1355 Tasting Notes
Not so much a tea review (it will come shortly) but just a few notes.
I have been very busy recently thanks to a new job and trying to sort my life out in general. I only work 14 hours a week but then mix in my hobbies, my tea tasting and my etsy shop (as well as house cleaning) then my time is pretty busy at the moment. It’s for the best as I have a source of income purely for me now which will help with tea supplies and goods. I have already joined White2Tea club and spent £75ish on one Yunnan Sourcing order and one Crimson Lotus Tea order. My big one from YS arrived today so I have been using my Jade handle cha hai with built in strainer and blue glaze tea cups. Super happy with them.
Along with my new bits I tried this tea, and am still going through it, in fact I’m only on my third steep. The reason I stopped is because it’s been so long since I had a rest and a decent Sheng that I’ve gotten tea drunk! My head is whirling away and I’m sat rocking myself with a smile on my face while I watch some Japanese drama on Netflix. I really needed to relax today and I am happy to have been given that chance. Thank you tea drink Gods for helping me to relax, even if you are fucking up my writing a bit.
Opening the packet I am now face to face with small Pu Erh nuggets, they are highly reflective with a lot of golden tips present. A cluster of earthy brown tones in one little nugget. They are compressed quite tightly, similar to a cake. Each nugget is unique in size and shape but they all contain the same level of golden tips.
On sniff-spection I can detect damp wood, earth, smoke and musk tones. Truthfully it’s also perhaps a little fishy but I think that is down to the age of the tea.
I will be using 3 tea pieces (roughly 4-5g) in a 200ml glass gongfu teapot vessel with boiling water. Usually I like to dedicate a lot of time for Pu Erh but I only have a couple of hours before I have to help my parents with something, so for that reason this will be across six steeps.
Rinse time of 10 seconds due to the size of the nuggets.
First Steep – 1 minute
The nuggets have not broken apart but after the rinse they are soft and giving off more colour. The tea liquid is cloudy red brown with a sweet and earthy scent. Similar to it’s raw scent but much sweeter and thankfully not fishy.
The first few sips reveal a soft and creamy base with delicate wood and earth notes. There is some dryness but not much. As subtle as it is the creamy effect is a wonderful surprise and very easy to drink. The after taste was earthy and dry clay like.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
The nuggets are still rather firm but they are softening up, I could easily pull them apart if I desired to. The scent is smokier but still rather soft.
Flavour is still soft but stronger than the first steep. The sweetness has toned down but the cream persists through the light wood, earth and smoke elements. The after taste is dry with a wood flavour. Also an element of malt that reminds me of golden tips.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
The nuggets are now breaking apart slowly but surely.
This steep is still creamy but the musky earth tone is peaking through a little more than the previous steeps. It’s now a more traditional style Pu Erh but it’s aged very nicely.
Towards the end of this steep it had some sourness coming through toward the after taste which lingered with the musk.
Fourth Steep – 4 minutes
The sweetness has come forward again among the cream, it’s almost honeyed. But the musky earth is still dry and slightly sour in contrast. It still reminds me of golden tip black tea but much more subtle.
Fifth Steep – 5 minutes
The sourness has softened and again the tea is losing the slight thickness that it began to get around the third steep. The cream is still the main flavour at this point.
Sixth Steep – 6 minutes
This final steep resembles the first, expect there is an edge of bitterness in the after taste at this point. The cream is the only notable flavour that is left.
Conclusion: It’s subtle in strength but the cream and sweet wood notes carry this into an easy to drink Shu. I prefer Sheng usually for the creamy taste but this equals a very creamy Sheng but without the grass and floral notes on the side. Also the smoothness of this worked in it’s favour for me.
Given that this tea boasts it can be steeped over 15 times I think they must mean via gaiwan as it started to lose colour and flavour around the fifth steep.
Next time I may try and add another nugget and see if it changes once it’s slightly stronger, but the colour of the tea was dark enough and I believe it’s just one that needs to be experimented with. Perhaps a gaiwan steep would bring out more flavour, but it could be even softer. I will try and experiment another time.
Some quick notes on this while I catch up on Game of Thrones. I’ve almost finished the second series (yes I’m that far back) and I’m going to storm through it over the next two weeks.
This tea is called silver bud yet it doesn’t actually have many of them in the raw Sheng. I suppose that is what I get for trying a cheap sample. It smells musty and damp, very earthy for a Sheng and rather sour.
In taste it’s at least nicer than it smells. It tastes of dry leaves and damp earth with some sweetness and astringency which lingers in the after taste. The bitterness does leave some dryness over time on the tongue.
This tea gets bitter very quickly and the astringency is getting to be too much after only a few steeps. I do like bitterness in a Sheng sometimes but I think this is a touch too much for my liking. I can drink it but honestly it will be wasted on me.
Oh well, another sample reviewed at least. I may just end up seasoning my tea pets with the rest of this, which is around 45g.
Life is too short to drink bad tea.
First Steep – 1 minute
Once steeped the tea liquid is dark brown/red with a damp and earthy scent with sweet and sharp rum taking centre stage.
The first few sips reveal a smooth and sweet combination with some damp earth and a touch of sourness, but the rum cuts through the earth and it’s taste lingers. While it’s hot it’s not as strong as the scent in terms of rum but it’s still very noticeable. It’s actually a nice combination, you have the smoothness of the golden tips with some earthiness but the rum brings sweetness but also a strength that matches the wood and damp elements from the Shu.
Half way down the cup and my mouth is completely coated with a soft and creamy rum flavour which just resembles rum ball sweets even more. Also the rum is more noticeable as the tea cools.
The raw leaves are still strong smelling, despite already having one steep.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
More rum in this steep but it remains as creamy as the first cup. The rum is not as medicinal as the first steep but it remains sweet. This cup is perhaps a little dry in comparison but it’s in a nice way.
This is a delicious steep, it has more body but the flavours remain the same.
The loose leaves still smell like rum but there is also a manure like sweetness to it now.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
This steep smells a lot less like rum, with sour earth notes now in control.
In flavour I also feel that the rum has toned down but it’s still there, just softer and less sweet among the thick cream of the golden tips.
This tea is rum-a-licious! A creamy base combined with sweet rum that resembles rum ball sweets brings back lots of nostalgia. The only time I would get rum balls or rum and raisin ice cream is when I went to the seaside, so for me it homes in on happy memories. Plus I like the balance between the two, being a Sheng fan over Shu I find myself enjoying this base quite a bit. The smoothness and cream reminds me of a nice Dian Hong golden tip but less malty and more earthy.
For pictures and more information please view my blog: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2016/05/25/rummy-pu-rum-infused-pu-erh-adventure/
Flavors: Cream, Drying, Earth, Rum
Just pouring in the water created a beautiful rice aroma that was strong enough to fill my kitchen and living room. Wow, it’s making me salivate!
Once steeped a yellow tea liquid is produced with the aforementioned rice aroma. If someone were to blindfold me and ask me to guess what it was by scent I would say it was a bowl of rice. There is also the same sweetness and toasted notes from it’s raw form.
The first few sips are interesting…I can detect a toasted grass, milky, floral Oolong but by it’s side is a sweet yet thickly moreish rice flavour. The after taste is a lingering thick (almost stodgy) rice note that has coated the whole of my tongue. A few more sips and it has an added sour note though honestly it’s not for long. I have noticed a slight dryness however which becomes noticeable in the after taste which frankly feels even more like I’m eating rice.
Ok so as rice heavy as this tastes it still does not take much away from the Jin Xuan base which manages to hold it’s own. This I am pleased with, if you’re going to drink Jin Xuan then you should really be tasting it.
Half a cup in and the dryness has increased again to a point that I have a cotton dry tongue. Not pleasant but the lingering after taste is making up for it. It’s still consistent though in strength and flavour from those first few sips.
For a longer review and more information please view the blog: http://sororiteasisters.com/2016/05/17/premium-cha-khao-hom-thai-rice-tea-siam-tee/
Thank you Kirk for this sample. It’s long overdue for a review.
When it comes to Pu Erh buds I can take them or leave them, but I haven’t had them with any sort of fruit flavour before. I do like the sound of mixing them with strawberry. Plus this is my first Liquid Proust tea, though I have placed an order today for some. The blends sound wonderful!
In raw form this smells sweet and fruity, specifically strawberry (juicy) but also tart like cranberry. The blend is light and fluffy looking but I can confirm I spot the Pu Erh buds, marigold leaves and cornflower petals at a quick glance.
Once steeped a golden yellow liquid is produced that bares a tart berry scent with lemon.
Flavour wise the first few sips are lemony and slightly sour with a lingering sherbet effect after taste. The berry comes through behind the lemon but the blend itself is smooth and quite light. Also becomes sweeter for the after taste.
The flavours still remain true now I’m half way down the cup though it’s perhaps more of a medium strength at this point.
Overall I’m impressed. While it wasn’t berry enough for my personal liking I do like lemon and in balance it was rather pleasing. It got approval from my husband too. If anything this has increased my enthusiasm for receiving my order and trying more of what Liquid Proust has to offer.
Flavors: Berry, Lemon, Tart
Opening the packet and taking a quick sniff reveals a mild mixed fruit scent. Further inspection shows very large leaves that are: black, curly, long, thinly rolled and are dark black with some golden tips present. Spreading the mixture out also exposes a couple of large fruit pieces. A closer sniff-spection adds sweet wood to the mild fruit tone.
Steeping Parameters: 5g of blend. Boiling water. 320ml vessel. 3-4 Minute Steep.
Once steeped the tea liquid is amber with a red hue and bares a sweet, strawberry fruit scent with undertones of wood and sour malt.
The first few sips reveal delicate yet sweet fruit notes with some astringency and a sour malt background. The after taste is sweet and fruity whilst not being too overpowering. The fruit is coming through as strawberry sweet but cranberry sour/tart.
As it cools the sour malt comes through a little more but the after taste is fruity and it lingers with the malt, adding some dryness to it all. Perhaps slightly perfumed over all but in a nice contrast to the malt.
The rest of the cup remained rather consistent in terms of strength and flavour. I know I bigged up Siam Tee at the start of my review and while this is not my favourite blend it is still a good job. In terms of quality they are one of the best available. No broken or finely chopped leaves here! The black base is stronger than the fruit but that is to my preference, with such a good quality black tea I want to be able to taste it. So think of this as a black tea with added fruit flavours rather than a fruit tea that happens to contain black leaves.
This is still my ‘go to’ morning tea though unlike my usual method (strong tea base, lots of milk and lots of sugar/sweetener) I drink this one black and natural. Perhaps because even if it’s not the best quality it’s still good enough to not need milk and I dislike drinking milk if I don’t have to. It stems from when I used to be allergic to milk as a child, it still upsets my stomach a little to this day. But I’m blathering on….
It gives a good kick to my stubborn system in the morning, and given flavour (which is mentioned in other tasting notes), quality and price they are why this tea gets top marks.