190 Tasting Notes
First of all, don’t break off an enormous piece of the bing like i did. just use a normal-sized chunk, say about the size of a quarter, less volume than a large marshmallow, for use in your gaiwan. HOWEVER if you do accidentally start with too much, you can always dilute with a touch more hot water; the flavor is not hurt by doing this.
SECOND OF ALL this was a wonderful investment! My friend Emma and I ventured across town to have a Tea Sit at the delightful West China Tea House, where the owner served us several fine teas and regaled us with stories of his own tea journey. Quite a lovely afternoon interrupted at last by the arrival of hazardous weather conditions that drove us all indoors.
For our second tea of the Sit, we were served round after round of this incredibly deep and textured pu’er directly from a tea farmer venturing into pressing their home-grown pu’er (most pu’er comes from government owned factories!), and every teacup was a journey unto its own. The flavors waxed and waned like cycles of the moon, and taking the time to savor each slurp was simply lovely, especially with friends. Emma and I split a bing to bring home, and this morning while lounging i am enjoying my over-leaf’d tea session immensely. Once i get the ratio of tea:water perfected, this will be a daily drinker for quite a while, and i. am. pleased.
Flavors: Earth, Green, Vegetal, Wet Rocks
oh now, THIS is tasty! sent as a free sample with my recent order of some oolongs, i hadn’t really ever tried green tea of this style. i used my glass easy gaiwan and after a quick rinse in 175 degree water, steeped the 5g sample in around 6 oz of water for the recommended 6 seconds. it was yummy, but it wasn’t until rounds 2-5 that the tea really bloomed into a brothy, buttery, vegetal harmony. i’m done for the day, but going to put the gaiwan in the fridge and see if i can get a bit more out of this particular tea sample.
Flavors: Asparagus, Broth, Butter, Cake, Vegetal
oh MY! what a step back into the world of sencha this is for me! i’d been off in a thicket of shou puerhs and fragrant oolongs and then after i broke my kyusu and had to order another i ended up here, with a sample packet of this delightful tea at my disposal. Used the recommended brewing, am just about done with my second cup of delicious spring seasonal grassy lushness. recommend this one!
Flavors: Cut Grass, Green, Green Beans, Seaweed, Umami
This tea should be better, i feel. it’s good, but not great. the underlying tea is nice, and the apricot flavor is ok. i had super-high hopes for this tea, and while it’s alright, it is definitely not exciting. perhaps that is a result of the oolong-y-ness. after all, i don’t think i’ve met a black tea flavored with apricot that i didn’t adore (RIP Steepster Summer Apricot Ceylon). I’ll use up this tin, but i wouldn’t re-purchase.
well, in my quest to find something to replace the NIna’s Paris Marie Antoinette tea (without ordering online), i discovered this on sale at the local World Market! brought it home and eagerly prepared a cuppa, steeping one sachet in about 9oz of freshly boiled water for 3 minutes. Initial thoughts? Although very slightly artificial tasting, overall quite delicious! I think the Nina’s base tea may have been a little more strong than this tea, but it’s still in there, taste-wise. the rose and apple flavors joust merrily with each other, never one beating the other back, but coming to a pleasing detente in the mouth. the aftertaste has just a touch of apple cider flavor to it, so i suppose apple wins after all.
Since i only had the Marie Antoinette once, in a french cafe in NM, i cannot directly compare. going by memory though, this is not an exact match, but does indeed scratch the itch when i’m craving some lightly perfumed apple tea, an apple tea that is not cinnamon-spice-based. plus, the price is definitely right.
all this said, i really hope my mom, local to that french cafe, gets me a box of Nina’s for Christmas.
Flavors: Apple, Perfume, Rose
oh, now, THIS is good! not quite a subtle as some other apricot flavored black teas i’ve tried, but more robust – i think the underlying tea might just be better. haven’t tried it iced, the others might be more for that. this one makes a lovely hot cuppa with a spoonful of sugar.
Flavors: Apricot, Tea
NOTE: THIS REVIEW IS FOR A PITCHER OF ICED TEA not the hot!
well, i should have noticed everyone talking about how not strong this tea is – 3 tsp steeped overnight in a pitcher of water in the fridge SHOULD have made a lovely strong brown frosty tea for today’s overbearing heat (106 heat index!! UGH). it instead made a lovely light brown flavored water. lots of sugar lovelied it up, but i guess i just learned a lesson about Yunnan Gold and iced tea, that is, NO.
i shall save the remainder of my sample for when i’m in the mood for a nice HOT yunnan gold, and treat it thusly.
SUMMER SIPDOWN! got a packet of this in some long-ago Steepster Select box, intended for iced tea – so that’s how i made it. although i must admit the instructions called for 1 tsp/4g tea to 18 oz of water, i just used ALL the tea (8 grams) to an entire IKEA pitcher (3/4 gal?) of water, let sit overnight, served cold. i must say quite a nice iced tea, very refreshing here in the land of SweetLiptonIcedTea. however, as i’m not the biggest iced tea fan, this was most likely a one-off. i’ll enjoy while it lasts.