Featured & New Tasting Notes

The second tea from the festival samples that I am trying and this is my first cup of this.

Very much like Zen Tea’s Taiwan Ruby but far finer leaf and much sweeter liquid.

Magnificent. Sugar cane sweet.

Flavors: Sugarcane

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FDT is all about the texture! The broth is weighty and sticky, like drinking a bone dense stock, making for an interesting body feel of a tea session.

Flavor note wise, it is light. FDT leans on the savory side with sweet grass, vegetal, and sticky rice. It does get stewy tasting in the later infusions, but it very much drinkable. I think leafing harder than normal gives the best result, and I wouldn’t go under boiling as you’ll lose the texture and the flavor would be too weak.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2017-farmer-direct-tea-sheng-puer-white2tea/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 0 OZ / 12 ML

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62

So, I am finally getting to a tea that was finished less than a week ago. Isn’t everyone proud of me? I ended up buying a sample of this tea and rushed to try it ahead of schedule because I was intrigued by What-Cha’s description of it. It was presented as a low cost first flush Darjeeling “with vibrant floral notes and an apricot finish.” Not only did that sound lovely to me, but the Gopaldhara Estate has such a reputation for quality and consistency that I was eager to see how one of their lower end teas would compare to some of their rightfully lauded luxury products. All in all, this was not a bad first flush tea in the least, though I did find it to be significantly less refined and less flavorful than some of Gopaldhara’s higher end teas.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped about 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any subsequent infusions.

Prior to infusion, I noted subtle aromas of Muscatel, herbs, straw, and grass. After infusion, I found aromas of straw, grass, Muscatel, herbs, and hay. In the mouth, I noted fairly delicate flavors of herbs, cream, butter, grass, straw, hay, apricot, Muscatel, violet, dandelion, pine, almond, and spinach. The finish was smooth, yet fleeting. I noted very subdued impressions of cream, pine, Muscatel, grass, and flowers that did not linger all that long in the mouth after the swallow. I failed to note apricot on the finish. Maybe it was just me.

As stated above, this was not a bad first flush tea. I only recall trying one other first flush tea from Gopaldhara and I cannot say that it thrilled me all that much. At this point, I suppose I just tend to naturally favor their summer and autumn flush teas. Overall, this tea displayed admiral complexity compared to some other Darjeeling teas I have tried at or near this price point, but it did not display enough strength or longevity for my taste. Still, I could see this being a decent daily drinker or an adequate introduction to first flush Darjeelings.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Cream, Dandelion, Grass, Hay, Herbs, Muscatel, Pine, Spinach, Straw, Violet

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Yes, I love unsmoked Lapsangs! This LS is deep woodsy, orange, creamy, and malty. It reminds me of a chocolate orange. It does get dry and bitter in the later infusions. I got 7 reinfusions.

Full review, along with other Teabento black tea reviews, on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/black-teas-teabento/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 15 ML
Daylon R Thomas

Are you gonna try the oolongs? I’ve been curious, but I am on the fence.

Oolong Owl

I have 5 of their oolongs. A review will be coming eventually.

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56
drank Bonfire Toffee by Bluebird Tea Co.
2244 tasting notes

When I have sipped this down, it will be a good day. That day is not today, but I am determined it will be soon!
This just does nothing for me. Its a watery, pale thing, not rich and flavorful as I would wish it to be.
Alas!

Evol Ving Ness

Another one that sounds like it should be good. A sad thing when the imagination is far better than the actual product.

Evol Ving Ness

And also, yay you, for getting through the ones which are less than stimulating.

Rosehips

Thank you! I am really pleased to be getting through them. I am trying to curate my cupboard in a more thoughtful way going forward.

Evol Ving Ness

Great ambitions! For me, it is all about having a great stock base of teas which I adore and also experimentation enough to make grand new discoveries. And as we know, experimentation can also lead to a good number of dogs and the vicious cycle of forced sipping down the dogs continues.

gmathis

I couldn’t agree more. Many, many dogs and their puppies to go at my house! (Tea mates and multiplies when you put it in a dark cupboard. Once I thought it was just mice giggling. Now I know better.)

Rosehips

The teas do! Suddenly you end up with weird hybrid blends all because you cannot leave tea unsupervised, lest it multiply!

Evol Ving Ness

hahahha :)

Oh, and then there’s the relentless shuffling and reshuffling of the tea cupboard and tea baskets and tea boxes and so on until the explosion is somewhat held in control.

gmathis

It’s chaos theory at my house. I can stack four tins neatly in a symmetrical row, go to bed, and in the morning two are upside down and one has mysteriously gravitated to the bottom of the basket across the room ;)

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89

Now that I have had some time to rest and have my head on somewhat straight again, let’s kick off this Sunday with a blast from the past. This was yet another tea I reviewed last month, yet like quite a few others, I never got around to posting a formal review on Steepster. So, without further ado, here goes.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of char, wood, caramelized banana, and graham cracker. The rinsed leaves presented new aromas of coffee beans and toasted rice. The first infusion showed hints of grass and fruitiness on the nose. In the mouth, I found flavors of sweetgrass, watercress, cattail shoots, cream, butter, char, graham cracker, cinnamon, wood, and caramelized banana. Subsequent infusions saw the notes of coffee and toasted rice appear in the mouth. I also picked up on hints of vanilla, elderberry, and blackberry. Subtler impressions of squash, minerals, orchid, roasted walnut, and honey flitted in and out of focus in the background. The later infusions demonstrated a more pronounced minerality on the nose and in the mouth. A touch of buttered popcorn emerged toward the end of the session, while lingering traces of wood, char, and cream remained on the palate.

As charcoal roasted oolongs go, this one was very nice. It was a complex tea, yet it was also very subtle. Each aroma and flavor component was integrated very well. If you are the type of person who prefers toasty, mellow teas, I could see this being a perfect fit for you. Personally, I greatly enjoyed this tea, but I ended up wishing that it were not so even-tempered throughout the session. In places, it was almost too even keel for my taste.

Flavors: banana, Blackberry, Butter, Char, Cinnamon, Coffee, Cream, Fruity, Graham, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Orchid, Popcorn, Toasted Rice, Vanilla, Vegetal, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Ken

I really need to get some of this!

Evol Ving Ness

Where do you find cattail shoots? What are cattail shoots? How do you even know what cattail shoots taste like?

And so on.

eastkyteaguy

Evol, the term cattail refers to at least a couple of species of semi-aquatic perennial plants that are widely distributed in North America and Europe. They are sometimes referred to as bulrush, reedmace, or corn dog grass (the dry flower spikes look like corn dogs). They are generally found in ditches, along the banks of ponds, and generally, any marshy area. They’re prized by foragers, hikers, and survivalists because they are very useful. The dry stalks and flower spikes can be used as a fuel source, and top to bottom, many parts of the plant are edible. They can even be used to make flour. I know about them because I live on farmland that contains marshy drainage areas and two ponds and they grow everywhere. The plants are highly invasive and I have to cut them back every year. The shoots have a muddy, grassy aroma owing to the habitat in which they grow and kind of a starchy, but almost cucumber-like flavor. They don’t taste bad, but you should wash them very thoroughly in order to avoid sickening yourself.

eastkyteaguy

Just for clarification, the area in which I live is basically split between gently sloping, heavily forested hills and marshy lowlands. Space for commercial agriculture is and always has been pretty much nonexistent, so foraging was once a commom means of obtaining food. With hunting, fishing, and hiking being popular activities here, many people also still forage in the field partly due to it being a part of traditionally culture, but also to keep from exhausting available resources.

Evol Ving Ness

Ah, bullrushes! (And yes, they do look like corn dogs. :)

I had no idea that parts of them were edible. Nor did I know that they had other uses.

And yes, yes, google could be my friend for much of this, but I do very much appreciate your taking the time to explain. It all makes so much more sense with the information and how it pertains to your context. So, thank you.

eastkyteaguy

No problem.

Evol Ving Ness

Also, it is very helpful and interesting to understand more about the places that we all live as our environments are quite different.

Last week, I had the pleasure of being in the countryside here where there is a patch of bullrushes in a muddy, swampy place near the train tracks. Otherwise, I live in a densely populated multicultural city and have access to bullrushes only when I wander down to the ravines which thread through and under the city. This gives you an idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojd76550_n8

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This was a pit stop along a brief hei cha journey that actually began over a year ago. I sampled some tian jian a while ago and enjoyed it, so I invested in another tian jian, some liu bao, and some fu just to get some bearings on the hei cha world.

Much like my liu bao experience, my fu experience has required some getting used to. It is very yeasty and grainy – almost starchy – and not at all what you get from any other tea.

It’s not bad; in fact, it is intriguing because of how different it is. I had an easier time aligning tian jian with hong cha (sort of), and liu bao with ripe pu’erh. This guy, though, stands alone. Imagine putting a little brewer’s yeast into a black tea breakfast blend and you get sort of close.

Anyway, I would certainly recommend this to anyone who really enjoys exploring the breadth and depth of Chinese teas. Because it is so different from everything else, it is a necessary pit stop. It took me a full year to wrap my head around it, and I still am, to be honest. Probably not a re-purchase for me, but I’m holding a little back so I can revisit it in another year or so.
*
Dry leaf: brewer’s yeast, black tea breakfast blend. In preheated vessel – stronger aromas as before, with notes of starchy cooked yam, and hints of grape syrup and bruleed sugar

Smell: brewer’s yeast, cooked yam, dry spices

Taste: brewer’s yeast, milky mild black tea breakfast blend, hints of dark caramel. Aftertaste of hardwood, cream of wheat, with hints of lemongrass.

tanluwils

Have you tried Tibetan Kang brick or Yi Qing Yuan chunks Scott sells? They’re also quite special! Probably less yeasty and more smooth medicinal notes.

apefuzz

No, I haven’t. Thanks for the recommendations!

apefuzz

By the way, Scott just added this for those want to embark on their own hei cha journey: https://yunnansourcing.com/collections/new-products/products/hei-cha-sampler-guangxi-liu-bao-and-hunan-fu-brick

tanluwils

Yes, I’ve seen this one. I need to try the last one in particular – 2012 Gao Jia Shan “Wild Tian Jian”. The other TJs I’ve had from Scott are really interesting teas. Do you prefer any particular hei cha?

apefuzz

I can’t say I prefer anything in particular just yet. I do have some liu bao lined up for my next YS purchase. I was surprised at the quality of the experience. I have to check out your recommendations too.

Rasseru

The kang tea is waaaay different from Fu bricks, it doesnt have the yeast/cake dough thing going on at all, more of a clean fruitier.

I cant get my head around this type of tea either. I bought one and try it every once in a while and ponder it, then move on

tanluwils

Tibetan kang zhuan was the first tea I had in China that I actually wanted to purchase more of. Before that, I had only known ripe pu’er served at dim sum restaurants and jasmine green tea, which I don’t care for. Tibetan kang zhuan is probably my favorite heicha. It’s got a smooth, clean, sweet, medicinal quality to it that’s different from aged pu’er.

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90

Wow, this makes for an excellent grandpa style tea. The tea was like drinking dew on top of fresh linens near a lemon tree. As in, it was a typical white tea with a fresh, pure, sweet, and floral profile. I continue to recommend this one for white tea lovers, and it is something that I will continue to try to bring to work-because it is relaxing.

On the same note, What-Cha has MANY new offerings that I am highly willing to try; it’s just difficult because I need to minimize my finances to essentials, and hopefully investments and new skills…and following through on those efforts. I gotta admit that this week was not great, but pretty average for a teacher. Let’s see if I can get through a year.

Fjellrev

Teachers are way underpaid!

Daylon R Thomas

It’s actually a really mixed bag as to weather or not teachers are underpaid, often depending on the district and the costs of living for the area. I’ve met teachers who make around $70,000 with certifications in Social Studies and special ed., but for entry level teachers, their pay is 36,000 entering the field. The average pay of 56,000 is not bad with decent benefits and the option to have a job for the summer-but there’s the question of whether you actually have a pensions, 501 k, or some kind of investment for retirement; or better yet, how many student loans you have to pay off. I’m in student teaching right now for a full year, and I am basically paying $30,000 to work for free this year. I have full financial aid this year, but I still have my own amount of loans leftover to pay off from my actual degree. So from that perspective, teachers are definitely underpaid.

From there on, the question gets complicated. Some consider teachers to be a low skilled profession limited to education or the academic subject that person is teaching-nevermind there are several teachers with master’s degrees or at least have some skill on the side. It’s also otherwise hard to compare to other professions in terms of it being “underpaid” on paper because it has unique needs and considerations. There have been some assertions that we are paid well compared to other professionals working the same amount of hours and a few tax deductions, but again, the time “off” is typically spent on another job, lesson planning, professional develop, and continued education for the sake of what we are teaching. There are the expenses that the teacher invests in their classroom just to make sure its a good environment based on what is available to them. Otherwise, there are very few incentives to innovate depending on the school and district, and way too many opportunities for the profession to be undermined as glorified babysitting teaching students irrelevant material for the real world.

I can go on and on since the topic of education is so complicated on its own in the U.S., but I won’t go further so that we all don’t burn rubber for the sake of burning rubber.

Daylon R Thomas

Wow, my head is spinning.

Fjellrev

Right, my mom is a retired teacher, so I know the intricacies and factors involved. Simply put, after seeing the time and effort she put into her job (granted, not all teachers are nearly as devoted), and money for supplies and so on and so forth, it’s something I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole.

CrowKettle

My mother is also a retired teacher, and I second what Fjellrev says. :)

Teatotaler

“ The tea was like drinking dew on top of fresh linens near a lemon tree.” Love it! Wonderful description. I must have this tea!

Daylon R Thomas

It’s insane how many people on this site is related to teaching in one way or the other.

LuckyMe

I’m yet another person whose parent is a retired teacher. I echo everything people have mentioned above. The right school district with enough resources to support its teachers is often the deciding factor between whether teaching becomes a rewarding career or just another aggravating job. Best of luck to you as you embark on your new career Daylon!

apefuzz

Current teacher here; 12 years under my belt. I wish you the best of luck with your career. Student teaching can suck – paying someone so you can work is a bit disheartening, especially when you hear of college sophomores in business or engineering getting their first paid internship! Anyway, hang in there. If things don’t feel right, keep your options open.
In the meantime – keep enjoying quality tea!

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81

I’m not normally a huge green oolong fan. Probably explains why I’ve taken so long to try this one.

And while the tropical notes described are faint and more prominent on the aftertaste, this IS a very creamy and drinkable oolong. My son keeps stealing away sips. I’m pleasantly surprised.

Flavors: Creamy, Smooth

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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92

You know, I took notes for a review of this tea nearly three weeks ago, but must have forgotten to post a review. Oh well, better late than never, I suppose. I know I have mentioned it before, but I am a big fan of the teas produced by the Castleton Estate, and not surprisingly, I greatly enjoyed this one.

I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped about 3 grams of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any subsequent infusions.

Prior to infusion, I noted a mixture of hay, grass, nut, and herb aromas produced by the dry leaf material. After infusion, another sniff revealed green pepper, herb, nut, grass, wood, and malt scents. In the mouth, I found flavors of grass, hay, straw, green pepper, wood, malt, lemon, green apple, pear, roasted almond, and freshly cut flowers. The finish was smooth and pleasant, offering lingering notes of grass, hay, herbs, malt, and lemon. Unlike many Darjeelings, I did not get any Muscatel character at all. This tea was maltier, nuttier, and much more vegetal.

This was one of the most interesting first flush Darjeelings I have ever tried. I don’t really feel that it had all that much in common with some of the other teas from this region that I have been drinking lately. And as odd as the aroma and flavor components may have initially seemed, they worked together beautifully. I would definitely recommend this tea to fans of first flush Darjeelings, but I would do so with the caveat that if you are looking for an overtly fruity tea with any noteworthy amount of the telltale Darjeeling Muscatel character, you may be in for a shock.

Flavors: Almond, Flowers, Grass, Green Apple, Green Pepper, Hay, Herbs, Lemon, Malt, Pear, Straw

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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99

delicious stuff. Lovely ‘wild’ fruit taste, with less bitterness than others I have had from around this area. A hint of steamed darkened fruity leaf in there.

It just goes and goes with limited change to the taste of the steeps. Robust good leaf. Soft gummy plump mouthfeel and more candy huigan. So good :)

Flavors: Fruity

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85

I’ve surprised myself by developing a craving for this one over the last couple of weeks. Pu’erh is a thing my brain is still afraid of, even though I’ve tried enough by now to know that I actually quite like it. My first experience with this one was good, as far as I can recall. My reacquaintance with it was, possibly, even better. It’s the sweetest pu’erh I’ve ever tried, with a really prominent sugar cane flavour and a decent dose of creaminess. It mellows with successive steeps, the initial heady sweetness fading as more earthy, mulchy flavours develop. It’s kinda perfect for this time of year, and I’m just a little bit addicted. I’m nearly done with my pouch, and this is one I’m (quite unexpectedly) going to miss.

Preparation
1 tsp

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94
drank Swann's Way by Liquid Proust Teas
1811 tasting notes

Sipdown :(

I got a turtle chocolate vibe from this. (here in western Canada we have a chocolate shop called Purdy’s that has the world’s best version of a turtle with high quality milk or dark chocolate, salted pecans, and amazing caramel. This is what I think of when I consider chocolate/caramel/pecans, but I suppose Turtles are a well-recognised brand in the US)

-dark chocolate and cocoa
-very nutty pecan flavour
-the second and third steep had more sweetness to them
-a complex base made from a bunch of teas that go very well together

Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Nuts, Nutty, Pecan, Sweet, Tannin

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 5 min, 15 sec
Evol Ving Ness

A dark chocolate Turtle vibe—awesome!

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First ripe purchased in almost a year! https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ4pBGLgrBG/?taken-by=liquidproust

When you see quality leaf being fermented without the use of shovels and feet, it’s got to be worth trying right?

Well today I went into this tea after it settled for a few days and I really enjoyed it’s subtle notes. The rinse was clear and by time I hit the first brew, there was a nice ruby red tint to the liquid. Brewing this was really fun because it wasn’t harsh on the mouth. From my experiences, this will become a very lovely tea for someone with my sort of taste buds in just a few more years. As someone who enjoys aged sheng, this will approach that taste a lot better than other shou have that I have tried.

Really looking forward to trying this once a month to track it’s ability to drink on cold nights and with certain foods!

Natethesnake

I’ve never been big on shou but I got a sample of this and was quite impressed. I immediately got hungry for Peking duck.

Shine Magical

I have this one too… just broke it up and put it in a crock

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75

Tea Swap Session

I was sipping this tea for 4 days prior to quitting. When I had opened the sample bag, I saw that it was incredibly compressed. I gave it a few rinses to ‘open’ up more, but due to the compression, it mocked me by looking the same as it had when I first started the session. I steeped it a few times after the first two rinses, but nothing much happened to the compression. The flavor was a little weak, too, so I had to force the chunk apart with my fingers; which seemed to help bring the tea to life.

Day 1 Notes (4 steeps): Nothing much going on with the tea. Pretty light in flavor/color. After brewing this a few times there is still a very tight chunk of tea, so I broke it apart with my fingers and will brew tomorrow.

Day 2 Notes (3 steeps): A little more flavor. Definitely an aged tea. Has that slight basement note, but not your grandma’s basement note/smell. More like, when your mother becomes a grandma, but that hasn’t happened, yet smell/note. Nothing really mind blowing…

Day 4 Notes (Day 3 wasn’t noted; 6 steeps): Starting to lighten up again, but started out bold. Thick mouthfeel, dark liquor. Uncooked pea pods notes (?), still a hint of your mother’s basement (mildew?), and leather (?). Reminds me of a ripe (fake ‘aged’ raw).

My notes were rushed on Day 4, so I’m not really sure what I was writing/thinking. Ha-ha.

tperez

Haha “not your Grandma’s basement” :)

gmathis

Someday, when I am old and retired and have time to waste, I want to go back through the archives here and write down all my favorite tea descriptors. Grandma’s basement will definitely be in the top 10!

S.G. Sanders

Gmathis :)

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drank 2017 Turtle Dove by White2Tea
1254 tasting notes

Great to drink now grandpa style or daily drinker, or age for later. This brick is compressed very tightly and you will need to be cautious. White tea bricks are always a disaster.

The notes are hot forest floor, honey, paperback book, light molassess, and malt. Grandpa styles gives you more of a meld of malt, milk, and floral, almost like a dian hong with 6 infusions.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2017-turtle-dove-white-tea-brick-white2tea/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 18 ML
M Mack

Well that just sounds lovely.

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88

Home sick today…

I figured I’d make myself a hot cup of tea; I thought that would be really nice and comforting! The problem is that I made the tea, brought it to my room and then fell asleep before touching it. When I finally did wake up, the tea was of course cold. It still tasted delicious; like pistachio pudding! It even had a thicker and more viscous mouthfeel which emphasized that pudding quality. It just wasn’t the soothing, hot cuppa that I had envisioned…

Fjellrev

I’m home sick today too. Ugh.

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Goodness. Prune caramel high mountain assam black tea goodness.

Flavors: Caramel, Stonefruits

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83
drank Hummingbird by A Quarter to Tea
8861 tasting notes

Another one from this morning while i look to weigh my cupboard and see how far behind on my sipdown goals i’m at. At least i’ve started working on my puerh a little more… it’s the bulk of my cupboard so i really need to. I’m growing tired of this one to be honest…i think the nut flavouring in here is interfering with my banana love that i want. Still tasty, just won’t need to restock this one after getting though the 1.5oz i have.

VariaTEA

I should make this as a chocolate milk latte!

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80

Sipdown (340)!

This is a really frustrating sipdown for me – but probably not for the reasons you’d think. I finished this one off this time around as a latte and it was absolutely delicious. Sweet, bright notes of kiwi (kumquat?) with a really rich, thick mouthfeel and creamy/tangy cheesecake flavour amplified by the latte format. It was insanely delicious, and really unique.

I’m frustrated thought because this is such an insanely unique tea and I really, really would have liked to continue exploration of it – but I only got two cups of it. I mean, that’s 100% my fault because it was this latte that just totally murdered the leaf/used it all up. If I wanted more cups, I should have split up the leaf and steeped this normally as a hot tea.

So I’m stuck between the fact I had an AMAZING latte that I do not regret making, and the fact that I really wanted to have more experiences with this tea…

Arby

Ah yes, using too much leaf but not regretting it because it was delicious. We have all been there. Such is the way of the latte.

OrthodoxCuppa

The idea of a tangy kiwi tasting tea latte sounds like something that would be delicious! I might have to give this a try.

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So yesterday, I cracked open the mosaic travel mug that I purchased months and months and months ago and never used. Today, I cracked open the variable temperature Breville teakettle that I bought months and months and months and months ago and never used.
You see a pattern developing here?

My Bodum teakettle has been on its last legs for a long while. Still, I liked it and was quite attached to it. It was simple and boiled enough water for one 12 ounce travel mug. No fancy settings, just boil and stop. Despite that, I got to be quite good at creating my own variable temperature controls by adding an appropriate amount of cold water to steep oolongs, greens, and rooibos to best effect.

Enter now the variable temperature kettle. Temperature controls are not all that as I had figured out how to do it my way and make it work. However, the four travel mug or more capacity is shaking my tea world up :)

I seem to have quite the collection of travel mugs and thermoses. I use them for cold steeps for refreshing post-exercise beverages. I carry and misplace them in various bags for various purposes I carry throughout my day. And I often use them at home, keeping one or two with me wherever I am and whatever I am doing, to warm up my cup to ideal drinking temperature.

Now with this new teakettle’s capacity, I am able to steep a lot of tea, and fast. So, I am able to fill one, two, three, four travel mugs in one go. This ease extends to enjoyment of oolongs as well.

So about the tea now. The first steep is fruity sweet, caramelized sweet potato, with a roast undertone. There is that some of Wuyi tangy bitterness, not bitter exactly but metallic vegetal earth. Hard to describe. The scent is a walk in the woods with stewing caramelized fruit wafting in the breeze. Magnificent.

The roast mineral aspect comes through with more force in subsequent steepings. The caramel sweetness of the longan wood carries through to about steep four and then begins to fade but is still present some eight steeps later.

In the later steeps, a peach flavour emerged while the roastiness subsided. The tea was still giving, but at eight steeps I was pretty much done. I could have done a cold steep with the leaves to enjoy the peach flavours the next day. Quite exceptional.
Daylon R Thomas

Wasn’t that one of the club membership teas? I’ve been wanting to try a Longhan roasted oolong for a while, especially seeing how some processors do them with black teas.

Evol Ving Ness

This one is likely too roasted and dark for you, Daylon, and you would complain about that. :)

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100

Yeah, totally enjoyable. And several steeps worth of enjoyable. Honeyed peach with the backbone of a solid Yunnan.

Maddy Barone

I had this one last year and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’ll probably place another order from them in a month or so. I always want to see what is new with them. So many lovely flavors.

Evol Ving Ness

A talented blender indeed.

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100

I adore this one. I may have said this more than once. This may be the only tea in my relatively short tea life that I’ve gone through three times a hundred grams of, and I tend to steep this one twice.

The secret of this tea, in my humble opinion, is to slightly under leaf and to steep fast, like two or two and a half minutes. Any more leaf or added steeping time and you are looking at more astringency than is pleasant.

This one also takes milk nicely though I tend to drink it black and unsweetened.

All in all, such a win.

I sometimes forget all about this tea and then, when I start poking around in my stash—which is currently all upside down after my move back home so all sorts of neglected items are coming to the surface— and I stumble across it, I get that delighted joy feeling and it is all a big YES.
Rosehips

Oooh. This sounds good.

JakeB

Like this one myself.

Fjellrev

Always a great feeling to rediscover a loved tea.

MrQuackers

This reminds me of a another Vanilla Ceylon tea. I can still see the ceylon tea and the vanilla pieces.

MrQuackers

Ps this is very different from the usual “vanilla flavoured items” that use flavouring as opposed to beans.

Sil

that’s only because you can’t get mariage freres regularly heh

OrthodoxCuppa

Another tea for my wishlist!

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85

I’ve always liked this one. Smooth and naturally sweet and creamy. It really is a dessert tea! This morning it was a touch astringent, though. Maybe I stepped it too long? Or maybe the creaminess is fading with age? I still have about 7 or 8 tea bags of this. so I’ll give it another try soon.

gmathis

It’s good with milk.

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