257 Tasting Notes
I had first steeped this gong fu style and didn’t come away too impressed. I had a feeling I made a misstep which is why I didn’t review it at the time. I know that sometimes with white tea gong fu works nicely and with some other white teas, western style seems to get better results.
So last night, I brewed this western style for my tea book club. We read Devil in the White City which is why I picked a white tea as one of my teas. I made a point to overleaf in the pot and it paid off. The brew was thick and flavorful. And well received. We brewed two rounds of this last night. I had forgotten to empty the leaves out of the pot last night so I decided to see if I could coax a third brew by steeping it for about 8 minutes. It was still delicious.
I’m excited I found the best way to brew this because it is really good when done western style.
My mother in law bought me some Teavana tea and gave it to me last night. It smells really nice but brewed in the way I did… the smell doesn’t translate as well. Or maybe it does and it is just covered up with a less than stellar base tea? Either way, bitter astringent cardboard is what I am getting. No thanks.
Flavors: Astringent, Bitter, Cardboard
Was given this as a sample by the lovely SuperStarling! in my new sample box she sent. This was nice. I don’t normally do a flavored puerh but if I’m going to, Orange Chocolate is a good place to start. I love the flavor combination of Orange and Chocolate and I feel it translated fairly well to the puerh.
Not sure if I would actively seek to buy a bag of it but… I might!
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Orange
Last session with this sample. Old Warrior feels appropriate for the times.
This is a smooth ripe with a hint of smokiness. I enjoy that. So much so that I pulled out a sandalwood incense to burn while I drank this. Upon further reflection, I am obsessed with pairing things.
But truly, a well done entry into the ripe catalog. Enjoyable and not too intrusive. Something to drink while focusing your mind and meditating on the Old Warrior within.
Flavors: Earth, Mushrooms, Smoke, Smooth
Oh, wow. I didn’t expect to like this as much as I do.
First off, thanks to Superstarling! for sending me this sample a while back and also to my son for picking this tea out for me this morning. I asked him what kind of tea I should have and he said herbal so I grabbed this one out.
You definitely get a chocolate strawberry smell from the dry cacao nibs. Not knowing the parameters for which to brew this, I decided to go with about 4 minutes and 30 seconds and boiling water.
I think I nailed it. The tea that I poured off brings wafts of strawberry cocoa cream up to my nose. The flavor of the liquor has a slight bitterness that fades a bit as the liquid cools. But mostly, there is a creamy strawberry and a light, almost powdered chocolate taste to it. I let my (5 year old) son try it and he exclaimed, “I love it!”
So yeah, I would totally order more of this. It is pretty delicious. Would make a perfect dessert tea.
Flavors: Cacao, Cream, Strawberry
For me, if there is a roast to an oolong it is probably going to start off at like a 65 on this rating scale. It’s kind of like my brother in law and I say; Pizza pretty much automatically starts at a 5. Even bad pizza is still pizza.
Having said that, this is a fairly pedestrian medium roasted oolong. I mean, the charcoal roast flavor is there and it is pretty good. A little bit of mineral flavor there. But, as a whole, nothing popped out at me. Which is perfectly acceptable. Not every tea has to be or can be life changing.
I do wish it steeped for a bit longer though. Around the 4th steep, the flavor started to fall off. Still drinkable just kind of weak and the tea wasn’t that strong to start out with. Though, maybe I under-leafed it. I’ll play around with this some more and see what I can coax.
Flavors: Char, Mineral, Roasted
Today I blended two of my existing ordered teas for the first time. I’m kind of a purist so I’ve never really wanted to do this before but the circumstances were right.
I didn’t have quite enough of Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s Farmer Leas Sun Moon Lake black tea for a full pot. But I also have an over-abundance of BTTC’s Alishan Wuyi black tea which I don’t care for so much. So, I decided to add a little of the Alishan Wuyi on top of the Sun Moon Lake just to see what would happen.
The results were fantastic! The blend was a nice earthy black tea blend with a slight hint of malt. But it helped take away some of that greenish/umami flavor I pick up with the Alishan Wuyi black tea. Or it blended with it perfectly.
My ratio was about 60% Sun Moon Lake and 40% Alishan Wuyi black. Pretty pleased with myself.
The pearls here are very tightly rolled and give off a wonderful jasmine scent. The scent is a little on the heavier side which I happen to enjoy. Interesting thing though is that on the first steep, the jasmine scent didn’t overwhelm the liquid.
The first sip of the brewed tea actually made me think buttery. It is a very smooth and drinkable first steep and somewhat lighthanded. To be fair, the pearls haven’t opened up yet but this is a nice start.
The second and third steeps yield a bit more jasmine scent as the beautiful leaves start to open up and dance. But the liquor remains fairly balanced. This is a nicely done, somewhat light-handed jasmine pearl.
Flavors: Butter, Jasmine
I purchased this tea as a part of my second order with Joseph Wesley Teas. In each order, I have tried some of the “special edition” offerings that are around for a limited time. And both times I have been very pleased.
In fact, I think that this changing/rotating specialty teas are really some hidden gems and help make this particular tea supplier stand out. That is not to say the regular teas he offers aren’t good. They are and very solid at that.
This tea stood out for the crisp clearness of the flavors imparted by the leaf. A subtle hay and fruity sweetness. The leaves themselves are vibrant in green and silvery white and carry a mild floral scent but not in a perfumed way. Very natural and earthy. Really nice example of this style of tea.
This tea is delicious. Toasty and roasty while being a little bit lighter than a usual black tea, this is a unique tea that feels somewhere between a black and a roasted oolong. I am bummed that I only got a sample of this but will be ordering more the next time I put in an order with the company.
Flavors: Roasted, Toasty