676 Tasting Notes
Thanks again Indigobloom for this sample!
I don’t get much of a chance to drink real loaded with fruit tea. This was LOADED!
When I opened the silver DT packet it was hard to find any black tea at all. The plump pieces of cranberry and dried pear with apple looked more like fruit salad. Steeping this 6 minutes to extract as much fruit flavor as possible the pour was golden with a warm, delicious cranberry scent.
I was expecting lots of fruit flavor. Sadly, the apple taste broke the back of the cranberry tang causing the flavors to flatten. This was disappointing. I like cranberry apple juice but the balance has to be just right or the cranberry will get lost, which is what happened here. The result was watery. Too bad.
I think a little hibiscus would have helped. Hibiscus haters who swear that it overpowers every other flavor on earth, in some cases, such as cranberry, it can be a great help if used in moderation. And, maybe a little more tea could have been in this fruit mixture.
Where was that tea anyway?
This was not a winner. But Indigobloom is a winner all the time!
Thank you Teavivre again for this Pu-erh sample!
I requested a some Pu-erh samples in my last batch from Angel and was so pleased at the generous amount of Pu-erh bark packaged so beautifully. I adore a rich brew in the morning…especially Pu-erh!
The packaging was brown paper with a farm scene printed on it depicting pots filled with picked tea leaves, a storage crock and a pressed Pu-erh cake. Inside the bark was like a dark chocolate bar changed into chunky bark form.
The directions on the package said to steep 2-10 minutes. Wow, that was a big time range! Since I enjoy rich Pu-erh, I chose a longer 8 minute brew in my glass Western Style pot with big stainless basket so I can peek and watch.
The wet leaves were auburn brown with long beautiful shreds but not very fragrant.
The pour was dark and at first taste tingly in my tongue, juicy and mild. I was surprised that this tea was not herbaceous or earthy considering such a long steeping. There was mineral, almost no salt and a light natural sweetness. I wondered if this was a tea leaf picked from trees on a rocky hill, or volcanic soil instead of lush forest because of the mildness. There is tannin and dryness.
I tried some sugar and cream but the tea is not strong and rich enough to support these additions. You need more earthiness and salt for latte goodness. This Pu-erh is one of those that is definately better straight up!
I brought up the online notes for brewing and discovered the difference between the package directions (2-10 minutes) and the online directions (1-2 minutes) EEKS!
To be fair I went back and did a shorter steep time to see if the flavor was completely different.
Second steep at 2 minutes. Nice redish golden liquor, very little nose to the liquor at all.
The flavor was juicy still, super mild and sweet enough to drink as is. There is that tannin but not overly obnoxious and there is a little saltiness. I can’t imagine anyone having issues with this Pu-erh. All the Pu-erh haters should put down their protest signs and enjoy this tea because it is so gentle.
I added a little sugar with this lighter version and actually liked it. It brought out a bakery flavor like a cream cookie which was unexpected.
Here you have two ways to have a Pu-erh depending on how you like your brew.
1. Long steep and drink it straight up.
2. Short steep and add a little sweetening for a bakery cookie flavor
Either way, this is so mild that you can share with Pu-erh sceptics and have no fear. There is no fishiness or heavy earthiness here. A good introduction to raw Pu-erh.
Everyone should have a neighborhood Tea House! Happy Lucky’s is my Pub, my place that I can go to for a pot of tea once a week and chat with the staff about tea and what’s going on around town. I bring in a tea sample now and then for them to try as a friendly gesture, and they save special treats for me too.
This Glenburn First Flush Darjeeling was almost gone but the guys wanted me to try it so the brewing began. I always sit at the tea bar watching all the action. People coming in and out of the shop, what’s being brewed, and the view out the window. I smacked down some Verdant Laoshan Black on the staff for their tasting and while they slurped away.. I began my tasting of this darjeeling.
I was impressed at how floral and sweet this tea was. So I purchased the last ounce available and took it home.
My steeping tonight produced a delightfully golden liquor. I chose to drink this cup after a fine Pad Thai dinner from Yung’s down the street.
The tea was fragrant with citrus and pear. Taking a sip, there was almost a bergamot flavor and smoke. Yes, bergamot. The tannin was a bit much so I added sweetening to lift the flavor upwards to a delightful finish. Ah, better. So much better that now this dargeeling has morph’s into Nectar. Juicy! Sweet Springtime Honey! Thickly coating my tongue and memorable. (now I can’t talk)
Um, this is good! Uh…gotta go read my fortune cookie!
Thank you Indigobloom for this sample!
I’ve been a bit unwell (I’ll get to that at the finish) so I decided to SMOKE it out of me! Teach that ol allergic reaction a lession I will! Ya’ll know I love me some Lapsang Souchong! With this sample I went past the recommended steep time by 1 minute because I like my tea full bodied. Um, smelled nice and smoky but not in a room filled with smoke sort of way. In other words, no one was going to call the Fire Department.
The golden brown liquor looked just right when I took my first gulp, hum, which was milder and sweeter than I was expecting. I’ve been drinking a bold and salty Lapsang Souchong with a slightly burnt edge for some time but this was different. This one was smooth and mild with far less salt, and with tannin at the finish creating juiciness.
I added sweetening (I know that Indigobloom does this too) and cream which created a nicely balanced morning cup of smoked, buttery sweet tea. Perfect pairing would be toast and jam or sweet bagels.
Just a note for anyone with food allergies (like me)…Rooibos is in the legume family which I found out by getting a reaction…arf…so you should avoid it! Who knew! Made my throat and mouth all scratchy and sore and swollen and I felt awful…could have been worse!
Thanks Indigobloom for this tea!
I love Pu-Ehr in the morning! Rich and delicious,this cup starts my day right.
The steep time here was 4 min. and produced a mild sweet bakery earthy aroma. I had rinsed earlier for 20 seconds.
The flavor was mild. Peppery on the tongue and barely earthy, with sweet salt and nice drinkability.
Whenever I find salt I am tempted to sweeten my tea to experience the contrast and see what flavors develop. When I did this, the earthiness rose up from hiding. Good! I do love this sweet savory tea!
I wasn’t going to do this but as an experiment I added milk and pow! Salty caramel heaven! I was surprised at how delish!
I’ve learned that a rinse is a good thing if you are weary of pu-erh’s, and try sweet or with milk or cream to see what your preference is!
Thanks again to Indigobloom for this sample!
I Googled this Lapacho when I read that this is an Andes inner bark herbal tea with medicinal properties. Hum. I wish I could ask my Aunt Lois if she ever used this herb. She lived in the jungles for many years and is a nurse in Ecuador and Peru. I’m sure that in the 1940’s-1990’s there were many things that she learned that are now forgotten in her Washington nursing home at age 92. She’s the one who told me to drink Mate de Coca (coca leaf tea) for my heart when I went to 15,000 ft. altitude in the Andes years ago. Anyway, Google said there are no known health benefits to date from Lapacho but there have been some ill effects to pregnant animals so pregnant women should be careful drinking the tea. This does not concern me at my age but others be advised.
All that being said…phew…I simmered this herbal blend on the stove for 15 minutes and poured myself a nice orange scented mug full. The flavor was sweet orange and had another very strong warm taste that I could not put my finger on. Almost a baked vanilla cookie while still warm from the oven taste. The tea has a fresh flavor and unique and is creamy. No bitterness or tannin.
There are those who are looking for the edge of the forest…looking to the fields and bushes, for the ancient herbs and cups of many cultures. This is one of those little gems.
Thank you Angel and Teavivre for this sample!
I do enjoy a good Silver Needle Tea! I also am a believer in the curative properties of White Tea in particular having had a cure on my palms of a skin condition that I suffered with for 20 years and that White Tea applications cleared away completely never to return now many years later. (I don’t buy it when other people tell me these things, I know…but this is true for me!) I prefer the BEST ORGANIC I can afford! When this arrived in my package of samples, I was anxious to try it.
Opening the pretty white individual packet, the silver needles were long and covered with white down. Lovely! With a steep time of 1-2 minutes there was no waiting time. I am so impatient! The wet needles were fragrant with a green-bean vegetal scent, not scented enough to fill the room. I expected a floral smell which was not there. Curious.
The flavor was quite mild, unlike any white tea or silver needle I’ve tasted before. So mild in fact that I would not be able to say this is silver needle in a blind tasting. It was a bit salty and juicy, more like linen than needle, not floral or vegital at all. It was a bit hazelnutty.
I broke down and sweetened it…maybe that would change the picture.
Oh Golly! (like that word) The sweetness with the salt grabs the guts of the tea and yanks the hidden not-to-sweet flavor of salted butterscotch! This was mega better good!
Now I had the roll going…sweet….slurping…salty butterscotch silver needle white tea! My taste buds are having a party because this is one of those flavors that all you need is some friends to stop by. You want to share a tea like this one. This just can’t be a Silver Needle!
This is a keeper!
I received this sample from Indigobloom…thank you!
My fibromyalgia pain has been kicking my butt the last week with aches but nothing I can’t handle. When I’m irritated during the night with this problem, a lovely Pu-erh sounds so good in the morning…well…I just can’t explain how good it is and settling on the stomach.
The bright gold and orange Teaopia bag was like sunshine today…PU-ERH for BONNIE…PICK ME! And I did!
My only Teaopia experience was last September after the great Alaska Cruise with my granddaughter Schey and her best friend. We spent a few days in upstate Washington at a condo and I drove to Metropolis Mall in Vancouver, B.C. which had a friendly Teaopia Store. (We went to the Mall for the free parking and because you catch the transit train there to central Vancouver!) So, Teaopia was my first intro to loose tea! Thank you!
For this brewing I did a 10 second rinse. My steep time was 5 minutes. I love a dark Pu-erh! This turned a velvet dark chocolate bar color without any harsh earthy aroma. My first sip was clean, mildly savory and salty like short ribs. I likeed how mellow the flavor was and the way you can sip straight up without adding anything to enhance or hide the naturally good flavor. The mouthfeel was rich and lightly juicy.
I know that many people (ME TOO) add milk and/or sweetening to morning tea so I went all the way. I made a latte and it was SUPURB! This did not become a ohhh caramel but more of a sweet, creamy/salty Payday Candy Bar!
This is a delicious loose Pu-erh…not expected at first…a brilliant tasty tea!
UPDATE I got some white vinegar and some balsamic vinegar and heated it up, then I took my used Pu-erh above in a stainless steeper and steeped in the vinegar for about 10 minutes off heat. After it cooled, I added salt and Urfa (also known as Isot) Pepper which is smokey and mild…almost sweet, flakes and a little EVOO. Here I go for my first evah Pu-erh vinegarette. Tastes good! (Most of the brew I put in a jar in the frig, the rest I made this vinegarette for arugula & cheese salad).
Thanks again Indigobloom for this sample!
At Church today, Mr. Finger and his family (the choir director…love the name) celebrated a clean bill of health from the Doctor after treatment for Bladder Cancer. The Orthodox tradition is to bake 5 big round loaves of sweet, spiced bread then prayers of thanks-giving are said and the Priest Blesses the bread and it is cut up for all the people to eat. This began a day of eating more than I usually do, smoked chicken, salad, greek yoghert and honey (wait there’s more). I do not feel guilty either.
I stopped on the way home at the neighborhood French Bakery (little bigger than a walk-in closet) and bought 2 chocolate and 1 hazelnut macaron. (and an apricot croissant).
I was now prepared for TV and TEA!
My evening choice of tea…after finishing the macaron’s was this Winter Blend. The evening had cooled off to the 40’s and this tea seemed appropriate. Being an herbal blend I was confident to let it steep 5 minutes for optimum flavor. Noticing the scent of hibiscus, I did not hesitate to add sweetening right off so that the first sip was sweet and full bodied. The ripe berry, spice, almond and vanilla is such a peculiar blend! Who would think to or dare to put such components together? But it worked! Instead of being a mash of confused flavors there was an intriguing “what was that?” delightful series of discoveries. There was warmth without overdone spiciness.
Sweet, little Winter Blend! And ok, I did eat too much!
Another lovely tea sample from IndigoBloom-let! Thank you Dearie!
A Scot’s got to have her Whisky don’t you think? Sooner or later, Bonnie of Stewart, Cameron, Johnstone is needin her DT Whisky White and thanks to I-Bloom up in the land of my Fathers (after leavin Scotland) in Canada, here I go.
Being somewhat of a know-it-all old person, I did not read the steeping time ahead. What for?!
Steep 1 = 4minutes YA HEARD ME RIGHT!
A bit honey gold and very flavorful. I can’t say I don’t appreciate the full flavor. It’s like a honey, ertzy banana, rye bread. If you put in a little sweetening it is more banana.
I looked at the directions online…OOPS…30-80 seconds recommended as a steep time!
Second steep = 45 seconds. SHOULD BE BETTER!
But, it smells like CLOROX! ADDED 30 more seconds! BAD SMELL IS GONE!
There is a lighter color and flavor. The banana flavor is not as strong which is ok depending on if you like that sort of thing or not. The rye bread taste is also faint but still there and the honey is very light. It is just a gentler version of the over-steeped first batch. You could do this tasting side by side and see which you prefer.
What did I do next…
I could not resist the classic Whisky and Lapsang Souchong pairing.
Whisky drinkers drink this classic smoked tea till they are passed out drunk!
Having a small cup of both tea’s (one sweet and one salty and smoky) proved to
be a delicious way to enjoy this Whisky White. It knocked out the banana flavor!
See what you think?!
I’m back I mixed a little LS and Whisky White together and the Bagpipes began to play!
(If you think I’m kidding about the two, Google “Whisky and Lapsang Souchong” Winston Churchill drank this combination).