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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a yellow tea, though the labeling is confusing. The name is “Jun Shan white tea” but the ingredients say Chinese yellow tea. Thanks for that, Teas Etc.
In any case, I steeped somewhere in between what I’d normally do for a yellow, which is essentially what I’d do for a green, and what the label suggested.
I get what Auggy means about this feeling somewhere between a green and a white. I definitely get that from the smell of the dry leaves. On the green side, there’s a vegetal green smell and on the white, a more pungent woody smell that combine into one thing.
The color is very pale yellow and clear. The steeped tea smells like a straight up green to me. I get a spinach note from it, though not a strong one.
Flavor-wise, I also get more of a green tea taste. It’s mild, and not at all bitter and the flavor isn’t strongly spinachy. It’s a little more asparagusy. But it isn’t strongly vegetal, just enough to make it recognizably tea.
It’s plenty pleasant, and will make a nice work tea.
Flavors: Asparagus, Spinach, Vegetal, Wood
I definitely smell the cocoa notes described in the dry leaf. There’s also something gently spicy, like a savory spiced bread but not garlic-y.
195F, progressively longer steeps in the gaiwan starting at 15 seconds after rinsing.
The tea is a light copper color. I get tobacco notes in the aroma, as well as cognac. But the flavor is unexpectedly, naturally sweet. I don’t taste honeysuckle, more something fruity. Peachy. The cocoa/tobacco come through in the flavor as well. This is a fascinating tea — so many flavors and levels of complexity. The cup smells like honey after the tea is gone.
The second steep is more amber in color than copper. More stonefruit than chocolate/tobacco, but still with something brandy-like about it in the aroma. The flavor has all kinds of complexity. Angrboda was right about the chameleon nature of this tea, though the flavors I get aren’t what she does. I see what she means about the mint, though I don’t taste mint. I get a freshness in the mouth reminiscent of mint. Honestly, I could drink this all day — it’s smooth and easy to drink. Definitely worth the time. I’m sad that they no longer have this on the Teas Etc. web site.
Maybe I’m just in the mood, but this is coming across to me as one of the more enjoyable dark oolongs I’ve experienced. The third steep has a mineral hint in the aroma and a peach/peach pit smell. It does not smell like it would have any sweetness in the flavor, and yet it does, with a cocoa finish and a tobacco/brandy aftertaste.
Between the third and fourth steep, I started to notice what I think Angrboda meant by cinnamon. It’s not a flat out cinnamon flavor for me, but it’s reminiscent of that. Like having powdered cinnamon on the tongue but without the intensity/bitterness. All of the flavors mentioned persist into the fourth steep with almost no loss of flavor.
I’m going to put this through a few more steeps. It’s a wonderful tea.
Flavors: Brandy, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Mineral, Peach, Stonefruits, Tobacco
I think I bought this a while ago because I wasn’t sure I’d ever tasted a straight Nilgiri. It was sealed in the packet when I opened it this morning.
The dry leaves smell earthy, but not deep earthy like an Assam or sharp earthy like a Darjeeling. On the scale between those, it’s closer to the Darjeeling side.
The tea steeps to a really gorgeous deep red color that is clear. After steeping, the aroma is deep and smooth. Not as harsh as Assams usually are, with a fruity note. I think it’s citrus, but it also has just a hint of apple to it.
There’s a coffee/chocolate note as well that comes out in the flavor along with the apply/citrusy note. A touch of maltiness as well.
This is a really delicious, medium-light bodied and somewhat brisk (but smooth) tea with far more complexity than meets the eye.
Flavors: Apple, Chocolate, Citrus, Coffee, Earth, Malt
Sipdown no. 41 of 2017 (no. 322 total). A sample that I’ve been eyeing and meaning to try for a while. And the last caffeine of the day.
Stupidly, I viewed the preparation notes for the wrong tea, so I steeped in what seemed like the sweet spot, but it was for the Bai Mu Dan. Fortunately, it wasn’t that far off from what the only note that gave a temp and time had for the Bai Hao.
White tea continues to be mostly a puzzlement to me. Preparation instructions on the internet are wildly divergent, some sources advocating long steeping times and some advocating multiple short steeps. Some say use hot water, some say use cooler.
I’ve basically given up trying to figure out how to steep it. If I get lucky and it comes out tasty, that’s a win.
Same with the taste. Sometimes I feel as though it’s basically a cousin to black tea. Sometimes I have no idea what it is — it’s a sort of very light, dewy or hay flavored hot water.
But I keep trying to hit on some unifying principle that can help me understand it better. And I keep failing.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about this one. I don’t get much flavor out of it at all. Maybe it’s an age thing (but white tea is supposed to age well), but I think it’s more likely a preparation thing. There’s a bit of sweetness but honestly, I’m getting mostly hot water here.
Not rating it.
It’s been a while since I had a Ceylon so I thought I’d enjoy one this morning. Besides, this was sitting on the counter and I didn’t have to look far.
I always love the sort of bird-nesty leaves of Ceylons and the earthy smell of the dry leaves. This one has a really lovely steeped aroma. Sweet, almost caramel-like. The flavor is not really sweet, but it’s pleasant. It’s got that quintessence of tea-ness flavor that I’ve sometimes described as now Nestea smells, but of course it is a much more deep, smooth, and genuine flavor that one gets from freeze-dried granules. ;-)
This would make an excellent iced tea, I can just tell. I don’t have much of it, though, and I can’t see using all I have to make a pitcher of tea. It’s too good for that.
There’s a soft mouthfeel that’s really nice, too. And a smooth, pleasant aftertaste. A tiny bit drying, but not enough to bother me.
Good stuff. I am putting in a dummy rating because honestly, it’s been so long since I have had a Ceylon I don’t remember how I rated them and why. That’s why it would be really nice to be able to search my own tasting notes using keywords.
Flavors: Caramel, Honey, Sweet, Tea
Golden Monkey isn’t quite as robust as my typical morning teas, but it makes up for it with its caramel character and mildly sweet finish. It also extends into well into the afternoon, meaning that I often end up drinking it until it’s time for dinner. I can usually get three steeps out of the leaves, though I use a little more than recommended on the package. Delicious.
Sipdown no. 47 of 2016 (no. 258 total).
I made a mistake with this one.
I was looking for a plain black tea to make into cold brew and was having a hard time finding ones I either hadn’t yet tried as cold brew or knew I liked too much to use that much tea at a time. I hadn’t ever tried this one so I pulled it out of the stash.
I didn’t read about it before starting to spoon it into the container and it wasn’t until I was five scoops in, I realized that the cold brew container was going to require all of this that I had.
Around the same time, I realized I was smelling smokiness in the tea. Doh. If I’d read the description I would have known this was “the original lapsang.”
So I used all I had off this for cold brew, and I don’t really like smoky teas in cold brew.
It’s not horrible, it’s just that I’m sure I would have liked it a lot more if I had made it hot.
Not rating it.
Lush, feminine, floral- roses are the most luxurious- pair that with an English classic and you have it!
Rosy Earl Grey is a slightly sharp black tea, bold, a tad bitter, with high rose floral notes, there is lavender in the mix but it isn’t prominent.
It is almost like a Turkish delight earl grey- It is wonderful.
Flavors: Bergamot, Rose
When I opened the bag, there was a little bit of a cough syrup-like smell but thankfully it didn’t come through that much in the tea. I didn’t find it to be “very vanilla” tasting either though. I almost wonder if they shipped me the wrong one? It wasn’t terrible but I won’t be reordering.
Flavors: Rooibos, Sweet
Earlier this week, I wrote a rather quick note about this one and said I’d come back to it when I had more time. In particular I had a really hard time figuring out what I was smelling in the aroma of the steeped tea.
I now know what I’m smelling. You won’t believe it.
Spaghetti! With marinara sauce!
I checked in with no. 1 who was sitting next to me at breakfast and he agreed. I was worried I might be going crazy, but he smelled it, too.
There’s a sharp fruity note like cooked tomato, and a bready pasta note underneath that.
Wouldn’t you know, spaghetti, pasta, tomato, marinara-none are available as flavor options. I can’t say it’s surprising, just a little frustrating.
To add to my previous note, the tea is a sort of light maple color after steeping. Now that I have spaghetti with marina in my head, I’m tasting that more than the hot praline of the other day, but it’s remarkably tasty.
This may be one of those teas that changes in flavor from cup to cup, which is always fun.
Running out to an appointment so I don’t have time to do a proper note on this, but wanted to record something this morning and the Art of Tea Earl Grey Creme I drank before this already has a couple of notes from me.
I always enjoy seeing golden leaved teas and this one is incredibly golden. Not much darkness interfering with the sea of gold that is the dry leaf. It’s fragrant, too. What it smells like is elusive and something I have to wrap my mind around more so I’ll leave that for a later note.
The steeped tea has a honey aroma and something confectionery like hot praline. I don’t really get caramel in the flavor, though I can see where that comes from. To me it’s more a hot praline sweetness. A cookie dough note of sorts. Sweet with a bit of flour in the background.
It’s definitely yummy. I have to drink this again more mindfully, but for now it will be doing its magic in small sips from the Timolino while I drive to my appointment.
Sorry to see this has been discontinued. Note to self: read the notes on its replacement.
Not my cup of Tea TTB. I figured since its May and it was 38 degrees this morning that this was a fitting tea to start with. Smells good. Sweet. Not much tea scent to it. Those little snowflakes are really cute. I can see where the cupcake title came from. It has a slight bit of green to it. But not enough for me to get a taste for what kind of base it is. Good hot but also good cold. I’m not a big fan of sugar in tea though so that brings it down a lil for me.
Not My Cup Of Tea TTB #7
I’m working through the box this morning, deciding what I still want to sample and packing up small amounts to try later this week and deciding what I want to add so I can get this monstrosity or monstros’o’tea back into circulation and I came across this delightful sounding tea…. Yellow cupcakes, vanilla icing , all in a tea with zero calories…. Yes please!
This is quite tasty! The cute little sugar snowflakes add a touch of sweetness and vanilla to the green tea base and I can taste a slight cake flavor with limited artificial aftertaste. Glad I tried this but since it’s in the 90s here already I think it’s time to lay off the winter teas and start planning for summer!
What a wonderful cold brewed cup of tea :)
I am so glad this tea tasted good because I have had bad experiences with Teas Etc in the past but this tea is quite good. I really enjoy the green teas flavor with this tea, it’s not too mellow but not too strong either. I don’t notice the banana flavor at all which I prefer because banana doesn’t appeal to me in a tea. Overall this is one of the better cold teas I have brewed before
The orange flavor is strong in this tea, too strong. It covers up the flavor of the oolong. It is tasty, just too flavored. I wish they had gone with a low key orange flavor.
I brewed this one in a 16oz Teavana Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 190 degree water for 3 min.