Featured & New Tasting Notes

67
drank Nostalgia by Liquid Proust Teas
8177 tasting notes

GCTTB

thought i’d give this one another go since it was in the box. Turns out, i’m still sort of “meh” it’s just a little bland for me…kinda like a basic black tea.

Final Count: 82

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85

This was a sample Christina gave to me some time ago and I didn’t get around to trying it until now.

I did two quick rinses on this tea and brewed 10sec. This puerh is very sweet and creamy tasting and stayed that way for a few infusions (or at least as many infusion as I could drink , which is only 4). This is one I would like to have a cake of but it’s sold out AND I have too much puerh right now. I am trying to go through any samples I have to reduce my quantity. I plan on trying to get my count down to 15 or less for puerh in my collection.

Flavors: Creamy, Sweet

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83
drank Mesozoic Malt by Tea-Historic
1662 tasting notes

This is goooooood. Highly malty and bold with a slight astringency that comes across as sour, in a pleasant way. It lingers in the aftertaste. More astringency comes out as the tea cools. And when I say malty, I mean… enough to fill a malt ball. Ahhhh love it!
There is a slight dustiness underneath it all. Not in a bad way… more like the tea is covered in velvet, or rather the tea is sipped through a velvet cover? It’s an interesting sensation!
I love how complex this is. The molasses type note in mid swallow is fun as well, not something I see that often in an Assam, not this strongly anyhow! :)
Thanks for the sample Nicole!

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90
drank Bamboo Buddha by Zen Tea
1091 tasting notes

Finally a sipdown. This was my first experience with bamboo leaf, and I’m not inclined to try some more blends that use it. The problem with such a light tea is that you get so much in your sample that it isn’t really just a sample any more. My sample was only 15g I think …this did about 15 pots of tea. Anyway, I didn’t want to get rid of it, it is a lovely tea and all. I’m a bit bored with the flavour right now, but I’m sure I’ll be back.

Overall, very fruity with lots of mellow (not acidic) flavours of lemongrass, bamboo leaf, some sort of berry? (it isn’t generic berry flavour, but I can’t pinpoint which distinct berry it is), goji, and tropical fruits (papaya, pineapple, banana).

Flavors: Bamboo, banana, Berry, Dried Fruit, Fruity, Goji, Lemongrass, Pineapple, Sweet, Tropical

Indigobloom

Might be great for blending, to brighten up other teas :)

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90

I love watching these pearls unfurl in my clear glass steeper: like teeny delicate question marks tinting the water as they steep. Beautiful tea, delicate and fragrant. The jasmine scent is just the right balance for the tea itself. My afternoon had been moving along rather nicely and yet this fragrant tea has made it even better.

Thank you, Angel, for the sample.

Drinking this lovely tea throughout the afternoon brought me back in spirit to this lovely lovely town that I stayed in for a time in China and the teahouses that I spent hours contemplating life in. The teahouses I am talking about and the town that I am referring to are pictured here. (To be clear, this is not my blog.) One of my very favourite places in China. http://www.bootsintheoven.com/boots_in_the_oven/2012/03/zigong-sichuan.html

Flavors: Green, Jasmine

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Inkling

Your description of how these steep is so poetic! I can see it. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Inkling. :)

TeaVivre

I do love the Zi Gong Leng Chi Tu Rabbit Meat, so delicious!

Indigobloom

I second that. Always enjoy reading your posts, regardless of the tea (I’m not a Jasmine fan). And rabbit meat… I’ve never had that before!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Indigobloom. Very kind.

TeaVivre, I loved ZiGong, the street bbqs, the hotpots, the tea rooms, street noodles on the shopping street, and yes, the rabbit too. I liked everything about it really. Actually, I loved Chengdu as well although they are very different, Chengdu being a big city. But there is something very special about Sichuan and its people and its food and culture. It left a deep impression.

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Golden flat needles, of a lighter shade.
Aroma of hay, earth, and wood.
Taste of Malt, earth, wood, Bamboo…
This tea has a smooth mouth, a fulfilling feeling about it, and a satisfying earthy depth, almost like chocolate or coffee, almost like a shu puerh, although that may because I went a little heavy on the leaf, since this is a sipdown.
For me, this is a more savory Dian Hong, not as sweet as some, a little more earthy and Manly, but perfect for this morning, when I’m prepping to go out to play in my garden.
Ensemble: Bass, cello, viola, bass clarinet, clarinet, Bassoon, English Horn, Bamboo flute, wind chime, wood block.

Arby

I almost had this for my morning cup before I left the house. The description of “earthy and manly” made me laugh, I think I’ll have to try this when I get home or sometimes this weekend.

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79

GCTTB Going to be a few of these today if i can have quick breaks while working.

This was sort of middle of the road for me. Not a bad tea, decent cup of slightly honeyed brew…but nothing out of this world. it was smooth and enjoyable, but not a tea i must have in my cupboard. Happy to drink it again if it comes around though :)

Terri HarpLady

Hey Sister! :)

Sil

miss you! Maybe we’ll take a road trip with ruby to come visit…heh

Terri HarpLady

:)
That would be awesome

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Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep….

Seriously, insomnia is at full throttle tonight. GM is the best thing to keep one from going insane. Thick, creamy, earthy, mineral-y, smooth, & rich.

Mmmm mmmm mmmmm mmmm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-GMDMnep3E

Shae

Me too!! I hope you finally made it to sleep.

S.G. Sanders

I had around 3 A.M., but the early sunrise is calling for nice brisk walk before work today. Might as well take a stroll since the temperature will drop a significant amount over the weekend.

Evol Ving Ness

Video is unavailable in this country. :(

I feel ya with the sleep pain.

S.G. Sanders

Evol Ving Ness the video is “Asleep” by the Smiths.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you. I will look it up.

Evol Ving Ness

Beautiful. Thank you.

S.G. Sanders

No problem! :)

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90

Ooo, this is lovely! Reminds me of Mandala’s Yellow Buds which I tried a while back and really enjoyed. It brews up to a pale yellowish green color with a scent like freshly mown hay. The flavor is light, smooth and sweet with notes of hay and corn. (That tastes better than it sounds, I promise!) I would definitely consider re-purchasing this one when my sample runs out.

Flavors: Hay, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Brief Note

While getting ready for work, I’m brewing this up as I get ready…

Notes: Tastes like a lumberyard smells; smells like an old wet basement (mildew?).

I like it though.

CrowKettle

Sounds like the good kind of basement mildew! XD

S.G. Sanders

It is the good kind of basement mildew. ;)

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80

I wrote a tasting note for this last night but my computer glitched and deleted it before I could publish it. I got lazy and decided not to rewrite it but I’m being lazy st work and decided to just note that this was awesome. Both spiced and tangy and it smelled amazing.

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90

Noms. Mellow, smooth but with a little bite if left to steep for a long time. Not a bad bite, mind you. The first thing that hits is the malt and, wow. A bit of sweetness in the sip but not as strong as the malt. Can’t wait to try again with a bit shorter steep and see if that takes out the bite. Thanks, Indigobloom for sharing this one!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Indigobloom

I think we share a tea heart Nicole :P
Seriously. Assam has been my fave for almost ten years now (odd for me, I change my mind a lot haha)

gmathis

Assam is what good tea was intended to be. The rest is just fluff ;)

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91

Alright, this respiratory infection has got to go. At first I thought it was just a run-of-the mill sinus infection, the kind I get around this time every year, but no, it had to be something more. Now it’s day six and I’m done with feeling miserable. I decided to break out some sheng and hopefully move on with my life. Before I formally go about introducing the denizens of Steepster world to my impressions of this tea, however, I am going to devote a little time to an issue that seems to weigh on a number of folks in such a way that it brings out the worst.

This seems to be the time of year when people get riled up over statements concerning the age of a bunch of trees in a distant land. I understand and share this concern, at least to a certain extent. Do I think this mao cha actually comes from 800 year old trees? No, I don’t. Seeing as how I am most certainly not an expert, have never seen the trees, and possess no actual scientific data backing up the age statement, I have no reason to believe the veracity of such a claim. I could be wrong, but I still remain skeptical. How much do I care about the claim itself? I’m not really sure yet. Clearly my doubts did not prevent me from buying this tea. To be honest, I don’t feel suckered and don’t regret purchasing it in the least. I saw it as a product on the market that I could purchase and review, and anyone remotely familiar with my proclivities should know how near and dear to my heart reviewing stuff lies. It’s kind of what I do. Also, we are all aware that our beloved tea world is filled with falsehoods, especially the nether regions occupied by pu’erh and similar teas. Teas are often deliberately or unintentionally mislabeled, misnamed, misdated, and otherwise misrepresented. The degree to which piracy and other such tomfoolery runs rampant is truly impossible to accurately determine. We should all know this by now. Believe me when I say that if some of you get upset (and not entirely unreasonably I may add) by what you see as potentially dishonest, or perhaps we should still give the benefit of the doubt and say intentionally naive, marketing on the part of one vendor who currently seems to be quite popular, you have probably either excused it or just not noticed it elsewhere. I could be wrong, but I would just about guarantee it because it doesn’t only happen with tea. If I can now offer a point to all of this medicine-headed rambling, I would offer this one: ranting about it on a discussion board is probably neither going to change the business nor the buying habits and preferences of one’s online peers. At the end of the day, does it really matter how old the trees are? Can a tea not still be enjoyable even if it is misrepresented in some way? Do we really need to continue piling on certain vendors who have a habit of making such claims? In situations like this one, I kind of can’t help thinking that all we can do is express our doubts, either try the tea or avoid it, and move on with our lives. Oh, and for the record, I do not think that deciding to buy a product whose marketing is more than a bit fishy can always be reliably boiled down to some sort of moral deficiency on the part of individual buyers or to lack of knowledge and experience. So many of these exchanges prove unproductive when the primary position of one side can be reduced to wondering “why don’t all of these other people feel like me with regard to this issue? What’s wrong with them?” Maybe it really is not a matter of people who choose to purchase such products being morally lacking compared to you. Maybe they are just curious and/or see themselves as giving something controversial a fair shake and then share their thoughts with the rest of the world to provide a balanced perspective. That, in and of itself, can be valuable too.

Enough of that. I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 5 seconds. I followed this up with infusions of 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 gave off muted, musty aromas of tulsi, straw, and citrus. After the rinse, I noted that the citrus aroma grew more powerful. I could not quite place it though. I also started to pick up on flowers and honey. The first infusion produced a nearly identical bouquet. In the mouth, I was able to detect mild notes of brine, straw, tulsi, lemon and honey with a slight minty note on the finish. Subsequent infusions introduced impressions of bitter orange peel, jasmine, and osmanthus while the menthol note on the finish turned into a distinct impression of wintergreen. They weren’t kidding about that. I kept waiting for the apricot to show up in a big way, but I only started to catch a subtle hint of it around the seventh or eighth infusion. I also started getting a sharp, chalky mineral presence on the finish. Later infusions were thin, but still had a little life to them. The dominant notes were of minerals, lemon, bitter orange peel, and tulsi balanced by cooling notes of wintergreen and apricot. Bizarrely enough, I thought I just barely detected a fleeting note of lemongrass at this point, but it may have been me.

Though I wish the floral aromas and flavors stuck around longer, this ended up being the type of sheng that appealed to me. On the rare occasions I decide to drink sheng, I often go looking for teas with some combination of spicy, herbal, and citrusy notes. This tea had all of that. The fleeting floral impressions and the pronounced honey tones just added more appeal for me. I’m sure the fact that it soothed my aching throat while greatly reminding me of a milder version of the honey menthol cough drops I have been wolfing down for the past 3 days only strengthened its appeal. All in all, this one got over with me, dubious claims and all.

Flavors: Apricot, Honey, Jasmine, Lemon, Menthol, Mineral, Orange, Osmanthus, Straw, Tulsi

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Daylon R Thomas

That sounds like the Sheng is on the whiter side of things though I’m probably totally wrong. Then again, I only drink the Pu-Erh’s that Andrew sends me or when I’m in medicinal need for it.

Daylon R Thomas

After reading the other note, like a sour oolongy tasting Sheng. Or just Sheng.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I do the same thing with Pu-erh. It’s either that or green tea that I reach for when I’m sick. I don’t know how I would classify this one to be honest. I know I liked it. On one level, it reminded me of a funky Yunnan green, which I suppose it really should, but there was a kind of softness or gentleness about it (the floral notes maybe?) that gave it a little something else.

eastkyteaguy

Yeah, I hadn’t thought of it, but oolongy would totally work as a descriptor.

Ken

Yeah it does have a citrusy green or oolongy flavor to it. Though for the life of me I couldn’t figure out which citrus fruit it was…

Terri HarpLady

First off, you just became one of my new favorite people on Steepster :)
I agree with everything you said.
Regarding Sheng and sinuses, I have long felt that drinking raw puerh helps ease my allergies (which started back up last week when a a few trees starting spewing pollen into the air.).
I also recommend Nettles tea, not as interesting as Sheng, but extremely helpful with allergies and other sinus conditions.

eastkyteaguy

Terri, thanks for the kind words. When I first posted this review, I was a little concerned that it was going to tick a few people off, but I persisted because I felt like a few points could be made that would perhaps work best in the context of a review. One thing I had noticed was a few of the people getting so flustered over the age statements had never actually tried, or at least did not admit to trying, any of the teas. What really struck me though, were a few comments that found deficiencies in those who had tried the teas and advocated for a recognition of their quality removed from the questionable nature of the vendor’s marketing. I thought such comments were unfair, and being one of those people who actually enjoyed a few of these teas, decided to share my thoughts on this issue while actively discussing one of these controversial teas. I think Verdant catches a lot of flak for the stuff they do because they do it so blatantly and stand by it. If they were ripping off customers left and right by providing consistently inferior products and terrible public service, that would be one thing, but the fact of the matter is they don’t seem to be doing that. If some of the blog posts I have read from them are any indication, even they may be a little skeptical of the age claims, but do not challenge them out of respect for their suppliers. While I don’t think presenting unfounded claims is necessarily appropriate, I can also understand the desire of the vendor to protect the supplier. Another thing to consider too is that it is almost impossible to separate the tea world from false marketing. It’s accepted business practice. That awesome Da Yu Ling we’ve all seen online was probably produced in Vietnam and purchased by a merchant in Taiwan who passed it on to a vendor in the U.S. or Canada. Oh, and that awesome lookimg Jingmai sheng cake-it too was very likely cut with materials from other regions, if it even is what it is supposed to be at all. Heck, designations like Lao Ban Zhang and Lao Man’E are practically just used either as branding or as a descriptor for any tea that kind of resembles teas from those areas on some level. Some people don’t like Verdant and I get that. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you don’t like their tea, that’s cool. Don’t buy from them. If their marketing or some other aspect of their business practices strikes you as questionable, by all means bring it to the community’s attention. However, don’t find fault with people because they don’t see things the exact same way. Also, going off over and over again over questionable age statements for something like pu-erh, where literally everything is suspect, kind of seems unnecessary to me after a point. The way I see it is that the only way you can know that you even have what you’re supposed to have is to physically be there overseeing the entire process from start to finish, and that still may not guarantee much. In the end, we’re still just going to be left with a tea that we can choose to drink or not.

eastkyteaguy

Oh, and this infection I think is a viral thing. It’s awful. To this point, we have had a very mild winter and the weather has been warm and wet for the better part of the last 2 weeks. I work in education outreach and attended a KIWANIS Club meeting in a neighboring county last Thursday to get in some community engagement work. Half the people there were sick. My sinuses were already draining from the weather change, so I was already a little under the weather. I was sick by the following afternoon. The first 3 days were so bad that I couldn’t sleep due to coughing, and at two different points, I was running a fever so high that I was experiencing hallucinations. I went back to work yesterday, but now the congestion limits my ability to smell or taste anything. It’s breaking up though.

Terri HarpLady

Again, I agree with all you have said.
The most important criterion for tea drinking for me is my own personal pleasure in the experience. If a tea tastes good, I’ll enjoy it & purchase more :)
I know there are people who’s egos get tied up in it all. I just like drinking tea.
I pissed quite a few people off a year or so ago, when this whole debate regarding Verdant went down, by stating my opinion that Vendors shouldn’t be bashing one another. It’s not a good practice. If I went around St. Louis telling people that all the other Harpists in town suck, or something to that effect, it wouldn’t be a good business practice.
What one vendor has to say about the quality of another vendor’s goods is irrelevant to me, as they are probably likely to shape the truth as anyone else, but it also tends to turn me off. Verdant may or may not be full of it regarding the age of their teas, but they seem like nice people, and their teas are very tasty and nuanced, & they’ve built an interesting family of tea growers who seem committed to the leaf, and that’s pretty much all I care about. :)

Terri HarpLady

I hope your sense of taste and smell return soon!

eastkyteaguy

Terri, the taste and smell are touch and go right now. I can taste sweet again as of today. That’s an improvement over yesterday. I tried to drink some oolong and could smell it, but couldn’t taste a thing. I remember that thread, by the way. It was right around the time I signed up. I think the controversy had already struck for the most part, but I know the discussion was still ongoing. I totally agreed about vendors not bashing one another and was surprised that such a thought was so controversial. I don’t know what the intent was, but I felt like the way the vendors involved approached things left a lot to be desired. To me, it would have been one thing for the vendors to approach the issue in such a way that demonstrated respect for one another. It would have been one thing to approach both Verdant and the community at large with questions. Saying “hey, this seems questionable to me. None of this jives with what I know and what I have been told. Do you care to explain?” would have been much more professional. On some levels, I think that may have been the intent, but to me, it kind of came off like they were calling Verdant out or just outright attacking them. The bad thing is I like all of the vendors involved. The furor, however, turned me off to pu-erh for some time. I’m just now starting to get back into it. I wish I would have known you were located in St. Louis. A couple of friends of mine in Kansas City got married a couple years ago and wanted a harpist. They thought they had someone, but the organizer of the event managed to somehow mess that up, and scheduled a group to cover. It ended up being a skinhead punk band.

Terri HarpLady

From harp to punk… I could see that… :)

eastkyteaguy

Terri, it gets better. After said skinhead punk band started playing, the ceremony was crashed by bikers.

mrmopar

eastkyteaguy you hit the nail on the head on quite a few points. I wish that whole thread had never started. I think the tea that you drink no matter what speaks for itself.

Terri HarpLady

I played a biker wedding a few years ago, all Classic Rock. It was awesome!

LuckyMe

@eastkyteaguy, I completely agree with your points about Verdant getting unfairly maligned over this tree age stuff. I can only speak to their non-puerh offerings, but their teas are consistently good and that’s what matters at the end of the day. Hope you get feeling better!

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100

Yep, very delicious. Nothing new to add besides that it travels well. And that the fact that it contains rooibos comes as a surprise.

Today, I find myself wondering what a normal person spends on tea in a month. Nevermind.

mrmopar

Just what you can afford…..LOL!

eastkyteaguy

I wonder that all the time. Then I wonder about what exactly constitutes normality.

Daylon R Thomas

You know half the answer to that question for me lol. “Oh, once I have my staple white, oolong, and black, I’ll be set-Oooh! Shang Tea has a scented white tea that ISNT JASMINE-GOING INTO CART NOW!”

Evol Ving Ness

hahhaha, enablers, all of yas. :)

Evol Ving Ness

eastkyteaguy, I kissed normal goodbye a long long time ago. Don’t seem to miss it at all.

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80

My first tasting of the day is Yunnan sourcing Ye Zhu Tang raw pu’erh cake. THis was the second offering in the raw puerh tea of the month club. I started with using 110 ml of water in a my Yixing pot. I started with a quick rinse of the tea leaves to open them up, there was almost no dust, but the leaves were a little stubborn in opening up so I did a second wash. I did sip the second wash to see what I would be getting, and was surprised it had nice honey and sweet notes and the bitterness was really mild.

The first proper infusion I got a clear pale yellow liquor that was sweet, astringent, with floral, vegetal and bitter notes. It has a wonderful mouth feel and is a bit sweeter than might be expected for a young raw. I really liked this.

The second proper infusion the leaves started to open up proper now, again giving a clear yellow liquor with a bit more of the bitterness coming out now, but not overpowering it. And the honey flavor also became more pronounced, this was my favorite infusion.

The third infusion the bitterness creeped up on it a bit more. It was still sweet, but it had citrus notes at this point, sweet, astringent and bitter, it also lost some of the honey flavors. I have a feeling those will come back in the later infusions.

The fourth infusion was spectacular, the bitterness mostly vanished and the honey notes came back much stronger now. It also darkened slightly looking more apple juice color than before. I havent started increasing the time yet either, this is 1 , 2, 3, pour and let the yixing steep as it pours.

Im going to go steep out the rest of this wonderful tea. I have a feeling I will get 10 from this easy. A very nice young raw with a bit more sweetness.

Highly recomended.

PS First to post again, Im on a roll!

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Floral, Honey, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
mrmopar

Yes you are. The 2015 is nice as well.

Ken

Yeah I can imagine this is going to get better with age. Still building my collection at this point, so Im tasting through the tea club offerings.

Ken

THis one was a little sweeter and less bitter than the immortal monkey.

mrmopar

I haven’t tried the monkey yet. I have it scheduled on the next YS order though.

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89

Oh my. This is some serious Assam nums. Very malty and with a smooth sweetness. The malt tends to fall off at the cooling end of the cup and a hint of bitter creeps in. The leaf appearance is stunning. Thanks to Indigobloom for sharing some of this delicious tea!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Indigobloom

Wow that was fast :P
Glad it wasn’t just me with the malt factor!! I figured it was my forgetting the time that threw off my cuppa

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Last week’s tea of the week! I love this tea! The maple is sweet but it isn’t too sugary-sweet thanks to the nutty, roasty-toasty notes from the Houjicha and the soft, earthy notes of the Shou Mei – which in turn softens the rather assertive roasted flavor from the Houjicha. I think that these two teas in the base work really well together and the maple flavor seems to naturally go with these two teas.

Really lovely – it’s dessert-y but not so sweet that it’s something you’d feel like you can only enjoy as a dessert-y tea! The lighter body makes this a nice late afternoon/early evening tea or if you’re like me and stay up all hours of the night, it works well as a “it’s 2:58am so now is as good a time as any for a cuppa!” too.

Sophia

So excited to try this! Tracking says it’ll be here friday! woo hoooo

VariaTEA

I went to add this to my cart and it’s already gone. I suppose you snooze, you lose.

52Teas

@VariaTEA – let me check the stock, it may be that I miscounted the number of pouches because it doesn’t seem like it should be sold out already.

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71

Continuing my plow-through of Verdant offerings, I came to this green tea that I totally forgot I still had. I recall buying this one right before it went out of stock, but apparently ended up stashing it away and forgetting about it until last week. When I first tried it, I wasn’t impressed and feared that it was losing its character, so I ended up trying to rejuvenate it a bit. I did this by transferring the tea from a sealed bag to a metal tea canister that I then tucked into the back of one of the tea cabinets. I live in an old, drafty house in a very humid environment with variable daily temperatures and have found that sometimes when I switch tea from a tightly sealed container to a loosely sealed container, the exposure to minute amounts of air and humidity cause seemingly faded or slumbering teas to open up once more. Fortunately, that little experiment worked here.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. In my medicated state, I ended up not rinsing for some reason. Oh well. At least the medication seems to be reducing some of the congestion and inflammation. I started off by steeping 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 175 F water for 10 seconds. I followed this up with infusions of 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 first infusion, the dry leaf aroma was very fruity and floral. To me, it resembled a mixture of elderflower, tangerine, and lemon zest, though I could also detect a little corn husk and hay. After the first infusion, I detected stronger, more balanced aromas of tangerine, lemon zest, corn husk, elderflower, and hay underscored by grass and cream. In the mouth, the tea offered strong notes of elderflower, lemon zest, corn husk, grass, hay, and tangerine balanced by subtle creaminess before a fruity, floral, and slightly astringent finish. Subsequent infusions brought out undertones of napa cabbage, mango, peach, rose, and violet. Oddly, the finish did not soften, remaining somewhat astringent and biting throughout. Later infusions were more subdued, but were still relatively bright, floral, and citrusy with grassy, vegetal undertones and a hint of minerals.

This did not strike me as being a bad tea, but it also was not the sort of green tea I typically enjoy. As Chinese green teas go, it was a little too astringent for my liking. This quality was most likely the result of a substantial number of broken leaves included amongst the whole leaves. Even though I could see a number of similarities between this tea and Xingyang’s Yunnan Strand Green Tea (an offering I greatly enjoyed), this tea was less balanced, more forceful in character, and less approachable. I could see those who are looking for a fruity and/or floral green tea digging this one, but to me, it was a little much. Overall, it came off as commendable in certain respects and flawed in others.

Flavors: Astringent, Biting, Citrusy, Corn Husk, Cream, Floral, Grass, Hay, Mango, Mineral, Peach, Rose, Vegetal, Violet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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68
drank Earl Grey Lavender by Tea Cozy
1868 tasting notes

I’m in a lavender mood, today. I’m wearing a lavender based perfume (again), and very happily drinking this as a work cup of tea.
What is it with weeks when you’ve got Monday off? Tuesdays are always bonkers.
This is just the right amount of soothing and peppy to help me through a very busy morning.

Fjellrev

Ooh, which lavender perfume are you wearing?

Rosehips

Its from a tiny perfume company called Possets. Its called Indigo, and it smells very rich and lovely.

Fjellrev

OH yeah, I’ve heard of Possets but never got around to ordering from them, mostly because I have so much freaking BPAL already haha.

gmathis

Agreed. Four day weeks are (shh, I can’t believe I’m saying this!) often not worth the Monday off.

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90

Oh, and 300 notes—whooop!

Goodness gracious. I’ve been hanging out listening to the blues this morning and sipping on this loveliness. Such complexity that I wasn’t expecting. There’s walnut and then there’s chocolate and then there’s caramel. And that’s just straight up and unsweetened. Delicious.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Walnut

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Inkling

Ooo, sounds amazing!

Fjellrev

Yay, happy 300th tasting note! I miss having this one in my cupboard. So delicious!

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks. And yes, this could well be a newfound favourite.

VariaTEA

I love this tea. So yum! Also congrats on 300!

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, VariaTEA. I think my purchase when I was out west was the result of you effervescing about it. And yes, it is delicious, so thank you!

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drank Kale Matcha by DAVIDsTEA
4457 tasting notes

Aaah! It’s matcha launch day!

What does that mean? Well, it means I can finally talk about the three new matcha flavours that came out today; Kale, Maple, and Peach! The latter isn’t technically new, it was released as limited edition over the summer and now it’s back as one of our core teas. The other two are limited edition, and we’ve also released a limited edition Matcha Genmaicha as well. I still need to try that one.

As for the three flavoured matchas, this turned out to surprisingly be my favourite of the three. If you like straight matcha/Matcha Matsu this is fairly similar to the taste of a normal matcha but more boldly vegetal and umami. Like we’re advertising it in the description for this matcha, I definitely see it working well in smoothies. That said, I think it’s also well suited for matcha shots for people looking for some of the wellness benefits of matcha and kale but who aren’t quite as big on the taste.

I do like the taste though; but I also like the taste of straight matcha as well.

On thing I do think it worth note; this has kale powder in it in addition to the matcha. In fact, that’s the only other ingredient in this. However, it likes to settle REALLY quickly and can kind of get sludgy on the bottom of whatever you’re drinking it in. Texture wise, that’s not an issue if you’re choosing this for a smoothie or shot but if you’re drinking this otherwise just remember to give it a stir every now and then.

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 regarding the teas, and not the company’s.

Evol Ving Ness

Hmm, good morning, Ms. Strange! Can you tell me how much matcha powder you use for one DT matcha shaker travel mug?

Roswell Strange

So, according to the Matcha Maker’s box, if you follow the directions exactly, we recommend about 1/2 tsp of matcha for 8 oz. of water which is in line with what I would typically use at home.

That said, when we make matcha in store our measurements vary a bit. For flavoured matcha, we’re generally using 5 “Perfect Matcha Spoons” one matcha spoon is 1 tsp for flavoured matcha, and 2 for straight matcha, for 16 oz. cups. So, a fair bit more than you’re measuring into your matcha maker. However, personally I’d just experiment and see what you like because everyone’s tastes are different anyway. I know for me, 5 Matcha Spoons is WAY too much but there are other staff who think anything less tastes super watery/weak.

Also, for this tea specifically we use 2 matcha spoons in store like we would for a straight matcha.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Ms. Strange. Much appreciated.

Jillian

huh, my reaction to reading about the tea was ’ewww!". I may have to try it after all. ;)

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92

I decided to have something special. Tea Ave sent a sample of this tea with my last order. It came in an opaque blue bag with tons of detail on it – growth altitude, roast level, cultivar, oxidation level, instructions for four different brewing methods, and flavor notes. I love this level of detail! Unfortunately, I missed the part where it’s a teabag and not loose leaf, so I prepped my gaiwan, pitcher, etc. before opening the packet and realizing my mistake. Not a great start, but I am not so easily deterred. I switched to a mug and ended up getting… maybe 6? good steeps out of it. I lost count at a certain point. The teabag itself is interesting. It’s a pyramid sachet but not made out of the same plastic-like material as most mass-produced pyramid sachets. This is more like a cottony paper. The leaf inside is of course proper full leaf. There’s plenty of room for it to expand, and it does. The flavor is exactly what I wanted. Sweet floral honey paired with something else that I can’t quite articulate. It’s thick and rich and savory-sweet and distinctive Apparently I’ve reviewed this before, but it was two years ago so I forgot. Back then, I described this flavor as whole wheat toast (gong fu) and camellia blossom (Western style). That’s close to what I tasted this time, but not quite it. I would be more frustrated by my inability to name this flavor but the tea is too yummy and soothing to let it stress me out.

ashmanra

Sometimes I just cut the bag open and dump the leaves if it is high quality tea and not dust! Sounds like you got good mileage out of it anyway, though!

Kaylee

I considered doing that, but I wanted to test out the teabag because I’ve never had one quite like it before.

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90
drank White Angel by Tea Desire
303 tasting notes

A friend and I went out for Korean bbq at lunch today and then we ended up sitting in a park sipping bitter delicious Americanos. That, in addition to my morning tea was enough of the hardcore boom caffeine for me.

This tea is the perfect antidote to the strong flavours of the day. So gentle. The predominant flavour here is coconut with the slightest bit of vanilla mellowing out the pineapple apricot gently floating over the white and sencha base.

Flavors: Coconut, Fruity, Pineapple, Vanilla

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Fjellrev

That sounds like an awesome time!

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89
drank Butter Flower by White 2 Tea
280 tasting notes

This is a review from memory, as I have had a busy weekend & been drinking tea on the move, so its a bit short.

This Oolong was a nice surprise, the perfume has elements of Tie Guan Yin, alongside the more expected Dan Cong Aroma. What was also nice was that the subtle buttery flavour had a citrus edge which is also reminiscent of the aforementioned green Oolong, that reminded me a bit of sour yogurt. Again, a nice surprise.

Another nice aspect was that it was quite forgiving to brew and remained nicely balanced – well, until the body gave out and I was just left with lovely fragrant water.

Thinking back, and if I had more to try it might come across like a Jin Xuan-Dan Cong, with a citrusy-milky thing, but at the time all I could think of was Tie Guan Yin had a baby with Ya Shii.

Flavors: Butter, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Flowers, Yogurt

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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