374 Tasting Notes

drank Flocons d'Épices by Dammann Freres
374 tasting notes

I really like the smell of this dry tea. I could wear it as a perfume with its citrus sweet spice notes. The orange is a sharp orange almost grapefruit flavour and the sweet aspects of this tea remind me of vanilla.

The tea is a nice copper colour, and smells of sweet spice over sharp bitter orange notes mixed with a hint of pastry from the tea base. The spice is more dominant than in the dry tea.

The sweet almost vanilla like flavour blends with the citrus notes, followed by cinnamon, nutmeg and more peppery spice. The tea has enough astringency to give the tea a thicker mouth feel and is otherwise sweet with a bit of malt. The spice becomes stronger as the tea cools, with the nutmeg making a stronger presence. A nice morning or afternoon tea, as the spice is warming but the sweet citrus creates a sense of brightness and alertness.

I bag in 10 oz for @ 4 min.

MissB

Wow. Sounds lovely!

yyz

It re-steeps consistently as well.

MissB

Did you grab this from Vendome Cadeau?

yyz

You’ll have a chance to try it soon it’s in the calendar! But it looks like it’s the same tea as Christmas in Alsace. So if you love it you should be able to buy more, as they do have it at cadeau-deco-vendome. Dammann has it in tins at their store.

Sil

interesting… this one seems pretty tasty. I’ll have to see how my first order from cadeau goes…

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Wow this is very different than my other Xingyang the other tastes more of chocolate malt balls with leathery spices and needs low temperatures.

This one has flatter more needle like tips, thicker leaves, with some golden tips, is less sensative to temperature and reminds me of an Irish breakfast or some Kenyan teas, with bitter coffee like tones.

I brewed this tea for 4 min. which resulted in a mahogany coloured brew that smelled of malt and cocoa.

It tasted of malt,cocoa (the dark bitter kind), floral notes with some grain notes and very little sweetness. As it cools, it becomes a little sweeter with bitter cocoa, floral, and some malt notes. Malt is apparent in the aftertaste along with some peppery notes. Very smooth with little astringency and a moderate level of caffeine.

Good tea for those who like the bitter notes of coffee would probably taste nice with cream.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
374 tasting notes

Once upon a time it was easy to buy bulk herbs and spices around here in small proportions, but now if they even have the herbs you end up having to buy prepackaged bags with fixed proportions. Which is how I ended up with a huge bag of lavender. It’s a nice lavender sweet and spicy, not soapy thank goodness. But I still have tons left. I’ve given it away as sachets, drank it straight as tea, added it to my bath, and used it to flavour other teas. This is a continuation of project, move through the lavender.

Tonight I added the lavender to cocoa nibs, and cardamon.

You know what it’s not too bad. Though I think next time. I’ll use a little bit less lavender and add a little more cardamon. The lavender sweetened the cocoa and added a little bit of spice, and the cardamon was slightly detectable underneath, doing the same.

I’ll have to try it again, but lavender actually goes quite nicely with chocolate.

around 1tbsp coca nibs, less than tsp of lavender, a couple cardamon pods, sreeped in a 16 oz mug for around 7 min.

Nicole

It always surprises me that I like dark chocolate bars with lavender. Have not tried it in cocoa yet…

yyz

They’re nice aren’t they?

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91

I let this steep for longer than I normally do ( 5 min at around 86*C) and it brought out more muscatel type characteristics than I am accustomed to finding in this tea. Still really nice, it just made the tea taste more fruity.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
374 tasting notes

Mystery Ceylon

I’m currently enjoying a mystery Ceylon that I picked up at the Polish grocery store. I haven’t had it for a while, but I forgot how nice it was.

It has this beautiful mix of fruity blackberry, floral notes, toasted grains, hint of sweet potato, malt and spice with some slightly earthy/leathery notes and a sugary note that has a dark maple syrup tones. As it cools it remains quite sweet and citrus tones come out. The tea has a nice body and re-steeps really well.

I wish I know for sure where the tea came from. It is a large leaf ceylon, with broad twisted leaves. I suspect it comes from this company as they have supplied teas to the store in the past.

http://organicteacup.com/products.aspx,

but there are several other local companies it could be from.

CelebriTEA

This sounds really lovely with the blackberry & ceylon, sweet potato(fave),
malt and spice….mmmmm

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Revisiting this one, I used more leaf this time, probably 1/2 teaspoon more than before at around 95*C. Nice comforting cup of teas with a nice medium thick body and a warming mix of dark cocoa, and honey, with a hint of orange and a touch of cinnamon and just a hint of leather notes. For some reason this one suits me today. I’ve been drinking it all day.

Fjellrev

That’s a tantalizing description.

tperez

Sounds really good, I might have to try some from them!

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Green tea has been marketed as a distinct Rizhao Brand in Rizhao, Shandong,
China since the 1998, though tea has been grown here on a wider commercial basis since the 60’s. It is often referred to as Sunshine, sunfall tea. Sometimes it is referred to as jiangbei ( north of the river tea) as well ( though this many not be unique to Rizhao tea). It is a popular enough tea in China that it has been subject to the problem of fakes ( with some
counterfeiter going so far as to dying tea, and some sellers cutting it with
tea from the south of China).

Rizhao tea is often marketed as a “health tea” because it has been shown to have higher levels of Catechins, amino acids, and selenium than other green teas produced in China.

It usually is known for having a blue green colour ( though those grown under green houses can be a lighter colour) and a chestnut/pea/fruity flavour. It is produced in xueqing ( curled ) form, a lonjing type form and a needle like form, over 4 seasons. It is one of the more northerly teas produced in China.

Some good sources of articles are ( when viewed by translator):

www.rzlc.cn
www.rizhaogreentea.com
www.rizhaolvcha.org

Currently I have two greens from the same plantation, both picked in late
winter/early spring and grown under greenhouses ( if the taobao site is to be believed: http://chayedian.taobao.com/category-334660585.htm?spm=a1z10.4.0.0.Lc8DRm&search=y&parentCatId=323244125&parentCatName=%C8%D5%D5%D5%C2%CC%B2%E8&catName=%C8%D5%D5%D5%C2%CC%B2%E8+%B4%F3%C5%EF%B2%E8#bd )

The first one sold as snow sunshine on aliexpress and early spring on the taobao site was harvested on 20/03/2013.

The second one was sold as Xianshuang type ( a thick and dense aroma/flavour
type) or spring tea and was harvested on 01/04/2013.

The snow sunshine tea is thick and loosely rolled coils with the leaves seeming wider than the xianshuang type. Short white hairs are visible on the leaves with the colour ranging from deep blue, green , through spruce green to a lighter grass green colour. The scent of the dry tea is fruity, with a touch of a roasted scent and touch of alfalfa/legume type scent. It smells less intense than the xianshuang type.

The xianshuang type is more tightly rolled with the leaves appearing smaller and slightly more coiled. The colour is a deeper spruce to blue green with pale green patches from furry buds and hairs. The scent is more of a fresh green scent rather than fruity, with a hint of a roasted savoury note.

They both steep to a pale greenish yellow, with the first steep appearing quite light after 45s at 82*C and with the colour intensifying and yellowing in later steeps (55, 70s).

The snow type smells very fruity with melon tones accompanied by chestnut, a
hint of smoke, and cooked peas, while the Xianshuang type has stronger chestnut notes with peas, and a faint floral/fruit plum note.

The snow type taste of a refreshing honeydew melon , a hint of fresh snap pea with a bit of chestnut underneath, accompanied with faint flavour from
roasting. In later steeps it remains fruity but savoury notes of chestnut, a roasted note and a slightly bitter spinach note develop more prominence. This is a refreshing, smooth, fruity green.

The Xiansuang type tastes of chestnut, spinach, and alfalfa/peas, along with a tone of warm, ripe, plum with a hint of papaya ( the small, rounder, sweeter ones). It is buttery, heavier, and more savoury than the earlier harvest tea with a denser broth. It smells and tastes fruitier as it cools.
Later steeps taste heavier and denser. This tea is refreshing but leaves a more tingling feeling in the mouth and has a bit more bitterness than the earlier harvest.

These teas both make really nice fruity greens with chestnut notes and with
references to peas and other legumes. I really enjoy the melon tones of the snow type and appreciate the more savoury notes of the later harvest.

**These teas were bought from aliexpress store Chinese Tea Distributor.
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/723612
Which appears to be an online seller for Qingquan Yu Ming ( Yu Ming Springs
also known as Imperial Ming Cha), a company which has been buying and selling tea within China since 1984 and seems to be specializing in Kim Chun Mei, Jasmine teas and Teas from Shandong( mostly green, but some Laoshan black teas).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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Green tea has been marketed as a distinct Rizhao Brand in Rizhao, Shandong,
China since the 1998, though tea has been grown here on a wider commercial basis since the 60’s. It is often referred to as Sunshine, sunfall tea. Sometimes it is referred to as jiangbei ( north of the river tea) as well ( though this many not be unique to Rizhao tea). It is a popular enough tea in China that it has been subject to the problem of fakes ( with some
counterfeiter going so far as to dying tea, and some sellers cutting it with
tea from the south of China).

Rizhao tea is often marketed as a “health tea” because it has been shown to have higher levels of Catechins, amino acids, and selenium than other green teas produced in China.

It usually is known for having a blue green colour ( though those grown under green houses can be a lighter colour) and a chestnut/pea/fruity flavour. It is produced in xueqing ( curled ) form, a lonjing type form and a needle like form, over 4 seasons. It is one of the more northerly teas produced in China.

Some good sources of articles are ( when viewed by translator):

www.rzlc.cn
www.rizhaogreentea.com
www.rizhaolvcha.org

Currently I have two greens from the same plantation, both picked in late
winter/early spring and grown under greenhouses ( if the taobao site is to be believed: http://chayedian.taobao.com/category-334660585.htm?spm=a1z10.4.0.0.Lc8DRm&search=y&parentCatId=323244125&parentCatName=%C8%D5%D5%D5%C2%CC%B2%E8&catName=%C8%D5%D5%D5%C2%CC%B2%E8+%B4%F3%C5%EF%B2%E8#bd )

The first one sold as snow sunshine on aliexpress and early spring on the taobao site was harvested on 20/03/2013.

The second one was sold as Xianshuang type ( a thick and dense aroma/flavour
type) or spring tea and was harvested on 01/04/2013.

The snow sunshine tea is thick and loosely rolled coils with the leaves seeming wider than the xianshuang type. Short white hairs are visible on the leaves with the colour ranging from deep blue, green , through spruce green to a lighter grass green colour. The scent of the dry tea is fruity, with a touch of a roasted scent and touch of alfalfa/legume type scent. It smells less intense than the xianshuang type.

The xianshuang type is more tightly rolled with the leaves appearing smaller and slightly more coiled. The colour is a deeper spruce to blue green with pale green patches from furry buds and hairs. The scent is more of a fresh green scent rather than fruity, with a hint of a roasted savoury note.

They both steep to a pale greenish yellow, with the first steep appearing quite light after 45s at 82*C and with the colour intensifying and yellowing in later steeps (55, 70s).

The snow type smells very fruity with melon tones accompanied by chestnut, a
hint of smoke, and cooked peas, while the Xianshuang type has stronger chestnut notes with peas, and a faint floral/fruit plum note.

The snow type taste of a refreshing honeydew melon , a hint of fresh snap pea with a bit of chestnut underneath, accompanied with faint flavour from
roasting. In later steeps it remains fruity but savoury notes of chestnut, a roasted note and a slightly bitter spinach note develop more prominence. This is a refreshing, smooth, fruity green.

The Xiansuang type tastes of chestnut, spinach, and alfalfa/peas, along with a tone of warm, ripe, plum with a hint of papaya ( the small, rounder, sweeter ones). It is buttery, heavier, and more savoury than the earlier harvest tea with a denser broth. It smells and tastes fruitier as it cools.
Later steeps taste heavier and denser. This tea is refreshing but leaves a more tingling feeling in the mouth and has a bit more bitterness than the earlier harvest.

These teas both make really nice fruity greens with chestnut notes and with
references to peas and other legumes. I really enjoy the melon tones of the snow type and appreciate the more savoury notes of the later harvest.

**These teas were bought from aliexpress store Chinese Tea Distributor.
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/723612
Which appears to be an online seller for Qingquan Yu Ming ( Yu Ming Springs
also known as Imperial Ming Cha), a company which has been buying and selling tea within China since 1984 and seems to be specializing in Kim Chun Mei, Jasmine teas and Teas from Shandong( mostly green, but some Laoshan black teas).

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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This tea smells of sweet cooked apple and a fruity base tea with pastry like hints.

I find it benefits from a 5 minute steep. The base does not overpower the flavouring and the fruit is stronger than when I steeped it with shorter steeps. The rose blends with apple flavour in such away that the tea reminds me of spring with a reference to apple blossoms ( which makes sense as they are in the same family), and at other times it reminds me of fall as I get an aftertaste of cooked apples. The base has enough tannins and astringency to give the tea a certain thickness and a reference to baked goods, but taste wise it is quite fruity, and freshening. The bite of Rose becomes more apparent as it cools. It’s quite nice.

I think I prefer the brightness of Nina’s Marie Antoinette with its crisp granny smith apple like reference and it’s lighter base, but this is still very pleasant and enjoyable.
Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
CelebriTEA

Sounds like this is to die 4

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drank Courtesan by SAHARA TEA
374 tasting notes

I picked This up on sale at Winner’s today after Dexter’s review of 100 Mysteries last night. I figured it was worth a chance.

It makes a pretty nice tea for the holiday’s. It smells of cinnamon and raisins when dry and once brewed it is a pretty red colour and smells like a Christmas pudding.

It smells strongly of cinnamon, raisins and dried fruit. The taste is pleasant and is less sweet and spicy than it smells. The rooibos is smooth and
disappears in a vanilla like note. The cinnamon and fruit combine with a pastry like notes that remind me of a spicy french toast made with brioche. The rooibos is well hidden, with cinnamon being the dominant flavour and with the fruit underneath. A nice, cinnamon fruit tea for the holidays.

Fjellrev

Sounds like a nice combination of notes. After reading all of these reviews, I’m actually glad I didn’t make a trip down to a Winner’s to check out their sale. Sounds dangerous.

yyz

Probably a good idea, the one near me still has Fauchon tempting me to buy other flavours. This was a good deal though as it was marked down even further so I got it for $4 so I don’t feel particularly guilty about it.

MissB

I’m enjoying the Sahara Tea finds all over the place; they’ve got some unusual pairings that make me think… wait, what am I drinking? Pretty tasty too, once I get over the brain melt. I must have missed this at my Winners though. All I saw was Fauchon.

OMGsrsly

If you were at Metrotown, I’m pretty sure I didn’t see anything by Sahara today.

yyz

I’ve seen them occasionally at Homesence and Winners. They had this one and the Tantric Tulsi. I just picked up this one this time. It’s my first time trying their teas and it was quite nice! I found it in a clearance section. So you might want to check out there if your browsing. I see what you mean about thought provoking blends sometimes though, they do use an interesting mix of ingredients especially in their herbals, I almost wish I bought the Tulsi!

MissB

We must keep on running into each other OMGsrsly. It’s like we’re at the same place at the same time, each time! Only place I’ve found Sahara locally is the Low Carb Grocery down on Marine Drive, and they usually carry 6-8 different blends.

OMGsrsly

Oh, that’s so funny. :) I never go down to Marine Drive because I bus, and the buses down there from my neighbourhood are rather terrible.

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