3310 Tasting Notes
An Ode to Tea challenge – Y
AND Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Friday, April 9th: National Unicorn Day Tea #1
Yeti is a magical creature, maybe? So this works for Y and for the Unicorn Day challenge! And it’s a sipdown. I’m written about this one before… this reminds me more like a sea urchin but I guess it also seems like a yeti! The flavor is light and lovely. Tea in general is still magical to me, so I could have chose many magic teas today.
2021 sipdowns: 44
An Ode to Tea challenge – Z
Another fun challenge idea! I’m not quite finished with the Tea Tournament but I thought I’d start this. Thanks very much, Mastress Alita! So my particular rules for the Ode to Tea challenge is that these teas MUST A) be a true sipdown! last steep session! OR B) be a tea I have never written about yet. So I will have 26 sipdowns OR it will get me to write about a new-to-me tea! I’m also starting at Z and working backwards because I’m already so far behind everyone anyway. :D
This tea is a sipdown! It’s an odd one but tasty and unique. It is the closest thing to being a Ruby varietal, while not actually being a Ruby varietal. It reminds me of the almond nougat in one of those chocolates. It’s really good! WHOA though – seeing HOW EXPENSIVE this is now when I went to see if they still had it. Whoa, thank you again for share, SkySamurai and I’m glad I finished it while it was fresh! Solid three steeps…. now wishing I went for a fourth.
2021 sipdowns: 43
March Mad(Hatter) Tea Tournament! Round #2
Round TWO of the 2021 super tournament of teas matches! I think I will just throw the other rounds into one tea note. And ‘White Rhino’ is the first in the matchup, so I’ll put it there. If I put it in ‘random steepings’ I will probably never find it again. I didn’t hate battling 32 teas, but it is now April and time to move along. All of these are tough matches! I didn’t drink most of these matches side by side, unlike the first round, since I had them so recently.
Match #1 Butiki – White Rhino VS. Adagio – Reichenbach Recovery
This classic ultimate favorite will be tough to beat… Winner: White Rhino
Match #2 52 Teas – Spiced Cucumber Melon VS. Simpson & Vail – Shanti Yoga Herbal
One of 52Teas finest blends will also be tough to beat. Winner: Spiced Cucumber Melon
Match #3 Butiki – Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun VS. Pudtea – Caramel Brownie
Caramel Brownie is perfectly decent chocolate tea, but as far as greens go… Winner: Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun
Match #4 Teavivre – Taiwan High Mountain Oolong VS. Bird & Blend – Gingerbread Chai
As much as I love Gingerbread Chai, you can’t really beat Teavivre’s oolongs which have always been consistently delicious. Winner: High Mountain Oolong
Match #5 52Teas – PGB VS. Teavivre – Moonlight Dragon Ball White
The wackiness of PGB can’t possibly match up to this classic. Winner: Moonlight Dragon Ball
Match #6 Lupicia – Strawberry Chocolate Puerh VS. Octavia – Berry Mocha Truffle
This is a TOUGH one and I didn’t want to sipdown the last of the Octavia just yet. (I’d definitely stock up on it.) Even though I love raspberry with chocolate (the Octavia), the Lupicia’s strawberry flavor is always perfect. So I guess it comes down to the chocolate ingredient. Which one has my favorite, the cocoa shells??? Winner: Berry Mocha Truffle
Match #7 Bird & Blend – Hocus Focus VS. Yunnan Sourcing- Premium Grade Anxi Ben Shan Oolong Spr17
Hocus Focus is great, but a decent enough oolong is better. Winner: Anxi Ben Shan Oolong
Match #8 Tealyra – Parisian Sparkling Wine VS. Harney & Sons – Yellow Fairy
As much as it surprises me, Yellow Fairy has drastically lost its luster, and the other keeps shining. Poor tea – it’s at least seven years old but two years ago didn’t seem like it was aging at all. Crazy impressive for a golden leaf tea! No more natural lemon flavor here though. Winner: Parisian Sparkling Wine
Apparently today is caramel day! And I haven’t written a note for this yet. It hasn’t really inspired a note when I have tried it before. This is from the old group order (and almost gone now.) The leaf looks very roasted, which is why it would not be a favorite of mine. But it’s not too bad in the roast/mineral department! And even years later, I do have a hint of burnt sugar/caramel to the leaf which is an interesting pairing with the roasted oolong. By the third steep, both the flavor and leaf are drastically faded. I’m glad I tried this, but nothing I need to have again. (SO many I want to try from DF though!)
I also had today: Matcha Outlet’s Caramel Matchaccino (in a blueberry/cantaloupe smoothie) and Tea Desire’s Caramel Puerh.
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 12 min after boiling // 2 min
Steep #3 // 2 min after boiling // 3 min
I hope everyone who celebrates had a great Easter. Cream egg! An essential Easter treat is Cadbury eggs. I love the Cadbury cream eggs. I love the mini eggs. I received a sample of this recently. Maybe the magic is in a single fresh teabag because this tastes like a luscious cream egg to me! I was a little worried with this jasmine being here… I thought it would ruin it. And there isn’t really a creamy component to the tea… like marshmallow or something. That would make it a little too much like their Easter Egg Nests blend. This is very similar but without the green tea, which means it is much smoother. Cocoa shells for delicious chocolate flavor. However, somehow the second steep does have a bit of a bite to it… so pretty much just like Easter Egg Nests. I like this one! But again, it’s probably the magic of the single wrapped teabag and it needs to be a bit more special than just chocolate. I already have a ton of Easter Egg Nests in stock.
Steep #1 // 20 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3 min
2021 sipdowns: 42 (This + oldest Peach Melba on a roll with sipdowns lately!)
Thank you very much, derk! I wanted a dark puerh a couple days ago, so here we go. Just what I wanted! I wasn’t sure if I should go with two teaspoons here, but what the heck, I love the deepest darkest puerh. The puerh looks like nuggets but the description says “brick” so that is odd. They are VERY slow to unravel like they look like big oolong pieces. I think I have only had a “nugget” type of puerh once before but they looked much smaller than this. The flavor is perfect and smooth. And because they are slowly unraveling the steeps can keep going and going. The steeps were ridiculously consistent – especially if these nuggets held almost the same shape the entire session. But breaking them apart with my fingers, they aren’t really nuggets at all, and should have really expanded into those smaller leaves. To really look like that PUERH DIRT I love. Very odd. This never really happened with another puerh for me before. So looking at the description, it does call them “nuggets”. " The “cha tou” are the leaves that ball up and get stuck together" during crazy compression using a hydraulic press and can be steeped 20 times! So that explains it. Not really any distinct unique flavors, just a very tasty ripe. I do love the variety of flavors derk noticed! Derk mentioned vanilla cola which is probably why I wanted to try this. Sadly, no vanilla cola for me here. And it seems to have mellowed out a ton since Togo’s tasting note. (Togo, I would love read how this is aging for you!) Not distinct enough for me to be a favorite, but I’m glad I used two teaspoons.
Steep#1 // 2 teaspoons for full mug// 26 minutes after boiling // rinse // 2 minute steep
Steep#2 // 10 min after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep#3 // 10 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep#4 // 3 min after boiling // 3 min
Steep#5 // just boiled // 15 min
2021 sipdowns: 40 (This + Teavivre – High Mountain oolong)
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Saturday, April 3rd: National Find a Rainbow Day Tea #3
I had this one last night! A perfect day to write a note for this one. First of all, I don’t know if it’s just my particular pouch but this blend must be 96% chamomile and mostly chamomile dust! What the heck. Luckily I don’t mind chamomile, but this blend certainly isn’t called “rainbow chamomile”. There are very little spices here for what is named a chai. And the brew results in the most BLUE colored tea I have ever seen…. though I hardly see any of the blue pea flower in the blend at all. Of course the flavor is mostly chamomile with only the merest hint of spice (only cinnamon really). The second steep was bland, despite the VERY LONG steep time of 15 minutes. It’s rare I can’t have a second steep result in a decent cup, but this was very weak chamomile and nothing more. It’s fine if I’m looking for chamomile but it’s a chai fail.
Steep #1 // 10 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 15 min steep
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Saturday, April 3rd: National Find a Rainbow Day Tea #2
Another good excuse to drink this favorite today — since it brews up an odd enough color from that blue pea flower (more like a deep green). This might be my favorite minty tea – it’s got the perfect base, the perfect mint, strong yet sweet and even more creamy and sweet because of those little star sprinkles (and possibly the peppercorn?) And heck, the rainbow star sprinkles are also appropriate for rainbow day! Visually, the blend is awash in color.
Mastress Alita’s sipdown challenge Saturday, April 3rd: National Find a Rainbow Day Tea #1
I chose this one for rainbow day because it steeps up the most neon green color I’ve ever seen in a green tea. And any excuse I have to keep steeping this tasty tea is good enough for me. I think it’s the green I have been drinking the most often. So that says a LOT.
March Mad(Hatter) Tea Tournament!
Round #1 – Match #16 Harney & Sons – Yellow Fairy VS. Angry Tea Room – Pumpkin Patch Chai
The Yellow Fairy! You can’t buy this stuff anymore. It was originally amazing, now has since faded. However, the Pumpkin Patch Chai was never pumpkin or chai in my opinion, so it was basically failing on all levels. It’s really THE BUBBLEGUM TEA in my mind, and that is just nothing this is supposed to be. What a fail. It’s a decent cup if I’m not aware of the name. So basically the winner by default is: Yellow Fairy
2021 sipdowns: 38