New Tasting Notes
Infernal carrot! I redeemed one of my Frequent Steeper rewards for this blend despite the appearance of carrots in the ingredients list. Cantaloupe is so tricky in a tea, and I adore melon teas. It’s been a few years since DT’s released a LE melon tea I enjoyed. I believe Sour Watermelon (summer 2017) was the last one I bought in bulk. I probably would’ve been tempted to purchase more had I not been able to taste the carrot.
I will also add that I don’t get any hint of lemonade in this blend. Perhaps the citrus note is masked by the astringency of the green tea base.
Flavors: Cantaloupe, Carrot
I really enjoyed Peachy Lychee, so I was really hoping to like this blend. Alas, it’s way too strawberry-forward for me. Even with black tea AND hibiscus, the strawberry completely overpowers everything. I love a sweet tea, but this is strawberry candy…or strawberry jam. Not my jam.
Flavors: Floral, Lychee, Strawberry, Sweet
5 gram sample mini cake, whole.
Initial steeping very light wet pile aroma. Something I could only label as fish sauce type of aromas …fermenti and briny. Mouthfeel is very thin. I think this has to do with the small cake was added as a whole.
2 – 5 steepings is much darker, a little more bold but not bold. comes in, still with a light mouthfeel but hints of pepper and cedar. It has a very medium light body, more than before. It has this after taste and feel that reminds you of a good, wholesome black tea. It’s overall not very complicated, but easy drinking. Slight medicinal flavor. Finishes with light leather and petrichor. It has a initial snap brightness, very quick, a flash up front. Develops some tobacco, menthol notes on the exhale. Still continuing much of the same lighter flavor profile. A salty tobacco , and cedar flavor, with an Umami finish. Maybe some Chinese five-spice? Idk the things surprising me at the moment are the lightness of the body and the kind of salinity notes that I’m getting, There’s an almost ocean characteristic.
Steepings 6-8 The tea it’s starting to flatten out it’s never really gained any sweetness. imagine it was a bitter tea. Which is kind of showing up I believe as a kind of bitter iodine note. Inky? The liquid is just now ever giving up some lightness in color. It is transitioning to and kind of back drop up generic black tea and malt. Energy however is noticeable, especially for the style of tea. This could go for at least 12 steeps.
Overall I think this is a great introduction into ripe/shou teas or possibly a daily drinker depending on your taste. All in all not a bad tea whatsoever… I was just a little disappointed, as I was kind of expecting a little more complexity. If you’re looking for a good daily drinker or to dip your toe into the water that is ripe/shou puerh tea then this would be a great place to start.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Black Pepper, Bok Choy, Cedar, Dark Wood, Earl Grey, Fishy, Iodine, Leather, Malt, Marine, Medicinal, Menthol, petrichor, Salty, Umami
Turmeric tea is not my thing, but I got this as part of a sampler, so I figured I’d try it. Hot, it’s not bad. The citrus mixes with the turmeric so the first flavor is fruitiness and the next is a spicy, earthy warmth. Not my favorite, but it’s okay. The next day, it tasted a bit weird, so definitely drink it all at once. And the rebrew was mostly just the turmeric. Anyway, I think health teas are silly, so I’m not the demographic for this tea, but it’s fine for what it is.
I am the first one to write a tasting note? And this tea is actually gone!
Anyway, quick (+- 10 seconds) rinse of 6 grams of tea in my 85 ml gaiwan. That is 1 gram for 14 ml of boiling water in thermos.
1st steep, as usual, was 15 seconds long.
It pours light brown colour. Rinse and first steep has got generic shu aroma, in taste mellow, not-metallic, rather sweet side of chocolate.
2nd steep, 30 seconds
Mellow, still sweet chocolate taste. Not very complex taste. But full-bodied for sure.
3rd, 45 seconds
It becames darker, so does in taste, more like dark chocolate now.
4th, 60 seconds
Full bodied, nice to drink. I do not think it will change flavours, so I will keep drinking. They claim it can be up to 12 steeps, so – I guess it can be true. But I would not write about every single steep.
It is good, but maybe I expected something bit more complex.
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
This is not a subtle or in your face smokiness, but a very balanced in between. This one is a great candidate for grandpa style brewing as I’ve never gotten any bitterness from brewing too long or too strong. I don’t get a whole lot of maltyness, I was surprised it was an Assam. It is a mild, smooth, smoky cup of tea. Maybe even a good introduction tea to those who think all tea is strong and bitter.
Flavors: Caramel, Smoke, Tobacco
Reasons I haven’t been posting (I know you’ve been losing sleep over that):
Children’s VBS: a week of wrangling fourth graders that results in the most satisfying but bone-numbing fatigue one can experience. But, stealing from Garrison Keillor: nothing you do for children is ever wasted. It wasn’t.
Recovery week following children’s VBS: trying to get five days’ work caught up in four at the day job, and SCHOOL STARTS IN ONE MONTH, so panic season is upon us.
It’s just doggone hot. Everything has to have ice in it, which monkeys with any reasoned tasting or reviews.
But…this old faithful is a good one in weather like this. Made a large tumbler with one bag in the morning yesterday, kept the bag in for at least an hour; by that time, it accepted ice nicely and tasted like mild cherry pie rather than chemically-induced cherry syrup.
It was interesting comparing this impression with the two reviews here from 3 years ago, since this tea is 13 years old now. It’s still not really completely fermented. As for aspects it tastes a lot like cigar tobacco, including smoke, with decent sweetness and flavor complexity and really good intensity. Bitterness is still pronounced, although astringency is moderate. Mineral taste is notable too, along with floral range or maybe dried fruit; that part is harder to tease out for bitterness, smoke, tobacco, and mineral standing out as much as they do. I think it just needs another 3 years or so in a humid environment to really push over into being a very good tea, and in 5 or 6 might be exceptional, but it’s pleasant as it is now. It’s definitely not in some subtle, quiet “teen years” phase; this tea is intense.
I forgot to mention compression; that’s the part of this tea’s story that account for why a 13 year old tea isn’t aging normally. Of course that makes it harder to split off parts to brew as well. It’s still worth the trouble, and will be even more so later on.
Very nice tea (Myanmar produced sheng, technically not pu’er for being from there).
Pronounced honey sweetness and bitterness stand out most, then a distinctive mineral aspect beyond that. The mineral almost links with a kale-like vegetable character, similar to how that comes across in Vietnamese Tha Nguyen green tea, which transitions to a more standard cured wood tone over several infusions. Aftertaste is pronounced. One limitation, the character doesn’t transition much over rounds, although the tea is very intense and produces many positive infusions. This is probably an amazing value tea, if you can find it, since I got it directly from the producer at an expo, with more of that back-story in this even more detailed review.
Yesterday I got my another B&B subsciption envelope. I am thinking about cancelling it, but it is quite cheap (305 CZK per month) and teas are always interesting to try. So I won’t probably.
Anyway, this is one their new blends they call Summer Ice Cream Collection. I took this one, because it is oolong with fruits.
Unfortunately, my strainer is still too small (I tend to forget to buy big one, cup size), so oolong leaves do not have much space. Moreover when cherries are there too.
After recommended 3 minutes steep, it is quite cloudy (some dust went through mesh), light red, rather pink colour.
It is not much aromatic. Yeah, of course there is sour cherries, but not much of mascarpone or other fruits (see ingredients).
In taste it is weak sour cherry flavour and do not notice mascarpone, or at least creamy flavours. Maybe I have steeped it too short.
Flavors: Cherry, Fruity, Sour
Where has this tea been all my life?!! Why did I not try this blend sooner? That I deprived myself if this wonderful blend for so long just devastates me!
All hyperbole aside, this blend is amazing! It’s light and citrusy with an almost fizzy twist. I usually drink it with a touch of sweetener and half & half but I’ve enjoyed it plain too. It’s fairly mild with little astringency, just a lovely uplifting blend.
I’m a big Earl Grey fan and will give most any variations a try. I think this blend with it’s lovely bergamot flavor has shot to the top of my list!
Flavors: Bergamot, Muscatel
Another tea I had a strong liking for in the past but can no longer drink.
Considering this is now my second English Tea Store blend in which I find the artificial flavors amped up, I can only assume that my palate has changed since the last time I drank this. I can taste the tropical notes in it but they seem to be overwhelmed by an artificial quality that makes drinking it unpleasant for me.
I’m very disappointed because I was quite fond of this tea, but I guess now it’s time to come to a parting of the ways.
I’m not sure if they changed the formulation of this tea or if my tastes have changed since the last time I tried it. I remember liking it and reordered it. I looked forward to drinking it only to be disappointed when I did.
For some reason, although I could taste the maple and some floral and fruity notes, the overwhelming taste I got from this tea was artificial and chemical. I tried it with different sweetener, with and without half & half, I tried different steep times and water temperatures but nothing made a difference.
I definitely liked this tea at one time but either it changed or I did and I no longer enjoy drinking it.
Flavors: Artificial, Fruity, Maple Syrup
I found this to be a lovely, light tea with a nice fruit flavor. It reminded me of pears sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I drank it with just a touch of sweetener and nothing else. I really like this blend but after several samples I realize it’s not my cup of tea (sorry, couldn’t resist). I’m just not a fan of white tea. They’re too delicate and fussy for me. I prefer heartier, bolder blends.
So, if you’re a fan of white teas and enjoy fruit blends, this tea should be right up your alley. It’s delicious. If Harney ever releases this with a black tea base, I’ll be all over it!
Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Spices
This tea is tragically old. However, I got some pretty good flavour and sweetness in the second infusion. I think the first may have been in too cool of water/not for long enough, given that the flavour is waning.
Sorry for these tasting notes being pretty bad, I’ve been hit with a wave of exhaustion and this suddenly seems like a lot of effort. It’s not even 9pm! (But baby got tooth 4 last night, so that’s messed things up a little.)
Looks like this is where I logged my tea the last time I had it… there are too many entries that don’t match the text on the bags, making this horribly confusing. (I have, simply, “Jin Jun Mei”, purchased from Verdant. I also have a bag that I received in a reserve tea club box, which might be named the same.)
Anyways, this tea. It’s delicious. I barely had enough for a cup, but it was so flavourful and rich. Would have been better if it was fresher, too!
A whole bag of this and no note/review. Not surprising, I suppose. I inventoried my straight teas (the majority of them) a couple nights ago, and pulled out a bunch of 1-cup samples or badly stored teas to drink down quickly. This was one of em.
I didn’t honestly pay too much attention as I was drinking this, but I found it to be fairly flavourful and enjoyable – the first infusion (1 minute) was light and toasty, the second infusion (longer) was verging on syrupy, and had a delicious gui fei-type sweetness that I really enjoyed, along with more prominent “baked” flavours. Rather good. I’m looking forward to a couple more infusions tonight, before the leaves are done!
Definitely one of the better roasted/baked oolongs I’ve had.
When combined with rooibos, citrus flavors (other than orange) often wind up tasting like cleaner to me. Unfortunately, that’s where this one falls. When it was warm, it was bearable, but when cold brewed, the flavor was very strong and unpleasant. I think it’s the alcohol flavoring and the lime together than I find disagreeable. I gave a sip to someone else and asked them to name what they tasted, and they said cough syrup, so I guess there are multiple interpretations to this flavor combination, but neither one positive so far. I really don’t like alcohol flavors though, so I think I won’t leave a score for this tea. If it were just lime and ginger, maybe I would have liked it, but even that isn’t a preferred combo for me. Anyway, this was from the mystery box, so it was certainly interesting trying something I would not buy for myself.
Backlog: I was impulsive, and got a treasure chest of nearly every one of Wang’s Teas except their Shan Lin Xi. I’ve sampled several so far, and this was one of the first ones.
I think the company’s description does this one the most service. It’s got the nutty profile of any light roast in the dry leaf, and brewing it up, the aroma is also nutty like almonds and marzipan with a little bit of a roast, something that you find in peanuts. The first brew is very light, yet smooth. I get the brown sugar note the most in the first and second brews gong fu and western. Honeysuckle was the most prominent floral to me, though there was another lighter airy floral. Maybe hyacinth, but I’m not sure. It’s not heady, but it’s noticeable. Later brews turned into the usual green oolong notes you can imagine, though more on the floral and vegetal end. It was also a little bit woodsy in profile, but pleasantly so.
I finished this sample very quickly. The tea was fairly resilient grandpa with lighter leaves, though I had to be careful with western. The roast would occasionally smoothen over the florals, but it was still very forgiving. Pie crust and squash would also be good equivalents. I highly enjoyed this one. It was a little bit too light for my preferences overall, but it was still very good and among one of my favorites so far. It’s like a friend you don’t see often, but always appreciate when they are there.
Flavors: Almond, Brown Sugar, Creamy, Floral, Honeysuckle, Nuts, Peanut, Squash Blossom, Sweet, Wood
Mistakenly steeped this green at black temps. It’s surprisingly not bitter considering my abuse of it, but I’m not getting much flavor from it either. A little grassy, a little buttery and flat. I kept this tea hoping I’d find a way to love it, but it’s over between us. Welcome to dumpsville, WIHK.
seriously humid in toronto so i made a giant pitcher of this one to add to the gallons of water i’m drinking to stay hydrated. Even more important since i literally have a kiddo sucking the life out of me haha. Still adore this one, hot or cold. Glad that tealish hasn’t been increasing their prices every 5 seconds like DT.