22 Tasting Notes
i received this tea to sample and write a review for. I would have written one sooner but i have had family issues and had to go out of state for a while. Now i am back home and am able to review the tea as promised.
The leaves look to me just like someone took lawn clippings and chopped and roasted them. the leaves are a dark, dark green. The leaves smell just like the cheap store bought catnip that smells of mint.
I used two teaspoons for 8 oz, 170 degrees for one min.
The liquor is a green tinted gold, and smells like buttery spinach or seaweed. Kinda like an oolong. Sipping the tea reminds me of the Milk oolong i tried recently. It is buttery, light, and has a spinach taste, but also has a grassy taste too, and a sweet floral undertone. The aftertaste is lightly of buttered spinach.
Its not a bad tea. I am aware that different teas of the same type taste differently, so i would like to try some more sencha, just to see the possibilities in taste this tea can hold.
I like the tea enough, i could either drink this or the milk oolong interchangeably, i think, but i might not go out of my way to keep this stocked.
ooh, how i have been WAITING for this day… especially since i have been about… a month without a Chinese black, since my black dragon pearls from another company were a bust. literally. opened the bag to find crumbled pearls, while the whole pearls, and the replacement package, were bland.
ANYWHOO. The leaves are a lovely black and gold, my bag is more black than the pic on here. The scent is of honey, straw, and cocoa. Mouth watering.
I use 1.5 tsp for 10 oz of water, 200 degrees for 3 min.
The liquor is a lovely, dark brown-red, and smells of honey and chocolate. The initial sips while still extremely hot are of Sweet potato and honey. Cooled enough to actually drink, the sweet potato takes a step back and shares the show with honey, chocolate and light notes of straw. There is a lovely honey aftertaste that builds with every sip, encouraging you to forget about whatever it was you were doing before you picked up the cup and started sipping, and focus entirely on the amazing tea in your hands. I love the taste of this tea, but to me, the aftertaste is even better! There is no astringency, this beauty is silky smooth in anticipation of your time together :)
This is everything i remembered about this tea, and im quite happy with it, and i cannot believe how inexpensive this company offers this tea for. If you like blacks, and like/dont mind a sweet potato taste in your tea, you cannot afford to pass this tea by.
Finally! a darjeeling i think i can get behind :D
im coming to understand that i dont care for many teas other than Chinese blacks, and possibly greens. I have been through several darjeeling, and several oolong, and while they are pleasant, none really make me say “I like this!” like a good yunnan black can. But this one is just about there :)
The leaves smell slightly floral, and kinda like a classic Chinese black. The leaves are short, and thin, only slightly curly. The colors in the bag range from black to light brown, with even some silver sprinkled in.
I used 1.5 tsp for 10 oz water, tired of sipping on (what i consider) weaker tea. I used 190 degree water, for 3 min, adding a min for the second steep.
The liquor is a red tinged dark amber. It smells of floral honey. It has a nice earthy tone, undercut with light floral notes, and even less malt as in a classic Chinese black.
A slight astringency becomes noticeable as the tea cools, but is only there if you look for it. I did not notice any real bitterness, but i am used to drinking strong Chinese blacks, so i might not notice anymore lol.
For a darjeeling, this was quite pleasant, and if i have to pick a darjeeling to drink from now on out of the ones i have tried, this would be it.
This tea is from Lulu, a generous random sample that was sent out for what seems to be an upstart online business. It is a sun moon lake black tea from taiwan.
The leaves are LONG, thin, and spindly, and of course, black. They smell like honey, with a hint of straw. Quite nice, but this is def a tea that you would want to measure by weight, not by a tsp, just because of how difficult it is to get them in the spoon.
Not having any type of food scale, i just guessed about how much i should use, about 3 quite empty tsp lol, and 10 oz of water at 190 for 4 min.
the liquor was a nice, dark red with a brown tinge. It tasted quite light, possibly due to me not using enough leaf, possibly because thats just how the tea is. either way, it was still nice. It had the nice malty flavor of a black, with faint hints of chocolate. i have heard mentioned that this type of tea has a kind of cinnamon taste, and while it diddnt come though for me, there was SOMETHING there, almost spicy like, but not really. so in hindsight, i might not have used enough leaf. But this tea was still quite nice.
Over all, to me, this tea reminded me alot of golden monkey, only maybe replacing golden monkeys straw like flavor with a hint of spice. Im quite pleased with this tea, but i think i prefer golden monkey slightly more.
Flavors: Chocolate, Cinnamon, Malt
FINALLY, my samples from teavivre came in… after a month /sadface. So after having no tea for a few weeks, all of my packages seem to be showing up. Which i need, since my only truck threw a rod, and now is not movable. anywho.
This tea is in the form of small balls, roughly about the same size, and quite small, and each ball had multiple shades of green in them, from pale, cut grass to rich, dark jade. The smell is quite pleasant, but sadly i cannot think of a way to describe it other than to say it smells green, like early, early spring.
I followed the directions on the packet, using a little over 1 tsp for 10 oz of water, steeped for 3 min each at 212.
The liquor is gold with hints of green mixed in, quite pretty. Once again, i cant quite ID a smell, other than say it has a faint odor i am coming to associate with oolongs.
The taste, Thankfully, is better than all of the previous oolongs i have tried before, making me willing to try more oolongs. This is a lighter tea, almost reminding me of a white tea. There is that faint spinach/seaweed flavor that i now associate with oolongs, but it is quite faint, barely there, and i might miss it if i were not so scarred from the other bad teas i tried. I now understand the “buttery” taste i always see associated with this oolong. It almost reminds me of eating movie popcorn. There is also a light floral taste. As the tea cools, a slight astringency develops, but is easily overlookable, what with how silky the texture is, and with the butter taste. This tea will leave a gentle honey/floral aftertaste, and a nice silky feeling.
not a bad tea, i might restock at times. would be a good change from black tea.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Spinach
these leaves are small, spindly, and black, with slivers of green leaf mixed in. They smell of hay and honey.
I used just over 1 tsp of leaves in 10 oz of water, at 190 for 3 min.
the liquor is a nice amber. It has a slight astringency, but it is not bad. The taste is of hay and fall leaves, with a faint aftertaste of honey.
Not a bad tea, but i prob wouldnt go out of my way to keep this around.
I tried this tea again due to advice on brewing it differently.
This time this tea tastes much better. I used 1 tsp for 10 oz water, at 190 degrees, for 3 min.
It is light amber, slightly floral, in a lightly sweet way. there are light earthy notes. This tea in a way reminds me of a green tea. All in all, a MUCH better infusion than the first brew i tried with a gaiwan.
This is the first ever darjeeling i will have tried, and it comes in a package of 16, yes, 16 darjeeling that i recently received from Marzipan. This will be quite an experience :D
The leaves are small, wiry, and black, or exceedingly dark brown. They smell like clean fall leaves mixed with clean hay.
I started out with one tsp in my 4 oz gaiwan and brewed for 4 min, and it was a little weak to me, so i added another tsp and brewed for another 4 min. This was better.
The color of the liquor to me is quite soft for a black. It is a nice amber, and quite clear.
The smell is that of fall leaves. The taste, for me, was a little underwhelming, sadly. It was pretty much one note, that of fall leaves, and fairly astringent. sadface
Ooh well, there are 15 more samples to try :D and hey, now i have tea to drink again :)
Being desperate for some black tea, and unwilling to finish off my imperial golden monkey, i grumbled, resigning myself to a bitter cup of the crushed stuff i got.
Remembering how when i first bought this from teavana, steeping this differently messed with the flavors. So i decided to pretend that these crushed pearls were actually green tea. So i loaded up my gaiwan, forgot about rinsing, and steeped at 170. The first steep was the longest to open the leaves, around a min or so, and then i was able to do the 30 second steep, 45, ect.
It wasnt AS bad! The bitterness is still there, but there is a memory of the lovely cocoa, malt, and molasses that i fell in love with in this tea. Sadly the honey notes are still on hiatus. BUT this is a drinkable brew! Score one for the home team :)
I think that this is my last order of… anything from this company. The sample i got from this company was nice, it had flavor. The 7 oz i ordered, however, came half crumbled, and the whole pearls are flavorless. I even tried brewing in my gaiwan, and these pearls either go from quite watery to bitter. No pleasant cocoa, molasses, anything. If this bag of pearls were my introductory to this tea, i would have passed it up.