406 Tasting Notes

drank Bungalow by Steven Smith Teamaker
406 tasting notes

I had this tea yesterday and it seemed a little bit uninspiring , so I decided to try it again brewed at a higher temperature. Darjeeling’s often seem to have different characters depending how you brew them. This one was no exception, although it did not go through as extreme a transformation as some I have had. I prefer this one brewed at boiling.

After 3 min @92 °C, I had a tea smelling of bright muscatel notes, cocoa, grainy malt and honey with a maple coloured broth.

The first note was a muscatel note that was quickly overtaken by grainy malt with a hint of honeyed cocoa and an underlying bitterness. It seemed a little more rrobust, substantial and warming than some Darjeeling’s I’ve had. Brewed this way this is not really a morning or afternoon tea for me I can picture having it when I want something soothing on a crisp night.

Brewed with boiling water for 3 minutes, the sharp fruity notes of muscatel were much stronger, the tea tasted lighter and a little bit sweeter with a touch of sharpness and a milder but slightly more bitter maltiness underneath. There is a bit of a slightly spicy and bitter floral note underneath the muscatel. At this temperature there is a more interesting blend of fruity muscatel, grainy and slightly buttery grain notes, honey and malt. It’s more of an afternoon tea now, and certainly more refreshing.

This tea doesn’t resteep exceptionally well.

Thanks Sil for the chance to try this one!

Sil

np just tried to find a few things you hadn’t tried :)

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
406 tasting notes

When I was trying to find out more about the Lopchu white tea I bought, I happened upon this article while searching Lopchu Chai http://www.indianfoodfreak.com/2013/04/making-perfect-cup-tea/
Non of the chai recipes are the spicy mandala chais we think of here, but rather they are simply the participants favourite tea or tea blend recipe, preparation and additives. Someone suggested a blend of Lopchu Darjeeling and a CTC black and seeing as I have a ton of both. I thought I’d try it. I did a half and half combination and you know what it’s pretty nice.

The CTC I have has chocolate malt biscuit and dark cherry notes and Lopchu is quite sweet with brown sugar and cocoa notes among others and when steeped around 95°C you get the sugary sweetness of Lopchu black very a maltier thicker base. The flavours all compliment each other and it seems some what fruitier. Not that I need an additive for Lopchu, but at least I have away to use up some of my aging CTC.

TheTeaFairy

Interesting…

Sil

Neat!

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This is quite a visually appealing tea appearing assilvery corkscrews of downy white tea that has occasional sneak previews of the spruce green blades thee leaves would of been if they had been allowed to fully open. The tea is beautiful to look at while brewing especially during the first few steeps while the tea is unwinding and the leaves appear to be dancing in the liquid while shimmering as though reflecting light.

The dry leaf smells of light roasted/ smoke insence note from processing, cucumber, something sweet and honey like, perhaps a white peach tone, and clover.

1 used about 1.5 TSP in a 150ml Taiwan and steeped the tea 8 times ( 50×2, 70, 100,140,180,240 &360s)

The first steep yielded a pale green tinged broth that had a strong floral scent of gardenia mixed with rose, and a light green scent llike sweet pea sprouts, a soft fruity plum like sweetness lay underneath.

It tasted of a green floral, over sweet plum with hint of roasted notes and a reference to sprouted sweet greens.aftertaste is a lingering sweet honey note. The flavour is light but pleasant. As it cools the green cool floral note mixes with a bit of cucumber with the more rounded sweetness remaining muted underneath.

The next two steeps were brighter and more intense with the plum tone more intense and the floral scent heading to freesia, the green sprout note and honey were still present.

The flavour was of freesia, clover, light pea sprout, cucumber, light plum, and had a more delicate sweetness. They were very floral, and slightly spicy on the tongue. There was a slightly thicker broth that developed more creaminess. Once again sweetness intensified in the aftertaste.

At 100s. the broth took on more of a yellow tone. The scent reminded me a little of a sunscreen I’ve had with freesia and a cooler green orchid, over plum, and a cream note. It was soft and floral with a touch of sweetness.

The flavour was of green sprouts, cucumber a faint hint of freesia and sweet plum.

The following steeps consisted of a blend of fading cool floral notes, cucumber and plum, with the introduction and then rapid loss of an artichoke note. By the last steep the flavour was quite faint and was more of an impression.

The finished leaves are thickened straightened buds.

This is a tea that may be appreciated by lovers of green floral Oolong’s, as it has a similar bite in the mouth and a lasting lingering floral taste.

Thanks boychik this tea is certainly beautiful to look at and I quite enjoyed it.

TheTeaFairy

Beautiful review!
Lol, you and I make quite a pair… this tea reminds you of freesia sunscreen lotion, the oolong I had yesterday reminded me of Japanese Cherry Blossom hand lotion ;-)

yyz

;). Maybe they should add lotion and sunscreen to the flavour notes list!

TheTeaFairy

Haha! I can just imagine the Admin, trying to process that!

boychik

Great review. I should try your parameters;)

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drank Bulgare by Dammann Freres
406 tasting notes

To be quite honest I didn’t find myself reaching for this very much as a hot tea, I think it was because of how the orange interacted with the base in such as way that it took away from the raspberry and made the tea a little bitter in such away that it demanded sugar to contract it.

As a cold brew it is a different story. I brewed this tea for just short of 7 hours. The brewed tea actually smells the same as the hiot tea with a sweet raspberry tone above a biting dried orange rind tone, but the taste is much different. The raspberry is the main event, it being sweet and tangy and very ripe tasting with the rose and orange blending together underneath it to give the tea a bit of a bite and a bit more of a complex nature. I quite like this cold and it does not need sugar! This will probably be the way I will finish up this tea.

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drank Assam TGFOP by CJay Tea
406 tasting notes

When I first got this tea In was a little dissappointed as I quite like their English Breakfast and I love their Chai, but this tea when I brewed it my normal Assam way at about 92/3 min was relatively weak and dissapointing. Before I gave it away, I decided to give it another chance and brewed it at a slightly higher temperature for around 5 minute, like Ahmad’s Halmari Assam and it redeemed itself.

This one is a fruity, spicy, malty Assam. And has a deep almost rosewood red liqueur.
The scent is of cherries, sour plum, and citrus notes, malt , biscuit and spice.

The taste is relatively smooth with all of the above flavours, a touch of molasses for sweetness a very faint hint of floral, and only a very faint bitterness from the malt. This one is mostly red fruit, spice, biscuit and malt. It’s not an amazing Assam but it is a decent budget option. I’m glad I gave it a second chance!.

Otherwise they sell some of their teas at Whole Foods, Starskey’s, and Highland Farms that I know of.

TheTeaFairy

Stop.bragging.about.awesome.tea.places.I.can’t.visit. ;-)

yyz

You can order from this one… The site just is a little disorganized. I actually almost never get yo the end of the GTA either.

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I wanted so much to like this tea because the dry tea smells awesome like fresh juicy pineapple stored next to a sharp dried fruit, but in the end it is ruined by its base tea. I’ve tried this tea hot brewed at low temperatures and short steeps and cold brewed for just over 4 hours and the result is the same; the tea is ruined by its bitter base.

Ignoring that the cold brew scent is of a nice and juicy and a little bit floral pineapple. The better way to enjoy this tea is cold brewed, in this way the bitter notes of the base are tempered a bit by the sweetness and green notes drawn out of the tea, but even at 4 hours, the bitterness is there.otherwise the pineapple taste is actually quite authentic and nice. Oh well this is telling me that I should stick to the big active , bastek and perhaps Lloyd greens at the Polish store though I haven’t tried biofx’s greens.

I’ll stick to cold brewing this tea for the time being.

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This tea is kind of interesting in the brewed leaf I smell the apple, and grape with a touch of strawberry, while I taste apple, grape, hibiscus, elderberry and strawberry, with the liquorice underneath making it slightly spicy and sweet. I was craving something tart, and while this is it isn’t overly so, it does deliver. It has three of the vilians of the tea justice league, hibiscus, rosehip, and liquorice, but here they are well used especially since I steeped it more than three minutes. I love how the ingredients work together to create a purple grape colour as well!

TheTeaFairy

The blend sounds interesting. See, I could totally handle hibiscus if it didn’t overpower everything else. But every time I have it, it takes everything away…The sweetness of licorice must help tone down the tartness of hibiscus and rosehip, good idea to put them together.

yyz

It is, the liquorice and the apple really help to temper the tart ingredients and they’ve managed to keep the liquorice to a point where it doesn’t overpower as well. It’s pretty well done.

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drank Thé de Vendome by Nina's Paris
406 tasting notes

The dry tea scent reminds me of sweet tarts, tart and sugary with that tone that separates them from rockets. Brewed on the other hand this smells like my grapefruit puerh that I got from big-active ( a polish company). It has dry tangy scent from dried orange rind, something that’s a little bit earthy and gamey and a spicy sharp citrus tone underneath. The base tea smells fruity, with malt and biscuit. The fact that I can usually discern the base tea underneath the flavouring is one thing I’ve always appreciated about Nina’s teas.

After a three minute brew, there is a nice balance between the base and the flavouring and the tea is a deep orangey red.

I taste dried grapefruit rind over top a warmer sweeter fruitier tone that ranges towards the red grapefruit flavour mixed with a plum note from the base. A biscuit note from the base binds the fruit note to the malt lying underneath. Despite the citrus tones the tea remains smooth and mellow when steeped around 92°C, with only a mild astringent note. Altogether a pleasant tea that was warmer and richer than I was expecting. Thanks ’Laurent and Nina’s for the sample!

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drank Yi Mei Ren by Yunnan Sourcing
406 tasting notes

This tea was a pleasant confection of fruit beginning with longan dominating over a plum note and than switching dominance during the later steeps, consistent cocoa notes, butter caramel, that morphed to honey in the middle steeps, and ended in cane sugar, a roasted grain note, cashew butter, and malt that really only became strongly apparent in the later steeps and blended well with the plum cocoa notes. The early steeps were really buttery in texture and the flavours blended well together creating the impression of a sweet nutty, caramel cocoa confection with a bit of tartness. The broth does become thinner and slightly astringent in later steeps. Although this is a light tea it really does have a nice intensity flavours with my favourite steeps being perhaps the second and third one.

I steeped one heaping TSP of this tea at 92*C in 225 ml of water. The leaves are long, dark roughly wound, wiry strips that smell of cocoa and longan. My steeping times were 60,60,80,120,180,240s and 5 min. Onced brewed I had a golden broth touched by brown which became redder in later steeps. The tea smelled of longan, butter caramel and cocoa. Altogether a nice light tea. I especially like the nutty tones and the way the tea blends the cocoa, longan and caramel tones so that neither becomes dominant over each other. Thanks boychik for sending me the fall 2013 harvest for me to try. I am happy I have some of the spring tea heading my way!

boychik

glad you like it. Do you have a preference of Spring vs Fall Yunnan Blacks?

yyz

Everything that I have bought knowing the season has been spring so far, so I don’t know. I’m glad I have your samples to help me make a comparison.

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drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
406 tasting notes

I found myself scoping cadeau-deco-vendome ( A Dammann reseller) so I figured that this is as good a time as any to dig into the samples that Sil sent me.

This tea smells like butter, roasted hazelnuts and vanilla and has a light maple wood coloured broth after steeping at 1tsp/225ml/4min/95°C.

There is a lovely roasted hazelnut note with a touch of a wood in the flavouring, as well as a touch of butter caramel and a warm vanilla tone. The flavouring blends well with the base tea which is slightly fruity with a cocoa note and is relatively innocuous except for providing a light astringency and a medium body. The flavouring is light and subtle as is the tea itself.

Thanks for the treat Sil

TheTeaFairy

My experience with cadeau-vendome was so awful…brings back bad memories. Guess I was just unlucky though cause everyone on Steepster seems so happy with them.

yyz

Sorry about that was it the service or the tea?

TheTeaFairy

Both!!! The whole thing was surreal, really, maybe all their regular staff was on vacation or something and an unexperienced employee took care of my order. I know it’s overseas, but the box that it arrived in was so damaged, it was made of very thin cardboard and nearly got destroyed in transport. The tea was poorly packaged, not sealed, and not even labeled as Dammann Frères, so it could have been anything really. The worst was the smell: believe it or not, the tea was wrapped directly in smelly newspaper, the smell was so strong it took over the entire box! The tea not being sealed, it got compromised. They all tasted like cigarette ashes! I wrote them twice, they never answered back… I decided to let it go cause the whole thing made me too angry, didn’t want to think about it anymore, lol.

yyz

That’s awful. My experience was awful, but I have noticed that some of the less popular teas can taste a little weak. My experiences with them were good, but I did notice that in the shipping notice they say to refuse acceptance of the package if it appears damaged. Any ways my next French tea purchase is used to be Betjeman and Barton from fouvrac in Montreal, but I always get sidetracked by other things.

TheTeaFairy

B&B teas in Montreal? Do they sell online?

yyz

At the moment no. But they claim to carry the whole line and as a bonus I think you can order 50g. So, if your interested build an order from http://www.betjemanandbarton.com/fr/ and then you order over the phone at http://www.betjemanandbarton.com/en/content/9-world

If you have any questions first you can contact fouvrac through Facebook first https://m.facebook.com/lefouvrac?_rdr. They sell the teas at both locations.

TheTeaFairy

Thank you so much :-)

yyz

Your welcome!

OMGsrsly

I’m guessing people at Fouvrac would speak some English? Because my spoken French is not good enough to place a tea order. I could email them in French, but…

yyz

They do. I wrote them on Facebook and they responded in English. As well, a member of Steepster, I think they were in California ordered this way with no problems a number of months ago.

TheTeaFairy

OMGsrsly, I’m pretty sure they do, I don’t know many merchants who don’t in Montreal, businesses are 99% at least bilingual. Sometimes, it’s even the other way around, they don’t speak French, lol.

OMGsrsly

Excellent. :) I’ll add them to my list. Did you get any info on shipping costs?

yyz

I haven’t placed my order yet. It cost $10.00 to ship 200g of tea for the US order. I was just told that shipping was reasonable when I mad my original enquiry.

OMGsrsly

Perfect! Thanks so much for enabling, yyz. :)

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