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Recent Tasting Notes
It is so cold. I know I shouldn’t complain. I have lived in this darn country and province my entire life. I have made a conscious decision to continue living here. I actually quite like how we get four distinct seasons. I normally would not mind if it was this cold. But come on polar vortex, it is March 1. It is supposed to be like -5C, starting to melt a little every day.
It is currently -40C, feels like -52C. If you would like to know what that is in Fahrenheit, -40 is where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales meet. That’s right! It is -40F feels like -61.6F. WHAT?!?! I am not even going to bother going outside, not because any exposed skin will freeze in 3 seconds, or because my nostril hairs will freeze on contact to the air, but I am scared my door will break off its hinges if I open it because it is so cold.
So I am drinking this to warm up. I brewed it a little extra time today so it is nice and thick. 7 pearls for 2 minutes (I usually do just 1 minute). It is thick and bold and malty. Some hints of cocoa, but a lot of sweet dark plum flavours. It is STRONG. And I need that today.
I declare today a tea day!
This is a tasting note for the second steep. I used 4 pearls.
The second steep was much darker in colour and much stronger than the first. It was sweet, dark chocolate taste. There was a taste of ripe prunes. I liked the first steep better, but second steep was still good.
The dry tea is large pearls of black tea. While steeping the balls unfurl into a mass of black tea leaves.
The brewed tea smells sweet and slightly floral. There is a hint of sweet grains – maybe wheat or rice – I can’t quite place it.
The tea has hints of a sweet milk chocolate bar with rice crisps in it. Mmmmm. Delicious. This would be a great tea for after a heavy meal, just a touch of sweetness.
Edit: The more it cools, there is strong nutty taste to it, like unsweetened hazelnut.
I was curious about this post: http://steepster.com/discuss/5668-radical-iced-tea-directions-from-upton-tea-customer-darius-mcgregor
Cold brewing for 4 days? I usually max out at 12 hours. Every once in a while it goes for 24 hours. But I thought I should give this a try.
I actually only cold brewed for 3 days because I forgot to get it into the fridge and if I don’t drink it today, it will brew for 4 more days before I can get to it. Overall, I would say it doesn’t taste a whole lot different than my usual 12 hour brew. It is almost like all the flavours had been steeped out of the tea after about a day and really its just been chilling there for days. I do think it is a bit sweeter, and the flavours are a bit more complex vs a shorter brew. There is a strong keemun taste, kind of malty, a sweet honey type flavour, there is a strong keemun as well as a floral fragrance to the tea. I would have anticipated it to be quite a bit stronger after sitting for 3 days. Overall, it is a delicious cold brew, but I don’t think the extra few days makes a hug difference. What it does show me, is that it is a lot more forgiving if I forget about it, than I thought it would be.
Keemun is my all time favorite black tea. Now as I say that I realize that almost every black tea I review is my favorite black tea. But I think for sure keemun is my favorite, but maybe also CTC assam is my favorite. Hmmmm.
This keemun smells like keemun. It is hard to describe how it smells. There are hints of chocolate, coffee bean, and there is a floral fragrance to it. The tea tastes the same as it smells. It is a medium bodied tea. I find it to be very refreshing. Good for any time of the day, unless you want to sleep at night, then maybe avoid it in the evening.
Lapsang souchong is one of my favourite kinds of black tea.
First off, I wanted to start by saying Teavivre packaging is super awesome. The scent of this tea did not permeate through any of the packaging. I could only smell it once I opened the package. This was nice since I had a lot of other teas in the packaging, and they were not sullied by the scent of the smokey lapsang.
On first opening of the package, there is a smokey scent. It is not terribly strong, but it is very distinct. It brews dark brown-red colour. The liquor is thick feeling.
To me, this is a very light tasting lapsang. There is a light smokey pine taste. There is a sweet after taste. The smokiness lingers a little in the aftertaste, but mellows into a sweetness.
I prefer to have a stronger lapsang, but this is still a good one. I think this would be a good lapsang for anyone that wants to try it but is scared of the smokey flavour.
Canada Dry Gingerale is the bestest drink ever (excluding tea, so I guess it is the second bestest drink ever). There is nothing better. I am in love with Canada Dry Cranberry Gingerale. It only comes out around the Christmas season. So last year, when I was trying to find it, I had everyone I knew on the look out. My mom ended up buying me two cases of Canada Dry raspberry gingerale with white tea. Not what I wanted but I drank it. So I eventually found the cranberry gingerale and WWWAAAAYYYYY stocked up. I still have a box and a 1/2 of this in my basement because I was hoarding it, and my mom showed up last week with a fresh case that she just saw at the store as it is now on sale for the season.
So thinking of the raspberry gingerale with white tea, I mixed the cranberry gingerale with this silver needle. I brewed the silver needle as per usual, cooled it in the fridge, and then mixed half and half with the gingerale. It is very good. Mostly tastes of cranberry gingerale but the sweetness and carbonation is much toned down. It seems to be smoother with the white tea. I get a taste of the silver needle in aftertaste. It tastes more like a drink/juice vs a soda/pop – so of course I feel better about drinking it.
Tea makes even the second bestest drink better!
I am not the biggest white tea fan. But I do like this one. I think previous to this I have just never had actually good white tea.
The dry white tea smells slight vegetal, like and flowery. The tea peices are dark green, and almost look downy, they are uniform in shape and colour.
The tea liqour is very light golden yellow, as I would expect a white tea to brew up. It had a light vegetal and flowery smell. It taste clean and light. Very refreshing, almost like drinking fresh spring water.
I have been very impressed with the sample sets I got from Teavivre. Their tea has always appeared to be high quality.
Water: 8oz Boiling,then let sit for 1 minute.
Leaves: Dry leaves-yellow/brown tone, medium length leaves & Wet- brown in color and slightly larger once steeped.
Steep: 3 minutes w/30 second rinse
Aroma: The scent reminded me of other black teas I’ve had in the past but lighter.
Color: Dark Golden yellow
Taste: In the beginning brewing this tea gave me a bit of trouble either I made it to light or too strong (which gave me a bitter taste). Now after many trials and errors I finally managed to get it almost right. I can say this tea would be good paired with a meal. I want to make this tea properly so I can get the full experience.
The dry tea has a subtl jasmine scent.
Brewed tea also has jasmine smell and taste. The jasmine is not very strong at all, which I quite enjoy. It is much less jasmine than the superfine jasmine downy dragon pearls (green tea). This tea is light and sweet.
I used 1tsp.
This tea brewed up a darker yellow than I expected. The dry tea and tea liquor smells sweet and vegetal. More like flower leaf vegetal, than grass vegetal. There is a slight flowery scent to the tea.
The tea tastes sweet and floral but not perfumey and also not jasmine. This is a delicate, smooth tea.
I used 1 tsp.
I have been making a lot of cold brews, and I decided that I really, really, like oolongs cold brewed. I had been using flavoured oolongs, so I thought I would try something straight.
But I failed to take into account that I had been using quite roasty, more oxidized oolongs. This one didn’t turn out so great. Don’t get me wrong, it tasted like a delicious greeny oolong, buttery, nutty, smooth. But something about it cold just didn’t work.
Would be happy to drink this one hot any time, not so much cold.
I love the story behing monkey picked oolong. Although I am sure that monkeys never picked this oolong, I am going to continue to believe it!
This oolong is sweet and floral, almost jasmine smelling. It also tastes sweet and floral. There is a slight creamy taste to it, but not the same as milk oolong.
I only used 1 tsp.
The dry leaves of this oolong are dark, but you can see white bits (which I presume are the tips). The leaves are also more clumped together.
The tea liquor is dark, brown with a light reddish tinge. It smells roasted, a bit nutty, and there is still a slight green tea vegetal scent.
The taste is sweet, roasted, nutty, delicious.
I only used 1 tsp.
Mmm, I tend to favor more subtle black teas, and this one fits the bill nicely.
Dry leaves: The leaves are small, black, and wirey with lots of gold/orange fur. They have a sweet citrus and sweet potato aroma.
Brewing: This tea definitely brews best (IMO) at a lower temperature than most blacks. The wet leaves have a rich aroma of chocolate and fall leaves. In early infusions lots of golden hairs piled up on my filter, almost clogging it.
Tasting: The flavor of the tea has a nice balance of sweet and salty characteristics. The early infusions are mild but brisk with notes of chocolate, sweet potato, peach, and charcoal. Surprisingly cool feeling for a black tea. Later infusions mellow out with fresh flavors of lemon juice, edame, clover leaf, and jaggery. The taste is sweet and slightly nutty throughout.
Thanks Teavivre for a great sample!
Oo-oo-oolong. This is an awesome oolong.
The leaves are rolled into small balls and are a dark jade colour. Very little smell to the dry leaves.
Brewed there is a jasmine/floral smell. The tea liquor is bright yellow. It tastes clean, slightly flowery, some sweetness to it. No vegetal taste to this one. I used 1 tsp for 10 oz so it feels light.
This is one of the best oolongs I have tried. I recommend it to anyone interested in oolong or those who already like oolong.
I only used 1 tsp.
I had this earlier today, and it tasted really good after it had cooled. So I popped a cup of cold brew into the fridge for a few hours. But it wasn’t as good. It was a bit sharp as a cold brew, not as creamy. Definitely more vegetal than floral. I think next time I will brew it hot and just let it cool to room temperature.
Received this one from Teavivre’s free tasting activity (back in November). Thanks Teavivre for being so awesome!
I have had this one before and quite liked it. The dry tea is varying shades of dark green. The leaves are rolled into small but loose balls. I brewed this one western style, 1 tsp per 8 oz for 1 minute.
The brewed tea smells sweet and floral. There is a dairy-type smell. I associate it with fresh unpasteurized milk. It smells creamy.
The best way I can describe this tea is fresh, bright and sunny. The liquor is thick and creamy. There are definitely sweet, floral notes. But it is not perfumey or bitter floral. It reminds me of edible flowers that you get in baking or salads. There is a very slight vegetal component to this tea but it is very slight and sits underneath the floral flavours. I would not say this tea tastes like milk, but it has the sensation of creaminess in the mouth. It is thick, slightly sticky in the aftertaste.
I took a sip after this one cooled and the first thing that came to my mind was green tea milk shake. I want to drink more of this cold.
The leaves have unfurled but not completely with the first steep. Definitely will be able to get more steeps out of this.
The dry tea has hardly any smell. I think I am detected a smell similar to dried milk protein. While steep the tea leaves unfurl beautifully.
The brewed tea is a bright yellow colour. Has a slight vegetal green tea smell. There seems to also be a flowery or jasmine smell to the tea.
The tea tastes vegetal, creamy, milky, there is a sweet and very slight, almost spicey taste to it. Very minimal aftertaste, mouth-drying, but not astringent.
I only used 1 tsp for 8 oz (instead of recommended 3-4tsp) and I think that was strong enough for my liking.
Definitely enjoy milk oolongs.
The dry tea looks like small, dark green nuggets. The smell is strongly vegetal green tea. I am getting a hint of the ginseng.
On brewing, the smell is very strong also. Moreso green tea than oolong. The tea brews a solid dark yellow colour.
The initial taste is vegetal green tea. It is smooth and thick. There is a little kick of ginseng towards the end of the sip. It gets sweeter the longer it sits. It gives a great warming sensation.
The nuggets of this tea only barely unfurled on the first steep. There are many more steeps to get out of them I think. I steeped for 1 minute the first time, but I think I would go less time and do more steeps on subsequent tastings. There is a ginseng type aftertaste that lingers for a long time.
I have found that I quite like oolong teas and am attempting to try many different kinds. I am finding I like my oolong a bit more oxidized, more towards black than green.