3283 Tasting Notes

I find it hard to believe that I have never reviewed this tea.
I’ve enjoyed this tea in a variety of ways:
5G + tiny yixing X 10/20/30/40/50/60sec/1.5min/2/3/4/5 min
That parameter starts out herbaceous, with a sweet after taste of sugarcane and grapes, and a eucalyptus quality that rises into the sinuses as an after aroma. Steep by steep the sweetness abates and is replaced by a grapefruit taste, including the bitterness of the inner peel. In spite of the growing bitterness, this is another one of those teas with a great cosmic energy too it.

4G + 10oz mug X 3/5 min
Interestingly, this has been my preferred method with this tea. Somehow it was sweeter and I didn’t get as much of a grapefruit peel effect.

Overall, not my favorite of the purple teas, and I know this is a lame review, but that’s because I want to get back out into the garden, where I belong :)

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100

I have always loved this tea, written 36 reviews on it, and although Verdant is out of it for now (probably until fall I guess), they did send me their last sample when I placed an order a month or so ago, so I’m sure they know how I feel. I’ve been saving it, and today seems like a good day.

This is the tea that makes the BEST homemade Kombucha, in my opinion. There are other black teas that also result in wonderful Kombucha, but this one is my favorite. It takes on a pineapple tastes during fermentation, pair well with a variety of flavors (my favs being homegrown berries, esp black currant and vanilla bean…or, and also ginger root, of course).
Speaking of Kombucha, while I was in NOLA recently, I tried a locally made roasted chicory and vanilla Booch that was awesome! Anyway, my Kombucha making is currently on hold, as there was a mishap involving fruit flies and mold (for the first time ever), so I decided to take a break, but now I’m ready to set my crock back up and get started again.

SO, I’m not going to go all long winded on this, but I’ve written so many other reviews & nothing has really changed. It’s still deep,bold, dark chocolate & malty goodness, and I still love it.

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I’ve written 9 other reviews about this tea, and this will be the finale, as it is a sipdown as well. This tea is from 2014, but it’s still as awesome as ever, and it still brings to mind the same set of elements: Essence of rice congee, an oolong like incense/eucalyptus/herbaceious after aroma in the sinuses that lingers, the sweet after taste of Cherry/plum, and an incredible Sheng like Chaqi, that provides a clarity to both my allergies and my head in general, a really nice tea buzz.

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Teavivre makes a really lovely smokey Lapsang Souchong, one of my favorites, and although I know that all Lapsangs aren’t smokey, I kind of assumed this one would be.
It is not smokey, but it is delicious!
I dumped the 7G sample into a 16oz teapot and steeped 3 min, resteeped 5min.
The aroma of the leaf is sweet, bready, fruity, and a little floral.
The tea is essentially the same: honey, molasses, malt, stone fruit, and roses (in the 2nd steeping). I’ll have to remember to add some of this to my next Teavivre order.

Comm Guy

Sounds interesting. I just learned about Lapsang Souchong and assumed it was all smoky…

Fjellrev

Sounds like my kind of LS haha.

Terri HarpLady

Lapsang Souchong, aka Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, is the name used for a black tea coming from Wuyi, Fujian. It’s made from the 4th & 5th leaves, instead of the 2 leaves and a bud preferred for most black teas. It is also supposedly the first tea in history, according to some sources. I used to think it was always smokey as well, but I’ve enjoyed some really tasty non-smoked versions too :)

Comm Guy

Interesting. And informative. When I was waist deep in coffee, I used to just call all of it “tea”. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I ever knew.

ashmanra

Comm Guy – I have some of this one if you want to try it!

Terri HarpLady

Yunnan Sourcing also has some really tasty non-smokey Zheng Shan Xiao Zhongs, although I don’t have any on hand at this time. I’m overdue for a YS order.

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I got some of this from a local tea shop, Traveling Tea. She got it from this source, so I’ll just write my little review about it here. I’m not as big of a fan of Taiwan blacks as I am of Yunnan and Wuyi blacks, but I do prefer Taiwans over most of the black teas from India and other places.

This is a classic #18, tasting of cherries and sarsparilla, kind of a fruity root beer, with a lingering menthol chaser. It’s tasty, but not really my thing. There’s enough for another cup or 2, and that’s going into a box that I’ve started for my tea sister Sil, because I think she’ll love it.

Fjellrev

Wow, that’s kind of cool, save for the menthol finish.

Sil

woot!

Terri HarpLady

I probably should clarify, because there are Some Taiwanese black teas that I really do enjoy, like those yummy fruity sun moon lake ones we bought from Taiwan Tea Crafts. But I’ve never really been a ruby fan. It’s not as much the taste as the way it feels in my tummy, but there also is something about the taste that reminds me of insecticide, and that’s just gross. Hey Sil, remember that aged black tea that tasted like old beets from a root cellar :)

Sil

oh god… don’t remind me haha

ashmanra

I thought Sun Moon Lake and Ruby 18 were the same?

Terri HarpLady

Ruby 18 is one varietal that they grow there, but not the only one, or at least that’s my understanding.

ashmanra

Okay! I have had a Ruby 18 or two that I loved. One was just…meh. The other two were spectacular.

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I made a deal with myself, to get out of my lethargy. I set the timer for 45 minutes and cleaned the kitchen. The deal was once the kitchen is clean I can relax for 15 min or so with some tea. I chose this one because
A. I haven’t pulled it out for awhile
B. My tea sister Sil drank some
Either of those is reason enough, but it’s also a tasty tea with powerful good energy.
My tastebuds are dull from allergies, but I’m tasting cream of wheat with a little earth thrown in. Not as sweet and ‘cake’-like as I remember it, more herbaceous.
The texture is initially creamy with a matte finish, but it becomes very electrical and lively on the tongue, sinuses, brain & body very quickly! And that is probably the real reason I enjoy it so much, the excellent buzz & clarified brain sensation!

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I got back in town from a 10 day road trip on Sunday and this whole week I’ve been lagging, just not really on my game, dragging myself through weed pulling (maybe my garden IS too big?), errands, and a few household things. After my meditation this morning I went out into the garden & collected a few volunteer white turnips, a bunch of red carrots, a beet, and a pile of Kale. I had a student for an hour, ate a bowl of leftover Asian greens and chicken soup, and a cup of some unimpressive but drinkable black tea. One of the perks of being a self-employed musician is teaching from home. It’s a mellow job that can include pj like clothes & lots of tea. I only had one student today, so the rest of the day and most of tomorrow are mine. No gigs this weekend either!

That means I have time for a gongfu session or 2, and this tea was long overdue for some quality time. I had a love affair with Purple teas 3 years ago, and bought a ridiculous amount of this one, because it’s just SO awesome! It’s one of those teas that defies explanation, because although it is technically a black tea, it has qualities of an amazing oolong, with incense like aroma’s and after aromas and a fruity taste, but it also is kind of like a sheng puer with a real mind clarifying kind of energetic tea buzz, and like a sheng, it will help clear out your sinuses a little if you have allergies. For me this tea is more about texture, which is ultra smooth & clean, and the overall ambiance of how I feel. It’s a feel good tea. And it also tastes good, sweet and fruity in the early steeps, more herbacious near the end.

Rasseru

yeah, I love these. Have you tried the Zi Hong Pao?

Terri HarpLady

I don’t think I’ve tried that one, but I have a few others here :)

Rasseru

its purple tea done da hong pao style, you might really like it. Has that citrus edge purple tea has, alongside a good roast & oolong flavours

Terri HarpLady

I’d probably like that, since I tend to go for the roasty oolongs!

Rasseru

yeah its complex & interesting flavour, you should try it (its YS as well). Not something I can have all the time but when its right its perfect

eastkyteaguy

I just got both the Zi Hong Pao and The Zi Mei Gui in today. I’m working my way through a pouch of the Spring 2016 harvest of this tea at the moment and I have a few others to get to before I move on to the new acquisitions, but I’m looking forward to them.

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It’s been awhile since I drank this tea…like 3 years ago.
The occasion was awesome: My Tea Sister, Sil, was in St. Louis on some kind of business, and we got a chance to hang out! She came to my house & we drank a ridiculous amount of tea, including this one. And we both wrote reviews. And we went out for Vietnamese food. In those days I was much more active on Steepster, sharing tea trades with a bunch of people, joining one tea club after another, getting in on Traveling Tea boxes, including the BBBB (the badass bitches black box), which was a box Sil, TastyBrew, and I sent over and over to one another, with mostly black teas. I miss that box!! Ah, it feels so good to reminisce…
On with the tea…
Confession: I’m not really a huge fan of most Dancongs. It seems like they tend towards bitterness too easily. Maybe they’re just a little too fussy for me, or something. But as far as this one goes, it’s a pleasant brew.

I tried it 2 different ways: First, per the suggestions on the package, I went with the following formula: 5G + 8ox @194F X 1min. Resteep at 2 min. That resulted in a tangy grapefruitish brew, with toastiness and florals as well.

However my preferred method is:
9g in Gaiwan + 208F X 6sec. Add 3 – 4 sec to each additional resteep…more or less
I’ve been sipping this all afternoon, and each round starts out a little bitter, and then sweet. The flavors are fruity, rich and tangy, with heady incense-like florals, but the really exciting thing about this tea is the way it makes your mouth feel, like electricity is running through every tastebud on your tongue. That’s the sort of thing I do love about certain teas, and of course, that electricity spreads to give an awesome tea buzz and overall feel-good sensation. And there’s also the after-aroma, wherein after you take a sip, you can still feel the aroma lingering in your sinuses. I also want to mention the aroma of the wet leaf, which is juicy and peachy and also incense-like. Here’s a link to the company.

https://tributeteacompany.com/collections/loose-tea-oolong/products/phoenix-orchid-oolong-fenghuang-dancong

Sil

awe…that was a good time.

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100

Four years ago I loved this tea so much that I purchased a ridiculous amount of it. I bought my first yixing pot in honor of this tea as well, and a special ceramic container to store it in, and then proceeded to hoard it, pulling it out for special occasions.

Today is not really a special occasion, but a worthy one, and really, every day is special and worthy, right? I got back from a 10 day road trip last night, so I’m pampering myself a bit to recuperate. I slept in, ate a light breakfast, and then wandered around the garden, cup of black tea in hand, to witness the overgrowth of weeds during my absence, along with the formation of melons! Then I spent the afternoon sipping steep after steep of this lovely oolong, just as wonderful and flavorful and nuanced as it was 4 years ago. I’ve written multiple reviews over the years of this tea, so that’s all I’m saying.

Fjellrev

Hey you! Good to see you around this neck of the woods again.

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! I pop in once in awhile :)
I don’t write as many reviews as I used to, mainly because I just don’t have many teas that I haven’t reviewed, kind of a creature of habit, and I hate to be redundantly reviewing the same leaves over and over again :)

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ok…I’m embarrassed to admit that while I spent all of yesterday afternoon drinking this tea, I didn’t write anything down and seem to have amnesia about it.
I do remember that it was enjoyable, a little bitter at the beginning but not in a bad way, and gradually sweeter, and it had a nice tanginess. Also a little shroomy brothiness at some point.
I know…that’s pretty generic…sorry…

Ubacat

It’s happened to me plenty of times.

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Bio

I’m so excited to have found this community! I’m a self-employed Harpist (acoustic & electric – Originals, Classical, Rock, Jazz, etc) & Singer/Songwriter. My days & nights revolve around teaching at home, playing gigs, gardening,& fixing awesome food to eat. My schedule is different everyday, but I just go with the flow, & I sip a lot of tea!

My love of Tea began with Herbals back in the 70’s. One of my favorites was a licorice blend from House of Hezekiah, an old tea shop in Kansas City. There was also a tea with mint, rose petals, chamomile, etc called Nuclear Casual Tea.
In the 80’s I gave up caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, (& a few illicit substances…), and brewed medicinal blends & tinctures to support 4 pregnancies (all children born at home). In the 90’s my love affair with green teas began when I discovered ‘The Republic of Tea’. Their beautiful teas & packaging inspired my original song, “TeaMind”, from my CD “Zen Breakfast”. If you’d like to hear the song for free, drop by my website.

In general, I drink my teas straight, but occasionally I add a pinch of Stevia & maybe some coconut or almond milk (I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, & various other things & avoid most sweets.)

I’ve explored a variety of teas:
Whites tend to be a little bland…sorry
Oolongs – wonderfully sensual
Roobios – I’m not a fan in general
Puehr – a fairly new direction for me
I’m not a huge fan of flavored teas, but I do make exceptions, & I’ll try just about anything once.

And Black Tea, Oh how I love thee!!
I am on a quest for the most wonderful breakfast cup! I will find you, my Love!

Location

St. Louis, MO

Website

http://www.harpsinger.net

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