2480 Tasting Notes
Additional notes: This one is so ancient, I thought the flavor couldn’t be good. But I still LOVE it. It’s probably the best Earl I have right now and might also be the oldest. I love how the original tasting note said I thought I would hate it, now it’s STILL probably one of my favorite teas I’ve ever had. I wish I knew if another supplier was still selling this.
It’s summer, time to write a tasting note for Nutcracker! I’ve tried this tea a few times but it just never results in the cup I want. There are so many ingredients here, but it’s very light in flavor, both with the black tea itself and the flavors and ingredients. What should be here: almond pieces, orange peel, cranberries, cinnamon & chocolate mint flavors. Even though I noticed plenty of orange pieces, and at least two cranberries and other various bits go into the infuser, it’s tough to taste any of these. In a blind taste test, I probably wouldn’t mention ANY of the included ingredients. Maybe all the flavors just combine together to create a new flavor instead of flavors I can’t pick apart. Because honestly, I can’t distinctly taste any of these flavors. Also, the black tea results in a very light brown color with both steeps. So overall, not the holiday magic I expect (and the steeps were the same in the winter as well, so it isn’t just a matter of sipping season.) Ah well, can’t win them all.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoon for a full mug// 12 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep
Additional notes: PIZZA TEA. I tried to steep this one exactly like last time because it was so good. Even just one teaspoon is perfect for a mug. This whole blend is PERFECT. Raising the rating. The balance of flavors is spot on. And like I said in the last tasting note, tomato is 1,000% not my thing. I would never eat whatever the heck is in the photo for this tea. No way, no how. But I love this tea. This basil is so delicious. I’d love if 52Teas used it in more blends.
I nabbed this little guy from a teabox a while ago. This tiny little melon pu-erh is so small but it’s deceiving because it’s tough. I could hardly break into it with a knife. About 1/4 or 1/3 of this tiny cake went into the infuser. Though somehow I was supposed to use more. I gave it a good rinse and what resulted is three very solid steeps of ripe pu-erh. The flavor is very consistent over all the steeps, but oddly, there isn’t much flavor here. None of those disagreeable pu-erh flavors. But the brew was super dark, just like I love those murky pu-erh teas. Somehow the flavor might be a little TOO smooth and not distinctive enough. Like, some pu-erh has a bready flavor, especially if they are this dark in the mug. So maybe I should have used more leaves? Hopefully I’ll have more to say about this one next time…
I guess I’m finally writing tasting notes for my Yunnan Sourcing teas that I bought last year before my dad’s stroke (it will officially be a year in a few days). He is doing good! He is coming along with his speech. AND he has been riding his bike and even went kayaking recently… so to see him doing these things now after seeing him in that ICU bed last year is amazing.
Also, SO MANY awesome books were released today. Sigh. I can never keep up, even if I was reading a book a day. A new Helen Dewitt last week and now There There by Tommy Orange, a new memoir by Porochista Khakpour, and more by Lauren Groff, A.M. Homes, Marisha Pessl and a couple more that sound awesome. AHHH. I am a READER but I am SLOW. Help.
On to the tea… I did buy the 2016 harvest of this because you guys gave it the best rating. The leaves here are twisty and wrapped together, black with hints of gold. I steeped them in a teabag again to make sure the barnacled infusers had no impact on the leaves (to be honest, I haven’t really noticed a difference in the steeping of the YS teas so far anyway, between the teabags and the barnacled infusers.) I do love golden monkey teas. I expect them to result in a black murky brew though. This is more like a light red. There is a complexity to the flavor here, it’s just not as deep and dark as I would like my golden monkeys to be. It’s nice that it’s complex though. Malty, smooth, sweet… hard to describe The second steep seemed more savory but much the same. I really don’t want to have to use two teaspoons of leaves every time to get great flavor. Hmm.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 15 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // few minutes after boiling // 4-5 minute steep
I will first start by saying that my leaves do not look like the leaves in the photo. Sure, some of the leaves are green, but then half the leaf turns darker. I’m not sure if this is the leaf aging or production not being the same, so it looks different. Or maybe YS took a very bright picture. Anyway, these leaves sure are unique in color and length. They must be the longest leaves I’ve ever seen. I didn’t measure but a HUGE amount went into an empty fillable tea bag. The flavor is a little light for all these leaves I used for one mug. But what flavor is there is delicious — it tastes like a quality tie guan yin and possibly even had hints of another of my favorites: wen shan bao zhong. Smooth, buttery, floral, sweet and fresh. All the lovely characteristics I love to find in a lovely oolong.
Steep #1 // // 28 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #3 // 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Sure, I’m writing a tasting note late for this one, but whenever I steep this, I’m always trying to find the magic everyone else was tasting with this one. I even steeped the leaves in a fillable empty tea bag to make sure the steeping wasn’t being altered by my barnacled infusers. The result seems the same as the infuser steeps I tried before. This tea is just too weak for me, even if I steep two teaspoons, even if I steep for five minutes and even if the flavor is SUPPOSED to be this light. It just reminds me of a very mild Laoshan black crossed with one of those roasted oolongs that aren’t my favorite. Somehow I’m just getting a roasty flavor and a thin fruity flavor, possibly cherry. Both steeps almost taste exactly the same. It’s just not the tea for me.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 5 minute steep
By my calculations, there is about 154 different teas I never wrote a tasting note for. I’ve failed you, teas, I’ve failed you! Anyway…. Thanks so much for sending a bit of this along, Mastress Alita! I wanted to try this when I saw it over on Angry Tea Room’s website. This would probably be amazing iced, but I brewed this one up hot. I’m not really an alcohol drinker (drinking alcohol would mean less tea consumption anyway) but this has a flavor that tastes JUST like champagne. It’s uncanny. It’s the strongest flavor there is among all of these delicious ingredients: apples, papaya, rose, strawberry. But it’s the champagne that makes this so unique and tasty. Champagne with some fruit thrown in maybe. Then I read Mastress Alita’s description with memories of drinking champagne with frozen fruit to keep it cold: yep, that is what this tea is. I could definitely stock up on this one.
I’m happy to see that all of Bluebird’s teas have been changed to their new name Bird & Blend. (I thought it was the Steepster overlords but it was actually Crowkettle and Mastress Alita who had to change each tea— awesome job!! I would have helped if I knew that Steepster wasn’t going to change them all at once.) I’m hoping it doesn’t create too much confusion now that Bluebird had to change their name.This was from Bluebird’s Boxing Day sale! And I’m glad I’m able to try it! It’s certainly a great summer blend but also looks very festive. Very green and red. It’s also a very unique blend. I’m not sure if the pomegranate flowers should actually taste like pom. But otherwise there is some sort of melon flavor here, along with some strawberry. Hints of pepper keep it interesting. And the buttery sencha base is just to-die-for perfect. Both steeps had plenty of flavor to savor. I love my melon teas and this one is a different beast than the others — a great combination. Ah, I’m in tea heaven with this one on a hot day.
Steep #1 // 1 .1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 31 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Flavors: Butter, Melon, Pepper, Strawberry