New Tasting Notes
Thanks to kind Steepsters, I get to try all but the rooibos Laponic teas.
The red currant and juniper berry both brighten and meld with a savory-piney-earthy base taste. Both times I brewed this it did taste somewhat soapy-alkaline. I suspect I could use 1tsp versus 2 to mitigate that flavor. Otherwise, it’s a masterfully flavored green tea that truly makes me think of Christmas and northern coniferous forest covered in snow.
Thanks for sharing Dustin! The Laponic black is on board for Wednesday when the heavy rains come.
Side note: I bought a skateboard today. I’m an overjoyed late 30s spinster.
I decided I wanted to sipdown some of my DAVIDsTEA stash (herbals in particular) and this was a good candidate for a sipdown focus because I don’t have a lot of it and I know it tastes really good cold brewed – so that should make for a fast turn around on finishing it off.
I feel like I must have had a more stressful day than I realized or maybe I was just holding in some emotions subconsciously, but this tea was so good tonight that it kind of made me want to cry – I just got so unexpectedly emotional drinking it and I could NOT figure out what the specific trigger for that was.
The taste was mostly peach, but a very honeyed peach with a dewy freshness about it and all the floral undertones from the persimmon that I’ve experienced with this blend in the past. It felt really well rounded because of that balance of sweet honey, dewy and fresh and slightly tart peach, floral persimmon, and light lemongrass – all very complimentary, and working to create a sort of “simple complexity”. I finished it way too fast and then, I’ll echo is again because I’m still shocked that this was my body’s response, when it was done I wanted to cry. I missed the tea.
…maybe trying to finish this off was actually a bad idea? I don’t know.
Friendly reminder that I do not numerically rate DAVIDsTEA blends as I’m currently employed there and it would be an obvious conflict of interest. Any blends you see with numerical ratings were rated prior to my employment there. These reviews are a reflection of my personal thoughts and feelings regarding the teas, and not the company’s.
Okay… this tea was magical.
The dry leaf of this tea smells so fruity and amazing – it took me a long while to place it, but it’s the kind of really bright and juicy citrus aroma of something like a Sunkist Soda. Does anyone else remember Sunkist Soda? No? Just me? It’s weird because Sunkist is this very specific, almost tangerine-like, orange soda flavour – but I don’t believe there’s any citrus in this blend at all? So it must just be the apricot – but it’s tickling all those nostalgia buttons for me in aroma…
The taste is great; it’s so fresh tasting and really fruity – I love how virbrant and full of life the cranberry, apricot, and – yes – citrus notes taste. It’s like this sunny medley of juicy freshness. Sadly, the compromise seems to be that I’m not really getting anything that would make me think of a muffin – but the trio of fruit flavours I’m getting (still not sure where the citrus is from) is so specific and distinct that it’s just making this inner seven year so happy. All the the good feelings about Sunkist fruit snacks and soda that I didn’t know I had… channeled into this cup.
Guess who I made a cup for this evening?
“Hey! What is this tea? Oh I know, it’s one of those teas that I liked! What is it, berry, strawberry something? big wheezing laughs It smells kinda like cat spray!! more wheezing lulz, big burps It does smell like cat spray!! These (Steepster) people needed a refresher didn’t they? cackles Whoever you got it from— the cat might’ve pee-peed on the bag, haha! It tastes like strawberry jello! she seriously can’t stop laughing What’s it got, blackberry leaves? It’s raspberry! burps, yawns (non sequitur) Of course it has an outdoor smell, it all grows outside. AAAAAHHHH, that was good. I would drink it again! slams the mug down and cackles It was a happy tea. I like it and especially after eating those blackberries. I didn’t recognize it (the flavor of the tea) as blackberry but it was in the berry family, heh heh heh.”
Kiki loves it, I promise.
“Second steep is still really good. I can taste the floral lavender now.”
I’m so close to a sipdown now, which is good. Sadly I just haven’t been able to find a way to make this tea sparkle/shine. This brew was smooth and without any off notes, but the flat taste of rooibos with hints of vague “almost vanilla” don’t deliver on the name/description and the whole tea screams of missed potential to me. Aside from an obvious need to bump up the flavouring level, I think using less rooibos and more black tea also probably could have gone a long way here.
I think I have one cup left – maybe I’ll try it with sweetner and see if that does anything to perk it up at all.
Okay, woah. This was a Christmas present from my mom, who got it from a local/Saskatchewan made marketplace. It’s a fruit blend, with majority hibiscus, apple, cranberry, and lingonberry – and man is it tart! I actually like the flavour a lot, but it’s a sharp and pucker inducing cranberry and hibiscus that dominate this cup. Deeeeeep red liquor to compliment that intense flavour, to boot!
Noted, next time, to maybe dial back the leaf amount or steep time a bit. It’s pretty fine this way, but I think that I can achieve a better “sweet spot” that would be even greater.
Finally getting around to trying this tea and having owned it for, oh I don’t know, four years!? Maybe even five, potentially…
I brewed it up Grandpa style and I just don’t think that was the best way to steep it up – especially the first time when I didn’t have a great understanding/grasp on what the usual flavour profile is. I found it rather green/vegetal and biting, with a lot of dryness and tobacco notes. Not the kind of flavour profile that I personally gravitate towards in sheng, and it was just so concentrated that it made for a rough cup. I still drank a few “top ups” of my grandpa brew to not have wasted the leaf and see if it would improve, but…
Not my thing.
I sucked back this cold brew like it was a cold beer on a sweltering hot summer day. It’s super refreshing; I packed lots of leaf into my mason jar and let this go for longer than I usually do, so it was extra juicy and flavourful but it still had a lightness and airy quality mixed in with those fresh, sweet watermelon juice notes. It’s kind of tea that has a lot of flavour, but is still light and fresh enough that you can drink it by the pitcherful and not feel bloated or sick of it afterwards.
Just got an ounce of it. It was raved about in some of the tea community so I thought I would give it a try. Meh. It just tastes like Rooibos with an oil slick. I wish you could take a look at the ingredients before you buy at the store.it was rather expensive for the quality and quantity. This is yet another tea that I am not a fan of , contrary to popular opinion.
I am cold brewing it finish it faster
I didn’t sleep well at all last night so my husband promised to make me a cup of tea before bed tonight. I’d forgotten about it, but when I started getting ready for bed he pulled out this old favorite. I’m not usually a fan of chamomile either on its own or in blends. This is probably the only blend I’ve found where I enjoy it.
Bedtime Blues is my go-to tea when I’m stressed or need sleep. I usually add some warm milk (tonight it’s coconut) and it never fails to calm me. It’s also really delicious. I’ve heard that valerian root can be very smelly and unappetizing, but I don’t notice anything offensive here. Even the licorice root and lemongrass aren’t bothering me. Perhaps they are covered up by the other flavors. Chamomile is certainly the strongest. I also love the beautiful shade of bluish-green from the butterfly pea flowers. I’ll be so sad when this runs outs. It’s my absolute favorite from AQ2T.
I decided to use this sheng, gifted to me by Chen Sheng Hao to break in a brand new teapot from a local ceramist who’s work I’ve just fallen in love with – Arbee Ceramics! The pot is stunning, with an unglazed black clay outer appearance, but a clear glaze inside so it can be used with any tea – and the perfect 90ml size! Quick pour, well balanced, snug fitting lid, and perfect handle for a secure and controlled grip – very happy to add this into my growing teaware collection!
The tea is a beauty too; sweet and fruity at the top of the sip but more bite in the body. Pleasant bitter vegetal and astringent finish, with lingering throat sweetness. No surprise that I enjoyed the Yiwu more, but this is a nice one too! I got quite a few resteeps, and for a very fresh pressing I thought it was quite flavourful and interesting.
Sunday was one of those days where you blink and half of it has gone by already. I barely managed to sneak this session in while there was still light out!! Really lovely tea though, with one of the most intriguing and hard to place fruity notes I’ve tasted in a hong cha for a while!! Landed somewhere in the zone of horned melon, plantain, and slightly under ripe banana – all with this heady floral and sticky honey undertone!? So weird, but so tasty! Love the consistent but light astringency throughout, and the lingering starchy sweetness…
A feel like this sipdown was a long time company – I don’t think this is was the oldest 52Teas blend I own (actually, I know for sure it’s not) but it was the oldest one that I have in a sample bag and not a tin. It’s nice, with bright and crisp strawberry notes and warming cinnamon and nutmeg, but it’s not a flavour profile that strongly speaks to me personally which is why it took a bit longer to finish it off.
Such a unique concept though – it’s making me crave some type “Strawberry Brulee” profile with a hint of cinnamon…
Thank you VariaTEA for the share!
This was really pleasant – it’s a very good representation of a classic tasting Golden Monkey. Notes of malt, cocoa, and bread rule the cup with undertones of red fruit. Very full bodied and smooth, with a deepness to the flavour notes that commands attention. Highly enjoyable, and one of those teas where you don’t sip but you slurp and then feel sad when you finished it so fast.
I’ve been steeping a lot of Dancong Western style lately because I’m enjoying it more brewed that way than Gongfu, and this is one of several I’ve had with that method of brewing. More mineral and rock-y flavours in the top notes with bits of char and roast, but then floral notes like orchid that build up from undertones to more of a main body flavour with these flavour ribbons of stonefruit that lightly dance overtop of that. Complex, and medium bodied – and just so cozy feeling.
I was super excited about the blackberry honey part of this one but was dubious about the ginger, because I like just a hint of ginger. I am not a true chai drinker because I know so many have black pepper and even turmeric and such. One of my students is from India and brought some of their own home made chai blend and holy moly was it spicy. No go for me. Then another lady from another part of India was horrified by that chai and said she only put cinnamon, cardamom, and clove in hers. So it is different by region and even family probably.
Well, back to this tea. The aroma is pure heaven – fruity sweet deliciousness. The first sip of it before additions was very good but I could tell there was a little more ginger than I go for in a tea, as my throat and tongue were VERY warm, and I am a wimp. However, it seemed JUST RIGHT for a latte.
I steeped one teaspoon of tea blend three times, added literally only about a half teaspoon of sugar because there are honey granules here, and I added milk. Ratio is probably 2/3 water to 1/3 milk.
This is so goooood! It is fruity and sweet! With milk, I would not know there was ginger in this. And that is how I like it. Just enough ginger to add sparkle but not much heat! I know that I am in the minority there.
This is the kind of white tea I think of when various companies or tea drinkers say that white tea is light in flavor. That hasn’t been the case for me with most types of white teas I’ve had, so I never fully understood that notion. I wouldn’t commit to saying this tea is light in flavor, though. What it is is gentle and refreshing. Wait, so how do these silver needles differ from others?
In comparison to other silver needles these aren’t exactly complex. The main taste is of sweet nectar and mineral water, but where these buds differ from others is in the general flavor profile. Others can be fruity, spicy, musty. These, though, have the distinct taste of the Taiwanese high mountain oolong composed of the Qing Xin cultivar (typing that makes me feel like such a snob haha!) — sweet vegetal and heady floral (sweet pea and gardenia) characteristics along with the rather strong fir-like cooling refreshment I’ve found in Shanlinxi oolong and later some lemony-citric tang.
I was trying to think of how this tea differs from the one or two Taiwanese green teas I’ve had. I can’t say for certain but it seems less pungently vegetal, more floral, sweeter, fuller bodied. How does it differ from the green high mountain oolong? It’s not fruity at all except for a once-found note of overripe honeydew which is actually more savory than fruity. It’s as thick as an oolong but gentler, like a sweet, soft soup. Less heady floral, more vegetal, mellower, less potential for astringency. What do I know. I like it, a lot.
While I adore this tea, I can see it not appealing to other people, namely for the vegetal character and the lack of fruitiness. Maybe even its lack of caffeine and cha qi, which means I can drink it at night without consequence or I can drink it in the morning as a refreshing and soothing preamble to the day.
I see I’ve gone on about this tea too long. If Wang Family Teas produces this again, I will certainly be buying more. Taiwanese white teas are not often found (the only ones I have experience with are of those leafy Ruby 18 cultivar teas). They tend to be delicious though and underappreciated due to their lack of availability since the majority of high mountain tea leaves are processed as oolong. When have you ever seen a Taiwanese silver needle?
Thanks, Liquid Proust, for making a tea like this possible!
Oh, one more thing. I had been brewing these as mini-bowl tea with a pinch of leaves in a 100mL teacup and water of unknown temperature (not boiling). My last session I dialed in the temp to 85C. That produced results consistent with all the other times. I suggest brewing these buds either as bowl tea (grandpa basically) or western 1+g:100mL. Brewing them gongfu with shorter steeping times didn’t bring out as much flavor, sweetness or silkiness. Daylon says they were good with longer gongfu steeping times, though!
Flavors: Broccoli, Fir, Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Honeydew, Lemon, Mineral, Nectar, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Tangy, Thick, Vegetal
My last remaining Rishi tea! This was another one that Todd asked me for a “top up” after his “Sara’s Old Tea Advent Calendar,” so a) I have a lot less leaf to work through for sipdown and b) I expect it to go fast because the last tea that Todd really liked and requested a top up of was really freaking good.
The package instructions suggest 8g for 8 oz of water?! Do they expect me to clean rust off my intestines?! For me, a “stronger” than normal cuppa is adding a gram to my typical 2.5g for 12 oz. Yaaaaaaa… I think I’ll just make it my way, Rishi. 2.5g leaf, 350ml water (boiled to 205F but had cooled to 195F when I realized the kettle was ready… I just decided to use it as was), steeped for 3 minutes(ish).
The steeped cup smells like roses, which immediately has me excited! Also a fruity scent that is somewhere between lychee and orange zest, and a very sweet aroma as well, reminding me of cream. On the sip I’m definitely getting the purported lychee and rose, as well as warm baked bread, honey, and a strong lingering orange marmalade taste after the sip. The tea has a very mild drying sensation after the sip, but the flavors are smooth and lacking any bitterness.
Dare I say this is a Chinese black that is up there with unsmoked lapsang for me?!
During my staycation, I really have to get out of the house some (just too much stir crazy/cabin fever vibes going on), so I’ve decided to visit at least one or two “new to me” local, independantly/family-owned businesses in my community that I have never been to. Today I found a cupcakery I didn’t even know existed! I got a Cookies & Cream, Apple Cinnamon, and Lemon Blueberry cupcake, and am enjoying this cuppa with the Lemon Blueberry one for teatime. It is wonderful paired with the bright, tangy and sweet citrus notes of the cupcake!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Jam, Lychee, Orange Zest, Rose
Another Sample from Adagio
The packet of this one smells like chocolate-covered cherries with maybe some almond in there.
Brewed up this tea tastes like well cheap dirt with a hint of cocoa and a hint of almond. The resteeping ended up tasting the same. This is probably the first real miss for me from Adagio so far.
Flavors: Almond, Artificial, Cocoa, Dirt, Metallic, Mineral