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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is not super smokey, but it is calming. Probably will not be a re-order. It is not that strong, as many Russian mild smokey teas don’t seem to be, but it’s relatively pleasant. I do wish my cup did not cool so quickly, though – as this doesn’t work on the tastebuds lukewarm!
Ooh. Y’all. I’m probably going to come back to this in a year and think I was an uncultured swine, but this smells like something… isn’t right. It tastes okay, I can taste the rice flavors but I think it’s the rice that makes the smell. Now that I’m drinking it I actually kind of like the taste? It’s sort of nutty and a really beautiful light green color. I’m going to set a reminder to come back and try this one again in like 3-4 weeks.
Flavors: Nutty, Smooth, Toasted Rice
This was from TreeGal a while ago! Thanks so much! It’s actually in a package that looks like it contains a teabag but it’s actually a surprising amount of loose leaf! This could have been enough for a teapot… but into a teabag it went, and into a big mug it went. This seemed like it would be my thing. The ingredients are lovely and the name sounded like I would fragrantly be drifted off to sleep on this blustery night. Sadly, there is a flavor note here that seems odd — like licorice — and I can’t tell where it’s coming from. But it kind of takes away from what should be a lovely blend of flavors. I can’t even smell these bright rose petals. Maybe it’s just an unusual flavored chamomile, when usually I wouldn’t have a problem with chamomile. I really wish this tasted like a great mix of these four ingredients: chamomile, rose, fennel and lemon verbena. And I also can have no idea how old this tea is… Oh well, it was worth trying one serving anyway!
Steep #1 // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min
I brewed it longer than 5 minutes, and it’s still not bitter. I had a sample tea bag. It’s smooth and the chocolate touch is nice and subtle, not artificial. It’s not a BAD tea, and it has flavor - but there is something of substance missing, some strength or oomph in the sip. While not bad, it’s forgetable, especially for a breakfast tea steeped 5 minutes minimum.
I’m not a regular sipper of Darjeeling, I’ve had some I didn’t enjoy as much. To me this one seems fuller and silky, a small undertaste that’s pleasant but I can’t pinpoint exactly. It’s not rich or potent, but it’s pleasant. I don’t think it’s something I would purchase another container of, but it’s a nice cup of tea for this Sunday afternoon and I can’t find complaints about it. Earthy and comforting.
Finally! I sample for affordable lapsang souchongs often. This is the closest I’ve found for a replacement for the strong and enjoyable Zen’s tea life from Canada. Drank two cups of this tonight, absolutely delicious. very smokey. I can finally stop my hunt again.
Brewed the recommended seven minutes. Beautiful tea with a pleasant smell…but the taste took me by surprise. Sour notes and almost citrusy. Has strong lemon type flavor, although it has no lemon. Definitely a pucker inducing face expression. I drank hot, don’t think it’d be better cold. The color brewed is a deep purple, it’s a shame I didn’t like the tea taste.
This tea is really fruity, sweet and tart in a way that I enjoy. The fruity/tart/sweet-ness doesn’t come out so much in taste though, more aroma. The black tea is very mild and tastes slightly earthy and like unsweet honey to me. It’s nice overall but seems too mild. The website says it should be dark red in color, but all I’m getting is a dull orange. I wonder if maybe I need to use more tea and steep longer than they suggest? I don’t know, will try again!
Flavors: Earth, Fruity, Honey, Mango, Sweet, Tart
This is one of my favorite black teas from a sampler my girlfriend got me for my anniversary. After steeping for 3 minutes, it’s like an orange tourmaline in color. Very pretty. Not what I would think of for my usual black teas, though. I like this one a lot because it’s not really bitter at all, just a little astringent. The flavor reminds me of honey (without all the sweetness) but that might just be an association! I’m not sure what makes an orange pekoe different from any other black tea, but I’m a fan of this one regardless!
Oh, and Happy Halloween! :D
Flavors: Astringent, Honey, Tea
Smells like and tastes like cocoa powder. That’s pretty much the only smell/taste I get though. Compared to the Emperor’s Pu-erh this one has has hardly any flavor. Drinkable, though. I just find the chocolatey-ness annoying. Might be better with creamer/sugar.
I don’t enjoy hibiscus in my tea blends and herbal blends that I intend to drink unsweetened. I do enjoy it as a sweet drink. White Antlers recommended this one, so I bought it for myself and also bought some for my eldest daughter, Superanna, who loves it even plain. She had quite a bit of it in Mexico and really enjoyed “jamaica” as it is called there, and I wanted her to be aboe to make the real deal here. She drank cranberry and cranapple juices even when she was really little, whereas I just tolerated the tartness of those.
As a sweet beverage, made as I make my iced tea, I really enjoy it. The first time I made it I kept the first steep and second steep separate. I preferred the second steep. It was a little less tart but is a beautiful, juicy red color and very satisfying level of flavor. The first steep was good but it was tart, as expected.
Today I am making a gallon by steeping four teaspoons of dried petals three times and adding to sugar and water. I will update on how it turns out!
Whiteantlers!!!!! So glad to see you on here again!!!!!
Anyway, I’m still way behind on my backlog, especially for Wang Tea (GREAT FOR OOLONG LOVERS), Whispering Pines, Fraser Tea, and a new one also from Colorado, Trident Cafe. I have loads to write about that a few teas, but for the most part, my notes will be limited and more concise. I am going to put up the ones that really demand my attention or memory, though there are some new developments from these companies that are all worth looking into.
Beginning again on this note, I was on a sachet hunt before the beginning of lockdown for work teas. Since I could not reasonably afford the kind of tea I want, I figured I could get something to boost my productivity and my own zen in my classroom.
I’ve seen Dan Cong sachets before, and have always hesitated since the leaf quality will likely not be as pronounced and probably have more broken leaves and woodsier tones. i’ve seen an osmanthus dancong sachet blend on Amazon, but I don’t exactly trust them because of their third party problems. Since there was a 20% sale, I got these last year and was pleasantly surprised.
The company doesn’t exaggerate the notes at all, and it was medium to okay quality like I expected, but, I still got a full dancong flavor and the nutty and iris notes I associate with a 8 immortals, or a Bai Xian. Dry leaf is earthy, and floral like a bamboo forest, and it’s surprisingly more medium green and floral, a little bit closer in roast to a medium light roast Dong Ding. Macadamia, almond, and more iris radiate from the cup after about 2 min western, and then I leave it another minute, bringing out more gong fu, and the palette matches the scent. The texture is actually kinda viscous, and there are some nice roasted undertones amidst a predominantly woodsy and floral tea. Again, the woodiness is a little bit more like bamboo and maybe even roasted coconut, but it’s not over the top.
Astringency is not super present in this one, but it can get slightly bitter and almost too woodsy or earthy. If you do it right, it has a nice camphor thing going on. If you do it wrong, it’s bordering on cardboard, but there’s enough umph from the florals to do it otherwise. I still lean towards iris or chocolate orchids for the florals, but there some creamier ones too like hyacinth and honeysuckle, though I’d be interested to see if someone disagrees and describes the florals better.
This one can give you two to three rounds out of the bag depending on how you brew it, and it personally ranks as an 85 for me. I expected it to be more of a 75, but I was pleased that a sachet oolong had enough complexity to get me guessing on the florals. There was no doubt that this was a Bai Xian or a Dan Cong either, which might disappoint some people because I know several find this region’s teas finicky and temperamental. This one is a lot more easy going that other’s I’ve had and definitely more on the Green end like a Yu Lan, even a Wu Yi Qi Lan, but if you’re not into woodsy or floral, than you can skip out on this one.
If I were to describe this tea in a shorter statement, I would describe it as the ultimate medium mellow tea. It’s got enough complexity for oolong nerds to appreciate some complexity actually being preserved in a tea bag, but it’s a decent enough presentation of a Dan Cong that can give novices a better idea of the varietals commonly floral and woodsy character.
Flavors: Almond, Bamboo, Camphor, Floral, Honeysuckle, Nutty, Orchids, Wet Earth, Wood
I have tried to like this tea as I got a whole bag of it when I ordered my Tuffy tea steeper. Alas, while I do taste the black tea and maybe a bit of creamy puerh, I get a weird chocolate aftertaste. I don’t mind the cocoa addition to this breakfast blend, just don’t appreciate the artificial taste it leaves in my mouth. In my mind I compare it to the Vanilla SF herb tea that is so very simple vanilla flavor that it doesn’t try to be something else. Bolder breakfast is a chemical aftertaste in a puerh disguise.
Flavors: Artificial, Creamy, Dark Chocolate, Metallic
I got a sample size of this tea when ordering the Tuffy travel steeper (which is quite nice I think, though I haven’t actually used it for travel yet. It does tend to leak tiny leaves in to the remaining brew, but is compact and easily washed so I won’t be too fussy bout floaties in my cup)
As a morning breakfast tea, its just ok. I guess I brew my normal Assams and Yunnans pretty strong, so this doesn’t stand up to my brisk morning cuppa. As an afternoon pick me up, its still just ok. I’m not sure how to describe it as generic black tea with a metalic aftertaste? I guess with a name like Shagadelic I’m expecting a bit more nutty or malty or astringent taste, and its just a bit of a muddled blend.
I wanted to like this. I really did. I love pumpkin spice, and it smells wonderful. It remind me of pumpkin bread, all toasty and warm and full of spices.
Sadly, the pleasant smell is as far as it goes. The base is way too strong and astringent, overpowering all of the spices. You get all the nice pumpkin spice flavor, but pushing it’s way front and center is the bitter, astringent base, so it’s hard to enjoy it. Steeping it for three minutes or less tones down the astringency, but at the expense of the spices as well.
And pumpkin? Forget it, it’s not even there.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter