172 Tasting Notes
This is another one of the samples Bonnie sent me, and as always, I’m extremely grateful. It’s awesome to be able to have the opportunity to try new teas. The dry leaf of this one smelled delicious. It smelled very rich, chocolaty, sweet and promising…but the brewed tea was a bit of a letdown. I don’t quite understand the good reviews on this one, because I’ve found that no matter how much leaf I added or how long I steeped it, it was a watery, flavorless mess. I sincerely hope you don’t take offense to this, Bonnie! I’m still very grateful for the chance to try it as I was actually considering buying some, so thanks again! I’m just not a fan of this one.
Still loving it. In later steepings, I’m getting fresh spearmint notes and a bit of a tingling sensation. Interesting. On a side note, I’ve been thinking that for every pu-erh I get, I’m going to save just a little bit of each kind and store it somewhere and then drink it a few years down the line to see how it affects the characteristics of the tea. Does anyone know what the ideal environment would be to properly age it in? (It’s not like I have a cave in my backyard). :)
I just received my first order from Verdant and I’m very excited to try out all of the teas I received. After reading the extremely fond, well written reviews I was most excited to try this one. I don’t have what you would call a “refined” palate, I’m sure there’s a lot that I miss in my inexperience but I’ll try my best. Let me start off by saying that the dry leaf smells fantastic. I honestly cannot think of proper words to describe the smell, but it was more pungent than I had imagined and very pleasant. Once brewed and allowed to cool off a bit, it was time to taste this wonderful tea. After reading the reviews, I knew I had to pay close attention to the texture of the tea, something I’m not used to doing. To me, it seems best described as a little bit thick or syrupy, and it’s a very pleasant sensation. On top of that, I get a drying sensation like that of silver needles I have tried. It’s as if I feel the little downy hairs of the tea buds dancing around on my tongue. The taste is primarily malty in a “bright” kind of way, with honey flavors comparable to Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tip. I’m enjoying this tea very much so far and I feel lucky to have been able to try it.
Bonnie graciously sent me some samples, thanks Bonnie! This was one of the first ones I decided to try since I love genmaicha and I’m extremely curious about gyokuro. I’ve gotta say, I liked this a lot. It had the same basic flavor that I’m used to with genmaicha (the flavor of the toasted rice is always by far the dominant flavor), but there was something different about this one in that it had a nice level of sweetness on top of the toasted flavor. I like it a lot, thanks again Bonnie.
I finally did it, I placed my first order with Verdant. I spent a lot of time debating whether or not to do it, but the curiosity has been killing me and I knew that I HAD to do it. I got an ounce of the spring harvest Laoshan green, an ounce of the cornfields shu tuo cha, and an ounce of the golden fleece black tea (which is the one I’m REALLY excited to try). For that three ounces of tea, I spent $40.00. I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around that number, I feel a bit ashamed to be honest. But if I would have never tried their tea, I would’ve always been left wondering. Sometimes you just have to live.
But anyway, I’ve spent enough time rambling completely off-topic, I just had to get that out there because I’m PUMPED. Now to the tea at hand. This stuff never disappoints me. This is possibly the most comforting tea I’ve had to date. It’s a very light-bodied tea but the flavor is there and it’s right on point. I can summarize this tea in four simple words: Malty, roasty, chocolatey, sweet. In other words, COMFORT. So for now I’ll sit here and sip on this cup of heaven while thoughts of the wondrous teas to come drift through my mind. And then I’ll spend the next week VERY impatiently awaiting my Verdant order…
I’m still new to unflavored black tea and I have to say that there’s a lot more too it than I expected. I wasn’t aware that so many different flavors and layers of complexity could be present in black teas. I guess the reason for that is just the fact that whenever I thought of black tea, some kind of bagged English breakfast was always what popped into my mind. And because of my expectations, when I first opened my sample bag of Teavivre’s bailin gongfu black I was blown away. I actually felt a rush of adrenaline from the excitement in knowing that I was in for a treat and a surprise. I was shocked. Upon opening this sample bag provided for me in my second round of Teavivre samples, I experienced a flashback to that moment of awakening. The leaves are beautiful. Part rich cocoa color, but mostly a rustic gold composing the beautiful twists of leaf. The golden color of the leaves is much like the amber glow pouring in through my windows just before sunset this evening. Before I got into loose-leaf tea, I NEVER would have thought that “black” tea could look this way, and to be honest I still don’t understand what causes this to happen, but it sure is cool. Now on to the taste. All of what I taste in this tea has been said before. Mostly cocoa, a little malty, with little hints of sweet potato and honey intermingled. Also, there is a definite genuine sweetness to it when I allow it to sit in my mouth for a bit and let it touch different parts of my tongue (as strange as that may sound). It is delicious, and it’s a perfect end to a not-so-good day.
My computer still isn’t working so I’m once again confined to my phone, which means this review’s gonna be short and sweet. This stuff is GREAT. Smooth, rich and earthy with chocolate and leather tones. My fixations in the world of tea change, and now pu-erh is the subject of my intrigue. The taste of pu-erh is quickly growing on me and I’m making it a goal to try more because it’s a fascinating type of tea. This is a satisfying cup.
The other day I bought a few different loose teas from unidentified brands in bulk at Wegman’s, and this is one of the teas that I know to be Ito En. The citrus smell is there in the dry leaf but is very light, it’s more of a subtle hay like smell with hints of citrus. Upon tasting, this tea is different than what I am used to in a sencha in that it doesn’t really have that vegetal flavor, it’s just a pure buttery flavor with light citrus undertones and it makes for a very tasty cup.