1379 Tasting Notes
“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”
In this case it is true, though I admit I am not a religious person. With the loss of my shrimp tank I thought it be best if I try to recuperate with a day or two of reflection, memories and mourning. It would seem that was not meant to be for long. Last night at 9:15pm there was a knock on the door from my two neighbours (who I had never met nor seen before by the way), they were holding a small black kitten and asked if it was mine. I replied that it was not my kitten, eventually finding out that some children saw it wandering the street alone so they got their parents and ended up knocking doors trying to find the owners. I believe I was one of the last stops as they asked if it would be possible to look after him with intentions of advertising about the kitten. I said yes (much to my husbands distaste) and so I welcomed him into my home.
Don’t mistake my husbands tone, he truly does not want this kitten and has made it quite clear, as he did with our other 4 cats; but I do admit that 5 cats is perhaps a bit too much. Well if I could I would offer a home to all the cats in the world, were it large enough. So for now I have my hands full with a black male kitten, I believe he is roughly 8-9 weeks old. Far too young to be roaming around and I for one could not turn him away. We called him ‘Ollie’ after Oliver Twist, we needed a name for him because I call my other cats names like ‘baby’ and ‘little pudding’.
A part of me wants him to be collected from his real owners but a larger part of me wants to keep him. One of my cats has taken such a shining to him and they are the best of friends. Perhaps because Mr Sooty Pants is also a pure black cat and as he was the youngest of our four he must remember what it was like coming into a new house for the first time.
So how long I have him for is beyond my knowledge but while I have him I’m going to make the best of it. And yes I realise this was a long story about nothing tea related, for that I am sorry. So to finish this post off I am sipping some of this Ruby black tea, though it has gone cold as little kitty is asleep on me and I can barely reach for the drink. A tea chosen to cherish the wonders of life, the good times and the bad times…it’s truly random and amazing.
I received some bad news last night, my small fish tank (which contained around 1000 cherry shrimp, 3 Ottoinculus fish and various snails) has endured some sort of freak malfunction and all of it’s inhabitants are dead. It is believed to have happened sometime through Saturday night. I didn’t notice it on Sunday morning, while I fed them I was desperate for the toilet so I didn’t check to see if they were alright. For that I feel incredibly guilty. I dearly loved my underwater friends and they will be sorely missed.
Today I am not feeling up to much while I grieve, so I chose this tea to re-steep all day while I watch films on tv (as this morning the pc died). I should be back in a couple of days if not sooner, for now I’m just picking comfort tea and trying to accept my loss. I’ve been with them for 3 years when I started to build my shrimp army.
Hello tea lovers!
During the UK’s persistent heatwave the craving for fruit tea has gotten the better of me. That’s when I pulled this one from my shelf to try. I adore watermelon and peach in a tea and considering this has both it made for an easy purchase. Plus with this being described as good for ‘hot’ or ‘iced’ tea it makes it all the better. This will be a ‘hot’ review but I plan on steeping it in my iced tea bottle later today to see the outcome. My curiosity is totally piqued!
The raw tea blend has large green tea leaves with yellow flower petals mixed in, if you look close enough you will find small cubes of fruit among the blend.
As I open the packet I am met with a peach scent which is sweet and very natural smelling. Among that is the slight perfume of grass and flowers. Beautiful in every way.
Steeping parameters – 1 tsp of leaf in my ceramic mug with removable filter and lid. (Around 250ml/9oz of water). Temp: 80C for 3 minutes.
Once steeped the tea is fairly dark yellow/green and bares the same beautiful peach scent as it’s raw form.
In flavour this is soft and sweet with buttery, toasted grass notes followed by smooth but sweet peach that feels like it melts in my mouth. Behind that there is another level of fruit and perfume, a little dry but ideally so, blended so well that I cannot distinctly taste the watermelon or kiwi. Not that the peach overpowers per say, it is soft but distinct, more that they are blended so well ie they work well together, that it combines as one.
As it cools the green tea thickens but remains grassy and pleasant, while the flowers also thicken to combine with them.
‘Yet still the peach sings her perfect sweet song on my tongue,
and my taste buds wiggle and dance.
For this blend does each and together belong,
forever to be sipped and enjoyed by chance.’
I’m glad that I pulled this out of my stash this morning. It’s been the perfect start to my day, and I can see myself sipping on this tea a lot in the near future. It tasted better than I expected as I do not usually favour flavoured tea, but the chance was well worth it with this one. The balance was perfect, the strength was refreshing and right, the flavours to me were divine and when I drink fruit tea this had everything I am looking for.
Happy Steeping Everyone!
I pulled this out of my stash after the recent clean, forgot how amazing these leaves look. They are large, long, thinly rolled and consist of dark green, green and yellow tones. Very large and full leaves, so beautiful to look at. Scent is smooth, sweet, fresh and floral. Mix milk, honey, butter and flowers in a bowl and that would reflect how this one smells. (I can imagine).
Teapot: Gongfu 200ml
First Steep – 1 minute
The colour is yellow.
The scent is buttery, floral and soft.
Flavour is as buttery and soft as it smells, also floral with peony and sweetpea notes in particular. An after taste of milk and lightly toasted grass with a dry finish.
Second Steep – 2 minutes
More floral tones echo among the toasted grass, butter and milk that blend into one delicious, smooth nectar.
Third Steep – 3 minutes
Mild astringency starting to form around the toasted grass. Also the flowers are thickening to resemble perfume, with a dry finish. Lingering aftertaste of sweet flowers. A bouquet of flowers.
Fourth Steep – 4 minutes
Mild steep and completely toned down from what it was. Subtle sweet but toasted flowers is pretty much all that remains, with a light dry finish.
Fifth Steep – 5 minutes
My last steep. The toasted flowers finish what was a beautiful Oolong.
The quality throughout this was exquisite!
Perhaps one of the nicest Phoenix Dan Cong that I have ever tried. It was a complete surprise considering it was from AliExpress and not a well known company. It just goes to show that sometimes it’s worth the risk of trying something from somewhere new.
Flavors: Flowers, Grass, Honey, Perfume, Sweet, Toasty
Let me start buy saying this was purchased a while ago, seeing as it is a 2013 harvest, and I’ve only just remembered about it. I put it to ‘rest’ for a few months but have left it for the better part of a year and half. My mistake! I’ve been looking around trying to find some information on someone else doing this but when it comes to aging and resting greentea there is little to no information on it. Most say to drink greentea asap while it’s fresh and that is should never be kept for too long as it loses flavour. Well I had this in the hopes to ‘mature’ it a little to see what would happen. At this point I think all I can do is give it a try.
The leaves are a beautiful, glossy, dark green that form curly/squiggly pieces. Not bright green but not brown or dull either.
The scent is toasty yet sweet and ‘smog’ like, so a hint of smoke in it’s thickness. Also mild floral tones. Overall it’s quite strong though on the ‘mellow’ side of strong. As you keep sniffing it gets sweeter and sweeter.
It’s quite late (11pm) and I’m pairing this review with watching anime so I think I will use a gongfu teapot across three steeps. Using roughly 5g of leaf and 80C water.
Steep 1 – 1 minute
Colour is yellow.
Scent is sweet and honeyed with light toasted grass and floral tones.
Flavour is soft and sweet at first with honey, orchid and toasted grass with a buttery finish. As I continue there is some dryness in the aftertaste.
Steep 2 – 2 minutes
This steep is more floral and still as sweet and buttery. Perhaps less toasted now though if anything. The dryness is still the same but it rather adds to it’s charm. Some astringency, like thick grass.
Steep 3 – 3 minutes
Soft flavours with astringency. All that really remains is butter, mild toasted grass and sweetness now likened to sweetcorn.
This was a success for me, and was perhaps a good thing I rested it for so long. While I have not tried this specific companies tea, I have had Lao Shan green’s before and found them to be ‘full on’ and ‘thickly smog like’ at times. While that is all well and good I do think that perhaps I have to be in the right frame of mind for it. Whereas with this long rested period it’s smoothed those tones out but the sweetness mixed with toasted grass and honeyed flowers blend beautifully to create a more ‘balanced’ version of a Lao Shan green. At no point while I was drinking did I stop and think “Wow, this tastes old” or anything similar to that effect. In some ways it was comparable to an Oolong, like Jin Xuan.
So my mistake was not costly, not in the slightest it would seem. I know that the rest of this can be enjoyed in the very near future. Perhaps I can take some to a party my mother is hosting soon to show off her new summer house, see if anyone is ‘daring’ enough to try it. If not then more for me, but if someone manages to strike up a conversation about tea with me while I’m there it would make my day.
Flavors: Butter, Grass, Honey, Orchid, Sweet, Toasted
I decided to re-steep last nights leaves and just in time too as Death Note drama has just released it’s second video a few hours ago. So really it’s just like I’m going to carry on from where I left off (in both senses).
The re-steep was a good call because it’s still full of flavour and strength, perhaps a little more sour and bitter. The wood and malt tones still preside with sweet and sour notes with the dry, dark cocoa finish. Just as beautiful as the first steep. :)
Some quick notes on this one tonight while I stay up and watch Death Note (the drama version ie live action film). This tea came from a friend in Taiwan as part of an exchange along with some other locally sourced tea.
This comes in the large tin as pictured along with an airtight lid, meaning I can just open and enjoy asap without having to find somewhere for it to go.
The raw leaves are long, thin and curly with a sweet wood and malt scent. Subtle and toasted.
Once steeped this tea has a thick malt scent with some sweetness though also a bit dry and sour.
Flavour is not quite as thick nor sour as the smell but it does have a lot of character non the less. The malt and wood tones mixed with sweet and dry create a complex yet pleasing combination. Further sips reveal soft leather and dark cocoa notes.
It has similar characteristics to the other Sun Moon Lake tea I’ve had previously and I think for the time being this might be my ‘go to’ black tea. I’m going to keep it near my kettle for easy access. Plus perhaps my husband will get curious one morning and make himself a cup…well probably not but he may if I coerce him. I bought him a ceramic all in one steeping mug with lid so he can take loose leaf to work.
So it would seem this ended the night perfectly, and the Death Note drama is pretty awesome too!
Flavors: Cocoa, Leather, Malt, Sour, Sweet, Wood
In raw form this tea smells super duper sweet and fruity! Like fresh peach juice. The Oolong balls are a nice size which comes dotted with other ingredients around them, of which I can see rose petals and ginger pieces.
Once steeped the tea is golden brown/yellow with a sweet and thick fruit scent, particularly peach and an undertone of sweet rose and flowers surround it. Pure smelling and juicy, wonderful!
Flavour matches the scent somewhat. It’s sweet and fruity with peach and strawberry like tones with flowers and milky Oolong, blended into one smooth and sweet drink. The fruit is very fresh and pure, I can almost taste the fuzz of the peach skin. It’s strength is a nice balance, not toning out the Oolong but using the milk tones to it’s advantage. Further sips reveal a touch of dryness which lingers with the sweet fruit in the after taste.
I could drink this tea any time, any where and still enjoy it as much. Therefore top marks from me (which is a rare occurrence)
For more info and pics: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/15/monsoon-blended-oolong-from-siam-tee-shop/
Additional note: Even through 3 re-steeps (so 4 steeps altogether) this tea still has lots of flavour, almost as much as the original. Another reason that is gets top marks :D
Flavors: Milk, Peach, Sweet
This tea smells sweet and herbal, with the licorice being the strongest. It’s refreshing and rather light. The powder is khaki in colour.
Once boiling water is added it has been stirred very thoroughly.
Flavour is thick and very sweet, the licorice root grabbing my taste buds and taking them on a refreshing ride. The Mate is lightly herbal though it gets lost behind the sweet, refreshing (and overpowering) licorice and ginkgo. It has a long after taste, it’s sweetness clinging to my tongue.
I admit I’m not a fan of licorice tea in general, but this was drinkable. More than that I believe the Mate has worked somewhat to boost my energy.
Pics and more info: http://www.kittylovestea.co.uk/2015/07/14/chi-whole-leaf-tea-sampler-review/