165 Tasting Notes
I had tried this one a couple of years ago and didn’t really like it, so I let it sit for awhile, hoping that it would improve. Sadly, it has not. Love the idea of puerh stuffed into a green mandarin, but even after a rinse, it tasted like musty old papers. Very wood forward, as expected, but not sweet wood. There was a leather-like note as well, but honestly, it just didn’t taste good. And not even a tiny bit of citrus to be found. I’ve tried other shou puerh teas, so it’s not that I don’t enjoy that type of tea, I just think this one is not to my liking. Unfortunate because TeaVivre is a favorite of mine, putting out really nice teas in general. I’ve got three mandarins left. Maybe shove them back into my stash to age for awhile longer?
Flavors: Leather, Musty, Wood
My go-to lately when I feel like a gongfu session – it’s just so drinkable. Sweet, honey, caramel notes that keep going steep after steep. The taste and aroma is such a pleasure! I also don’t do full-size cakes generally – I like more of the little coin or tuo variety – so it’s fun to get out the beengslayer and be a badass getting chunks off this thing. Since it’s a Dianhong, I’m not really concerned about what happens aging-wise, just storing it appropriately and going for it periodically. If I didn’t have so may teas (I know, many of us have the same “problem”), I would have drunk this down by now. Basically, I’m enjoying the heck out of this, and can’t believe it took so long to review.
Bagged tea from Tazo, great for a quick, no-brainer, I-need-something-sweet-and-comforting kind of brew. I mostly use this while traveling because of the convenience of teabags vs. loose leaf. It’s nice and vanilla-y with a tiny, tiny hint of warm spice. Honestly, the bar was really low on this one, so it passed with flying colors. Brewed according to the instructions on the box.
Flavors: Nutmeg, Sweet, Vanilla
Sample from a pack of spring teas from Teavivre. Loved this – just as others have noted, it’s nutty and sweet. Subtle vegetal notes for me, but I love that! No bitterness, although when I munched on some almonds it did bring out a little bitterness, but blame it on the food, not the tea! I used the whole packet for my session, and used shorter steeps averaging around 6 oz per steep. Got three steeps (counting a quick and not necessary rinse) and it was still going but my belly was full. Rinse, 45 sec, 1:30. I would definitely add this to my repertoire. Excellent as always, Teavivre!
Flavors: Chestnut, Nutty, Sweet, Vegetal
I have a caffeine-sensitive husband, and as I age, I am noticing sometimes (just sometimes!) I, too, seem to have a bit of trouble falling asleep if I’ve had a black tea after dinner. Getting a decaf tea would not have even been a consideration years before, but here we are. This is a nice, fruity, cherry tea, perfect on its own and definitely one I enjoy post-dinner as a relaxing drink. The cherry notes on this harken back to Lupicia’s Sakurambo tea a little bit, but this one is definitely fruitier, with more sweet cherry notes to it rather than the almost herbal hit of Sakurambo.
Flavors: Cherry, Fruity
Got a sample, loved it so much I ordered more. Brewed in a gaiwan, but held back on the leaf, and went lower on the temp than usual (208F). Poured the water around the gaiwan rather than straight over the top of the leaves. I was rewarded with a honey sweet, mellow but flavorful taste, super enjoyable. Got quite a number of steeps out of it (like, 6?) before the leaves gave up. Like Bitterleaf says in the notes, super honey-forward. Just like I like it.
Flavors: Herbs, Honey
Had this in a Tea Forte sampler box and really enjoyed it, so much so that I ended up buying a tin of the loose leaf. It’s like thin mints or peppermint patties in tea form! Normally I find herbal teas not to my liking (too tangy, too perfumey, etc.), so whenever I do find one I like I make sure to get it. The mint is what’s coming through primarily, with a chocolate-cocoa note as a finish. Pleasant and refreshing, especially after dinner when caffeine could be an issue.
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Mint, Peppermint
I’m another one of those “got it at Home Goods/TJMaxx” people. How could I resist at the low price for so much tea! Plus I find that I really enjoy Tao of Tea brand teas. This one’s really nice, very pleasant, although quite mild for me. I don’t like super spicy masala chai, so it works. Nice blend of spices, but again, super mild, and I’m not getting much flavor from the Assam base. I would theorize that maybe the way Tao of Tea packages its teas makes it susceptible to losing flavor, but the other flavors I’ve tried from this brand (Ginger Peach, Black Mango) are still super flavorful. Anyway, it’s a nice drinker for when I feel too lazy to make my own masala chai – and I always prefer my own made from scratch – easier to control the spices that way!
FWIW – brewed up the black tea and just added evaporated milk after it was done steeping. Did not make it on the stovetop. Like I said – for when I’m lazy!
Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger
A gift from a very generous and dear friend. She knows the tea flavors I like and this tea is sooooo good. Lovely caramel flavor that I’ve enhanced with milk, no burnt sugar notes, just creamy, slightly buttery, deep caramel flavor. Would make an excellent dessert tea, but I like it with breakfast, especially if that breakfast is savory, or not very exciting flavor-wise. Probably one of the best caramel flavored blacks I’ve had.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cream, Sweet
Wow – I love this tea! Now, I’ve said it before, I’m not a big fan of herbal/fruit infusions. They’re usually too tangy for me. There are a couple of exceptions and I have nothing but love for them. This is definitely one of those exceptions. I know there’s gotta be a ton of god-knows-what in there to make it taste so buttery and cookie-like. I don’t care. This is perfect for a dessert tea, something when I crave a sweet for after dinner and don’t want to consume all the calories that go into it, plus no caffeine to interfere with sleep (although my sensitivity to caffeine isn’t high). Just a dash of evaporated milk and we’re good to go. Buttery, caramel, cookie goodness with some cocoa notes. Absolutely yum.
Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cocoa