New Tasting Notes
Tom and Jerry, American vivified toon arrangement about a hapless feline’s ceaseless quest for a smart mouse.
Not yet named in their presentation showy short, Puss Gets the Boot (1940), Tom (the plotting feline) and Jerry (the spunky mouse) in any case were a hit with groups of onlookers. Artists William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created more than 100 scenes for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). A few of these—including Yankee Doodle Mouse (1943), The Cat Concerto (1946), and Johann Mouse (1952)— won Academy Awards for best enlivened short subject. In many scenes Jerry thwarted Tom’s endeavors to get him and lived to bother him one more day—however every so often Tom got the high ground, or the two would unite against a typical foe. The arrangement was driven completely by activity and visual silliness; the characters never talked.
Another from Dark Matter. It feels good to be finally getting around to these! I went with another oolong today after yesterday’s success. It’s not something I’d usually pick out, but while I’m on a roll…
Brewed, it’s a pale gold colour with the scent of dried fruit. It’s a surprisingly strong scent for a tea that doesn’t look all that strong. The flavour is more muted, although surprisingly long-lasting. It starts off fairly innocuous; cream with an undertone of starch. After that it develops quite quickly into brown sugar, with a warming, mildly spicy cinnamon note into the aftertaste.
I’m beginning to think that I might have got oolong wrong – or perhaps the ones I tried were just wrong for me. These last two I could happily drink lots more of because they’re great (and have none of the characteristics I dislike…) If I’d tried these at the beginning of my relationship with oolong (as unlikely as that is), maybe it would be a very different thing today. That’s an interesting thought.
I recently received this in a stash sale from someone on Steepster and while this tea was still in its original packaging unopened it’s VERY worth noting that this is old tea. So, you have to take what I’m gonna say with a grain of salt here because my introduction to this tea today could potentially be so different from what it tasted like in its prime…
That said, lets get into it!
In theory this is something that I should be all over because I love grape and cranberry teas in general. They’re both just flavours I deeply enjoy when it comes to tea although a lot less so in regard to the foods themselves. When I cracked open the bag? Oh hell nah. I can’t place exactly why but the smell of the dry leaf is really unappealing to me. I mean, it is VERY intense which is kind of the exact opposite of what I was expecting to get when I cracked the bag open? And it’s a really, really artificial and almost boozey smelling grape like very, very bad grape liquor. I can’t really pick up the cranberry at all here either. It’s so intense and just… nooooo…
Now, that said, steeped up? It’s a lot more reasonable. I mean, there’s still this painfully artificial quality about the grape in this that is getting under my skin and there’s an almost chalky undertone so I wouldn’t describe it as good tea but it is drinkable overall. It’s kind of candy sweet; makes me think of very syrupy/sugary sweet grape freezies/popsicles. It’s a lot less potent overall. I don’t feel punched in the nose like I did smelling the dry leaf.
Still no cranberry, though.
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Flavors: Butter, Lemon, Sweet
While going through Keemuns from Teavivre I noticed that they were falling into two categories: aromatic with complex taste (Keemun Imperial Black Tea, Keemun Aromatic Snail Black Tea) and the strong Keemuns with the bite (Keemun Black Tea – Grade 2, Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea). Finally, there is one Keemun that combines both of those desirable qualities, the Mao Feng.
It has a nice “expensive Keemun aroma” – plums, cherry, berry, spices. The tea color is interesting: not a usual red but red with some brownish notes. Finally, the taste is complex and reflects the smell well but this tea also has that strong breakfast-time kick. It can wake you up but with elegance and style. I like that.
It is still not my favorite Teavivre Keemun – I like the complexity of Imperial Keemun more – but this tea is probably better fits the expectations of what a good Keemun should be. Will order again.
Flavors: Berries, Cherry, Plums, Spices
This is another sample I acquired in the recent Harney mega order.
Honestly, I wish I had more of this. I am not sure I got the amount of fruit mix right, and I’m pretty sure over “leafing” this is the way to go as it is with most fruit blends.
But even with a less than perfect leafing, it’s a tasty fruit blend. The orange is a rounded orange flavor, sweeter than it is tart, and my sense is that with more blend it would be even sweeter. This does make me think of blood oranges, though it’s been a long time since I had one and I’m going from a faded memory. But it’s the rounded, deeper, sweeter flavor that makes me think of blood orange rather than just orange.
The aroma is less rounded, but still a bit more than a regular orange smell. It has a really pretty rich red color that tends toward the opaque.
Not sure this is better than the Todd & Holland Sunburst Orange, though it is different. both have other ingredients besides the named ones — this has even more than the Todd & Holland, though somehow the orange flavor is more pure. It doesn’t come across as the product of a mix of ingredients.
Rating it the same as the Todd & Holland and placing an order.
Flavors: Blood orange, Orange
OK, that was an interesting tea. I mean, it looks interesting: nice little snails. Not much of an aroma though, and the taste is very mild and smooth. Some cherry, young green wood and bird-cherry. The flavor is quite distinct and it really…non-Keemunish. It also lingers nicely.
So, I don’t know. It was a sample and this tea really calls for being tried several times before a valid opinion can be formed. It certainly not a bold breakfast tea, but it also is not a tea for slow attentive sipping – the taste is not that complex. It is probably a drink for a special mood, and I do not know how often I will be in a mood for bird cherry or cherry.
Flavors: Cherry, Green Wood
Sipping on this one now.
It’s ok, but pretty simplistic in the flavour profile. I mean, it’s essentially just an apple cinnamon rooibos and that’s not exactly a ‘new’ or ‘edgy’ flavour combo/pairing. I just think it tastes like a more toned down version of DAVIDsTEA’s Cinnamon Rooibos Chai blend with a punchier apple element.
Went to Whole Foods today and found a small bulk tea selection. I’m not a super big oolong fan, but was curious as to why this tea was almost $100 a pound so I came home with two servings worth. I’m on my second steeping. It was a little grassy tasting at first, but the more I sip, the more that fades. A little hay in the front of the sip. It is well rounded and has a slightly sweet feel, but not quite sweet taste. There is one part of the sip that has a hint of flatness that I attribute to oolongs, but it passes quickly. The aftertaste has a hint of caramel. This is probably the most I have enjoyed a non flavored oolong, but I’m still not wowed by it. I imagine others who have the palate for oolongs would find it much more interesting. If this was an Irish whiskey, I’d probably be really into the flavors. Oolong soaked Irish whiskey? Hmmmm…. that is something to ponder.
Opening the bag the leaves smell ultra fruity and chocolaty. The leaves are a golden color just like the name to.
1st Steep: I get the strong taste of fruit punch and subtle hints of chocolate. Smooth on the palette. The wet leaves smell a bit like caramel.
2nd & 3rd Steeps: The fruit flavor becomes even more intense and a strong hint of malt remains on the swallow.
4th and beyond: The flavor weakens and dry mouth begins to set in. By the 7th it was almost entirely astringent.
I will defiantly get some 100g bags of this. Its a lovely tea while it lasts.
Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Fruit Punch, Malt
One of Bluebird’s sales teas that is now GONE. I’m happy I get to try it. Surprisingly when I open the pouch, there is the fragrance of a ton of pear but not so much jasmine. I was hoping for an equal balance of the two, but the pear flavor is AMAZINGLY authentic. I’m sure the little pear bits don’t hurt the flavor either. The jasmine doesn’t seem to add much. But I’m loving this pear buttery green tea anyway.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 28 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 min after boiling // 3 minute steep
One of several reviews I have needed to post for a while, I finished off a 10 gram sample of this tea somewhere between one and two weeks ago. I don’t know why I never got around to posting a review here on Steepster in the meantime. It is perhaps most likely that I simply prioritized other reviews and this got placed on the back burner until now. I know that this was a tea I had built up in my head, perhaps to an unreasonable degree. Prior to acquiring and trying it, I had seen a number of incredibly positive reviews for it in several places, Steepster chief among them. How did it hold up for me? I found it to be an excellent tea, though I was a bit taken aback at first. As others have implied or outright stated, this is a white tea that does not have all that much in common with other white teas.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted a powerful mix of plum, apricot, autumn leaf pile, hay, honey, and cucumber aromas. After the rinse, I began to note emerging scents of roasted almond, cream, malt, honey, and molasses. The first infusion then brought out hints of caramel and eucalyptus on the nose. I found notes of cream, malt, hay, and autumn leaf pile immediately in the mouth. They were quickly balanced by notes of molasses, caramel, roasted almond, apricot, and plum that were chased by something of a cooling eucalyptus note on the finish. There was also a surprise hint of cocoa at that point that quite literally came out of nowhere. Subsequent infusions brought out new notes of orange, lemon, vanilla, fig, wood, marzipan, and minerals. The eucalyptus presence grew stronger in the mouth. I also began to note a subtle, belatedly emerging cucumber flavor and interesting notes of fennel and basil that joined with the eucalyptus on the finish. The later infusions had more to offer than anticipated. I found lingering impressions of minerals, caramel, wood, malt, and roasted almond balanced by cooling touches of fennel and eucalyptus and vague hints of citrus and autumn leaves.
An incredibly interesting, complex tea with a ton to offer, I can see why so many people adore it. While I enjoyed it tremendously as well, I do have to opine (more nitpick) that it was almost too much at times-I was a little overwhelmed in several places. In a lot of ways, it was almost as if the producer had somehow taken a traditional white tea and an extremely mellow hong cha and smashed them together, somehow coming out with an almost perfect blend of the two. This was most certainly not a white tea in the vein of the classic Chinese white teas I have tried, and as such, I could easily see it being used to rope in those who tend to avoid white teas. If you try one white tea this year, make it this one.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Autumn Leaf Pile, Caramel, Cocoa, Cream, Cucumber, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Fig, Hay, Herbs, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Marzipan, Mineral, Molasses, Orange, Plums, Wood
This was another tea I forgot I had. I acquired it at some point within the last year, rediscovered it while organizing my stash, and just had to crack it open and try it. I finished the last of it this afternoon while doing a little light house cleaning. I’m normally a big fan of African teas, especially some of those coming out of Malawi these days, but this one was not quite my thing. To be clear, it was in no way a bad tea, it just was not what I normally tend to go for in a green tea.
I prepared this one gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 167 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected interesting aromas of butter, straw, toasted rice, and soybean with delicate undertones of sorghum molasses. After the rinse, I ended up getting stronger aromas of toasted rice and butter, as well as emerging scents of collard greens and fresh spinach underscored by hints of seaweed. The first infusion produced a slightly stronger seaweed aroma and also revealed a subtle scent of cut grass. In the mouth, the liquor offered delicate, smooth notes of butter and grass on the entry followed by hints of soybean, collard greens, toasted rice, and seaweed. A touch of straw and a subtle sweetness emerged on the finish. Subsequent infusions brought out the seaweed, soybean, toasted rice, straw, and collard green notes in the mouth, and naturally, the spinach also started to make its mark on the palate. I found emerging impressions of minerals, tart cherry, orange zest, and malt accompanied by backing impressions of sorghum molasses, smoke, and honey. The later infusions offered lingering notes of butter, minerals, and grass balanced by fleeting hints of soybean, collard greens, and seaweed.
This was an odd and rather challenging tea. All of its flavor components were mellow and well-integrated, making it somewhat difficult to determine what was going on in a number of places. It also did not change a ton from start to finish. Still, I must emphasize the uniqueness of this tea. It offered a mix of aromas and flavors one simply does not find all that often. Furthermore, it displayed very respectable longevity, holding up throughout a rather lengthy session. As mentioned above, this was the sort of green tea I do not tend to go for all that often, but I’m glad I took the opportunity to try it and most certainly appreciated what it had to offer.
Flavors: Butter, Cherry, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Molasses, Orange Zest, Seaweed, Smoke, Soybean, Spinach, Straw, Toasted Rice, Vegetal
Sipping on this one now, with some coconut agave. A very, very small amount as I think this tea has the perfect amount of sweetness on its own – I just wanted to see what the addition of the coconut flavour would do to the profile overall. It’s very nice; I still don’t taste papaya but the watermelon is super juicy and well rounded and I like the softer coconut notes mixed together with it because it gives the drink a semi tropical vibe overall without taking over. It makes me think really strongly of summer time cocktails! Plus, the white base here works so nicely with coconut. In general, I think coconut white teas are divine (and something I’d love to see 52Teas approach in a more minimalistic/stripped down way), so it’s nice getting that sort of vibe on top of an already yummy tea.