268 Tasting Notes
I’m reviewing this again, not because I got another one (which I did a while ago, but that’s neither here nor there heh), but because I bought a cardigan that matches my whales perfect mug!! This pleases me :)
This is only the second time I’ve had this tea since I bought an ounce. Why have I done this to myself?? I guess it’s just so good that it feels special and not like an every day tea. But I jumped on the golden orchid wagon this morning and brewed some up before breakfast/lunch/whatever.
It’s even better than I remembered. That’s the mark of an excellent tea! It’s rich, and fudgy, and just dreamy…sigh. One of the best things about this tea is that you still taste great tea and somehow simultaneously taste the rich vanilla and chocolate. It’s such a winning, no wonder it’s the number one tea on Steepster :)
This week, I decided to do a gongfu session again after a night out. I’m liking this a lot. It may be a ritual for me. It’s the one day a week that I’m not exhausted from a cumulative sleep debt and I also don’t have to be up at a particular time the next day. So I can drink tea from 2-5am if I want to :-) The perks of adulthood!
The Jabberwocky was a perfect choice for my late night steeping. I’m enjoying it while listening to Maroon 5’s “Hands all over” album, which was a gift from my dear friend Cordelia. Both the Jabberwocky and Adam Levine have a little bit of that bad boy appeal (heeeyyyy boyfriends haha) I brewed this 15/15/30/40/60/90 sec.
Steep 1: This steep is all about that bready base taste. It’s also buttery and salty with lovely caramel.
Steep 2: The chocolate is here! Cue the dancing munchkins from Wizard of Oz. It weaves between the bready, caramel-y, salty, buttery goodness that was already rocking my socks off and takes it to a whole new level!
Steep 3: The bread retreats a bit, but the chocolate and caramel step up to fill that void. Oh, ok, if it must be that way I suppose I’ll survive :-P
Steep 4: The cream finally shows up! Oh hey buddy, good of you to drop by. This steep is smooooooooth and sweet with a wonderful amalgam of chocolate, caramel, bread, butter, and cream with a light sweetness to the finish. I’ve noticed that I tend to be a 4th steep kind of girl, at least with WP teas
Steep 5: It starts tapering off here. There’s still a breadiness present, paired with a light sweetness and a cooling effect at the end of the sip.
Steep 6: The tea is played out at this point. But I’m still gonna drink this steep :). This steep is just lightly sweet and a little bit cooling. Like a sherbet at the end of a rich meal.
I do love this tea so. It’s top 5 for sure!
This is another sample from Ost, generously included to further my assam education. As this is a CTC, you will not be surprised to learn that it consists of tiny brown pellets. The smell is quite tannic and it brews up a mahogany color. Everything about this tea is BOLD, including the taste. It’s also a bit bitter, quite tannic, and has a scratchy feel to it on the tongue. I much prefer RiverTea’s Assam Beast of the East, but both a kind of “meh” to me. Ok, but not amazing.
This tea comes from Ost, who is helping me to experience assam. Thanks!
The leaves are short, dark brown, and thin. When brewing, they smell tannic but also a bit fruity and produce a teak brown liquor. The taste is smooth but bold. It’s brisk and malty, but lacks the complexity to make it very interesting. It was a good kick-in-the pants morning tea, but not one that I would stock.
Yay white tea! Even though I am staunchly loyal to the dark side of tea, I also love white teas. They’re the stormtroopers to the Darth Vader that is black tea. They just work together. You green tea lovers can keep your Dagobah swamp growth :-P
These leaves are large, lush, and light green and smell sweetly vegetal. They brew up a light green-yellow, which sounds mundane. This tea is not that. It tastes of honeysuckle and mountain air. There’s a vegetal element to it, almost like a spinach. But it doesn’t assault your tongue like a green tea would. It’s there, a polite distance away, having a quiet conversation with you. The loveliness ends with a sweet mineral taste.
I love my silver needle whites more, but this tea was excellent. Thanks for sending it, Virginia!
Another fortuitous Teavivre sample from Virginia! The leaves are green, brown and rolled. I like oolongs better when they’re rolled. Idk why. It’s completely superficial, but that’s the way it is with me lol.
In my notes (this is still part of my backlog), I have “leaves smell good!” Thanks past MJ, that’s soooo helpful :-/. From what I remember, I was impressed with how fresh this tea smelled. It’s a very subtle light yellow-green and has a great mouthfeel. I steeped it 15/15/30/40 sec.
1st steep: very creamy with a honey sweet finish and a hint of mineral
2nd steep: slightly less creamy with a more floral character. A slight astringency emerges
3rd steep: Total flip-flop from the last steep! The mineral taste has fled and the creaminess is back.
4th steep: repeat of the 3rd. Yum :)
This is another sample from my dear tea friend, Virginia. I was fortunate enough to try this before the Teavivre sale and would have bought some, but unfortunately they were out of stock :(. I will acquire some with the next order though!
The leaves are rolled into marble-sized black-brown balls. Points for presentation! They smell of chocolate when brewing and that definitely translates into the taste! They are malty, and chocolately. More of a cocoa/dark chocolate combination, which I like a lot. It has a pudding mouth feel, but with a grainy quality that actually suggests cocoa! There’s also a slight earthiness in the background. Overall, this tea is a very pleasant cuppa with enough complexity to make it interesting (and tasty!)
I thought I’d compare this one with Ruby Pie to see which one I preferred and if there was one I couldn’t live without. Both are from Virginia! The leaves of this tea are dark brown, interspersed with red petals and these wispy white petal-like things. I’m not sure what they are. When brewed, they produce a sienna-colored liquor and smell of sweet fruit and vanilla. The taste is dominated by vanilla (I’m totally ok with this) with a little fruity tartness in the background. It actually reminds me of a belgian lambic more than an ale. Again, I’m ok with this :). In a contest between this and Ruby Pie, this tea is the winner by a long shot. Neither one is something I can’t live without though.
Backlog time. Apparently the middle of the night Saturday/Sunday morning is my gongfu session/Steepster sweet spot.
Another tea from the lovely Virginia! I fear that I got lost in the tea and forgot to thank her for all the Butiki teas she sent me, but if you’ve read a review by me of a Butiki tea lately, she’s the facilitator :).
So this tea is dark brown with chunks of dried strawberry and graham cracker-type things. It smells all sweet strawberry and brews up a reddish brown. The taste is all sweet strawberry with a tart kicker, smoothed out by vanilla. Unfortunately, I don’t taste any graham-ness to suggest the crust, but if you like strawberry rhubarb, this tea will bring you joy.