Featured & New Tasting Notes
I dont even know how to review this:
God: Haha this will totally mess with their heads (removes all the wild tea trees around Jingdong)
Angel Gabriel: I hope you’re going to replace th…. oh my.
Angel Raziel: Thats throat numbing spray.
God: Dont worry lads, there’s a bit of huigan in it.
Flavors: Bitter, Dark Bittersweet, Fruity, Smoke, Tobacco
its back in stock. I am so happy.
This is, for me, the kind of time when the puerh gods are at peace & the flavour planets align. The huigan combines in my throat, mouth & head to form a wondrous taste. I mean seriously, this stuff has returning fruit game.
This is a perfect example of how sheng can taste once in the mouth, and then transform into something else a few minutes later. It is really soft & juicy, forgiving, even a hint of smoke or tobacco (and I hate that profile usually) but balanced in such a way it makes them all work.
I am grateful to a bad pasty for sharing a sample with me in the first place, and I would also like to thank the fact it was out of stock when I went to buy some after said sample, which caused a great low that made this high even higher -
I emailed Glen a couple of weeks ago saying how much I liked it and he informed me they have bought more and its in stock again.
Hey everyone! I have been BUSYYYYYYYYYYYY
Anyways, I took a new direction with my company and decided I will hunt down crazy awesome puerh or rare stuff because I want to share the ability for people to experience teas that sometimes I only got to read about like these XZH teas!
So here I was walking outside with a disc in my hand and walked to some flowers for a picture https://www.instagram.com/p/BX1IRVKg7AA/?taken-by=liquidproust
Not sure if anyone had any idea what that was, but whatever!
So when I went to break this cake I was kind of like ‘aweeeee man I cannot mess this up!’ and so I looked at it for a bit https://www.instagram.com/p/BX9dbjvAFaO/?taken-by=liquidproust
Nothing really unique about it… boutique tea, special name, pretty stuff… let’s see.
So I drink this and it reminds me of fuzzy peaches… that is really all I can say because I highly doubt anyone else will have that experience but if they do… fuzzy peach puerh sounds amazing!
Still between here and there and loving that I am blessed with having a different perspective on my world, and possibly my self too, while peering at things from my friend’s place. Yes, even though I have a fairly limited collection of teas, and all else, with me. It’s all more than enough. And I have chosen well even though there was much random throwing of things in my bag when I was preparing for the shift.
So very much enjoyment with this tea today. Vanilla and peppermint and possibly pillows of marshmallow on a nice black base. Totally a winner even though I am not a huge fan of mint. This is one of the teas that is converting me to the mint tea fan base.
Vanilla, peppermint, marshmallow black—truly inspired. Well done, 52teas.
I have been on a bit of S’mores kick this week after visiting this chocolate shop that does dipped ice cream cones. I got a S’mores cone and it was ah-mazing!! Soo good. Look at it: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYW7iHCFWxQ/?taken-by=rachel12610 I have since been to that shop 2 more times this week since people have wanted to try it.
Since I think I should probably lay off the ice cream for a few days at least, I figured I could get my S’mores fix some other way and luckily Sil was kind enough to share some of this tea for me to try.
I made it hot but ended up watching a movie and getting distracted so it is cold now which is a bit sad as I imagine this would have been good before. That is not to say it is not good now because it is, I just think hot might have suited the flavor better.
This is a little bit smokey and has a chocolate flavor from the malty base but also from the bits of chocolate (carob?) in the blend. There is also definite marshmallow here. It is lacking the graham crackers which is kinda sad but it still makes for a pretty good cuppa. Thank you Sil!
I’ve had this one a few times now. 3g for 300ml for 3 minutes, with water just off the boil. Re-steeps well at 5 minutes.
Smooth, very very smooth with a light sweetness. There is a bit of a fruity taste somewhere in the body but its so delicate that I find it hard to pin down. This is a great daily drinker and also great for anyone that doesn’t usually like hongcha due to astringency as there is none to be found here.
This isn’t exactly a mind blowing tea in terms of flavours but I rate it quite highly just because its so smooth and pleasurable to drink.
Yet to gongfu this.
Flavors: Smooth, Stonefruits
Another one from VariaTEA. This one i’m not really a fan of. It’s not a bad tea, but it’s not the sort of tea i can get behind. I generally don’t love green teas and while this is a reasonable tasting apple like tea, it’s just not doing it for me. There’s some other flavour here that i can’t place as well. It’s a smooth tasting tea, just not for me.
This blend of maple flavoured black + malty assam + mellow green tea is just so delicious. I tried it with soy milk this morning and the smooth malty base + maple + milk was devine. Try this one if you want a subtler British-style black tea. It makes a great breakfast tea or afternoon tea.
Flavors: Malt, Maple, Maple Syrup, Milk, Smooth, Sweet, Tannic
On my second mug today and this one isn’t tickling my tastebuds as much as I had hoped it would considering the exciting ingredients in here. Pineapple in here too? Funny how Mother Nature just seems to know that whoops, it’s now officially September, let’s drop that temperature. Since yesterday it’s been cloudier and cooler than the weather forecasts, and it’s that kind of cool air that tells you, “Yes, I’m Autumn, I’m coming for ALL OF YOU.”
Which is why I thought I’d finally bust this out one. I actually can’t taste the pineapple, at least in the second cup. The first had a smidgen of sweetness presumably from the pineapple, but this second one is heavier on the base and spices. The two main spice stars here are ginger and cinnamon. Allspice and nutmeg linger a long time after, and barely so.
Alrighty, after this second mug has cooled substantially, I am picking up on the pineapple more.
The base is mild with minimal vegetal bite. I think I might as well finish off my sample packet today and make a third and final mug. My sipdown forecast sees this gone from my cupboard by the end of the day.
My teas are in complete disarray: between living here and there, with internet and without, with the aftermath of hauling everything out and packing for the transition, and then on top of that the aftermath of readying for a big swap which happened between two households—so, GAH! The minimal tea order that I had to begin with has been upended. I have no idea where to find my usual favourites.
There are a few positives in all this chaos. The most obvious may be that I immediately started in on all the deliciousness that I received in the swap and yum. However, the swap packets are there and I am here. And my black tea favourites’ whereabouts are uncertain.
I may not know where my black tea blends are, but all this has unearthed a few oolong teas which I was not focusing on in this particular swap and that is a good thing because out of sight, out of mind.
This is one that I came across. Delicious. Not certain, but I am guessing tieguanyin. A really nice one. First steep sweetness. I wish I had a bit more information on this one.
First two steeps sweet and floral, reminiscent of Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs.
Third and Fourth steeps become more vegetal, seaweed, and earth.
Flavors: Earth, Floral, Sap, Sweet, Vegetal
The nuttiness from the sunflower seeds works here. Still, somehow, clearly sunflower seeds. I’d like more chocolate. I’d like more vanilla. I’d like more marshmallow. But then, to be fair, I always would like more of these.
Thanks for this, VariaTEA.
Flavors: Chocolate, Marshmallow
This is a tea I have been meaning to review for awhile now. I kind of have this goal of reviewing at least three examples of each Wuyi oolong cultivar I can get my hands on, but had always put off reviewing a Shui Xian because they tend to be so easy to come by. Well, I finally got so sick of seeing this shiny silver sample pouch staring at me each time I opened the kitchen tea cabinet that I decided to gongfu it after work yesterday evening. I found it to be a truly exceptional tea, though I am not certain the price I paid for it was justified.
As mentioned above, I gongfued this tea. I only had 5 grams to play around with, so I worked with what I had. After a quick rinse, I steeped the full 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 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, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.
Prior to infusion, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of char, wood, rock sugar, and saffron. The rinse brought out touches of jasmine, chicory, moss, damp grass, cinnamon, and aloe. The first infusion brought out enhanced floral and spicy characteristics on the nose, as well as touches of moist earth and cream. In the mouth, I picked up nice and surprisingly robust notes of cream, aloe, jicama, chicory, damp grass, char, wood, rock sugar, cinnamon, saffron, and moss. I didn’t pick up any jasmine-like flavor, but it was there on the nose. Subsequent infusions brought out cannabis, burdock, dandelion, wet stones, minerals, roasted almond, stewed apricot, and butterscotch notes. The later infusions were heavy on mineral, stone, moss, wood, and damp grass flavors, though I could still pick up some cream and some vegetal touches. I also noted the emergence of a buttered popcorn note, which I often find in many Wuyi oolongs.
This was an interesting and very enjoyable tea. Unlike a lot of oolongs, it let me know what to expect up front and then only changed subtly afterwards. Still, there was a lot going on with it and a lot to appreciate about it. If the price were not so exorbitant ($25+ for 25 grams, nearly $6 for a single 5 gram serving), I would probably order more. Overall, this was definitely worth a try, but I’m not at a point where I can once again justify spending so much on such a small amount of tea.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butterscotch, Cannabis, Char, Cinnamon, Cream, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Jasmine, Mineral, Moss, Popcorn, Saffron, Sugar, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Rocks, Wood
This was a really pleasant green tea. It has a wonderful aroma of milk, flowers, spinach, and sweet grass. The smell in fact resembled a nice Jin Xuan oolong more than a green. The taste is smooth and mellow with delicate notes of sweet pea, cucumber, and crisp butter lettuce. In subsequent steepings, the flavor changes to a light vegetable broth and reveals hints of green bean and spinach. I got about 4-5 good quality steeps out of it. The soft, clean flavor of this tea makes this a good tea for beginners and people who don’t drink green tea.
Flavors: Cucumber, Green Beans, Lettuce, Milk, Peas, Spinach, Vegetable Broth
Just noticed I didn’t have this listed in my cupboard nor have we reviewed it. It technically belongs to youngest, as Superanna buys Lapsang all over the place in her travels just to bring home for little sis!
Not to overshadow the tea itself, but these tins are gorgeous. Our first was a small blue tin, and this newest one is a large grey tin – absolutely gorgeous and oh so manly looking, and why not? If a tea can be manly tasting, I would say Lapsang qualifies. Like pipes and Scotch in a gentleman’s study.
Did you know that Patrick Stewart wanted Captain Picard to drink Lapsang and the producers said that no one would know what that was, so they made it Earl Grey instead and now poor Patrick gets scads of Earl Grey from fans, and I bet he would rather have Lapsang?
Moving on…this is stronger in smoke than the parcel of Lapsang from Postcard teas, which is tasty but isn’t smokey enough for youngest. The smoke level is great in this one, but I do wish that perhaps the base could be a little more present. I would definitely buy it again, don’t misunderstand, but this is a common problem with Lapsang. Why cover up an amazing base tea with smoke? But a great base makes a difference. Even Black Dragon from Upton was a little weak in the base for me.
So far my favorite Lapsang ever was the incredibly expensive Wuyi Shan Lapsang from Harney and Sons which ran about twelve dollars an ounce. I would buy it again right now. Lapsang Crocodile from Dammann Freres was awesome, too. And Teavivre and Zen Tea both had great Lapsang teas as well.
This one is very good, though, until that someday when I restock the top shelf stuff.
Fava is my local independent tea shop and I’m on a quest to try all of their tea…which is going to take a while, because they have a lot! So far, it’s been hit and miss: they have several blends that I adore (Cloud 9 and Roasted Almond Chai), others that I really don’t care for (such as Raspberry Rose and Two to Mango) and quite a few that I’m just ambivalent about. This one falls in the ambivalent category. I’m getting bread and nuts, but none of the sweet maple flavor I was hoping for. It’s okay, but not something I’m likely to purchase.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Nuts
Yay, sipdown. This is great Assam but it’s still nice to make some room in the cupboard. I made the last of this with boba! My mom gave me some leftover boba she found from a nuts.com order we made a few years ago, and understandably, in spite of storing it in a cool, dark place in its ziplock bag, the boba didn’t taste as good.
I also steeped this a little stronger than necessary and didn’t add sugar the result of the ultra strong tea, some 2% milk, and older boba didn’t make the best drink.
I decided to experiment further and did a second steep, mixed it with honeydew bubble tea powder, top with milk, and add some more boba. Better, actually! But I’m just not liking the boba so I drank the liquid, leaving the boba because it just isn’t worth the calories, ugh.
Here is yet another tea I totally forgot I had. I discovered it while reorganizing one of the tea cabinets and broke it open earlier in the week. With the onset of my most recent bout of sinusitis, I have not been able to drink any green teas or oolongs as my senses of smell and taste have been going in and out of focus. Black teas, for some reason, have still been able to reach me to a certain extent, so I have focused on sipping down some of the black teas I have had a little longer. I finished this one yesterday. I found it to be a solid, likable lapsang souchong.
I prepared this tea in the Western style. I steeped one full teaspoon of loose leaf material in approximately 8 ounces of 205 F water for 5 minutes. I did not attempt any additional infusions.
Prior to infusion, the dry leaf material emitted aromas of pine smoke, char, leather, and brown toast. After infusion, I noticed hints of malt, cedar, and molasses. In the mouth, I picked up strong notes of pine smoke, pine tar, char, leather, brown toast, cedar, roasted nuts, and malt balanced by touches of molasses, caramel, and light tobacco. The finish was malty, smoky, and leathery, though I could also detect touches of molasses and caramel sweetness that cut through the murk.
I knew this would be a smoky tea and it most definitely was. Honestly, I kind of expected it to be less nuanced, but the little underlying touches of sweetness made for nice additions. They made the tea more approachable while also making it seem somewhat lighter than it was. Overall, I enjoyed this one. Though it was neither the smokiest nor the most complex lapsang souchong I have ever tried, it did not disappoint. If you’re a fan of this style, you will probably enjoy this tea one some level.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Caramel, Cedar, Char, Leather, Malt, Molasses, Pine, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Tar, Tobacco
Exemplary, requisite caramel, malt and throw in some dried blueberry and clove. A real gentle sweetness that last throughout the gong fu session and absolutely no bitterness or astringency. Leaf quality A+, long thick firm strands steeping out to 10-12 times and a cha qi that sneaks up and places you on a cloud. Again exemplary.
Alright, time to finally catch up on some reviews. In case anyone has wondered where I have been, I have been out of commission the last couple days due to illness. My chronic sinusitis has continued to cause me a lot of problems. From where we have had such a wet summer with up and down temperatures and because there is so much pollen and mold in the air, I have been pushed beyond the breaking point. I actually finished the last of a pouch of this tea two days ago, but had little energy to actually post a review. I found this to be a rather unique green tea, but I also have to admit that I don’t think this style is my thing.
Prior to trying this tea, I had never before tried Tai Ping Hou Kui. I had read about it, but I had never tried it. I was not actually prepared for how huge the leaves were. When people say that the leaf size is impressive, they really mean it. That also presented me with a challenge. How in the world was I going to brew it? I had resolved to gongfu it, but I was concerned that the leaves would not actually fit in my gaiwan. Lo and behold, I was right. I had a mountain of fat, flat leaves sticking so far up above the rim of the gaiwan that I could not even pretend to be able to get the lid on correctly. I did, however, find a solution when I decided to rinse the leaves. I did a flash rinse of the leaves after I got them into the gaiwan and they immediately softened and curled into a mass resembling seaweed, allowing me to successfully place the lid on the gaiwan. After the rinse, I steeped the mass of monstrous leaves for 5 seconds. This initial infusion was then followed by 7 second, 10 second, 15 second, 20 second, 25 second, 30 second, 40 second, 50 second, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 second, 1 minute 30 second, 2 minute, and 3 minute steeps.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted mild aromas reminiscent of bamboo, grass, and hay. The rinse brought out some floral and nutty qualities. The first infusion saw the emerging floral scents take on more definition. They reminded me a little of orchids and violets. I also began to get more defined scents of chestnut, as well as touches of peas and seaweed. In the mouth, the tea liquor mostly presented notes of chestnut, grass, straw, and bamboo underscored by hints of floral character. Subsequent infusions brought out the orchid and violet notes in the mouth. I also began to get flavors of peas and seaweed. At various points, aromas and flavors of minerals, malt, squash blossom, nectar, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli appeared. The later infusions were mild, offering mostly a wash of grass, hay, seaweed, asparagus, spinach, and minerals while ghostly floral impressions lingered in the background.
This was an interesting tea and I did love the huge leaves, however, I am not entirely certain this style is for me. While I loved the impressions of nuts and flowers, this was also a very grassy, vegetal tea, and it became increasingly grassy and vegetal over the course of the session. For me, the first 3-4 steeps were the best and most interesting. After that, the tea held no real surprises. In the end, this was not bad, but I have had better, more consistently appealing green teas.
Flavors: Asparagus, Bamboo, Broccoli, Chestnut, Floral, Grass, Hay, Malt, Mineral, Nectar, Orchid, Peas, Seaweed, Spinach, Squash Blossom, Violet
Soft & gentle roast, honeyed sweet body. I found it fairly light with the orchid perfumes but there is a gentle hint of fruits in the background, I have found this with other WO teas. Its a good thing having fruit flickering in & out (especially for me who likes fruit-forward in everything), even if verrry subtle on this one.
The roast fades pretty quickly over the session into really subtle soft perfumed wuyi leaf oolong. Dark greens, good looking leaf.
‘it is quite welcome by most of the tea friends in China’ on the website, and ‘most approachable’ mentioned here. I think that sums it up.
I was actually impressed with this tea. For the price, it is quite solid aged white.
The flavor is of paperback books, honey, and woodsy. The final infusions got dark and slightly medicinal. Some more age likely will get more medicinal and date notes. I love the colour of aged whites as they steep up light gold, then finish off dark like a black tea.
I should really buy a couple cakes to stash to age, maybe at the next Teavivre sale.
Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/2012-fuding-shou-mei-white-cake-teavivre/
So in my head I had convinced myself that this was a really nice iced latte, because of that I wound up making an iced latte yesterday – but it really wasn’t that satisfying at all. I mean, it was drinkable but I thought it was WAY too floral and the white hibiscus almost gave it a soapy taste.
My manager Dani LOVES this tea though, and when she saw I was making it as an iced latte she did the same and she adored it! So, it really does just go to show just how subjective flavour can be and how everyone’s idea of good flavours are different.
I really, really wish I liked this one though…
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.
One good thing about taking a much needed technology break is tasting new teas from a swap 100% blind.
This one is from the lovely and generous VariaTEA.
Tried this black and then with a dot of half and half to add a cream element which here is lacking. Both ways, cinnamon comes up front. Prefer it black. I find this blend thin on flavour. It is ok, but it doesn’t hold a candle to 52Teas Banana Pudding Black, which I adore. Here, banana is missing entirely despite a banana chip in my leaf.I’ve never had Bananas Foster as a dessert, but this tea doesn’t come all that close to my understanding of what the dessert is supposed to be. Keep in mind that I am not a big fan of cinnamon, so I might be biased. Sorry.
Thank you, VariaTEA, for letting me try this one.