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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks so much for sending some of this along, Mastress Alita! I really wanted to try it. This is one of those clunky herbal blends, where the weight of the tea itself makes it pricey and you sure better like the result! I sure do. I’ve never had a date shake before (sounds AMAZING) but this does taste like what I imagine a date shake would (except possibly minus the creaminess of a shake and according to Tealyra’s description, date shakes have a ton of vanilla). But the flavor is in the mug and it is VERY sweet. It’s a perfect dessert tea. The flavor is fruity with a hint of tang from the sour cherry (without having hibiscus) with hints of cinnamon, spice and tons of sweetness. To be honest, it doesn’t taste like dates as much as I’d like it to, considering the name. But the result is scrumptious anyway. It’s just an odd little blend that works. It’s one of those blends I just want to snack on… probably shouldn’t though. I just really have to steep the crap out of it to get that delicious flavor. The second half mug tasted almost just as delicious. Sadly, this is no longer available from Tealyra.
Steep #1 // // just boiled // 20 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled (half mug) // countless minute steep (maybe 30-40 minutes?)
Flavors: Cherry, Cinnamon, Dates, Fruity
I am working from home today because (a) my client is a fucking asshole who can’t get me the documents I need but insists I send her the draft of a letter I need to write (based on the documents she has only partially provided) and (b) my boss doesn’t like confrontation and is overly stressed and as a result made a bunch of promises that now require me to work on the weekend. I’m not happy but at least I have tea..and flower bouquets my sister brought home from work.
Alas this tea isn’t so exciting. I am grateful Evol Ving Ness was kind enough to share this with me but its lacking. It has minimal berry flavor over a boring black tea. It is not bad but also doesn’t deliver much of anything.
May Flowers! This tea is a delight! It tastes just like a sweet lemon sugar cookie that has been infused with just a touch of lavender, and it hits me in aaaaaaaaaaall the right ways! Sniffing the leaf, it has a very strong lemon scent; there are aspects to it that are tangy and citrusy, but others that are creamy and sweet like a lemon dessert, and it all sort of hits the senses at once.
Brewed up, the tea has a strong, lemonade tartness, but beneath that is a layer of creamy vanilla sweetness, and they play off each other nicely. Beneath the strong lemon is a subtle floral hint of lavender, and my only complaint is that the lavender comes off a little too softly because the lemon flavor is so strong in this tea, and lavender is such a nice compliment note to lemon, so I actually will take a pinch or two from my lavender bud stash that I use for mixing and add it to my infuser just to give the lavender element a little more strength. If you aren’t a big floral fan, then the lavender here should be subtle enough beneath the lemon and vanilla that unless you are particularly sensitive, it shouldn’t bother you much.
I really love lemon flavor profiles, and while I’m okay with lemon ginger teas, it’s nice to finally have a sweeter flavor pairing instead of spicy. This is a fantastic tea for fans of a sweet-tart flavor on the tongue, and is simply delightful before bed with the soft floral lavender touch.
Flavors: Citrus, Cookie, Lavender, Lemon Zest, Sweet, Tangy, Tart, Vanilla
Well, this is odd. I am the first to review this tea and it hadn’t previously been posted here. The odd part is that the ingredients listed on the label of my pouch are the ones I posted from the drop down menu, ie. rooibos base with spices and fruits. However, the scent and appearance of the leaf in my pouch more closely resemble the current image and description on the Tealyra site which I have pasted here in description: INGREDIENTS: Apple pieces, hibiscus, rosehips, black currants, lemongrass, orange peels, licorice root, lemon peels, cornflowers and natural flavors
. So that is that. And now to drink the tea to reach the final verdict of what exactly is going on here.
Ok, I’ve adjusted the listed ingredients. Hopefully, this now matches what is in my cup.
The flavours are fruity berry with an added tartness, like citric acid, which is mellowed by vanilla and sweetened by the apple. Thankfully, the liquorice root is barely there. There’s a bit of a DT’s feeling to this tea though it is definitely not the same Pink Lemonade DT’s had some time ago.It’s ok hot and unsweetened. I can see this being a nice iced tea.
ok, ok, so it’s an herbal— which means I have officially broken my green and oolong trend.Nevermind, it’s good. I spent the day drinking a flavoured green and as the day began reaching a conclusion, I felt like a change. So, shopping in my stash!—hurray, hurray! The rosehips and hibiscus are very barely there, just slightly tart, showing up as a counterpoint to the sweetness and the creamy vanilla. Yes, I endorse this one.
Flavors: Creamy, Red Fruits, Vanilla
Also known as: Tieguanyin; Tie Kwan Yin; Iron Buddha
This is my favorite tea for gongfu cha. I brew it in my Yixing clay teapot. It is one of my favorite teas ever! It is organically grown and from the spring harvest. While I usually brew this tea gongfu cha style, it can also be brewed in a western style. It is great for steeping multiple times!
The dried leaves are dark green, and are curled/rolled. They expand to whole leaves in water. The tea liquor is light yellow/gold.
Aroma: floral (orchids and maybe rose). definitely flowery with possibly nutty or flinty.
Taste: floral, sweet, and weedy (notes of wet hay/straw). Possibly mineral/flinty and salty, and slightly vegetal. The taste is complex yet balanced.
Body: round (smooth); full, buttery
Flavors: Floral, Hay, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Nutty, Orchid, Orchids, Rose, Round , Salt, Salty, Smooth, Straw, Vegetal
Here is another review from the backlog. I was waiting to get through a couple more sipdowns before posting anything else here on Steepster, but I may as well just go ahead and get some more reviews out of the way. I kind of forgot about this one. I finished a 25g pouch of this tea a couple weeks ago, but at the time, I was focusing on getting some green tea reviews out of the way and decided to hold off on posting a review of it until I finished them all. I then ended up moving on to other teas, posted reviews of them here, and completely ignored this one. This all reminds me that I really need to get into the habit of reviewing teas in the order I finish them.
This particular tea was a pleasant surprise, especially considering that I was not expecting much from it. I used to buy from Tealyra regularly, but after finding the customer service to be a little lacking and the freshness and quality of the teas occasionally suspect, I started buying less from them and more from other vendors. With that and the fact that Chou Shi is far from one of my favorite styles of Dancong oolong in mind, I figured this tea would provide a pretty forgettable experience at best. Boy, was I wrong! Not only did the leaf quality appear to be very high, but this was an extremely pleasant, aromatic, and flavorful tea to boot.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected pronounced aromas of sweet cream, vanilla, orchid, sweet pea, honeysuckle, and gardenia coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I found an emerging scent of custard. The first proper infusion then introduced a violet scent to the tea’s bouquet. In the mouth, I found expected notes of sweet cream, vanilla, gardenia, and sweet pea as well as a note of butter. The subsequent infusions introduced butter to the nose while notes of custard, orchid, violet, and honeysuckle quickly appeared on the palate. New impressions of minerals, grass, green apple, pear, orange, and sugarcane also started to make themselves known. The last infusions displayed soft and rather muted impressions of cream, butter, vanilla, grass, and minerals balanced by fleeting gardenia, sweet pea, green apple, and violet notes.
Chou Shi Dancongs can often be temperamental little beasts. Water temperature and quality, age of the tea, and even the brewing vessel used can wreak havoc on them, perhaps even more so than many other types of oolong. Sometimes they can be wonderful despite anything and everything working against them, while other times a tea seemingly in its prime with everything going for it can come off like little more than hot, sweet grass water. That being said, this proved to be an immediately gratifying tea on a number of levels, and though I am only discussing and rating the gongfu preparation here, I tried this tea Western and iced and both preparations produced fine results. As Chou Shi Dancongs go, one could do a whole lot worse than giving this one a shot.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Green Apple, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Pear, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vanilla, Violet
I brewed up a small cup of this and it smelled amazingly chocolatey. Unfortunately, I got caught up with a bunch of things and this was left to cool completely. Cold, it is a bit like dirt tbh so I will definitely be waiting to rate this for when I try it hot. Thank you Evol Ving Ness for the share though and I look forward to trying this properly because if the smell is any indication, it has potential.
I got this tea from tea-sipper in a cupboard sale recently, and will admit that the name alone sold me (though I am a fan of TeaLyra’s teas and have several of them in my collection… shame they don’t seem to carry this one anymore, which seems to be a blend from their old Tealux days). I’ve been craving maple teas lately, so I decided to have this one with my breakfast this morning. (I almost made the Maple Houjicha from 52Teas since that would’ve fit my “Green March” theme, but the higher caffeine content of a black tea was speaking to me this morning!)
I’m not exactly sure what the popcorn is supposed to be adding to this blend, but I do love the caramelly sweet scent from the bag. Brewed up it has a lovely caramel color with some reddish tones, a medium body with a very smooth mouthfeel lacking of astringency, and a sweet maple flavor with a nice hint of cinnamon in the finish. I really enjoyed that tingle of cinnamon which was a nice compliment to the sweet maple, and found myself adding a little extra cinnamon to my infuser to really emphasize that flavor.
This is a nice tea. Even with a steep a lot longer than I typically give blacks, it came out sweet and smooth, rather than developing an astringent bite, and I really enjoyed the maple/cinnamon flavor combination.
Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Malt, Maple Syrup, Smooth
This is an interesting tea. I’m a huge pumpkin fan, so if I can find teas with pumpkin in them (that aren’t just pumpkin spice blends) I get pretty excited. Especially if the pumpkin isn’t paired with banana (as I don’t do banana). This one actually fit the bill.
The scent of the tisane is really strongly spicy though… I’ve never had turmeric before, but since I couldn’t place the scent, I had no doubt that had to be it (it was like a more pungent ginger, and from everything I’ve read about turmeric, that seems to be pretty accurate). Brewed up, more spices come out in the aroma. The turmeric still has a very strong scent, but I can make out ginger, cardamon, and something sweet, like hints of vanilla. The aroma does evoke a sense of pumpkin pie, but far more spicy and earthy.
The flavor, however, was not what I was expecting. It didn’t really taste very… pumpkiny. There was a sweetness to the base, likely from the apple, but the turmeric dominates the flavor way too much, and it just isn’t a flavor note that makes me think of “pumpkin pie.” It gives the tea a somewhat earthy taste that seems a bit out of place. That said, the blend isn’t bad… it is not the “perfect pumpkin pie,” that I was hoping for, but it does have a nice, savory, autumn spiced cider flavor. Past the strong turmeric there is a nice gingery flavor, with some cinnamon and peppery spices that close out the sip. There is a nice warmth to the spices, but it doesn’t linger, and instead a sweet orange-apple flavor is left lingering on the tongue.
I tried the tea as a latte, but the flavor easily gets overwhelmed by the milk, so if making it this way either make a very strong infusion of tea, or only add a small dash of milk. The warm milk does add a nice, creamy dimension, once I found a good tea-to-milk ratio.
I’d say this is a decent spice herbal blend, and a good “autumn flavor” tea… but a horrible pumpkin pie tea. If you are ordering it based on the name, you’ll be disappointed! This definitely is more of a savory blend, not a dessert blend, and just doesn’t have much of a pumpkin flavor.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Earth, Ginger, Orange, Peach, Spices, Spicy, Sweet
I originally tried this blend as a sampler from Art of Tea and really enjoyed it, but decided to restock it from TeaLyra since they have more sizing options available and better pricing. This tea has a suprisingly smooth base; I was expecting a lot more astringency with this one, but it is very sweet and the flavor is fantastic! While I’m not much of a fan of the texture of lychee fruit, I love the flavor, and this tea has a great, rich lychee taste, with a softer peach note in the finish. I also notice this slight floral note which just rounds out the fruity flavors nicely. This is one of my favorite black teas to prepare iced as well, since it has a nice strong flavor and I find the stonefruit notes really refreshing and naturally sweet enough to hold well as a cold tea, as long as it is prepared as a hot steep first and then chilled.
Flavors: Floral, Lychee, Peach, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet
When I steeped this up, I expected exactly the same thing as what DTs delivers, or used to deliver. And nope. I don’t know how much of this is due to whatever is going on with my tastebuds and this flu-like thing that I have developed. I am not getting that beautiful tart berry thing accompanied by a bit of creaminess, but rather a kind of generic red herbal. It’s ok, but very whatever.
Love You Oolong Time! This month I’m trying to sample some of the oolongs I haven’t gotten to yet in my stash (as well as revisit old favorites) and this is one I haven’t tried yet! I brewed this up at work, where I’m only able to do western brewing, so I haven’t tried it gongfu style yet — this was done in 190 degree F water with a three minute steep, and the resulting brew had a nice caramely color, but had a musky, earthy, roasted aroma. The flavor of the tea reminded me of roasted nuts (I was actually reminded a lot of TeaSource’s Roasted Chestnut tea), and the liquor was very smooth with a sort of sweetness that left a somewhat honey-like aftertaste on my tongue. The tea had subtle notes of deep, rich, earthy minerals beneath the sweeter, toasty, roasted nutty flavors. I found the tea very enjoyable! Smooth and nutty, with many of the appeals of a darker tea without the astringencies or bitterness. I think this would appeal to fans of nutty, earthy flavors that don’t like flavored blends.
Flavors: Earth, Honey, Mineral, Musty, Nutty, Roasted nuts, Smooth, Sweet
Unlike the Spiced Apple Cider by Nil Organic Tea I sampled, this tea has a very strong, full, fruity apple flavor! It has a very mild tart taste and tastes like Granny Green apples, evoking a warmed apple juice or apple cider feel. There is a hint of light cinnamon in the finish, but personally I wish that the spice notes were just a touch stronger; since the Nil Organic Tea Spiced Apple Cider blend was all spice and no apple, and this blend has a nice apple base but is lighter on the spice than I prefer, I find blending the two teas together creates a very solid, apple-and-spice cider experience. But even plain, if you want a tea with a good apple flavor, this is a good choice.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Green Apple, Sweet, Tart
I’m been falling back alot on these lately, just because I have a bag at hand, and really, it’s a staple, I should just move it to a tin next time I restock. I usually don’t feel the need to review jasmine teas, they’re so normal, and this one is just about as run of the mill as most of the others. I like watching these unfurl in my steeper, and I usually resteep these a minimum of three times, for me that’s just about when they open up fully.
Today I did 1.5 tsp/16oz rather than my normal 1 tsp/16oz because I was feeling generous. The addition makes it more green tea tasting, rather than letting the floral jasmine carry the tea. It’s nice on the occasion, but the jasmine tealyra uses is nice. Its floral, but more on the sweet side of floral rather than perfume-y.
It amuses me that the package says 1tsp/8oz, the effect of that much tea/water is a bit too much for the depth of this tea, I would rather underleaf this than overleaf.
Thank you Evol Ving Ness for the share! I tried this iced and though it was enjoyable enough and had a nice dessert vibe to it, I don’t know if I got pie and I definitely got far less tartness than I expected from a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie tea.
Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/10/12/strawberry-rhubarb-pie-from-tealyra/
When it comes to Taiwanese oolongs, I sometimes get the impression that unflavored Jin Xuan oolongs may get a little overlooked. I just don’t see them as frequently as I see their flavored counterparts. Of the four Jin Xuan oolongs I have tried from Tealyra in the last year, this is the only one that was unflavored. I found it to be a light, approachable oolong that would work well as an introduction to unflavored Jin Xuan.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced mild aromas of spinach, grass, seaweed, and cream. After the rinse, I found new aromas of butter, vanilla, and sugarcane backed by a hint of orchid. The first infusion introduced a hint of citrus on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor offered mild notes of seaweed, cream, butter, spinach, and grass underscored by ghostly impressions of vanilla and orchid. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger vanilla and orchid notes as well as impressions of Asian pear, lettuce, daylily blossoms, orange zest, daylily shoots, and minerals. The sugarcane also showed up in the mouth around this time. The later infusions were heavy on mineral and cream notes, though traces of daylily, lettuce, seaweed, spinach, and butter were still detectable.
Overall, this tea was not bad. It was more vegetal than expected, but honestly, there was not much of anything that struck me as being off or out-of-place. I would not call this the best unflavored Jin Xuan in the world, but one could do far worse than reaching for this when one is in the mood for such a tea. I wouldn’t make it a regular or anything like that, but I wouldn’t caution others to avoid it either. Try this tea if you are looking for an accessible and affordable unflavored Jin Xuan.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Grass, Lettuce, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Pear, Seaweed, Spinach, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal