78 Tasting Notes
This is my first foray into gong-fu style brewing and… not my first ripe pu-erh, but I’m definitely a newbie in that department as well. Suddenly tea trays make a LOT of sense after getting water absolutely everywhere on my cutting board-turned-tray and the table. Towels were needed, fingers were burnt. Overall I enjoyed the relaxation aspect of it though! I love the gaiwan I got, it’s got a good heft to it and doesn’t feel flimsy: http://teaware.house/collections/gaiwan/products/blue-blessing-ruyao-gaiwan-115ml
Not too keen on this tea, I think I may have over-leafed it, it was very barn-y. Any tips for a newbie? I did two brief rinses.
I’m so torn about this tea. It’s definitely cocoa-y and a bit malty. No bitterness though there’s an astringency that I feel rather than taste. I tried steeping shorter times but found it thin and weak. Three minutes seemed to be the sweet spot for me. I got a pleasant four minute additional steep out of it as well.
As to why I’m torn, I like it though I feel like I prefer the VT Laoshan black, but would really really rather prefer this one because there’s just so much more on offering through YS that I’m enjoying. And the better price point sure doesn’t hurt. I really should have gotten a sample of the Classic Laoshan Black as well. Derp. Oh well.
As is often the case with almond flavoured teas, I fell for the smell, but am a little disappointed with the taste. It isn’t that this is bad, I just really want a tea to bludgeon me over the head with ALMOND and I’ve yet to find that.
That being said, this is nice enough. Chocolate, with a non-descript nuttiness, kind of like DT’s Chocolate Macaroon without the coconut. Sweet enough that I didn’t bother with honey, which is rare for me! Though I probably won’t get more of it on account of preferring Chocolate Macaroon. Worth a try if you’ve got a sweet tooth!
Holy extended absence, Batman! I’ve been having a bit of “fun” transitioning from college back to work. I went through job application hell only to end up back at my old job. It’s frustrating to go to school, buy into all those promises of working hard and getting “The Job”, only to graduate into a Mad Maxian job market. Oddly I’m finding my old job a lot more enjoyable now than I did before though, so… win?
Anyway this tea. I think it might be a bit touchy, first time I overleafed it and it was ridiculously bitter, but I added some honey (and milk, which I never do) and it was drinkable but not noteworthy. Second time I did better, I put 2 tsp in my 15 oz Bee House teapot, let it steep for a minute and a half. The resulting tea still had a trailing bitterness, but in a pleasant way. Definitely get the molasses and raisins as described by What-cha. The aftertaste is mostly raisins to me, though there is an elusive “something else” that I can’t quite pin down.
EDIT: I sniffed the wet leaves and holy does it ever smell like grape juice!
Flavors: Molasses, Raisins
Yum! I wasn’t sure what to expect because a 30 second infusion didn’t seem like enough to me, but it was perfect! Smooth, earthy cocoa, and a wee bit of fruitiness that lingers. Second infusion (45 seconds) is more malty and earthy, perfect for what I was looking for this morning! Though I don’t know if I could get on board with using big balls like this regularly, they’re cute and fun for once and awhile though.
First order from What-cha came in! Arrived very quickly (from UK to Canada), well packed, and with a nice little note inside about the teas, particularly about the chosen sample. It’s those little touches, man….
This was one of my two black Mystery Teas, which I could easily get carried away with, I love surprises. Prepared as described on the pouch. Very nice! Smooth, sweet malt flavour with a slight citrusy aftertaste. There’s something vaguely spicey about it too that I can’t peg, very slight, might have to do with the citrus. As always I wound up adding a dab of honey, which just had the obvious result of enhancing the honey aspect of the tea. I can definitely see myself reaching for this in the morning, it just feels like a perky cup of tea to me.
EDIT: Second steep I forgot about it so it steeped for at least ten minutes. Still good! No bitterness, bit more bready and citrus than before, less honey, still yummy!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Malt, Spices
I’ve had a weird run with this tea. I got it because I’d read the reviews and the general consensus seemed to be chocolatey/cocoa/rich/honey, which are all very yummy words. To me, it just tastes very… tea-y. I can’t even really elaborate aside from “Yup it tastes like black tea”, like it would make a nice iced tea. So. Yeah. Next to all these glowing reviews, I feel like the D student who just doesn’t “get” Shakespeare.
I’ve been really wanting to get into straight pu-erh after having fallen in love with more than a few flavoured pu-erhs. Apologies to the gong-fu aficionados out there, I brewed this lazy-style with my new teapot*, as outlined on the bag. Plus a 30ish second rinse to begin with.
Which maybe explains why my experience with this tea is so very very out of line with what I’m reading from other reviews…? This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s going to sound like a bad thing, but steeped this smelt like… a barn. Like hay, leather, dust, and, yes, vaguely of manure, which might be more to do with association after thinking it smells like a barn. Sipped it still evokes hay and leather, and oddly enough, I really enjoyed this. It was a very relaxing cup, quite unlike anything I’ve had before in my thus far short relationship with tea. It reminded me of playing in the hay loft at a neighbour’s house in the summer, watching the same goat get his head stuck in the same section of fence repeatedly and requiring constant human intervention.
*new teapot is a 15oz Bee House that I absolutely adore! It’s weird how having a teapot you love makes preparation all the more enjoyable. Teaware hoarders are making more and more sense to me by the day….
I got this as a sample, brewed exactly as the package said. I’m not much of an oolong person so… forgive the blunt note. This one has the “plastic” oolong note that I can’t peg, which I’m beginning to think is my interpretation of a certain floral flavour. I put it in quotations because it isn’t like it literally tastes like plastic, it’s just something about it makes me think of plastic. So this is quite floral. The dry leaves had smelt quite roasty borderline cocoa which got me excited, but ultimately this tastes like every other oolong I’ve had (few they may be).
Leaving no number ‘cause honestly I’m beginning to think this is just how oolongs are and they personally aren’t my cup of tea (HUR HUR HUR).