868 Tasting Notes

75

The impression is of a somewhat savory, alkaline mineral water with a lingering, disconnected roast. White lily, orchid and ginger leaf provide the higher floral and grassy notes. A body of dry grass, millet, sandalwood, walnut shell and faint warm, dry earth mixed with tones of apricot-orange-eucalyptus-balsam, golden raspberries, soft Ceylon cinnamon, crystallized honey-brown sugar, scalded milk. Sometimes I’d get fleeting impressions of yellow apples cooked in bacon grease, roasted pepitas, yellow currants, burnt sugar. The aftertaste was not a focal point of this tea, but I did sense sugared violets at one point.

While the mouthfeel and longevity are lacking, the roast brought out very pleasant, sweet incense-like aromatics that perfumed my room. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable offering and I’m happy to have had the chance to try it. Thank you for sharing, Leafhopper, and exposing me to TheTea.pl. They look to have interesting options :)

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Biting, Brown Sugar, Burnt Sugar, Char, Cinnamon, Dry Grass, Earth, Eucalyptus, Flowers, Ginger, Grain, Grass, Honey, Meat, Milk, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Perfume, Raspberry, Roasted nuts, Violet, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Martin Bednář

That was a bad idea checking it out… I am pretty much sure the shipping to neighbor country would be cheap. Ahh!

derk

Focus, Martin!

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Well, the sample I have says 2008 Menghai Palace. I’m guessing this is the one!

From what I’ve seen, ‘palace’ puer is gong ting grade leaf, no? And gong ting is usually processed as shou. This seems to be a special case, a sheng.

The sample is tightly compressed of very small material. Once the little chunks open up after a long steaming and a few steeps, I can see it’s mostly very finely chopped material and some unscathed buds. The dry leaf smells of sour plums and a smoked meat pungency is revealed with warming and rinsing. Smokey-savory and fruity-sour like barbecued crispy chicken skin with a sour plum sauce.

This is a fairly gentle tea with background oomph, though it does still exhibit quite a bit of youthful astringent flavor and perhaps too much bitterness for some people. The character is stable throughout the steeps. Viscous, mineral, oily after a loud swallow. The main flavor is of warm dates and dark honey, light vanilla and a nettle undertone. A bitter floral quality becomes pronounced. The bitterness spreads across the tongue and numbs. Some dryness in the throat amplifies an aftertaste of buttery dates underneath the bitterness. After that disperses, I can feel/taste the bitter around my salivary glands. Returning sweetness takes a while to show. Aroma moves from smoked meat to date-sweet. The body is an interesting mix of viscosity and brothiness with a subdued sticky sweetness. Light menthol opens the sinuses and lends a gently cooling mouthfeel. The energy is barely perceptible, mellow.

All in all, a decent tea that because of the compression and probably dry storage, seems to be closer to the younger end of the spectrum despite being almost 14 years old. Seems to be on a good trajectory. Good for the price (19c/g) if the link below is the same tea. Any more expensive and I personally wouldn’t spring for it.

Thanks again, mrmopar :)

Edit: I wonder if this https://kingteamall.com/collections/2007-dayi/products/2007-dayi-gong-ting-tribute-puer-cake-200g-puerh-sheng-cha-raw-tea is the same. Both from King Tea, slightly different wrappers.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Bitter, Broth, Butter, Dates, Drying, Floral, Herbs, Honey, Meat, Menthol, Mineral, Plums, Smoked, Sweet, Vanilla

mrmopar

Welcome, this was one of the good value cakes I stumbled across.

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drank Frosted Cranberry by Cuppa Geek
868 tasting notes

Not sprays of twigs with red plastic berries at the end, festooned with plasticized snow and glitter. Not a cranberry scone with a drizzle of glaze. Rather, the visual of a light layer of frozen rain glistening on the tiny red cranberries lining the boardwalk of the kettle bog, a hidden pocket, a remnant of Ohio’s glaciation. The same glassy glaze on the highbush blueberry of higher ground. Thick piles of sphagnum moss in impenetrably dark water, pitcher plants, tamaracks. I like when tea reminds me of my roots, and, at the risk of sounding like an old person… the good days, memories of which, in this moment, are now heavily relied upon. Lightly flavored, let it cool a bit. Throw in a little nostalgia from childhood – play-doh – and consider me lost temporarily to better times.

Thank you for the care package, ashmanra :) I’m down to the last few teaspoons, so I’m off to place a small order for me and Kiki.

Flavors: Berries, Cream, Herbaceous, Mint, Tangy, Tea

White Antlers

Nice! New Jersey, famous for cranberry bogs, is the state next to the one where I grew up. The NJ Pine Barrens, night trips there to catch a glimpse of The Jersey Devil and the bogs are some of my good memories from another time.

ashmanra

Awww, this is a lovely tasting note and I am so glad you enjoyed it! I placed an order last night for a few favorites and I really shouldn’t have ordered some of this one but I am ordering again as soon as the Valentine’s special is available so I will get it then! You should be a writer, derk. Well, you already are, but I would love to read a whole book of you waxing poetic!

derk

White Antlers, I’m happy you were able to return to your place. What’s the Jersey Devil anyway? While I love it here, I still do not experience a strong sense of place. Planting native plants around our yard helps to firm it, though, little by little. Giving myself to the land. That was today’s therapy, at least.

ashmanra, thank you. I have no idea what I’d write a book about. It would probably be too similar to Annie Dillard with a lesser vocabulary to have a unique voice. I placed an order today, too. Didn’t tell Kiki. It’s addressed to her :)

mrmopar

Ah the Jersey Devil, that thing has been around for ages….

White Antlers

mrmopar I am delighted you know of the Jersey Devil! LOL

derk Heavens, I cannot say what bliss it is to wake up every morning and know that I am finally home. It’s been 6 years since I moved back but every day is filled with the quiet joy of finally being back to where I came from.

Rather than write a long tale, I’ll send you a link. He’s sort of the Sasquatch of the Northeast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil

gmathis

Our local Sasquatch is a little more ethereal: https://www.joplinmo.org/575/The-Spook-Light

ashmanra

Gmathis – our local boo is a lot like yours! My father saw it in his youth, but said he could not call it a ghost, just a light. There are two nearby, actually, Vander and Maco. It is likely methane or electrical discharge as your article states.
http://www.ncghostguide.byethost12.com/vander.htm?i=1

tea-sipper

derk, you could too write like Annie Dillard! Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is one of my favorites, though has been a while.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
868 tasting notes

Huh. It’s a typical rainy winter day. Citizen protesters storming the Capitol. I think I’ll have a cup of tea, a smooth one for an unsettling day.

The leaf smells like it was fired with sugar – intense fruit aromas and deep sweetness.

Tastes of the smell of red grape juice concentrate – the stuff used to make wine – and that soft kind of malty-baked bread flavor… those loaves of soft honey wheat brown bread with scattered oats on the top. Very smooth, lightly sweet, easy-drinking mystery black tea with a mineral finish. Simple but sparkling.

Also reviewed by Martin: https://steepster.com/Martin-CZE/posts/412416
And possibly the same tea reviewed by Daylon: https://steepster.com/daylon-r-thomas/posts/410442

Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Grapes, Malt, Mineral, Smooth, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 OZ / 100 ML
Martin Bednář

I wish knowing what’s it. And I think it is what Daylon made an entry of. I am pretty much sure.

It’s a mystery.

Dustin

Yeah, I don’t know what to make of today.

mrmopar

Its a mess for sure.

White Antlers

I’m embarrassed to be an American.

Martin Bednář

I was laying in the bed when I read what it is going on there. How sad. How crazy. And today morning the aftermath. This is really sad story that it is possible to happen.

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This sheng was so powerful I had to spread the steeping across two days both times. It’s also in an awkward stage. Kind of a musty-sour aroma early on that turns to an enjoyable bitter-sour-sweet and somewhat smoky smell. There’s an acidic-metallic drying tinge in the mouth that builds and slowly subsides. This character is somewhat balanced by a complex activity in the mouth, moderate camphor and spiciness, a strong returning sweetness quick to show (first steep) and a lingering buttery caramel-floral plum aftertaste that rises in the sinuses. Bitterness isn’t too strong but it does seem to spread into every crevice. Tannic feeling in a horseshoe around the back and sides of the tongue. This tea seems dry stored to me.

It does have plenty of kick in the mouth, gut and body. A full stomach is a requirement for me. The energy feels like it pushes outward throughout my whole body, and along with a perceived growth in size, I slow down. Very much a body load tea and high in caffeine/stimulating compounds. This tea still needs time. The rough-and-tumble adolescence will probably age into a pleasant tea eventually.

A few things to note. Leaf’s in good shape but still pretty green. The rinse liquid and drips from each infusion remained clear into the next day and this liquid turned a dark and cool wooden brown.

Thankee mrmopar :)

Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Butter, Campfire, Camphor, Caramel, Drying, Floral, Metallic, Mineral, Musty, Plums, Sour, Spicy, Tannic

mrmopar

Welcome, I like this one and wished I had grabbed more. I agree it’s a full on tea.

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Another share from White Antlers :)

Smells kind of fishy from the shou when brewing but that does not come through at all in taste. Kind of thin but lots of sweet notes. I mostly get caramel-honey mixed with redfruit syrup and liquid vanilla marshmallow cake if that’s possible. Some wood, cocoa and pecan in the mix. A gentle bite in the throat. Plenty flavorful when cold but does turn a little toward bitter earth.

Flavors: Cake, Caramel, Cocoa, Earth, Honey, Marshmallow, Nutty, Pecan, Red Fruits, Sweet, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Swann's Way by Liquid Proust Teas
868 tasting notes

Complex, deep. Rich, round and brisk. Illusion of sweetness? Interesting.

Sultry pralines with a kiss of lipstick.

I didn’t have the pleasure of trying this fresh, but it seems like it’s held up well even with nuts in the blend!

Thank you for sharing, White Antlers :)

Flavors: Apple, Brown Sugar, Caramel, Cherry, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Cranberry, Cream, Flowers, Fruity, Herbs, Honey, Licorice, Lychee, Malt, Menthol, Mineral, Nutty, Pecan, Red Fruits, Smoke, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Tannin, Vanilla, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec 7 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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drank Earl Grey Cream by Just Add Honey
868 tasting notes

This came my way from some box-stuffing promotion project my housemate was working on for her employer (how that fits into care-giving, I have no idea). Just Add Honey is an Atlanta tea shop. Their teas have a few notes here.

Sorry Courtney, but if I don’t get this note out now, it’ll never happen because I only saved enough for 1 serving.

This went really well with breakfast today, a slice of Greek sweet bread topped with feta and a side of Greek sausage.

I enjoyed this Earl Grey Cream. The base tea is pretty leafy and bold enough to carry well the bergamot oil which is on the stronger end. The ‘cream’ part is vanilla rather than cream flavor and it blends very smoothly instead of standing on its own as a flavor. Well done in my eyes but I’m no EGC connoisseur. I wonder what Courtney will think of it :)

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML
Courtney

I can’t wait to try it! :)

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drank Orange Creamsicle by Cuppa Geek
868 tasting notes

Final tea of the advent grab bag. Though the 25th tea was meant by Nichole to be had on New Year’s Eve, I saved this for today, the first, since it’s Kiki’s name day.

“Dry smells like tangerine!”

I sniff it and say I think I smell cream, hand the packet back to Kiki.

sniff “Huh, yeah! Kinda like… kinda like a, what’s it called… a creamsicle.”

picks up the mug “Yeah, it definitely smells creamy, like creamsicle. Yes, hm, mildy citrusy, tangerine-orange flavor. I pick up the black tea and it smells like a …lightly… creamsicle. And it tastes like a creamsicle. smiles The more you drink, the more the orange comes out. I can taste the orange rind, or cit— citrus rind, whatever kind it is. It’s good. It’s very good. I’m not one to really like that vanilla cream kinda flavor BELCH because it tastes artificial laughs sorry, oopsie, more laughs so I probably wouldn’t buy it. Happy New Year everybody.” smiles

(FWIW, this is called Orange Dreamsicle on the packet)

Thank you so much, Nichole, for making this advent possible. Kiki had a great time trying a new tea almost everyday this past month. We found several that she really liked and I’ll be purchasing pouches of those for her if they’re available. The best part for her, though, was having me share her reactions with Steepster. She loves to please, so all your comments made her happy. I’ll be sure this year to post some reviews from Kiki here and there.

ashmanra

I have been hitting this one hard the past few days! It is one of my favorites, along with Parker’s Blend and Spiced Fall Evenings and,,,

DrowningMySorrows

Kiki’s reviews are great. I look forward to reading more of them this year :)

Cameron B.

Happy New Year, derk and Kiki!

Martin Bednář

Happy New Year to you and Kiki :)

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I said I’d write another review for western and bowl preparation but it seems I’ve lost my notes.

A temperamental lark; I never could get this tea to sing.

Happy New Year to all!

Courtney

Happy New Year!

Mastress Alita

Happy New Year!

Martin Bednář

Happy New Year!

mrmopar

Happy New Year!

tea-sipper

Happy new year derk and all!

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Bio

No Sugar Added!

Tea habits:

Among my favorites are sheng puerh, Wuyi yancha, Taiwanese oolong, a variety of black (red) teas from all over, all teas Nepali, herbal tisanes. I keep a few green and white teas on hand. Shou puerh is a cold weather brew. Tiny teapots and gaiwans are my usual brewing vessels when not preparing morning cups western style and pouring into my work thermos. Friend of teabags.

Location

California, USA

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