Featured & New Tasting Notes
Not sure how this compares to last year’s tea but this one is good. There is a light malty note along with a certain nutty flavor and some chocolate notes. This is definitely one of my favorite black teas.
I brewed this one time with 4 pearls or about 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water in a 16oz Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper for 3 minutes.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt, Nutty
Got this yesterday. It is pretty nice. It has a malty note and I would say a chocolate note. Can’t say that it is better or worse than last year’s tea.
I brewed this one time in a Teavana Glass Perfect Tea Maker/Gravity Steeper with 3 tsp leaf and 200 degree water for 3 minutes.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
Buttery, custard-like, and a wee bit tart. Vegetal with the slightest whiff of coconut in the second steep, or am I dreaming that up?
My tastebuds may be clouded with vanilla chocolate.
Subsequent steeps ensured that no, I was not dreaming up the coconut. It’s there with the butter and the vegetal nature of the tea. Six or seven steeps later, it’s all still there. Gently, gently, but there.
This may be my first experience with tea from Chiang Rai, Thailand. I do so wish that I had had enthusiasm for tea exploration when I was there. Yeah, nope. No recollection of tea drinking adventures there. At all.
I bought a bunch of Tieguanyin samples and then opted for this as a smaller free sample, which is too bad because I’d take an Ali Shan over a Tieguanyin any day of the week (and I have so many Tieguanyin packs). Oh, well. That’s what this mass oolong drinking marathon is all about; getting my priorities straight!
I have two cups of this on the go: one is a gongfu style (+10sec) and the other is a “western” 1-2min steep at +200F. Both get a rinse, as usual.
Both cups emit a delicious concoction of vanilla, flowers, grass, corn husk, and even a hint of jam. The first cups are sweet, creamy, with notes of corn and jam. I taste a bit of coconut too. A butter note acts as a thickener to the broth, and make this a rich cup. Grass is, thankfully, not the distinctive force it’s been in some of the other green oolongs I’ve had of late; the vegetal notes are more distinctive in the western cup.
Anyways, there are lots of great notes on this tea, so I’m going to do the lazy thing and not ramble on about each individual steep.
Steep Count: 3 (x2) (ongoing)
Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Grass, Jam, Kale, Vanilla
Cup Scent: butter, toasted nuts, flowers, savoury seaweed sprinkles (subtle)
To taste, it follows the precedent set by the scent, making for a savoury cup full of cream, butter, nuts, and gentle flowers. It’s probably the most mild “Jin Xuan,” natural or scented, I’ve had in recent times. It’s nothing special in my books, but it’s buttery-cream profile makes for a comforting cup, with excellent steep value.
I drank up all my other Jin Xuans, so it’s nice to discover I have some left. I didn’t realize what this was or pay too much attention when I initially placed an order online. It took seeing the unfurled leaves to realize what this was. Whoops.
Steep Count: 6
Florals reminiscent of dandelion came out strong on the third steep. It reminds me that dandelion wine is on my “too try” list.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Dandelion, Floral, Roasted nuts, Vegetal
I spent a good part of yesterday at a silent meditation retreat in the city. This is the tea that I picked as the first one of the day to set me in motion. The rest of the day I spent with various oolongs.
My experience with 52Teas berried black teas has been that there hasn’t been enough berry. 52Teas appears to be remedying this issue here with this tea. Hurray for the tea to berry balance! The raspberry flavour is true and real and comes through with good proportion to the lovely black base.
Even though I had given the bag a good shake to distribute all things, I am not really detecting the piquant element here. Even if I squint.
Maybe the next cup or the one after that will be the spicy one.
I have considered that a bit of cream here would not go amiss. And vanilla cream, even better.
That said, a very enjoyable cup, nonetheless. I am starting this day off with another cup with similar results. Lovely.
Now if the neighbour with the tile cutter machinery would come to his senses and realize that it is Sunday and that construction noise is against the law. People, *&^%!
Sad sipdown, that now puts me in dilemma on whether or not I want to place a premature order at What-Cha or to wait a couple sad months without this tea. I’d have to speed through the White Rhino or Golden Snail, or suddenly fixate on trying that Rose Jin Xuan. Mm, rose cream (I’ve already vividly imagined this future tea drinking experience).
On Sticky Rice: I’ve decided that, while this is a casual drinker, the unique savoury flavour also makes this somewhat of a mood tea. I’m usually in the mood but sometimes I’m not. If I neglect the early steeps it can get a little too vegetal for my tastes. That’s why this doesn’t quite make it into my 91-100 flawless teas, despite the copious amount of notes I’ve written.
Steep Count: 3
Three steepings was about my average across the board but this tea can easily handle 5-6 when I’m committed. It helps that at 90C, I can steep it at 45s start and be completely satisfied with the flavour; What-Cha recommends 1-2min but I’m a flavour wimp.
(2016 fall harvest)
Flavors: Cream, Rice, Vegetal
This is the most coconut-y tea I’ve ever tasted. It’s like eating a delicious coconut cream pie or coconut macaroon. Intermingled with the coconut are notes of tropical fruit – pineapple, passionfruit, and lychee – and a burst of sweet flowers. The body is rich and the mouthfeel buttery. I got 8 excellent steeps out of it.
Shibi tea might just be my favorite tea from TTC. It’s consistently good and although the coconut was a little more intense in this harvest than usual, it had the juicy fruit and floral tones that really set it apart from other teas.
Flavors: Coconut, Flowers, Nectar, Tropical
Finally starting on my Chawangshop group buy sheng. This one was good. There was just a little bitterness but not much. I persisted for maybe six steeps. There was a fair amount of astringency to this on. It quickly developed a sweet note although I do not think I would use the word apricot, it wasn’t quite that sweet. This one was good and is one I would consider picking up the next time I order from Chawangshop.
I steeped this twelve times in a 150ml gaiwan with 7.4g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min, 1.5 min, and 2 minutes.
Found a wee bit of this, thankfully. It’s been a challenging week and yes, I know it is only Tuesday. You know, like when the universe decides to pour. Thank goodness for meditation. Seriously.I like this a lot. Totally works for me. There’s plenty of mango and the genmaicha is just what it is supposed to be—green with roasty toasty rice. The mango lends a bit of sweetness and the green and roasty adds that other je ne sais pas quoi.
Not quite sure what wasn’t working for others with this one, possibly that it is not overly mango or overly sweet. For me, it is just perfect as is. Nothing missing. Nothing over the top.
Flavors: Green, Mango, Rice, Roasted, Toasty
This tea is a mix of good and bad. There were no unpleasant flavors and certainly no wet storage flavors. You could say the dominant flavor was a sweet note. However it was weak and not truly flavorful in nature. Who knows if this will improve and the sweet note get stronger. I do like this better than other Liu Baos I have tasted which have a heavy wet storage note.
I brewed this eight times in a 110ml teapot with 6.2g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Here is one I meant to get around to a lot sooner than I did. I had hoped to drink this last weekend, but obviously didn’t manage to find the time. Unfortunately, I still have numerous samples from Verdant Tea. It is my intention to start going through them a little more quickly and get reviews up in a more timely fashion. We’ll see how that goes.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 12 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 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, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of lilac, chrysanthemum, marigold, violet, green apple, and butter. After the rinse, the floral aromas intensified and were joined by emerging scents of cream, vanilla, kale, parsley, and grass. The first infusion saw the tea’s savory and vegetal qualities express themselves more fully on the nose to balance the strong floral aromas. In the mouth, I noted butter, cream, violet, lilac, grass, and green apple underscored by subtle traces of vanilla, parsley, kale, chrysanthemum, and marigold. Subsequent infusions brought out the vanilla, parsley, kale, chrysanthemum, and marigold in the mouth while impressions of celery, cucumber, crabapple, mild cinnamon, and minerals began to express themselves on the nose and on the palate. Later infusions maintained a largely savory and vegetal character, with minerals, grass, kale, parsley, butter, and cream notes underscored by faint wisps of green apple, vanilla, and marigold.
This was an interesting and rewarding oolong. I adored Master Zhang’s Autumn 2015 Mao Xie for its spicy, herbal, floral, and fruity qualities, and this tea was relatively similar. I did find it, however, to be a bit lighter and slicker in the mouth and more floral, savory, and vegetal in terms of aroma and flavor than last year’s offering. Of the two, I preferred the earlier tea, but this one was still well worth trying.
Flavors: Butter, Celery, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Green Apple, Kale, Mineral, Parsley, Vanilla, Violet
Came across a tiny bit of this in my sip down basket. Delicious. However, I’d like a bit more caramel and a bit more pumpkin and a bit more cheesecake. I am detecting only a bit of caramel and the slightest bit of of cream on a lovely base. A delicious cup—and I’d happily drink many many more as is—but not quite living up to its name.
That said, to be fair, this leaf is getting a bit old. It is from fairly early on in Anne’s reign.
I finished up the last of this tea earlier in the afternoon. I have been trying to have at least one cup of green tea every evening for the past week, and this was the one I turned to most frequently. I cannot say that it impressed me all that much, but I did find it suitable as a no-frills daily drinker. For me, it was the type of green tea I could just throw back and not think much about, but in order to give it a fair shake, I opted to gongfu it for the review session.
After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 5 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 7 seconds, 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, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of malt, smoke, and hay. After the rinse, I began to detect emerging hints of grilled corn, roasted chestnuts, and citrus. The first infusion produced an incredibly similar, though smokier, more citrusy bouquet. In the mouth, I picked up mild notes of damp grass, hay, malt, smoke, roasted grain, and roasted chestnuts underscored by traces of grilled corn and indistinct citrus. Subsequent infusions brought out the citrus aromas and flavors. I began to detect distinct lemon zest, grapefruit pith, orange peel, and kumquat impressions. I also began to pick up aromas and flavors of minerals, cedar, pine nuts, green beans, and char, as well as a more pronounced grilled corn impression that soon began to remind me more of corn husks. The later infusions were heavy on mineral, grass, hay, roasted chestnut, green bean, corn husk, smoke, and char notes, though I could still detect faint impressions of pine nuts and lemon zest at certain points.
All in all, I found this tea to be pleasant and drinkable, but nothing fantastic. It was very basic and easy-going, but I did not find it all that interesting. Honestly, I cannot say that I would recommend it, but at the same time, I cannot caution others to avoid it. Others who try this tea may ultimately feel differently, but it was just sort of “meh” for me.
Flavors: Cedar, Char, Chestnut, Citrus, Corn Husk, Grain, Grapefruit, Grass, Green Beans, Hay, Lemon Zest, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Pine, Smoke
Hands down among the top 3 raw puerh in terms of leaf quality… beautiful beautiful beautiful leaf.
Anyways, Hojo’’s info
“It is made of the naturally farmed
tea.It gives light body and extremely
long lasting after taste. Tea gives flioral
note thanks to slightly lighter panfrying
process. This tea will also age
very well as it is very rich in poly
phenol and minerals.”
This is a must purchase for me after I had two sessions of it. The tea goes on for 20+ steeps and it’s absolutely amazing. Hopefully there is a 2017 that comes out as well so I can compare the two over time.
Solid light taste with floral notes inbetween the vegetable notes and a light raw puerh note that isn’t hard on the mouth at all.
This Purple Leaf tea steeps up beautifully! I suggest you check out my photos in the link at the end of my review. You get a unique pale purple, that turns pink with lemon.
The flavor is quite light, a little vegetal and plummy. However the texture is quite dry and it makes your whole digestive tract dry. I steeped this low temperature, so the balance of flavor output and astringency is VERY fussy. Someone cold brew this and report back. It is good if you like really delicate, dry green tea.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/purple-leaf-tea-justea/
I do not know if the unpleasant note I get from this tea is from the fermentation or if it was wet stored. It tastes much like a wet storage note. A taste of either wet wood or perhaps bamboo. Maybe this one will improve with a couple of years of dry storage.
I steeped this eight times in a 75ml teapot with 5g leaf and boiling water. I gave it a 10 second rinse. I steeped it for 5 sec, 5 sec, 7 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, 25 sec, and 30 sec.
Zen has brought us quite a tasty Assam. Malty, not all that astringent, at least to my tastes, and a hint of caramel-like sweetness. I added some whole milk and it brought out the sweetness even more. It’s like I’m drinking tea with cream and sugar yet I didn’t add any sugar to this.
It was a good thing that I’ve run out of coffee to brew in the morning because it only pushed me to try this. It’s going really well with the new Pure Protein Mocha Brownie bars.
Oh look at that, according to Steepster, this is the 800th tea I’ve rated on here. I know I’ve tried even more than that, but that’s still cool.
So much has been happening and while I have enjoyed myself quite a bit, I really miss the higher volume of engagement within the tea community. Just got done at an anime convention where I cosplayed as Char Aznable; you can see here if you’d like https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10154629015982361&set=a.439108127360.221932.714617360&type=3&theater what is awesome about this is that the setup that we are next to is a Make a Wish project (which is why this is the pictured I am using, it means much more than the others)
Anyways, recently I bought this tea that looks all crazy on Global Tea Hut’s website: Aged Mountain Gate. I am almost sure the tea leaves are different that are used because look at it!!!
So the taste is confusing… as I drank it, blindfolded I would have said this is a 1 to 2 year old maocha. The hand pressing on this must allow it to retain that maocha’ness to it where the depth doesn’t withstand as many boiling baths. I am going to store this in my pumidor and hope that it develops more depth or something because right now it’s a mystery; though I am still new to it.
After working six days in a row, I treated myself to one of these yesterday evening, as well as a Palak Paneer wrap. I went to their High Street location for the first time and colour me impressed by the flavours of both the chai and wrap. I find that the more they expand throughout Edmonton, the more they are cutting corners on the quality, unfortunately. At their other locations, the chai seems to be more watered down and not as spicy, and the wraps aren’t as spicy and are smaller too.
Going to this location yesterday was like turning back the clock a few years. The Kashmire chai, which I always order half-sweet with soy milk, was heavier on the spice, and they were more generous with the pistachio and rose topping too. The wrap was also spicier and was larger than the ones I’ve ordered from their other locations. I hope this wasn’t just a coincidence!
I told myself not to eat badly (I swear I must have gained back a few pounds over these past couple months) but I just couldn’t resist this. It’s probably been half a year since I went to Remedy.
In conclusion, that was the best Kashmire chai I’ve had since moving back to Alberta.
Here’s another tea I have been working my way through over the past several days. I only have about 6 grams left as of this time and expect to finish the remainder tomorrow morning. Overall, I found this to be a mild, pleasant first flush Darjeeling.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped a fairly heaping teaspoon of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 194 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced a slightly floral, grassy, nutty bouquet. After infusion, I noted stronger floral aromas reminiscent of a combination of dandelion, chrysanthemum, and marigold, as well as touches of almond, hay, grass, malt, and pine needles. In the mouth, I picked up notes of lemon zest, herbs, grass, straw, pine needles, wood, malt, almond, and flowers underscored by subtle impressions of Muscatel and something of a butteriness. The finish was grassy, nutty, and malty with lingering pine needle and floral tones.
This was kind of a different first flush Darjeeling. It was very malty, nutty, and floral with less of a Muscatel and herbal presence than a number of others I have tried. I’ve noticed that a lot of folks list orange, mango, jasmine, and honeysuckle aromas and flavors when they describe the teas produced by the Oaks Estate, but I did not get any of that here. Truthfully, I let this tea go for some time and I could tell that it had perhaps lost a little of its luster, but overall, I still found it to be very enjoyable.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Herbs, Lemon Zest, Malt, Muscatel, Pine, Straw, Wood
It’s ma birtday, gonna party like it’s ma birtday, gonna sip Rou Gui like it’s ma birtday!
It’s also my first day without school or work in a week or two, and the first gray and rainy day in months. That may be a downer to some people, but personally I love the rain as it’s clean and refreshing and gives me an excuse to sit around playing music and sipping tea all day :)
This is a nice tea that brews a medium orange with a floral gardenia and spice aroma. Tastes of ripe fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, and slightly vegetal. Brown sugar sweetness and walnut-like tannins. Background notes of minerals, fresh mint leaf, and dried seafood-like umami. Great smell in the bottom of the cha hai!
A good tea, but quite a bit different than I remember YS’s Rou Gui being when I had it a few years ago.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Fruity, Gardenias, Marine, Mineral, Mint, Vanilla, Vegetal, Walnut
I know I have been missing in action for a couple of days, but I wanted to take some time off in order to recharge after a stressful week. I also wanted to finish off some of the older teas of which I still had larger amounts. This was a tea I started last month, but never got around to finishing for whatever reason. I have been working on finishing it up the last couple of days. I don’t normally drink many Ceylonese teas or tea blends these days, but I must say that I greatly enjoyed this one.
I kept my preparation simple for this tea. I steeped 1 full teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 205 F water for 5 minutes. If memory serves, Tealyra recommended an infusion of 3 minutes, but I tend to like black teas of this type brisk, strong, and tannic. That’s what I was going for here.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves produced subtle aromas reminiscent of a combination of molasses, sweet potatoes, honey, and wood. After infusion, the rich orange tea liquor produced strong aromas of malt, toast, roasted nuts, molasses, caramel, wood, and sweet potatoes. In the mouth, the tea liquor was lively and moderately astringent, offering pronounced notes of honey, brown toast, malt, wood, brown sugar, molasses, caramel, cream, sweet potato, orange rind, leather, and roasted nuts (chestnut and black walnut). The finish was smooth and satisfying. I noted nice lingering touches of malt, roasted nuts, toast, molasses, and honey.
This was a very nice Ceylon Orange Pekoe. It had plenty of character on the nose and in the mouth while avoiding the pronounced astringency and mild bitterness of some others. In my opinion, this would make an excellent morning or early afternoon tea. If you are a fan of straight Ceylonese black teas and/or black tea blends, I am willing to bet you will be satisfied with this one.
Flavors: Brown Sugar, Brown Toast, Caramel, Chestnut, Cream, Honey, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Orange, Sweet Potatoes, Walnut, Wood