Featured & New Tasting Notes

84

An Ode to Tea challenge – Z

Another fun challenge idea! I’m not quite finished with the Tea Tournament but I thought I’d start this. Thanks very much, Mastress Alita!  So my particular rules for the Ode to Tea challenge is that these teas MUST A) be a true sipdown! last steep session! OR B) be a tea I have never written about yet.  So I will have 26 sipdowns OR it will get me to write about a new-to-me tea!    I’m also starting at Z and working backwards because I’m already so far behind everyone anyway. :D
This tea is a sipdown!  It’s an odd one but tasty and unique.   It is the closest thing to being a Ruby varietal, while not actually being a Ruby varietal.  It reminds me of the almond nougat in one of those chocolates.  It’s really good!   WHOA though – seeing HOW EXPENSIVE this is now when I went to see if they still had it.  Whoa,  thank you again for share, SkySamurai and I’m glad I finished it while it was fresh!  Solid three steeps…. now wishing I went for a fourth.
2021 sipdowns: 43

Mastress Alita

My goal is also 26 sipdowns, but unlike everyone else, I have to do my teas in no particular order. The way I can drink certain teas depending on if I have work or its the weekend, if its the day or evening, etc. would have made it way too limiting and impossible for me trying to go in order.

tea-sipper

Yeah, that’s understandable, M A! I like the idea in order, but backwards, and I will get to them when I get a chance to get to them. :D

AJRimmer

My trick is I drink my teas in whatever order, save my notes, then post them in the right order.

Mastress Alita

If I did that I’d have a slew of notes on the last day. Honestly, I seem to be the least fussed about it of everyone. :-P

AJRimmer

To be fair, I have notes saved from months ago that I haven’t had a chance to post yet, so maybe my methods aren’t the best…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

Cold Brew!!

Very juicy and sweet strawberry with a thicker and more syrupy liquor! It’s not quite at the “strawberry soda syrup” level of sweet and thick that I’ve tasted in the past, but it is channeling more of those “Daiquiri” vibes. I get flickers of light, playful citrus brightness from the lemon myrtle in this infusion – I know it’s in the blend but I rarely taste it next to this stellar strawberry flavour so I’m appreciating the relationship of that flavour in connection with the strawberry that I’m experiencing today!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

82
drank Grand Canyon by Simpson & Vail
2308 tasting notes

Sipdown! (14 | 218)

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – G

Yay, time for another National Park tea! No idea what eleuthero root or pau d’arco should taste like, but I’ve had some prickly pear-flavored things before, and they’re usually sort of vaguely fruity and tart, but tasty! And almost always fuchsia, ha ha…

I’m really liking this tea! So far, most of the National Park teas have been quite good, which I’m pleasantly surprised about. This has a subtle fruity-tart flavor to it that reminds me quite a bit of rhubarb. And I love rhubarb, so that’s a good thing! Not sure about the other herbal-y ingredients, I don’t get much of an herbal/earthy note here. Bit of hay maybe? The base is very mellow with a soft woodiness. Something is adding a nice bit of sweetness, not sure what that is, but I dig it!

Another yummy one from the National Park collection! Not sure that I need it in my cupboard, since I already have a couple of rhubarb teas. But very happy to have tried it!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CNYa1AnBy_R/

Flavors: Hay, Rhubarb, Smooth, Sweet, Tart, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Courtney

This one is quite tasty!

Cameron B.

I liked it! I think I started to get some of the herbaceous/earthy notes more as I finished the cup.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85

An Ode to Tea, O Entry.

This tea comes from the Kurihara Tea Farm, but was acquired via Yunomi. I don’t have much experience with Japanese blacks, which is probably why I dropped a 20g sample of this into a very long-ago order. My tastes pretty much never agree with the steeping instructions provided with Japanese teas (which always have water-to-leaf ratios that just aren’t pleasant to me) so I disregarded them and brewed the way I usually make blacks (2.5g per 350ml) though I did drop the water temperature down from my typical 205F to their suggested 195F.

The steeped cup has a smooth, breakfast tea malty/baked bread aroma, with a strong fruity cherry note, and an underlying florality, like a wildflower honey. It’s nice! I’m surprised how fruity this black is! I definitely taste that warm baked bread and malt flavor, but very quickly a sharp floral/fruity taste dominates the cup, tasting mostly of cherries, orange peel, and more subtly, rose. There is a very aromatic feeling left on the tongue, which reminds me of the feeling I get when I drink scented French teas, and a mild drying after the sip. Remarkably smooth prepared this way. I sort of expected this is to be a pretty harsh black and expected I’d be using up the remainder of the packet making lattes, but this is perfect as-is.

Looking forward to sipping this down over the next few days!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Rose, Smooth

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

Wow! That sounds like a wonderful Benifuuki black! Considering I had only two; this one sounds best.

Mastress Alita

I remember sampling one at a teashop in Portland, Oregon, and it was really astringent; I just think unless I’m making the tea, everyone else uses way more leaf than my personal preferences like causing the tea to taste really bitter to me.

Cameron B.

Hmm, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a wakoucha that I would describe as harsh. They’re usually rather light and bready with some hay notes, sometimes almost a bit Darjeeling-esque? The fruitiness here sounds lovely!

Mastress Alita

Ya, Darjeeling-esque is a very appropriate way to describe this!

Togo

I also often find Japanese oolongs and black to be quite harsh, probably because of the broken leaves. I usually try to do super short steeps and use lower temperature in the first few.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

64

F is for…Forged from the Stars

My brother-in-law and I are separately rewatching the MCU movies in chronological order. It’s hard for us to watch them together because typically my sister is home and she has no interest in the MCU whatsoever and refuses to let us watch. However, today was an odd day where my sister had to actually go to work in person so my brother-in-law finally got caught up on the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We then were debating what to watch so I asked where he’d gotten in the rewatch and he said he just finished Iron Man 2. Same for me so Thor was next and how convenient that it worked out that we are watching Thor on the same day the Thor-inspired blend matches the letter of the alphabet.

Anyways, I brewed a cup to drink while watching the movie. It’s a weird nutty chocolate tea though and I’m not sure how it reflect the God of Thunder. Not really sure where they are going here. And taste wise, it’s cooled a little and is becoming a touch astringent. Alright, a lot astringent which is making the nuttiness come off kind of strange. I have more of this and will need to revisit because this wasn’t the best.

Courtney

We are also doing this! Enjoy! :)

VariaTEA

What movie are you on? I would be much further but I just keep rewatching the Falcon and the Winter Soldier episodes

Courtney

Hahah! I have been re-watching Thor Ragnarok over and over, but we also binged WandaVision this weekend. Technically, we just finished Endgame, but then I went back to Thor between haha.

VariaTEA

LOVE Ragnarok! It’s hard to watch the first Thor now that we have awesomely funny Thor vs Shakespeare Thor in the first two movies

Courtney

Right? Thor is my favourite! Lex watched the Falcon & Winter Soldier episodes yesterday and I need to catch up. I just don’t want to turn off Thor!

Courtney

Also, I am SO EXCITED for Loki I’m not sure how I’ll survive until 11-June.

VariaTEA

The new trailer dropped for Loki and it looks soooo good! All the Disney+ shows have been so awesome. Also I’m so sad about them pushing back it’s release. We were supposed to have new marvel content each week for all of 2021 and Loki was supposed to start after TFATWS and now we’ll have nothing for months :(

VariaTEA

Also Thor was my favourite and still is one of my favourites. I think Ragnarok is still my favourite movie. I’ve been on a Captain America and Bucky kick lately though. Also Sam and Bucky in TFATWS is delightful so I just watch the show over and over again.

Courtney

I know! How are we meant to survive an extra month?! I’ve been watching and re-watching both trailers haha! And some other YouTube videos analyzing the trailers haha.

Courtney

Thor is my all-time favourite as well. Lexa flips between Thor and Captain America. Have you watched WandaVision? I was really impressed!

VariaTEA

I have and I loved it. I am in the group of people that found the finale a little underwhelming tbh but I think that’s because every other episode ended on such a high. I appreciated that it dealt with the emotional stuff well and wrapped things up nicely if there isn’t a second season.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Omg, it’s so good to be back!

Hello steepsters! Helol tea friends! ’

Argh, what a journey it has been.

First, no wifi, no functioning ro.uter, no phone line.

Then the laptop died.

And then, of course, coronavirus.

And then my password to access steepster.

But I am finally here with this nondescript tea. Not t—he tea’s fault
That I left it so long before drinking it.

-

Cameron B.

Yay, welcome back! I’m hope things continue to improve for you after so many hardships. And I remember this tea being rather nondescript, even fresh. :P

Tiffany :)

Welcome back! I look forward to seeing notes from you on a regular basis in my feed. :)

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, Cameron. It’s been a bit of an odyssey, but fortunately with
No wifi, I ‘ve rediscovered my attention span, yay!

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Tiffany!

Regular and how regular remains to be seen, but at least now there are more options than .

Evol Ving Ness

Before…

Gah, not used to this device.

ashmanra

Welcome back! I look forward to seeing your tasting notes again!

mrmopar

Best wishes for good fortune in the future! As for us all. I’m so behind with all this stuff too. Seems I will never catch back up….

Evol Ving Ness

Hi and thank you!

Ha, I have a box,about half the size of a shoebox stuffed with empty finished samples and bags of tea. Not yet noted. So I/ see manysipdown postings in my future.

Martin Bednář

Welcome back!

Evol Ving Ness

Thanks, Martin! Hello!

tea-sipper

Good to see you back after many struggles to get here!

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you, tea-sipper! waves

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77
drank It's Snowing! by 52teas
884 tasting notes

A strange time of year to be drinking this, I know, but it ticked the box for my Ode to Tea I Entry, and I figure it would be more prudent to drink this coconut tea now than wait longer when it is more seasonally appropriate and the coconut has likely gone rancid by then.

At least the coconut still has a lovely aroma in the package when I unsealed it! Brewed up, it smells like a richly coconut chai; coconut hits my nose first, with an undertone of clove. And that is mostly what I’m getting on the mouth as well. The coconut fills out on the sip first and foremost, with a crispy/toasted coconut left lingering on my tongue after the sip. About mid-sip and toward the end of the sip, I taste the spice — I see there is no clove in this blend, but that is definitely what I’m tasting… perplexing! I do pick out a little of a cinnamon note in the aftertaste left on my tongue.

It’s pleasant. Mostly this is a smooth coconut black tea, it has enough boldness to make this a nice morning cuppa, but it is sweet and smooth, with only a hint of drying after the sip. It is not a spicy tea, but it is a warming tea, and at least here, my house still feels quite chilly in the mornings and evenings despite the nice, warm, clear spring weather, which adds to the appeal of something like this for breakfast. I think it would go nicely with milk, since the flavors seem to fit a thick and creamy sort of profile, so I may try a latte next. I’ve been in a latte phase lately!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Coconut, Smooth, Spices, Sweet, Toasted

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

“A strange time of year to be drinking this” Nope, it’s not. It is going to snow this night here!

Mastress Alita

I have seen White Aprils here before, though it has (thankfully) been a while.

ashmanra

Wow, I just came in from yard work gasping for a big glass of water. My daughter was lying in the sun and got too hot and came in right behind me. Ashman would rather be where you guys are…

gmathis

I’ve seen snow on my mid-April birthday in SW Missouri more years than I would like.

Martin Bednář

It does snow, but not promised 4 cm/hour here. Actually, there is no snow in my region, but it’s different in some places.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

67
drank Eggnog by T2
1026 tasting notes

Last tea from the Christmas sampler. Eh it tastes somewhat like coconut that’s on the edge, though I’m not sure if there is coconut in there. It also has some added flavors that evoke eggnog, or at least something creamy. It’s better with milk. It’s quite fake tasting, but I don’t mind it too much. I ended up having a decent time with this one, but wouldn’t really recommend.

I don’t order from T2 anymore, but I also want to complain about the magnetic “erasable” labels I bought from them. I used dry erase markers, but they won’t rub off the labels no matter what I use. I thought they’d be better than the sticky notes I usually use to label my tins, but it’s back to sticky notes for me!

Mastress Alita

I hate T2’s packaging even more than their tea. Other than sampler sets, pretty much everything is a bulk 100g and then it’s in a plain plastic bag that once cut open, will always be exposed to air, and that is put in a flimsy cardboard “cube”. You have to buy a ridiculous amount (like 8oz?!) to get a resealable foil bag like every other respectable tea shop uses. Their horrible packaging just feels like a way to try to force customers into buying additional storage tins on top of their tea order.

AJRimmer

Maybe that’s their business plan!!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Thank you very much, derk!  I wanted a dark puerh a couple days ago, so here we go.  Just what I wanted!  I wasn’t sure if I should go with two teaspoons here, but what the heck, I love the deepest darkest puerh.  The puerh looks like nuggets but the description says “brick” so that is odd.  They are VERY slow to unravel like they look like big oolong pieces.  I think I have only had a “nugget” type of puerh once before but they looked much smaller than this.  The flavor is perfect and smooth.  And because they are slowly unraveling the steeps can keep going and going.  The steeps were ridiculously consistent – especially if these nuggets held almost the same shape the entire session. But breaking them apart with my fingers, they aren’t really nuggets at all, and should have really expanded into those smaller leaves.  To really look like that PUERH DIRT I love.  Very odd.  This never really happened with another puerh for me before.  So looking at the description, it does call them “nuggets”. " The “cha tou” are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together" during crazy compression using a hydraulic press and can be steeped 20 times!  So that explains it.  Not really any distinct unique flavors, just a very tasty ripe.  I do love the variety of flavors derk noticed! Derk mentioned vanilla cola which is probably why I wanted to try this. Sadly, no vanilla cola for me here. And it seems to have mellowed out a ton since Togo’s tasting note. (Togo, I would love read how this is aging for you!) Not distinct enough for me to be a favorite, but I’m glad I used two teaspoons.
Steep#1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug// 26 minutes after boiling // rinse //  2 minute steep
Steep#2 // 10 min after boiling //  2-3 min
Steep#3 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep#4 // 3 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep#5 // just boiled // 15 min
2021 sipdowns: 40 (This + Teavivre – High Mountain oolong)

derk

You’re welcome :) I’m so happy when a tea can be rehomed to somebody who enjoys it!

Togo

I drank it today and it hasn’t really changed all that much. It is maybe a bit less “dusty” and better integrated, although I remember that was only a problem in my first session with it, at which point I suspect it was quite dried up.

I agree that it doesn’t have many distinctive flavours, a very subtle tea indeed. The acidity (sorrel/oxalic acid as mentioned in our notes) may be a bit more in the background as far as the flavours are concerned, but the constrictive and numbing sensation that accompanies it is very much there.

tea-sipper

oh cool, thanks for seeing my note and being on top of retrying this. :D

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

62

Sipdown! (1 | 205)

“An Ode to Tea” Alphabet Challenge – A

So Mastress Alita’s sipdown theme for April is “An Ode to Tea”, and the challenge is to drink a tea starting with each letter of the alphabet. So I’m starting today with the letter A, and this tea sample from a recent swap!

The aroma is tantalizingly apricot, but I’m getting a lot of ginger in the taste. So much that really, the ginger is the main flavor for me, with the apricot acting in a supporting role. So, it ends up tasting quite earthy as opposed to fruity, thought there is a nice tartness from the apricot.

Drinkable, but not something I would choose, not being that big on ginger. But it was fun to try, and yay easy sipdown to start the month! :D

Flavors: Apricot, Dried Fruit, Earth, Ginger, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Tiffany :)

Ooh, I love ginger & apricot… :)

I’m also definitely going to play but I don’t know if I’m going to do mine in A-Z order or not, I’m still missing some letters too…

VariaTEA

@Tiffany – I didn’t have a tea for “X” so I think I may just skip it

Cameron B.

I’m missing a couple of letters too, so I’ll have to figure out what to do for those…

Mastress Alita

I’m not going in order, nor am I writing notes for all of them (only the “new to me” ones).

Leafhopper

I might play along too, though I don’t have a tea beginning with X, either. Maybe [Zheng Shan] Xiao Zhong? :D

Mastress Alita

I have had to use some creative interpretation for Q and Z for mine. I actually have the elusive X, “Xingyang Shu Pu-erh”.

Leafhopper

Ooh, I might have a very old packet of Xingyang Mao Jian from Teavivre somewhere…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

81
drank Kolkata Chai by Bloom Teas
11255 tasting notes

Sipdown (1369)!

Pleasantly surprised and impressed with this Chai blend! It seemed really simple/basic when I read through the ingredients list and smelled the dry leaf in the sachet but it steeped pretty brilliantly. Smooth and warming spices with heavy emphasis on clove, cinnamon, and cardamom – in that order for me. I don’t often get into Chai very much, but that’s probably as close to the perfect spice combo that you can get for my personal preferences. Loves that it was deeply spicy with a creeping/building warming note over the course of the sip. Cozy, tasty, and traditional feeling. Great balance.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91
drank Sticky Toffee Pudding by Pudtea
3356 tasting notes

Thanks very much, AJRimmer!  I wanted a cozy  tea yesterday, on hopefully one of the last colder days of the year.  This fit the idea of COZY wonderfully.   Hints of cinnamon, raisin, maybe some other fruit and sweetness.   The other fruit I’m noticing must be the dates!  And just sweet enough from the fudge pieces.  Perfectly cozy indeed.  Sadly, I oversteeped the second steep as I was distracted, but it tasted fine.  Not much of the nuance of the first steep – this time mostly cinnamon.  I like this one!  I would buy it.  I am WAY BEHIND on reading tasting notes…
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 6 minutes after boiling // 10 min steep

AJRimmer

I’m glad you enjoyed this one! I’ll have to try it again and see if I can coax out some of those flavors you mention.

tea-sipper

Must have steeped it perfectly! (the first steep anyway)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95
drank Sakura & Berry by Lupicia
3356 tasting notes

Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge – Tuesday, March 30th: National Virtual Vacation Day Tea #1

Thinking of “vacation teas” I guess this was the only one that immediately came to mind.  Envisioning Japanese cherry blossom trees!  The flavor of this was on point today. Very strong cherry blossom florals with a hint of strawberry.  I think it really works best with the first steep being one minute.  And I’m planning on a third steep.    I think of Japan but oops, the base is Vietnamese and Indian teas.  Oh well, I’d go to those places as well.  One can dream. 

Mastress Alita

I love this one!

tea-sipper

It’s a good un

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

87

Had some this morning semi gong fu in my Gong Fu 2 Go tumbler. I only used half the vessel, so less than 8or 7 oz in size, but 4 oz in rinse and use for the 3.5 grams.

As a first steep after 35 sec, it was very fruity and sweet hitting its high mark early. Honey fructose, honeysuckle, citrus mouth coat, and then a lingering floral and apricot aftertaste bordering on juicy. I finished it quick. 45, 65, 75, 105, 135, and not much different in aroma or flavor. Later steeps were more honeysuckle and floral, hinting at gardenia, but still citrusy. I could see orange blossom being applied, but it was a hair more tart yet just as sweet.

I feel kinda boring since I did not get as much as I wanted this time around, possibly due to the lower leaf or other parts of the brewing method. I was highly satisfied with the flavor all the while missing something. It still stands out as one of the better Oriental Beauty’s I have in my stash.

Yet again, more to come in the future as I get to know this tea. I’m curious to see what easteaguy and others thought of this one. I liked it a lot more than the Vietnam one and the regular one in the lineup because I think this one is less drying and malty. I feel bad I keep on leaning towards the more expensive teas from What-Cha lately because there are some really great ones that are a lot more affordable. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to recommend these, though I honestly recommend this one because I want to see what people will think. It’s too pricey for a tea newbie and suited more for intermediate drinkers. I’m not sure what an actual sommelier think of this one.

I’m still not sure what to rate this one. It’s in between eighties and 90s for me right now. I’ll probably change the rating in the future. Looking for commentary in the comments!

Leafhopper

Derk let me keep 5-6 g of this tea as a sample when we made our huge What-Cha order on Black Friday. Do you recommend longer steeps? I usually steep my Bai Hao at 195F for 30/20/30/30/45/60, etc.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m not sure yet on this one.I’ve had this tea three times in total, and found that the 30 sec increments worked for me, but I did using less grams. Either way, I wouldn’t rush this one. Alistair/What-Cha recommended 3-4 minutes, so I’m assuming yes. I’d be curious to see what Derk thought.

derk

I tried it for the first time tonight after reading your notes. Used 3g in my 60mL gaiwan but didn’t time steeps (many and long). Oh, water off the boil! It’s GOOD. Really strong savory osmanthus note for me, along with honey of course (crystallized maybe), malt, apricot-orange. I think it has a low-toned profile but has balanced citrusy-fruity high tones. Lots of other stuff. Complex but not very long-lived aftertaste. Last steeps were very lemongrassy – high in citral I’m guessing – and somewhat tannic.

derk

It feels like a quality tea in the mouth, too. Smooth and swallows very nicely.

Daylon R Thomas

Thank you derk!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

83

March Mad(Hatter) Tea Tournament!
Round #1 – Match #14    Yunnan Sourcing – Premium Grade Anxi Ben Shan oolong Spring 2017 VS.  Tea Haus – Marzipan

If anything this tournament is forcing me to write notes for teas I haven’t yet.  Teas that are five years old.  Teas I bought new.  I’m glad I sent some of this to LuckyMe way back then, to confirm there is nothing really special with this tea (even when fresher).   Which is why I haven’t written a note yet.  To my knowledge, I also haven’t had any Ben Shan oolongs before, so not sure what I’m looking for.  The first steep is incredibly silky and reminds me of hints of peaches and cream.  The second steep is a bit like tamarind while still peachy.  I shouldn’t be neglecting this one!  This never gets astringent, maintaining a thick quality throughout.  It’s soothing and tasty enough. 
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 1 minute steep
Steep #2 // 18 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep#3 // just boiled // 2 min

The Marizpan has SO MUCH flavor and it’s SO OLD.  How is this possible?  It’s also a soothing cup today.  It’s the most actual marzipan tea of any tea I’ve had, both with flavoring and actual almonds that take it to another level.  It would certainly win the Marzipan Tea Award.  I’d buy this one again, but I doubt any flavoring used today would last this long. (I have a theory that new flavoring, like bergamot or almond, has to be more “natural” these days, meaning not only Less Good and Accurate but also not as lasting when the tea ages.)  Another tough call but the winner today is:  Premium Grade Anxi Ben Shan

AJRimmer

Ha yeah I don’t care at all if things are natural or organic. I want fun, strong flavors!

tea-sipper

Yup, unless those “organic/natural” flavors can actually compete with the other flavors!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94
drank Shan Lin Xi by Camellia Sinensis
979 tasting notes

Spring 2020

Dry leaf smells like spiced walnuts, pineapple-mango-coconut, vanilla sugar and flowers. Wamring brings out a sweet, creamy vegetal character with spinach, coconut cream, walnut and vanilla sugar. Intoxicating. Rinse brings out a more pungent, tropical fruit character with pineapple, mango, coconut and jackfruit on a spinachy base.

The leaves quickly unfurl. The tea is silky, oily, mouth-watering with salt and other minerals. Complex, rich and evolving aromas, tastes and aftertastes. The strength of the aroma gives the illusion of sweetness, but I’d say the tea is rather mineral-salty and somewhat tangy. Lofty notes of coconut cream, vanilla sugar and rich white florals on a crisp lettuce-straw base change to macadamia and coconut to cream and butter. The aftertaste contains the fruitier notes of the tea. The sweet aromatics blend seamlessly into the aftertaste and when that subsides, the fruitier notes of the tea display with green apple skins and pineapple. Some gentle cooling in the mouth early and later, an impression of sugarcane fills the throat. At the end of the session, coconut and floral vanilla make another appearance in the aftertaste. Burps bring out some of that spinach quality of the warmed leaf.

This tea easily takes boiling water and lower and does well with a variety of brewing methods. I couldn’t stop preparing cup after cup. It’s really that easy-drinking and addictive. The creamy quality of the tea suggest Jin Xuan cultivar to me but I see it’s actually Qing Xin. A beautiful representation of Shan Lin Xi. Thank you, Leafhopper :)

Flavors: Apple Skins, Butter, Coconut, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Green Apple, Lettuce, Mango, Mineral, Mint, Nuts, Orchid, Pineapple, Salty, Spices, Spinach, Straw, Sugar, Sugarcane, Tangy, Tropical, Vanilla, Walnut

Leafhopper

I’m glad you enjoyed this tea! I always have to pick some up when ordering from Camellia Sinensis because it’s just that good.

Daylon R Thomas

I’m gonna love it then when I try it out.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Taiwan Jade Oolong Tea by What-Cha
979 tasting notes

March 2020 harvest. A mystery oolong pick that Leafhopper shared with me when we went a little crazy in November.

The dry leaf has notes of spinach, walnut, cream, gingerbread and honeysuckle. This transforms into a very floral perfume with the rinse – notes of lilac and gardenia, plus cream and gingerbread.

The tea is one of the most fragrant unscented teas I’ve ever had, so strong that it’s dizzying — in a good way if I were to find myself in a mood that warrants such an effect — but I couldn’t handle it either time. The tea is creamy, sweet, soft and silky and produces a wonderful mouth-watering effect. The floral perfume lingers long in the aftertaste.

The characteristics of the tea soup point to good quality, but the floral aroma is much too intense for me. I can see why this tea garners such positive reviews here, but it’s simply not for me. This is truly a Jade oolong and for those sippers with a major floral tilt, I would recommend it.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Citrus, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Flowers, Gardenias, Ginger, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Mint, Orange Blossom, Perfume, Smooth, Spinach, Sweet, Sweet, Warm Grass, Walnut

Leafhopper

After reading your review, I’m glad I kept most of this tea!

derk

Yes, better to be in a home where it’s appreciated!

Leafhopper

LOL, I chugged the 40 g or so I had left in less than two months and am considering getting the 2021 version. I guess I like really floral teas!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Earl Grey Cream by Just Add Honey
1110 tasting notes

Happy Caturday!

Just the tea: I really enjoy this one. The floral aspect and the vanilla aspect seem to be at the perfect ratio to complement each other. The base is not astringent at all and the whole thing just works so well together. Thanks to derk for sending this one my way!

The steeping parameters state boiling for 3.5 to 4 minutes, but I’ve adjusted that and I personally prefer the lower temperature and shorter steep.

I’m getting close to a sipdown on this one, which will be bittersweet, but I have another EGC so it’ll be okay.

Life update: The sun is streaming through the front window and I’m curled into the couch with two sleeping cats working on a lab report and a soil report, listening to Marvel interviews in the background, and sipping this delightful tea.

We quietly adopted a new feline friend for Ivan almost two weeks ago, and she has settled in to our home and life just perfectly. ❤

You can check her out on my story here: https://www.instagram.com/stories/biologistcourtney/2538759965927878811/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 14 OZ / 414 ML
Cameron B.

Aww sounds like a lovely Saturday!

Martin Bednář

Sounds like a lovely Saturday as Cameron wrote! I was pretty much happy with myself as well — I worked on my thesis and wrote a few new pages. Unfortunately, I am now waiting for data from the company I work with. Time flies way too fast.

Leafhopper

Sounds like you’re having a lovely day, and congratulations on your new cat!

Courtney

Martin Good job on your thesis! I hope your data comes through quickly!

Thanks Cameron and Leafhopper! :)

VariaTEA

Such a lovely cat! Also, I have listened to a lot of Marvel interviews recently as well. I feel like perhaps too many lol

Courtney

VariaTEA they’re just so good! I was trying to avoid Disney+ as well, but now that Loki is coming out…yeah we’re getting it. :P

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

91
drank Big Sky Blend by Steep Mountain
1026 tasting notes

It’s fun trying teas local to various people in the tea box. This one is from Montana! This blend is simple, but delicious. It’s a lovely balance of chamomile, lavender, and cinnamon. They got the ratios just right! It’s so refreshing and delicious cold. I did a cold resteep, which was great as well. I’m really happy I came across this.

Skysamurai

If this one wasn’t from Montana I would cry. Big Sky names just scream Montana to me and I personally love Missoula. I’ll have to give that one a try! Does it resemble Evening in Missoula?

AJRimmer

Yeah, I lived in Montana back in the 90s, so I know what you mean! Evening in Missoula is mostly minty for me, whereas this one is more chamomile/lavender. I like them both a lot!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

77

Tea box sample. The main flavor here is chocolate. It’s mild and pleasant. I don’t really notice any puerh flavor. The chocolate isn’t the richest or tastiest, but it’s nice with milk. I feel like I taste a few spices in there as well. Really, it all goes together pretty well and has a bit of depth I wasn’t expecting. The resteep was decent as well. Before this, I didn’t realize Numi made loose leaf.

White Antlers

This used to be one of my favorite tea bag type teas. It was more of a ‘pu erh lite’ but with a good, long steep it was most satisfying with milk. I just repurchased a box after being out of it for a few years and the ingredients have changed-and (to me) not for the better. Numi has added rooibos and honeybush and the tea base is about as much pu erh as I am a prima ballerina. I gave the latest box to a friend who will drink anything and won’t repurchase.

AJRimmer

It’s a shame when companies change a recipe you’re fond of! I’ve had that happen a few times ):

Mastress Alita

“Puerh lite” sounds up my alley, as “puerh proper” has never been my cup of tea. “Rooibos-posing-as-puerh” sounds much less appealing.

White Antlers

Mastress Alita I am not a fan of pu erh at all. The original version of this tea brewed up with good body and taste. It had no fishiness, swamp or dirt taste. This rooibos crap tastes like liquid cardboard to me. Granted, I detest rooibos and honeybush, so consider that. More than anything, I am vexed with myself for not reading the ingredients before repurchasing. This used to be an old reliable, lazy cuppa, no thought stand by for me for many years.

Mastress Alita

I don’t think I’ve ever had a puerh that didn’t taste like swamp or dirt, so now I’m really sad I missed out, heh.

Michelle

Numi used to have a mint basil puerh that I liked a lot. They stopped making it and I have come up with my own mint puerh concoction as a substitute. It’s soothing on the tummy.

White Antlers

Oh, Michelle-yes, I remember that one. Numi had several iterations of pu erh back in the day. I was living in the East Bay of CA then and used to buy them at Berkeley Bowl. Numi started as a small business in Oakland-a brother and sister venture. Later they branched out to a cafe space near the Oakland Embarcadero. I think they had a Cardamom Pu Erh as well as the Mint, the Chocolate, the Emperor’s and at least one other one which escapes me at the moment or else is one that I am just imagining. I do know they also sold pu erh in pressed, break apart rectangles, kind of like chocolate bars. I bought them a few times. They brewed up dark and strong, pleasant to drink but not really pu erh-ish, or any pu erh that I was used to.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94

This Kabuse Sencha was the best tea from my Floating Leaves order. Kind of ironic that a tea shop specializing in Taiwanese oolong sells a low profile green tea that outshines some of their more high end teas. I picked this one up not only to meet the free shipping threshold but also because I enjoyed the Obubu Tea Farms sample of Kabuse Sencha that Cameron gave me recently. I have no idea whether this is sourced from the same tea farm as Obubu but both are sublime teas.

The leaves are dark green and shaped like pine needles. Not quite as pristine as Obubu’s but still handsome. At least by sencha standards anyway. The leaves emit a deep, sweet grassy aroma that changes to a marine like dashi scent upon being heated. Clear, yellowish green liquor. Wet leaves have a slightly marine aroma as well but it’s more oceanic, like fresh caught steamed whitefish.

First infusion is fresh, crisp, and invigorating. Bright, balanced umami with notes of sea shells and snap pea. Second infusion is similar. Smoother and more buttery with light grass and seaweed notes. Flavor drops a bit over the next two steeps. More savory this time with a slight marine finish and a bit more astringency.

Instagram photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMari68APv9/

Flavors: Butter, Grass, Lettuce, Marine, Ocean Air, Seaweed, Spinach, Umami

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec 2 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Cameron B.

Looks like this tea is from Satsumasendai, Kagoshima, while Obubu is in Wazuka, Kyoto!

LuckyMe

Ah, that’s good to know. Thought this style was specific to a certain tea growing region.

Cameron B.

I’m not sure if it’s regional, it’s just a shaded sencha that’s not quite shaded enough to be gyokuro.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

84

Sipping this currently and finding it quite calming on a day where I’m a bit more stressed and tired than usual – it was a gift from my IG friend Sewwie so thank you for the swap and fun teas!! The flavouring here is pretty mild, which allows much more of the earthy and thick pu’erh notes to come through – it’s a very smooth and clean tasting shou and that robust body compliments the hints of vanilla and darker cherry flavour profile. Love the creamy notes that linger on the finish!

Tiffany :)

On my wish list this goes, love cherry and never had cherry vanilla puerh before! :D

Autistic Goblin

I love the name! I expect to see a cat and mouse picture on the tea though.

LuckyMe

@Autistic Goblin ditto here! I’d buy it for the name alone.

tea-sipper

cherry vanilla puerh sounds delicious!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

86

Backlog.

Another FLT oolong that I wanted to like but didn’t quite work for me. It had some nice floral elements for sure, but was affected by an underlying stale taste. A frustratingly common issue with green oolongs, unfortunately. I really wish all vendors packed their tea in oxygen free packaging like Taiwan Tea Crafts to avoid this problem.

Back to the tea at hand. I gongfued this for 6 infusions. It starts somewhat disappointingly with a stale vegetal taste mixed in with flowers and an unusual chamomile note. The second steep though is clearer with more distinct flowery notes of daffodils and honeysuckle rounded out with hints of vanilla and cream. The next two steeps present a thick, lingering flower nectar, the intensity of which reminds me of lily of the valley. The flavor peters out over the final couple of steeps yet retains a candy like sweetness and the odd chamomile note from the initial steep returned.

All in all, this was the best oolong from my Floating Leaves order although that’s not saying much since all of them were lacking. That’s not a reflection on the vendor though. I’ve had good tea from Floating Leaves before. I suspect it has more to do with the quality of last winter’s harvest.

Flavors: Chamomile, Cream, Flowers, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML
Leafhopper

I’m kind of relieved I didn’t buy any winter 2020 oolongs.

LuckyMe

Yeah they’ve all been duds so far

Daylon R Thomas

What did you guys think of the 2020 spring?

LuckyMe

Spring 2020 was okay, better than this winter’s crop but no real standouts aside from an AliShan from Mountain Stream Tea. I ordered from Mountain Stream Tea, Green Terrace, and Taiwan Tea Crafts.

Past favorites weren’t as good last spring. There were several teas that were very aromatic but lacking in flavor.

LuckyMe

Fingers crossed for spring 2021!

Leafhopper

I’ve had a few nice spring 2020 oolongs (Cha Yi’s Alishan and What-Cha’s Li Shan come to mind). Most of the others I had were decent, though as LuckyMe said, they were stronger on aroma than flavour. I ordered from Cha Yi, Tillerman (haven’t tried all of the ones I got), What-Cha (the Jade Oolong was surprisingly good as well), and Camellia Sinensis.

Also, I just had a sample of What-Cha’s Li Shan Tie Guan Yin from Daylon, which I think was a winter 2021 harvest, and it was awesome!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

75

I completely forgot I have this tea + I apparently removed it from my virtual cupboard thinking it’s gone. But, opened another drawer today and voilá it’s there.

I need a lots of positive energy. I feel completely miserable in half of semester and that’s why I became completely inactive here, writing only a few lines in comments, but never a full tasting note. You know I feel nothing had some value in life. I am thinking that being in some psychiatric ward would work better for me now than trying to finish the school.

Damn, maybe I am telling way too much about myself.

Anyway, this tea is tart. Cranberry flavoured tartness. As I wrote in very first tasting note. Herbal aftertaste. Honestly not bad. But nothing I would seek for when looking for a tea. But it gave me positive energy back then. Hopefully today as well.

Liebe lässt uns alles vergeben — Love makes us forgive everything. (Quote on tag)

Flavors: Cranberry, Fruity, Herbs, Tart

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more 10 OZ / 300 ML
Leafhopper

We’ve all had days/weeks/months like this. Hang in there, Martin! :)

White Antlers

Martin Good to see you here today. I think perhaps part of what is making you feel bad is pandemic burn out. That is very real and you are not alone in your feelings.

gmathis

Midterms are miserable! Praying that a little joy surprises you today.

ashmanra

My godson is miserable right now at school, too! Pandemic, work load, life…hang in there, it WILL get better! Praying for you!

Martin Bednář

Thank you everyone!

tea-sipper

You are working hard and almost done with school! We’re all thinking of you, Martin.

Martin Bednář

Thank you tea-sipper! I was to therapist today and I got even stronger (and thus worse) pills; but better safe than sorry. It’s better for everyone.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Filter