1498 Tasting Notes
I used Christmas money to finally try out Red Blossom Tea, and I ripped open this sample on new years day. Safe to say it compares more favorably to higher elevation oolongs than to other Tung Tings. Passionfruit and honey were the most prominent things about this one, and tropical floral and fruity smell. It is on the green side of the oolong spectrum having some Gui Fei similarities, but not as totally as vegetal as other tung tings-maybe squash-like? It was also full bodied from steeps two onward having a honey malt flavor until it got into floral-leaf-oil-water-leftover-tea-phase.
Either way, I was hugging myself while drinking it last night. It’s been my favorite of my Red Blossom purchase so far and something I would consider getting again, though not too soon. High cost of living in California is keeping me from purchasing it as often with my Michigan income.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Green, Honey, Malt, Mango, Passion Fruit, Spinach, Squash, Tropical
Yeah, this cold brews well in Florida. Still creamy, still floral, still sweet with something my brain reads as strawberry, even though that’s probably imprecise as a descriptor. I have a cough, so the sweet violets have been an effective cough suppressant. Bumping up the rating for versatility and some medical usefulness.
I wanted to try this one, and lo and behold, a Target in FL had it. Trying it out, I don’t think the tea is nearly as balanced as other Harney and Son’s blends. They usually kick butt with their caramel flavors, but it’s overwhelmed by the Bourbon and the lapsang. I also don’t taste the vanilla. I personally would have picked a Wuyi Oolong to blend with the other Chinese black to make the tea smoother while keeping the smokey taste. It’s not as strong as other lapsangs-I think or guess it’s got some Keemum in it too-could be wrong.
I do enjoy this tea since I like booze flavored teas, but I am pretty disappointed with it and have had better Harney Teas and better bourbon teas. At least the tin is cool. I also think it would be a good for people wanting a non-alcoholic option.
Flavors: Alcohol, Ash, Char, Cherry, Peat, Smoke, Vanilla
This is officially a favorite and something I want to be a staple. Clearly, a few other people get it in bulk and make it their staple too because it keeps selling out. It is no wonder, though, because the tea is that good. I guess everyone wants to commit cremes. It’s pretty flexible under my tumbler, and less is more with the approach. It can actually gong fu, but western serves it well. I know the jin xuan is flavored too, but there are natural florals that blend seamlessly with the violet, and it’s not an overly spinachy base either.
I’m not sure what to rate it since I’d almost do a hundred, but I’m doing 95….for now. My friends have also deeply enjoyed it. It’s really more of an late eventing tea, but I can drink it any time.
I’m still into this one, and there’s finally an ice cream taste to it from the combo of vanilla, salt, amaretto, and milky jin xuan. I wish it were a regular instead of an overpriced limited edition.
But I’m going to go on a little gleeful ramble. I finally got to see Evanescence and Halestorm live in concert, in the flesh, and was thrilled. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was nine and have had a huge crush on Amy Lee for years, and yet, I have never been to their concerts. I had an opportunity to see them at the Machine Shop up close at a bar, but the kicker was that I was 18, not 21, and therefore not old enough to be there. This particular event was special because I have not gone out to do something for myself or with friend in three years, even before the pandemic, and I finally got to and see two of my favorite bands in person. I also got to see two of Lzzy Hale’s and Amy Lee’s duets, and both gave me goosebumps.
“Yeah, it’s perfectly reckless
Damn, you leave me defenseless
So break in
My best friend went with me, and we both belted out the Evanescence lyrics by sheer impulse and after grueling weeks of teaching in December. Of course we were off key. Of course we got some glances, but of course, we weren’t the only ones singing our hearts out. Also, so many people broke out crying when singing My Immortal. Both my mom and I cried at the exact same time of the song, and both of us recorded our voices breaking “And I held your hand through all of these years, but you’ll still have all of me” in sobs.
So yeah, I had a cathartic weekend. I actually like Evanescence’s new album a lot. I know it won’t rival Fallen for many, yet I like that the lyrics have actually matured a little bit from stereotypical angst. The lyrics are still steeped in themes of loss, but they’ve moved in a direction towards coping. I’m going to cherish this memory as one of the most emotional one’s I’ve had in a while.
I am still testing this one out. It’s a very clean and easy going oolong so far, but I’ve not find the leaf ratio I like yet. I’ve overleafed it once. So far, creamy and floral with hyacinth in that department for sure . Full texture, light body and flavor. Water chestnut is the big note for me so far, maybe something resembling unflavored almond milk. Aroma is very soothing, but it doesn’t always show up in the flavor. It is easy to oversteep, and I’ve lost on some complexity before gong fu. It gets milkier as it cools off western. It’s not particularly sweet, yet very approachable with healthy L-theanine calming energy.
I’ve already plowed through half of my package as I’ve abused and experimented with it. Easy western with 2 minutes has worked best for me so far. I may need to up the temperature gong fu. We’ll see. I’m curious what Eastteaguy got from this one. I can say that I wish I got more of the Lishan on sale, but I’m happy to be drinking this one. The clean qualties impress me the most so far. It’s not extremely brothy or spinachy as some Gaoshans can be, and leans more floral watercress than vegetal. I’ll come back to it and likely will finish this off before the year ends.
Flavors: Almond, Chestnut, Creamy, Floral, Green, Milk, Spring Water
Really digging this blend I asked for as a sample. Maybe should have gotten a little bit more. I personally get the pineapple, orange, and a few rosy accents the most, and I shared some while playing a D and D like campaign with friends. They were really, really into it, and two of us went in for seconds.I got the dragonfruit mostly in the first steep, but not so much in the second steep. Pineapple is still the biggest thing I notice, but like my friends said, this is a pineapple person’s kind of tea. That’s weird to say considering this is a dragonfruit tea, and dragonfruit does that tropical component, but it was not as prominent. It’s also nice and light, which I enjoy.
I thought I’d want more white tea in it, but I like it adds slightly more body to the fruit of the tea. Thankfully, I don’t get as much from the hibiscus. These are also decent silver needles that aren’t over the top expensive, and that makes my inner tea nerd happy. I’m personally really satisfied with this tea overall.
Flavors: Citrus Zest, Fruit Punch, Fruity, Pineapple, Strawberry, Tropical
Same flavor notes applied up above, but I’m ready to make a decision on it. It’s very similar to White2tea’s Fruitbomb, albeit older and a little bit more floral. I didn’t realise it’s a 2019 tea, so I need to finish it and or send it to Leafhopper quickly. This is one the teas I intended for the swap, but I hope it’s good enough when it gets to you Leafhopper.
It’s mellowed out a little bit, having a little bit more malt. Honey and blackberry are really obvious with the rosy scent, taste, and even thick texture. There is a little bit of woodiness too, but it’s really pleasant. I can see someone picking up on some tropical fruits every once in a while, because there is something that strikes my palette as guava here and there. It does do well Tumbler style, but it’s best suited for light western or gong fu.
It’s got a bit of a caffeine kick, which is probably why I’m not rating it as higher. I can feel my sinuses and gums after I drink it. So really, this tea has the qi. Unfortunately, it can kick my butt. I still highly recommend this one to anyone really-hits all the flavor notes a newer drinker would be sold by, and has enough complexity and qualities for a tea snob.
Flavors: Black Currant, Blackberry, Guava, Honey, Jam, Malt, Rose, Strawberry, Thick, Wood
Thai honey style tea that tastes just as good as a Taiwanese black I had this morning. Sweet and fruity, yet not cloying or sickeningly so. The company wrote baked peach, honey, hawthorne berry, and I get them from this Rhuan Zhi black. I was able to brew 4 descent cups western, so not bad. It’s also forgiving like most teas I buy, which makes me happy. This was the other one I really hoped for in my sampler pack, and I got it. Now about the Qilan Black…
Flavors: Berries, Honey, Peach, Sweet, Winter Honey
Another surprise, another difficult decision between sample, 50 grams, or 100, and of course, another insane impulse buy.
The tea was more baked than I expected. Dryleaf aroma is immensely smooth, sweet and nutty, leaning heavy onto chestnut and almond. I more or less followed their guidelines 4-5 grams, 5 oz, and some moderately hot water. I could have upped the heat. Horchata immediately emanated from the cups steam, causing my concern I had this too near my flavored teas. Guanyin, though, smiled on me again and that was just the tea. I steeped it for 3 minutes, 20 seconds letting it open up. The gardenia, butter, and chestnut notes are all apt, and the liquor is light and soft, but creamy and sweet with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in accents. The second brew, some minutes go by, maybe less than the first one as I sip-check and go by smell, is significantly sweeter and leans. Gardenia and honey coat my tongue, and affirm me throwing money at this one.
I didn’t expect a more Dong Ding style kind of Tie Guan Yin, and thought this one would be greener. It still leans more on the green side in the middle, but retains the attention catching florals in tandem with buttery and honeyed aspects of the bake. I do not regret getting 50 grams of this gem, because a high mountain (not Lishan-I was WRONG-READ DAYLON!) Tie Guan Yin is not this easy to find online. The 50 grams tops at $21, which actually is NOT bad at all. I’ve complained about Spirit Tea prices before, and I felt like I paid for what I got this time.
More notes to come of this one indeed.
Flavors: Butter, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Cream, Floral, Gardenias, Honey, Nutmeg