1583 Tasting Notes
I’ve barely touched this tea since that last note. Actually, I’ve been pretty bad about my unflavored blacks. I’ve mostly finished my Taiwanese ones, and then try my others and end up not finishing them passed steep 2 or 3.
This one was an exception because I got a vanilla note today more or less flash steeping a bunch of leaves at 15 second with the malt, cedar, and slight woodsiness. There was a little bit of cocoa steep two at 20 sec, but mostly malt. I got bored after the third steep since I was mostly getting malt. It does stand up better than some of my other Yunnan, Assam, and Chinese Blacks overall.
I gotta figure out how to get rid of the many blacks I have. There’s a few I’ll still keep on hand, but there’s too many I’ve had since 2019 and have not touched. I’ve gone through my oolongs fine, yet this particular type of tea and my white teas have sat there in a box pocket drawer unopened and shuffled around every two weeks. I’ve gone through my flavored teas and oolong so much faster, so I’m going to try to narrow my purchases for next year. I’m buying a house after all, so I need to be more frugal, and less impulsive. Namely, but actually finishing the teas I have.
Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Malt, Tea, Vanilla
This is the GIRLIEST tea I have, and it’s for my birth month. Based on the reviews and site, it was likely intended as an iced tea or a mocktail alternative. I haven’t iced it yet, but served it only western for a few sessions typically beginning with 3-4 minute steep times, and then I keep reusing the leaves at length. The most I’ve rebrewed so far was 5 or 6 times.
The overall profile is very straightforward in having a champagne like pink hue, but the strawberry and jasmine really lead it downplaying potential dryness the champagne flavoring might have. Strawberry takes the lead for the most part, and the lemon myrtle serves to add sweetness and acidity to the strawberry. Silver needle and lower grade white tea were combined for it to both elevate the profile and fill it out to prevent the tea from becoming too thin. I enjoyed that the tea was delicate, but sweet with just the right amount of viscousness. Everything combines together in a blend that oddly works, balancing sweet, floral, acidity, and dryness all at the same time. Simple ingredients, but complex profile of dimension to three primary flavors.
I really liked this one and could see myself getting more if it weren’t so expensive. It’s more of a special occasion kind of tea, and I’m saving some for midnight tonight for the new year.
Flavors: Champagne, Floral, Jasmine, Smooth, Strawberry, Sweet, Viscous
Got this for the oolong. This is the November tea, and uses a Tie Guan Yin for the base. Initially, I was kinda meh about the first serving since it was a cinnamon heavy oolong tea leaning partly into chai territory, but later sessions went into the opposite effect. The oolongs profile is actually very strong into the floral orchid territory of Tie Guan Yin, and the cinnamon with the flavors enhance the profile into something like a cider. This particular tea can rebrew often and is very forgiving. It kinda works gong fu with 30 sec increments to really push out the pear flavor, but the longer steeps bring out the apple and cinnamon more. I mostly stuck to tumbler steeping it or 3 minutes western.
The cinnamon can occasionally dominate the tea to much to the border of a fireball whiskey, but it provides a nice warming feeling and a cooling sensation in the aftertaste that’s really nice. The caramel really is not that noticeable and butters up the profile. The pear and apple flavoring are the best aspect of the blend enhancing the natural flavors of the oolong. It’s definitely a winter tea and I drank it more often in this cold December than November. Main criticism is price.
Flavors: Acidic, Apple, Caramel, Cinnamon, Creamy, Floral, Orchid, Pear, Sweet
I thought I wrote about this tea, but I guess I wrote it in a random post or of another tea. I’m also sipping it down today.
This is the original staple matcha blend green tea for Club Magic Hour, and served as a template for Happy Heart. A lot of the customers on the company page and on youtube compared this one side by side to Happy Heart and most preferred that one over this one. I got this particular tea for comparison, so that’s how I’ll write a portion of the review.
Both teas were intended as a desert alternatives with the health benefits of green tea and matcha: Happy Heart was aimed primarily as a heart healthy vanilla blend, whereas this one is more of a sweet tooth satisfier. Both blends create the illusion of a chocolate profile by combining matcha and almond, with Happy Heart having more of a vanilla white matcha chocolate taste that leans into herby and grassy, whereas this one is noticeably sweeter due to the currant and stevia.
Initially, I preferred Happy Heart because of its higher grade matcha and vanilla profile, but I transitioned more into enjoying this one because it was less grassy. The black currant also highly enhanced the flavor profile into a more decadent category. My main criticism is the stevia because it can enhance the sweeter profiles, but add an artificial splenda tasting film to the tea that I’m not a fan of. Anyone who’s had stevia probably recognizes what I’m talking about.
Brewing it, I never go above 2 minutes to balance it out and get the full effect of a light creamy almond profile, unless I am tumblering it. It’s creamier as cold brew and doesn’t really over steep using one teaspoon in a 14 oz tumbler of ice and water. Hot brews, however, in a tumbler or in a traditional setting can cause it to over steep and taste like fruity old mowed grass. Doing it write, you can brew it for another solid two brews, maybe three if you have more currants in your serving.
Obviously, I like this one. I initially was going to rate it a 75, but it’s hovering closer to an 85 for me. I kept coming back to it over Happy Heart, and I’m happily sipping it down now. I wouldn’t get this one in bulk like I have some of the other teas, but I don’t mind having it around.
Flavors: Almond, Black Currant, Creamy, Dirt, Grassy, Green, Toffee, Vanilla, White Chocolate
I should do a proper review of each, but I’m buying a house, and I’m running out of patience to copy and paste from 7-8 tabs. So I’ll do a break down of each tea in order. Some I have much more to say than others. I’ll list ingredients when I can, and I’ll do it in order of chakra.
Audacious Root Chakra
Ingredients: Roasted Chicory Root, Saigon Cinnamon, Maca, Eleuthero Root Ginseng, Carob, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, Extracts of Macadamia, Hazelnut, and Almond.
I only had this once western so far, and it’s one that needs some cream and sugar to umph it up. It’s definitely blended like a coffee alternative tea, and I really like the macademia extract in the flavoring, but it’s kinda weak. It’s nice that it is not overspiced, but it’s sold as a Mexican Hot Chocolate type of alternative profile. Otherwise, it gets overpowered by the carob and herbs making a dirt taste on its own. With cream and sugar, it’s a soothing tea. I think I’ll need more of the tisane materials in the next cup.
Ingredients: Black Tea, Orange Peel, Hibiscus, Rosehip, Marigold, Orange essential oil and Bergamot Essential Oil
This is a black tea that I might have already written about. It’s extremely similar to constant comment. The bergamot is not as noticeable as the orange, but it’s got a light acidity with a black tea that really doesn’t get to bitter. I like this one straight or with sugar, but it can work with a splash of cream. Otherwise, it’s pretty smooth yet straightforward and unassuming.
Salutation Solar Plexus Tea.
Ingredients: Green Tea, Ginger, Dried Pineapple, Lemongrass, Orange Peel, Turmeric Root, Pineapple Extract
This was an easy one to like for me. I’m a sucker for pineapple flavors done right, and I like the ginger used in the combo. The flavor is also very straightforward. Ginger tends to dominate, but the Pineapple and lemongrass are good combos. The orange peel can be a little bit distracting despite giving the tea more zest. Either way, it’s meant as a stomach soother and incidentally doubles as a throat soother. It’s great with honey, and warming and sweet on its own. My mom kept on coming back to this one, and this is an easy 80. The leaves are a bit hard to clean up, and that’s the only complaint. It rebrews nicely.
I’m cheating on this one-I already wrote several reviews on it. It’s unusual for a vanilla green tea that almost gives a white chocolate taste and vibe, but occasionally gets overpowered by the green herbs in the blend. I either love this one, or get overwhelmed by its grassiness.
Quintessance-Throat Chakra Tea
Ingredients: Cinnamon, Ginger, Green Tea, Lemongrass, Marshmallow Root, Blue Cornflower Petals, Ginger Honey Crystals, Vanilla Extract.
Loooove this one. As described, it gives a apple pie vibe with a very nice vanilla whiff and creamy aftertaste. Vanilla+Apple+ Ginger+Creamy+Spicy= something I really like. It’s good with honey, but perfect and nuanced on its own. The balance between the ingredients and flavors is brilliant.
Epiphany Third Eye
I’ll come back for the ingredients on a 2nd edit. Surprisingly, it’s a pu-erh black blend with black currants, elderberry, and other berries and extracts in it. It’s got a bit of a candle vibe in it’s slight smookiness, but the flavoring is extremely fruity. I could gong fu or western it. I mostly get shifts of the berry, and it was very easy to drink with its vanilla accents. A good majority of Zhena’s teas have vanilla, but they are used to compliment creamy flavors. I’ve noticed it’s usually combined with black currant. Again, no complaints on my end. However, I have not decided on the rating, but I am very much into it. This is blasphemy, but it’s got the same vibes of the traces of Butiki teas I’ve tried. I’d be curious to see if there are any other Butiki parallels someone would notice here, at the risk of sounding like a seller for an already hype-marketed company.
Lotus Mind-Crown Chakra
It’s a jasmine white tea blended with butterfly pea flowers, lavender, and pear extract for flavoring creating a deep blue liqour. Gotu Kola is the medicinal herb in the blend. Describing the flavor is kinda difficult, because it really does not hedge on one ingredient for flavor. The smell reminds me of soap or incense, and my mom asked if the tea had Frankincense in it. I got the same vibes too, and drinking it straight, it had the same vibe. It’s herby, floral, and drying with vague fruit hints. Frankincense is related to holy matters in and outside of Christianity, so going for an incense vibe goes with the crown chakra divinity theme. I would meditate with this blend, but as for enjoying it, I’m not sure. I can see the incense qualities discouraging away some people, but it’s not nearly as soapy as the Libra blend and does have some nice qualities.
So, I’ve collected all of them and I recommend most of them. Root chakra was the least pronounced in terms of flavor, so it was my least favorite. The throat chakra might be my favorite in terms of ingredients and flavoring, but the Third Eye trails close behind in being an original pu-erh take on a third eye blend. I’ll likely have more to write about for these teas, but they are pretty original. I would only get some of them in larger amounts, and I think the jars are only worth it in travel sizes to reuse. They are surprisingly durable, and very pretty, so I’ll be ready to have some reusable mini jars for my other tea samples.
I’ve been playing around with this one, and got a cool tin. I had a hard time deciding on making my last big buy from Wang Family Tea between this tea and the Competition Gui Fei when it was discounted. I was determined to get more of the Jasmine Shanlinxi in larger amounts, but for nearly a year, I really wanted to try this one. My main issue was that it was an expensive competition grade tea that was only sold in amounts of 70 grams.
I made my bet, and I partly regret it on the opportunity cost of some of the other competition teas. However, this tea is definitely up my alley. It’s weirdly green for a roasted tea, and the taste is more on the green side, but the taste has more charcoal and nuttiness than vegetal tones. The roasted chestnut and orchid flavor are the most prominent through every session, whether I followed instruction or used shorter steeps and slightly more leaves. It does evolve in terms of sweetness. The flux from charcoal, to nuts, to florals with a bit of balsam finish reminded me of the Zealong New Zealand’s Aromatic Oolong, which was one of my favorite lighter roast oolongs. This one is more nutty and floral overall, and does have more complexity. The only little thing it lacks is my gaoshan preference for fruitiness.
So overall, this is a very unique tea that has more roast qualities in taste than it does appearance. I think I would have been really happy with 25 or 50 grams instead of the 70, but I got a great tin and a bunch of great bagged tea samples of ginger Sun Moon Lake Black Teas and Cui Feng Heavy Roasts. I would recommend it if you are really into Dong Dings and lighter roast oolongs though.
Flavors: Charcoal, Chestnut, Floral, Lilac, Malt, Orchid, Roasted, Sweet
I actually recommended this one first to Leafhopper, but totally forgot to write it. I’m about a year or two behind. I think I got the 2020 or 2021 vintage, and I got it at the same time as the Dayuling. I immensely enjoyed this one, though Leafhopper got most of the notes out of the way.
Unlike a few other teas, this one had a much denser texture giving the egg yolk quality as the company described. Insanely viscous, being thicker than dew and raindrops in a sugary, peachy and floral form. I could manage to get a lot of flavor if I over leafed to 6-8 grams and did rinse brews, but I found 4-5 to be the sweet spot and varied my steep time depending on water temperature and the current climate in Michigan. I had to shorten the steeps on hotter days, but lengthen it on cooler ones.
Hotter brews tended to make the tea more vegetal, but could bring out more intense bursts of peach. Going softer on temperature made the peach more of an undertone of orchid, lilac, and mung bean.
Like I commented to Leafhopper, I would occasionally preferred this one to the Dayuling because it was more forward. It has nearly the same complexity, but the fruity peach is a lot more obvious despite a vegetal tradeoff. The Dayuling was better for a more pensive experience, whereas this one was more tropical orchard transportation in a cup.
So I highly recommend this one. I have almost gotten more of it and I will likely in the future when I can budget….after I get a house. Then again, I blew my Wang Family Tea budget on the Jasmine Shanlinxi and the Competition Grade Light Roast Lishan. I maybe should have opted for a different tea than the Lishan even though it’s still veerry good, but I do NOT regret getting more of that jasmine oolong.
During the winter storm, this was my first official tea for me. It was a good choice. The maple woody vanilla palette is warming and comforting during the snow. I’m going to dive into more of my blacks today during the coming fimbulwinter winds this Christmas season.
Flavors: Butterscotch, Caramel, Malt, Maple, Vanilla, Wood
I’m really behind my notes, but Wang Family Tea Sent some Ginger Sun Moon Lake Teabags in the last order. Sooooo smooth. I deeply enjoyed the bag and kept coming back. My mom accidentally threw it away too early. I’m surprised I couldn’t find the bags on the main site because I’d be tempted to buy some. Either way, I appreciated it with the order.
I got more of the Shanlinxi Jasmine and the Competition Light Roast Lishan Oolong. It’s good and complex. I will have to do an individual note on it for depth. It’s a lot like the Zealong Aroma in its balance of roast and greenness, and on the lighter end. I wouldn’t drink it super often and kinda wish I got the Gui Fei competition instead, but I definitely don’t regret trying it or the tin I received.
I held off drinking this one down. I only have a serving left, and I think this one and Violet Cremes are my favorite Brutaliteas. I still have a lot of Krampustachio left and too much of the French Toast Busters. French Toast Busters is more of a latte style tea for me, so I haven’t drank that one down the way I thought I would. This one, I wanted to savor before I said goodbye tumbler style. Letting it steep this way brought more dragonfruit flavor than the pineapple, but it’s still there. Even oversteeped a little bit, it’s juicy.
Flavors: Dragonfruit, Floral, Fruity, Hibiscus, Juicy, Pineapple