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Recent Tasting Notes
Comparison notes here for Organic vs. Non-Organic version: http://steepster.com/cavocorax/posts/194378
This is another sample I was a bit worried about trying because I only had enough for the one cup, and wanted to make sure I could give it a proper review.
Time to stop stalling! (Although, I wish I’d brewed up some of the non-organic version for comparison. Maybe I’ll do that right now? Done. Both are about ~7 grams at 85C for 2.5 minutes, because THAT’S SCIENTIFIC.)
I quickly smelled both of these and found that the organic version (OGV) smelled darker and a bit like chocolate, while the non-organic version (NOGV) smelled malty and rich.
The OGV tastes dark and rich but I can definitely taste the caramel notes in it. It’s very smooth and luxurious too and I still swear I’m getting cocoa. Once it’s cooled a little it actually tastes better too.
The NOGV has a very similar profile. Maybe slightly less caramel? But I might be getting honeyish notes in there.
Hmmm. I’m really have a tough time digging right in there and finding the difference. The OGV is a bit earthier than the NOGV, while the NOGV might be slightly sweeter. I guess that means that I’ll re-order the cheaper one? :P Both are fantastic teas and I’d recommend them.
Thank you Angel for this sample. I have 100g of the NOGV, so it was nice to have just a cup of the other so I could see what I was missing.
Now, what am I going to do with all these steeped tea? That’ll be a lot if I re-steep them both! Ha! But then I might be able to add more to this comparison.
Also, I don’t recommend drinking THIS MUCH tea (especially rich black tea) on an empty stomach! :P Whoops.
This is definitely a favorite tea of mine. For a long time, my favorite Chinese green tea has been Tai Ping Hou Kui, but, this one might be edging out that tea for me! This is just so good!
The leaves look so beautiful … like they’ve been meticulously rolled up like scrolls. Lovely.
The flavor is sweet … Juicy even! Soft, sweet, vegetative, with notes of spice. A really lovely tea!
Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2013/05/07/liu-an-gua-pian-green-tea-from-teavivre/
Water: 8oz at 180 degrees
Leaves: very large flat leaves
Color: Light Green
Taste: I was interested in trying this tea because I haven’t seen anything like it before. First steep was for 1 minute, the first sip was bitter then it mellowed out to a lighter non bitter note. On the other hand the second steep was the complete opposite 2m I didn’t like it at all. This time around it was very bitter, I couldn’t finish my cup. I’m not sure if I used too many leaves or if my water was a bit hotter than expected but overall I didn’t enjoy this tea.
I recently brewed this tea again this time following a different technique, it came out much better than the first time. Light smooth with no bitterness.
Cold brewed, and then run through the soda stream.
I wasn’t exactly sure how this would work but what I ended up with was a very light and refreshingly floral fizzy jasmine drink with sweet undertones that just reminded me of a really good spritzer. In fact, it felt like the kind of thing one might be served at a fancy, high class salon while getting a mani pedi or at a spa while getting a cucumber foot scrub or whatever things one does when at the spa. Just, simple but also kind of elegant and extravagant in its simplicity.
It’s been a long time since I did a tea infused juice, so last night while I was at the grocery store I picked up some Lemonade and when I got home I prepped a glass of it with a whole bunch of this tea (like three tablespoons) to make myself some Jasmine Lemonade!
It turned out incredibly successfully – and were it not for the amount of leaf that it uses I’d immediately go prep another cup. It’s good, natural lemonade with all the slight tartness and tangyness it should have and without cloying, excessive sweetness. For anyone curious, the lemonade I’m using is Happy Planet’s Organic Lemonade. They also carry an Organic Raspberry Iced Tea that had me really interested, but it was sold out. The jasmine comes in as a sweet, floral and fresh background note that takes a little more of the stage in the finish after that sweet sourness from the lemons tapers a bit. The flavour is so well integrated into each sip though, and it’s such a refreshing pairing. My favourite tea infused juice I’ve made thus far, for sure.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cofswLqmfc
EDIT: Picked the song ‘cause it’s bright and lively, just like the juice.
Made in my timolino while spending the afternoon finishing Christmas shopping. I hate shopping; it just stresses me out. So, it was pretty nice to have a hot cup of tea with me on the slightly miserable, cold day – and on top of that not only was it a warm cup of tea but also a soothing jasmine one!
And I know I said I had done that a while ago but I wound up with some surprise things I needed to pick up: namely a Secret Santa gift for a coworker. I was at Cuppa’T which is in the Cathedral area of Regina. For everyone who isn’t Lala or tigress_al that’s basically the really cool aesthetic/hipster-y/artsy area of town. If I could afford it, that’s where I’d want to live in Regina out of all the different neighborhoods.
At Cuppa’T I picked up some tea for myself, of course. Hiatus be damned. I nabbed 50g of Pink Beauty because I wanted to restock that one and then I got 50g of two new teas: a white tea called Nights in Paris and a fruit blend called The Great Gatsby. I also looked for Ice Princess or Dragonfruit Cranberry to restock those blends but they weren’t in stock. For my Secret Santa gift I got this really cute small/personal sized blue bubble teapot and 50g of Chamomile. The woman I got for the exchange is pretty pregnant so I thought something caffeine free and soothing might be a nice gift for her.
Then, after Cuppa’T we stopped at Dessart, which is a super cool candy store. I didn’t actually buy much for me but I did get something like $40 of candy to make into these little stocking stuffer/gift bags for my coworkers. That was a gift I definitely didn’t expect to be grabbing but am really happy I did. I love giving gifts; I just wish I could afford to do so more often…
Final stop was a bust: we were gonna go look at this Chinese herbal store because a friend from work said she saw teaware there the other day. Sure enough, we got to the store and there were several gorgeous Gaiwans in the front window that had me practically salivating! However, turns out they were closed so I’ll need to sate my tea addiction some time in the future.
But overall, it was a good shopping trip as far as shopping trips go.
So, it rained yesterday…
Apologies Lala and tigress_al. It appears that the spider massacre that’s been taking place in my room all week finally caught up to me and I jinxed us.
This cold brew was lovely: such crisp, clean taste with a jasmine sweetness. The perfect tea for just sipping on throughout the work day and keeping hydrated with. Yummy yummy yummy.
Picked this one out specially in the morning to brew for my Mom and I; she absolutely loves just about anything jasmine and it was a really beautiful way to ease into the day! I drank mine pretty much piping hot, but she waited until hers was cold. I think she’d have enjoyed it hot but what can you do?
I feel like I got a lot done today though!
1. I did my blind cupping test/exam for Tea 103 with help from my mom, which I’m sure I’ll write about more in depth tomorrow. It was really hard to do, though – and I’m not confidant at all that I kicked ass at it…
2. Finished updating my resume, and applied to a couple places online.
3. I found our old printer and got it set up at home/installed the software on my laptop so I could actually print some resumes and bring them to places nearby. One of the place I want to apply is a British style tea house that’s not even two blocks away from where I’m living – I don’t think they’re specifically hiring but if my resume is solid, and I write a cover letter targeted specifically for them I’m hopeful I can convince them to hire me!
4. Painted my nails bubblegum pink, which probably seems small but it’s the first time I’ve done something that simple for myself in at least a month. Just taking the time to do a good job felt really indulgent.
5. I cleaned my mom’s fridge from top to bottom so not only does she no longer have any gross expired food in there but it’s practically sparkling – and even though it felt like it took ages (the amount of things I found GROWING in it is just disgusting) it feels really nice to have helped around the house and done something for her.
It was a productive day!
From yesterday; very robust jasmine flavour – nothing like the soft, fragile hot cups this steeps up, but really pleasant regardless. The intense jasmine flavour was pretty well a solitary flavour though. I’ve had hit or miss cold brews with this tea, this was on the better side of the spectrum.
Also, I just have to take a moment to rave about a movie I watched pretty recently! I first saw the trailer for it on Tumblr and I remember thinking it looked so good, but then kind of forgetting about it. That is, until I found it on Netflix a few days ago! It’s called Boy Meets Girl and it’s a RomCom style movie about a trans girl named Ricky and her best friend Robby (played by the GORGEOUS Michael Welch) and a girl she’s recently watched named Francesca.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNdW9TzxGrk
The representation is great; the trans actress who plays Ricky (Michelle Hendley) is such a cutie, and does this phenomenal job at delivering a really solid performance that shows her vulnerability and is really empathetic. Plus even the dialogue between characters is wonderful in regards to opening up healthy conversations about something a lot of people might not be familiar with like, say, my roommate Tre who said he learned A LOT he didn’t know just from the conversation between characters.
Wonderful movie; a new favourite of mine. You’ll probably cry, but watch it anyway!
This was my daily cold brew today!
It was really good; strong, sweet jasmine notes along with very mild notes of hay and a crispness that reminded me of cucumber. However, after steeping so long the jasmine got pretty concentrated, and in the aftertaste after all the other flavours have faded it was a little much. Not artificial or chemical; but just too concentrated.
Still, a nice companion to sip on all day regardless!
There’s nothing better to relax your nerves before an important job interview than a cup of Jasmine Silver Needle; it’s probably the most relaxing tea I can think of, at this moment. Better than Genmaicha, better than Chamomille…
And obviously it did the trick; I nailed my interview and was hired on the spot at $11.00 as a cashier (made 11.20 at Dollarama as a supervisor, and had a much more stressful job and responsibility). I found out yesterday that the bulk of the cashiers they hired are only making $10.20 (Saskatchewan minimum wage) so I’m tickled pink.
Besides, Sobeys is a company that frequently gives raises to employees in good standing (typically like 10-20 cents every three or so months after probationary period), and Dollarama doesn’t give out raises/promotions at all…
Cold Brewed for a long, extended 30 hour period.
I was worried it’d be over the top floral but it was actually great! Sweet jasmine and honey; very relaxing and very refreshing with a really full bodied flavour. I have lots and lots of this leaf left so I’ll probably do this again!
Also; I feel like a terrible person. Today is my day off and I spent the first part of it mailing out tea stuff, and then going to the liquor store and grocery shopping. I got way too many groceries to reasonably carry home, but I attempted it anyway. On the walk home I passed an abandoned grocery cart from Safeway and because I was struggling so much to carry stuff I took it…
I FEEL REALLY GUILTY. Even though I didn’t take it from the store myself, I still kinda stole a grocery cart, which is now sitting in my backyard. I mean, I will definitely return it tomorrow! But still – such a dick move. And Tre made it worse by telling Rob (our landlord) when he got home today. Whyyyyyyy…
I feel judged by everyone.
Was inspired to make a cup of this late into the evening after reblogging a chain of Silver Needle photos on Tumblr; and this was serene and calming, with a noticeable cream flavour alongside the soothing jasmine – a flavour note which has not been prominent in past infusions of this blend.
I’m cheating a bit today with my campaign to only drink teas that I wish to sipdown immediately/soon and I’ve set aside some whites that I just want to have including this one, Sweet Strawberry, and Watermelon Xylophone. I don’t know how many I’ll get to because I am still trying to find a balance between whites in the sipdown drawer and whites in my closet/cupboard but I made sure to take the time for this one!
Mmm! Sweet Jasmine! I love the graceful simpleness of this one; there’s beauty in it. Delicious! It’s a nice switch up from the Cucumber Mango but not in a jarringly drastic way.
Flavors: Flowers, Jasmine
I have a few backlogged teas to get through so I guess I’m gonna slowly work my way through that over the next few hours. Thankfully I have all of today and tomorrow off from work. I certainly appreciate it after my nine and a half hour shift yesterday.
You know what else was yesterday? Tre’s Birthday! He turned 20. To celebrate I brought home a bunch of different alcohol and we drank/had cheesecake. That’d be why I have all the backlog; I fell asleep after getting a bit hammered.
Anyway, this tea is actually from two nights ago. It was my final tea of the night and just something really calm and serene to wind down with. Nothing special or different about the usual taste; although I did notice the needles looked… “frothy” while they were steeping? Meh, whatever I guess.
I just had sort of the best and worst day of work, simultaneously. For those who don’t already know, I was hired at Tea Desire and today was my first shift. It was absolutely incredible getting to work so closely with teas, recommending blends for people, scooping tea, and everything else. Even doing manual labor like mopping or compacting cardboard was great. It was basically a dream job.
The “worst work day” part comes in right at the end of my shift. After spending the entire day training, learning how to work the till, soaking up information on tea blends and memorizing tea ingredients, and being given forms to fill out and bring back, my trainer pulled me aside and told me that they had found someone more qualified to fill the position and consequently no longer had a spot for me.
I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m really disappointed and I feel like I was “led on” all throughout the day, but I also understand completely. So, they paid me for the day’s work and I sadly departed. Now I’m back to browsing job listings online, and it’s really disheartening. Most of all, I know my Mom is likely going to call any day now to ask how everything went (I was so excited to be working there) and I’m not sure how to tell her I’m back to job hunting…
Regardless, it was an incredible experience and I enjoyed my time there (and of course I’m going to be continuing to drink their blends – I feel like that doesn’t even need to be said, they’re too good to not drink) – and if anyone here has the opportunity to work in a tea store, if only for a day, I highly recommend doing it!
Silverlining, I suppose, is now I have more time to write tasting notes while job hunting so that I can beat VariaTEA in our competition.
Anyway, this was one of three blends I took with me today. This was the one of three that I drank cold, and it was just perfect. Sweet and floral and yummy! I’m so glad I bought 100g of this to drink whenever I want! Mmm!
Sort of sipdown (161)?
Sort of in that I’ve already placed an order for 100g more (like, weeks ago) that’s on the way – so I’ll soon have more to enjoy! Also, sort of in that I still have enough leaf left for one more cup, but I promised my Dad I’d save it and make it for him tomorrow.
I was perhaps being overly cautious of my water temperature (here at my Dad’s I have no way of measuring the temperature without guesstimating), and as a result I believe I used water which was too cold – so I don’t think I got the full flavour potential this cup could have had. I suppose that’s better than using too hot of water, though.
Anyway, I’m getting lovely and delicate jasmine and silky notes of sweet white tea; like honeysuckle! It’s still amazing, even if it’s not at its best. I’m excited to be receiving lots more! So thank you Lala for sending this to me – I’ve really managed to make the sample last, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each cup!
Unrelated, I just got back from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and it was a truly astounding and breathtaking movie! 10/10 would recommend to just about anyone! Seriously – amazing acting, and plot, and a killer soundtrack. More people should see it (and keep in mind this praise is coming from someone who worked at a movie theatre for over a year, and who saw a lot of free movies). I’d gladly watch this again.
Plus, it was really nice to go to the theatre I used to work at and visit with all my old co-workers! I got pretty emotional, I’ll be honest. I knew I missed them, but I just didn’t realize how much. I’m still trying to not care about the fact that Kevin (my former “best friend” who helped bring me out of my depression and who basically acted as an older brother to me for months) has ignored me since moving, and then tonight refused to look me in face and acknowledge I was there, though…
That hurt, and was kind of cold…