leaf smells fruity, yet the drink itself has a stronger malty aroma. the first sip is where the confusion began. Though there is a malty note, it is not overly so. A faint smokey note is present, but stronger is the fruity sweetness that makes itself apparent as the sip is swallowed. I am really surprised at how smooth and light this cup is. Though it is not bold, make no mistake, it still has much to say. I think I made this cup a little strong yet there is only the tiniest bit of astringency. I, ‘THE ASTRINGENCY WEENIE’ that does not normally make his cup strong has spoken; this tea a smooth drinker! I love it, which is good since Kimicha notes that this black can be steeped SEVEN times!
Also note that this is my first cup after sleeping (the third shift switching back to first shift for the weekend kind of sleep that leaves you feeling weird) and yet I welcome it with open arms…I guess that would be mouth eh.
A little more on Azz and my thankfulness to her; she is a peach! I’m sure many of you know that but I still feel the need to exclaim it. You see she painstakingly, atleast I believe it was painstaking- I wasn’t there and she may have just tossed a bunch of leftover samples in a box, though I doubt it, she painstakingly went through her stash and hand selected such a variety as to completely overwhelm a ‘newer to tea’ drinker. Many of the samples were from a depleted bag, but she made sure to give me a taste so I’m very thankful Azz.
tunes-Black Keys(again today)=I’m Not The One/The Go Getter/Sinister Kid/Next Girl/She’s Long Gone…same as earlier I’m just gonna play the whole Brothers album. Black keys rock and if you don’t know it you NEED to. Ask anyone that likes them- they love them and don’t downplay how good they are. Nobody has said to me “they’re OK”, but rather “they rock!”.
Lemme start by giving a great big ‘thank you’ to JacquelineM for a VERY generous sample (I mean, she must of bought a truck full and got sick of it “generous”). I really will resist the desire to rave on and on about the share package I recieved from her and will get on with the note.
I had a high expectation after reading several of the near forty posts on this tea. It seems, generally speaking, we like it- actually more than the creator who gave it a 75.
Being this sample resembled a purchase rather than an act of kindness (I’m just dying to reveal how much there is, but I’m sure that would be uncouth-not that I’m overly couthy) I elected to make a pressful= 8 cups. We normally reserve full pots of anything for the Asian grocery oolongs due to the cost effectiveness. I haven’t broken down the pennies to cup ratio as I’ve seen a few do, but it’s cheap. What the heck, I’m living it up this morning.
Where was I, oh yeah the tea. The tin, when opened, (another bonus, it came in a tin! I’m getting so big time with tins and everything! Thanks again Jacqueline) smacked me upside the head with the smell of a barn! Yep, a barn. It smells like dry hay that’s also very malty. Immediately when the water hit the tea my very ampley proportioned nose was filled with a leather like maltiness that made me think “this is going to be a strong cup”. Again when bringing the cup to my lips the malt smell was so apparent, yet when I took the first sip I was greeted by an amazing mix of flavors/impressions. There is a baseline of subtle malt that shares the stage with some smokiness and a faint creamy sweetness that actually stays with you as an aftertaste. Gentle yet bold.The dry hay is there too, and thankfully it’s not a wet/green hay or this would not be the same tasting note at all. There’s almost a pu’erh thing going on in the backside if the sip (who am I kidding, it’s more a gulp). I can see where most other posts leaned toward a green/grassy descrition as one of the characteristics, though I have to stick with the dry hay choice. For me, it lacks the bitter,sometimes astringent, note I seem to get out of greener tasting teas.
I went ahead and steeped this a second time with fair results. It definitely lacked the complexity and the smokiness that it started with, yet was still considerable as an easy drinking tea. In other words, this second steep was better than some first steeps I’ve came across, and by no means was comparable to the initial infuze.
I’m so thankful that several- Jacqueline,Azz,and LiberTEAS have been so kind as to help me experience many other facets and types of tea that would have taken me months, if not years, to visit. AmazonV, MissMylin, and Autumn Hearth have all pledged to send samples my way as well (unless I already recieved AmazonV’s, which is still to be determined). What a wonderfull community to belong to (sniff sniff) and I appreciate it very much, so many kind and helpful people. OK enough with the sentimental mooshy junk, I gotta get another sample going-this will take weeks to get through.
tunes-the Black Keys=Little Black Submarines/Run Right Back/Sister…turns out the whole El Camino album. It’s all great, as nearly everything they put out is. I have a hard time naming who has more talent between them and Mumford&Sons, yet Black Keys have 7 albums whereas Mumford are just releasing their second.
Ommitted the lead up paragraph so on to the tea, if not abruptly.
The dry leaf has a smokey earthy smell with a malty overtone. Wet the leaves gain a sweetness to accompany the malt notes. The drink is not as dark or malty as I expected. There’s a slight compexity. There’s a touch of smoke that is very well proportioned to the vanilla sweetness I detect. A creamy mouthfeel is starting to reveal itself, though not too strong as of yet. There even seems to be a nuttiness offsetting the tinge of sour bitterness laced through the drink. That bitterness leans toward a chocolate-coffee at the back of the sip. Aftertaste is pleasant leaving my mouth with a clean sweetness, as well as some lingering malty notes.
I tried a second steep against the recommendations of AmazonV’s post (I was sure this came from you but address doesn’t match up-unless you really MOVED) and I should have listened. Though this tea is misnamed (strong black) I still found it very enjoyable and I thank whoever sent it to me.
tunes-the Avett Brothers= Pretend Love/Colorshow/The Ballad Of Love And Hate/Sanguine/SSS/Complainte D’vn Matelot Mourant/Signs
I’m confused! I mean it happens easily but I just can’t seem to get a grasp on what I like and what I don’t. I’m pretty sure I don’t like green teas, not even green oolongs, then this happens.
So thank you LiberTEAS for this sample. I don’t have a lot to say about it. Moroccan Mint is… well, minty. I’m sure that this is a stark revelation for many but I’m known for having a steely sense of discernment so don’t feel inadequate or anything.
On top of minty this drink is crisp and refreshing. This would be a good tea to clean the palate with. I like it…mostly because I don’t taste the green but that’s beside the point. It just means I can’t completely scratch anything off of the list yet.
tunes-Widespread Panic=Pickin’ Up The Pieces/Diner/You’ll Be Fine/Gimme/Impossible/jam
Happy anniversary to me! I’ve been on Steepster one month now. I know, I know…it feels like ages since you’ve first started seeing my posts make my way onto your computer screen…kinda like when I’m talking to my wife about one of my many aches and pains and she says “you’ve been complaining about that for ages” or “it’s been ages since you’ve done something romantic for me”. Hopefully not too many of you associate me with a negative overtone but either way I’ll keep writing until I hear otherwise.
Again I had an errant expectation about today’s tea. I hadn’t read the maker’s description and was unaware that this was a greener oolong. I’m still in an inexperienced state so I’m not sure if the spring picking is why it is that way, but can only assume it to be. The liquor was somewhat a darker brown. Dry leaf was floral and once infuzed it took on a wood/dry grass aroma.
First sip I found to be pretty grassy with a bit of nutty notes and it left a faint sweetness I noticed when I licked my lips. A few drinks later and the nutty had transformed into a wood/acorn note while the grassy notes had increased. More and more I’m seeing the greener tastes phasing out of my personal selections, though this being an oolong and not a straight green tea has made it much more tolerable. I can definitely say that there is little to no astringency.
All in all it’s a fine cup that I could keep on drinking but won’t steep past the second steeping because I have darker oolongs to drink instead. I’ve read online a little about oolongs trying to decipher the greener from darker ones but haven’t seen a formula yet.
Wife was going through her old college CD’s, so the selection of music hinged on that.
tunes-Dave Mathew’s Band=Captain/Grey Street/Two Step/The Stone/ Granny/Minarets
Sadly, it pains me to write this note. I guess I shouldn’t have had the high expectations that I did, though. So many people have written their ravings over this tea and I love bananas and so I thought that this tale would end with me penning, typing rather, the words ‘and everyone lived happily ever after’…such is not the case.
As I said I shouldn’t have had such I high expectation. To clue you in to what this tea was for me I could first mention that I should maybe change my name officially to ASTRINGENCY WEENIE MAN. It seems it has come into play during several of my recent notes. This will be no exception.
I will go into little detail. I will simply say that the drink started out with strong cinnamon flavor with the vanilla/banana coming soon after. The obvious problem is that I could not get through the strong astringent ‘like licking chalk’ sort of ‘mouth devoid of all moisture’ effect it played on my tongue.
I’m certainly sure it’s me, it’s all me (sounds like every other break-up I had in my yoot-youth). Too many others had nothing but good to say about it so don’t consider what I’ve had to say, though my wife didn’t like it either.
no tune,flick (kinda like’no Coke-Pepsi) The Grey/ with Liam Neeson
Thank you LiberTEAS for this sample. I’m gonna jump right in and say that this is a bold cuppa. My palate was a little sleepy from the half hour I laid down- that was supposed to be sleep (4th week on third shift that this has happened) so the first sip GRABBED me. I was about to write something to the effect of ‘if this is Canadian breakfast I’m starting to think that they’re all lumberjacks and steelworkers-including the women’, but within a few sips I got used to and started to really appreciate the boldness it has (and yes I realize that women can equally fill the roles of lumberjack and steelworker. My wife and I are both commercial/industrial painters who may be climbing steel,hanging off the side of a building,or just painting the walls of a brand new hospital on any given day,so no offense intended).
Soon after I got used to the initial boldness I started really seeking out the malt aspect. I must agree with the makers description that there is an oak characteristic, though I’m not too sure how flowery it is. For me the touch of sweet I find is subdued by an equal touch of smoke…almost a mesquite, but ever so slight. I- ‘THE ASTRINGENCY WEENIE’
am shocked to find that the astringency most other taste notes spoke of was hardly present…at first. This may be because, out of fear, I elected to steep this for two and a half of the three to five minutes suggested. At first, I only found slight dryness on the roof of my mouth with very little on my tongue not sure if that’s normal or not.
As the cup cooled, as cups always do, the astringency rose a bit as well as the malty notes. Now my tongue was getting that dry, almost chalky, feeling.
Second steep was three minutes with a little less water. As before the cup started out smoother before cooling. Out of curiousity I checked it when pouring my cup-one hundred ninety degrees farenheit. It’s not as complex either. Maybe a little less water still would be in order. Mostly what’s left is a semi-sweet malt flavor that gains astingency when it cools. That’s all I got, a pretty good cuppa especially to start the day with.
tunes-Benny Goodman=Mambo Swing,Louis Prima=St.Louis Blues/Just A Gigolo(David Lee Roth didn’t write this song),Charlie Byrd=So Danco Sambo/A Carol For All Seasons
Thanks LiberTEAS for this sample. Let me start by saying this is a good tea to break me (or anyone else needing broken in I suppose) to green teas in that I’ve not had but a couple I enjoyed and I am an oolong fan so obvious deduction= green oolongs.
Dry leaf is, as you would expect- green (shocker) and smells floral and maybe even fruity. The liquor steeped to a bright yellow with just a tad of greenish brown. Wet leaf smells very green indeed, kinda like seaweed maybe.
I was happy to see that, although this is a green oolong, it starts out not overpoweringly green and with a certain amount of nutiness in the sip. A faint sweetness is present, aside from the organic kind of sweetness I associate with grasses,but there’s not a strong enough presence for me to decipher what it resembles. The level of astringency is within my embarrassingly low threshold of tolerance for enjoyment. It, as I’m learning, leaves my palate feeling clean without any kind of bitter aftertaste. As the cup cools the grassiness becomes stronger, thereby reinforcing my earlier statement that it’s a good drink to break in to greens with. With the utmost of manners it brought me along into it’s vegative flavor and in turn kept itself from being poured out prematurely. Who knew that common manners could be so self preserving.
Since the cordial mannerisms of this tea were worthy to make mention I also deemed it worthy a second steeping. Fret not those of a frugal mindset; I shall not waste this sample but rather once this note is finished will continue steeping for any family members enthusiastic about drinking it during the wind down moments before bed.
Second steeping; a little info to start- often times I try to split even small samples in half in case I oversteep or something. I’m not stocked up on teaware yet so to do this I use one of those two cup glass pots with the finum basket inside you see at Asian groceries. It loses temp quickly. That said, when I went to steep a second time I forgot to set a timer (do not mock my primitive means you fortunate ‘Breville One Touch’ owners) and it went for maybe ten minutes. To my surprise it wasn’t bitter or overly strong…it seemed fine. I can only now assume that with the rapid temperature loss that the tea ‘stopped’ steeping once it got low enough. It was greener still,with a slightly more dry mouthfeel which may have been due to oversteeping. Generally this was a good tea, just not so much for me with my slowly but surely leaning away from green stuff palate.
tunes-Johnny Cash=Hurt/Rusty Cage/Thirteen/God’s Gonna Cut You Down
WOOO!!! It’s the weekend! Sorry for any of you who work weekends, but surely you get some form of weekend or time off or you atleast make alot of money because you work so much and your happy about your days off or all the money you make and I will be happy for you, but right now it’s my weekend…. A HOLIDAY WEEKEND, and so I’m elated, not to mention that I can finally do some tasting notes (deep breath of air), which I’ve been too busy to do all week.
Now that that’s out of the way…
I want to thank LiberTEAS for this sample that I was very glad made it into my sample box. The dry leaf smelled like something I would eat for breakfast-sweet and syrupy. The color of this tea was a deep redish brown. I can’t seem to make out in my hand written note what the wet leaf smelled like though.
The first few sips I got a strong woody/walnut impression that leaned toward, but not quite, malty. Within a few sips I started to detect the buttery sweet notes that would end up being present throughout. I was second geussing myself as to whether it was a floral sweetness or not, so I won’t commit either way.Then came the malty! I’m not overly excited about malty tea, but this one has a great balance of malt/wood/sweet worth noting. There’s enough malt to give it more depth, yet still allow it to be a sweet gulper once it’s cool enough. It’s got a little dryness, but not bitter at all, and there’s a woody aftertaste with just a little sweetness mixed in.
All in all, a fine cuppa and a wonderful suggestion by LiberTEAS.
Another from AZZ’s generosity. Though I saw mixed reviews on this one I still went into it optimisticly, yet this optimism was soon tempered once opening the bag to smell the dry leaf- a strong artificial cinnamon smell that you often find with scented candles. The color of the liqour was a deeper brown and the wet leaf smelled slightly more appealing than it did dry.
First drink I was surprised, intrigued actually. There was a certain degree of complexity right away. The nutty tones mingled nicely with the dark chocolate ones. It’s so nice when flavors can play well together and no ‘time outs’ need to be administered. The slight astringency was easy to overlook when considering all that my mouth had to process. The chili was so faint it was barely detectable, which I was glad since I’ve not had chili in tea yet and didn’t want to be overwhelmed by the spice. The bold black flavor played well in this drink for me too.
My wife loved the tea and stated “this may be my favorite so far”…which she ended up saying three times today in all. To be fair she is even newer than me and so I try to bring her along as much as possible. I must also note that, in general, when I list low to moderate astringency in a tea she tells me she doesn’t find any at all. Again I’m an astringency weenie.
We liked it, my soon to be sixteen year old as well, though the wife liked it most. This tea made it on her "one to buy’ list until,that is, she tried another tea. That is another note altogether isn’t it.
tunes-Richie Havens=Freedom/Eleanor Rigby/Motherless Child/Here Comes The Sun
Thank you so much for this generous sample,Butiki Teas. Once again, I have to comment on the pristine condition of the leaves. I am just so impressed at the care with which this sample was obviously handled. They infuse beautifully as well, yeilding a bright yellow liquor.
I just did a note on a Bao Zhong and wasn’t too impressed so the fact that greener teas are not among my favorites could dictate some of what I write. For me the Bao Zhong leans hard toward the green side of oolongs. That said I am still impressed with the overall taste I’m currently experiencing. There are delicate intertwining notes of citrus,vanilla,floral notes, and green sweetness. The pineapple is genuine tasting-I’ve heard complaints about other teas attempting to create this flavor unsuccessfully. There’s a buttery creaminess that seems to come from the vanilla that is so prominant in the aftertaste as well. The green portion of this tea gives me that tidbit of dryness, though it’s still juicy and mouth watering. My wife insists that she detects no dryness or astringency whatsoever and she only finds the buttery creaminess throughout.
I ended up steeping this tea three times. The flavors all settled down into a mellow tasty cup. Somewhere in there I was able to appreciate the Bao Zhong part alot more with the subtle blending of added flavors. Thanks again Stacy, a wonderful drink indeed. I look forward to the other samples you’ve sent me yet to be tried. I’m sure to love them.
tunes-Adele=Crazy For You/Fool That I Am/Make You Feel My Love/Lovesong
I enjoy her classic jazz songs best and she chooses some greats to do covers tunes of.
Thank you LiberTeas for this sample. I hate to admit that I was busy choosing Beatles songs, wow what a list they have, and I oversteeped…twice. This note is then suspect by default.
The color-a nice pale golden green, lead me to believe I was OK since it hadn’t darkened. There was a little bitterness that may or may not have been there under normal circumstances. The wet leaves were crowded in my little infuser pot and had I read K S’ note first I woulda used my press as well. The smell was more grassy than nutty/woody.
The first sip threw me when I tasted that same grassy flavor. There was less wood and more vegetive flavor-like dry grass I think. This gave way to nuttiness that then gained a malty coppery edge. All of this happened within the first two steeps, I lost track of which steep I was on in the descriptive notes I was jotting down. Don’t let me forget the overall but slightly muted honey sweetness. The second steep (I believe) added a tiny bit of charcoal too.
Did a third steep and saved a little face with myself,though I know I missed out on some stuff in first two go arounds. Sweeter note more pronounced. More floral notes to the smell. And finally, it’s now less like dry grass and getting up into lighter wood flavor. You win some you lose some, right? I hold nothing against this tea and rather fault myself. We shall meet again I may have to force myself to listen to top 40 pop during tasting so that I have absolutely no fear of getting distracted.
tunes-as I said The Beatles(said in Ed Sullivan voice with the gesturing of hand)=Norwegian Wood/Ob La Di,Ob La DA/I Saw Her Standing There(where I started to get got)/I Want You-She’s So Heavy(where I finished getting got)/Rocky Racoon