224 Tasting Notes
Backlog from last night.
Got this as a free sample awhile back when Laurent was offering 3 samples to try. I got this one, Je T’aime & Mon Secret. Backlogged review for Je T’aime coming next.
There was two tsp in the package, so I dumped the whole sample in.
Off the bat it was deliciously fruity smelling. Reminded me of the peach oolong I have from Adagio. I didn’t really get much vanilla in the smell, just the peach/apricot/fruityness.
Taste wise it doesn’t quite live up to the anticipation of the smell. It’s fruity, but the taste kinda falls flat for me. So does whatever the base tea is, which is just kinda there, but could be stronger. Adding some Truvia helped boost the fruityness, but overall I don’t think it really improved it. And after awhile it got kinda bitter.
So, good to try, nothing I’d likely order myself.
So to get this out of my system… I miss Steepster working! /whines/
….Alright. Now that that’s out of my system, onto the tea. XD
I’m trying to get through some of the teas in my cupboard since I have so many and I’ve banned myself from ordering anything new until I’ve at least gotten down to one bin of untried from companies (I have two currently) and a half bin of ‘from swaps’ (Have a full bin of this). So this was a surprise addition from Cavo when we swapped last and figured I’d better at least try it soon. Lol.
The dry was kinda fruity, which was nice.. Used a tsp and a half for 12oz and only steeped it for 2:30min since I’d read that this can be a bit punchy at times.
It’s not a bad tea actually. I was expecting sharp or peppery or something. But this is kinda sweet, a bit woody and kinda malty. And not ‘in-my-face’ like I was worried it would be. No bitterness and I don’t get much astringency. Hardly any at all, but there’s just the teeeenyist bit of it there.
It actually made this close to a half hour ago and it’s been sitting on a cup warmer for that time while I sip. It’s survived well, though from time to time I’m getting an almost chalky taste/sensation from the tea. Now I don’t know if that’s from it sitting here for so long or what. But I figured I’d mention it.
So nice to try, but since I have other teas I like alot better I’m not planning on keeping this one.
Tea #6 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
So because I had this a few days ago and Steepster was totally down, I didn’t manage to get a review written up. And I was too tired/it was too late for me to think about how I should just write it down somewhere instead.
Mostly what I remember from this was that it was kinda fruity and a bit malty I think. It was good, I drank the entire cup, but I don’t remember it being a tea that I have a burning need to own for future drinkings. Lol.
Tea #7 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
With Steepster being pretty much inaccessable and overall pretty dead, I’ve been slacking on logging my notes. Lol! I had another tea from the box day before yesterday, but I’ll have to log that one after this since I can’t remember offhand what that one was.
I kinda fudged it with the steeping parameters since I couldn’t really find them anywhere and I was overall too lazy to find and check the Single Origin Tea site.
Couldn’t get any sort of scent from the dry leaf since this was pretty much the end of the bag. I think there’s still another tsp or two left though.
Brewed this reminds me of a darjeeling to be honest. With that muscatel/fruity sort of scent to it. And that’s really the only taste I’m getting from it too. Fruity muscatel with a mild astringency.
I’m not sure if it’s just because the tea is now older from traveling in the box and/or it’s just evolved through to another tea. I’m pretty certain that this is the same tea that I’m drinking, but I can’t understand why I’d be getting such a different taste than what was originally tasted.
Tea #5 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
There was just a tsp left and the desc here sounded pretty good, so why not.
Malty, fruity-ish scent to the brew. Taste wise I get very slight smoke (nothing near the amount that I’ve gotten from the Keemuns I’ve been drinking lately), a bit of fruit and malt. I don’t get any bitterness from it and there’s really no astringency that I can really tell. Maybe I’ll just need to sit with it a bit, but at the moment, it’s pretty tasty. I want to add a bit of Truvia to it (since I do to practically all my teas), but I actually like it just as is. Maybe when I get halfway done I’ll add some anyway. Dunno.
I’d consider adding this to my cupboard…until I saw the price tag and nearly choked on the tea I was sipping at. Holy cats! I’d probably consider tossing a sample in my cart if/when I ever get around to ordering from them, but I sure as heck am not gonna pay that much for 2 oz. Yeesh. I can get a nice yixing for that price, right? XD
Tea #4 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
As mucky as it is out right now, I still wanted tea, so I grabbed this one out to drink. In hindsight I don’t think the smokyness was the best choice when I was already feeling nauseous due to, well, the weather. But I refuse to pour out a perfectly excellent cup of tea because I’m stubborn and stupid like that. Lol!
It was between this one and Teavive’s Keemun Grade 1, but this one smelled a bit less savory/smoky so I figured it would be lighter on the smoke.
Yeesh. This one turned out pretty smoky in the end anyway. It’s a bit sweet, but I mostly get smoke from it. Not Lapsang type smoke, but smoke nonetheless.
It’s good, but definitely not the tea that I should’ve been drinking right now. Honestly, I think I shouldn’t really have had any tea at all, but ugh, what a depressing thought that is. Lol!
Tea #3 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
(Note: This is a long review since this is the first puerh I’ve really honestly tried, so I’m rambling quite a bit while I figure it all out. Apologies beforehand.)
So let me start out by saying that I know nothing about puerh (despite reading most everything here on the discussions) other than it’s something that I want to try some day because nearly everyone seems so into it. I’ve had an awful experience with a Chocolate Orange Puerh (DavidsTea I think) and an nearly equally bad experience with a sheng puerh (also DavidsTea come to think about it), but I chalked it up to (then at least) knowing even less than nothing about puerh. Lol! But the experiences have definitely made me rather gun shy about delving into it again.
Months later I’m starting to consider dabbling in it once more (I just got Mandala’s Ripe sampler), because come on, it’s just tea, stop being a coward. And since this box came with a handful of puerh samples, I set them aside for dubious (and slightly almost distrustful if I’m being honest) consideration. Closed my eyes and grabbed one as my next tea and this one came up. Probly not exactly the smartest choice since I couldn’t find anything on how to brew this aside from KiwiDelight’s gaiwan gongfu session. And since I’m being a coward about using the (/hides/) 4 assorted gaiwans I now own (don’t judge. They have the benefit of being pretty. >>;), I just ended up using my brew basket.
So I faked it and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t send me flailing away from ever wanting to try puerh again.
1st steeping – 6g/8oz/30s – (measured on my scale but which was about 3 small-ish chunks) dropped in the basket. I can’t resist saying that the pieces kinda looked kinda like the clods of dried grass I’d pry off my shoes after cutting the grass the day before, back in my younger days when I still had to cut the grass. XD;
Nearly every brewing session/review I’ve read rinses first, so I brought the water to a boil(ish), poured while counting to 5, pulled the basket and eyed the liquid. I didn’t drink it (though I’ve read people doing that just to see), I probably should have just because why not, but I didn’t. Just sniffed it before dumping it out. It smelled earthy and slightly mushroomy and kinda spicy almost. Not at all the fishy smell I was fearing.
So I did a 30s brew on this, pulled the basket and wasn’t too surprised to see that, while there were loose leaves, there was still bigger chunks stuck together. The brew is surprisingly dark (dark clearish amber) and the smell is mushrooms and earth (and if I’m being honest very slightly fishy, but clean and not sour, turn-your-stomach rotten sort of fishy). I have to say that I hesitated big before taking a sip. What if it tasted fishy or rotten or any of the other ‘ugh’ stories about puerh I’ve heard? But I told myself to get it over with coward, and took a sip.
Wow. Earthy and mushroom-y (which is super odd, but at least I like mushrooms, though possibly not as tea) and, after a moment and a second sip, holy cats, chocolate. Dark, kinda bittersweet chocolate. But there none-the-less. Which, despite drinking teas with apparently chocolate notes, I’ve never really been able to figure it out. This note is fleeting and doesn’t really linger, but it’s there for me. It is a bit astringent the longer I sit and sip at it. And my tongue is kinda tingly too. (is that normal or did I find another weird quirk for me?)
2nd steeping – 45s – Wow. I thought the first brew was dark, this one is even darker. Reddish brown instead of amber brown. Same sort of mushroom-y smell. Same sort of taste as the first brew though I’m not really finding that chocolate note in there this time. Just the mushroom and a bit of earth.
3rd steeping – 1min – I think I should’ve tried this first this morning since it just keeps going and I’m getting the urge to want to try something else. But I’ll stick it out. Same smell on this one but taste wise it had an unpleasant metallic tone to it. I actually ended up pouring this one out after a few game sips because I couldn’t get past that taste. Ugh.
4th steeping – 1min 15sec – Last one because I’m pretty tired of drinking this already. Lol! I’m pretty sure it could go for another few rounds still since when I poured the water in, it turned dark almost immediately. Brew has gained a sort of roasted mushroom smell now along with the earth. Metallic taste is gone (or almost, I can kinda taste it lurking in the back) and this is drinkable once more. Huh.
So an interesting experience for this. Good, but interesting. Lol! Definitely a type of tea to start first thing and expect to drink all day, or else set aside for the next day/later. I’m wondering if this tea might be better with multiple short steeps instead of adding time each steeping. I snuck a taste on the 4th steeping at the 30sec mark and it was pretty tasty. Better than I think the end 1min 15sec steeping turned out. Honestly the very first steeping has to be my favorite out of all of these. If I were so inclined, I might try this one again with just straight 30sec steepings the whole way, but I’m not so inclined since this has to go back into the box so the next person to try. Lol! I might (one day) just buy this from puerhshop myself since I guess I can always store it away if I get tired of it, right? Probably the bottom cabinet of my curio cabinet would be best, though I have no idea if that’d be a good place for it honestly.
Tea #2 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB
While I guess I should’ve resteeped the Mao Feng I just had, I have too many teas I want to try today (so I just set the leaves to the side, now I see the benefit of having multiple brewing baskets).
I only used a tsp in about 8oz since it seems a special tea and I’d hate to ‘waste’ it if I didn’t like it.
Wow. This has a super malty/bready/honey sort of smell to it. Maybe a bit of cream mixed in. It’s mouthwatering. And I haven’t even taken a sip. Lol.
The first sip is very bready (almost reminds me of eating pita chips weirdly enough), but I don’t think I steeped it enough, or else I used too much water since it was slightly watery tasting to me. I probly pulled a major fau pas and just dropped to steeping basket back in for another 30 or so seconds and that seemed to help. Definitely got rid of the watery taste.
Wonderfully malty and a nice fullness to the sip.
I think I’d like to have this in my cupboard if Yunnan Sourcing wasn’t so daunting to order from. But maybe I’ll bite the bullet and finally place an order.
Flavors: Honey, Malt
Tea #1 from the (Mostly) Unflavored TTB.
So since I’m under a self ban from going/walking anywhere (I strained a thigh muscle at work the other day when a dolly stacked with boxes overbalanced and tried to squash me, then made my calf hurt when I limped on it all day at work the next day) I’m laid up with my leg on a heating pad (Which hopefully will help even though it’s the day after it happened). I figured I’ll try to get through some of the teas I pulled (which is a big pile) and grabbed this one first.
Lately I’ve been getting more into Keemuns in general where I used to be more into Yunnans. Yay for liking new things and blah for phasing out of things I used to like.
So this is smooth with just a faint bit of smoke/wood within the sip. Very pleasant. It’s also just a bit sweet by itself with just a slight edge of something possibly bitter (though a smidge of truvia took care of that). Honestly this was a very nice tea even without the bit of truvia and I think I could drink this one either way. It even stands up nicely sitting on my cup warmer for the last hour while I’ve been Rifting on D3 with my Mom. Though it has gotten the slightest bit astringent during. But nothing that I’m not willing to drink through since the tea is still tasty.
Now I’m not sure I’d make an order specifically for it, but if I was already ordering from Upton I’d likely toss this into my cart. It depends on the state of my cupboard at that time.
But a very nice tea indeed.
I’m assuming that this is the Keemun that I got from Ten Ren’s today, and since there isn’t another listing for a Keemun, I’ll just put my review here and make it my own. XD
And as much as I want to review the actual store, I’ll resist and just stick with the tea.
This review is based on having no idea for brewing parameters and just using my basic 1.5 tsp/12 oz @ 3min Boiling.
The tea definitely has a smoky smell to it brew wise. Not Lapsang in-your-face, but a definite woodsmoke smell.
Taste wise it’s got a nice smoky hint to it, along with a slightly almost sweet note (though that might be just residue from the spoon I was using to slurp since the mug really is too hot still to drink from). Mildly astringent and just bordering on a bit bitter for me. Next time I might do 2:30 min or try a lower temp on the water.
It’s honestly not the train wreck I was fearing it might be with me just guesstimating everything. I liked it better after adding a bit of Truvia to sweeten it, but then I always add sugar to my tea eventually. But this one is good enough to stand on it’s own. I’m not sure how it would handle milk though, not to mention that would be a bit weird to me. Lol!
So yeah, not a bad tea. Not the best Keemun that I’ve had (not that I have a huge worldly experience of Keemun), but I’ll certainly drink it eventually.